Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Valentine's Love

 
Woo hoo! We finally had our first full week of school since December 9! I think the students handled the full 5 days better than I did considering I showed up to school on group picture day wearing my “Friday casual” look (sweatshirt, tennis shoes, AND maternity jeans).  

Between the Olympics and Valentine's Day, we've been having a lot of fun. One of our first grade dads is a former Olympic volleyball star so he came to talk to our students. He brought videos, pictures, and his rings from 2000 and 2004. The students were in awe! They kept saying, "He is so tall!" and "I think he's taller than Abraham Lincoln!"
We read the book My Map Book and focused on the heart map. The children then brainstormed a list of things that belonged in their heart map before each creating their own.  They worked so hard and were very happy with the finishing touch…adding red glue to the lines between each section. For them the red glue was really the icing on the cake.

 Since this is the season of LOVE we made symmetrical "love monsters." This is a cute Valentine craft that even the boys have fun doing!


To end the week we celebrated with a Valentine Party complete with cards, cookies, beanbag toss, and mustaches.
Enjoy your week!
Ashley 

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Monday, February 17, 2014

Penguin Party! {aka Penguin Research}

Have you ever studied penguins? We recently finished up our first penguin unit, and it was so much fun!
 
The kids each chose one of five penguin species to research: Little Blue, Rockhopper, Macaroni, Adelie, and Chinstrap. We used the Emperor Penguin as whole group practice before they began their own research.
 
Our school is a 1:1 ipad school. That means that every child has an ipad in the classroom. We used QR codes to help the kids find the required information on their penguins. They used their ipads to scan the code and then used the info found in each code to complete their data collection sheets.
 
Once the data collection was complete, they created keynote presentations on their penguins. (You could easily create posters, books, or powerpoints as well.)
 
Our fabulous technology specialist on campus created thinglinks for them to use when they completed the required tasks. They were able to use these to gather more information. I also purchased sets from Scholastic to use in reading groups throughout the week.
 
 No penguin unit would be complete without some adorable penguin art!
 

We finished up the unit with paper mache penguins. This part was a little intimidating, but everything worked out perfectly, and the kids LOVED it!


 You can find this unit (with a lot more included) in my TPT store. Check it out!
 
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Spectacular-Penguins-A-Non-Fiction-Unit-1118526
 
Have a great week!
 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

We Heart LEGOS! {and a freebie!}

My 6 year old is pretty much obsessed with Legos. He has so many Lego mini-figures that he was able to take 100 of them to school for the 100th day. It's pretty crazy, and frankly, it's a little out of control. We are working on a system to get things organized.
 
Here are some pics of the beginning stages of Lego organization at my house:



 
 
My son has been counting down the days to The Lego Movie, and we were so excited to see it this weekend! It was so good!! Two thumbs up. In honor of The Lego Movie, I decided to do this post and offer a freebie!

Once I realized how much kids loved Legos, I started thinking about how to incorporate them into my classroom. My students love using them during math. We recently used them to compare amounts using >, <, and = symbols, and we also used them in comparison number stories to tell "How much more?" by finding the difference.



 
Ready for your freebie? Just download it from my TPT store!
 
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Comparing-Legos-Greater-than-and-Less-than-1081122
 
 
Have a great week!
-Jana


Thursday, February 6, 2014

Welcome!


Welcome to our blog! We are so glad you're here!
We are Ashley and Jana, two 1st grade teacher BFFs in Austin, TX. This is us:


OK, I'll admit...My hair's not really pink, but I LOVE a good wig!

We've been planning this blog for awhile, so what better day to launch than the 100th day of school! It was slightly cold here in Texas, so our day was a little short due to a delayed start. You know Texans can't drive on possibly-icy roads!

Anyway, we still made the best of it and had some fun. The kiddos wrote about things they'd like to do before turning 100 years old. They are so darn cute!





Hot French guy?! Gotta love 1st graders!

We're learning about equivalent names in math, so today we made the number 100 and turned it into the traditional crazy 100th day hat.

Thanks for visiting! We'll have more soon!