Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Lion Whisperer

We watched an amazing video for Science in the classroom today. Although my original plan for Science was to have the children go on a nature walk around the school campus and record their observations of plants and other living things in their Science journals, the non-stop rain kept us indoors and called for me to break out *Science Lesson Plan B*... which was showing the children one of the most amazing videos on lions and hyenas that I have had the joy to watch. 

The children loved it!! We talked about the habitat of lions, conservation, what kind of environment the African Plains are made up of, what it means for an animal to be endangered, and how we can make a difference. It was an inspiring lesson, and captured the minds and hearts of all 22 of my first graders. Not only did they applaud at the end of the video, but they talked about how learning that there may not be any lions living in the wild within the next 20 years made them sad and want to do something to ensure that the lions and their habitat are protected.

Here is the 15 minute video we watched in class today...

Kevin Richardson is truly an awe-inspiring individual... you can see more of his videos, read about his conservations efforts, and learn more about the plight of lions at

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Our Class Picnic!!

1 . . . 2 . . . 3 . . . 

The children have gotten three perfect 8 point lunchroom manner reports in the cafeteria and earned a classroom picnic!! Congratulations Kearson's Crocodiles on using your best lunchroom manners!! I couldn't be prouder of how hard each one of my first graders have worked in the cafeteria and the classroom.

As a reward for all their amazing hard work, the children will get to have a picnic this Friday, February 28th during our regular lunch period time. I will bring a GIANT quilt picnic blanket, and we will be having our picnic lunch under the tree by the playground.

If possible, please send a packed lunch with your child on Friday for the picnic. If for some reason you will not be able to send a packed lunch with your child for the picnic, please let me know in advance, and I will be sure to provide a bag lunch for your child with a juice box, PB&J Uncrustables, chips, and fruit snack.

Hopefully the weather will cooperate and we will have a swonderfully-smarvelous picnic lunch. However, if it looks like the weather will be rainy, we will have our lunch in the classroom that day and reschedule our picnic for the following Friday.

Congratulations again to my awesome first graders... you continue to amaze me each and everyday!!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Look who stopped by... Nile Croc O'Dyle

We are the Kearson Crocodiles... and our mascot, Nile Croc O'Dyle, came by to see just how amazing our first grade class is! Nile was SO impressed with our class, that he has decided to stay to thank each of the students that are working hard and making good choices. 

Each day Nile will pick a student that spent the day working hard and making good choices, and leave a note on his or her desk saying, "Way to go!". In addition to getting a note from Nile, the student that Nile picks will also get and extra punch on their punch card that day! WOO-HOO!!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

That Darn Tricky Y!

WANTED: That sly tricky Y for stealing the sounds of "e" and "i"

Two things I must always remember
To keep the letter Y from tricking me...
In one syllable words he sounds like “i”
In two syllable words he sounds like “e”.

This is a fun little activity to help your students learn about that darn tricky Y. There is a mini anchor chart that can be printed and displayed in your literacy center, on your word wall, or with your reading and writing strategy bulletin boards.

I have also included two tricky Y activities...
- A worksheet to circle the number of syllables in each word and write which sound they hear... "e" or "i"
- A tricky Y word find

Click here to visit my TpT to download this Tricky Y activity 


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

We Are 100 Days Smarter!

Sign made by FirstGradeBlueSkies

What an amazing 100th Day of School celebration we had in the classroom this week! Each of the students colored a banner flag and I decorated the window with every one of their awesome creations...

The students also loved making their own books about 100, which included... *I wish I had 100 ____*, *I can eat 100 ____*, *I can lift 100 ____*, and *I would not want 100 ____*. FUN! Next, I challenged the students to see how many words they could make out of the letters in "one hundred"... and let me tell you, my super smart first graders could give some Scrabble pros a run for their money! Here is the incredible list of words they were able to make...

After a morning filled with 100 days of school activities, I read, "One Hundred Hungry Ants" by Elinor J. Pinczes. This book is a great visual introduction to math as the ants travel in one row of 100, two rows of 50, 4 rows of 25, five rows of 20, and 10 rows of 10... but will they make it to the picnic before all the food is gone? You will have to ask your child how the story ended.

Last, but not least, we had a blast comparing our bags of 100 objects that each of the students brought from home. We got to see how heavy a bag of 100 pennies were compared to a bag of 100 popcorn kernels. We got to see how some bags had 100 objects that were the same size, shape, and color... like 100 Cheerios and 100 pennies - and we compared these to bags that had 100 beads, 100 crayons, 100 stickers, and 100 Legos that were different sizes, shapes, and colors. The students really enjoyed seeing all the creative objects that were brought in.

At the end of the day, each of the students received a 100 Days Smarter certificate to acknowledge all their handwork and accomplishments over the past 100 days of school!

Click here to visit my TpT to purchase this certificate

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Little Pig, Little Pig, Let Me In...

Little pig, little pig, let me in...

We had so much fun this week reading three different versions of, "The Three Little Pigs", and comparing and contrasting the characters, settings, and stories. First we read the classic tale of the three little pigs and the big bad wolf as told by James Orchard Halliwell-Philipps. Then we *spiced* things up with, "The Three Little Cajun Pigs" by Mike Artell. The children absolutely LOVED this book! It is written in Cajun dialect, set in the bayou, and featured Ol' Claude as the big bad gator.

Finally, we finished up the week with, "The True Story of the Three Little Pigs" by Jon Scieszka. This interesting tale is told through the point of view of the wolf... and the way he tells it, this was all just a misunderstanding. This was another fun story that had the children laughing and questioning whether or not the big bad wolf was ever big and bad at all.

After enjoying our three tales of the three little pigs, the children came up with their own versions of the three little ? ? ? and the big bad ? ? ? . They got to pick their own characters and settings, and I didn't even have to ask them to write at least one page in their journal... they wrote at least two pages on their own! I was so proud of all of the creative writing and hard work the students put into this writing activity. Some of the students wanted to share their stories with the class Friday, and here are some of the tales we got to enjoy...

"The Three Bison and the Big Bad Coyote"
"The Three Iguanas and the Big Bad Bird"
"The Three Cats and the Big Bad Dog"
"The Three Little Fish and the Big Bad Shark"
"The Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Snake"

They made homes of dirt, cacti, logs, rocks, seaweed, and shells. Each story shared was an amazing and creative tale... we loved them all!