Sunday, February 24, 2013

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss

I am so excited for this week because it is my favorite!!  I love Dr. Seuss books and I love watching my 1st graders discover his books for the first time.
Every year that I plan for this celebration I try to make it better than the year before.  I'm including a schedule of events for our "Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss" week this week.

Monday- We have a "kick off" in our school's auditorium.  All the classes involved with the week come together first thing in the morning.  I give them a quick outline of the events of the week and tell them about their Accelerated Reader test goals for the week.  I've created a chart to show them what their class did the year before to help get them motivated.  The challenge is to meet the 500 AR tests taken and passed (80% or better) during this week.  The students tally mark their passed tests on the chart.  On Friday, if the challenge is met, they get to pop 500 balloons.  One of the balloons will have the name "Dr. Seuss" in it and will be the winner.  That student gets a prize.

Tuesday- I let my students bring their clean and appropriate pajamas to school to change into for our Accelerated Reading morning.  They bring their blankets and pillow and relax around the classroom with their favorite book.  They spend the morning (about 2 hours) reading books and taking AR tests. 

That evening we open up our computer lab and library and allow parents and their child to come in and read together for a couple of hours.  The students get to take AR tests.  Awards for most 100% on tests are given.  Awards are always books, notebooks, and pencils.  In the picture you see some Dr. Seuss decorations (when I took the picture all the "books" hanging from the ceiling were facing the other way and I just noticed) to help make our auditorium seem more like Seussville. 

Wednesday-Students make their own personalized book mark in celebration of 
the week.  We also have a book giveaway.  Each student gets a free book!  I had each grade separated on the table to help the kids when they came to come get their book.  They were all so excited.

Thursday- Classes who wish to participate rotate students.  Each classroom has a different reading activity that has something to do with a book by Dr. Seuss.  The students who come into my classroom will make a Trufula tree.  I use green pipe cleaners and colorful pom poms as the top.  I get these items at Hobby Lobby.

Friday- This day is our HUGE day of celebration!  All the participating classrooms come into our auditorium and rotate through different stations.  Station include:  eating green eggs and ham, pin the egg on the plate, making a red or blue fish, voting for your favorite Dr. Seuss book, making a Seuss treat, and making a Seuss hat.  At the end of the day I serve the cupcakes I've made and we have our balloon pop.

This is one of the things that will be done at a station with the students on Friday.  I made one so I'd know if my idea made sense.  I haven't seen this anywhere else, but I'm sure I am NOT the first person to think of it.

This is the same fish.  One side is red and the other is blue.  That is just tissue paper in the middle.
Here are some pictures of the auditorium the night before the students participated in the day's events.
This is the station where they made the "Red fish, Blue fish."  I had all the materials and an example already laid out for the volunteers.

The students played "Pin the Eggs on the Plate" and had so much fun that this station was the loudest all morning.  It was great!

Here the students voted for their favorite Dr. Seuss book (they chose from 6) and created a class graph.

The students always do an estimate jar filled with Goldfish Crackers.  There were 200 of them in this water bottle and 1 student got it right on the mark. 

This is the station where they made "Seuss Sweets" and ate them up!  Can you believe I forgot to get a picture of them before they ate them up???  The students also play Seuss Tic Tac Toe at this station too.  I have them do this while they wait their turn. Again, I had all materials out and ready for the volunteers.

Here are some pictures of the cupcakes I made for the kids to celebrate the day.  They were a hit.

This is the "Green Egg" cupcake.  I dipped a vanilla wafer in white chocolate and added a green M&M on top.

These are my "Hat" cupcakes.  I had seen this on Pinterest in many different forms, but I put a twist to it. Instead of using an Oreo cookie I used a dipped vanilla wafer.  Instead of using a marshmallow for the white I just used a dab of white icing.  For the red I used gummy lifesavers.
And here are my "Trufula Tree" cupcakes.  The trunks are sugar coated licorice sticks and cotton candy for the tufts.  These were a big hit because the majority of our students are just in love with the book "The Lorax."
Here are the pictures of the thank you "hat" I gave to each volunteer.  I went to the Dollar Tree and bought the glasses, painted the bottoms, and filled the glass with white and red hard candy.

