Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Edible Plants

We had so much fun in class this morning!  We are learning about plant needs and plant parts this week so yesterday I headed to the grocery store.  I bought strawberries, bananas, green grapes, purple grapes, avacado, sunflower seeds, broccoli, cucumber, bell pepper, celery, cucumber, asparagus, carrots, peanuts, and an assortment of organic leaves (for a salad).  I also added in an old potato I had sprouting at home.  I wanted to give them a big variety of plants to explore making sure that every edible part of the plant was covered.  The kids were so excited!!!  Even I was so excited!!
First we talked about what each plant is and what PART of the plant it is that we eat.  Then I let them choose from an asparagus or celery STEM, we had carrots for ROOTS, broccoli for FLOWERS, sunflower seeds for SEEDS, several leaves from the salad assortment for LEAVES, and their choice of grapes, strawberries, or bananas for FRUIT.  They went to town making their little plant creations.  Once they finished I gave them labels to lay on their paper to show what the parts are.  After I got some pictures I let them eat any of it that they wanted.  I couldn't believe how much they ate!  


While they were eating I cut up the bell pepper, cucumber, and avocado so they could see what was inside them.  They even ate ALL of that!  All in all I think it was a really awesome project!  And a yummy one to boot!!!

Oh, one more thing.  We also did this little color/cut/paste activity from Lita Lita.  It was really cute and they enjoyed slowing down and doing some coloring after all the excitement died down!  Wonderful day!

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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Here are my five random things for the week...  I LOVE linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for the Five for Friday!

1.  I talked my hubby into coming to plant a tree with my class on Friday.  He happily came and we planted a Willow Oak.  1) In honor of Earth Day this week and making a contribution to help the Earth.  2) For the kids to watch grow while they grow - we planted in front of the library window so they will see it for years to come as they walk by.  3) As a show of love for our student teacher who will be leaving us next week (when we are learning about PLANTS, and reading The Giving Tree with activities for her last day!)  and 4) For my sweet little first grader (Ben) as we have shared 1st grade together this year (in separate rooms) so that we can watch it grow as he grows and I can have a piece of him here even when he's gone.  Oh man, that was a lot of stuff!!  Here are some pics!
 Isn't it so sweet???

2. We planted some miniature orange and lemon trees in our garden a couple of years ago that have gotten TALLER, but never produced any fruit.  We are super excited to see these baby oranges and lemons today in the garden.  YAY!!!

 We also have a TON of baby bean sprouts!  It is amazing to see the growth all around me!  We have a really big garden because my husband enjoys it so much so it will be time for some GOOD eatin' real soon!

3.  I was pulling weeds this week and found this dandelion weed with a root that was FAR longer than I EVER though it could be.  My son held it up and it's almost as tall as he is from root to end.  WOW!  Did you have a clue the roots of these WEEDS could be so long??  (He's 46 1/2 inches tall by the way!!)
 4.  This week we made "little oinker" snouts with our spelling words.  Then, out of the blue, Millie (the fabulous student teacher) decided we should come up with adjectives to describe a pig.  They all were calling out great answers, but then she says "are they tall or short?" and this jewel yells out "LONGWAYS!"  We laughed and laughed!!  They drew a pig and used some of the adjective they came up with.  I LOVE how she integrated our spelling into a Grammar lesson!  I can't tell you enough how much she ROCKS!
 5.  We did these activities that I made this week to learn how to use a number chart to answer word problems.  I was SURPRISED at how much better they "got it" this way and was very pleased to see them working on the questions in their pack.  If you are interested in anything like this I will put the link below.
I call it Catch the Bus and there are word problems with addition/subtraction by 1, addition/subtraction by 10, and some with 3 addends.  Click HERE is you are interested.

 I hope you all have a WONDERFUL, BEAUTIFUL, RELAXING weekend!  See you soon!

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Friday, April 26, 2013


I am so pumped about the Picnic Pals Literacy and Math Centers by Reagan at Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits!

A few weeks ago I bought Reagan's AMAZING picnic pals literacy and math centers.  I was so excited so I printed them out right away, laminated, and then spent several hours cutting and cutting and cutting all the little centers out.  Then I ran to my trusty Dollar Tree and bought the props that she suggested to make the centers just a little more meaningful.  I had them all planned out for this week....and they were JUST AS AWESOME as I imagined they would be.  On Wednesday we did the literacy centers.  I had 2-3 students in each center and they worked together beautifully!  I was so impressed by the talk going on about the activities and how easily they accomplished their tasks.  They completed their recording sheets and collaborated with each other with no arguing!  It was such a FABULOUS morning!

