Monday, May 20, 2013

Compound Word I Have/Who Has Freebie

I'm popping in quick to post my I Have/Who Has compound word freebie. We are finishing up a unit on Laura Numeroff's  "If You Give" books, so this game is a great review. My kids LOVE I Have/Who Has games. 
You can get that freebie right here:

I'm in the process of getting ready for our annual "Poetry Party" that is held in my classroom. It is a writing celebration where parents are invited. Students share what they've learned about writing, with an emphasis on poetry. They then read two of their published poems. 

The kids have learned about written about many types of poems, and they had the opportunity to choose two poems they would like to get published in our class poetry anthology. I just finished typing them, and they will illustrate them tomorrow. 
If you've never read The Important Book by 
Margaret Wise Brown, you need to. Brown describes everyday objects in poetry form. This is a great book to practice descriptive writing. After reading this book, and learning about describing words, my students chose an object to write about. 

If you are interested in teaching poetry to your students, check out my Poetry Packet at TPT. Just click on the link.

What do you do to celebrate your students' writing?

If you would like some other freebie goodies, check out the Manic Monday link by Charity Preston at: 

Monday, May 13, 2013

I Have/Who Has Contraction Freebie for Manic Monday Freebie Linky

I hope all of the mothers out there had a great Mother's Day. We spent the day at Hershey Park, and aside from one crying, cranky toddler, it was a great day.

A few posts ago, I wrote about how I was planning our class t-shirt project. Each year, I request parents to send in white t-shirts for their children. We then decorate them. For years, we tie-dyed them. Last year, I tried something new...using a stencil and fabric paint to decorate them. After a little bit of trial and error, I think I have the method down. This year, they turned out so cute!!! I WAS planning to take some pictures, but then I forgot and sent them all home today. So, I have a picture of my son's that he made last year. 

You can see a little bit of the outside of the stencils, and he painted his name on it. But, you get the idea. 
This year, like I said, I perfected the process. Both the kids and I are very pleased with the outcome. 
If you want to make t-shirts like this, here are the directions:
You need:
-puffy fabric paint
-fabric paint (normal-not puffy)
-fabric paint spray (comes in bottles with a pump)
-summer stencils (I cut the stencils up so they were easier to use).
-small sponges
-old plastic plates (or paper plates)
-paper towels
-oaktag or old folders 
To make:
1.Place a folder (or oaktag) inside a t-shirt to prevent the paint from going through to the back.
2.The student chooses what stencil(s) to use (I may have influenced a few designs....).
3.We decide where to place the stencils.
4.We sponge paint over the stencils (I squirt the colors out on the old plates, then we use the sponges to paint).
5.The student chooses what color(s) to use to write his/her name (puffy paint).
*I've had my students write their names with puffy paint last year (NOT GOOD). I strongly recommend that you write them. 
6.The student chooses a color of paint spray. This paint is sprayed all over the front (you may choose to paint over the back too). The shirts are ready to go home the next day. 

Here's the Freebie:
We are starting a unit on Laura Numeroff's "If You Give..." books. There are contractions galore in those fun books, so I decided to make a version of "I Have, Who Has?" that focuses on contractions. We've learned about contractions throughout the year, and this game has a huge variety of them (27 to be exact). I only have 20 students, but I still use all 27 cards. I give some students more than one. An added bonus is that this game is circular, just like the "If You Give..." books. Click on the image below to grab this freebie (directions are included).
I hope your kids love it as much as mine do. They LOVE playing all versions of this game.

If you would like some other freebie goodies, check out the Manic Monday link by Charity Preston at:
Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Monday, May 6, 2013

It's Time for Manic Monday Freebies...

