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First Grade Gallery- Lessons for Little Learners

A blog for creative classroom ideas and lessons for K-2 teachers!

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Teachers Notebook Sweepstakes

Teachers Notebook Sweepstakes
The Teacher Appreciation Sweepstakes on Teachers Notebook has officially started! You can enter every day for a chance to win 100 dollars worth of products from the amazing shops of your choice! Fingers crossed! Click on the image to the right to enter!

So Sweet Thank You Freebie

My first graders are just too sweet! One child made me a lovely plastic beaded bracelet on a pipecleaner that I wore proudly today and another spent her "hoot" tickets to buy me a ring from the prize cart instead of getting something for herself!

This time of year, and especially with Teacher Appreciation Week right around the corner, there will be many thank you's to give. Here's a little freebie!

So Sweet Thank You Freebie



I'm all about keeping things simple and this is a cute and inexpensive way to thank your parent helpers, staff members, students and room parents. Just staple the tag to a snack-sized ziplock baggie and fill it with colorful candies!

Enjoy!

Barbie Shoes and Mind Map Blues

O.K. This was a bummer of a day of changing all of my MIND MAPS (that's what I originally called them, then noticed others were using the "thinking" name in front, so I figured it was O.K....lots to learn). That's the blues part of this post. Read on for the Barbie shoes!


So tomorrow is my 15 years of service recognition in my district and I'm thinking about what to wear for that. Teaching little ones is not the most glamorous job~let's face it! But we're in it for the kids! It's our passion. The manicure is often ruined with paint, we dress nicely, but practically, for a day of being on our feet and getting down to their level. I can't imagine a day in shoes like these-ha!

Barbie Shoes and Mind Map Blues

I found this tape dispenser and just had to have it!!! It's from Staples! They have a pink Barbie shoe too! I'm bringing a little "glam" into the classroom tomorrow!


Mother's Day Scrapbook and Gift Ideas

My Mother's Day Lunch Bag Scrapbook is officially my number one selling item to date and I am just thrilled! I've gotten such positive feedback letting me know how adorable the projects turned out! I made one for my mom too and she loved it! If you're looking for a sweet, unique gift idea, you'll have to check it out at my shops! The giveaway on Teacher's Notebook has expired but check back often because I'll have more on a monthly basis!

Mother's Day Scrapbook and Gift Ideas



We are busy crafting away in first grade. The children are painting 4 inch terra cotta pots with their choice of a variety of beautiful, spring-colored acrylic paints. I have decorated pots with my students in every way shape and form over the years and think I have finally come up with the simplest, nicest design of all-plain old white polka dots on a colored pot! I found the perfect supplies for painting at Joanne's. They make disposable rollers with handles! These are great for little hands and cheap too! I also purchased some dot painting sticks. They have a felt tip rather than a sponge. They are the perfect size and won't splat paint when used.

Rather than planting the traditional flower in the pot, I am sending home the gift as a planting kit. I am putting the soil in a ziplock baggie. I purchased large seeds and put them in one of those plastic ziplock earring bags also at Joanne's. I made colored copies of the seed pack and reduced the size of the image to place one in each tiny bag with the seeds. I found colorful shovels and kids garden tools in the dollar aisle at Target. I attached the seed bag to the stake with a ribbon and little cardstock card that read:
Mom, my love for you grows and grows! 

Mother's Day Scrapbook and Gift Ideas

The kit was adorable and I did not have to worry about the plant getting crushed or broken on the way home or dirt spilling inside the bag and making a mess of our pretty pots! Depending on your budget, you could add a pair of garden gloves to your kit. That would be super-cute!

New Earth Day Items and Making Recycled Paper

As a former elementary science specialist teacher, this week's Earth Day theme is one of my favorites to teach! I've posted some new Earth Day Items at my shop!

New Earth Day Items and Making Recycled Paper

New Earth Day Items and Making Recycled Paper





New Earth Day Items and Making Recycled Paper




Here's a cute freebie Poem!


New Earth Day Items and Making Recycled Paper



Making recycled paper is one of my favorite Earth Day activities! Here are the directions for making your own paper:

Materials Needed To Make Recycled Paper

  • Newspaper
  • A blender
  • Water
  • 2 tablespoons of white glue
  • A large plastic dish tub 
  • One square foot of fiberglass screen (available at Home Depot)

Optional

  • A sponge and blotting paper
  • Rolling pin
  • Colored construction paper
  • Colored threads
  • Glitter
  • Small leaves
  • Flower petals
  • Food coloring

Making The Slurry

Slurry is the paper pulp and water mixture. It might remind you of dirty oatmeal.

