Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Solar System Song

This is a sweet calm song that lasts around four minutes. It has a calming tune that will bring a few moments of peace and learning in your busy classroom. The song has facts about sun and the planets of the solar system.

Moon Phases : Nasa Kid's Club and The Moon

It seems that we all teach the phases of the moon  to engage children with the natural cycles of the earth.  For many of us it can be a challenge to help the children understand all of these concepts especially since many of these ideas are not concrete yet in the children's minds.  We have our children do a moon phase calendar and one of the first lessons we do is:  Your Moon is My Moon.  The children need to understand that we all see the same moon.  It is always entertaining when the kids first start doing the calendars and we begin to compare the various drawings.  When I gently point out to that little honey that he cannot see a crescent moon when the rest of us saw a full moon...and then he finally says, "Well my Mama said it was a crescent moon!" I have to smile.  We talk over and over about looking outside and actually looking at the moon! Most do their calendar but every once in awhile some honey will say we just looked at the computer I think how sad for that one.  For our children to find their place in the world they really need to be in tune with the world they live in.  Along with getting the children outside to look at the moon I also use NASA Kids' Club for enrichment and meeting technology standards.  There are many games at the NASA Kids' Club site featuring a lot of familiar characters such as Buzz Lightyear
and Elmo.  There is also a Name that Asteriod game. These activities are very engaging and I feel sure that everyone will enjoy them.  I also found this excellent article by Astronomer Cathy Imhoff  The Moon | 
to help teachers with facts about the moon.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Martin Luther King, Jr. Peace, Love and Learning and Common Core

I am creating a new fully integrated unit that can be used year round but I am including ideas for math, literacy, social studies, technology, Martin Luther King, Jr , peace in the classroom and love for friends. Please become a follower at my Teachers Pay Teachers Store so you will know when it is ready. It is over 50 pages now and will be a great value. It will have something for all areas of your curriculum. Peace, love and learning!

Ten Frame Freebie Hootin' Holiday Fun Math Center

Enjoy this freebie for your math centers. It addresses Common Core Math Standards K.OA.1 K.OA.5 and 1.OA.1 The honeys in my class enjoy these roll and cover math games. It game will help with visual memory of ten frames as well as counting and adding. You will need two dice to play the game. Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Force and Motion Dollar Tree Science

I recently presented at the North Carolina Science Teachers Convention while presenting I shared some ideas for science that can be done with items from the dollar store. I found this item at the Dollar Tree to teach force and motion. The little lady bug has a zip pull in it so it is a great example of stored energy and to boot that little bug has a magnet in it. The honeys are totally fascinated by this fun toy. Here is a video to show you what I am talking about.I hope you can find these at your local store. I used soup cans and I have four lady bugs that I plan to place in a center. There are different colors of bugs at the store. I also plan on including different sizes of cans some with ridges, some without ridges and some cardboard tubes so they can experiment with magnets and attraction.

Friday, November 23, 2012

I Love Poetry! Poetry Mentor Texts - Stenhouse Publishers

 I found this excellent book about poetry today!  You can read the entire text on line if you have time...find the the time.  Relax on your couch and read.  I was totally pulled into this book.  I use poetry a lot in my classroom.  There are so many option for using poetry: language development, word play, expressive language and even our youngest children can experiment with lists for poetry.  Chapter 3 in this book discusses list poetry.  List poems can be used in preschool and modified for children my adding adjectives, verbs and phrases as they mature as readers and writers.  I  have had a lot of success using acrostics with my class this year.  We wrote some especially wonderful ones after a visit to the apple orchard using the word "apple".  I was so thrilled with each child's work.  Poetry is an area where each child can experience success.  There is such an abundance of poetry around that with some effort you can find some your children will like and will fit in your curriculum.  The Common Core Curriculum focuses on getting children to write, read and express themselves verbally.  Poetry can address all these things.
Enjoy!  I will share some of my students poetry soon.  Please check back or I would love for you to follow my blog.  A poetry freebie is in the works.

