March 2013 - Susan Jones Teaching

First ever visual plans!!

Happy Easter everyone!

My Spring Break is official O-V-E-R :( and I have finally started thinking about school again. With all this time off I thought I would try out some visual plans! I have been wanting to do these forever, but I knew they would take me awhile to figure out. So *THANK YOU* to my blogging pal, Jen {A Teacher's Cauldron} for helping me out :)
  
If all goes correctly, you should be able to click the images below and they will take you to my Googledoc.
*When you get to the googledoc, make sure to download the PDF and then you can click on all the links!*
 
 
 
 Please let me know if it works! These aren't as detailed as my regular plans, but as time goes on I am hoping I will be able to add a bit more. So there it is - a peek at my week! I am linking these up with DeeDee's Peek at my week linky!

Just click below to see some more visual plans!

For all those that are starting Spring Break this week.... have a blast!!


6

Author Celebration & The End of Reading Week

Spring break is HERE folks and I am one happy camper :)

I have a recently loaded Starbucks card, my laptop, and a whole DVR full of shows to keep me occupied this week!

I was looking through my phone this morning and I wanted to share with you from our day on Friday.

It was our last day of Nevada reading week which meant pajamas, blankets, and stuffed animals to cuddle up and ENJOY reading! My kids loved their day and I ran around like a crazy person - what else is new?! Amidst all the reading, we prepared all day for our author celebration. We invited the parents to come and enjoy the afternoon reading our All About Books we finally finished.

Early in the morning, I got my students in their animal groups and they got to work together to create a "tear art" poster to display during the party. They were loud and crazy and loved every second of this art project. I needed a pair of earplugs, but I can tell you I loved what their creative craziness created!
 

Before the parents came, my teaching bestie and I went out a bit early and got some snacks ready for the adults and kids to enjoy!

While we were setting up the snacks, we let the kids hang out while they anxiously awaited their parents and their published books.

Our All About Books - DONE!

Our students reading their books with their parents - they were so proud!

As an added bonus, our whole school read over 30,000 minutes during reading week! Our reward?! Our principal and assistant principal spent ALL day Friday on the roof! Each class had a special time to go out and visit them up there! They had water balloons to throw at the kids and they even had a pulley system with a bucket to transfer notes back and forth.
 
 {Thank you Alyssa for the pictures!}

It was the perfect way to end our week AND start our spring break!

*If you are looking for some things to get your author celebration going in your own classroom, check out my author celebration packet!*


6

Artwork in the Classroom

It is Nevada Reading Week and our days are JAM-packed with "mystery readers," book reports, author studies, and lots and lots of reading!

On Monday, we learned all about Ezra Jack Keats! We had read Snowy Day about 15 times this year, so my students loved to learn more about him and read more of his stories. We read Whistle for Willie, Dreams, and Goggles.

We also learned that Ezra Jack Keats was famous for his illustrations, more specifically for his collages. I thought it would be fun to create our own collages using colored pencils, markers, crayons, and lots of construction paper. I gave each student a blank piece of paper, loads of art materials, and I just let them loose!
   Their goal was to create an illustration that had a clear setting, character, and event. When we were finished, we shared our stories with the class using "illustrator's chair."

Next time, I would certainly go buy some paints to make this little project even more fun!
Even without the paint, they were so engaged and really enjoyed the creativity of the project. It made this teacher happy.

Speaking of being a happy teacher, I received the SWEETEST gift the other day from a student. He went to a painting studio over the weekend with his family and made this... for ME! I couldn't believe it! I was overwhelmed that he would even think to give something so special to me. 
 It is hanging proudly in our classroom!!

:)

2 more days until Spring Break!


6

A little bit of this and a little bit of that!

Happy Sunday folks!

My life has been crazy-busy lately! Parker and I put our first offer in on a house here in Vegas - EEEK! Wish us luck! We have heard that you are likely to put in about 10 offers before you finally get a house here, but our fingers are crossed nonetheless!

The day we made our offer, we stopped and got some smoothies to help us make our decision ;) 
You can't beat some fruit smoothies on a gorgeous day!

Inside the walls of 41B, we have been busy, busy, busy! I have some major thanks to give to a lot of my blogging pals for helping me through this crazy week. Here are some quick pics:

Gladys from Teaching in High Heels helped us out with her St. Patrick's Day O' Fun! pack. I put her non-fiction, St. Patty's Day book up on the smart board and we read it together. Well, the kids actually felt like they were watching a movie, so I played it up and read the book over the microphone. I then picked a few readers to read each page over the microphone, too! After the book, we recorded some facts we learned!
 

My fabulous friend, Kelley, has a super fun and easy project for the kids to practice their story elements. We read Fin M'Coul and then recorded the characters, setting, problem, and solution on the Story Element Shamrocks!

 In math, my kids are working on double-digit addition and subtraction.
 Here are a few of my kiddos playing a subtraction BUMP! game with multiples of 10. This game is in my Spring Math Games pack.

Last, but not least, my pal, Katie, has a ton of fun games in her Sporty Kids Common Core Math Games pack and my own sporty kids have just been LOVING Tennis Top-it!
This next week is Nevada Reading Week, so I will have loads of fun pictures to share! I don't know about you, but I am hoping this week flies by! 5 more days until I am lying by our pool reading home design magazines! That is how I plan to spend my Spring Break ;)

PS - We should find out by Tuesday if we get the house!

Have a great week!


15

Persuade a Leprechaun!

