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Friday, March 4, 2016

Fun in February

Yikes!  I've been a bad, bad blogger!  Buttt I have to cut myself some slack!  I am teaching 3rd grade this year and loving it!  Super exciting!  Instead of trying to play catch up on here I am just going to start from right now!

I know that February is coming to an end but I wanted to share what we have done!  First off, I set up our February book display.  I started doing this in December and my students LOVED it!  Needless to say Barnes & Noble is currently making a KILLING off of me lol.  But that's okay!  I only have to do it once and it will last a long time!  For our February stash, I wanted books for Valentine's Day, Chinese New Year, Black History Month, and Presidents Day.  I try to get all different leveled books because 1) my students are all different reading levels and 2) for displays like this I don't feel like that really matters!  I just want to get this bunch excited about reading!  Here's what our display looked like:




As you can see, I even printed off some Reading A-Z books.  There are a lot of Rosa Parks books because of the super awesome writing assignment we did about her.  Also, when I got this classroom, there really weren't many books and most were poor quality.  Luckily for me, I have already been collecting for almost TEN years now even though I this is my first official classroom!  Even with that I still manage to single handily keep Barnes & Noble in business.  WORTH EVERY PENNY.  Most of my little friends were drawn to the Rosa Parks books.  They were eager to learn more about her.

Speaking of Rosa Parks, we did a wonderful cause and effect paragraph about her life.  We then learned about George Washington Carver and did a compare and contrast paragraph about those two historically important people!  How did we do this?  I would be more than happy to share!

To start, we did the "Rosa Parks Roam the Room" from the Black History Introduction Unit by Teacher's Clubhouse.  I knew our unit in our book would be focusing on writing a cause and effect paragraph.  I wanted to incorporate an important historical figure for Black History Month.  Since we had already discussed Martin Luther King Jr., I opted for Rosa Parks.  The kids were SO excited to grab clipboards and walk around to different desks to gather information.  Students were helping each other read the sentences and figure out answers without me even prompting.  It was very student run!  Love that!
 
Then, once students gathered their facts, we made a large class chart with cause and effect information from our sheets.  It really helped my little friends understand how to write cause and effect sentences using our specific linking words.  Once our organizer was finished, students used it to sit and write.  I loved them so much it was our bulletin board for February!





Next on our list was to write a compare and contrast paragraph.  Since they enjoyed the Rosa Parks activity so much, we decided to do the "George Washington Carver Roam the Room" activity from the Black History Introduction Unit by Teacher's Clubhouse (side note:  this unit has SO many amazing things that I wish I had more time for!).  Of course they were excited to hear they would be doing the roam the room activity again!  Once their information was collected, we made a large class venn diagram that compared and contrasted Parks and Carver.  Loved this essay too!


That brings us to the end of February.  We had a week full of Dr. Seuss fun this week!  This included a door decoration contest based on one of his books.  We decided to go with The Sneetches and compare it to American segregation.  You know...since we worked so hard on all of our essays last month!  Stay tuned to see we did.  I will give you a hint:  I read a LOT of silly books, ate silly snacks, wore my PJs to school, made oobleck, and met a crazy cat wearing something particular on his head ;)

Sunday, August 2, 2015

NO PREP Back to School First Grade Literacy Packet

First off, I seriously can't believe that it's August.  AUGUST PEOPLE!  That means work starts back up soon!  And don't get me started on the fact that all the school stuff replaced the summer stuff on like July 5th (thanks Target/Walmart for making it impossible to find what I needed for swim lessons).

I am also disappointed in myself for not getting on here more often.  I feel like I fell into the trap of SCHEDULES when summers shouldn't be that scheduled :(  It started with my oldest having tubes put in his ears and his adenoids out.  That meant chilling for a few days and total focus on him.  Then, of course, we jumped right into theme parks, swim lessons, etc.  The thing that really made things hard was that swim lessons are 30 mins for me and in the beginning of July my only option for him was to put him in the 30 min class there that ran 4 days a week for 2 weeks...AT 1:30!  What a ridiculous time.  Don't they know I have beaches to go to and naps to conduct?  And of course that was 5 minutes from my mom so we would spend a few hours there and blah.  Don't get me wrong.  I'm enjoying my summer immensely with my boys (except for the past few days of fevers and puking) and that's what's important.  But I really told myself I would focus here more than I had been. *SIGH*  Let's move on lol.

