Monday, November 28, 2011

Volume 1.11

Live from "The Vault"...Team Schappelkins' Weekly Video Newsletter:

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Major Award

Mr. Parker: It's a Major Award!
Swede: Shucks, I wouldn't know that. It looks like a lamp.
Mr. Parker: What is a lamp? It's a Major Award. I won it!

Why do Steve and I feel like we've won a Major Award? Well, because we just did! Mrs. McKown from Little Literacy Learners just gave our blog it's very first award...The Sunshine Award!
If you missed her icon on the left side of our blog, we'll make it even easier for you to check out all of her wonderful ideas! (Just click on her name below).
Mrs. McKown
Here are the Rules for this Award:
  • Thank the person(s) who gave this award and if you would like to, write a post about it.
  • Answer the following questions below.
  • Pass the award to 10-12 fabulous bloggers, link their blogs, and let them know you awarded them.

Katie's Answers:
  • Favorite Color: Depends on the day...
  • Favorite Animal: Liger
  • Favorite Number: 21
  • Favorite Drink: Fountain Cherry Coke 
  • Facebook or Twitter: Facebook
  • Your Passion: Creating things...
  • Giving or Getting Presents?: Giving, for sure...but receiving random notes from my first graders always make me super happy.

Steve's Answers:
  • Favorite Color: Blue
  • Favorite Animal: Refer to Katie's 
  • Favorite Number: 23
  • Favorite Drink: Coke 
  • Facebook or Twitter: I truly don't like either!
  • Your Passion: All things reading
  • Giving or Getting Presents?: Giving

We follow so many incredible blogs and here are some who bring sunshine into our life when we see their posts. If you are on the list and don't feel like posting about the award it's totally fine! :)

Team Schappelkins' Pet Interviews

Today was a big day for... 
Five Applets, 
Five Little Js, and
Five (Schottner, what do you call your kids?) 
These fifteen Fantastic First Graders interviewed with Dr. Hoffman, our district Assistant Superintendent and Ms. Postema, our Director of Human Resources for a "Team Schappelkins' Pet Caretaker" Position. 

Students were selected to interview based upon their "Team Schappelkins' Pet Applications". These fifteen students knew that just because they had an interview it did not necessarily mean they were going to be hired. 

When all of the interviews were over, these students waited anxiously (with their fingers crossed) on the carpet while Dr. Hoffman spoke. 

Dr. Hoffman and Ms. Postema had some good news to share with all fifteen students...

...because each student was hired to take care of their classroom pet! They were so excited and shared their important news with their friends and family. I'm pretty sure I can speak for Mrs. Jenkins and Mr. Schottner when I say that I am super proud of their hard work today. Our pets will be lucky to have them!  

Monday, November 21, 2011

Volume 1.10

I know, I know...Two posts (again) in one day! But it's totally worth it...

Pulling Out Our Rain Boots...

My day went something like this:

Kiddo: Miss A when do we get to see our high school buddies?
Me: Today in the afternoon.
Kiddo: Right after lunch?
Me: No, at 2:15.
Kiddo: Before Health and Wellness?
Me: After it.
Kiddo: How many more hours is it?
Me: 7 hours, now eat your breakfast.

My kiddos were seriously excited about seeing their high school buddies for the 2nd time today! They asked all day long when it was buddy time! Last week they constructed bird feeders that we placed around the school campus. Here are some pics, luckily the rain held out...but it was still a bit muddy!

So I'm not going to quit my day job to be a photographer...

Once we got back into our room, the questions started over again! "Miss A when do we get to see our buddies again?" 

(Thank you Mrs. Laddy for a great Monday afternoon!)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Short Vowel Speed Racer

Diane and Kelly over at Made for First Grade have created a "Home-School Connection Lightning Words" for weekly sight words that parents can use to help their child with (word) fluency.

I've had my eye on this idea for a while now and finally created a template for my kiddos who are still working on basic code (CVC, CVCC, and CCVC) words. (Diane and Kelly so graciously gave me permission to add my template to my blog). If you haven't seen their blog...You should probably head over there!
Made for First Grade
Here is my "Speed Word Racer" version for short vowel words. I tried it today with a reading group...It was a big hit! I had them read the words for 20 seconds. When the time was up they counted how many words they were able to read and wrote the number on "Lap 1". I had them start over at the beginning and gave them 20 seconds again. After each lap, the kids realized they were able to read more words!
Download Here!
When I sent this document to Steve he said that I tried to one-up his "Beat the Clock" template. I am hoping that he will read this post and decide to share his template with the rest of us!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Volume 1.9

I know you aren't supposed to make more than one post each day, but I am breaking that rule! I promised Stella that I would do it tonight...So, here's Team Schappelkin's Video Newsletter, live from the supply closet!

