Sunday, January 24, 2016

Our First Skyping Experience

On Friday, we had the most amazing experience! We had our first visitor through Skype. Our visitor was Dan  Colquin, AKA. Rocking Dan Teaching Man! To make it even more exciting, he was visiting us from Australia! My students thought it was so cool that they were seeing and talking to someone in Australia!

They got to sing and learn movements to his songs. The songs they sang were:

Friends of Ten

What Makes a Good Friend

and they learned and sang the song, Let's Make A Pizza. This is a song that he sang with his own class. We were the first class in America to hear this song! We were so excited! They sang this song all the way to the bus!

After we sang with him, he then read us a book. The book he read was called Fearless and it won awards in Australia. The kids love the book and they want me to find it for our class library! So I am on the hunt for this special book!

What was also exciting was that he rewarded them +ClassDojo points, all the way from Australia! 

I was so proud of how my kids behaved and when it came time to ask questions, despite their excitement, they remained seated and took turns patiently. They asked some very insightful questions!

This was such an awesome experience, that they want him to come back and visit soon! 

Here is the link to Rocking Dan Teaching man's Blog:

If you have not Skyped yet with your kids, I highly recommend it. If you are willing to be a guest reader for my class via Skype, please email me. (

Mad Science

We love Science! To continue with our science unit, we did another experiment using the three states of matter.
They made a hypothesis about what they think will happen when we filled a balloon with nerds and put it on a bottle of Coca Cola.

We performed the experiment and the looks on their faces was priceless. The reaction of the nerds and cola caused the balloon to blow up.

Then we tried the same experiment but using pop rocks instead of nerds. Of course, they thought the balloon was going to explode. To their surprise, the reaction caused was no where near as exciting as the reaction of the nerds.

This was a messy, exciting,  knowledgeable yet awesome experience. I recommend this experiment for anyone who teaches solids, liquids and gases!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Producers and consumers

To teach this, I love to use the book, Little Red Hen Makes a Pizza. We read the book, discussed it and then went to the cafeteria. The kiddos got to tour the kitchen, ask questions and then make their very own pizzas. They learned they were the producers because they were making the pizzas and they were the consumers because they ate the pizzas.

They absolutely loved this activity. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Growth Mindset and Class Dojo

OMG!!!! Can I just say that Class Dojo is getting more and more amazing as the year progresses!!!!! First, they give us Class Story, then Dojo Translate, then the ability to upload videos to our class story and now......... drum roll please!!!!................

Growth Mindset!!!!

Today, marks the unveiling of the first of 5 movies on growth mindset! I love this for the classroom!

Click on Mojo below to see some  information on the class dojo website!

Here is a snippet of the press release Class Dojo has put together and released!

Today ClassDojo and Stanford University’s Project for Education Research That Scales (PERTS) announced a partnership to help millions of students learn about ‘growth mindset’ in their classrooms. As part of this partnership, ClassDojo developed a five-part series of animated videos that will be available free to all teachers. It is the first in ClassDojo’s “Big Ideas” series, where ClassDojo will bring cutting-edge research into the classroom -- with characters that students know and love. The idea of growth mindset, researched and popularized by Professor Carol Dweck and colleagues at Stanford University, is the notion that intelligence and abilities can be developed over time. The opposite is a ‘fixed’ mindset, which is the belief that these abilities are innate and can’t change. Research has shown that when students possess a growth mindset, and see challenge as an opportunity to learn, they are more likely to persevere when faced with setbacks. “When children believe their abilities are tied to things they can’t change, the windows of opportunity surrounding them shut one by one,” said Dave Paunesku, executive director of Stanford PERTS. “ClassDojo’s reach and mission to help teachers, parents, and students transform education from the ground up made it the natural partner for us to share this concept with teachers at a massive scale.”

I know I am super excited about this and can not wait to share this with my kids and with the other teachers at my school!

Thank you Class Dojo for once again going above and beyond to provide educators with so many important tools they can use in the classroom!!!!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Martin Luther King Jr

Celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. is such an important part of social studies. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. did so much to make this world a better place for all races that it is a shame not to teach about him.

Every year, I teach the kids about what he believed in. The color of our skin does not matter, we are all alike on the inside. I teach them this through an egg activity. I take a brown egg and a white egg. I let them see them. Compare them. Hold them. They determine they are different colors just like they are. Then I crack them open and we see that they are exactly the same on the inside just like we are.  This really brings that idea home for them!

We also read two books about Dr, Martin Luther King Jr.

This is written by his sister, Christine King Harris. I love the story and the illustrations. It portrays Martin in such a way, we can all relate to him!

This book takes his famous quotes and tells his story!

We then made our Martin Luther King Jr's for the hallway. I love how they all came out differently but they all had the same size materials to start with!

Here are the directions to make these adorable Pictures! Click on them for the link to the actual document you can download!

Here are the posters I made for the hallway display! Feel free to click on them and download them to use next year or for your display this year!!!

There are many more books to read and activities that can be done with this amazing man! I have just listed those we did this year! have a great January!!

Mad Science

We had an awesome day on Thursday! We had mad Science in the afternoon! The kids absolutely loved it! I found disposable childrens lab coats and safety goggles on Amazon! They thought they were so cool wearing these like real scientists. I also dressed up as the Mad Scientist. I found my wig, googly goggles and lab coat on Amazon as well.

We did 3 experiments with the 3 states of matter and they loved it. They all got the materials and followed my directions to a tee.

First experiment was bouncing mouse droppings. They put an alka-seltzer in a glass of water and then dropped in chocolate sprinkles. They watched the sprinkles bounce up over the lip of the cups!!!!

