Sunday, February 27, 2011

I'm a Caterpillar

We read I'm a Caterpillar last week from the Scott Foresman 2011 Edition. Here are some of the activities we did!

This is the butterfly life cycle. The students did so well with this!

To practice contractions, we used 2 caterpillars as our base words and a butterfly as our contraction! This was a simple way to assess the students working with contractions!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Stylish Blogger Award!

These fabulous bloggers have passed along to me the "Stylish Blogger Award":

Dana Baker at A Place to Share 
Jenn Bates at Finally in First
Heidi Samuelson at Swamp Frog First Graders
Amanda Thiessen at The First Grade Sweet Life

Thank you SO much!! 

Here are the rules for receiving this award:
1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this award.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Award 5 recently discovered great bloggers.
4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award.

7 things about myself (in no particular order): 
  1. I am addicted to shopping, especially new shoes!
  2. My biggest fear is water, I basically panic if the water is not in a pool!
  3. I sleep with earplugs because even the fan wakes me up!
  4. I love ending the day with a bubble bath (and a glass of wine).
  5. Gilmore Girls is my ultimate favorite TV show!
  6. I'm recently obsessed with my new Iphone4 as my Valentines Day gift!
  7. I am learning how to cook more than pasta!

Dr. Seuss Writing

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

In writer's workshop next week, we are using Dr. Seuss' famous characters to practice our weekly skill of using comparative endings -er and -est. I have made a sample writing, which the students will model their work after. Each student will choose a character and use comparative endings to describe them! 

Here is my sample! I used a character from The Lorax because he is so cute!

I have printed and laminated these characters for my students to choose from. Here they are!

Keep watching for more ways to use Dr. Seuss with the Scott Foreman Reading Series!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Homophone Pairs!

I just found such a CUTE idea at First Grader... at Last! Sarah Cooley is one of my favorite first grade teachers with the greatest themes to help build a memorable lesson for her students.

Here are Sarah's pair of pears to practice homophones!


I made this worksheet to go with this idea so students can write the word, use it in a sentence, and then illustrate it! THANKS Sarah!

Daily 5

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Daily 5. Here is my story... I was using centers (and pulling my hair out everyday) then, I went to a conference by a literacy specialist in my school and never did a center again!

So here are the "Sisters" in my classroom. Read to Self, Read to Someone, Listen to Reading, Word Work, and Work on writing all have anchor charts created with the children and posted on our classroom walls.

This is my "center" chart. As part of their morning jobs, students come and select their rounds for the day. I place students on guided reading, book shop, and read to self (for conferences). Students move their clothespin on the round they choose. 

Like the "Sisters" suggest, I use my extensive collection of shoes to introduce choosing a good fit book. My students LOVED this idea. 

We even traded shoes to show that some books fit for our friends but not for us!

Here we are in action! We use bean bag chairs, carpet squares, rugs, stools, chairs, and even LAUNDRY baskets to cuddle up in and read!

This is what we use for book bins. I ordered these from really good stuff. 

We also use cereal boxes and even ziploc bags! Cheap and easy when you are just getting started!

Here is our station for word work. Students choose a drawer and complete the word work activity to record their words and sentences they create. Students also choose an activity to do before their drawer work, like contractions, compound words, etc. 

We use wiki sticks, magnetic letters, foam letters, building blocks, stencils, gel pens, chunking cards, even an old keyboard from a computer!

Here is our writing station. Each child has their writing folder, and a bin (picture below) with blue pens, red pens (revision), stapler, staple remover, and a date stamp!

Does anyone else use the daily 5?? I am going to post about my newly created CAFE board too! What works for everyone??

Valentines Day Love

We are celebrating Valentines Day on Monday, and it is one of my FAVORITE holidays to celebrate in first grade! I love hearing what these 6 year olds have to say to their valentines!

As a shopping pro, I have been stocking up from Target (favorite store) and Dollar Tree! Here are some of my collections!

Sweetheart candies for graphing and sorting, rose pedals for pictures for our parent's cards, decorations, pencils, bubbles, and slinkies for goodies bags!

I made these out of cookie cutters and string, we hung them all of the classroom and the dangling hearts are very decorative!

After an activity with candy hearts, my students will have these cute containers to put their goodies in. 

These bubbles have heart tops! SO CUTE!

I am trying to figure out how to upload the copies for our activities for Monday! Happy Valentines Day!

Happy Dental Health Month!

Here are a few of the things I have done so far in the dental health unit, but hang in there for more to come next week with the tooth fairy!!

