Sunday, December 30, 2012

Gus and Linus Freebie


We hope your little mathematicians enjoy these "math brothers" as much as ours did. Please feel free to download these anchor charts for FREE!

So sorry for the error! It's been fixed! 









We love teaching with anchor charts, but we're sure you'd agree that having it pre-made is ideal! Teachers are busy people! We'll have some activities to use in math centers using our favorite "math brothers" very soon!






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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Chain of Events

Happy (almost) New Year Everyone! We hope you all had a wonderful time celebrating the holidays with your friends and families. We go back to school on Wednesday, so we are back in school mode a little bit already. We wanted to share with you something we with our students just before Winter Break started. We did an author study on Laura Numeroff. She is one of our favorite authors and our students love love love her books. First we used her books to teach "cause and effect" which later led to a lesson on "chain of events." Below you can find the anchor chart we used to introduce a CHAIN OF EVENTS. 

After reading If You Take A Mouse to the Movies by Laura Numeroff we created our own chain of events by writing the events that took place in the story on strips  of paper (pre-made of course) and connecting the completed strips to create a "chain of events" with our groups. Our teams (we sit in groups of 4... totally Kagan) worked together to create the chains and then shared what they had made with the class. All of our firsties had a great time creating the chains all while COOPERATIVELY working together. To bring in a little WHOLE BRAIN teaching into this lesson we taught a chain of events motion where students made a circle using their fingers and linked them together to show a chain. They did this motion while saying "A chain of events are events or actions linked together." We let the students tug at their "chain" and discussed how without one event, the other may not happen. Rest assured, our students are masters at recognizing a chain of events in a story! Woo! Mission Accomplished!


*One more thing*
To complete our author study we sent Laura Numeroff an email using her contact information on her website and when we received not one, but TWO emails from our new favorite author the kids were THRILLED! It was adorable! 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Wedding Ring Bling!!!

 Some very exciting things happening for the FRUGAL GIRLS this year!  There's going to be another WEDDING!  I couldn't be MORE excited for Melissa and Rob!  I love them both!  Rob secretly planned to have all of their closest friends and family meet at the beautiful Gaylord Palms Resort in Orlando so he could pop the big question in front of all their loved ones!  It was perfect!  Way to go Rob!  He also did an amazing job on picking out the ring... it is breath taking!  Matt and I were so excited and honored to be part of this special moment for two of our best friends!  Oh and I forgot to mention the most important part... SHE SAID YES!  Now the frugal girls are in the midst of planning TWO weddings in the upcoming year!  So exciting!  Here's some pics from our oh-so-exciting day...
 
 

OH MY WORD! Take a look at that BLING!
 



The newly engaged couple featured with thier adorable Mr. and Mrs. champagne flutes (compliments of yours truly hahaha)!  The glasses were designed by our good friend Katie, over at Katie's Kreationz, you can find her and her amazing work on etsy and pinterest.


Such an amazing day!  I can't express enough how unbelievably excited I am for two of my best friends!  I love this time of year!!!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Science Notebooks

This year our state is following the Common Core Standards (Florida style). This calls for much more integration, which we LOVE! We use Composition books as our Science Notebook using a ribbon bookmark and a large envelope in the back for "extras." We have found that some of our firsties struggle to write on the small lines and have a difficult time creating graphic organizers, so many times we just make a quick template ourselves and create two to a page so it can fit in the notebook easily. This has worked out very nicely this year. When we return from winter break we will be finishing up our Sun and Stars Unit and moving into our Plants Unit. 

We hope to create another garden in our school. 




Thursday, December 20, 2012

Ringing in the New Year... freebie style!

The Frugal Girls have already been thinking about the upcoming New Year. Since New Year's Eve 2011 is Brittany's engagement, it is something we're really looking forward to celebrating! Besides, who doesn't love staying up late, drinking too much champagne and watching fireworks! New Year's is a blast! We go back to school on January 2nd this year. BOO HOO! So we made this foldable inspired by The Tattooed Teacher. She made an adorable 2012 freebie so we thought we'd return the favor and make one for 2013. Please feel free to download! 




Frugal Girls Go Thrifting

What's a girl to do with an entire week to herself before Christmas? It's not hard for us to find an excuse to go shopping. Especially when our winter break started last Friday (the 14th)! We jam packed our "sched"with lots of bargain shopping! Even around the holidays we refuse to pay full price! I'm sure all of our teacher friends agree, we did not become teachers for the huge Christmas bonus!

Yesterday we set off for a day of Thrift store Shopping. Most of the thrift stores in our area were offering an ADDITIONAL 50% off! Just when you thought it didn't get any cheaper!!! Since Brittany is busy planning a wedding and Melissa being her honorable maid, they had a few MUST FINDS on the shopping list!

Brittany found this gorgeous mirror for the wedding for a whopping $5! Score!

We found some incredible deals on our day of Thrifting! We both managed
to spend under $50 and got many different things for
Christmas gifts, wedding decorations and books for our classrooms!

Brittany found tons of beautiful frames that she is going to use for the wedding. We are going to use some chalkboard paint to create signs.
Check out our pinterest for examples!


We ended our day with a quick stop to the mall. Tonight we are celebrating our DOOMS DAY- Christmas and Cocktails party so we needed a few last minute things.  The Frugal Girls REALLY wanted to see Santa but he looked a little tired. Poor Santa also had a line of 903589432093 children waiting to see him. We had to settle for a wave and a picture from afar. Growing up is no fun!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Brothers Are Back!



Yes! You've heard us right! The brothers are back in action. Linus the Minus and Gus the Plus are our favorite math brothers. They have worked wonders with helping our students remember and understand  the symbols for addition and subtraction!


