Saturday, July 30, 2011

Displaying Student Work

I worked in my classroom a bit more yesterday and finished my new "good work" board.  I am really excited how it turned out.  I love having an area in my room to quickly display student work.  My students always love it when they come in the classroom and a new paper is displayed.  Here is what it looks like:

Well of COURSE I had to use owls.  Aren't they just the cutest?  I had ladybugs last year and loved the title "Good Work SPOTTED Here".  SO, I took all my owls and made little white spots using a white paint pen.  My owls are now ~ spotted owls so I could keep my title.  You may be wondering HOW do I display my work on that concret block wall?  Well, if you look a little closer, I hot glued a little clip right below the owl cutout.  Take a look:

I used these last year and they WORK GREAT!!!  They hold a piece of paper nicely (I never had a paper fall once I placed it under the clip) AND the paper EASILY slides under the clip.  I can usually place it in the clip with one hand. (I'm not joking!)  Don't you just love those little spots on the owls?  Here is another picture of how I slide a paper under the clip.

When I put up 24 papers, it will look a lot different, but here is another picture of how it looks with a whole sheet of paper hanging from the owl.  After the first week of school, I will take another picture with all my student work displayed and you can let me know what you think. 

How do you display student work?  Even though I place student work out in the hallway, I believe displaying student work in the clasroom, makes them realize this is THEIR classroom too.  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Book Exchange Activities

As part of the Christmas in July Book Exchange I was able to co-host with my teaching friends Randee at How 'Bout them Apples and Jackie at Here We Go Loopty Loo, I made some activities to go with one of my favorite books:  Always in Trouble written by Corinne Demas.  It is about this adorable dog Toby who is always getting in trouble.  I thought I would share them with everyone here:

 Click on the image to download.

I can't wait to get my book!  What a fun way to share and connect.  Check out all who has participated and their awesome ideas and activities for books you can use in your classroom HERE.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Whooo wants a freebie?

Last year I put my word wall on my cabinet doors and I used notepad shapes of trees (consonants) and squirrels (vowels).  I called it "The Word Wall Woods" to go along with my camping theme.  This year I decided to use clipart and type the letters onto these patterns to construct my word wall.  I also decided to change the squirrels to owls (surprised, huh?)  This year a huge magnetic whiteboard was installed in my room on my backwall (taking the last little bit of wall space I have.  However, since it is magnetic I thought what a great place to put my class word wall.  I plan on putting magnets on the back of my words and then adding them to the wall each week.  Here is a picture of how it turned out:

I'm still wondering if there will be room for all our first grade words.  But having them on magnets, I hope it allows more interaction with our words, especially during writing.  So whooo wants a freebie?  I know some of you have mentioned you also are doing a camping theme so if you would like these the file is below.  Click HERE to download.

I also had shared in an earlier post about the new classroom rug I purchased.  I forgot to post pictures so here are a few I took the other day.  It already needs to be vacuumed ~ and please mind the mess.

That cute little red head in the second picture is my daughter.  She went to school with me that day and helped me with all sorts of things.  She's a great little helper.

Lastly, I'm going to share with you a picture of my six trait writing posters.  Each poster has teaching points for each trait and they are removable from the poster (via velcro dots).  They were all on colored construction paper when they were given to me, so I took them and put them on wood scrapbook paper to make them look like signs ~ say on a camping trail? 

This is not the greatest picture.  Hopefully when my classroom is finished, I will have better pictures to share.
Have a great weekend! 

AND the WINNER is.......

The winner of my first giveaway is....

So the winner is... Jennifer Knopf of Herding Kats in Kindergarten. Here is what she said:

So Jennifer - email me your address so I can send you the Target gift card and let you know how to get your free item from Deedee Will's Kindergarten Tpt Store!  Congratulations!

Thanks again to EVERYONE who entered became followers.  I'm already thinking about what's in store for 300!  Have a great weekend!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Safari Passes Anyone?

Hello all!  I had a request for some Safari Restroom Passes.  I whipped these up and you are welcome to use if you like. I did two different backgrounds - a black and white for a zebra print effect and my favorite taupe pattern.  Click on the picture to download.  When you go to google docs, it looks like the background is white, but after you download the file it will look correctly.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Don't you just L.O.V.E. Freebies?

