Thursday, March 31, 2011

Pronoun Pockets

Hello teacher friends!

Well in Third Grade Land we are learning about pronouns, and I am always looking for new ways to have my kids create something that is hands-on and memorable, since there is soooooo much grammar that we cover - and it can get a bit tedious!

I stole this idea from a 4th grade teacher at my school who was using this idea to teach prefixes and suffixes, and adapted it for pronouns -  and voila!!  The Pronoun Pockets were born!  After doing a mini lesson on pronouns and the nouns they can replace in sentences, we made our Pronoun Pockets in about 15 minutes.  The outside of the flaps have the pronouns, and the inside features a noun that they could replace with that particular pronoun.  The kids loved it, and it was quick and easy! 

This is DEFINITELY something that can be adapted to a variety of subjects and grade levels!  It would be great for vocabulary words, learning synonyms and antonyms, even for math fact families!  The sky is the limit!  Enjoy and happy teaching!


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Crack the Reading Eggs

Hi friends! Kerri here..
The lovely Cara Carroll (who designed our blog...she is sooo talented!) had the greatest Valentine themed  spelling idea after she found some cute heart shaped boxes at the Dollar Tree. Well, of course I downloaded it and ran right over to the Dollar Tree to get my own, but alas, they were all gone by the time I made it over there. Rats! Guess I'll have to wait until next year!
However...the dollar spot at Target is equally dangerous for me(if I could live in the Dollar Spot, I would!) and they had these little beauties yesterday, just in time for Easter!
I picked up 12, numbered them with a paint pen, and made this little recording sheet to go with them. I plan on putting the letters for my kiddos' spelling words inside them, jumbled up, and their job will be to unscramble the letters to spell the word correctly. We did this activity in March and they about died from excitement!!

Crack the Reading Eggs

Monday, March 28, 2011

This is me!

Hi Friends! Kerri here...
So this is me! I have been teaching for 14 years. I have taught Kinder, 1st, 2nd, and 4th. I taught Kinder for 10 years and then had the opportunity to teach first grade this year, so I jumped at the chance! In 2009, I became Nationally Board Certified with an Early Childhood Generalist certificate, and this year Lindsay did too! We loved going through (and passing) that experience together! It made us SUCH better teachers!

I LOVE my little firsties! They are as cute as Kindergarteners, but they can do SO MUCH MORE, and they learn to READ, which is such a joy to witness! I have wanted to be a teacher since I can remember, and I am definitely living my dream!
This is my family! The Lord has blessed me with 2 beautiful daughters and an awesome, HANDSOME, hubby (who teaches middle school science-he's a saint!).

Here is a snapshot of my "corner" of my classroom! (More class pictures to come some day soon!) Being in my classroom makes me feel cozy and safe, how I hope my students feel everyday!

Freebie of the Day!
Here are a few board games I made for my kiddos to use in Math centers, Language Arts centers, what have you...I think I may use them this week to practice high frequency words or spelling words. I know a couple are leprechaun themed, but there are still 3 days left in March, right?
March Board Games

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Fishy Fact Families

Happy Sunday! Kerri here...
I don't know why it is, but Fact Families seem to give some of my kiddos some trouble. To me, fact families seem intuitively easy. It's just 3 numbers that you move around to make different addition and subtraction sentences, but for some of my students, it is confusing. Here is a little fact family sorting center I made to help them get it. They loved putting the fishies into the right bowls! Enjoy...
P.S. You will have to write the numbers onto the fish bowls on the recording sheet. I couldn't get my program to do it for me so I gave up. Thank goodness for sharpies and cute printing, right?? :)

Click HERE for download!!
Click HERE for the recording paper!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Making Words

Finally, a Language Arts post from me, Kerri!
My dear friend Kim from my old school has the coolest file folders with sticky notes on the inside that have letters on them, and she has her kids use the sticky notes to make words. When they are done making a word, they just put the sticky note back in it's "place" on the file folder. Genius! So much better than letter tiles that end up getting lost, on the floor, inside desks, you get the idea. (Makes me crazy!) Whenever the sticky note loses it's sticky, you just quickly make a new one for whatever letter you need. I love it!
Sooo...I made some templates on my trusty MAC and viola, new making words folders! I also color coded the sticky note letters, to help my firsties remember the beginning middle, ending sounds, and digraphs when we make words together! Click the link underneath the pictures and get making! :)

Have a Happy Saturday!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Looking Forward and Looking Back

Hi again...Kerri here!
Taste the Rainbow Skittle Math
So, I don't know about your kiddos, but mine absolutely go B-A-N-A-N-A-S whenever they get to graph candy or some other sweet treat! M & M's, Lucky Charms, Skittles, Jelly Beans, Conversation hearts, we do it all. Little do they know that they are actually practicing important math skills while their grubby little hands sort, count, and add up the treats! We graphed conversation hearts in February after I found this totally great worksheet from What the Teacher Wants, so for March I thought I would make a Skittles math packet. 

