Thursday, September 21, 2017

Thanksgiving Parent Gift

Every year I have my students made this super cute crayon ornament and turkey gift bag to take home to their parents for a little Thanksgiving gift!
Here is what the crayon ornament looks like:
This is a super cheap parent gift!  All you need are some crayons, foam for the back, string/ribbon, Mod Podge, glitter, and a student picture.
Here are the steps to make the crayon ornament:
Step 1:  Cut out a small rectangle (about the size of the length of a crayon) on any color foam piece.

Step 2:  Hole punch two holes at the top of the rectangle.

Step 3:  Tie string or ribbon through the holes.

Step 4:  Have the students glue crayons onto their rectangle foam piece.  They can use regular glue or tacky glue.  I sometimes add a little hot glue on the crayons for an extra strong hold.

To add a little shine and sparkle I have my students paint the crayons with Mod Podge and sprinkle some glitter on top.

Step 5:  Add the student name tag and a bow.
Click HERE to download the printable name tags for FREE!

Step 6: Finally add each student's picture in the middle of the crayon frame! 

In the past I've had my students made this turkey gift bag to place their crayon ornaments in.  However, it was a huge pain to copy all the pieces on construction paper.

So I decided to remake the turkey bags for this year....

Here is what they now look like!

No more construction paper copies! 
Now I only have two pages to copy!

My students can also customize what hat and eyes they want for their bag.  So each bag is super cute and unique!

 Click HERE to download my Turkey Gift Bag from my TpT Store!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Writing Outlines

When I first looked at the Common Core standards years ago I freaked out when I saw some of the writing standards for first graders!  I couldn’t believe they were expecting me to teach opinion, informative, and narrative writing to first graders!!  AND they wanted first graders to use topic and concluding sentences in their writing!  I thought there was NO WAY first graders could do that….UNTIL I created my writing outlines.  These outlines have been a life safer!  They are the easiest way for me to teach the different types of writing.  They are also so easy for the students to fill in.  It makes writing for my first graders so easy!

I created an outline for Opinion Writing, Informative Writing, Step Writing, Personal Narrative Writing, and Fictional Narrative Writing. 

I also made large anchor chart versions of my outlines.  During my writing lessons, we fill in the outlines together as a class.  Doing this 'whole-group writing' really helps my students when it comes time for them to fill in their outline by themselves.

After I have my students complete an outline, I grade/revise/edit their writing.  Then, I have my students create a final draft of their writing.  They transfer what's on their writing outline to lined paper and add a picture!

I found that these outlines really helped my students organize their writing, so I also created a letter writing template.

The letter writing template has the lines for the different parts of a letter.

We discuss the different parts of a letter and write some examples together as a class.  Then, when my students are ready to start writing letters on their own each student gets their own pen pal.  They write letters back and forth to each other.  The students love writing to their pen pal!

Click HERE to download my Writing Outlines from my TpT Store!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

American Sign Language in the Classroom

Each year I teach my students a little bit of American Sign Language.  I teach the majority of the signs during my phonics lessons.  For example, as we learn the sound and keyword for the letter a we learn the signs as well.  So by the end of my phonics lesson we have a chant and hand signs that help us remember the sound for a!  The students would say: a - apple - (a) .  As they say the chant, they sign the letter a and the sign for apple.  I have found that putting hand signs with my phonics lessons activity engages the students in the lesson and helps them remember the content better!  Research says that children learn faster when they can hear, see and feel what they are learning.

I searched high and low for an alphabet strip that not only had the letter and a picture, but also the letter in American Sign Language.  I couldn't find what I wanted so I had to make my own!  Here are some pictures of what my regular alphabet strip looked like...

Here are some pictures of what my new alphabet strip looks like!  My alphabet strip is now a great resource tool for my students to use, especially during my phonics lessons!

I also like to teach some signs to help with classroom management.  For example, I teach the students the sign for bathroom.  That way when I'm in the middle of guided reading groups and a child needs to go to the restroom they can catch my attention and make the sign for bathroom without interrupting my small group!

If you don't know American Sign Language, no need to worry!  The internet is filled with tons of helpful websites where you can type in the word you are looking for and a video will show you how to make the sign.  Here is one helpful website I use: American Sign Language Dictionary.

