BOO! Happy Halloween!

Boo!

Boo!

Happy Halloween from my family to yours! Here are our two babies, Juneau on the hay and Molly on the ground, looking very cute and ready for treat-or-treaters! (By the way, it is VERY hard to get two dogs into the same picture… or at least our two dogs. It took two of us at least five minutes to get them into this somewhat of a good pose at the same time!)

Back in first grade, we had a spook-tatular day! Even though our school doesn’t allow us to dress up for the holiday, we still had a great day and did many fun things.

Facts and Opinions

We started our day by focusing on facts and opinions. What are they? How are they different? We read a non-fiction book called “Halloween” to start and afterwards, we talked about the facts we learned. For example, a fact is that pumpkins have seeds in them. Then, I used those facts to make them into an opinion, for example, pumpkin seeds are so yummy! Fact and opinions are a hard concept for first graders, but it’s one of our Common Core skills!

Fact or opinion?

Fact or opinion?

Next, I passed out post-it notes with a pumpkin related sentence. The students worked in pairs to read the sentence and discuss if the sentence was a fact or an opinion.

Fact or opinion?

Fact or opinion?

Ok, how cute is that picture? Let me tell you, they were in a DEEP discussion on if their sentence was a fact or opinion. You can tell from their body motions 🙂

Fact or opinion?

Fact or opinion?

Fact or opinion?

Fact or opinion?

After a great partner discussion, they came up to our GIANT PUMPKIN and put the post-it where it belonged, either on the fact side or the opinion side.

Fact or opinion?

Fact or opinion?

Fact or opinion?

Fact or opinion?

Fact or opinion?

Fact or opinion?

Fact or opinion?

Fact or opinion?

Finally, we read all of the sentences together and double checked if they were on the right side. This also prompted many great discussions and the kids loved talking about their opinions on eating pumpkin pie, carving pumpkins, and other pumpkin related things. 🙂

Writing down the facts and opinions

Writing down the facts and opinions

From there, we took the time to write down some of the facts and opinions we learned about pumpkins. The students selected two from each category to write, or some kids chose to write their own opinions.

My Pumpkin

During writing time, the students started by creating their own pumpkins out of paper. I really wanted the kids to go for it- make whatever kind of pumpkin they wanted: big, little, round, fat. Sometimes it’s great to give them lots of freedom and just be creative! So with construction paper, glue, and scissors, they got started!

Creating a pumpkin

Creating a pumpkin

Making a jack-o-lantern

Making a jack-o-lantern

Looking good!

Looking good!

Ta-da!

Ta-da!

Once the pumpkins were made, it was time to write! I modeled for the kids how to write about what they made. On the board, we made a list of words they might need, including shape words, color words, and size words. Then the kiddos wrote about the jack-o-lanterns they created, using words to describe how their pumpkins looked, what color it was, it’s shape, it’s size, etc.

Writing

Writing

Writing

Writing

I find the kids are really motivated to write when it involves a craft. And for this craft, each students looked different. It’s a great way for them to practice writing AND use words to describe their creation.

Pumpkin Book Reports

Earlier in the month, one of the other first grade teachers found an idea on Pinterest for the kids to decorate a pumpkin based on a book character. Again, since we don’t dress up for Halloween at school, we thought this was a great idea to combine the holiday and reading!

So we sent home the directions at the beginning of the month and the students brought back the pumpkins this week. I was BLOWN away by how awesome they were!

Good-night Monster

Good-night Monster

We had them out in the hall for everyone to see, but we brought them inside and sat in a circle to share them today. Each student had to make their pumpkin look like their favorite book character. The one above is a monster from the book “Good-night Monster”. There was also…

Sharing

Sharing

Strawberry Shortcake, and….

wow!

wow!

a bird from her favorite book, and…

nice job!

nice job!

Mickey Mouse, and…

Biscuit!

Biscuit!

Biscuit, and…

awesome!

awesome!

Fly-guy, and…

so cool!

so cool!

Scooby-doo, among others.

I am so amazed at what each child and family did at home. The kids were so proud of their pumpkins and they all looked so great!

The whole class!

The whole class!

(and of course, one silly one, it is Halloween after all!) 🙂

:)

🙂

 

Halloween Snack

What better way to finish the day than with a pumpkin related snack? We’re a “no treats” school, but I thought this cookie was fairly healthy as far as cookies go!

Yummy!

Yummy!

