Sunday, September 28, 2014

A Sale, A Sale!

Well, the month is not yet over, but I've already earned more this month in my TPT store than I did last month!!
It brings a smile to my face so...

I feel the need to celebrate with...
For the rest of the month my store is 20% off!! 
Spread the word!

What's in there?

Reading Strategies Posters and so much more!
Reading Strategies Posters, Bookmarks, Labels, Student Car

a brand new, easy to learn, fun to play...
for Math and Reading
Math and Reading Dice Games for the Whole Year!
(it has a freebie included in the preview!)

A fun reading center to practice Drawing Conclusions
Drawing Conclusions Workshop Center

Need to get your Reading Conference time running more smoothly. This is the tool for you!
Reading Conference Questions and Records

And my current favorite go-to station...
(it keeps the kiddos busy for AGES!)
Stamp a Sight Word!

There are lots more products so go to my store to check it out

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Dice Game Freebie!

You know you are a teacher when you play Bunco...
and think about how it would make a fun game for your first graders! :) 
A game night with the ladies at my church last night had me make this little freebie last night! 
Not exactly Bunco... but something to help them keep practicing those addition facts!

The kids can stick their target number in the stars and they want to roll the two dice and write down the equations that make that number. 

All the other equations get put in the not equal side, so it helps them learn the equal/not equal vocabulary too! 

I stuck the paper in a handy sheet protector so we can reuse it over and over in a center, 
but if we play it whole group I will probably print each child a copy to use as a formative assessment!

I one time got some dice at the dollar tree that had the numbers 7-12 on them, so I might pull those out when I want the kids to practice making 10s! And because it has the number printed on it, they can practice counting on by using one numbered dice and one dice with the 1-6 dots too!

Head over to my TPT store to grab a copy!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Five for Friday... On a Saturday!

What a week! I am linking up with Doodle Bug Teachings Five for Friday...
only a day late! :) 


1. My kiddos this year are so sweet! I made some notes to send home because I really want to keep encouraging their sweet behavior! I think parents will appreciate the notes too! 
You can find them in my store!
Positive Notes to Send Home!

2. For most of this week there was a detour by my house. I live 2 minutes from the interstate, but had to go about 10 minutes out of my way to get there!! SO annoying. But, the road opened up Friday morning, so it was a perfect way to end the week! 

3. I'm starting the newest Beth Moore bible study, Children of the Day. I have been so blessed and challenged by each study she has done! I'm excited to see what the Lord has in store for me with this one! :)

4. I finished up this game this week! Roll and Read for blends and TH/SH. I plan on adding some more sounds soon, but wanted to get that in my store! My kids really enjoyed it last year. I love making games that I can laminate and use year after year--and it saves on paper! I can check to see if my kids played the game by asking them to read the words to me later! :)
Check them out here.
Roll and Read: Blends and TH/SH words

5. I LOVE my boys! Life is so much better with them! They are at such fun stages 
well... most of the time ;) 
and I love coming home to see what adventures I will have with them the rest of the day!
Yes. Liam always eats, and Alex never smiles for pictures. They are a hoot though! :)

Life is GOOD!! The weather is cooling down, we are settling into a good routine at school, and its been a great weekend so far! 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Five For Friday: Settling into the Routines!

I'm linking up with Doodle Bug Teaching's Five for Friday.
It's a great way to look back over the week! :)

1. My sister and her family came to visit this weekend! They live several states away and we hadn't seen each other since last Christmas! It was such a fun visit and it was great to see the kids play together!

2. Math Strategy Bags! They have been my life savior this year!
I wrote a post about them that you can find here!

3. Teamwork Time! Even though we are a good three weeks into school now, we have still been doing a lot of collaboration activities! I wrote about what we have been up to the last two weeks last night! Check it out here and find a fun freebie too!

4. Sickness hit our house big time this week! Alex missed both days of preschool and no one has been sleeping well! Yuck! This roller coaster weather doesn't help either!

5. Have you read the book Chalk?  I read it with Alex at home and then to my kids. It is a wordless book. They LOVED it! Yesterday we went outside and did our own chalk drawings. I printed the pictures today and the kids made their picture "come to life". They had so much fun doing it!  I have been borrowing the book from the library, but it is definitely one I want to buy. They were so excited to read it again today!

Happy Weekend! I'm headed over to Tot Trade (huge kids consignment sale) to find some goodies for home and school! :)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Teamwork Time #2 and a Freebie!!

Life is BUSY!! But here are some of the team building activities we have done the last two weeks!

Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig

Have you read this book yet?? It was such a sweet story about a boy who feels invisible and the new kid that helps others to include the boy! We were learning our class discussion rules and this book led to a great class discussion about how we treat other people. We did have to clear up some misconceptions about whether he was really invisible and if he actually wanted to be! ;)

Self Control Bubbles

I saw this on Pinterest and knew it would be a great activity for my kids! I first blew some bubbles and the kids of course started popping them right away. Then we talked about what self control meant and I told the kids that they could not pop the bubbles. It was humorous to watch a couple scoot as close as they could to the bubbles, then they started blowing the bubbles back up because at least they weren't popping them (their words, not mine!)! Then we took a couple of turns popping and not popping bubbles and thinking about self control!

