Johnny Appleseed Freebie

I'm still working on finishing my beginning of the year testing. We've added some other tests this year so I feel like I've been testing children since the beginning of time! Fridays my kids get a little treat with a word search as their morning work. They love it and it's a fun break from our regular work. I put together a little Johnny Appleseed word search for my sweeties and wanted to share. TGIF! (Or if you're reading this after that completely disappointing Grey's Anatomy premiere that TGIAF -a for almost!)

Wind sock craft

This week we are studying wind and my class made windsocks out of construction paper. Super simple and fun!

I love that my firstie decorated his windsock with pumpkins! 

Fold paper "hot dog style"

Trace the crease line with crayon or pencil

Cut strips only up to the crease line. Students can decorate the top half.

Staple, punch a hole in one side, and tie twine/string/or yarn through the hole so your students can hang on to their windsocks.

We took our windsocks outside and stood with our arms still to see if there was wind. The wind today was really strong. We journaled about what would happen to our wind socks if we had no wind. We also discussed how you could use a windsock to tell what direction wind was blowing from. Very easy and the kids were all eager to take their windsocks home and some even wanted to make more!

Five Senses

It's Friday! We danced to the Friday song at the end of the day to celebrate!

This week we worked on our five senses and created a little something to put into our science journals. It took a little prep work but the end result was awesome!

Items needed were all found at my local craft store:

  • Set of paper hands (There are 48 in pack!)
  • Tiny bells
  • Thin ribbon
  • Stickers of some type of food
  • Scratch and sniff stickers
  • Stickers that are raised- I found stars that were on clearance. They are all bumpy. I also considered some of the glitter ribbon or lace ribbon for scrapbooking.
  • Washi tape with some type of design on it

Bells were for our sense of sound
Fruit stickers for taste since we eat fruit
Scratch and sniff stickers (cut in half to fit) were for sense of smell
Raised stars for touch
 and the Washi tape had stripes for our sense of sight

The kids has so much fun and love that they can see their hand in their journals any time they want to.

{Prep work- punch a hole in the thumb and tie bells on prior to giving to your students.}

Writing Rubric

I have previously blogged about my nine week skills summary that I gave to parents. One of my teammates and I are really focusing on writing this year and decided to create a writing rubric that can be attached to our skills summary. We included just a few components for this first nine week grading period. We plan on adding to it for each nine week period and adjusting it based on our scope and sequence. This year we are implementing a handwriting program and we wanted to give our students time to get some of that under their belts before we started grading any of their handwriting. I also feel that even when students receive handwriting instruction the previous year in kinder they may not have done much writing over the summer and have forgotten many of the expectations. If you click on the picture you can grab your copy.

The plus sign in the third column of the capital letters category will not be there when you print.

New Product

For real- I really have been working on new products. But my computer is having to be rebuilt by my husband. Seems the last time I got "help" it did more harm then good. Anyway things are on that computer and I'm hoping they all survive the rebuild.

In the meantime I made a little something for my classroom to match my chevron print theme. It's up and posted in my TPT store. 8 different backgrounds and cards for all specials areas as well as holidays and special events.

I would love for you to check it out!

Do Unto Otters

Today I read one of my new favorite books for school called Do Unto Otters by Laurie Keller. Have you seen it yet?
It's a book about manners and how to treat others the way they "otter" be treated. The illustrations are adorable and each page had my kids giggling. The premise is that the yellow rabbit is shocked to find out otters moved in next door. He doesn't know anything about otters and he is afraid that they will be terrible neighbors. The owl tells him to "Do unto otters and you would have otters do unto you." So cute!
We made an anchor chart and listed some ways to do unto otters others. My students loved it! 

Laurie Keller has some cute activities on her website too that you might want to use in class. Happy Monday y'all!

Tell Me Something Good

It's mid-week and if your new school year is anything like mine you feel like you can't quite catch your breath!  It's easy to get bogged down with all of the extra "stuff" that seems to pile on with every new year. So today lets focus on the positive. It's time to Tell Me Something Good. Link up with at least one good thing that's happening in your classroom and one good thing that's happening at home!

My Something Good from school:

My students are really using their phonics dance to sound out words and I'm so impressed with how that is changing their writing. And today on our daily 5 rotation to read to self we made it to 11 minutes! That's wild!

My Something Good from home:

My husband and I have made our travel plans for Thanksgiving and we're heading up to Seattle! Holla!
Plus my niece just celebrated her 2nd birthday and she could not be any cuter! 

Now it's your turn to link up your Something Good!

Phonics Dance- a couple weeks in

Hey all! Ok....I'm working on some fun things to share with y'all, but I have to say these first couple of weeks have been kicking my behind! To make myself feel better I downloaded season 1 of Vampire Diaries. I LOVE that show! Team Damon all the way!

