Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Songs for Morning Meeting and Calendar

I may have spent the better part of today and yesterday finding music to go with my calendar. EEPS! As much as I love singing with the kids, it is nice to find some tunes so you don't have to listen to your own voice for morning meeting and calendar routine. I have all of my calendar on my SMART board this year, and I added sound to the different parts to go with the calendar. To save you some time, here is my full list of songs! (these were all downloaded off Itunes)

Hello Bonjour   Pistachio Mike
How are you?    Jose-Luis Orozco
Welcome          Denise Gagne 
Good morning    Dale and Diana Hudson
Friendship Boogie   Brian Chevalier
Please and Thanks   Pistachio Mike

All of the same title
Timmy Wells
The Magic Crayons

All of the same title
Ava DuPree
James Mee

The weather wiggle    Bob Swanson
Weather       Scott Flory
Singing the Seasons    Twin Sisters
If you know all the Seasons    Kidzup Educational Music

The Sun in the Sky    Yoga Child: The Bingo Kids

Mr. Golden Sun     Little Tikes

Little White Cloud   Sid the Science Kid

Rain Rain Go Away   Wee Sing Children's Songs

Snowflakes    Caillou

Rhythm and Tonal Patterns   Children's Music Expressions- Monkey See Monkey do

Counting by 2's    Shelley Murley
Counting by 10's   Twin Sisters

Today is a Special Day   Singing Time Series

Mrs. Dunn

First Day of School

I can't believe teacher's are back to school tomorrow and kiddos are back next week. How the summer flies by. Unfortunately my school is still under construction so I haven't even been in yet to set anything up, which is kinda making me crazy! But I suppose it will all get done somehow. I can't wait to post pictures once I get everything organized.
For now, I will post some of my first day ideas;

Favourite Stories:
The Kissing Hand (of course) Audrey Penn- I do an art activity with this book
The Night Before First Grade Natasha Wing
Have You Filled a Bucket Today Carol McCloud
The Little Engine that Could

Here is a website that has a complete list:

I like to do a tour of the classroom and the school, and have a book made up with all of the admin, and staff, so that the students get to know some of the faces and names.

We usually play a name game and go through classroom rules, and first day procedures.

A self portrait or about me book if there is time, which there never is ;)

We usually start putting some of our supplies in their places, which is a  tormenting but necessary procedure. I have labels with the students names on them pre-made so they usually go nuts with the labels while I try to sort everything else.

I try and take a picture of each child for their memory book at the end of the year.

Good luck on your first day!

Mrs. Dunn

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Teacher Apron!

AHHH, I am so excited about this project. I had a teacher apron the last three years, and a pen exploded in it and it was getting very worn out, so I decided to make a new one. I have four pockets, one for stickers, one for behaviour cards, scissors and post its, and pens and pencils. I can't wait to use it!

Mrs. Dunn

Friday, 24 August 2012

Five Senses Art- Smell

This art project also goes with my gingerbread unit. I found pre-cut tinfoil at the grocery store, so I didn't need to cut it. Again I put step by step instructions on the SMART board.
 Students glue the template onto brown cardboard paper and cut it out. 
 They then colour in candy shapes for faces, and use pencil for where they want the "icing".

 This is where the smelling part comes in! Sprinkle cinnamon over top of the white glue icing.
Glue onto tinfoil and viola, the gingerbread man is ready to go into the oven!

Mrs. Dunn

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Teacher Toolbox

I have seen these everywhere; teacher blogs, pinterest, and I finally made my own! I love this kind of organizational stuff! This particular case is from Lowe's and I printed the labels on fun paper. I got the template from the marvellous Mrs. Rojas. I was gleefully assembling this and I think my husband might have thought I was a little crazy as I giggled with delight putting it together, but this is what happens when you marry a teacher!
Mrs. Dunn

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Science material bins- Colour

This year I am going to make bins for each unit in science with materials that we might use each year. I haven't collected much so far, this will be a work in progress! Don't mind the unattractive label this will be updated soon!

