Friday, February 25, 2011

Talking Graph in Social Studies

If you have seen some of my older posts, you may be familiar with my social studies unit for Long Ago and Today. We did Part 2 this week on transportation. I want to share a few pictures with you of the graph that we made.

My students loved going outside to see how many laps they could go around the half basketball court. Then, they tried to run as fast as a horse but didn't quite get there. When we got back in the classroom, I showed them the graph and they were shocked to see how many laps the jet could do in 1 minute... 400! (I paper clipped the bar for the jet because it would have been on the ceiling if I stapled it straight up.  It was to scale though.)

The speech bubbles you can see all over the graph were made on my cricut. I used the cartridge "George and Basic Shapes" and made the biggest possible speech bubble and then a silhouette version to go inside. I laminated them so we could write on them and use them again and again. They had to write a statement about the graph and I was so proud of some of the comparing statements. Look at what some of my little first grade smarties said:

I love it! I had made some extra for a year that I might have more students, and when they saw them they kept asking if they could make another statement. :-) I will definitely be using this again!

If you are curious about my Long Ago and Today Unit, you can download all three parts for free from my TpT store.
 -Mrs. Patton

Monday, February 21, 2011

Long Ago and Today Part 3

Here is the final part of my Long Ago and Today unit. It explores the insides of homes, specifically the kitchen and laundry room. I uploaded it for FREE to my TpT store, so you can download it from there. Click the picture below to download the unit at TpT for FREE!

Long ago part 3

I also found some good resources at the links below:

This site gives background information about the transformation of ovens.

This site has some resources for teaching about homes from long ago and today with symbols. I think it has a few free printables.

This site is awesome! It is by Proctor and Gamble. If you click on animation, you can show your students an animated timeline of washing and how it has changed.

I hope you find this helpful!

Oh an by the way... I am going to work on a pacing guide and getting some pictures of our final assessment for long ago and today within the next two weeks. I will post it when it is ready. :-)

-Mrs. Patton

Friday, February 18, 2011

Library Organization

I just finished getting my books ( the ones I read to my students, but treasure too much to put in their book boxes) really organized. It feels so nice to have that done... so easy to know what books I have!

So in thinking about my next step, I have this question:

Do you like having your library for your students organized by levels or by topics?

I just can't decide. I tried it two different ways last year, and this year I have organized them by topic. They always have books that they read with me in their book box, so there should always be something on their level. That's great, but when they are organized by topic, someone is bound to end up with books in their book box that are too hard. I've asked my teammates for their opinions, but I'd love your thoughts, too!

Thanks in advance for your input!

-Mrs. Patton

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Linking Spelling to Reading

Earlier this year I was thinking about how in First Grade, we typically teach spelling through rules. This is great, but I know that some of my kids were not linking this to their reading. Knowing how much they L.O.V.E. to use sticky notes, I created this mini book which I call the "Word Detective Book". Each student has a copy of it in their book box along with a pad of sticky notes. When they are reading to themselves, reading to someone, or even listening to reading on the computer, they can get out a sticky note and search for different words by spelling rule. Here is an example of one of my student's books:

If you would like to try this in your own classroom, I have it for sale at my TpT store. Check it out... it has cuter graphics than this one because I got them from Scrappin' Doodles. :-)

-Mrs. Patton

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Properties of Matter and Ice Experiment

In science, we are learning about properties of matter and linking that to how heat changes the properties of matter.
Yesterday, I introduced the unit with an orange in a paper sack. I told the students things about it and they eventually guessed it. We talked about what properties were and made of tree map of words to describe properties; color, shape, texture, and size. Then, at their tables they took turns giving the properties of an object while the others guessed what is was. To end, they wrote about the properties of either a wiggly eye, silly band or smelly marker. I'm so proud of how quickly they caught on! Some of my students needed an extension, so after they described their object, I asked them to describe something with properties that were opposite of the first one they did. The example on here is one of my students who thought a TV had opposite properties of a silly band. :-)

Today we continued talking about properties of matter in relation to heat changing them. I had three different sizes of ice in a pie pan and we let them melt all day long. It took the chip of an ice cube about 4 minutes, a pie pan full of normal ice cubes about 3 hours and a whopping 5 and 1/2 hours for a balloon that I filled with water and let freeze! They loved watching the ice change all day long... until the water spilled all over my plan book. :(

We have an experiment we will begin tomorrow and finish on Friday, so I will post it for you to see soon!

