Spring Day!

Every month, our grade level does a "theme" day where we have rotations with activities and crafts and food... and parent volunteers come in (hopefully) to help.

Some months we do the same theme, and some months we do our own thing... but we always do them. And they are pretty fun! Especially when I get a few parents coming in to help.

This Friday was Spring Day.  I had 2 volunteers come in, and to me, that is a lot! When you come from a school that I really didn't have any volunteers for ten years, 2 volunteers is awesome!

 Pounding their own dirt was probably their favorite part, of course...lol

I love how they turned out!

The next station was their hatching chick. They decorated their egg, then traced and cut out thier chick and I brad-clipped them together.

 Another station was Cara's fraction caterpillars. These are so stinkin' cute!

I layed out my Color Posters for them... we still have a hard time spelling some color words sometimes. lol

Another station was the Number Flowers.

I had them do explanded form, base tens, word form, tally marks, and a different addition problem.

I also do the number activities for pumpkins {here} too, and other "themes" but I don't have pictures of those for some reason...

So here's the loot they went home with today...  Spring day fun!!

At the end of the year, my teammates and I are going to sit and rethink our monthly themes for next year and then I'll share them with you!


Insects - Ants and Butterfly Activities {Freebies}!

One of my favorite books to read is Hey Little Ant.  This is such a cute story, but it also has a great moral to the story.  So I was doubly excited to see it in Deanna's and DeeDee's Guiding Readers pack for April.  (I love these packs - I have all of them so far and have used them every month!)


Here are some of the activities we did from the Guiding Readers pack.

I always love visualizing activities... I teach them early on how to draw a person who is thinking - something I've done for probably 10 years now.  They are always so cute!

Then we had some fun with the writing response!  I couldn't decided whether or not I wanted them to write a letter persuading the kid not to squish the ant, but time was not on our side, so I went with the quicker version, having them write what they think the kid should do.  I found this cute craft on {THIS} post.

I typed up some ant writing pages you can get by clicking below - you can use them for Hey Little Ant or any any writing activity! 

I'm really bad at showing our center activities because I'm always "stuck" in small groups... but we've been working out of my April 1st Grade center pack and my Addition Regrouping pack.

In my small groups, we were reading some butterfly books (from Reading A-Z), so I decided to scrap my plans on Wednesday and start diving in to our butterfly unit in our whole group and writing time!

Here are some of my favorite nonfiction books to use for our butterfly week.
And here are some of my favorite fiction books...

Since I didn't have any pages copied off yet (because I wasn't supposed to start until next week), but that's ok - we made it work!  We talked about the life cycle of a butterfly and we drew it and wrote about it in our learner's notebook.

They also drew their own parts of a butterfly and labeled it!

Then we read The Very Hungry Caterpillar and compared it to Are You a Butterfly? I love that series of Nonfiction books!

Then we read one of my new favorite books for this week - Charlie the Caterpillar! I got this idea from {THIS} post over at Primary Press....it's SO CUTE! Make sure you head over there to see it - she has some super cute butterfly activities!

I needed some more writing lines for my kids, so I quick made up a writing paper for them to write how Charlie had felt in the beginning, middle, and end. Then they drew a caterpillar, "Sharpied" it, and cute it out and glued it to another paper to "frame it," I always love seeing thier art...they are so unique!

This one is all brown because he said Charlie was all brown, so our Caterpillars should be. To each their own!

You can get this version of Charlie if you need more writing lines {HERE}.

Then for math, we did our symmetry butterflies! This is not actually a standard for 1st, but I don't care. It's one of my favorite things to do - and the kids always love to see the process...how scribbles of paint can turn into such beautiful works of symmetrical art!

This is the one time that I let the kids do the craft part first. I usually have them do the craft after they finish the writing, as a celebration. But I consider this a math lesson, so it comes first. 

Look how beautiful they turn out!

 Here's our finished product! Finally. It's taken a while...

We worked on topic sentences with three details and ending with an opinion.

We also did the life cycle, making sure to use our sequence words!

I just love how they look hanging up!!

You can get the writing activities and art activity by clicking the picture below!

Oh! And remember that spider preposition book we did?? No? You can see it {HERE}.  We also did a penguin preposition book too! {HERE}. Well, we are going to be doing a Bumblebee preposition book too! So cute! Click the picture below to get your copy!

You can check out my post we did on bees a few  years ago. I LOVE teaching about bees! It's {HERE}.


Bunny Week!

We started our week off with my April Graph Pack.

This week I put the voting cards in a bag and made them choose cards because I KNEW who would win in the graph, and I wanted to change it up a bit.

So they wrote their question for the graph and did the tally chart.

Then they did the bar graph and wrote about the data.

The next page was the different ways they could solve the problems that I gave them.  Same questions, so many different ways to answer them!

One of my favorite stories to do this during this week is the Knuffle Bunny series

We used some graphic organizers from my April Literacy center pack (the Add-Ins section)

Then, I kind of combined my idea with Hope's idea from her Knuffle Bunny pack. I bought her pack a few years ago and have used it every year. This year I did something different though. I took the pictures that she included in her pack then I drew a Knuffle Bunny and printed them up for the kids to color, cut, and paste onto the picture.  Then using one of my graphic organizers in my April Literacy pack, they planned out their Knuffle Bunny FOUR! haha.

They just wrote about their characters, setting, and problem and solution.

Then we also did another favorite bunny book, The Easter Bunny's Assistant.

I used some of the activities from Deanna and Deedee's Guiding Readers pack.

We did some cause and effect...

and sequencing activities. We used my Spelling Journals A LOT this week...in the Easter section.

They loved doing the application....many of them are such good assistants!

Then we turned the application into a letter and did the bunny craft from A Cupcake for the Teacher.

Click the pictures below to grab your application freebie!

THEN we did the directed drawing from Jennifer over at First Grade Blue Skies. I LOOOOVE doing directed drawings as it is, but then when I saw Alisha's measurement addition to the activity, GENIUS!  Nothing like last minute changes to my plans...all for the greater good!

I mean, honestly.... where would I be without all these wonderful teachers who blog about all their wonderful ideas?! I am so thankful for this blogging world!

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