Wednesday 30 May 2012

BUMP! **Revised**

I have to thank you fabulous bloggers for introducing me to the game BUMP... I don't know where I first saw it, but my kids *love* playing it. I think I have a version for every holiday and theme hanging around somewhere!

The two most popular versions in my classroom are Mario and Princess. They make a great math centre or can be used for students who are early finishers! I put these two versions of BUMP up on TpT for a steal of $1.00 each. You get three different board games in each pack! There is basic addition (two six-sided dice), subtraction (two six-sided dice), and triple addition (three six-sided dice). Click the pictures to check them out!

And as a little thank you for everyone who stops by my blog, here is another version of addition BUMP that you can have for free! It's a summer edition! I can't wait! 20 more days.... I can do it!

**Revised** I made a mistake with the directions for my summer BUMP. I had the subtraction directions on the addition gameboard! Whoops! Must be June brain! If you redownload it, you will now get the correct addition gameboard AND a subtraction gameboard. Two freebies! Enjoy!

Clipart from KPM Doodles {}

Tuesday 29 May 2012

E is for Experiment and Fun in the Sun Math Centres

Yesterday we had some doodling time for "D". I borrowed some drawing books from the library and let the kids have some free drawing time. My bunch of kiddos this year really seem to enjoy drawing, so this was a lot of fun for them. Today was experiment day! I remember seeing this experiment back near St. Patrick's Day from Fabulous in First and I thought it would be fun to do at the end of the day!

We placed a few skittles in a bowl of water and watched to see what happend. It was pretty neat! We made some predictions to start with and then wrote about our experiment after.

Pretty simple and the kids could have stared at those skittles for hours! (Plus we got to eat the left over Skittles, so that was fun too!!) Click the picture to get your own recording sheet.

border from Crisdam Designs (

We are down to 21 days now! I created my last set of math centres for the year and I tried to make them super engaging to keep the kids focused during these last few weeks of school! Click the picture to check out my "Fun in the Sun: Summer Themed Math Centres".

These centres will cover some review concepts of the year like ordering numbers to 100, subtraction from 20, addition to 12....

...division/fair sharing, part-part-whole (number bonds), addition and subtraction fact sorting...

...repeating patterns, counting by 2's to 60, and identifying 2D and 3D shapes.

If you are still in school like me, hopefully these will come in handy! Otherwise, save them for next year! I can't wait to use them. I love the colourful beach and ocean clipart from KPM Doodles!!

Have a good Tuesday!

Friday 25 May 2012

B is for Bubbles and Non-Fiction Writing Project

Today was {Day 2} of the countdown and who knew 15 minutes of blowing bubbles outside would be so exciting!! I just bought little birthday party bubbles from the dollar store. It was a nice break at the end of the day. I think they enjoyed popping my bubbles more than blowing their own, though!

Now, onto our last major writing project of the year! Continuing on with our zoo/animal unit, the students are writing their own non-fiction books about an animal of their choice. I gathered a bunch of early reader non-fiction animal books (from our guided reading books, classroom library, and school library) and let students choose their animal. I don't mind if more than one student chooses the same animal, as long as I have more than one copy of the book.

Yesterday we compared a fiction book (Curious George Goes to the Beach) and a non-fiction book (Monkeys & Apes) about the same topic. We looked at the ways they were the same and the ways they were different. We looked at a labeled picture and talked about why non-fiction books have those. Then we started our rough copy booklets and did our own labeled diagram of our animal.

{inspired by Abby and  Mrs. Williamson}

Today we talked about what animals eat. We made a Venn diagram and talked about the words carnivore, herbivore, and omnivore. Students wrote their animal names on a sticky note and we placed them in the Venn diagram together. Then I had each student bring their animal book to the carpet and we searched for keywords like "food" and "eat" to find the section of the book that would help us with our writing.

We still have "Where do they live?", "What can they do?", "What are the babies like?", and "Interesting Facts" to do. It is incredible to see how far their reading and writing has come along since the beginning of the year!

We have already illustrated our front covers for our good copies and they look quite sharp!

If you are interested in trying your own non-fiction writing project (maybe next year!) then check out my newest TpT unit:

There are two versions of the non-fiction project: an animal study and a blank version for a non-fiction topic of your choice! Both versions include:

(1.) Brainstorm Bubble Map
(2.) Rough Copy Booklet
(3.) Good Copy Book (Cover, Table of Contents, Diagram Page, and 5 Writing Pages)

There are also blank writing pages (rough and good copies) to make your books longer. And there are optional pages to customize your books: dedication page, all about the author page, and back cover. Click the picture to check it out!

Wondering how you can use the blank version of the writing project? Check out these ideas:

Ocean Animals (Rainforest Animals/Farm Animals/Desert Animals/etc.)
(1.) Diagram of the Ocean
(2.) Shark
(3.) Whale
(4.) Dolphin
(5.) Crab
(6.) Octopus

(1.) Portrait of Person
(2.) Where is Person From?
(3.) Person's Family
(4.) Person's Job/Hobbies
(5.) Person's Likes/Dislikes
(6.) Person's Dreams/Goals

Favourite Season
(1.) Diagram of Season
(2.) What months
(3.) What is the weather like?
(4.) What types of clothes should you wear?
(5.) What can you do?
(6.) What do animals do?

Those are just a few ideas! The possibilities are endless!

Tuesday 22 May 2012

Let the Countdown Begin!

I am very jealous of you lucky teachers who are already done for the year or are close to being done. We have 26 days with students left to go and 2 teacher prep days at the end of June! I still have a huge-long list of things to get done before the end of the year though, so I hope it doesn't go by too fast!!

