Wednesday, February 16

President's Day Activities Two

So, here are a couple of things we're doing in First Grade this week to celebrate the old presidents. 

First, we read a couple of books about Lincoln and Washington and documented our learning (the kids LOVE this.)

Lincoln’s Log Sorting Center

This week I wanted to incorporate President's Day into my reading workshop, so I made this little center. President’s day theme? Lincoln’s cabins. The idea is pretty basic.

Students sort “logs” onto Lincoln’s “cabins”. Once they fill a cabin up with logs, they’ve built it! (And, wowie-wow-wow are Firsties proud of themselves after they’ve “built” a cabin!! Ha!)


Post Sorting
Here are some example sorts.
Compound Words V. Non-Compound Words

Long E Words and Short E Words

What I love about this center is the variety of sorts you can make to differentiate for different kiddos. I stuck to sound sorts when I made my cabins, but you can also make syllable sorts, type of speech sorts, computation sorts, even and odd number sorts, and all other kinds of sorts with this pattern.

Want to make your own? Here’s how.

First, print this pattern (click the pic to download). It is UGLY.  But, I promise it will turn out okay.... Just trust me on this one :)  
  I know it is ugly!!!!! See explanation below.  

 (I was totally afraid to cutesy this pattern up in case I lost the sizing of the craft sticks. They were a TOTAL nightmare to trace! Hence the lack of loveliness...)

To improve your cabins, I suggest adding some Cabin Bling. I just added a door and a window to mine because I am an underachiever, but that shouldn’t prevent you from going wild!!! You may also want to laminate your houses for durability.

After you’ve made your houses, program craft sticks for whatever skill you want your kiddos to practice.  Math, reading, whatever.  You also want to create labels for the houses (e.g. “Long E Words”, “Short E Words”).

To store this center, I put all of the sticks for each sort into a different labeled baggie. Then, I pull specific sorts for different kiddos who need work on different things. Or, when I’m feeling crazy, I just put out all of the baggies and the kids can sort whatever two groups they feel like. Before sorting the kids like to "shuffle" the sticks- translation: dump all of the sticks on the floor and swirl them around like there's no tomorrow. Then they get down to sorting business and once they’re done, the sorting sticks and labels go right back into the baggies. EASY!
President Mobile

So I totally wish that I could take credit for this super cute idea, but I can’t. It was entirely the mind-child of my brilliant and adorable colleague, Mrs. Shackelford. 

My class hasn’t actually done this activity yet, but here’s how I plan on doing it. First, the kiddos are going to make their mobiles (glue a presidential silhouette to each side of a heart- EASY!!!!).

Then, the kiddos will sort statements about each president onto to either side of their mobile, gluing them to the mobile tail. Simple and cute. And who can’t use a little simplicity in their life?! Here's what it looks like when it's done (one pic of each side).

Any big plans for the Presidential Weekend?  I don’t know about the rest of y’all, but I plan on catching some zzz’s. (Can you tell my mind is already on the weekend!?!?!?!)

Have a FABULOUS Wednesday!
Mrs. Thiessen


Plants seeds of knowledge...for our future! said...

I love the log cabin sort. I have the Old World Cartridge for the Cricut and I believe it has a cutout for a log cabin! This is such an awesome idea and like you said it is so versatile!

First Grade Best said...

Just love your cute idea of the log cabins! How clever! I will need to make time to complete this project with my group this week. Thanks so much for sharing! Could you direct me to the "ugly" pattern? Thanks so much!

Anonymous said...

Adorable! I am going to do the mobile on Friday. Thank you for sharing. :)


Pam said...

Great idea. We are working on the long e sound this week and should be ready for it next week. I also could not locate the log cabin pattern.
Thanks for the ideas!!!! They are the best.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your e-mail on the patterns!!! You are awesome!!


Alexandra Thiessen said...

Okay, I reposted the link in a much more obvious fashion. Just click the pic to download the pattern. I was too embarassed to post a picture of it initially because it's so ugly! Ha!

Alexandra :)

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog and I love your president's day activities. I would love the patterns for your president's day activities.

Tess said...

Super cute -- thanks for the ideas!

Anonymous said...

Your ideas are so cute...could you please send me the patterns to the new president's day activities you just posted. Thanks

Kate said...

