Friday, May 20, 2016

Wrapping Up the Year

I cannot believe that I have only four more days until this school year is over! Our grades were due earlier this week, but there was so much time left that we needed to stay busy. Here's some ideas to do in your classroom if you're like me!
My children love the If You Give ... books and I have been waiting to do If You Give a Moose a Muffin. And then Meghan Harris from Keeping Up With Mrs. Harris posted a lapbook! So we stayed busy for 2 days in reading.

One of the activities had a flip booklet for how muffins smell, how they taste, and how they look. Well, we just had to have muffins for that part, right?!
We were playing a blends and digraph game last week when one of the special ed teachers came in and saw us - she left and came back with these Lakeshore Learning lock and key games. We played the vowel teams and blends/digraphs games during Morning Meeting this past week and the kids begged for them later in the day. My daughter saw them and sat to work on them while waiting for me after school. She looked up at me and said "I have to have these. They will help me spell better on my spelling tests." Well!
Math - with having a combination class this year, I thought I would do a bit of a mixed review for my students. We practiced writing a number based on the number of tens and ones that are given. Then use the numbers to color a 100 or 120 chart to find a picture. These are from Teach With Laughter on TpT. She has several in her shop and I purchased all of them so the kids had different activities to work on. They loved seeing the other pictures their friends were working on. This picture is the ice cream mystery picture.
And a step away from school for some family fun. We had the wonderful opportunity to see "Beauty and the Beast" performed by Liberty University at Tower Theater on Sunday. It was their final performance and the actors had a meet and greet following the show. The girls had not been to a play or musical before, so this was beyond exciting for them and for us to enjoy another first experience together. Summer cuddled with me for the entire show! :) This was meeting Belle and the Beast. Summer collected autographs from just about everyone - except Gaston!
Have a great weekend! Enjoy the lasts with your students!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Mr. Putter and Tabby Walk the Dog

I LoVe Mr. Putter and Tabby!
My second graders are at the point where they can read a couple of chapters and work independently on skill work. I knew I wanted them to be introduced to Mr. Putter and Tabby.
 we worked on practicing alphabetical order to the second letter
a quick review of punctuation using sentences from the story
retelling chapter using words in a word bank to complete the summary
chapter 3 - sequence the settings using given pictures
I am putting my new Mr. Putter and Tabby Walk the Dog unit on sale ... for FREE ... until my daughter's birthday on Thursday, April 7th! If you download, I would appreciate your feedback!

Have a great week!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Joy Cowley contest: Barbie the Lamb

I have had the privilege of reading some new books by Joy Cowley, featuring the characters Mr. Whisper and Barbie.

I featured Mr. Whisper in a post last week. If you didn't see the post, click here.
Mr. Whisper

Hameray Publishing is having a giveaway! Click here to enter the classroom giveaway!

Today I'm sharing about Barbie the Lamb.
Barbie the Lamb

Joy Cowley Collection Barbie the Wild Lamb
In Barbie, the Wild Lamb, we are introduced to Barbie. She is Anna's pet lamb and is anything but tame! Anna takes Barbie to the sheep field to learn how to be a good lamb, but it doesn't work. The other sheep can't teach her because she is too wild. When they leave her, Barbie cries. When she hears a big dog in the field, Barbie goes to investigate and finds the sheep are being chased by the dog. Because Barbie is a wild lamb, she isn't scared of the dog and chases him off, saving the other sheep!

The mini-lessons you could cover using this book include punctuation, vocabulary, summarizing, and making predictions.

Joy Cowley Collection Barbie at Pet Day
In Barbie at Pet Day, Anna takes Barbie to Pet Day at school. Anna tells Barbie to be a good lamb. Barbie doesn't seem to be capable of being a good lamb, as she destroys everything around her, including biting dogs and eating muffins in the teacher's lounge. When Anna tells her that she is a bad lamb, she takes Barbie home. By this point, Barbie is exhausted from the day and falls asleep, being a good lamb.

The mini-lessons in this book could include synonyms, punctuation, summarizing, and consequences of choices.

Joy Cowley Collection Barbie's Coat
In Barbie's Coat, Anna tries to cut Barbie's long woolly coat. But since Barbie is a wild lamb, naturally Barbie is going to cause some trouble! Anna's father is able to keep her still long enough to cut the wool. Anna's mother spins the wool to make it into yarn. Anna and her mom use the yarn to knit a jacket for Anna. Anna likes her new jacket, but when Barbie sees it, she smells the jacket and notices that it doesn't smell like Anna, so she bites Anna on the bottom! {Remember, Barbie is wild!} Anna tries to grab Barbie, but since she's been trimmed, Barbie doesn't have a long coat for Anna to grab on to and escapes Anna!

