Mentor Text 12.29.13

Hello all!  We hope you had a very nice Christmas with your families!  We are enjoying our break oh so much! Today we are linking up with Collaboration Cuties for the Mentor Text Linky.  This week the theme is Winter Books.  When we return to school on Thursday, we will celebrate the year 2013; and look forward to 2014 by setting goals.  We found this book, Squirrel's New Year's Resolution and thought it would be a really fun way to "ring in the New Year!"    You can find this book read aloud on youtube here.  It's a cute story about a squirrel that finds out what a resolution is all about, helping her friends along the way. We are sure our students will love it and yours will too! 

We plan to do this activity upon returning in the New Year.  If you'd like a free copy, click here!

Speaking of the New Year, we are having a sale over at our TpT store!  

Enjoy the rest of your break and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Five for Friday 12.20.13

It's Friday…and for us and many of you the beginning of WINTER BREAK!!!

We are having a SALE this weekend!  Head on over to our store to "Fill Your Stockings!"  

Our student gifts were a hit this year.  We made the personalized clipboards which they were really excited about!  We hope they can put them to good use to work on their homework after break.  :)

We continued our work with Mental Images this week.  
We talked about how you use your senses to create mental images….

We also talked about the fact that mental images change throughout a story...

We read the Polar Express and watched the movie this week.  Then, we created this Polar Express train to review story elements.  The students really enjoyed the movie!

We have a new product in our store!  Our Math Bags have been a huge hit so we decided to make sets that can be used for specific times of the year and for holidays.  The Winter Edition of our First Grade Math Bags contain 12 math activities that are common core aligned.  Your students are sure to love the hands on Math Bag activities!   You are as well due to the fact that they are created to be very teacher friendly!  Take a look!  Don't forget they will be on sale this weekend!


Mentor Text 12.15.13

Good Morning!  We are linking up with Collaboration Cuties for their Mentor Text Linky.  This week the theme is Social Studies.  In December at our school we focus on the character trait, Kindness.  We think this works out perfectly for such a busy time of year!  Ordinary Mary's Extraordinary Deed is a book that is great to illustrate kindness and how important it is.  The best thing about this book is the fact that it shows that people, old and young, can do very simple things that make others (and themselves) feel better.  This book contains a "pay it forward" message which is so great this time of year. 

If you don't have your own copy of the book, there is a read aloud version on YouTube:

Starting the first school day in December our grade level makes "Kindness Bells."  Each child has a bell (which has a poem about kindness glued to it) that they add links to each time their teacher catches them being kind.  The kiddos are always really excited to add links to their bell and we find them making "kind choices" often with all the reminders about how important it is.

After we have read about and have discussed kindness, we have the kiddos do this "Kind / Unkind" sort.  We discuss each scenario and decide if the action is kind or unkind.  Usually there is quite a bit of discussion and we always follow it up with how the scenario could have been different.  If you'd like a FREE copy of this fun activity, click here!  

This kind / unkind sort is one of the activities in our Winter Packet, "Baby it's Cold Outside."  This packet has over 30 Math and LA activities in the themes, Winter Wonderland, Christmas / Hanukkah, and New Year / Chinese New Year.  The activities are sure to keep your kiddos engaged in December and January!  

We hope you have a great week!

Five for Friday 12.13.13

Happy Friday to all of you!

Here's a peek at our week:

We decorated our hall with Tacky Sweaters!  Our kiddos made tacky sweaters and then described them using adjectives.  They loved this project and they've been a big hit with the teachers in the building so far!  If you'd like to give it a try, head on over to the 2013 TpT Winter eBook.  The tacky sweater activity that we created, as well as, many other great activities can be downloaded for FREE!  You won't be disappointed!  Thank you to Hillary Lewis for allowing us to be a part of this great collection of freebies!   

Throughout the month of December the reading strategy we will work on is making Mental Images.  Our kiddos always enjoy this strategy.  One reason we enjoy teaching it is that all students can feel successful with a Mental Image task.  

If you'd like FREE activities (including the activity above) to work on Mental Images, click here.  

