Sunday, April 28, 2013

Instagram {Teacher Talk Tuesday}

I am so flippin' excited that Rachelle at What the Teacher Wants and Michelle at Apples and ABCs came up with this GENIUS idea! Instagram is a new love in my life and I love any reason to do it!

So here's how it works:
1. Every Tuesday teachers will post a picture of the fun that's going on in their classroom!
2. Make sure to include the hashtag #Teachertalktuesday after your picture.

Flying High in First Grade is on instsgram so don't forget to follow me.


You can find my instagram button at the top of the blog. I post school things but also fun things that are going on in my life. I love seeing who all of my blogging buddies are OUTSIDE of school too and getting to know them alittle better. Don't you?!

Here are some of my favorite pictures so far.

at a wedding with the Mr. this weekend!

working on this new unit!

"make a monster" 3 addends activity!

Come join the fun on Tuesday! I can't wait.
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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Three Addends Freebie

We are working on adding 3 addends in math this week. Since I have been pulled to help adminisiter the STAAR test, I made this fun little activity for my sub to do with my kiddos. Grab your freebie below! Hope your kids enjoy it.
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Monday, April 22, 2013

Alliterations and Acrostic Poems

In writing lately we've been working hard on taking a piece of writing through the writing process so I thought it would be fun to take a break from the boring hard stuff and have a little fun this week!

After perusing instagram and my favorite blogs this weekend I decided to do alliterations and acrostic poems. I took the idea from Lindsay over at For The Love of First Grade and ran with it! Turns out she got the idea from Cara Carroll at The First Grade Parade. This is exactly why I love the blogging world! We all can use each others ideas! LOVE IT!

So we are going to spend a few days on both of these topics. We started today with alliterations and just focused on small sentences with 2 words, 1 noun and 1 verb. We used the students names for our nouns. They loved it! Well some of did. Some need some warming up to the idea! Tomorrow we will try doing sentences with 3 words, 1 noun, is, and 1 adjective.

After doing this activity whole group I sent the students off for independent writing time with this sheet for them to record their alliteration. Grab a copy of it below! The document I'm using for acrostic poems on Thursday and Friday is on there too. Enjoy!

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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Summer Blogger TEXAS Meet Up

As summer is quickly approaching, 31 days to exact, I start to think about what to do this summer. How fun would it be to have a Texas blogger meet up here in Dallas? And even if you aren't from Texas and you want to fly down to experience our extremely HOT wonderful summer, you are more than welcome! Maybe a winery tour or take in a Texas Rangers game? Or just spend the day lounging by the pool!!

Anyone interested? If so, leave your email and dates that would be good for you. Once we get closer, I will send out an email to all interested and get this thing planned! I would love to meet some of y'all and put faces with the wonderful names I have met over these past couple years! Have a great week and for those in Texas, good luck with STAAR! Whether you're a testing grade or not, it's hard on us all!
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Saturday, April 20, 2013

Five for Friday and an UPDATE!

Do you see anything different?! Becca at Jumping Jax Designs has been busy busy making my blog dream come true! She did an amazing job at taking what I wanted and making it come to life! If you are looking for a blog make over, go see her! You will not be disappointed!

My social network icons aren't working quite yet, but they will soon! Come follow me on instagram @flyinghighinfirstgrade or pinterest (aggienpink08) or facebook (Flying High in First Grade).

Alright, I was planning on posting my Five for Friday last night, but the blog wasn't quite ready for it's debute. BUT the draft was written yesterday so technically I still made it on time! I'm linking up with Doodle Bug for "Five for Friday".

1. The past 2 weeks we learned about the butterfly lifecycle and parts of the butterfly body. We spent this week observing our caterpillars that had turned into chrysalises over the weekend as part of our morning work. So much fun seeing the life cycle in action!

2. We finally had butterflies on Thursday! I wanted to be a cool teacher and hold the butterfly. I do it every year. The kids ooed and ahhed and as soon as I put the butterfly back into its habitat, it began its escape plan. It must have been planning for awhile. I went to put it at the bottom and as I pulled my hand out and started zipping it up, that little sucker shot out! Yep, the class went wild. Thankfully, I was able to catch it and put it safely back into the cage without it getting squished. Teacher fail.

3. In Science we learned about soil. Here the students are observing the properties of soil and sand.

4. On Thursday we did an experiment to prove that soil holds onto the water "just right". I put a coffee filter in the cup, rubber banded it onto the cup, and put each type of soil in the coffee filter. I then poured water over each kind and we watched how quickly it went through the sand and how it went through the soil but the soil still held onto some of it. Making it perfect for plants to be grown in! They couldn't believe that the water couldn't get through the clay at all! We experimented with soil, sand, and clay. In the same order in the picture.

5. So this doesn't have to do with school, but I had to include it because it made me laugh so hard this morning! My husband and I are trying to have a baby. If you're interested in that story, go check out my personal blog, Man and Wife and 2 Fur Babies. Long story short, recently we found out that I have a hypthyroid that's been messing with my ability to have a baby. I had texted my mom about my doctor and she said that her doctor happened to be that kind of doctor too. Read the text to get a good laugh. Father of the Bride is one of our families favorite movies.

Enjoy your weekend and go link up with Doodle Bugs!

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Sunday, April 14, 2013

Seven for Sunday?

I know I know. I completely missed "Five for Friday" so I changed it to "Seven for Sunday" just for this week! I'm still linking up with Doodle Bugs for "Five for Friday".

