Friday, October 26, 2012

Autumn Acrostic Poems

Autumn is even snowed yesterday!  Minnesota is just awesome like that.  Speaking of autumn the second graders were getting into the spirit of the season by writing autumn themed acrostic poems inspired by a treasure we found in our classroom library that we didn't even know we had. Don't you just love when you find a hidden gem!
We read the book Autumn An Alphabet Acrostic, by Steven Schnur, and then had the second graders create a list of autumn words that they could choose from to write their very own autumn acrostic poem using our Autumn Acrostic Poem Template that you can download on Teachers Pay Teachers or Teacher's Notebook for free.

Check out some of their outstanding work.  They really impressed us with their creativity!

 Time to go through that library again...
Have you stumbled upon any treasures lately?

Keep on Dancing in Your Teacher Shoes!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Dance Break!

I like to move it, move it.  I like to move it, move it.  First and second graders like ....MOVE IT!  Dance break! 
One of the things that we LOVE to do to help with the mid day sillies is take a dance break.  There is nothing better than letting loose with our kiddos and shaking our groove thing!  
What about the "too cools" you ask?  Well...we let them be to cool for awhile and then we find the song or music video they just can't RESIST!  They may start out with the "elbow bop" or the pocket wiggle...and then, well pure fun conquers!

We found using YouTube videos really helps everyone feel comfortable dancing and then we bring in just music so they can show off their own moves.  We thought that you may enjoy a few of the dances our kiddos CAN'T GET ENOUGH OF!
Eric Herman is an awesome artist with really creative songs and music videos. 
We always have "ants in our pants" in first and second grade so why not dance like you have...
Ants in Your Pants

 Or..Hip Hop Tooty Ta

BUT their FAVORITE right now is..
The Sid Shuffle - Ice Age: Continental Drift

Keep on Dancing in Your Teacher Shoes!

Deanna and Jenelle

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

More Spider Themed Math Fun!

As many of you teachers out there know, the Target Store dollar bins can be SO dangerous... but SO inspirational as well.  While heading to the store to pick up "a few things" we came across these amazing mini spider web rugs for a mere $2.50 a piece!  Of course we cleaned out the place knowing that there had to be something we could do with them. we put our heads together and this is what we came up with:

The object of this game is for students to practice basic math subtraction facts (or missing addends) in an exciting way. 

Materials Needed:
White Board and White Board Marker
Spider Web Rug (or Spider Web Game Board)
Spider Game Pieces

Students work with partners and take turns dumping spiders on the rug.  Some spiders will land face up, some will land face down, and some will not even land on the rug.  Students then discard the spiders that did not land on the rug and count the number of remaining spiders.  This is their total.  Students then count the number of spiders that are face up.  This is one of the addends.  Students  write a subtraction equation on their white boards and solve it to find the difference. 

This game could also be simplified as a basic counting game (count the number of spiders that are face up) for kindergarten or preschool.  You could also use this game as an addition game (add up the number of spiders face up and the number of spiders face down on the board to find the sum.)

Keep on Dancing in Your Teacher Shoes!

Deanna and Jenelle

Friday, October 12, 2012

We Got Our SPIDER On in October

Halloween is just around the corner and while looking through our October files we began to feel a bit pumpkin-ed out by all of our regular go-to activities for the season.  Each year we have done some kind of fun and interactive character activity, such as the Pumpkin Elf or the Candy Corn Bandit. While this has always been a HUGE hit with the kiddos we were feeling the need to try something new.  This gave us the perfect excuse to be creative (otherwise known as "not getting our correcting done during our prep")  One of our favorite book series to use during Writer's Workshop are the Diary of a Worm, Fly, and Spider books by Doreen Cronin.  Being that spiders make the perfect Halloween character, we ran with it and this is the unit that we ended up with! 


Keep in mind that while spiders are perfect for Halloween, this unit could really be used at any time of the year to teach all sorts of writing concepts including voice, point of view, friendly letters, diary entries and so much more!

Keep on dancing in your teacher shoes!

Deanna and Jenelle

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

We did it!

We are SO excited to be starting a blog!  We are avid blog followers and TPT and Teacher's Notebook addicts and now we are a part of the community.  EEEEE!

We should probably start by introducing ourselves.  We teach first and second grade (currently) and completely LOVE our jobs!  We have been teaching "buddies" since college.  We are finally teaching in the same school together and are having a blast!  It is not unusual to find us on a Friday night reading children's stories to each other and brainstorming what we could teach with them so that we have an excuse to add them to our overpopulated personal libraries!  We love thinking of ways to make school fun and exciting and can often be found dancing with our students and in necessary costumes to add "detail" to our teaching.  Thanks for joining our teaching adventure.

Keep On Dancing in Your Teacher Shoes!
Deanna and Jenelle :)