Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Door Decorations Using Cars

Thank you ________ for putting us on the road to success! 

Here's the same saying but a variation to the look from Southland Elementary Volunteers.

This is a picture of a door that was sent to me.  I'm sorry, but I can't remember the source, but this door could work for either Teacher Appreciation Week or for Dr. Seuss Week.  In large print it says "Oh, the Places You'll Go!"  On the pictures of the cars, the students wrote or drew places they would like to visit.  In the upper left corner of the door, the sign says:  "Congratulations!!  Today is your day.  You're off to great places.  You're off and away!"

Sunday, April 28, 2013

SUPER Teacher Water Bottle

Recently I was shopping at Old Navy when I spotted this water bottle near the check out.
As soon as I saw it, I knew what I could use it for.  With Teacher Appreciation Week approaching, I am always on the look out for ideas.  This year I have had the opportunity to be my son's first grade teacher.  It has been so fun to have this experience!  My older 2 children are at the middle school, where they have more than 10 teachers between them, so really I feel as though I have only one bigger teacher gift to buy this year.  Unless of course I want to buy myself something big!  Hmmm...not a bad idea!  :)
Anyway, my daughter's kindergarten teacher always has a water bottle with her so when I saw this water bottle with a Superman symbol I knew I had to grab it!

I attached a tag on it to read:  
You have been a SUPER teacher!  Thank you for all that you have taught me this year!

Monday, April 15, 2013

OWL Tell You Who's the Best Teacher

I know that owls are a popular theme these days.  If your child's teacher has an owl-themed classroom, this would be a perfect way to decorate their door to show appreciation!
Who is the best teacher?
OWL tell you...
Mr. _______________ .

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Come Rain or Shine, You're A Great Teacher Anytime!

This is a picture of my classroom door from last year.  I thought it was really cute, clever, and original.
 Since the words on the door are a little hard to read in the top picture, here are close ups of the clouds...

Monday, April 8, 2013

Thanks For All You DEW!

It's that time again...time to start thinking of ideas for teacher appreciation week.  Yup that's right...ONE MONTH from now!  It scares me to think of the school year ending that soon!  There's still so much to do, so much to fit in, and nobody who wants to listen to me.  Ok so maybe that's how my day went today, but I do know that it gets that way as the weather gets warmer.
So for the next month I am going to focus on sharing some door decorating ideas or possible gift ideas.  If you have something you would like to share that relates to this topic; pictures of doors, appreciation/gift ideas, or a link to your site, please feel free to leave a comment.
Check out this awesome 3-D door from my school last year.  (Thanks for all you DEW!)  From what I could tell, the Mountain Dew can was created using a poster board, bent to form an arch.  The arch was then taped onto another poster board to hold its' form and then painted.  The yellow "Mountain Dew" coming out of the top of the can was crinkled (yellow) tissue paper.  I can't remember how the straw was created.  Any guesses?  I'm sure you could roll up red poster board or some kind of plastic to form one though??  What do you think?

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Even Vs. Odd Numbers

Learning even and odd numbers, especially when the the number is larger than a single digit can be tricky for students to master.  First of all, if you don't have this book:
I would suggest getting it to add to your math reads.
Following your reading, have the class play this Even Steven and Odd Todd game as created by First Grade A La Carte.  The students pair up and decide who will be Steven and who will be Todd.  They then take turns rolling a dice.  If the number rolled is even, "Steven" moves their game piece towards the winner circle.  If the number rolled is odd, then "Todd" moves their game piece towards the winner's circle.  The first person to reach the winner spot...wins!
Here's an Odd Todd and Even Steven video from You Tube that I am sure kids would enjoy singing along to!

Speaking of Odd Todd and Even Steven, check out these *adorable* little guys from 
The activity that went along with these little guys was just as fun and cute as they look.  For the example, Mrs. Carroll used candy corn, but any treat would be fine and hold the kids' attention I'm sure! ;)  First, you will need to explain to the students the difference between Todd and Steven.  Odd Todd doesn't like to share and always has a different number of items in each hand (ie:  8 + 7 = 15), but Even Steven is super nice and always want things equal and fair with his friends.  After going through this, she gave each student a pile of (uncounted) candy corn.  With a partner, teams had to come up with whether the number of candy corn they had been given was an odd or even number.  Please refer to the link above for a further explanation of the activity.  Definitely something I will be using next year!

Step Into 2nd Grade with Mrs. Lemons has made up several FREE even and odd posters that would be perfect around the classroom! 
I love this bulletin board idea from The Teacher's Wife...Even and Odd Street.  If you think it's an idea your students would love too, Lindsay has included a free template for the houses at the bottom of her post.  Thank you Lindsey!
I really like this activity from Stickers, Scissors and Smiles.
The students take a handful of unifix cubes and pair them up.  Then the kids draw their discoveries on a 20 grid paper like what's shown above.  Then the students brought their drawings to the rug to share their discoveries and chart their findings. 