So I sat down this evening to send out a reminder about my 100 follower celebration giveaway and to my surprise I now have 199 followers!  I am AMAZED (and thrilled) about all the awesome teachers and comments I have encountered on this little place in cyberspace SO I thought what better way to celebrate than to send out some freebies.  So sit back and get ready to download!  I was introduced to the Daily 5 and CAFE' books last summer by my teacher friends.  I took them with me on my vacation to St. Thomas last year and enjoyed every page as I finished both books listening to the waves of the carribbean ocean.  I came back so excited and couldn't wait to implement my Daily 5 routine and put up my CAFE board.  Here is what my CAFE board looked like:

After I put up my cafe board, my teacher partners started talking about switching the letters around in CAFE to FACE and introduce these strategies as part of "The FACE of a reader".  I really liked this idea and thought my first graders would relate a lot better to this analogy ~ so I changed my board to look like this:

As you all know, I have a camping theme in my room (and very partial to polka dots) so I created a bunch of CAFE (or FACE) headers for my board before I finally chose my favorite to display.  I printed out the headers on paper then glued them to polka dotted scrapbook paper and laminated them. 

I then typed up ALL the strategies that go with each header and cut out, laminated and would place on my board as I taught each strategy.  (I know this goes against the sisters a little - but it was my first year teaching first grade and couldn't imagine these little guys writing all these strategies out on sentence strips.)  I surrounded each strategy with a border the same color as my header section.  For example:  All fluency strategies are outlined in blue, all accuracy strategies are outlined in orange, etc.  This helped easily locate and organize my strategy cards.  I only wish I had a picture of my board AFTER my strategies were up, but no such luck.  You will find a variety of header cards below (click on the pictures to download) and then strategy cards for each header.


Comprehension Strategy Cards

Accuracy Strategy Cards

Fluency Strategy Cards

Expanding Knowledge Strategy Cards
I hope you find these useful.  I am so thankful to each and everyone of my followers.  I don't feel like I have much to offer but love teaching, love sharing and love kids.  I hope to have much more as the new school year begins. 

OH ~ and don't forget that tomorrow is the last day you can enter my giveaway to win any one item from Mrs. Will's Kindergarten TpT store AND a $25 Target gift card! 

Good Luck!

You're a SHOE In - Mini-Unit Freebie!

Have you seen the mini-unit Mrs. Tabb over at First Grade Awesomeness has created?  Well - Let's just say it's AWESOME!  Head on over to check it out!

Just perfect for those first few days of school and all those fabulous new shoes!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Classroom Cleanup

So - I decided to go into school today since our floors have been waxed and I got the A-OK to enter the building.  I walked into utter mess and wondered where in the world would I start?

Although, I was happy to see I'm still LOVIN' my new paint on the wall ~ including the stripe that I painted all the way around the room.  I love the color and it is so calming. (Hope it has the same effect on the kiddos.)  Anyway, I moved desks around, tried to organize and PURGE as much as I could and couldn't help but work on ONE bulletin board.  My theme is camping (and I'm adding owls this year) but I'm also in LOVE with polka dots - especially dots on chocolate.  I couldn't help using the big dots and border to create my reading strategies (word attack) board.  What do you think?

I also decided to splurge this year on a classroom rug.  (Mind you it is a factory second, but I still paid quite a bit of money for it - PLUS free shipping.)  It had arrived at school and I just couldn't wait to open it.  I am so in love with it... I FORGOT to take a picture but I'm going into school tomorrow and will take more pictures. Last year I put masking tape on my rug to make "spots" for my kiddos to sit... I bought a rug that has 30 squares (I have 24 first graders this year) so they will all have a square to sit in.  What I also adore is that is has the alphabet in the shape of animals on it - so I've already been thinking of ways to incorporate letters/sounds/relationships into our meeting times.  I have to giggle as I tell you this, but because it was such a major purchase and I love it so much, I had to try it out for myself.  N for Nicole and I sat in my square on the carpet.  Silly! I promise to take pictures tomorrow and I'd love to hear what you think about it. I also will post tomorrow about my new word wall letter headers and share those with you all. 

Friday, July 15, 2011

Ladybug Teacher Files - Blog Template GIVEAWAY

So here I am ... totally excited to do my first giveaway (100 followers and counting... WOO HOO!) And then I am blog stalking on a Friday night and see that Ladybug Teacher Files is having a celebration for 1,000 followers!  (Yes, that's 3 zeros!)  All I can say is I don't know WHAT I would do without her.  I have watched all of her tutorials and continue to learn about all the technical and just plain NEAT things about blogs and blogging.  I still have A LOT of learning to do but I at least she provides some awesome resources that help me along my journey. 
So - with all that said, here is the exciting part of her giveaway....she is offering a grand prize mix and match blog template that allows a lot of customization.  I have to say I'm a little partial to my blog template cuz I just love the owls - but if I won this giveaway I would definitely change it up.  I know that Thistle Girl has a camping set (my classroom theme) and wouldn't that be ADORABLE!  I especially love how she has the tabs across the page - and the cute fonts she uses. (I really wish I could change my sidebar fonts and post fonts - but still haven't figured that out.  I'm too chicken to mess with the html code cause I'm SO scared I'd mess something up and then wouldn't be able to fix it.) 
THAT is just the grand prize... she is also offering 3 more winners a premade template of your choice. If you haven't checked out Ladybug Teaching Resources, you MUST right away.
Ok, so how do you enter?  Go to Ladybug Teacher Files and check out all the details.  This is one giveaway you DON'T want to miss! 

