Thursday, March 15, 2012

Geocaching....Leprechaun Style!

Geo...what?  Geocaching is an outdoor treasure hunt that kids and adults can enjoy.  It allows the students opportunities for problem solving, application of math skills, inferring skills, and can be used with any topic or any skill or level. 
     Generally, we do multiple geocaches through the year.  At this point in the year we still use flags or other items to guide the students.  By the end of the year, we use the school's GPS machines to actually input coordinates and locate "treasures".
      For St. Patrick's Day we do a Leprechaun Geocaching event.  Prior to our geocaching, the students complete math problems and use the problems to break the codes.  These riddles will help them to identify the correct flag color to go to next.  For this we run copies of a leprechaun door hanger.  Then the teachers cut apart all of the pieces and the pieces are placed in caches (boxes).  One of our teachers sets them out across a wide grassy area.  The students move in three different groups.  The key is to have each group start on a different sheet, so that they are moving to different caches and don't bump into the other groups.  At each cache the students take one piece.  As they move from cache to cache they will collect each piece of the door hanger.
      When we come back to the room, the students piece together their "treasure" and color their very own leprechaun!  It is a fun time had by all!

On the HUNT!  This is one group as they headed out for their first flag.

The sheets they are carrying are the pages they completed prior to going Geocaching.  Each riddle gave them a color flag to find.  The bags hold the pieces of their leprechauns as they collect them.
This is an example of the “flags” that the students find.  Each arrow is pointing in a different direction and is a different color.

 Here is the final product!
  Happy Early St. Patrick's Day!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

K-2 Linky Party

K-2 Linky Party
Kindergarten Lifestyle is having a K-2 Linky party for all of the wonderful blogs out there to meet up and help us to find new blogs.  She is going to pin the blogs on Pinterest!

Go to her blog and link up if you are interested!


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Leprechauns, Potato Measurement and More!

     I LOVE St. Patrick's Day for so many reasons...too many to list.   Let's just say that I have worked with some friends who were over in the States working, from Ireland. They laugh at how we have created this day full of leprechauns, pots of gold, and more.  In Ireland, St. Patrick's Day is more of a religious day than anything and definitely not celebrated the same as it is here.  BUT...that doesn't mean that we can't have fun!   
     One of my favorites is talking about Leprechauns.  I love having the kids write about leprechauns and occasionally we have leprechauns that "visit" the room and leave notes and usually a mess!  This year we made these leprechauns and wrote about either what we would do if we were leprechauns or what we would do if we met a leprechaun!  I have had the pattern for the leprechaun for years.  I think it originally came from a Mailbox magazine. 

     This is about the time of year that we teach geometry.  A few years ago, I created a large shamrock that can fit different geometric shapes.  The students fill the shape with the pattern blocks and then use the pattern block template to trace each of the shapes in the spaces.  They color it and we hang them up in our windows for the month of March!

     Another teacher gave me a potato measuring activity a few years ago.  The students bring in a potato from home and they use it during a center.  They measure it in inches, centimeters, and then estimate and weigh the potato.  The sheet the teacher gave me was looking pretty rough and had been copied so many ti mes that it was not good quality anymore.  This year I revamped it.  You can get a copy of it by clicking HERE.   It is pretty basic but it gets the job done!

One of the teachers created this.  All she did was create a paper with an inch strip and a centimeter strip on one paper.  They are in a page protector.  I tape the page protectors on the table and the students just lay the potato on top to do the measurement.  This has seemed to work really well and give accurate measurements.

Monday, March 12, 2012

You Know You Teach First Grade When...

Fun For First is having a linky party! 
There are SO many crazy things that I say and do in the course of a day (even when I am with adults) that show that I am definitely a first grade teacher. I happen to always have a lot of kids in my classes who put their fingers in places they shouldn't be! (Like mouths and noses!!)  So I find myself reminding them by simply saying, "tissue and hand sanitzer".  That way they know what to do and I don't have to call them out by name.   Unfortunately, I am tempted and at times say this to family members/friends who are adults when I see fingers in their mouths or touching their faces!  Oops!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Seuss Week in Review!

        Seuss week is always fun and crazy busy!  This year was a little more fun as I added some new activities that I found by blogstalking and becoming a TPT junkie. 
   This week my class filled up their "foot" poster and so they earned a reward.  We voted on having pajama day yesterday along with our Read-A-Thon!  The Read-A-Thon lasted almost an hour and a half and the kids read with a partner that entire time.  After an hour I mentioned to them how long they had been reading, and they could not believe it!!  It is amazing how much they enjoy to read, when it is truly reading for pleasure! They did a great job and I was very proud of each one of them!

Cat in The Hats!  I love the different whiskers.
      I bought The Lorax Packet from the Clutter Free Classroom's TPT page and I loved it!  I  can't thank her enough.  The kids are so pumped for The Lorax movie to come out that this was a great focus this year.  We wrote about how we would feel or react if we were the Lorax and we even used her adorable mustaches to take photos of ourselves as The Lorax!   Then we created our own Truffula Trees with construction paper and tissue paper.  They turned out really cute. :)  The packet also included some other great activities to go along with the book. 

       I also did some great math activities with One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish. I purchased a unit called Fish Math from The Teachers' Cauldron's TPT page.  Instead of using actual Goldfish Crackers, I copied the fish sheet on colored construction paper.  The students made a bar graph, pictograph, and wrote sentences analyzing the data.  The best part was that the packet has differentiated activities.  Seven out of my 21 first graders are able to multiply and some of them can divide. This packet had addition problems on some activities and multiplication on others.  This was GREAT because the differentiation was already done for me!!
          Yesterday and today all of the first grade classes rotated to the different teachers.  Each teacher did a different Seuss activity with the kiddos!  Some of the wonderful activiteis were, on the laptop computers, creating a creature that would have been seen on Mulberry Street, juggling with scarves, making Oobleck, creating a Horton (which turned out super cute), graphing different colored goldfish crackers, dancing with the Fox in Socks, and of course eating Green Eggs and Ham!!  The kids LOVE rotating to the different teachers and having such a wide variety of experiences. 

I hope your Read Across America Day/week went well!

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