Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Another AWESOME giveaway!

Ok friends - I hope you are entering these awesome giveaways.  I don't know about you but I'm all about a target gift card and free cute stuff from TpT stores.  One of the awesome blogs I follow, Eberhart's Explorers, is  teaming up with 2 other blogs to offer a giveaway of 2 $15 Target gift cards and 2 items from First Grade Blue Skies' TpT store!  I definitely want to win, but you should enter too.  There are 7 ways to enter....head on over and get busy!


Monday, October 24, 2011

Target Gift Card Giveaway

Y'all know how much I love a giveaway!  A new blogger Holly @ Teaching is my Game is offering a $15 dollar Target gift card to a random winner.  All you have to do is follow her blog, TPT Store, and blog about it.  You get one entry for each.  Super easy!  Head over and check her out!

Teaching is my Game

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Pumpkin Tasting

Thanks to the Harris Teeter on Firetower Rd.  I was able to purchase 4 different pumpkin foods and only pay 2 dollars out of my own pocket!  I walked around Harris Teeter trying to find different foods that I thought they might like.  I ended up getting Pumpkin Creme Cake, Pumpkin Pie, Pumpkin Spice Cookies, and Pumpkin Cream Cheese.  The first three were made right there in the Harris Teeter bakery.  I made a recording sheet for the students to record whether they liked each food or not.  At the end, I had them circle their favorite.  I was so proud of them for a) remembering that I always tell them to take a "thank you bite" of every food to decide if they like it or not and b) actually trying all the pumpkin foods.  When they came back from Art, we had their food on the table waiting for them. I heard several of the students say "ewwww" or "gross," but for the most part they all liked at least 2 of the items.  Here are a few pictures of my sweet students trying the food.
The foods they tried...I meant to take a picture before we passed out the food but I forgot..oops!

Kevin ready to try some food!

Each child got a little of each food.
Meredith recording "no" for pumpkin pie.

Kevin finishing his recording sheet.

Check out those faces!

Finger lickin' good!

Ray'shawn trying the cream cheese on a cracker.

Messiah trying pumpkin cake.
So thankful that Harris Teeter covered most of the cost for this activity and that the students had this opportunity!  We will definitely revisit this activity!

Measurement Cooperative Groups

I am working on trying to incorporate Cooperative Groups more often this year because I am seeing the benefits of them.  I love seeing my students work together and work as a team.  A few of my teacher friends and I decided we would split our students into their cooperative groups to use  nonstandard units of measure to measure our large pumpkins that Food Lion donated to our classroom.  We made a recording sheet for the groups to fill out during the activity which we had modeled using the day before.  Our students used plastic links, index cards taped together and pipe cleaners.  With the nature of the activity, we had to have different jobs than our previous lesson.  We had 2 Measurers, a Materials Manager and a Writer.  I have to say this lesson didn't go as well as the last one, but it wasn't horrible by any means.  Everyone in the group wanted to measure, so they would grab the materials and then the student whose job it was to measure wouldn't have what they needed.  Next year I will probably add another nonstandard unit of measure and let each student measure with one of them to make them all feel like they have a part.   Here are a few pictures of my sweet students measuring and recording.

Eli recording his groups measurements.
Kameryn reading the most/least questions to her group.
Karma and Eli working together.
Hannah measuring with the index cards.

Meredith and a friend measuring their pumpkin with links.

Johsua measuring with links.

Ray'shawn and his group members measuring with links.  Do you think this is too many?

All of my students were able to answer which tool they used the most and least of, which was a super important part of the lesson.  We still have work to do with working together, but I refuse to give up on cooperative groups! :)

Ask and you shall receive.....

Am I the only one who feels bad about constantly asking my parents to send things in?  I have the best group of parents this year, they are always sending something in!  I feel like we are always needing something, so to lighten the load I decided to ask a few local businesses to help us with a few items for our pumpkin unit and Halloween.  I asked our school secretary for the school letterhead and I wrote several businesses letters asking them for specific items and explained how I would use the items and which of our specific goals they pertained to. I followed up with a call a few days later and just like that they donated everything we needed.  It was super easy!  I would like to thank:

Lowe's of Winterville for donating 5 pumpkin carving kits, which we will use when we carve pumpkins in small groups.

Food Lion on Red Banks Rd. in Greenville for donating 2 large pumpkins and Food Lion on S. Memorial Dr. in Greenville for donating 3 large pumpkins.  We used these for a cooperative lesson on measuring and we will carve them on Halloween.

Harris Teeter on Firetower  Rd. for donating $20 in gift certificates to buy pumpkin foods.

I can't thank these local businesses enough for donating items to our classroom!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Spooktacular Trick-or-Treat Giveaway

Another awesome giveaway is in the works over at Sassy in Second's blog.  All you have to do is follow a few blogs and TPT stores and you can get several chances to win.  The giveaway is for some great units they are selling on TPT.  Head over and get busy following!  Good luck!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Fall Sorting

This week in math we have been learning to sort by one & two attributes and identifying sorting rules.  For Science we have been talking about Fall and Leaves.  For math today, I integrated the two and had cooperative groups complete Fall circle maps.  Cooperative learning is something that has always been difficult for me because it's student led learning and I like to be in control!  Also, I'm not huge on a lot of talking, but y'all this lesson was AWESOME!  It was out first cooperative lesson, so I had to explain cooperative groups, rules, and jobs which took a decent amount of time.  (Thank God for the SMART Board, which made it super easy!)  I made necklaces for the students to wear with their job and a picture to help them remember what to do, which is something I had not done before, but I think it really helped.  The jobs were: Cutter, Gluer, Page Turner, and Cleaner.  I gave the students stacks of magazines and they had to find fall pictures and glue them on to the circle map.  We did the frame of reference together which was slightly chaotic, but I will change how I do that next year! :)  The best part of the whole activity was that there was so much meaningful conversation going on!  Also, LOTS of encouragement.  I told them I would be listening for encouragement and kind words and the group with the most tallies would get a treat, so I think they really were working hard for that.  None of the groups fought or argued and they worked so well together.  Several of the students commented on how much fun they were having!  Here are some pictures of my sweet students working together.

