Wednesday, January 28, 2015

No Worksheet Wednesday!!!

We did it, and I must say it was a SUCCESS!!!  Now just a little disclaimer, it was only a 1/2 day and 6 of my firsties were out today.  

Our morning started, as all our mornings start with our Morning Tubs.  If I am being completely honest, I just realized that there were worksheets in one of the tubs..opps!  Then we headed off to Music. It was after Music, that Operation No Worksheet Wednesday began.

We started by playing, Clockworks.  Since we were a small but mighty group today, we were able to divide into 4 teams.  Each team had a white board, marker and eraser.  Team members had to take turns answering the question from the game, working with their team to determine if they all agreed on the answer and revealing it to me.  Clockworks is a great telling time game that has various levels.  The kids loved it and it was a great chance to practice our team skills, as well as our telling time to the hour and elapsed time skills.

Next we pulled out our Judy Clocks!  Once again, we were able to work in our teams and together they had to create the time that matched what I wrote on the Smartboard.  I decided next time, I will put together a little powerpoint of various times.  I can jazz up the power point with pictures to correspond times of our day, maybe even add music.  Just a little more engaging then simply writing the time.  I was impressed by how well they did!

We finished up Math with a little Hula Hoop Time!  I saw a few different versions from Pinterest and decided to tweak it meet our needs.  For this activity, we headed back to our tables and worked with our table teams.  Each team got a hula hoop, numbers for the clock, and an hour and a minute hand.  Our Special Ed Teacher and I had to give great instructions on how to place the numbers, we decided we will add velcro to the hula hoop, as well as the numbers for better placement the next time.  I think I will even connect the hour and minute hand with a brad, as our firsties were struggling to keep them together.  I told them a time and they had to create it on their clock, every team that got it right earned an m&m for each team member.  As I walked around, I heard the words every teacher loves to hear.."this is awesome.."

We moved on to Science and tuned into Think Central for our digital lesson on Weather.  Our district uses Science Fusion.  We started the digital lesson on Monday and were able to finish it today.  The kids are really getting into Weather and I was glad to hear some great questions that will drive our instruction further.

After we wrapped up the digital lesson, we celebrated one our own's birthday!  Then it was time to pack up and head home, well the kiddos headed home and I headed to meetings!!!

Today was a great day!  I really enjoyed the opportunity to go worksheet free.  However, I have a LOT of planning to do before next Wednesday.  I realized not only how easy it is to just rely on a worksheet, but how much I need to OVER plan and get a lot of rest the night before, because No Worksheet Wednesday kept this teacher on her toes!!!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Sunday Scoop

One of my goals for 2015 is to be more accountable!!  The Sunday Scoop from Teaching Trio  will help me do just that!!! Here's my scoop...

This week I have to plan our 100th day, I mean it is FRIDAY!!! I am going with a Rock N Roll theme and can't wait to start putting all my ideas (thank you Pinterest) to paper!  No Worksheet Wednesday has been a goal of mine and this Wednesday is a half day, certainly I can handle a half day with no worksheets!  It may be time to switch Math Workshop groups, so I am working on exit tickets to know who is getting it and who needs some more help!  

I hope to start making visual plans!  I tried last week and realized my plans are BORING!! So I am conquering this goal soon! This week I hope to start practicing adding more of my Pinterest finds into my plans.  One of my professional goals is to reflect and document what we do in our room!  Pictures are the best day to do that, I must start snapping more of our activities!!!

And, I am more then happy to end Monday with The Bachelor and my girlies!!!  Anyone else watching this season?  We love Prince Farming, I mean after all we are bunch of Midwestern girls:)

What's your scoop?
Link up with 

Morning Tubs

A few weeks ago I came across a post about Morning Work in a Kindergarten Discussion Group, that I belong to.  Someone mentioned that they have Morning Tubs and immediately the alarms went off in my head, this is what I had been looking for!!!  I have struggled lately with finding ways for my kiddos to practice their spelling in self-directed ways, as well as practice math skills and now there was a way to incorporate these two needs into a productive fun time for my kiddos.

I have 6 teams, which would be perfect for a rotation of 3 Spelling buckets and 3 Math buckets.  I decided we would not use them on Monday, as we have a parent volunteer come in and help us with AR tests and well let's admit it Monday's are just a little crazy!

So I started with 6 tubs, thank you Dollar Tree!!!!

