Monday, July 29, 2013

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!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

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!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

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!

Monday, July 22, 2013

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

Sunday, July 21, 2013

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! 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Sunday Smorgasbord 7.21.13


Happy Sunday!  It's Sarah posting today....Tamra's continuing her travels to visit family.  Whew!  It has been a hot week here!  We're trying to keep cool here in NC!

Despite the heat, we're still enjoying some yummy summertime grilling!

LOVE these carefree summer days!!  Hard to think that back to school time is upon us!  I decided to face the reality that we go back in under a month now and grab some things for my classroom.  I saw this idea on Pinterest and thought it would be great for a new book shelving unit in my room!

So, I've got the crates ready to go.  Love the bright colors - they'll be great for my room!

I also stopped by a children's resale shop and got a whole bunch of books for $20!  Most of the books were only 50 cents!

Here are a few pics Tamra sent over from her travels.

 Tamra's cutie having fun at a kids art museum!  They are finding good indoor things to do so they stay cool!

 Unfortunately, they have been encountering lots of traffic backups :(

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Teaching Phonics Linky

Wow!  Melissa at First Grade Smiles has a great overview of how she teaches phonics in her classroom!  You NEED to check it out!!  It is very thorough!  We thought we'd link up to share some additional resources we use in the classroom.  This year will be implementing a new phonics curriculum our district adopted, Letterland.  We're not too sure what to think yet...we've had a quick "unpacking" training with an overview and materials included in the program.  I'm sure we'll be reflecting on it often this year!

So it seems like Letterland will be taught as one of our mini lesson times during Daily 5.  A lot of it is oral and practice through a teacher-lead routine.  We'll need some of our other resources for students to have some independent phonics practice.  Our big tool this year is the Word Work packet we made last year.
We'll use this for morning work or word work time. 

At the end of the year, we had a centers day with some free time in the word work activities.  The kiddos loved it!  This is definitely an important part of our phonics practice.  Our kiddos take their spelling list with them to choose a word work activity.  Our Word Work packet has differentiated spelling lists.
And since well all know our kiddos LOVE games, we created these skill practice games for whole group or small group.

Finally, as Melissa said, we've got to remember phonemic awareness.  We used this program this year in our grade level and all of us teacher loved it!  It really helped our Dibels scores. :)
Whew!  It's a busy year for building and reinforcing these foundational skills! 

Throwback Thursday and Weekend Deal

**Originally  Posted 5/10/13**
We have a fun new product in our store.  It's a great game to review sight words.  There is a card game and a game you can play very quickly and easily by projecting the document onto your SMART Board, whiteboard, etc included.  The projector game requires no teacher prep!  Basically, students read the words as fast as they can.  If they get the word, "Bounce," they are out.  It's fast paced and keeps the students motivated to practice. 

**Originally  Posted 4/12/13**
We have added a new product in our store!  We've been using this in our classrooms and it's yielding positive results.  The best's simple and requires very little preparation.  There are 2 games included in this packet to practice Nonsense Word Fluency!

Here's our kiddos playing 1 of the games!  Each child has to read a nonsense word that is projected on the SMART Board.  If they get it right, they stay in the game.  If they get it wrong, they're out.  If they get a "Bzzzz" page, they are also out. They love this game and could play all day!

If you CLICK HERE, you will find a freebie that contains a Nonsense Word Fluency Word Sort and Nonsense Word Fluency Read the Room!