Thursday, September 29, 2011

Turn Around Facts FREEBIE!!

Hi Friends...
Gonna keep it short and sweet tonight, cause DANG...I am EXHAUSTED. That's what I get for staying up late to watch all my "stories" (Survivor, Parenthood, Chopped, Amazing Race...oh I could go on and on!)
This past week we were learning about adding numbers in any order, so I thought I would make up this little center for my Math Tubs next week. The clip art is from Digital Doodles (TO DIE FOR!) and it is called "Bright Little Houses". I think it is so fun and cheerful, and definitely in my "color scheme!"
This center is of the matching sort, where the kids match the addition fact to it's turn around fact, and I included a "show what you know" worksheet as well! Click to download and Enjoy!
Kerri B
P.S.  I heart comments...they fill my bucket! :)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

It's like September!

Hiya Peeps!
Whew! What a week. We are SO VERY fortunate to have a Foundation in our district that funds grants for the teachers, and I have been lucky enough to get 1-2 grants for my classroom every year for the last 10 years. It is a HUGE blessing and allows me to introduce really awesome materials and centers to my kiddos that I would NEVER be able to afford on my own. Anyway, the grants are due this Friday! Eeek! So I have been super busy getting those ready.
When I got home today, it was like Christmas arrived on my doorstep! Look what I got, thanks to the lovely Miss Cara Carroll, who posted this AH-MAZING find that she uses in her classroom from Image Stuff! I had to have them, and I got 'em today!

I can't wait to introduce these to my little chitlins tomorrow! I think they will be great motivators for them, AND a wonderful keepsake that they can take home at the end of the year! YAY!

I ALSO got this today, thanks to Doodle Bugs Paper, which is the most DELICIOUS little blog/company EVER!

Isn't she SOOO pretty! I can't wait to take notes tomorrow, even if I have nothing to note about! HA! :)
I'll be back tomorrow with some freebies for math and a little something on owls, which we will be learning about next week. Friday will be my Art post...and then I plan on sleeping the weekend away! (Yeah right! With my oldest daughter's 12 birthday party on Saturday? I'm tired just thinking about it!)
Happy Hump Day, friends!
Kerri B

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Apple patterns freebie and Fun Fall Finds!

Hey Peeps! Kerri here...
Ohhhh, how I love Fall!! Yesterday, it was all chilly and overcast here in Cali and I was in HEAVEN drinking my coffee and watching Dateline in my PJ's all morning! Anyone else LOVE Keith Morrison from Dateline? That man can tell a story like nobody else!

Anyhoo..I found the most AMAZING finds at the Dollar Spot at Target yesterday! Check 'em out!

Aren't they so fun! I plan on having my kiddos make patterns with the apple stickers, and write a Fall themed "Sticker Story" with the Fall Friends stickers. 
Click the apple below to download your very own copy of the apple pattern worksheet!
Apple patterns the Fall leaf below for your very own Fall themed writing paper!

Fall Writing Paper

Hope you have a blessed Sunday and a great week!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Apple Tree Art

Happy Friday! Kerri here...
I heart teaching art! I love love love to see my students' personalities and creativity come to life through their artwork. I also LOATHE teaching it sometimes, because it is SO DANG HARD for some of my firsties to follow directions and their sense of visual/spatial "whatever you call it" is not developed yet, so they have a really hard time watching me do a step and then doing the step on their own. This year, however, I have a bunch of little "I can do it!" artists in my class, so teaching them art has been lots of fun!

I have decided to have a weekly Friday "Art" post on the blog, partly to keep a record of the art projects I am doing each week, just in case any of my parents want to see what we are creating, and also to give all of you, my friends, some ideas (if you want them!) 

Much of my inspiration comes from this website: I have many, many of Kaye Espinosa's art books and I used to use them almost every week when I taught Kinder. Over the years, I have come up with many of my own projects, but the TLC Art lesson model I still exclusively use. My mantra is ABSOLUTELY NO PATTERNS ALLOWED. Everything my kids create is made without a pattern and without anything that they first trace and cut out, or outlined shapes that they cut out. They do all of the cutting themselves without a pattern, and the results are AMAZING!
Here are our apple trees (we still need to glue on the poem):

 Are they so cute? I love them because each one is unique and the kids' personalities really shine through their artwork. I plan on gluing on an apple tree poem and we will save these for our end of the year "First Grade Journey" Art and writing books.
First Grade Adventure Book

Here are the dimensions for the apple tree, if you want to make your own:

Blue background--- 12x18

Green grass---  12x4 cut like "crocodile teeth"

Brown Trunk---  9x3  cut with wavy lines down both sides. Use the wavy line scraps for branches on the tree trunk

Green bunches of leaves---  (4)  4.5x3 pieces for each child to make 4 different bunches of leaves. Cut each rectangle into a circle by cutting off the big corners and then the baby corners (TLC ART calls this a magic oval), and then cut each circle like a cloud to make it look like bunches of leaves.

red tissue paper--- cut into 1.5x1.5 squares for apples. 

You can download the poem below. I sing it to the tune of ABC's, but I have no idea where it originally came from. :)
Apple Poem
Hope you find my directions useful! I would love to hear how you teach your kiddos art. Any other apple tree ideas out there??

Friday, September 16, 2011

I heart Pete the Cat!

Okay, I know, I know, I have been living under a rock! How did I not hear about Pete the Cat until I entered the teacher blogging world?? This book is SO DARN ADORABLE, but it MUST MUST MUST be accompanied by the BOMBDIGGIDY song found here:

My kids were seriously rocking out today when we listened to the song and read the book. They wanted to hear it over and over...and some of them even busted out the air guitar! They were too cute!
Of course, I had to buy Deanna Jump's unit on Pete the Cat, and I plan on doing lots of her amazing activities next week!
So, here are our versions of Pete the Cat...I just had to share them, cause they are SOOO super fabulous!! 

