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Creepy, Crawly Spiders!
2 Oct, 2013. 2 Comments. A Day In First Grade, First Grade, First Grade Science, Kindergarten Science, October, Science. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Well spider week in my classroom is off to a HUGE hit! I had a few parents email me saying that their child is SO excited and I couldn’t be happier! 
On Monday, my students walked in to see a giant spider on our back bulletin board. They were SO excited they could hardly contain themselves. It has been so much fun teaching about spiders the last two days. 
With over 2/3rd of my class being boys, they are SO excited about this unit. Everything that we learn is exciting and cool and so engaging. They were more than happy to share what they already knew about spiders and have loved adding new facts to our anchor chart. 
If you don’t have this book…
…you really MUST go get it. My boys are eating it up!! My three girls loved it, too!! 
Even better, all of my students are so eager to read about spiders which is making guided reading SO much fun. Today we read a book on tarantulas and my group LOVED it. They enjoyed every page and stopped and discussed all the “cool” things that they learned.  {This book was from Reading A-Z}
As many of you know, I teach using themes and have used spiders to my every advantage these last few days in math. To review number sentences, I drew a spider web and took out some of my spiders. We then reviewed how to make number sentences and decomposed the number using our white boards. 
 I store my dry erase markers in “baby” socks and pass them out– I saw this trick this summer and it has saved so many tissues in my classroom. Plus, I love that the kids have no choice over what color marker they get! {I store them in a basket along with my dry erase ping pong paddles. This is always an open “word work” activity that my students love!}
After we practiced decomposing the same number, I gave each student a handful of spiders and they practiced decomposing their number– it was a HUGE hit! 
 My students had a blast with this easy activity!
We also have been working on number patterns and using a number line. We start each math time with a quick math warm up which takes us no longer than 4-5 minutes. It’s a great way for students to get ready for math and my students are LOVING it! I set a timer and only let my students work on this for 5 minutes. If they finish early, they can color in the pictures. As they are working, I walk around the room with either a smelly marker or my stickers and I mark each student’s page as they are working. This allows me to quickly assess how we are doing as a class. 
My students love the number line challenge at the bottom of each page. I love that it is making them really think about numbers! 

Tomorrow is the BIG day in our classroom. A REAL tarantula is coming to spend the rest of the week with us. I know that they are not dangerous or a threat to humans but I am SO grossed out… Nevertheless, my boys are ECSTATIC and that’s what it is all about, right? Oh the things we do for our classes!! 
Congratulations go to Rosemary! You are the winner of my Spider pack and Jen’s, too!! We will be emailing you a copy soon! I hope that you love them! 
I hope you are having a great week! 

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2 Comments
  1. Hi Kristen,

    I found your blog through Paul’s post on the TpT’s sellers forum.

    Love this post of spiders – so many great ideas for the run up to Hallowe’en. I definitely have to borrow the decomposing number idea, my students always need loads of hands on practise with that.

    I have to say you are super brave having a taratula come visit your class – the toy ones freak me out, never mind the real deal! However, I’m sure your students will LOVE it and remember it for years. Please let me know how it goes!

    Best wishes,

    Lisa
    One, Two, Three: Math Time

  2. Hi there-

    I really love your blog. I think the idea of teaching everything thematically is AWESOME. I want to go back to school and be in your class! I was just wondering though, do you have suggestions for how to start teaching with themes? I am thinking that it seems like it would take sooo long to gather/buy/create enough resources to do a theme every 1-2 weeks. Any suggestions for a fellow 1st grade teacher would be wonderful. :) Thank you!!

    Courtney

2 Comments

  • Hi Kristen,

    I found your blog through Paul’s post on the TpT’s sellers forum.

    Love this post of spiders – so many great ideas for the run up to Hallowe’en. I definitely have to borrow the decomposing number idea, my students always need loads of hands on practise with that.

    I have to say you are super brave having a taratula come visit your class – the toy ones freak me out, never mind the real deal! However, I’m sure your students will LOVE it and remember it for years. Please let me know how it goes!

    Best wishes,

    Lisa
    One, Two, Three: Math Time

  • Hi there-

    I really love your blog. I think the idea of teaching everything thematically is AWESOME. I want to go back to school and be in your class! I was just wondering though, do you have suggestions for how to start teaching with themes? I am thinking that it seems like it would take sooo long to gather/buy/create enough resources to do a theme every 1-2 weeks. Any suggestions for a fellow 1st grade teacher would be wonderful. :) Thank you!!

    Courtney

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