Thursday, March 31, 2011

Meet our First Graders

Okay, we just finished writing autobiographies and we just had to make self portraits. Their autobiograpies turned out great and their self portraits are a hoot! I have them hanging in the hallway where everyone comes into the building. We have had a ton of compliments. The kids are so proud of their work. I saw this idea on Patton's Patch blog and since we were working on writing autobiographies I thought it would be perfect. Thanks, Colleen, for sharing. That also goes to all the wonderful teachers out there who are kind enough to share their ideas and projects. What a wealth of information, ideas, and projects everyone has and is willing to share. I have worked with some people who just won't share a thing. I always thought teaching was all about stealing and sharing. Oh well! Anything I have I am more than willing to share. So help yourself.
By the way, we are getting all excited about the eggs and chicks. They are supposed to hatch this coming Monday. First grade is the talk of the town in our school. I'll be sure to post pics when we get babies. Now, on to homework for my grad class. Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Popcorn Adjectives, Yum, Yum!!

All my first graders ( and a lot of older kids in my school) know that popcorn is my favorite thing in the world to eat. I would pass up ice cream for popcorn. So when I saw this unit from Babblin Abbey over at the Inspired Apple I just had to have it. It was also good timing because we were going to be doing adjectives. We started by making microwave popcorn in the school kitchen and the smell permiated the whole school. The kids up on the second floor in the library could smell it. They knew exactly where it was coming from. Anyway, the kids really got the jist of adjectives with this wonderful project. If you are looking for an adjective activity this is perfect.
So, we are back from spring break and back in the swing of things. Usually we have break the week after Easter but since it's so late we decided to have it now and then have Good Friday and the day after Easter off. That'sfine with me because then it feels like a second break.
By the way, we still have the incubator and a dozen eggs. The kids can't wait for the eggs to hatch, which should be next Tuesday. Keep your fingers crossed. Anyway, thanks for stopping by and have a great week!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Birthday Book

How do you celebrate birthdays in your classroom? Here's our birthday book that the kids take home on their special day. Inside is a sheet for them to fill out. It says their name and birthday and they can draw a picture of what they did on their day and write about it. The kids really love to take it home and just as well they love to see and hear everyone else's story. I also have a number graph, a large number 6 and 7. Their pictures are on the 6 and when it's their birthday they get to move their picture over to the 7. This is more exciting than the birthday book. It's usually the first thing they do when they enter the room on their birthdays. We also do the regulars, read a birthday book and pass out their treats, get their birthday certificate and pencil. So, if anyone has any other ideas to share I would love to hear it.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


We just finished a short unit on mapping. The kids really love when you pull out the maps. They want me to find all the different places they've been (and of course they have stories to go along),  After working with the continents we go ahead and paint them exactly where they are. This is a great activitiy for the kids. They really get a feel for where the contintents are and what they are. We give the one color at a time and paint it slowly ( I don't know why we painted Antartica pink this year). Once they are dry, the next day  the kids go ahead and outline each continent and label them as well as they draw the equator and the oceans. This is definitely one of my favorite projects we do all year because they turn out so well. These maps will be saved for out all school art fair in May. Anyway, we're on Spring break this week. The kids really needed it as well as the teachers. So, have a great week and thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Eggs Have Arrived!

Every year I pull out the old incubator (it's from 1989 when I used to teach 4th grade) and we try to hatch baby chicks. The kids love it. We get 24 eggs and share them with the other first grade. The kids take turns turning the eggs 3times a day and hopefully in 21 days we get baby chicks. I have always been real lucky with this project and have had good batches. This is what the kids look forward to in first grade. It is fun to do.

Here is one of my favorite books to read to the kids while we are doing the chicks. It's about a man who lives in NYC in an apartment. He puts his hand out the window through the bars to check the weather and a bird begins to build a nest and lays eggs it in. The man stands there and doesn't pull his hand inside while the mother bird sits on the eggs and waits for them to hatch. Meanwhile life goes on below him. It's such an awesome story. This year when I read it I am going to either hold the nest while I read the story or have a student hold the nest. This nest was on my lamppost on my front porch last summer and I just had to keep it after the babies were born and gone. I hope this goes well. Sorry about the bad picture. I can't figure out how and why the picture came out sideways. Anyway, the book is called ALBERT by Donna Jo Napoli.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Spiders and Trains

Our reading story this week is the Itsy, Bitsy Spider and the kids love to talk about spiders. So I thought we should make a graph to see who is afraid of spiders. Check out the little spiders. I made them with my Cricut machine. If you don't have one it's so worth investing in one. I cut out all my bulletin board letters, all my die cuts I need for any project and I use it all the time for scrapping. It's awesome. Many teachers in my building borrow it. I'm sure some of those no responses really should be on the yes side. Oh, well. We all had fun with this graph.

Here is another graph we made last week. We were reading The Little Engine That Could. Living here in Chicago we have a huge rail system and it's not surprising that all the kids have been on a train before. That's
the main means of transportation into downtown Chicago. I cut the trains from my Cricut, also. Too cute.
I'm heading out for the weekend scrappbooking with the girls. Can't wait. Have a great weekend and thanks for stopping by.

Blog Award!!

Woo, hoo! I was awarded the Stylish blogger award from Janine over at Pinks My Ink.
Thanks, fellow blogger. I always love it when I know I have people checking out my blog. So here it goes. I hope I don't bore you too much.

1. I am one of 11 children (number 9).
2. I just started a cohort program towards my masters in reading (and so far I'm loving it).
3. I did the Avon 3day breast cancer walk in 2003 and we walked from Kenosha,WI to Chicago.60miles
    and I only had one blister.
4. I have a 19 year old daughter and a 16 year old son.
5. I teach in a catholic school.
6. My favorite thing in the world to eat is popcorn. My kids at school say I should give popcorn up for Lent, 
    I'm not too sure about that.
7. Besides teaching my other favorite past time is scrapbooking. I own almost every scrappbook gadget    
     there is and I have a wonderful group of scrapping friends.

So, there I am in a nutshell. Take care and as always, thanks for stopping by.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Seuss Week

As much fun as Dr. Seuss is I am ready to move on. Today we read Yertle the Turtle and they really got into the story. The kids felt bad for the turtle on the bottom of the pile, Mack. We went ahead and made our own turtles. I saw the idea over at Erica Bohrer's blog and I just had to do this one. Now on to more irish activities. Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Seuss Week

Everyone loves a cat. The Cat in the Hat, I mean. We are having a great time reading Dr. Seuss stories and doing a few projects. These hats turned out cute. The kids wrote their favorite Dr. Seuss books on the stripes. As soon as we are done with one book they are asking what the next book is that we are reading. I hope everyone is having as much fun as we are.  Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Luck of the Irish

Okay, if you are from the Chicago area you know how important St. Patrick's Day is. It is, as alot of folks say, THE only holiday of the year. We tend to love this day. On March 17th everyone (Irish or not) is considered Irish and the wear'in of the green is crazy. Here is the first of a few projects we do in my classroom. The children wrote about a day they were lucky. They were a riot. You would think they would all write about the day they went to Disney World or when their new brother or sister was born. But, no, they had different ideas. Some of them were, when they got Legos for their birthday, when a friend came over and better yet, when their brother didn't bug them. Cute, huh! This goes to show how innocent they really are. 
Tomorrow is Dr. Seuss's birthday and I have a few things planned. I would really like to thank all the great teachers out there in blog world for sharing their awesome Seuss ideas. It's always fun to get and try out new ideas.  Thanks for stopping by!