I loved the ABC Countdown idea, so I made up a set of cute cards to display in my classroom to keep track of the countdown. I placed them on a ring, so each day we just flip to the next card! {If the cards are something you think you could use, click here to download.}

Here's a peek of what's to come:

A - Activity Day (track and field type activities outside)
B - Bubbles Day (blow bubbles outside)
C - Chalk Day (draw on the sidewalk)
D - Doodle Day (free drawing time)... 
suppose to be Dancing Day, but I'll be away and didn't want to subject my sub to dancing :)
E - Experiment Day (might do a skittles experiment... candy = fun)
F - Friend Day (sit beside a friend all day)
G - Games Day (bring a board game to play)
H - Hopscotch Day (play hopscotch outside)
I - Ice Cream Day (ice cream activities and taste testing!)
J - Jump Rope Day (jump rope outside)
K - Kite Day (make and fly some kites)
L - Letter Day (write letters to our second grade teachers)
M - Movie Day (might watch "Curious George" to go with our current author)
N - Number Day (set up fun math game stations)
O - Origami Day (learn how to fold)
P - Picnic Day (eat lunch outside together)
Q - Quiz Show Day (we'll play a fun review quiz)
R - Read Outside Day
S - Summer Birthday Party (a celebration of all the summer birthdays... mine included!)
T - Teddy Bear Day (bring a stuffed animal)
U - Ultimate Frisbee Day (play with frisbees outside)
I do play Ultimate Frisbee on a team (I'm a dork, I know...) but we'll just play some regular frisbee!
V - Vacation Day (write about our summer vacation plans)
W - Wii Day (we'll have some friendly competitions on the Wii)
in case the Wii is unavailable that day, I also made:
W - Win It Day (play some "Minute to Win It" games... courtesy of Reagan)
X - eXtra Recess Day
Y - You Choose Day! (free time)
Z - Zip Up and Zoom Home! (last day party!)

Let the countdown begin! I think I'm ready!

Sunday 20 May 2012

Zoo Fun!

Wow, it has been a crazy couple of weeks! I have been neglecting my poor little blog, but I am back! Thank goodness for long weekends!

This week we went on our first grade field trip to the zoo. We had so much fun! Even with an hour and fifteen minute bus ride (each way).... eek! I was lucky to have so many good parent volunteers, that I didn't have to stress out too much during the trip. I just got to take my small group around and have a good time. Here are some pics from our trip:

 American Bisons

Bactrian Camels (two humps)

Grant's Zebras

Male Lion

Female Lion


There were peacocks everywhere! We saw about 5 with their feathers all out. One of my boys started talking to this one and said, "Hey Peacock, spread your feathers!"

And he did... :) 


Blue-Crowned Pigeon (reminded the kids of Mo Willems' pigeon on a bad hair day!)
Geese and Goslings


Strange Bird

Fun times!!

We had a blast! It was the first time some of my kiddos had been to the zoo. Here are some activities we did beforehand to get ready for our trip to the zoo...

We graphed who had been/not been to the zoo before. Students wrote their names on the graph.

I had this book "Should There Be Zoos?" from teaching fourth graders persuasive writing and even though it was way over the heads of my first graders, I read some parts of the passages and we talked about the Pros and Cons of zoos. Here are some of their ideas:

Our big zoo project though, were these little zoo animal booklets. Each day we learned about a new zoo animal. We checked out websites, read books, watched videos, and looked at many pictures. We completed these fill-in-the-blank animal cards together (inspired by one of my fabulous teammate's ideas). On the back, I gave each student a real picture of the animal and they coloured their own version of the animal. I also downloaded a map of the zoo from the zoo's website, printed it half-size and used that as a cover for the book.

I laminated the cards and placed them on a binder ring. My students were so excited to bring them to the zoo with us on our field trip. They walked around the whole time holding their little booklets, pointing at the animals we learned about, studying the map, and talking about some of the facts we learned! It was such a great way to really connect our field trip to our learning. Plus it makes a great souvenir! Parents loved them.

When we got back from our field trip, I put together this little reflection page to include in our memory books. Students drew a few pictures of animals we saw at the zoo and wrote about the best part of the trip! You can download it for free by clicking the picture. It prints on 8x14" paper.

I will leave you with some exciting news! I am still going to be moving schools next year (which makes me super sad... I haven't broke the news to my firsties yet), but I found out that I will be teaching first grade again! So I will remain First Grade Garden next year! I am so excited about that! I did discover some amazing second grade blogs, though, and I will continue to stalk them anyways ;)

That's it for tonight! Starting Tuesday I only have 27 days left! We start our ABC Countdown (idea from Jill at Marvelous Multiagers!) on Wednesday! More to come this week... Good night!

Tuesday 8 May 2012

Somebody Hide My Credit Card! {Sale Linky Party}

I don't know what I would do without TpT or the fabulous teachers who create these wonderful products! I just loaded up my cart for this Teacher Appreciation sale and decided to share a few of my purchases with Erica's linky party!

For my current zoo unit, I picked up these two *wonderful* units.... "On Safari" by Hope at Second Grade Shenanigans and "Off to the Zoo" by Melissa at Today in First Grade.

I'm loving these two Pete the Cat units... "Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons" by Rhonda at Classroom Fun and "Pete the Cat Literacy Pack" by Jennifer at First Grade Blue Skies.


I also picked up Abby's {The Inspired Apple} adorable companion to "The Easter Bunny's Assistant". Loved the book and will definitely do these next year!

And, as a little side note, I couldn't believe that I had been nominated for the 2012 Fascination Award. My first post about math stations earned my little blog a nomination! I've noticed some more of my favourite blogs have been nominated as well! So exciting! Voting opens May 14th, so make sure you stop by and vote for your favourite blogs!

Accelerated Degree Programs

Good night all!