Pete the Cat Christmas, Cyber Sale, and Wish List Linky

Hiya friends,

Thanksgiving break is coming to an end and I'm trying to motivate myself to laminate my December math stations but, I.just.can'!

Thanksgiving was a whirlwind of family and food. Plus, we visited Santa's Wonderland near College Station. If you live within 100 miles, you've just gotta go!!!

But, alas, it's time to get back in the swing of things. December is my favorite month of school. The themes, the themes, the themes...ARE SO MUCH FUN! This upcoming week is reindeer week, followed by Polar Express week, and then 'Twas the Night Before Christmas week. And, I'll fit in some Pete the Cat because my firsties love Pete. I can't wait to tell you all about it, but first a little linky party with Teaching with a Touch of Twang! The point of the linky is to share my top two wishlisted items on TpT and share one item on my wishlist that I intend to buy during the TpT Cyber Sale on December 1st & 2nd. 

Lemme repeat that last part. December 1st & 2nd is the TpT Cyber Sale!!!!

I spent a small fortune today shopping on the Toys R Us and Amazon websites, buying up goodies for my children and neices and nephews. I loved shopping online because I got it all done from bed... in my pajamas. Monday I'll treat myself to a few items from my TpT wishlist and my holiday shopping will be dunzo! Except for my hubby. I haven't decided what to get him yet, but I slipped him my Ulta wishlist ;-)

The #1 wishlisted item in my little store is this word work pack. It's an awesome supplement for the Words Their Way program.

The #2 most wishlisted item in my store is this awesome inflectional endings pack

I am a clip art-aholic. I have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to this addiction. I'm currently drooling over the Christmas Around the World clips from Artifex. I think I've wishlisted every country! 

And with Polar Express week coming up (you gotta serve hot chocolate!!!!) I think this resource from Babbling Abby will be perfect!

One last thing...

Shameless plug! If your going to read Pete the Cat Saves Christmas you'll want to check out these reading, writing, and math activities!

Happy holidays!

Five for Friday

I'm back for Five For Friday with Doodle Bugs Teaching! Here are five bits of randomness from my week...

ONE: We learned about veterans. 

The Veterans are... can... a FREEBIE from Cara Carrol.  The acrostic poem is from Rebecca Johnson at First Grade Fascination. I can't recall if this comes from her blog or her TpT store because I've had it for a couple of years. I just free handed some tracers to make the Marine. The yellow buttons are actually the dot on the lower case i dye cut. And the star is the top part of a book mark dye cut from the work room.

Have you read a book called, H is for Honor? If you haven't you should get it for next Veteran's Day.

We read the book and added the words to our anchor chart about veterans which made completing the acrostic poem waaaaaaay easier. I saw the book at our school's Scholastic Book Fair for $4.99. 

TWO: Turkey Takeover. The second graders at my school read Turkey Trouble and then disguised their own turkeys. They went all out! Can you believe how great these turkeys turned out????


ninja turtle



wrestler John Cena


I think the tree and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle are my favorites, but they were all sooooo good!

THREE: Pilgrim Pete. We just started a unit on shapes. So I figured out how to make Pete wearing a pilgrim's hat out of plane shapes. You can find the template here

FOUR: This happened. The kiddos were creating new shapes using pattern blocks and writing a description of their designs. Read this description.

I asked the little guy to read me his description. He read, "It's a sun with blue stripes." Guess we need some more work on those S-blends! He he. 

FIVE: Neighborhood patrol. Ok, so this didn't happen at school, but it did happen during the school week. That counts, right???

My neighbor is a Houston police officer. He bought his daughter a squad car for her birthday and customized it by adding real police lights. He snapped this pic of his daughter and my daughter, Evangelina, pulling over my daughter, Isabella, in her Barbie Jeep. Priceless...too stinkin' funny.

Have a great weekend!

A Day in First Grade {Our Day in Pictures}

In first grade we thrive on routines. This blog post is about our day from start to finish on Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014. But most other days are similar to this one! Prep yourself for picture overload.

Students enter the classroom at 8:00. They shake the door greeter's hand, say "good morning," place their daily folder in their mailboxes, and head sto their desk to start the warm up. 

Our warm up page is kept in a sheet protector. I think next year I will just laminate the pages.

Students use a dry erase marker to write the day of the week, date, digital date, and a sentence. I write a sentence starter on the board. We do this the entire fall semester. In the spring, I write a fix-it up sentence and the students revise it as they write it. Our goal is to finish BEFORE the announcements come on at 8:05. Yep, almost everybody gets it done in under five minutes. 

During the announcements I check folders. After announcements are over I walk around and read and comment about every.single.sentence. After I read the sentences, students erase and meet on the carpet for shared reading. 