Here is my NO PREP Back to School First Grade Literacy Packet!  This packet is to serve as a review of Kindergarten literacy skills.

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/NO-PREP-Back-to-School-1st-Grade-Literacy-1925946

There are 26 different activities included.  There is no laminating, cutting (on your part), or waste of color ink.  Students may need pencils, crayons, scissors, and glue.

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/NO-PREP-Back-to-School-1st-Grade-Literacy-1925946

Here's a break down of what's included:
  • Circle the Rhyme
  • Beginning Sounds
  • Ending Sounds
  • Medial Short Vowels
  • Syllable Sort
  • Write it Out: Short A
  • Write it Out: Short E
  • Write it Out: Short I
  • Write it Out: Short O
  • Write it Out: Short U · Short or Long?
  • Read and Match
  • CVC Word Search
  • Build a Sentence #1
  • Build a Sentence #2
  • Build a Sentence #3
  • CVC Decodable Text: Short A “Jan and Dad”
  • CVC Decodable Text: Short A “Jan and Dad” Questions
  • CVC Decodable Text: Short E “Where is the Hen?”
  • CVC Decodable Text: Short E “Where is the Hen?” Questions
  • CVC Decodable Text: Short I “Sid the New Kid”
  • CVC Decodable Text: Short I “Sid the New Kid” Questions
  • CVC Decodable Text: Short O “My Mom’s Job”
  • CVC Decodable Text: Short O “My Mom’s Job” Questions
  • CVC Decodable Text: Short U “The Pug in the Tub”
  • CVC Decodable Text: Short U “The Pug in the Tub” Questions 
I am excited to pull this out for my incoming first graders as a review and to see where they are after the summer.  Hopefully, they haven't forgotten too much!  What are your concerns about your students coming in from summer break?  Are you worried their skills have slipped since June?  What do you do to get them back on track?  I love hearing your ideas!  Keep an eye out for more of my Back-to School activities!




Friday, June 26, 2015

Five for Friday! First week of SUMMER!

Wahoo!  First week of summer under my belt so let's end it with some Five for Friday fun! Thanks  Doodle Bugs Teaching for hosting this linky party!





 






I have made a promise to myself to work with my 4 1/2 year old this summer to continue to build his reading and math skills.  He knows his letter names, letter sounds, he can recognize and produce rhymes, and he can tell you beginning sounds.  I have him working on my Alphabet Trace Cards that you can get for FREE :)  He really likes them. He also really enjoys my A-Z Playdough Mats.  We started working on this -at booklet by The Moffatt Girls.  It is a slow process because he won't sit still for that long haha.  The thing he asks the most to do (and was a huge hit with my Kindergarteners) is this I Spy Letter activities by Teaching Products.  I put a bunch of things in a folder so when we have a second or he asks to do something I'm not scrambling.  I'm not obsessing and making everything perfect (like my head is telling me too haha).  I just want to make sure I don't forget to work with him.  Of course we play math and reading games in the car and around the house.  That is super important too!

 
 
Healthy eating continues!  I love finding easy, DELICIOUS meals that I can make and have for a few nights.  This lasts us 3 nights.  It is sooo yummy!  I use whole wheat penne and a little extra lemon juice.  MMM!  You find the recipes here.

 

We started a new magnet system for my son.  It came with a ton of different magnets.  I chose what he needs to focus on the most.  Last week, he earned all of his magnets!  We were so proud!  When he asked for a little Lego set at the store last weekend we said yes.  I told him why mommy said yes and he had a big smile.  This week...well let's just say his board doesn't look like that :( He has had a super hard time with "Stop Whining."  That is the one he always has a tough time with.  We will reflect on that at the end of the week.  Also, it came with blank magnets and I am sooo making a "I will eat my dinner" one because he's horrible with eating what is put in front of him.  He'd rather starve lol. 




We went to our local tiny theme park twice this week.  We were given season passes last summer by my brother and we went ALL THE TIME.  It is right near my house.  So this summer I splurged and bought them again.  It is very exciting! The "sand" is a bit more "dirt" which is messy buttt they love it and mommy gets to work on her tan!