Poetry Mentor Texts - Stenhouse Publishers

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Connecting Technology with Happiness Striking a Balance

I would like to thank everyone who has helped me along on my blogging journey. It is a incredible community and just confirms what I already belived about the good and gentle nature of most people. I still need to blog my last entry for Ten Days of Technology for First Grade and I will do that over the break. I have thought about it a lot and even though I have embraced technology for the gifts it brings I still struggle with the challenges it brings to our lives and those of the children we love. While technology has allowed me to find a new community of friends, keep up with my old friends, live a fantasy life through pinning and organize my recipe box. I still take joy in walking through the woods, listening to children play, sewing with a needle and chatting with friends. I love the real art work of our lives. The daily smiles and sometimes frowns that we have to see in person to understand. The twinkle in someone's eyes or the tear on their cheek is the true currency of our lives. Every day is a series of connections for the children in our care let's make sure we balance our daily world to create meaningful connections to each other. Nothing can replace a hug or a smile.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Five Little Turkeys by the Learning Station

If you have another day of school with your honeys before the Thanksgiving break hopefully this song by the Learning Station will make is go by faster! I love this version of Five Little Turkeys.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Holiday Card Exchange Project : Projects by Jen

For the past couple of years my class has participated in the Holiday Card Exchange Project created by Jennifer Wagner at Projects by Jen. Jennifer has been creating online projects for teachers since 1999. I have participated in Jen's project while I was teaching kindergarten and first grade. My favorite is the Holiday Card Exchange but Jen is a creative soul and has found more ways to connect teachers and students across the USA and other countries. There is an ongoing project "Guess the Wordle" that you do not have to register for to participate. There are fall projects that are completed for the year but there are many projects that take place in the spring such as: Weather or Not, St.Patick's Day, Picture It 2013. You can still take part in the Holiday Card Exchange but it closes on November 20th. Get on over to Projects by Jen and sign up. It is easy to do. The theme this year is SNOWGLOBES. My honeys love getting the cards and it is an excellent way to teach some geography! It is so much fun to get the cards and open them in class. Each card maker has a unique way of making cards. You get cards from everywhere and you send them everywhere. This is a teacher driven project in that you have to pay the card postage unless your principal will offer the funds. I have been lucky to have a principal that pays for the mailing. Every card is a Woo Hoo moment and it is just like getting a present! This project makes those crazy last weeks before the holiday break much sweeter! I would love to get some cards from some of your classes. Remember the Holiday Card Exchange closes on November 20th. Join in the fun!

Freebie for the Gingerbread Man Banner for your Classroom

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday
Use this cute banner for your unit on the Gingerbread Man. There is a sheet for writing and banner pieces with the characters and two extra pieces to use as you like.
Enjoy your banner. Visit my facebook page to link up with some online versions of the Gingerbread Boy. I also have a free treat topper in my TPT store to go with your gingerbread man unit. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Hop on Over to Growing Firsties for an Awesome Give Away!

If you are a Pete the Cat Fan you will love the giveaway going on over at Growing Firsties Check it out there are a lot of goodies and you will be helping those who have needs after Hurricane Sandy.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Cat in the Hat Day Nine of Ten Days of Technology for First Grade

I love for so many different reasons. The site is child friendly and the games are appealing to the children. Many of our beloved story characters have homes there such as Arthur and Curious George to name just two of many. There are a variety activities to teach all areas of the Common Core and Science. I have a direct link to several websites on my class website. The children can easily navigate and go to the websites that I feel most closely match what we are doing in class. Recently I was thrilled to see that The Cat in the Hat site has been jazzed up for Christmas! The Cat in the Hat series has a science focus that I find refreshing for children, teachers and parents. The children can choose from a variety of games, printables, music videos and many other activities. You can also take part in The Cat in the Hat Math Safari. There is so much to see, do and learn about through out the site. My hat is off to!
Freebie Fridays

Check it out,

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Math Freebie for Common Core 1.OA.1

Math Time at the Farm a freebie for you from my Teacher Pay Teachers Store. I hope you enjoy this math center. It features word problems using subtraction.

Thanksgiving with Scholastic Day Eight of Ten Days of Technology for First Grade

This is a wonderful video series by Scholastic about the first Thanksgiving. All of the videos are done by actors in authentic dress and help the children make that crucial connection between then and now. Today we watched the video about the Mayflower in my class. The children were fascinated and it really held their interest. I love that the children get a peek inside the lives of the Pilgrims and Wompanoag. I hope you will check out this series of virtual field trips from Scholastic. Scholastic has a wealth of wonderful materials for you to use in your classroom. Enjoy,

Monday, November 12, 2012

Thanksgiving Jokes and Riddles Common Core Speaking and Listening

What is your favorite Thanksgiving book?

 This book is one of my all time favorites.  The kids love this book!
Please comment on one of your favorite books for Thanksgiving.  Click below for a lesson from Scholastic.

