Tuesday, January 29, 2013

With the year flying by and the quickly approaching Valentine's Day, there never seems to be enough time in the day to get everything done. To save you some time,  I have joined up with 13 teacher bloggers to bring you the 14 Days for the Love of Teaching FREEBIE blog hop.

love of teaching blog hop

We hope to make your planning a little easier, and bring some educational fun to the classroom. The blog hop will begin on February 1, at Ms. Smarty Pants.


Make you sure you stop back by to grab your freebies!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Pennsylvania Fun Facts for Kids

I'm very excited about my new unit, Pennsylvania Fun Facts for Kids, because it's the first time I've really ventured beyond my comfort zone of first grade products.

This eSource covers a range of grade levels, from 1st through 4th.  Some of the simpler concepts, such as states that border PA can be completed by first graders with the aid of a map, up to 4th graders as a quick quiz.  It also delves into the five regions of PA and the basic landform and traits that define each region.  It includes mapping activities and some fun language arts word building integration

The booklet, which my first graders illustrated as part of our Gingerbread exchange project, gives information about state symbols and background about the why Pennsylvania is called the Keystone State, and briefly discusses the typical weather in Pennsylvania.

Here's the fun part for you!  As a thank-you for following my blog, I'm putting the border states page for you free on my blog.  You can get it by clicking on the picture below.


Have a great Monday!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Simple Spanish Words to Learn and a 50% off sale!!

I teach elementary Spanish -- very elementary Spanish -- to first and second graders at my school.  We have a series of videos we watch, and there are activities to go with them, but, much like activities in teacher's manuals all over the US, they are a bit -- er -- well -- blah.  Boring.  Snooze-inducing.   So very often, I come up with my own activities to complement our lessons.

One thing we do is sing, sing, sing.  I can play the guitar.  I'll never be a rock star, but I know basic chords and can usually figure out which chords go where to complement the melody of the song.  So we sing a lot.  We sing about animals and weather and hello and goodbye and numbers.  We sing about my name is and his or her name is.  We sing about hidden colors.

I also like to make simple flashcards.  So versatile, and I can make up all kinds of games to go with those flashcards.   Games like "Qual falta," where I put up all the flashcards and tell the kids to cover their eyes, then take one away.  They have to tell, in Spanish, which thing is missing.  Whoever gets it right gets to -- wait for it -- TAKE THE NEXT CARD AWAY and call on the next person.  Complete, utter elementary joy, being PUT IN CHARGE!  We can also play Yo tengo, Quién tiene with the flashcards.  When we get to the end, the last person says Yo tengo ________, no mas!  Below is a link to download my first set of vocabulary cards.  I sell these in my TPT store, but they're free if you follow my blog.  : )  (For some reason, page 6 looks slightly smaller in the PDF, but it prints out the correct size)
Spanish Vocabulary corrected_Page_1
FREE FOR YOU! 16 Spanish vocabulary flashcards. Greetings and numbers 1-10.

I also like to create little flip and flap books for the kids to use to remember vocabulary.  I like to have them create little books using VERY basic vocabulary and sentence structure.  I just created a new Spanish eSource, "Simple Spanish Words to Learn:  La Familia"  It includes names for immediate family members, and foldable flap book, and an eight page mini book for the kids to write about their families.  You can take a look at it by clicking on the picture below.


As an added bonus, here is a link to download a bonus PDF, available only through my blog of a cut and paste worksheet that goes along with this eSource.


If you like these activities, be sure to check out the other Spanish items in my store.  All these products are going to be listed at 50% in my  store for the next three days, March 9-March 11, 2013!

Yo Veo...El Dia de Halloween - A Halloween Spanish BeginneSpanish Days of the Week and Spanish Response Prompt
Simple Spanish Words to Learn:  La FamiliaSpanish Flashcards Numbers 1-20 including Tengo,  Quién tieneWhich Witch's Hat? - Halloween English/Spanish Color Word CenterYo Veo . . . El Dia de Halloween

I also have a Pinterest board dedicated to Spanish called Spanish Activities and Lessons.  It covers a wide range of abilities.  You can see it here.

For more great freebies, check out Freebie Friday at Teaching Blog Addict.

Enjoy your weekend!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

First Grade Language Arts Games - Gone in a Flash! Plus a BloggyBirthday Celebration

You know what that means?  It's flash freebie time.  From 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM EST today, January 20, my newest eSource will be free!  Free!  FREE!  This 30 page unit correlates directly with Lesson 12, How Leopard Got His Spots, in the Journeys reading series.   What are you reading this for?  Run and get it now!

