Sunday, December 4, 2011

Attributes and Sorting Fun!!

To kick off my geometry unit, I always focus first on attributes! To have some fun & get the children "hooked", I read A Lost Button in Frog and Toad are Friends. It's chapter 3 & about a search for (you bet) a lost button - Toad's lost his button, and Frog spends his time looking for it - they find many buttons {of all colors, shapes and sizes}, but not the one Toad's looking for, which turns up back at Toad's house. Toad rewards his friend by sewing him a special jacket filled with all the buttons he found during the search. Too cute & my kiddos love it!!


Once I read the story, I get out a gigantic bag of buttons...loaded with different attributes & we play "Guess my Button!". My sweeties take turns secretly choosing one of the displayed buttons only whispering the identity to me. (I have 6 buttons projected on the SMARTboard using my document camera.) The student then gives the rest of the class attribute clues to help them guess the "secret button". During this game, I emphasize to the kids how we can compare & contrast the buttons based on their shapes, colors, sizes, etc. Once we have played this as a whole group, I then break my students up so they can play it in small groups.

After "Guess My Button", we have a button sorting party!! Our party mission is to find as many ways as possible to sort all the buttons. I do this in small groups and differentiate it by the amount of buttons I give the children.{I apologize for the poor quality of the pics..all I had was my phone that day!}

Another fun activity my kids enjoy is called "Buttons! Buttons!". They pick any two different buttons, glue them on their sheet, list their attributes, and what is alike/different about them.

Click on the picture to download the "Buttons! Buttons!" sheet.

To continue to reinforce attributes, I pull out "The Woozles" from the Land of Attributes. You can get the Woozle cards for FREE {here}! This is an activity that comes out of Van de Walle's elementary math K-3 series- Teaching Student-Centered Mathmatics! If you don't already have this resource book, I highly recommend it!!  


Anyhoo, back to the Woozles. I pair up my students and give them each a set of cards. They sort them by similiar or different attributes.  

Then I give each kiddo a blank index card to make their own Woozle. Once everyone has created their lil' wooz card, we share & sort them by their attributes (ex. # of arms, shape, squiggly hair, etc.!! Fun stuff!!

 

If you teach using Investigations, you are probably familiar with the shape cards below. We used them to play "Guess My Rule". I tried to find a free copy of the cards online for y'all without success...BOO! But you could easily just make a set of shapes with a variety of attributes (3 sides, 4 sides, curves, no sides, etc.) or just get a set of attribute blocks! To play "Guess My Rule", I paired up my students and gave them each a set of the shape cards. They put four shapes on their work mat that followed a rule {all had 4 sides, all had curves, etc} and their partner had to guess it! Great attribute practice and they were so engaged during the activity! YAY!! 


We also played "Guess My Rule" using the printable below. My students worked independently for this activity so I could monitor/assess their understanding of attributes. I had a ton of paper pattern blocks that my SWEET, AMAZING, GO OUT OF HER WAY paraprincess cut out for me. Bless her! The kids glued pattern blocks that followed a "rule" and wrote about it on their sheet. If you can't use paper pattern blocks, you could also let them just draw shapes or trace pattern blocks. It all works! 


Click on the picture to download the printable.

In addition to these activities, we enjoyed playing a couple of related computer games -Guess My Rule & Guess My Button!

As you can imagine, by the end of all of this fun, my sweets had a strong understanding of attributes/sorting! We were super duper ready to then move on to 2d/3d shapes...more activities/printables coming soon since this post is already a mile long....

Coming Soon!!!
I'm really excited about my next set of math  & literacy centers that are FULL of playful penguins!! I hope to have it posted in the next week or so & can't wait to share it with you!! Love some penguins!!! 

I hope all of you have a wonderful week!!! 12 more days until Christmas break!!! YEAH!!!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Winter Wonderland Centers and Huge Cyber Monday Sale!!!

Hey y'all!!! I'm SO excited to have finished my Winter Wonderland Math & Literacy centers just in time for Cyber Monday! This winter themed pack includes 15 hands-on activities FULL of snowmen, snowflakes, mittens, hot cocoa, & more that review several important first grade standards! Click {HERE} to check them out!!!


Here's a lil' sneak peek of the packet!!

