Friday, July 5, 2013

I LOVE Whales! (and my first freebie!)

Summer makes me think of the ocean since we spend so much time at the beach - especially since my children are at prime beach age. I'm so blessed to live here in Honolulu, where basically it is beach weather all year long. *Yay!*

When I think of the ocean, I think of whales. I LOVE WHALES! I love going to look for the humpbacks and their calves each winter season.  This week, a pod of Orca were spotted off on the west coast. This was the first time Orca have been seen in Hawaiian waters in several years, so naturally it got everyone excited.  It made me think of my ocean/whale unit that I do with my students each year.

One of the activities in the unit is to look up the sizes of a variety of whales and chart their measurements on a graph.  Then, so the children can actually SEE how long that is, we go out and use yarn to measure how long that would be on our playground or in our courtyard.

We compare our actual life size graph to see just how big the whales are.  Then, as a bonus activity, we try to find out how many first graders long a blue whale is!  (Here's a hint: You're going to need a class of over 20 kids, unless you have some pretty tall kids in your class!)

As much as they complain about laying on the grass, the first graders really love this activity and I do to!  I'm including the graph here as my gift to you. It's nothing fancy, but I'm working on it! =)
Click here to download.

Have a wonderful weekend and God Bless!


Thursday, July 4, 2013

Throwback Thursday & Linky Party Fun!

Hi Friends!

Happy 4th of July!  I'm joining my first "Linky Party" today from Cara, the author of The First Grade Parade. Check it out, by clicking the button below.

While I'm still relatively new to blogging, here's a blog from the past (before I took my hiatus) that might help any of you looking forward to setting up your classrooms real soon! Enjoy!


Originally Posted on August 2, 2009

I've got one more day of prep left before the troops arrive on Tuesday.  I've added some pictures of what the room looks like now.  Keep in mind I've got about 4-5 hours or so of work to put in, so  bulletin boards and library should look better afterward.  I have yet to put up my CAFE board, but I'm playing around with the idea of changing it to FACE instead.  I love the idea of a CAFE and the word itself sounds more beautiful, but I like that FACE is a word that the kids will have an easier time with since it "follows the rules".   I'd put it up on the board as "The FACE of a Reader".

Do you think I should go with CAFE or FACE?

I'll let you know my decision tomorrow!

From the front looking back.

Read aloud, sharing area.

Games on shelf, looking toward the front of the room.

Science/ Discovery Area.  Student portfolios housed below.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Continuing Education

It's a date night tonight with the hubby!  Make that a study date night.  This week I started my Master's in Education program.  I'm pretty stoked that I can take the whole program online, but at the same time it requires huge amounts of discipline on my end.  I don't know about you, but as a teacher, I find myself pretty scatter-brained and heading in many different directions at once - only to get distracted once more to start yet another activity! They should call it Teacher ADD! (Perhaps that's why I'm blogging instead of studying....)

Anyhoo, this term I'm taking two classes: (1) Introduction to Action Research and (2) Learning Styles, Learning Theories.  I'm not much for research. I would much rather have someone else do the researching and I'll bask in the results.  Lol.  But I do understand its importance and as the author of one of my texts wrote, it's important for those who are using to research to see if it's a valid experiment or test of theory.
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