Tuesday 28 February 2012

March Madness {not basketball} and Leap Day Sale!

I feel like I haven't taught anything since Valentine's Day! This is how last week went: Monday - holiday, Tuesday - snow day (first one this year!! nice surprise), Wednesday - get kids back into routine, Thursday - do some work, Friday - divisonal P.D.... *sigh* I love two day weeks, but with dreaded report cards coming up in a few weeks, I need more time with my kiddos!!

So, I have TWO brand new items up in my TpT store! I just finished up my March Madness Math Centers. There are 9 new stations that cover math skills such as counting on, months of the year, addition, subtraction, counting tally marks, sums of ten, graphing, patterns, and division. Click the picture to visit my TpT store! {But wait until midnight tonight (central time) for a 24-hour Leap Day sale!}

Here is a little preview of the centers included in the pack:

Now lastly, don't forget to go over and see Reagan over at Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits is hosting a GIANT linky party to see who is having Leap Day sales! {Besides me of course!} Last time I check there were 170+ bloggers hosting sales! That is a lot of stores to check out!!

So, with 20% off from me and 10% off from TpT, you will save 30% on all products in my TpT store! I also have some freebies if you haven't checked out my store yet! Thanks so much for stopping in!

Happy selling and buying, everyone!

Saturday 18 February 2012

Valentine's Day and 100th Day in the SAME WEEK!

This week has been CUH-RAZY! Monday I was away at a P.D. session which was awesome! It was all about proactive strategies for dealing with students with ODD, ADHD, and Autism. Tuesday was Valentine's Day! Yay! We were so hopped up on sugar, it was ridiculus! And yesterday was the 100th day of school for us! Wow! Here's a peek at a few things we did this week.

I love incorporating food into Math, so we started the day with a little conversation heart graph, from Erin Eberhart's new Valentine unit found here.

I went with super simple for our Valentine bags this year. Plain brown paper bags, large foam hearts from the dollar store, scrap construction paper, and a little imagination! I gave them a few ideas, but let them just go with it! They turned out super cute!

Can you tell the first bag is Sonic the Hedgehog? Haha. Love it!

For our party, we watched a Clifford valentine video, played pin the heart on the penguin, and had a few snacks. Of course nobody thinks about fresh veggies or fruit when it comes to Valentine's Day. Only sugar, sugar, and more sugar! ;)

I got so many hugs and so many "This is the best Valentine's Day ever!" Oh, I love that it is so simple to please first graders!

On to our one hundredth day of school yesterday... We started with our daily calendar. We filled in our hundreds chart and counted by 1's, 5's, and 10's. We bundled our 100 straws. We changed our money into one dollar--a loonie! :) And we added our 100th circle to our caterpillar.

We read this cute poem by Meish Goldish. We counted the number of words to double check there really were 100 words and glued it into our poetry journal (downloaded from Ms. Van Orman at The Sharpened Pencil).

Of course we had to make the adorable 100 year old portraits I have been seeing everywhere! Some wall paper scraps, pieces of lace, cotton balls, and yarn = super cute old people! The writing was hilarious too. "When I am 100 years old, I will ride my motorcycle." lol. Really??

We counted our 100 collections, by separating it into 10 groups of 10.

We also made fruit loop necalces. First we sorted out the fruit loops into groups of ten (thank you again, Erin Eberhart for the free mat--see her post here). Then we strung them onto colourful yarn to make cute neclaces!

We took a little break from all the work to complete 100 exercises! I made up 10 different exercise cards: 10 jump jacks, 10 sit ups, 10 leg kicks, etc. We did the exercises all together, but you could set up 10 stations and have groups rotate through them as well. If you would like to download the cards, click the picture below.

Then to end the day, I had already planned to do a hunt for 100 hugs and kisses {the chocolate kind}. I have seen this idea all over the web, but heard about it first from Andi over at Pencils, Glue, & Tying Shoes. Then I also saw Cara Carroll's adorable idea to graph which they liked better--hugs or kisses? So we combined both, for a fun chocolate-filled afternoon!

Each chocolate had a number on the bottom, so the kids had to practice matching the numbers on the hundreds chart. We actually ended up only finding 98 of them... so hopefully the missing two show up next week! :P

That's it for now! Have a funtastic weekend! I've got a three-day weekend, so yipee! :)

Saturday 11 February 2012

Penguins, Penguins, Everywhere!