The mini-lessons in this book include punctuation, making inferences, types of sentences, and making connections with the other Barbie books.

Don't you just love Mr. Whisper?! Would you love to have these books for your classroom? Follow the links below to enter the contest that Hameray Publishing is holding!
Good luck!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Joy Cowley contest: Mr. Whisper

I have had the privilege of reading some new books by Joy Cowley, featuring the character, Mr. Whisper. Hameray Publishing is having a giveaway!
Mr. Whisper, well, whispers! He is a lovable character!
Joy Cowley Collection Mr. Whisper and Miss Candy
In Mr. Whisper and Miss Candy, Miss Candy invites Mr. Whisper to a Valentine's Day party. Mr. Whisper agrees and has a song to sing Miss Candy at the party. Because she can't hear him, Mr. Whisper grabs the microphone and sings to her.

This book lends to great mini-lessons on punctuation (quotation marks, thinking bubbles, size of text, and question marks), as well as vocabulary and synonyms.

Joy Cowley Collection Mr. Whisper and the Big Noise
In Mr. Whisper and the Big Noise, Mr. Whisper becomes extremely frustrated when construction workers are digging up the road outside his house. When he calls city council to complain, nobody can hear him because he whispers! So he talks to the boss, who also can't hear him. So Mr. Whispers puts on earmuffs, but that doesn't help the noise. Completely frustrated, Mr. Whispers goes to the country where it's quiet, but it doesn't last long because the construction crew comes to the country! 

This book also lends itself to great mini-lessons on font size, vocabulary, and problem solving.

Joy Cowley Collection Mr. Whisper's Sore Ears
The third Mr. Whisper book is Mr. Whisper's Sore Ears. When Mr. Whisper goes to town, the sounds of the cars, buses, and clock bells are loud and bother him. He tries going to the mall, thinking it would be quieter. But at the mall, there's a band and construction work going on. Mr. Whisper's ears are now so sore that he heads to the doctor. The doctor can't understand what is wrong because Mr. Whisper whispers. The doctor thinks his throat is sore instead of his ears and sends Mr. Whisper home with medicine for his throat. But when Mr. Whisper gets home, his ears no longer hurt because it is so quiet at his house!

The mini-lessons you could use with this book are punctuation, font size, vocabulary, and onomatopoeia.

Don't you just love Mr. Whisper?! Would you love to have these books for your classroom? Follow the links below to enter the contest that Hameray Publishing is holding!
Come back tomorrow to see my reviews of Barbie!
Barbie the Lamb

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Featured Teacher Tuesday!

NOOO!  It’s come to an end!  This is the last blog post for a while of the Featured Teacher Tuesdays!
Heidi Neels from Flipping for First is a spunky and organized first grade teacher!  
Years of tumbling, cheerleading and a passion for teaching made her blog name come to life!  She has been teaching for 9 years, 6 of those being in first grade!  She has truly found her teaching niche!
Heidi has been married for 15 years (yep, he’s tied up in the basement) and has two beautiful girls ages 15 (don’t do the math) and 10!  Faith brings joy in her life each and every day!  God has blessed her family and teaching career!  She is a middle child (typical middle child syndrome) and requires lots of attention from those around her!
Organization fuels Heidi through first grade!  (It may be a disease!)  Check out her blog for some amazing tips on how to organize Words Their Way, Listening Stations, Behavior Management, Erin Condren Planner, Common Core Assessments, Classroom tips and so much more!

Laughing is important to Heidi!  Mo Willems, first grade quotes, and National Lampoon movies can put a smile on her face.  Just like Wimberly, Heidi can worry a lot!  Therefore Heidi clings to
Psalm 46:10  “Be still, and know I am God!