First, have students tear newspaper into very small pieces. Place one cup of the torn newspaper into the blender with two cups of water and two tablespoons of glue. Use this ratio for each child. Put the lid on the blender and turn it on high. Let the blender run until all of the paper disappears and it appears as if you have a purple-grey, pulpy mixture. ( I try to blend several at once to save time and do this ahead of time, modeling once so the children can see the process. The slurry is ready for straining the following day. I save it all in a bucket).

When you are ready to strain and press the paper, place about four inches of water into a large plastic dish tub.  Add the slurry mixture to the water in the container.

Making The Paper

If possible-do this outside!

Mix up the slurry and water mixture in the container really well. Have the kids use their hands.You will need to mix the slurry each time you make a new piece of paper.

Hold the screen with both hands and scoop it down towards the bottom of the container at a slight angle. Slowly lift the screen out of the water allowing the water to drain out (back into the container) for about a minute. You should have a thin layer of paper fibers settling on the surface of the fiberglass screen.  NOTE: You do not want to have it too thick (more than 1/4 inch) or too thin (you can see the screen in patches) on the screen or the paper will be difficult to work with. Shape the pulp mixture into a square the size that you would like it to be.

Carefully lift the fiberglass screen with the paper on it and move it to a flat piece of newspaper. You can press a piece of newspaper over the paper (you can use a rolling pin to press if you desire), or press a piece of blotting paper over the paper and use a sponge to eliminate some of the extra water. I found square boards to place over the screen and used them to press out most of the water.

You do not want to dry the paper too much while it is still on the fiberglass screen or between newspaper or blotting paper as it will stick.

Gently peel the paper off the screen and place it on a piece of newspaper to dry.

For a more decorative look, add a cupful of colored construction paper to the slurry. You can also add colored threads, glitter, small leaves, etc. to the slurry to make the paper more interesting. Just before it dries, press in a few flower petals. You can also add food coloring to the mix to dye the paper.

In the past, I have attached a Mother's Day poem and placed it inside a frame for students to present as a gift.

Making your own paper can be fun, and it's a great way to teach the concept of recycling!

Let's make every day Earth Day!

Reading Month Activities and a Few Freebies

This has been a very busy and fun-filled month!
Our reading month theme is famous authors. First graders have chosen Laura Numeroff. Each week our lessons and projects are themed around one of her books. Here are pictures of some of our fun activities! It took a lot of time and plenty of donations and volunteers to plan all of this, but it has been well worth it! These are the special times in school that the kids are sure to remember!

Our First Laura Numeroff story was If You Give a Moose a Muffin. We tasted four different kinds of mini-muffins and then the students decided which muffin flavor was their favorite! The kids just loved this!
Here is our muffin bulletin board and project!
Reading Month Activities and a Few Freebies

Reading Month Activities and a Few Freebies
Reading Month Activities and a Few Freebies


Reading Month Activities and a Few Freebies

Reading Month Activities and a Few Freebies

We wrote words to describe our muffins!

Reading Month Activities and a Few Freebies

These are a few of our shoe box dioramas.

Reading Month Activities and a Few Freebies
Reading Month Activities and a Few Freebies


Reading Month Activities and a Few Freebies
 
This is our If you Give a Dog a Donut shape book. Every Friday this month is treat day. We ordered sprinkled donuts for the children to enjoy.

Here are some other Dog Donut activities:

Reading Month Activities and a Few Freebies

Reading Month Activities and a Few Freebies
Reading Month Activities and a Few Freebies

 Students wrote their own If you Give a....stories for a different class book. Here are a few of their creative ideas:

If you give a python a stick he'll swallow it.
If you give a unicorn a crown he'll ask for a wand.
If you give a bunny a french fry he'll want some ketchup to go with it.

The kids had a great time at our pajama party pancake pig-out!

Reading Month Activities and a Few Freebies

These are our pig party decorations. Mrs. G came up with this idea!

Reading Month Activities and a Few Freebies

We made shape books for If you Give a Mouse a Cookie and compared cookies using a Venn Diagram. We read a cute poem about chocolate chip cookies and did a sequencing and problem-solving activity as well as many other cookie and chocolate-themed activities! It has been a very yummy month!
Reading Month Activities and a Few Freebies

Reading Month Activities and a Few Freebies

Reading Month Activities and a Few Freebies


Mommy and I have so much fun
Baking cookies for everyone!
I love to eat them
They are so yummy!
'Specially the ones
That are in my TUMMY!
 by Valerie Gallup

This poem is part of my Fun Food Poems Collection!

