Sunday, April 29, 2012

Umm, it's almost May!!!


In case you haven't noticed yet, IT IS ALMOST MAY!!! As terribly exciting as that sounds, and how ready we are for summer, we have A LOT to do before schools out. So, hopefully you can understand our absenteeism on our little old blog. We are just about to head into our 3rd week of trying out our new reading series for next year, Treasures. We only had a tiny little bit of training, but they wanted us to play with it, and try to teach a unit. Holy cow!!! We are loving having a new adoption, but to just throw ourselves in the middle of it is kind of overwhelming. We've made some quick and easy centers that reinforce the sounds/vowel patterns that we are working on to use during Daily 5 that we promise to share {FOR FREE!!!} later this week. We also have some fun ideas for Mother's Day presents, as well as a great layout for making a class cookbook. We promise to share it all with you very soon! But while we are trying really hard to keep our heads above water, we wanted to share our May Math Journal Prompts with you. We've had several people ask for them, so we wanted you to know they are up. With one day to spare! :) We will be adding June, July and August for those of ya'll who keep on truckin' throughout the summer. So head on over to our store and check them out. We'll be back soon... xoxo

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Thunder and Lightning Oh My!


We just finished our water cycle/weather theme unit that we've incorporated into our classrooms and we wanted to share a few thunder and lightning activities that we did last week with our first graders.
Click {HERE} for a great resource that has "kid friendly" info about thunder and lightning.
Here's a great non fiction book. There is quite a bit of information, so we read bits and pieces to our first graders.

Since we've been talking a lot about author's purpose, we discussed with our kids that the author wrote the above book to inform.

We also read the book below and talked about how the author wrote this book to entertain.

After reading and discussing thunder and lightning we showed our students pictures of lightning Click the picture below if you would like a PDF of lightning pics!

Just in case some of our students hadn't heard thunder, and to remind them of the sound it makes, we downloaded thunder sounds and saved them to our laptops to listen to after we displayed the lightning pictures.
Finally after watching and listening to thunder and lightning, we made lists on our whiteboards of adjectives that describe thunder and lightning. Then our first graders filled out the worksheet below by writing an adjective in each box that describes thunder and/or lightning. Just click the worksheet below if you'd like a copy!
We ended the week discussing the different types of weather that we've learned about and our first graders completed the writing below. They wrote what type of weather they liked and why it was their favorite. Example, "I like sunny weather because I can play outside with my friends." Just click the worksheet below if you'd like a copy!

We've also added our newest addition to our TpT store. It's a new weather themed math and literacy game pack that includes a nonfiction printable weather book too!
Included in this game pack are:

*48 addition equation cards (double digits 10-20 plus a single digit number)

*48 subtraction equation cards (minuends 10-20 minus a single digit number)

*24 telling time (hour and half hour) cards

*24 counting coins (pennies, nickels, & dimes) cards

*36 spring phrase cards

*198 sight word cards.

*Weather themed special cards are included as well!


If you'd like to check out our Weather Themed Math and Literacy Game Pack, just click the picture below!



Have a great week!





Saturday, April 14, 2012

Things We're Loving

Hi friends! Hope you all are having a great weekend!
We are loving quite a few things right now and we thought we'd share a little about some of our favorites. So, here are 10 things that we are currently loving:

1. The Classroom Friendly Pencil Sharpener

We ABSOLUTELY love this Pencil Sharpener! Pencil sharpening has never been a favorite of ours, in fact we dread it. We've had our custodian replace the blades in our wall sharpeners, bought new electric sharpeners, we even have small handheld sharpeners for our kiddos to use, and yet we still have issues. Broken lead & pencils that split because of poorly designed sharpeners & blades were common occurrences in our classrooms until we received the nice little "gem" pictured above. This sharpener sharpens pencils so nicely and even sharpens the cheap dollar pencils that used to get eaten up by our old sharpeners. We love this sharpener so much we are purchasing one for home too!

We received this product for free in exchange for an honest review.
The opinions expressed in the above paragraph have not been influenced by the company or the free product mentioned above.


2. Oceanhouse Media Apps

We've mentioned these before, but these are some of the best book apps we've seen. They use the real artwork from the book, and they've made them interactive. They have many recognizable titles and seem to be adding more every week. If you have iPods or iPads in your room, you should definitely check out Oceanhouse Media's website.

3. Thirty-One Bags

We just love Thirty-One Bags. We seriously have so many things we tote back and forth and have needed a strong sturdy bag, that looks stylish as well. These bags are definitely our FAVE! We can pack them up after school, head to our own kiddos sports events, and then to home and never lose a thing! We especially like the Organizing Utility Tote. Another one of our favorites is the Market Thermal Tote. This will definitely come in handy when toting food back and forth from home to our kids' sporting events. We are finally feeling a little more organized!

