Friday, October 18, 2013

Liberty Bell How To

Once upon a time, we found a pin...
Unfortunately, it led to nowhere. If it's yours, please let us know! We loved it and are firm believers in giving credit where credit is due.

We've been studying American Symbols as part of our Social Studies learning and knew our class would love making Liberty Bells similar to the pin above. Unfortunately, we couldn't personally get the aluminum foil to look as pretty as the pin above, so we were worried that our first graders would have a hard time too.

We thought and thought, and finally the bells went off!
We put our own twist on Liberty Bells, and our kids loved them.

Here's What We Did...
 We found cardboard planting pots at the 99 Cents Store. The texture and thickness is PERFECT!
They looked crackly and lovely. We were excited.
On Day 1, we set up a painting station at the table outside of our classroom.
 We showed them how to paint a "pot puppet" by putting it over their hand, or by holding it down, getting a little dirty and painting it on the table. We used yellow tempera paint and the paint job was quick ~ 2 coats was plenty with the foam brushes.

 Once dry, we prepped the pots and materials for the next phase.
 We found small jingle bells, brown scrapbook cardstock by the sheet and blue glittery pipe cleaners at Michaels. We were excited. Poke 2 holes in the bottom of the painted pot before you begin.
 Cut one square 3 1/2 x 4 inches wide. This will be the rolling piece. Cut another piece 1 x 3 inches. This will be the Liberty sign.
Have them roll their larger brown paper around their pencil. 
They were very proud to figure this trick out!
String the bell onto the pipe cleaner, then thread it up through the open end of the pot, now bell~One end per hole. Hold the bell against the side of the inside pot while twisting the pipe cleaner at the top to hold it in place.
Place the rolled brown paper in between the pipe cleaner tails and twist again. A few needed adult help, but most of them were able to figure this out by watching a few times.
Add the crack with a Sharpie, and of course a brad for one of the bolts that tried to fix the crack in the bell. They loved this part! We poked the brad through for them and they opened the arms of the brad inside the pot themselves. 

Use the same Sharpie to print the word "Liberty" on the smaller brown paper and attach it to the front of the roll. We used glue dots to attach ours.
We decided to string our Liberty Bells onto blue yarn and hang them like a garland above our American Symbols bulletin board. Bald Eagles are from Deanna Jump {here}. We used duct tape on the ends to keep them in place. The tape is hiding up on the window sills, but has been there for over a week and no bells have cracked yet. :)

Friday, October 11, 2013

5 for Friday Whirlwind

Fridays just keep coming and we just keep opening the door. 
Come right in Friday...
Our welcome mat is dusted and our arms are open wide.
We're linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for 5 fabulously random pieces from our whirlwind of a week.
Picture Day!
That exclamation mark was for effect.
We aren't really that excited.
We spend the week leading up reading some of our favorite stories about taking school pictures.
This year, they adored Mrs. Toggle's Class Picture Day the best.
It's about a teacher who has a really bad hair day and how her students and school try to help her out.
We vowed to all try our best not to have bad hair days for our own school Picture Day.
Unfortunately, the wind had different ideas.
Yep, this year's class photo should be interesting...
All we remember is we had one hand on our dresses and one hand on the dresses of the girls next to us in hopes the camera would not snap more than it was supposed to.
Thank Goodness for Picture retake day?

 Lunch on the go anyone?
Isn't that a given as a teacher?
We needed something quick and easy.
A few teacher friends introduced us to these Chobani Flips.
They have greek yogurt and toppings that you flip into the yogurt.
The Peachy Pistachio with dark chocolate is our favorite. 
It has chocolate.
The end.
We also tried Blueberry Power.
It had a lot of seeds. We felt like birds.
And, we tried Strawberry Sunrise.
By far the most "normal"...just granola and yogurt. 
But, no chocolate.
They're perfect, quick breakfast or lunches. 
Yum!
 
