Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sunshine Award!

Life has been crazy lately and I have not had much time to blog. So imagine my surprise when I signed in and found that I was honored with the "Sunshine Award" by Christine over at Hopping Into First Grade!! Thanks Christine! Check out her blog for GREAT ideas for your classroom! She's amazing!

The rules are to thank the person who awarded you, blog about it, answer the questions, and then pass the award on to bloggers, letting them know you awarded them the Sunshine Award.
The Questions
  • Favorite color: purple...eggplant purple
  • Favorite animal: pigs...they're disgustingly cute
  • Favorite number: 3, I guess. I don't really have one.
  • Favorite drink: As of lately it's been milk...but it changes frequently. (I'm pregnant and crave a lot.)
  • Facebook or Twitter:  Twitter.  Believe it or not, I DON'T have Facebook anymore! (Crazy, I know.)
  • Passions: movies, music, decorating
  • Giving or getting presents: giving – I LOVE wrapping and watching others open them
  • Favorite day: Friday
  • Favorite flowers: purple roses
Check out these great blogs! I am passing this award on to them as well. 

Sarah's First Grade Snippets
From the Life of His Wife
First Grader...at Last!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pumpkins, haunted houses, spiders, skeletons...

To start our pumpkin activities, we introduced adjectives by writing describing words on our pumpkin. 

 We also made predictions of how many seeds we thought were inside our pumpkin.

 We then took a vote using tally marks to decide what face we would like to carve on our pumpkin.

While separating the seeds from the 'pumpkin brains' (we liked to call it), we practiced our counting. We found that there were 519 seeds in our pumpkin! They were amazed! We also used our seeds to solve addition story problems. The students used their placemats to write their math addition sentences.

We had a great time with this guy! We will be writing stories about him soon...

Other Halloween activities that we did...
 We used our spelling words to write on our spider legs.  Before attaching the legs, we put them in ABC order.  *Not sure where this came from...not my idea!! 

We read In the Haunted House by Eve Bunting and discussed the adjectives throughout the story.  The students LOVED this story! They got really into it! After talking about the adjectives in the book, we made a chart of our own...

This next activity came from a blog somewhere out there in blogland. I'm not to sure who created it.  If you know, leave me a message so I can attach the link! But we used it to help us write descriptive words about what a haunted house might look like, sound like and feel like.  We highlighted the adjectives that we used.

Throughout the week we read Skeleton Hiccups by Margery Cuyler.  This is one of my favorite Halloween books to read each year.  This year, the students created their own skeleton and then wrote in response to a prompt. 
"To help Skeleton get rid of his hiccups I would have him 'scare himself'."

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Predicting, Sequence of Events, Labeling, Retelling...

The other day we ended up having a chunk of time open.  So we decided to do a quick mini lesson on Lucille Colandro's book, There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves.  While reading, we focused on the sequence of events.  Some of my students were able to figure out that the old lady would sneeze out a scarecrow at the end.  But before I showed my them the last page, I had the students go back to their seats to illustrate their prediction of what they thought the last picture showed.  As they were drawing, I reread the story to them. We gathered back together and shared our predictions...

Then I showed my kiddos the last page to see if any of our friends were close.  They cracked up! After sharing our pictures, we decided to go back and label our pictures in the correct order.
We finished the lesson by practicing retelling the story together, and then to our neighbor, without looking at the book.  They did a great job!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Updated: Bats...FREEBIE

I've been using ideas and plans from other great bloggers this week.  My class is learning ALL about BATS.  (I'm personally not a fan, but they love them!)

Mrs. Carroll over at The First Grade Parade has some really cute activities to go with the book, Stellaluna. Head on over there if you're looking for lessons on Beginning/Middle/End, story elements, compare/contrast, ABC order and hands-on centers for matching words with pictures....all of which involve BATS!!!

I also incorporated Jodi's bat activities over at Fun in First Grade.  She used yarn to show the wingspan measurements of the smallest and largest bat.

After doing that with my kiddos, I added a Math activity of my own to extend the lesson.  I gave each student a pipe-cleaner that was cut into a 5 inch piece (the wingspan of the smallest bat).  The students were to find things around the room that were also 5 inches.  Then we took our 6 foot string (the wingspan of the largest bat) and we found 3 things in the room to document.  Below is the worksheet we used to record our findings.
Bats - Measurement
 Here is an example of what my students did in class today...

Other bat activities we've done together... 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Buzz! Spelling Game

Quick post... 

We play a quick game called 'Buzz' to help us review spelling.  I was taught how to play this game while doing my student teaching in 3rd grade.  (So it can be for any grade level.)  The best part...the kids get to sit on their desks and they LOVE that!

