Sunday, December 29, 2013

Happy New Year!

Where did 2013 go?

This year has been quite an adventure for me! I opened my store on Teachers Pay Teachers, started a little blog, made some new bloggy friends! :)

I am celebrating the new year by having a SALE!


All all of my products will be 20% off from Tuesday, December 31st-Thursday, January 2nd.

Just click the picture below and it will take you right to my store!

On of my goals at school is to help my students improve their fluency with addition and subtraction facts. To do this, my team uses this:

Click the picture to get it!

Each week, we administer 1-2 Mad Minutes. All students begin with “Whole: 5 or less.” Once students master “The 5’s,” they move to the 6’s, etc. There are three assessments for each “level.”

You may choose to have students complete either 15 or 30 problems in one minute. I have my firsties begin with 15 problems, then once they master 15 problems, they complete 30. This is a great way to differentiate!

I keep track of students progress in my grade book, marking how many problems the student attempted and how many he or she got correct.

Once students get 28 out of 30 correct or better, they "pass" to the next level and get a certificate.

When we have extra time in the day, my students use flashcards to practice their addition and subtraction facts!

My kiddos are motivated to beat their score and move to the next level!

What is your goal for 2014?

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Happy Holidaze!

Ho! Ho! Ho!  To get in the holiday spirit, I am linking up with Michelle from  Fabulous in First to answer some fun holiday questions! 

Hot Chocolate or Eggnog? 
I'm a total chocoholic!  I love hot chocolate.  Throw in as many marshmallows as possible, please!  I love when you get to the bottom of the mug and all that is left is the ooey gooey marshmallow goodness!  

Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them underneath the tree? 
My husband and I discuss this question EVERY Christmas!  When I was growing up, Santa was way to busy to wrap presents!  He left goodies under the tree.  Unwrapped.  I wonder if  Santa did this so we didn't have to wake up Mom and Dad early in the morning?  

If you ask my husband this question, I know he will tell you a different story!  ;)

 Colored lights or white?
 I love white lights!  Classic!  

When do you decorate? 
I have to eat turkey before I decorate.  I can't look at Christmas things in the store until the day after Thanksgiving. No, I did not go out shopping on Thanksgiving!  I can only do one holiday at a time!    

Real or Fake Tree? 
When I was a kid, we always went to a tree farm and chopped down a tree.  Over the years, I have developed a terrible allergy to trees.  I touch a Christmas tree and break out in hives.  It's awful.  I get allergy shots... meds...  it's awful.  I'm itching now, just thinking about it.   While I do miss the smell of a real tree, a fake tree isn't that bad.  No needles.  No watering the tree.  Sometimes a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do, ya know?

What Tops Your Tree? 
We have an angel on the top of our tree.  It was given to my by my nana.  Love it.

Favorite Christmas Memories or Traditions? 
I love baking.  I bake for days over the holidays.  My all time favorite, must bake Christmas treat would have to be Thumbprint Cookies.  I use my Great Grandmother's recipe.  They are buttery goodness filled with butter cream frosting.  To. Die. For.  My dad says he won't let me in the door if I don't bring them on Christmas!  

Do you remember your favorite gift as a child?  
I would like to say that it was the Barbie Dream House.  You know the one.  It had an elevator. I would really like to say that....  but I can't.  I never had one.  I wasn't allowed to have a Barbie.  Can you believe it?  Not allowed.  I can't talk about it.  I'm still in therapy about it.   (insert violin music here....)  

Do prefer giving or receiving?
 Giving for sure!  I think that I would have made a great elf.  And isn't that what Christmas is all about?

What is your favorite Christmas song?
Winter Wonderland

 Candy Canes. Yuck or Yum?
Yum!  I love anything peppermint!  Especially around the holidays!

 Favorite Christmas Movie? 
A Christmas Story.   Hands down.  The end.

Do you shop online or at stores?
Both.  Online is so much easier.  No crowds.  You can stay in your comfy cozies.  Drink coffee and click away. There are times you just have to go out and get in the mix of the hustle and bustle.  

 Photo Cards, Letter or Store Bought Card? 
I love photo cards.  It's great to see all of my friend's kids!  Sometimes I have them on the fridge all year! 

The holidays are all about giving.  So, I have a gift for all of my blog world friends!  My kiddos have been having fun writing letters to Santa and I thought I would share all of the fun with you, too!  There are two graphic organizers, each with a different topic.  Students may choose to tell Santa how they have been a good boy or girl, or they may tell him all of their Christmas wishes.  There are also two types of writing paper to choose!  Enjoy!  Click HERE to get it!

I have five more "wake ups" until Christmas vacation!   Whoo Hoo!   No big plans for me.  I just want a little R & R! 

I'd love to hear what you have planned this holiday season!   

Don't forget to head over to Fabulous in First to link up! 


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Deck the Halls!

Are you ready for the TpT Cyber Monday {and Tuesay} sale?

Everything in my shop will be 20% off!  Use the code CYBER at checkout to get additional savings!  Start filling your cart, Teacher Friends! 

In the spirit of the holiday season, I am joining in with this fun linky!

Click HERE to join the Linky Party!

Deck the Walls with Blends and Digraphs...
Click HERE to get it!

Walking in a Writing Wonderland....
Click HERE to get this!
 It's Beginning to Sound A Lot Like Reading....

Click HERE to get this!  
Tis the Season To Do Word Work...
Click HERE to get this!
I'm Dreaming of a Holiday Freebie!
Click HERE to get this!

Looking for other great things to put in your TpT cart?  Check out the other blogs that participated in this linky at Bunting, Books and Bainbridge or click HERE!