This past weekend just flew by! There were two highlights of this weekend. 
1. We had a neighborhood yard sale. My boys (ages 4 and 8) followed their pop pop (he was taking the baby for a walk), and they had $5 each to spend. I had to stay with our junk  stuff we were selling while my husband went to the chiropractor. A little while later, I saw my father-in-law (aka "Pop Pop"), but the other boys weren't with him. I asked him where they were, and he told me they were over on the other block. I trust my older son, but DO NOT trust the 4-year old (for very valid reasons). I took off in a slow jog (in very uncomfortable flats) in search of them, but couldn't find them. When I got back home, there they were playing with the $10 shark boat they just purchased. Yes, they spent all their money (but, they were safe). If I would have found them just moments sooner, I could have helped them bargain-my specialty!
2. My baby discovered how to make wall art this weekend, as he created a beautiful green mural on our entryway wall. Nice! Hello, Magic Eraser!

Now, on to the freebie...
This is May's Writing Prompt Menu that I use with my first graders. They helped me with this month's prompts. 

Each month, I introduce the new menu with my students, and we read each prompt. We do a few together before they are expected to use it independently. I make a few copies, laminate them and place them in the Writing Station. During Daily 5, when they choose to write, students are encouraged to use the prompt menu. When I first tried using these menus a few months ago, I was amazed at how many students used them. I was also floored by the amount of writing they did! A simple change to the Writing Station made a world of difference. If you want this writing prompt menu, just click on the image below. It's that simple! 

How do/would you use a prompt menu?

If you would like some other freebie goodies, check out the Manic Monday link by Charity Preston at:
Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Link Up With Other First Grade Blogs

What a great idea! I was checking out some blogs today, when I came across this linky from Caffeine and Lesson Plans. Click on the image below:
First Grade Blogger

I decided to link up to be able to see a ton of other first grade blogs and "meet" some new teachers. I'll be back tomorrow for the Manic Monday Freebie party. I have a new May writing prompt menu to share. 
Enjoy the sunshine (it's sunny here in central PA).

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Book Commercials and Farley's Currently

Book Commercials
Have you ever done them? Do you know what they are? I swear by them! 

Just like commercials on t.v., a book commercial is a short book advertisement, done by a teacher (or by a student). The purpose of a book commercial is to get students excited about a book by giving a quick synopsis and to give them a peek inside. These literally could take about 30 seconds. 

So, what would a book commercial include? How can you plan for one? 
First, gather a book (or a few). Last week, we brought our Fly Guy books out for a book commercial since interest in them has been dwindling. With my student on the carpet, I held up the first book and said the title, author and I discussed how this is part of a series of books. I did read this entire book to my class (but you don't have to read the whole thing to do a commercial). After reading, I held up each of the other Fly Guy books we have. I read the title, took a quick book walk with the students and read 2-3 pages. After the commercial, I then recommended the book to a student or two who I thought would enjoy them. They then go into (or back into) our class library. 

I know it seems like such a simple idea, but I truly believe that simple and effective is the best! The proof is in the picture...

I have a class of 21 students. Five of them couldn't check out books because they have books that are overdue. Of the 17 who could check out books, 7 chose a Fly Guy book, and 2 chose a Shel Silverstein book (they were recently advertised too). I did not encourage them to choose those books. I couldn't even if I wanted to....I was too busy "shushing" them (reminding them the library is NOT recess).

Every time we go to Library class, the students are after books that were advertised in a book commercial. Last week, I finally remembered to take a picture.

Do you do book commercials too? How do you do them? 

And, onto Farley's Currently for May:

I'm jealous of my husband because he knows how to relax, and I'm still working on it. 

We still have 26 more days till summer break, but it's getting closer. Time to start cleaning out the classroom/closet.

How can I make my children get along? They are at that magical age where they love each other one minute, then fight horribly the next. I want a nice, quiet weekend (I'll keep dreaming).

This weekend is our neighborhood yard sale. My kids have a TON of junk toys, and they don't want to part with any of it. Too bad, I'm cleaning house. 

Little did I know, ten years ago, that I'd dream of time to do things like garden and paint. But, after having 3 children, I long for that time. My garden looks like a weed experiment at the moment.

This summer, I want to drop the "work ball" as my former superintendent used to say. We are always trying to keep all of these balls balanced in the air (family, work, home, etc.). It will feel glorious to drop the big old work ball for a few weeks.