Friday, February 22, 2013

It's Finally (5 for) Friday!! March Freebie Included!

Boy am I ready for the weekend!  I have had enough of assemblies, meetings, lock down drills, one-on-one assessments, grading, and everything else for the week!

Unfortunately, I have to continue grading like a maniac this weekend because report card grades are due on Monday.  I can't believe how many assessments I had to squeeze into the last 3 weeks.  I feel a bit badly for my firsties because I know I have been driving them really hard so that I could get everything done and so that they could show me what they know and don't know.

Overall, I have seen a lot of progress in my kiddos.  Many of them are reading on grade level after starting the year a level or two below.  Also, many of my kids did better on the math test than I thought they would.  The problem with the test wasn't that I hadn't taught them the concepts in the chapters; it was that the test DID NOT MATCH THE LESSONS!!!!!

I hate it when that happens.  I mean come on, I spent all this time trying to teach these crazy complicated ways to add and subtract by making and grouping ten etc., and then the test has INSANELY complicated higher order thinking questions that look NOTHING like the ones in the workbook.  Ugh.

Do you agree with me that these problems are a bit two abstract for first graders?

Alright, enough ranting/venting.  Time for my favorite linky parties: Five for Friday and TBA Friday Freebies!

1. Magnets!!!!!  Throughout school, I never was a huge fan of science, except for when we got to do hands-on experiments.  I never found topics interesting unless I could really engage with them.  Now that I am a teacher, I try to fit in as many hands-on science activities as possible.  This week, we got to do some of my favorite ones involving magnets.  The first day, I just let the kids experiment with the magnets to see what they would stick to.  Then, I had them predict and test whether or not the magnets would attract to certain objects.  We also did an experiment to figure out which poles attracted and which poles repelled.

2. Black History Month Presentations- All week during snack time, the kids got to present/share their Black History Month projects.  Each student shared about the famous African American he/she researched and then the class asked questions.  I was very pleased with how the projects turned out.  Some of my kids were so creative!  By the way, you can get the project template FREE here.

Here are some of the ones that turned out awesome!

3. Day 100- Wednesday was our 100th day of school.  I honestly did not have the time with all of the assessments to make a huge deal out of it, but we still did some fun things.  The kids shared their collections of 100 items, did 100 day math activities including writing a name pattern in a 100 chart, playing the 100 Tally Game, and writing pages for the Wolf's Chicken Stew class book.  All of those ideas and activities are available FREE on Mathwire here and here.

4. Unannounced Observation- On Thursday, as the kids were unpacking, I got a call telling me that I would have my unannounced observation sometime that day.  Since I had been anticipating it for 3 weeks, I was not totally panicked, which was good, especially since my prep time got taken up by a lockdown drill, so I literally had no extra time to prepare and fancy things up for the day.  My hopes came true when my principal walked in just before I started reading.  I had really been hoping she would come to see the daily 5 because it is working so well right now.  Of course, I was still nervous that it wouldn't go well that day, but my fears did not come true.  The kids did a fantastic job!  I taught a mini-lesson on diagrams and labels in nonfiction books and then let the kids go to their centers.  They worked so hard and needed very little redirection.  I was able to assess kids the whole time without too many interruptions.  I was so happy with how things went, especially when I got AMAZING feedback at my post-observation conference today.  I was on cloud nine as I walked out of the office this morning after hearing some great things.

5. One Meal, One Day Fundraiser- This week I officially launched my One Meal, One Day fundraiser for Compassion International.  One Meal, One day is a great campaign dedicated to helping starving children in Ethiopia by raising awareness and money.  I have teamed up with some other blogger friends to promote this campaign with a goal of raising $500 by March 27.  As a thank you for donating, my friends are offering you some great products for FREE.  Please click the pictures below to find out more and to donate now.


Finally, before I sign off for this Friday, I want to share a freebie with you.
Freebie Fridays
This week's freebie is a end of the day reflection sheet for each day of March.  You can pick up a PDF version or an editable word version by clicking the links below.
PDF Version
Word Version
Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend!


  1. I love the end of the day reflections...thanks for sharing! -Jill

    1. Yay! I am so glad you like it. It's been good for both the kids and me to look back at all we've done each day. It's a nice time of celebration, reinforcement of concepts. Plus, it helps the kids know what to say when mom and dad ask, "What did you do in school today?" :-)