I have my students all sit on their desks, facing the same direction.  I give a word to spell and each student will help spell the word by giving a letter. When the word is finished, the next person in turn will say 'buzz'.  (Ex: "bed"... student 1:"b", student 2: "e", student 3: "d", student 4: "buzz".) If a student says the wrong letter during their turn, they have to sit down.  We keep going until there is one person left. (Similar to a spelling bee but each student only says 1 letter.) 

*I also do not repeat what letter was said prior to a student's turn if he/she did not hear it.  It requires them to pay attention and listen. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Anchor Charts

Hi All!! We're off to a good, yet busy, start! We've been concentrating on our routine, getting to know each other and setting a great foundation for a safe and friendly environment.  I'm sorry that I have not been posting, but we're getting on track and I should be able to get more ideas and freebies on here soon! *Fingers crossed*

Even though I haven't been able to post, I've still been stalking my favorite bloggers! I have noticed a trend and I'm jumping on board - Anchor Charts! A great friend of mine, Amy T., has found and created some of these charts and they came out so good! So I, too, have been creating these as large resources to help my students learn.  We've been talking about the words 'resources' and 'learning tools' throughout the past few weeks and how to use them. This post is just a collaboration of some of my favorites.  I'll make sure to include where I originally found each one - because they were NOT ALL MY IDEAS! :)  I made changes to a couple of them but have also duplicated a few too! I even made one of my own. I really love having them as learning tools in my classroom. I'll be laminating these babies soon so that they will last!

After a few years of teaching, I realized that I need to train my students to be productive during down time. We don't seem to have much down time, but I want them to be prepared because it is bound to happen every now and then. So we worked together to create a list of activities that they can work on while they are waiting for other friends to finish. I always make sure to explain that they should never be sitting like 'lumps on logs' and that it is important to always exercise their brains!

This idea came straight from Abby over at The Inspired Apple. She is definitely one of my favorite bloggers. I saw this post during my planning time today and rearranged my lesson plans just to fit it in! I usually make a chart of math strategies every year with my students, but I liked how she did hers a lot more.  HER CHART IS AMAZING! Check it out! I changed a few strategies to meet the needs of my students but definitely used a lot of her great ideas. 


These two were copied straight from The First Grade Parade. If there is one blog that I would stalk on a regular basis, this one would be it.  Mrs. Carroll has the most amazing ideas and is SO CREATIVE! I literally copied her charts exactly how she had it.  I'm not the best artist and I'm so grateful that she shares her lessons. You should have seen me sitting in front of my computer trying to duplicate every line. I'm not kidding either...every line. Pathetic, but I now have semi-decent charts!! Writing is something that my students always seem to struggle with the most.  Let me rephrase that...writing is something that I always struggle teaching. My friend Amy (I talk about her a lot because she is that awesome of a teacher) has been brainstorming some ideas for a daily "Writer's Workshop" to help improve writing lessons. She found that Mrs. Carroll at The First Grade Parade has great lessons for introducing the writing concept to first graders.  So we went with it this week and it turned out great! 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Meet the Teacher Monday!

OBX 2011

Hi Friends!!!

This week is Teacher Week hosted by Blog Hoppin' and I decided to join in on the fun! Take a look for great ideas and get to meet more teachers! Today is Meet the Teacher Monday....

Hannah reading her Elmo book
 About me.... 
     My name is Sarah Tringhese (Mrs. T's First Grade) and this is going to be my 6th year teaching first grade.  I am married to my hubby, Tommy, who has me belly-laughing all the time. Funniest ever.  We'll be celebrating our 7th anniversary in December!! We have a beautiful daughter, Hannah, who will be turning 2 in December.  She has a great personality and a HUGE crush on Elmo. (Quite frankly I don't get the whole 'Elmo' thing, but we roll with it.) We recently found out that we are expecting baby 2.0 in February!!  (I think it's a boy...we'll find out soon!)

 School supplies I can't live without...
  • Purple Pens
  • Baskets
  • Chart Paper
  • Hot glue gun!!
  • Stamps
  • Laminator - Our school just got one. It is my new boyfriend. I love it! 

 You may not know... 
Surprisingly enough, they're alive!

  • I love playing the piano, reading about castles and watching old movies. (Dork, I know.)
  • My dream is to go to Italy with my husband one day.
  • I enjoy planting flowers. They're usually dead in a week but managed to survive this year!!!

  Things that make me happy...  
Taking pictures of my family 

Biltmore Estate - Favorite place to visit
Movies - I can put down some popcorn!!

Home away from home      

BEST ice cream ever! 

Love them!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Tired of Sticky Tack?