This sign hangs above our desk in class.
We love this quote more than all the quotes in Quoteland.
It just sums it all up for us.
The adorable *chevron* clock was just made for us by our amazing Room Mom.
We are loving it! She even put our names on it. 
We hope we never "get divorced". 
It won't be nearly as cute cut in half. HA!

We're becoming real Pros at Buddy Reading in class.
This week, we used our reading anthology and introduced them to our 
They read their story to 3 different friends.
We make them chant three times, "The more I read, the better I read." as they transition to their next friend (Think Dorothy in Oz chanting, "There's no place like home."). They have to find a friend by the third time chanting.

Each time they finish reading, the listener gives the reader a detailed compliment.
No, "That was cool.", "That was good." "That was neat."
No.
"That was cool because I liked the way you read about the little bunny and how you made your voice change when you were reading."
Yes.
Then, the listener signs the reader's Fluency Building Bookmark.
Click the product cover below for more details. 
 

We read aloud to our class for 15 minutes each and every day.
They are becoming great listeners and for this slice of our day, they sit quietly, mesmerized by the stories.
So, we thought we'd introduce them to their first chapter book.
 
This one always seems fitting.
It also gives us an opportunity to discuss appropriate ways to speak because if you know Junie B. Jones, you know she still needs a few years of grammar under her belt.
But, she's in Room One, and we're in Room One.
She's a first grader, and we're first graders.
It's like destiny.
So we read it aloud.
We did not like nor appreciate the way May treated Junie B. throughout the story, so decided to interactive write Junie B. a pep talk letter.

You know how some lessons just happen without any planning whatsoever?
So, we must've blinked or something because before we knew it, our word "awesome" came out as 3 words ~ a we some.
That is so first grade.
And, so Room One.
So, we did what we always do...We started telling them how A We Some they all are.
They giggled.
A lot.
We kept milking it.
 Once we realized the importance of letter spacing in words, and all agreed that we were much more awesome than a we some, we fixed it.
It was a wonderful lesson that wasn't on the lesson plans.
Those are the best.
Like Fridays.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Ghosts in the Graveyard Freebie

We just created a new math game called Ghosts in the Graveyard.
It's a great 10-frame math center practice for your guys and ghouls.
 Plus, we impulse bought these adorable ghost erasers at Target the other day and had to use them for something. 

We have a feeling, some of you may relate?
But, don't worry...
You do not have to be a shopaholic or have these erasers to play Ghosts in the Graveyard.
We've included paper ghost templates for those of you with better self control. :)
You can grab this freebie for yourself!
Happy Haunting!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Keep Your Hands to YO-self!! Song Poster *Freebies*

Now that we've got our chit chattery under a bit more control, we're moving onto 
Behavior Breaking 2...The Hands on Others Syndrome.

We were told they were "handsy" by their Kindergarten teachers...not as in helping hands. 
As in, hands all over each other all the time a slight difficulty keeping their hands to themselves from time to time.

It didn't happen at first. 
We were proud.
It was the Honeymoon.
A fake out...
A facade?

Come mid day last Friday, the lyrics to Cyndi Lauper's classic 80's ballad, "True Colors" started playing in our heads.
If you know the words, feel free to sing along. 
It was a great song...
Not as it applies to teaching and students settling into our way of life first grade routine, however.

We typically like to head these issues off at the pass.
Whatever it takes...They will keep their hands to themselves.

Right? 

So, we did what any seasoned first grade teacher would do.
We wrote a song...or two.

 We've been singing them all week and somehow they just feel better than,
"Johnny! Please stop touching Sara."
"Hands in your laps FOLKS!"
"Why are you hitting?"
"Why are you poking?"
"WHY did you just rip the band aid off of her arm?!?"
True story...No joke...
So you see, we need these songs. 

Now, when they get handsy we just act all forgetful and say,
"Hmmm...What was that song about hands again?"
Or, we just start singing it quietly, then others chime in.
All our future American Idols belt it out. 
Works like a charm.
Grab your copies below if you too need them to get their hands off of each other a little reminder to be kind with our hands.

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