Sunday, January 27, 2013

Valentine's Day Literacy and Math

I started creating a series of I love holidays and seasons products. It started with I Love Autumn Literacy and Math.

I created them specifically for FIRST GRADE.  The activities could be used by other grade levels, depending on the level of the students. I include nonfiction writing, creative writing, word activities, a survey and graphing activity, booklets, 3 literacy and 3 math centers, and MORE. The series follows a similar format, but I change activities that lend themselves to specific holidays and seasons.

I recently completed I Love Valentine's Day Literacy and Math.

Here's a preview of some of the activities and centers:

I place tubs of nonfiction books out for the students to read. I include different reading level readers, so students at all levels can read and learn about Valentine's Day. Reading, writing, listening, and sharing knowledge about Valentine's Day are included in the activities.

Of course, we want to have fun as we learn. Lots of FUN Valentine's Day activities are included. My students love the survey activity. They put their surveys on clipboards and cruise the room to survey the students in the class {and anyone else who enters the room}. 

I started creating read, write, draw booklets, so students could learn more about the seasons and holidays, as well as, add to the booklets with their own drawings. "My Valentine's Day Book" is one of these creations. 

Some of the activities lend themselves to partnering. Making words using the letters in VALENTINE is one of them. 

A writing activity can be  included in a Valentine's Day Class Book {writing printables and a cover are included).

The three literacy centers: 
1. Valentine's Day sentences: put word cards together to make 9 Valentine's Day sentences.
2. Valentine Hearts long vowel sort: long a, o, and i picture cards.
3. "Bee" My Valentine compound words: match word cards to make compound words.

The three math centers:
1. Valentine Bugs three number addition
2. Valentine Hearts and Candy ten frames: find the sums and record answers as equations.
3. Valentine Penguins place value: count place value rods.

Click HERE to purchase.

Oh my! Can you tell how much I LOVE fonts and graphics?

Here's a FREE printable from the packet. Click on the picture to download.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Learning About Animals That Hibernate

As part of our winter study this past week, the students brainstormed animals that hibernate. I wrote their ideas on this chart. We then went thru the list to see if most students agreed that those specific animals hibernate. I circled those, and then we were ready to get more information and do some research. {Chart idea: Once we're finished with our study, I will cut the bottom of the chart, so I can use it again. I will place a new piece of chart paper under it to use for recording next year.}

Brainstorming ideas gives so much information to the teacher about students' prior knowledge. We discussed the meaning of hibernation, and then I read these two books.

Sleep, Black Bear, Sleep by Jane Yolen

I'm always so pleased to find a Jane Yolen book. In this book, she tells about animals that hibernate and slumber in burrows, dens, and caves during the winter. The story is told thru rhyme.

When It Starts to Snow by Phillis Gershator

Thru reading this book, students learn what animals, such as geese, fish, and beavers, do when it snows. It has a repetitive rhyme that students can chant and read along with the teacher as they learn about what animals do and where they go in winter.

Our next steps this week are to delve into learning more about individual animals that hibernate in winter. We will be deleting animals from our list and adding new ones we learn about. Children will use this printable to record information they learn.

Click on the picture to download for FREE.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend. Getting ready to watch the Golden Globes.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

KPM Doodles Blog Avatar

Hi everyone!

I just thought I'd pass this bit of information on to you.

Kirsten, from KPM Doodles, is now selling avatars {or caricatures} thru her store. I've been asked about mine, and she's the one who made it for me thru a custom order.

I just LOVE mine. I sent her a picture of myself and told her my favorite colors {red and blue}, and that's all I had to do. She's great to work with and does such a great job.

If you're interested, click HERE.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Sweepstakes and January Currently

Teachers Notebook is having a "Tablet For The Teacher Sweepstakes" from Jan 5th to Jan 31st. The winner will receive the choice of an iPad Mini, Amazon Kindle Fire HD, or Nook HD.
Click on the picture to enter the sweepstakes.
I am linking up with Farley, at Oh' Boy Fourth Grade, with her monthly Currently feature.