100 Followers Giveaway Celebration!

I woke up this morning and to my surprise had reached 100 followers.  Yay!  I can't believe in such a short time, I have connected with that many awesome people.  Thank you to all who already follow me and I'm looking forward to sharing so much more as the school year is about to begin.  To celebrate, I am having a GIVEAWAY!  It really does feel like Christmas in July! My good friend and blogging buddy Dee Dee Wills is helping me out with this giveaway.  If you win, you may choose any item from her TpT Store.  She has so many great items to choose from.  She has assessment packs, sight word games, {I love her rocket letter and numbers}, back to school items and tons of other literacy and math games.  But WAIT ~ that's not all!  The winner will also receive a $25 gift card from Target.
  Have you been to their dollar section lately?  TONS of goodies!
So here are the details to enter:

1.  Follow my blog and post a comment that you would like to enter.
2.  Follow Mrs. Will's Kindergarten and post a comment that you follow her.
3.  Blog about this giveaway and copy/paste your blog post link when you comment.

You have until July 22nd to enter.  I will announce the winner on Saturday, July 23rd!  Good Luck!!

Restroom Passes - Freebie on TpT!

Here are the restroom passes I promised.  It is a large file and I tried to include as many different themes as I had clipart :)  I wish I had some other themes but there are some with just kids on them that you might be able to use in your classroom.  Click on the picture to take you to TpT to the free file.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Blog Mixer Linky - Join the Fun!

Even though I'm still working on my action research and finishing up a project for a presentation for my Understanding by Design Class - I couldn't help but take a break and head for the blogging world.  That's when I saw the Blog Mixer Linky party over at Yearn to Learn.  What a GREAT idea!  I also noticed that First Grade Blue Skies commented about my cute blog button- THANKS!  So I thought I would join in the fun.

1.  My New Kid blogger is Here We Go Loopty Loo - Mrs. Gray is a Kindergarten/First Grade Looping Teacher.  She has some fabulous ideas and just got blogging this summer. 

2. I recently found this first grade blog Frogtastic First Graders  ! Some great ideas and freebies there.

3.  I LOVE Suddenly...2nd Graders!  She recently posted about her behavior clip chart which has inspired me to transform my clip chart to fit my camping theme. 

4.  How do I choose with so many ADORABLE blog buttons out there?  Marvelous Multiagers has a cute button that is POLKA DOTS (another theme you can find in my classroom)!  


Always love finding new blogs and sharing ideas with teachers across grade levels.  Share your favorites and link up with Yearn to Learn

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Buzz to the Bathroom - Passes

I have been working on my Action Research project for my master's class and I am SO SICK of research, I needed a brain break.  I have SO many things I want to share with you but I have to complete this paper first {Lord help me}!  BUT ~ I did create something last night that I am going to use in my classroom for my restroom passes. I've always used the bookmark type that say "girl's" and "boy's" and have my students lay them on their desk before they leave so that if I'm working with a small group, I can see they are in the restroom if I need them.  A while back I saw another teacher post about her restroom passes (please let me know if YOU are the one... I couldn't find the original post from way back) and she used the clear frames that stand up on their own.  You just slide a picture (or paper) in them and they are ready to go!  I LOVED the idea and so I created some passes that go along with my nature/camping/owls theme.  Take a look:

What I LOVE is that they are not laying flat on their desks and can be seen easily from anywhere in the classroom.  I bought the 5X7 frames at Wal-Mart for $1 each.  (I couldn't find them at my Dollar Tree).  I am going to print out another set on cardstock and change out since the paper wrinkled a bit trying to insert them in the frames.  I am going to post this set below if you would like a copy.  I'm also going to add a couple more designs that are more generic boy and girl pictures later, after I work a little more on my {pardon me} paper.  I wish I was finished so that I could create, focus on back to school things and de-stress a little.  Keep your fingers crossed I will get LOTS done today. 

Click HERE to download!
Hope everyone is having more fun than me...Smiles (actually sad face)~

Friday, July 8, 2011

Super Scientist ~ Changes

I had a few people ask about the Parent Letter that is included in the Super Scientist Pack.  It has "First Grade" in a couple of locations so I made it more generic to use across grade levels by just referencing Our Super Scientist Journal.  If there are any other changes that you would like, please let me know.  I don't mind at all.  Here is the more generic version that should work for multiple grades.

Click HERE for the download. Have a great night...

Super Scientist ~ Repost Freebie!