Here are some pictures of them working away.
Sight Word Sandwiches
 Grill Kings
 Chip Clip Blends 
 Compound Cool-aid
  Fruit Salad Synonyms
 Ketchup Words

As you see they were totally engaged and working so hard.  I was very excited to do the math centers next, so today they had their chance.  First thing this morning I got everything all laid out and we broke up into groups.  I chose to only do five of the math centers so the groups were a tad larger, but it was still wonderful.  I observed and watched their smiling faces as they went from center to center.  We had to take the MAP test today so we did the centers and then later completed the recording sheets.  Reagan made sheets where the kids did cut/paste to complete the answers so I redid a few of them to suit my class since they are NOT the world's best cut/pasters!!  We did more equation and true/false kind of sheets, but it all worked out perfect.  I was VERY happy with BOTH of these center packs and already can't wait until next year to do it again!  Here they are doing the math centers.
Comparing Condiments
 Fruit Salad Shapes
 Crunching Numbers
 Place Value Punch
 Grilling Up Fractions

If you are interested in these fun and educational centers with a good review of Common Core skills, check them out here!  Just click on the picture to head over to her blog to see what she has to say and how she used them in her classroom.  If you just want the link to take you right to the Tpt store click HERE.  (This link is for the bundle with both literacy and math, but from there you can find them independently if you want.)  Reagan is also having a fundraiser for a student in her class whose father is having a major surgery for bone cancer next month.  It is such a sweet cause!!  For a small donation you will receive a HUGE package of supplies to get next year started off right!  

See you soon for more adventures from the week!

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Monday, April 22, 2013

Greater Gator FREEBIE

My sweet friend Stacy at Funky Fresh Firsties couldn't find the adorable little hippos at the Dollar Tree BUT she did already have the Gator clips (cause I snagged a TON when I found them...hehehe) so I put together this Greater Gator Game that is just like the Happy, Hungry Hippo Game, just with the gator clips instead of the hippos.  If you want to grab it FREE click on the link:  Greater Gator Game

 And just in case you don't know about the cute Gator Clips, here is a pic for ya!

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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Happy, Hungry Hippos

Dollar Tree, how I LOVE thee....Went on a shopping trip to the Dollar Tree today (I know, BIG SHOCK, right??) and found these ADORABLE hippo clips!  Decided right away that we will have to play Happy, Hungry Hippos with these cuties.  I bought 4 so it could be a four player game.  I was thinking we could use playing cards, but then I decided to make some hippo cards with higher numbers instead.  The kids will divvy out all the cards, then each put down the top card from their pile.  The one with the highest number will get to keep all the cards (IN THE HIPPO MOUTH).  Once all of the cards have been used, the one with the most cards wins!  Simple enough, right.  I'm sure you guys could come up with several other ideas to use these babies for, but this is how I will use them.  If you would like to get the hippo cards because you were lucky enough to find the hippos, click HERE.

I don't have a laminator at home so I only cut out about half of the cards and played with my personal first grader.  He LOVED it and was very pleased that he won!  Here are some pics of our fun!

Can't wait to use these in my class.  Dollar Tree....you ROCK!!!

P.S.  A few other cute finds today were this cute flower shaped tray (no idea what I'll use it for yet) from Dollar Tree and these flower-shaped cupcake cups.  I bought pink and purple (for me AND Stacy) so we can bake up some yummy flower cupcakes week after next.  Will post pics when we bake them.  I'm envisioning sheer yumminess though!!
 Another find was this set of 2 ice cube trays that are in the shape of a flower (from the Dollar Tree) that we can use as ten frames.  I'm thinking of putting a number in each and having them add them together....????  If you have ideas I would love to hear them!
The last find, and the one I'm most excited about (besides the hippo clips) are POOL NOODLES!  Click to see how Kelly at First Grade Fairytales uses them to teach place value.  I bought green and blue and will be cutting away tomorrow to get them ready.  We can practice place value AND use them to teach double digit addition and subtraction whole group.  AWESOME!!

Hope you all have a fabulous day!  I'm going to cut up these noodles, finish up my plans for the week, and hopefully get the laundry done.  No need for a picture here cause you don't want to see how high the pile keeps getting! LOL

Just a reminder that Kelly is having a MASSIVE giveaway after reaching 400 members.  Check it out to get a chance to win before midnight tonight!!  First Grade Fairytale Blog Giveaway

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