Thursday, March 31, 2011

Onomatpoeia. Say it Three Times Fast!

HA!! That's my little running joke with my firsties. They think this word is SUCH a HOOT!! Cracks me up. We’ve been talking about onomatopoeia words since October-ish. The kids LOVE to tell me when they find one of these sound words when they’re reading and they sit on pins and needles waiting to say, “I heard an ONOMATOPOEIA!!!!” while I’m reading to them. I love that they’re so quick to identify these words without any help. I decided it would be fun to do a little extension to reading activity to reinforce this concept.

Since the weather is changing and April showers are on the way, we read this little book first…

It’s a great little rhyming book with some awesome onomatopoeia words describing the sounds of rain. After we read the book, we made a little brainstorm map. I can’t believe I didn’t take a picture, but I’ll try my best to describe it. I drew a big umbrella on a large piece of butcher paper and drew lots of raindrops underneath it. Then I had the kids tell me as many words describing the sound of rain as they could and we wrote each word inside a different raindrop.

We learned all about weather at the beginning of the year, so this was a great opportunity for us to revisit what we learned. I had the kids think of different types of weather that make sounds…thunder, lightning, wind, etc. Then I had each of my kiddos pick out an umbrella, a handle, and 4-6 raindrops. They each had to assemble their umbrella and write onomatopoeia words on each raindrop to represent the sounds of different types of weather. LOVE it!!!


The kids came up with words like splash, drip, ting!, kerplop, whoosh, whirl, ssss, howl, and so many more! What a fun way to reinforce sound words!!


I don’t have a template for any of this, although that really would have helped with assembly! HA!! I was just cutting blind! You’ll see that some of my raindrops are itty and some are HUGE, and my poor little umbrellas are all shades of funky. I still think they turned out pretty dang cute! I think this little craftivity would be fun with ANY concept!!!

Do you have any fun ideas for reinforcing onomatopoeia words?!?! I’d love to hear them!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

On A Roll

After reading this post, you *might* think I’m a little obsessed with dice activities :) Not true…however, my kids totally are!!! And I know that when they’re excited, I might as well milk it for all it’s worth! HA! One of my firsties told me today, “You know what’s weird?! I feel like I’m having a lot of fun, but really I’m learning!” Oops…guess the cat’s outta the bag ;)
I’m LOVING this little activity…and so are the kids!! This activity focuses on ADJECTIVES. Now, I might be obsessed with that!! HA!! I prepared 7 envelopes. 6 envelopes contained 4-5 different adjectives. 1 envelope contained 12-15 different sentence strips. The kids had to choose a sentence strip from the sentence envelope and then roll the die. Then they had to choose 2 adjectives from the envelope that matched their roll. SO…if they rolled a 6, they picked 2 adjectives from the envelope labeled 6.
Then they had to figure out where to fit the adjectives into their sentence to make a silly statement! They had SUCH a BLAST with this one!!! It was so much fun to see what they wrote….the sentences & illustrations were awesome! And it was a great activity to reinforce adjective placement. They had to know that adjectives describe a noun and they couldn’t just put them any ol’ place in the sentence. FUN!
Graphics courtesy of Scrappin' Doodles


This next activity was too much fun!! The kids were given 3 different dice labeled with adjectives, nouns, & verbs. I just cut out words and did a very poor job of TAPING them on :) Whatever works, right?! They had to roll all three dice and record the words on which they landed. They had to know that each word was either a verb/noun/adjective for recording purposes. Then they had to use all 3 words in a sentence. They did such a great job! I was so proud of them!!!!
The kids have requested that we keep both of these activities in their stations for the rest of the week. I love it when that happens!
We’re just finishing up a few little mini-lessons and activities on fact & opinion. I know that can be a tricky concept for the kids to grasp, but my kids had so many questions about “opinions” that I decided it was time to teach them about it!!! We are having SO much fun and the kids are learning SO much! I’ve overheard a few of my firsties say to their friends, “well, that’s your OPINION.” HA!!!
Graphic courtesy of Scrappin' Doodles