These are great ideas! I can't wait to use them next week. Thanks for sharing!

calpers said...

LOVE these activities! THANK YOU sooo much for sharing! would you mind sharing patterns with me as well? Thank you tons!

Dana Baker said...

Thank you for sharing your blog! I am awarding you the Stylish Blogger Award!


Miss Trayers said...

The log cabins are such a neat idea! I'm going to use it to sort facts and opinions about the Presidents! Thanks so much for sharing.


Sarah Paul said...

Your blog is FANTASTIC! I love all of your President's Day stuff. Thanks for sharing! :)

Samantha said...

WOW! I stumbled upon your blog when looking for some ideas for President's Day. I am SO impressed! Teach me how to blog...HA! Thanks for sharing. WOW!!!


Busy Bee said...

I'm on spring break and loving your blog! Fantastic Stuff! I know President's Day is 11 months away, but it is so darn cute, I'd like to have for next year. If it isn't too much trouble, could you email me any patterns from Posts 1 and 2 for presidents? Thanks so much for sharing your FABULOUS ideas!!

My Life Song said...

Could you send me the template for the President's day mobile? I want to use it for President's day this year!


Laura said...

"Submarine" is a compound word.

Teaching Urban said...

Can't wait to try it! We are working on compound words next week..and I'm going to find a way to incorporate that. Love your ideas!

Anonymous said...

Would love to do this with my kiddos for President's Day. Do you mind sharing your patterns for Washington and Lincoln?

Anonymous said...

OMG just found site and it's wonderful!!!!!!! Love your ideas and your other links to other peers sharing ideas, centers, and activities!!!!!! If you wouldn't mind also sharing President cutouts for mobiles would love to complete with my first graders will be doing log cabin sort. Great Idea!!!!
Thanks Michelle

jessiglover said...

I LOVE your blog! SOo many great ideas that have helped me in my first two years teaching! I would LOVE the patterns for the President's if you don't mind! Thank you sooo much!!

Carla at Preschool Powol Packets said...

I LOVE these ideas! Thanks so much for the patterns! I'm featuring them in my Sharing Saturday post tonight!

Anonymous said...

I love your log cabin idea. Thanks for sharing all your great ideas.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the great ideas! I hope to use these ideas this week! Could you please send me the patterns for the president's day activities? Thank you again!

Ashli Wyland said...

Thank you so much for sharing!!! I love your ideas and so did my classroom. One quick question...I'm brand spankin new at this blogging business and was wondering how you add the side column, such as putting things under 'months'...and adding your list of people that you follow? Any help is much appreciated. My blog URL is

ThAnK yOu!!! Ashli

Lynn said...

I love the activities you have for Presidents! Do you mind sharing any of the patterns for the Activities? Thanks, Lynn

Jennah Phelps said...

I came across your blog while looking for President's Day crafts. Would you mind sharing your Washington and Lincoln patterns with the crafts, please?

Anonymous said...

I would greatly appreciate you emailing me the patterns.

michelle first grade said...

Hi! I love your spirit and enthusiasm for teaching! I would love to have the patterns for the president's day mobiles to do with our fourth grade buddy class. Would you mind sharing?

Thank you!

Michelle, first grade

Anonymous said...

I love your President's Day activities and I would love to do them with my kids. Can you please e-mail me the President's Day Activities Two and the President's Mobile? Thank you for sharing. I'm looking forward to visiting your website again!

Mrs.Bullock said...

Super cute! Would love the templates for Presidents' Day activities

Renee said...

Super cute!!! Would it be possible to get the templates for the first activity posted? The one with the facts around their faces? :) My email is

Dana said...

Thank you! For the mobile I found some google images and printed then out. Just search Washington or Lincoln silhouette. I just printed out the log cabin template and pinned it! Great ideas.

Anonymous said...

I would love to have the Lincoln and Washington sort patterns. Would you consider posting them or sending them to me? They look ideal for my students.

Anonymous said...

I would like the templates on the facts and faces and the silhouette mobiles. Can you send them to me?

Anonymous said...

I love it all!!
Would you mind sending me the Lincoln and Washington faces with facts and the President Mobile! Very cute. Thank you very much!

Unknown said...

These are great. Can you send me the Lincoln and Washington faces with facts? Thank you!