Have you ever had one of those units that you just can't finish?? We have been working on our penguin books for over two weeks now! We just kept getting interrupted or busy or sick! Oh well, today was our last day and we have had a lot of fun with it!

Penguins are one of my favourite animals, so I love teaching about them! Plus, kids really love them too! Who doesn't love a little flightless, tuxedo-wearing bird? :)

Here are some of the nonfiction books we read to help us learn true facts about penguins:

The first day we made our cute penguin nonfiction books. The covers are from Deanna Jump's Penguin Unit. Love it!

On the second day we looked at many pictures of penguins and talked about the physical features of penguins. Our first page in our nonfiction book was a labelled diagram. The pages I created to go in our nonfiction book can be downloaded at the end of this post.

We talked about the tallest (Emperor) and shortest (Little Blue/Fairy) penguins. Then we measured ourselves against this height chart.

Then we graphed our heights to see if we were shorter than, taller than, or the same height as an Emperor Penguin! My students had a lot of fun seeing how they compared!

Then we completed this little graph page. Click the picture to download the graph labels above and the student sheet.

The next day we learned about where penguins live. We talked about how some penguins live in warm places, and other penguins live in cold places. I got this idea from Jessica Meacham's site. We used this Penguins Around the World site to help us learn where each type of penguin lives. For the students' nonfiction books, I photocopied the page but printed the world map out on the colour printer. I used dry erase markers on my large poster, while students coloured their maps in with crayon.

After we read the true story of "Pierre the Penguin", we talked about how penguins stay warm. We learned the word blubber. Then we did this science experiment from Deanna's unit. There is a recording sheet we completed from her unit as well! The blubber glove is shortening sandwiched between two ziplock bags. We felt the difference between our bare hand in the ice water and our hand in the blubber glove. I wish you could see their faces--their reactions were hilarious! The ice water was especially cold after coming in from recess (me too--duty day) with -25ºC (-13ºF) weather! Brrrrrr!!!

When we learned about penguin predators, we completed this page in our nonfiction book.

Then we played a game of four corners, with a little twist. In each corner of the classroom, I put up posters of the four predators: shark, sea eagle, orca, and seal. One student was in the middle, blindfolded (found this adorable sleep mask at the dollar store) and counted to ten, while the other "penguins" chose a "predator" (corner) to stand by. The penguin in the middle said stop and called out one of the predators. Any penguins standing by that predator were "eaten" and had to sit down. The round keeps going until one penguin is left, and that penguin gets to be in the middle next!

We also took a look at what penguins eat...

and how penguins move.

We talked about penguin babies and learned what the word "regurgitate" means. Eeeww!! :)

As our last day of penguin fun, I created these fun quiz cards to review everything we had learned about penguins! I wrote questions about the types of penguins, where they live, what they eat, predators, babies, etc. There are 28 cards in all (some duplicates--15 different questions). {Click the picture to download from TpT for free!}

How cute are these penguin gummies?? And they are peach flavoured! So yummy! I know it's terrible to bribe kids with candy, but they were so quiet and well behaved during our quiz game! :) If they answered a question correctly, they got a candy. Everyone got to answer one question, so it was fair for all! (And a few more candies ended up on their desk later if they working quietly!)
I didn't do a lot of fiction activities involving penguins, but we spent one week looking at the Tacky books. My little bunnies just love this odd bird! We focused on story elements and completed this chart as we read each book.

I am completey *IN LOVE* with these next two books. The pictures are simply beautiful and the stories are so sweet and innocent! If you have not read them, you need to find them now!

And the cherry on top? They made "Lost and Found" into a half-hour animated special. As a conclusion to our penguin unit today, we watched it together. It was the cutest thing I have ever seen. I love the little penguin SOOOOO much I need to get one. Like a real one. From the South Pole. Click on the picture below to see the trailer on YouTube.

My students noticed right away things that were different from the book, so we had no problem completing this Venn Diagram together. {Click the picture for your own copy!}

Looking for pictures, I just came across this "How to Draw a Penguin" tutorial by Oliver Jeffers. I'm going to put this in my pocket for next year! {Click the picture to visit the link.}

That's it for now! It's past midnight and I feel the sleepies coming on! Have a FANTASTIC weekend, everyone! :)