Monday, December 26, 2011

Playful Penguin Math and Literacy Centers

Hey Friends!! I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday break!!! I'm enjoying every single second of it!!! My house looks like a tornado hit a toy store, but we've been having a BLAST!!!

I posted my Playful Penguins Math & Literacy unit on TpT today! It includes 15 penguin themed hands-on centers, plus a bubble map, brace map, and "All About Penguins" writing paper. Your students will have fun learning about penguins while also practicing important first grade math & literacy skills!! I plan to use these after my Winter Wonderland centers.

Here's a sneak peak for you!!
Math Centers
Literacy Centers {Plus bubble map, tree map, & writing paper}
Click {HERE} to grab your copy!!
And for my wonderful freebie lovers, I hope you like this Penguin ABC order center! Click on the picture to download!!
Graphics Courtesy of Scrappin' Doodles
I have more January and February activities, as well as my Winter Vol. 2 math journal coming soon!!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

My Hip Hoppin' Elf Family!!!


We like to get down hip hop style on Christmas Eve in my family!!!  heh-heh




Go Elf Yourself {HERE} if you haven't done so yet!!! Too much fun!!!

Happy *almost* Christmas!!!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas!!!


I hope everyone is enjoying their well deserved holiday break! I just wanted to drop by to let you know what a blessing you are to me!!! Each and every day I'm blown away by your love, support, and inspiration! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of your positive comments, TpT purchases, feedback, sweet e-mails, and for simply being a part of my teaching journey!!
Wishing you & your family the gift of faith, the blessing of hope, and the peace of His love this Christmas & always.

Merry Christmas!!! 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Reindeer Noses:)

Y'all, I about died over a bag of "Reindeer Noses" I saw an intern give my coworker's class yesterday! I just had to have them for my sweeties!! When I got home from school, I found the idea all over Pinterest!! Whoever originally came up with this is AMAZING!!! They are too cute & so stinkin' easy to make!!
Here's what you need to make them....
1. 1 huge party size bag of Whoppers
2. A couple bags of gumballs (you have to pick all the red ones out). I found the perfect size gumballs at the Dollar Tree..check out the name...Au'some Bubbles...love it!!
3.Cello treat bags - I like the vase shapes ones shown in the picture!

All you do is put 8 Whoppers and 1 red gumball in a treat bag!! If you want the tags I made for my bags, you can get them {HERE}!! These would make an awesome gift for your students!!! I'm planning on handing mine out on our Polar Express day that's right around the corner!

Look what I got in the mail today!! Woot! Woot!
I still can't believe I did it!!! So excited that I made it through with a 2 year old & full time job!!! I'm not going to lie. It was HARD! But I can't even put into words how happy I am that I accomplished this dream!!!! Now on to my specialist degree...JUST KIDDING...haha...maybe in a few years if I'm brave enough!!

Happy *almost* Friday! Please send fast ornament making vibes my way for tomorrow. My classroom is going to look like Santa's shop!! Fun stuff!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Shapin' It Up!!

I just wrapped up my geometry unit with my students! Here's a snapshot of some of the activities we enjoyed together!

The Greedy Triangle is a great book to introduce or reinforce 2d shapes! I love anything by Marilyn Burns...she IS a math genius!! This year instead of reading the book to the students, I let them listen/watch the story on Schooltube! I love this resource!! If you don't know about it, you MUST go check it out now!!! 


We also enjoyed a CUTE Greedy Triangle SMARTboard activity from SMART Exchange {another one of my favorite online resources}! Check it out {HERE}!! 

Then we went on a "Shape Search"!! My students enjoyed looking for 2d shapes that are all around us in our classroom! Click on the picture to download the recording sheet for this activity.
Our shape searching fun led us into a great discussion about the plane shapes we see at school, at home, while we are in the car, etc. The precious little song below from Schooltube reinforced this concept!!

Then Geoboys, Geogirls, and even Geoelves came to life in our room!! I just gave my kiddos paper pattern blocks and they took off!! The pictures below were taken early on during the activity...wish I had some of their final creations to share!! I was oh so impressed with their creativity! Not only did they create fabulous shape people/elves with detailed shape backgrounds, BUT they also wrote stories to go along with them! LOVE!!



Learning about 2d shapes was a blast! I'll be back soon with a post about our 3d shape adventures!!


Hope everyone is surviving the last days before Christmas break! Whew! My name is Anna Brantley and I am T.I.R.E.D. Seriously.....between the craft sticks, glitter, sequins, and the kids bouncing off the walls holly jolly spirit...I am exhausted with a big ole' smile on my face. 'Tis the season for hustle and bustle...how many lessons, assessments, & ornaments can we do?!?!?...READY....SET....GO!!!! With all the craziness, I just keep reminding myself how lucky I am to have a group of 22 children that are happy, excited about the holidays & working hard on their centers in my Holly Jolly packet because they know "Santa is watching all the time"! heh-heh... If you have any time left, check it out! If you're already thinking,"What am I going to do after the break?", then you should check out my Winter Wonderland Math & Literacy Centers! I plan to start these the first week back & can't wait!! I'll have my Penguin pack coming very soon...along with other goodies for 2012!!

Now back to spray painting more ornaments...coat #2 here I come....pics coming soon!!  

Happy Hump Day!!

Friday, December 9, 2011

FLASH SALE!!!!


I'm having a super FAST FLASH TpT SALE until tomorrow at midnight!! Check it out {HERE}!!! Thanks to each and everyone of you who purchase my products!!! Y'all are too SWEET!!!

After Christmas break, I can't wait to use my Winter Wonderland Math & Literacy Centers!! They are on sale, too!! 15 ready to go, fun, hands-on centers for just $8.00 =WOOOHOOO Winter Wonderland!!!

My penguin packet is still a work in progress. Hubby got the flu this week & it has completely thrown my family time off a bit...I don't know how nurses do it!! YUCK! Plus, my little energy suckers  sweeties are putting me to bed super early...like my toddler's bedtime kinda early!! They are coming though...I promise!!!

Happy Friday, Friends!! I hope you have a wonderful weekend!!! Not too much longer until our break!!! YEAH!!!

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!!!!