Wednesday, 31 October 2012


While I am awaiting the arrival of some trick-or-treaters, I have decided to blog (alongside a LARGE glass of wine)! HAHA. WHAT-A-DAY!
Today was black and orange day. I decided to go with a Spider Fascinator. It was a hit. Children were telling me I had a spider on my head all day. I would scream and say "REALLY? Get it off! Get it off!" Oh the joys. 

Spider Fascinator

Since Halloween is such a crazy day, three of us decided to rotate classrooms. I planned a "preposition of place" scavenger hunt, another teacher planned sing-a-longs and the other had his wife come in (she's a librarian) to read to the kids! It was awesome! The morning flew by! The kids had a blast!

 How cute are these cookies one of the mums made!?! Adorable!

A few days ago, we started these Halloween Treat Bags... and we finished them today. One side of the bag was the Element of Design: Various Lines. On the other, the students created a halloween scene with foam pieces.

We had a student of the month/spirit assembly.... so this last activity was a last memory of the day. I took a picture this morning in our black and orange and had them developed at lunch. We decorated frames (purchased at Target) and voila!
(This was their "treat" from me :)

Tomorrow we're going to do a few Post-Halloween writing activities from blogger Heather Law. Check out some writing prompt freebies {here}. 
I am also going to have the kids create a Class Book-- "What Do Pumpkins Do After Halloween?" We'll try out our new descriptive words and get creative.

Lots of math activities done this week and throughout the next few days. I'll post about that this weekend.
Until then....

Enjoy your Halloween Night, everyone! :)

Friday, 26 October 2012

5 Senses Nature Walk, 4 in a Row Math & Idea Trait Writing

We started our week off enjoying the awesome weather our area was blessed with. In order to expand our senory writing, we took a little nature walk to a near by park and took in all the sights & sounds. It was such an awesome day. The kids took their handy clipboards with them and jotted down pictures and/or words about the 5 senses (minus taste).

 In math class, we have been practicing our addition (doubles and near doubles), as well as quick facts. We have been using a math game that I found at

You will need:
1 game board printed and laminated
1 die (yes die is the singular, dice is the plural)

Coloured counters for each player e.g. Player 1 = red Player 2 = green.
How to Play:
1. Player 1 rolls the die.
2. Player 1 answers the algorithm with the same number as shown on the die.
3. Place one coloured counter on the answered algorithm if read correctly
4. The winner is the first player to gets 4 counters in a row either vertically, horizontally or diagonally.

 The students are responsible for creating the Math Words for the Math Board. They seem more apt to use the words when they are creating them and refer to them more often.

Last week I posted our non-fiction reading and writing about "SPIDERS". Here is how ours turned out. Super cute!

I am currently teaching the "Idea Trait" to both grades. We have been working on brainstorming ideas and then putting our ideas in a cohesive piece of writing. This week we read the book "Dog's Don't Wear Sneakers" by Laura Numeroff. This book is all the silly things we do not see in our everyday lives.
I used this awesome idea from:
The students then brainstormed their own silly ideas and presented them to class. The class then voted on the funniest. They were then given a sheet to write their funny idea and illustration. They LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this.... and laughed so hard! We will be assembling a class book this week with all of their ideas.

Here are some cute ones....... Frogs don't take x-rays.

Horses don't wear underwear.

                            Horses don't eat cheese.                     Platypus' don't ride skateboards.

Word Study: Around the room SHORT E search with a partner. I used these vowel search sheets and vowel songs (which I put into the students independent reading boxes at the beginning of each week as an additional piece of reading) from

Looking forward to a fun HALLOWEEN week! I will be printing off and laminating our K&C Preposition of Place Halloween Scavenger Hunt, as well as finishing our Line Art & Halloween Scene Treat Bags.... Which I will post as soon as I take some snapshots.
Have a great weekend!

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Literacy and Math Blocks

Went into the school today and cleaned things up from last week, set up centres and prepared my lessons and activities for tomorrow.  We are making butter in the class tomorrow for our pioneer unit.  I am doing a chapter study in the class with the story Little House in the Big Woods and the students are just loving the descriptive writing and how different things were back then.  The students have been making some incredible comparisons and connections.  For the butter, I am putting cream in a mason jar and having the students shake it as I read.  I have dinner rolls to eat the butter with later in the day after it has had a chance to chill. Can't wait. 

Here are the break downs of the math and literacy block I spoke of yesterday.  This really helps me to try and fit things into such a large block of time without having the students sit too long.  Let's face it, it's still grade three and they need to move. 

Spiders & Candy Corn Math

As metioned in my last post, this week we did a little non-fiction reading, as well as a little 3D art. Together, we read National Geographic Kid- SPIDERS.

We then made a list of the facts we learned, as a class.

Then the students created a fact sheet. Grades ones needed to write 2-3 facts and the grade twos wrote down 4 facts.