Click HERE to download my Alphabet Strip with American Sign Language from my TpT Store!

Click HERE to download my D'Nealian Alphabet Strip with American Sign Language from my TpT Store!

Click HERE to download my Regular Alphabet Strip from my TpT Store!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Editable Binder Covers and Spines

I finally got around to making binder covers and spines to match my polka dot and red classroom!  They turned out super cute!  I can’t wait to get all my binders updated.  Here is a sneak peek at how they turned out…

I made 15 different covers and spines.  Here is a look at all the different covers I made.
I also made matching backs.  So the front, spine, and back all go together!
Now my shelf is super cute and organized looking!
I made these binder covers and spines editable and added them to my TpT store!

Click HERE to download my EDITABLE Binder Covers and Spines from my TpT Store!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Editable Monthly Calendars

Every year I always put some type of calendar in my student’s daily take-home folder.  This year I decided to update/change the way I do my calendars.  This year I have made my calendars very detailed.  Not only do I list the days we don’t have school, but I also list homework assignment due dates, spelling test dates, special school events, special classroom events, testing days, etc.  I try to make the calendars as detailed as possible for my parents.

I just copy the calendar on cardstock paper, hole punch it, and place it in each student’s daily take-home binder.

The students also mark their calendar at the end of each day with their color behavior dot (green, yellow, or red).  Every night their parents look at the calendar and initial it!

This is what my calendars look like before I add anything to them...

I like to type all my details in my calendars, add cute fonts, etc.

I made two versions of the months September, October, November, December, and April just incase I need a different non holiday version.

I also made the calendars totally blank.  They are perfect to use for to plan with, write notes on, etc!

  Click HERE to download my Editable Monthly Calendars from my TpT store!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Dr. Seuss/Read Across America Ideas

I love to spend over two weeks in the month of March reading a different Dr. Seuss book to my students each day.  After reading the Dr. Seuss book, I have my students complete fun activities that go with it!

I like to begin my unit by talking about who Dr. Seuss was.  I go through my "Who Was Dr. Seuss" Anchor Charts that I made!

Here are just some of the Dr. Seuss activities we do after reading each book:

Green Eggs and Ham

After reading the book Green Eggs and Ham we used these charts to graph our responses to the following questions:

Instead of making actual green eggs and ham I like to make these cookies that look like green eggs and ham.  I don't show the cookies to the students until after they answer the anchor chart questions.  They always think they will be eating actual green eggs and ham.  They are always shocked and excited to see it is a cookie!  LOL

The Cat in the Hat

I have my students use their picture to make themselves into Thing 1 and Thing 2!

Mr. Cat Comes Back!

I always love to read the Dr. Seuss book: The Cat in the Hat Comes Back the day after reading the original version.  Here are some of the different activity pages I have my students complete after we read the book...

Activity 1: Comparing the two stories using a Venn Diagram

Activity 2: Writing Prompt: How would you remove the ring from the bathtub?

Activity 3: Comprehension Crossword Puzzle

Activity 4: Word Search

Click HERE to download these activities!

Feet, Feet, Feet!

The Foot Book is one of my favorite Dr. Seuss books!  There are so many great lessons and activities you can pair with this book!  After reading The Foot Book to my students we cover antonyms, adjectives, non-standard/standard measurement, skip counting, etc! 

Here is a look into some of the fun activities we do...

I like to teach a quick mini lesson on what antonyms are.  We use the brain storm chart together as a class to think of words that are antonyms.  I have the students complete the Antonym Foot Match worksheet as a quick assessment.

For a fun antonym activity, I give each student a pair of feet with one word written on one of the feet.  They have to think of the antonym to that word and write it on the other foot.  Finally, they illustrate what each word means.

I display the antonym feet on a large foot that I make out of butcher paper on my classroom door!

I like to place these activity at my literacy centers... 

For this activity, the students match the pair of antonym feet!

Here the students sort each flip flop depending on if it goes on the left or right foot.

I also like to review adjectives with my students using The Foot Book.  I like to slip in a quick review lesson on adjectives anytime I can since they can be so difficult for some first graders to understand! 