AND, since I do have a problem controlling myself when it comes to purchases for my classroom, I just HAD to have these 2 gems, which will be coming from AMAZON next week! YIPPEE!

My kiddos are gonna be SOO excited! Okay, friends, that's it for me for tonight! I'm BEAT! We had Back to School Night this week, STAR testing for Accelerated Reader (what a nightmare that test is for firsties to take!), AND a 3.5 earthquake woke me up at 3 a.m. on Thursday morning! CRAZY!!
Hope you all are well...Kerri

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Math Wall cards freebies-reposted!

Hi Ladies and Gents! Kerri here...
I am re-posting my Math Wall Cards that I originally blogged about last March. Actually, it was the first post that I ever did! (awwww...the memories!) I thought you might want to incorporate them into your Calendar routine, you know, to spice things up!!  I LOVE my Math Wall Cards, and here's why...

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 projected onto 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!!

Math Wall cards

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Bucket Fillers Activity

Hi Peeps!!  Kerri here...
Well, we are three days in, and DANG...I am tired! And, OF COURSE, it gets hot as blazes here in Cali on the first day of school. Fantastic...24 tired, sweaty, "used to the Kinder schedule" Firsties, who are beet-faced and exhausted by noon! Anyone feel my pain??  
Having said that, they did a WONDERFUL job these first 3 days and I am already in love! I think they are going to shape up into an awesome bunch of kiddos--yay me!

I read Have You Filled a Bucket Today? with my kiddos yesterday, and WOW! What an inspiring and powerful book. This is the first year I have read it to my students, and they all really took the message to heart. We made a fun chart with all of the ideas that they brainstormed about how they could fill someone's bucket. They especially liked the shooting rainbow rays! 

We also wrote about how we could be bucket fillers and drew a picture to go along with it. Click on the photo below to download the file:

Bucket Fillers Writing Paper

Today, we made our very own buckets as an art project. It was very simple, all of my students were able to make theirs successfully, and they had SOOO much fun!! Check them out...

I also bought a clear plastic jar and put heart stickers all over it. I told my kidlets that this was our class "Bucket". Every time I catch someone filling another person's bucket, or when the class as a whole fills up my bucket, I will put some warm and fuzzies (pom-poms) in  the bucket. When the bucket is filled up, we will do something fun together as a class. They were STOKED!!

So, that's it for today! I would love to know how all of you teach this book to your class. Do you have any fun activities that you do?? It would fill my bucket if you would leave me a comment about it!! :)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Top 10 Award and back to school freebies!

Oh my Garsh! We are so honored to have been given the Top 10 blog award from Heidi at Swamp Frog First Graders (whose blog is AMAZING, by the way!!) You have no idea how much we love the blogging community. I (Kerri) am seriously addicted to stalking other people's blog, and the ideas that you all have inspire me SOOO much!! Thank you all for your support of our little blog! are a couple freebies that I conjured up (Harry Potter reference...yes, I am a geek!) this morning before church. The first I made using DJ Inkers September Whimzee (superdy CUTE!) and it is a spelling scramble recording page. I plan on using our Theme 1 sight words, which are basically a review of the Kindergarten sight words. I would love to put the letter tiles into little apple boxes (anyone know where I can find such cuteness?) since the recording sheet is apple themed. I got this idea from Miss Cara over at The First Grade Parade. She made an AWESOME spelling scramble sheet last February and she had heart boxes to put the letters in (TO DIE FOR!). I plan on making a new one each month, appropriately themed. I made a scrambled spelling sheet for March, April, and May last year (you can find by checking out the archives). Click on the apple pic to download...
Back to School Spelling scramble

Another freebie I made this morning is an apple themed Back to School Sentence Scramble, using LOTS of Kinder sight words as a review for my incoming Firsties. You could also use this in Kinder since many of the sight words are Kinder words! The clip art I used is Digital Whimzee, which I found through Michelle at Fabulous in First (I LOVE her BLOG!) You can find this clipart on ETSY, and best of all, she allows you to use it to give away freebies! YAY! It is super cutesy and colorful! Click on the apple tree to download the sentence cards and recording sheet! 
Apple Picking Sentence Scramble

Enjoy my friends!! I would love to hear how school is going for all of you! 2 more days until my Firsties come!! NERVOUS and EXCITED and a little terrified...just saying!!

P.S. Check out these absolutely THE BOMB crate seats my friend Amy made for her Library (she is the new librarian at an elementary school in my district). She found Mr. Men and Little Miss fabric at Jo-Ann's (I about died, since I read all of those books to me kids each year!) Could they be any cuter?? Jealous...sigh!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Photos of my room...finally!!

Hi Friends! Kerri here...
Whew!! I AM BEAT...and school hasn't even started yet! My 24 kiddos come on Tuesday and I cannot wait to meet them! My room is FINALLY ready and so now you all can get a glimpse into my "home away from home!"
Here we go...
My cubbies and welcome center

Wowzville writing wall (LOVE the Dots on Turquoise)
I love my Peanuts Gang Characters!

Guided Reading Corner

Mrs. B's Corner (I think my behavior chart I bought from First Grade OWLS is super cute!!)

View of the SMART board and front of the room, including my Calendar Wall and Math Wall

I heart my new carpet squares and my library
My Focus Wall and Cafe board (thank you whoever made these CAFE signs! For the life of me, I can't find the blog I got them from. If they are yours, please let me know!! I love them!)

My Word Wall and all my BOOKS! I love books!

Front Door

A view from the back of the room

Thanks for visiting!! I'll post again this weekend with some freebies for the cutiest clip art ever!!