Thursday, October 13, 2011

Greater Than and Less Than

Hey there friends! It's Erin and Leslie over at First Grade Fanatics. We are so excited to get to be guest bloggers for such an amazing blogger! Thanks Anna! We've really been working on greater than and less than with our little firsties, so we thought we'd share some fun stuff with ya'll.

We started over at Super Teacher Worksheets because they have a super cute little alligator that we used to introduce the concept. Isn't he the cutest?

We quickly moved beyond Mr. Alligator to teaching the symbols, but really found that using him did give the kids a great visual to remember which symbol to use.
Here is a worksheet that we used with the alligators, but you could definitely use it for just symbols as well. You can find the black and white little alligators HERE at Super Teacher Worksheets. We didn't love their worksheet, so we made our own. Make sure to grab a copy below.
The Hungry Alligator Worksheet

Next we did an activity with the kids using whiteboards where we came up with 2 numbers that they wrote, and then they picked a card with a symbol to put in the middle. Make sure to click below to get a copy of our signs. They worked really well for the kids!

We really want our first graders to be familiar with the correct language to use when comparing two numbers. The worksheets below contain boxes for students to write the correct sign in, and phrases to circle.

We ended the week teaching our kids to play this game.

This was a huge help in reinforcing greater than, less than and equal to.

Each pair of students gets a spinner to create 2-digit numbers. They then record them on their worksheet (they can either share one, or have their own) and include the appropriate symbol. They loved this game! We were so busy though, we forgot to take pictures. Oops! :-)

Here's a copy for you!

Thanks for sticking with us! Do you have any other ideas for teaching this strategy? We'd love to hear from you!
Now we're moving on to place value...

Don't forget to stop on by our blog and say hello. We've got all sorts of fun freebies and printables to share! Have a great day!

First Grade Fanatics

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Many Luscious Lollipops

Hi Dear Friends!  It’s Hope King from Second Grade Shenanigans and let me just say that I am CAH-RAZY excited  to be “guest blogging” here at Crazy for First Grade. Anna’s blog is filled with such fabulous ideas and was one of the very first blogs to inspire me to really beef up my instruction. Isn’t she awesome?!?   
Today, I am here to talk about all things delicious and tasty and scrumptious…ADJECTIVES!  I mean is there really a better month to talk about adjectives than in the month of October? How can you not cook up spicy words when talking about pumpkins, apples and all of those spooky Halloween costumes?  Lately, my budding authors have been hard at work adding a touch of adjectives here and there in their writing. One of the lessons that I look forward to the most during my little adjective unit is a lesson that I like to call “Many Luscious Lollipops.” {You’ll see the meaning behind the title in 3…2….}

Love, love, LOVE this book! It is a perfect beginning to an adjective study. However, it does get a little intense as you get close to the end. If you teach the youngsters, you may want to give it a little “preview” before your lesson and only read up until a certain point.
After reading Many Luscious Lollipops, we talk about the “Power of the Senses” and as a class, we think of ways that we can make our writing powerful by appealing to our reader’s five senses. Next, I bust out the ULTIMATE attention getter…candy…lollipops to be exact.  The students work to describe their lollipop using their five senses. {Just a little tip: I tell them they must describe taste last! I am always afraid that their lollipop will be GONE before they get one word on their paper! J}  After the activity, the students share adjectives that they used to describe their lollipop. I usually add new adjectives to our chart.
Here is the recording sheet that we use:
Finally, after the students become “adjective experts” it is time for them to become the teacher…BUT…not for other students….for their PARENTS!!! I tell the students that it is time to give their parents a little homework! {Pause for a few seconds here due to the level of excitement that will be going on in your room! You may need to alert the teacher next door that there is NOT an emergency in your room and everything is just fine! J} Seriously…the kids go absolutely crazy over the idea. That day, the students take home a parent activity that matches what they completed earlier.
We attach a Dum Dum to the sheet above and it is the parents turn to think of adjectives to describe their lollipop. I always “act” like I am just POSITIVE that the parents will need a tremendous amount of help and that I know the students are going to have to reteach them all about adjectives! They think this is hysterical and cannot WAIT to get back the next day and tell all about the adjective lesson they had with their parents.  This activity really gets them excited about including adjectives all throughout their writing. In fact, we will even have to discuss that although adjectives make our writing better, we do not actually need 25 in each sentence! J
I have put together a few adjective resources for you to use with your kiddos. You can {CLICK HERE} if you would like to download these activities.
I hope that you are all having a week filled with wonderful experiences in your classroom. Thanks again to Anna for allowing me to share this little idea with all of you! Happy Wednesday Friends!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Wizard Sentences

Hi!  It's Cheryl from Primary Graffiti!  I'm as giddy as a schoolgirl for having the opportunity to post here at Crazy for First Grade.  Yep!  We've been working on similes today! This week as been a HUGE review week for my kids.  We have nouns, verbs, adjectives, similes, homophones, synonyms, and vocabulary percolating in our brains.  Words such as tantalizing, tintinnubulating are twirling off our tongues. YES, my 2nd graders are using these vocabulary words in our class and it's hilarious! I LOVE seeing how voracious my kids become for learning something new and exciting.  My young learners are developing as word wizards.   This leads me to a file that  I prepared for additional practice this week.  I'm excited to share this file with you today!  I would like to invite you to visit my blog for some fun happenings this week.  Tomorrow and Saturday will feature additional goodies for you.

