Friday, November 21, 2014

Five for Friday November 21

Hi everyone!  TGIF!  It's time for another Five for Friday!  Thanks for Doodle Bugs Teaching for the linky!

Last weekend I went shopping with my mom in Columbus.  It's an annual tradition that we've done since I was a little girl!  It's always so much fun!  The past few years we've gone early to avoid snow and also flocks of people.  I did pretty well this trip and feel good about my holiday shopping so far!

On Sunday I started reading a book for book club called Same Sun Here.  It's about two children who are pen pals.  One lives in NYC and the other in Kentucky.  It's a neat book so far!  I love going to book club!  I go with several teachers that I taught with who are now retired, as well as a few whom I still teach with.  We always meet at someone's house for dinner/drinks and then discuss our book. Occasionally we will go out to eat.  We meet once per month.

On Monday we started out our week with a snow day!  Hooray!  I, of course, got up at 5:00 a.m. to go to the gym butttttttt  then I went back to sleep.  Until noon.

We took a field trip to a local place that teaches the kids about long ago!  They got to play games and make biscuits!  It was a great way to kick off our Pilgrim Days unit!

My parents' pup, Daisy, celebrated her first birthday last Saturday!  She is so much fun but so hyper! Isn't she a cutie?!

Enjoy your weekend!!


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Christmas is Coming!!

It's coming!  35 days to be exact.  Not that I am counting.  My house has been decorated for several weeks now.  *I'll post my house photos another day.*  I've started holiday shopping.  For those of you that like to stay ahead, this post has your names written all over it!  I am going to highlight some of the Christmas freebies and products that I have in case you are a new{er} follower!  You can click each cover below to check each item out.

1.  December Daily Sentence Editing-These are fabulous practice for first graders!  It is tricky to find time to fit in sentence editing.  These include sight words, capitalization, and punctuation.  The students peer check one another's papers for added fun!  I have these for every month and each month features sentences about that month and the holidays/special days included within it.

2.  Christmas Centers-This is a bundle of Math and ELA centers.  There are 9 Math centers and 10 ELA centers.  Perfect for use throughout December!  **I am in the process of revising this pack right now and it will be ready for re-download this weekend!

3.  Holiday Celebrations-I love teaching all about other winter holidays in December, but with time constraints, it's sometimes tricky!  I created this little Holiday Celebrations pack to help me teach my students about other cultures without going into crazy detail.  It includes vocab cards, writing pages, a coloring pages, and a mini-book/reader for Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Las Posadas.  It's a lot of fun!  I supplement this with an art project for each and it makes great learning!

4.  Trim the Trees: Magic e-This is a fun write the room freebie that has kids practicing writing their magic e words!  Cards and recording sheet included.

5.  Goody, Goody, Gumdrop:  Common and Proper Noun Sort-This is a free and simple sort for common and proper nouns with a holiday theme!

6.  Christmas Singular or Plural-This is another free sort for singular and plural nouns.  It features holiday nouns!

7.  3 Addend Addition-This freebie is great practice for addition with 3 addends!

I hope you enjoy these products/freebies!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Kindness Notes

Building a classroom community is vital in my opinion!  Spending the first few months of school creating a culture for learning and friendship is non-negotiable!  The academic aspects will come and will go so much smoother if students respect and care for one another.  One way that I build community and friendship in my first grade classroom is by having my students write kindness notes to one another.  Our school uses a program called "PAX,"  which is a phenomenal management system/program that teaches children to work towards goals and cooperate with others to reach said goals.

We write kindness notes to one another about once a week.  In the PAX program, they are called "Tootles."  I give each child a stick with another child's name on it.  I have girl names on yellow and boy names on red because I want the kids to write to both boys and girls.  I like using the stick system because it ensures that everyone gets an even number of notes.  No one ever has an empty box.  I distribute the kindness note paper.  For my struggling writers, I give picture pages and for the rest of the students, I give lined pages.  *At the beginning of the year, everyone got a picture page.  The students write their friends' name at the top and sign their own name at the bottom.  They work on a nice picture or note for their friend.  The place it into their friends popcorn box, which I made two years ago.  Once a week, I allow the students to get their tootles and read them. They can then take them home and share them with their families.

During the week before Thanksgiving break, I switch to "Thankful Notes."  We read a lot of books about being thankful.  Todd Parr's The Thankful Book is a good one that I always read.  We write "I am thankful for you because __________."   To snag the kindness notes and the thankful notes, click 
HERE.   I'll leave you all a thankful note:  I am thankful that you follow my blog and take time out of your busy day to see what I have to share.  You are awesome!


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Salt Boxes: High Engagement

I love creating meaningful lessons for my kids!  It's so much fun watching them enjoy learning! When I run reading groups, the things I focus on have to be quick and well-thought out, as my groups are only about 25 minutes.   One constant that I have daily with my groups is sight words.  I review the word list that each particular group is struggling on.  We flip through the flash cards at the beginning of each lesson.  Each day after we re-read our book or introduce a new book, I have some type of phonics activity for my students to do.  This is usually something from my Word Families or Chunking Words pack.  It may also some type of sight word game or activity, particularly for my lowest group.  They do not go to literacy centers so they don't get the sight word games during center time.  One fun thing all of my groups like to do is write their words in salt.  I keep my salt boxes handy near my table.  To make salt boxes, just pour a little bit of salt into a school box.  The kids use their fingers or un-sharpened pencils to write their sight words, cvc words, or vocabulary words in the salt.  I always ask them the words when they finish writing each one.  This is a simple activity to keep in your guided reading activity or RTI bag of tricks!

To check out my flash cards that I use, click below!


Friday, November 14, 2014

Five for Friday November 14

It's that time again!  I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday!  What a week!  I feel like I say that every week, but dang.  Teachers are non-stop!

I am obsessed with Sweaty Bands.  I wear them every day.  Because I workout before school and Lord knows my hair looks somethin' fierce after my workouts.  I just ordered a few more this week because I was kind of tired of wearing the same 3 day after day after day...A friend on Insta asked to see a picture of the bands in action, so I posted it.  Here it is in case you want to see them.  And YES they do stay in your hair.  They are amazing.  Thank Jesus you can't see my grays...

On Tuesday we had NO KIDS!  Holla!  We had to read a few chapters in a book and discuss it.  It is called Causes and Cures.  Have you read it?  We also had donuts.  Score!  Sprinkle donuts are my favorite!

I've been going to Target more than normal lately.  I think it's stress.  I am a stress shopper.  It calms me down.  I saw this sign and thought it was hilarious!

Hubby and I started watching "The Affair" on Showtime and love it!  It leaves us with a cliff-hanger each week!  Do you have Showtime?  Do you watch it?

Pilgrim Days are next Thursday and Friday!  I am SO excited!  In case you missed my post about it, click HERE!  I'll be debuting my Pilgrim outfit.  #winning  PS my eyes look creepy here.  Actually my whole face does.  I think it's the braces.  Or the fact that I look like I have no hair.  And a teeny body.

Happy Weekend!!!!!!!!!!!  I'm heading out of town to do some CHRISTMAS shopping!  What are your plans!?