Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Today, In My Classroom: Who Knew Santa Was Silly?



Christmas is always the perfect time to do fun activities with your students. I recently created a new product for my store where my students wrote silly Santa stories. My kids just loved it!


I just uploaded my newest product, Who Knew Santa Was Silly? in my TpT store. It includes lesson plans for a week with activities for your students to brainstorm ideas, create their silly stories, and to compare real Santa and silly Santa. My students completed these activities last week.


We started by brainstorming ideas using the brainstorming sheet. I didn’t tell the students what they were writing about…this added to the fun! Next, we transferred our brainstorming ideas to the rough draft copy of the silly story. This is where the students could actually read their stories. They loved this part! We then revised our rough drafts (most spelling errors) and created our final drafts. These were the ones that I used on my bulletin board. You’ll notice in the picture above that I made a mistake in my initial creation of this product (I fixed it before it was posted in my store, of course). So, my kids had to scratch out and re-number their brainstorming sheet. Silly me!


After completing our final drafts of our silly Santa story. We used the comparing and contrasting sheet and Venn Diagram above to discuss real Santa and silly Santa. Again, another fun activity for them!


In my newest product, I also have an idea about how to turn your students’ writing activities into a bulletin board display. I started by finding this cute Santa template on Catching Fireflies. Then I created eyes and noses for Santa using construction paper.




I put all of the pieces together to create Santa!


I used the students’ final draft of their silly stories and their Santa craft and added them to my bulletin board.


Go check out my newest product in my store. It is half off until tomorrow afternoon! It will be a great activity for your last days of school before the Christmas break!


Friday, December 6, 2013

Giveaway Winners Announcement

Congrats to Katie and Cecile for winning the giveaway! Thanks to everyone who entered as well!


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Product Promotion: 2013 Winter Holiday eBook & A Giveaway

Grades 1 2 cover

I am so happy to have been included in the Winter Holidays Tips and Freebies Ebook this year. A special shout out to Hilary! Don’t know what it is? Well you’re in luck.

The ebook that I contributed to was geared to1st and 2nd grade teachers. It includes pages designed by 50 TPT sellers. Each page has a holiday teaching tip as well as holiday-themed free item for you to download. Guess what, I’m on page 21. Tee-hee!


Please download your free Winter Holidays Tips and Freebies eBook and grab some awesome materials here.

Christmas is almost here and I have a sleigh full of wonderful Christmas themed items like…




In the spirit of giving, I will give two wonderful people all three of these items! There are several ways to mandatory to enter. One way is to leave a comment telling me one thing on your Christmas wish list. There are also other ways to get additional entries. Simply use the Rafflecopter widget to enter. Make sure to use a working email, and I will work on the honor system my friends, so be fair! I will choose a winner on Friday!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Sunday, November 3, 2013

Linking Up: Currently, Plus a Classroom Freebie


Happy Sunday to you all! Are you enjoying your extra hour of sleep today thanks to Daylight Savings Time? I know I am! Today I’m linking up with Farley for Currently, and I am also sharing a classroom freebie.

Here’s my Currently for November…enjoy!


I am currently listening to the Hobbit and the Lorax. I’m watching the Hobbit and little man is watching the Lorax, but I can hear it. It is seriously his favorite movie and he’s just a baby. I am currently loving the extra hour of sleep due to DST. I feel like I have a lot of time to do things today. The downside is that it’ll get darker earlier. I am currently thinking that I need to finish grading papers. I think that is a #teacherproblem! I am currently wanting a new car. I think that I have outgrown my small car, and I need to step up to an SUV. I’m thinking…a Ford Explorer? One of the first vehicles I drove as a teenager was an OLD Explorer, but they look so fancy now! I am currently needing a personal assistant. Don’t we all! A yummy pin was not hard to find. I love Pinterest and I have a whole board dedicated to food (sad, but true). So, I just picked one of my faves.

Pioneer Woman's Baked French Toast

It’s Baked French Toast by the Pioneer Woman! YUM. You can find website with the recipe from the original pinner here, and you can find the original recipe from the Pioneer Woman here.


