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Busy Little Bees

This week was a busy week of Social Studies and Science. We wrapped up our Matter Unit with the Science Guy. The kids had so much fun making oobleck, experimenting with sinking and floating, making density bags and learning about Matter. They also loved playing the game Solid, Liquid, Gas.

We also started our unit on Wants/Needs and Goods/Services. This is my ALL TIME FAVORITE unit to teach. I usually follow along with our Social Studies book but also include this Wants and Needs packet.  The packet covers all of the terms dealing with economics but it's definitely kid friendly. My first graders LOVE it!!! At the end of the unit, First Grade puts on a Holiday Market. We set up shop and sell "goods" usually in our cafeteria. The students have so much fun producing their goods. We have already brainstormed a class store name and even started making our goods. The parents are so supportive and love participating in this event. Students and parents come shopping. Usually items are $1-$3.

Here are some goods we've sold in the past:
chocolate dipped pretzels
chocolate dipped spoons
wrapping paper (butcher paper stamped with stamps)
Grinch slime
hot chocolate

Most items are around $1. This way the students don't  have worry too much about change. We do it as a grade level but you could easily do it as a class. You can invite parents, teachers, other students or have it just within your class.

We usually plan about a week getting organized, producing our product, and marketing our store. I show my students videos about starting a business. Our library has a great selection. We also market our store by hanging up advertisements around campus to drum up business. In the years past, we have  raised as much as $300. We usually donate the money to a local charity. One year we sponsored a goat from the heifer foundation. There are so many different twists you can do with Market! If you need any advice or ideas please leave a comment or shoot me an email at missnelsonattpt@yahoo.com. 

This is my economics booklet on tpt that covers wants, needs, goods, services, consumers, producers and income. 

Making some art to sell! You should have heard them discussing their prices. 

Cheese balls in a Mason Jar. 

Clay Pots- Michaels 

Half-Off ornaments Hobby Lobby
Bean Bag Filler
Paint Pens
Pom Poms

Making lumps of love

Tonight starts my 9 day vacation. I'm off the entire week for Thanksgiving Break. We are headed to North Carolina. I hope everyone has a nice time Thanksgiving with family and friends. Be sure to check back as I am planning a fun giveaway this week :)

Digit Duel

Do you assess math fluency? If so.... is it timed? It's always a hot conversation amongst teachers. One thing for sure the older teachers at our school tell us that our students need to be more fluent in math facts. Well to increase their math facts I've been using Digit Duel and Digit Duel Subtraction. The students just LOVE this game and beg to play.

Students love dueling math facts on ipads but I wanted to try it without electronics . Digit Duel and Digit Duel Subtraction is a fun and exciting way for children to learn addition and subtraction facts. My kids like to play if finished with math stations early. They stack cards in the middle and take turns flipping over the cards. The student who answers the fact first keeps the card. If there is a tie I tell my students to play rock paper scissors to see who keeps the card. Winner of the game is the player with the most cards.

I also like to play whole group when we have a couple of minutes to spare. I sit half of the students facing the other half. Basically I have two rows of 9 and the math partners are face to face. I have a side A and a side B. We see which side can earn the most math fact cards. I put around 6-8 cards in the middle of each set of two students. When I say DUEL students duel. Once all cards are used, we stop and count the cards for team A. Next we count the cards for team B. We add up the scores and keep a tally.  Next we pass the stack once to the left and continue to play. Sometimes we say whichever side has the most points lines up first or something simple like that!

Digit Duel Cards cover addition facts- Making Ten, Doubles, Near Doubles, Identity Property of Addition, Associative Property, Commutative Property, Adding Three Addends, etc.

Digit Duel Subtraction Cards have 23 pages of subtraction problems.

I'm working on  multiplication and division. You will see them in my shop soon. 

Digit Duel is on sale for $1.50.

Math: LOVE it or hate it!

Outdoor Math Games

Math is a subject of great divide: kids either love it or hate it! Sometimes, teachers need a little extra help convincing kids that math is cool. One of the best ways to show kids how fun math can be is to take it outside of the classroom and onto the playground! Outdoor math games are a perfect blend of fun and learning. These kinesthetic math activities turn addition, measurement, and number word recognition practice into games where kids throw, chase, and run. These games are also great learning tools for kinesthetic learners, or kids who learn best through activity. Each of these outdoor math games works great as a whole class activity or as a small group game for adult-led learning centers.

idea submitted by Hannah Boyd

Play Bowling for Addition with your first graders to practice addition in the great outdoors! Prep for the game by collecting ten empty plastic water or soda bottles. Cut out ten wide strips of paper, write the numbers 1-10 on the strips, and tape a strip to each bottle to make a faux label. Arrange the numbered bottles in a triangle formation, similar to bowling pins. You will need one set of ‘pins’ and a small, soft ball for each group of roughly 3-6 students. To play, have children take turns rolling the ball towards the pins to see how many they can knock over in one try! Add up numbers on the tumbled pins and have the bowling child keep score so he can practice his addition. Kids can play three, five, or ten rounds depending on the time allotted. The child with the most points at the end of the game wins!

idea submitted by Reuben Maness 

Introduce your students to measurement by making a step map! Ask your kids how long they think the classroom is. Will it take 10 steps to walk from one wall to the other? 20 steps? 100 steps? Have a volunteer child demonstrate how many steps long the classroom is by walking from one wall to the opposite while the class and teacher count aloud. Have students work in pairs to measure the steps it takes to cross other parts of the classroom. How wide is the room? How long is the cubby area? How many steps does it take to walk the length of one desk? When all of the measurements have been taken, the class can make a step map of the room. Using an easel-size piece of grid paper, draw the shape of the classroom using the grid squares as a guide, with one square equaling one step.

