Saturday, 28 February 2015

They are here!

 I am linking up with Erin with a very short and sweet and EXCITING post today. 
Whoop! Whoop!  They arrived on Friday.  I spent Friday evening with my principal unwrapping Ipads, unwrapping cases and getting them all ready for teachers on Monday.  It was Family Movie Night and my daughter came to hang out with her friends and I am on our Parent Council as well, so it was perfect timing.  I am beyond excited that I will be able to surprise the kids with these on Monday.   I have one with me this weekend to really play with the apps that are available to us and get some things downloaded. 
 
I would LOVE to hear about your GO-TO apps for first grade in any area of the curriculum.  We currently have access to a number of apps in our District's app catalogue but I am interested in hearing about all the other awesome apps that we may not know about. Please....pretty please leave me a comment with your suggestions. 
http://mrsebeattie.blogspot.ca/2015/02/a-year-of-awesome-week-24.html
 
Until next time,
 
 
 

 

Celebrating with An Apple for the Teacher!

I am so pleased to be helping Kelly Malloy at An Apple for the Teacher celebrate a milestone on Teachers Pay Teachers!  She has an amazing giveaway going on right now that you just HAVE to enter.  Click on the button below to be taken directly to her blog and enter there!  Good luck. 

http://applefortheteach.blogspot.ca/2015/02/milestone-giveaway_26.html


until next time,


Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Wishlist Wednesday - A new weekly linky!


(click here ^ to head over to my store)


This week marks the beginning of my first weekly linky - Wishlist Wednesday with Hanging Around in Primary.  I don't know about you but I have dozens of products sitting on my wishlist on Teachers Pay Teachers  I go back periodically and go through my list and see if any are on sale.  Those items generally sit there until there is a sale or are forgotten. 

What if you didn't have to wait for a sale?  Every week I am checking my stats and marking down one of my most wishlisted products 20% but you have to head over to my store and go searching....a bit of a scavenger hunt if you will.  Find it and you save yourself some money. 

****Due to the Teacher's are Heroes Sale currently going on I am marking my product down 50%****

If you have a Teachers Pay Teachers store and would like to join in the fun add your link below. 


Saturday, 21 February 2015

The BEST way to attach Name Tags to Student Desks!



Do your student name tags make you crazy?  Mine always have!  I laminate them and attach them to the desk with heavy tape.  They look great until that "one" students starts to pick at the tape and then everyone else at the table notices and then everyone has a half falling off name tag.  I have a solution for you.

I am once again linking up with Jasmine over at Buzzing with Mrs. McClain.  I must admit I love linking up but somewhat struggled with something to share this time around and then I looked around my classroom and thought about some things I have done that have made my life easier. 

I don't know about you but name tags drive me CRAZY.   I have tried different methods to adhere them to the desk: regular tape, packing tape all around and sticky tack, to name a few.  None of these methods really worked well - they peeled off from cleaning or from the prying little fingers of first graders.  They ended up looking so horrible I tore them off and started fresh!



Replacing them part way through the year is expensive and now that we don't have a teacher supply store where I live it is also not an option.  So it was Pinterest to the rescue!  I read about using Velcro and wondered what the custodians would think of this option.  Another downfall of packing tape was the residue that it left.  I got the OK and velcroed them all down.  What a difference!  No one picks at them because they are not really stuck down.  My second worst fear was the dreaded Velcro sound... You know the kids who like to undo and then redo Velcro shoes over and over!  I  figured they would do the same with the name tags but no, thank goodness.  I also love how super easy it is to relocate a child to another desk - pull of the tag, empty the desk and move them to their new home.  That was always a pain when you had to peel up the nametag.

Using velcro has made my life so much easier.  As an added bonus I now make my own name tags so if they do get destroyed I can easily print another, laminate it and then stick it down.  So much easier. If you are interested, this is what my name tags look like.  They are available in a variety of styles. Click the image to see the different design styles and options.



I hope you found this classroom hack helpful.  

Thanks for stopping by.  Until next time, 


Saturday, 14 February 2015

Happy Valentine's Day -The Fun and a Freebie!

Happy Saturday!  It is snowing and blowing here again!  My Florida vacation at March Break cannot come soon enough. 

Valentine’s Day in the classroom was a blast yesterday ~ how about you?  That is NOT something I would usually say about this particular holiday but it was a dream.  My first graders have settled down thanks to Whole Brain Teaching techniques.  I am in LOVE with the engagement I am noticing during instructional times.  I will definitely be sharing more about that soon but for now let’s just talk Valentine’s, shall we. 