The Reading Web

I didn't have my camera with me, but I wanted to share the news...

We did it! We finally reached our "1,000 Books Read at Home" which means, our web will now start to make it's way to our school's Research and Development Center! 

Download This FREEBIE!
Each week I calculate how many books students have read at home. Forms are returned to school once they are complete. A paperclip represents one book...and it's displayed outside of our classroom. I've attached my reading log below!

Take a Peek!
What kinds of things do you do to keep track of reading at home?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Short "e" Mouse Paint Uno

It's been a while, but we've added a new product to our TpT Store! This is a great game to introduce early readers to the idea of basic code (letters that say their appropriate sounds) and advanced code (letters that are in groups of 2, 3, & 4 that represent the sounds in our language). This game contains 8 pages of words with the short "e" vowel combinations "e, ea, & ai".  

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Geometry Part I

I woke up today really bothered by the fact that I haven't sat down at my computer to post all of the "stuff" that I mentally wrote down in my head. I have lots to share! But somewhere between Report Cards, multiple 1st Grade presentations, Parent Conferences, making a new home for Ocho, and being deathly sick...I haven't had the energy to sit at my computer to make a thoughtful post. 

Besides the walking pneumonia, I have another sickness. It's actually one that I look forward to each school year. Her name is Geometry. Year after year I hear my teammates say, "Ehhhh, I hate teaching Geometry!" and I secretly think back to 9th grade when I purposely earned a B- just so that I could take the class over again. I love it so much, I can barely contain myself. Sick, yes probably, but I don't care.

I've attached a document that you can download for FREE! It's a few of my favorite things, tweeked with better fonts and better graphics. 

The above docs are probably going to be taken to Kinkos so that I can have them blown up poster-size for student reference. I usually like to teach a mini vocabulary lesson with the "Polygon Names" looking at the prefixes.

You'll need Pattern Block for the "Building for a Dollar" and "Shapes I Used". Students have to create a symmetrical design that uses the mentioned shapes...that will equal $1. It's usually challenging...But once they get the hang of it, they love it! I added the graph this year...We'll see how my kiddos do.

I used a Mira for a class I took in college and I loved it. (Sick). They are small plastic devices used to help students understand the concept of reflections. By placing a Mira on the line, the student can look through and see the image on the other side to draw it. When the Mira is removed, the symmetrical design will be on the other side of the line. (Take a look at the picture below).

I'll post pics of my kids throughout our shape study...Please leave a message and send me links of resources you like to use for teaching geometry!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Volume 1.8

Take a look at Team Schappelkins' new classroom pets! Yep, we've got our tarantula! I've posted a pic below incase you want to see the close up!

We named our new friend, "Ocho Piernas Applet!"

Monday, November 7, 2011

Writing Folders

Yeh, I know most of you probably have writing folders already implemented in your classroom seeing is how it's almost the 50th day of school (for us at least) but it's taken me a while to develop an easy system for my first graders to stay organized...Until now!

A few weeks ago a (wonderful) parent volunteer glued and taped all of the folders for the whole entire first grade class! (A monster thank you!) Each child has two different colored pocket folders that were glued together from the back of on folder to the front of the other folder. Scotch tape was placed around the edges for durability. Now students have four pockets to use for their writing!

In the first two pockets, students keep their writing "Tools". These are items like Topics I Can Write About, Words I Use When I Write, or our Vocabulary Dictionary that will help them generate ideas or work on writing conventions. These two sections are labeled with a toolbox (the link to print is below!)  

In the last two pockets, students keep "Work in Progress" and "My Completed Work". On the weekends, I will be able to take home their folders and assess the writing that students are working on...I have some rubrics I will post (soon) to show you how I can assess where a child is in their writing process. I'm also hoping these folders will be helpful when I pull kids back at the table for Writer's Workshop.  
Letter to Families
Writing Folder Labels (Avery 5163)
My kiddos took their folders home and "decorated" them with pictures and words that are meaningful to them that might "spark" some writing ideas. I think they turned out pretty fabulous...Although this pic would have been better if I would've used my camera! 

I'd really like to know how you organize writing folders for your kiddos...Please share!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Team Schappelkins' Video Newsletter

It's hard to believe we've just created our 7th video newsletter. We had a little help from our principal, McStemmy Martindale!