You can grab our fun little Fact & Opinon Packet at my TpT store HERE. Here’s a little sample of the goods…
Happy Wednesday, sweet friends!!! Can you believe it’s almost APRIL?!?!?!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Mad Dictionary Skills ;)

Okay…so my kids don’t have them YET, but they have been introduced to this wonderful little resource. Resource is a BIG word in my class. My kids know that if they’re having trouble with something, they need to use a RESOURCE for help. Lately, they’ve been really curious about words and their meanings. I LOVE that!! When they’re reading to self, I’ll often have kids who bring their books to me and say, “what does that mean?!?!” as they point inquisitively to the word in question. While I really try to encourage them to use their context clues, sometimes word meaning can be a little tricky to figure out! SO…it was time to teach my kids how to USE the dictionary because, as we all know, it’s an invaluable RESOURCE!!


We did a little SmartBoard lesson on guide words & definitions. I didn’t want to get TOO in depth…just wanted to start them off with the basics! Of course, my firsties are pretty well versed in ABC order, so we did a few little ABC order activities and transitioned right into using guide words to find different words. After we did this a few times, I split the kids into groups of 2-3 & gave each little group a dictionary. I also handed each group a word card. Their objective was to find the word {using the guide words as a reference} and then read the definition. Once they located all the info, they had to write down the word…guide words…page number…and definition. {I definitely differentiated this activity!! Some of my babies were given very “easy cheesy” words while some of my GT’s were given “big” words :)}


I had the kids write all the info on kite bows and illustrate the word/definition on a kite. They had SO much fun with this activity!!



I now have kids asking if they can “read” the dictionary during D.E.A.R Time or Read to Self. HA!! They’re even BEGGING me to give them words to find. I can feel a new little center comin’ on quick!!! I love it when they get excited about learning!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Since this is a post of a bunch of random things, I’m calling it my “potpourri”. {Does anyone dislike that word as much as I do?!?! Mark it under one of my most not-favorite things to say}
Is anyone else BARELY getting to fractions?! We started our fraction unit this week and started by discussing equal & unequal parts. I folded a bunch pieces of construction paper {even & uneven} and passed them out to the kids after a little fraction introduction on the SmartBoard. The kids had to go back to their desks and cut the construction paper on the creases and then determine whether or not they had equal or unequal parts.
Then we sorted! As we were sorting equal & unequal parts, I had the kids give me “fraction sentences” for the parts that were equal. If I was holding up 4 equal parts, I put three behind my back and then the kids would say, “3 out of 4 pieces are behind your back. 1 out of 4 pieces are in your hand.” Loved it!
If you’re still looking for fraction ideas and fun, I’ll be posting my Fraction Unit to TpT this weekend.
One of my writing activities this week was Roll, Write, & Revise! The kids are LOVING this little activity and have requested that it stay in the writing center for the rest of the week. This is one request I’m happy to grant :) I taped 6 different MESSED UP sentences and glued them onto a tissue box. The kids had to “roll” the box, read the sentence, write it, and then revise it.
They had to look for punctuation, spelling, and capitalization errors. I was SO impressed with their work! They did GREAT!! I stayed close to my babies who struggle when they were visiting this station. We did this activity together and I had them explain why we had to revise different parts of the sentences. I was so proud of them!
The kids are LOVING it!!! And it goes perfectly along with Kathleen Pedersen’s FIX IT UP! Packet. Do y’all have it yet?! If you don’t, you should! My kids are having so much fun “fixing” her sentences!! You can download the sentences I used on the Kleenex box & the recording sheet here:
Graphic courtesy of Scrappin' Doodles

We’ve also been working on compound words this week. Smart Lesson Stop had a great compound words activity for the SmartBoard that my kids just adored. We went through a portion of it together and I had the kids do another portion independently for Word Work. The kids also got to combine two words/pictures to make a new word & then match it up to the compound word card.
When they were finished with the matching, they made little compound word flip books. They loved it!
Graphic courtesy of Scrappin' Doodles

Here are a few more little activities we’re workin’ on this week, but with no pics to share :) We’ve been busy and I’ve been slightly forgetful.