I passed out the cookies as the kids watched a short video clip on BrainPop Jr about Halloween.

Eating!

Eating!

As soon as I put the cookies down, a little girl took a deep breathe and said “Hmmmmm!” The kid next to her said, “Are they good?” And she replied, “I don’t know, but they sure smell good!”

The result- all the kids loved them! I got the recipe from a blog I follow and it can be found here.

They couldn’t be easier to make- only 2 ingredients: pumpkin and spice cake mix. Put them together and voila! Tasty treats perfect for a pumpkin filled day!

 

I hope you are having a fabulous Halloween as well! Thanks for stopping by to see how we spent our day! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BUILD- Math Centers

BUILD Choices

BUILD Choices

Hello! I wanted to pop in to tell you about our math centers, or as we call them in class, our BUILD centers. BUILD is a way to organize your math centers that is very similar to Daily 5. Each letter in the word BUILD stands for a math choice the students can pick to work on. The B stands for buddy games. Here is what mine looks like:

B

B

I have Buddy games in the bin and under it (since some are too big to fit!) These are all math games that the students can play with a partner or a small group.

Inside

Inside

Here’s an inside look. You can see I have Hi-Ho Cherrio on the bottom, which is a great counting game. I also have a game called Sum Swamp, which is a dice rolling adding and subtracting game. Inside the bin is Fishing for Math, another adding and subtracting game and Amusement Park, which I got from the Scholastic Magazine.

Next up is U, which stands for Using manipulatives.

U

U

Inside this bin are choices the kiddos can pick that practice math skills and use manipulatives at the same time. Now, I did not plan as well as I should have I need to make some new choices for this because we are following different standards with Common Core this year than we did last year. But, here are the choices I have currently, which practice adding and subtracting.

Using manipulatives

Using manipulatives

Inside the bin I have cubes and addition/subtraction cards. The kids use the cubes to build the problem. As you can see above, I put 4 blue cubes for the four and 3 purple for the purple and the kids can visually see the answer. I also have the same thing in this bin but with connecting links.

That brings us to I- independent reading!

I

I

This part is just like Daily 5’s Read to Self. Only, the kids are reading books related to math.

Books!

Books!

Here are some of the books I’ve gathered for this choice. Most of them are about counting and numbers, but some are about money, fractions, and telling time. The kids like this choice and think it’s cool that it’s so much like Daily 5!

L stands for Learn about Numbers.

L

L

This bin is all about numbers! (obviously) 🙂

I’ve got lots of fun things in this bin, like…

Number puzzles

Number puzzles

number puzzles! This was a pack I got through Scholastic a while ago. The kids put together the puzzles to form the addition and subtraction families. Also in this bin is magnetic numbers (not pictured), as well as…

Play-doh numbers

Play-doh numbers

Play-doh numbers! Ok, I’ve gone through many different variations of this choice. At first, I let the kids use the stamps like actual stamps, ya know with an ink pad and all. But because I don’t often do BUILD choices (and usually we only do them for about 15 minutes) it took too much time and clean up for this.

So then, I used only Play-doh and had the kids make numbers with that…. but as any first grade teacher would know, there was much less numbers being made as “snowmen” and “pizzas” and conversations were less about “Hey, look at the numbers I made!” and more about “Hey, look how big I made this hamburger!”

Eventually I realized I could combine the two and give the kids a bit more focus. I show them how to take the play-doh and squish it down into a flat paddy. Then, the kids use the stamps to “stamp” into the play-doh. Basically, it helps them practice numbers, it’s still fun, and it gives them a clear focus.

D

D

The last choice is D, doing math. There are lots of different things you could put in here and when I first started doing this a few years ago, I put in extra math worksheets I had laying around.

Now, I put in hot dot pens I have.

Pens

Pens

The kids REALLY like these pens and it’s a good way to practice adding and subtracting skills. Although, I need to look into if there are other math cards based on things we have done in math so far, specifically numbers or measurement. For now, it’s a good start for us!

The goal is that this is how I will also start my math flexible groups. Everyday I do a reading flexible group during Daily 5, as a way to work with a small group on a specific skill. I want to do the same in math, at least on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. While the kids are picking a choice, I’d like to pull a small group to work, re-teach, or pre-teach a math skill.

That’s it for now. Thanks for checking out our classroom!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Caps For Sale!

50 cents a cap!

50 cents a cap!

Good morning all! I just wanted to do a quick post because this project was too cute not to share!

