Saturday, July 15, 2017

Mega Gift Card Giveaway!

click the picture to visit the #schoolsavings sale.


Fancy winning some extra spending money to help you purchase everything you need for your 2017-18 classroom? Myself and a team of amazing teachers have grouped together to gift THREE awesome teachers TPT gift cards. 

1 x $200 TPT Giftcard. 1 x $200 Amazon Giftcard, 1 x $25 Starbucks Giftcard, and 1 x $15 Starbucks Giftcard!

#1 TAG your teacher friends by adding their names in the comment section


REMEMBER: each entry counts as ONE entry, the more links you complete, the higher your chances of winning!!

Raffle CLOSES: Saturday 21st July 2017 12am

Also, SECRET SECRET HASHTAG SALE for two days only! Search #schoolsavings in the Teachers Pay Teachers search bar to find products 1/2 OFF! (14th-16th)


I've got two great bundles in the hashtag sale at 50% off!  If you use the Journeys series, you're going to want to check out my supplemental workbooks that provide extra skills practice.  Here's a video over of the whole series.

You can find the resources by clicking on the cover below.

The second bundle I'm offering at 50% off is my reading level and placement resource. Check it out by clicking on the cover below.

Good luck and happy shopping!!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy 4th of July!!

Have you seen this gorgeous picture floating around social media?  I saw it on Facebook this morning, and it immediately made me hum "America the Beautiful." I hope you have a wonderful Fourth of July, filled with family and fun!  We're planning a picnic with friends and family, a day of swimming, and fireworks tonight.
I hope you have a wonderful Fourth of July, filled with family and fun!  We're planning a picnic with friends and family, a day of swimming, and fireworks tonight.
I've got a fun freebie to share with you today!  Do you struggle to keep your desktop organized?  I always did, with icons scattered all over my desktop, until I created this series of desktop calendar pngs to use as backgrounds.  Now, everything I need is organized and I know where to find what I'm working on at a glance.  This is what my desktop looks like right now.  Each month, I change out the background, and I've got a calendar at-a-glance, as well as all my work organized.
It's really easy to use.  Once you download the PNG, just right-click set as desktop background.  Then you can move your files around to put them in the categories that work best for you.  I've included the finished PNG and the PPT file, in case my categories don't work for you and you need to create new ones.  You can download by clicking the button below.
Download your calendar desktop background here
If you're in the mood to shop, there are quite a few sales going on on TpT.  Be sure to check out the #freedomdeals and #4onthe4th sales.  If you click on the picture below, you can see what I've got on sale.  If you type the search terms into TpT, you can see all the great deals. Or you can just click the buttons I've added here.

That's it for now! Enjoy the day and TTYL!!


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Struggling to get it all in?

If you are like me, you struggle to get everything in that you need to teach in a day. There's always something that seems to get pushed to the aside to do "later." For me, it usually has to do with math -- not my favorite subject to teach, and we are only scheduled for math for 40 minutes a day, although I do have some flexibility within my schedule, sometime stretching it to 50 minutes or an hour if necessary.

With the focus on math strategies in our math book, it feels like automaticity of the basic facts gets left behind.  This really bothers me because I know how important it is for children to know their basic facts at a glance.

I've tried various ways to incorporate these mastery, but they have fallen short, until this year, when I created this nifty little addition game, available in PPT or Google™ Slides.
As you can see, this is a great tool to use during transition times or down times in the classroom, as we come back from using the restroom in dribs and drabs or coming back from lunch.  You can also use it as math game for the whole group or in a center.  But best of all, once I started using this in my classroom daily, I saw less and less finger counting and number line counting and more and more automaticity of the basic facts in my classroom.

Once the children had started memorizing these addition facts, it was easier for them to understand the relationship between addition and subtraction facts and recognize how fact families worked. I'm really excited to use it earlier in the year this upcoming school year!

If you signed up for my newsletter, you could get the PowerPoint version of this game absolutely free!  If not, you can find the Google™ Slides version bundled with PPT version in my TpT store.  You can sign up for my newsletter by visiting my Facebook page and hitting the sign up button. Just click on my logo below to take you there!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Science Freebie Bald Eagle Mini-Research Project

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Click here to download this freebie

Hi friends!  I wanted to share with you a fun and easy research project you can do with  your class. It just a quick little research booklet that asks specific questions, and then the children can type those questions into Google to find the answers.

 I've actually done the research part of this in first grade by grouping up my students so the more able readers can help the less able readers.  They were so into researching and finding answers that they were reading far more than they realized! n After they write the answer to the question in a sentence, they can illustrate the answer in the blank space at the top of the page.

With all the eagle cams set up around the country, I find the children are fascinated by observing and keeping an eagle log.  At some point during the day, I will pull up the eagle cam, and we observe the eagles for five minutes or so, then record information into our log. I try to visit at least 3 times a week until at least the first egg hatches.

You can get this free resource in my store by clicking the cover above, or you can visit Teacher's Toolkit store for a round up of free resources for Teacher Treat Tuesday by clicking the picture below.

Click here to visit Teacher's Toolkit and score some great teacher treats!
Have a great week, everyone!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Making a Complete Sentence

We spent most of the first quarter learning about writing sentences.  One of the key things the children have to understand is what makes a complete sentence.  I've found one of the most effective ways to get this concept across to the children is to tell them a sentence is made up of two parts, a who part, and a what part.  For the sake of not confusing first graders, I don't distinguish between people and animals and other inanimate objects as the who in a sentence.

