Friday, January 30, 2015

Let the Good Times Roll: Mardi Gras in the Classroom (Including Two Freebies)

Hi all.
It's Amber from School Is a Happy Place.
I've spent the past few days mentally going over all the special days coming up in February.  There's Valentine Day, Groundhog Day, African American History Month, Presidents' Day, Dental Health Month, and the Super Bowl.  This year Mardi Gras even falls in February.  So many opportunities to do something a little out of the ordinary in your classroom.

This year Mardi Gras will be on Tuesday, February 17th.  While I do not live in an area that has big Mardi Gras celebrations, I think it's really important for my young learners to be exposed to all sorts of traditions and holidays.
In my class, we'll have a King's Cake and read some books about Mardi Gras.  We'll also make our Mardi Gras Kids for display in the hall outside our class.

You are welcome to a FREE copy of this craftivity.  Just click on the picture above.
I use Mardi Gras Kids as a spelling art project.  But, the pattern also includes a writing sheet for students to write about if they were "King for a Day."

For math we'll work on my Mardi Gras Math Mini Book.  This mini book is a collection of Mardi Gras themed word problems focusing on double digit subtraction, patterns, time to the half hour, place value, and more.
For your own FREE copy, click on the picture below.

There are many more ways to learn and celebrate Mardi Gras with your students.  Integrating traditions and holidays, like Mardi Gras, into your curriculum is a wonderful way to get your students excited, engaged, and informed.
Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

6 Easy Ideas for 100th and 101st Day of School

I love this time of year with my first graders. They know the routines, have gotten comfortable with my expectations, and we have built a relationship. Now is the time to really make learning magic happen.

The 100th day always comes right in the middle of the fun! I want to give you a few ideas to help solidify and celebrate "100" with your primary class.

100th Day!

*100 Piece Puzzles

Go looking at your local dollar store or dollar spot. I have students work in groups to finish the puzzles. It sounds so simple, and it is! 

*Hundreds Hair:

I got this idea from a teaching friend a few years ago. She doesn’t blog (yet), so I can’t credit her with a link.

No template needed!
Use 2 pieces of 9”x12” construction paper to create the band.

Cut 1 inch strips from 9”x12”. I cut them the “short” way, measuring 1”x9” to make the hair strands.
Connect the shorter strips to stick down (or up) from the larger band. Be sure if you attach them hanging down to leave an opening for faces.
Have students decorate with 10 stickers, dots, etc on each strip. As shown in the picture, you can have students group the stickers in 2’s, 5’s, or just decorate the hair in a row. This is a great way to differentiate!
Count by 10’s and enjoy!

*Number Grids

Of course, you can break out the candies or beads or cereal and have students put one bead or M&M on each of the squares of a number grid. To make a trail mix, have the top row be raisin, the second row be Cheerios, the third be M&M’s, etc. Students can make a pattern decorating the number grid in rows of 10’s.

In need of a good number grid? I’ve got several options here for free!

*Glasses and Headbands

A classic option is headbands or glasses. Again, just like the hair, students can decorate them with markers or stickers in sets of 10.
The 100 glasses take a tiny bit more prep because you'll want to cut out the center of the 00's to make the opening for the glasses. The headbands are print, copy, and use!
Hundreds glasses and headbands. (Bonus: 101st Day Headband)

*Dance and Sing

…to 100 BPM (beats per minute) songs!
If you look online, there are entire site dedicated to runner looking for the perfect running song. (It turns out the 100 BPM is a pretty good pace keeper.) Here are some songs. Fair warning, you will want to preview the song before you play it for your class.
Dancing Queen
Sweet Home Alabama
Stayin’ Alive
Man in the Mirror
Eye of the Tiger
If your class can keep a beat, you can have them count the beats for one minute and see if they can find all 100 beats in the minute... or you can just dance! :) 

101st Day!

*101 Top Ten Book

In first grade, I love to focus more on the 101st day of school! Learning that the bundle of 10 becomes a bigger bundle of 10 to make 100 is essential (especially for kindergarten), but knowing that the system keeps going and partially starts over, that's powerful for young mathematicians! I also can’t resist a chance to combine subjects. Writing and math come together in the group writing project (above) in which students make the "Top 10" list for 10 areas, and the #1 thing in their class.

I hope you have a great 100th day! Take a moment and celebrate~ you are more than half-way through the year.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Organization Blog Hop!

That's right!

It's time for a blog hop with your friends at Primary Powers!

This hop is packed with ideas to help you get and stay organized in 2015!

Get started by hopping over to Aris at Sailing into Second!

Sailing Into Second

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Getting Ready for Valentine's Day!

Hey guys and dolls, how's it going?  January is leaving us very 
quickly, and February will be here before you know it!!  It's never 
too early to be thinking of Valentine's Day!!