This week we are reading a book about a fat cat and a tricky little mouse. This week during shared reading we have looked for word chunks, talked about "ou", searched for L-blend words(our word work words), looked for nouns and verbs, and practiced reading using voices. Our mouse voices are squeaky and our cat voices are deep. Big book is very important in first grade. We learn and review lots of skills during big book, especially accuracy and fluency skills.

After big book, we kick off the Daily 5. We usually start with Read to Someone. My students have plastic book boxes which contain their most recent guided reading book, a few self selected just right books, and one choice book. Today I took out a huge stack of big books, some of which we had used previously during shared reading, and let the kiddos read them. My firsties are obsessed with big books!

It's hard to EEKK with a big book!

While the kiddos are working, I pull guided reading groups. You can read about that in this post

After 15-20 minutes, we return to the carpet. This time we review our word work words which are posted on the board. You can read more about our daily word work activities here. Today we read a poem and highlighted words with L-blends. First, I read the poem. Then, I read and the students repeat each line after me. Last, the students choral read the poem from beginning to end. The poem is very short so this doesn't take that much time. The poem is part of the Words Their Way curriculum.

Students returned to their desks with a copy of the poem to highlight the words, list the words, and illustrate the poem. Then, if their work from earlier in the week was finished, it was time for free choice. 

I have no idea why this girlie decided to rotate her journal before she wrote or glued the words.

Some of our choices today were:

After Word Work we did Read to Self. Some kiddos stand, some stay at their desk, others lay or sit on the floor.

Right now we are still doing Daily 5 as a whole group, but after our week off for Thanksgiving, I am going to let the kids choose which component to complete during each rotation. 

After Read to Self we met back on the carpet for Interactive Read Aloud. Today we finished a Keven Henkes book called, Julius, Baby of the World. We started the book yesterday, We discussed Lilly's actions to try to determine how she must be feeling or what she may be thinking. 

I didn't think this anchor chart through very well or the actions would be at the top. Or maybe, on the left. But, the bottom? I don't know what I was thinking. 

We wrapped up our morning with Work on Writing. 

Shhhh, don't tell anyone but, we didn't have time for Interactive Writing today. 

You might be wondering about the fifth component of Daily 5 - Listen to Reading. We usually listen to a story on Tumble Books when we need a brain break in the afternoon, or at the very end of the day. 

At 10:45 it was wet and frigid outside (at least by Houston standards), so we had indoor recess. We danced and danced. 

Following recess we went to lunch. After lunch we headed back to the room for calendar and math. It's about 12:00 when we finally get back to the room.You can read all about our calendar routine here

After calendar, we took a quick brain break and then headed back to the carpet for our skill. We started a unit on plane shapes this week. We were in the process of brainstorming what we knew about the shape I taped to an anchor chart, when a child pointed out that the hexagon looks like two trapezoids put together. This was the perfect intro for our math game today, Fill the Hexagons. 

Students filled six hexagons six different ways using pattern blocks. Then they traced and colored the blocks in the hexagon outline. This game is from a math curriculum called Investigations. We adopted EnVision for this school year, but we've been mixing the old with the new.

Speaking of shapes, I recently uploaded this shape activity inpsired by Pete the Cat: The First Thanksgiving.

At 1:00 we go to specials. Today that was computer. I picked the kiddos back up from the computer lab at 1:50. 

After specials we do math tubs. Picture fail. I forgot to snap pics, but we use Reagan Tunstall's Big Bundle of Math Centers. We clean up our math tubs after about 20 minutes, so we can move on to sciene/SS. 

Today we completed a magnet investigation. I didn't get any pics of this either because the kids were so excited they couldn't, or I couldn't, control their volume. We were sooo loud. This freaked me out because a few fourth grade teachers had stopped by my room to observe. Every behavior gets magnified exponentially in the presence of other adults. Sheesh!

Students tested objects to determine if the objects were magnetic or nonmagnetic and recorded the results on a chart. The baggies included a coin, paper clip, marble, button, feather, bell, string, dot cube, binder clip, crayon, seed, wooden block, and a counter. Also on the list, were scissors, markers and glue. 

At the very end of the day, students cut out pictures of the items and glued the ones that were magnetic onto a big U. It was the quickest easiest way to make a horseshoe magnet out of construction paper. I saw a second grade teacher do this and I thought it was very creative,

We clean up, stack our chairs, and wipe our desks with cleaning wipes everyday before head to our dismissal areas. My class loves to clean.. The most coveted jobs are board eraser, desk wiper, and vacuumer. 

If you made it to the end, thanks for hanging in there. See ya again soon :-)