Saturday, October 25, 2014

Candy Corn Stars!

Hello Everyone!!
What an exhausting but wonderful week!  (21 Parent conferences, 21 report cards with 3 assessment result reports and parent letters for each, instructional specialists, WatchDogs, All Stars, field trip planning, technology enrichment lessons, planning for next week, and of course teaching.) I had to put just a little fun (both for the kids and for me!!) into our week, sooooooo.....
This post is directly attributed to a Good Housekeeping craft idea. You can find it here!

I loved this idea for turning a paperplate into paper candy corn!  We are so into candycorn lately! Well, I decided to take our science study about the sun and stars  and infuse a little candy corn into it! Huh??? Hold'll see!  The kids traced the natural circle  and drew a small circle on a plain paper plate, creating three sections.  Then they painted the outer edge yellow and the inner ring orange.   It reminded us of the sun!  We reviewed the characteristics of the sun. When dry, the kids cut their plates into eight pieces, and voila!! Candy Corn!  Well, in reviewing the characteristics of the sun, we talked about the fact that the sun is the closest star to the earth, so we decided to make our candy corn pieces into a star!  They turned out so cool!! And what a great connection!! Here are a couple of pics!

We made a large one too!

We added the information we had learned
 about the sun!

I also need to share our little sundial that we studied throughout the day.  So easy and effective! The kids got to watch the shadow move and shorten. 

 We recorded our observations with a marker and on a recording sheet. I think I have shared our Sunny Sunny Day unit before, but in case you missed it

Well, I'm off to watch a movie with the Hubs! Hope I don't fall asleep in the middle of it! I'm pooped!!
 Hope you're having a great weekend!!   
Thanks for stopping by!!!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Candy Corn Crush!

Hello Everyone!!
Yes! I am posting again after only one day!! I am not sure I've ever posted two days in a row before, but I wanted to share what I am working on in math this week.  I have noticed that my "Candy Corn Connection" unit has been downloaded over 500 times! Well, I have news for you! I've added some new components to the unit and am now calling it "Candy Corn Crush!" Our study this week is on comparing and ordering numbers. We started working today on one of the new components, Candy Corn Caper.  It was inspired by a Kim Sutton Game called Place Value Trails.  I laid out several candy corn shapes along a trail, labeling the first one with a 10 and the last one with a 100. I wrote numbers 0-9 on smaller pieces of paper.  The kids drew 2 numbers and decided what number they could create and write on the trail, knowing that the placement of the number had to show number order.We played until all the candy had a number. There were some numbers created that we couldn't write on the trail.

I put an individual size of this game in math tubs this week, so the kids could continue working on comparing and ordering! (and it's available in my new unit!)

I also wanted to share what we are doing in math tomorrow! It's time for the Candy Corn Cruncher!! Last year I posted about our Pumpkin Muncher that we used to teach the symbols for greater and less than. Well, in honor of the sweet treat, I decided to create a new version of the Muncher. Alas! The Candy Corn Cruncher came to be!  The kids will make mini crunchers tomorrow, but I got the big one ready for our whole class lesson.

I just know the kids are going to "get it" with this fun little addition to our math tool box! Directions for making this little cutie are in the new unit along with numbers to compare and recording pages.
Here are some of the other things you can get in the new unit!

Matching game

It's only 54 pages!  You don't have to print in color. Most pages are black and white, and colored pages will be fine in grayscale as well.

Teachers- Let me know if you can use math activities like this.  I'll keep pumpin' them out. 
Parents- Please feel free to print and play with your kids!! All the practice they get with comparing and ordering numbers helps!!

Thanks for stopping by for a peek today!  I hope it was worth your time. Don't forget to leave a comment!
Have a great night!!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Writing Across Five Fingers

Hello Everyone!
Thank you so much for stopping by for a peek into our wonderful world.  First grade is such an amazing year of learning, growth, independence, stamina building, and soooooo much more.  Our writer's workshop is coming along so nicely.  My kids are loving storyboarding. We have published so many books already, and the kids are so engaged! First graders need as many tools as they can get to help them organize their thinking before writing.  Next week I will introduce a writing organizer developed by Lucy Calkins.  Lucy Calkins talks to young writers about making sure they have a beginning, middle, and end to their  small moment stories. She discusses how to use their own five fingers  as a graphic organizer to plan a story before they begin to write things down. I think there are many different ways to use this idea and tell a story across your fingers. You can use the who, what, where, when, and how template. Or you could use the who, what, when, what happened, and how you felt template.  Another way to think about the five fingers is introduction, beginning, middle , end, and how you felt template.  Remember that each of these five parts will need details added.  I have included several different mini posters and planning sheets in a little unit. You can use the one you want to emphasize or support your writer’s workshop.  Whichever template you use, kids need a lot of practice making sure they can tell their stories across their fingers.
Here are some pics of a little unit inspired by Lucy!

I like to use the template that emphasizes  the intro, beginning, middle, end, and how did you feel  components.  I illustrate that with stickers on my hand in the colors of a stoplight.

We have been working hard on the partnerships we are building as writers.  Our partners help us make our writing even better by asking questions.

I am so looking forward to giving my kids a new tool for their writing toolbox. 

I hope this will help you and your kids work on your passion for writing! Let me know if you can use this or if you would like to see something a little different. (And as always, let me know if there are any typos!!) 
I am always up for learning something new that will help my little authors.
Have a great rest of the weekend!! Thanks for stopping by!!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Math in the Patch

Hello Everyone!
Well, it finally feels like fall around here!! We are welcoming some cooler temps here in Texas. Summer truly seemed to drag on this year.  Don't get me wrong, though. Summer is my fav season and there is not much I like better than enjoying some pool or beach time. But once school starts, it really does need to feel like fall.  So....Time to bring on the pumpkins!!! Nothing like some fun pumpkin style math activities to help kids practice place value, standard and expanded notation and more.  I am always updating, revising, cleaning up, and adding to my old units.  I offered my "Math in the Patch" unit last year, but it has gone through a few changes. Yes! I did fix one or two typos! Grrrr! I hate typos!! I added some fun elements as well!  Here are some pics!


I think one of my favorite things I added to the unit is the Number Pumpkin. You will need some orange paint chip strips, some sticks, and leaves. Give kids a 2 digit number and have them write that number in the many forms we have learned about. Labels for the sections are included in the unit. Tape or glue on the stick and the leaf. I can't wait to do this with my firsties.

We did something similar but with candy corn shapes the past few years, but this gives even more opportunity for expressing number sense with five sections.  

If you are interested in any of this 60 page unit...

I hope you have a great week!! Thanks for stopping by for a peek! You are welcomed any time!  Stay tuned for more fall fun!