Saturday, December 27, 2014

Christmas Rewind!

First off, I hope you all had a *wonderful* Christmas! We definitely got spoiled this year and enjoyed lots of delicious meals and family company. But now I finally have some time to share a few of the festivities that went on in our classroom the few crazy days before Christmas break. Here we go!

We are still focusing on descriptive writing, and those of you who have been reading along for a while now will probably remember the descriptive writing guessing game that my firsties participated in last year. Well, it was such a hit that I brought it back for another round!
First we "decorated" a simple Christmas tree template, making sure to add lots of unique details. Then we put our descriptive writing skills to the test and wrote a detailed description of our trees.
Then for the fun part! I hung up all of their trees and read each description one by one. After each description, the kiddies had to guess which tree matched the description. 
I still love this activity because it really helps drive home how important it is to be specific with their descriptions, but also to help them understand what types of details are important to include. They did an awesome job; most descriptions and trees were matched on the first guess!
You can download the tree template and writing paper by clicking HERE or either picture below:

This year I edited the template to include dotted printing lines so if you'd prefer the version below, click HERE.

My kids love centres so we also spent lots of time the last few days working through some fun and engaging (and purposeful) centres. 
What originally began as me creating a few purposeful but festive centre activities to use the last week of school, quickly turned into an entire Print-and-Go worksheet pack for Christmas and winter (with 10 math and 10 literacy activities) basically 5 minutes of work turned into a few hours haha Story of my life! But I'm so excited with the result:
(Click HERE in order to view each worksheet up close by using your zoom)
We used just about every activity from this pack throughout the week (so they have all been kid-tested and enjoyed!) and I was so excited to see how engaged my firsties were. Seriously, this amount of focus the last week of school before Christmas break completely shocked me:
My firsties ROCK!!! P.S. how stinkin' cute are they in their PJs? Yes, this is the LAST DAY and they're all working their little booties off. Thank you, Santa!
Anyways, I usually put out 2 math and 2 literacy activities each time and always had a few just-for-fun "fast finisher" activities that the kids could grab and bring back to their centre to work through until it was time to visit another centre.
I just printed off a bunch of these colour-by-number pages that I found through Pinterest HERE
There's also a TON of cute (and free!) printable activities over at Activity Village that I've used for the same purpose. 

If you'd like to check out the Print and GO! No Prep Math & Literacy Worksheet Pack for Christmas and Winter in more detail, click HERE :)

And that about wraps up our whirlwind of a week! I am still in shock that Christmas has already come and gone...slow down, time! 

I hope you all have a fantastic New Years :)

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

FREE Telling Time Math Centres

Today we wrapped up our time unit with some fun math centres. All of the centres will be available to you as freebie downloads! Merry Christmas!

At the first centre, the kiddies got to practice drawing the hands on an analogue clock by picking a time card and using a whiteboard marker to show the correct time:
(Click HERE to grab this centre! FYI: I printed 5 of the clock faces and backed them on construction paper for durability before laminating)

The second centre was a matching game where my firsties worked together to choose an analogue clock card, read the time, and find the matching written and digital time card:
(Click HERE to download this centre)

Next up, the students practiced writing digital times by choosing a card, reading the time on the analogue clock, and writing the correct digital time below with a dry erase marker:
(Click HERE to download this centre)

Last but not least, this last centre combined math and art! This bunch of firsties loves to draw and colour so I simply had plain white paper, markers, and round plastic buckets (to use for tracing) available at the centre and the kids got to draw their own creative clock creatures. Of course I was all about the correct hand and number placement and they were all about their adorable creations:
In the end I had some cat clocks, bunny clocks, bear clocks, flower clocks, monster clocks, and more! 

Overall the Time Centres were a total hit. We spent about 10 minutes at each centre and my little ones were engaged right from beginning to end. Success!

Tomorrow, I plan on reading this book:
It's the perfect book for ending our math unit since the ladybug goes through his day by time to the hour and half hour. As I read, the kids will show me each time on their mini clocks for extra practice. We use these:
(We have a class set from Scholar's Choice)

After our book, we will do one quick final assessment worksheet:
(Grab this free worksheet HERE!)

...And that will be that for time! Next up, addition and subtraction Christmas Concert practice! Just when I think things could not get any busier... :)

Enjoy the rest of your week!!

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Santa Clocks, a Letter to St. Nick, & My Favourite Christmas Stories

Happy December! Can you believe it?! I barely remember November even happening it seemed to fly by so quickly. But I'm definitely not complaining because this is my favourite time of year! We certainly wasted no time getting into the holiday spirit with fun activities this week...and to celebrate, I have some festive freebies to share with you...

First up, Santa Clocks
We are beginning to wrap up our Telling Time unit in math and my firsties can now tell time to the hour and half hour. To introduce a little holiday cheer to our unit, we used my FREE template to create these adorable Santa Clocks (get it? Santa Clocks instead of Santa Claus? HA!).
I always love how unique their craftivities turn out. Each one is so different. 
The freebie below includes 3 different clock face options to help suit the needs of your students. 
Click the pic to download your copy!

Our literacy centre work this week featured activities from my editable Holiday Hoopla sight word pack. At our writing centre, the kiddies got to write a letter to Santa (which I will actually mail to Santa and we will receive our response in the near future...I can't wait!!). Again, this freebie includes 3 options to allow for super simple differentiation for your kiddies:
Click HERE or the pic to download!

Last but not least, if you follow me on Instagram you already know that I planned to share some of my favourite children's Christmas books with you all! So without further adieu, here's what tops my list every holiday season:
(I can no longer find the above pictured "All Aboard Books" version online, but I'm assuming the one linked is the same story)
(I loved this version growing up but just about any version of this classic is great!)

...And I don't often share personal pictures on here but I just can't resist sharing our first glimpse of our little peanut with you! 
Ultrasounds are just way too I can boastfully say that there is quite the cutie cooking in my tummy ;) Happy First Weekend of December!

Friday, November 28, 2014

WATCH Us Tell Time!

It's that TIME of year again!! No, I don't mean firsties are learning to tell time! 

We started off by reading some books and poems about time. One of the poems we read was an oldie but a goodie, Hickory Dickory Dock, and the kiddies got their own copy of this classic to decorate and practice filling in the missing numbers on the clock:
I can't find the original of this file. I did not create this; I tweaked it by changing the roman numerals that were once on the clock to simple numerals. You can grab my edited version HERE.

 Next we learned our way around an analogue clock:
The kiddies helped me fill in the above anchor chart as an introduction activity.

It sure didn't take my firsties long to pick up time to the hour. We use the saying "the short hand has the POWER, it tells the HOUR" to help us remember which hand does the talking first. Next, we practiced our new skill by doing some very simple SMARTboard activities:

You can download this SMARTboard FREEBIE file HERE!

Then we got to build our own simple clocks (FREE download below!):

I included the template we used to create the above activity along with additional options in this little 3-page FREEBIE below:
Click HERE to download your free copy! 
FYI: The first page is what we used to mount on construction paper. The second page gives you the option to build your clock directly on the white paper (without having to cut out the clock). And the third page gives you the option of cutting and pasting the numbers onto your clock rather than hand writing them. Yay for fine motor!).

After all the fun, it was TIME to get down to business! We practiced time to the hour by working through the first few pages of our time booklets:
Here's a closer look at what's included in our time booklets:
Click HERE to grab this pack.

Next week we'll start learning about time to the half hour. It's already so awesome watching them keep their eyes on the clock throughout our day and get SO pumped when they are able to tell the time each hour.

Have a fabulous weekend (and a very Happy Thanksgiving to my American readers!!)
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