Thursday, October 25, 2012

First Flipped Lesson

All the elementary teachers from my school went to a technology conference this summer where I learned about "flipped" lessons. The idea is that the student views the lesson at home from their computer, then the teacher has more time to help students with their work on a one to one basis. Well, it's true. I recorded a lesson introducing the use of a ruler. The students were completely informed of how to use a ruler. Then the next day at school we measured all sorts of objects and recorded them. The students had to figure out what size envelope they would need to put their objects in. Our school administrative assistant (a.k.a. genius lady) gave us envelopes and we had to decide if each object would fit using our "greater than less than skills". Whew! This lesson became so much more than I ever imagined it could be. The envelopes were filled with their objects and the record sheet and was then mailed home. The kids had a ball. And, the parents were totally on board with talking about rulers and their uses at home without me even asking. I can't wait to make my next "flipped" lesson. I will post the recording sheet as a freebie this weekend, so check back.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Just Because It's Fall

I made these treats for my class and will give them out tomorrow just because it's fall. Fall gives me the warm fuzzies just thinking about cool weather and the approaching holidays. I hope the kids like them. The pencil was my husband's idea and I really think it completed the little bundle nicely.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Fall Leaf Exchange

My first graders will be picking something up off the ground and exchanging it for something another group of first graders will be picking up off the ground. What is it? You guessed it....pecans and fall leaves. Since we don't have fall leaves in our part of the country, I called a school in Waterville, Maine and asked if they could supply the leaves. They graciously agreed and the swap was on. My kids picked pecans up, we had them cracked, packed them, baked some pecan treats, and shipped them off to Maine. Both parties were happy with their newly acquired treasures. We hung the fall leaves in our classroom window and they were beautiful. The first graders at Temple Christian Academy sent us the most gorgeous red, orange, and golden leaves you have ever seen. They pressed the leaves between two pieces if waxed paper with an iron and they lasted until late spring. It was amazing. This will be the perfect time for my Fall Unit which has several leaf activities. What a great way to bring fall into a city that doesn't really go through fall.

This is Temple's playground with a tree full of gorgeous red leaves. 
This is one of the classes that we swapped with several years ago.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

SMART Exemplary Educator

This past summer I applied to be a SMART Exemplary Educator and I received confirmation today that I have been accepted into the program.  I am thankful to the  parent organization at our school for the successful fund raiser that they do enabling the purchase of SMARTboards for K-6th grade.  The SMARTboards have revolutionized the way we teach and are keeping us in-line with ever increasing technology.  The six and seven year olds in my classroom know how to use the SMARTboard as well as I do.  It is "the way" of their generation. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Presidential Election

Can't wait to show my little people my new SMARTboard lesson for the Presidential Election.  Super cute clip art of Romney and Obama.  I think they will understand the process a little better.  I made it nonpartisan so that didn't clutter their minds.  I think that's a little deep for them in first grade.  You can get my SMART notebook file on TPT.  Just click this link: Presidential Election

Punctuation Pumpkins

We have finished making our punctuation pumpkins and even painted them with a little "frost". This activity went great with our reading and discussions about basic punctuation. We also added our acrostic acorns to the bulletin board for a fantastic fall feel. The acrostic acorns are included in my Fall Fun Math and Literacy unit on TpT.  The Punctuation Pumpkins are in my Halloween unit. Each leaf has the definition for five different punctuation marks.
 The kids enjoyed coming up with words that remind them of fall for the acrostic acorns. They were also painted with a touch of "frost".

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Fall Fun - Math and Literacy

Check out my new unit on Teachers Pay Teachers.  It is FULL of fun fall activities to reinforce math and literacy skills.  Can't wait for this years group of kids to make their Acorn Acrostics adorned with a little fall frost (glitter).  I just love fall and this is a great way to get the kids in the mood with fall themed activities.  You can get my unit by clicking on this link Fall Fun.

Columbus Makes an Impression

I got an email from one of my student's parents this past week and the mom was telling me that her child was trying to do "something" that mom had to say "NO" to.  Not sure what it was but she kept telling him "NO", he could not do "that".  His response to her was, "Mom, you're breaking my dreams!  I wanted to do something like Christopher Columbus.  He discovered that the world was round."  Love it!!  Thank you little SMARTboard lesson!  And a little note to my student:  Keep trying,!!  I'll be watching in years to come for you to do something great.  I truly believe that you have what it takes to make a difference in our world and in history.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Columbus Day Fun

What a fun day we had learning about Christopher Columbus with our SMARTboard lesson and movie. We made pencil toppers from Oriental Trading and had spice cake cupcakes. Why spice cake? Because, Columbus was looking for riches, spices, and slaves to bring back to the king and queen of Spain. And, anyway, they are delicious! We made a craft to remind us of Columbus' ship, the Santa Maria, that was shipwrecked on the voyage home after discovering San Salvador. We glittered the water and the kids thought it looked like real water.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

We Love our Grandparents

Today was Grandparents Day at our school. Grandparents were invited to come to class for 30 minutes, have lunch with us, then take their grandchild to the book fair. It was fun showing the grandparents the SMARTboard. And what better to show them but my Columbus Day SMARTboard lesson. They loved it!! They were so impressed with the kids knowledge and modern day vocabulary. One of the little girls in my class told them that there are no photographs of Columbus because "there were no electronic devices back then". You should have seen all the heads spin around to look at her. I loved it. After all, as teachers we aim to impress. Don't we?