Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Welcome to Parent Orientation!

Parent Orientation night is such an overwhelming night. If you're like me, you're great in front of the kids, but once there's a lot of adults in the room I always got nervous. I've always used this power point to help steer me in the right direction. It's eye-catching for the parents, but great so you don't forget any important information. I thought I would share since it's nice to see what other people share with their parents.


As we have started working on this blog it has occurred to me that lost of people, including myself, probably don't know how to "blog" or all the things that google has to offer. Once you have created a google account you have access to so many things. First and probably the most popular is the Gmail account. What most don't realize is google is so much more. For instance blogger. Once you have your google account you can easily sign up for blogger. Once you have a blogger account it is is very easy to start a blog with their premade templates or to start following blogs. There is a section titled reading list and tab that says add. All you do is click there and start adding all your favorite blogs. Lets get real once you get on blogger there are tons of great blogs for any topic you are searching. This way you have all your favorites in one spot ready for you and you aren't have to search for them. Google can really be a great tool for teachers. Blogs are such a great way to find information and being able to follow them makes is quicker and easier. Google Documents and Google Calendars are another great tool for teachers. Both allow you to upload information and share with whoever you grant access. Google docs is a great way to share letters, homework assignments, or worksheets being created for class. You upload them to google docs and then the other teachers can save them and use them when needed. Google calendars would be great for grade levels. When something comes up you add it to the calendar and everyone knows what is going on. There are other great things such as Picasa and google earth. If you don't have a google account you should definitely look into getting one and explore all the great features it has to offer.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Numbers 1-10

Great work for kindergarten or the start of first grade. Could be used as morning work, a warm up or in a station.

 NUmbers 1-10

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Community Brochure

When teaching about communities making a community brochure is a fun thing for the students to do. Bring in sample brochures so the kids can see what the finished product should look like. The students can add restaurants, favorite stores, nearby attractions, anything that makes their community special. Depending on your class this is a project that can be done on the computer. This is also a project your class could do for your school. The students would add things they think make the school special. This could be murals in the school, games played in PE, activities done in music class or maybe things they have done in previous classes they thought were special such as programs. This would be a neat way to find out what your students love about the school while teaching them the school is their community.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Neighborhood Book

When studying communities have the students make a booklet. The title can me 
My Neighborhood...by________
Page 1...my house
Page 2...my school
Page 3...The fire station
Page 4... The grocery store we use
Etc...They can use magazine cut outs, real pictures, or drawings. This would be a perfect homework assignment for them to take pictures over the weekend. Bring the pictures back to school and use in the booklet. The students that are unable to take pictures can draw or use magazine cut outs.

It's all about YOU! Don't forget to fill one out for yourself! This needs to be printed on long paper. It's a great first week bulletin display.

Welcome Bag

Greet your students with a cute bag filled with goodies on the first day of school. Throughout the day you can  go back and discuss the meaning of everything in the bag.
Welcome Bag

Classroom and school community


Rural and City Communities

After discussing communities students can work individually or in groups to fill in venn diagram. The country and the city mouse is always a good book to read for this lesson.


The start of the year a lot of time is spent talking about rules and communities. In math we spent a lot of time doing exploration of math manipulatives. I always had a hard time with the "exploring". One activity you could do to incorporate exploring math manipulatives and communities is have the students build a building or skyscraper. Give each student a ruler and tell them max height the building can be and then let them create their building with the math manipulatives they are exploring.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Getting to Know You Venn Diagram

This is a really cute idea to help the kids get to know each other. The students will get a partner and fill in the venn diagram.  Its great to partner them up with someone they may not know. It's great when they start to see they have more in common than they realize.

Lesson Plan Formats

Here are two lesson plan formats. They are simple and to the point nothing very cute. They are also black and white. I know I always printed out y LP to have a hard copy and so I tried to avoid printing in ink or using lots of ink on black and white graphics. I think I have left them so that once you download them you will be able to write in them. That way you can fill them in or change them up if you need to so they will fit your schedule better.

Excell Weekly Format
Word Daily Format

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Learning As We Go

I just realized when adding documents to google they automatically block access to the documents. I have gone in and changed the settings to all the documents. Now when you click on them they should just open right up. Hopefully this will fix the problem.

Buddy Reading

Buddy reading was always an activity we did in class but often led to off task behavior. I realized my students had to really be trained to understand what buddy reading was and how to do it. I often used a readers response for this time so they would be accountable for what they were doing. The page I created can be used for students to fill in during buddy reading or can just be put up as a reminder of some of the things they should be taking about.

Accessing the documents

Below each image there is text that describe the document. The text are a link that will take you to a google document. From there you can print the documents.

No David

You can't start the year with out everyones favorite, David.

