Monday, November 18, 2013

Snow Day Activities & Holiday Hoopla

If you follow me on Instagram (@funwithfirsties) you may have seen this picture yesterday:
Yes...That is what happened over the course of ONE day. Needless to say, today was a "snow day" since busses were cancelled...I had 5 little firsties show up today. Lucky for them because we had loads of fun! 

Now normally, being an incredibly anal obsessive compulsive control freak slightly organized individual, I am hesitant to whip out paint and other "messy" art supplies in a room full of 21 squirrely 5 and 6-year-olds, and yet with only 5 little humans in my classroom today I was having dreams of twinkling glitterized craft possibilities...then this quickly popped into my head:
Soooooooo we stuck to paint. 

If you have never tried this art activity yourself, you've probably seen it before. It's one of my favs because there are so many possibilities and the finished products look so professional!!
All you do is tape off whatever design you want on a piece of art paper using painters tape (I used masking tape because I didn't have painters tape at the time...the only difference is that painters tape is much easier to peel off later on). You can tape off random lines like I did here, or you can make a specific picture, or even spell your name! Then, all you do is "fill in the blanks" by painting all of the empty spaces:
Wait for the paint to dry and then gently peel off the tape to reveal your masterpiece!
LOVE them!!!

Next, we read a bunch of my beloved pigeon books:
(click HERE if you're interested in knowing what those Sight Word Sentences are all about!)

Then we made our own pigeon storybooks! I originally posted the details about this activity HERE.
It was cute to read their storybooks. I had "Don't Let the Pigeon Eat a Cupcake," "Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Four Wheeler," and other cute creations.

Last but not least, for all of my Instagram buddies who helped me out with my anchor chart debacle (yes, it WAS a debacle!), I finally constructed a solution!!!

You can read about the original issue by clicking the pic below:

With full intensions of dressing in black and busting into the school at midnight with hooks and a power drill, one of my brilliant coworkers suggested I try Command hooks. DUH!!!! Those things are seriously a teacher's best friend.

So off to Walmart I went and constructed this:

It's not exactly attractive but it works and I like it!

I stuck two Command hooks on the metal frame of my bulletin board and hung a $3.00 rod between the two:
Then I put my charts on binder rings and slid them on the rod.
Problem. Freaking. SOLVED. Woohoo!!! 

With the new addition of all this snow, it's official that I'm feeling some serious holiday spirit; Our Christmas tree is up, and the house is decorated from top to bottom, inside and out!
So it's perfect timing that I launched my first holiday unit on TpT! 
*UPDATED 2016: There are two covers above as the product has since been updated*

I seriously cannot WAIT to bust out these activities with my firsties. 
They're all *completely* editable; meaning, if you're in pre-K or even Grade 2 you can customize this pack by adding ANY words you'd like. Check it out:
(If you're interested, hop on over to TpT to check it out!)

Now I'm off to pray that tomorrow is a snow day, too ;)

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Math Tubs!

Hi everyone! I *finally* found the time to write a quick post! These ecards always seem to sum up my life perfectly:

Anyways, since I began this blog I have yet to write about how I run my math let's get started!
I use a system similar to my literacy centres.
(click the pic below to link to my original post and download your FREE editable SmartBoard file!)

How it all works:
I use math tubs primarily as extra practice. It works particularly well for fast finishers and differentiation; after our daily math lesson (including whole group, small group, and independent work periods), I put up the SmartBoard file and students move to their assigned math tub activity as they finish their day's work. That way, whether students work fast, slow, need extra 1:1 assistance, etc., everyone is learning and DOING math for our entire math block. There is no.wasted.time. 

I run my math tubs so that there are never more than 3 students in one group (ideally, I like to have 2 students per group). I just find this minimizes "social" time and maximizes on-task learning time. Click the pic below to download a FREE editable copy of my math tubs SmartBoard file. 
To keep things interesting, I change the background every once in a while to match the season/holiday. (If you are unsure how to change the background once you've downloaded it, just Google it!)

As I mentioned above, the activities in the tubs are extra practice. There is no skill put into a math tub that students have not yet learned or had the chance to practice. Throughout the school year, as we move through the units and learn more concepts, the variety of activities in the math tubs widens. For example, we started with patterning at the beginning of the school year, so the majority of our math tubs were patterning activities with some basic number sense activities as review from kindergarden (you will see these activities in more detail below). Right now, I have one math tub that will always be a patterning math tub (not always the same activity, but always the same concept), I have a couple number sense tubs from the unit we just finished, and I have just added a time tub since we are currently learning about telling time. 

My 8 math tub bins are from a local dollar store:
(click HERE to download my FREE number labels!)

Here's a closer look at the hands-on activities in each of the math tubs...
(these activities were from the beginning of the school year)

2. Mini Number Formation Mats with assorted beans, peas, and corn (FREE!)

(students reach into a bag, pull out any 4 cards, read the cards, and put them in correct number order on the mat)

6. Number Sort & Match
(students find all the number word cards, numeral cards, and dot cards that represent the same number, and use the manipulatives to count and show that number)

(students match each numeral tree with the correct tally card, number representation picture card, and 10-frame representation)

How do you run your math tubs/centres/stations?!

Friday, November 01, 2013

The Day After Halloween...

Seriously. The day after Halloween should be a PD day. 
But, on the other hand...the wine is uncorked and all is well again in the world :)

ANYWAYS! Despite the insanity, the kiddies had an exciting week. Here's a peek at some of our festive activities:

All week we hunted for sight words in our Halloween poem:

Throughout the week, we did a mini pumpkin investigation:

After estimating how many seeds might be in our pumpkin, we split into groups and counting seeds by 10s:
We brainstormed, predicted, estimated, counted, and, in order to complete the last box ("How should we carve it?"), I had to carve that darn pumpkin.

I am, without a doubt, the world's *worst* pumpkin carver. I paint pumpkins, decorate pumpkins...but when it comes to carving, this is what happens:
The picture even makes it look better than it is. I couldn't have spent more than 3 minutes on it before the kids explicitly questioned why I was "sweating and turning red." Not my cup of tea. 

Anyways, after I finished carving that beast, we filled out the rest of our anchor chart:
and completed our own miniature copies of the investigation:
I LOVED Cara's little scrapbook paper pumpkins and just had to recreate them with my kiddies. How cute is this?!
Grab your FREE copy of the worksheet by clicking the pic below!
During math, we reviewed comparing numbers to 5 and 10 with candy corn:
Click the pic below if you'd like a FREE copy!

Last but not least, I sent my sugar bugs home with ghost poop!
Click HERE to download a FREE editable copy of the gift tags!

...In case I fooled you, it's not really poop from a ghost, it's just marshmallows ;)

And that about wraps up our crazy week. I am going to slowly drift into a candy coma...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...