There are a few times throughout the year where we get to 
graph fun things, and it's one of my kiddos favorite activities!

Graphing conversation hearts is one of my favorite activities,
and I've included a few options, because it seems as if stores
NEVER have the same kind year after year.

Click on the picture below for your freebie!!

I'm also including planning pages for this month, I hope that you enjoy!!

Have fun graphing!!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Teaching Text Features

Hi! It's Heather from Second Grade Perks.

I posted about this on my own blog a couple of months ago and it was one of my most popular posts so I wanted to share it here with you today. When I covered text features this year I used this idea for some hands on action in my small groups. This is not something I created so I am not taking credit for it. Just wanted to share. 

I found this {FREEBIE} on TPT. I decided to make it into a mini booklet for each student. I changed the printer settings so it printed the pages four per page then copied them front to back.

We cut the pages apart and stapled to make our mini book. Then during small groups we dove into our science books and non fiction leveled readers to find examples of each one. The freebie has lots of text features. I just picked the ones that I needed to teach to include in our booklets.

The kids loved making these books. I also used this video I found {HERE}. It is the cutest little song to the SpongeBob tune. It also has this adorable mini poster to go with it. 

Hope this is something you can use. Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Do You Know Your Doubles?

One of my favorite things about teaching primary students is that they're not "too cool" for music in the classroom. I have a song for EVERYTHING and my students love singing along.

Math fact fluency is never easy to learn, or teach! A couple months ago, my students were busy learning strategies to help them add and subtract fluently. One of our favorite strategies was learning our doubles facts. Of course we made up a song to go with it!

In celebration of learning our doubles facts, we made a music video. Making a music video using Power Point is very easy. Just make a slideshow, then hit record, and let your students sing away! The sound quality might not be the best, but your students won't mind one bit!

If your students are learning their doubles facts, you can snag this foldable freebie! Or, you can stop by my blog, Learning with Lizz, and read more about my class' double fact learning {HERE}.

How do you use music in your classroom? I'd love to read about your ideas!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Staying Organized With Parent Volunteers

I'm back this month an easy organization tip for your parent volunteers. I am SO lucky to have fabulous parents in my classroom to help out with any copying, cutting, laminating that my heart desires. They make my job much easier! But want to know what makes it even easier? These bad boys right here!
Sailing into Second
I got this idea from my sweet friend Hadar at Miss Kindergarten last year. They are such an easy little organizational tool to use with my parent volunteers! I just pin these onto my master copy and done! All the directions needed are right on the pin. No post-its or pieces of paper with directions are necessary. And the best part is that they are reusable and last ALL YEAR LONG! Genius, I tell you!

If you'd like to download a set of these awesome labels and read all about them, click {here} to visit Hadar's blog post.

How do you stay organized with parent helpers? I'd love to hear about it!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Groundhog Day

Hello Everyone,

I'm not sure how ya'll are feeling about winter right now, but I think that I am DONE!!! It has been sooooooooo cold up here lately ... that I can't take it anymore. I'm ready for everything to just melt and spring to be on it's merry way.

The great thing is that time is on our side ... January is flying by! I can't believe that Groundhog day is just around the corner. I'm really hoping that cute little furry creature, predicts an early spring (fingers and toes crossed)!!! The problem is that when I really want something bad enough ... it never usually happens  ... but it's worth hoping for!!! Snow, cold, GO AWAY!!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Fill It up with 100...

The 100th Day of school is coming up... like this week. Yikes!   I am preparing my goodies a bit late, and with that, a quick idea came to mind.

So, here is the deal.  You get a gumball machine and you fill it up with 100 {whatever you wish to draw, create, glue, or make}fun things.

I am hoping to create a bulletin board with my students creations.  I may even send it home. My kids LOVE home projects, and since our schedule is super tight, well, that may just work out perfectly.

I am hoping you can use this idea and have your kids create something fun!

Let me show you some ideas...
      100 Smiley Faces -          Numbers 1-100  -          100 Gumballs!

      100 Play dough Balls                     -               100 Black Beans

Simple and fun. Grab your copy of the gumball machine HERE.

What would fill up you gumball with?

Thanks for visiting. Don't forget to stop by my blog to say hi!  I'd love to see you there.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Winter Math Center FREEBIE!

Hi Friends! It's Jeannine from Creative Lesson Cafe!

I'm so happy to be joining the awesome bloggers here at Primary Powers once again! Every day, I am just amazed at the wonderful ideas they all share with us. This is THE PLACE for all things primary! 

 It has been a brutally cold and snowy start to 2015 here in Michigan. We are used to it though. There is pretty much no other choice but to embrace winter and try to make the most of it. In the classroom, that means teaching around lots of cold weather themes and I love that! I'm here to share a way for you to bring some snowy fun into your room too with mini-marshmallow snowballs!

