Friday, March 29, 2013

Easter EGGstravaganza!

Hold on to your bonnet because this post is hoppin' with Easter fun! 

Our focus in shared reading this week was ABC order (we visited ABC order once before but some of my darlings struggled to catch on, so the short week was the perfect time to revisit this concept). We read a big book and, each day, the kids got to pick out any one word from each page we read to write on a sticky note. We had about 4 words each day that the kids put in ABC order. At the end of the week, we scrambled all the words we had picked out and rearranged them in ABC order:
(Their minds were blown with "bees" and "beetles" the time we figured out that we had to look all the way to the FOURTH letter to help us decide which word goes first, my room was full of "OOOOHHHH!!!!"s haha)

As a follow up to our whole group lesson, our Word Work centre allowed for extra independent practice of the morning's skill. The kids had to put a set of Easter vocabulary words in ABC order and then complete this worksheet:
(This activity is from my SPRING into Easter pack available on TpT)

During our writing block on Thursday, we read one of my favourite Easter books:
(Click the pic above to get your own copy of this adorable tale!)

It's about a darling little hen named Pauline who lays eggs that resemble whatever she happens to look at. Mrs. Pennywort, the farm's owner, discovers Pauline's unexplainable talent and senses an Easter goldmine! ...but when some of the beautiful eggs begin to hatch equally as colourful chicks, Mrs. Pennywort is not sure the "Easter lady" will be interested in the eggs anymore...
As a follow-up activity (credit due to my grade-partner-in-crime, Mrs. Montgomery!), the kids got to concentrate very hard, just like Pauline, and draw two eggs resembling something they spotted around our classroom:
 (Click the pic to download your FREE copy!)
Then they had to write about what inspired each of their designs:
"I zoomed in on my Strawberry (Shortcake) PJs. They have polkadots and strawberries on them. I found them on me!" was PJ day on Thursday :) "Then I zoomed in on a tiger. I drew tiger print. I think it's cool." I assure you I do not keep tigers in my first grade classroom...along with PJ day, the kiddies were also allowed to bring stuffed animals to school and someone brought in a stuffed tiger.

Keeping the Easter theme hopping along, the kids got to make their own version of Faberge Eggs at our Art Centre this week. As an avid scrapbooker, I have sheets upon sheets of scrapbook paper in my craft room at home. I sacrificed a few dozen sheets to slice up for this collage activity:

1) Cut out an egg template on cardstock and cover the egg with scrapbook paper squares:

2) Once the glue is dry, trim the overhanging squares to even out your design:

3) VOILA! Easy peasy lemon squeezy :)

This next math activity was perfect to finish off our measurement unit and begin our 2D and 3D geometry unit. I traced a couple tangrams on paper: one long, skinng triangle; 4 equal triangles; 4 squares decreasing in size; and 4 circles decreasing in size. 
I traced the shapes randomly on a piece of paper so the kiddies had to:
1) cut out the shapes (fine motor)
2) sort the shapes (geometry)
3) and order the shapes from largest to smallest (measurement)

 Later in the week, just for fun, we made some Easter bunnies that we could feed our geometry carrots to:
(I just free-hand drew a bunny head, body, feet, and ears on cardboard as my template for this craftivity)
I love how creative my kiddies get with the activities I give them...
They are always adding their own personal touches...
Or simply just staying out-of-the-box altogether!...
(It's a pirate bunny...duh!)

 As you can see, my main bulletin board is now overflowing with their brilliant Easter creations. So, we moved on to the windows!!!
 I got this darling sun catcher idea from my trusty Pinterest boards. It's super easy and fun. All I did was trace and cut egg shapes into paper plates, cut strips of tissue paper, and glued the tissue paper along the sides of the egg:
Once you flip it over, it looks like this:
Mine is super boring. But leave it to my firsties to go to town with the crayons! They all turned out so pretty...

Last but not least, what's Easter without CHOCOLATE?! I just googled "easter basket template" and printed off the template for these adorable baskets:
(Click the pic above to link to the template I used)

At the end of our PJ day on Thursday, we had a popcorn party and watched Hop:
(Click the pic if you would like to own Hop!)

I had never seen it before yesterday. It is actually SO cute and funny.
Have a Happy Hoppin' Easter!!!