Cup Stacking

This was our big team building activity last week! I split the kids up in two groups and they tried to build the biggest tower with cups!
It was fun to watch the kids work together and use self control (to not knock down the tower). I also switched up the groups and timed them one time. It was interesting to see the different groups cooperate and how they worked to get the job done!

When I feel... I can... chart

In order for kids to work together well, they need to understand how to deal with their feelings. After reading When Sophie Gets Angry, Really, Really Angry we talked about appropriate ways to deal with our feelings. Spur of the moment I realized that this would be a great anchor chart, so over the next several days we added to it! After seeing some common elements come up, we talked about where we wanted our quiet spot to be in our classroom.

We are Awesome

Alex is really into the Lego Movie so after watching it a million times one weekend, it turned into a little mini lesson! We started off listening to Kid President's Pep Talk and then we talked about how we are awesome. Then we danced to Everything is Awesome on Go Noodle and talked about how we are the most awesome when we work together as a team! The kids colored a picture of their awesome selves and wrote about some things that made them awesome. You can download the freebie here!

Teamwork and community building is all about helping the kids understand themselves, so they can better relate to others! I feel like for every team building activity we do, we also need to take time to reflect about ourselves. It has been really neat to see the kids come together and interact!

The next couple of weeks, my focus will really be on our Learner Profile and Attitudes. We have touched on a lot of them as we have talked about teamwork, but I want to make sure that they really understand what the terminology means and how it should impact their lives at home and school!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Math strategy bags!

This AMAZING idea came together thanks to some wonderful teachers I worked with last year. 
We used them a little bit last year, but I pulled them out the first week of school this year 
and I am SO excited to use them!

Buy the Slider bags so that you can tape a number line to the top of your bag!
you can download the number line freebie here.

Right now the kids only have a couple of items in their bag, but once we learn more strategies we will keep adding to the bag! I keep everything in my bag though... so here is a peek at that.

First Up...
Number Bond Cards
Use them with counters, number cards...
I laminated them so that we can write on them too!

Number Bracelets
I love these things! We made them last year, and then this year added the numbers. 
They have been great to help look for embedded numbers. The kids had no trouble making these last year and it was great counting practice! I have one for the numbers 6-10.

I can't wait for the kids to start using these... 
Counting On Cups! 
Whoever came up with this was so smart! 
If you are doing 6+3 then the kids can get their six cup and use their pom poms to count up 3 more!

Got to love Ten Frames! We use the counters for so many other things too!

Number cards with five groups on the back.

Once we work more on fluency, then we will add in the fact family flash cards. 
I got them at but copied them smaller so it wouldn't use so much paper. I like how these have the same shape as a number bond so the kids can keep seeing the connection.
We cut these out last year. I meant to send them home with the kids but forgot, 
but that is okay because now we have them for this year!

I can't wait to utilize these this year! I love that there are so many different hands-on tools to help the kids understand the different topics. And when the kids are involved in putting them together, it really is not too difficult at all!

Anything else we should add?

Thursday, September 4, 2014

When it all comes together...

You know when you are teaching and you know the way you WANT to teach, but then you are handed a textbook and you feel stuck... I felt like I had the tools, but wasn't sure how to use them...



My district created an amazing curriculum guide to help us have a well balanced literacy block and its the first time that lesson planning has been FUN.

Yep. I said it. Lesson Planning is FUN! :)
(at least reading...math on the other hand... still working on that!)

The first full week of school we settled into our read to self and writing workshop routines.

A room full of reading kiddos is about the cutest thing ever!
They were so excited to get spread-out spots!

We are working hard on writing books as we start writer's workshop! I love starting with blank books to see what the kids choose to write about. It is so interesting to see who stays on topic, who likes to draw, who likes to write... I learn so much about their writing from it!

This week we started word study in full force! Blending, word building and word study stations!
For ages I had all these little letters that were in a plastic bag and I never used them. But this year for word study I'm making sure I do a better job with word building so I used the letters, some file folders and zelcro to make some word building folders! I LOVE them! at this point. The kids put the letters we are using down on the lower strip and then take them off to build the words 
(the stretchy snake cards are from Deanna Jump's guided reading packet)

 Last year our school bought us some more letter tiles so I organized those in bead cases from Michaels! There are not enough little sections for the letters, so I had to double some of them up. Each box has enough letters for two kids!

We started word study stations this week...
and taking it VERY slow! 
I love how Daily 5 has everyone learning the routines for the station at the same time, so I start with a couple of different easy stations to help the kids build stamina for working quietly. 
We have started with rainbow words (using short A lists), building our sight words out of play-doh, word family games, and stamp a sight word (you can find it here)! 

Stamp a Sight Word!

There was so much more I wanted to get done this week, but we are still busy getting to know each other too! More on this week's teamwork time in the next couple of days! :)