Looking forward to April, I also made a math packet for Jellybeans... Enjoy!
Jumpin' Jellybeans Math

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Weather Math Facts

Hi blogging buddies! Kerri here...
Here is my tidbit for the day. We have been learning about weather in science, thanks in large part to my AMAZING student teacher and some very fabulous ideas from The First Grade Parade and Made for 1st Grade, so I created this Weather Math facts sorting center that incorporates adding 3 numbers and subtraction, along with a recording sheet. Click below to download... :)
     Weather Math Facts

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Fairy Tale Math Facts

Hi Everyone! Kerri here!
I bought the cutest clip art from DJ Inkers called "Fairy Dust" and it is so deliciously adorable! I have to admit...I am a clip art junkie! I just can't help myself. Seriously, I need an intervention...
Anyway, I made a little Fairy Tale Math Facts sorting game for my kiddos to use in Math Centers and they LOVED it with a capital L. I think it had something to do with the castles, or the ogres, or the princesses! 
Click the link below to download...and watch your Firsties get sooo excited!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Greetings blogger buddies!  Yikes! I can't believe our blog is up and running!  I was going to sit down and make a rough draft of my first blog - ya know, just go get my ideas organized and down on paper (with a newly sharpened #2 pencil of course) - when Kerri informed me that bloggers do NOT write rough drafts. They just write.  Right . . . I knew that. 

I am so excited to be doing this blog with my teaching bestie and mentor, Kerri.  Although we are in different grade levels and at different schools this year, I am still amazed by her wonderful teaching every day.  As a soon-to-be first time mom (my husband and I are expecting a son in August - yay!) I am most impressed by Kerri's devotion to her kids - both at home (she has two darling girls!) and in the classroom.  She works harder than anyone else I know, and yet finds a balance for her life.  I also love Kerri because, as I like to put it, she is "the peanut butter to my jelly".  We make a great teaching team and I look forward to the day when we can work together again!

Okay, okay, enough about Kerri . . . As I mentioned before, I am married to a wonderful guy named Paul, and we will be celebrating our two year anniversary right before our little man arrives.  He is a great "teacher husband" - never complaining about my late nights grading papers, the setting up and re-arranging of my classroom computers and other technology, or the many many trips we make to Lakeshore.  He was particularly great last summer when I had to pack up my entire kindergarten classoom after getting pink-slipped and move it all into our garage. And our guestroom. And even our bedroom!  (Don't worry - he began hanging up clothes on pocket charts stands and really embraced the chaos!)  Without getting all mushy, just know that he is the best. Really.

Finally, my class. This year I was blessed to get hired in late September to teach third grade.  Although it was a late start to the year, and a rough transition for all, I feel so lucky to have my 24 sweet third graders.  And when I say 24 third graders, I mean 17 boys and 7 girls.  That's right .  . . SEVENTEEN boys.  Yikes.  For me, this year has made me such a better teacher!  One of the neatest things about this year is the sharing that I get to do with my mom, who is also a third-grade teacher, and such an inspiration!  She gave me a quick "all-you-need-to-know" shpiel when I got hired three weeks into the school year and I am so thankful for her!

 I love and miss teaching the little ones, and hope that someday I will be back down in kinder . . .or perhaps first grade. When that day comes, however, I will defiantely be a better teacher as a result of all that I have learned this year!  (Why, just today I was lecturing Kerri about the importance of introducing her first graders to the Commutative Property of Addition.  It's important people!)

Well, that is all for now.  I look forward to sharing some of my clssroom ideas with y'all soon!

Happy Teaching!


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Math Wall Cards

Kerri here! Okay, here comes my first idea post...
I use CGI Math in my first grade class, which stands for Cognitively Guided Instruction in Mathematics. It is AWESOME! As part of my training, we watched a video of a Kindergarten teacher doing Math Wall activities with her Kinder kiddos. It was awe inspiring! I decided to create my own Math Wall Cards to use  with my firsties during Calendar time. They are posted on the wall and we go through 3-4 per day, depending on how much time we have. The kids use wipey (white) boards to compete the skill while I write their ideas on the laminated math wall cards with a dry erase or vis-vis. They LOVE LOVE LOVE it! And it reinforces skills we are learning during our daily math lessons. 
I recently started using them on my SMART board which is even better, because the kids love to come up and write their answers on the board, plus they can see the cards so much better! 
Click below to get your very own set!!


Hi Everyone! Welcome to our blog. After being inspired in SOOOO many ways by all of you creative teachers out there, my Teacher Besty Lindsay and I decided we'd share a little of our creativity as well...with our very own blog! We have been friends for 5 years. Lindsay was my student teacher in Kindergarten and then we taught Kinder together for the next 4 years. Last year, due to budget cuts, Lindsay was laid off (BOO!) and after she left our school, I decided to change schools as well to teach first grade. She got re-hired to teach 3rd grade (YAY!) at another school, so while we aren't teaching together anymore, we will be able to see each other's classroom happenings through our BLOG!!!

Isn't this blog design to die for?? Thank you to Miss Cara Carroll at Oh So Spoiled and The First Grade Parade for our beautiful design. She is one talented lady!

We are way excited to start posting pictures and downloading documents for you all to use in your own classrooms...if you want too! Let the fun-ness begin!