Saturday, September 1, 2012

Back in the Swing of Things

It's hard to believe that school has been in session for 2 entire weeks. It's been crazy, it's been wild, and it's been absolutely exhausting. I always forget how crazy the beginning of the school year is. My intention was to be better at blogging. . .much better. That was before the first and second week of school ran over me. . .backed up. . .and ran over me again. Holy Gamecocks it's been a busy 10 days. . .have I mentioned it's been busy? The first two weeks always feel like a practice round to me. We spend the time teaching the rules, reviewing the rules and reviewing everything they learned in kindergarten, but forget over the summer. Now that we're entering the third week of school (after our fabulous 3 day weekend of course) it's time to get the real first grade stuff started. Our first unit in math is always telling time. I l-o-v-e teaching my cuties how to tell time. . .it's seriously one of my favorite math units to teach. Over the past week I've worked on refining my lessons from last year and beefing them up with some cute read alouds and some even cuter craftivities. Let's be honest, a week in my classroom wouldn't be complete without a crafty project or two thrown into the mix. I know that some people may frown upon the "cutesy cutesy" stuff, but I am a firm believer in throwing a little fun into the mix and seeing the amazing results. No matter what topic, my kids ALWAYS understand things a little better when they're given the opportunity to use their hands and their creativity to explore the concept. A craftivity that is implemented correctly flips the switch on inside of them that a worksheet/lecture just can't reach. Yes you may have sticky glue stick hands and yes it may look like a family of billy goats invaded your classroom and dined upon your construction paper. BUT I promise you they'll rant and rave about how fun math class was to their friends, their family, other teachers, their bus driver, the cafeteria lady, and anybody that will listen if you step out of the box and make learning F-U-N! (I'm stepping off of my soap box now).
My newest TPT (Teachers Pay Teacher) unit was created with this concept in mind. I took all of the boring worksheets and threw them out the window. I selected 4 colorful and entertaining read alouds and then created activities that correlated with these stories. The unit focuses on telling time to the hour (we focus on half hour a little later on during the second nine weeks). There are 2 craftivities included (I know shock and surprise) and 98 pages packed with fun, hands on learning. You can find the entire unit by clicking on the picture below. Happy teaching!

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