Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Doing Good Feels Good

I have a strong passion for doing good things for others. It's somewhat selfish of me, because it makes me feel good to help others! I also think it's important to teach my students that part of being a good citizen, which is part of our first grade curriculum, is also doing good things for others.

To help teach my students about compassion, caring, generosity, humility, and other good citizenship characteristics, we do many charitable events every year. The ideas range from donating using pencils for recycling, to holding a lemonade stand to find a cure for cancer. (See our lemonade war wiki for all the info on the lemonade stand!)

I have created a page on my class wiki where I include information on what we do, and other ideas for student involved community service projects. Click HERE to visit the page.

I'd love to know what your school does for community service projects, or other good citizenship or compassionate activities.  Please leave a community to share your ideas!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat on a 130 Chart

Our school is honoring Dr. Seuss' birthday by having a Seussical Day. We're going to encourage the kids to dress silly like a character from Dr. Seuss' books. We're also going to do silly things, or things related to Dr. Seuss and his books during the week leading up to his birthday.
I made clues that will guide a student to color in numbers on a 130 chart. Click HERE to view it in Google Docs and download or print.

I'm also going to encourage my students to use alliteration during Daily 5, and write W stories. Click HERE to view the W story paper on Google Docs as well.

This is a very well done rap to the words from The Cat in the Hat.

Follow my Dr. Seuss Pinterest board for ideas for Dr. Seuss integration.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Educreations in Action

My first graders used the free app educreations to show their thinking and explain how they solved a math story problem. We had a Skype conversation with a second grade class at our school. The second graders challenged us with 4 stations: a skip counting repeatedly game, a clock race game, and multi-step story problems.

Here is my student Mikayla's accurate explanation of the first step of the story problem:

Mason used a part-part-whole mat to help him solve the same story problem.

Grace had the correct answer and process, but she made a couple of mistakes in her work and explanation. ;)

I was impressed and proud of their thinking! These were solved without my help, aside from slight technological assistance if needed. ;)

I HIGHLY recommend educreations! It's worth a lot, but it's FREE! ;)

Classroom Freebies Too: The Vowel Game

Classroom Freebies Too: The Vowel Game: Here is a fun game to play for giving children practice in identifying the vowel in a CVC word.  Here's how I play it...

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Happy Birthday Glogster!

Glogster's celebrating and you can benefit!

Glogster EDU is three years old, they've hit the one million teacher mark, and have over 10 million students students registered. And they're celebrating in a big way till the end of the month. The celebration promotion applies to both new and existing licenses. Teachers can add time onto a current license at a great price, and for multiple years!

Glogster EDU

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Measuring and Ordering by Weight - FREE station printable

FREE measurement station printable. Use a balance scale, common school supplies, and connecting cubes to measure how many cubes it takes to balance the scale. Then, students should put the objects in order from heaviest to lightest and record.

Click on the image above or click here to view it on my TPT store and download for free!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Professional Development via YouTube

While the kids were sleeping in and watching T.V. in their pajamas, our staff was at school on this President's Day. Call me lame, but I love these P.D. days. We, the teachers, principals, specialists, etc., get to come together as a staff and a family of people who understand each other! We get to share and learn new ideas. It's uplifting and rejuvenating. I also enjoy the time to get some work done without the stress of being prepared to teach. ;)
Today, there were 3 different presentations, and all were beneficial, and all presenters used the aid of YouTube to convey their message.
This video was used to add humor to teach us that we have to make our kids problem solvers. We cannot give them the facts, because the facts are free: knowledge is all around us. We have to challenge them to think. That's our current job as teachers in an ever-changing career.

Along the same lines is the following video of a young man who dropped out of school, because he says his "schooling was interring with his education."

I have saved the best for last. This video was very powerful, and you could hear the sounds of crying throughout the room as our staff watched. Get your kleenex ready, and be prepared to be grateful for your very worst day, because many people's best days are harder than our worst days. A powerful story about a very compassionate teacher.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Lemonade War Returns!

We're at it again! My school has registered for The Great Lemonade War challenge again!

This year we're hosting it at school for one week and one week only: March 4-8. However, donations can be collected starting now, and continue until the end of April.

