October 2012 - Queen of the First Grade Jungle

Treats for Our Sweets

Well hello trick-or-treaters!

Ready to meet Mr. SHark and Miss FiSH?

..no typo -- that is my way of emphasizing the -SH sound!

I apologize if you feel like I am yelling at you, that is just my loud, commanding, grab your attention teacher voice.

Let's just say I have a few kiddos this year who need what I call "brain fertilizer."

Do you know what I mean?  I open my mouth and their eyes roll back in their heads. No, I mean it. Literally, I open my mouth and they zone out.

Shoalaces, lint on the carpet, and spots on the wall are WAY more entertaining or engaging than those oh-so-important words coming out of Mrs. King's mouth. 

Sooo needless to say "dancing on my head" takes on a whole new meaning this year. No wonder they don't remember the digraphs from kindergarten. No blame on K teachers, these few special friends need some extra fertilizer to get those ideas to take seed and sprout.

Enough analogies for you yet?

Just making sure you got your extra dose of brain fertilizer. :)

Here is an example of one of the handouts I created:

BUT remember my kids?  I still needed a little extra....soooo

 Mr. SHark and Miss FiSH.

Would you believe it if I told you these are my own cuties' costumes for Halloween tonight? And we just so happened to be studying SH this week. I know- Someone is looking out for me :) During independent reading I secretly stole these 2 cuties from their desks and dressed them up in costume. We reappeared mere minutes later with bags that read "starts with SH sound" and "ends with SH sound."

 I had a stack of picture cards and each child picked a card and placed it in the appropriate bag.  We had a blast!

 If  you would like to download these freebies, click on the bag below to head to my tpt store!

To continue along with your trick-or-treating  (which of course you will do) you will need to head to WONDERFUL Donna's blog by clicking on the image below.

Grab My Button

Happy Halloween!

your photo name

**Monster Mash Up**

For some reason lately I have been ALL about monsters. Maybe it is Halloween or maybe it is just the adorable monster clipart, crafts, and products available.

Last week we celebrated Red Ribbon Week at my school, and I needed a fun way to have my students write about saying "no." My friend Jen posted a cute picture of her class "scaring away drugs" so I decided to follow suit.  We have been working very hard on writing How To pieces, so we wrote instructions on how to say no to someone.

We used Hadar's adorable monster craft and then wrote the How To's on the inside. These monsters provided some great motivation for my kiddos that don't typically like to write. 

The students gave great instructions on putting your hand up, saying no, walking away, and most importantly - telling an adult!

I will be placing this sign out with our monsters in the morning.

The border is from Talented Tessa and the monster clipart and stars are from Amazing Ashley!

We have also been using monsters in math...

We are using these fact family cards this week to help us review skills that we struggled with on our test last week. 

And last but not least, here is an original book that I came up with to help my students with subtracting by zero or the whole.  This book was the beginning of the monster obsession!

You want to know a secret? I would love to be able to write children's books full time. I know, I know. Wouldn't we all? :)

Let me know what you think of Fred and Tom! They may just become the next Annie and Moby  in my classroom!

You have a few more hours in the Trick or Treat Sale!


your photo name

***Trick or Treat Sale***

Don't you just love Ms. Bubbly Blonde's button for the sale???

***Update: I just realized I am started my sale a day early (oops!) Enjoy!***

Use the button above to go to my store...or use this link to see some other great bloggers having sales!

Have a fabulous weekend! I plan on hanging out with friends and making the most of some free time. 

Oh yeah- most of my time will be spent with these two cuties!

Life if good :)

your photo name

TONS of Subtraction Ideas!

I promise I am here and kicking.  Or rather that parent conference week is kicking my tail :)

We have had some great things going on in my room. I have blown away by my kids and their understanding of subtraction.   I wanted to share some resources that have been extremely helpful in addition to our math program.

Do you know a child that doesn't like pirates? That is what I thought- me neither!  We have listened to this song every single day since we started subtraction. We have the honor of doing math at the verrrrrrry end of the day....I can feel your sympathy through my screen. I dance on my head on a daily basis to get my students interested and engaged in math...this song helps  (Not my idea- I stole it from soo smart Deanne)

If you are lucky enough to have ipads, you NEED this magnetic letters/numbers app.

Don't be fooled by the doe-eyed unicorn. I was.  This app rocks. I attribute my students' success to story problems this year to this app.  We use the adorable animals to create story problems and then use the magnetic numbers AND symbols to demonstrate the subtraction sentences. 

Just like many of you all I am sure, I believe in attacking math concepts from all angles. Our students don't learn in the same ways, so we can't teach in only the way the program suggests. Our program does not rely on number lines at all- so we supplement. 
We have used this incredible little packet of number line subtraction problems from Vicky Plant!