So, In my classroom, during center rotations, I have student that is designated as the center monitor. During our rotations, I am at my teacher table, and the other students are in their centers. If a student has a question, they know that they must ask the center monitor. Sometimes the monitor can answer the question and sometimes the center monitor has to ask me. My students know that the center monitor is the only person that is allowed to come to my teacher table to ask a question. Well…it had been working fine, but I noticed that I was answering TONS of questions during our rotations. Many of these questions could wait until later, or the students should have known what to do. Another problem is that my center monitor would be working so hard in their center that they would forget to look up and see who was raising their hands for help. So, I had to constantly call the monitor’s name to go help people. Ultimately, I wasn’t giving my small group the attention they needed and that is a big problem. To remedy this problem, I created these center monitor statement cards.


The cards have statements that the students can present to the center monitor. When they need the center monitor, they will choose a card and write their names on it. Then they will place the card in a special box that I gave to my monitor. The monitor will know that someone needs help, and she can go to him or her without me having to tell them. I also created this poster. I posted this poster in the area where I have the statement cards set up. And as the poster states, if my students have a question that is not on the cards, it can wait! I am going to be trying this out on Monday. I think it will really help me reduce the amount of time that I spend away from my teacher table. In the freebie, you will have all of the cards that I used above, and I’ve also included blank copies just in case you’d like to come up with your own. You can download this freebie here and please leave me some comment love if you enjoyed it!


Saturday, October 26, 2013

New Look & A Couple of Freebies


Good Saturday to you! I hope that you like my new design courtesy of Laura Rafferty at Sophie & Rory. She was so great to work with and I think it looks pretty cool. Lately I have been diving all the way into the Daily 5 and I have a few freebies to share with you.

This was my first year to implement the Daily 5, and I must say that I…LOVE IT! Honestly, I would dread when someone would come in during my Reading time and Math time because I didn’t know how to engage my students. I have literally been searching for an effective way to implement centers since I started teaching, and the Daily 5 is it! Now, it does take a ton of work to get the students used to it. I still struggle from time to time. When that happens, I simply go back and model with my kids and practice again. I am hoping to post what I do for each of my Daily 5 math and reading centers soon. I am not an expert by any means, but I do have ideas to share! Today, I’m sharing what I use in my Math by Myself (Math Daily 5) center. Students have to complete seatwork first, then they can grab one of these activities. This chapter we are covering subtraction, so I created these two games. Our math series (Go Math) has games too, but I just wanted to create something myself.


The first activity is Subtraction Cover Up. Students choose a card and solve the problem. When they find the difference, they will use a counter to cover it up. It’s simple, but my kids love it. I printed about 3 sets of this game, and I store them in a big gallon plastic bag. Also, I made sure to use foam counters! Kids are attracted to noise! I would also laminate the pieces. I didn’t get to do it initially because I rushed to make this, but I plan on laminating it later so that I can re-use it.


The other activity is Subtraction Roll and Solve. In this activity, students will first roll a die. The number that they roll will be the problem that they have to solve. Students will solve the subtraction sentence and place the card on the page. Each number on the die will allow the students to solve two subtraction sentences. Again, I made 3 sets and stored them in plastic bags. Also, foam dice are a must if you have them!

These activities are nothing fancy, just something I came up with! Scoop up both activities HERE and leave me some feedback below! Enjoy your weekend.


Friday, September 13, 2013

Today, In My Classroom: Calendar Math


This year, I wanted to re-vamp my calendar routine this year for my firsties. In the past, I have used a Promethean flipchart from Promethean Planet that I downloaded years ago. I still use it, but I use it in conjunction with my daily calendar math sheet.

The picture above shows what I project on my promethean board. This actually shows what it looks like after we have filled everything in. I let my students work with a partner to complete their calendar math. I usually set a timer so that they know that we don’t have time to play! (Also, they know that we have our Math Daily 5 centers following our math mini lesson, so they are pretty good about finishing).


After the timer goes off, we review our calendar. I honestly started this late this school year, but I plan to copy enough for each month and make a booklet out of it. I wish I could afford to run off enough for the entire year and bind them together! Maybe next year I can!

Feel free to grab my daily calendar math sheet below or just click here! Leave me a comment and tell me what you do for your calendar routine!


Freebie Fridays


Friday, August 30, 2013

Linking Up: Freebie Friday, Write Around the Room


I’m linking up today with TBA’s Freebie Friday with my product Write Around the Room with Capital Letters. Here’s what you’ll find inside of this freebie.