From Love2TeachKG, here is a FREEBIE on TpT.  It is a 12 pages download including this reinforcement page.
Here's a FREE Even & Odd Sort from Lauren and Jeanine's Creative Corner.

Last idea on this subject, for now, is this one I came across on Two Can Do It.
This is another FREE download so it would be super easy to print these pages out and store them away to use for a math station/center.  The only thing I think I would add to this would be a recording sheet so the kids know they have some accountability.  Other than that, I love the simplicity of this idea.  The kids take dominoes and place them on the correct mat, depending on what they had.  The mats read:  EVEN & ODD (numbers on both sides), EVEN (numbers on both sides), or ODD (numbers on both sides).
Here's a twist in the game Rock, Paper, Scissors to incorporate even and odd numbers.  This is a two player game, one person is “odds” and the other is “evens.” Kids shake their fist, chant “1,2,3, shoot!” Then, they stick out zero, one, two, three, four, or five fingers. Kids find the sum of their fingers. If the answer is even, then evens gets a point. If it’s odd, odds gets a point.  

OK so there you have it.  A few great ideas I have discovered that should help you get on your way to creating a more exciting Even vs. Odd numbers math lesson.  I'd love to hear how some of these ideas turn out in your classroom, or better yet, if you have any other ideas to share!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Math Essential Standards - 1st Grade

Hey there!  Remember me?  I have had this blog on my mind for a while now, but man oh man, I swear life gets busier by the day! I'm not sure if it's the age of my children and all that they're involved in, working full time and being a mom to 4, the stress of keeping up on everything at school, including RTI, or what, but yeah, you could say I've been busy!
First of all, I just have to say how proud I am of all my cute little firsties.  They are doing so great with reading this year and the majority of my class is on grade level.  Thank you parents, volunteers and everyone else!!  I think for this reason, my focus lately has been geared more towards math and what I can help them with there.  We have done math centers every day this week and most of last week.  Yes, that can be a little bit more work, but I think the small group instruction is so much more valuable.
My first grade team sat down at the beginning of the year and mapped out what math essential goals we wanted our students to be able to achieve by the end of the school year.  We then broke down our goals by trimesters so the end goal would seem achievable.  Here's what we came up with.

Trimester 1
Students will be able to verbally count to 30, write to 30 (without any reversal and with neat handwriting), recognize the symbols +, -, and =, and be able to correctly use those symbols in a problem.

Trimester 2
Students will be able to verbally count to 70, write to 70 (without any reversal and with neat handwriting), add and subtract within 10.

Trimester 3 -
Students will be able to verbally count to 120, write to 120 (without any reversal and with neat handwriting), add and subtract within 20.

If you are a first grade teacher, you may be aware that the new goal for first graders is to be able to reach 120 by the end of the year, where it used to be 100.  We view our goals as "baby steps" towards reaching that goal.  It has been such a thorough thing to do and by doing this process has opened our eyes to a lot of things we assumed the students already knew, but didn't.  I am linking up to some activities I have come across that have been helpful in reaching our goals.  If there is something you feel could be useful also, please leave a comment below.

Trimester 1
Number Writing Practice (FREEBIE) from I Heart Teaching.
Roll the Dice from The Sharpened Pencil.
To review numbers 1-20 at the beginning of the year, Just Reed has made a FREE Number Review Book to download from TpT.

Trimester 2
Adding within 10.  Make 10 (FREE) Math Station from Mrs. Robbins.
Rainbow to 10 FREEBIE from A Cupcake For the Teacher.
Ways to Make 10 (FREEBIE) from The Linton Academy
So in actuality, this center could possibly create addition problems up to 12, but why not push the kids a little right?  This FREEBIE from Jessie's Resources is one that has been used in my classroom as a center and has also been sent home for extra practice with students who may be struggling with beginning addition.  It's easy to play and create, free and fun for the kids, so what's not to love?

Trimester 3
FREE 120 Chart from Mrs. Plant's Press (There are 5 charts with 5 different fonts to choose from.)

Adding within 20 from Kindergarten Lifestyle:
More FREE 120 charts and mystery coloring charts from First With Franklin

Mrs. T's First Grade came up with a fun idea for the students to work on number order and number recognition (1-120).  Download a 120 chart (on her blog) and have the students color in their charts.
 Have the students then cut their charts apart (by color) to turn it into a puzzle.  The students then trade their puzzles with a friend in the class and have to put the chart back together.

So what about you?  Does your grade also set math standards?  What are the ones your grade is working on?  I'd love to know what's important to each of you!

