Friday, November 29, 2013

Wishlist Link Up

Did you know that Teachers Pay Teachers has a cyber sale coming up on Monday and Tuesday, December 2 and 3?

Just like all of you, I've been filling my shopping with items that I think will be beneficial to my students.  Here are a few of the items that I will be purchasing on Monday.

I am going to Christopher Teague's store and buying all levels of his sight word songs.  We use the iReady computer program with our students, and there is a really  nice analytic component to the program.  I was looking over my students performance right before Thanksgiving break, and I noticed that all my kids, across the board, were significantly lower in sight word recognition.  That tells me I need to bump up the instruction in that area, so I started looking around Pinterest for free resources, but there isn't much out there yet.  So then I checked TPT, and found these songs that will play and flash the words on the SMARTBoard for the kids to read and sing at the same time.  These will be perfect for transition times, down times, early finishing times, and they will be a great supplement to the activities I will be doing to build the high frequency word recognition skills.
I'm also looking for rhyming word clip art, so I've added these items to my cart to help  me make my morning work pages.  

And these

I love the variety and the fact that black and white images are included.  By the way, did you know that Whimsy Workshop is running a 12 Days of Christmas freebie giveaway of clip art?   You can check her blog post {here}.

I've been slowly working my way into the interactive notebook market, and I spotted that Graphics from the Pond has these little gems out.  

Honestly, I was so excited I didn't even wait for the Cyber Sale.  I bought them already!

So far that's all I have on my wishlist for the Cyber Sale.  I'm sure I'll find more as I look through the stores over the next few days.

As usual, you can visit my store, where you will find everything marked down 20 percent.  If you use the code CYBER at checkout, you will receive an extra 10% off, making your total savings 28%!  
If you're interested in seeing what's new in my store, you can look {here} or through scroll through the items in the sidebar.  

If you would like to see what other bloggers are wishlisting, you can visit Wish List Wednesday by clicking on the button below!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Black Friday Sale!

Hey everyone!  I hope you had a fabulous Thanksgiving or first day of Hanukkah.  I'm in a bit of a food coma here, and I am anxious to just lay on my couch a bit.  I'm trying to watch the Steeler game, sadly losing to Baltimore at the moment, but it's still early in the third.  I also promised my son his Christmas present early, so shortly I will be leaving to go hang out at Game Stop until midnight to try to snag an XBox 1.
But first, I wanted to let you in on some exciting news.  Starting at midnight tonight -- or would it be midnight tomorrow morning -- everything in my store will be 20% off all day, PLUS If you make your purchase between 12am and 12pm EST on Black Friday (November 29, 2013), you can take advantage of my Buy 2, Get One free deal. Buy 2 products from my store, and I will send you one item for free that is of equal or lesser value.

Now, here is the important info to take advantage of the B2GO Deal!
You must email me at BY 12:00 PM EST on November 29, 2013 with:
1. Your TpT username
2. The name of the products you purchased between 12am and 12pm EST
3. The name of the free item you would like
I will send you your choice by the end of the day on Friday!
If you haven't visited my store recently, here are some of my new products.  A holiday bundle that includes four great resources that will take you from the beginning of December through the New Year!

Here's my updated My New Year's Resolution.  I've changed all the dates to reflect the New Year of 2014 and added an interactive notebook component. (The picture is from last year.  I've changed the date on the hat to 2014)

If you're looking for something to help your students understand Hanukkah, look no further!  This package has a teacher read aloud informational text, 3 levels of guided reading texts, a focus on key ideas and details, a comparison study between Hanukkah and Christmas with a writing activity, sight word review, and math and ELA worksheets as well.

And finally, my Delicious Data Tracking is a unique and engaging way to  get your kids involved in tracking their mastery of common core standards.

A bunch of my bloggy friends are having sales too, so be sure to check out their stores.
Check out these stores for Black Friday sales!