I did something this year that I have never done before and was questioning my sanity over.  We did our Valentine exchange first thing in the morning. I always left it to the afternoon when the time was shorter and the end the day nearer because the kids were just so excited and hard to reign in.  My timetable this year is such that waiting until the end of the day might have left us too tight for time.  Well, I am here to report that doing it first thing was AMAZING!

We started our morning with our regular routine and then went right into our exchange.  That part was still chaotic.  Some kids still have difficulty reading their friend’s names and others had no names on their valentines but could not remember if they gave a card to everyone.   A number of my super quick kids were helping out those in need of help it was super sweet to see.  Once all the cards were taken care of I sent them off to a corner of the room with this activity:

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Sort-It-Out-A-Valentines-Card-Sorting-Activity-1693676
 

This is a Valentine’s Day Freebie that I created last year and just recently uploaded to my store.  I love it!  In the past, the kids handed out their valentines and then returned to their own bags to see what kinds of treats they got, with little regard for the cards or who they were from.  This activity encourages them to slow down and really look at each valentine so they can categorize and then graph theme.  The kids were so engaged in their sorting and graphing activity they were happy to spread out and look at each valentine.  It made my teacher {HEART} happy. 

After recess I had helped to plan some school wide activities classes buddied up and either started with a craft in one of the classrooms or a dance party in the gym.  We did this for the first time last year and the kids had a blast. My class buddied up the grade 6 class my daughter is in and made these adorable valentine animals.  There were about 50 kids in my very large classroom working away.  I should have taken a picture to show the craziness but only snapped a few of the process.  Every one of my students got help making at least one heart animal.  They loved working with their big buddies. 
 

During the second half of our block we went to the Just Dance party in the gym. The kids danced along to some great music, ending with Eye of the Tiger We are the Odessa Tigers, after all!  This is a picture of a few of my girls dancing their hearts out.  It was a blast, to say the least! 
 
After lunch, when my students returned from gym we finished the day with some non-standard measurement with cinnamon hearts and minute to win it games with conversation hearts.  The challenge was to stack the candy into the tallest tower  - I love the thinking outside of the box in the second picture.  I didn’t say a single tower and she nailed it. 



I finished off the day by giving them my valentines - lots of "I love crazy straws"! 

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Valentine-Crazy-Straw-Tags-Heart-Cards-to-Celebrate-Valentines-Day-1104540


It truly was an awesome day!  The best part is that I am now enjoying a 3 day weekend and will welcome my first student teacher of the year into my classroom on Tuesday.  Happy weekend, everyone! 
 
Check out all the awesomeness that Erin is sharing over at her blog today.  I am linking up with her to share my Valentine's day of awesome! 
http://mrsebeattie.blogspot.ca/2015/02/a-year-of-awesome-week-22.html
 

Until next time,
 

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Celebrating the 100th Day of School!

Celebrating the 100th Day of School!
Its Saturday night and I am finally feeling rested up after a CRAZY week it started with a  Snow Day {a gift from the weather gods as reports are due on Monday} and ended with the 100th day of school. 


Welcome to the 100th Day of school Linky snag this graphic and link back to my blog and link up to share what the 100th or 101st day looked like in your classroom.  In my opinion, it has to be one of the best days of the year.  As my kids were leaving for the weekend I heard a lot of them proclaim that it was “the BEST day ever”! 
Students arrived excited and eager to share their 100 collection.  Two of my sweet children each brought in an extra collection in case someone forgot theirs.ahhh.   They did come in handy as 3 of my kids did forget the third counted out a collection of buttons from the classroom.   We started our 100th day with center activities with the students in the ½ class next door.  We created cross-graded groups and the kids spent the first hour of day enjoying 100 day centers in 15 minute blocks.  If you have read my Valentine’s post you will know that it has not been an easy week.  Somehow, my kids pulled it together and managed the centers beautifully.  Here is a glimpse of what we did:
Make a 100th day hat.  I love this simple headband/hat from Maria at KinderCraze.  I love that they are super simple and can easily be completed in the 15 minutes they have to colour -  It did take some encouraging for the more impulsive students to take their time and colour each dot.  Here is my sweet class rocking their hats! 
 
Collect 100 words around the classroom was a favourite of some who were determined to fill their sheet.  2 little girls from my class wrote 100 words in the 15 minutes they were at the center impressive to say the least!  Most kids hit around the 25 word mark. Did you notice they are holding them upside down - they are double sided so they look right side up to them - oops!
Weigh and compare your collection.  I had a collection of mini cubes (centicubes) and the students first had to predict if their collection was heavier/lighter or the same weight as mine and then they used the scales to find out exactly how their collection stacked up. 
 
