100th Day Full of Memories


Today was a very fun day for my first graders as we celebrated our 100th day.  In typical fashion my students came dressed in the cutest 100th day shirts.  I know some bring in collections but we choose to wear our collection.  Here is a sneak peek at some of them.


The night before I prepare all of the activities.  I set them up on my back table and then they are ready to go.  This table has been one of my favorite parts of my room.  My brother actually built it for our family cottage.  Since we are selling it, I got to grab it for my classroom.


I also do a few things with my students, the night before. First, we read "The Night Before the 100th Day of School" by Natasha Wing.  


Then,  we make our head bands so we can wear them for our parade first thing in the morning.


Finally, we prepare a folder so we can  collect all of our work the next day.  This little goodie is a fun freebie you can grab today.  You could use it for the folder like I did but it is also a great way to sort a collection or make a collection.  I copied both pages onto 1 piece of 11X17  paper and then folded it and stapled it to a 12x18 piece of construction paper.

Grab your freebie by clicking the photos.

As the students arrived, they were greeted with a fun door sign.  I decided on the emoji's since they are so popular amongst the kids.  After the announcements, we went on a school wide parade.  We walk through the classrooms and show off all of our hard work, (the parents too)! 


For most of the day we do centers or rotations.  We do many math, reading and writing activities.  Here are a few of the math activities. 

        



The students love working together and completing these activities.




We also enjoy this puzzle activity.  It is just a 100 grid on color paper cut apart in pieces.


Then we move onto  reading and writing activities. 




 Students are seeing what they can do in 100 seconds using the timer.



In the morning we had this adorable snack that one of my parents sent in.  


In the afternoon, we made our own 100th day snack and then did a little writing about it.


 There are many wonderful books to read for the 100th day.  This year I chose to read 100 Days of School by Trudy Harris.  

This story was perfect for our week because we are learning about cause and effect.  I made this worksheet up last night and my students did a great job with this activity.
Grab this freebie too by clicking the photos!

We also have a few fun crafts for the day.  I print their picture in black and white.  It is hard to tell on this paper but after they cut out their head, they roll up their picture into a crumpled ball,  This makes the photo look wrinkly.  Then they add white or gray hair by tearing the paper.  They are hilarious. 


Next we write about our "beary" special day. 


Finally, we ended the day with these certificates. They come in color or black and white.


If you enjoyed these activities, you can GRAB THEM HERE!










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Penguin Parade


I'm sure like many other primary teachers, you spend a week on penguins.  In my room we spend a few days on non-fiction text and then we move to some fun fiction Tacky stories.  We always begin with some sort of anchor chart.  I change it from year to year depending on what I have done previously.  I love to make the chart look like the topic we will be studying because it immediately sparks interest in my first graders. 
This year I used different color sticky notes for each day that we added information to our chart.  We always read a Gail Gibbons book if possible when doing non-fiction units.  Of course as I have mentioned before, my students love their anticipation guides.  We highlight was we think, listen to the text and then circle what we learned.  It is almost like a game to them.
We also read a mini book that I have created with special non-fiction text features.  Before reading the book, we complete the checklist.  This offers a great  preview opportunity for the students and it allows them to get familiar with the text features.
We also have vocabulary words each week.  We complete the word of the day a few times.  It lent itself well to synonyms and antonyms which we were learning about too.  
We also work on informative writing using our web and anchor chart.  They are the greatest little writers by now.  They are able to write an introduction, 3 details, and a conclusion.  All of these ideas are included in my penguin unit below.

We also spent some time working on paired passages from my January editions.
The one featured here was about a penguin name Penny who was born with only one flipper.  The children love to highlight and find the text evidence in the passage to answer the questions.  I wrote this on based on my own little girl who was born with Down Syndrome.  


Then it was time for some fiction fun with Tacky.  We did a whole group activity for this story but then we spent some time making choices and working in groups.  My students do so well with this and they LOVE choice.  

We even used the chrome books to look up some vocabulary from the Tacky book. They enjoyed this a lot.  Anytime they can use technology they are happy.

I thought our Tacky shirts turned out pretty cute!

Next we read Tacky and the Emperor.   We used the same process of working in groups and making choices.  We made a special hat for our Emperor and wrote a descriptive piece with all of the details.


Our new hats turned out super cute as well!  


I hope you enjoyed a sneak peek into our room for penguin week.  This unit is so much fun to teach and never gets old.




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Do you Have a Dream?




One of my favorite units to teach in first grade is MLK Jr.  I think it is so important for children to see how far we have come and understand the way things used to be.  My students seem so surprised when they learn how people were treated based on their skin color.  

 One of the first things we do is read "Young Martin Luther King Jr." by Joan Mattern but any non-fiction text will do.  We complete an Anticipation Guide.  If you have never done one, you NEED to.  My first graders love them.  Before reading the book, I read the statements and the students highlight true or false.  They make a prediction.  We use highlighters so they can't change their answer!   Next we read the story.  Because they have heard parts of the story in the anticipation, it leads to great discussion during the story.  After reading, we go back and I re-read the statements.  This time they circle their answers on the "What I Learned" side using pencil.  I tell them that this is the only side I will grade.  Finally, at the bottom we change a false statement and make it true.  

Another way we gather informations about MLK Jr. is through closed passage.  This is part of my January passages.  You can see my students highlight information we use from the passage to answer the questions.  They are already using text evidence!
We also read our Scholastic News which is always informative and engaging for the students, especially the free videos that come with it. 

There are wonderful videos on YouTube too.  Our favorite is by Kid President.  

Once we have a lot of information on MLK Jr., we do an informative writing piece.  
We web little bits of information.  I call them "snip its".


We also talk about peace.  What is peace?  What is peace in the eyes off a first grader?  We share our ideas and then write our Peace Poems.  We also make these cute little crafts.  I love the many faces of MLK Jr.  


Another topic we discuss is a dream.  What is a dream in the eyes of  a first grader?  You would be surprised at how genuinely thoughtful they are.  We complete this activity below.   I love to read their wishes. 

We also read a story called "The Crayon Box that Talked".  It is a perfect fictional book to discuss not judging someone by their color.  I use the box of crayons and pass out one to each student.  We make our own crayon box.  We talk about how boring our box would look if the crayons were all the same color.  Then we connect this idea to us as individuals.  

Our crayon box turned out so cute!  I just love my box of crayons!

We also read another passage called "Wally and Sam".  This is a fictional passage that pairs with my MLK Jr. passage.  It is about a walrus who thinks he is the best in the Arctic because he has tusks. 

When we finish this passage, we compare and contrast the two with a Venn diagram.  My students love working together and collaborating. Check out these cuties below.




I hope you gathered some great ideas.  We celebrate diversity everyday but it so special to honor someone who made a difference in our country!  



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