We're in the middle of a penguin unit right now so I set out this snowball toss for one of our math stations.
 It's a fun activity for some great math fact practice!

Let me tell you, this is the easiest and QUIETEST activity ever!

 Here's how it works:

Students count out either ten or twenty marshmallows. Then, they put them in a small cup or hold them in their hand to toss. They gently throw them over the mat you see in the photo above. Some marshmallow snowballs will land on the mat and some will be off of the mat. The students count the number on/off and record the pairs and /or write equations on the recording sheet.

In this photo, 6 marshmallows were off the mat (one is on the other side of the mat), so for the subtraction sentence we subtracted 6 from the total. My kiddos like to play it as a game. The first person to fill the table without writing any duplicate facts other than the flip flop of the addends is the winner. 

There are recording sheets for firsties too, using just ten snowballs. For my friends who have to watch their ink, I created a black and white spill mat you can copy on bright paper!  

Before using any food items as math counters, I always let my class eat a few before starting if I can.
 Otherwise, we may find we are practicing combinations to 7 or 13!

 Of course, if you want to modify the activity for other sums, you can eat a few too and just white out the title on the recording sheet! :)

  To bring a little snowball fun into your classroom, you can download this math activity {here}. 
My class loves it and I hope that your kiddos will too!

  Try to stop by Creative Lesson Cafe some time to see more classroom fun for winter themes!
I hope to see you soon!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Kindness Catcher {freebie!}

Hello sweet friends!
It's Sarah from A Sunny Day in First Grade!

I have a fun little freebie for you today!
If you live where it's cold, like me, you've probably been having LOTS of indoor recess.
Your favorite right?!?! ;)

I've noticed my kids have been getting antsy and have started tattling...a lot.
So I pulled out our Kindness Catcher to help them be more positive!

It's really easy and it works!!
All you need is a little basket/box/bin of your choice.
I leave out little pieces of paper.  
When the kids see someone doing or saying something nice, they write it down and stick it in the Kindness Catcher.
At the end of the day, we read them all.

They LOVE it and it's seriously the cutest thing ever!
They write the nicest things about their friends...and about their teacher...tehehe. :)

You can grab some labels for your Kindness Catcher {here!}

Enjoy the long weekend!!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Organize That To Do List!

As teachers, I feel like we have a never ending list of things to do.  There is always something to copy, something to make, something to cut, paperwork to be done, things to buy, and the list goes on!

Every week, I make a list of the things I need to get done in order to prepare myself for the following week. For as long as I can remember, I've been making these to do lists on sticky notes.  Truth be told, I'm a huge sticky note hoarder fan, but my tasks never fit onto just one sticky note.  I finally decided that having multiple lists was annoying.  So, I decided to make a form that let's me keep track of what needs to be done each week.  Now, I have all of my tasks organized in one place (and I have more sticky notes lying around for other uses-hehe).

I can't tell you how nice it has been to use this form each week.  I can check things off when they are completed and I can easily add more tasks, as needed.

Are you looking to consolidate your list of things to do?  If you so, you can grab this FREE to do list HERE!  Have fun staying organized!

Friday, January 16, 2015

MLK Activities and FREEBIE

Hey everyone! It's Jaime from Bright Concepts 4 Teachers!
It's hard to believe it is 2015 and we are already half way through January! I just went back to work this week. We had an incredible three week vacation and now reality has set in. My teacher planning wheels are in full gear. 

We jumped in with both feet and started learning about Martin Luther King Jr. I was able to get some of the activities done that I had planned, but our learning is going to continue for several weeks. Tolerance and acceptance of others is not a one month lesson! 

I started off the week by reading this book about Martin Luther King Jr.'s life. It was just the right amount of informational text for my kiddos. I hooked them, but didn't lose their interest! Win-win!

Then I used the vocabulary cards from my Martin Luther King Jr. packet to help with comprehension and understanding. We followed up with a vocabulary review page that we used in our ELA interactive notebooks.

As we were reading different books about MLK's life, we created this classroom timeline. It is a great visual reference for my students. I have seen several of them getting up and checking the timeline while they are working on follow up activities. A teacher's dream! 

We also started working on a paper bag interactive books about MLK's life. Oh, how the kids L-O-V-E-D this activity. It was engaging and meaningful because they were in the process of learning about MLK's life. I prepped and stapled the paper bags ahead of time for the kids. They colored and cut each of the parts. Then, as a class, we assembled the books, so there was little room for error.

All these activities can be found in my Martin Luther King Jr. packet

And now it's time for a FREEBIE. Here is a True and False Flap Book to kick start or add to your Martin Luther King Jr. activities. It can be completed whole group, in partners, or independently depending on your group of students. Use the link above or click on the picture to download your copy.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope everyone enjoys their long weekend!