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I just found  this fun birthday celebration Mrs. Fultz is having on her blog, Mrs. Fultz's Corner.  She's been a blogger for a year now, and she has racked up some really impressive numbers so far!  To celebrate her bloggy birthday, she's got some great giveaways going.  Visit and enter by clicking on the picture below.

Have a great day everyone!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Music Activites for Multiple Intelligences - Teaching Dolch Wordsthrough Song

Browsing through TPT this morning, I came across this free item

The product is  3rd Grade Dolch Sight Words Songs.  It's a cute little song that just goes through the Dolch sight words as it projects them on the screen.

Now, I don't know about you, but I have a few - 2 - kiddos who are struggling in first grade with remembering the sight words.  I think through song is probably the only way I haven't tried to teach them these sight words.  I'm really hoping he puts out a K, 1, 2 version.

I like that this addresses one of the multiple intelligences that I do not hit quite as strongly as others.  I'm more of a visual person myself, so I tend to teach that way, which is why I'm always on the lookout for resources that do hit those other intelligences.  Which of the intelligences do you feel you are strongest or weakest in when you teach?

If you're interested in checking it out, just click on the picture above to visit the seller's store.

I'm lucky enough to have MLK Day off, but if you're still looking for a resource for MLK, check out my product, "Let's Learn about Martin Luther King, Jr."  It includes social studies, language arts, and math resources, as well as a peace craft.


And one last freebie-for-a-day for you.  Cyndie at First Grade Teacher is venturing into creating complete bulletin board sets!  How great is that?  She has her first one on a one-day flash freebie for SATURDAY only.  After that, it's still a great deal at $3.00!  It's a darling spring bulletin board called "We're All A Twitter."  Click on the little picture to check it out full size and  and grab it today!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Monday, January 14, 2013

States of Matter Real-Life Application

Before Christmas break, we were learning about states of matter in first grade science. For Christmas, my husband bought the family a Soda Stream machine. As I played around with it, I thought, "This will be great for a real-life example of solids, liquids, and gasses."


The Soda Steam uses water and flavoring syrup (liquids), you need a cup to drink from, a bottle to hold the soda, and the machine itself (solids), and finally, the most important item to make the soda, a CO2 canister (gas).  It literally encompasses all three states of matter.

I took it to school this past Friday and used this worksheet to go along with the actual making of the soda.  First, we talked about and examined all the necessary items for making the pop.  Then we went through the actual demonstration.  The kids saw the water go from flat to fizzy and understood it was because of the CO2 that was injected into the water.  They saw how the liquids took the shape of their containers, and how they lost their shape when the inevitable spill happened.  I also made this little worksheet to go along with the demonstration.  After the taste testing was finished, the kids completed the worksheet.

If you have a Soda Stream Machine, feel free to grab this little freebie.  It was a memorable day in first grade science!
States of Matter-001

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Winter Centers - Gone in a Flash!

I had so much fun with my last flash freebie that I decided to do it again, this time with my newest finished teaching eSource, Winter Centers.
Jan Centersjpg_Page1


I'm a little late to the party with this center, but let me tell you a story about how they came to be.  I sat down to make a recording sheet to go along with my alphabetizing center for the month of January.  After I made the recording sheet, I looked at my raggedy old alphabetizing cards that I've used the past 5 years and thought, "Let me just whip up some new cards to go with my recording sheet."  So I did.

Then I looked at my Polar Bear Fishy Facts center.  Next to my shiny, new alphabetizing center, the dingy graphics and bent cards looked, well, sad.  So I thought, "How long can it take to whip out new fish and polar bears.  After all, I have this awesome graphics set from Primary Paradise that would work perfectly."  So I did.

Then I thought, "I need a center to work with our math unit of place value. Surely that will be easy enough to put together."  So I did.

Finally, I had one empty board left in my library center, and our newest spelling list introduces silent E, so -- well, you know the rest.

So 5 days, 41 pages,  approximately 25 hours of work, and two too many 2:30 nights later, "Winter Centers - "Snow" Much Learning Fun" was born.   I truly had no intention of putting together a set of winter centers.  I was thinking February.  But these winter centers were demanding to be made, so I went with them.   Is that how it works for you all as well?