Here we review what an adjective is and brain storm adjectives that describe feet.  We fill in the foot chart together as a class.  Finally, I divide my students into small groups and give each group a copy of The Foot Book.  They work together to find adjectives in the book.  They record their answers on the worksheet.

For a fun non-standard measurement activity I have each student trace and cut out their foot.  They measure their foot using cubes, paper clips, and pennies.  They record their answers on their worksheet! 

This is another great non-standard measurement activity. I place long strips of masking tape on the floor of my classroom.  The students use their feet to measure the length of each line and record it on their worksheet.  After everyone is finished we discuss what answers each student got and why everyone got different answers.

Here is an example of a tape strip on the floor for the students to measure.
After we discuss why everyone got different answers we then discuss the actual foot measurement on a ruler.  I pass out a ruler to each student and they work together to measure each tape strip in actual feet for the second time around.  When everyone is finished we share our answers and discuss why everyone got the same answers now.

Here are some skip counting worksheets I like to place at my math centers. 

Click HERE to download these activities!

Fox in Socks

After reading the book, Fox in Socks we talk about what Synonyms are.  The students write a pair of synonyms on their pair of socks and illustrate what the words mean.

The Lorax

After reading the book, The Lorax we go through these story element Truffula Trees as a class!  Then, each student makes a poster on how they can take care of the Earth.

One Graph, Two Graphs, Three Graphs, More!

The Dr. Seuss book, One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish has so many great activities I like to pair it with...especially math activities!  

Here is a look into some of the fun activities we do with this book...

After reading the book to the students we discuss/review what an antonym is.  I reread the book to the students as they point out the antonyms they hear in the story.  We add the words on our T-chart.

I place this Fishing for Antonyms activity at one of my literacy centers.  My students LOVE this antonym center activity!  The fishing rod has a magnet on the end of it and the fish have brads in their eyes.  The students use the fishing rod to "fish" for words that are antonyms!

I have my students complete this antonym worksheet as a quick assessment on what they know.

Here are two other literacy center activities I place at my centers during the week.

For this activity the students play "Go Fish" for rhyming words.

Here the students sort the fish depending on if they have a real or non-sense word written on them.

I use Goldfish crackers for a lot of my activities.  I place the Goldfish in snack sized Ziploc bags and staple the bag toppers on!

My students complete different graphing activities with the Goldfish crackers.  We learn and practice with Tally Graphs, Bar Graphs, and Picture Graphs!

Each graphing activity just takes 10 Goldfish crackers!

Tally Graph:

Picture Graph:

Bar Graph: 

Mixed Graphing Practice:

Class Survey Graphing Activity:
For this graphing activity the students get to taste a Goldfish cracker and a Swedish Fish.  Then, the students go around and ask each classmate which snack they liked better.  They tally the results and graph the data on a bar graph.

Making Estimations:
I set up two different estimation jars.  One jar is filled with Goldfish crackers and the other is filled with Swedish Fish.  The students guess how many fish are in each jar.  The student that gets closest to the answer gets to have the snack to take home.

Here is another estimation activity we do with Goldfish crackers.

Measurement Activities:
Not only do we use Goldfish crackers to graph...we also use them as a non-standard measurement tool.

My students love making a fish out of their own hand.  They use different measurement tools to measure the length of their hand/fish.

Goldfish crackers are perfect for making patterns with too!  :)

For this fraction activity the students get ten Goldfish crackers.  They write the fraction for each color.

Here are some additional math activities:


 Click HERE to download these activities!

Who Saves the Day?

After reading the Dr. Seuss book, Horton Hears a Who! we discuss a couple character traits that Horton has.  We fill in the chart together by listing the trait and the evidence in the story that made us think Horton had that trait.  I also have my students complete the character trait bubble worksheet on their own.


As a class, we also answer the Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How Questions about the story on the newspaper anchor chart.

Finally, the students get to make these super cute crafts! 

For this craft and writing prompt the students pretend they are a Who and write what they would say to Horton in the speech bubble.

For this craft and writing prompt the students fill in their name and a silly name of something they hear on their clover and write about it! 

I also have my students complete the following Venn Diagrams.

Click HERE to download these activities!

Up, Up, and Away We Go!

