25 Jan 2015

Musical Words

Do your kids love to get up and boogie around the classroom?


Then you're going to LOVE this fun activity for practicing sight words.

I found this on The Reading Corner and instantly knew I HAD to try it. Thank you, Renee!

Spelling Sight Words to Music

We did this activity three times last week and my class absolutely loved it.  So did I. It was just a fun, happy way to start our day.

Here's my version ... it's super easy!

You need:
1. White boards and pens (but mini chalkboards or paper would work just as well)
2. Some happy music
3. A word wall

1. Everyone stands at their table with an empty white board in front of them.
2. I put on the you-can't-help-but-dance-to-it music and the kids move and jive around the room.
3. I pause the CD player and everyone finds a whiteboard and prints the word wall word I call out.
4. REPEAT as often as you have time for!

When we're finished I have the kids go back to their own seats and we correct the boards together. If there are any mistakes then they need to fix them up before they can add a check mark.

Why I LOVE this activity:
1. It's fun (guess I already said that)
2. The kids are getting some exercise (we have a provincial mandate to get the kids up and moving at least 15 minutes a day... this is in addition to morning and lunch recess play time)
3. It teaches the kids to use the word wall
4. It's another way to practice spelling correctly
5. They get a double spelling-practice whammy with the "mark your own board" activity at the end

I hope you try it out!

18 Jan 2015

Valentine Papers & Freebie!

Hi everyone!

I have some new papers you might like.  If you click the image you'll be whisked away to my TpT shop.

Variety of digital valentine papers in pink, cream, aqua.

And here's a freebie for you. It's a 12x12 inch digital paper.

Paper with pink background and black hearts
To grab the freebie you'll need to join my newsletter. But don't worry, I WON'T bombard your inbox. Members will receive an email every two or three weeks with blogging tips, discounts and coupons. PLUS you receive a gift just for signing up. Hope you'll join the fun!

Yikes! I almost forgot. If you'd like a chance to win the set of papers, just leave a comment with your email and I'll pick a winner(s) tomorrow.
Good luck and thanks for stopping by!

UPDATE:  The winners are ......

Congrats to Renee and Beth Ann!

16 Jan 2015

Hot Wheels Heaven

In 2014 I received a Hot Wheels FUNdamentals Learning Kit for my classroom. I was given a fabulous set of cars and tracks in exchange for a blog review. 

My kit included an educational Activity Book, a CD with lots of lesson plans, cars, and tracks.

Check out all these gorgeous little cars!

I introduced the kit with a game of "20 Questions". The kids had to ask me yes/no questions (we called them clue questions) until they had gathered enough information to figure out what I had in the box.

You can imagine how crazy excited they were when they found out we were going to be learning with Hot Wheels cars.

Before we began any of the lessons I let the kids play with the cars and tracks every day for a week. They worked well together and had lots of fun racing the cars. I didn't help with the track building at all! It actually took them awhile to figure it all out but when they did they were very proud of themselves.

The first lesson we did involved visualization. I read a script about two cars racing against each other and the kids drew their pictures. This lesson was included in the package and  everyone loved it.

Next up was writing a descriptive paragraph of one of the cars.
We started off by looking at our cars (whole group setting) and talking about the kinds of words we would use to describe them.
Then everyone went off and filled in this sheet (this wasn't included in the package).

The kids came up with some great words! 

The next step was writing a short paragraph. This was the first time writing a descriptive piece so it was heavily guided.

To begin, we brainstormed some interesting lead sentences.

Everybody chose one and wrote it down.

Then we reconvened and talked about how their paragraphs had to include all the descriptive words they used on their brainstorming sheets.

This turned out to be very difficult for half the class so we met as a smaller group and worked through it together.

For a first attempt I thought everyone did really well.

The Hot Wheels cars and tracks are now part of centre time and are very popular...no surprise there!

I'm also going to be breaking the kids into groups of six and challenging them to make the fastest track and ramp possible. We're then going to measure how far their cars go. I imagine we'll have to use the hallway for this. It will be fun to see what the kids come up with!

Then later in the year we'll be using them as part of our community unit when we create a little town using boxes.

If you're hoping to add some constructive, educational play into your day, I highly recommend you check out the Hot Wheels site. They have some great lessons you can get for free. 

Have fun!

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10 Jan 2015

New Year 2015: Art, Goals, Experiment

Hi Everyone!