-Mrs. Patton

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

And the winners are...

Thank you so much if you entered into my giveaway. And a special thank you to those of you who are now followers of my TpT store or posted about my contest on your own blog. Here are the winners:

Samantha said : I follow your blog! I've already implemented a few of your ideas :)

Gladys of  said: I ♥ your blog...I'm a follower! I would pick the Bright Blooms Kit...I love scrapbook paper! I would probably use it to make cards! Thanks for the giveaway!

You two ladies can contact me at: and let me know what you want for sure.

Thanks to all who participated! If you really had your heart set on a scrapbook kit, remember that they are 40% off for February only, so act fast! Click here to check out the kits. 

-Mrs. Patton 

3 Hours left to Enter my Giveaway!

Have you entered my giveaway? I hope so! If you haven't, check it out here. I will pick a winner at 8:30 Central Time tonight! Good Luck!

-Mrs. Patton

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Ms. Morgart's Giveaway

If you haven't checked out Ms. Morgart's blog, you need to head on over there! And tonight is the perfect night because she is about to end her first giveaway. So, go check out what you could win before it's too late!

- Mrs. Patton

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Valentines Cards for Parents

One of my teammates shared this cute idea with me last year. We made these cards this week and will send them home with the kids for their parents on Valentine's Day. I just love how they turn out!

Don't forget to enter my giveaway here. If you like to scrapbook and want a quick and easy way to finish an album, or if you like to make cute class books, then this is a giveaway for you!

Also, everything is on sale at my TpT store through Febrauary 14th, so get it before it goes back to its regular price.

-Mrs. Patton

Friday, February 11, 2011

Don't forget to enter my first giveaway!

I am still so excited to already have over 100 followers! In celebration of this, I am hosting a giveaway. You can read about it here. On Tuesday, February 15th, I will pick 2 winners via Here's how you can get your entries for one of Creative Memories' beautiful album kits:
  1. Follow my little blog.
  2. Tell which kit you would pick and how you would plan to use it.
  3. Follow my TpT store.
  4. Post this contest on your blog.
Please leave a comment for each entry! In the mean time, you can check out my Creative Memories Site . The Quick Kits and Paper Albums are on sale this month along with some other things.

-Mrs. Patton

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Great Website for Math Practice K-8

5 snow days in 2 weeks?!? This is very unusual in my part of Texas. I can remember many years when we didn't even have 1 snow day!

Anyway, I am so excited with this math website that I just came across.  It is called IXL Math. It has an interactive review-game for every state standard in math. In fact, the fun part is this: From their homepage you can scroll to the bottom, click on your state, click on your grade level, click on the standard you are focusing on and Voila!... you have a game to review that standard. It has an option for you to subscribe as a class where you can have a class roster and I'm sure it would keep record of how the students do on certain standards. But... I am going to try it without the subscription and see how it goes in my classroom. Maybe next year I can get a classroom subscription. Click the picture to check out their website.

IXL Math

Monday, February 7, 2011

100 Followers and My First Giveaway!

First of all, I am utterly shocked that I have 100 followers... Wow! Thanks for your support :) If you have left comments or bought something from my TpT store I want to say an extra thank you to you. That really means a lot to me. :)

Now for the fun part...
If you did not know this already, when I am not doing things for or at school, you will either find me with my husband or scrapbooking. I just love all things crafty, especially when it's something I get to show others like a scrapbook.

