Monday, February 28, 2011

Wacky Wednesday by Dr. Seuss

Believe it or not, I've never read "Wacky Wednesday" by Dr. Seuss before this year, but it has quickly become a favorite! I love looking for all the "wacky" things in each picture. 
 I've created a powerpoint to project the book's pages onto our white board this Wednesday.  As we read the book together, the kids will use Expo Markers to circle the "wacky" things on the image projected on the board.  The powerpoint is created to circle the "wacky" things as it is clicked forward so we can see if they find all the weird things.

After we find all the wacky things, we'll design our own wacky page to create our own story.


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Mr. Bones Resources



Don't forget to check the firstgradeteachersintn yahoo group files for resources to use with "Mr. Bones:  Dinosaur Hunter".

You can find cool games like the ones created by A. Cotner for ow and oa..

The project worksheets created by the Bailey Station Teachers.

Break the Code sheets....and more.

I've also transfered some of the files to the first grade wiki to start to create easier file retrieval for each story...but this is a daunting task and may take me awhile...input there are sooooo many creative and generous teachers who share in this group!


Reading Words with Snakes and Ladders

I got this version of "Snakes and Ladders" from Dollar Tree.  I've already used one of the boards for math facts.  So I thought I'd use the second board with my reading stories to help review and sound out our words for the week.  We're starting on "Mr. Bones" this week, so I bought some brightly colored index cards from the Dollar Tree (of course) to write the words on the front...yellow for the Day One words (words with the oa and ow phonemes), green for the Day Two words (three letter blends), and blue for the Advanced words that are in the differentiated lesson at the back of the book for Day One.

I created a quick sticker form to add the move ahead and move back with numbers on the backs of the cards.  Now to play the game on Monday, we'll look at the yellow and segment the word on the front...then flip the card over to see how many spaces we get to move forward (or back) on the Snakes and Ladders board.  On Tuesday, we'll add in the green cards...and for my advanced babies...they'll get the blue cards from the get go :)

Here's a download of the sticker page.  I used the 30 to a sheet design.


Friday, February 25, 2011

On My Beach There Are Many Pebbles

This book by Leo Lioni was shared by Carol Stafford at an in-service a couple of years ago that has become a favorite of mine!  Carol used rocks and pebbles to paint letters on the rocks and had the kids put the alphabet in order or build words with the pebbles. 

I decided to use the Dollar Tree's glass pebbles and paint numbers on them.  

I created some sheets to use with the numbered pebbles where you can have the kids order the numbers from least to greatest, greatest to least, add and subtract, or decide greater or less than.  You could also have them pick out numbers and create the greatest 3 digit number if you'd like.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Snakes and Ladders with Math Facts

I saw this game at the Dollar Tree and had to buy it....just wasn't sure what I was going to do with it...That is until Debbie Diller's new Math Stations book came in the mail!  Whoo Hoo! 
 I opened this fabulous book and there was an idea to use with this was Devine Intervention of the best kind!  All I had to do was create some quick math fact cards to go with the gameboard.  We're working on addition facts to 18 this week, so I quickly made some of those using index cards this morning.  The idea is the kids have to solve the math fact first.  They use the sum of the two numbers to tell them how many spaces to move.  

We played it in small group rotations today during math stations and they loved it.  I kept the cards very simple for the first group using related addition facts to try to get them to quickly recall the facts.  I could tell the ones that have really been using XTRA Math as they were recalling the facts much faster without using their fingers!  That made me excited!!  We also had to do a lot of counting out the number of squares as I still have children that are not counting with one to one correspondence for game boards...funny little things!

If you haven't had a chance to check out Debbie Diller's new's available on amazon now!


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Money Wars

I wanted something to do with money for my advanced students to challenge them during our unit on money.  They love to play "war" with a regular deck of cards, so I came up with these cards for them to play war with money.  Kids flip over the first two cards and add the money values (I've made a "check it out chart" for those that aren't really sure about the amount.

It's a large if the above link won't load for you, try this one from my 4shared account.


XtraMath Overview from XtraMath on Vimeo.

I love using this program in my class and for homework over the weekend.  It encourages automaticity of math facts and provides data to help me see who needs more practice!

It's easy to set up and best of's cost free to your classroom and school!


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Number Sentence Egg Hunt

Oh...the apps you can find with an iPhone...Chicktionary is another new favorite of mine!
The idea is to take 7 letters on chickens you hatch words that you can make with those letters...

My idea is to put numbers inside plastic eggs.  Students choose 8 eggs and open to find the 8 numbers.  Record the numbers inside the eggs at the top of the recording sheet.  Student then see how many number sentences they can create with those numbers.


What a Wonderful Way to Start the Weekend!

Swamp Frog First Graders was awarded the "Stylish Blogger Award" by:
Jennifer at
Mrs. Harris at Adventures of Room 129
Morgan at Fantastic First
Ms. A's Class at Oceans of First Grade Fun

What a wonderful way to start the weekend!  Thank you very much!!  

Here are the rules for receiving this award:
1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this award.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Award 5 recently discovered great bloggers.
4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award.

