Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Activity Sticks

I have been struggling to think of brain breaks for my first grade kiddos. They get "ants in their pants" and need a movement break every once in awhile... Even if it is just to stretch. I had found on pinterest a list of great activities to do with my kiddos... so I mad activity sticks and place them in a jar for easy access. A lot of my brain break/activity break ideas I got from www.keepcalmandteachon.blogspot.com. She has a great list of activities PLUS she gives great explanations for each activity as well. You should go check it out :-). I have also found some fun FREE games on teacherspayteachers.com search her store--> Mandy Holland Gregory. Also... don't forget to check out my store as well! www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Lisa-Karas As well as the activities I have found from these two ladies, I also have added: 1)Heads up, 7up 2)Air band/Air guitar 3) jumping jacks 4) Teacher says (just like simon says but with the teachers name) 5) Student say (a student gets to come to the front and be "simon) 6)D.I.S.C.O. (put on disco music and have a student(s) come and show a disco move that everyone must do to the beat) 7) Trash ball (each child gets a crumpled paper from the recycling bin. I place our trash can or an empty can/tub somewhere in the room. Students must stand in line and take turns getting their ball in the "trash". Each time a student makes it, they get to stay in the game. If they don't make it, they must sit out. Every round, if there are students still remaining, make the position of the trash can more difficult until there is only one winner) 8)Stretch break

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Fun with writing and contractions

This week, my kiddos were able to create their Frankenstein writing activity and it turned out AMAZING! Since they're still learning sentences and how to form complete sentences...we did sentence examples on the white board and the students were able to either pick sentences they wanted to add to their Frankenstein, or they were able to create their own! That way, my "lower" students didn't feel too overwhelmed!
This week, my students have been working even more with recognizing and creating contractions. Some of them are still having some difficulty, so I created a packet of different games that would help reinforce the whole contraction idea. The contractions we are working on are the 'is' contractions and the 'not' contractions. My packet includes memory match games, two worksheets and a matching worksheet that help the initial contraction skill be put into place, along with a cut and paste activity, and an opportunity for students to write contractions in whole sentences and illustrate the sentence they created. It is currently $4 at my TPT store, don't forget to check it out! www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Lisa-Karas

Monday, October 8, 2012

Need a resource? Let me know!

If you know of a resource that you would like create, or a resource that helps to teach a certain skill, please leave a comment in the comment section and I will see to it that I get something fun and colorful created. I will add it to my store! Any ideas are welcome! I am always looking for new things to create, and am currently trying to create resource with skills that are on our common core state standards for first grade!

ANCHOR CHARTS!!

I don't know about anyone else, but I love making anchor charts. I like to make them colorful and hang them around my (already colorful) room. I personally feel that, especially in the primary grades, anchor charts are friendly little reminders that help reinforce a specific skill. If you were to walk into my classroom, you would notice anchor charts all over. If one of my anchor charts gives too much help, I usually take them down or cover them up during our paper or test. How do you feel about anchor charts? Do you make a lot or some or none? I would love your opinion on this! Please leave a comment below!
This next one I do not consider an anchor chart. I found it on <3PINTEREST<3 ( I don't know what I would do without that site! I am unsure of who the original pinner was, but if it was you and you would like credit, please let me know and I will give you credit for it! I wanted a fun {and painless} way to teach CONTRACTIONS (we were working on 'is' word contractions) and I found this little gem on pinterest. ( We also created contraction gardens in the hallway...each leaf being a word-- it & is... and the flower being the contraction). Silly me, I forgot to take a picture of it :(
Doctor GRAMMAR is pretty sweet. For the last few weeks, he has been fixing words and making contractions. (The bandaids are supposed to represent the APOSTROPHE). Feel free to take any ideas. And please, PLEASE check out my TPT Store...I am beginning to add lots more to it and I currently have several FREE items! Don't forget, once you are there, to FOLLOW ME! Happy Teaching!

A few New Things!

