Painting with Kwik Stix

If you've been a reader of mine for a while, you know that I love painting in my classroom. I use watercolor paints the first week of school even! Yep! With first graders.  So, I wanted to share with you something pretty cool that I have found. 

It's tempera a stick! 

It dries super quick - see?? You can see Autumn is already touching the grass she just painted.

And the colors are really bright. I love these!  My only wish is that they had a "fine tip" to get the smaller areas, but Autumn makes it work just fine.

These paints are SO great!! I love them for my girls. I love them for school too - NO MORE cups of water and mixed up paints...and dripping from too much water.  And while I think watercolor painting and painting with a paintbrush are still a skill that kids need to learn, I do really like these. 

You can find them at the {Pencil Grip Co.} - who also have some great pencil grips that I've been using with my students this year. I will be back to share more about those later.


Math Assessment Freebie

Today, we finished up our 2-digit math addition without regrouping.

I was pretty impressed with how my kids have really learned their number concepts!! I might be giving myself a pat on the back for this one. haha. That's allowed, right? I'm definitely impressed. 

Next, we are going to be working on 2-digit subtraction without regrouping and THEN 2-digit addition WITH regouping. Oh, the fun!

I wanted some quick assessments for each of these skills, so I could really break it down. Here are a few pages I made real quick, separated into skills, and then there's a mixed skills for the addition one. Click the picture below to download your freebie assessments.

We will be doing a LOT of center activities for the rest of year reviewing past math skills as well as REALLY practicing this 2-digit addition with regrouping. 

Here are some of the math centers we'll be doing for the rest of the year...

These are from my {April Math Centers}

And some activities from my {Addition with Regrouping}.

We are almost to the end, my friends! 24 more days - eek!


Butterfly Week

So, we finished our Oviparous Animal research, writing, and craft this week (along with trying to move along with our butterfly unit!)

Click {HERE} to see the other FUN we had doing oviparous animals.

For this project, we did a little research...

They used these questions to help guide their research.

Then, they turned that into writing. and a little cute craft.

These are some of the activities from my {Oviparous Animals research pack}. 

Annnnnnd, our chicken eggs are ready to hatch!! We also have ducks and geese, but they need another week. I'm pretty darn excited!!

AND, we did our butterfly unit this week.

You can see what we did last year {HERE}.

Here are some of my favorite {Butterfly books} I love to use.

During small groups, we read our Reading A-Z books and had the caterpillars there DOING what we were reading about! So cool to have real life examples!

Some drawing of the butterfly life cycle in their learner's notebooks....which was practice for our final writing we did.

We brought out the watercolor paint to make our own butterflies for our butterfly measurement.

I always love how these turn out!

I got this idea a few years ago from Mrs. Lee's Kindergarten.

We did one of my favorite activities I have done for the last 13 years - {butterfly symmetry} - to go with our butterfly life cycle writing!

Another one of my favorite activities we do - really focusing on transition words.

And we read Charlie the Caterpillar - it's SUCH a cute book! We focused on sequencing, using those transition can see them highlighted.

To grab the freebie writing paper for this activity, click {HERE}. 

We are just waiting for all our insects to work their magic! The caterpillars are in their cocoon. The praying mantis egg sack is hanging up and the ladybug grubs are running around. Still waiting on the ants to arrive.... but we have a nice little "farm" going on here....

And, my friends, we are in countdown mode!! This picture was taken a few days ago, so now we are in the 20s!!! I can NOT believe we are almost to the end. Sometimes i think the year just goes so fast, and sometimes it feels like it doesn't go fast enough - haha!

You can find the 10 Frame board {HERE} and the Calendar activities {HERE}.


Oviparous Animals - Inferencing and Eggs!

Last week was our Oviparous animal week.

The kids always love this week. They're always so interested to learn all the different kinds of animals that are hatched from eggs.... and amazed.

These are some of the books that we use during the week....

I start the week off with {Chickens Aren't the Only Ones

That sparks some conversation about other oviparous animals and I pull all my books out on those animals for the week too. 

I use this week to REALLY dive into inferencing. We've been doing it all year, but this is the week that we spend doing ALL kinds of activities.

Click {HERE} to get the egg inferencing sheet. This would be FUN to put little papers with clues in Easter eggs, too!

During my small groups, I use the book in {THIS} unit to work on using clues to figure out the animals. I add sticky notes to cover the animal names on the page.

This week, my students did some research on ANY oviparous animal they want. Our school has a subscription to PebbleGo. I LOVE PebbleGo.  

I gave them these questions to look for while on PebbleGo.  These questions are included in my {Oviparous Animals} pack.

Here are the categories they could search through. I told them to find an oviparous animal and to go for it! haha.

They did so well with the research! 

Snakes and turtles and birds and mudpuppies....oh my!

We are still finishing up these projects, but I'll show the finished project next week, hopefully.

Another activity I love to do during this week is animal riddle inferencing.

I used this poetry book about animals and rewrote a few of the poems, taking out the animal name. 

I hung them around the room, and we did a "Carousel Around the Room" activity. They had post it notes that they numbered to match the riddles numbers. I gave them about a minute at each poster...after I had read each one of them and I made sure that there some high readers in each group that would be able to read the poems for the group. 

After they did each station, we went over the answers. I was walking around during the rotations and heard some really great conversations - debating animals. Such great thinking going on!

At the end of the week, we talked about the life cycle of a chicken. 

We used Bookflix to read a nonfiction book about the chicken's life cycle. Bookflix is another one of my favorite websites - it pairs fiction and nonfiction books for SO many different categories. I can find a pair of books for pretty much EVERY lesson I teach. My school has a subscription to this site too. 

We talked about the different stages of a chicken's life cycle and I found this craft on Pinterest (see my pin HERE) that I really liked and lent itself nicely to talking about the embryo and such.

We did the writing activity that was included in {Christie's pack} and I paired it with this super cute craft. I just love how they turned out!

They also wrote which oviparous animal they think would be the best pet to have... and why. 

This one CRACKS me up - wake up, Mom!!

So, there you have it! Our oviparous animal week!

Check out some of the activities we did in my pack {HERE}.

And now we wait.... and hopefully the eggs in the incubator will hatch! We have ducks, geese, and chickens! I have had a few sad times where it has not worked. I felt SO bad... but here's hoping this time it works!

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