Happy Cyber Monday!!
Many bloggers, including myself, are offering 20% off ALL the products in our stores on top of the TpT 10% discount (use promo code CMS28 at checkout-valid only on Cyber Monday)! You can also enjoy 20% off our products from November 29th- December 1st!!  For more details, click {HERE}!

I hope you have a great week!! 15 more days until Christmas break...woooohoooo!!!!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Happy Holidays TpT Cyber Monday Sale!!!!


Are you ready for an awesome Cyber Monday sale on TpT?!?!  Many bloggers, including myself, are offering 20% off the products in our stores on top of the TpT 10% discount (use promo code CMS28 at checkout-valid only on Cyber Monday)! You can also enjoy 20% off our products from November 29th- December 1st!!  
Happy Shopping to our Sweet Customers!!!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

I'm Thankful!!!!


Ohhhhh, what a beautiful Thanksgiving day with friends and family!!! Loved everything about it!!! God is SO good, isn't He?!?!? What a great day to join the "I'm Thankful" linky party over at What the Teacher Wants!!

1.  What are you thankful for in your classroom?

Every single one of my precious 22 first graders! I seriously love them to pieces!!! So thankful for the opportunity to touch their lives!!

2. What person are you most thankful for?

I am thankful for my husband & best friend, Josh, and our healthy son, Parker!

3. What 3 blogs are you most thankful for?

You know what...I am just THANKFUL for the entire blogging community!!! I love all of y'all and can't thank you enough for inspiring me every single day that I get on here!!!

4. What guilty pleasures are you most thankful for?

My iphone, the internet, my laptop, cute clipart, and Starbucks!!

5. What are you most thankful for?

JESUS!! I just love Him and He loves me!! Without His love and blessings, I don't know what I would do!!!

And, of course, my FAMILY!!!

I hope everyone has had a wonderful day of giving thanks with friends and family!!!
Happy Thanksgiving!!!
















Sunday, November 20, 2011

Holly Jolly Centers & Winter Math Journal Prompts

Everywhere I go just screams CHRISTMAS!! I love it...every.single.thing.about.it!!! It's hard to believe that's it is just around the corner...CRAZY! It's even harder to believe that I have 90% of my Christmas shopping DONE thanks to online stores:) 
As the holiday season approaches, I get so excited about all of the fun things I can do with my students! I just recently finished my Holly Jolly Math and Literacy centers! It's my BIGGEST unit yet {15 activities} and full of fun to bring the Holly Jolly spirit into your classroom! 
 
Here is a lil' sneak peek of the goodies!!!
Math Centers
1. North Pole Number Ordering
2. Holly Jolly Fact Families
3. Santa's Shape Riddles {basic 2D & 3D}
4. Reindeer Time {hour and half hour}
5. Holly Jolly Graphing
6. Santa's Math Helpers 
Literacy Centers
1. Holly Jolly Read the Room {long and short vowel words}
2. Making Words with Happy Holidays
3. Making Words with Candy Cane
4. Candy Cane Compounds
5. Elf Editors
6. Opposite Ornaments
7. Holly Jolly Sentences
8. Holly Jolly Compare and Contrast
Click {HERE} for more details about this packet!

I've also posted my next set of math journal prompts!! There are a variety of skills covered: addition, subtraction, number representation, number combinations, number patterns, fair shares, shapes, and more! Many of the prompts promote higher order thinking and multiple solutions. 

Click {HERE} to check them out!!

 Happy, Happy Sunday!!!!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Gobble Goodies :)

Hey y'all!!! I know it has been forever since I last posted, but Strep throat hit my house BIG time this week! Ouch!! I swear that stuff is WAY worse as an adult!! On top of that, my little boy had to have an MRI yesterday because his pedi has been concerned about his very large head since he was 9 months old. He was sedated for the procedure, which scared the mess out of me & my hubs, but all went well...especially when his pedi called to let us know everything was normal this afternoon...BLESSED! Our sweet little guy just has the big head family gene, thank the Lord!!

Okay, now to the teacher stuff!! We've had turkey fever this week in my classroom. One of my favorite activities is a fun project where my kiddos disguise a turkey. I send it home, but you could easily do it in your classroom, too. I loved every minute of seeing how proud my students were when they shared their turkeys!!  I think they turned out SO cute!! Here are some pictures of our disguised turkeys!!

