Thursday, January 27, 2011

Too much fun with the glue gun!

I think it's safe to say that I'm pretty much obsessed with the glue gun! {I've been typing the word obsessed a lot, and after many trials, I can finally spell it correctly the first time!} Anyway...I got the super cute and cheap wood cut outs at Michaels that lots of people have been posting about and super glued them onto clothespins. Then I glued the clothespins onto push pins! Now I have really cute animals holding up my papers in my classroom!

Remember when Ms. M posted these really cute pointers!? Well I happened to stumble across these little cut-outs that we used to decorate the table for my sister-in-laws bridal shower. I glued them onto colored popsicle sticks for a little more pizazz. We study ocean animals toward the end of the year, so they will be perfect for that unit!
This week I introduced Flashlight Writing to my reading groups. I saw this idea on Miss Parten's 2nd in 1st and could not wait to try it with my kids! I got the flashlights {and batteries!} at the dollar tree for, you guessed it, $1! SO awesome! This theme we are practicing short i words, so I incorporated that into the center. I had my students choose a word family card, write one word at a time on the whiteboard and then "trace" it with the light from the flashlight. My kids are so funny; every time I introduce a new activity they ALWAYS ask "can we take these home!?" Every time!

Here are the word cards I created:
Short i words


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Word Families

I saw this super cute idea for reinforcing word families in the Lakeshore catalog, but wanted to adapt it to meet my students' needs. We've been working on short a words and they were having a tough time differentiating between "an" and "at" while reading. So I made this really fun word family activity! It took me a long time, but totally worth it!

I had my parent helper run this center today so that my kids were clear on what to do, but they can totally do this as an independent center now! I also would change some things for the next time I do this....Even though I put all the picture and letter cut outs in separate containers, they still somehow managed to get all jumbled together! I would definitely make each set on different colored paper next time, for my own sanity!

Okay, so bear with me as I figure out how to make a google document so you can download it! Let's hope this works!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Picture Update

I am very proud of myself for remembering to take pictures! And I realized that I should have been doing this all along! So my new goal is to take pictures of all the activities we do.

Word Detective:
Here are the pictures from the word detective center I told you guys about...
Detective kit

Big books
Recording chart
 Break Apart Sticks:
The kids absolutely loved this! I can't tell you how many of them asked if they could take the wand home. Maybe I'll make them as Valentine's day gifts?

January Hand Art:
Each month, our class does a hand art activity. This is January's

Each project incorporates their hands in some way. At the end of the year, we put together a book of each month's art. It's fun to see their progress over the year :)


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Radio Reading

Before I started my student teaching, I completed my fieldwork hours observing my FAVORITE teacher ever. She was my second grade teacher and was the reason why I wanted to be a teacher; I absolutely loved her. When I went back to observe her I picked up so many great teaching ideas and strategies. One thing that I wanted to remember to do with my kids when I finally got a job was Radio Reading. During small group guided reading lessons, Mrs. Kormos had the students hold a marker up and pretend that they were broadcasting for a radio show. There enthusiasm was undeniable, so a few years back when I saw a play Hannah Montana microphone at an after-Halloween sale, I knew exactly what I needed it for! I bring to you: Radio Reading!


*Notice the highlighter sticks! They loved them!

I also introduced word detective in one of my literacy centers. The students had a detective "kit" with a pencil, post-its and a magnifying glass inside. They were searching through Big Books for words they could read, wrote them on a post-it and posted the words on a "Words We Know" chart.
Word Detective:
Detective kit

Big books
Recording chart

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Highlighter Sticks

I fell in love with these highlighter sticks that I saw on Mrs. Lee's Kindergarten adorable! So I went to Target to look for some colored transparencies. While in the dollar section, the lady walking in front of me was holding colored file dividers. Then she put them down. SCORE! {I may or may not have stalked her until she put them down.} Anyway, here is how I made them.

$1 for five dividers...can't go wrong!

Cut the dividers into 1 inch squares. I chose yellow, but all of the colors are transparent enough to work.

Glue them onto Popsicle sticks. I tried tacky glue, didn't work too well. Stick with the hot glue gun! Hot glue didn't work either! I would highly recommend Mod Podge!
Use to highlight "brain" words, or words that are repeated a lot in the story.

Can't wait to try these with my kiddos! I'm thinking I might also make skinny ones in a different color to highlight the shorter words.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Word Wands!

Today has been a pretty productive day! I went into school this morning to get ready for the week. Loved my long vacation, but I'm ready to get back to teaching the kiddos! After I worked in my room for a bit {the computers were down which is sooo frustrating!} I went to Learning Trails to find some new supplies for my class. But there was nothing there that caught my eye :( So I decided to make a trip to Target ;) Best Target trip ever! I'm not kidding, they were unloading new teacher supplies into the dollar bins as I was walking in! SO. MUCH. FUN! I found these super cute glitter pom-poms and made Word Wands for my class. I've seen so many cute pointers on First Grader at Last and Once Upon a Time in 1st Grade so thought I'd try my hand at my own.

50 pom-poms for $1 and I used chop-stix as the handles. 12 wands cost me 24 cents!! And they are so cute.

I plan on having my students use them during Read the Room to point to the words they are reading. Hope they hold up!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Look what I did!

I've been trying to find a way to hang my necklaces for a while. I had a cutely decorated bulletin board with push pins that the necklaces hung from, but the necklaces got tangled and it wasn't working for me. So I got this idea:

I bought the bulletin board at Michaels with my 40% off coupon {naturally} and the frame matches the wood in my room! Then I screwed in those little knobs to the bottom to hang the necklaces off of. I got some cute thumb tacks at Michaels and my next plan of attack is to print out some inspirational quotes to tack onto my board!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!
I am so excited for 2011! I love the feeling of starting a new year, really motivates me to be a better person!

I'm linking up to mj and kit with 11 in 2011...but I'm already behind! So two posts in one day!

Day 1: New Years Resolution

I'm normally not big on the whole making a resolution and then not actually resolving anything. And I like the idea of being able to change myself anytime of the year, so I didn't even think up any resolutions for this year. But lately, thoughts have been coming to me without me even trying! So when I was sitting at lunch with Tom yesterday, 2 resolutions came to me:

#1 Try new things
I am SUCH a creature of habit. If something is comfortable to me, there is little chance that I will change it. But my life is so monotonous and boring at the moment, so trying new things it is! At lunch, I ordered a simple turkey croissant sandwich, not being adventurous at all {this was before my resolution came to me!} but the girl who took my order must have been reallly hungover because she totally brought out the sandwich I did NOT order! But it looked good, so I was a big girl and ate it anyway. And boy am I glad I did! It was so good! I think that might have been what sparked my random thought. Later that night, Tom's roommate suggested a game of basketball on the Wii and I decided to play to keep my new me going. Turns out I am the champion at the 3-point contest! Who woulda thought!?

#2 Be more confident
That one's just self-explanatory...and my ego may or may not have been boosted after that Wii game ;)

Day 2: Favorite Holiday Memory

My favorite holiday memories are all the ones that contain eating with my family around the dinner table. It's really a rare occasion that all of us are sitting and eating together. But it is SO freaking funny when we do :)