Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Brrrrr!! Polar Exploration Planning

Is it the teacher in me?? 
I know I can't be the only one... 
I have already done an outline of my January lesson plans. Now I'm going through and adding the details. I thought I better get started since I may need sub plans next week as the Grand-baby has not arrived yet.
I started putting Christmas away, and although it does look cleaner I miss the decorations. I'm working my way through the cookies mostly. You know, put something away, then cookie break!
I also put on my walking shoes and did my 2 miles today, which I have not done in a while. It felt good! But I went at my usual summer time slot (4:30) and not only did it get dark but it was colder. Ha! I guess I need to get an earlier start or wear a jacket.

 I have also updated the look and made a few tweaks in my 
Exploring Polar Opposites Unit.
There is a Freebie in the Preview!

I was greatly surprised when I saw the book on sale through Scholastic book clubs. It's a great book to show how things can be opposite.

This product has scrambled sentences,
antonym word pairs,
that also review some information about penguins and polar bears.

 Recording sheet for the sentences.
 [Sorry that it was turned sideways]

 9 pairs of antonym cards with a worksheet

Graph your favorite...

...then write reasons why.
Using these organizers to teach Topic Sentence...

...Details                    and a                 Conclusion

We end our Penguin and Polar Bear Unit by Exploring the Arctic at Sea World.
I created a Scavenger Hunt Booklet that they fill in by drawing, filling in the blanks and asking the Sea World Guides a question. 
I think this could be a On-line Field Trip Exploration too. 
If anyone is interested, I can work on creating it.

Sample Pages

The Kids love being explorers and it helps keep them focused.
The Parent Chaperons appreciate having some directions too,
rather than just going to Sea World.
Thinking about the Arctic sure does make me cold. 
I think I need to go and turn the heat on.

It's New Year's Eve! 
So let me close this by wishing all a safe evening!
And most of all A Happy New Year!!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A Merry Christmas to all! And gifts that we made

Merry Christmas!
We have survived the holiday and it was so nice. Since we are expecting our new addition any day we down played all the Christmas gifting and enjoyed reminiscing of Christmas traditions. We were all thinking that next year will be different with a 1-year old running around. I can't wait! But at the same time it's hard to to explain that the changes and letting go of traditions to make room for new (no matter how wonderful) are kind of sad too. But times move on and it is time for my oldest to blend Christmases of both their childhoods to make new traditions for their family. And its hard for them too. They are trying to keep everything the same and worrying about keeping everyone happy. I'm trying to be a flexible parent and anxious to be part of how they choose to celebrate. 

Last night all 3 generations went to Christmas services together at my parents Church. They love showing off their grandkids. Then this morning we had three generations over for morning breakfast of cinnamon rolls and sausage-egg casserole. I tried something new and made bacon & egg with hashbrowns in muffin tins. It was pretty awesome. They went so quick I didn't even get a picture! It is so nice that my parents at 85 are still able to get around and join in the Christmas activities. (Wow next Christmas it will be 4 generations!)

I have been so busy with everything I didn't get to post what our class did for Christmas gifts and projects. So here are some of the things we did at our class party.(sorry about the horrible pictures)

1. We made faux stain glass ornaments.
I used the coffee lids from Trader Joe's coffee cans (measure about 5"), taped a picture to the back and used permanent markers to color. Remove paper template.
We then glued glitter around the rim and used shiny pipe cleaners for hooks.
2. Paper Bag Photo Books.
I tied 2 paper lunchbags together with fluffy yarn, added their picture to the front and they decorated it with paper and stickers. They wrote a note to their parents on card stock to slip into one of the openings and added other pieces of cardstock to other "secret" compartments. The parents can use it to add pictures to make a photo album or scrapbook.
I didn't realize he had covered up the book as I took the picture. I'll repost better pictures when I dig out my sample to re-organize my "Christmas Planning Notebook" for next year.

3. Finally, we 'sewed' Christmas stockings. 

Each student had 2 cut out construction paper Stockings to decorate. The holes were already punched. Using a needle with yarn they were suppose to loop the yarn over and under to sew the pieces together. Some struggled with that concept and did the in and out running stitch instead. Either way it was fun and they enjoyed adding candy and little items to fill their stocking.

After we finished our projects we had cupcakes to celebrate Jesus' Birthday. They were so cute and said it was the best party they had ever had. First grade is so easy to please. Some paper, glue and food; add a movie and you are good to go!!

Enjoy! and be Merry!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Getting to Know You: Christmas Questionaire

I'm linking up with Michelle from Fabulous in First for her Christmas Questionnaire linky party!  