We have been working so hard on providing evidence from the story when answering comprehension questions.  Our packet, Reading Passages with Written Response Requiring Text Evidence, has really helped provide a framework for us to teach our students this difficult and important skill.  We are working on the passages during reading group time.  The kiddos love highlighting the important information in the story that they go back and use when providing evidence.  

If you'd like to try this out in your classroom, the packet will be HALF PRICE through Sunday…that's over 50 reading passages with scaffolded questions for $4.00!

Here is some of the feedback we've received so far about this product:

Here is a freebie of 3 sample passages from the pack!

We added a new product to our store last week, Party Time.  This packet includes five quick and easy activities that teach  / review telling time to the hour and half hour.  The activities can be used whole group, small group, or for independent work.  We start our time unit after Winter Break and we are looking forward to adding these activities to our lessons.

We started our work on persuasive letter writing this week.  To "kick it off" we helped the kiddos write a letter to our classroom Teacher Assistants.  The kiddos were trying to persuade her to let them pick their own seats in the lunch room next week (normally they have assigned seats).  We explained that the letter had to give solid reasons that she should say "yes."  This activity turned out really cute…and she said "Yes" so the kiddos are super excited of course!

Have a super weekend!  

Mentor Text 12.8.13

Good Morning!  We are linking up with Collaboration Cuties for their Mentor Text linky.  This week the theme is Math.  We are getting ready to teach our time unit so we picked a favorite time book to share; Hickory Dickory Dock.  This familiar rhyme makes the book a great read aloud for the students. It gives you an opportunity to talk about the clocks on the pages, the time shown on them, and how to tell the time.  The kiddos enjoy the rhyme, illustrations, and seeing what will happen next.  

We have just added a time packet, "Party Time" to our store.  This packet includes five activities that allow you to teach and / or practice telling time to the hour and half hour.  

You can grab this class book  FREEBIE, by clicking here.  This allows your students to make a class book with times throughout the day.  You can have students pair up so that each page represents 1 hour of the day in your classroom (for example "At 8:00 we do our morning work.").  

(clip art by Ashley Hughes and KPM Doodles)

To grab another FREEBIE, like our Facebook book page (you will click the "Fan Freebie" tab).  You will be able to download a Time game called "Find the False," which is one of our kiddo's favorite activities!  

Have a super Sunday!

Five for Friday {12.6.13}

Happy Friday to all of you!

Today we celebrated St.Nick in our classrooms.  The kiddos wore slippers around the room and set their shoes out to see if a special surprise would be left behind when they were at recess.  It sure happened!  St. Nick brought them candy, a no homework coupon, and holiday pencils.  They were pretty excited!  What a fun way to end the week!

We completed our parent holiday presents this week.  We have the students make a calendar for their mom and dad using very simple supplies: poster board, construction paper, their picture, a magnetic strip, and calendar pages for each month of the year that they fill in.  I got this idea from the previous school I was at and I'm pretty sure this will be my parent gift forever…it's so easy and "kid friendly."  The kiddos actually make all of it which is so important if they're giving it to their family.  

Head on over to our Facebook page this weekend to get a freebie as a part of the December Facebook Frenzy!

The 1st grade hop starts here:

  Our freebie is a set of Reading Comprehension passages that we created that focus on written response to text using evidence.

  This freebie came about from our newest product, Reading Passages with Written Response Requiring Text Evidence.  Our kiddos are expected to provide a written response to text during Running Records this year, so we created this full packet as a way to help this with this skill.   This packet contains over 50 passages, divided into Beginning of Year, Middle of Year, and End of Year to provide scaffolding for this difficult task! Our kiddos have been happy to work on them so far and we hope this continues! 

We are so excited to be a part of the 2013 Winter Holidays Tips and Freebies eBook for grades 1-2! Head over to TpT to grab it and start checking out LOTS of freebies!  

We love having Pen Pals this year!!!  We have teamed up with Amanda and Aylin over at Learning to the Core to write letters back and forth between classrooms.  Our kiddos were so excited this week to get holiday pencils and bookmarks from their pen pals!  They enjoyed making their pals a friendship bracelet and winter card as well!

We hope you have a great weekend!