Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Think Spring and a Giveaway!

Brrrrr! School got cancelled AGAIN because of the brisk temperatures. There comes a point where the number below zero just does not matter. It is just plain COLD.

Since I am stuck inside, I decided to think warm, Spring thoughts! I just finished a new St. Patrick's Day Pack!


the best part is.....

you get a chance to win one!

Yep! You heard me!


There are lots 'o writing goodies!
  • A sheet for students to write a list
  • Three different writing prompts (each one has two pages and comes in both dotted and plain lines)
  • An assortment of writing organizers:  Web, Can/Have/Are chart, and a graphic organizer for students to write a lead in sentence, three details and a wrap up
  • Vocabulary Sheets:  available in color and black/white

There are also some math skills:
  • Addition and Subtraction (with a tens frame in color and in black/white) 
  • One more, one less, ten more and ten less
  • Place Value (tens and ones)
 You will also find 2 reading response sheets,


Lots o' fun!
  • Build a Sentence
  • Word Scramble
  • Word Search 
  • Mystery Word


 And it could all be yours!  Just enter to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can check it out at my TpT stre!  Just click HERE!

Stay warm!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

100 Day FREEBIE!

My students are so excited for the 100th day of school!  One of my students said, "The best day of my life will be in two more school days!"   Are you as excited as my first graders are?  I hope so!

To celebrate, I am sharing a 100 Day activity with you!


This packet contains 100 addition facts for your kiddos to solve!  To get this packet, click HERE!

This is just one of many things we will do.  I'll tell you about the other activities in a few days.  Stay tuned!

What are you doing to celebrate 100 day?

Friday, January 24, 2014

Groundhog Day!

Can you believe that February is right around the corner?!?!?!?  That means that it is almost time for GROUNDHOG DAY!  

I have just finished a FUN packet to help celebrate!


You can get it over at my TpT shop by clicking HERE.

I really hope that Mr. Goundhog does not see his shadow!  I've had enough of this snowpocalypse! 

Think Spring, Friends! 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Five for Friday

It's Five for Friday time with Doodle Bugs Teaching!  I know it's really Sunday.... but I am having too much fun on my three day weekend!  Better late than never!

Here we go!

 We have been busy writing our goals for the new year!  My kiddos are doing a super job writing paragraphs with a lead in sentence, three details and a wrap up.

We used our JUICY adjectives to tell about what it would be like if we lived in a snow globe!
It was SNOW much fun!  (Sorry, I couldn't resist!)

We also wrote about Winter.....


Too many days of indoor recess!  I need some new indoor recess ideas!  What do your kiddos do for indoor recess?

I am in LOVE with my Snow Leopard Blanket!  It was one of my favorite gifts!

 The blanket can be microwaved or chilled!  So Comfy!  It smells like lavender.  I can't begin to tell you how much I am using it this weekend!  Do you want a blanket like this?  You can get one HERE.

Oh, I forgot to mention the matching slippers!  (And yes they can be microwaved, too!)

I have a FREEBIE for you! 



You can get it at my TpT store!  Just Click HERE!  I'd love to hear what you think, so please leave some feedback if you download it! :)

Sunday, January 12, 2014

QAR: Question Answer Relationship

Do you use QAR strategies in your school?
We use it all of the time! My First Graders love it! Yes, you heard me!  Even First Graders can do it! The strategies have made a big difference in how my students think about questions and find the answers in challenging texts.
I use it as much as possible:  social studies, science, guided reading and especially when students are responding to text in their Reader’s Response Journals.