So far I have...
transparent colour changing glasses,

paint colour samples (Oh Home Depot, how you must think I am some crazy lady)

AND my colour bulletin board!

What would you put in your creating colour materials bin?

Mrs. Dunn

Organizing Weekly Activities

I will have a folders in each bin with activities, books we will read and any other things we may need for the that day. I also have one for generic templates, such as daily plans, schedules etc. How do you organize your week?
You can now download the template on Teachers Pay Teachers.

Mrs. Dunn

Birthday Balloons

I have seen this idea everywhere, on blogs and pinterest, here is my take on it. I found this wonderful one at Once upon a First Grade Adventure. Here is the template. I added the same colour of paper on the back of the balloon, and just stuck it through the loops of the crazy straw, no tape required! I know my kiddos will enjoy..

Mrs. Dunn

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Five Senses Art- Hearing

To correlate with the five senses unit in science, I decided to come up with a matching art project for each sense. This particular project also involved studying complimentary colours. I printed off a Christmas song, you could also use sheet music if you happened to have some, and printed it off on 11x17. We did a lesson on complimentary colours using the colour wheel. I had students sketch out their picture in the sketchbook first, to make sure everyone had the correct colours. They then painted their music and coloured an instrument of their pick in the complimentary colour. In the example the musical instrument would be purple and glued in the center. I then glued this onto yellow paper.

Mrs. Dunn

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Whole Brain Teaching

I stumbled upon this on pinterest, and am so intrigued by this teaching technique. I think I will try my own spin on it in my classroom this year. This particular teacher, Rachel Freundlich, is FANTASTIC at making this work in a primary classroom. The students are truly engaged in their learning. When you teach, you learn, and she has her students actively teaching each other, and is able to quickly assess for understanding. The way she interacts with students is really inspiring, you wish you could be in her class when you watch her. She has really inspired me to do this in my own class because of her enthusiasm. For more information visit the Whole Brain Teaching website.. For a Canadian Article about it here is the link. Can't wait to try it in September.

Mrs. Dunn

Monday, 13 August 2012

Colour matching

Students need to be able to match a shade of colour as well as know what happens when white or black are mixed with a colour, so this is the activity I use to achieve this outcome. I give the students red, white, and black paint and tell them they need to make the heart pink, and the elephant gray. Students then mix paint to match my colours. The example on the right is my sample. I think the student sample is better than mine!  I put the picture up on the SMARTboard for students to see what they needed to match. 

Mrs. Dunn

Rubric for Writing

I always find it difficult to assess student writing, and self assessment is even more difficult when students are just beginning to read and write. Here is a picture of how I assess story writing; the students fill most of it out on their own by the end of the year.

Mrs. Dunn

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Science inspired art

  The creating colour unit in science lends itself well to art projects. Here is another art project inspired by Gail. See here for her monster.
We did some activities to do with chromatography, and then an art project to finish up. This was for halloween, and the children did a descriptive writing project all about "My Monster".

 Students colour a coffee filter however they wish.
 Spray with a spray bottle and have a white sheet underneath, to make the circle for the face.

Mrs. Dunn

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Teaching art through pictures

Most of my art ideas come from the amazing Gail at http://www.thatartistwoman.org/. This Fall banner was inspired by this activity.
As I am making my sample for each art project, I take pictures of each step and then post on my SMART board for students to see. Here is an example of how I show each step for this project:

Mrs. Dunn

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Ketchup and Pickles!

