Monday, August 27, 2012

Fingerprints, Vowels and Number Sense

I have been so busy this month since going back on the 8th! I am struggling to keep up with this blog and school work.  How do you all do it?  :)
Well, since I've been MIA I have a couple of random activities to share.
First of all, I wanted to share a class book we made. We read the book It's Okay to be Different and then brainstormed ways its okay to be different. The students then finished a sentence frame and illustrated a picture. One of my students said "It's okay to love Jesus". So adorable!
In the front of the class book, I had all the students stamp their fingerprint and we discussed whether finger prints are more similiar or different.  I included a magnifying glass in the class book envelope so as students are sharing it with their family, they can use the magnifying glass to see the different finger prints. I asked that the parents point out that even though our finger prints look alike, they are all a little different and that makes us unique!
Click here if you'd like to see my whole I am Unique Unit from TPT.
Since most of my students didn't know what letters were vowels (gasp!). We made vowel art after our lesson on vowels. I gave students black construction paper, foam letters, bright crayons and letter stencils. Then they got to make their own art using a,e,i,o and u. They loved it!
The last activity is for those who are needing to build beginning place value concepts as well as number sense with numbers 1-20. Many students were struggling with teen numbers so we used this activity to build their number sense.  I prepared a bag of unifix cubes for each student with numbers ranging from 9-20. Each student had a tens and ones mat and a bag of unifix cubes. They built their ten (if they could) and then placed the left overs on the ones side. They then wrote the number of cubes in the bag. This activity really showed me who was still counting each cube and who could count using tens and ones. Once everyone had built their number and written it on their board with a dry erase marker, I called out "switch" and the students responded " Uh-oh! Switch!". They then passed their bag to the next person and started to build tens with the cubes in their new bag. 
I hope to be back soon! Hopefully someone can use these activities to help their kiddos!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Sunday Safari and Sales!

Today's the day of the big sale! Hop on over to my TPT store to check out all the products on sale and save 28% today and tomorrow!

Also, I'm the guest blogger for Sunday Safari at Queen of the First Grade Jungle. I'm super excited!

I hope everyone who has started school is having a smooth start!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

A "Beary" Good First Week! Lots of Freebies!

My first week starts Wednesday!This year my teammate and I decided to change up the start of our year. We always usually start with insects because it goes with our Bridges math program but since our Kinder spent so much time on insects we're going with bears instead. I'm excited! It's going to be so fun!
We have a 3 day week to start so we felt they should have a fun first few days! I wanted to share some of what we will be doing and give some freebies too! I might put them into a unit on TPT soon so grab them for free while you can.

First we are going to play "Mystery Bag" with the students. This is a game where the kids take turns asking yes or no questions and try to figure out what is in the bag. A teddy bear will be hiding and ready to engage them in the unit. Then we will read "We're Going on a Bear Hunt" and actually go on a "bear hunt" around the school to show students the basic locations ( office, restrooms, nurse, cafeteria etc). We made our signs using a printed blank bear outline, copied the outline on brown construction, labeled the locations and hung around the school. Easy Peezy!

Then, we will be playing 4 corners with bears. The students will have to decide which bear ( Panda, Polar, Brown or Black) they like the best and discuss the reason for their choice with a partner. The student will then write why they like that type of bear. We will use the sentence frame I like ____________ because.
We are going to graph these results as well during math.

Over the next two days we will be completing
many more bear related math activities. Here a few below:

I will be playing a one more/ one less bear hunt with numbers to 20. Each student will get a bear number card. I will call out clues like one more than 6 or 1 less than 11. The student(s) with the number card will stand up.

After the whole group practice, I will assess this skill with this one more/ one less bear worksheet.

We will also be estimating how many bear counters in a jar, brainstorming strategies for counting and then counting them as a class.
                                We will of course be using gummy bears to count and sort...

              ... and teddy grahams to make combinations of 5.
 On Friday, we are letting the students bring their Teddy Bear from home so we can describe our bear with our partners and then use them for math! We will be working in partners to measure our bears with unifix cubes. After measuring, we will come together as a group and order our bears from shortest to tallest using our unifix cube measuring towers. We will then think of ways to sort our bears!

        To end the week, we will complete my "Beary" Good Week Writing Craftivity.

 These are only a few of the activities; there are actually more! I will post pictures of the other activities after this week. If you want any of these printables, just click a picture to get all the freebies in one file. I hope this post gave you some ideas and saved you some work if you are going to start with bears. Please leave me a comment if you download anything! I'd love to hear any ideas you have about bears!

I am also having a 20% off sale to celebrate going back to school. My most expensive items are now an even better deal!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Magical Product Swap with Dana from Fun in 1st Grade

When I heard about the product swap at Mrs. Stanford's Class, I knew I had to join!
I was paired up with Dana from Fun in 1st Grade.


I went to Dana's store and couldn't decide between her Place Value Puzzles and her Out of this World Real and Nonsense Word Sort. So... she let me have both! So sweet! I loved both but decided to review the Out of This World Word Sort. My little guys still need so much practice with CVC words at the beginning of school so I thought this would be perfect.

What I noticed first about this product was the amount of CVC word cards. There are 14 pages of CVC words with 8 per page. Since it's summer I'll do the math for you...112 word cards!

          ( I guess a page was hiding! I thought there were 13 but there really are 14...even better!)

I loved that like vowels are listed together and the nonsense words in alphabetical order so there are cards for each beginning sound.  I am going to make the sort but also an extra set for my lower guided reading groups to practice decoding.

The Out of this World Real and Nonsense Word Sort also comes with sorting mats and a record sheet.

If you are needing more activities that focus on decoding CVC words, I would highly recommend Dana's Out of This World Word Sort. Click the picture to grab you own copy!