What a fall! The beginning of the school year has definitely started off with a BANG! Between changing curriculum's (Kindergarten to first) and coaching basketball (5th/6th grade girls), I hardly felt like I had much time to do the things I wanted, create new things for my classroom. Now that basketball is over, and I feel like I've got a good, solid grasp at first grade once more, I have decided it is time to devote more attention to my blog and my TPT store. (Don't forget to check it out! I have TONS of freebies! www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Lisa-Karas). Last week, I was struggling to come up with a fun bulletin board idea for fall/Halloween. Since I live in North Dakota and we got our first snowfall of the season LAST WEEK :(...I decided that I did NOT want a bulletin board that was bright and full of snow flakes. We get enough of that stuff nearly 6 months out of the year, so I decided to wait with that for awhile...can you tell I am bitter that we got our first snowfall the beginning of OCTOBER? :) Fall is my favorite season and mother nature decided to skip most of it this year! Anyways.. my art teacher friend suggestion that I create FRANKENSTEIN and put him on my hallway bulletin board. I thought that was an excellent idea and figured there are tons of things I can do with Frankenstein. I decided to make mine a happy Frankenstein (instead of a grumpy one). Isn't he cute!?!
As for the writing assignment, I decided that the students were going to write their own creative writing story, while also creating their own Frankenstein. Attached is a picture of the writing assignment, along with what I did to get it ready (you most certainly do NOT need to copy me, but feel free to if you wish!) Here is a picture of the completed writing assignment (note that I did the writing, as we will be starting this in my classroom tomorrow...the kids are SO PUMPED!)
Now that you know what the cute little guy looks like, here is what I did to get (mine) ready...
** one LARGE piece of green construction paper (per child) for TOP of head ** one SMALL piece of green construction paper (per child) for BOTTOM of head ** one BLANK BLACK rectangle construction paper (per child) for child to draw (with white crayon) the mouth ** one PRE-DRAWN (per child) piece of BLACK CONSTRUCTION paper with TWO bolts ** one BLANK BLACK construction piece (per child) for black part of eyes (they draw) ** one LARGE BLACK RECTANGLE (pre drawn-- per child)for hair-- drawn with white crayon ** one WHITE RECTANGLE (pre-drawn -- per child) with half circles on for eyes ** one small WHITE construction paper square (per child) to draw own teeth for mouth ** and of course-- one writing paper (mine says, If FRANKENSTEIN CAME TO DINNER)--- you can find mine FREE at my TPT store (www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Lisa-Karas)

Friday, June 1, 2012

Doctor It!

This summer I am spending a majority of my time creating things for my classroom. Today, I created my "doctor it" proofreading activities for my first grade kiddos. In this activity, the students are to read the sentence, find the errors, and rewrite the new correct sentence. We will do most of these together, but I will collect the weeks packet on Friday's and give them a grade for neatness, correctness, etc. There are two files (one is lessons 1-15, the second is lessons 16-20) so don't forget to look at both!!


We love FOOD!


"Scary Stew"! I had each child bring a small ziplock bag of something yummy they have in their home kitchen!


We made BREAD...and....



Gingerbread houses....and....


PRETZELS!! YUM!!

Brand New Welcome

I have never done a teacher blog before, but have always dreamed of it ever since I began teaching. I have no restrictions this summer, and plan on making this blog my baby.

I consider myself a "floating teacher". I graduated from college in December of 2008 and began my teaching career right away in January. The Kindergarten teacher at the school where I began teaching at was on maternity leave and the class was already at 26 kids, so the school decided to split the class during Christmas time...and boy am I ever grateful that they did! I began my adventure teaching half a year of Kindergarten.

The following year I was moved to a first grade position, and I looped with about half of my class. This was so neat, seeing them grow in their learning for two years! I loved first grade!

I had hoped to stay in first grade the following year, but because of classroom numbers, they had to shift around some teachers, so I was moved to third grade. I was a little apprehensive at first, after being in the younger primary grades for my first two years. However, I did most of my student teaching in the fourth grade position, so I knew a little of what to expect. I had a fantastic year in third grade and loved my kiddos dearly. As my third grade year came to a close, I knew I would have to be moved again, because the Kindergarten class coming in the following year had 29 kids, and I was one of only a few teachers in my school with a Kindergarten endorsement. So, I began another adventure in Kindergarten last year.

I have to be honest, I was extremely nervous for this, but everything went smoothly and my kinder kids were great and learned so much! It was so awesome seeing them the first day of school and comparing them to the last day of school and how much they had learned throughout the year! This summer I am preparing to teach first grade next year and am anxious to begin this adventure! Please bear with me as I begin another adventure with creating a high-quality teaching blog. Please continue to come back, as I plan to add several things to my blog in the coming days, months, etc.!

Since I am new to this, and my main focus will on my grade next year, I feel I should add some pictures from my Kindergarten year of some fun things we did!