It is always difficult to keep on track of work that students have completed and have not. I love this idea from First Grade Garden. I have a pickles bin on the top of the group bookshelf for complete work. Students will have a ketchup folder in their desk for incomplete work. They will also use this same system in their center folder. We then have "Chip Time" at the end of the week. Students who are complete work (Pickles) get to do free centers, and ketchup students have to catch up on their work.
Mrs. Dunn

Star of the Week

I got this idea from one of my favourite bloggers, Mrs. Carroll, at The First Grade Parade. I have a star of the week and each day they get to bring something to share about themselves. I also have the star of the week do important jobs for the class that week to continue on with the Leadership theme.
Mrs. Dunn

Classroom Jobs

I have always struggled with how to set up jobs in the classroom, as I often forget to change over the jobs, and half the time the students forget what they are supposed to be doing. I am trying a different management idea this year. I love Stephen Covey's The Leader in Me books, and he promotes leadership in the classroom. Students will be in groups of 5, and each will have a leadership job with a reminder card on their table. They will do this job for one week and then rotate.

The group line leader is fairly self explanatory, when the group lines up for the carpet or hallway they lead the line.
The materials monitor hands out materials and looks after keeping them organized.
The reader leader helps to keep the library organized and gets the privilege of sitting in the reading corner during DEAR time.
The hand out leader gives activities and booklets to the group.
The  group monitor is in charge of keeping their group quiet if I am busy (on the phone) and also in the hallway. A group point system will be used to help out with this.
Mrs. Dunn

Social Alphabet Book

I love to read alphabet stories to my students that are related to what we are studying. These two are my favourites to read in Social Studies class, and I thought, wouldn't it be fantastic if we could make our own Alphabet story? I made activities to fit with each letter of the alphabet that cover every outcome for the ENTIRE YEAR in first grade!

The first thing we needed to do was to get our notebook ready for the year. I like to use the Hilroy 1/2 plain 1/2 interlined books so they have room to draw pictures and write, but any notebook would work. I don't teach the letters in order, so they needed 2 pages designated for each letter prior to starting. When I first did these activities, I had the students write the letters in. At the very beginning of the year...in first grade...it didn't go so well. To solve this problem I made a page with all of the letters and we worked as a class to cut and glue the letter in at the top of the page. It is a great little assessment to see who knows their letters at the beginning of the year as well.

Once we have each letter in our book
then it's time to get started!
I figured out an activity to do with each letter, and then grouped the activities into units that followed the Program of Studies. I used related literature, internet pictures/videos, discussions and real life examples to introduce a topic and then had students complete an activity in their notebook to accompany the lesson.

1. F is for Family: Students bring in pictures of their family and we talk about how all families look different and why families are important. After looking at pictures students make their own family tree to show who belongs in their family. After they draw their family, students glue the picture into their Social Alphabet notebook under the letter F.                                                                

2. B is for Belong
3. S is for School
4. C is for Clothing
5. S is for Symbol
6. L is for Language
7. R is for Rights and Responsibilities

1. K is for Key to Citizenship
2. I is for I take Care
3. E is for environment
4. J is for Job
5. D is for Decision
6. P is for Problem Solving
7. T is for Timeline

1. F is for floor plan
2. M is for map
3. X is for X marks the spot
4. A is for Alberta
5. G is for globe
6. O is for Oh Canada
7. W is for Where in the World
8. L is for land
9. U is for Urban
10. R is for Rural
11. P is for Postcard
12. Z is for Zoo

1. T is for tradition
2. C is for Changes
3. N is for Now and Then
4.V is for Venn Diagram
5. Y is for Young and Old
6. H is for Heritage
7. O is for Old Time News
If you would like to use the activities to go with each letter and try making a Social alphabet with your students click on the picture below!

If you make an alphabet book with your students, let me know how it goes and what it looks like in your classroom in the comments below!
Mrs. Dunn

Literacy Center Organization

I have been working on my Literacy Center groups and bulletin board and here is what I came up with.

1. Listening
2. Puppets
3. Thematic Book
4. Journals
5. Guided Reading with the Teacher
6. Word Work
7. Writing
8. Game

I use The Leader in Me program, which is why I have the synergize poster. I got these wonderful posters from Little Lovely Leaders here. 

Mrs. Dunn