The kids LOVE this sight word “game”! This is another repeat request. They love playing and don’t even realize they’re practicing spelling. I love activities like that! Directions are included in the download :)
Graphics courtesy of Scrappin' Doodles

I also put out a little synonym/antonym game out this week. It’s a variation of an idea I got from Mailbox Magazine…I just can’t remember what issue?!?! To prepare this activity, you’ll need to copy the synonym/antonym boards and the synonym and antonym cards on cardstock {for durability}. Each board will need a set of synonym/antonym cards as well. Laminate and cut the synonym and antonym cards and place in baggies. Distribute a board and a baggie to each player. Player 1 will reach into his baggie and remove a synonym or antonym card. Depending on the card he draws, he will cover up a corresponding pair of words on his board. {For example, if he pulls out an antonym card, he would place it on top of a pair of antonyms on his board}. The next player will do the same and so forth. The first player to cover up a row {horizontally or diagonally} on his board is the winner! You could also use these as synonym/antonym Bingo boards :) I included two different recording sheets as well. My kids are LOVING this game!!!!
Graphics courtesy of Scrappin' Doodles

Monday, March 21, 2011

Heavy Heart

Today was our first day back from Spring Break, but we all arrived with heavy hearts. Over the weekend, we learned that our sweet counselor’s 19-year-old daughter was admitted to the ICU. By Sunday morning, we found out that she had unexpectedly passed away. My heart is broken for this family and their tremendous loss. Our entire school met today as a “family” to talk about the events of the weekend and what we could do to help our counselor & her family. Just a very short year ago, we had a very similar family meeting after we lost a precious 1st grader to cancer. Life is short and completely unexpected, and as a mom, that makes me want to cherish every little moment I have with my boys…even the not-so-great times :) I was reminded today how blessed I am…I have two {healthy} sweet boys & a husband I love more than life itself, and I work in a school full of the most loving, christian people I’ve ever known. It truly feels like I “work” with my family. Even though I didn’t know our counselor’s daughter personally, I teared up as we prayed {together} for the family. It’s hard not to feel sad when it hits so close to home. I spent a lot of extra time tonight snuggling my boys and giving them more hugs and kisses than they could handle, so I have nothing to share with you tonight. I just ask that you say an extra prayer of peace & comfort for this sweet family.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

CSN Spring Break Fun!

One of my most favorite things to do over Spring Break is SHOP…especially for things like this cute little corner TV stand..

Wildon Home - DTO9999 - Fulton 48

I’m always lookin’ for little ways to spruce up different rooms in my house. But let’s get real. Shopping is sorta my favorite thing to do not matter what time of year it is! HA!! And I don’t like to limit my shopping to home goods. That’s why I LOVE shopping CSN stores!! With over 200+ stores in their repertoire, I can ALWAYS find something I just can’t live without!!! And my most favorite way to shop CSN is with FREE money!!!

\When my fabulous friends at CSN stores asked if I’d mind passing along some free money {in the form of a promotional code} to my fun & frivolous readers, I told them I’d be happy to host a little giveaway. Heck, with all the other fun giveaways going on right now, why not add this little one to your list, too?!

The winner of this little giveaway will take home a $25 gift card in the form of a one-time use promotional code to any of the CSN {200+} stores.

So what are ya waitin’ for?!?!

How To Enter…

Stop by CSN Stores, come back here, and leave a comment telling me how you’ll spend your winnings {1 entry}

Become a follower of Emilyk Cole {1 entry}

Become a fan of CSN Stores on FB {1 entry}


3 chances to win!!

The giveaway ends on Friday at 12:00AM CST. Don’t be late! And don’t forget to leave a valid email address so that I can contact you if you win! If the winner doesn’t contact me within 48hrs, a new winner will be chosen at random.