Reading Month Activities and a Few Freebies


Here's the link if you'd like to see more!
Earlier in the month we celebrated Dr. Seuss Day by reading one of my favorites, Bartholemew and the Oobleck. This is the sequencing activity we did to retell the story.
Reading Month Activities and a Few Freebies

The best part was when we made our own Oobleck! It was a good and gooey science lesson. We also did a lot of other literacy activities with our Oobleck story!

Reading Month Activities and a Few Freebies


Reading Month Activities and a Few Freebies
This literacy unit is available at my shops. Click on the link below to see it:


In keeping with the Dr Seuss theme, we read Oh, the Places You Will Go. We wrote about our favorite books and told about where the setting in that book takes our imaginations!

Reading Month Activities and a Few Freebies
Reading Month Activities and a Few Freebies
Reading Month Activities and a Few Freebies



Reading Month Activities and a Few Freebies


During March Reading Month, I've invited parents, and other special surprise visitors to be our guest readers. In the invite, I asked that the readers choose props,wear a costume or bring a little something to give to the children that goes along with the story. This has been a blast!

Among our visitors were the Superintendent (who read with a pot on his head) the County Comissioner, grandparents and older siblings.

Our school arranged for several published authors to speak to the children about their books and how they came to create them. The students have the option of purchasing a signed copy. One of my favorite authors from a previous visit is Rhonda Gowler Greene. I love her Barnyard Song Book. It's a great read-aloud! It's about a bunch of farm animals that catch a cold!

Reading Month Activities and a Few Freebies

Every child loves to tell about their favorite part of the story. I have a freebie printable at my store that you can use with any book. Here's the link:



Our school has some fabulous displays for Reading Month! Check out these great bulletin boards and posters! There are so many to share but these are the only teachers I was able to speak with about posting them here! We are all so busy that we rarely get a chance to see each other!

Reading Month Activities and a Few Freebies

Reading Month Activities and a Few Freebies

Reading Month Activities and a Few Freebies

Reading Month Activities and a Few Freebies
Each staff member was photographed with their eyes peeking over a book. Students have to guess who each teacher is.
Reading Month Activities and a Few Freebies

That's it for now. This has a been a long one I know, but I had a lot of catching up to do and some of you were asking to see reading month ideas.

I won't be blogging for a while. Lucky me, I am going to beautiful Holmes Beach on Anna Maria Island for spring break. It's one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen~ a little slice of Heaven on Earth!

Reading Month Activities and a Few Freebies

Can't wait! Counting the days!

Groovy! Fifty Followers and Freebies on Teachers Pay Teachers!

Here are a few really groovy freebies just for my hip blog followers! Grab them today at my store! All I ask is that you please rate these and leave a comment! It would be great to have you as one of my followers~The Fabulous 50~ on Teachers Pay Teachers! Feel free to spread the word! Welcome to the club!

Groovy! Fifty Followers and Freebies on Teachers Pay Teachers!





Groovy! Fifty Followers and Freebies on Teachers Pay Teachers!



Enjoy these!

Jeannine

Let the Sunshine In...Feeling Groovy and a freebie too!

Wow! The weather here in Michigan is absolutely beautiful here on St. Patty's Day! The high temperature is going to reach 70 degrees! That is really a treat and so I guess I was feeling a little like a summer vacation sun-worshiping girl when I made these latest products. That and the fact that conference week is behind me-whew!I thought they were pretty groovy! I hope you like them too!

I'm also gearing up for a really groovy giveaway so check back soon!

Let the Sunshine In...Feeling Groovy and a freebie too!

Let the Sunshine In...Feeling Groovy and a freebie too!

Let the Sunshine In...Feeling Groovy and a freebie too!

Let the Sunshine In...Feeling Groovy and a freebie too!
Let the Sunshine In...Feeling Groovy and a freebie too!
Let the Sunshine In...Feeling Groovy and a freebie too!


Let the Sunshine In...Feeling Groovy and a freebie too!
Let the Sunshine In...Feeling Groovy and a freebie too!
That's all the creating and posting for now. The sunshine is wasting away on the pavement, so I'm off to go sit outside and soak up the sun!

Here's a freebie I posted on TPT!


Let the Sunshine In...Feeling Groovy and a freebie too!

