Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Leprechaun Traps

Leprechaun traps can be such fun to make for St. Patrick's Day! ☘ This was one of those spur of the moment ideas that turned into something fabulous...don’t you just love when that happens? 

I decided to have my firsties make leprechaun traps this week.  In the past, we have sent home instructions for them to make the traps as an “at home” project and return them to school. They always come back to school super cute, with working trap doors or cups on hinges that really work when you spring the trap.  And they seriously are adorable. And they are basically made by the parents.....soooo this time I decided we were going to make them in our classroom and I am so glad that we did! The kids LOVED it. 

We started out by reading the story "How to Catch a Leprechaun"

I also found several videos on You Tube of kids making leprechaun traps and we watched a couple of those for inspiration. 

After this, we made a list of things you need to put in a leprechaun trap.  We used the technique of Interactive Writing - where the student and teacher “share the pen” and help write the chart. 

Next the firsties chose a partner.  They would be working together to create their trap.  First step, designing the trap.  The worked together to draw their trap on paper.




Finally they were ready for the fun part - making the actual trap!  I gave each pair of students a box as their base and then they went to work creating their trap.  I had all kinds of “junk” that they used to build their trap....straws, toothpicks, mini mirrors, wood scraps. pom poms, popsicle sticks, etc.  The students worked together building their traps and then we let them dry.  



The next day we painted our traps and wrote the steps for “How To Catch a Leprechaun”. Thanks to “The Think Aloud Cloud” for this cute freebie!


Our finished products!

We had such a great time making these traps....if you would like to do the same in your class here’s a letter to send home with your kiddos to help you collect the things you will need for your traps. 

Looking for other great activities for St. Patrick's Day?  I have you covered! Click on the pictures below to check out some of my other St. Paddy's fun!

 March Math & Literacy Centers

 March Math & Literacy Games

Friday, February 16, 2018

10 Ideas for your 100th Day of School

How did you celebrate your 100th Day of School? We had a blast this year with our 100th Day Stations!  It took me a little prep time, but it was well worth it! My fab firsties had so much fun and all of the activities were basically independent and needed very little help from me.  So here's a look at some of the things we did!

100th Day of School Treat

The firsties were greeted when they came into the classroom with a sweet 100th day treat and a $100 dollar bill!

100th Day Books

We read a couple of 100th day of school books.  Here are some of my favorites!

100th Day Stations

I set up 8 different stations around my classroom and had my firsties work in pairs (I have 16 students in my class), but you could easily have more students at each station. They had a log that they took with them and as they completed a station, they checked off the log and moved on to the next one. 

Occasionally, groups would overlap at a station, but that was ok because there was plenty of room.  There was no time frame for them to complete each station, they just worked at their own pace.

Station #1

Our first station was hunting for 100 Hershey kisses! This was a great idea and the kids LOVED it, but next year I will make it a separate activity.  The first couple of groups went crazy finding kisses and there weren't many left for the others to find.  The good thing is that they didn't eat them right away.  They had to match the number on the bottom of the kiss to the game board.  We shared all the kisses at the end! 

Station #2

The firsties had fun building with 100 Lincoln Logs! 

Station #3

How many licks does it take to get to the center of your lollipop?? The students colored in one block for each lick. Lick....color.....lick.....color.....they were very precise! 

Station #4

What can you build with 100 cups?  I set this station up on our carpet area and the kids built tall towers and huge forts! 

Station #5

The kids worked together to build a chain with 100 links! Each pair of students added a different color to the chain. 

Station #6

Next the students filled their gumball machine with 100 gumballs made from bingo daubers! I numbered the daubers from 1-10 and they kids had to put 10 gumballs of each color in their machine. 

Station #7

The next station was stringing a 100 bead necklace.  This station took the longest, but the kids stuck to it and made a really cute necklace as a keepsake from our 100th day! I found the beads at our local Dollar Tree.  Three bags of beads was enough for 20  students.  I also found the green divided trays at the same store! 

I had some of my kiddos separate them by color the day before so we were ready to go. I precut the string and tied a bead to the end so that they didn't push the beads off as they were stringing.  I also taped the other end so that it didn't come unraveled as they were working.  

This station took the most prep time, but it was worth it because the kids loved it!


Station #8

The final station was making a structure out of toothpicks and mini marshmallows. I separated the marshmallows into baggies so that each child could take their own bag.  I counted out the first couple of bags of 100.....and then I sort of eyeballed the rest! (shhh, don't tell the kids!) 

I had a lot of the materials I needed already in my classroom and purchased most of the other items for a relatively low cost at dollar stores.  I found the idea for these stations on Differentiated Kindergarten and she has a great FREEBIE for the station log, numbers and the worksheets! Be sure to head on over there and grab it for your next 100th Day celebration! 


Our Week On Fleek 2/16

This week was on fleek with 100th day activities, winter olympics, Valentines Day and a little March activities prep! 

This was one crazy busy week in Firstieland! We started off on Monday with our 100th day of school! I set up 8 different stations for the firsties and they had so much fun creating, building and counting up to 100! You can read all about it here (includes a link to a GREAT freebie!) 

If you read my post last week, you know that we have been learning about the Winter Olympics in our classroom. On Tuesday, we had our own Winter Games and competed against the other first grade classes.  I'm super excited to tell you that our class took home the SILVER MEDAL for the overall competition! 

We had the most fun speed skating (paper plates on the bottom of our feet), playing hockey (yardsticks and pom poms), and racing the biathlon (paper plate skates and bean bag targets).  I found this great product on TPT by From September To Mrs. May.  If you want to host your own Winter Games you can grab it here.  

Of course, Wednesday was Valentine's Day! We had a super sweet time delivering our Valentines to our friends.  I loved seeing all the cute valentine boxes! I got some sweet little treats from my kiddos and my first grade crew..... and I gave my kiddos these cute glow stick valentines! You can grab a freebie of this valentine here

I had a little extra time this week, so I got my March Math and Literacy Games all ready for next month.  I love these no prep games for my small group time, learning centers, partner games and even fast finishers! They are so simple to just print and go! Now I'm one step ahead of the game.....and you know that's a great feeling! 

Finally, I finished off my week with parent conferences on Thursday night....yep you read that right.....100th day, Olympics, Valentine party AND parent conferences all in the same week.  GIRL!!!  Enough said.......