Saturday, February 14, 2015

Five for Friday with FREEBIES for Presidents' Day and Mardi Gras

Whew!  Made it through Valentine's Day.  We had a great time at school with different Valentine's themed learning activities and of course our little party.  The kids are always so excited to hand out their cards and to receive cards from their friends.  It is so fun to sit back and watch.
This Five for Friday I'd like share a couple user friendly Valentine activities we did and some freebies that I'll be using next week to celebrate Presidents' Day and Mardi Gras.

Number 1
We made Valentine bags in class to collect our cards.  This year we made mice out of hearts.  They were crazy simple to make and turned out really cute.  My firsties loved seeing the hearts transform into mice.

Number 2
Always a favorite, we graphed candy message hearts.  This year we also used them for patterns.  My kids adore working with candy.  It makes math time feel like playtime.

If you would like a FREE copy of the activities above, click on the picture.  If you would like to read more about some of the other activities we did for Valentine's Day this year, you can click here.

Number 3
As you know, Presidents' Day is this week one of the activities will be doing is a shared research project about George Washington.  We will research information about him and create a class bubble map.  After we create the bubble map will make the craftivity pictured below.
If you would like a copy of of my George Washington {A FREE Writing Craftivity}, click on the picture.

Number 4
Mardi Gras falls on February 17th this year.  Most of my students do not know what Mardi Gras is.  So I like to do a little something in class for my kids to learn about some ;) of the traditions involved with this holiday.
We'll have kings cake and make these Mardi Gras Kids spelling art projects to display in the hall.

We will also do some Mardi Gras themed word problems in math using my Mardi Gras Math {A FREE Math Mini Book}.

If you would like to have either of these activities to use with your students, click on the pictures.

Number 5
I have some news that I'm sure is only exciting to me, but I'll share anyway.  I hit 1,000 followers on Teachers Pay Teachers!  I really try not to pay to much attention to numbers because they can be a bit discouraging (in many areas of life).  But 1,000 feels like a number for a little celebration.  
As a token of my appreciation for this happy milestone, my my entire store will be on sale for the next 3 days.  Enjoy!

Thank you for stopping by and thanks once again to Doodle Bugs Teaching for hosting Five for Friday.  Happy Valentine's Day!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Countdown to Valentine's Day

Believe me, I am not complaining when I say this year is flying by.  It seems like we just got back from winter break and now it's almost Valentine's Day.  I am fond of any holiday we get to celebrate at school.  I am looking forward to fitting in a few special Valentine learning activities with my firsties.
I started getting a things ready Friday afternoon before I left for a super busy weekend.  First I pulled out some of my Valentine read alouds and Valentine books for my listening station.  I'm a big fan of Gail Gibbons' Valentine's Day Is . . .  (for nonfiction account of Valentine's Day traditions).  I also love Love Splat by Rob Scotton.

I also got out the activities I made for partner work to see if I need to make more copies of anything.  I made these math and literacy activities last year as part of a free Valentine themed packet Cupid's Helper.
One of the activities students will do is the Valentine's Day Spelling Challenge.  Students will use the letters in the words Valentine's Day to spell and record as many words as they can.

We will also get a little review with initial blends with the Love Letters center.  Students will sort pictures according to if they begin with an L blend or an R blend.  (I made the cards so that they would fit these adorable Target dollar spot mailboxes, but you certainly do not have to have the mailboxes to do the activity.)
After sorting the cards students will complete the accompanying recording sheet.

As for math, we will do some  skip counting with these Cupcake Counting cards.  Students will order the cards skip counting by 2's to 100.  When they are finished, they will complete a recording sheet.

Another math goodie that is part of the Cupid's Helper packet is Monsters Love Math.  With this center, students practice determining the missing sign on basic addition and subtraction problems.  And yes, there is a recording sheet.

All four of these activities are in my Cupid's Helper packet.  You can have a FREE copy of it by clicking on the picture below.

If you are looking for additional Valentine themed centers, be sure to stop by my store to check out my Classroom Cupids math and literacy center packets.  Each packet has 10 centers for the month of February.

The sight word center pictured below is one of my favorites and is from Classroom Cupids {10 Literacy Centers for February} and you can have it for FREE by clicking on the picture.

In addition to all this Valentine themed, skill specific work, students will also make these Valentine Kid Glyphs.  I'm all about using glyphs with my students.  Students get to produce a fun art project for display.  They also get practice with listening, as well as data collection and analysis.

If you would like more information about my Valentine Kid Glyph, you can click on the picture below.

Well, I'm sure I have plenty more to get together before the big day, but at least I have a few things lined up.  Hope your Valentine's week goes well.  Thanks so much for stopping by.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Groundhog, Groundhog, What Do You See? (A FREE Craftivity & Weather Tracker)

I must confess, I am a fan of Groundhog Day.  It's so fun see the Groundhogs' predictions.  (Plural, because my class always compares Punxasutawney Phil's prediction to Chattanooga Chuck's prediction.)  Groundhog Day is a little reminder that winter will not last forever.  It is also a special day to learn about and celebrate one furry and adorable little animal.
This year we started off our Groundhog learning by making this simple groundhog prediction craftivity.  Students made their own predictions whether or not they thought the groundhog would see his shadow.  Students placed snowflakes in their groundhogs' hands if they thought he would see his shadow (six more weeks of winter).  They placed suns in the groundhogs' hands if they thought he would not see his shadow (an early spring).

Last year my students made this same craftivity.  However, I used it with a little half page writing prompt.  Students wrote what the groundhog's prediction was and then if they thought it would turn out to be correct.  The groundhogs held the writing sheets instead of the suns or snowflakes.  We made the project this way because we didn't get to make our groundhogs before Groundhog Day.  (We were out for snow).  This little tweak allowed us to still make our project even though we did not get to it before Groundhog Day (as originally planned).
As you can see, this craftivity is fairly flexible.  I'd say you could make it work sometime a week before or after Groundhog Day.
If you would like a FREE copy of this pattern to use with your students, click on one of the pictures above.

There are some really great groundhog themed read alouds for your class to enjoy.  I think my favorite is Go to Sleep Groundhog by Judy Cox.  I also really love using Gail Gibbons' Groundhog Day.  Since she is all about the nonfiction, her book is perfect to compare to the other books.  It is also a great illustration of various text features.

Since it was the beginning of a new month, we launched our new math and literacy centers.  Along with all of the hearts and Presidents, we are also doing some center work with groundhogs.  If you would like to get more details about my February math and literacy centers, click here.

We will also be tracking the weather for the next six weeks with in My Groundhog Weather Tracker.  Students will record the groundhog's prediction and the daily weather.  At the conclusion of the sixth week, students will compile their data and analyze it to determine if the groundhog's prediction was true.

You can have a FREE copy of My Groundhog Weather Tracker, by clicking on the picture below.  Don't worry if you get a little bit of a late start with it.  You can always go back and complete the days that have already past.

Groundhog Day offers lots of fun opportunities for learning.  Nothing hooks kids in better than cute furry animals.  I hope you can use some of these groundhog ideas with your young learners.