Onto the good stuff. It really does feel like we've been in school longer than just a couple of weeks--- maybe that's because my kids are ROCKING THE PHONICS DANCE! This morning one of my little girls said, "I LOVE the Phonics Dance!" On Friday we were writing about something we were good at and one of my students was trying to sound out the word jump. She was singing the letter songs at her desk! It was awesome. And she spelled jump correctly. (The former cheerleader in me did some serious toe touches....on the inside. Mostly because I'd probably break something if I tried it "for reals.")

I'll be honest, I haven't used any of the other lessons in the manual yet. Between testing and getting to know my students I just can't yet. For now I'm pretty happy with every student knowing the songs and moves and I'm happy knowing they are using the Phonics Dance in their reading and writing.

*Side note: I WISH I had taped my kiddos doing the Phonics Dance so that I could show parents at Open House!

I'll continue to keep y'all updated!

Open House Night

Day three of Open House week on TBA! Today we share items we give to parents on Open House night or Meet the Teacher night. This year I'm going to have my kiddos leave a little note for their parents. I put together a cute little note card for my first graders to use tomorrow. Click on the picture for your copy.

I got the next idea from First Grader at Last. She had made a skills list for each nine weeks. I thought that was a FABULOUS idea! Especially because we have changed up our scope and sequence so much. I also thought it was a great thing for parents to see. We send out newsletters but it's hard for parents to get the whole picture. I work in Texas and we are one of two states not using common core standards so my copy won't work for most of you. If you'd like me to send it to you anyway just send me an email! The pictures seem a little blurry but you get the idea!

Classroom Photos!

Day 2 of Open House week on TBA!
Time to share some classroom photos! Well we only got access to our rooms the week before school so my bulletin boards aren't quite finished but you'll get the gist! I had an owl theme for the past two years so I decided to change things up and go all nautical and incorporate my love of chevron stripes!

Bulletin board outside my room. Student of the week will be posted here. Didn't my husband do an awesome job?! I cut the white stripes out of contact paper.

I added little sailboats at the bottom with my student names on them. (See next picture)

Special areas, library, etc. are listed here. 
I made this sign outside my door with my Silhouette machine! Man I love that thing. It was made using the scallop circle ribbon slider. I found a sailboat sticker at the craft store fit perfectly at the top.
 Daily 5 (or 6 in my classroom- each group rotates to meet the teacher too) set up. Writing journals are in the drawers. Each drawer is labeled with the group color.

I used pieces of glitter card stock {I puffy heart glitter} that match my group colors and laminated them. Then I can easily change around my groups by writing on the cards with a vis-a-vis pen.

Guided math stations.

Word wall! I have letters with a blue chevron background. Vowels are in green and the rest of the letters are pink.
Pom pom from Polka Dot Market
Phonics Dance cards on my front board!
 I just had to keep my desk area pink! It's my happy color!

My banner says "Read Every Day." It's another Silhouette creation!

Meet the Teacher

Hey all! I'm so excited to be participating in TBA's Open House Week!

Monday is Meet the Teacher Day so we can share a little about ourselves and our teaching style.

This is the fourth year I am teaching fourth grade and I absolutely love it! I've taught third grade and fourth grade as well. I wanted to be a teacher since I was a little girl in Mrs. Williams third grade class. She was amazing and funny and I couldn't wait to get to school every morning. Those of you who have followed me for a while know that I'm a little obsessive about the way my classroom looks and how items are placed on bulletin boards and even how items that are laminated are cut out! My husband jokes that I'm passing this onto my first graders. Several times last year my kids would say, "You did your best work. It's ok if it's not perfect Mrs. Tice!"

My teaching style:
I'll be honest I'm pretty strict. The rules and expectations that are put into place on Day 1 are the same on Day 101. That being said I'm also fun and silly. I try to use humor in my classroom as much as I can. I wear princess crowns, aprons, wave magic wands, sing into a wooden spoon, and any number of other things. The kids love it!

In my room we talk about being problem solvers and being flexible. I tell my students "Even teachers make mistakes." They love knowing that even though I try my best I sometimes make mistakes.

 I love reading and I try to show my students how passionate I am about reading. When we talk about what we've done over the weekend I gush about buying a new book or finding a new author that I like. Some classes have pajama day, but we have read-a-thon days. Kids bring in books and we all lounge around the room sharing our books. I bring books too! I wish I had a photo to insert of me and my students lying on the floor with our feet up on our chairs. Because reading is so important I want my first graders to leave first grade with a love of reading!

I greet my students every morning at the door and we hug or high five at the end of the day. You never know if the hug from you might be the only hug they get!