Saturday, September 28, 2013

Apples, Apples, Apples!

I just love apple week! I've noticed many of you do as well. Hooray for apples! They make learning fun!I'll talk all about that in a minute, but something interesting happened yesterday.

My principal apparently read my blog! Um, that was embarrassing! LOL! I did not expect that at all, so that conversation was interesting. It caught me off guard so I sounded like an idiot, again. I think he likes to make me squirm. I like to stay quietly behind the scenes, so I didn't really want anyone around here to know about my blog, etc. Well, that cat's out of the bag. I should have expected it, but I liked being anonymous in the world wide web. :) So Mr. YouKnowWhoYouAre. Shoo! You make me nervous! :) :) :)

I love my blog though. It helps me remember the fun things we do each year. I love writing, and I love sharing. So, thankfully, I love my job, my school, and my kiddos. My blog is squeaky clean, so I guess it doesn't matter who reads it, right?!  I'll just pretend to be oblivious to readers I might know. :)

So, on to apples. We had a great week. In fact, we had so many apples sent in that we get to do more next week! Yippee!

We ate lots of apple products. We had one or two things a day, rather than one big apple tasting day. I like it better this way, and they really get to enjoy the things they try, rather than stuffing it all in. We had the 3 different colors of apples, apple bread, apple chips, dried apples, apple butter, apple juice, apple jacks, apple pie, etc. We even made our own applesauce and wrote all about it. They loved that. It was easy, and it tasted yummy! Crockpots are awesome!

We also did some cute writing all about apples, but I forgot to take a picture of that since it was hanging in the hallway. I'll try to remember to come back and do that next week. 

We made the parts of an apple all together and then they made it on their own. I did this last year so I didn't take a picture of that, but I'll add last year's pictures for you to see.

We also graphed our apples. Notice that everyone liked at least one type! Woohoo! That's a miracle! We have some picky kiddos, that's for sure! I had 2 that had never tried an apple before! Amazing! 

We did an experiment to see what would help an apple stay yellow, instead of turning brown. Yes, I had to use Root Beer because the only other soda I had was Sprite, and I thought the lemon in that would keep the apple yellow. LOL. We used soda, milk, water, and lemon. We got the experiment sheet from Her Applelicious Activities Packet is great.

For math, we graphed our seeds and then practiced subtraction problems with the seeds to introduce subtraction in a fun, tactile way. 

It was a fun week. Next week is our last week before Fall Break. I get to get observed, a student teacher is coming to watch us one day, and we have our field trip to the apple orchard. It will be a busy, filled up week!

Be fun and fabulous!
~Mrs. Sweeney

Sunday, September 22, 2013

It's Done!

Woohoo! FINALLY! My Math Common Assessments are all done! I have all of the Operations and Algebraic Thinking and Numbers and Operation in Base Ten complete and ready for you! Whew! That was a lot of work, but they will be worth it for both myself and all of you. It will save us a lot of time and headache, and it's a great way to have that important data that is always needed. I will be combining the packets into one which will be 48 pages worth of Common Core goodness, but for now, I've put both packets on sale! They are both 20% off in my store for the next 3 days. Now is your chance to get them while they are cheap!  :) The year has just begun and we have a lot of assessing to do. Might as well get that monkey off your back so all you have to worry about is the actual giving of the assessment, rather than making your own or finding one here and there. These are all in one place, plus there are so many options to choose from. You can do smaller assessments for a quick look at your student's progress. You can give an in-depth one that covers everything on the standard. You can re-teach and retest with the Form B, etc. Many, many options. I hope to save you some time and headache. Your life will definitely be easier, at least where Math is concerned. :)

Plus, did I mention they are on sale for 3 days! Get them while they are hot! 

Be fun and fabulous!
~Mrs. Sweeney

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Fun, Fun, Fun

What a fun week we've had. Of course, my camera is at school, so I will come back and add pictures later, but for now, let's blog! remember that time when I used to blog just about every day. Whew! Now, I'm good to do once a week. Oh, the summer life. :)

We are talking about living and non-living things this week. Such fun! We love learning about this. We started out learning our "It is Living" song. They love it, and it helps remind them of the characteristics of living things. We watched a powerpoint, a video, and sorted objects. We also learned a poem about worms. It's pretty cute, and it talks about eating worms, so they love that! We are also writing about worms this week. They are doing a great job. It's amazing how so many of them think that a worm is not living because it can be easily killed. We started our writing by reading Diary of a Worm and then trying to decide if a worm was living or not. This was before we had talked about living things at all, so they really had to use their brains. I had several say they weren't living because they shrivel up and die in the sun or people can squish them, or they can get cut in half. Boy, they are experts now, though! :)  Today was the best day yet. I brought in real, live worms and gummy worms. I put them on a plate and let them explore! They loved comparing and contrasting them. It really helped them see the difference in living and non-living. They LOVED it. Even my scaredy cats who didn't want to touch them. :)  Worms are fun. :)

