Monday, October 29, 2012

Crafting & Frankenstorm


          I was planning to have a GREAT post on the pumpkin seed activities we did this week. Unfortunately, I left school on Friday without scanning in the FREEBIE, and without taking pictures of what we did in our science journals. I had planned to go into school today, we had a grading day today that was an optional work from home day, but with Hurricane Sandy all schools were closed.

          Since I don’t have any school news to share I thought I would share what I worked on today… even though it’s not school related! I bought four square mirrors from Ikea in August and I FINALLY finished painting them today:

          Sorry for the crappy lighting. They are painted beige and persimmon to match our bedding. I can’t wait to hang them up tomorrow (since school is closed because of Sandy). 

        Next I plan to make a stencil in Word using a picture I took of a lamp shade we have in the family room:

          Then I am going to stencil the design onto two 8x16 canvases, paint them yellow, and then I’m going to hang them in our dining room on either side of our large mirror.

          I also started our Christmas cards today:

To all my readers on the East Coast- STAY SAFE!!!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Pumpkin Day & Pumpkin Seed Math

Pumpkin Day & Pumpkin Seed Math 

        I was hoping to post this Thursday, but I had cleaning and packing to do before our weekend trip to Richmond.

Here we are at King’s Dominion J

        So here are the highlights of our week in first grade:
  • We had two Redskins players come to school on Tuesday as part of an assembly. Check it out: Redskins at Hollywood

  • We made scarecrows on Wednesday. I found this GREAT FREEBIE on TpT: Scarecrow Writing Craftivity It was super easy for the kids to complete (I walked them step by step through the cut and paste portion). I also liked that the writing went along with our fall theme from the week before, which made the writing portion easy as pie!

I think this one is a vampire scarecrow ;)

    Thursday was Pumpkin Day in our class! 

    We began the morning by reading a portion of From Seed to Plant by Gail Gibbons, we then connected this to the life cycle of a pumpkin. I found a cute activity (I can't remember where at the moment) that we did (and I also forgot to take pictures of these). Then we did some ‘Pumpkin Investigations’ (I was inspired to make this chart after seeing this one on Pinterest),

Here it is complete (well almost), we ran out of time to vote on how we should carve the pumpkin!

     we made pumpkin predictions, and then we finally cut open our pumpkin! The kids each got a handful of seeds and guts to separate and then count: 

      I made a little pumpkin seed math activity Wednesday night (on the fly). The students had to count and record the number of pumpkin seeds they had, and then as a team they had to count how many seeds they had altogether (I don’t know how accurate the total is, but at least they tried and worked together!) 

Counting the seeds ‘together’

     In the afternoon we had an AWESOME parent come in and complete a pumpkin art activity. Check them out:

     Here is a link to the directions. The kids had fun making their own pumpkins, and the project was easy for them to complete. 

While they were in music I carved our pumpkin:

I think he turned out pretty cute! 

Hope you have a GREAT week! 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Seasons, Fall Fun, & 2 FREEBIEs

Seasons, Fall FUn, & 2 FREEBIEs

        This week we started out by discussing the four seasons, and identifying that it is currently fall. On Monday we brainstormed traits of each season and then read a story in our anthologies about the four seasons. Students then illustrated pictures of something they might do in each season. I put together an activity page for this, but then decided to just have them use a four square for their drawings. Click here to get a copy of the sheet I made about the four seasons. Check out our work:

Four Seasons Anchor Chart

My 4 Square Pictures of the 4 Seasons (from my 1st year)

          On Tuesday we read Fall (Four Seasons Series) by Nuria Roca. Prior to reading we discussed how we know it is fall, then after reading we were able to identify many more reasons and add them to our fall anchor chart:

              Then they illustrated three pictures to show three different ways we know it is fall. Click here for another FREEBIE!

        On Wednesday we answered the question: ‘How do you know it is fall?’ in writing (a rough draft). Then, we made our fall trees. I have done this art project each year with my firsties and I still LOVE it! I have a tree outline that I give each student; we label it a ‘Fall’ Tree, color the tree and ground, and then we glue on orange, yellow, brown, and red tissue paper squares for fall leaves.

        On Thursday we wrote our final drafts (in our BEST first grade handwriting of course!). Then Rachel and I mounted their writing onto red or orange construction paper and hung our new hallway display:

        In math this week we identified strategies to use when adding three numbers. We used stickers to help us:

      We did three equations together and then they did three independently. 

Oh and I almost forgot, I started a Facebook page for Life in First :)

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Town Maps, Pumpkin Glyph, and the Farm

Town Maps, Pumpkin Glyph, and the Farm

We had a VERY busy and hectic schedule this week! We had the OLSAT Monday – Wednesday and a field trip to the farm on Thursday. It was a bit difficult to accomplish as much as we would normally, but I think we did pretty good!
          Monday we started a town map project (as mentioned in my previous post. We were able to finish our maps yesterday… which made me SUPER happy! This was a new activity for me- I thought of it as I was looking at clip art sets from Lettering Delights. I saw a cute set called All around town that had a variety of buildings, and then I immediately thought to have each student make a town map. On Monday they glued black paper strips onto a large piece of card stock as roads, then they began cutting out the buildings and gluing them onto their ‘map’. We weren't able to work on them again until Friday. Luckily, my students understood that I really wanted them to finish their maps yesterday (I only said it like 10 times). They had to color the buildings on their maps and on their map keys (similarly), add details like lines on the roads and trees and grass. Once students had finished their maps, we did some writing about our towns together. Students had to name their towns and identify which direction certain buildings were from each other on their maps. Finally, they glued their map keys onto their writing and drew a compass rose on their maps (with all 8 directions). Here are some of their maps: 

Here is an up close shot of the writing:

Click here for a FREE copy of the writing page

          On Wednesday my intern, Rachel, did a pumpkin glyph activity with the kids. They turned out SUPER CUTE!! Check out our pumpkin patch: 

Here are the directions:

I adapted this from Glyphs! Grades 1-3: Data Communication for Mathematics by Susan R. O’Connell

          On Thursday we went to Green Meadows Farm! This has been a first grade tradition longer than I have been at my school, so I wasn’t about to let this tradition die when my teaching partner retired. All three first grade classes went, and it seemed like all of the firsties (and grown-ups) had a BLAST! We were able to see a variety of farm animals: cows, sheep, goats, a steer, llamas, emus, chickens, turkeys, geese, ducks, pigs, bunnies, a horse, a mule, donkeys, and lots of baby animals. The students were able to milk a cow, feed the sheep and goats, hold a chicken, and pet almost ALL of the animals (even the steer). We also went on a hayride, saw a piggy race, and picked a pumpkin! Here are some pictures: 

She was soooo soft!

This steer is 15 years old and weighs 4,500 pounds!

The expectant mama pig

The proud papa pig

Mama #2 and her piglets

Baby goat

Feed me!
Ducklings and chicks

Milking Lola the cow

This guy was HUGE… he weighs 2,000 lbs

The piggy race!!

Next week we will be learning about Fall- answering the question: How do you know it is fall?