Friday, March 7, 2014

Five for Friday~Bar-ba-loot Shapes

Hi, Friends! How are ya? This week started out R-O-U-G-H, but we are now officially on spring break so this chica has NO complaints!


Linking up with Kacey, is always a great way for me to reflect over the best of our week. This picture kind of sums up how my kiddos feel about me having to be out unexpectedly….

Let’s see….how can I put this nicely? My class…is lovely. They’re the cutest bunch of inquisitive little smart cookies on the planet. We explore. Create. Build. Play. Work hard…..but we rarely do worksheets.  What may look like a worksheet to someone outside of our room is often the end state or last step in a process of hands on exploration. Soooooooo, when I leave them in the hands of a substitute, they kind of sorta, all out loose their minds! They don’t like them, don’t want ‘em and will stretch a sub to within an inch of their sanity!!! It’s taken me awhile to figure out why and then it hit me like a ton of bricks!

I give my kids choices. We vote on a lot of the “how” of what we do each day. They have a voice. I’m not there to tell them what to do all day long; I’m there to guide them. To facilitate the environment in which they learn. We set expectations together; I trust them and I leave them alone to meet them. If they need support, their classmates and I are there to help.

I know kids rather learn in fun, active ways. We rock at it everyday. What comes natural to us in the classroom, does not always come natural to someone who has to cover for me for the day. It’s a really challenging thing for my students to accept, especially considering how much personal responsibility they're given each day sooooooo, when I walked in the door on Thursday they were excited to get back to our “normal”…..{after a little chat about not scaring the substitutes away}. =)


We’ve been building bigger words during word work. First graders LOVE compound words! I always love using this little activity! Students each stand in a spot around the room. 1/2 of each word  card is passed out to two different students. After each student has a card, they then silently walk around the room to find their match. Everyone is capable of completing this successfully because they have the picture to help. We meet back at the carpet to share BIG words and create a word web. When we return from break, this activity will be extended into literacy stations too. You can check it out HERE.


In math, we wrapped up our unit on shapes and figures. After having so much fun with the Lorax last week, this was a perfect activity for my little Bar-ba-loots! We used marshmallows to represent vertices and toothpicks to represent edges. Each student created 3 figures.


After building their figures, each student got 3 sticky notes. One for each figure, to label the name of the figure and record its attributes.


Our room smelled yummy and constructing each shape really helped students to “see” and “feel” the attributes. Walmart has this selection of sticky notes. They’re in the holiday section for Easter, but also resembled two stories we worked with this week….Little Rabbit’s Tale and Chicken Little.

We’ll be using pieces of this little packet during math stations when we get back too.

 Here’s to a fun and restful spring break! See ya later!



  1. Mine get confused when they have to do worksheets with a sub too! Last time they were supposed to copy the questions with correct punctuation-most of them answered the questions! Love the marshmallows and toothpicks! :)


  2. My class is the same way! They can't do direct instruction and rarely do worksheets. They work best in partners. When we have a sub and there's a different schedule, they go bonkers!

    What I Have Learned


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