We had a crazy busy week (as I'm sure you did, too) and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Here's a look at some of what we were up to!

We started off our week making our New Year's goals. The goals are written underneath 2015. We added lots of bling to make it all sparkle:)

The flip books were a freebie from the Applicious Teacher. But we added our own spin with the faces and hats.

Happy New Year Resolutions Flap Book for Grade One

The only directions for their goals were that they had to pick two for home and two for school. It was pretty funny to see how many kids resolved to play more video games! Not sure what their parents will think of that:)

Grade One Goals for the New Year

Later in the week the children made these foam wishing wands. They wrote "Wishing You a Happy New Year 2015!" in felt pens.

New Year Wishing Wands
The next morning we played "May There Always Be Sunshine" and danced around the classroom with our wands, wishing our friends something fabulous for the new year. Everyone agreed it was TONS of fun!

On Friday we continued with the New Year theme and did a combination art/experiment lesson to make fireworks.

As you can see from the pics we used white glue, salt, and food colouring mixed with water.

Before you leave I'd LOVE to invite you to check out my other blog, Barbara Leyne Designs. That's where I design blogger blogs (I have almost a 100 designs under my belt now) and where I promote my clip art and give away freebies!

To be part of the fun all you have to do is sign up for my newsletter! You'll instantly receive access to my freebies AND you'll receive a set of digital labels in 16 different colours!

Hope to see you there and have a blessed New Year!

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3 Jan 2015

January Pinterest Pick 3 Linky

Hi Everyone!

I'm linking up with Inspired Owl's Corner and PAWStively Teaching for a fun pinterest party linky. The idea is to post your top favourite 3 pins for the month of January.

Here we go:

My first pick is this new year's resolution flap book. It's completely free from the Applicious Teacher and looks fun and easy to do! 

Click the pic to view my pinterest link

My second pick is this fabulous round-up of books for Chinese New Year from No Time For Flashcards.  She gives a great little review of each book as well. 

Click the pic to view my pinterest link

And finally, my third pick is this beautiful snowman art. Just love the face on this. There aren't any directions but if you look closely at the image it's easy enough to figure out.

Click the pic to view my pinterest link

If you'd like to link up and join the fun, just click this image.

Thank you and Happy New Year!

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28 Dec 2014

Freebies for the NEW YEAR!

Looking for some New Year's ideas for your class or your own kids?

Check this out!

If you click the image it will take you to BL Designs (my other blog) where you can find the links and credits to all the activities.

I love them all, but I think I'll do the Wishing Wand, the Fireworks and the Flip Book!

How about you?

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8 Dec 2014

Gorgeous Tissue Trees for Christmas!

We just finished creating some beautiful tissue Christmas trees. They're in the gym right now as part of the decorations for our concert tomorrow.

I found the idea from Jill at Mrs. T's First Grade Class.

Colourful Tissue Christmas Trees from Grade ONEderful

They were reasonably easy to make, but it WAS a two-day, three-stage process.

1. I cut tissue paper into squares (they weren't exact).

2. I gave the kids white glue bottles and a letter-sized piece of paper and told them to cover it in glue.

3. They layered on their tissue paper.

4. We let it dry over night and the next day I cut their paper into triangles and rectangles.

5. They painted the sky with watered down blue tempera paint (on 11 x 14 paper).

6. Once the paint was dry they glued on their trees (we talked a bit about perspective beforehand).

7. Last step was gluing on the little dots of snow (paper circles from the office hole puncher).

Easy for Grade one students.

And here's what I heard as we were finishing up: "Mrs. Leyne, you do the coolest art! Way better than kindergarten."

Have a great week!

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3 Dec 2014

Oh no! Santa is Stuck!

Did you know that first graders have excellent problem-solving powers?

My class figured out LOTS of great ways to save Santa should he ever find himself stuck in the chimney!

They would use ropes, ladders, toilet plungers, soap and oil. One creative person decided that he would feed Santa many cookies to make him even fatter in the hopes that the chimney would crack open and free Santa!

Gotta love six-year-olds!

This super idea came from Nancy at First Grade WOW. You should head on over cause she's got a ton of free Christmas stuff.

Thanks for stopping by!

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29 Nov 2014

Lots of Ideas for a Salmon Unit

We've been learning LOTS about salmon.

We read two great books:

Watched a fabulous video:

Made life cycle wheels:

Painted these beautiful salmon:

And made this gorgeous mural:

Happy Weekend!

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