Saturday, April 28, 2012

Fraction Fun!

This week we were working on fractions, "Well parts of a whole" to be exact. First Grade Common Core says that students should be able to partition the whole into two of or four of equal shares and describe the whole as two of or four of the shares. That is exactly what we did using Christie Berlener's Pizza Fraction Fun.

I always wondered how teachers had the time to cut out all the pieces for their students. For everyone that is wondering like me... this is what I did. Multiple pieces are copied onto one paper and I cut them apart to distribute to each student. I gave out one piece at a time and allowed the students to cut the shape out. (as you can tell some of the heads are different sizes). Then I would give the next piece and so forth. All students stayed with me and used their listening skills. As you notice some of the blue pieces of paper are vertical and some are horizontal, I did not specify (yeah I know that would drive some of you OCD teachers crazy) but that allowed it to be more of their own and having to problem solve to fit all the pieces on. Once all the pieces were on I walked them through the writing part of it.

We also had a chance to make our own pizzas.
1/2 english muffin, spoonful sauce, spoonful cheese, and pepperonis.

Our wonderful cafeteria ladies put them in the oven for me- about 10 minutes.

I wish we would have had more time to graph our likes/ dislikes.

We also had a chance to make ice cream cone fractions from Libby Tyler. Loved this!

What a great way to get in some math writing.

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Monday, April 23, 2012

22 days and counting...

I can hardly believe I have 22 days left of school! Panic, Panic, Panic. (Are my kids socially and academically ready for Second Grade? Do they remember what I have taught them? Why are they going crazy? Is my classroom ready?) So much to do, so little time.

Ok, I need to put that behind me and focus on this week. It is TCAP Testing (Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program). Only 3rd-5th graders take the test, but it is stressful for the whole school. Our schedules are changed a little and no pullout or inclusion classes take place. So to say the least, my kiddos were a LITTLE crazy today!

On a lighter note, I have been trying a new technique called Whole Brain Teaching. Check it out below if you have never heard of it. I watched the videos and did a little reading, but never really understood it until I had the chance to watch a Kindergarten teacher apply it to her reading and math block. I am HOOKED! My students have responded very well and I see and hear more learning going on. Woo, Hoo!!!
Some of the key ideas that I have implemented are:

1. Repetition of information (chunking)- I say what I want them to know. Then they wisper the information in their hand (say it in their hand) and release (say again out loud). I then have them turn and talk with their neighbor about what they just learned. Then I bring them back with the attention grabber and ask for hands to repeat what they learned talking with their partener.

2. Attention Grabbers- Class/ Yes! Classity- Class/ Yessity- Yes!

3. Score Board- if they students are ready (eyes on me, voices off, bodies still) after you say your attention grabber they can earn a tally mark on the Smiley face (they say "Oh, Yeah!) or on the Frowny face (they say "Oh, No!) If they have more smilies than frownies before recess they get 5 extra minutes.

I love hearing students talk with each other about learning. If your teaching with Whole Brain, I would love to hear how you have incorporated it into your classroom. Any changes you have made or any questions you may have.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Time Flies!

I have been so busy finishing up my professionalism I haven't had time to blog :-(

Last week we worked on Solids, Liquids and Gases. Some of the activities we did were:  cut solid, liquid and gas pictures from magazines, showed molecules using cheerios, made jell-o and ice cream in a baggie, and watched a video on Brainpop Jr.

Click above to get your freebie

Thank you Rachel Lynette (click above for link)

All the liquids.. half and half worked the best not heavy whipping cream.

Girls shaking their bags

boys shaking their bags... are they done yet?

The ice cream was by far their favorite and mine, for real life application of solids and liquids. I loved how they had the chance to see how it went from a liquid to solid and then back to a liquid. Yes, they did melt fast and Yes, it did get a little crazy trying to make an assembly line for 19 students. However, I had a sweet friend help out. Thank you Ms. Kristy!

We had also been working on graphing in math and did a little jellybean graphing (better late than never).

Only 27 more days of school left. WOW, where has the year gone! Time flies when your having fun.

Sunday, April 1, 2012


I mananged to tie in Clouds this week with our Scott Foresman reading series and the kids just loved it!
In small reading groups we used a few poems to help us fill out the graphic organizer below. (I have search all morning for the poems printable I downloaded and cant find the author to link you to it. Sorry!) I found this by kindersisters. Click below to get a free copy.
sorry so blurry, not sure how to add

We also used this book to help us fill out the chart. Love the pictures!

Then we made our own cloud pictures with cottonballs and added a writing page from First Grade Fabulosity

We also used 1/2 school glue and 1/2 shaving cream and made clouds. This by far was one of their favorite things.

We also made cloud mobils to distinguish where clouds are found in the atmosphere.

We sang our Water Cycle song and used this printable from First Grade Parade.


It was a very busy week, but had so much fun learning about clouds.