The other day, I was reading the book “Caps For Sale” to my firsties. We are focusing on the questioning strategy right now and the kids really loved listening to the story and asking/answering questions about it. As we were reading, I starting thinking…. “Hmm, we could make a very cute project using this book….” And, voila! An idea was formed!

I decided to take pictures of the kids individually just using my phone. Then, I plugged it into my computer and printed off each one. (This project probably would have been cuter if I printed off the pictures with colored ink, but my printer here at school would have been too slow for that!)

Then the next day, we read the story again and answered some questions about it, writing our answers down on “caps” (for any teachers out there, I just googled “caps” and printed off one I thought was cute!)

Originally I wanted to caps to be the same color as the ones in the book….. but when I tried copying with construction paper in the copy machine, bad things happened…. so I stuck with the colored paper the school had!

I had pre-cut out the kids pictures, so they went to work gluing the hats on their heads, just like the peddler in the story.

Here’s how they turned out:

Caps for Sale!

Caps for Sale!

Caps for Sale!

Caps for Sale!

Caps for Sale!

Caps for Sale!

I mean, c’mon! How stinkin’ cute are these?!

(By the way, the kids LOVED seeing a picture of themselves and using it in a project. It was like Christmas morning in our classroom!)

Caps for Sale!

Caps for Sale!

There’s the whole wall of our class. I always like to post the Common Core strategy along with the work:

I can...

I can…

And here’s an upclose of the questions and answers we did together:

Questions/Answers

Questions/Answers

In the future (and if we had more time) I think it would have been great if the kids had come up with their own questions, wrote them down, and asked each other to find the answers. Something to think about for the future. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt!

October is the perfect month to start learning about the seasons. The kids have been in school during “summer” (I use quotes because it doesn’t really feel like summer at the end of August and September, even though it is!) and now the season has changed to fall.

We are covering one of our first grade Common Core science standards, which is about seasonal patterns and changes. We’ve spent the last week talking about the seasons, what they are like, and how they are different from each other. We also made a REALLY cute tree project that went home last Friday…

Our trees

Our trees

We used colored paper for the fall leaves. The kids got to tear the pieces, no scissors, and they thought that was so cool! Next, we stretched out a cotton ball and used it to make the “snow” on the winter tree.

A tree of all seasons!

A tree of all seasons!

 

For spring, we rolled up little pieces of green tissue paper and glued them down to make the buds. And the summer tree, we colored with our crayons.

This week, the first grade teachers thought it would be a great idea to combine what we’re doing in science (seasons) with what we’re doing in math (measuring)! It was all planned to go on a “nature walk” outside around the school building and look for leaves that the students could collect and then bring inside to measure! I was really excited to do this with the kids and I always look for activities that get us moving as we learn.

Unfortunately…. the last few days around here have been RAINY! A constant drizzle has been happening, which makes for wet leaves, wet grass, and would make for some wet students. Since that wasn’t really what I had in mind, I switched to plan B!

Leaves!

Leaves!

An indoor leaf hunt!!!! (Now, while this might not seem exciting for you, the kids were LOVING IT!) I told them that since it was wet, we wouldn’t be going outside. But, now we’re having a leaf hunt inside our classroom! I scattered fabric leaves (which I luckily had laying around from a craft project last year) in a circle around the room and told the kids we’d be walking around and they could pick the leave they wanted.

But first,

Book

Book

we read the book “Leaf Jumpers”. It’s such a great way to introduce looking for different leaves. The book talks about how leaves from different trees are different sizes, shapes, and colors. If we had actually gone on an outdoor leaf hunt, it would have been fun to come back and see if any of the leaves we found matched the ones in the book.

After the story, the kids lined up and walked around the room, pretending to be outside and finding leaves.

Going on a leaf hunt!

Going on a leaf hunt!

There's some!

There’s some!

As they walked, they picked up the special leaf that they wanted. Then, we glued them down onto a piece of paper, along with our measurement paper.

Gluing

Gluing

Gluing

Gluing

Sidenote: If doing this in your classroom, really go over how much glue is a good amount to put on the leaf because some kids used WAY too much and ended up with a glue puddle because you don’t want anyone to make a mess 😉

Our math Common Core standard 1.MD.2 says that students can measure objects using other objects. Meaning, we are doing non-standard measuring, using things other than a ruler to measure. For this activity, the students had to use paper clips, crayons, and cubes to measure their leaves.