I'm off to fill my shopping cart! Happy shopping, Teacher Friends!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Five for Friday

Oh what a week!  I am so thankful that we only have school for two days next week!  I need some R&R!  A girl can dream, right?!?!?!?!  ;)

I am liking up with Doodle Bugs to share my Five for Friday!  I know it's Saturday, but......

My firsties made the cutest word family turkeys this week!  I found this idea over at The First Grade Parade!

Click HERE to get the FREEBIE!

I'm getting the Elf on the Shelf ready to go!

Need an Elf On the Shelf?  Get one HERE!

I found these cute jokes to use.  You can find them at Over the Big Moon!  Click HERE to get them!


Need I say more?

When I think Thanksgiving, I think PUMPKIN!  I love pumpkin anything!  I'm thinkin' this might have to be on my Thanksgiving menu this year!  It sounds YUMM-O!

I found this treat over at Budget Gourmet Mom.  Check it out!

I am so excited about my giveaway! I'm giving away 9 of my BEST SELLERS!  All of the activities are great for literacy centers, Daily5, guided reading, and reading interventions.  

There's only a few days left before I announce the big winner! Be sure to ENTER!
Click HERE to enter!

Good luck, Friends!   

Hope you have a relaxing weekend! 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Thanks Giveaway!

I am having a GIVEAWAY for a chance to win 9 literacy activities from my TpT store!

Click HERE to check them out in my TpT store.

Enter today for your chance to win 9 great activities!  These activities may be used for homework, Daily 5 word work, literacy centers, guided reading, or reading interventions.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winners will be announced on Wednesday, November 27th!  

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Trick or Treat!

Can you believe it is almost Halloween?  The leaves are falling, the air is getting cool....  and I am sad to say we actually had some of that white stuff falling from the clouds.... I can't even say the word.... it's WAY too early!

My kiddos are so excited about Halloween!  This week, we had many conversations about Halloween costumes and candy!  There are no words to tell you how excited they are about the Halloween party!  Oh My!  We are so lucky to have a fabulous PTO at my school!  The room moms take care of all the party planning!  We are looking forward to a great time!

Here is a treat for you!   Click on the pictures to get your freebie!  

Happy Halloween! 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sort It Out!

Word study is a big part of our day in first grade! 

Sorting words is an essential skill. Brain research shows human beings learn better when they are able to classify and assimilate things into categories. Teaching young students to do this helps them make sense of the world around them.  I love watching my students make connections with how words work.  Of course the *ULTIMATE GOAL* is to have students reading and writing words containing the features that we have studied.  Using the words in context of their reading and writing deepens their understanding of how words work.

I love using word sorts with my students and have created a sorting bundle for my kiddos to use during Daily 5.  It is now available on TpT! 

Click the image to see it on TpT!

Click the image to see it on TpT!

Click the image to see it on TpT!

Click the image to see it on TpT!

Click the image to see it on TpT!
 In this unit you will find:
• 17 short vowel word families:
-at, -an
-ap, -ag, -ad
-en, -ed, -et
-ip, -in, -it
-ot, -og, -op
-ug, -un, –ut
• 2 pages of sort recording extension pages to write and use the sorted words in sentences (for both two way sort and three way sorts)
• A directions page
• Sorting mats with pictures for each word family

Happy sorting! 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Daily 5: Word Work

I'm linking up with First Grade in Foxwell Forest to talk about Daily 5!

This month's linky is all about Word Work!

First of all, if you have not ready The Daily 5, I recommend that you get the book and read it!  It is a quick and easy read!  

When I first implemented Daily 5, I searched all over Pinterest for ideas on how to organize it.  Everyone has their own twist on it.  I tried a few different ways and found that a board works the best for me!
Here is a picture of my Daily 5 board:

 Each child is assigned a "secret agent number" for the year.  I change the numbers on the board daily to indicate which activities they will do during our guided reading block.  Students go to the activity closest to their number first, then after 25 minutes they switch to activity opposite their number.

I begin introducing Word Work on the first day of school.  I show the kids how to find materials and use them appropriately. Then we practice doing an activity together.  We practice, practice, practice while we build stamina on working independently.  Each day, I ask my kids to tell me something that worked well at Daily 5 and then we share things that didn't go so well.  We then work together to problem solve.  This really helps the kids take ownership in what they are doing and they are better able to remember what to do if a problem arises. 

Here is how I organized the Word Work activities:

Each bucket is labeled with the activity and a corresponding number.  I have all the materials that are needed for the activity in the bucket, along with a completed model for the kids to refer to (I usually take the page that I completed when introducing the activity and put it in a plastic sleeve.)  Each child has a Daily 5 folder with a checklist inside.  Each morning, they look at the checklist to see what activity they need to complete.  In the beginning of the year, students choose one of 12 activities.  Students must do the five word wall words of the week (We call these "Must Do Words!").  Then, they may choose any other words on the word wall to practice.

Here are some of the activities:

Stamp A Word

Hidden Words


Word Steps

Are you looking for some new Word Work activities?  Or are you just getting started with Daily 5?  I have just the thing for you! 

Click HERE to get this!
 This packet includes 12 activities, labels for bins, student checklist, and teacher checklist!
Activities include:
Word Steps
Hidden Words
Cell Phone
Word Work Sentences
Rainbow Words
Roll A Word
ABC Order
Word Shapes
Stamp A Word
Secret Code

As the year goes on, I may change the activities to meet the needs of my students or to reinforce skills that we are working on in class.  The kids love to play Roll and Read to work on reading fluency!  I have three to choose from sight word, CVC words, and CVCe words!
Click HERE to get this!

Click HERE to get this!
I'd love to hear what you do for Word Work!