I am going to give away 2 Creative Memories album kits; One 8x8 Quick Kit and one paper album kit. Four of the choices are below, or you can view all of the options here:

Bright Blooms Paper Album Kit:

Spice of Life Paper Album Kit:

 Celebration Quick Kit:

Family Quick Kit:

The contest will be running through Tuesday, February 15th. 2 winners will be randomly chosen at 8:30 PM Tuesday night. Here is how you can get your entries:
  1. Follow my little blog.
  2. Tell which kit you would pick and how you would plan to use it.
  3. Follow my TpT store.
  4. Post this contest on your blog.
Please leave a comment for each entry! In the mean time, you can check out my Creative Memories Site . The Quick Kits and Paper Albums are on sale this month along with some other things.

Good luck!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Promote Higher Level Thinking - Even During Transitions!

Yesterday I was going back and reading some of Miss Trayers' posts from Not Just Child's Play: Teaching Gifted First Graders . She really has some awesome stuff! My favorite post was this one : Encourage Higher Level Thinking. I don't know about you, but I feel like I am spread so thin sometimes that I don't get a chance to think about differentiating my lessons, and end up telling my higher thinkers to simply read a book when they are finished. I really have been encouraged to get in gear and do more for those students. I still remember what my first grade teacher did for me when I was in GT. I really appreciated that I didn't have to do the same math as everyone else when I already knew it.

Anyway... one of my favorite things Miss Trayers mentioned on her post was "Making a Category". I decided to make cards to hole punch and put on a ring so I could easily challenge my students, even during a transition. (And even when Mrs. Patton is too tired to think!)

Making a category means that as your students are lining up to go somewhere you would tell them three words. Their job would be to come up with a word that fits with the other words. For example, I could tell my students the words are cheese, tomatoes, and pepperoni. (The category would be things on a pizza, but you don't tell them that... they have to figure it out.) They would then try to think of words that fit with my words. How awesome would it be for our students if we could encourage that kind of thinking during a time of day that in all honestly is frequently wasted.

If this interests you, you can download a sample of what I have made.

This sample contains about 30 categories. I did spend quite a while, and came up with over 100 categories for the complete file. If you would like this file, you can purchase it at my TpT store for $2.00 through Valentine's Day.

Have a restful Sunday!
-Mrs. Patton

Friday, February 4, 2011

Missing Numbers Sort Complete!

I finished working on the missing numbers sort I posted about earlier. I have started my own TpT store, and you can download the complete sort there. It will be on sale through Valentine's Day, so get it before the sale is over! Click {here} to see my earlier post and download the sample.

Also, if you are wondering where I get the clip art in my file, its from Scrappin' Doodles. Click on the banner on the right to see all their great stuff.

Have a great night!
-Mrs. Patton

Valentines for My Kids

Snow day #4! Can we say cabin fever? My hubby and I are going to have to venture out today... maybe the Target dollar spot? :)

Anyway, I had time today to make the Valentines I am going to give to my kids. Before I go on, I must say that this idea was not mine. It came from the super creative Cara Carroll at The First Grade Parade. Check it out... her ideas are so cute. I would love to be in her classroom!

Here is how the Valentines turned out:

I traced and cut out my hand on cardstock first. Then, I created the red heart and white "I love you" with my cricut machine. I put it all together, rolled down the fingers with a pen, and taped a lollipop on the back. Thanks for the cute idea Cara!

-Mrs. Patton

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Missing Numbers Sort

It's snow day # 3, and I have started working on a different project. I am making a spring cookie jar sort with missing numbers. Here is what I have so far. Please let me know what you think!

-Mrs. Patton

New Template!

I just changed the look of my blog... what do you think?

I just love my digital scrapbooking materials!

-Mrs. Patton

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Part 2!

Well, another day of ice means another day to work on my to do list! Is it sad that I love that?

I decided that I am going to actually have 4 parts to this Long Ago and Today unit. As I went back and looked at the Texas state standards, I saw that we need to also cover household items that have changed.

So, below you will find the link for Part 2: Transportation. Part 3 will be Household changes and Part 4 will be a glimpse at changes in Technology.

- Mrs. Patton

Meet The Teacher

I have just recently entered the blog world and I am LOVING it! So many wonderful ideas, and it keeps me super excited about going to school every day and teaching my first graders.  Well, one of my favorite blogs, The First Grade Parade, is having a linky party! It's a fun way to get to "know" each other a little better. Enjoy!