Wizard Sentence

Monster Mash!!

Hey Everyone!! What a long week!!! AND it's only Tuesday!!! Don't you just love that feeling?!?!?

Let's talk monsters...I can't get enough of them right now!! My sweets are eating up the monster themed math and literacy centers I put together...I LOVE seeing them excited about learning!! Click on the picture to learn more about my Monster Mash unit!!

Here's a lil' sneak peek of everything in the packet!!
One of my favorite activities is "Monster Compare & Contrast"! It's hanging out in my HOTS (higher order thinking skills) center this week! The students use a Venn Diagram to show the similarities and differences between Monster A & B!! You can click on the picture to download it for FREE!

I know I have some Dollar Tree lovers out there!! Have you seen these FUN eyeballs?!?!?

 I wrote numbers 1-10 on two sets of eyeballs. Students pick three eyeball numbers and add them together on their recording sheet!!! Click on the picture to download the recording sheet!!
Halloween is just around the corner & I can't wait!!!
If you are looking for resources to celebrate all things trick or treating, check out my Trick or Treat unit. It's packed full of activities to get your students in the mood for Halloween while reviewing important skills!!

 Here's a sneak peek of these Halloween goodies!!!

You are in for a BIG treat this week! Please join me in welcoming several awesome guest bloggers!!
Wish me luck on Sat.!! I'm ready to be DONE!! 4 more days....4 more days!!!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Let's Have a Holly Bloggy Christmas this year!

Hi friends!  It's Caitlin (aka Ms. Preppy) from Ms. Preppy's Adventures in Primary and Polka Dots.  I am beyond excited to guest post here at one of my very favorite blogs! I'm also excited that Anna is allowing me to share a super fun project that I've been cooking up with Sarah from Kindergarten Korner.  We are organizing a Christmas gift exchange for our fabulous teacher blogger friends!  I know it's early in October...but both of us already have visions of sugar plums dancing in our heads.  I'm CRAZY in love with all things Christmas.  I just can't get enough of it.  The other day I was in a local home decor store and when I looked at the Halloween decorations I thought, "Man, it's way too early for pumpkins and ghosts!"  But I had no problem walking out of there with two new Christmas decorations.  {I told you.  Crazy!}  But I believe it's perfectly acceptable to be a smidgen crazy when you can turn your crazy into something good.  That's where Holly Bloggy Christmas comes in!

Here are all the dirty details!
- Holly Bloggy Christmas is a Christmas gift exchange for members of the teacher blogging community.  Participants will receive a gift from another teacher blogger AND a virtual stocking full of teacher resources from our sponsors!  It is free to participate, but sponsorship options are available and all donations will go to support TOYS FOR TOTS!
- Sign-ups begin NOW and will last until October 31st.
- In order to sign up, please send an email to  Copy and paste the questionnaire below into the body of the email and answer the questions.  We will send your answer to your secret pal, along with your address.  This information is TOP SECRET!
- Sarah and I will put participant’s names into a bowl and draw names to match you with your secret pal.  By November 10th, you will receive an email with the name of your secret pal and their answers to the questionnaire. 
- Get to crafting and/or shopping!  Be creative!  There is a $15 spending limit before postage.  Before you place your gift in the mail, snap a picture and email it to us.  On Christmas we will post all of the pictures of the super fabulous gifts everyone received!
- Send your wrapped gift in the mail (with delivery confirmation) by December 5th.  This way it has plenty of time to make it to your secret pal!
- Open your gift on Christmas morning!  NO PEEKING!  We will have a linky party for everyone to link up to a post about their gift and their wonderful secret pal!
Want to sponsor Holly Bloggy Christmas?
- Sponsorship is $5  All money will go towards TOYS FOR TOTS!
- Submit your donation via the paypal link in my sidebar.
- Sponsors have the opportunity to send us a product (unit, game, worksheet, etc.) that will be placed into a virtual stocking that all participants will receive on Christmas!  This is a great way to gain some exposure.  Please submit your product in PDF to
-Sponsors will also have their blog button or TpT/Teacher’s Notebook store button placed on the Holly Bloggy Christmas page of each of our blogs.
- For every $5 donation you make, you may submit one product.
- Email us at if you have questions.
Holly Bloggy Christmas Secret Pal Questionnaire
1. Full name or your “teacher” name (for monogramming!)
2. Mailing address
3. Email address
4. Blog/Website/Store (so your pal can learn a little more about you – but you don’t have to have a blog to participate)
5. Grade level
6. Favorite treat
7. Favorite colors
8. Not-so favorite colors
9. Give a little bit of information about yourself.  Married?  Kids?  Hobbies?
We hope you will all consider joining us in this fun Christmas exchange!  We already have several signed up, so I know it's going to be a good time!  Thanks again to Anna for allowing me to share about Holly Bloggy Christmas on her blog!