Teaching first graders about holidays is always hilarious.

Santa Claus, the Easter bunny, a leprechaun - Whatever it is they swear they have seen it, held it, talked to it...

If I have to hear that one more of my students saw a leprechaun and held it in their hands before he tricked them and got away - I will go crazy!

To get them to stop talkin' and start workin' we wrote some letters to these tricky little leprechauns!

We have been working on opinion writing so I wanted to take it one step further and I introduced the word persuade. We talked a bit about what it meant and then I told the students to imagine that they had just caught a real-life leprechaun. Their goal was to persuade the leprechaun to give them their pot of gold.

The kids had a ball with this!

 First, we completed our graphic organizers and planned out 3 good reasons for the leprechaun to give up his pot o' gold!
 
 "If you give me your gold I will let you go. If you give me your gold I will never ask you to give me your gold ever again. I will give you a green apple."
Hmm.. I don't know about that green apple...

"Leprechaun wouldn't have to carry around heavy gold because I would have it. I could buy games and toys like XBOX! I could pay for my family and me to go on a trip to Lego Land!"
I love that his first reason is for the benefit of the leprechaun - genius!

Here were some of the letters:
 "Dear leprechaun, I think you should give me your gold because I will help you make your shoes. You should give me your gold because I am nice to people. You should give me your gold because I help people and my favorite color is green."
Can you tell we have been working on contractions? Love the application! 

 "Dear leprechaun, You should give me your gold because I will dance with you. I will hug you. Also, I will be your best friend. I have the best teacher in the whole entire world. Thank you."
Umm...who wouldn't give her all their gold!?! I may be a bit biased, but c'mon! A good dance and a hug?! SOLD!
 
"Dear leprechaun, I think you should give me your gold because there are a lot of homeless people in Nevada. I am really really really nice. I am a good kid. I have the best teacher in the whole world. I live in the desert and I am not tricking you."
This might be a good time to reassure you that I do NOT tell them to write about me... my girls are just sweeties who simply love their teachers. This little lady was so genuine when she read me her letter. She said she would use  a-l-m-o-s-t  all of the gold to help the homeless here in Vegas and that she would use the rest to do something fun with her family. Love!

You can grab this fun activity and many more spring writing prompts be clicking the picture below:


Pin it:

6

120th Day - Hooray!

Tuesday, we celebrated our 120th day of school!!

Was it actually the 120th day?? I have NO clue...

I literally counted my calendar 5 times... and still couldn't get it. Do I count staff development days or no? Isn't counting to 120 a standard and I can't even do it?

Anywho... someone on my 1st grade team decided it was Tuesday, so we went with it!

First, our kids dressed up like they were 120 years old and it was the best thing EVER! I was laughing all day. I wish I could show pictures of their sweet, wrinkly faces!

Once they got into class we got started sharing our 120th day projects. I sent a letter home last week telling students to be CREATIVE and create a collection of 120 something. Anything. Here are some of the projects that were shared:

120 fruit loops in the shape of a rainbow!

 Gumball machine! 12 groups of 10.

This little guy wrote his name in 12 different groups of 10.

A typed story with exactly 120 words.

(I blurred out the name - that is why is looks like scribbles in the middle)
This little one researched 120 different animals from all over the world!

Remember my little one who is obsessed the army?
Ta-da!

After we shared our projects, we made some "120 days smarter" crowns to wear throughout the day!
Get these crowns here.

We also saw how many exercises we could do in 120 seconds. Here were their push-ups:

Their form was terrible, I tell you! Terrible!

In the afternoon, we made 120th trail mix! Parents brought in loads of snacks to help make this possible. Each student got 12 Dixie cups and they could put 10 snacks in each cup. While the snacks were still in groups of 10, I had students practice adding and subtracting multiples of tens with their cups (show me 40+20, 70-50, etc).

Here are a couple of my kiddos at the end of the day after we had made our 120th day ties as well:
 
It was a fun-filled day that the kids just LOVED!

This was our second year celebrating 120th day instead of the 100th day. We thought it would be fun to align to the Common Core and since our kindergarten team makes a huge deal of 100th day, we figured 120th day could be ours ;)

Do you celebrate 120th too?!?


8

Writing Poetry in the Primary Grades!

National poetry month is in April, but we are starting early this year!

Last week we worked on the Common Core Standard: RL.1.4: students will identify words and phrases in stories or poems that suggest feelings or appeal to the senses.

Each morning we would read aloud some poems, practice visualizing the poem in our heads and then we would work together to identify the sensory and feelings words.

We read a lot of poems from the book, Shout! Little Poems that Roar! I bought this book a couple years ago from Scholastic and we just love it!
 After responding to these poems, we began writing poetry of our own!

We started off writing sensory poems about walking through a garden. 

What did we hear?  
"beards chirping" apparently

After using our senses our poems, we wrote the first drafts of our poems:
She has picked this poem as one of her favorites from the week, so she will be editing it so it can go in her poetry book!

To help guide us through writing poetry, I created a Poetry Unit that we will be using over the next few weeks:

 Here is a little sneak peek of what's inside:
(There are teacher examples, planning sheets, & final draft pages for each of the following)

{Sensory Poems}:

{Feeling Poems}:

{Form poems}:

I also have some poetry topic cards, poetry book cover pages, and more!
If you want to see more of this pack, make sure to download the preview at my TPT store.

I put my poetry pack on sale through Monday!

Happy writing!
11
Back to Top