A Writing Celebration, A Freebie, and Some Dreidels - Just Another Week In First Grade :)

Welcome to FRIDAY!

After such a long break last week for Turkey Day, you would think I would be well rested and rearing to go, but to be honest, I am EXHAUSTED!  So ready for the weekend, so I can recharge!  Before I get started on the weekly recap, I want to take a quick minute to say THANK YOU, to all of those who celebrated  TPT's cyber Monday sale and purchased one of my products!  I want to say an extra special THANKS to those of you who left some TPT feedback!  I love to hear what people say about my products!  Here's one that made my night!

1.  Personal Narrative Writing Celebration!

I know I have talked a lot about Lucy this fall, but I had to share how happy I am that we are finished with our first unit!  I think I mentioned before that my district is only using 2 of the 4 units this year (personal narrative and opinion) and we will do all 4 next year.  This has given us some extra time to get to know "Lucy" and own it.  While teaching this unit was challenging, I have to say how incredibly proud I am of the progress ALL of my first graders made during this unit.  And even though I  COMPLAINED a ton about the pre and post on-demand writing assessment (and how stressful it was for my firsties), having such a clear comparison of before and after was AMAZING and I can't wait to make a graph of my data (wait - DID I JUST SAY THAT??)

Here is a panoramic picture of the celebration banner I made for the share.  I tried to make the room a little more exciting and fun for the share to show how special it really was!  This pic isn't from my room, but from my WONDERFUL friend and collaborator, Melanie.  She used the same banner and has better IPhone Photo skills than I :)

The kids LOVED sharing their stories and giving out compliments to their classmates.  It was fun and reinvigorating!  Makes me feel happy about the next writing challenge that begins next week!

2.  Random Acts of Kindness - FREEBIE!!

Last year, the whole Sandy Hook tragedy really rattled me.  I couldn't talk about it without getting teary for a least a week and I am NOT a crier!  I found someone who made some Random Acts of Kindness cards for kids to use and I tried them out last year.  The ones I found were made for a parent to use with a child, so they needed to be modified to use with a classroom, but it was still fun and I felt the kids got a lot out of it.  This year, I wanted to make some cards that I could use ready made in my room (and a few I may not get to, but would like to).  They are free in my TPT store (but if you download this please consider following my store and/or leaving feedback on TPT).  Check them out HERE.  

Here's a sneak peek...

3.  Dreidel Fun!

So, I am a little LOT late for Hanukkah.  I feel bad.  We talked about it before Thanksgiving and all this week, but we never made our dreidel books until today.  It didn't seem to matter to the kiddos though, they LOVED the craft books we made (and are now hanging in our room).  I modified this from a craft I found in a book, so it's not available on TPT, but maybe if I learn how to make the dreidel clip art I can put a craftivity up for next year!

4.  Sleigh Sorting Math Facts

I LOVE Cara Carroll from The First Grade Parade.  She has some great Math Tubs units that I have always wanted to check out, but never have.  To be honest I wasn't sure exactly what a math tub was.  Turns out they are centers! I purchased her Merry and Bright Math Tubs and have been using them this week to supplement my math lessons.  We did the Trim A Tree clock matching game (time to the half hour) and then yesterday we sorted math facts with sums from 7-12.  The best part of this math sort was that kids had to do addition, subtraction, and recognize numbers on a ten frame.  
Here's a picture of one group's sort. 

5.  Informational Text Intro

How many of you called informational text nonfiction before the CCSS came out?  I know I did!  I still catch myself calling it nonfiction :)  This week we started exploring informational texts.  We started off just noticing some things that were new in informational texts (table of contents, index, glossary, etc.).  Then we spent a couple of days exploring specific text features.  The kids just ATE this up!  Here is the anchor chart I made.  I want to tell you where I got these pieces (I know they were free), but I made it last year, and don't have the file or link anymore.  

 Stay tuned for more informational text activities next week!

Thanks for reading about our week.  How was yours?  What are you up to this weekend!  Headed out to a Toys for Tots party tomorrow night and the Little Lady is having a sleep over at Gram and Nonno's.  Which means I can sleep in a bit on Sunday!  (And I have a little extra time to figure out what that silly elf will be up to!)  What has your elf done so far?  Hopi Hopi has left a shopping list, threw cottonballs all over her bed, hooked up a zipline, hung her undies up on the stockings, and played hockey with a marshmallow and candy cane!

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