Friday, April 4, 2014

5 for Friday, Fuel Your Faith, and a Freebie

What a fabulous Friday!!

Today was just great.  My kiddos came in, got started right away, worked hard all day, listened well, and enjoyed a super special assembly I will tell you about in a second.  I am heading into the weekend tired, but thankful for a great week.

Before I elaborate on the good things that happened this week, I do need to be honest and share some hard news I got yesterday.  As of yesterday, beautiful Aline, one of my sponsored children, is no longer in the program.  Apparently she was refusing to comply by some of the rules of the Compassion center.

My heart is so torn about this matter.  Logically, I understand that rules need to be enforced.  Emotionally though, my heart is breaking.  Although I only sponsored Aline for 3 years, I feel a great sense of loss.  For me, this is a glimpse of what it is like to parent teenagers who rebel and must be disciplined.  

I do not tell you all this to speak negatively about Compassion or Aline.  I still firmly support Compassion and will continue to pray daily for Aline, trusting God to work in her life.  The reason I tell you this is to be real and honest.  Compassion is an organization committed to their mission.  They do not make compromises and they understand that discipline and integrity must be upheld or child sponsorship will never make a true and lasting impact.

Anyway, now that I have shared that, I want to get on to the positive happenings in Miss Hoffman's class.

Reading Party

To celebrate filling our class marble jar, we had a reading party complete with blankets, stuffed animals, flashlights, and lots of great books!

Prizes and Incentives

Besides having the whole class marble jar incentive, my students earn tickets for showing respect and making smart choices, which lands them on green, blue, purple, or pink on the behavior chart.  They earn the following tickets depending on the color:
Clip chart from Teaching with Love and Laughter
Pink- 4

Plus, they earn a jewel on their clip each time they land on pink.  5 jewels = a trip to the Clip Hall of Fame.

I found the chart and this idea from Teaching with Love and Laughter.

Why am I sharing this for Five for Friday?

Because this week, I added a new prize to my supply.  For most of the year, my students have been spending their tickets on stickers (5 tickets), pencils (10 tickets), prize box prizes (15 tickets), and coupons (20 tickets).  

Recently, however, some of my super savers have been asking, "What can I get for 100 tickets?"

My response: ""

Not wanting them to buy out my entire supply of supply of little things and knowing they deserved a bigger reward for their perseverance and respectful behavior, I came up with the 100 Ticket Mega Prize!

It took me awhile to think of something affordable and meaningful.  I did not want to go with food, bigger toys, or technology, so I decided on...BOOKS!!  How can you go wrong with those?  Plus, I have Scholastic points to use, so why not spend them on rewarding my kids?

Pick up your own Mega Prize certificate below.  I made two different varieties.  Hope you can use one.

Place Value and Addition

During math, we've begun adding tens and ones with values up to 40.  My students enjoy being able to choose their manipulatives from the following options: straws, popsicle sticks, and cubes.

I recently revamped my storage of these manipulatives because my students are not the best at cleaning up and putting things away correctly to say it mildly.  Rather than having a large bag of the items, I made small baggies with 4 tens and 10 ones in each.  That way, my kids just have to pick up a baggie or some cubes on their way to the carpet for math.

Character Study

We are deep into our character study unit.  This week, students got baggies of colored cards representing different feelings.  As I read Chrysanthemum, they held up the different cards to show how they thought the character was feeling.  This sparked great discussion because students picked different emotions or chose more than one at a time.  I plan to do this with different books next week.

Here's the color code:
  • Yellow- Happy
  • Purple- Excited
  • Blue- Sad
  • Red- Mad/Angry
  • Orange- Scared
  • Pink- Embarrassed
  • Green- Jealous

On their own, they listed character feelings, dialogue, and other characteristics on a a graphic organizer from The Mailbox and a great freebie from Primary Paradise. 

Author Visit

Last, but certainly not least, our school had a very special opportunity to hear from a visiting author today.  See if you can guess who.

She has published exactly 100 books (learned that today).

                               She illustrates her own books.

                                                            She writes personal narratives.
Repeating characters in her books include a... rotten, red-headed older brother...

Yep.  That's right.  

Today I met, listened to, and got autographs from...Patricia Polacco!!!!

Though her books are a bit above first grade level, my principal still jumped at the chance to have her come and my kiddos had a wonderful time listening to her books all week and then hearing her speak today.  She told stories and motivated the students to reach out to the students they see sitting on the edge or having trouble learning.  Plus, she brought a piece of the meteor from the book Meteor and each kid got to touch it and make a wish on it!  It was so magical!

I got two books signed.  So cool!

Now, that I've shared about my week, I'll leave you with a verse that my Bible study group discussed at length this week for Fuel Your Faith.


  1. I love the book prize certificate! I don't think it is downloading though when I click on it. Suggestions on what I'm doing wrong?

  2. I am in love with your character study ideas - those are brilliant, and I can't wait to use the color card idea with my kids. Thanks so much for sharing & for your your Fuel for Faith. Very inspiring :)

    First Grade Fairytales