Thursday, December 27, 2012

A Recap

This time of year is always such a mixed bag of emotions for me!  I'm glad that the shopping, wrapping, baking, decorating, and ugh-unhealthy eating is behind us...but I am so sad that it will be another year before I get to see my sweet little guy walk downstairs to find what Santa brought for him for being such a good little boy.  Am I the only one? 

So now that 2012 is drawing to a close, I thought I'd share some of what we've done in my classroom lately, but I've neglected to share with you all. I am, here and now, making a resolution to TAKE MORE PICTURES! It's so hard when I'm there to teach and not to capture every moment in a photo, ha! But, I'm going to find a way to work daily picture taking into the routine.

Here's our Christmas bulletin board.

If the title of the bulletin board doesn't make it obvious, we were learning about l blends and s blends when we made these sleds.  We brainstormed a list of sl words together on chart paper and the kiddos had to write words with sl blends on top of each gift on their sled.

More along the s blends theme...I created posters with a word and pictures and the students added to each of these for the s blends. 

So, yes, yes, I know that Thanksgiving was a REALLY long time ago. But here's something cute we did for verb endings. Each student chose a verb and wrote it on a turkey feather. Then they wrote the verb with the -s, -ed, and -ing endings on the remaining three feathers.
Now I feel like you are updated on what I could share with you as far as pictures went.  Again, I am declaring a promise to myself and my followers to take more pictures in 2013!
Speaking of 2013...check back on January 1st for a post filled with a fresh outlook and ideas (and FREEBIES) to start the new year off right.  Enjoy the rest of your winter break!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas Goodies *FREEBIE ALERT*

Oh my goodness!  The Christmas gifts I made for my students this year just might become a yearly tradition.  That is how much I am loving them.  Check out these super simple, affordable gift ideas.
First up, a coupon booklet.  Oh, how I love coupons!  And how my students love special treats like eating lunch with me.  I combined these favorites to create a coupon book for each of my students.
 Next, another obvious love of mine....SPARKLES!!!  I bought sparkly, glittery pencils at Target in the dollar bin and was very tempted to keep them for myself.  Okay, so I did keep a few packs for myself, but the rest are going to my littles to help them *SPARKLE* in 2013. 
Since I'm in the giving spirit, I'm giving you these coupons and sparkle tags for free!  Click here for the sparkle tags and here for the coupon book.  Merry Christmas!  How about keeping the Christmas spirit going by becoming a follower of my blog?  Just click on the join this site button.
Stay tuned for more posts soon...and a very special series starting in the new year!

Friday, November 30, 2012

The Polar Express Craftivity Freebie

I know I've been absent from this sweet little blog lately.  To make it up to all of my loyal followers, here is an adorable, fun, easy craftivity you can use to accompany "The Polar Express" book or movie.  Not only is it adorable, fun, and easy, but it is also FREE!!! 
You can click on the picture to head over to google docs to download your copy.  It has everything you need to create the craftivity.  Included are directions for incorporating this craftivity into your Polar Express activities and reproducibles for the mug, hot chocolate, and marshamallows.  All I ask is that if you download a copy, please follow my blog by clicking on the "join this site" link on the right side of this page~thank you!
For this post I linked up with an awesome blog, Freebielicious.  They are having a new linky party featuring freebies from all over the blogosphere on the first of every month.  Click on the top picture to check out tons of other freebies!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Cyber Monday (Plus Tuesday) Sale

I love a good sale!  And now that the big Black Friday rush is over, how about doing a little shopping for your teaching needs?  In case you haven't heard, at Teachers Pay Teachers there is a HUGE, MEGA, GINORMOUS sale on Cyber Monday + Tuesday (November 26th and 27th).  Everything in my store will be 20% off!  Wowie Wow Wow!!!  Not only will you get 20% off, but if you enter this code: CMT12, you'll get an additional 10% off.  That adds up to a savings up 28% off the regular price.  My cart is already full of goodies!!! 

You do not want to miss this sale!  Head over to TPT now to load up your cart with all those great units you've added to your wish list.  You can click on the picture above from the lovely Ashley Hughes to head to my store or click on any of the products featured below. All 31 of my teaching resources will be on sale.  Here are some of my favorite products you might want to check out:

And check out one of my newest additions, a bundle zip file containing the first 5 Houghton Mifflin Theme Resource Packs

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Yack Attack! {Freebie}

Hi there!  Today's post is short and sweet!  One thing I've been meaning to share with all of you are my "Yack Attack" tokens.  My students get a "Yack Attack" when they call out or talk when they should be listening.  If they get 3 "Yack Attacks" in a day, they pull a card from our 4-3-2-1 system.  Luckily, no one has ever gotten 3, which tells me these babies must work!  I've heard of this idea before, so I can't take credit for coming up with the term, "Yack Attack."  But what I've done is actually create these as tokens to give to my students.  If you like this idea, click on the link to get your own free set.  Print as many as you need!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Being a Good Teammate, Near Doubles, & More

Hi bloggy world!  I have a few different things to share with you today and I hope you'll find some ideas you can use with your kiddos!
First I want to share this cute book
Bat's Big Game by Margaret Read McDonald
This is a fictional story about a bat who keeps changing teams between birds and animals during a big game of soccer.  He changes based upon who's winning.  In the end, no one wants him on their team since he isn't a loyal teammate.
I read the book to my students as a part of our weekly Olweus-inspired class meeting.  We had a great discussion before, during, and after reading.  After reading, I gave each student a football on which to write one way to be a good teammate.  They did such a great job!  Check out a few:

This activity was perfect for this time of year for a couple of reasons.  1.  We've been learning about bats, so it was fun to hear their explanations of whether bat belonged with the birds or the animals (mammals).  2.  "Loyal" was one of our text talk words from early in the school year and it was great to see if they still remembered the word and its meaning.  3.  It's football season, so these babies will make a great display in our hallway.  But before I hang them in the hallway, I want to show you what's hanging out there now:

Near Doubles Trees
     This is a craftivity that we made to help us understand near doubles (a.k.a. doubles plus one).  This is ALWAYS so tricky.  And some of you may disagree with me, but I often wonder is near doubles is actually a strategy that any first grader uses to add.  It's so hard for them to even grasp the concept, that I cannot imagine them actually using it when they're adding!  But I digress...
   Here's what we did.  I gave the students a tree pattern and I had a huge set of die-cut leaves.  The students glued their tree to the large blue construction paper.  Then they chose two colors for their leaves.  Using these two colors, they first displayed a doubles fact. 
Sorry, I didn't take a picture of the first step, but essentially, this student would've had four red leaves in the tree and four yellow leaves on the ground.  Then she recorded her doubles fact (4 + 4 = 8).  Next, she added one more red leaf to the tree to get her near double (5 + 4 = 9) and wrote it at the bottom.  We did this in these exact steps, so the students could first see their double, then very intentionally added one more leaf to the tree so they could understand how it became a near double.   
Here are a few more:

The doubles and near doubles trees made a great display to have up during parent-teacher conferences.  Which in case you haven't guessed, I survived parent-teacher conferences a few weeks ago!  Have you had them yet?  What really helped get me through were some forms that I created this year to help me stay on track, organized, and productive before, during, and after my conferences. 

 I have put these forms and many great others in a pack in my TPT store.  Click on the picture below to go there and check it out. 


Monday, October 29, 2012

Classroom Freebies Link Up

Well, as Sandy knocks on my door, I am enjoying the next two days at home with my sweet little guy and our sweet little dog.  I am keeping my fingers crossed that our power stays on!!!  I'm not sure what we'll do if we lose it.  Yesterday was a mad rush to the store for bread and bottled water and wondering if maybe, just maybe this storm is being a little over-hyped.  Today it's raining and breezy and I'm hoping it doesn't get any worse.

Since I'm home, I have time to blog!  Yay!  I'm linking up today with Classroom Freebies to share my center signs freebie.  Head on over there to check it out along with a ton of other great freebies shared by brilliant bloggers!

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday
It's your lucky day because I'm also linking up with Heather over at Peacocks and Penguins for her Quick and Crafty linky.  Love it!  Click the picture to check it out!


Saturday, October 27, 2012

A Haunted Halloween Sale

Yep, that's right.  It's a spooky sale!  Everything in my store is 20% off.  Click on the picture above to do a little shopping!

Monday, October 22, 2012

A Ginormous Giveaway

Yay!  Erin from Tales from Room 112 has hit the 200 follower milestone and she is celebrating by hosting a HUGE giveaway!  There are over 50 people participating in the giveaway.  Here's what you can win from me:

Wouldn't it be great to win my spelling packet?  It has a TON of activities you can use with your students and any spelling list.  It also has a really cool pirate game included.  So, hurry, hurry, hurry to the giveaway!  Click on the button below

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Fall Harvest Party Freebie

I've always thought it was tough to come up with unique ideas for my annual Fall Harvest Party.  Some of you may know this as a Halloween party, but at my school, it's a Fall Harvest Party.  All parents always want to send a treat and we just don't need that much food.  So, I usually have a lot of them send of bag of wrapped candy.  But...what to with all of that candy???  A candy scramble is too old-school, unstructured, uninspired, not curriculum-related, etc. 

Then one day last year, the "Autumn Blend" idea was born!  For this station (it's only one of many of our rotations), I place a large assortment of wrapped candy and let students choose 6 pieces of candy (no more than 2 of any kind), and create a recipe along with this cute little saying:

Great news, this year I made this activity into a freebie packet in my Teachers Pay Teachers store.  Click on the picture below to head on over and download.  If you decide to download, please leave your feedback and consider following my store and my blog.

Sunday, October 14, 2012


Well, before I get to the "boo" part of my blog, all I can say is , "Wowie, Wow, Wow!" A phrase borrowed from my first grade friend, Junie B.  Did you notice my blog is now beautiful?!  I can hardly believe my eyes.  I knew I needed to update, but just wasn't sure how to approach the problem of the ugly blog.  Then last night I saw a post from Nicole at Delightfully Creative Blog Design and I just had to check it out.  Last night, people.  And tonight, here's my new, beautiful blog.  Nicole did an amazing job, was easy to work with, and gave me EXACTLY what I was hoping for without needing a lot of input from me.  This new blog design is my personality precisely.  If you are looking to update or start a new blog, I highly recommend Nicole.
 FYI~I was in no way compensated for saying all of these nice things about Nicole.  When I saw my blog this morning, I knew I had to send the girl some bloggie love!!! 

Onto the "Boo!"  I was boo'ed by Latoya at Flying into First.  This girl rocks (even had a freebie featured in today's TPT newsletter).  Check out her blog:

You've probably all played the popular game BOO at school where you leave a ghost on someone's desk or mailbox along with a treat. Let's do the same by sharing some love from our stores...

Here's how to play. Choose a fellow blogger that has MORE followers, another that has about the SAME number of followers, and last, someone that has LESS followers.

Highlight their blogs with links to encourage others to check them out. Don't forget to let your fellow bloggers know that you shared about them.
Lastly, leave them some love by offering them a goody from your store as their "treat."

Here are the blogs that I have chosen...

These sweet ladies can choose any project from my store!  Just shoot me an email to let me know what you'd like.