We also had 2 fire drills this week. They were long, BUT we found a little friend. A turtle kept coming to visit outside our classroom! Perfect timing, little turtle! We got to watch him and decide what made him living. I do have a picture of this because I took it with my phone. :)

Yesterday, we met after school at a park and had a class meet and greet. Such fun! I started doing that when Shy Guy started Kindergarten because I wanted to see who he hung out with every day. I've done it every year since for both of my boys and for my classes. I love it, the parents love it, and the kids really love it! We didn't have as good a turn out this year. We were supposed to have the party last week but it decided to do a torrential downpour 30 minutes before the party so I had to reschedule. Yesterday was great weather and the kids loved coming to play. They talked about it all day today. :)

We loved making our Living Tree. I make it every year and the kids love it. They get to create, while showing what they learned. They get to pick their own living thing, make it out of construction paper, however they want to, and then write about why it is a living thing. Then we display it on our living tree for a couple of weeks.

I can't wait until Friday. Our county does a big Reading in the Schools Day once a year. It's a big deal where we celebrate reading. I am one of the coordinators for this in my school. I LOVE this day. It's fun, it promotes reading, it gets the kids excited to read, and  the community gets involved. We ask parents, grandparents, community leaders, football players, firemen, etc. to come in and read to our classes. It's a whole day of reading! What could be better, ESPECIALLY in a school! We are going to start the day off with a school wide book parade. Our class is doing the book "Rainbow Fish".  They loved the story and loved making their "costumes". I can't wait!

Next week will be lots of fun, too! It's Apple Week!

Hopefully, this weekend I will get my other Math Common Assessment packet finished. I just haven't had any time at all to work on it. My goal is this weekend! Be on the look out!

Be fun and fabulous!

~Mrs. Sweeney

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Budding Blogger

I am linking up with I {heart} Recess for the Budding Blog Linky Party. I started teacher blogging this summer and love it! Of course, I've slacked off a bit since school started, but now that we are calming down a bit, I hope to be back in full swing soon. I have lots of plans for some cool new things, and can't wait to share. I hope you become a follower to see what fabulous things our class can come up with!

Here are the answers to my questions. :)

1. Why did you start blogging?
     I love reading other teaching blogs to get ideas and fun, new products. A few of my teacher friends told me I should start a blog, as well. I put it off for a while, and then this summer I decided to bite the bullet. I didn't think it would amount to much, but I love writing, and I love putting my ideas down, even if it is just for myself. I did it, and I love it! I love sharing what we do and my ideas, and I hope it helps someone else in the process. 

2. What is your favorite subject to teach and why?
     I love pretty much all of it! I guess my very favorite is Writing, with Reading and Social Studies being a close second. I love that when they come in to first grade, they can barely write 2 sentences, and by the time they leave, they can write a whole page or more. I love seeing how much they grow and how they go from inventive spelling, to real words. I love that they use punctuation, and adjectives. They get so excited to write more and more. I also LOVE all the fun lessons that we can do in writing. It's my favorite time of the day!

3. Describe your teaching style.
    I am very hands on and activities oriented. I love getting them up and involved. We sing a song or do actions  to something (anything!) several times a day. I love it when they have fun and don't even realize they are learning. 

4. Give three interesting facts about you.
    Hmm. Let's see. I sing and dance in a women's a capella group. I am pretty shy and quiet in real life, but I love performing, so it shocks people a lot of the time. 

     I've lived in several different states. My dad was in the Navy, so we moved a lot. I went to 3 different schools my 3rd grade year. I don't remember 3rd grade at all, and my ability to do fractions shows that! :)

    I hate to talk on the phone. I pretty much don't answer unless it is my husband. I like to see people and their faces. I love email and texting though.

5. Do you have a TpT store? If yes, post the link :)
    Yep! I just started that this year too. I have lots of free things too, so go check it out. I love new followers!

                                  My TpT Store

Thanks for offering this linky party, Jess!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Short and Sweet

Whew! I am tired! I've been working all weekend on my newest product, and you will love it!!


Yep! All the Assessments you need to assess student mastery of the Common Core Standards in Numbers and Operations in Base Ten. This is a 23 page mega assessment tool. Everything you need to get all those pesky assessments out of the way.

I am also almost done with my assessment packet for Operations and Algebraic Thinking as well. Woohoo!

Each standard has it's own short and sweet assessment and a follow up assessment that you can give if the first one wasn't quite mastered. There is also a student mastery checklist, and so much more.

Included in this packet are assessments for the following First Grade Standards:
Numbers and Operations in Base Ten

Go check it out! It will save you lots of time and headache.

Happy Assessing!

Be fun and fabulous!

~Mrs. Sweeney