Monday Made It 7.29.13

At the end of last school year we decided to do a fish theme for our classrooms for back to school.  We love the theme O'fish'ally in First Grade!  After heading to the teacher supply store and finding no good fish decor, we searched Pinterest looking for "fishy" ideas to use in our classrooms.  We found these super cute fish:

We love how colorful they are and thought they would look great "swimming" on the wall outside of our classrooms.  We found the colored party plates at Walmart for only $1 a pack!  We were able to get lots of great, bright colors.  Here are our fish so far:

We LOVE them!  We're sure you will see the whole school of them once we get them hanging up outside of our classrooms!

Last week we also made a Facebook page for our blog!  Come follow us over there!

Mentor Text Linky 7.28.13

We are linking up with Collaboration Cuties for their Mentor Text Linky.  This week the theme is Social Studies.  The book we chose, The Way I Feel, is such a great one.  

This book is useful for readers of ages 4 to 8 years. Feelings come and feelings go - I never know what they will be! Silly or angry, happy or sad - they are all a part of me! Romp with your child through this delightful book of feelings words. The book will give them a vocabulary of emotion, to ease their way through life. "The Way I Feel" is a wonderful addition to any child's library, explaining the world out there as well as the world within. It features cute googly eyes to inspire happiness, silliness and fun!


After reading this book, we make a class book called The Way We Feel.  Each page in the book talks about a feeling that people have (Sometimes we feel happy, Sometimes we feel sad, Sometimes we feel angry, etc).  On each page we take a picture of a group of kiddos showing that feeling (for example on the "Sometimes we feel angry" page the group of kiddos in this picture have angry faces / angry gestures).  There are 12 pages; so most likely you will need 2-3 kiddos in each picture.  If you don't want to use a camera; you could always have them draw the pictures instead.  You can also have students label the picture.  This class book is one the students enjoy going back to throughout the year.

If you'd like to make this class book, click below!

ENJOY your Sunday!

We're on Facebook!

Well, we've FINALLY created a Facebook page!  Just one of the many things we are so proud of accomplishing this summer!  Oh summer - we're going to miss you when it's time for back to school! Anyways, we want to celebrate our new FB page with Flash Freebies this weekend!  Come over and LIKE us to catch what products we're offering up!  We'll have several freebies throughout the day on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday!

Junie B. Reading Response Journal Freebie

We've been busy working on another project from our to-do list!  Our kiddos LOVE our Junie B. read alouds!  We've tried other books, but they just don't enjoy them as much.  They just make special connections to Junie B.!  So...after our first year with common core we thought these reading response journals would be a great addition to our literacy work.  We've created the journals to have tasks that are just right for our 1st graders.  We are super excited to use them for the upcoming school year and want to share one with anyone else who is a Junie B. fan!  They are super easy to use in the classroom and don't need tons of paper...just cut down the middle to make 2 at a time!
Click the picture above to grab the journal for Junie B., First Grader (at Last!) for free!!  If you love it, check out our store for more!

10 Things We've Learned from Teaching

Mentor Text Linky 7.21.13

We are linking up with Collaboration Cuties for the Mentor Text Linky.  This week the theme is Science.  One of our Science units at our school is Balance and Motion.  This unit can be difficult to find texts for but we have found a few, so we thought we'd share them.  

First up is the book Caps for Sale.  This book, which is an oldie but goodie, is such a fun read.  In the story, the character is a peddler that sells caps.  He balances the caps that he sells on his head.  The story is much more than this; but we take the fact that he wears on the caps on his head as a lesson in balance.  After reading Caps for Sale, we have the students try to walk with multiple caps (usually about 8-10) on their head.  They see how hard it is to keep the caps balanced while walking!  I really wish we had pictures of this activity.!!!  The kiddos get such a kick out of it and it is an activity they remember all year long.  

Next up is the book Roller Coaster.  This book is about people anticipating and riding on a roller coaster at a theme park  It shows how the roller coaster winds and twirls; zips and zooms; dips and dives.  One thing the kiddos like is the "motion" inspired words like "whoosh" and "zoom" throughout the book.  After we read this book, students make roller coasters of their own using the tools in our Science Kits (styrofoam tubes, tape, and marbles) provided by our school.  They LOVE this.  It is wild in our classrooms during this lesson for sure, but they are truly able to see balance and motion at work!  

Enjoy your Sunday! 

Ten Pin Linky: Writing Ideas

We're linking up with Ashley to share our favorite writing idea pins!

LOVE this How-To idea!!  We tried how-to blow a bubble with gum this past year, but discovered lots of our kiddos couldn't blow a bubble (didn't think about that)!  This idea is fun and something our kiddos should be able to do...

This idea from Kelly at Teacher Idea Factory is darling!  I bet the kiddos LOVE to see themselves doing this!

Love this organizer to help kiddos start to sequence events for personal narratives and add details.

Another GREAT How-To kiddos would love!!

This is an interesting perspective on an emergent learner's spelling for parents.

This could be turned into a great lesson to show kiddos how important details are to their writing.

This is great for back to school!  Give kiddos a small container of playdoh, let them play and make, then write about what they made.

Great book to start writer's workshop at the beginning of the year!

This is a cute way to organize sharing time for writing.

Love this anchor chart!

Fabulous Freebies on the 15th!

Molly's linky is perfect timing to share what we've been working on!  A while back we found a great graphic artist on Etsy.  The store is called The Paper Pegasus.  The artist is great!! We've communicated with her and bought a whole bunch of backgrounds and such!  

So, we've used the backgrounds here and there, but we've really been tucking them away for make a Teacher Toolkit!  Our Teacher Toolkit has all sorts of things to get teachers organized and help them stay organized!  Below are two samples from our first toolkit using chevron backgrounds.  Click on the pics to download them.

The complete Teacher's Toolkit is here in our TpT store!

An Apple a Day Linky: Supplies and Organization

For Leigh's link-up this week, we're piecing together a bit from some older posts.  So, for organization, we love our 'Learning Wall'.  This spot in the room is where we posted all of our objectives for the week.  It was also a great place to post student work!  We thought we'd re-share some pics and add a few new ones!

This was a great place to refer kiddos to if they needed to review something we were learning in class.  At our school, we have to display our learning objectives for the week.  Keeping this 'Learning Wall' together was a great place to put these.  Also, we got lots of compliments from Admin this year when they came through our rooms for walk throughs!

Here are some ways we organize our teaching materials.

Our favorite teacher supplies: