Thursday, March 5, 2015

What are we up to? (FREEBIES!)

Today is a "Happy No-School (even though there's no snow or ice) Day" for us here in Texas! Our weathermen tend to get a little excited with the possibility of a winter storm, so everyone cancelled school for today. No complaints from me though! :) We were all in need of a little break.
 
I thought I'd take this time to blog (finally)! I can't believe it's March! I am SOOO ready for Spring. Texas weather is a little strange, and we've had some great weather and some COLD weather. You never know what you're gonna get!

We started our new Spring into Action Math Tubs this week. Actually, I taught the games in math groups yesterday and will now add them to our math tubs. The kids were so excited! They love when we change up our math tubs.





 
You find these in my TPT store!
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Spring-into-Action-8-Spring-Math-Tubs-CCSS-Aligned-1742707
 
Because we're in Texas, we have our own state standards and still teach coins in 1st grade. This is our current 5-a-day (weekly math review). You can grab this if you'd like to try it out! Just click on the image. The full version of my 5-a-Day Math has alternate sheets for teachers who do not teach counting coins.
 
https://www.dropbox.com/s/x8sskrqjpp1thxs/5%20a%20day%20math%20FULL%20YEAR%20%281-27%29%20PNG.png?dl=0
 
A few years ago, one of our amazing math intervention teachers showed us how kids can use a number grid to count coins. LIFE-CHANGING!
 
 
This year I realized that my kids were having difficulty identifying coins. I made a simple little coin ID strip that they can use when they're unsure...and boy have they been using them!
We have 2 at each table.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/pzyof52rxcrmx94/coin%20value%20strips%20PDF.pdf?dl=0
 
These are front and back. One side has coin clip art, and the other side has plastic coins hot-glued to the spaces. **Notice anything wrong?? I kept wonder why the dime looked like JFK... That's because it's a half-dollar!! Oops! Apparently I was in a little bit of a hurry and grabbed the wrong clip art. This has been corrected now, but I don't have a new pic. You can grab this freebie by clicking the picture above!
 
We've been working on informational writing during writer's workshop. We chose to focus on animals, and the kids are having so  much fun!
 
Our whole team does this unit at the same time,
so you can imagine how difficult it is to share books from the library.
While worrying about this, I came upon this AWESOME book app called EPIC! Books for Kids.
 
 
I actually found the app because I was looking for something for my 1st grade son. I found it, was amazed with the amount and the quality of the books, and immediately signed up for an account. The app is free, but it's $4.99 per month after the first month. This seemed totally worth it to me. I posted a pic on our We Heart 1st instagram page, and I found out that EPIC! actually has FREE TEACHER ACCOUNTS!! (Thanks IG friends!) The next day our whole team signed up for accounts and our kids have happily been reading books and researching their animals on their ipads.
 
 
I always like to incorporate some kind of art project with whatever we're doing. In our writing, the kids learned about diagrams, so they drew pictures of their animals and labeled them.

We started with the labels and captions.
They wrote them first in the blank boxes and then typed them in the computer lab. Of course they loved choosing their own fonts. (If only our computer lab had KG Fonts!!)
 

 
They then drew their animals. They sketched them in pencil first and then traced in crayon. Most just used black to outline.
 
 
 
The next step was to water color the animals.


 

 
Once they were dry, I cut them out. You could definitely have the kids do this, but I was in a time crunch and didn't want to deal with severed limbs or ears. :) The next day, I let the kids choose their background colors and glue them on. They then cut out their labels and captions and glued them in the correct spots.
 
 
 
That's it for now! Thanks for stopping by!