Sunday, February 19, 2012

Picture Prompt Linky Party

There is an awesome linky party going on over at The Diary of a Not So Wimpy Teacher and Classroom Magic. It's all about picture prompts. Picture prompts are great for inspiring writing in our students, especially those that tend to struggle to come up with ideas. Click on the links to see all of the other blogs participating and to check out everyone's picture prompts. You can even link up if you would like to add your own prompts. Be sure to check out the collaborative board on Pinterest to see everyone's prompts.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Persuasive Writing

Right now we are learning about persuasive writing my classroom. It is one of my favorite units. I love it and the kids always get into it too. Maybe that is because we always start with Oreo Cookies.

You might be wondering what they have to do with persuasive writing.  OREO is a mnemonic device. It helps the students remember the format for persuasive writing. O stands for opinion. R is for reason. E is for explanation and the final O stands for opinion again.

When I introduce persuasive writing I show kids the pack of cookies and I give them two white circles stapled between 2 black circles. They decorate the front as an Oreo and then we go through each letter. The kids write the words opinion, reason, explanation, and opinion inside as we orally give examples. I model persuading the kids that Oreos are delicious and then I go around the room and ask them to give me their opinion about Oreos. They also must give me a reason and explanation. Once each student tells me what he or she thinks we all eat Oreos together.

The next day we will write our first persuasive paragraph about Oreos. Here is an example of one of my students who liked Oreos. I have also had students write why Oreos were gross before too. They can pick either side as long as they can give me their opinion and a reason.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Coins Match Up

One of our first grade math topics is money. Last year my class got it pretty quickly. That's good because our book only devotes a chapter to money and then it moves on. This year it's going to take some more practice. One chapter is not going to do it.

After two weeks (and a lot of discussion of touch points) my kids are starting to get it, but I want them to have some more opportunities to practice counting coins. So, I made a center activity.  It has pages with just pennies, just nickels, just dimes, just quarters, and all four together. So, you can easily start it out with just the coins you want to focus on or mix it up as your students progress.

 I am posting it as a freebie at my TPT store. Just click here or on the picture to grab your free copy. I hope it is helpful to you.

If you download it please follow Fun 2B in First.  Thanks for stopping by. I really appreciate you taking the time to stop by and read my blog. Finally, I would love to hear any tips or tricks you have for teaching money.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Long I Heartbreak

My students love to play POW to practice their phonics topics. This week we are covering long I words. Our spelling patterns are ie and igh. When I made the game I included i_e, i, and y words with the long I sound. You can print out just the pages that focus on the patterns you want to practice or you can use all of them together.

This game is played by putting all of the cards face down in a pile or inside of a box or bag. Players set a timer for 3-5 minutes. Then, players take turns drawing a card and trying to read it. If a word is read correctly the card is kept. If the word is not read correctly then the card is put back.

There are also two special cards that make the game more interesting and keep your strongest reader from always winning. If an extra turn card is drawn the player keeps it and draws another card too. If the heart break card is drawn then the player puts back all of their cards. I hope your students have as much fun with this game as mine do. Just click here or on any of the pictures to grab your free copy.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Water, Clouds, and Weather

The last unit we did in science was water and the water cycle. Fun stuff! The kids had a blast learning the water cycle song by Have Fun Teaching. You can find it here. We had hand motions for it too. The kids raised their hands up for evaporation, made circles over their heads with their arms for condensation, and made rain with their fingers for precipitation. We just danced in place and sang for the rest of the song.

I incorporated art with the cloud critters pictured above this. The kids glued cotton balls onto the cloud cutouts and then added the legs and arms. It was simple, but the kids thought it was fun. We also did a shared writing activity summarizing the water cycle. Then I covered up some key vocabulary words (condensation, evaporation, precipitation) and wrote a word bank. The kids copied the shared writing and added the words back in the correct spots.

Our next science unit will be about weather. I am ready for it with these weather vocabulary cards. I love the font. These are a freebie at my TPT store. So, just click on the picture if you would like a copy.


If you have any fabulous activities you use when teaching about weather please share them in the comments. I would welcome any suggestions. I love comments followers. If you don't already follow me, I would love it if you would. Thanks for stopping by.              

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

George Washington...No, Not the President

I don't know if other states teach this, but here in Georgia we teach about George Washington Carver. I can't say it's one of my favorite units. I just seem to have a hard time finding interesting and quality materials specifically about him. This year I decided to create my own project to do with the kiddos. They enjoyed it and it involved writing. Plus, I think it turned out pretty cute. Check out the projects.

We had simple and sweet ones.

Some were girly.

We also had a few cracked nuts.

The students colored their peanut people and cut them out. Then, they wrote words that described George Washington Carver on the dark brown peanuts. Next, they wrote a paragraph about George Washington Carver on the lined paper and cut it out. Most students used both sheets. Finally, I stapled the writing behind the peanut person and the students glued their peanuts around it. You can see an example of the writing below. It is just the student's first page.

If your standard include George Washington Carver and you would like the template you can get it by clicking here. This project would also work as a part of a Black History Month project.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

I don't know about you, but January flew by for me. I can't beleive we are already in February and Valentine's Day is just around the corner. I plan to send home a class list this week before next week's Valentine's Day card exchange. I made this form to use. Feel free to use it too.

I'll be planning my lessons for the week later tonight, but for now I am going to relax and spend the evening with my family. I hope you are finding some time to relax this weekend too.

Friday, February 3, 2012

I've been back at school for a few weeks now and it has been a whirlwind of activity. As some of you know, my husband had a major surgery that had required me to take two months off to help him recover.  I hadn't really thought about how much  work it would be just to get back into my routines. My blog has been sadly neglected lately. Sorry. My family and students have used up every minute of my time lately. Anyway, I am ready to get back to blogging. I've missed it and I am excited to get back to blogging again.