December 2010 - Queen of the First Grade Jungle

Sight Word Scramble

I have become the queen of being creative--uncreatively.  I can find about anything I want to on the internet but have a hard time trusting my own instincts when creating games/activities.  I would say about a month ago I decided to change my tune--- the result, my first major creation.  Sight Word Scramble- I have been having my students time how many sight words they can get within a minute (just off a ring of Dolch words), but I thought they would like this game. I already had all our "wall words" for the year from a previous display with magnets on the back, so I repurposed them for Sight Word Scramble. I plan on giving my kids stopwatches and have them work as a team to see how many words they can pull to their mats within a minute (obv. they have to read the word outloud as they pull it down!).
Here is a close-up!

I will let you know how the game works out!

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Snowball Fight!

So it's that time of year... our kids have had several weeks off of school and we need to be creative in coming up with ways to get them back into school mode. Snowball Fight!  The kids will get to color in a snowball for each book they read at home (kids who are in chapter books will fill out a snowball for each chapter).  We had four snow days the week before Christmas Vacation so I spent the better part of two days making this display.  Each first grade teacher has a penguin and a graph. The graph will fill up as the class reads more and more books! 
Here is my penguin! Notice the polka-dotted bow!
A close-up of the graph. We will celebrate the success of the snowball fight at the end of January.  We have a day called Camp Read-A-lot where the students are encouraged to bring their sleeping bags and favorite books to read with their buddies!

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If you have any questions about anything I have posted you can find me at

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Side pages

So once again my googling skills have paid off in helping create this page!  I watched aYoutube video that taught me how to add pages for all my kids!  I thought they would enjoy doing this as a partner project so every two students has a page.  I hope to treat these pages as electronic journals.  I also want to add some pictures of the new display I have created at school, but Miss Emmie put my camera in the dog's water bowl so I will have to wait until I can borrow the library camera!  Look forward to meeting the bowhead penguins that I have spent a lot of time making!

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Winter Break Project

Amid all the crazy weather we have had this week, we were able to squeeze in a faculty meeting on Wednesday. In that meeting one of literacy coaches talked to us about a new writing plan and how technology was going to be a key component to this plan. I realized that although I have a ton of wonderful technology that assists me as a teacher, I need to do a better job of getting my students involved in these high tech activities. So what do I do when I want to learn more about something... I google it. I have haphazardly stumbled across the extensive world of teacher bloggers! Not only are the teachers blogging, but they are having their students blog too! I found one website from a teacher in Canada who has a separate page for each of her students. This find really excited me. How better to teach my students that writing is a form of communication than to have them become bloggers! So over the next couple of weeks I will try and figure out how to best make this work and then maybe I will share the web address with my students' parents :)

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Happy wife and mother of two. Can't imagine life without my family and my first graders!

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