Thursday, May 29, 2014

Teaching Fractions with The Little Red Hen

If you've followed my blog for awhile, you might remember this post from last year. When I taught first grade, I loved teaching math! I never thought I'd say that because I am so not a math person and I absolutely adore reading, but first grade math is fun! Fractions were my favorite thing to teach and I did a great lesson last year that really helped my kids understand the concept of fractions. We read the book The Little Red Hen Makes a Pizza and created our own hens and pizza. Then we divided our pizzas in fourths and pretend to share a fraction of it with a friend. They LOVED this and using a real life example helped them understand what 1/4 or 3/4 meant. You can find this craft and more in my mini unit on fractions. :)

Grab your copy here!


Monday, May 26, 2014

How to Store Anchor Charts

I've always gotten a lot of emails asking how I keep up with all the anchor charts I create and up until this year I couldn't give you an answer. When I taught first grade, I was in a really small classroom that had NO cabinet space. There was a row of small cabinets on one wall that were too little to keep anything big in and they were so deep that lots of stuff unfortunately got crammed into the back and I could never find it. The tall cabinets at the front of the room didn't offer much storage either. A friend sent me a pic of how she stored her anchor charts and I thought it was a brilliant idea! She attached command hooks to the back of a cabinet door and hung her charts. Genius! The only problem was that my cabinet doors weren't big enough. 
Fast forward to this year when I moved to fifth grade and upgraded to a bigger classroom with, you guessed it!, bigger cabinets. I cannot tell you what a difference all these cabinets have made. I am able to store EVERYTHING in them and the doors now hold all my anchor charts. I'm not longer throwing them away and recreating them year after year. Love! 

Just look past that mess crammed into the cabinets. In my defense they don't normally look that bad. We have to get all our stuff up off the floor so they can wax the floors every summer so in the cabinets all the junk went. My next project is tackling that mess! 

Do you have a clever solution to storing anchor charts? Leave a comment and let us know! :)

Sunday, May 25, 2014

This Week's Favorite Pins

It's time for this week's favorite pins. Let's jump right in, shall we? :)

I LOVE the idea of bordering anchor charts! These would be perfect for this. It not only would be good for anchor charts, but also for displaying student word! Love, love, love! This idea was from The Pinspired Teacher and you can find it, along with tons of other fabulous ideas, here!)

I am always looking for ways to store centers, and so many times I find myself tucking activities away and not being able to recall where I put them. I love the idea of attaching the cover page to a file folder and sticking the activities right in each folder. Makes it super easy for the kids to use them too! This idea came from Hope King over at Second Grade Shenanigans, but you can find this post over at Blog Hoppin'

Anchor Charts in a binder. I always say I'm going to do this and place it where the students can reference it when needed during independent work, but I NEVER do it! I'm adding this neat idea so hopefully it will stick this time! This pin originates from a blog called Chartchums.  

This pin is probably the most used pin I've ever pinned. I am CONSTANTLY referring to this Ashley Hughes' collection of classrooms. If you are planning a classroom redo this summer, you MUST check it out! My classroom from several years ago is included, just so you know ;) 

What a great use of paint chips?? The three sections make it super easy for kids to find their username and password :) Love! This genius idea came from Little Treasures

Have a pin you want featured? Email me!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Summertime Makes Me Happy

Oh, summer. How I have missed you! I love teaching, but boy do I love my summers! This is a time to recharge and get re-inspired. My first year in fifth grade was absolutely wonderful! I'm excited to go into my second year knowing a lot more about fifth grade reading and language arts. I remember feeling a lot more confident in my second year in teaching first grade, so I'm hoping this will be the same. For now though, I plan on working on my tan while catching up on some fun beach reads! :)
When do you get out for summer?   

Sunday, May 18, 2014

New Series: Favorite Pins

Hi friends! I'm starting a new series on this blog called "This Week's Favorite Pins". In this series, which will be posted every Sunday, I'll highlight some of my favorite educational pins of the week. Since this is Life in First Grade, most of the pins will be something that pertains to lower grades. If you want to see upper grade pins, I'll be posting my weekly favs over on Life in Fifth Grade. :) You can find all my weekly favorite pins on this board. Each week, I'll add the pins to this board so you'll be able to go back and check out EVERY neat idea. You can find the source of each pin by clicking on the link below the picture. Let's jump into the first edition of this new fun series! 

I've discovered how wonderful task cards are this year and I am in LOVE with this idea from Teaching with Task Cards. Target Dollar Spot always has these great mini coupon organizers and they are perfect for storing task cards!

Isn't this next idea simply genius?? You could do this with so many different things. Love! The pin was dead, so if you are the owner of this idea and pic, let me know so I can give you credit! 

Do you see a pattern with these pins? I am obsessed with organizing ideas right now. I'm determined to make my classroom more organized next year so I can just pull out exactly what I need instead of searching everywhere. How great is this? Perfect for separating specific colors and using them for math problems. 

Okay, after finding this next pin, I immediately wanted to run out and purchase command hooks and a curtain rod to make it.  The idea came from the blog Fun with Firsties. Simply fabulous! I am constantly looking for a way to display anchor charts without removing the paper from the entire chart and this would work perfect. Love! 

Want to see the entire collection of my weekly favorite pins? Visit the board here! :) And don't forget to check back next Sunday for new favorite pins! :)

Monday, May 5, 2014

TpT Appreciation SALE!

Who doesn't love a sale! My entire TpT shop will be on sale Tuesday and Wednesday! Click here to shop and be sure and check out my newest creations while you're there :)

Sunday, May 4, 2014

End of the Year Awards

Can y'all believe it is almost the end of the school year??? My first year in 5th grade has seriously FLOWN by! I wanted to quickly share with y'all something I did last year, but never got around to sharing. The very last event we had in first grade was the end of the year awards day. I had always wanted to do this, but never did. I finally did it last year and I am so glad I did. It turned out to be one of my favorite events of all. I think the reason it was such a success was the awards we gave out. How many times have you been to an awards day presentation and the same kids get the awards. I remember sitting at these kinds of assemblies when I was in school and it was always the two smartest people in our class. Every child deserves to be recognized for his or her accomplishments, however small they might be. I created these unique awards that provides you with the opportunity to showcase every child in your classroom and make them feel special. Here's the kinds of awards that are included in this unit:

Click here to grab your copy! :)