Sunday, June 9, 2013

Owls Behavior Chart

I had never planned on having a theme for my classroom. That is, until Pinterest came along and I saw so many precious things that I just couldn't resist.

I (like many of you, I'm assuming) have jumped on the Owl bandwagon. I also have a lot of materials with polkadots and stripes, so my self-titled theme is going to be "Owls and Bright Colors." Original, I know. ;)

Tonight I made a behavior chart. It's certainly not anything new. This basic format has been floating around Pinterest for as long as Pinterest has existed. Using the basic outline as an inspiration, I created my own chart. I'm really proud of how it turned out.

I bought some cute owl clip art from the much-loved Scrappin Doodles. I got the black and white outline version and colored the owls on Paint to fit what I had in mind. Then, I typed up the labels and glued them to construction paper. Then I glued all of them together. Quick and easy.

The titles for each color are: Purple- Hey now! You're an "Owl"-Star; Blue- "Owl"standing Job; Green- Ready to Learn; Yellow- Stop and Think; Orange- Make Better Choices; Red- Tomorrow Will Be a Better Day

All of the kiddos will have a clothespin with their name on it. Everyone will start each day on green and can move up or down the chart depending on how they are behaving. 

At the end of the day, everyone who is on green will get one point, blues will get two and purples three. At the end of every month, the students will be able to spend their points in a class auction. I'll definitely share more about that once we actually have one. ;)

Hope you all had a great weekend! 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Birdie, Birdie...

Okay, I can not take credit from this. The awesome first grade team at my Partnership school (explained in the post below) thought of it. But it's such a fun idea that I had to share it with you.

We had been working hard on a bird unit for a few weeks. At the end, the children got to take on the role of birds as they made their very own nests.

The base of the nests were made by rolling down the top of a brown paper bag until it was about 2 inches high. The children used their hands to shape the bottom of the bag into a circle. Then, the children had to find a place in the classroom to hide their nests. They were encouraged to use their new knowledge of birds to find the "best" place. It needed to be away from predators and out of the rain.

While the children were at PE, we spread bits of tissue paper, Easter basket grass, ribbon and yarn all over the floor. After picking up the children, the activity was explained to them. They had learned that birds use their beaks to collect materials for their nest, so the children would be using their mouths- no hands allowed! They picked up the materials with their mouth and carried it back to their nest. As you can imagine, this caused a lot of giggles. They had a blast, though. It was a great way for them to really connect with something birds do.

With all of the excitement from our bird unit, some of our little friends even brought in treasures from home to share with the class. We got to see a big feather and a real nest during share time. 

I hope you are able to use this fun activities with the little birdies in your class! :)

Monday, June 3, 2013

Fun with Nonstandard Measurement, Plus a FREEBIE!

Last year, I had the incredible opportunity to participate in a yearlong partnership program through my college. We were in a local school all day every Tuesday and Thursday. I am so thankful for that extra observation and experience; I truly feel that it made me more prepared for student teaching.

 Anywho... one day per quarter was designated as our "integrated teaching day". We taught about a specific topic for an entire day (as a junior, the first one seemed soooo daunting. Last one? Piece of cake.) My day for winter quarter was all about nonstandard measurement. I think that of my three days, this is the one I was most proud of.

 For one of our activities, we used snacks as a nonstandard measurement tool. The students (first graders, by the way) could choose whether they wanted to use Cheerios or Goldfish. I made up this little activity sheet for them. They lined the snacks up on the pictures and recorded how big each one was. The idea was to get them used to lining up the measurement tool end to end with no spaces in between. They did really well and I think it was their favorite activity of the day.

As you can see... my precious firsties were very engaged in this activity. I loved seeing their little brains ticking as they measured the pictures.

The activity page we used is nothing huge. I still had a lot of learning to do when I made it a year ago, so it's nowhere near perfect, but I wanted to share it with you anyway. Just click on the link below to see it!
Snack Measurement Page

Sunday, June 2, 2013