Red, White, and Blue

To go along with 9/11 and Constitution Day we read Debbie Clement's book, Red, White, and Blue.  It has a cute song that goes along with it and my class LOVED it!  We even got to sing it for the principal on Friday!  He loved it, too.  :)  

So here we are, for your listening pleasure.  
(Make sure to turn off the music playing on the right, so you can hear our sweet voices!)  

Parents, if you are concerned that your child is on YouTube for all the world to see, don't be.  :)  I always list the videos in a way that people can only see it through this blog.  Let me know if you have any questions or concerns about it.  

I didn't find out about Debbie's cute book/song until the night before I wanted to use it.  But, Debbie being the wonderful woman she is, helped me get the song that night!  Thanks again, Debbie!  :)  

{If you would like to order her book/song, she is having a promotion through the end of September.  Go here, enter the PROMO Code RWB911 and receive a 20% discount!}


Pledge Hearts

In honor of September 11th, I read the class these two books:

and then we made Pledge Hearts.


O is for Octopus

To review the letter O last week, each child made an octopus.  They colored all the O's in the words and made a face out of O's.  They turned out pretty cute!  



I was so inspired by all the super cute newsletters out there in blogland, so I decided to make my own.  :)  This year I am emailing it out to my parents, in order to save on copies.  

If any parents did not receive the newsletter, please let me know so I can update your email address.

Here is what mine looked like on Friday, except I had the September birthdays listed (including mine on the 22nd!!) and my actual phone numbers.  

I uploaded a blank version of mine here.  If you would like me to customize it for you, I'd be more than happy to.  Also, if you'd like me to send you the word version, let me know.  :)


9/11 Activity

Sunny Days in Second Grade is hosting a linky party for 9/11 activities.  Since I was planning on discussing 9/11 with my class on Monday, I was glad to find all these great activities.  I absolutely LOVE her American Flag Hearts.  I think this is a perfect craft my class can do.  

On one side of the heart they make the American flag.  On the other side they write the Pledge of Allegiance.  I made a couple hearts that I will copy back to back to make it a little more first grade friendly.  I made one heart that has lines for the children to write the pledge themselves, and one that has the pledge already written for them to trace.  I'm not sure which one I'll end up using... I think it just depends on how much time we have.  Sometimes copying a simple paragraph can take them about 31 hours.  :)  I also added two different stars to cut out and use from DJ Inkers and a template to use for the top left corner.  Enjoy!  

Visit Sunny Days


Back to School Night

Thank you to all the parents who came to Back to School Night, tonight!  I appreciate the time you took to come learn more about our classroom.  If you were unable to make it, I will send the info packet home with your child tomorrow. 

In addition to the info packets, I also sent home The Blueberry Story.  I got this story from another teacher at our school and I love the message it gives.  I use this story to explain my philosophy of teaching.  I love how it says, "We can never send back our blueberries (students). We take them big, small, rich, poor, gifted, exceptional, abused, frightened, confident, homeless, rude, and brilliant. We take them with ADHD, junior rheumatoid arthritis, and English as their second language. We take them all! Every one! And that is why it’s not a business. It’s a school!"  As teachers, we need to change the way we teach in order to give all children the maximum opportunity to thrive.  While none of my 19 children are perfect, I love them all and am excited to spend the year learning and growing together!  :) 

If you weren't able to make it tonight, click on the link below and read the story.  But, unfortunately, you missed out on the yummy blueberry loaf that went with it.   :)


Terrific Tuesday!

Today we read this book

And then completed this worksheet I made to go along with it. 
Here are a few examples from today. 

We also played an ABC Kooshball game on the smartboard.  Each child took a turn throwing a Kooshball at the smartboard.  It then opened up a page with a letter on it.  They told the class the letter name and sound.  I make a lot of different Kooshball games.  The children LOVE them! 
(I'd be more than happy to email it to anyone who wants it.)

And we did "The Wheels On Our Bus" from Mrs. Jump's Literacy and Math Fun with Names Unit

It was a fun, successful day!  :) 


Button and Tutorial

I finally fixed my button. Here is the new one, if you need to replace yours.    :)


Would you like to know how to make your image into a button for your followers to grab?  Then follow these simple directions. 

First, create your image.  I usually make mine in Adobe Photoshop, but however you do it is fine.  :)  Upload it to a photo sharing site.  I use Photobucket.  Then, copy the Direct Link, form your photo sharing site.  Next, paste it into the formula below. 
(I originally got my instructions from The Shabby Shoppe, but can't find the exact post.) 

And voila!  You should have a beautiful, grabable button!  Let me know if you have any other questions about it.  :) 


First Week Fun!

We survived the first week!  Here's a peek into our first week's activities. 

We spent most of the first day doing activities and games to help reinforce our rules and get to know each other.  My favorites are Simon Says, to help remember "Follow directions quickly" and  Who Stole the Cookie from the Cookie Jar, to help learn names.  We always have fun with those! 

We went on our gingerbread hunt/school tour.
I printed each clue on brown construction paper, laminated them, and then hung them around the school for the children to find.   

Gingerbread Hunt Clues

We started reviewing our numbers.  For each number we practice on the smartboard, sing the song, and practice on a paper. 

Number Writing Song

Number Pages

We ended the first day with Abby's Jitter Juice!  This is by far my new favorite first day of school activity! 

We read the poem and highlighted rhyming words.

 Then we made up our own Jitter Juice recipe.

And finally we made the REAL Jitter Juice!  It was D.E.L.I.C.I.O.U.S!

I bought these mini, lined whiteboards from the Target Dollar spot.  Four double-sided boards for only $1!  :) 
A brilliant teacher at my school said she uses them with her Kindergarten class to practice names.  I loved that idea, so I wrote each child's first and last name on the board with a yellow sharpie.  Now the children practice tracing their names and writing them neatly in the lines in the morning and when they have extra time after finishing their work. 

We drew our self-portraits.

We made Abby's First Week of First Grade Book

We ended the week with a much needed Sesame Street video about going to school.  Educational, but relaxing.  It was a fun week, but I was very glad for a long weekend to recover.  :)