And of course, my store will be participating in the Cyber Monday and Tuesday sale as well! Have a great weekend, everyone!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Count Down to Thanksgiving Break

I don't know about you all, but I am so ready for an extended break.  I'm just plain old tired.  We've only had one day off since school started, Veteran's Day.  We've had half days followed by faculty meetings and teacher clerical days as well.  I don't know how some schools get fall breaks and a week off at Thanksgiving and still manage to get out of school before we do?  Maybe they started earlier.

But before I can luxuriate in some time off -- well, if you don't count planning and searching out resources and checking papers and entering grades, all of which I will be doing -- we still have 2 1/2 days this week.  I know from past experience that the kids will be antsy and hard to keep focused, so I've saved some of my best November lessons for these few days.

In math, we just started formally learning about addition strategies.  On Monday, I will introduce the add in any order and count on from the bigger number strategies.  Now, technically, my kids do know about this because we've talked about turn-around facts.  I've pointed out the facts to them when we've come across them.  I've helped them think through problems with oral prompts -- you know what 4+1 equals right? So what's 1+4?  But we've never actually used manipulatives and shown how it works.

After introducing and practicing the strategies, on Tuesday the children will get the chance to practice applying the strategies while using the SMARTBoard Game I created called Turkey Toss. It is a fun game, similar to Bump, but I have added differentiation to the game by adding a few twists.  In the two-dice version, the children can add or subtract to find an open number.  The three-dice version, shown below, is played the traditional way.  I'll divide the class into two teams, and we'll use the SMARTBoard to play the game as a group.
As the children are playing, I am encouraging them to add in any order and add from the bigger number.  If they roll a 3 and a 6, I'll use think-alouds to help them by saying, "If it were me, I'd start with the 6 and count on 3.  It's a great and fun game to have the children practice addition, subtraction, strategy, and mental math.

On Wednesday, I will have the children work in groups of 2 or 3 with a game board of their own, and play the same game again.  This time, I'm circulating, watching, assessing, and seeing who is applying the strategies to solve the problems already, and who may need to have the concepts reinforced.
I've also created two worksheet to go along with the game that I will give the children as homework on Monday and  Tuesday evening.

You can find this bundled set in my TPT store.  It is bundled as zip file that includes the game in a PDF version and the Notebook file for the SMARTBoard.  Click on the picture below to see this resource in my store.

I also have a freebie for you!  If you click on the picture below, you can download this addition and subtraction practice sheet from the game.  It's one of the sheets I use for homework.  

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!  I hope you have a wonderful break with many things to be thankful for. 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Making Sentences and a Thanksgiving Linky!

Hey, everyone!  Happy Saturday!  With only a week and half before Thanksgiving, I wanted to share my fun Thanksgiving-themed freebie with you.  It makes a great center, small group activity, or even a lesson on subject and predicates.

Some of my firsties are still struggling with the concept of what makes a complete sentence.  Our reading series introduces the concept of subject and predicate by calling it the naming part and the action part.  When I use these cards with my class, I start by showing them just one piece of the sentence. 

 We identify it as either the naming or the action part, and talk about what part is missing to make the sentence complete.  We then make up oral sentences that would complete the sentence. We repeat the process with other parts of the sentence.

After doing it orally about 4 times, I put the children into groups of 2 or 3, give them wipe off boards, and a part of a sentence.  They work together to come up with the missing part of the sentence to make a complete sentence.  When they share, they say whether they had a naming part or an action part, and then read their complete sentence to the class. 

Finally, after practicing with the whole class, I put the cut apart puzzle pieces into a center, and they can use it during center time to practice matching naming and action parts of sentences to make complete sentences. each puzzle has a unique cut for self checking.

Click on the expanded pin above to download your free Subject/Predicate teaching resource.  While you're there, be sure to visit my {Thanksgiving}section for additional resources to help you through these last weeks before Thanksgiving break.
And check out my newest resource that I adapted for use in a first grade classroom in conjunction with my sweet friend, Wendy, from Teacher's Toolkit.  It's a quick and clever way to track your students' progress as they journey through the common core standards.  I have the ELA standards, and Wendy has the math standards in her store.
You can track your children's progress several different ways using this resource.  