I also put together this little spinner mat to use with my students to get ready for our test on Thursday. 

If you would like this freebie, you can grab it in my TPT store :)

While you are there, I created this packet of Halloween themed handouts to help me survive that week of parent conferences! Enjoy friends!


your photo name

*No Tricks, All Treat Giveaway*

When I finished putting my Spooky Centers together, I realized that I was really in the Halloween spirit. Sooooo...what did I do? I took my kids to the pumpkin patch! 

Now after all this Fall fun, I was motivated to get together a little giveaway! 
I emailed/facebooked/texted some of my bloggy buddies and put this spooktacular giveaway together for you!  Yes- we teacher bloggers are close like that :)

This giveaway has EVERYTHING: Centers, crafts, clipart, and even a scavenger hunt!!!
You see I love Halloween, and this little giveaway gave me a great excuse for looking at tons of cute Halloween goodies!  I am pretty sure you recognize some fab bloggers' handy work: Babbling Abby's Candy Corn Bandit Unit; clipart from Ashley Hughes; crafts by Hadar from Miss Kindergarten and Lyndsey from A Year of Many Firsts; centers from Mrs. Lemons, Michelle, and myself; and Morning Work from Kelley Dolling.  WOW-oh-WOW!
 I decided that I wanted lots of people to win a treat, so this giveaway will have 8 winners!
Yes, you read that correctly 8! Each winner will select a prize!

I will have Rafflecopter pick 8 winners and I will email each winner until each winner has selected a Halloween goodie of her choosing! I will keep going until they are all claimed!

Sound great?
I thought so too!

Here is how you enter:
1. Follow each blogger's blog
2. Follow each blogger's TPT store.
3. Follow each blogger's FB page.
4. Enter everything into Rafflecopter!

Here are all the links you need:

Katie's blog-------> you are here!

a Rafflecopter giveaway YAY! Giveaway ends Wednesday night at midnight! I will post winners Thursday morning!

your photo name

*Spooky Centers Posted*

Click on the picture to see them in my store for 20% off today and tomorrow!

So it is SO hard to believe that I just finished my Halloween Centers! Why you ask??? Because this is what yesterday looked like for me (be prepared to hate me)....

Still here? Hallelujah! I am home with kids in Charleston, SC.  My absolute favorite place on earth :) for our Fall Break.  We are indoors today for some bad weather, but we hope to be back out in the sunshine tomorrow.

Sorry back to my packet!

Look below to get a closer look at the literacy and math centers that I am so proud of! 

And here is a look at some of the handouts too!

  I can't wait to cut these out and get them ready for when my students are back at school. BUT I am  definitely okay with reading on the beach for now!


your photo name

Fall Fun and Freebies!

With the start of October we jumped straight into several fall activities. 

We studied apples last week,  so this week we compared apples to pumpkins. Our FFA friends at the high school were so kind and set these pumpkins out for us so we could walk over from our school and "pick" pumpkins.  

After lunch we had a round of math centers all about pumpkins!

1. We put pumpkins in order by how much they weighed.

2. We used yarn to figure out the circumference of the pumpkin (then we used cubes to see how long our yarn was).

3. We wrote addition stories about pumpkins.

4. And our favorite- we used the pumpkins to see how long we were!

When the students came to me for some small group instruction, we used those VERY yummy pumpkin candies on ten frames. 
Our math program (Math in Focus) moved us very quickly to subtraction, so I felt it necessary to find an engaging way to work with students. I also chose to use small group because our math is the very last thing in the day and we tend to fall asleep during any whole group :). In fact since I have an AMAZING special ed teacher (yeah- that's you Claire) co-teaching with me during that hour, I think we are going to move toward rotating through four centers each day. I still strongly believe in Math Work Stations (more partner independent work), but this move is what is best for this group.

Click on the picture to get our Pumpkin Math Book!

I was so happy with how they did on pumpkin ten frame subtraction!

Yesterday we kept ourselves in fall mode by hopping on over to the Apple Orchard for our beloved field trip!

We learned many, many things about apples and pumpkins....

....and we got to share our knowledge as well!

I didn't actually get any pictures of us picking apples- oops, but I did get many pictures of our adventures in the haystack playground!

Minus a few bee stings- it was a perfect day!

Think we worked/played hard?

Because I heart all things fall (like my upcoming fall break in under 24 hours- yippeeeeee), I am going to give you another freebie!  I will let you have part of my "Sum Fall Fun" packet.  

If you like what you see, go check out the rest (click on the pictures)!

I just can't leave without saying it- Happy Fall Y'all!


your photo name
Back to Top