We spend several weeks looking at various sentences and identifying the who and what part of each sentence to makes sure they are complete sentences.  When we do group writing, I often will put just one part or the other of the sentence and have them tell me whether or not it's a complete sentence and why it is or is not a complete sentence.

I also provide lots of opportunities for the children to write in complete sentences by providing a daily writing prompt in our morning work time and having the children respond in sentences.  When I check their writing, if I see a child only has a phrase, I'll ask them to apply the test.  For instance, if the prompt was what is your favorite pet, and they write "my dog," I'll ask them who.  They will respond "my dog."  Then I will say "what," and they realize that there is no what part of the sentence. So after they tell me "what," they go back and rewrite their sentence to make it a complete sentence.

After practicing this for around three to four weeks, I'm ready to let the children work on making compete sentences independently.  I use the free resource that I created for my store, Fall Subject Predicate Sentence Puzzles, as an independent center.

 I use the sentence recording sheet as a formative assessment to judge whether or not they understand that sentences have two parts, the who and the what part.  If they can correctly color the who and what part of the sentences, they understand the concept.  If they have trouble distinguishing between the who and what part of the sentences, they need more instruction on the concept.

If you would like to try out this resource in your classroom, click on any of the pictures above to visit my store and download it for free!
I've joined up with many other sellers to bring you some wonderful freebies to help you with your fall planning.  Check out the link up below to see all the great resources available!

Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter for TpT giftcard giveaways as well!

An InLinkz Link-up


Thanks for stopping by!
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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Halloween Sight Word Practice

Halloween Sight Word Practice

Add a little Halloween fun to your sight word practice!  Two great stories that use repeated text and high frequency words can be found in the Hameray Publishing catalog.

With repeated sentence structure and picture support for the word that changes in each sentence, Halloween Night is a fun and easy read for your beginning readers. 

If you're looking for a little bit more of a challenge, Joy Cowley's Spooky House is a good choice. Two children approach a haunted house, becoming progressively more frightened as they move deeper into the house.  Finally, they see and hear something that causes them to turn tail and run, all the while convincing themselves that they are very brave.
As you can see, there are many sight words included in both books.  The repetitive text makes it easy for even your approaching level readers to pick up the rhythm of the words.

A fun follow up activity is to play Read-the-Room Halloween Style. 

It's a simple game to play with your whole class, or you can set it up as center.  Simply take the numbered cards and place them around the room.

Place the sight word cards in a pocket chart or display on the board for the children to refer to while they read the room.  They will copy the word onto their answer sheet that complete the sentence on their card as they move from card to card.
You can find this FREE resource by clicking on any of the above pictures of the resource.

So take advantage of the excitement of Halloween and the abundance of great Halloween stories to squeeze in some fun Halloween themed sight word practice!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Why Do Leaves Change Colors?

Now that fall has arrived (finally!), and the leaves are changing colors on the trees, it's time for my annual science lesson on leaves changing colors.

Through the years, I've found two good mentor texts to use that address this concept.  Both are from Scholastic Books, and both do a great job taking a complex subject and bringing it down to an elementary level of understanding.

Both books simply introduce the children to the life cycle of a leaf, from a bud in winter, to a new leaf in spring, to a mature leaf in summer, and then a fall leaf, changing color and falling off the tree.

They also introduce the children to the job of a leaf, which is to take air, water, and sunlight, mix it with chlorophyll, and make tree food!  There is not a long, complex explanation of all the chemistry involved -- we can save that for later on in their educational career -- but just an elementary level explanation of the job of a leaf.

The books talk about how the chlorophyll the leaf uses to make tree food is green, and it covers up the natural color of the leaf.  I use my shirt and pants as an example.  I show them where my shirt has covered up my pants, so they only see the color of my shirt.  But when I lift my shirt, when my shirt goes away, they can see the actual color of my pants.

It's the same with the chlorophyll in the plants.  When fall comes, and there is less sunlight in a day, the leaves know it is time to stop making plant food.  The chlorophyll is not needed anymore, and gradually the green color goes away, letting the golds and yellows and reds and oranges of the leaves show.

Then we do a science experiment using rubbing alcohol, coffee filters, and crushed up leaves.  The children each bring a leaf in to school.  The children draw a picture of their leaf on their experiment recording sheet.
Then I put a bit of rubbing alcohol in each jar. I stop there, and the children record this step in the "first" box.

We sort the leaves out by their colors and tear and crush the leaves up and put them in a glass jar.   I make sure the rubbing alcohol covers the leaves, cut the filter into strips, then place the strips in the glass jars.  The children then record this step on their sheets.

At first glance, it will appear as if your experiment failed because, while the rubbing alcohol will get sucked up by the coffee filter, no colors will appear.  But if you leave it sit for a few hours (we leave ours sit overnight), as the rubbing alcohol dried, the colors that were separated out of the leaves will appear.  

The children record this on their sheets as well.

Then, using my resource, 

they put all the information into their science notebooks.

The children are always excited when we do this lesson, and they love sharing this information with their families, impressing them with their knowledge of chlorophyll and how leaves change colors in the fall.

Exciting news!  We are bringing back Freaky Friday for October, with a special sneak preview on Friday, September 30.  Click on the picture below or check out the link-up to see over 40 $1 deals.  Be sure to check back each Friday in October to see what deals we have for you!

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