idea submitted by Julie Williams

Wolfie, Wolfie is a game where kids get to play against the teacher! Before class, write each number 1-12 on its own piece of construction paper. Then, flip the papers over, and spell out the name of each number with letters. For example, one of the pieces of paper will say “2” on the front and “two” on the back. To play, have your students stand on one side of the playground while you stand on the opposite side. Kids will start each turn by shouting, “Wolfie, Wolfie, what time is it?” The teacher will respond by holding up a piece of construction paper with the written number facing the students. The students will take that many steps forward. If the teacher holds up “seven,” the students can take seven steps forward. If any students take too many steps, the teacher can flip the card over so that it says “7” and students will need to take seven steps back. Any time the numeral is shown students must step back.When the students get really close to the teacher, or when it’s time for the game to be over, the teacher can respond to “Wolfie, Wolfie, what time is it?” by shouting, “Time for Dinner!” The teacher can then chase the ‘lambies’ back to the starting place. The first child that gets tagged by the teacher is the new Wolfie!

These math games are all great ways to engage kinesthetic learners in lessons about addition, measurement, and number recognition! If your students want to sharpen their math skills before they play, give them some math worksheets for kids
as a pre-game warmup.

I'll be back soon to share our new favorite math game! It is GREAT for procedural fluency. In the meantime you should definitely download these FREE kid friendly 8 mathematical practices by Melissa for the Common Core standards. They have been working great in the classroom. Even our district math resource teacher approved! Do you have any fun resources for making math fun? I'd love some more ideas.

Gift IDEAS cheap and easy!

I'm loving this long weekend because it has allowed me to get my craft on! I'm going to be early for Monday Made It with Tara. I'm definitely more crafty than artsy. I will say being crafty is also MESSY! On Friday night, Alison and I went to Starbucks and fueled up on caffeine which allowed us to make tons of scarves. I bribed Alison into also helping me hot glue ornaments on my mini tree.

Simple Scarves
These scarves are super easy to make. All you need is yarn and scissors. Cut various shades and fun textures and then tie a knot. Simple as can be! They make great gifts for room moms, volunteers, co-workers, and friends.


My students LOVED them too! 

Classroom Made It

For the classroom:
Thanksgiving Question Cards from Double Trouble
You can read about how we used these in our classrooms here.

Christmas Question Cards from Double Trouble 

Tomato Cage mini tree

Tomato Cage Trees
1  tomato cage wrapped in wire
Tons of hot glue!

I also met up with one of my friends to purchase some fun holiday gifts. Look how fun!!! I'm wearing the bullets and pearls now. Jessica has a fb page called Trailer Trash with some great items. Friend Trailer Trash for a chance to win some bullet jewelry. For a second chance leave a comment with your favorite Holiday go-to gift. I need some more ideas. Christmas is fast approaching.

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Need some fun Hors d’Oeuvres? I helped make some for my sister's Scentsy party. I'm hoping to have a PINTEREST inspired party soon. Crafts and Food ... two of my favorite things.

Simple yet delicious recipe
Melba Toast
Mayonaise and softened Cream cheese mixture (equal parts)
Fresh Tomatoes seasoned with garlic slat and pepper
Fresh basil 

Photography Monday Made It
I needed to scout out some new locations for Christmas pictures. These guys helped me find the perfect spot ! 

I promised I wouldn't post. OOPS must have had my fingers crossed :)

How beautiful is the sky! I love the golden hour.

HAPPY SUNDAY! Off to relax on this Sunday night. 

Julia Cook ROCKS!!!! Giveaway

I’m sure you are familiar with Julia Cook but if you are not then I HIGHLY recommend her stories. Julia Cook's books are a MUST in my classroom. Her stories teach life skills that I’ve struggled with for years as a teacher. 

I used to have a really hard time explaining to students why stealing is wrong and why tattling isn’t always the best thing but after finding Julia’s books we can easily have the conversation. Her books teach students to be problem solvers. I've even learned some great advice. I sure wish I was taught these lessons in my elementary years. In the past, I would call parents if I had issues with interrupting, rudeness, or impulsivity. Now I read all of Julia’s stories in class and even recommend them to parents. Her books are one of my favorite resources as a teacher. I always love when new books are released because the kids LOVE them. When parents ask me for advice on certain life skills I always tell them about my wonderful collection of books. Julia has books for TONS of life skills and lessons such as teasing, cliques, making friends, fears, respect, personal space, interrupting, stealing, depression, divorce and many more. I can’t tell you my favorites because each story is fabulous. I can tell you I’ve never read one of her stories that I didn’t like. 


 The best part …ALL of the stories are filled with wonderful ideas and they are simple enough for students relate to the characters. They really speak to the children. Children really understand the lesson being taught and they can start implementing her tips that SAME day.

Would you like to win one of her autographed stories? I have four to giveaway. Thank you Julia !!!!

 But It’s Just A Game- This creative story teaches kids and adults how to switch out their game controller for a “life controller” 

 Thanks for the Feedback- RJ learns what feedback is all about. This story is about learning to responding to feedback, accepting positive feedback, and learning to interpret and grow from negative feedback. 

 Peer Pressure Gauge- Story about Norbert’s internal deliberation as he struggles with whether or not to give into the pressure. 

 Ricky Sticky Fingers- This story teaches children the concept of ownership and how it feels when someone doesn’t respect what is yours. 

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