Join the team, track our progress, and share our fundraising page for online donations: http://www.alexslemonade.org/mypage/92131

Like the facebook page for info. and updates: http://www.facebook.com/LemonsWithLove

View the wiki for videos and info about the foundation, the lemonade stand books, and much more: http://thelemonadewar.wikispaces.com/home

Last year was a HUGE success because of everyone's support and contribution. Here's to another family effort!!!

Our inspiration...

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

iPad Publishing

My first graders recently went on a virtual field trip the Arctic to learn about polar bears. They also learned about researching to find answers to questions, non-fiction text features, and how to take notes as you learn new things. To publish our learning, we used the app Book Creator on the iPads.

The kids were so proud of their work! This app allows them to type text, record their voice, and include images. We'll be show-casing their ebooks at Open House!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Valentine's Day Friendly Letter FREEBIE

One of my teammates, Michelle, has started her own Teacher's Pay Teacher's store and she's kicking off the fun with an adorable freebie just in time for Valentine's Day! We've been working on writing friendly letters in first grade. Enjoy this FREE download with letter writing templates.

Follow her store to keep up with her new creations. She's working on adding quality bilingual word work packets!

Hubbard's Cupboard - Free Sight Word Readers!

I have some students who are still working on sight word readers. My son, who just turned 5 in January, is also working on sight word readers with repetitive texts. To meet the needs of those children, THIS site is amazing! You can choose to print texts by topic or theme, such as winter texts, or you can choose to print texts by sight word. There are also printable worksheets for stamping and writing the relevant sight words! Hello Daily 5 word work!

This site also has resources for other subjects. Overall, a great, FREE resource to bookmark and use!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Valentine Spelling FREEBIE

Happy Valentine's Day a little early. I want my first graders to spend a lot of time at Daily 5's "Working With Words" manipulating letters and sounds. I love building with words, or making words as a tool for students to practice segmenting, blending, and spelling. I created this printable Valentine spelling paper for independent practice. I plan to put out magnetic letters to allow for concrete manipulation.

Click HERE to download for FREE!

Miss L's Whole Brain Teaching: Whole Brain Teaching Wednesday: Class Dojo Tutoria...

Miss L's Whole Brain Teaching: Whole Brain Teaching Wednesday: Class Dojo Tutoria...:      Have you been seeing posts around blog-land about the classroom management website, Class Dojo ?

WOW!  Another comprehensive post!  She has really explained how to use Class Dojo!  Check it out!

technology rocks. seriously.: TONS of Valentine's Day Fun!

technology rocks. seriously.: TONS of Valentine's Day Fun!: Want some super fun Valentine's Day games,  stories, apps, and videos for your students? Well here you go!

WOW!  Comprehensive list of Valentine's day activities!  Online and printables.  Why would I try to create my own list when she's done such a great job! ;)

ABCMouse.com - Great site! Free apps!

ABCmouse.com is a great instructional website for toddlers, pre-k students, and even kindergarteners or first graders. It starts with letter and number recognition, shapes, basic counting, etc. and builds up to reading with sight words. There are fun games, a reward system, an interactive classroom, and a store for the kids to buy prizes with their tickets. It's very attractive and friendly. It's FREE for teachers!

ABCmouse also has free apps for the ipad or iphone! Check out this article about the free apps, including links for each of them, via Smart Apps for Kids. You HAVE to sign up for this site's daily emails. They will let you know when some apps are free for only a limited amount of time, and they'll keep you informed on great educational apps.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

U.S. Symbols: Wikis, and Glogs, and QR codes, oh my!

Last year, my class had a blast using QR codes to research U.S. Symbols. After about a week of research and taking notes, we then published our learning in power points and ebooks.

Here's the link to the QR codes for research. Help yourself! (They're $1.99 on my TPT store, but for my blog viewers... FREE!)

I also have a lot of other resources listed on my wiki: http://colwell2011-12.wikispaces.com/U.S.+Symbols

Included on my wiki is a Glog about U.S. Symbols:

Here's a link to the power point template we used with the kids for publishing: Click HERE to view it on my TPT store.
I then uploaded their presentations to SlideShare.net and then grabbed the embed code to compile them in our class wiki.

We also published using our ipads with apps like Book Creator, and My Story.
For more ebook publishing ideas view my previous post about CREATE APPS.

Like the Glog??? Join Glogster by clicking on the image below! Glogster EDU

To learn how to make your own spreadsheet with QR codes, visit Tammy Worcester's website.

Click here to visit my TPT store to get a power point to use when teaching about U.S. Symbols.