Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Smart Apple Science

It's here....officially!! The first day of Fall! {{Happy dance}} It's also the last week of September, which around here means is Apple Week in first grade. We're only on day two but my smart little apples are pretty thrilled for our first official Science unit.

We've been learning new apple vocabulary words, because *real* scientists use the scientific terms when they're speaking and writing, don't ya know? Posting the pictures along with the words really does make a big difference for some of my little learners. The majority of them have never been apple picking before, so the visually really helps when we use these words so frequently.

My class started with this experiment today: Sink or Float? Almost everyone's hypothesis was that the apples would sink, especially the big red one. First, they had to share their hypothesis with an elbow buddy and explain their thinking. Did they think all apples would sink, or just the big ones? Did they think all apples would float, or only yellow ones? Next, they wrote their hypothesis down so we could test them out together.

I think this is the easiest experiment we do all year but you'd think it was magic happening in front of them. One of my favorite things about teaching 1st grade is getting to see all the "firsts" all over again through their eyes! By the time we had two floating apples one girl announced she was changing her hypothesis to all apples would float. Floating apples, who knew? ;)

Jenna from I've Got It Made in Second Grade was sweet enough to send me some pictures today from the first few days of  her classes Smart Apple investigations! These are her students testing liquids to determine which one will keep their apple slices fresh the longest. It will be observed over the next three days and they will keep track of their observations to help them draw conclusions! My favorite part about a multi-day experiment is that the kids come in first thing each morning eager to look for any changes. They can quickly record their findings when they come in for morning work or even independently as part of a literacy/writing center later in the day.

Here are a few of the other apple activities we have coming up this week...

Tomorrow we'll get rocking and rolling with some adjective taste testing and labeling. 

 Our morning message tomorrow. 

Each of the student will then craft and label their own apples.

A little later this week we'll be working on this interactive apple tree craft to tie in some graphing (math) and sequencing (literacy & writing standards).

We'll also be reading some differentiated Apple books in our guided reading groups to learn more facts about apples. I wrote two versions of this mini-reader to make it easier to differentiate.

I've bundled all my apple resources into one Smart Apples pack.


Click the here to see everything that's included. Also, check out some more Apple Week activities and FREEBIES  here and here from the blog last year!!

Before I go tonight, I wanted to quickly share my Cock-pot Applesauce recipe with you. The kids have so much fun making applesauce together each year in the classroom, and it makes for a great "How To" writing lesson using transitional words.  If you've never made it before it's not too late for you to get on board with the apple saucin' in the classroom. I promise, it's super easy to make!  
 Click to download.

 I'll share some more of our Apple Week activities in action later this week!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Find Your Treasure

Ahoy, me Hearties!

Today is 'International Talk Like a Pirate Day'! To celebrate, I have joined with some friends to give you the chance to find lots of pirate booty!

Each blog will have some different treasure for you to find!

I want to share with you, a free sample 'Play on the Page' game with a pirate theme.

You can find it by clicking on the image below, and downloading it from Google Drive:


You can also click on the image below to find my whole TpT store on sale! 
Blimey, that is good news!


Don't forget to pillage some other bloggers buccaneer's posts for more great teaching treasures!

Thanks for stopping by! 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Hocus Pocus...What's Our Focus!?

Focus...oh, focus!! It's the thing we have spent so much of our time and energy working on these first few weeks of school. Focusing on our routines, Focusing on building our reading stamina, focusing on not putting strange objects in our mouths and returning our folders to the correct spot in the morning. Ya know, all those great things. We also spend time focusing on the new content we're learning each week. And this week, I found a new way to display Our Objectives with our daily focus and I wanted to share it with you!


 Me: "Hocus Pocus..."

My Whole Class: "What's Our Focus!!!"

That's what you will hear in our room when it's time to read one of our weekly objectives. It's amazing what those two little magic words can do to get kids excited about something like objectives! I even have a magic wand that the kids and I will use to point out our objectives on the board. {Note to self...come back and a add picture of the wand!!}

 Objectives, Learning Targets, I Can Statements....whatever it is you call them, I'm willing to bet there is a good chance you are supposed to post them somewhere, right? Well I didn't want them on a bulletin board, I wanted them on my white board. And I found a really simple way to do that with some page protectors from Office Depot and some stickki clips.

Just slide a printed copy of your objectives into the page protectors, then use the sticki clips to here them to your wall or board. Easy peasy and thrifty. Boom! If you like my objective signs you can view them, here.


They're editable, so all you have to do is type your objective into the text box and print. Two other options for display are laminating the signs and writing your objectives using dry a erase marker.

Also, I have to admit I feel like a bad "Back To School" blogger. I remember feeling the same way at the start of last school year. It's not that we're not doing awesome things, it's just that I'm too busy juggling all the balls to stop and take photos of it all. I felt really good when my friend Teeny shared the same sentiment last week. She gets me. Ha! But I did snap a few quick shots of us focusing on some things this week.

I introduced the Word Work center this week and it has been POPULAR!!! Look at the smile on this cuties face!! All the credit goes to Cara on this one for making me look like I almost have it all together with her Short Vowel Bundle. Newsflash...I get by with A LOT of help from my friends!

 Focusing on Math Stations! We've been using math mountains in our new program so I decided we needed to get a little more hands on with them. These were a great way for me to quickly see who has the concept down and who still needs some reteaching.

 And last but not least...getting our GoNoodle on!!! My last year's crew loved to GoNoodle and my new one is not different. Brain breaks help make the world go round' in the afternoons.

TGI {almost} F friends..!!!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Dolch Sight Word Fluency That Sticks!

Kicking off this 4 day week with a fun new resource to share with you all!! Many of you have asked if I would be creating a Dolch Sight Word version of my Fry Flash Fluency packs. So I'm excited to share that I've teamed up with Mrs. Deanna Jump to bring you an amazing Dolch Fluency pack!

Included are fluency cards and passages that cover all of the Primer and Pre-primer Dolch words. Each sight word card includes a picture to provide picture support to those who need it. Each list is broken down into ten words and organized by color to make for some easy organization!

Color code each list by printing on colored card stock.

Add a ring to each set and you're ready to go!

See everything included below... 

*27 pages of cards for a total of 162 cards

*9 sight word fluency sheets

*Sight Words Fluency Data book for students to track progress

*Two other versions of recording sheets to tract data

*A Powerpoint with EDITABLE SHEETS so that you can make it your own.

If the Dolch words are on your radar, 
preview Sight Words That Sitck in Deanna's shop!


If you're looking for some tips on how to store and implement fluency phrases in your classroom, check out my previous post, HERE. You'll find lots of pictures and see how simple it can be to get going!!