Enjoy!



My First Blog Award!


What a wonderful surprise to be nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award! Thank you to Lori at Teaching With Love and Laughter for this great honor! I am fairly new to blogging and have a lot to learn yet, so this nomination means a lot!

Here are the rules for this award:

1. Link back to the person who gave it to you-that would be me- Jeannine at First Grade Gallery
2. Pass the award on to five or more very "Lovely" bloggers.
3. Follow the person who sent it to you!

I have even started following their lovely stores and have pinned some of their adorable items! I'd love it if you could do the same for me!

What a wonderful way to support each other and to fill someone's bucket!

And now the really fun part.....blog hopping for nominees!

I am so impressed with the fantastic blogs that these fabulously creative teachers have worked so hard to create.

You really need to go visit these blogs! Please tell them Jeannine sent you!

A Cupcake for the Teacher

Love her Leprecahun Craftivity! Such a cute blog!

The Adventures of Miss Elisabeth

She has some really adorable Easter crafts!

Aloha Kindergarten

So many really great ideas and fantastic poetry resources!

Sunny Days in Second Grade

I love her TPT story! She has many awards, but not this one!

And last but not least~ a non-teaching but beyond lovely blog by someone very dear to me!

ec campbell photography

These have to be the most beautiful photographs of couples and children ever taken! What talent!

















St. Patty's Day Math for Smartboard

Last week was super busy and lots of time was spent on testing for school improvement goals and report cards. Watching my students take their Star Math test was a real eye-opener. Yikes! I can see we need to spend a lot more time on ordering numbers before the end of the year. Here is something I made for the Smartboard for extra practice during March.

St. Patty's Day Math for Smartboard

I feel so fortunate to have such wonderful technology in my classroom!

I'm wondering how many of you have Smartboards in your rooms. If so, drop me a line and let me know how you use it for instruction or ideas for Smart lessons you wish were available.

The Smart Exchange has many great lessons available for download, but if you're like me, you probably agree they need some TLC!

Here's another fun activity I was inspired to create after attending a common core in-service training. This is an activity to practice sums to 5, 10 or 20. I found all green :) dark chocolate mint m&m's at the grocery store I thought I would use for this. I'll have to set some aside for myself before the kids play!

 So, you laminate the cute work mat. Then have the students shake and toss the counters over the mat- (I'll have to do some coaching or have the kids just work on the floor). They count and record the number of counters that landed on and off the mat.

 Sounds like good simple fun! I can't wait to try this out. The only problem is, the kids won't be able to eat the m&m's if they are being tossed onto the floor and tables. That would be a true test to the claim, "melts in your mouth not in your hands"! I might have to rethink the candy idea....

St. Patty's Day Math for Smartboard

St. Patty's Day Math for Smartboard

St. Patty's Day Math for Smartboard

 You can play this on-off game with any mat and any type of manipulatives. I am going to work on creating other cute game mats in more holiday themes.

Here's the game in action! The students loved this activity! I ended up using green bingo chips as you can see.

St. Patty's Day Math for Smartboard

St. Patty's Day Math for Smartboard


Each student was asked to bring in a green treat to share. We had pickles, cucumbers, green peeps, Jello, candies, cookies, rice crispie treats and much more!

St. Patty's Day Math for Smartboard

Here's a darling leprechaun craftivity I purchased from A Cupcake for the Teacher! I decided to attach a different writing paper, one that I made and offered as a freebie at my store.


St. Patty's Day Math for Smartboard

This is one of my little leprechauns striking the peeker pose!
St. Patty's Day Math for Smartboard


The students are working on writing to tell more and they sure did with this great writing prompt!  I had to shorten the project by skipping the legs and just glued leprechaun shoes to the bottom of the paper.

St. Patty's Day Math for Smartboard




Here are the leprechaun kisses treat bags I made. The poem is also a freebie.

St. Patty's Day Math for Smartboard


 
I have so many ideas for projects but not enough hours in the day to create them or take pictures and post the ones I do! Baby steps....

Have a super weekend everyone!



Teachers Notebook SweepstakesSo Sweet Thank You FreebieBarbie Shoes and Mind Map BluesMother's Day Scrapbook and Gift IdeasNew Earth Day Items and Making Recycled PaperReading Month Activities and a Few FreebiesGroovy! Fifty Followers and Freebies on Teachers Pay Teachers!Let the Sunshine In...Feeling Groovy and a freebie too!St. Patty's Day Math for Smartboard

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