Measure your collection is it longer or shorter than 100 cm?  We had to watch our step as there were collections being laid out all over the classroom.  Once all the pieces were laid out it was time for the meter stick and a comparison was made.  Not too many of the collections were less than 100 centimeters. 
 

Next door in my colleague's classroom was the “best” center make a structure with 100 cups.  Not everyone had a  chance at this center in the morning so I gave my kids who missed out a turn later in the day.  Lets just say that knocking down the cups was almost as much fun as setting them up. J


 
100 day pizza This little freebie came from Charlotte’s Clips and was a fun little counting and colouring exercise.
 
The last center was a writing center When I am 100 years old There were some creative answers to this one but most kids said they would sit on the couch and watch TV or play video games! 

 

During our second block of the day we started off with a story and practiced counting to 100 by ones with a little exercise thrown in!   Next they took the time to actually count out our collections and work on counting by 10 practice it was great, authentic way to collect some assessment data score!  After counting the students drew 10 things in each space to create a 100 day placemat with 100 things on it. 
 
Next on our list was our 100 day book created by Made for First Grade.  My version did not include all the pages but the kids enjoy writing about 100 things they wanted and didn’t want, as well as what they thought they could eat 100 of and what they would do with $100.00.  Crazily enough, lots of students thought they could eat 100 pizzas really! 

During their gym block they were going to try some active things for 100 seconds but I am not sure if this happened as there was a supply teacher.  They came back from gym anxious for a 100’s day snack!  I mixed up the trail mix while they were in the gym and we used Cara Carroll’s Scoop and Sort graph and sheet from her 100 day unit.  Everyone was very good to sort out their snack and eat afterwards.  According to a few of my boys the eating was the best part! 

 
Whew!  This has been a long post.  I hope you have enjoyed reading about our 100 day celebrations.  Needless to say I was pooped at the end of the day! 
 
Don't forget to grab my button above to include in your blog post when you link up.
Click below to visit other bloggers who are all sharing their celebrations. 


I am also linking up with my friend Erin over at Mrs. Beattie's Classroom for her Week of Awesome Linky.  Click on the graphic to head over and check it out.

http://mrsebeattie.blogspot.ca/2015/02/a-year-of-awesome-week-21.html



Friday, 6 February 2015

We {HEART} Valentine's Day!


Hello February!  I am so happy to be done with January.  It was NOT a good month in my classroom.  We are going to be spending the better part of next week revisiting September. Little do my students know that we are doing our first days of school all over again from Monday to Thursday.  My hope is by Friday we will all be back on track and ready to celebrate Valentine's Day.  Today I am teaming up some of my blogging friends and we are sharing with you how we celebrate Valentine's Day in our classrooms. 



My firsties are always so excited to hand out Valentines.  From the moment they enter all they can think and ask about is "when can we hand out our Valentines".  Well, this year I am changing up my tried and true day plans and having our card exchange early on in the morning.  I think this will work best with this bunch that struggles so much with patience.  I also have a different type of schedule so I will need more time to complete a special little activity I do with their valentine cards.  Click on the picture to snag this FREEBIE. 

http://bit.ly/1CCyi1j

In the past my first graders ripped through their cards, gobbled down the candy but never really took a good look at their cards or even who they were from.  That is what inspired me to create this activity.  They need to take a close look at each and every valentine in order to sort them out.  By doing this, it seems that they take more time to look at their cards and read who each card is from.   By this time we have learned about graphing, so students know exactly what to and are able to complete this activity independently.     

After recess in our middle block our entire school is participating in some Valentine's Day fun.  Younger classes partner up with older classes and do some sort of craft for about a half an hour.  Last year my students created animals with hearts.  They were super cute.  I am not exactly sure what we are going to do this time around.  During the second half of our block we will head down to the gym for a little Just Dance! action.  The kids had a blast with this last year and I expect this year's group will love dancing with their classmates to some current favourite songs. 

I have planning in the afternoon and then one last chunk of time to fill.  This time will be pretty low key. I will hand out my own Valentines and a treats then. This year my students will all be getting these Crazy Straw valentines {you can find them HERE}.  I am sure they will be a hit. As for the treat ~ I am sure there will be lots to hand out. 
http://bit.ly/16AXGXJ



However you celebrate Valentine's Day in your classroom, I hope it is a happy one!

Be sure to check all of the Bloggers below to find lots of inspiration for your Valentine's Day!