Saturday, October 5, 2013

Johnny Appleseed

This past week we learned about Johnny Appleseed.  We read the Stephen Kellogg book about him. We answered many text dependent questions and expanded our vocabulary.  Two of our favorite words were boisterous and tranquil.  All of my students will tell you that I prefer a tranquil class over a boisterous one. After reading and rereading the book, the students picked out important facts from the story to use to create our own book about Johnny Appleseed.  I printed each fact on a large piece of construction paper and the students illustrated the pages. Then I took pictures of each page and loaded them into PhotoStory3 - a free program from Microsoft.  As a class we added narration and background music.  I think they had the most fun creating the music for the background.  Photostory3 has many choices for styles of music. I tweaked the zooming and panning and saved the project as a video.  Here is the finished project.  

Sunday, September 22, 2013


After reading How You Grew, a story in our Macmillan Treasures book, my students created their own timelines.  These were so easy to create:

  • Cut 8 1/2 x 11 copy paper into quarters. 
  • Give each student 4 pieces of paper.
  • Students label the top of each page:  baby, 1 year old, 3 years old, today(that way age is not an issue with students who have been retained)
  • Students draw a picture of what they could do at each age and write a sentence about it.
  • Give each student a 9 X 18 sheet of construction paper - any color
  • Students glue their pictures in order along the bottom of the paper
  • Students write My Timeline across the top.
I encourage the students to use color in their drawings and let them use markers to write the title.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Pepper Experiment

At the beginning of the year we spend a lot of time working on science process skills.  This year our first experiment was called the runaway pepper experiment.  It is a very simple experiment using household items.  I used it to teach hypothesis.  My students had to make a hypothesis telling what they think will happen with the pepper.  All of my students said the pepper would either do nothing or would move toward my finger.  They were surprised to see the actual results. Here is our quick video clip of the experiment:

Monday, September 2, 2013

Zero the Hero

Have you heard of Zero the Hero?  I first learned of Zero last year.  He is a superhero that comes to visit my classes every ten days beginning with the 10th day of school and ending on the 100th day of school.  He leaves a note and a treat shaped like a zero.  He brings the message of the importance of the number 0.
This year I found a PDF book about how Zero became a hero.  Here is the link.  There is a song by Dr. Jean , Number Stomp, that we sing and dance to.  Here is the link to the words for the song.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

First Week of School

The first week of school is over.  I forgot how tired I am at the beginning of the year.  I went home everyday exhausted.  However, I have the sweetest class.  They are going to be a wonderful group to spend the year with. 
This week we spent much time working on rules and class building.  One of the stories we read was Pete the Cat Walking in His White Shoes.  The students love, love Pete the Cat.  I enjoy the book, too. It has a wonderful message about not getting upset over the little things.  As a follow up activity, we made cats of our own.  Each student colored the cat's shoes their favorite color.  Here is a few of our creations.

 This activity came from Deanna Jump's Colorful Cats unit.  It can be found here.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Teacher Week - Monday 10 Fun Things About Me

1. I teach first grade.  I have taught for 25 years and 23 have been in first.  I absolutely love teaching first graders.  They are so anxious to learn new things.

2. I have been married to my wonderful husband, Greg, for 24 years.  He is my best friend and can't imagine life without him.

3. I have 2 children, Aaron and Shaina.  They are my pride and joy.  I have been so blessed to be given the opportunity to watch them grow into fabulous young adults.

4.  I have a dog, Max.  He is part Great Dane and part Hound.  He is the biggest goofball. He is 70 lbs. and thinks he is a lap dog.

5. My favorite color is yellow. 

6. I listen to Christian Pop music on my radio.  It is inspiring to listen to.

7. I enjoy walking on the beach.  It is such a peaceful place to gather my thoughts.

8. Romantic Comedies are my favorite movies to watch. You've Got Mail would be my all time fave. 

9. My favorite food is PIZZA.  Love it, love it, love it.  

10. When I am alone in the car, I sing loudly(but not good) with the radio.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

My Goals for this year:

1. Don't stress - I know easy to say in the summer when no new mandates have hit the classroom.  But, seriously I think I need to not sweat the small stuff and remember that this to will change.  My motto for the year - "It's all good."

2. Technology - I am blessed to have several great technology tools in my classroom.  I have an Promethean Activboard, a doc camera, a couple of computers and a set of Promethean ActivEspressions (learner response devices). I plan to be more purposeful in the use of the technology and hopefully buddy up with an upper grade teacher to create some multimedia reports.

3. Hands-on - I hope to incorporate more hands on experiences in the classroom.  I have lots of hands on lessons in math, but I want more hands on activities for science and social studies.

The link above will take you to Flying into First Grade's Blog.  Join the Linky Party and share your goals for the year.