Monday, April 29, 2013

The Froggy Express

The Froggy Express is in full swing in First Grade!  This is one of my favorite times of year with my Firsties!  Each year, our First Grade runs the school post office, delivering mail to and from all of our students and staff Pre-K-8!  It is no small undertaking!  This is our "social action" project for our school.  The Firsties deliver the mail and provide a "reprieve" from the "agony" of state testing for the older students.

All of the students and staff look forward to the Froggy Express Post Office.  A few years ago a parent donated an old mailbox and our awesome plant manager painted it for us last year.  It comes out of storage once a year and signals the opening of the post office.  All of our students know this is the one and only place to mail a letter at our school!  During recess, there is usually a line!

There are certain rules of course!  Students must use their best penmanship.  Each letter must have at least three sentences and one should be a question so they get a response!  There is a special format for addressing must be followed or it will be "Returned to Sender"!    Here are my little mail carriers going out on their route!

Off to sleep, now!  

I'm Back...I Hope!

I have been so busy!  We just spent the weekend at a Volleyball Tournament for my daughter.  She is graduating and is trying to play volleyball in college.  This is such an exciting and stressful time for all of us, but especially her!  Poor thing!  I'm trying to be the supportive mom she needs, but I'm stressed, too!  YIKES!

Anyway, I did have time (in the middle of the night) to finish another center game for my kiddos!  We are going to finish up our year playing lots of center games to review skills from the year.  This is a fun beach themed game and a bonus game with a star theme.  I think my kiddos will enjoy the practice with  a new will be a brand new game!

I hope you can use it in your class, too!

Happy Monday!  Have a great week!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

I'm having a Sale!

I have had a very long day!  It was a great day, but a long one!  My oldest daughter is in a play this week so we will have 3 evening performances in a row.  I had an IEP meeting after school and I had to arrange rides for my own kids to their activities.  (Juggling is always fun!)

As for the IEP, I love this student.  This IEP just made me want to work harder to find ways to help him, but I know that I will get to school and realize that I have 20 others that need me too.  I wish I could give them all so much more.  I want more minutes in my day and a full time aide!  Is that too much to ask for?  Really?

Anyway, I feel like we all need a sale to help us get through the rest of this week!  Visit my TpT store for 20% off everything now through Friday!  Please remember to leave feedback!  Thanks!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Community Fun and Freebie!

We are gearing up for a big project this Friday!  We have invited 14 community helpers into our classroom this Friday!  The students have brainstormed a great list of interview questions and we are going to discover how each of these individuals contributes to our community!  The students will use iPads to record the interviews in small groups.  We will share the interviews from the different groups with all of the kids and everyone will get to see all of the interviews!    I hope it works!

I finished up a community themed / literacy station / sight word games/ fix-it packet /.  Please check it out at my TpT store or  Teacher's Notebook.  

If you would like to grab my freebie graphic organizer, click the picture below!  My students used it to organize their thoughts before they write their community paragraphs!  I'll post those soon!  Grab it now!


Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Best Day Ever!

So this is what every teacher wants to hear!  My kiddos were so cute on Friday, telling me it was the best day ever!  I guess so!  We had a very wormy "Worm Day!"

We made "Worm Dirt Cups" (yum), "Worm Buddies", "Worm Anatomy Book Covers" and colored a cute worm book!  Yep!  Best day ever!

So, this unit started with a trip to the worm farm to learn about worms from Farmer Mark!  Then we came back to class and explored up close.   We measured our worms and described how they look, feel, smell and sound!  We used parts from Renee Dooly's great Earth Day Resource!
This is a wonderful resource and I love her stuff!  You have to check out her store, if you haven't already!
Worm book coloring station!
We measured our worms!
We made worm buddies!

We drew the worm anatomy!
After we explored our worms and measured them, we put them to work in our garden!  We had a wonderful parent who donated these great worm boxes to our garden!  They are awesome for school because they have a plexi glass viewing pane!  These were the first worms to live's their brand new house!

So I guess it really was the Best Day Ever!  Especially for our worm friends!  Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Author Visit

We had a last minute assembly scheduled for this morning and I'm so glad we did!  It was totally worth it because my kiddos got to listen to a "real live author"!  They were so excited!

In case you haven't heard of him, this is Richard Rosser!  He is the author of the Piggy Nation books.  These books focus on "piggy behavior" which he explains is any behavior that is rude or impolite.  He has written two picture book and a chapter book.  Check out his website at and his books!  They're great and perfect for primary!!!

 I'm definitely beginning next year with a Piggy Nation unit!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Worm Farm!

Wow!  It has been a week since my last post.  I had great intentions...and life happened!

Today, I took my first graders to the Worm Farm!  This is one of my absolute favorite field trips to take my students on.

This awesome resource is located in our community!  We are so lucky!

This is Farmer Mark!  He is a worm farmer!
We usually take the kids on this field trip at the beginning of the year during our "Green Team" unit when we learn about natural resources and the 4 Rs.  We rearranged our units of study this year, for various reasons.  At first I thought we might not  be able to go on "my favorite field trip" and I couldn't have that!  So, my teaching partners and I decided to view the worm farm from a different angle!  The angle of community helpers!  It worked perfectly.

We just began our community helpers unit and Farmer Mark definitely provides a service to not only our local community, but world wide!  We interviewed Farmer Mark to find out how he is a community helper.   Now that we have modeled the interview process for the kids, it will be their turn to interview community helpers!

Next week we are having our first ever, "Community Helper Interview Day".  Many parents and local community members have volunteered to be interviewed about their jobs.  The kids are very excited!  The plan is to have the kids video the interview with the iPad so we can share these online with parents!  We have some practicing to do this week to get or interview skills up to par!

I'm looking forward to the results!

Back to the worm farm....

What do you get when 3 classes of first graders see a huge pile of worm castings?

61 very happy and dirty first graders!

Also, since we are in the middle of our community unit now, I've put together a thematic literacy packet!  It's posted on TpT and Teacher's Notebook.  Check out the pictures below and at my stores!  My kids have had fun practicing their silent e words with this game!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Earth Day and Recycling

I've just finished my new Earth Day Froggy's Fix-its!  Check it out in my TpT Store or my Teacher's Notebook!

I'll be back tomorrow with some fun pictures of what we are working on now in First Grade!  Fun stuff!

Happy Monday!!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Happy Easter and Common Core?

Happy April Fool's Day!  I am off of work today, which I needed to recover from the weekend!  We were busy around here...doing absolutely nothing...which wore me out!

So a belated, Happy Easter! I woke up yesterday to my youngest daughters (12 year old triplets) ready for Easter! I love that they are still so excited to see what the Easter Bunny left in their baskets! My 17 year old was not as excited to wake up at 7:00! As they have gotten older, the Easter Bunny has started to leave more age appropriate surprises...of course there is still plenty of candy, but this Easter they each found a "Dr. Who" t-shirt in their basket! In case you are unaware, this is a crazy BBC television show that they found via a friend at school! They are watching the episodes in order from Netflix so they can catch up to the current season. (It may take a while...) Anyway, they were quite excited! I, of course, had to satisfy my blogging addiction, so I downloaded freebies and read lots of great blogs all day!! It really is an illness! I came across this great article about the common core and wanted to share!

It has some good thoughts on the common core, which is on every teacher's radar! Enjoy!

I also found a "Common Core App" that can be added to your blog so you have the standards easily accessible.  If you click on the side tab, installation instructions are included!  Have a great week!