Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Classroom Happenings/ Math Workstations...

I just wanted to do a few updates of our classroom happenings! This week I have focused on introducing Math Work Stations to my kiddos. We have not only discussed the rules and procedures of Math Work Stations but I have slowly been introducing our first set of workstations. I will have nine work station tubs and the 10th work station will be an activity on the computer. 

The Math Workstations will change out as our focus in math changes as well as if my observations of the students show mastery in certain areas. If the students are breezing through certain workstations then this usually means that it is time to introduce another workstation! However, some workstations are great to keep all year around and just modify the materials such as using more difficult numbers, etc. 

Our focus in Math is currently Number Concepts: comparing numbers, more than, less than, least, greatest, ordering numbers, and so on. I have introduce a few of Cara Carroll's Math Workstations which the kids loved! I also introduce one of the workstation I created with dot cards. This is definitely a more simple work station but it was a hit with my kids! They loved the idea of using the pocket chart during this time! 

To see the post about the Dot Cards click here
To go to my TPT store click the picture below: 
In order to have the students rotate through workstations I use the back side of Debbie Diller's Literacy Work Station chart. I love this system! I will simply turn around the pocket chart and math will be on the other side. On this side there will be numbers 1 - 9, and a computer workstation card which I will rotate down each day. Simple right? Which is exactly what a teacher needs! 

Here is my example from last year... I only had to use one side last year however, now that my class size has grown I will have to use the other side. Luckily, Deb being the smart woman that she is made it two sided! 

Here are the number cards and the Meet with Me cards I created for the rotations. 

 My Math Work Stations were stored in these Math Tubs last year. The size is perfect for large papers, and materials and I like the lids! I am trying to find the perfect home in my room for these now! 

We are also in the process of introducing our Literacy Work Stations, more to come on that next week as we finish up! Also, below is a picture of the Good Listener poster I created with the kids to remember to be a good listener (Thanks Mrs. Jump for the inspiration)! Lord knows we could use some help in this area , but they have come such a long way already! 

Happy Wednesday!

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Monday, August 29, 2011


You correctly guessed how many students I have! 20! Hope you enjoy the Five Frame and Ten Frame Fun!

I am also doing another giveaway for the Dot Card Activities! That contest will be ending tomorrow, so hurry and enter before you miss your chance! Click the link below to go to the post!

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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Giveaway and New Math Workstation!

I have been busy planning and creating for Math Work Stations so far this year! We are beginning our year with Number Concepts. Therefore, we are learning words such as more than, less than, before, after, greater, least, etc. We are also learning how to put numbers in order as well as how to make numbers! So keep checking back for more Math Work Station activities to come!

Today I created an activity to be used with Dot Cards. Your students can either simply count the numbers, flash the cards to each other to quickly identify the correct numeral, make numbers using the Dot Cards, or match the Dot Cards to the Numeral Cards!

Click any of the pictures below to go to my TeachersPayTeacher store!

I will also be giving away this activity to a lucky follower! Here is how to enter:
- You must be a follower of First Grade Fresh, then leave  comment for an entry!
- Share this with your blogger friends by posting about the giveaway! Then leave a comment with the link to the post (twice) for two more entries! 
Good Luck! 

Also, check out my post about Five Frame Fun and Ten Frame Fun for another Math Activity/ Work Station as well as another giveaway! 

Hope you can use these activities in your Math lessons/ Work Stations!

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Five and Ten Frame Fun for Workstations

I created a workstation based on an activity from Debbie Diller's Math Work Stations book. This activity is to be used with either Five Frames or Tens Frames. Students will learn number concepts as well as  beginning addition concepts! 

Click the picture above to go to the link on TeachersPayTeachers!

The first person to correctly guess how many students I have in my class this year will win the packet! Please be sure to leave your email address! 

I will be posting a Dot Card activity for Math Workstations later tonight as well! 

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Monday, August 22, 2011

Meet the Teacher!

I am linking up with Blog Hoppin' for their Teacher Week. The first day is Meet the Teacher Monday! 

Tell us a little something about you...
I am Ms. Simoneaux at First Grade Fresh. I am a first grade teacher and I love my lil firsties! My new crew is full of personality. They're what you could call "active"... lots of energy. Luckily, I have my BFF beside me to make the coffee... those two things alone can keep me motivated. I went to LSU and am currently in my 4th year of teaching!