First, you will find these nice little cards. Each card has a capital letter on it. At the bottom right of each card, you will see a number. This number corresponds with the recording sheet below.

The other thing that is included is a recording sheet. This is what the students will use as the they navigate the classroom. I’ve also included an answer key for quick checking.
So…how does this work? To begin, you will print the cards and place them around the classroom. Next, you will give each student a recording sheet. Your students will search the classroom for the letters. When they find a card, they will write down the letter on the card next to the number on the card. For example, John finds the card with the letter “E.” On the right-hand corner of that card is the number 5. John will write the letter “E” next to the number 5 on his recording sheet.
Of course you will have to give good instructions and model it for your students, but they will definitely enjoy doing this activity. It addresses CCSS RF.K.1d, but this would be a fun activity for first grade teachers during the beginning of the year. They can use this activity to refresh their students’ memory about their letters.
Grab this freebie at my store HERE and leave me a nice comment! If you love the freebie and wish to have more practice with the alphabet, you can get the full version which includes this freebie HERE.
Freebie Fridays


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Pin-Up Thursdays: Walls, Words, Displays & Info

Pin-Up Thursday this week features some of my favorite Pinterest finds from the past week. Here are the things that caught my eye.
I pinned this “I’m Done” wall that would be perfect for those students who are early finishers. I love this because it’s simple and easy to put on a board or wall of your classroom. I’ve seen the I’m Done folders and project boards, but this seems so much easier. I definitely plan to implement a similar thing for my classroom.
I pinned this word wall done with ribbon. When words are ready to be added to the word wall, you just clip it to the ribbon. I’m all for cool ways to display word walls! Last year, I used a floating word wall. This year, my word wall is a bit more traditional, but I definitely appreciate the look and ease that this word wall has.
I pinned this tool to help students with their nonsense words. Students place their finger on each dot and say each sound. Then, they blend those sounds together to say the nonsense word. Our district really focuses on DIBELS and one of the things that first graders are tested on is nonsense word fluency. Students are expected to put the sounds of words together to say words even if they do not necessarily make sense, hence the name nonsense words. I love this because it helps students break down the sounds in the word. Some of my students can say the word without sounding it out which is the ultimate goal. However, some students really need to make each sound in order to say the word.
I pinned a neat way to display daily objectives. This is just a picture frame with scrapbook paper and labels. By using a dry erase marker, your objectives can easily be written and erased each day. This is great idea, but I would imagine that you would need a good deal of board or wall space to do all of your subject areas. Still, it’s such a creative idea. I can see this being used in the home too (perhaps as a grocery list board or something like that!)
Finally, I pinned this awesome parent handbook flipbook. I really wish that I would have found this pin before I started school, because I think it is such an organized way of giving parents all of the essential information about your classroom. This would be a great tool for your meet and greet or open house with parents before school starts.
To find the source of each pin, visit my Pin-Up Thursdays Pinterest page here. Which pin from Pin-Up Thursdays was your favorite? How would you use it in your classroom? Leave your wonderful comments below!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Product Promotion: EEKK Posters, IPICK Posters, Classroom Computer Signs


Just a quick post this Sunday! I wanted to share a few items that I’ve been busy creating for my classroom. All of these items are new additions to my TPT store. The best thing is that everything in this post is absolutely FREE!


The first set of free items are my EEEK and IPICK Posters. This year is my first year doing the Daily 5 and I need a set of these posters to get me going. In this set I’ve included posters in a variety of polka dot colors. I’ve also included an IPICK poster which also goes along with the Daily 5. Click on the picture above to get this freebie or click here. Make sure to leave a comment after you download! I’d love to hear your feedback on this product.


The other freebie that I just added to my store is my Classroom Computer Rules Posters. I just created these today. I am going to print these out today and laminate them so that they can go in my computer area. This product has the rules already on them, but I’ve included a blank sheet so that you can add your own rules. There is also a separate sheet to list websites that the kids are allowed to visit. Grab this freebie by clicking on the picture above or by clicking here. Again, please leave me a nice comment if you download!

Before leaving, I’d like to tell all of my teacher friends who are starting their first week back to have a blessed school year! And for all of my spiritual friends out there…I borrowed this quote and made a graphic for it.


(If you know who came up with this, please let me know so that I can provide proper credit.)