There I am, with my wonderful new hubby... well new-ish. We have been married for a little over a year, and I am loving every minute of it. He was my best friend for about 6 years before we got together. We actually ended up really dating after "pretending" to date as a joke on our friend. Funny how God lets things work out, huh?

There we are on our wedding day! Can't believe how quickly time flies! Anyway, here is a little bit about me:

  I graduated from the University of North Texas and am loving the fact that I student taught and am now teaching for the 2nd year in the school district I grew up in. Not the same school, but it does have the exact same layout... kinda cool, huh? I love to sing at church, I am trying to learn guitar, and I am a Creative Memories consultant on the side. I also love spending time with family and friends, but more importantly, I LOVE Jesus! Can't imagine who I'd be without him.

Now for the Q & A

Q: What would you be doing if you weren’t a teacher?                                             
A:  Okay... if I wasn't a Christian singer I would Love, Love, LOVE to be an astronaut! My husband thinks it's a little nerdy, but that's me. I've always loved imagining what it would be like in outer space. Hmmm... 

Q: What are your hobbies?                                                                                    
A:  Singing, playing guitar, scrapbooking, and learning Spanish.                                                               

Q: When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?                     
A:  Honestly, I always knew I wanted to be a teacher. No doubt in my mind about that one!
Q: What are your guilty pleasures?                                                                
 A: Chocolate and anything super sweet! If it's too sweet for most people, I probably love it. :) I also enjoy curling up on the couch and watching shows like Bones, NCIS, White Collar and Royal Pains with my hubby.

Q: What is your biggest fear?!                                                                     
 A: Hmmm... this is a hard one for me. Not really scared of much, but I guess I would be freaked out if I ever saw a scorpion or one of those huge bugs my husband says they have in Iraq. Yuck!

Q: When you’re on vacation, where do you like to go?                                 
 A: Jamaica! We went to a Sandal's Resort for our honeymoon and I'd love to go back!
Q: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?                                                   
A:  If you know Dave Ramsey, you'll know this one: Live like no one else so you can live like no one else. He has some great stuff in his Total Money Makeover book. I also have taken to heart to pray about everything, so you can worry about nothing and let the peace of God guard your heart and mind.

Q: What do you value most in others?                                                                   
A:  I love when people are real. No hiding behind who they want to be. Just showing the world who they are with no worries.

Q: If you could choose one of your personality traits to pass down to your kids, what would it be?                                                                                                        
A: Faith. It's never been hard for me to believe in things. It's gotten me through so much and I know God will never fail me.    

Q: If you could have lunch with anyone in the world….living or dead…who would it be?                                                                                                             
A:  Jesus.
Now tell us one random thing about yourself:
Let's see... I tried out for American Idol just to say that I did, but I've never really liked the show. Can't stand the singers they pick who are "good". I have two birds and people think that is unusual. They are cockatiels. One is about 1 year old and the other I got when I was in 2nd grade. He's 19, can you believe it? They can live to be 25! Also, I am a proud Alpha Delta Pi Alum!

Now it’s time for YOU to join the party!!!!  Here’s what you need to do:  Write a post titled “Meet The Teacher”.  Start with a brief “biography” and then copy & paste the Q&A {using your answers, of course!}  Copy the web address of your “Meet the Teacher” post and come back here & link up!  It would be GREAT if you could visit at least 3 other teachers…get to know a little bit about your fellow bloggers…and leave a comment!!!! Don't forget to grab a button when you link up!! 

The First Grade Parade

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Long Ago and Today Unit

To those of you who were as lucky as me... Happy Ice Day!
Sorry if you didn't get a snow day, but that rarely happens here in Texas.

Anyway, here is what I worked on today. We have Long Ago and Today coming up in Social Studies and my team and I have decided to do it in 3 parts; school, transportation and technology. Below you can see what I have come up with for part 1 about school. I am planning on making an anchor chart that the students can add to throughout the unit. I will probably title it either How Things Change or Why Things Change. As we discuss things changing to become more efficient, faster, smaller, etc we will add to our class chart.

Download Here!

-Mrs. Patton