I set up those units around the room in different areas and modeled how to go around to each one and measure the leaf. Then, the kids did it all on their own.

Measuring with cubes

Measuring with cubes

Measuring with Cubes

Measuring with Cubes

It’s wonderful to see them be so independent in their learning. Common Core really wants the students to learn from “doing”, not from teacher’s talking. You can see all the kids really engaging and on-task, they loved this!

Using crayons to measure

Using crayons to measure

Paperclips

Paperclips

Paperclips

Paperclips

Paperclips

Paperclips

If we had found real leaves outside, I think we might have had more of a variety on the sizes. Our fabric leaves were all a little different, but many were the same. Despite that, the kids really enjoyed doing this and also learned a lot. They thought it was very cool that we were doing math and science at the same time too!

After we were all done, we cleaned up and got to neatly color in the border. (We are working very hard on SLOWING down and doing a nice job, instead of rushing and scribbling. If you pass by my room, mostly likely you’ll hear someone say to someone else, “Slow down, no scribble-scrabbling!” 🙂

Here are our final projects hanging in our hall.

Project

Project

The standards covered

The standards covered

All done!

All done!

I hope you are enjoying fall as much as we are in our classroom! Keep working on the pumpkin projects at home, remember those are due at the end of the month. The kids love talking about them in class. I can’t wait to see them!

P.S. Looking for the LEAF WORKSHEET? I’ve made a new version (which gives you the same options as above, another worksheet with other units of measure, and a blank one if you’d like to have the kids pick their own units).  CLICK HERE FOR THE WORKSHEETS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Math Unit- Measuring and Comparing Lengths

Hello hello and happy October! It’s been a few days since I’ve posted last and we’ve been busy! We wrapped up our last math unit (which was on counting to 120) and have moved on to measuring!

We are focusing on non-standard measuring, which means we are not using things like a ruler to measure. We are using other units– like paper clips, crayons, cubes, etc- to find the length. Then, we compare the lengths of different objects and put them in order from smallest to largest, or largest to smallest.

This is one of our COMMON CORE math standards! If you’d like to look at all of the first grade Common Core math standards, look  here. Here are the standards we are working on now- Standards 1.MD.1 and 1.MD.2.

To begin this unit, we introduced the vocabulary words “shorter than” and “longer than“. The students each got 2 cubes and had to go around the room finding things that were longer than their cubes…

The cup!

The cup!

The board

The board

Pete the Cat!

Pete the Cat!

The pumpkin!

The pumpkin!

The cup!

The cup!

The tissue box!

The tissue box!

and things that were shorter than their cubes! (Sorry, I didn’t take any pictures of this. We were all too busy showing each other what we were finding!) 🙂

Then we came together and shared our answers.

Smaller than and longer than

Shorter than and longer than

The next day, we practiced measuring with paperclips. We also learned these important vocabulary words: “overlap” and “spaces“. The students had to demonstrate the WRONG way to measure, by making their paper clips overlap…

 

Wrong way!

Wrong way!

…and have spaces in between!

wrong way!

wrong way!

Then, we all fixed our paperclips to be straight and touch each other on the ends. We used our paper clips to measure some objects in our desks, like…

Ta-da!

Ta-da!

our highlighters….

good job!

good job!

and our glue sticks…

very good!

very good!

good measuring!

good measuring!

and even our names!

How many paperclips?

How many paperclips?

Yay!

Yay!

The kids love measuring things because it’s very “hands-on”. They get to manipulative, or move, the objects around themselves, so they are practicing and learning at the same time.

We’ve also practiced measuring objects with cubes…

Measuring with cubes

Measuring with cubes

Measuring with cubes

Measuring with cubes

Measuring with cubes

Measuring with cubes

Measuring with cubes

Measuring with cubes

and then spent a day making a fun “math tool kit” project!

 

Tool kit!

Tool kit!

We cut out all of the pieces and put the two “rulers” in the tool kit. We talked about how normal tool kits have hammers and nails, but in math, the tools we need right now are rulers!

After we made these, the kids used the paper clips ruler and the teddy bear ruler to measure and record the objects.

Measuring!

Measuring!

Measuring!

Measuring!

Measuring!

Measuring!

Measuring!

Measuring!

Measuring!

Measuring!

Measuring!

Measuring!

Last thing…… I found this WEBSITE, and it’s a great place to practice measuring at home! The kids use the animals to compare lengths and measure. Check it out and use it at home or in school!

 

Have a great rest of the week!