Thursday, February 2, 2012

6 More weeks of Winter!

Well, Phil saw his shadow. Six of more weeks of winter are in store for us. I hope you're not too upset. Here in sunny Florida, we've been wearing shorts for a huge portion of January.
 The concept of winter is really foreign to these littles.

I had never been a huge fan of Groundhog Day in the past, but this year has changed my mind. I purchased Cara's groundhog unit on TPT and it is full of great activities and ideas for your class. I sent home most of their work before I could grab some pictures. Boo!

Also, I grabbed this AWESOME little book (see below) by Sheree at Peterson's Pad. It was a "just right" book for my first graders with enough factual information, but not too much to overwhelm them. Perfect!
In addition to this nifty little reader, I read my class the below pictured story books. I tried to get some other popular groundhog books, but they were checked out of our library. Oh, well! They are both really cute books and the kids got a kick out of them. They really liked the Groundhog's Special Secret.  They were on the egde of their seats trying to infer what the secret was!

We started the week with Gretchen Groundhog listing our schema on her furry belly. As we gleaned more information later in the week, we added "Our New Learning" and moved our "Misconceptions" to their correct spots. Some of my kids had never even heard of the term rodent or hibernation before?!?!

I made Gretchen after I saw Gus Groundhog on Beg Borrow Steal's blog.
Then, we made our shadow predictions, some cute little groundhog faces, and added them to a big 'ole pictograph on my back door. I picked a few kids to add, the sun and cloud, the numbers and labels and our graph was complete. I thought it turned out really cute!

This idea, of course, I saw on Pinterest!

Did I mention that I have a SMARTBoard now? Well, I DO! It was installed a couple of weeks ago and it is A-MAZE-ING! I'm still learning how to use the software, but it has been loads of fun so far. I made flash cards and they are stack-able (in an order.) Ooooo - aaaaaa! You should be impressed. That grouping, locking, and ordering thing is confusing for this girl!

I don't know why this is, but I have some kids that JUST CAN'T MOVE images with their fingers on this board. Their fingers will make this terrible skidding sound across the board. It's dreadful. I have to finally take over and move the image for them. Weird?!

Lastly, we ended our week {we don't have school tomorrow since we had conferences all this week} with this fun craftvity I got from the extremely talented Kerri at Teacher Bits and Bobs. The kids wrote their favorite groundhog facts. These groundhogs are too funny. I keep laughing at them.

Okay, so, do you see the groundhog above this sentence on the right side. Let me tell you, I HATE am not a fan of this glue bottle. I don't know why I haven't thrown it away sooner. No matter which kid uses this bottle, their craft ends up looking not-so-good really bad.
I finally threw it away today. Enough is enough! Normally, I love this companies products. They need to drop this one and call it a day FOREVER!

I really should change the title of my blog to Other Teacher's Ideas. Or rather, I'm the Consumer Reports blog of other teacher's products. 

Whatever the title, I am so grateful to you talented teachers out there because you make me a better teacher!


  1. Your groundhog stuff looks fabulous!! Love your Gretchen the groundhog stuff!!

  2. Looks like your day was as busy as mine!! Everything looks great! =)
    First Grade Blue Skies

  3. Sometimes my kids have to use 2 fingers to move items on the smartboard...not sure why..

  4. Love love love those groundhogs! You go, girl!!
    Kerri B

  5. For the kids who can't move things on the Smart Board- I tell them to use their knuckles. Have them bend their pointer finger and use the part of their finger between the first & second knuckle. It helps!

  6. Love the groundhog things!! So cute! Also, completely agree with you about the clear glue. Awful!!

    Fun In First

  7. The best thing for moving objects on the SMARTboard is to use a tennis ball to drag. My Kindergarteners use them as they develop better finger strength and control. This is error-free everytime!

  8. I have a little basket of finger that I have cut off of gloves. When the children cannot move something on the Smartboard they put on a finger hat and can move things easily. I think it has to do with the amount of moisture in their fingers.

  9. We use tennis balls to move things around on our SMARTboard! I love finding colored ones for the holidays! We are using red, pink, and purple ones right now! The child gets to pick whatever color they want! It makes it soo much easier!