After reading the Dr. Seuss book: Oh, the Places You'll Go!  I have my students create a hot air balloon and suitcase craft.  Each one has a writing prompt that the students answer and attach to their craft.

For the hot air balloon craft the students pick one of the following writing prompts to write about....
Prompt #1: If I could go anywhere, I would want to go to... 
Prompt #2:  If I could be anything when I grow up, I would want to be a...

Underneath the hot air balloon is the student's writing.

Using silly student pictures would be super cute!

For the luggage craft, the students pick one of the following writing prompts to write about....
Prompt #1: Where I want to go...Why I want to go there...What I'm bringing with me...
Prompt #2:  Who I want to meet...Why I want to meet them...What I would bring them...

The suitcase has a luggage tag with the student's name on it.

The writing prompts are glued inside the suitcase!

Click HERE to download these activities!

The Alphabet Book Activities

After reading Dr. Seuss's ABC Book to my students, I have them complete the following activities...

Parts of Speech Word Search
For this activity, the students look for nouns, verbs, adjectives, and Dr. Seuss's original words in the ABC Book.

Class Alphabet Book
I assign each student a letter.  They think of a word that starts with that letter and fill in their page.  Each student shares their page with the class as we add it to our class book!

A through Z Scavenger Hunt
The students walk around the classroom to find items that start with each letter of the alphabet.  They write the word on their recording page.  I always like to make this a challenge with my students.  We like to see who can find the most words!

Literacy Center Work
I place this worksheet at a literacy center.  The students think of their own letter and words to complete their page.

The students also complete this letter match activity at their center.

Click HERE to download these activities!

There's Something in My Pocket!

There's a Wocket in my Pocket! by Dr. Seuss is another one of my favorites!  There are so many fun activities I like to pair with this book.  Here is a look at some of them...

After reading the book we think of as many words as we can that rhyme with the word pocket.  We add them to our anchor chart.

Then, I have my students create their own silly creature.  They add

their creature inside the t-shirt pocket.  They name their creature so it rhymes with the word pocket.  Finally, I have them write about their creature!

I like to break my students up in small groups and give each group of students the There's a Wocket in my Pocket! book.  They work as a group to find a pair of rhyming words.  Then, they decide which word is a real word and which word is a made up word by the author.  They write the words in the correct column on their page.

Instead of using a the girls in my class create a creature, name it, and add it to their locket.  The boys in my class do the same, but for a rocket!

For this activity I have my students create a creature and add it to an object of their choice.  Then, they give their creature a name that rhymes with the object they placed it in.

(Large Version)

(Small Version)
This activity is so much fun for the students!  They secretly draw an object and add it to their pocket.  Then, they write three clues.  Each student will read their three clues to the class and see if their classmates can guess their object!  (I created a small version of this craft to make it a 1 page craft.)

I have my students create a class rhyming book.  For this activity I give each student their own page.  Each student creates a creature and completes their rhyming riddle.  Each student shares their page with the class.

I like to place these fun pocket sorts in my literacy centers for the week!

Long/Short Vowel Word Sort

Real Word/ Nonsense Word Sort

Rhyme/Don't Rhyme Word Sort

Click HERE to download these activities!

MOO! MOO! Onomatopoeia Activities for YOU!

The Dr. Seuss book: Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? is filled with lots of different onomatopoeias. I use this book as a fun way to teach a mini lesson on what an onomatopoeia is and to also review what a noun, verb, and adjective is.

Before reading the book I teach a quick mini lesson on what an onomatopoeia is.
After reading the book, I have the students give me some of the examples of the onomatopoeias they heard in the book.  I list all their examples on our Brain Storm T-Chart.

Then, as a class we complete the puzzle by matching the different sounds with what makes the sound.

We then create an onomatopoeia class book where each student completes the writing prompt:
I can go ____ like a/an _____

I have each student share their page when they are done and we add it to our class book!

Finally, we review the different parts of speech and sort the words on each hat. 

I have each student complete this worksheet independently at their desk.

Here is another chart I've made to review the different parts of speech.

Click HERE to download these activities!

To end our fun week of Dr. Seuss activities we eat these yummy hat cookies!  I made the hat cookie cutter out of a large metal can.  The can was shaped and the edges were sanded to make the hat cookie cutter!