Monday, March 27, 2017

We had a "Tree'mendous" week!

Hey friends!

Last week we had fun learning about trees.  We follow Journeys and our weekly story was a chapter from "Poppleton Forever" called "The Tree". 🌲 It was the perfect opportunity to combine Reading with Science, so we learned all about trees! Our comprehension strategy that we were focusing on this week was Story Structure - Characters, Setting and Plot.  I decided a great way to really learn about story structure would be through a more "hands on" approach, so we created Poppleton's tree using a "paper bag twisted tree".  Are these adorable or what???

The firsties started out by making their tree, using a paper lunch bag.  I stapled their trees to green construction paper "grass" - this represented the SETTING.  Then they colored and cut out the characters that were in the story and glued them around the tree - this represented the CHARACTERS.  The main idea of the story is that Poppleton's tree is sick and he tries many different things to make it get better.  The firsties used construction paper to add things to the tree that Poppleton tried in the story to make his tree get better (cheese, a bone, a bird feeder, etc) - this represented the PLOT.  Finally, the kiddos arranged pictures in order and wrote about the plot of the story.  How cute is this???


We also read several non fiction books about trees and watched a cute video on "Epic Books" (have you used this FREE website?? It has hundreds of books on every topic imaginable and it is.....let me say it again....FREE).  You can set up your own account here. We learned all about the parts of a tree, different types of trees and some of the things we get from trees. We worked together in Interactive Writing to create some anchor charts that the firsties used for reference.  Then they took all of this information and wrote reports about trees using our Informational Writing Template.

Well that's what we've been working on in our about you?  How do you teach story elements in your classroom?  Please share your ideas in the comments.  I'd love to hear from you!  I'm always on the lookout for fresh, new ideas! Be sure to check back soon...I'll be sharing how I use my newest product in my classroom, The Bossy R Sisters! I'm super excited to use this in my classroom this week! I'll let you know how it goes! If you'd like to see a full preview you can check it out here

Take care and have a great week.....see you soon! Cause there's always something fun happening in...

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Five For Friday! (March 24th)

Hello Friends!
It's time for me to jump on the bandwagon and join the Five for Friday Linky here's the reason why.  I'm a big believer in  Gratitude and I decided a really great way for me to show all the things I'm grateful for in my life is to just say it every week! I actually had a couple of crummy things happen this week.....(hey we all have that sometimes) but then I got to thinking about all the blessings in my life and thought, have it pretty good! So here's my Five for Friday gratitude list:

We had a SUPER COOL visitor yesterday!  Miss Ohio, Alice Magoto, was our Celebrity Reader for this month.  She came by for a visit and read us the story "Elmer", spoke about her platform, sang us the song "True Colors" and really inspired our little firsties!  My little girls couldn't take their eyes off her dazzling crown!! 👑 Thanks to Alice and my friend Jenna over at "From September to Mrs. May"for introducing this great program at our school.  If you would like to find out more about how to have celebrity readers at your school you can check it out on her blog here.


My wonderful son, Casey, had a birthday this week!  He turned baby isn't a baby any more.  We had a great dinner at Outback and are so blessed to have my mom - who is a rockin' 94 years old and FABULOUS - still able to celebrate with us! Here's my favorite picture of Casey... don't you just want to kiss that face??

And here he is with my mom.....all grown up!

I had a fun girls night this week, celebrating the "soon to be marriage" of one of my teammates! We did a Paint n Sip and I am grateful that my painting actually turned out ok......can you tell it's a pond at sunset??? LOL  Ok whatever....., I'm not a painter, but it was great fun! 


I've been working hard this week, and I'm super grateful to have two new products to share with you! For those of you who are Journeys users, my new Journeys First Grade Word Study for Unit 5 is here!! We use our word study every day in my classroom and it has been such a game changer for me.  I used to spend so much time each morning writing this stuff on my whiteboard and now I just turn on my screen and it's there! If you'd like to see the product in action, check it out here. And if you'd like to check out a full preview you can see it here. 

I'm also excited to use this adorable new unit "The Story of The Bossy R Sisters" next week in class.  We've been working on the r-controlled vowels "ar" and "or" this past week.  Next week we tackle "ir, er and ur" and you know those can be tricky because they all sound alike! So I created this super cute unit to help the kids remember which words have which sounds.  It comes with the story of the Bossy R sisters, posters, picture and word cards to accompany the story, a bingo game, 3 versions of a differentiated board game and differentiated assessments.  I'll tell you more about it next week, but if you'd like to check it out sooner you can see a full preview here. Friday many times did your copier jam this week???? Yea, enough said.  But hey, I'm grateful that I have a copying machine instead of the ancient ditto machine that we used to have years ago that smeared blue ink all over your hands and had nasty fumes.  (anybody reading this old enough to remember ditto machines???) 

If you'd like to link up to more Five For Friday posts from other fabulous bloggers you can check them out over at Doodlebugs Teaching.  That's it for now.....but check back over the weekend.  I want to tell you all about a really cute project we did this week with the story of "Poppleton and The Tree"'s a little sneak peak.

  See you soon 'cause there's always something fun happening in....


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Making Leprechaun Traps!

Hello Friends! Just stopping by with a quick note to show you what we have been working on this week!  Ok...can I just say that we have had the MOST fun learning about St. Patrick’s Day and leprechauns! ☘ This was one of those spur of the moment ideas that turned into something fabulous...don’t you just LOVE when that happens? 

So 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 happen to have my own copy, but if you don’t you can listen to it on You Tube for free here or you can pick it up on Amazon here 

We also found several videos on You Tube of kids making leprechaun traps and we watched a couple of those for inspiration. You can find them here and here

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 firsties 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 fab firsties 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 that I found here


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. You can grab this little freebie here

Now to set our you think we will catch one of those tricky little rascals?? We will see on Friday!  Come on back and visit us soon....cause there’s always something fun happening in.....