AND I get to share TWO extra things that we did this week! Maybe "Seven for Sunday" might catch on? ;)

#1 Alright. First off we have been doing our Kevin Henkes author study. I used my "Kevin Henkes Author Study" packet for 2 weeks and then my students made a cute author study folder to house everything that we did.

#2 In writing we worked on making sure our stories had a strong beginning, middle, and end. And Cara Carroll posted a great crafttivity that goes along with the book "Hey, Little Ant". Click on the book cover to go get the freebie from Cara.

The end of this story is left up to the reader. So the students had to come up with their own ending. Would the little boy step on the ant or let it go? I loved my students endings! Especially this one.

The boy thought about it. Then he started to put down his foot but the ant wasn't there anymore. He figured out that while he was thinking the ant scampered off. She explained that her ending was neither! Can we say gifted and talented? She is an "outside of the box" thinker!

Here are some more cute endings!

 The ant had a point. So he lets him go. But the boys still there watching him go away.

 I think he should squish the ant because ants steal my food when I'm having a picnic. They also get on my nerves. I put my shoe on. HA! Get on her nerves?

The boy said to his friends not to crush, squish, and kill the ants because the ants have a life too. what if you were killed? Then the little boy went home and didn't kill the ant.

#3 I had to include this cute, little note. What the heck? There was more to it and pretty much it boiled down to two of my friends having an argument because one of them wouldn't help the other do the monkey bars at recess. Hey, at least they were writing? :)

#4 I have been working on calendar headers and calendar days. I am so excited to say I am finished! The calendar headers are FREE in my TpT store. Click on the picture to go there. And if you want to purchase the calendar days, they are also in my TpT store. They are individually posted for $1 a set. I am working on putting them into one big bundle, BUT I'm having trouble figuring out how to reduce the size of the file. I have it down to 114MB but it needs to be 100MB. If you have any ideas, please share! I've tried everything.

#5 I saved this one for last because it is a bittersweet moment of the week. I have a student in my class this year that has been very challenging. He is a behavior problem in the classroom and finally this week it has been decided that he will be moved to another school so that he can be in a behavior unit that can give him what he needs. I will have one more week with him and then he will start at his new school on Monday, April 22. It has been a hard year for him, his parents, me, our assistant principal, and many others. I am happy to see him go somewhere that can meet his needs. I pray that this behavior unit will help him stay under control and give him the support to help him succeed.

#6 and #7 have to do with my weekend. I am in North Dallas and our weather has finally started to become B-E-A-U-TIFUL! So we took our pups, Stella and Allie, to a dog park by our house. They are both passed out as I'm writing this post. Love it! Here is Allie on our way home. Happy and pooped!

 #7 And of course, you cannot end an afternoon at the dog park WITHOUT a large cherry limeade! Yum!

PHEW! Did you make it to the end of the post? If you did, good for you! Leave a comment and I will randomly pick someone to choose an item from my store! I will choose tonight at 9pm (CST) before I go to bed! 

Winner chosen by the random number generator (aka the husband) Sara from Polkadot Kinder, you are the winner! Sending you an email right now!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Writer's Workshop

As I scrolled through my blog reel today I came across Rachelle Smith's blog "What the Teacher Wants". Everyone knows her! She's amazing. I absolutely love her. Her Holidays Around the World is one of my favorite units. Ok, back to the point of this post. She wrote about her writing conferences and I thought, "ya know, I'm going to write about my writer's workshop too!" It's one of my favorite times of the day!

My district has taken on the workshop model for all of our main subjects; reading, writing, and math. The workshop model is divided into 3 parts: mini lesson, independent learning, and sharing. So my writer's workshop is just that. 15 mini lesson, 30 minutes of independent writing, and 5 minutes of sharing. The 5 minutes of sharing normally is tacked onto the last 5 minutes of the 30 minutes of writing. Sometimes there's just not enough time in the day!

Our mini lessons are pulled from my districts scope and sequence and we also pull alot from Lucy Calkins. If you don't know who she is, google her! Her books are amazing. They are completely scripted for you and the kids seem to love those lessons.

After the mini lesson, I dismiss the students back to their desk for independent writing time. It is completely silent during this time. You may ask, "how do you keep them silent the whole time?" My answer is PRACTICE! We had to start with smaller chunks of writing time and more sharing time. It took till probably Christmas before they were ready to go the full 25-30 minutes. I had to introduce what they can write, where to get their supplies, etc. I will save all of that for another blog post.

I meet with 5 students daily at my round table. They know their day and immediately get their supplies and come to my table. I rotate between students helping them with their stories. I use the following recording sheet to keep track of my students progress. Click the link to take you google docs.

For sharing time, I use three questions that the writer says after they share their story to get the students listening involved. This way the "chatter" will stay down because everyone is involved; the reader and listeners. The idea comes for Lucy Calkins.

The questions are:
1. What do you remember about my story?
2. Do you have any questions about my story?
3. Do my story remind you of anything?

These questions open up so much dialogue! The one who is sharing also knows to ask "could you write a story about that?" after the "do you have any connections to my story?" That way the asker now has an idea for a new story. It's some powerful stuff!

Here are the posters in PDF form. They are from the amazing Amy Lemons. Click here to check out her blog post on her writer's workshop.

I hope you enjoyed how writer's workshop works in my room. How do you do writing in your classroom?