Rules and Laws

A few weeks ago (yes, a few weeks...I'm slightly behind in blogging about our days at school.) I did a little mini unit on rules and laws.

I don't think I really need to go into it TOO much. I mean, I feel like kids get it. But nonetheless, I do it every year.  I read this cute little book...

Then we do our circle maps and discuss Rules and Laws, and we establish that Laws are RULES that citizens of the community follow.

Makes sense, right?


We also spend some time reading the David books. The kids absolutely love him. And he is a GREAT example of a rule breaker, so we can talk about all kinds of different rules.


Then we wrote our own class book!  The kids love writing class books. I put them in a book bin and let them read them all year.

(if you like doing class books, check out my post {HERE} on them)

We did a few more activities, but, of course I didn't get pictures because I'm so crazy at school in the beginning of the year - blah!!

But, here's what else is included that we did. Click the picture to check it out.


October Planning!

This week marks a new month!  I don't know about you, but I look forward to October EVERY year! It is by far my favorite month! I actually wish we had more weeks so I could do MORE than what I have time for.   So this is what I have planned for in October, the themes, at least.

I send home the calendars every month for the kids to keep in their binders. (These calendars are from DJ Inkers, and I just add my info and print!)

I start the week with this video from You Tube, but I have a few in {my playlist} I like to show. They are quick and the kids love them. Especially this song - it gets stuck in their head. haha

One of the things that I'll be doing this week is a firefighter poem.   I start the week with it and then we do various activities from it during the week. Click the picture to download it.  I found the poem years ago from Just4Teachers as a freebie.  You can see my poetry schedule that I do (most of the time) on {this post}.

I'm very thankful that this year, Scholastic News put in a Fire Safety issue in their 1st grade set. The only one I had was from 2nd grade and that doesn't work well for most of my 1st graders right now.

Also, this week, we have planned for Ron to come in and do a presentation for 1st grade! He has done this almost every year for me. At this school, it's a bigger presentation than when I was at my last school and we only had 4-5 classes. haha.  This school has 13 1st grade teachers! So we all go into the cafeteria where the stage is and he "performs" there for us. This is last year's presentation...

Me pregnant with Caroline.

Then I got to put on the suit. It barely fit over my belly. haha

The kids always love it. And since we can't take too many field trips, it's a great way for a field trip to come to us! I bet if you called your local fire station, they would be able to come do a presentation. I happen to know someone that does when he's off shift (benefit of being a firefighter wife.haha), but a lot of times, they do it WHILE on shift and they bring the firetruck. The only downfall is that since they're on shift, if they get a call, your presentation is cut short.  

I'm also going to be incorporating the "five senses" into our week. I did it last year, but I didn't get to blog about it because it was right when my computer crashed :(  So hopefully I can share the fun that we have this time!

Here are some other resources I'll be using this month to help teach the themes I have planned.

{Spiders} are another one of my favorite things!! Check out {THIS} post to see what we did last year. There are a few freebies over there too.

For Pumpkin week, click picture below to check out the post I wrote on what books I use and for what. I just love pumpkins!! I mean, who DOESN'T love pumpkins???

 I love using my Hands-On Learning with Pumpkins pack - it's just like my Apple Pack!

Here's a great freebie for Songs and Poems for October!  If you haven't figured it out by now, I LOVE using poems and songs. haha

And I will be using a lot of centers from my October center pack - and other resources, but I haven't quite figured all that out yet. haha


Ten Frames and Subitzing Galore!

Confession: I am NOT a fan of 1st grade math. I don't know why. I just haven't found my groove with it yet, I guess. I LOVE, totally LOVE, 2nd and 3rd grade math though. And I love Math in general, so I know it's not Math that I don't like. But I feel it... I feel that THIS year is THE year to figure out HOW to make math work. Last year, I really figured out reading and small groups. So this year will be math. 

BUT, with that said, I don't hate ALL things 1st grade math.  I DO love ten frames.... and subitizing cards. haha! Subitizing is FUN for some reason. I don't know why. haha.

Here's what we've been doing with these to help with recognizing patterns, numbers, and adding.

Our calendar board....

We use the 100s chart (I got that free with the Highlights response sheets a few years ago) and practice counting by tens up and down the hundreds chart for whatever number day we are on.  We also do the place value with the magnetic place value chart (pan) - talk about the tens rods and ones cubes.  I also have a tally mark section under the green word cards.

Then we get to the How Many Days board. I love this part.  Especially now that we have different pictures on there. I change the pictures monthly. So sometimes the pictures change on the same ten frame. This is great for discussions!!

(you can see more about this How Many Days board on {THIS} post)

Another thing we've been doing is practicing different ways to make ten. We've been playing a Ten Frame Game called Shake and Spill. You can grab that freebie {HERE}.

In small groups, we've been using some activities from my {Math with a Deck of Cards} pack (for 1st Grade). Pulling over one card to give us one part and then trying to figure out what we need to make 10.  I also have a Math with a Deck of Cards for grades 2 and up {HERE}.

Some of our math journals have been working with ten frames too. This activity comes form Deanna Jump's {Guiding Firsties Math Workshop}. She has tons of stuff in her units for this! I have it all ready...just keep moving it from this day to the next day...haha

And I recently found out an app that's called Subitize Tree. It's not free. But it's only $0.99, so it's not too bad. It's pretty good and you can differentiate levels, speeds, etc.   My girls tried it out and they had fun with it.

So that's what's been working. We've also been doing some flashcard speed rounds of "dot"cards and subitizing cards. But since I'm the one giving the lesson, I haven't been able to take pictures of that - ha! But I've been using {this} pack to help with those activities.

Click on the pictures to check out the packs that were mentioned in this post!


Cat Weeks and Getting Ready for Open House

It's crazy, but I haven't had time to blog about what we do during most of our week...just snippets here and there. Actually, I rarely have time to take pictures. It's the beginning of the year. It's so crazy hectic. It's my 13th year teaching and I still feel like August and September are just crazy!

TWO weeks ago, we did our Pete the Cat week. I blogged last year about our Pete the Cat week, you can check it out {HERE}.

 I love reading these books. But I love LISTENING to these books even more! All of the Pete the Cat books have an audio recording ON the Harper Collins website. Click on the picture. 

Check out all the books there are!

We did some story structure...

Some sequencing and labeling fun....

And sentence writing practice. Oh. My. Lanta. I seriously forget what it's like in the beginning of 1st grade in terms of writing. I must just block it out of my mind every year. ha! They will get there, though! These are the papers they glued to the bottom of their craft.

 We celebrated the end of the week with our Pete the Cat hats!

These (and other activities) come from my {Groovy Cat pack}

The next week, we did Splat the Cat. Just because he's so cute and fun!  Our main focus with him was talking about character was he in the beginning and how was he in the end of the story. 

The craft comes from {Reagan's Christmas Craft Pack} and the writing (and other activities) come from my {Splat the Cat pack}

So that was our cat unit - I guess you could call me the Cat Lady- ha!

Another thing we've been working on is our writing activity for Open House next week, I wanted to get these finished so I can hang them up for a little bit beforehand. The students gave clues about themselves so their parents can guess which one is them.  (I used to do something like this when I taught 2nd and 3rd grade. Check it out at {THIS} post.)  
They are so stinkin' cute! The head craft comes from {Deanna's Name Activity pack}.

We've been working out of {Deanna's Name pack} a little bit here and there. We did the rainbow names the first few days of school. Check out all the fun we had those days {HERE}. We will add the rainbow names to the bottom of these papers after Open House. I'll show the final project when we add the two together!

Click the pictures below to grab the {Guess Who papers}.

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