Here are a few of my Favortie Teacher Things...

I am also dating this boy, who has currently found my blog despite my attempts to keep it from him. So I am sure he is currently stalking my blog and reading this now. 

My baby brother is my heart. I adore this kid! He is the absolute sweetest guy in the world. 

I love being with my girls!
This my group of friends on the party bus for my 25th birthday...

My two best friends at Red Dress Run in New Orleans. (Yes we are wearing matching sequin Fanny Packs, they are making a comeback)

I love being a 1st grade teacher, my family, my friends, and football season. Thank God it is back! I love sequins/ glitter, feathers, being from the south, New Orleans, cowboy boots, online shopping, dance parties with my kids, Funday Friday, Chanel, Tory Burch, school supply shopping, traveling, and sunny days. 

How long have you been teaching?
This is my fourth year teaching 1st grade. I have loved everything about being a first grade teacher! They are so fun at this age!  Last year Ms. Thomas moved from 2nd to 1st to join me (now we are next door to each other, connected by that infamous sliding door we like to mention a lot)! I love watching my kids grow from the beginning of school year to the end! It's the best feeling to know you had a part in setting the foundation for their learning. First grade is such an important year!

What are you looking most forward to this school year?
Most of my students this year have come from classrooms with little structure or had multiple teachers throughout their Kindergarden year. Quite a few of my students did not get everything they should have from Kindergarden. Therefore, I am really excited to get to bring them up to the levels they should be at and then watch them continue to grow from there. Plus, did I mention this class has personality? They are going to keep me entertained all year. 

What teaching supplies can you *not* live without?
1. Flair pens... Did I make a special trip to Office Depot yesterday for them? Yes. It makes me happy... so it's worth it. 
2. Planners... I love organizing my planner. But the most important part of my planners = To Do Lists. It's truly an obsession to write down every thought that comes into my head that I need to do today or in the upcoming future. Sadly, this usually creates a long list of things to do. I tend to make a list for everything in my life. You may call that OCD, I just think its an efficient way to organize. Whatever. I also just caved and bought the Erin Condren Teacher Planner. I am going to go ahead and blame Cara Carrol for convincing me to purchase it after I already made up my mind that I did not need it. Thanks a lot. 

3. I also cannot live without a new pair of Tory Burch size 5 flats to prance around the classroom in... hint hint to someone mentioned earlier reading this. *Just kidding* (but not really)

Hope you enjoyed my meet the teacher! I cannot wait to read y'alls!

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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Silly Sentences

I have received several comments and emails regarding the Silly Sentences Workstation seen in the link below:
Click here to see the Silly Sentence Picture! 

I used the Silly Sentences last year as one of my pocket chart workstation activities. I will be posting a new version, stylishly made over my moi. I made the previous one rather quickly and I am not in love with the font!

Check back later for the Silly Sentences for Workstations packet!

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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Let's give them something to talk about...

Finally classroom pictures are here for your viewing pleasure! I told you I would be changing the theme of my room to a Rock Star Room! Luckily, Abby at The Inspired Apple had chosen the same theme! So I used her idea for the behavior chart, as well as some of her titles for areas in the room. I also, created an I-Pod similar to hers (mine will be used as a reminder of our morning procedures). I really am happy with the outcome of my room! It is WAY truer to my personality (because I personally think I am a Rock Star :) I cannot wait to see how to room looks after we have created our anchor charts and the classroom work begins to decorate the room. I do not like to put up posters already made because I believe that anchor charts created as a class are MUCH more meaningful to the students. 

Here is my little package that arrived from Reallygoodstuff.com! I was VERY happy to see everything!

My new listening station: 

Word Wall

Objectives and Agenda Board, along with our Morning Message. I use the morning message from Treasures (sometimes modified) usually to create their morning journal. Students copy the morning message, respond, and then draw a picture to represent their response. 

Main Stage- Reading Focus Wall/ Meeting Area

Classroom Library and Leveled Reading Library: The blue bins are my leveled readers from Lakeshore Learning, then the green bins are labeled by genres. I did not place all of my books out in the library so my students were not overwhelmed with choices! 

Poetry Station: I will add the writing materials, and a basket for their journals when we begin to introduce workstations later. 

Workstation rotation chart by Debbie Diller, sigh. I love this thing! And its double sided so I will use the back side for Math Workstations. 