Artist Turkey

Bride Turkey

Chick-fil-A Turkey

 Georgia Power Turkey

GA Bulldogs Turkey

GA Cheerleader Turkey

Santa Turkey

Johnny Appleseed Turkey

Tae Kwon Do Turkey

New York Yankees Turkey

Gymnast Turkey

Princess Turkey

Baby Turkey
 

Super Model Turkey

Moon Turkey
Adorable, huh?!?!?! They just continue to make me smile....
 I found this activity a few years ago on an amazing website-Mrs.Nelson's Class. She has the turkey printable I used {printed them on cardstock}, as well as a parent letter to send home to explain the project for FREE!! That's right, FREE!!! Thank you, Mrs. Nelson!!!

I also found this sweet Handy Turkey activity from Mrs. Nelson's site that I plan to do next week. You can get the printable for FREE {HERE}!! Just scroll down until you see it!! Precious!!!

Hand Turkey

Since informational writing is our focus in writing right now, we also wrote interesting turkey facts in these "I Am Stuffed with Facts About Turkeys" books!

I don't have patterns for the book. I just free handed the feathers, folded a large piece of brown paper {w/ writing paper inside}, cut strips of brown paper for the legs, and let the kids cut out & decorate their own turkey head! Super simple to prepare!! 

 In math, we had fun making number combination turkeys. You can easily differentiate this activity by giving your kiddos different numbers to use. Again, I do not have patterns for this. SORRY!! I just used a die cut machine at my school for the circles {one small and one big}, traced & cut out the feathers, made triangle beaks, and a little red construction paper wattle.

How do I wrap up a week learning all about turkeys on a SWEET note? With Turkey Cookies, of course!!!

 To make these all you need are:
-chocolate chips (eyes)
-white icing (glue)
-sugar cookies(one cookie per child)
-candy corn (feathers)

- a small piece of a red Twizzler (wattle)
-Nutter Butter cookies (head)
 Delicious FUN!!!

What's even sweeter though is this "vase of flowers" one of my students brought me as we were leaving the playground this week!!! Melt my heart!! I have the BEST job in the world!! 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

lapbooking

Hi! I'm Tamela and I blog over at This and That. I am a former elementary school teacher turned homeschooling mom. I am absolutely in love with all of the amazaing 1st grade blogs that I have found! Let me just say that, "You guys rock!" You all do an amazing job in your classroom and I have been inspired by lots of your ideas and printables!

I want to introduce you to something that I love doing with my girls ~ lapbooking. Lapbooking is big in the homeschool world, but I think it would be fun to do in the classroom, too! Basically, lapbooks are a way to compile all of the learned information in a neat and organized way. Here are a couple of examples that we have done...



cover



This is the middle of the lapbook. The components are labeling a penguin and a number matching game.

This is the back of the lapbook. We included a poem about penguins, the life cycle of penguins and a little reader. The little reader book is by far my favorite component because the girls got to use their thumb prints to make the penguins on each page!



This is my oldest daughter working on her penguin! Sorry, just had to share that one with you, too! You can add different components too like their habitat, what they eat, the different types of penguins. There really isn't a wrong way to lapbook!

Another type of lapbook is based on a piece of literature. For this lapbook, we read "The Tale of Peter Rabbit". The girls really enjoyed the extended learning that we did with this book. We talked about onomatopoeia, real versus fantasy, and why it's important to obey rules. Gracelyn helped Mr. McGregory plant a new vegetable garden and then wrote him a letter of apology on behalf of Peter. Ella put together a mini book on staying well in winter.

cover middle - onomatopoeia definiton and example from the text, step-by-step directions on how to draw a rabbit, new vocabulary words, mini book and animal fantasy back (pocket to store all of the 81/2 x 11 sheets) response to literature vegetable garden planning letter of apology real vs. fantasy worksheet our house rules drawings of rabbits


If you are wondering what the letter says, it says: Dear Mr. McGregory, I am sorry for eating your vegetables. I would like to plant more vegetables in your garden. Sincerely, Gracelyn



I know this is a long post, but I wanted to show you a couple of different types of labooks. If you have any questions, please let me know. Oh, and the internet is filled with other examples and You tube also has a short video on how to fold a lapbook.