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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Giraffes Can't Dance Math Task


Mamaw ( my mom in Ohio) put together a "first of the year" art project to Skype with the kids and create a giraffe from the book "Giraffes Can't Dance".

If you've never heard of Gerald...there's a great YouTube video put together by someone much more technical than I...




Before we skyped with Mamaw, I read the book to the kids...we talked about the message..."everyone's different....we can all do things, but not all in the same way, respect others and their differences, etc"
We talked about the main character....Gerald...
and we talked about shapes on Gerald's body and how his spots looked...

The we sat down to skype with Mamaw

She worked with us to help us put together the pieces and create a Gerald we could make dance in our own way.  

Then came the Math Task portion of the project...We've been talking about ways to make 10 and how different numbers go together to make a whole number....so their task became showing those parts on Gerald with the spots they drew.  Some of the spots had to be triangles and some had to be circles.
For a first experience with a Math Task and a Skype session all at one time....
They did GREAT!


Don't have a Mamaw to put together a project for you?
Check out this art project from Mary Making...


Enjoy!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

AR Reading Logs


Anyone else have a lot of passwords and usernames that students have to remember?

We use the Accelerated Reader online access program at my school...so...
I've come up with what the kids call their 
AR Reading Logs...

On the front cover of their log is all the various programs that we use in the class and for the school along with their username and password....voila!  All in one place for easy access for my firsties 
(and any parent or school volunteer that might be working with them that day!)


The inside pages allow for those who are adept at writing to record their information for each AR book they take a test on for the day....for those not so adept at writing...I ask a parent volunteer to help write them in or ask the child to bring me to bring me the book and so I can record it...of course I show them how to record their score and date....which is really what I'm after...Quiz number not so much...title is great!  Helps so that when they're taking a test the don't try to retake a test :)

I usually include 3-4 inside pages depending upon the student :)

If you'd like a copy of the editable documents, you'll need to email me at 
hsamuelson2013@gmail.com

I couldn't get the format to stay the right way from google docs.

If you just need the pdf of the files...you can click on any of the pictures above or HERE.
I didn't include any of the graphics so you can add your own :)

Enjoy your day!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Small Group Anchor Binder

So .... here's the idea...
Take 3-ring binders and fill them with words to practice/read while you get the other students settled and ready to roll during small group reading time...

I've always had an anchor activity for the kids in small group to do while I check to make sure everyone else is settled in and ready to roll for the group time.  Usually, this activity revolved around putting words together, putting words in ABC order, or reading a story from the week before...

So...I'm thinking this year... I want a binder of things they can use as anchor activities.  


First in the binder will be their decodable word posters.  If you're using Reading Street from Scott Foresman, you can find the decodable posters on my web pages or on the yahoo group.  Some very talented ladies shared them with me about 6 years ago and I still use them to this day!


I decided to type out the words to the decodable stories for my series instead of wasting all the paper to run the stories off this year.  To back up the decodable word poster....I'll put the decodable stories to practice for the week.  You can find the file to download these stories at the 


Knowing that some students will be above and beyond this practice, I've decided to add the dolch words from "The School Bell" dolch word kit.


I love the way she has the list and then the list of phrases using the list of words.  I think the kids will be able to practice reading these outloud and to a partner for anchor time too...


I also plan to add some ABC and Blending charts for those firsties that can use some practice identifying letters and their sounds.  If you haven't been to Jessica Meacham's awesome site...she's got a wonderful resource for offices that have many downloads for different word charts...


I'd love to hear what else you might think of putting in the 
"Anchor Binders for Small Groups"...

Ohhhh...how about a pencil pouch with a dry erase marker so we can mark on the page protectors as we read and talk about the words...and one of those small erasers from the Target Dollar Spot to erase and an altoid tin with some letters of cut up words to put back together...and...and....and...

Help!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Back to School Blog Hunt Day 11


Welcome to the Swamp Frog First Graders Blog!
I'm excited to be joining in a Back to School Blog Hop today!

One of my favorite things to do during the first week of school is some good old fashion Nursery Rhymes!  Many of my firsties can relate and are able to "read" the words of the rhyme whole group.  Gives them a little bit of security in the familiarity and helps me to see who can pick up on the rhyming ...

I've done some research and found some books that have been structured off these oldies but goodies and they are some of the favorite books the kids will read throughout the year!

Humpty Dumpty is a great start to a technology project I use with the kids.
First we review the rhyme and talk about where Humpty sat...

Then I read Daniel Kirk's version of the book so we can see other places that Humpty might sit...



We create a chart of places in the room that Humpty might sit, places in the school that Humpty might sit, and place in their homes that Humpty might sit...

Then we start our writing project....Humpty Dumpty sat on a _________.
We talk about illustrations and backgrounds and making our pictures our personal best...
I have a visual rubric that I show the kids an okay picture, a good picture, and a great job picture... but that's a whole other post :)

Hop over to my previous post on Humpty Dumpty to see the movie I created with the kids using SonicPics on my iPad...



Join the blog hop and see what others are doing for the back to school get ready mode:


Saturday, August 4, 2012

How Do You Celebrate Birthdays?


Hello All,
Here's a guest post that I was excited to share with the followers of Heidi Raki's blog....

Raki's Rad Resources

I have a confession to make
....birthdays are not my favorite thing to celebrate...
 ....there...
I feel better!

So when I was in Walmart the other day and came across these treasures in the new school supply area....I thought they might help me make birthdays a little more special for my kiddos and a little more easier on me :)


Here's the idea.... 
~place birthday pencils and erasers inside the adorable (but way too expensive) pencil pouch...
~create "It's My Birthday" tag for lanyard...

On child's birthday, they get to choose a (pre-sharpened and ready to go) pencil and eraser from the pencil pouch....then they get to wear the birthday lanyard throughout the day instead of a sticker (that always fell off before lunchtime anyway)!






If you're at all familiar with Dr. Jean then you know what a  "spitfire" she is to watch during a conference/workshop !  
I've learned about tons of things from her.  
My favorite are her classroom cheers!  

However...

I was inspired by her YouTube video of some ideas for making birthdays special...
You can check out her blog post about birthday celebrations HERE.


I've created a "cheat sheet" to post near the 'meeting area' in my room so I remember what the words are to the songs and chants she talks about in her video.  


You can download a copy for your class by clicking on the picture above.

A friend of mine also said she remembered a teacher friend of hers making the day special with a candy bar and a note on the birthday child's desk waiting for them when they come in the room....Uhmmm...not sure I'm ready for THAT...but maybe a roll of smarties for being a year smarter today???  Might have to work on a tag or sticker for that concept...
Be sure to hop over to the Swamp and see if I can cook anything up !

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