Thursday, March 28, 2013

Jelly Bean Prayer

I always knew about the colors of jelly beans symbolizing the Easter story, but I never really did anything with it.  

Until now.

Teaching Heart has a great free printable.  There is a "Colors the Jelly Bean Prayer Book", a small worksheet, and a printable you can attach to a bag of jelly beans!  It's not too late to stop over and use the is wonderful resource!

Easter Wreath

This may be a little late this year, but check out the great printable and tuck it away in your files for next year. 

In addition to Resurrection Eggs I also used this Easter Wreath to help my students learn the story of Jesus' death, resurrection, and ascension.

We've been adding a piece or two each day as we learned the parts of the story.  This wreath is nice because today we talked about the Ascension and Pentecost.  Will this be the only resource for the Ascension and Pentecost?  Absolutely not!  But it's a start.  When we return from our Easter break next week and start learning more about it, this will be a good reference for students.  It's like planting a little seed today that I can use and grow larger next week.

Interested in this craftivity?  I got it from Wee Little Miracles.  Don't worry about subscribing to Scrib'd to get the printables, scroll down further in the post and there are links to Google Docs for them (free!)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

I Found It!

All my searching has paid off...I found TWO live streaming videos of the Vatican and the chapel chimney.  

I'm going to project it today so we can keep an eye on events while we are working.

Want to watch at home?  There's a YouTube channel here or VaticanTV here (they seem to be broadcasting the same).  I'm sticking with the YouTube broadcast though, the VaticanTV site seems to have to do a lot of buffering!

Color a Smile

I'm always looking for a good service project.  It's often difficult to find things that are meaningful and do-able for my first grade students.  

In my  mind the ultimate service project would include learning about what we are doing, doing the project, and seeing the result of our service.  For example - if we were to collect toiletry items for the poor, I'd like to have my students learn about poverty, graph some results. Then together we work to collect items needed and deliver it to where it was needed most.  I think it's important for children to see this kind of feedback with their actions.

The project I found from via Primary Inspiration doesn't meet all the critera, but it's a great start and a simple way to help the students give back.

Color a Smile provides simple drawings and templates for students to color.  Print them, color them, and mail them in to be distributed to nursing home, Meals on Wheels programs, and individuals all across the country.  It's amazing to think that a simple act of coloring a picture can reach all over our nation.

Linda over at Primary Inspiration raved about the ease of use and enthusiasm her students have for this project.  Thanks Linda!  I'm so excited to start!

Free $15

A post from Swamp Frog First Graders led me to Educents.

Educents is in it's pre-launch phase.  It will be "a daily deals site featuring the latest educational products at 30-90% off!"  The site with launch on April 2nd.

The products include e-books, software, curriculum, online learning, and more.

Sign up now to receive a free $15 gift card!

Pope Alarm

We are at such an exciting time in our church's history.  

I've been searching all over for a webcam that will watch the Sistine chapel's chimney, but I haven't found one (yet).  

I did, however, come across Pope Alarm.  It's a cool, free service that will send you an email or text alert as soon as there's white smoke.

Check it out and sign up to be one of the first to know when we have a new pope! 

While we wait, check out the conclave smoke craft over at Catholic Inspired!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Common Core


I'm sure you all are aware of the Common Core State Standards.  I've been compiling a lot of different resources to help with the transition to the new, common standards.  I didn't think it was anything much until I attended an in-service.  I was sitting in a room with a few dozen more first-grade teachers and we were asked how we were handling the new standards.  I was waiting anxiously, iPad notes open and ready to go (I was dying for some resources to use and I love it when teachers have time to get together to share and collaborate because we all know how precious that is).

To my surprise, all we were shown a document in which someone typed up the first-grade standards in a cute font with some graphics.  Nice, but I could have done that.  I wanted something that would work for me!  I don't know if it was the time of day or everyone lost their voice, but no one was saying anything!

So I dug into my treasure trove of resources and shared with others because there's a lot more out there than a re-typed document!

I know I've seen this site before, but I stumbled upon it again the other day and wanted to share it with you!  Check it out:

There's also Common Core apps available for Apple and Android devices - a handy tool to have at your fingertips instead of flipping through tons of pages in a binder on your shelf.

I have got to be going, but let me know if you'd like links to more resources - lists and lesson plans and everything in between.  I have a folder bookmarked just for CCSS links!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Continuing the Pope Project

We continued learning about the Pope today and making our Pope puppets.

We made the front with a book called "Who is the Pope?"

Then we watched a video from the news last night about the Pope's final farewell.

We added information to the back of our pope puppet including the hierarchy of the church, the chief powers of the Pope, and where the Pope lives.

Then we watched a short clip about how the next Pope will be chosen. 

The Pope puppet was made from a post at Catholic Icing.

The printables came from Shower of Roses' post about a Papal lapbook. 