7 things about myself:

First, I'm addicted to the online community of bloggers!  I love looking at all the great ideas and printable worksheet that others have created!  
I can not remember a time when I didn't want to be a teacher 
(well maybe that time when I was a senior in High School and tried to be a secretary).  
I love being in a profession that has such giving people to share ideas with everyday!

Second, I LOVE TV and could watch NCIS all day long 
(while "playing" on the computer of course)!  
Mark Harmon is "da bomb"!

Third, I have a very supportive and loving husband that is an avid Ultra Runner planning a
 run across America during the summer of 2012.  
Check out his website for the run at  
If we'll be in your area, we'd love to see you on the road!

Fourth, I have a very talented and active son who helps me develop and
 try out new games for my centers from time to time.  
He plans to hike 50 miles on a Philmont trip this summer with his scouting troop

Fifth, I ABORH cooking with a passion!  I like looking at recipes, but the actual cooking doesn't work for me...with good reason...I'm pretty sad in the kitchen!

Sixth, I have a Super Fantastic Wonderfully Creative mother that sends wonderful things for my class to do and for me to have!!  
I wish she lived closer cause I know she'd be a total asset in the classroom!!!

Seventh, I LOVE the people I work with and am so glad to be in their presence each day!  They give support and share ideas in abundance!  
They have honored me by allowing me to represent them as the building level 
Teacher of the Year  for my school and I am very grateful for all they do!

I'm giving the "Stylish Blogger Award" to the following blogs.  Take a moment to check them out!  I've loved all they have to share!

Thanks again to all who stop by and all who share on their blogs!  
Great teachers are not born, they are made from the teachers around the corner, down the hall, in the next building, and definitely on the net!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Boggle Letters

As a new iPhone owner, I've become addicted to the Boggle App.  Strangely enough...Mrs. Perry at the Primary Perspective  Blog has a fabulous post about Boggle for centers!

I took her idea and used my iPhone app to create some Boggle Letter Boards for my "big thinkers".  They're having fun finding the words using the iPod Touches in my class with the Boggle app...but now they can use the sheets and see who can come up with the most words.  
I put the pages at the Word Working Center for the kids to choose the letter board they want.

Here's my take on the boggle letter boards...


Monday, February 14, 2011

Thanks Mom!

Click to play this Smilebox greeting
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My wonderful mother has done it again.  She hand-stitched these cute heart bags for each frog in the class!  They loved them and carried them home proudly.  We made this short video to say thanks using the flip favorite new toy :)

Hope everyone had a Fabulous Valentine's Day!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

President's Day Research Projects

With President's Day right around the corner, we'll spend some time next week researching, writing, and drawing about our two favorite presidents:  Abraham Lincoln and George Washington.  I've got a couple of books that I love to read to the kids.  We web what we learn as we go and then use the webs to help us put together this venn diagram.


One of my favorite ways to help the kids write about what they know is using the Thinking Map called a Tree Map.  I'll use pictures and charts to make a large thinking map for each president so that we can write a paragraph about what we know from our research on each president.  I'll give them the hook at the beginning for the paragraph as well as the closer sentence.  Their job will be to fill in the three details for the body of the paragraph.



After we write what we know, we'll do some directed drawing to pull the projects all together.  As we draw we'll review and revisit all the things we learned about each president.

I found the Discovery Readers series while traveling in D.C. this winter.  You can check them out on 


Friday, February 11, 2011

Snowmen Cuties

My mother has done it again!  She sent my students these cute snowmen 
to put together for the snow days.  

She used old socks to create the hats and material for the scarfs.

She covered empty toilet paper tubes with batting.

The sock hats go over the top of the tube to be the hat for the snowman.

She even put the eyes, nose, and mouth in baggies for each snowman.

We put the snowmen together on one of our days that we had an early dismissal.  Since we were working on descriptions, I challenged the kids to take their snowman home and put something special inside their tummies.  The kids brought back snowmen and their clues the next school day.  We tried to guess what they had placed inside their tummies.  What a ton of fun!
Thanks Mamaw!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Classroom Pet

   I found this adorable Lilkinz at Walmart for under 5 dollars!  He's going to become my classroom pet!  I had a friend's daughter set up an account for the class and start earning some money so they can keep "Bud" going.  With all the snow and cold weather, we've been having a LOT of inside I thought the kids could learn how to play some of the games and take care of "Bud" during recess.  Then on the weekend, one of the kids will have their number drawn and get to take Bud home in a special "Swamp Frog Pet" bag with his journal.  They'll get to play and work with him at home and then write about what they did with "Bud" in the journal before they bring him back on Monday!  I've done it in the past with my classes and they've loved it!  Bud will get to stay on a student's desk during the day too...

Download a sample of Bud's journal pages.


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Grid Games from Mrs. Bland



Nancy has done it once again!  I am so blessed to work with such wonderful teachers.
These are grid games she created with DK Inkers graphics.

Students put 5-8 chips on the board.  Roll a 6 sided die and a die that has A, B,C, D, E, and F on it.  Students roll and read the word on the box of the coordinates.  If they land on coordinates that have a chip, they get to take the chip.  Person with the most chips at the end of the game time wins.

Download HFW words unit 3

Download Skill Words unit 3

Download Story 6 from Unit 3

Download Story 1 from Unit 4

Thanks for letting me share Nancy!  You're the best!