Thursday, December 22, 2011

We Still Have Our Grinch On!

Ericka, Tina, Kasey

The girls (and Tina's baby bump) at First Grade and Fancy Free want to wish you a Merry Christmas!  Enjoy your much deserved holiday break.  We will be jumping for joy when ours starts tomorrow at 1:40 (you heard us correctly, we're still in school)!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Liebster Blog Award

Dawn over at First Grade Shenanigans awarded us with the Liebster Blog Award!  Thanks Dawn!!  We love the name of your blog.  We sure do know about first grade shenanigans, especially all this week.

The goal of this award is to spotlight up-and-coming blogs with less than 200 followers. 
The rules are:
{1} Copy and paste the award on your blog.
{2} Thank the giver and link back to them.
3} Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.

Here are five blogs that we're loving!
 Karen at A little kinder told me so! has some super cute winter posts.  Love the winter tree with the paper balls of snow and brainstorming.

Mrs. Russell's Class has THE cutest currently post! Maybe, just maybe we may have to do one (or more) of those.  

Marcy over at My First Grade Backpack has way cute Christmas craft ideas and a great reminder of how our kiddos love the simple things (a reminder we all need this time of year).

Oh my word!  I loved the post about Katie's first graders being interviewed to take care of the class pets!  Incredible!  Check it out for yourself at her blog Two Can Do It.

Jenna at Speech Room News has some great activity ideas!  We can always use ideas to help those kiddos since that's not our area of expertise.  Elf in the speech room looked like so much fun.  I bet the kids LOVED it!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Making Words With Hot Chocolate

It's time for a freebie from our Teachers Pay Teachers store!  This will be a great activity for this week (for the few of us teaching until Friday), but it will also work great for January.  Head on over and get your copy.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Information Writing

We just finished up 6 weeks of informational writing!  Whew!  I am ashamed to admit that I wasn't really looking forward to it, I ended up LOVING it.  In small groups my students chose an animal to study and we read books, magazines and watched videos on each of the animals.  My students amazed me with the information they were able to give on their animals.  We will do final class presentations on Monday.  We did a whole class study on BATS before their small group work so that I would be able to model, model, model.  I have had a B.Y.U. student in my classroom for the past few weeks and she took their final writing project and turned it into a little movie. ENJOY!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Cyber Monday at Teachers Pay Teachers!

Head on over to our Teachers Pay Teachers store to get your Cyber Monday Deals!  All items in our store are on sale today!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

'Tis the Season

The December Holidays are right around the corner and we are definitely in the spirit here at First Grade and Fancy Free.  We've added two new items to our teachers pay teachers store.  

We have created holiday subtraction color by number activities.

We have also created a fun sight word game that contains all 107 Zeno sight words.  It can be played like "crash" or as a memory game.  It would be great to laminate and use as a literacy center or as a fast finisher.

We hope you have a great holiday weekend!

Monday, November 21, 2011


We are so thankful for all of you great teachers out there who work so hard every day!!  Go grab our harvest/Thanksgiving unit for 20% off this week!  Use it for the rest of this week or save it for next year.  Happy Thanksgiving from the girls at First Grade and Fancy Free!


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Who Will Carve the Turkey?

  This week we read Jerry Pallotta's book, "Who Will Carve the Turkey This Thanksgiving?"  It was a hit!  After we read the book, we had so much fun creating our own class book about who could carve the turkey.  I had such a hard time deciding which ones to share because they were all so great!

 "A great white shark could carve the turkey, but it would maybe eat me."

"A unicorn could carve the turkey,  but they are not real."
The cover and class book writing pages are included in our harvest/Thanksgiving unit.  Head on over to our Teachers Pay Teachers store and get yourself a copy.  There is still time to do some of the fun activities before Thanksgiving break.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Harvest Unit Sale

We are ALMOST done with our parent teacher conferences!  In celebration of this happy event we are having a sale on our Harvest Unit.  Head on over to our TPT store to gobble it up.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Harvest Unit and Teachers Pay Teachers Opening!

We are super excited to announce the opening of the First Grade and Fancy Free Teachers Pay Teachers store!!  We have been working hard on a great harvest unit to use in the month of November.  It includes math, literacy and art activities for harvest time/Thanksgiving.  We all teach first grade so it definitely works for first graders, but also has several activities appropriate for the other primary grades. You'll find subtraction, blends,  file folder games with response sheets, Thanksgiving making words, favorite pie graphing, several Thanksgiving book extensions, and so much more! Go there now and get a great harvest center activity for FREE.

Corn Kernel Word Harvest

While you're there, pick up A Harvest Unit for $7.00!