Well, I've been dragging myself into school to get some things done.  Being that our Open House is next week, I've been focusing on the setup of my room and hallway.  I am always reluctant to hang anything up in the hall because the majority of it will end up on the floor by the next morning.  Nothing would irritate me more than to walk in and find my hard work scattered all over the place.

And then my prayers were answered...

Someone (I don't remember exactly who) told me about the miracles of a hot glue gun! A few teachers in our building have been using hot glue to hang up materials for some time now.  Apparently, hot glue will hold anything to the wall without ruining the material or the paint on the wall!! It's amazing! I am ALSO relieved to spend my time doing other things than standing in the hall picking off sticky tack. (Sticky tack is not my friend.)  I needed to invest in a long extension cord but it was worth it!  So I wanted to share this with those who struggle with sticky tack, masking tape...etc.  I just put up a display outside my class.  I will let you know how long it stays up!! 

*Everything that I hung up so far has been laminated paper or cloth.  I have not tried to hang up regular paper with hot glue...yet.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Cyber Monday: Mailbox - SALE!!

I've tried to avoid it...I've tried to deny it....I've even tried to ignore it.  But the truth is.....summer is almost over and school supplies are out.

This whole summer has been wonderful! I have enjoyed it so much that school has been the very last thing on my mind!  Two weeks ago, I successfully closed my eyes while walking past the bookbag display in JCPenney and pretended like I didn't even see it.  (Granted, I did let out a grunt in disbelief.) But all summer, I didn't let those huge back to school posters bother me at all....until today.

It was like a magnet.  I walked into Target and the first thing I saw was this glorious section of cheap baskets.  I'm a sucker for baskets.  They had all these beautiful colors and sizes and ... and... I just couldn't help myself!!!! I caved!!! Before I knew it, my daughter was buried in a buggy that was filled with stamps and baskets and books and markers....I just went mad! It was so cheap! The best part is that I have NO plan for any of these supplies, other than the fact that I 'need' them.  :)

So when I came home, I decided to check my school email.  (Another thing that I try to avoid.)  And there it sat.  An email from my former first grade teacher...the subject: SALE!!!  Apparently, today is 'cyber monday'.  Who knew?! And Mailbox is offering 30% off clearance, 15% off regular price and FREE SHIPPING!!  I purchased 4 fantastic ready-made center activity packets and some other goodies for a low price of $16.87!!!  Check it out!

So I guess this post is to let all of my blog-friends know that I'm back.  .... well, kind of.  I'm not doing lesson plans or anything yet.  But I can say that I'm starting to shop and search for new ideas!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Updated: A Letter to Myself...

Since my first year of teaching, I have been asking my students to write a letter to themselves for their last writing assignment.  Hopefully I will be around when they graduate so that I can deliver their letters before commencement!  It's always fun to see what they think high school might be like, what kind of car they might drive or even what type of job they want!

We started the lesson by brainstorming what we think high school might be like or what type of person we want to become.  We talked about what it will be like to be a teenager and all the things that teenagers get to do, such as drive a car.

Outline for Letter   

Before we wrote our rough drafts, we created a class outline for our letters.  We did this to remind us about the parts of a letter.  It looked something similar to this.... 

Click to purchase via Amazon

A good book that might go with this writing assignment would be First Grade Friends: Graduation Day is Here

Monday, May 30, 2011

Beach Ball Madness!

I found some cheap beach balls in Target's dollar section. MMM-MMM, I LOVE me some Target!! I bought 3 of them! 

On one beach ball I wrote random numbers (1-20) all over it.  When sitting together on the carpet, I'll call out a student's name and toss the ball to her.  When she catches it, she will create an addition sentence using the 2 numbers that her thumbs land on.
*You can also do subtraction, state if the number is even or odd, greater than/less than, start with the number on your right thumb and count until you get to the number on your left thumb (whether it's counting forward or backward)...etc.  

 On this beach ball I wrote word endings and vowel patterns all over it. (-ag, -oi, -ole, short u...etc.) I would call out a student's name and he would have to give a word that has the correct ending or vowel pattern that his right thumb landed on.  For example, if his right thumb landed on "-ed", he could say "bed".  (Good way to see who STILL does not know left vs. right.)
 *To make it more challenging, have the students state a sentence or list a group of words that has the correct ending or vowel pattern. 

On this beach ball, I listed some story elements such as Characters, Title, Main Idea, Setting, Beginning, Middle, End...etc. After reading a story, we would toss the ball around and the students would have to state a part of the story that their right thumb landed on. If someone else landed on the same element, he would have to explain his part in more detail or add to what was already stated.   

 (I have vacation on my mind. I can't help it!)