We have a classroom graph of the students have lost teeth in first grade. We used this to begin talking about how old you are, how to lose teeth, what happens once it is lost, and compare which months have had more or less. Students love to put their name on the graph when they lose a tooth!

After studying our graph, we talked about who has lost how many teeth. Then, we made ourselves and our teeth with marshmallows!

We used yarn, egg cartons, and toothbrushes to practice brushing and flossing our teeth.

Then, to prove a point to my first graders that they did not want to believe, we used dark soda pop and hard boiled eggs to find how sweets and pop have an effect on our beautiful teeth! They LOVED this idea, but I doubt they aren't going to enjoy all of our sweets on Valentines days!! It was worth it!!

We are still learning about dental health, next week we will be writing about the tooth fairy and using some center activities to reinforce some word work!!

What do you think!?

100s Day

For our 100s day celebration, our team of 10 first grade teachers rotate our students through centers to play with everything 100s. This year here are some of our ideas:

  • What would you do with $100?
  • What would you look like at 100 years old?
  • Weighing items of 100 pounds and 100 items
  • Making fruit loop necklaces with 100 pieces
  • Making 100 day hats to celebrate
  • Using 100 numerals to make a picture
  • Drawing 100 things you would want, and 100 you wouldn't
  • Games with 100 chart board
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar eating 100 items (Thanks to blogging world ideas)
  • Making 100 day masks
Here are some of our pictures!

These are a few of the books we read aloud!

How was everyone's 100 day of school?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


The First Grade Parade
Here is my addition to the link party from the first grade parade!

My name is Kelsey and I am a first year teacher in first grade! I graduated from SUNY Fredonia with my certification in Early Childhood/Childhood and Special Eduation. In the fall, I will begin working toward my Masters degree in Literacy. As a first year teacher, I am totally obsessed with everything first grade! I spend every minute brainstorming, creating, and testing my daring adventures! With all of my new teaching hobbies, I became an obsessive blogger and started my own!

Here are some personals about me to make you laugh... I can't function without a color coded, I am addicted to shopping, I sleep with ear plugs, bubble baths are my favorite way to end the day (all teachers really need a hot tub but in Buffalo I have to use my bathroom), I hate chocolate, but love pasta, my sister is my best friend, I wish I could sing outside my morning shower, I love wearing high heals, I am lost even with a GPS system, I own an apron but I cannot cook, zumba taught me how to dance, and I straighten my hair because I am serious!

Now for the Q & A

Q: What would you be doing if you weren’t a teacher?                                              
A:  I would love to enter the interior design or architecture world! Even as a little girl, I would draw floor plan choices for my bedroom and ask my sister if I could rearrange our bedrooms!

Q: What are your hobbies?                                                                                    
A:  TEACHING... I am always thinking and creating new things. I have been told my new hobby should be cooking, but it is not going very well! I love zumba, coaching cheerleading, making cards/scrapbooking, and SHOPPING (which I do best)!                                                        

Q: When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?                      
A:  I always said I wanted to be a teacher and (of course) a mom. I couldn't see my life any other way!
Q: What are your guilty pleasures?                                                                   
 A: SHOPPING. I shop when I am happy, sad, lonely, or excited! Recently, the Real Housewives, The Bachelor, and (on a bad day) oreos and peanut butter with a cosmo magazine and best friend!

Q: What is your biggest fear?!                                                                        
 A: Water! It's crazy but so true! I love swimming and the beach but I cannot handle deep, dark, water and all of its creatures!

Q: When you’re on vacation, where do you like to go?                                    
 A: Eleuthera, Bahamas! Tranquil, secluded, quiet, and HOT HOT HOT!
Q: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?                                                    
A:  Every person, situation, and thing in life is a chance to make yourself the strongest person you can be. 

Q: What do you value most in others?                                                                    
A:  I really appreciate people who care. You know the people or teachers that make you feel important, cherished, and valued, I really appreciate that!

Q: If you could choose one of your personality traits to pass down to your kids, what would it be?                                                                                                         
A: Just one....strength. It has been a bumpy ride, but I have never turned down a challenge.

Q: If you could have lunch with anyone in the world….living or dead…who would it be?                                                                                                                
A:  ME, in another life! 

Now tell us one random thing about yourself:
I was a gymnast for 16 years! In 8th grade, I over rotated a front tuck on the balance beam and broke my jaw!! Just one of my horror gymnast stories!

Monday, February 7, 2011

New Blog!!

Ahhh, I am so excited to be posting my first blog on Hollenbeck's Happenings
After I learn more about the blogging life, I will be posting all about my first grade classroom! Stay tuned!