The second experiment was their favorite! They combined bone dust with snake venom. This was our messiest experiment! The mad scientists put 2 spoonfuls of bone dust (baking soda) in a cup. They then added 1/2 cup pf snake venom (green vinegar) They loved the reaction! Please check out the photos below!

The third experiment was Mad Scientist Punch. They mixed sherbet with Sprite and watched the reaction. They loved it and then drank their concoction!

So Science was a hit today! Here are pictures of my kiddos and me as a mad scientist!

Friday, January 8, 2016

Learning about Needs and Wants with Pigeon!

I love the Pigeon books! I think Mo Willems is an amazing children's book author! The pigeon character is endearing and is one that the kiddos just adore.

In Social Studies, one of the concepts in First Grade is to teach the students about needs and wants. I was thinking how I could do this and have the kids enjoy it and I thought, Pigeon. 

So I chose the following Pigeon books to teach my students about needs and wants:

I created a smart board lesson using these books. The kiddos turned and talked about what they thoughts needs and wants were. we discussed needs and wants. We then went into reading and listening to the 4 Pigeon Books. I have incorporated links to videos for each of the four books in my smart board presentation.

After we listened to the whole story, we created an anchor chart listing the needs and wants of the Pigeon- The needs we listed were:
and my kiddos insisted on bath!

The wants were:
drive a bus
hot dog
hot dog party
to stay up late

Then we did a directed drawing activity. Here they followed me as I drew Pigeon step by step. We then wrote the needs and wants on this paper. here are a few of my kiddos awesome masterpieces:

Click on the pic below to go to my TPT store to view and purchase my Pigeon smart board presentation!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Measuring Penguins!

Today, we read the book, Tacky the Penguin in ELA. The focus today was central theme. I chose this book because I love the thought of the author. This book teaches such a valuable lesson. 

Click to go to link on Amazon for this book:

Tacky is an odd bird but he is a brave bird who protects his companions. So he is also loyal. The central theme of this awesome book is everyone is unique. everyone has positive qualities and everybody has a purpose. This is something many of the kiddos today need to learn. Just because you are different does not make you a bad person or unworthy. it is often times the one who is different, who will be brave enough to do what needs to be done!

Penguin Directions:

In honor of the central theme, my kiddos made penguins but they were not ordinary penguins. They were "tacky" penguins or odd birds. They were to choose one piece of colored paper (8 X 11). They cut that into an oval. Now, i do not allow them to draw the oval, they are to just cut. This makes it their penguin. All of the penguins are different, not cookie cutter penguins. Once they have the oval cut out, they receive a small sheet of white paper. This is their belly. They cut a smaller oval out of the white. Once these are glued together, they took another sheet of colored paper to make the wings. This can not be the same color as their body. Then they took the scraps from one of their friends to make the eyes, and scraps from another friend to make the beak. Finally we made the feet. The feet are a little tricky. To make the feet, take a quarter sheet of paper, fold the bottom right hand corner over until the two sides touch. Then cut the extra off. This will make the paper look like a triangle. Hold the triangle on the crease and cut two small triangles out of the paper. Then cut on the crease and voila, two feet are made. 

Here are a few of the finished penguins:


Now for the measuring. We will be using cubes to measure or penguins. We will measure their heads, feet, beak and wing. Then we will measure how tall they are.

Here is the recording sheet: click to download!

My kiddos had a blast making these penguins and practicing their measuring skills. Here are the finished products!

I will end with my favorite measuring video! I love tis video and so does the kiddos!!!
Happy measuring!!!

Monday, January 4, 2016

New Years Resolutions!

I love my job! I love it more and more as each year passes! The New Year is upon and it is now time to reflect on what you have done in the past year and create you resolutions about what you will do the coming year! I love teaching this concept to my kiddos!

I always use the book, Squirrel's New Years Resolution! My kids love this book. We review what a resolution is. then we enjoy the story.

Click on the photo below for a link to the book on Amazon!

Here is a video reading of the story as well!

After we listened to the story and discussed what resolution is and what did squirrel finlly say his resolution was, we went back to our seats and made self portraits and wrote down our resolutions!

To make the self portraits, I gave the kids 4 pieces of paper. 1 8 X 11- skin color paper, 2 8X11 any color construction paper and a 12X18 sheet of construction paper.

Here are the steps:
1- Place the 12 X 18 sheet of paper tall like a tree.
2. Choose a piece of 8X11 paper and cut it into a hill- this is the shirt. Glue at the bottom of the paper.
3. Take the skin color and cut it into the shape of your head. Glue it in top of the hill. You now have a head and body.
4. With your final piece of construction paper, cut it into a triangle for your New Year's hat., Glue in the top of your head.
5. Draw your hair and facial features.
6. Write Happy New Year on your shirt.
7. With an exacto knife cut a small circle in the mouth and push the blower through. 

Here are the final products and I have to admit, I love how they are all different!!

Here are the resolutions of my kiddos:

Our paper started off with Bye Bye 2015, hello 2016. This year I am going to:

Here is how they finished this prompt!

Angel: read better.
Jayden: listen and get positive Dojo points and be kind to others.
Olivia: I promise to help others and listen to my teacher and read better.
Michael: be a better reader.
Nathaniel: have fun.
Isha: read words better.
Matthew: read more books this year.
Noah: to listen to my Mom mom better.
Davian: listen and to read better.
Giada: draw better at home and at school.
Connor: to leave work earlier.
Brendon: get better at reading.
Nah'Mi: spenf time with my family.
Sophia: do my work better.
Logan: Listen better.
Sarah: be a better reader.

Here are the New Year's Resolution sheets I created. I have uploaded the powerpoint version so you can change it and use it from year to year!

So we say good bye to 2015 and hello to 2016! here's to an amazing year!!!