Thursday, February 23, 2012

American Symbols

Hello Parents!
Sorry this was not posted last week, but we did get through everything!  We have had a busy week of school trying to finish up our American Symbols unit created by Deanna Jump.  Here are some pictures of our symbols we have covered so far.

Here is our tree map of four American Symbols (flag, bald eagle, Liberty Bell, Statue of Liberty).

Here are our American flags with fingerprint stars!

This bald eagle looks a little crabby : ).

Sorry for the blurry picture.  Our Liberty Bells.

These Statue of Liberty projects took much longer to prep than to put together!

Here we are measuring how tall the Statue of Liberty is (305 ft.!)  We were going to measure in the hall, but since it was such a nice day I thought we would go outside.  We measured from the corner of Starr and Eddy all the way to about the crosswalk!  We also saw how big her feet are (25 feet). 
We did this today and it was too cute not to post.  We made George Washington (thank you Cara Carroll! for the idea).  We also wrote one fact in a telling sentence and one fact in an asking sentence.  Ask your child which asking and telling facts they chose.  We also studied Abe Lincoln today, but will not have time to do a project honoring him.  Ask your child what they learned about Abraham Lincoln.  I could not believe how interested they were on both presidents!

Finally this will be our assessment I created once we get through George Washington and Abe Lincoln hopefully by tomorrow. 

A look ahead for next week- Dr.Seuss activities March 2nd
Week of March 5- Dental Health
Week of March 12- Spring!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

Wow!  Valentine's Day 2012 is officially over and boy do your children have energy!!  It really was not bad at all.  I love the fact that they were so excited for the activities I planned.  Every holiday I try to make all the math, writing, and language thematic and today is one of my favorites!

Here are our valentine bags we worked so hard on.

For this activity we guessed what the most common color of candy hearts would be in the bag.  Then we chose one heart out of the bag at a time, tallied them, counted them up, and wrote why we thought the most common color was the most common.

In this activity we took our hearts and tallied up each letter.  When we were finished we counted up all the tallies.  My goal was to see who would automatically use the cross tally after every four- You can check your child's sheet to see if they did or not. 

Graphing their hearts.

Measurement activity using their hearts.

Building words using hearts with beginning and ending parts of words.  Then they recorded the words on the sheet.

We finished off the day with a word search while they enjoyed their hearts.

The average amount of frosting on each cookie : )

The average amount of sprinkles on each cookie : )

I allowed them to choose one piece of candy to eat and then they had to take the rest home.  So now you know how much sugar they ate today!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Circles Reading Group

Dear Parents,
During guided reading one of the groups is currently reading a world atlas resource guide.  We have already talked about the United States (Pacific Ocean, western US, eastern US, Atlantic Ocean, capital cities, map key and how to read them).  Today we talked about Antarctica and the Arctic.  A couple students requested this website on ice caps to view from home.  These pictures are amazing and the students are very motivated and want to learn more!

Ice Caps

A few reminders:
-please remember to send all snow gear to school.  We are still in winter and the weather is not going to stay this nice until spring.

- Our Valentine's Day party is Tuesday next week.  I am planning on making the cookies and decorating them again.  I have frosting left over and have a ton of sprinkles at my home.  We will be playing math and literacy center games as well as completing some valentine literacy projects.

-Love Lunch will be Monday and Tuesday next week.  Please be prompt.  If you are coming Feb. 13 (Monday) be here by 11:40.  If you are coming Feb. 14 (Tuesday) please be here 11:45.  You can wait for your child right outside the classroom door.  They have recess first and then will be coming in to wash up for lunch.

-Also in honor of Valentines we are going to wear either red or white on Tuesday. 

Have a great weekend!

Mrs. Parker

Thursday, February 9, 2012


Something is going on with my blogs so this is just a test to see if I can post.

Monday, February 6, 2012

What a 100th Day!!

Today was one of my favorite days to teach- the 100th day!!
The kids all had a blast talking about 100 ALL DAY!!  We did not finish up a few more math activities I had planned so I may send them home for the math weekly homework tomorrow. 

I knew I was not going to finish all my 100th day activities today so I put everything in a book so they could take it home and finish.

For this activity we worked on making ten groups of ten colored dots to equal 100.  I found this cute activity from Julie Lee on tpt.

                                                                 The final product!