4. Arthur Turns Green

Who doesn't love Arthur stories? This is a super sweet addition to your classroom, and is so fun to use for Earth Day. It's an adorable story, and really does a great job speaking to the kids about how we can help protect our earth. Definitely one to buy!
Arthur Turns Green

5. Apple Products


We can't say enough positive comments about Apple products. We've been huge fans for a long time and recently purchased a macbook pro air. It is so light and portable and Oh. So. Pretty! Love our iPads as well, especially all often educational apps that are available. We love our smartphones that we currently have and they sure do make our lives a lot easier.
Although neither of us have an iPhone, they're definitely on our wish list! The iPhone 5 can't get here soon enough!

6. Treasures

Our district has adopted a new reading curriculum and we are just loving it! We have received the new materials and will be required to begin teaching it next year, however we are beginning to incorporate some of the components and have even found a way to integrate Treasures into our Daily 5 routine. If you use this program too, keep an eye on us. We've got some great ideas in the works about how to really mesh this with Daily 5. And it will definitely include lots of *freebies*!


7. Starbucks

These Starbucks Refreshers are FABULOUS! They are so yummy and refreshing! Made with a green coffee extract, yet they there's no coffee taste what so ever! Love our Starbucks coffee every morning, especially the Breakfast Blend (which brews nicely at home and tastes great with a little half and half), but these refreshers are a great cold afternoon pick me up!

8. TOMS

Unless you've been living under a rock, we're sure you have a pair of these. If not GET ONE! Or two! They are our new addiction, and can't wait to get a new pair for spring. They have such fun colors and styles, and it seems like you can wear them with anything. They are so comfy too. Love.

9. Kenra

We're a little picky when it comes to hairspray and Kenra 25 has been a favorite for 19+ years. Been using it since were 16. We LOVE a good hairspray and this stuff is the BEST! It offers great hold and adds volume when we need that extra lift! It's been a Stylist Choice Award Winner for the last 8 years too!

10. Our Math & Literacy Game Boards

One thing that we really love in our classrooms is our game boards. We have them in our TpT store for most holidays, months and seasons. They are great for after math when kids are finishing work, or for centers during Daily 5. They focus on all sorts of first grade skills, and they kids just eat them up. Definitely worth checking out.


Enjoy your weekend! We'll be back in a few days!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The best laid plans

Happy almost Wednesday friends! We're not sure if you all are feeling it too, but is it really almost mid-April? What is happening to this spring? We are finally settling back into our routines from Spring Break, and the kids are preparing for the last stretch of first grade. We had every intention of getting this post up sometime last week, but you know what happens to the best laid plans. It's been crazy. So, maybe you can just save these for next year.

We started by reading this book to the kids. It's such a sweet story, so if you haven't read it you should check it out.

After the story, the kids each designed their own Easter Egg, and wrote a descriptive writing piece about it, really focusing on including adjectives. If you'd like a copy, grab it {HERE}.

We then did a few Easter Bunny crafts, including these darling bunnies. They are pretty self-explanatory, but you can grab the masters for the bunny parts by clicking {HERE}.
Now again, I had every intention of sharing the tutorial of folding this basket, but the pictures just didn't turn out well enough to really see how it works. So... maybe next year.

Sorry again that we're so late. Forgive us. :)

And on an unrelated note, during Spring Break a few weeks ago, I got to surprise my kiddos with a surprise trip to Disneyland. This was their first trip, so it was a pretty big deal. We decided to drive the 16 hours, so we literally packed the car when the kids went to sleep, and picked them up from the babysitter ready to go. It was an amazing week, jam-packed with memories we will never forget. So here are a few things I learned along the way:

1. It's all about managing the Fast Pass
2. The ridiculously expensive character dinner is worth it, just once.
3. It's OK to cry multiple times at Disneyland {and I mean me, not the kids ;) }.
4. The Rider-exchange is the best kept secret EVER!
5. You feel the magic all over again, as you watch your kids experience it for the first time.
6. You can never have enough snacks for the car.
7. Even if you pack food, you will still spend way too much money at the park.
8. 3 days is just not enough.
9. A man to man defense is WAY better than a zone.
(Thankfully we brought my sister-in-law to help out.)
10. The World of Color at California Adventure is maybe the coolest things I have ever seen.

Have a magical day!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Happy April


Happy April friends! We sure are wishing for some sunshine in our neck of the woods. It has been so rainy and windy! Hopefully April will be less rainy than March {fingers crossed}.
We are enjoying our last day with our families today. We head back to school tomorrow after a relaxing spring break. We've got a few months before summer vacation and boy do we have a lot planned for our first graders!
This month is packed with finishing up weather activities/lessons, Earth Day activities/lessons, and beginning our Rocks & Earth unit. If you're interested in checking out our Earth Day Unit, you can find it {HERE}.

Here's a little word sort freebie that we'll be having our first graders complete next week. Included in this word sort are Easter/Earth Day themed words & we've also included an answer sheet
Just click the picture below if you'd like a copy!
Have a great week!