Today, we went strawberry picking!  It was fun!  We have a ton of strawberries now!  Good thing I didn't buy any this week!  We of course made strawberry short cake.  I also plan on freezing a bunch for my smoothies!  MMM!

I hope you all had a fabulous week!  I have made a few back to school products that I will be posting soon.  I am also working on making a yearly bundle of Kindergarten little readers.  On deck as well is finishing my vowel digraph decodable text packet!



Saturday, June 20, 2015

Construction Birthday Cake

I am sooo late on blogging about this seeing as my son's 4th birthday was in JANUARY.  I uploaded the pics to the computer kind of late.  Then I forgot about them.  Okay so it was mostly the latter part of that lol.  Well here it is!  It was inspired by this pin.


Let me just say that this was the world's easiest cake to make AND it was the cake that I have received the most compliments on!  All I did was bake 2 rectangular chocolate cakes.  I put one one on the bottom, took a piece of the corner off, then frosted it.  I then took about 2/3 of the second one and placed it on top of the first.  I frosted everything but the open part.  I then took part of the leftover 1/3 on top of the 2/3.  Again, I frosted everything but the open part.  My FAVORITE PART about this cake was if something crumbled....it just added more flair to the cake!  I stuck the little plastic construction vehicles all over it, put some chocolate chips in the dump trucks, and placed brownies around it.  It was awesome and delicious.  Once we started to cut the cake it did start to fall over but it didn't matter because we were eating it anyways!




I think what everyone enjoyed was the fact that it was so messy and not at all perfect.  In fact, if this looked perfect and clean I personally think it would lose it's special touch.  This one is going to be hard to top (and was when you see my post on my youngest's pathetic Paw Patrol cake I will post about soon).  The birthday boy most definitely approved!  Don't you just love the cheap construction hats I found in the dollar section of Target?!


I hope this gives you some ideas!  Enjoy!


Friday, June 19, 2015

School's OUT!

Wahoo!  We made it!  Today was my last day.  It was also my 4 year old's last day.  We are all SUPER EXCITED for summer!  Once we get through his surgery (tubes and adnoid removal) then we can really get the party started!  I want to take it easy like we did last summer.  I'm really only planning on him taking swim lessons and us relaxing the rest of the time.  I want to get season passes to our local small amusement park that has a tiny beach and waterpark.  It was AWESOME to have that 15 minutes from my house.  The boys loved it.  What are you looking forward to this summer?  I'm going to head back outside with the boys now but before I do, let me leave you with my son smelling the gorgeous flowers outside his school this morning.  Don't forget to stop and smell the flowers this summer!



Thursday, June 18, 2015

Brand New Layout!

Happy Thursday everyone!  For you frequent flyers you might have noticed something.  I have a new layout!  I'm so excited!  I have been contemplating this in my head for several weeks but haven't had the time.  Yesterday I had such an intense migraine that I took Excedrin and took a 3 hour nap.  When I woke up, I had to go get my Dunkin iced coffee before I got my kids (I had to leave work early due to my migraine and my mom is so awesome to have taken my kids for longer than she planned).  Soooo the caffeine in the Excedrin, the caffeine in the MEDIUM iced coffee (I do smalls and still get jittery), and my 3 hour nap meant I wasn't sleeping.  But that's okay because I had blog time!  What do you think?  I wanted to keep it simple.  I hate gaudy blogs.  I'm still working out a few kinks so bare with me.

A HUGE shout out to the awesome sketch font by Kimberly Geswein Fonts.

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Kimberly-Geswein-Fonts
My TPT store matches the blog and I am currently working on making my Facebook page do the same.  Speaking of Facebook, have you liked my page yet?  Head on over!  I'm thinking of doing some giveaways this summer through there.


On another note, my brain has been hard at work coming up with different product ideas.  This is what my ROUGH sketching looks like lol.  What do yours look like?  It all make sense in my head but I bet you guys are like WHAT IS THAT MESS!  That mess is probably what the inside of my brain looks like haha.  What are you guys up to this summer?  Keep checking back here frequently because I made a promise to myself to focus on this!

 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015