Five for Fraturday!

I'm back for a 2nd week in a row! My goal is to blog more than just Five for Friday posts, but it is what it is. I'll get there eventually. I actually only took one photo in my classroom prior to Friday, so that makes this even more impressive!

I love mixing it up in my room and trying new things, so I knew Brooke Brown's STEM Challenges were something I absolutely had to try. This was our 2nd STEM challenge and they had a blast! My goal is to do at least 2 per month, and seeing as how I did 2 in January, I'd say I'm off to a great start. We built sledding ramps using linking cubes and cardstock and they were super into it! I highly recommend Brooke's bundle for anyone wanting to easily integrate STEM into their classroom. It's simple, yet thorough, and works well even for little 1st graders. 

I don't teach science anymore, due to flexible math intervention groups that our team set up. I love teaching a small math group, but I do miss some of the fun science stuff sometimes. So, when a scheduling conflict came up on Thursday and I found out I would be teaching science the next day, I had to quickly figure out what I would be teaching. We are in the middle of a unit on matter, so I starting digging through my resources. I stumbled upon a recording sheet I made last year for ice cream in a bag, and I convinced myself to go big or go home. So we changed a liquid into a solid and enjoyed some delicious homemade ice cream. And can you believe that this was the only picture I took?! The kids had a great time shaking the bags, as they held the bag like a baby and yelled, "Shake the baby!" 

"No! Don't ever shake a baby! Don't shake the baby! Shake the ice!"

Fun times. 

Let's just keep going with this STEM theme, shall we? I am all for going outside for recess, but our team has this rule that if the temperature OR wind chill is below 32 degrees, we stay inside. I personally dislike this rule, but I don't push it too much. Except the other day when the real feel was 31 degrees and told everyone we should go outside and we did. Anyway, I often put on Netflix so we can all enjoy some peace. Sometimes, I branch out and we do some Go Noodle indoor recess. And sometimes, I decide to be a good teacher and actually let the students play. In my teacher heart, I know this is really the best choice because play is awesome for many reasons, and also because most of my toys are some form of blocks, which really is like they are getting some extra STEM in. I got out the toys TWO times this week. We were inside for 4 days, so that's half of the week! I was proud of myself. And it made me realize that I need to do it more. They were so into it and they were working together in groups so well and creating such amazing things! 

Social studies is probably one of my favorite subjects to teach in 1st grade. That might mostly be due to the fact that the curriculum is very loose and I can basically teach whatever I want and supplement to my heart's content. With that being said, teaching about Ruby Bridges is one of my absolute favorite units. Ruby Bridges was in 1st grade when she made history, so it seems fitting that students learn about her when they are in 1st grade. Also, we have an awesome Children Making History exhibit at the Indianapolis Children's Museum featuring Ruby Bridges, so students can make that connection. 

Here are some of the awesome resources I use when teaching about Ruby Bridges:

Ruby Bridges: A Simple Act of Courage resources (including a slideshow and interactive Scholastic News magazine)

History Makers Pack- Black History (awesome resource for Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, and more)

Last, but not least, I miraculously realized that it was the last week of January and got my act together to put together a January video newsletter. We need to work on using a louder presentation voice, but it's still fun.

That last one was mostly for my mom. I know she looks forward to it. Hi, mom!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!


Five for Friday: January 22

Obviously, blogging more was not one of my resolutions this year. I figured that Five for Friday was a great way to get back into the swing of things around here!

Tuesday was our 100th day of school! I used the free app Aging Booth to age my students and then they wrote about what their life would be like when they are 100 years old. They were cracking up at all their photos! I even had one mom message me on Class Dojo telling me how much her child loved the activity. Priceless.

During math, we explored to see what we could create with 100 chips, 100 linking cubes, and 100 pattern blocks. We had some interesting creativity.


We had a week off from our reading series, so we focused on Mo Willems this week. We are huge fans of Elephant and Piggie books in our classroom, so I knew it was going to be a hit. I always have Elephant and Piggie books out for Read to Someone, and I added a few more Mo Willems books this week. They were in heaven! 

We used the Mo Willems Author Study packet from Susan Jones to extend our thinking. I really like the kid who said he wouldn't let the pigeon drive the bus because then he might have to pay his medical bills. 

We also learned all about Martin Luther King Jr. this week! I borrowed a lot of ideas from Katie at Teacher to the Core, including the character sort with easter eggs. We also wrote our own dreams, using this freebie from Fun in First

We only get to go on one field trip in first grade, so I love it when exciting opportunities come to us. Kasey the fire dog came to visit this week, and the adorable dogs taught us all kinds of important fire safety tips. They showed us how to stop, drop, and roll, as well as how to check the door to see if it's hot. These are some seriously talented dogs!  

I cannot express how much we love in our class! When we first started trying it out, I had no idea how much the students would love it or how many practical skills it would help them learn. Now, we use our computer lab time every Friday for code and the students are always eager to get started. I created a class account, and every student has a partner. Each pair has their own login, and it tracks their progress for them. It's great because students know what they have already done, and they can try different things and master new levels. They do an awesome job of working together, and they get up and switch roles without me even reminding them anymore! I highly recommend trying out Course 1 on

Enjoy your weekend!