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Goodbye Pope Benedict

We are at an exciting time in our religion and history as Pope Benedict's final day is today.

What was supposed to be a project for Wednesday/Thursday got pushed back a day due to another snowstorm (we just had our fifth snow day!)

I was inspired by this post at Catholic Icing.

Today, my firsties made the Pope puppet but we are going to jazz it up a bit with the Papal lapbook printables from Shower of Roses. 

I also want to add the hierarchy of the Catholic Church so I may be moving some things around.  Since we aren't doing a whole unit of study on this with first grade, I thought this was a good way to give them some information (and information to take home for their parents) without another lapbook.

We are also going to watch this Youtube video which does a great job of explaining the process:

Check out the other links on Catholic Icing - tomorrow's plans include making a Miter, the conclave chimney stack and possibly playing the "Electing the Pope" game!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Celebrate Dr. Seuss!

Dr. Seuss' birthday is fast approaching and I haven't had much time to plan for it!  We had 2 snow days last week and I'm trying to play catch-up!

Since Dr. Seuss' birthday is on Saturday, I thought I'd do a different little Seusstivity each day this week.  Today, I'm starting small.

I'll be reading There's a Wocket in my Pocket and having students use rhyming words to write their own sentence of "There's a ____ in my _____."  You can download it from my TpT store here

Thursday, February 21, 2013


In our social studies theme "All About People" we learned that people around the world have different cultures.  Culture is a group's way of life.

To help my firsties understand that there are big differences in the world, I showed them a powerpoint on China's culture from Hannah Braun's TpT store.

Today, we started by reviewing what culture is and then talked about our own cultures.  We compared the culture of our home to the culture of our school - we looked at food, religion, fun, leaders, and clothes.

Then we took it a step further.  Each student chose a different country and I showed the students the kid-friendly search engine called Kid Rex.  

They are using this search engine (and my guidance) to fill out a research sheet about their country.  They are finding their country's flag, 3 interesting facts, and a picture of a person wearing clothes from that country.  Everyone had a lot of fun using the computer and learning about another culture!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Presidential Drawing

I'm so behind this year!  I have great intentions to post things you can actually use this year, not just store away for next year, but this school year is getting away from me!

Today we did a lot of Presidential activities.  One of my favorites was this directed-drawing activity from Kindergarten Planet.

It's always nice when the steps are broken down for you to follow.  One of my first graders even exclaimed, "I feel like a real artist!"

The 3D projects around the Washington portraits are the Washington Monuments that we made.  We wrote some sentences about George on them before we put them together.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine Fun

We did a lot of Valentine related activities today - I have an in-service to head to so I can't look up and link to all of the products I used, but I wanted to share our Valentine party with you.  After our morning recess we did a Minute-to-Win-it party!  There was a good mix of activities and we saw all of our different strengths come out.  These activities were inspired by The Teaching Reef's Valentine's Day Minute To Win It freebie on Teachers Pay Teachers.

First we fanned tissue paper hearts across the room and tried to get them into a basket:

Then we put together a Valentine puzzle.  This was pretty hard - it took way longer than 1 minute to get a winner:


Next, we tried to stack as many candy hearts as we could in one minute.

Then we did a marshmallow toss.  We tossed marshmallows one at a time into a cup.

After the marshmallow toss we did "love spot".  With Vaseline on our noses, we had to pick up cotton balls and move the from one table to another.

Then we took a bathroom, drink, and wash your nose break.  When the students returned, we did a heart pick up - using 2 pencils as chopsticks, we had to transfer as many candy hearts as possible from one plate to another.

After that, we played "cookie face".  We placed a cookie on our forehead and had to try to move it to our mouth without using our hands.

After cookie face, we used tweezers to transfer Valentine Tic-Tacs from one bowl to another.

Then we tried to defy gravity by keeping 2 balloons from touching the ground - this didn't last long!

After we defied gravity, we tried to remove jelly beans from the bottom of tights with just our hands - not touching anything else.

Then we used a straw to transfer beans from one plate to another.

And finally, we held a Popsicle stick in our mouth and tried to stack 6 candy hearts at the end.  

We had a lot of fun!  When we were finished with our party, we exchanged Valentines :)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Ash Wednesday: Making pretzels

Did you know that pretzels are a religious symbol of Lent?  Amazing, isn't it?!

When early Christians would pray they would cross their arms and touch each shoulder with the opposite hand.  They also fasted strictly during Lent, making bread with only water, flour, and salt.  A monk shaped this in the form of praying arms for children, and the pretzel was born!

To help us remember the special time of praying during Lent, we made our own pretzels.

To find the recipe and a cute printable, visit Catholic Icing!  The recipe provided made about 6 large prezels, but we did have a lot of dough to work with.  Here's how they turned out (I ended up giving my students a handful of dough and they rolled and shaped the pretzels).