Officer Buckle and Gloria

Office Buckle is a great book to read the first week when teaching rules. The following is a really simple activity. After reading the book give each of the students stars and have then write a rule on it. Remember Office Buckle always numbers them. Then have the students put all the rules together. You could make a cute bulletin board to match the book. Or just add them to a chart and hang them up in the room

Back to School Jitters

One of my favorite books is Back to School Jitters. I some how did not know about this book for a couple of years and can't believe I missed out for so long! Here is a cute readers response for Back to School Jitters.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Back to School Confetti

Meet the Teacher night is approaching! I always look forward to this night. This is a great and cheap way to get your students excited about coming to school. It is guaranteed to relieve some of their jitters. I found this a long time ago from another teacher. Parents love it! Just put a little bit of glitter/confetti in a Ziploc bag, print this page out with fun scissors and attach it to the bag.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Fiction Book Detective

I always liked for my students to have some sort of readers response to keep them responsible for their reading. This way I knew they were reading and it helped them decide if they were reading a just right book. If they read a book but then could not respond to it, it was not a just right book. This was also a good time for me to check their understanding of what we were learning in class, or get a grade! This is a readers response for a fiction story.

                                                                  Fiction Detective

Friday, August 17, 2012

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bell

I got online today to start making some activities to go along with There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Books for back to school and the next thing I knew I was reading There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bell to my kids and my activities for it! So here is it. I hope tomorrow I can do a better job of staying on task!


Back to School Syllables

Here is a quick and easy sheet to use for assessing your students on syllables or to practice them.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Time Killers

 It never seemed to fail as perfectly as I tried to stay on schedule it never actually stayed that perfect. There were times in the day when we would have a few minutes such as lining up for lunch, going to lunch or packing up. Sometimes the kids would surprise me and do things quickly! This is when I needed time killers. I had two games we would play that the kids always loved and were so simple. The first was a math game we called guess my rule. I would draw a circle on the board and then pick a "rule" in my head, even or odd number, less than 50, multiple of 5, prime number whatever works for your kids. Then the kids would take turns saying numbers. If the number followed my rule it went inside the circle if it didn't it went outside. The kids would continue guessing numbers until someone could guess my rule.
Can you guess my rule????

Another game was similar but we played with the word wall. I would pick a word and give the kids clues about my words, has 3 letters, rhymes with, opposite of, homophone, synonym.  The kids loved this. Once they were used to the game if a student guessed my word then they would pick the next word. The kids loved it and it was a great way to get them familiar with the word wall.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Eric Carle is one of my favorite authors. I created a unit on The Very Hungry Caterpillar and hope to have more units soon. The unit has a wide range of skills. I hope you can find something that will be helpful to you!

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Unit

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Inventors Musuem

Each year in first grade we did an inventors musuem. I loved doing this and so did the kids. It sounds a little crazy but it really wasnt! Each student would choose an inventor to learn about. We would have them choose one we were not learning about in class. They would have to do some research on this inventor at home. This is were you will have to decide what is best for your age group and classroom. This can be as basic as who the inventor was, what they invented and when they inveneted it. Depending on your class' abilities you can also have them tell you about why and how they came up with the invention.  On the day on the musuem I would separate the desk out and put a round sticker on each desk. The sticker was the "on" botton. When someone pushed their sticker they would stand up and share their information with that person. The students did a variety of different things on this day. Some students would just stand and share the information. I have had students dress up as their inventor, create posterboards to display and bring their invention to share. If they did the inventor of Barbie they would have one to show or if they did Hersheys they gave a Hersheys Kiss to each person that came to hear them. The day of the musuem we invited parents to come. The parents could walk freely to each student and listen to the presentation. We usually did the entire grade level in one day and parents could even travel to the other rooms.  The day before we would do a rehearsal and invite second grade to come and hear us. This was always a lot of fun for the kids, teachers, and parents.

Apple Unit

I know it's the start of the year but it will be time to start talking about apples before you know it. Here is what we have so far. Check back for more apple ideas and for pumpkins!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

I know our kindergarten teachers always start the year with Chicka Chicka Boom Boom so we had to make something for them! The students will write their name on the coconuts and them cut it out and glue it to the paper. Students with long names will need to borrow coconuts!

Back to School Books

The start of every year meant pullng out some of my favorite back to school books. Here's a list of some:
Stand Tall Molly Lou Mellon
No David
David Goes To School
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
The Kissing Hand
First Day Jitters
Officer Buckle and Gloria
Lillys Purple Plastic Purse
If You Take a Mouse to School
There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Books
The Teacher From The Black Lagoon
Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten

Back to School Scavenger Hunt

I can't believe it, it's already that time of year again. We wanted to start by adding somethings we hope will be helpful to get your year going. This first activity is a classroom scavenger hunt. We have left it open to be edited in case you want to add things or take things off. We added pictures for the little ones that might not be able to read yet. We also though it would be fun to leave a spot blank you to add something creative in. You could find something fun to hide in your room to let your kids find.

Hey there!

Hey teachers! Welcome to our blog.  We are two stay at home moms that used to be teachers. Lauren was a second for 7 years and now has a two year old girl so she has decided to stay home. I taught first grade for 4 years and second grade for 1. I have a one year old boy and a three year old boy and am now staying home. While teaching we always loved getting on other teachers blogs and finding all the great stuff they had. we could never figure out how they had enough time to make all the great stuff. Now that we are staying home we miss all the fun times of teaching and have decided this is the perfect time to make all the things we have wanted to make for years. We hope you can find some things you can use and please hang in there as we learn how to blog!