Spelling Games

Our new favorite spelling game is Spell Checker! I saw this idea at What The Teacher Wants, and the kids LOVE it! Here's how to play:

Divide the class into groups. I just used the groups that our desks were in or boys/girls. Choose one child to be the "Spell Checker". They go out in the hall and wait. Then choose one child from each group to come be a "Writer". The teacher tells them a word to write and they all write it on the board. The "Spell Checker" comes back in and circles the one that is written the nicest and spelled correctly. Whoever wrote the word gets to be the next "Spell Checker" and their group gets the point.

Playing this game today reminded me of another favorite spelling game my past classes have loved. I haven't played it yet this year, but may have to introduce Snowball Spelling. I can't remember where I found the original idea, but I've done it for the past few years. Here's how to play:

Each child gets one Snowball Spelling paper (download available below), a pencil, and a crayon. Stand in a circle. The teacher says one word to spell. Each child writes that word in the number one box on their paper with the pencil. When everyone is finished they crumple their paper into a ball and throw it into the middle. Then the teacher calls certain children to get a new paper (if you are wearing a red shirt, boys, birthdays in January, etc). They look at the new paper and correct word number one with a crayon. If it is correct they draw a star. If it is wrong, they rewrite the word. Then they use this paper to write word number two. Keep going until all the words have been written. I've also done it before having the class try to throw their papers in a bowl in the middle. This helped one class full of boys who always tried to throw their papers way across the room.

Snowball Spelling Page


Measurement Part 2

To continue our unit on measurement, we learned about volume and capacity today. Mrs. Sullenger gave the lesson today, and started by putting several containers in order, from smallest capacity to greatest, based on what the children thought. A few containers tricked them. For example, one small but wide container held A LOT more than the class would thought. Once the containers were in their predicated order, they estimated how many cups would fill each container. They weren't the best estimators, but it was still fun! I think their favorite part was the water changing colors from the food coloring. Children are so easily amused... :)

Isn't she the cutest pregnant person ever? :)

One cube stood for every cup of water the container held. This was a really great visual for them to understand. Of course we had to round, since I didn't have any half cubes. The numbers on the containers were the order the class thought they would be. You can see a few had to be rearranged after we filled them.

I sometimes wonder how much they actually grasp on concepts like this. so if anyone else has any great ideas for teaching about volume, I'd love to hear them!



{..this giveaway is now closed..}
I have 100 followers!

When I started this little blog, I never imagined I would reach 100 followers!

To let you know how much I LOVE all my faithful followers (because I have found so many new and wonderful blogs/ideas because of you), I decided it’s time for a giveaway!

I have just discovered these amazing leap frog dvds.

I teach the afterschool reading program for Kindergarteners and they are devouring the Letter Factory. It has such a neat way of connecting the letter names and sounds, and it is especially helping many of the ELL children in the program. The winner of this giveaway will receive the leap frog video of their choice!

Here’s how to enter:

Leave a comment for each entry.
1. Become a follower.
2. Leave a comment letting me know which movie you would prefer.
3. Leave a comment telling me your favorite Valentine’s book/activity for your class. (I love to get me some new ideas!)
4. Mention this blog and giveaway on your blog.
5. Facebook about this giveaway.

That gives you 5 chances to win!
Good luck!

Giveaway ends Friday, February 4th.



We did a lot of fun activities for measuring length this week.

Ice Cream Measurement
First, we measured each child to see how many ice cream scoops tall they were. I got this idea from Mrs. Larremore, but did ice cream instead of pumpkins. The kids had a GREAT time with this. Next year I will layer the ice cream scoops more, so we can have a more accurate measurement. But it still turned out great!

I do not know why this one is sideways. It's normal on my computer. Sorry!

A few close ups

Ms. Van Orman is about 12 ice cream scoops tall!

Mrs. Sullenger is about 12 ice cream scoops tall!

Ice Cream Measurement Writing Page

Inchworm Measuring
Mrs. Sullenger had a cute idea for using Inchy Inchworm to measure objects around the room. It was so much fun. The class loved it! They got to color their inchworm and then work with a partner to measure anything around the room. They drew what they measured and then wrote how many inchworms long it was.

We even measured a student!

Inchworms - color

Inchworms - black and white

Inchworm Record Sheet


Ordinal Numbers

We spent part of this week working with ordinal numbers. First we had children come up and form a line, and then identified who was first in line, third, sixth, etc. For the assessment, each child had a strip of paper with 10 squares on it. Mrs. Sullenger gave them directions for each square. For example, "Draw a smiley face in the fifth square. Draw a heart in the second square." The majority of the class understood this really well. I made another ordinal numbers page to use with the few who need additional help. This is my first attempt to share with google docs. I still can't get it to show the actual page in the blog, but click on the link below to see it.

Let me know if it does/doesn't work. :)

Ordinal Numbers


Penguin Pie

I saw this cute idea for Penguin Pie and knew I had to try and incorporate it into our busy schedule somehow. Luckily we had earned our Lucky Party and I decided this activity would be perfect. It was a lot of fun, and still educational. I have a lot of books about penguins, but one of my favorite ones is:

I think it is so funny, and the kids love it. I read this book to them to introduce our activity. Then we passed out the Penguin Pies (AKA Dilly Bars from DQ), estimated how many bites it would take us to eat it, completed some similes, and then wrote the actual number of bites it took to eat it. It was a very fun and messy activity, but the kids loved it. Next year I may buy some cheaper "Penguin Pies", like from Wal-Mart. :)



Now that we are learning consonant digraphs, clusters, and long vowels, the spelling words are getting harder. I found these great ideas from What The Teacher Wants.

In addition to these, here are some other activities we do with spelling words in class. Hopefully these will be helpful for you at home.

-Write the words in red marker on yellow paper (there's been some research on that. apparently those colors help with remembering.)
-Write the words in ABC order
-Spell the words in shaving cream (or any other fun substance, like paint, whip cream, chocolate pudding)
-Sailboat spelling. Write the word one letter at a time, creating a sail, then write the whole word once, creating the boat. Kind of like this:



-Stamp the spelling words. (Porter's had a set of alphabet stamps for $1.99. We use these at school, and I love them! I've had them for three years now and they are still working great!)
-Train Spelling. Write the whole word and draw a box around it. Add two wheels. In the first wheel, write the first letter of the word. In the last wheel, write the last letter of the word.
-Create the words using play dough. Click here for an easy play dough recipe to make at home.

Anybody else have some great spelling ideas? I'd love to hear them!



Today was one of my most favorite days of first grade. Why you may ask? We made FUDGE! We are learning the _dge spelling this week, and as a way of reinforcing this we blended some _dge words and then made the fudge. I had a few children help put the ingredients together. While we were making it I called on different children to spell _dge words. By the end most children could spell fudge.

Parents, ask your child if they still remember how to spell that tricky, but delicious word!

I know, no hats in school. But it was so stinkin' cute, I had to let that rule slide. Just for today...

He couldn't get enough of the fudge. He just sat, smelled, and watched it cool. Such a funny boy!

Here's my recipe. Give it a try!

1 cup of butter (2 cubes)
1 12 oz can evaporated milk
4 ½ cups sugar
2 bags semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 7 oz jar marshmallow fluff
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine butter, milk, and sugar in an electric skillet; bring to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Continue boiling 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring. Stir in chocolate until melted. Add marshmallow fluff and vanilla. Mix until blended. Pour into greased 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Let cool and enjoy!