Book Fair

We had our Book Fair at Barnes and Noble on Saturday. It was a great time! Only about half the class came, but they all sang really well. I was so impressed with how well they knew the songs.
We sang:
-Sing, Sing a Song
-Do Re Mi
-If All the Raindrops
-Three Little Fishies
-Never Smile at a Crocodile
-Don't You Just Love to Read?
(from Dr. Jean)

Getting ready to sing. A few more children came.

The PTO had a craft table where the children could make book marks.

The craft table was also the sign in table. The class with the highest percentage attendance won an ice cream party... AND WE WON!!! Our librarian bought us a plethora of ice cream/toppings. The class LOVED choosing their ice cream. Although most of them chose everything, which I didn't think would taste very good... but what do I know?

Ice cream fit for a teacher... :)

Beware: The following three boys posed for these pictures. They held their positions very still, making sure we got it just right.

Good to the last drop!

Happy Birthday Autumn!

October 16th


Little Readers

I just love seeing sweet children enjoy a good book!
Check out these three little ones I caught this week.

Zack didn't even notice me taking his picture. He was really into that pumpkins book!

Of course these little girls did notice their picture being taken and smiled so sweetly!


Shape Witches

We did our first Halloween art today! I try to make every activity as educational as possible, so today we made Witches out of shapes - circles, triangles, rectangles. After they assembled the Witch, I let them decorate their picture. You can really see the different levels of creativity! They turned out great!

A few close ups:

Happy Birthday Grant!

You lost a tooth!

Two children lost a tooth today! That must be a sign that I should post about loosing teeth. :) I never realized how big of a deal loosing teeth was, until I started teaching first grade. It is so exciting! At first I had certificates I would fill out and give to each child when they lost a tooth, but that got to be too overwhelming. In the past I also used tooth necklaces to keep their teeth in when they lost one, but they got tangled up, and weren't very good at staying closed - the teeth often fell out. Now, I just give them an "I Lost a Tooth!" sticker, put a tooth up on our graph, and sing them a song. I made up this little chant we sing:

You lost a tooth,
You lost a tooth,
You lost a tooth today.

You lost a tooth,
You lost a tooth,
You lost a tooth hurray!

This little boy had been trying SO hard to pull out his tooth today. After a little bump during P.E. he was finally able to pull it out! I wish you could've seen how excited he was!!



It's that day of the week again, and I couldn't resist taking pictures/poor quality videos of today's fun with parachutes! The video is of a game called "Sharks". They all sit around the parachute with their legs under. Three children are underneath and pull a child under. Then the sharks trade places with the child they pulled under. They LOVED this game!


Getting ready for Sharks

Parents, if you are concerned about this video being on YouTube, I made it so it is unlisted - people can only view the video from this blog. It is not 100% public. People can't search for it and find it. I literally tried for two hours to upload it just from my computer to blogger, but it would not work. Hope this is okay. Please contact me if you have a question/concern.


Happy Columbus Day!

We didn't do much to celebrate Columbus Day. I gave them a coloring page to work on as they came in this morning. Then we looked through some past Weekly Reader's I had about Christopher Columbus and did the activities that went along with them. Pretty simple. Due to lack of time (a constant issue this year) we didn't do a fun craft or activity, but I thought I would include a picture of one I've done in the past.

Maybe next year! At least the children learned who he was and why we celebrate him. :)



Workshop is what I call the time of the day where we do centers/stations/small groups/one-on-one/parent helpers. I hope to explain this in the least confusing way possible. :)

We have specific rules for Workshop. They are:
1. Always be working.
2. Finish the must do first.
3. Whisper voices.
4. Don't interrupt the teacher.

Each child has a star at their desk with their name on it. If they have a question, they are to ask everybody else first, then they bring me their star and move on to something else until I am able to help them.

Workshop lasts for about 30 minutes. All the children start out with a “must do”. This is usually some type of worksheet that reinforces a reading/math skill previously learned. They are supposed to do this page independently. When they are finished, they turn it into the basket and move on to their “next do”.

I have about 10 of these activities. I assign 2 children to each activity. Since we have an odd number of students, one child is by themselves. I usually pick a higher student who is okay with being alone. For now, River said she didn’t mind being by herself. I change the partners every 6 weeks or so. I have about 15 different stations I use all year. The activities stay about the same, with the exception of changing the book for listening center, adding new games, etc. The children get to stay at their “next do” for as long as they want.

Here's some of the next do's in action:

Read Around the Room
They simply read any of the letters/numbers/words they can. When we have more sight words up on the word wall, this will become word wall. Then they will only read the sight words.

Listening Center

Pocket Chart
This changes throughout the year. For now, it is putting the alphabet in order. Other activities include sorting words by spelling patterns, putting a sentence in order, etc.

They are to stamp the spelling words. But until we start spelling, they stamp sight words.

I have a few different mats to practice handwriting.

I have several boxes with different counting and alphabet caterpillars for them to make.

Pattern Blocks
I got these wonderful pattern block mats from PreKinders.

Right now we are just playing Starfall. But soon we will start Math Facts in a Flash and some of the other sites under my Favorites to the right.

When they are finished, they get to move on to a “may do”. These include activities like going to the library, writing in journals, using the reading phones, taking AR tests, etc.

While everyone is working, I pull back groups or individual children to work on various reading/math skills. Parents also come in to work with the children as well. I have parents play learning games, review letters, sight words, numbers, math facts, etc.

We've spent a month really learning how to do workshop properly. Parents are starting to come in this week. I'm really hoping the class remembers the rules and works well. I'm sure they will! Workshop really is our favorite time of the day!


Family Reading Night

Our first Family Reading Night was a success! We had so many people come that we ran out of cookies. That's a great sign! Only two children from our class came with their families to read. Everyone who comes to Family Reading Night gets to enter their name in a drawing. One child from each grade wins. A boy in my class was the first grade winner! He chose a Spiderman poster. He was so excited!

Our librarian reading the group a story.

There is one Family Reading Night each month. I stay at school to see the children and families, and get some work done in between visits. I love it!