Hope you enjoy our newest Anchor Charts! 






Monday, December 10, 2012

Gingerbread Math Freebie!

Gingerbread Math day is on Friday (which is also a half day of school... WOOHOO!) We have already received quite a few donations and plan to pick up a few last minute things tomorrow afternoon. Please feel free to grab our freebie pack for Gingerbread Math! Hope your class has a great time participating!






Who knew math could be so much fun?!?! Not to mention, DELICIOUS!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Classroom Tour

                Just a little tour of Melissa's Classroom! Can you tell there's a slight BEE obsession??
Brittany's classroom tour is coming up next!
Bee-a-reader board- This board is where students hang their A.R necklaces and earn beads for every 100 minutes they read each week! 

Computer Area- All the classrooms at our school have 5 computers. They are ancient and make a whole lot of noise. You may also see my pinterest creation... using scrapbook paper on your filing cabinet is so easy and way more appealing!

Our BEE-utiful writing area was made using yard sticks and clothes pins! So easy and a great way to display student work. Beside it you can find our word wall (it was the first day of school when this pic was taken, now it's FULL of words). 

On the board we post our I CAN statements (Thanks Diana Jump). Also you can see our CAFE board and our Daily 5. Now that board has Essential Questions too.  You can also see part of our classroom library. All of our books are leveled using Guided Reading letters. The tops red baskets are "free choice."

A little view of our seating area. We do a lot of KAGAN so we use group seating. 

The rest of our library. We use laundry baskets as book boats too! As you can see in the pics below, they get really comfy in the library!

Our HUGE rover. It's a Smartboard on wheels. Yay for being portable and boo for being bulky!

In our shelving area you can find our "Bee Promises" which are the five whole brain teaching rules.  You can also find our Fasttmath hives. Students get to move up to hives when they master addition facts. Don't miss our writers wall is hiding in the right corner.

Thanks for visiting my (Melissa's) classroom! One place I forgot to capture was my desk area. Sorry about that! It's not much to see anyway.
These pics were taken at the beginning of the school year. Now you can find many anchor charts and BEE-utiful student work hung all over the walls. In fact, I don't think you will find much wall space left!!! 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Ugly Sweater Staff Party



Being two of the four "Cheer Committee" members at our school means we have to put on most of the events. Each year our school usually puts together a potluck to celebrate the holidays, but we decided to spice things up a bit and add a few twists! We are doing an UGLY sweater party with a white elephant gift exchange. This should make for some great pics for the end of year video and some big laughs!

What does your school do to celebrate the holidays??? 


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Stocking Day

Stocking day was OH-SO-MUCH-FUN!!
We spent our morning talking about the traditions of stockings. (Sidenote: be prepared for MANY different stories) We enjoyed learning the different "stories" about how the stocking tradition came to be. We also read some wonderful Christmas books today and did a lot of think-pair-share (LOVE ME SOME KAGAN) to discuss different Christmas traditions around the world and within our classroom. 

In the early afternoon we discussed LIST WRITING. We haven't really touched on this type of writing yet this year, so we had fun developing lists of "what we hope to find in our stocking on Christmas Day." We added popsicle sticks to the top and bottom of our list to make it look more like a scroll. So many of our little artists added "art supplies" to their lists *adorable* and way better than a play station, which doesn't fit in a stocking ANYWAY! Still, many of them managed to squeeze it onto their list... sigh. 

We finished off our fun-filled day with some stocking decorating. The only table clothes available were from the luau we had last year so they were very "florida festive." Everyone had a blast decorating their stocking. We hung them all up next to their lists and they now serve as a fabulous little decoration in our classrooms. 

Check it out: 


Tomorrow is Snowman day and we have lots of great writing activities and crafts to go along with this chill theme! Brittany is going to a CCSS meeting all day so Melissa is taking on snowman day alone... no fun! Hope the sub is ready for a warm Florida day filled with snow!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Christmas Theme Schedule

This is our schedule for the last two weeks before winter break:

Each day we will do a read aloud or five and some sort of learning activity to go with our holiday-theme-of-the-day. Tomorrow is STOCKING DAY! We will be decorating stockings to hang in our classroom. We will be reading, "Merry Christmas Stinky Face" for no particular reason other than THEY LOVE THAT BOOK! Also, we will be learning how to create a list. Student's will make a list of what they hope to find in their stocking on Christmas morning. We also hope to incorporate patterns in our stocking craft to tie in a little bit of math.  Our first "themed" day of December is filled with lots of other learning activities that we borrowed stole from other AMAZING bloggers! 

We have so many festive things going on in our rooms this week! Can't wait to share the fun with all of you! 

Narrative Writing

Our county requires we teach Narrative Writing first this year. This is sad news because we've always taught expository first and we both agree that our writing program "Write Reflections" has a MUCH better expository outline than narrative. In fact, we are not fans of the Narrative writing template at all. The boxes are really small and we all know that first graders do not write all that small, especially in the first few months of the school year. Not to mention we love teaching writing techniques for story writing like similes, onomatopoeia's, vivid verbs, idioms, and show not tell. We have found that they aren't as capable this early in the year and we were able to get much better narrative stories second semester. We kinda just through up our hands and said, "Oh, well!" We don't have much of choice so we thought we should at least create a new B-M-E outline. We created the document below as a planning sheet/outline for students to brainstorm the beginning-middle-end of the their story before they write. It has helped tremendously! Now if we could just convince our county to give us a little more freedom when it comes to writing instruction!



We encourage students to try and create a problem and solution for their story in their outline. We explain not EVERY story has a problem and solution but most do! This is something we brainstorm as a class before each and every writing topic! Feel free to use!
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