Friday, February 22, 2013

President's Day

President's Day was fun for my 1st graders.  We learned a lot about George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. After they listen and read stories about them, watch videos and power points, and listen to me talk about my favorite President they choose 3 facts about each President they have learned.  Below is a picture of the first part of the project they create for displaying their new found learning.  I used cut pieces of black yarn for the beard.  They had a blast gluing that on and it actually wasn't very messy.  Some kids used a lot of yarn and some didn't. Everything you see was traced by the students except the eyes.  I bought googly eyes at Wal-Mart.  After the students write their 3 facts on 3 different cards, they will attach them to Lincoln's hat. A picture of the George Washington example is on my Pinterest page.  It wasn't my idea so I didn't want to put it on my blog.

Friday, February 15, 2013

5 things to do with Shaving Cream!!!

This is a cheap and easy way to have fun and practice a lot of different skills.
Practice Sight Words:  My kids LOVE working with their sight words when we use shaving cream.    We have a "shaving cream day" for every 10 sight words we learn through our phonics program.  I write the 10 words on the board, they write the words 3 or 4 times each and when they finish they can draw whatever they want.  This usually takes about 20 minutes before the shaving cream disappears.
Draw Fractions:  I had my kids using shaving cream to show fractions.  They would draw the shape and then use their finger to divide the shape into whatever fraction I asked of them.  You could describe a fraction and have them draw it.  For example say:  "Draw a fraction that shows 1 of 2 parts colored."  They would draw a shape and wipe away 1/2 of the shape so that it would look like they "colored" the other half.
Draw a Shape:  Describe a shape and as you describe the shape the students draw the shape.  For example say:  "Draw a shape that has 4 sides that are all the same length."  The students would draw a square.
Math Facts:  Either give the students the math fact and they write the answer or give the students a number and they can write what the equation could be.  Use both for differentiation.
Vocabulary Words:  Say the definition of a vocabulary word and the students write the word that you are describing.
This does clean up easily.  I give them about a 1/2 cup or so of shaving cream and it usually lasts about 20 minutes.  The more they play/work the faster it disappears.
Have Fun!!!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Dental Health Month

What do you all do for Dental Health month?

I am sharing a picture of something I started doing a couple of years ago.  I had these things lying around and sometimes I used them on a bulletin board and sometimes I didn't.  So, instead of not using this resource I made a trifold out of them and turned it into a center.  I put tooth care books and activities at the center.  My students love how colorful it is.  Sometimes I see them just staring at the pictures saying "Wow!"

I also have a power point available at:

I'd love to hear your ideas!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Valentine's Day

I was so excited when, after spending so much time on them, my students knew that the Kit Kat bars made an X.  I call these my X's and O's cupcakes.

Let's share some ideas for Valentine's Day!

Time savers and helpful tips:

* I have my students make their boxes at home.  I do remind parents to please make sure their child can get the valentines out without destroying their box.  The reason I do this is to save instructional time and so their boxes will be their own.  So many times they copy from each other and I love to see what they come up with.

* I put white bulletin board paper on their tables before the party.  I do this so they can decorate the paper and have their own creation for our "table cloth."  I also do this so they are busy for about 20 minutes so I can finish anything I need to for the  party.  And I also do this because when they go home
 and the paper is a mess I just pull the paper off and throw it away.  I haved saved a lot of time doing this.

* I collect 2 or 3 dollars from each parent and I go purchase the supplies for the party.  I do this because no matter what else I've tried I end up with 80 cupcakes and 20 bags of chips.  My parents like this better.  I always keep receipts in case there is ever a question.

* I always have extra Valentine cards ready in case someone comes without their cards.