You can track for complete mastery, partial and complete mastery, or basic, proficient, and advanced mastery.  All of this is explained in the directions on the resource.  Click the cover below if you would like to learn more about Delicious Data Tracking.  

You can find the link to the Wendy's Math Delicious Data Tracking in the product description on my page, or you can click {here} to visit her store.

Looking for more Thanksgiving ideas?  Click on the button below to visit Tales from Outside the Classroom and see what others are sharing!

I'm also linking up this post to another Thanksgiving freebie hosted by Life Over C's.  Head on over there for even more Thanksgiving-themed freebies!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Facebook Frenzy!

Just a quick post tonight to remind you that there is a Facebook Frenzy going on this weekend.
If you click on the picture above, it will take you to my Facebook page, where you can start the Frenzy for K products.
If you click the above picture, it will take you to Facebook Frenzy maps for K-5.  If you encounter a broken link just go back to the map and click the next picture!  Genius!

Have fun hopping.  My  November resources folder is bulging with new activities!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

So Not Education Related!

So if you're reading today to find a cute free resource or some great teaching advice, you might want to skip this post.  Because I'm here to talk -- Walking Dead!

My son was my watching partner, but he went and joined the Marines on me, so now I have no one to watch the Walking Dead with and no one to have deep discussion with about each episode.

Are any of you willing to be my Walking Dead partners?  You can pull my hands down away from my face as I peek through the small hole I leave in my interlaced fingers when I think something scary is going to happen.

This my Called to Glory National Catholic Youth Conference babushka I got two years ago.  I wear it around the house when my hair is bugging me or I'm cleaning, and I just want it out of my eyes.

This is what I do with my babushka during Walking Dead.  I pull it over my eyes, and it is just thin enough that I can see shadows through it.  If I tilt my head up slightly, I can see underneath it, but I only do that when the danger is definitely past.
Seriously.  I'm not making this up.

So, Sunday's episode -- Do you think Rick was right to kick Carol out?  Is she going to come back and cause chaos for the group?  Maybe hook up with the Governor for revenge?

At first, I was all indignant, like, how can he do that to poor, sweet, slightly-off-her-rocker Carol?  I mean, she's been with the group since Atlanta, right?  But the more I thought about it, the more I think maybe it's the right thing to do.  After all, you can't have someone going all vigilante against the few remaining humans during a zombie apocalypse, right?  And maybe the two sick  people would have recovered, or the antibiotics would have gotten there in time to save them.  Because you know they're going to get back with the antibiotics.  Can't have Glen dying.

And speaking of antibiotics, do you think Darryl -- hubba, hubba -- is going to go ballistic when he finds out Rick kicked Carol out?  The group can't afford to lose Darryl.  I mean, who else can calmly get a vehicle running again while the zombies shamble out of the bushes at him?  I do think he needs a hair trim, though.  He's looking a tad too shaggy.

How are you all liking the softer, gentler Michonne?  I like it.  Because you know what, she can still go all ninja zombie killer without missing a beat.

Those are all my burning questions.  Please share with me your observations, thoughts, opinions, or your favorite way to watch the scary parts so I don't feel so alone in my zombie-lovin' world. 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

I Need a Day Off!!

Hi Friends!

Well, we made it through Halloween week last week.  High fives to all of us.  Our craziness started on Monday when we had to decorate our pumpkin for the pumpkin decorating contest.

My kids decided they wanted to make a pirate, and our local baseball team just came off their best season in 20+ years, so we decided to make him a Pittsburgh Pirate.  He came out rather cute.  Unfortunately, we did not "win" the contest, but the school did raise over $600.00 to buy pies to donate to the food bank for Thanksgiving, so I guess we're all winners!  At least that is the pep talk I gave my dejected kiddos.