Heidi’s best seller is her Editable Daily Behavior Chart!  This is an amazing product that every teacher who has a student with challenging behavior needs!!  Heidi loves to hear success stories about teachers using this in their classrooms!!
Fry’s First 100 Sight Words came about when she had 30% of her students struggling with sight words!  Yikes!  To overcome this obstacle, Heidi created a product that focuses on teaching the words in context using pictures, repetition, and motor skills!  She ended that year with 100% of her students knowing all first grade sight words!  Love it!
Heidi’s First Grade Common Core Math Assessments are a full year’s worth of assessments!  She even has a blog post with a yearly calendar to help you plan!
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Check out one of Heidi’s freebies!
Don’t forget to join me in following Heidi!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Happy Tuesday, folks!
Meet Karen Wasdin from Silly Sam Productions!

She is a Baseball Mom from New Jersey and loves to watch her son play for the High School team and travel teams. Her husband is a Videographer/Photographer and she enjoys assisting him in producing sports and educational videos in his business, MoonGate Video Productions. They enjoy taking trips to MLB stadiums in different cities as well as finding beautiful places to capture animals in their natural habitats, with cameras ready at all times.
Karen has been teaching for 30 years in N.Y. and N.J. and has experience ranging from Pre-School to High School. She has spent most of her career teaching firsties and 2nd grade Basic Skills students.

MAKE LEARNING FUN! That is her philosophy and the key to keeping learners engaged, participating and remembering all their awesome educational experiences. "Good Happy Morning", is how she greets her first graders on each new school day!

“A classroom is an amazing place.” she says. “Actually watching the learning process in action is incredible!” She also loves writing curriculum and studying Brain-Based Learning. Her specialties include Cooperative Learning, Behavior Management, Motivation and Differentiation. Inspiring learners and making learning fun is her life's journey.
Finding ways to help her young learners understand the trickiest concepts has driven her to create multi-sensory approaches and engaging lessons that MAKE LEARNING FUN! These techniques can be found in her products at TpT.

Color-Coded Mental Math Addition and Subtraction Posters use the color-coding technique to help learners make connections to math strategies.

Point of View is an integrated Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop unit that has students look at the story of the Three Little Pigs through the eyes of different characters. Then they do the same with their own personal narrative about their first day of school. This helps them truly discover and empathize with others and recognize feelings other than their own.

Short and Long Vowel Super Bundle Package is an extensive unit covering the heart of the first grade phonics curriculum. Word Houses use patterning chunks and vowel sounds to help students become stronger readers and writers. Creating their own Vowel Books helps students celebrate all that they have learned.

You can find and follow Silly Sam Productions here:
Blog: Laugh and Learn with Silly Sam        Twitter:  @sillysamprod
TpT: Silly Sam Productions                          Pinterest:  Silly Sam Productions
Facebook:   Silly Sam Productions                  Instagram:  sillysamproductions

Have a great week!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Featured Teacher Tuesday!

This week I would like to you to meet Christina from Hanging Around In Primary.

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Christina has been teaching for 21 years (gasp!) Most of her teaching has been in Grade 1 but she has also taught Kindergarten through Grade 4.  She also spent 3 ½ years working as a substitute teacher at the beginning of her career.  She has been teaching in a small village just outside of Kingston, Ontario, Canada for most of her career.  

When not teaching Christina is spending time with her family: a busy 12 and 15 year old and a husband who runs his own business.  She loves to travel and spend time time at the cottage.  
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Christina has always had a passion for teaching.  When she was growing up there was no question about what she wanted to do when she grew up.  A first grade teacher was her dream job and she has been fortunate enough to teacher 6 year olds for the majority of her career so far.  

Christina has always had a passion for creating her own classroom materials and sharing ideas with her colleagues.  She stumbled upon Teachers Pay Teachers in 2012 and got the nerve up to post her own products in the winter of 2013.  Since then she has continued to add products and really grow her store.  She has many freebies to help early primary teachers out in Math, Literacy and Classroom Management.  Click on the covers below to check out some of her popular freebies.  

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Christina loves to teach using centers to engage students and keep them practicing crucial skills.  Some of her most popular math centers are

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She also creates products that support directed teaching as well.  These comprehension checks are perfect for whole group teaching as well for small group instruction.  The Word Jail is one of her favourite products.  She uses it to help students learn to read and spell those tricky rule breaker words.  Her students love it.  
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Christina has been blogging for about a year and half.  She enjoys sharing what is happening in her classroom and showing off her products in actions.  You can check out a few of her most popular posts below.  If you like what you read be sure to follow her to keep up with her posts!  
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You can also follow Christina on Social media.   Check out her accounts below:

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I hope you enjoyed meeting Christina this week for our weekly Featured Teacher post.  See you again next week when you will meet another first grade teacher!