Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Peek at My Week: Deedee Style!

Happy Hump Day my dear sweet friends!  Boy do I have something to share with you!  Does everyone know about this fantastic blog called Mrs. Willis Kindergarten? (wink, wink!) 
Well, I have admired Miss Deedee's lesson plans for many, many months now and she has totally inspired me to create a NEW version for myself!  
I am linking up with Mrs. Willis to give ya'll a peek at my week!  
The first 2 pages are for me. I can run with those and be all set.  The additional pages are for fun, adding that VISUAL pleasure we LOVE so much!  This will work out really well for subs!  I will be honest.  This is only the second time of sharing my lesson plans.  I had over 1,000 downloads on last year's sample!  I still feel like I just ran outside with only my bloomers on.  (I am sitting here thinking about my Grandma, missing her so, and "bloomers" was her word!)  But running down the street, like DAVID with no drawers on is how I am feeling, and WHY?  Teachers are their worst critic sometimes. So I present to you a peek at my week!  

My plans are saved in Google Drive.  If you would like to download this week's plans, click here.  Just give me a little feedback and let me know what you think!

I sure hope you can link up with Deedee's linky and share your week with us!  She has helped me tremendously to reshape and rethink my time management and ideas in the classroom!
Hugs,


Oopps!
One more thing!
My lovely Lisa over at Growing Firsties is having a special giveaway and would love to have all of us join in the fun!  She has her March Common Core Crunch Unit in the giveaway and I am SOOOO excited about that!!!!
Click on the image below and join the fun!


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Visualizing with Picturing Penguin

For the past 2 weeks, the sweetie pies have been working on the reading strategy,  making pictures in your mind as you read.  We have a new Cafe' Critter named Picturing Penguin who has been reminding us HOW to make the pictures in our minds, and WHY it is important for us to visualize when we read.  Here is the Picturing Penguin and her favorite anchor charts that she brought for the kids!
Room 36 and Deanna Jump inspired our first lesson on mental images using "My Neighbor's Dog is Purple" by Jack Prelutsky.  I am a huge collector of Jack's poetry so I grabbed the book and got started reading right away!
The kiddos used their white boards as a 4-door story board to illustrate each visual stage of the poem.


 
I was so impressed with how functional and amazing this lesson went!  I could quickly assess who was making the correct (and sometimes incorrect) visualizations.
Here are my K-1-2 resources that I have pulled out for the remainder of the year!  I think the kids are going to love doing weekly poetry studies focusing on Mental Images!  


For you 3-4-5 teachers, 
I found some intermediate grade level materials
 that look fabulous for visualizing!
For some fantastic mental images graphic organizers, click HERE to grab some fabulous freebies from Fabulous in First!
 
Lyndsey over at A Year of Many Firsts has these aMaZiNg units available for purchase at her TPT store!  This girl has hit a home run on the common core playground!
I just added all of them to my TPT cart!
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Sarah's First Grade Snippets has some AMAZING activities in her Read, Visualize, Draw units! At the request of the munchkins, 
I bought them all to use for daily morning work! 
Miss Sarah definitely SCORED big points with my kids on this unit!
 
I told myself I would have to wait several weeks before checking out another TPT cartload of materials.....
But pay day is Friday!  :)
YAY!
Happy Wednesday Friends!

Monday, February 18, 2013

And the Winners are....

I am so excited to announce the winners of my 100th follower Ultimate Giveaway!  

Let me begin by saying THANK YOU to each and every friend and follower who so graciously entered. Reading your comments and emails really made this occasion very special!  Thank you so much for your words of wisdom and sweetness!  I am so happy that you are following the First Grade Critter Cafe!

The Grand Prize Winner of the SKYPE author visit goes to
 entry #214 The Groovy Teacher!  YAY!  Congratulations!
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These 3 lucky teachers have won personalized, autographed book copies by Denise Brennan-Nelson!  Hip-Hip-Hooray goes to
entry #207 Growing Firsties,
Growing Firsties
entry #240 First Grade Fabulosity,
First Grade Fabulosity
and entry #151 First Grade Blue Skies!
First Grade Blue Skies

Have a fabulous week my friends!
Here's to 100 more!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day Sweetness!

It was such a fantastic day!  I now have 11 Valentine's Day celebrations under my belt, and this was, by far, my favorite!
 Much of it came from the fabulous ideas all my teacher blogger friends are doing! Thank you so much for inspiring me!

This was my first time making the heart crayons for the kids and I am definitely doing this AGAIN!  I loved it!  My sweetie-pie discovered that he could make a quick slice on each crayon with his wallpaper trimming knife and the rest of the label would peel right off!  
I followed your directions and cooked them on 250 
for 25 minutes.  




Talk about MELTING hearts!
The kids were filled with so much LOVE when they saw the crayons today!

This is my little card I made for the sweeties!  
Click on it and grab it for next year. I left it edible!
 This is our Valentine's Day letter to the parents-
First we brainstormed the template.

 Then we added the text and squiggly frame.
(Boy did the kids have fun making the squiggles!)
Next, we cut out our heart poem and added our love birds.
 Finally, we stapled on our Class HEART and took black sharpies to write "Happy Valentine's Day" on the front!
(This card idea is a TPT unit I am currently working on, so I will let you know as soon as it is finished!)

We started the day with a Morning Message and a Valentine's Day ABC word sort!


Then we got busy with JEN JONES' Valentine's Day Scrapbooks!
What a fabulous idea!  Thanks Jen!
My scrapbooking tips:
Have a parent volunteer trace and cut out the hearts before the party.
I have 24 students.
Each student got 6 hearts.
I stapled the book 4 times in the upper-left hand corner!



 Then I got a special delivery from the handsome Italian!!!
He is so fabulous!


Then we had some fun with SINK or FLOAT!
We experimented with 3 heart candies:
Sweethearts, Tart Hearts, and Marshmallow Hearts!
After recess and lunch, the sweeties filled out their bingo cards with February words and used their conversation hearts as bingo chips!  SO FUN!!!

Then the kids delivered their MAIL into these fabulously-fun mailboxes!



 The kids were so excited to add their cards to the Scrapbooks!

Finally we celebrated, as all great first grade classrooms do on such a sweet and awesome day!  We had our "Love Punch" too but it needed it's own table!

I have been BLESSED with good luck this 2013!
I won several Amazing Valentine's Day units from some FABULOUS teachers so I need to give them a SHOUT OUT!  
Love you girls!!! 
 
 These are must-haves for your next year's collection!



 
 
And then my dear, sweet Lisa over at Growing Firsties outdid herself with these 2 charming and common core crunching units that I just can't get enough of! 
  
 What I find most VALUABLE about Lisa's Common Core Crunch unit is the fact there is NO cutting, NO stapling, NO laminating.  Just print off the sets, distribute, DONE!   YAY!

My last sweet SHOUT OUT goes to my girl Sarah.
Have you seen this?
Oh. My. Word.  
LOVED every page and guess what she included?
The CCSS number....on EVERY page!
This saved me TONS of time looking up the CCSS in the flip books during my weekly planning!
Sarah, you are out-of-this-world AWESOME!

Don't forget!
My 100 follower giveaway is still going on!
Please enter for your chance to win some LOVELY literature signed by the author!
Click here 
Happy Valentine's Day to all my sweet and lovely teacher friends!
XOXO,
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