Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Thank You, Teacher!

Hello Everyone!
Wow!!  Summer is here for most of us. We made it! It was a school year filled with a lot of everything... ups, downs, laughs, tears, hoorays, and "I'm sorrys." A lot of learning and growing for all of us. 
I want to thank all teachers everywhere for your heart, your dedication, your willingness to give of yourselves, and for being there for your kids. Whether you are a public school teacher, a private school teacher, a home-school teacher, a brand new teacher, a veteran teacher, a teacher abroad, or any other teacher out there, you have made a difference, and I thank you! 
In reflection, I took some time to re-internalize (is that a word?) the pure reasons for why I teach. I came up with this little poster as I thought about my students from this past year and what we worked on.  

I will use this as an incentive for this coming year.  I will refer to it daily, and let my kids refer to it as well. Yes, I may only teach first grade, but even our littles deserve this. If you are a teacher of older kids, this is for you and your kids as well. 
And now that summer is upon us, take time to reflect, rejuvenate, relax, and reaffirm your reasons for teaching.  Thank you!!

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Expository Writing and a Little Pigeon

Hello Everyone!!!
Thank you so much for all the sweet messages concerning our sweet little Lola.  You all are the best!
We all continue to grow stronger. Continued thoughts and prayers are appreciated!
In class we have been so busy writing expository text during workshop. We started our unit with writing about what we know best...ourselves. My little writers had so much fun brainstorming, organizing their thoughts, editing, rewriting, and finally publishing!

From there we went on to "How To..." writing. We started that off with  Oreo eating  fun. How do you eat your OREO? We brought these little ideas to publication as well.  Here are a few pics!

These little writers love sharing their work!!

Munch! Munch!!

Kids are experts at so many things!!!

Now on to some other First Grade Fun!  We are finishing up our measurement unit in math, and we are studying the work of Mo Willems, so I decided to integrate the two and have the kids create Pigeon and use him to practice nonstandard units of measurement. I did a kind of directed creating for the pigeon just giving the kids some sized construction paper and telling them what shapes needed to be cut from them. They all turned out so cute. Then they got busy measuring and writing results on speech bubbles!  I love how they turned out!!

Thanks for letting me share these!!! 
Stay tunes for another peek through our "Window on Wonder!"

See you soon!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

A Treasured Life...and Comparing and Ordering Numbers

Hello Everyone!
My sincere apologies for not posting lately...
 I had to take a little time off as our family has experienced a very sad loss. My nephew's little baby girl, Lola, has passed away from Krabbe disease. She was only 13 months old, but brought such joy and light to all who knew her. We have all learned so much about life and love through her.  Krabbe disease (also called globoid cell leukodystrophy) is a degenerative disorder that affects the nervous system. It is caused by the shortage (deficiency) of an enzyme called galactosylceramidase. This enzyme deficiency impairs the growth and maintenance of myelin, the protective covering around certain nerve cells that ensures the rapid transmission of nerve impulses in the brain.  Krabbe disease is part of a group of disorders known as leukodystrophies, which result from the loss of myelin (demyelination). 
Both my nephew and his sweet wife are so devastated, but at the same time are so strong knowing that their little lamb is at rest, and out of pain.  They are also fighting hard to get laws passed in Florida to have screenings done on newborns to detect this disease. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers as they try to pass Lola's Law. Let me know if you want more information, and I will e-mail links to their efforts.
Our Sweet Lola
Life is precious and every moment spent with family is oh so special... Treasure every one of those moments.

Now, taking a big breath, let's move on to some school stuff. When I got back from Florida, we started a unit in math about comparing and ordering numbers up to 120.  Along with using a 120 board and all that we know about place value, we also continued work using number lines including open number lines. I put together a little unit that I added to my already hefty study on ordering and comparing to 120. I am sharing that tonight. This entire 104 page unit is a print and go unit with a spring theme. There are some whole group lessons and some math tub games. Here are a few pics.
Open Number Line Fun!

A fun High Lo game is included in the unit! A favorite of the kids!!

A fun  Number Line Scoot game is included
 in the unit!

These are just a few pics of the over 100 page doc. If any of it looks interesting or helpful to you, you can get it...HERE! JUST CLICK, DOWNLOAD AND GO! FREE!

Well, I have to run.  I'm working on a strip diagram unit that I am very excited about.  Even First graders can understand numbers through strip diagrams!! Til then, I hope you have a wonderful week.  Hug those close to you. Live every day with joy.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Owl Open House and a Little Fiction/Nonfiction Fun

 Hello Everyone!
I am coming to the end of my Spring Break already! It was wonderful to have time with my family.  We got to spend a little bit of rainy, cold time down in Galveston---I have been known to sit on the beach in the rain!!  I just love the sound of the surf---relaxes me!!!
But it's time to get back in school mode!  I want to share a bit of how our owl unit turned out.  We were able to do so many of the activities from the owl unit I shared a while back, and display some great work for open house! Here are a few pictures!

We've been working on adding dialogue to our writing, so we decided to add some speech bubbles to our Owl Babies!


We ended up using bananas and Bugles for our owl snacks!!

We made some cute owl bags to hold all of our owl work.  Patterns are in the updated unit!

We had fun exploring feathers!!

We learned so much about and through the owl unit!! 
If you grabbed it a while back, go ahead and re-download.  I added a bit and fixed some typos!! :)

This coming week we will be working on the features of nonfiction text. I've updated that unit as well. It is so important that kids understand the difference between fiction and nonfiction and how the authors have specific reasons for their work. We have worked hard on the parts of fiction stories, so spending time comparing the two genres is valuable.  Here are a few pics from my updated unit.

I will gather as many books as I can that are similar in topic, but obviously fiction and nonfiction. We will do picture walks and text feature walks as we sort, compare and contrast. We will work on retelling each genre and going on scavenger hunts!!

Ok!  I know, short and sweet, but I need to take some time to enjoy these last few hours of my break!  Off to watch a movie with my sweetie!!! Thanks for stopping by!  Hope you have a great week---I know some of you are on break this coming week!!!  Enjoy!!!
I'll be back soon!!  We've got some fun St. Patrick's day activities planned!