Friday, March 22, 2013

'Tis The Luck O' The Irish!

TOP O' THE MORNIN' (aka afternoon) TO YA, LADDIES!!'s been a long week. 

Anyways, we kept the St. Patty's Day spirit going all week with a couple Irish activities...but first, my little leprechauns slapped on some bandaids and learned all about "OW!" sounds. With help once again from Babbling Abby (LOVE her), I differentiated the sounds by calling them either "cow" words or "mouse" words. We read a bunch of big books and searched for the sounds throughout, then, the kiddies became doctor detectives by looking for "hurt" words (that make the "OW!" sound). If they read an ow/ou word in a book, or even used an ow/ou word when they were speaking/writing, they got to sort and write the word on our anchor chart:
Monday                                 Friday
At word work, the kids completed a "write the room" activity where they found and sorted words (that I pre-posted around the classroom) as "ow" or "ou" words. Then they used one "ow" word and one "ou" word in a sentence:

Our writing centre activity for the week involved putting together mixed up (St. Patty's Day themed) sentences. We have done this activity in the past but, this time, we did it with a different purpose: we focused on the structure of a sentence (primarily a capital at the beginning and punctuation at the end) as our focus during writing period was "No Good, Rotten, Run-On Sentences."

Next up, our investigation station/oral language centre: The primary division at my school has been working on an EPCI project, focusing on the development of oral language skills in the primary grades. I made the following activity to compliment our project: I printed a number of the Dolch phrases on cardstock and grouped them by difficulty using shower curtain rings from Walmart. My lower kiddies could simply practice sight word recognition and build fluency by reading the phrases at their own pace, and I added the timer to challenge my higher-achieving kids (see if they could read one or all of the "fluency rings" before the timer runs out). Simple. They love it. I love it. All is well in the world.

In the spirit of sight words, I'll quickly share one more word work idea with you that we did a couple weeks ago but I never got around to posting: The kids loved this activity! They took crumpled pieces of paper out of a trash can, read the word on the paper, and determined whether that word was "trash" (a made up word) or "treasure" (a Dolch sight word). After sorting the papers into trash or treasure bins, the kiddies recorded each word:
(This activity is part of my Word Work pack in my little TpT shop)

At the art centre (formally the listening centre), my little leprechauns wrote about who was worth more to them than gold:
(I have had this activity for a long time now and I can't remember where I got it from...If it was you, let me know so I can give you credit!!)
Obviously I had to share this one since it confirms that I am, in fact, the best. Ha! I joke.
 It definitely melted my heart though :)

Last but not least, I spent my March Break making Easter and Spring-themed activities to use for the next couple of weeks. I compiled most of my hands-on activities into this packet of 8 math and literacy activities:
(If you'd like to enjoy these activities with your kiddies, you can grab your copy HERE!)

I introduced the patterning math centre to my kiddies this week (see bottom right) and they LOVED's one of my favs, too! I'm going to be using the rest of these activities throughout the next couple of weeks, so check back to see how I use this product in my own classroom.

As an aside, I have also had a couple emails asking me about how I run my math centres--so stay tuned for a post about that some time next week! 

For now, enjoy the beautiful, sunny weekend! :)

Friday, March 01, 2013

A Very Late Valentine

Happy Valentine's Day!!! 
...Okay, so I'm a tad late. But, as they say, better late than never! So here's a quick look into our little Valentine's Day fiesta:

Our theme for the morning was "love bugs," so first we whipped up these adorable little love bug bags for all of our valentines:
I filled my kiddies' bags with gum-balls and these homemade tags:
(To download your FREE editable copy of the tags click the pic above or HERE)

Then we made cute love bug headbands, complete with antennae, out of bristol board, construction paper, and pipe cleaners. My little love bugs looked so adorable and of course I forgot to take a picture of them :( BUT we did hold a photo shoot for another reason:
Haha I love all of these pictures, they turned out so awesome! I made the moustache out of cardboard, construction paper, and a popsicle stick. Each of my kiddos took turns rockin' a stache for Babbling Abby's adorable valentine's card:

Finally, after a long day stuffed with loads of pink and red fun, I went home and stuffed myself with loads of chocolate, candy, and kind words from my thoughtful love bugs...
...Oh boy, the diet starts tomorrow!
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