Grade 2

Grade 1

Our final product will be put together this week. Our facts will accompany our 3D spider webs.
I purchased this unit from tunstall times TPT store and tweeked it a little to fit into the grade one and two curriculum.

We also played ROLL & REMOVE to practice our quick addition facts.

Here are the kids playing it with Candy Corn this week:

{Here} is the Roll & Remove Game Board I created if any of you are interested.
You will need 2 dice for each pair. Place small cubes or markers (candy corn) and place it above the number. Roll the dice and add the two numbers together and remove the marker from the answer. The goal is to clear the game board.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend :)

Saturday, 20 October 2012


“The best part of life is not just surviving, but thriving with passion and compassion and humor and style and generosity and kindness.”
Maya Angelou (born 1928)

Came across this the other day and with how things have been since the beginning of the school year thought this was appropriate. Lately it does feel like I am just surviving.  Which can be looked at as a good thing because it means I am keeping afloat. 

Staying afloat is all about a balance.  Finally in the classroom things are starting to balance out.  Routines are finally established and the students are starting to make simple transitions from one activity to the next without the loss of time. It was hard not to compare this year to last year and to be disappointed. I was at this stage by the end of September not the end of October.  Don't give up if things aren't just there yet, it happened for me and it will for you. I am including copies of my reading and writing block and a math block I have come up with. These have really helped me make the best use of large blocks of time. (when i say including them, I mean they will be up tomorrow, as I have left them at my school and will upload the pictures of them when I go in to plan)  Up until now we maybe have accomplished half of what I set out to do in a day.  Lately with the quicker transition we can accomplish more.  The students seem to have little time to get bored and like the movement from one activity/assignment to the other.  I have included some pictures of my word centres that I bought last year from Miss Nelson called Spelling and Word Work 102.  The students just love them and complete one rotation in just about 10 minutes.  

~ Christine ~

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Delicious Parts of a Story!

Ok... so it's 8-1 for the Detroit Tigers, so I guess I can sit back and relax now. hehe.
This week we worked on parts of a story {Characters, Setting, Problem & Solution}. I read the book "Enemy Pie" to the kids and then made "story pies"--some apple some pumpkin :) This kids loved it. They have replaced our fishies outside of our room-- I will post that this weekend, along with our Fall Writing Bulletin Board.

The grade ones worked on making sentences. Found some making sentence activities on Mrs. I's Class Blog:

We also began talking about the difference between Non-Fiction & Fiction texts. We read about frogs yesterday, but we going to begin a week long study on spiders.... just in time for Halloween. I have purchased Reagan Tunstall's Spider Week Package:

On another note, I had two students away in Florida the past couple weeks, so I finally got to use our Absent Student Package. It worked out awesome! I had some nice comments back from the parents saying how organized it was and easy to catch up on what their children had missed:

I'm sure I'll post more this weekend when I need to procrastinate report card writing!!

Sunday, 14 October 2012

K&C Halloween Scavenger Hunt

Looking for a fun activity that guarantees FUN?!
Here is a Halloween Scavenger Hunt that is fun and helps children understand the "Prepositions of Place."
Click {Here} for more info!

Saturday, 13 October 2012

This Week in Grade 1/2... Science, Descriptive Writing and a Little Math.

This week was another busy one. I am sure I will be singing that tune all year, as it doesn't seem to be slowing down at all. Probably my fault, as I am a little anal when it comes to planning and making sure both grades get the most out of their year (despite the split).

This week we added some descriptive writing to our Fall Tree paintings (see last weeks post). Together, we brainstormed things we see and hear throughout the season. The kids shocked me and came up with AWESOME words and ideas. I created a grade one and grade two sheet writing sheet.

Our morning messages this week were all about editing. I tried to use words that I often see spelt wrong in their work so that they begin to recognize their own errors.

Each week we have been creating at least one reading response entry as a class. We have started very basic (as you can see below). Each week, we read a new book and begin to add more detail to our responses. Next week the plan is to make a pie craftivity and start finding big ideas in the book Enemy Pie.

Finally getting a partial grip on both science curriculums. Grade Ones are studying Daily & Seasonal Changes and Grade Twos, Air & Water in the Environment.

Below is the brainstorm I did with the grade ones. We learned about the months of the year and what types of weather we see. They then made a book entitled "My House All Year Long," which I found on the teacher wife blog.

The grade twos worked on "keeping our air clean." We went outside and hid 10 cue cards around the school yard. We left them there for a week. This week we went to find them.... only a few cards survived. We took them inside and investigated them. Below are some of our results and our "lab report". Hehe...

In math, we have begun working in our Math Journals. A key element in making my math program work is having one grade working on these journals, while I teach a lesson to the other. I also get to see how they think independently to solve different problems. I have created a package of October Math Journal Prompts thatI use on a daily basis with my grade ones & twos. You can pick them up {HERE}.

Have a great weekend, everyone! :)