Sunday, March 25, 2012

“When I Was Sick” Creative Writing and Centers

There are no words that I could use to describe how happy I am to be on Spring Break! I woke up at 8:00 this morning on my own, so I feel that I am finally catching up on my sleep a little bit. Usually on the weekends, I sleep ‘til 11:00 at least because my body goes into a mini-coma. I’m just so exhausted all of the time, so waking up feeling great just has me so happy right now!
Today I plan on being absolutely positively LAZY! But before I continue to enjoy this great lazy day, I thought I would post some pictures of a few things we have been doing the past few weeks. (I know, I should keep up with it a little more, but there are just NOT enough hours in the day!)
So for any of those who are wondering, here is my lesson plan book. I ordered it from Amazon and I like it. I don’t love it. The boxes are too small. I do like that I can see my entire week at a glance, but I also don’t like that everything was in blue ink. The seller didn’t post a picture of the inside of the book when I bought it, otherwise I would’ve thought twice about it.

The outside is very cute though :)

Besides teaching full time, lesson planning full time, writing a 62 page paper, doing any extra “fun stuff” for the kids, I am also supposed to be journaling EVERY DAY. This is proving to be difficult. But at least it’s cute too!
On Thursdays, we always do centers from 2:00 to 2:50. I love center time, because it allows me to include some activities that we don’t always have time for during our regular day! I found all of these activities for free on my favorite blogs. Usually when I see something I think I could use, I print it off and put them in sheet protectors in on of these binders:

Then when I am planning centers, I go through my binders and pull things that relate to what we are working on at the time, something that will practice a skill, and that looks fun!

Not a great picture, but below is a center that works on words that end in –s and –es. Each flash card has a word on it. Then the students record the word on the chart {handout shown in the picture} and add the appropriate ending.
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Click {here} for the Plural Word Sort!
I also found this adorable activity called Blast Off! The kids think it’s a game, but it is a great way to practice sight words. I write and copy sight words across the top of the paper. Then, students roll dice. They write the word that corresponds to the number they rolled. It’s simple, and effective. I love it!
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I also found this great center activity from the Rowdy in First Grade blog!
Click {here} to download Magic “E” cards!
Next, I want to share with you this adorable creative writing activity! We did this a couple of weeks before St. Patty’s Day, but I just hadn’t found the opportunity to post it yet! The kids did such a great job with it!
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Lastly, here is an quick picture I took with my cell phone of the gifts my students gave me after recess. They are so sweet and innocent…. how could you not love them?

Everyone have a great Sunday!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Lucky, Lucky Leprechaun!

In Room 104, we had a blast with St. Patrick’s Day themed activities! Never before have I gotten sooo in to this lucky holiday. Smile
My kiddos were buying into it so much, that I couldn’t help but feed into their excitement. I began to pretend that there was a little leprechaun that visited our room when we were gone. Sometimes I would “look” for him around the room when the students were getting answers right, pretending that the leprechaun was giving them the answers. Every day, they would say “Look for the leprechaun, Miss Jackson!!” and off I would go peeking behind desks and shelves. They had so much fun with it, but sometimes I’m glad there aren’t any other adults in the room to witness how goofy I get! :/
All of the bloggers I follow must have also had the lucky bug, because they were posting and sharing lots of neat freebies!
I decided to incorporate some Irish luck into my centers:
This “Lucky Leprechaun Order” (ABC Order) was so fun for the kids, and it also incorporated a writing portion, which I am always looking for! Each student cut the words out and then glued them down in ABC order. I was being a {little} cheap and didn’t print them off in color, but now I wish I would’ve! They were so cute, and FREE!
Another center I did was a math center called “Tricky Leprechaun- True or False” {also a freebie}
So, given another chance to feed into the St. Patty’s Day excitement, I told them that I ran into a leprechaun and that he gave me these math problems. {Oh, yes I really had them at, “I ran into a leprechaun yesterday…”} I reminded them that leprechauns were very tricky and that not all of these answers were right.
Students were given math problems such as 13 = 13 – 0. Then, they had to decide if it was true or false and write it on a very cute educational worksheet. This concept is VERY NEW to my firsties, so I also supplied some manipulates at the center. The blogger who supplied this freebie used gold coins as the manipulatives, but unfortunately I was fresh out of gold coins that day and wasn’t able to find any at Wal-Mart. The leprechauns must have cleaned the place out… Smile
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We also had some fun, and tasted the rainbow! I found this really neat Skittle Graphing activity for FREE from Erica Bohrer’s First Grade blog. My firsties did such a great job with it, and needed almost no help, which I wasn’t expecting! After sorting the Skittles on the sorting mat, they graphed them on the chart using crayons and markers. On the back of the graph were questions for them to answer. And of course, I let them eat them afterwards!
Click {here} for the freebie!
I laminated the sorting mats so that I could use them again next year in my own classroom.
At my school, we also have a classroom set of iPads, so my 4th center is always an iPad center where they can take AR reading tests.
I read Clever Tom and the Leprechaun by Linda Shute…

…and then we wrote about how to catch a leprechaun! {Found this freebie on Pinterest}
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We wrote “Wanted” posters for the leprechauns we created…
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We colored little dancing leprechauns…
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We wrote about when we feel lucky… {a creation of my own.}
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And we created these adorable bulletin board decorations!
I got this adorable idea from my favorite blog The First Grade Parade!
I created their little green hats and cut them out prior to the craftivity.
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I love the little angry leprechaun above! That little girl is very creative :)
To top off our last day of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day {or “Leprechaun Day”, as the kids call it…} I made them these yummy treats! They loved it, and almost all of them wanted to save the treat for when they got home. They are so adorable.
Get the printable for FREE {here}
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Whew! Although St. Patrick’s Day was a ton of fun for the kiddos… I was super tired once it was over…
A little slap happy! {And a headband I found while shopping one day}
In addition to all of the craziness of school and completing my student teaching project {which turned out being 62 pages}, my best friend is also getting married! My friend Alyssa, her sister Shelby, and myself are all going to be bridesmaids for the wedding in May.
Her bridal shower was the Saturday before my project was due, but I was able to let loose and celebrate this exciting time for Kelsey!
With the bride-to-be Kelsey {left}… and me!
And our other best friend {we all went to high school together} who also happens to be student teaching right now as well!
Alyssa {left} and myself!
Now, off to enjoy my Spring Break! I am soooo looking forward to having a week off from everything!