Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Winter Fun

     So, even though we are in sunny Florida, it is still WINTER! When my class completes the weather portion during our daily Calendar Math, the kids always comment on how it is mostly sunny. And why do I even include 'Snowy' on the Weather Graph? I try to explain to them that even though we are in a tropical climate, many others around the world are experiencing cold, cold, winter weather. They shrug their shoulders and color in the sunny bar, again! "Sure, Ms. M," my little cuties say.
     In spite of our 70 degree days, we will entertain some winter themed activities. Thanks to the awesome blogs I follow, like First Grade Parade and Swamp Frog First Graders, I have some great lessons to teach my class. First, last week we read Snowmen at Night and Snowmen at Christmas by Caralyn Buehner. Next, the kids made hexagon snowmen pictures. Then, we wrote about what we thought our Snowmen would do when we go to bed. The kids were very excited while they were writing. Zada wrote that her snowman got married and had snowkids. Meadow wrote that her snowman went to the Groovy Smoothie for a smoothie. Too cute! Even though we finished the writing for this project, I have some students still writing about their snowmen in their journals during their Work on Writing time. The ideas are endless. Andy said he thinks that since it doesn't snow in Vero Beach, the snowman that comes alive for him is the paper one he created in class. This thought evolved into all of the paper creatures he's ever made coming to life at night. What an imagination!

      This week, the Winter themed activities move into Math with Snowflakes. We've continued our discussion about patterns and extending patterns with the use of pattern blocks. Then, I gave them four pieces of blue paper strips (9x2") and a boat load of pattern block pieces. The kids were to complete four patterns on the strips and connect them in the shape of a snowflake. The kids had a blast working on this project and they loved to see them hanging inside the classroom. This is another good assessment on patterns. Who's got it and who's got more work to do?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Welcome 2011!

     It's a new year and a new venture for me: Blogging. As usual, I'm never satisfied with keeping well enough alone. During my two week winter vacation, I was determined to complete all of the tasks on my "To Do" list. First, I was so excited to read my fabulous new book, Comprehension From the Ground Up by Sharon Taberski. Didn't get to that. 

     Next, I was hoping to repaint our disheveled guest bathroom. Sorry, it is still a mixture of ugly pinky-green.
     Then, I was looking forward to getting ahead this school year and spend some quality time in my classroom. That REALLY didn't happen. I love my cozy home!
     Instead, I have spent countless hours reading blogs. Some blogs were personal, mommies sharing their unique flare for parenting. Others were commercial, entrepreneurs showcasing their latest and greatest in clothing, stationary, or decorating. Then the mother-load, Teacher Blogs. There are several blogs from wonderful, talented, and awe-inspiring teachers. Teachers who have families and are working on their masters and yet find the time to blog, as well. 
     Feeling inspired, I have decided to start a blog of my own. Of course, this blog will be about teaching. Teaching is possibly one of my most favorite things in the world (next to my family, of course!) It seems to me that blogs are a great outlet for other teachers and maybe parents to keep up with the most current methods in education. 
     Let's see if I can keep up with it!