Plus, when we perform service for others, we don't expect a reward.  Did Jesus get a reward for everything he did for others?  I think about that time, they went into Charlie Brown mode.  You know, all they heard me saying was wah-wah-wah-wah----wah, wah.

Do you young teachers even get that reference?  My teaching partner is 25.  She doesn't always get my dated jokes.  But I do think Charlie Brown is timeless, so we should be okay.  If you don't get it, Google it and watch a YouTube clip.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand -- here's a group shot of half my class posing with their creation.  Look how happy they are.  That's because they just had "the best day ever!"  It might be because they managed to stretch a 10 minute project into 90 minutes.  I think they are secretly high-fiving each other behind their backs.

Ha, ha, seems like a waste to post a group photo when all their faces are blanked out, but I went through the work so I'm posting it!

Things calmed down for a few days after that, then Thursday hit.  Halloween party - bam!  Pep rally assembly - bam!  Trick-or-treating Thursday night - bam!  Friday was more or less a lost cause.  The first 80 minutes were awesome because we were at mass, but it was all downhill from there.  I was never so glad to see a week end.

And this week -- well, this week we are good up until Thursday.  Thursday, I will teach all day, then we will have parent/teacher conferences from 5:00-8:00.

Which really means from 5:00 until 9:00 or so.

Then we get to come back to school the next day, teach for a three-quarter day, and go home early?

Ha, ha, ha, ha.  Ah, ha, ha, ha, ha.  Good one.

No, we get to have more conferences from 12:30 until 3:00.

Now, Thursday evening, I am booked solid with maybe 10 minutes to run to the bathroom around 7:00, unless someone pops in and says, "I didn't schedule a conference, but since you're free right now. . ."

Friday afternoon, I have long periods of open time, with just a few conferences intermittently in between.

And Monday, we finally have a day off.  I will need a break after the parent conference marathon on Thursday and Friday.

So on Friday, I will use my new Veteran's Day resource with my kiddos.

  There's a lot to do in this package, and it should take pretty much all morning.  

Since I've made this preview, I've added a few more components to the resource.  I've added a wreath craft and form to send home for families to fill out and send in with a photo of their Veteran for a hall display.

I've also added three little foldable books to use as a follow-up in small groups.  The books use the same pictures but the text gets increasingly more complex.  There is also a follow-up ABC activity to do that can be used with guidance or independently, depending on your children's abilities.

If you're interested in purchasing this resource, click on the picture of the cover and visit my store!   50% of the proceeds will be donated to the Fisher House Foundation, which builds "homes away from home" near military hospitals for family members to stay at for free while their loved ones in the military undergo surgery and/or recover from injuries.

I have second-hand experience with this organization.  A family I know from when my son was in boot camp got the call all parents dread.  Their son had been hurt during knife drills.  He sliced his thumb down to the bone and would need surgery.  The father jumped in the car and started driving, not thinking twice about where he would be staying.  He figured he would work it out on his 10 hour drive to be with his son at Camp Lejeune.

In the meantime, when the hospital personnel learned he was on his way, they contacted the local Fisher House and made arrangements for his stay.  He said it was such a relief to know he would have a place to stay.  And what a place it is!  Here are some pictures he posted.

After his son was operated on, he came back to Fisher House to be with his dad while he began his recovery.  All of this at no charge to the family.  Now, that's a cause worth supporting.  By the way, the surgery was successful, although he may not regain 100% mobility in his thumb.  

Next, some really exciting news! I'm going to be taking part in a very special event that will run from this Friday through Monday!  You won't want to miss this!
And finally, be sure to check out Teacher's Toolkit Facebook freebie.  It's really cute!  It would be fun to put at a center or in a finished work early box.  Just click on the picture below to visit her page.
If you haven't visit Primary Paradise to get her top five downloads, you can click on the picture below to get there.

Have a great week!

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