Saturday, November 10, 2012


Those were the words I heard over and over on Friday.....words that can make a teacher melt! They also tend to make me think, "Ok, the extra time I spent planning paid off this week!"

We had a mission on Friday...get everything done, have fun, and only move clips up! I am proud to say that is exactly what we did. I was so proud of how hard the class worked and kept focused even during the fun, unstructured activities!  I know our classroom has been lacking a lot of the fun things that I have always done in the past, but somehow there just isn't the time!  So today was a sort of catch up, have some fun and still learn but in the best way ever--hands on kind of day!

Our day started normal with our reading groups and then whole group reading where we wrapped up the butterfly life cycle (part of our Benchmark reading series) with a very cute handout that was exactly what my kiddos needed to go over their sequencing words once again. They absolutely loved drawing a picture for each step. I found it {HERE}.  Thank you Today in First Grade!

We moved onto our spelling test, then a working brain/snack break. While snacking we had to color our coffee filters and wet them for our coffee filter turkey project planned for the afternoon. I was cutting it close for drying time...but it worked out. Whew! Barely.... (Sorry-no pics of the turkeys)

Then finally--Contraction Surgery! I have been so excited waiting for this activity...the kiddos had no idea we were going to do this. I had a mom donate gloves and masks, I picked up a whole bunch of band aids at my local dollar store and I even wrote out Dr name tags. Once I explained what we were doing the class was ecstatic! They were so engaged and came away understanding contractions so much more, it was awesome!  I may have annoyed some other teachers because my kids were bragging the rest of the day about how they were doctors! They proudly wore their name tags to lunch (and even wore the masks on the way out to the buses at the end of the day!)  I had one little cutie tell me, "Well I finished another surgery, that will be $800." I think he may be a great doctor someday!

My hard working doctors went to lunch and recess, came back and got straight to work on a large math lesson. I had forgotten to do the next unit's pretest, so we had to squeeze that in before we started the next math unit. They rocked it though!

Next it was writing time. Since we worked on some writing during reading, we took some time to review and practice identifying and naming nouns. We did a word sort with pictures then a whole group sort where I tried to trick them with some verbs and adjectives.  I guess I wasn't very good at tricking them because I was told, "Sorry Mrs. Friedauer, you didn't trick me!" This coming from the same cutie that was charging $800 for a surgery! Loved it!

Finally, it was Turkey Time after recess. The kids did great on this as well. It's a pretty easy project, except for the legs and beak.  (The following picture is one I found on Google--mine look a little different...)  First, color a coffee filter with markers, spray with water while on a paper plate, let the colors mix and then dry.  Cut out main body turkey parts, glue onto dry coffee filter and then construction paper background.  Super cute and the kiddos just love mixing their colors for the coffee filter part!

As you can see, we were super busy, it was nonstop all day!  I left exhausted, but oh so worth it when you hear those three words....Best.Day.Ever.

Random teacher tip:  I use power towers alot in various station activities.  If you aren't familiar with power towers, the kids have to do a problem or say an answer to a question on the bottom of a cup.  If they are correct they get to use that cup to start building a tower of cups.  The students love making tall towers that eventually tumble everywhere.  I have just recently added a vocabulary station to my literacy rotations.  So I made some vocab power tower cups to put there on Monday.  I did a set with the word on the bottom and they have to say the definition, and then I did a set with the definition on the bottom and they have to say the word.  I love power towers, but dislike writing the words so I thought--use a label maker!  Duh!  So much neater than my sloppy handwriting trying to write a bunch of words inside of a cup!


Lisa Mattes

Gotta love a great day!!! Love the Power Towers! Fun!
Growing Firsties is having a Pete the Cat Giveaway that also donates to Hurricane Sandy Relief!

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