Kameryn and Josh cutting out pictures. 

Amy waiting for something to glue.

Kevin looking for fall pictures. 

I'Dereis cutting out fall pictures.

Nick showing I'Dereis a fall picture. 

Meredith and a friend working together.

The finished product!

Job Cards - Created by a teacher friend using MS Word Clip Art.
I printed these on white card stock & laminated them.  
Then I punched a hole in the middle and put them on a string.

How do you guys incorporate cooperative learning into your lessons?

Fire Safety Bulletin Board

For the month of October we always do a Fire Safety Bulletin Board.  Mrs. Edwards (my wonderful assistant) does an art project with our children every Friday.  She starts with the fire truck seen on the bulletin board.  It's from an activity I saw on Mrs. Pohlmeyer's Kinderpage, which is no longer active.  Fortunately before it was taken down, I had printed out all of her units in case I needed some ideas.  Mrs. Edwards gives the students squares or rectangles of paper and shows them how to cut whatever shape is needed.  The following Friday she has the students finger paint a flame using yellow, red, and orange paint.  She is so brave and has no problem taking on a painting project!

I'm not too sure where the flame came from because we have been doing it for years.   If you are brave enough to finger paint, enjoy!


Just in case you haven't done Fire Safety yet or maybe you haven't finished it, I am just figuring out how to share things!  As one of our writing activities during Fire Safety week, I had my students label a fire truck.  This was our first writing lesson (we have been learning our letters) and I was so pleased with how it turned out.  We practiced first by moving the names of the parts of the fire truck to their correct spot on the SMART Board.  While the students were at their seats, I modeled explicitly writing each word.  I usually don't have lines drawn for them to write on, but reflecting on this activity in the past, I felt like it would really help them keep their words smaller and neater.  I don't know where the original fire truck came from, but I used the SMART Notebook software to add the lines.  

Hope it's something you can use!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Meet and Greet Giveaway

Love a giveaway? I do!  Some of the super cute teaching blogs I have been visiting are linking up to give away units from their TPT stores.  It's easy to enter - all you have to do is follow their blogs and TPT stores and you will get a lot of entries!  I was already following several of their blogs, but I have added some new ones as well as their TPT stores.  It's well worth taking the time to do it, because if you win you will get so many great activities they created.  Head over to Kinderglynn to get started!

Sunday, October 9, 2011


After spending the whole week discussing Fire Safety and Prevention, I had a surprise in store for my sweet Kindergarteners.  I had talked with my friend Joe, who is a firefighter, about coming to the classroom and talking to the children and showing them his uniform and gear so if they were ever in a fire they wouldn't be scared.  Imagine my surprise when he called me Friday morning to tell me he had to work overtime, but that he would be bringing the fire engine that afternoon to see us.  I was so excited I couldn't stand it, but I didn't want to tell the kids because I wanted them to be surprised.  They worked so hard on Friday and we were AHEAD of schedule (which is rare for us on a Friday, especially when we paint.)  When Joe got there, I calmly told them to put down their crayons that we were going on a little trip to somewhere in the school.  As soon as we walked outside I heard all of them ooh and aah "a fire truck!"  They absolutely loved it!  Joe did an awesome job and ended up talking to not only my class, but 4 other classes that joined us as well.  He quizzed them on the things we'd learned and showed them all of the things he wears when he's on a fire call.  Many of my students looked on in admiration.  Kevin said "I wish I could be a fire fighter."  Keeping the secret was well worth their surprise and excitement.  Of course we took lots of pictures...enjoy! :)

Asking Joe lots of questions!

It was very sunny outside - hard to get a good picture of us all! 

My little sweeties in front of the fire truck.

Joe in all his gear.

Getting all dressed up.

Joe quizzing the kids on fire safety.

 Thanks again Joe and whoever else at Greenville Fire & Rescue that made it possible for you to come out and bring the fire truck - my kids absolutely loved it! :) (Go ahead and pencil us in for next year!)

Friday, October 7, 2011


Yesterday was such a beautiful day!  I am usually busy getting things ready for our lessons later in the day when Mrs. Edwards goes out with the children, so I rarely get to enjoy the outdoors with them.  We didn't have recess yesterday because we had PE, but we finished our writing lesson early, so I took them outside for snack since Mrs. Edwards was out sick.  The weather was wonderful so we stayed out to play for a few minutes.  It is really interesting to see how they interact and enjoy each other when they aren't in such a structured setting.  It's nice to see them be 5 and 6!  Here are a few pictures of my sweeties playing!

Apparently this was the place to be...they were climbing up it. (Kameryn)

Tristan climbing the pole.

Ray'shawn climbing the pole.

I'Dereis and a friend climbing the "rock" wall.

Nick, Meredith and I'Dereis playing on the rock wall. 

Isaac and Emily playing on the rock wall.

Amy and Karma playing in the shade.  They were making something with those wood chips.

Jyrah in action heading down the slide.

He insisted I take his picture :)

Hannah playing on the dinosaur playground.

Emily and a friend on the ladders.

Check out that climbing action!

Tristan climbing the pole again.

Back under the playground to climb.

Eli on the slide.

Katelyn hanging out on the ladders.

A great time had by all.  I'll have to get out there more often!
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