Wednesday, February 22, 2012

On the Hunt for a New Laptop...and a {FREEBIE}!!

I swear I put twice as much work into my projects on this laptop than necessary!  That is why I am on the hunt for a new laptop.  If any one has any recommendations I would be grateful for your input.  I don't want to spend a ton of money, but I want a decent one that's going to last.  I have had this one for quite awhile, but it's not as fast as it used to be and the wireless driver went kapoot!

On another note, I finished up a few projects today because I took a sick day to go to the dr to find out what I did to my foot.  Backtracking a little....I signed up to do a half marathon last month and have been training since.  A sidenote--I have never ran more than 6 miles before my training.  So I had some pain in my foot the last time I ran 8 miles, about 10 days ago.  Ran 5 miles a couple days later and really started to feel the pain.  So now, 11 days later it seems I have a "possible" stress fracture in my foot and can't run for another 2 weeks.  Good back to the projects...

We do Saxon Phonics at my school and use the spelling lists from the program.  So, I created a Fill in the Blank Sentence worksheet for each list.  If you do Saxon Phonics spelling and are interested, I have them for sale in a bundle for only $2.50.  Click on the picture to go to my store.
I also put together a fluency packet for my fluency station.  Time for something new.  I used my Dibels book and created 25 pages of nonsense word cards.  They will be printed/laminated/cut and put on o-rings.  Students will time themselves/partners for 1 minute and see how many words they can get done.  There is a tracking sheet as well. 

Our reading interventionist just shared a fluency activity that focused on reading/using punctuation.  So I made few of these as well.  Easy- abc's with punctuation, Medium-decodable words with punctuation, and Hard-nonsense words with punctuation.  I also saw somewhere on the glorius web about practicing fluency with different voices-princess, gorilla, leprechaun, etc.  I might try it whole group and see how it goes.  I can't wait to get these into the fluency station after teaching the new procedures!

And the best part...they're free!  Just click on any of the pictures.  I hope you find it useful!

One last thing....just recently finished/posted my Place Value packet.  I tried to keep it somewhat simple so it could be used any time of the year....especially later as a review.  Check it out by clicking the picture below!
Now, back to my other unfinished project since my foot is elevated and my kiddos are heading to bed.  Here's to hoping the laptop stays on....

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sci Fri for President's Day and a {FREEBIE}

We were not so lucky as others to get a four-day President's Weekend, so I tried to make the best of it by adding a bit of an experiment into the day.  I was lucky to have my 5th grade daughter here at school with me to help out. (We live in another school district that DID have a 4 day she got to come to work with me while my first grader spent the day at a friends.)

I like to call it "Wet Presidents."  First, we made predictions as to how many drops of water would fit onto a penny, nickel, dime, and quarter and wrote them down in crayon (so we wouldn't try to change our answers).  I have to say that the guesses were really low so I knew they would be into this to see how many actually would fit.

Then we began our experiment.  One partner did the drops while the other kept track with the tally marks.  (We of course switched for each coin!)  Then when it spilled everywhere we stopped and counted the tally marks.  AmAzInG!!!  They couldn't believe their answers.

So we talked in "first grade talk" why so much water would fit and what were some good tips to follow to get the most water on the coin.  We had some extra time left so they got to do it again with 2 new variations--try to beat the number of drops from the first time AND use a magnifying glass to check out the drops on the coins.  Way cool! 

Get your directions and tally sheet {HERE!}

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Quick Valentines Crafts

Valentines Day is quickly approaching and my kiddos want to start passing out their Valentines, so we decorated white bags-the quick and easy way of collecting valentines. I did challenge them to use 4 big and 4 small hearts and create a picture/creature of some sort. I got a few cute ones....considering we didn't have a lot of time.

And since we haven't really had a winter or snow I decided it was time to get rid of the snowflakes hanging in the room. We made cute valentine windsocks-another quick easy craft. Just use a 4 1/2" by 18" piece of construction paper. Decorate with hearts. Add some red streamers and staple together. Feeling festive already!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Reviving My Classity Class

Friday was such a great day for this teacher and her students!

I revived my class from a lul in the excitement department.....ever have those moments???

Thursday night I spent some time watching YouTube videos after my kiddos went to bed and the hubby went to Cage Fitness class. I came across some whole brain teaching videos that I have never seen before, so Friday we tried it all out!

We used the mirror for fluency and math. I will have to say that the fluency went over well and fun was had by all. I used a penguin poem while we tried out some motions and expression! Hilarious!

We celebrated throughout the day with "10 and 12 finger woos".

We stood up and EVERYONE pushed in their chairs with "bodies and chairs."

We applied the brakes when retelling facts about penguins and polar bears to emphasize where the punctuation goes.

We even sang a new line up song that got us moving a bit.

We tried blowing answers into our hands then releasing them together...that still needs more practice because I usually use a partner whisper.

But the best part that made me laugh til tears when telling a colleague about it was sitting down at the rocker. I always say "criss cross" and they say "applesauce" as they sit. Then I usually go on to say "hands and eyes" to get them focused on me. But I saw on you tube the use of "spoons in your bowls". I have never seen so many puzzled looks from my firsties. But they got it and got into it. We were reading about polar bears when I was distracted by a lil firstie that decided to pretend to eat his applesauce out of his bowl with his spoon! Now I know it is hard to visualize but if you get a chance to try "spoons in your bowls" I guarantee a good chuckle! So if you are a whole brain/power teacher you have to check out some of these videos.

"oiled" hand-water drips right of
Blubber Glove
We also did a Sci Fri activity. We found out how polar bears and penguins stay warm. We used the graphic organizer from here. The kiddos loved it and want to try it out at home. Pretty sure some parents won't be happy with this :)
Left hand "oil", right hand no "oil"

2 thumbs up for a Friday with no special!!! Whoo hoo!!!

Last but not least, I finished up a set of reading games and posters that go with my jungle theme. They are for sale at my TpT store.