A Harvest Unit

Saturday, October 22, 2011

8 Legged Fun

We have had a few weeks filled with spiders! Spider art, spider writing, spider science, spider reading, tons of SPIDERS!  It has been so much fun watching our students discover how great informational texts can be.  We definitely have a few blooming arachnologists roaming our hallowed halls.    
For art, Ericka taught a few art techniques using patterning, growing patterns symmetry and a spider web.  
She found the idea for this project at:

We have all been using the Halloween Unit that Rachelle from "What The Teacher Wants" created.  Seriously folks, it is awesome! Our students have amazed us with all of the information they have absorbed.  Here are some student writing samples:
That's "8 eyes" not "8 exes", funny stuff!
Tina used Deanna Jump's Spiders Unit in science.  Students were overheard explaining to those who hadn't been to our science rotation that they would be drinking SPIDER VENOM!! Haha!  They loved it so much and learned tons!
For some extra fun, here are some cute bulletin board ideas we created from our experiences with our 8 legged friends!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Informational Labeling Inspiration

My love for pinterest is not lost on anybody who is close to me. So when I saw two BRILLIANT ideas, I quick donned my supercape and combined them into one awesome lesson. My kiddos are loving informational texts and I have been pondering the best ways to teach their key features. Then during one night of pinning, pinning, pinning I saw this FUN picture/lesson on labeling:
Mrs. Lee's Kinder Kids
"Labeling the Teacher"
She says she got the idea from Babbling Abby.  So I give credit to her, she gives it to Abby.  Click on the picture for her post on "labeling the teacher".  Have I mentioned that I love teachers and their willingness to share?  Anyway, the next day I was pinning, pinning, 
pinning and lo and behold the cutest labeling opportunity:
Pinned Image
click on the picture to link to her "label time" post.
Seriously DARLING huh?  She has the cutest packet of "Label Time" printables in her
Teacher Notebook store that you can link to straight from her post.
So I began with labeling the teacher.  My kiddos laughed and laughed and LOVED it!
I may have been a little dramatic, but teaching is often a full time acting job right?
I gave each child a sticky note and assigned them a body part, then we attached them to me:
Seriously? The things we do in the name of teaching.
Together we talked about how to label a picture or photo and then we labeled the "label the class" activity. Yup, pretty sure this lesson made an impression on my kiddos.  They either have labeling DOWN or they went home and told 
their parents that their teacher was crazy.

All in the day of a first grade teacher!
Thank you Pinterest and the MANY amazing inspirational teachers whose ideas are filling my boards!

Keep on, teachin' on FOLKS!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Common Core "I Can" Statements for 1st Grade Units 2 and 3

Awhile back we posted the "I Can" statements for the first unit in the Common Core.  You can find those here.  Our district developed these so we definitely aren't taking credit for them, just making them cuter.  We are headed into our last week of Unit 1, so we thought we should post the next "I Can" statements.  Life as a teacher can be crazy, so for good measure, here is Units 2 and 3.  We've really found that it has helped to read through our districts suggested Common Core Units to better understand the "I Can" statements.  Here are the links for those, Unit 2 and Unit 3.  We've felt like first year teachers quite often this year, with all of the planning and thinking and DREAMING that comes with a new core.  It's fun though, feeling that sense of excitement that comes with new learning.  What is that saying? "When 1 person teaches 2 people learn"...or 18-20 depending on your class size!
Keep on, teachin' on!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Common Core Writing

The new common core has added new writing curriculum to first grade and I really like it! I like how it outlines the different genres that we will be teaching to our students (argument/opinion, informative/explanatory and narrative). I also really like how each grade will build on what the previous grade has taught. I think this will help our students become great writers as they go through school. For our first few lessons we have been working on opinion writing. We started out by writing about our favorite fruit and vegetable and then we move on to statements like "I prefer_________ because___________." This will guide them through stating their opinion and having a supporting reason behind it. This format works great for our beginning writers whether they are talking about fruits and vegetables, books, holidays, seasons, etc. Even if you aren't following the common core, I hope you still find these templates useful!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Bathroom Passes

I finally have a bathroom pass situation that totally works for me.  Take the printables below (or create your own) and tape them to GIANT bottles of hand sanitizer.  When they have permission to use the restroom, they put the sanitizer on their desk.  This serves two purposes; I can quickly look at their desks and see that they're in the bathroom and they get a squirt of hand sanitizer when they come back.  We need all the germ fighting weapons we can find!!! 


 * Ericka has her kids use the bathroom sign to ask to use the restroom.  Works great for times like guided reading when you do NOT want to be interrupted. 

Here are the handy dandy printables