Math Focus Wall/ Calendar Math

Pocket Chart Workstation: I will begin using the students names and pictures on sentence strips which the students will place in order. I still need to add 3M command books to hold the strips along with pointers, the recording sheets, and the I can list.  

New and fab read to self book bins! Makes me happy. The cups beside the bins are the sharpened/ un-sharpened pencil cups. 

Writing Workstation: This will obviously grow as soon as students begin going to workstations. I will add the students names, anchor charts of handwriting examples, and examples of great work! Also there will be papers for the students to use along with a variety of writing tools. 

This area is located beside my front door.  It includes the: 
How do I go Home Poster- I will write the students names in the appropriate spot (walker, van, care, bus)
I also added a board to post important notes! 
Also, notice my Scentsy cupcake! Adorable right?
The zebra file drawer will be used for homework and important notes. So far I have labeled the drawers with Monday through Friday. These are easily accessible to the kids as well so they can bring them to me in the afternoon, or grab a copy if they lost theirs! 

Celebrity of the Week board: I always start out as the celebrity of the week to model the type of behavior that a celebrity should have in order to receive their title!

My materials for small group, as well as other important teaching materials! 

Small Group table... and your glimpse into Ms. Thomas' room. Now we can slide open the door and see each other at our small group tables! 

Student work is displayed with these magnetic clips. This board is actually magnetic so it works out well! It is SO easy to change out the student work and keep it current with these clips. They were purchased from Lakeshore Learning. 

Now it is time for me to try to go to bed and get ready for my first day back with my firsties! I am definitely not a morning person. This may be hard. Wamp wamp.

Good luck if you are returning to school this week!

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Monday, August 1, 2011

So no one told you life was gonna be this way...

Cue the theme song to Friends here... 

This post is dedicated to my girl, my teamie, my teacher bff... Ms. Thomas (at The First Grade Jungle). Monica over at The Schroeder Page is having a linky party dedicated to your teamie! So because I love my teamie, I decided to join in as well!

10 Questions about my Teamie: Ms. Thomas

#1 How long have you and your Teamie been teaching together? 
This is our 2nd year teaching together. She was in 2nd Grade the year before, but when a position opened up in 1st grade I was secretly plotting to have her on my team! 

#2 What is your Teamie's best quality? 
Her enthusiasm... she keeps me motivated! I love her for it!

#3 Who will retire first?
Please let it be me! I seriously think we will be doing something in the education world forever... but were young so we have lots of time to think about that later :)

#4 What makes you two an awesome pair? 
Luckily we have the same teaching philosophies... we share ideas, materials, and pretty much everything in between. It is nice to have someone who supports you, listens, contributes and just "gets it". 

#5 Do you both have any rituals that get you through the day or a hard time?
Ma' girl has a coffee pot in her room (also known as Cafe Thomas)... we both have an understanding that the day doesn't begin until we have had our coffee. However, the most important part to our sanity= sliding door. If you do not have a sliding door with your BFF on the other side, then simply put... you are jealous. All I have to do is slide the door and give a look and she gets it. 

#6 What is a word that describes your Teamie? 
Organized (trust me, you would be jealous)

#7 Is your Teamie in the blog world?  If so...what is their blog?
Duh she is. 

#8 What is the funniest thing that you and your Teamie had to face at school?  
We are funny. Period. 
Honestly, there is so much to say here but let me just say a few: we have been known to show up to school in the same outfits, not a joke and a tad embarrassing, I also enjoy catching Ffi talking to herself in the morning (about all the things she needs to do and her frustrations ha), her voice recordings in the listening station, mocking people, being pushed around in her rolling chair by students when she was sick, high kicks and twirls when we are happy, and in general "The Park"... it gives girls like us lots of comedic material. What can I say... we are a good time. 

#9 Complete this sentence...I would not trade my Teamie for a $1,000 gift card at the Dollar store  because...
Really? My teamie is worth more than $1,000 dollars to me... she keeps me sane and saves me time through our collaboration/ sharing! Plus, if I am going to spend money on teaching supplies I would prefer her to do it with me!

#10 Add a special tribute to your Teamie:
To my boo, ma' girl...  You are no longer just my teamie, you are truly one of my besties. 

You know me better than some of friends! ha It is nice to be able to spIit up the weight with our teaching resposbilities and to know someone will always have my back. I am BEYOND grateful to have you a sliding door away. 

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