Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Thank YOU!

Sometimes I cannot believe that I started this little edu-blogging adventure 3.5 years ago!

I love sharing my experiences and ideas in and out of the classroom and I have learned SO much just by sharing with all of you!

With Thanksgiving coming up oh, so soon, I am thankful for so many things. In the forefront I am thankful for these two handsome fellas:
My husband, Parker, and my son, Theo.

and I am thankful for my healthy pregnancy carrying my second son, Calvin, who will grace us with his presence this coming April.

Lastly, I wanted to say THANK YOU to all of you!!!

I thought I would hold a little giveaway and share some gift cards to two of my favorite places:

$50 to Target
$25 to Starbucks

Just enter the giveaway below and I will choose one, lucky winner this Saturday!!

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, November 9, 2015

Free Thanksgiving Math Center: TURKEY RACES!

Ahhh.. the holidays are coming... 

The air is crisp, the leaves here in Massachusetts are all shades of orange, yellow, and red and most of them have made their way to the ground already!

With all the excitement, I know my first graders always needed high engagement. Anything that could keep my students learning and on-track was a win during these holiday months.

I'm not sure about your class, but my room always loved a good, competitive partner game. I thought I would share a free little math center that you could just print and use in your room:


This Thanksgiving math center is a fun, addition partner game!

Students will pair up and grab one board, one ten-frame tracker, & one turkey spinner.

Student A will spin the spinner and track that number on their tens-frame sheet. Student B will do the same. Every time a student fills a 10 frame, they may color in one block on their tower on the game board. 

The first student to reach 100 (the top of their tower) wins!

There are colored boards that can be laminated and re-used with a dry erase marker as well as black and white boards that can just be printed and used with crayons or pencils!

There are also 4 different spinners, so students can play many times with different numbers!

As students progress you can also take away the 10-frame trackers and have students add on scrap paper or in their heads!

If you think your students could use this, please click the image below and grab a copy!

Also, if you are looking for some great community building ideas for Thanksgiving, check out my {last post} about Stone Soup!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Stone Soup: A Literacy & Community Unit

Do your students read Stone Soup around Thanksgiving?!

I have done this unit 4 of the 5 years I taught first grade and both my students and I L-O-V-E it!

I always complete this literacy unit the week before Thanksgiving and we tie in the relation between the holiday of giving thanks and the importance of community and helping one another. I find that these books exemplify the thoughts of coming together and helping one another. Many students can also relate the feasts shown in this book to the feasts they have themselves on Thanksgiving!

There are so many versions of the Stone Soup folk tale, but the four I choose to compare, contrast, and dive into are by the following authors:
Marcia Brown
Ann Mcgovern
Jon J Muth
Jess Stockham

They are each a little different, but share the same sentiments of sharing, caring, and working together for a greater good!

For each book, I included some story responses, writing prompts and read aloud lessons that we have discussed over the past few years.

The story responses touch on sequencing, inferring, vocabulary development, comparing/contrasting, and story elements. While the writing prompts are a mix of opinion and contrasting stories!

There are also a few crafts included as well a recipe and parent notes in case you want to re-create the stone soup experience for your students!

You can grab everything you need for a stone soup mini-unit by clicking the image below:

Download the preview to see a closer look at what's included in this unit!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Cats vs. Dogs - A Reading and Writing Project

I love integrating reading and writing and last Spring I was receiving my last Scholastic Book Order and snagged these two books:
*Both books are still available on Scholastic Book Club for $3 each. They are also available in the Teacher Store as well as Amazon for a bit more.* 

I ended up getting them right before school ended, reading them to the kids and they just LOVED them! We compared and contrasted the books and had a whole love of lively debate about which animal we believed to be the BEST pet! My mind was left reeling with all he activities I wish I had time to plan! So...I decided to make a little unit for them!

It is a reading and writing unit, which has plenty of activities for the nonfiction book, the fiction book, and comparing/contrasting both! Again, it is a whole lot of fun to listen to students share their opinions about these 2 animals that they think they know so well! It's also fun to see what they learn about some of their favorite pets!

For nonfiction activities I included:
Book responses including:
- True or False Comprehension Check
- Multiple Choice Comprehension Check
- Vocabulary
- Cat Facts
- Dog Facts
Question Cards for whole group, small group, and partner discussion.
All about Dogs/Cats mini books
Cat and Dog fact match up

 Mini fact books for each animal!

 Students record their learning!

 Cat and dog fact match up.

Comprehension Checks!

Fiction activities include:
Book responses including:
- Dog vs. Cat comparisons
- Dog and Cat character traits
- Retelling (B,M,E)
- Vocabulary
- Story Map
Question Cards for whole group, small group, and partner discussion.
Problem/Solution flipbook
Life After Baby… fill in speech bubbles
Order cards for retelling

Get into the character's head and guess what they would say to their owners if they could talk!
Also, a problem and solution flip book! 

 12 different questions for each book - great for whole group, small group, and partner discussion!

Writing and craft activities include
- Comparing books
- Choosing the winner (cat vs. dog)
- Cats Rule/Dogs Rule – providing reasons for opinions
Six writing prompt cards
Craft and bulletin board ideas
- Cut and paste craft option
- Directed drawing option
- Writing paper for both cat & dog

Easy dog and cat crafts for students to complete and add to their opinion writing.

There are both cat and dog directed drawings included if students would rather draw their own animal and write their opinions!

You can snag all the activities for a couple week's worth of fun by clicking the cover below!

 I hope you and your students enjoy it!

Link Within

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