Hot Chocolate or EggNog? 
Hot Chocolate! I usually have maybe one glass of Eggnog or I'll add it to my coffee. But nothings better on Christmas Eve after Christmas Lights Ohhhhhing & Ahhhhhhing  (looking at all the Christmas lights in the neighborhood) that Hot Cocoa with lots of whipped cream!

Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them underneath the tree? 
Colored lights or white? 
I love colored mini lights on my tree. On My house we have switched to the large LED lights and I'm not likin' them so much. They just aren't as bright and colorful as the old ones.
When do you decorate? 
I try to begin the weekend after Thanksgiving, but it doesn't always happen, but definitely before Christmas Eve. I don't get those who put up the tree on Christmas Eve! I love seeing the festive lights!
Real or Fake Tree?
Real. We did a fake tree when we first got married. But it broke and fell over on my son when he was three and we did real trees ever since. Love the smell of a real tree!
What Tops Your Tree?
A star I made out of felt when I was first married. We once had one of those light up angels, but she caught on fire and melted. Scary and not pretty!  
Favorite Christmas Memories or Traditions?
We would have our big Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve and get to open one present. My v=brother and I usually wrote and performed a skit for our parents, have hot chocolate. Christmas morning we had to wait until 7:00 before we would wake up our parents, so my brother and I would sit in hall, peeking into the living room trying to figure out who got what or whose pile was bigger.
Now with my own children, they and my parents comes to my house for breakfast and we open presents, then eat cinnamon rolls and coffee cake. Next year the traditions will probably change again with the birth of my first grandchild right after Christmas. It's amazing how traditions melt together as time goes on and families grow. At times it can be bittersweet.
Do you remember your favorite gift as a child? 
I don'r remember my favorite but I remember my most embarrassing present...My father had just returned from being overseas (marine corps) after 17 months. I was at that 'tween age and I got a tube of Secret deodorant in my stocking...in front of my dad! LOL I thought it was such a personal item to open in front of a man!
Do prefer giving or receiving? 
I love both.  But I really love shopping, wrapping, and watching people opening up presents.
What is your favorite Christmas song? 
I pretty much like the classics and carols
Candy Canes. Yuck or Yum? 
Yum!  I love them!  Classic peppermint
Favorite Christmas Movie? 
We alway start the Season with Miracle on 34th Street (old and new) and watch It's a Wonderful Life on Christmas Eve. Then After the kids would go to bed on Christmas Eve, and hubby was asleep, I would watch the old original version of Scrooge while I  filled stockings and wrapped the last minute gifts from Santa.
Do you shop online or at stores?
Mostly in stores.  I love shopping, the hustle bustle, carrying all the bags, grabbing lunch with my daughter.  
Photo Cards, Letter or Store Bought Card? 
I don't send out Christmas cards much anymore. When I do I make them...its much more personal.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a Good Night!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Sunday Prep and Planning and a sample

I'm sure that I'm not alone making my list and checkin' it twice...no not for Santa's list but the TpT Cyber sale that starts tomorrow! 
What you don't know about it??!!
Okay you must keep reading...
Almost everyone will have their store on sale for 20% off
AND if that is not super enough
Teachers Pay Teachers is kickin in an additional 10% off on top!!
That makes it 28% of your total purchase!!
BUT hey...
you can get free dollars too!
Yes!! if you make sure you have commented on everything you have bought in the past you get points.
Those points get converted into dollars.
Yes, I did say dollars.
Dollars you can use toward your new purchase.
Whoopee!! More $$$$ to spend.

So instead of planning for my class (oops)
I have been strategic planning my purchases.
And I went back to some of my holiday item from last year and prettied them up and well I may have added a few things.

I redid, and added to, My Christmas Tree packet and it has been renamed

If you purchased my old one let me know your TPT name and I will send you the updated version

Nothing new added, just prettied up the fonts and cleaned it up some.
You can download it again to get the 2013 version.

Newly added. My kids love these.

And as promised
here's another freebie
 Frrebie My Number Helper #0-30

I better start getting ready for a crazy week. Mom's having some surgery, so I'm getting a sub so I can sit with Dad. Praying there will be no surprises and all will go well. Next week my Dad's having surgery. So I had better have all my plans done and prepped.

Meanwhile Happy shopping!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

It's Here! Sales, Freebies, and more

Happy Turkey Day!

I'm loving this morning, watching the parade with my coffee, browsing through my blogs and mail and the quiet! For those of you with family coming or having to travel today, don't get to jealous... 
My Thanksgiving hustle bustle is tomorrow. 
You see I am at the other end of a family with grown kids. So in order to fit everyone's schedule and appease the extended families, we move our holiday. This way my daughter and son can spend time with us without having eat and run to their next commitment.
 [shh... plus it gives me a little leverage at Christmas :) ]
I think this is a win-win compromise for ME!