I have been getting lots of compliments and comments about my Super Scientist post.  I decided to repost all my forms in a packet for teachers to use.  Take a look at my original post to see how Super Scientist is introduced during the year.  It is absolutely one of my favorite things in first grade!  My teacher buddy who started this with her class is a looping teacher so she actually started Super Scientist with her Kindergartners.  It is a good idea to make up a schedule that lists the students name and week they are to be the Super Scientist.  It also informs the parents of the upcoming activity.  I did not print out a schedule at first and I had a lot of "When is it my turn?" and "Can I go next?"  With having a schedule, I can have the students check the schedule to see how many students are before them... I don't even have to look at the schedule after I pass it out - when the Super Scientist is finished, everyone (including the NEW Super Scientist) lets me know that it is THEIR turn!

Click HERE to download a copy! 

Christmas in July Picture Book and Activity EXCHANGE!

So who DOESN'T love Christmas?  How about in JULY?

Well my blogging buddy Randee at How About Them Apples came up with the idea to have a picture book exchange!  She asked me and Jackie at Here We Go Loopty Loo to co-host the exchange with her.  Sounds like a FUN idea!  SO ~ here is how it works:

Christmas in July Picture Book & Activity Exchange1. Email RANDEE at
with your name, mailing address, and blog URL
by Wednesday, July 13, 2011.
**We realize it's kinda quick, but we want everyone to receive their package by the end of July!**
2. By Friday, July 15, 2011 you will get an email with your exchange partner.
Go shopping for a picture book (possibly one of your favorites to share w/a new "friend").
**$10 Limit**
**Don't forget to create an activity to go along with the book.**

3. Have your package (book & actvity) mailed by Monday, July 25, 2011.

4. Make sure to follow us at How About Them Apples, First Grade O.W.L.s, and
Here We Go Loopty Loo
so that on Sunday, July 31, 2011 you can link up and
share your "gift" with us!

5. Spread the word about our Christmas in July
Picture Book & Activity Exchange!
You know what they say...The more the merrier!!! 

Place Value Poem ~ Freebie!

I have been updating some files for the new school year and here is one that I just made into a document.  I used this last year and wrote this poem on chart paper for us to refer to when we were working with place value and then again when we started double digit addition.  It really helped some of my kiddos to remember to always start in the ones place.  I did not make this up... I can't remember where I found it - maybe a mailbox magazine? If you know who wrote it, let me know so I can give the proper credit.  If you would like a copy of the poem click HERE.

I have some other things I've been working on too and will gladly share also when I finish, in case it will work for your classroom.  For now, I'm off to CARS2 - taking my 3 kids to the show this afternoon.
OH - and I want to thank Dee Dee Wills of Mrs. Wills Kindergarten for giving me a shout-out about my blog last night!  I appreciate her kind words.  Isn't she the greatest?
Smiles ~ 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Scentsy Giveaway!

Adventures in Teaching is doing a SCENTSY giveaway to celebrate 100 followers.  Just follow the link and follow her directions to enter. You have until Saturday, July 9th to enter. Good Luck!


A pleasant surprise!

I woke up this morning to find out that I won the giveaway at Teacher's Market for the Counting Songs DVD from Have Fun Teaching!  Have you seen the video clip of this counting DVD?  I love that it includes skip counting and in such a FUN way!  I can't wait to use it with my firsties. 

Have I mentioned that I'm working on my Master's Degree?  Today was the second day of an accelerated course ...3 credit hours in 8 days.  I thought it would be a great idea to do over the summer, but I may not see the light of day until next Thursday when the class is officially over.  Thank goodness for coffee and diet coke {and caramel creams - my FAVORITE}! What a pleasant surprise in the midst of stress and pressure. Hope everyone is enjoying their summer. 

Monday, July 4, 2011

Geometry Pack Freebie!

Hope you had a wonderful 4th of July!  It was so nice getting together with family and enjoying some time in the sun.  After reading Chapter 7, I put together some geometry cards, guess my shape cards and some of the graphic organizers from the back of Debbie's book.  Hope you might find these useful in your classroom.
Smiles ~

Click HERE to grab your copy!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Smilemakers makes me SMILE!

SO ~ I just placed my annual order to smilemakers... lots of fun stuff but I just LOVE their stickers.  While I was shopping around I came across these:

Even though I have fallen a bit behind in the Math Work Stations book study, I loved the idea of the using the hundreds charts puzzles.  When I ran across these boards I was a little excited because it offers 6 different double sided puzzles that increase in difficulty. {I'm thinking DIFFERENTIATION} AND if you flip them over they all have a blank hundreds chart that you can use with dry erase markers for quick assesments or one-one practice.  It also comes with a guide for intervention strategies.  It is listed for Kindergarten and up.  Needless to say I added them to my order so I hope it was a good purchase.  Has anyone else seen or used these before?  I will let you know how it goes as I introduce them this fall. SMILES~
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