Listening to rain. Actually, I'm shocked it's raining. I didn't look at the weather report and had no idea it would rain today. Wondered if I was hearing what I thought I was hearing. It's a gentle rain, though. 

Loving the last day of winter break. I'm savoring every moment. I always find that the last weekend before going back to school after a break, I get a surge of energy. I think it's my way of attempting to finish all the things I wanted to do that still haven't been completed. But there's something about the rain that slows things down. 

Thinking creatively. I'm working on redoing the organization of my classroom math and literacy centers. The process has started me in a new direction of creative ideas on rearranging, organizing, and creating new materials. Love this about being a teacher.

Wanting shining sun and blue skies. That was yesterday. I was walking my pugs and delighting in the warm weather and the blue, blue sky. The no clouds kind of blue sky. {Such a contrast to today.}

Needing a new winter coat. Only light weight coats are needed in southern California. But, we've had some colder weather lately. So, I'm on the lookout for a new coat. I'm sure it will pale to what most other parts of the country use for winter.

Anticipation. Just the anticipation of what 2013 brings. Anticipation of new beginnings. Anticipation of what will follow the rest of the school year. Anticipation of seeing the excitement of my students as we gather in the morning to share stories of winter break. 

Click HERE to see other January Currently blog posts.

I know that this is the last day of winter break for many of you. Enjoy yourselves!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Guest Blog by Learning to the Core

We are so excited to join the New Year, New Ideas, New Possibilities Linky Party hosted by Primary Possibilities! Having recently joined the blogging world in late November, we are so happy to have the chance to get more great teachers to come check out our blog: Learning to the Core. Once you visit our blog, you'll see that we focus on how we can use technology to teach the Common Core Standards. We are definitely still learning a lot about the Common Core Standards, but we really enjoy sharing our ideas with others and learning from other bloggers, as well!

Amanda is in her 6th year of teaching 1st grade and Aylin is in her 4th year working as a reading specialist for Kindergarten and 1st Grade and worked for 3 years before that as a Kindergarten teacher. We have worked together now for 4 years and have really enjoyed bouncing ideas off each other and creating things together to help our little friends become great readers and writers! We are also very lucky to have 1:1 MacBooks in 1st Grade and 1:1 iPads in Kindergarten. We use technology frequently throughout our day and are constantly trying new ideas out with our friends to get them engaged and learning!

Since technology is such a big part of our teaching, today we are sharing ideas about how we use technology (iPads) in my small groups as a tool to practice Phonemic Awareness, practice letter names and sounds, for making words, and to complete graphic organizers. I find that my little friends really enjoy using the iPads and get very into our activities when the iPad is involved! In our Phonemic Awareness activities, I have my friends put a dot in each box for each sound they hear in whatever word I say. This provides them with a stepping stone to recognizing all sounds in words, which helps them become better writers. We practice letter names and sounds by writing the letter name of the sound I say. I follow this same format for making words, where I say a CVC word, the students say the sounds and then write it on the iPads. Both our phonemic awareness and phonics activities are quick mini activities that produce me with useful information to see how my friends are improving - plus it's fun!

I also have my students take pictures of a blank graphic organizer on their iPads and then they complete the graphic organizer on their iPads instead of on paper. My kindergarteners and 1st graders love the idea that their finger is their marker and that they can choose different colors when working on iPads. I have to say also that their creations on the iPads turn out really cute.

These pictures and activities can be done on a number of "whiteboard" type apps, but I most frequently use ShowMe and ScreenChomp, which are both free apps. These activities are some of the daily ways I use iPads, but we are also regularly trying new apps and new ways to use the MacBooks with our little friends, so please head over to our blog to read more detailed posts on how we use technology in our classrooms, including the apps mentioned above!

Thanks so much to Mona, here at First Grade Schoolhouse, for having us as a guest on her blog today! We are super excited to go check out more teaching blogs who've joined up with the link!

Have a great day!

Amanda & Aylin

Thank you so much, Amanda and Aylin, for guest blogging for me. You've given some "new ideas and new possibilities" for how to use technology in the classroom. Great information! 

Be sure to head on over to Ms. Jones' Junction, where I will be guest blogging today.