Then I created a list of what goes in each tub...
Tub 1: Sticker Spelling
Tub 2: Fancy/Rainbow Spelling
Tub 3: Popsicle Play Doh Spelling
Tub 4: Making 10
Tub 5: Playing Card Math
Tub 6: Bingo Dabber Math

Tub 1
Sticker Spelling

Simple and easy, thanks to the Target Dollar Spot!!!  I got packs of sticker letters anytime I was at Target and I was waiting for the right time to use them.  I cut them up last weekend as we celebrated a 3 day weekend.  I had bought some craft tubs awhile back and they were perfect for holding the letters. I only had 3 (which works for all but one team and they willingly said they could share).  I put some lined paper, 4 copies of our current Spelling list, and the letters into the tub and presto, Sticker Spelling was born!

Tub 2
Fancy/Rainbow Spelling

I will admit after one week, I think I need to spice this tub up!  I thought a full tub of markers and spiral notebooks and free reign to write their Spelling Words would be a hit...but I guess I don't know the mind of a first grader as well as I thought I did.  Back to the drawing board, but until then Fancy/Rainbow Spelling will have to do.

Tub 3 
Popsicle Play Doh Spelling

Who doesn't love Play doh???  Ok well maybe not everyone is fond of it, but I knew my firsties would!!  For this tub, I took popsicle sticks and wrote individual letters of the alphabet on the ends (using both sides).  I then made about 4 or 5 sets for a bag, with a couple extra sets of just vowels.  I made 4 bags of letters and bought a 10 pack of Scentos Scented Dough.  Students will grab some play doh, roll it like a hot dog and find the sticks needed to spell out their words. 

Tub 4
Making 10

We all know how important addition and knowing your facts are and this group for the most part is pretty good at it (they better be, we spent pretty much the first four and a half months of school working on making 10).  As we move into new skills, I thought it would be important to have an opportunity to keep our making 10 skills strong!  This will be a tub, that I change out with different making 10 activities.  Currently, we are using Fill Your Mug Addition Game from 

Tub 5
Playing Card Math

This idea came from Pinterest, however I changed it up a bit.  I bought 4 sets of playing cards (Princess, Minnie Mouse, Spider Man, and the Avengers)  each student takes a set of playing cards and turns over two cards, then takes a white board and writes an addition problem to match the cards and solves it.  Simple and easy, and once again a huge shout out to the Dollar Spot at Target where I got the cards and the white boards!

Tub 6
Bingo Dabber Math

This may be the number favorite of my firsties, I mean who can blame them!  This one is simple and easy!  I purchased Bubble Pop from Jessica Michele, grabbed 4 cookie sheets and red, yellow, blue, green, orange, and purple bingo dabbers from the Dollar Tree and Bingo Dabber Math was ready to go.

 This Wednesday will mark the completion of week 1 of our Morning Tubs.  I plan to continue to make small tweaks and see how things go.  In a few weeks, I will survey the kiddos and see what tubs are not fan favorites and see if maybe they have any ideas!!!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

All good things must come to an end...

Winter Break is ALMOST over!!  Tomorrow we have Teacher's Institute from 8-1 and then kiddos are back on Tuesday.  I have some goals for 2015, I mean who doesn't?  So this is the year to quit just talking about it and do it!  So be prepared to walk inside Room 105 and see the awesomeness that occurs!

I linked up with The Teaching Trio for The Sunday Scoop!

Link up with at the 

I also did some work on a little Number Order center for my Math Workshop kiddos and decided to share it as a freebie!  It is simple and ink friendly!  I plan to use it this week and will hopefully show how it works.  If you are interested, check it out at

Have a great week!!!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year!!

I love fresh starts!  I love having the opportunity to try again and be successful.  This blog is one area, I am going to start again.  Thanks to Farley at Oh' Boy Fourth Grade I get to work on this goal today.

Here's a look at my January 2015 Currently...

I am currently listening to the news and waiting to get back to football!

I am LOVING my time off.  We go back on Monday, but kiddos don't return until Tuesday, I love having a short week when we get back.  I have loved sleeping in and enjoying time with my family and friends.

I am thinking that this is the year I really want to achieve my goals.  2015 is set to be a big year and I want it to be SUCCESSFUL!!

As I have stated multiple times in my past "Currently's", I am adopting a little 2 year old cutie.  Adoption is a LONG process and I had really hoped she would be home for Christmas, but she wasn't.  So I currently stalk  check my email for the notice that everything is approved and I can book my trip to go get her!!!

I am generally a positive/motivated person, however lately I have been discouraged by some unforeseen issues in the adoption process.  I need to make sure I stay focused on the positive!!!

Yes, I will finally have a 2 year old in my house!!!!  Maybe, this will be the year all my goals will be achieved. And, I wish good health and happiness for all my wonderful family and friends....including all of the amazing teachers out there that motivate me DAILY!!!!!

Happy 2015!!!