We completed a 100th day Lab.  Here they had to look at the bag of candy corn, craft sticks, and bears then decide which bag had more than 100, less than 100, and exactly 100 items in it.  Can you guess? : )

After looking at each bag they cut out more, less, and exactly sentences and glued each one next to their prediction.  I was pleasantly surprised how well they did.  The majority was correct for each item. 

Then, we graphed our class data for each item.  This graph shows that two students thought there were more than 100 craft sticks in the bag, four thought there were less than 100 craft sticks in the bag, and eleven thought there were exactly 100 craft sticks in the bag.

Now, when I chose the items I wanted a smaller item to have more than 100 items, a larger item to have less than 100, and then a more challenging item to have 100.  When I asked the students why they chose what they did many of them were right on with their reasoning.  Some even related this to our "Beans" Lab back in Unit 9 (the smaller items takes up less space than the larger items). 

Now if I did not have this blog I am sure this is the only activity you would hear about!  As I was having them dump all their snacks in the bowl I wondered if we would have 100 cavities just in time for our dental health unit :).  I sure hope not! I would suggest they brush well tonight anyway!

One last note- I made a mental goal today to make sure your child is packing up better.  I found so many old papers in many of the bins that I know things need to change.  If you see many papers come home today from your child it is because I cleaned out their bin.  I have already talked to them about changing this, but I don't think it could hurt for you to talk with them as well.  We have some very competitive people in the room that love to be first at everything! 

Valentine list was sent home today.  Look for details of the party to be sent home tomorrow or Wed.

Feel free to leave some feedback on the website as well as any suggestions you may have for me. 


Mrs. Parker

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Early spring?

 Hello and Happy Groundhog Day!

Well it looks like Phil the groundhog saw his shadow, but Jimmy the groundhog in Madison did not so I am going with Jimmy!  Early spring it is!!

We had a day full of groundhog activities in the classroom.  After guided reading we started a writing project where they were asked to explain what their burrow would look like if they were groundhogs.  We discussed how the ground would feel at this time of the year and what we would need to be comfortable underground.  At this time of year first graders still struggle with adding detail in their writing.  The focus was correcting punctuation and making sure uppercase letters were used only when needed.  It seems like I am constantly reminding them to put capital letters at the beginning of sentences and change the capitals from uppercase to lowercase between words.  : )

I found this groundhog activity from Cara Carroll (The First Grade Parade) online and the kids just loved it. 

If you can't read this writing it says, "This is my burrow.  It is warm and cozy.  My bed is made and floor is clean!"  - Too cute : )

Here is a picture of the groundhog's burrow.  See the groundhog climbing the ladder- even a smile on his face.  Great detail with the lights, butterfly decor on the wall, a bathroom (brown box), and blocks and a Barbie to play with (orange).

Here is what the project looked like with the groundhog head (made out of three hearts).

Here are the groundhog hats we made at the end of the day.

We also worked on measurement for math today.  We measured the groundhog shadows in inches and also measured lines in centimeters.  It went along great with our Trailblazers lesson about Goldilocks and the Three Rectangles.  In that lesson we measured the length, width, and area of three rectangles to see who was the "biggest."  

Our morning was all Language Arts which includes guided reading.  Please make sure your child is bringing home their guided reading books EVERY night.  Even if your child has the book basically memorized they still need to read at night to practice fluency.  When they do not read at night eventually the text will get too challenging and fluency along with comprehension will suffer.  I tell them they should be reading at a normal talking voice pace, Goldilocks style- not too fast or too slow.  When they are finished reading check their understanding of the story by asking questions about the characters, setting, plot, beginning, middle , end of story, and so on. 

Please feel free to leave feedback about this site and what else you would like to see posted. 


Mrs. Parker

Something New!

Hello Parents!

There are so many times I wish I could have better communication with all of you about all the fun things we are doing each week.  If your child is anything like mine you have a hard time getting anything out of them about what they did in school each day.  Hopefully this blog will give you a better idea!  My goal is to post each week and to provide even a few pictures if everything all works out.  I am somewhat new to the blogging world.  Sometimes those pictures and links just make me feel my age!  My blog design will hopefully change as soon as I figure out how!  Any experts out there?  I would love some advice.

I am not planning to post pictures of your children on this site, just examples of their work. 

This is a great way to have family members follow what is going on in the classroom as well.  There is an option to follow my blog so you will be updated with all new postings.

I do have another blog where you can catch up on first grade math I have been teaching in the classroom.  This blog was created as a teacher resource, but everything I post I am teaching in the classroom.  That site is


Mrs. Parker