To celebrate going to bed at 12:30  last night instead of 2:30 -- who knew the difference that extra two hours could make -- I'm have a two-hour flash freebie.  It is now 2:00 PM EST on Sunday, January 13.  For the next two hours, "Winter Centers - "Snow" Much Learning Fun" will be free!  But hurry because this offer will be gone in a flash!

If you missed the flash freebie, this teaching eSource will be available for $5.50 in my store.

Good luck!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Callum's Addition Pyramid

Linking up this oldie but goodie post with The Teaching Tribune and Throwback Thursday.

Click here to view other Throwback Thursday posts on the Teaching Tribune!

Adding basic facts is too easy! Can we try the hard level?

Today during Pickles and Ketchup time, a group of my students were using the SMARTBoard to play Callum's Addition Pyramid.  If you don't know about this resource, you've got to check it out!  Click on the picture to visit the site.

It's an addition game with three levels of play, easy, medium, or hard.  After each turn, you can choose which level you want to play.  Easy is basic facts, and typically, my kids start there.  But then they get adventurous and want to try medium and hard.

Today, about 5 of my kids decided to play on the hard level, and it was so cool to watch the different ways they tried to figure 17+19.  One boy was trying to count on his fingers.  One of my girls got out the cubes.  Ben realized counting on his fingers wasn't going to work, so he started helping Jules count cubes.  In the meantime, Alaina and Shelby decided to use the number line above the chalkboard.  It only goes to 30, but Alaina was finally the one who came up with the answer using the number line!  Anyway, the game is really cool and easy for the kids to get the hang of.  Try it out!

What are some ways your students solve difficult addition problems?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Come and Get It!

I just finished a new product that I'm really excited about!



I'm so excited, in fact, that for the next hour, you can get it for free from my store by clicking on the cover above!  Yes, it's my first flash freebie ever, and I'm only announcing it to you as a thank you for your support!  The sale will end at 9:24 EST on January 8.  If you miss your chance to get it for free, you can always purchase it from my store. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Getting Back into the Groove

Here it is, Saturday evening, and I survived my first two days back to school. I'm glad to have them behind me so that we can now settle into our routine again.

Thanks to TPT and the many fabulous activities posted there, we had a smooth transition back. I used my "Read and Write about My New Year's Resolution"  packet in language arts class.


I was amazed by some of the resolutions the kids made, like practice more to become a better swimmer and become a better dancer and get my yellow belt in karate.  They really understood the idea of making a resolution to change or improve something.  The resolution magnets are waiting to be laminated, and the the kids will take them home.

As with most of my projects, it took two days to get through the activities. I should know if I plan for one day, it will take my kids two. (Of course, we did have shortened periods on Friday because of mass in the morning.)
You can get the eSource (for free) by clicking on the picture below.  If you'd rather contribute to my family's finances,  you can buy the packet from my TPT store. (ha, ha)

I resolvejpg_Page1
In math, I'm using the fabulous freebie Cynthia Vautrot had in the newsletter last week, "Happy New Year Countdown." 


My kids have completed the ordering the numbers from greatest to least activity and the place value sort.  Since I teach first, I had to modify the approach a bit.  I couldn't use them as independent centers, but I did use them as guided learning lessons.  First I demonstrated on the SMARTBoard, then the kids partnered up to work on the worksheets.  They were so excited to be doing 2d grade work!  If you missed the freebie in the newsletter, click the picture above to visit Cynthia's store.
ordering numbers 2
Yay! We did it!

ordering numbers
540, 526, 581 -- that's not right!

I hope your first few days back go (or went) as smoothly as mine did!

I have a new mega -- and I mean MEGA -- giveaway for you to enter.  Renee over at Fantastic First Grade Froggies has five different prize packets to give away.  My offering is in packet #3, "The Long and Short of It, O Sound." Just click on the button below to head on over to her blog and take your chances in her giveaway.

Good luck to any who enter!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Welcome 2013!

I wanted to take a minute to wish you all a Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous New Year!  We rang in the New Year last night with great friends and had a family dinner here today.  I have one more day off, then I go back to work on Thursday.  I'm ready to go back.  I have so many ideas swimming around in my head that sometimes I lose track of them.  One thing I did want to do is come up with a New Year teaching eSource.  I'm going to post this on TPT and TN tomorrow for sale, but I'm giving it to  you on my blog as a thank you for your support.  Click on the picture, and it will  open up the PDF.  Enjoy!

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