In the next few posts I am going to be writing about various math ideas (centers, games, activities, etc.) and then I will be moving on to teacher appreciation.  I have lots of door decoration ideas and gift giving ideas I am eager to share, so stick around...

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Halloween Party Ideas

WOW!  How do I ever begin to explain all that has been going on in my life for the past 3 months?!?  I was hoping to return to my blog much sooner than now, with ideas for back-to-school, fall, math and also get a jump on Halloween ideas.  Unfortunately, none of that happened before now.  Hopefully by now, if you are a room parent, you have already begun thinking of what games, crafts, snacks, activities or ideas you have in mind for your 1st classroom party of the school year...HALLOWEEN!  If you haven't yet thought of it, and you find yourself waking up in a cold sweat at night, here are a few tips and tricks to get you started.

Over the years, I have found the best system for younger aged kids to plan to run the party as centers or stations.  Break the students into small groups and have them rotate from one center to the next.  The smaller sized groups makes it easier for parent volunteers to manage and it helps the students by changing up the activities.  The best ideas for centers include age appropriate games, snacks, or crafts.  After rotating through the centers, it's best to end the party with a whole group game or activity or a fun book relating to the holiday.

Don't try to do everything yourself!  You will end up either stressed, broke, or at home at the end of the party crying into your diet Coke.  Ask for help!!!  Parents, grandparents, or close friends are all great resources.  Ask for help in a variety of ways...either by attending the party to assist or by donating goods to the party, especially for any working parents who can't attend.  Check with the teacher ahead of time to see if the school/classroom has any supplies you might need for the party.  Most likely, the teacher may be willing to donate glue, construction paper or other craft items.  Keep in mind, that you not only need to plan for craft and game supplies and snacks, but also for paper ware or any simple decorations.

 Even though you can guarantee things WILL get chaotic and loud during the party, enjoy it!  The kids should have a fun time no matter what they are doing...even if things don't go according to plan, which sometimes happens!  One thing to think of is taking pictures.  I know that I take pictures of my class during the holiday parties so that I can add them to my end of the year DVD.  If that's something a teacher doesn't do, you may want to assign a parent to be in charge of this assignment.

Classroom Party Guide from Volunteer Spot

And are a few Halloween ideas to get things rolling...

Halloween Mason Jar Lantern - I would think this fun craft idea would be ideal for 3rd graders or older.
Scary/cute spider hat from Little Buggie Tutu
7 Halloween party games and activity ideas from Volunteer Spot.
Copy and laminate this monster chart from Expressive Monkey to have students draw their own monster masterpieces.
Don't Eat Frank game board from My Sister's Suitcase.
Skeletons made with brownies, white chocolate covered pretzels and marshmallows (drawn on with edible marker) from Wants and Wishes.

Crispy Frankenstein Treats from Grumpy's Honeybunch.
Candy Corn Halloween Bark from The Girl Who Ate Everything.
Witches hat made from frosted sugar cone, sprinkles, gummy worms and cookie or cupcake liner as suggested. 
(Source:  No Time for Flash Cards)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Math Wall Ideas

Seeing math vocabulary, pictures, examples and items around the classroom lets the students know just how important math is.  Not only that, but I think it also gives students a place to refer to if there is a question and they are too afraid to ask.  Here are some ideas, pictures and examples of how teachers are incorporating math into their classrooms.

The Teacher's Wife has this Math Wall at the front of her classroom for the students to refer to easily.  BTW if you love the Math Wall banner, she has included a free download of it.
Mrs. Cooper's Patriot Place uses this bulletin board as a calendar place.  I love the phrase written across the top:  Every Day Counts!
Check out Teacher Bits & Bobs Mighty Math Board.  The 9 cards you see to the right side of the board are concepts the students review daily.  The cards are laminated and the problems can be changed out daily.  Love it!  If you love it too, swing by her blog to grab your own free set of cards!
I don't have a link to this picture, but here's another concept using the common core as a math wall.  I would laminate all the strips you see so that you could easily wipe of the information or change it out on a daily basis.
If your goal is to have your studnets pass off their math facts (addition, subtraction, multiplication or division), you may want to set up a bulletin board like one of these. 
Poppin' Through Our Math Facts comes from Teacher Web.  Once all the students have mastered their facts, they are treated to a popcorn party.
Having A Ball With Math Facts from Peace, Love and 1st Grade.
To accompany this bulletin board, this packet from Made For 1st Grade would work perfect!  It is $8.00 on TpT and works for addition and subtraction mastery.
When I taught 3rd grade, my class used the Olympics as a theme for passing off times tables.  I will save that for another post.
If you have a word wall specific for math words only, here is a free math wall header you could use from Classroom Freebies.  Unfortunately, the words aren't included.
No worries though. First Grade Fanatic has got you covered with these free first grade common core math vocabulary cards.