What is QAR?
QAR stands for Question, Answer, and Relationship. QAR is a strategy that relates questions with the text, using the reader's background knowledge or direct context clues and information included in the text being read. The premise of the strategy is that there are four types of questions that need to be asked when reading a text: Right There, Think and Search, Author and Me, and On My Own.
QAR helps students understand the differences between In the Book and In My Head question-answer relationships.  In the Book kinds of questions can be answered, you guessed it, in the book.  The answer can be found directly in the text. In My Head kinds of questions must be answered using Higher Order Thinking skills, going beyond what was in the text.  Students must bring in their own thinking, schema, and connections.
How do I use QAR?
I always begin with text that students can read and comprehend easily.  I do this so that my students are successful in understanding the process of answering questions.  The students must figure out what the question is asking, find the answer, and then categorize the question-answer relationship.   
In the beginning it is so important to MODEL, MODEL, MODEL, the process: reading the text, asking questions, finding answers, and then categorizing the question-answer relationship.   As we read questions, I often ask students to label the question. “Is this a Right There Question?”  or  “Is this a Think and Search?” This helps students recognize whether or not information is  in the text and, if not, that it is necessary to make inferences to answer the question. In first grade, we talk about all 4 questions, but we mostly focus on In the Book questions.
After you have modeled this SEVERAL times guide the students through the process gradually releasing the
responsibility for learning to them. Finally, I provide many opportunities for my kids to try the strategy on their own.

This strategy:
  • explicitly shows the relationship between questions and answers;
  • categorizes different types and levels of questions;
  • helps student to analyze, comprehend and respond to text concepts
  •  helps students gain a deeper understanding of the text
  • helps students search for key words and phrases to locate the appropriate information for answering questions.
 I have created some materials to help my students learn the QAR strategy:




If you want your own set of QAR anchor charts, you can get them HERE!
Have you tried QAR before?  Please share any tips or tricks that you have about QAR!  

Friday, January 10, 2014

A Freezing Week and A FREEBIE!

Thanks to the freezing temperatures in “Chiberia”(as all of Chicago was called this week), we did not have school for two days.  What did  a girl do for those two days, you ask?

1.  I truly learned what cold is after -50 degrees with the windchill!  (And I never want to experience that again!)
2.  I stayed in comfy cozies!
2.  I watched a mega marathon of "Breaking Bad" on Netflix.  Love that show!
3.  I created  some fun new stuff for my classroom (more info coming soon.....)
4.  I gave my blog a quick new look....  It's a constant work in progress!  What do you think?

and best of all.....

I created a new Facebook Fan freebie for you!


You can get this freebie by going to my Facebook Fan Page (HERE). Be sure to "like" the page and click the icon that says "Fan Freebies!"

Were you off this week?  If so, what did you do?

Monday, January 6, 2014


I'm linking up with Farley from Oh' Boy 4th Grade for a new Currently!


Listening to:  Well, it's bitter cold outside.  Bitter isn't even the word.  It's -50 degrees with the wind chill and we have over 12 feet of snow.  Needless to say, I have a roaring fire in the fireplace.  I have been listening to it crackle all day.  Love me a nice warm fire!

Loving:  Well, because of the weather we did not have school today! And guess what?  No school tomorrow, either!  Just another reason to lounge around in my comfy cozies all day!  I know I will not like these days at the end of the school year!  But right now, I'm lovin' them! 

Thinking:  I can't wait for spring!  Come on, do you can't blame a girl!

Wanting:  I have become the Princess of Procrastination.  I think a Fairy Godmother would really come in handy. I mean, who doesn't want a Fairy Godmother?!?!?!?  Just wave a magic wand and the house is clean, laundry is done, report cards are completed, papers are graded.....  The list goes on and on!

Needing:  I guess since I do not have said Godmother, I better get a few things done!  Thank goodness for the extra couple of days! 

Memory or Tradition:  Christmas break is a perfect time to reconnect with friends!  I especially enjoyed the time I spent with my friend, Laura.  I have known her since Jr. High (YIKES!!) and I have not seen her in FOREVER!  It was so good to catch up.  We might not see each other often, but we NEVER run out of things to say! 

Now it's your turn to link up with Farley

What was your favorite part of Christmas break?

Stay warm, Friends!