You can also stop by my domestic blog for a chance to win a

$60 CSN gift card!!

And who knows?!?! You might just be the lucky winner of BOTH!!!! $85 extra to spend on whatever my little heart desires sounds pretty dang good right about now!! HA!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Open House 2011

Have I mentioned before how much I love my school?? Because I really, really do!!! I feel so blessed to be part of such an amazing family and teach in such a fun environment!! I especially love the way our campus transforms this time of year! Even though the weeks prior to Open House can be a little busy, crazy, & chaotic, it’s always worth it in the end. I LOVE how proud the kids are to show their parents all of their work. Brag day is the best!! Here’s a little peek into Open House 2011 in my neck of the woods :)


We’ve been learning lots about America & Texas the last few weeks so I tried my best to fill every nook and cranny with our learning!!


Since we traveled through America…and Texas…we made little backpacks for the kids to gather and pack up all of their work {aka: souvenirs} along the way.


I can take ZERO credit for this darling idea. The girls on my team have been making these for a few years and they are DARLING!

We used ribbon for the straps…just stapled ‘em on.


We fastened them with velcro dots. When you open up the backpacks, there are two different compartments for storage! The kids LOVED these!!!!


We also set out little *portfolios* stuffed FULL of the kids’ work. We’ve been collecting various little projects since the beginning of the school year. It was SO much fun to see how much they’ve grown since the beginning. The biggest difference was their handwriting and overall writing skills. The growth is TREMENDOUS!!!!


Here’s our first grade hallway. I love the way it turned out!! The parents will typically decorate the halls for each grade level for Open House, but our team decided to decorate it ourselves this year. It took lots of work, but it was worth it!

Our theme: Traveling through America {a journey through American symbols}

The journey starts at the beginning of our hallway right outside my door. The biplane is carrying a big banner with all the words to “America the Beautiful”. We tried to coordinate each display with the different lines of the song.

My class displayed our bald eagles {courtesy of Deanna Jump’s America Unit}


Next stop…Kentucky! Birthplace of Abraham Lincoln. My sweet neighbor displayed her darling Lincolns along with a writing activity. Presh!


Now driving to the land of the free, home of the brave: Colorado! {purple mountain majesties} This class displayed their tear paper flags and a Pledge of Allegiance writing activity.


Now driving through Virginia: home of George Washington. My sweet teammate, Mrs. Bailey, displayed her class’ George Washingtons & corresponding writing amidst a winding road of cherry trees. Love!


Next up: Philadelphia! Home of the Liberty Bell. LOVE these! Of course, this darling idea is courtesy of Deanna Jump’s America Unit. My sweet team leader found these placemats at Hobby Lobby that we cut into the shape of a bell…they were PERFECT!! Looked just liked a weathered bell!!!


Now off to New York: home of Lady Liberty! My sweet teammate’s mom painted this darling Statue of Liberty!! Her class displayed the Lady Liberty directed drawings from Deanna Jump’s America Unit. Love!!


Now our tour must end. SO, we will ‘crown thy good with brotherhood from SEA TO SHINING SEA!!!” {with a little cityscape & fireworks :)} How’s that for a great trip?!?!


Right across from the cityscape is our big Lady Liberty foot!! We got this FABULOUS idea from Deanna Jump’s America Unit. This had to be the COOLEST activity EVER!! The kids LOVED it!!!



That concludes our journey ;)

Here’s a little peek at the rest of the school…

Kindergarten went with a Chicka Chicka Boom Boom theme. SO cute!


2nd grade always does the cutest little Guess Who Zoo! Each classroom takes a different continent. This was one of my favorite things last year!!



Third grade is studying the solar system. They added a lot more after I took these pics!


Fourth grade is learning about Texas…


Fifth grade displayed their geometry riddles…


And sixth grade is learning about Egypt!



I guess you could say that this Spring Break is definitely well deserved!!!!

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