So right now my house is clean,
 pies are baked (we are going to my brother-in-laws house),
and I'm enjoying my quiet moment! 

Meanwhile I am excited to let you know that I am joining in on the
 Early Bird Sale,

tomorrow Friday,Nov. 29th and putting my entire store on sale at 20%!

This way you can get a head start on prepping for the very short month ahead!

However, if you can wait for Cyber Monday and Tuesday
you will receive an extra 10% from Teachers Pay Teachers.
Be sure to use the code CYBER,
A 28% savings!!

...okay now I'm beginning to feel guilty sitting here, on Thanksgiving doing what I have complaining about all week.

Using Thanksgiving to drum up sales!! UUk
so begging forgiveness here is a FREEBIE...
(and I will post another one later)

 FREEBIE Christmas Calendar Cards
Christmas Calendar Cards

Happy Shopping!! and a Safe Holiday

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Thanks ...

It is so nice to be off for a week, but even nicer to have the time to spend with family. Most of my family have their birthdays in November and December, and with a little grand daughter due after Christmas...well, Let the busy begin! This year is definitely going fast, but with only 3 weeks to do Christmas, December is going to be really fast.

Last week were began by learning how the Pilgrims were blessed by God and they were thankful for all He provided. We wrote a book and I was amazed at how well they illustrated each page.


After brainstorming things we were thankful for we did a guided writing Blessing. 
I was so surprised and blessed when I read them.
Several wrote...

 This one made me laugh: I give thanks for 'money'  so I can buy stuff.

And from one of littlest: I give thanks for my jacket 
because I like to 'dress' like a biker.
Turkey Disguise Project
The class was very excited about dressing up their turkey to save him from being eaten.
 There were many Nijas and Nija Turtles:
(What do you expect from a class of mostly boys)
 of course there was the Bling Turkey and of course the 'Cloud' Turkey...
 And the Santa Turkey!
Which will work well with our new Christmas book

Happy Thanksgiving all!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Quiet! We are trying to learn...???

This little group of littles are keeping me hopping, but I'm starting to see a glimmer of hope. 
We are making progress. 
Almost all are at least to grade level reading (decoding) and numbers are beginning to take on meaning. 
Writing is a different story but we are trying. 
It's hard to have enough time to teach to groups. My littles are, well little and everything takes longer for them. And my olders are having difficulty rising to the level they should be working when others are not. But last week I begin to see an excitement stir in their minds and no it wasn't left over Halloween candy or the fact that it is one week before Thanksgiving break...they were actually uh...thinking on their own! 
They were saying things like "If this, they it has to be that." or "I am finished may I do ..." I couldn't believe my ears!

I have been struggling to get sentences that contain more than 3 words.
 I've done guided writing, used various organizers, drawings, etc. 
Then finally it dawned on me I can't teach them to write until they think of themselves as writers. 
So I created little books and told them they could write anything but they were to take their time and only do one page a day. 
And they had to draw a picture to go with what they wrote. 
I think the lack of structure has at least allowed them to have the desire to write in their journals. I haven't exactly looked in them yet so I may be crowing to soon. But at least most of them are choosing that center. 
Second most popular to read to self!

Something that has helped the noise level in our class is head phones.
I have a class set of them
Got them at a local hardware store. It's the kind machinist use to help protect their ears from the noise. The kids love wearing them and they in turn don't talk so much. AHHHH!

In between school stuff, report cards, awards ceremonies, 
spelling bees (yes even though they are not sure what words are yet!), 
and my observation....
And then there's the baby showers and baby shopping, (only 7 more weeks),
we managed to have...

 our pumpkin investigation day.
How high is it?

Do they weigh more or less?
How big? How many ribs?
BTW did you now that pumpkin with more ribs have the most seeds!
How many seeds in this pumpkin?

I've used this for 2 years now and the littles feel so big having to write down their findings.
by Cara Carroll

We also finished our spider unit

But didn't get to our bats... maybe later in the spring??
But I did add the 2nd 100 fry words to my Detective word wall sets.

and in addition to my Rain,Rain, Go Away Game for practice with
 'ai and ay' words,
I have created a new packet with many different and differential teaching activities

ai or ay? Activities that Teach the Difference 

And for sticking with me through my catch up blogging,
 here is a little
 freebie song/cheer
from this packet

Thank you for stopping by and following the ramblings of a
 1st grade - soon to be grandma- teacher.