Centers using a Classroom Website Day Seven of Ten Days of Technology for First Grade

I use my classroom website as part of my daily teaching in my classroom.  One of  the first things I do every year is show my honeys how to navigate the class website.  Even though it is mine I can assure you it is a treasure trove of links for learning!  There are links for literacy, math, art, literature and their are seasonal pages that are available only for a specific time.  The children use the website as a portal for activities during centers for both Math and Literacy.  Please visit  Mrs. Winchell's Website and see what you can find.  I have over 18,000 hits on the website.  I would like for you to comment on something you like or if you have a site that you think I would like please let me know!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Some Words of Wisdom for Today and Everyday!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Key Boarding Can Be Fun Day Six of Ten Days of Technology for First Grade

There are almost universal groans when someone says, "key boarding" well I have the cure for all of that. Another of my favorites from BBC is Dance Mat Typing. The kids absolutely love this site and key boarding certainly doesn't get a bad rap from them Dance Mat Typing after working with this program. It is so child friendly with fun characters,music and lots of skills to learn. The program is developmental so the children start right away learning which fingers to use of what keys. There are games to play and progress can be tracked. Key boarding is the biggie once the honeys can key board well it's Power Point and Word here we come! I only took one semester of typing yep back in the day but maybe I would have stayed a whole year if it had been this fun. Cheers,

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Ten Days of Technology for First Grade Day Five BBC Bitesize

I love the BBC Bitesize Website. One reason it took me so long to start writing this review was that I had to spend some time exploring again! Whenever I'm digging around in this website I'm always finding new goodies that can be used in the classroom. If you haven't found this resource yet you are missing out. There are great animations and games for every subject and activities that will work with Common Core for all ages. There is a lot of science material here which is totally amazing since good science material is hard to find on the web. One of my favorites is for forces and motion. Max is a crazy little caveman guy trying to figure out if he should push or pull something. The kids love this little wild man. You will be in love with this resource please visit BBC Bitesize and see what you can find. Enjoy,

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Ten Days of Technology for First Grade Day Four Story Wheel

Everyone loves a good story! This is an amazing app for a classroom. Story Wheel lets kids make up a story and record their voices to go along with the story. The app invites you to create a story. Players can be added and then the fun begins! You can spin the wheel with a sweep of your fingers and be taken to a fantasy land where you are the author of the story. After you spin you are prompted to record your story. There are different characters and settings. Many teachers love this app because even your most reluctant readers will talk to the ipad or ipod. There can be one story teller or several story tellers. Your group or class can make a chain story. The children love to hear their stories and the stories can be saved to listen to later. This is also a great tool for English Language Learners and children who are learning about conversational turn taking. Check out Story Wheel and see what you think. I would love to hear from some readers who are using technology in their classrooms.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Ten Days of Technology for First Grade Day Three Rocks

I have shared two ways to teach math using technology in my earlier posts. Well it is time to rock now. This is great website to teach the Rock Cycle in your classroom. There are lots of animations and the honeys can create a rock collection on line. How cool is that? I love rocks. I'm always schmoozing the geologists at the science convention. I hate to say it but you can get free rocks when you bound up to the table and say something gushy like "I just love rocks!" to a bunch of rock hounds. My honeys in school know I love rocks and they are always bringing me some to look at. Well rock on my friends and check out this website!

Free Turkey Topper for Treat Bags!

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday
Enjoy this Free Turkey Topper for Treat Bags in your classroom. Save yourself some time and use this cute topper for your student treats! You will need to click on the text link to get the file. Enjoy,

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Ten Days of Technology for First Grade Day Two

One app I use in my classroom for math is Hungry Fish . We are fortunate to have ipads and ipods in our school. This app helps children to think about number combinations. A fish with a number floats onto the screen and the player has to combine bubbles to match the number on the fish. There can be up to three addends. The children enjoy this app and it really makes them think about number combinations. The fish get bigger as it eats more bubbles! Enjoy,

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Ten Days of Technology for First Grade

Welcome to Ten Days of Technology for First Grade! Daily for the next ten days I will focus on a program, app or technology integration that I use in my first grade classroom. The featured technology will be easy for you to use and more importantly will be excellent for your students. Today I'm sharing Sum Dog with you. All of the children like to use Sum Dog to practice math. They can access Sum Dog at home as well as school. There are not a lot of directions on the site but it is easy to manage. You sign up and enter your children and then you need to set the activity levels. To start with you should set everyone at Level One for numbers, addition and subtraction. The program will self level after the children play. Only your most advanced children would use Level Two at this time during the year. You can access reports about accuracy, speed and skills. We are enjoying using Sum Dog and we would love to have another first grade class to have some "friendly competitions with" as this is one of the features of the program. What technology do you use in your classroom? Cheers,

Friday, November 2, 2012

Vote for President Freebie

Great Freebie for Election Day. Makes a great bulletin board display! It can be used with Duck for President. Please follow my blog and my Teacher Pay Teachers Store. There are a lot of freebies coming up. Enjoy,
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