Saturday, December 7, 2013 No comments
BRRR!  It's cold here in my little Texas town.  18 to be exact.    We had to call parents Thursday because we let out early due to the weather and no school on Friday.  I am starting to get a little stir crazy staying inside. 

This past week, we worked on the story "Seasons." 
Brainpop Jr. has a video for each season, so we watched the "Spring" video and then filled in the spring section of our anchor chart that is shown below.   The students then wrote a 5 sentences about spring.  (My bad- I didn't get a picture of the writing.)

If your school doesn't have a subscription to brainpop jr., I highly recommend it!  It has more than science on the website.  Well worth the money!
We then continued with each season - watching the video, filling in the anchor chart and writing about the season.

On Friday, we were going to write our cinquain poems about one of the seasons, but will have to put it off until Monday since we didn't have school.  Here is the link to last years poems if you want to check them out.
Hope everyone is staying warm!!!!

TpT Cyber Monday {and Tuesday} Sale!

Sunday, December 1, 2013 No comments
I just finished putting together a center pack with a gingerbread theme that will get me through 2 weeks of centers.

Teachers Pay Teacher's is having their Cyber Monday and Tuesday Sale!  The Sweet Gingerbread pack above will be on sale through Tuesday.  Get up to 28% off by using the code:CYBER
Happy Shopping!

Take Me Back Tuesday

Tuesday, November 19, 2013 1 comment
Since I haven't had many "blogworthy" moments lately, I decided to link up with Hope King at Second Grade Shenanigans and let's face it y'all, I am EXHAUSTED!!  This girl is seriously ready for Thanksgiving break.  It can't get here fast enough!!!!
***This post was originally posted on Monday November 7, 2011***
Are you familiar with these books?
I love to use some of these drawing lessons with
themes we are studying. 
I used the "Draw Write Now Book 3" to incorporate lessons
 on Native American Homes.

We have been learning about the different types of homes that Native Americans lived in, focusing on those that lived in North America.  (Most of my first graders thought Native Americans only lived in tepees because that is what they are familiar with.)

We learned that Plains Indians lived in tepees.

 Indians of the Northwest Coast lived in plank houses.

 Indians of the Southwest lived in adobe houses.
Woodland Indians lived in longhouses.
By the way, there is a great video on United Streaming that actually takes you on a tour inside a longhouse.

And Indians of the Southeast lived in wigwams.
(And even though this picture was saved on my computer in the upright position, every time I uploaded it to my blog, it turned it sideways.  Sorry - don't know what I'm doing wrong.  The others worked just fine. GRRRRR)

Candy Corn Missing Part/Fact Families and No Halloween Homework

Monday, October 28, 2013 No comments
The activity below is similar to the spider math activity that we did last week.  This time we are using candy corn as our manipulatives to figure out the missing part.  YUMMY!  After students figure out the missing part, they will write the fact families that go with their model.  Click on the picture below if you would like a copy!  (Cute candy corn clip art is from My Cute Graphics)

If you aren't sending homework on Trick or Treat night, then you might want to grab my "No Halloween Homework" poem.  Click on the picture to grab a copy.
Hope everyone survives Halloween week!  I'm already exhausted and its only Monday!

Spider Ring Math Manipulatives = FUN!

Monday, October 21, 2013 No comments
We are learning about spiders this week and I quickly came up with a little math activity to do during center time and my kids are loving it! 

I grabbed some spider rings at our local Dollar Store and cut off the ring part on a few of them and my students are using them as manipulatives to find the missing part.

After finding the missing part,
they have to write their four fact families.
You can grab yourself a copy of this activity by clicking on the picture below:

The super cute spider clip art came from My Cute Graphics.
Happy Teaching Friends!


Saturday, October 12, 2013 No comments
OOPS!  Didn't get the winners posted last night.  Hubs wanted to go eat and see a movie so it ended up being date night.  Yay me!

These gals are getting a copy of the Bat Themed Literacy Centers:
Angie, Michelle and Julie!

Check your email girls!

Winner and . . . Another Give Away!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013 9 comments
I saw the cutest bat clip art on MyCuteGraphics and knew I had to make something with it.  Laura Strickland does an excellent job!  I love her stuff and y'all, it is FREE!  How awesome is that?  If you are in need of some fabulous clip art, you seriously need to look at her stuff!
This packet has:
ABC order
Noun/Verb Sort
Sentence/Not a Sentence Sort
Rhyming Word Match Up
Sentence Scramble
If you want a chance to win the Bat Themed Literacy Center, leave me a comment and I will pick 3 winners on Friday!
I have some winners to announce for my Owl Themed Math and Literacy Centers.  They are:
Rachel, Dawn, and coltnd 
Thanks to everyone who played along!!!

Owl Themed Activities Give Away and Freebies!

Saturday, October 5, 2013 10 comments
Hey Bloggy Friends!  Sorry I've neglected my blog for a bit.  Life happens.  I won't bore you with the details.  I'll just get on with this post.

We've been learning about owls and it has been FUN!  We dissected owl pellets and the students loved it!  

We did some math and literacy centers that were owl themed and I put them together in a packet that is in my TpT store.  Since I've been MIA for awhile, I have decided to give away 3 for free in hopes that I still have a few followers.  :) 
(Click on the picture to get a look at exactly what is in the packet)

Leave your email address in a comment and I will choose 3 winners on Tuesday.

In the meantime, I do have some other owl freebies for you.  Click on any of the pictures to grab yourself a copy.

ABC order:

Least to Greatest:

What Number Comes Before and After:
Missing Addend:

Happy Teaching!


Thursday, September 12, 2013 1 comment
Today we learned about captions.  I read the book shown below because it was rich with captions and because we will be learning about Johnny Appleseed next week.

I then made an anchor chart drawing a picture and putting captions in.  (I did not show you a picture of the chart because . . .well, let's just say it was subpar.  As soon as we discussed the chart, I flipped the page.  I did not want a grown up to pop in my room and even get a glance at it.  That's how bad it was.)
I gave each child six white labels and they went to their desks and got their journals out.  They drew a picture (I told them to draw whatever they wanted) and then they added captions.
If you can't read the first child's picture, it says:
This is a snake.  Snakes are poisonous.
This is my daddy.  He shoots snakes.
This is me.  I am scared of snakes.

I also had them glue the definition of a caption in their journals.  I took pictures of their journals before we glued the definition in.  You can grab yourself a copy by clicking on the picture below.
Happy Teaching!

No Interruptions Please

Monday, September 9, 2013 1 comment
One of my goals every year is to figure out how to run reading groups without any interruptions from the students who are at centers or working at their desks. 

One idea I ran across was from a video I watched on Teaching Channel.  The teacher tells her class not to interrupt unless it is one of the 3 B's:  burning, barfing or bleeding. You can check out her video HERE.

I recently made this poster to hang close to where I do reading groups.  Students can see it and hopefully be reminded that they don't need to bother me during reading groups unless it is something really important like one of the 3 B's.   (you can grab a copy by clicking on the picture)
I also wear a purple necklace (like the one pictured below) that I picked up at our local dollar store.  I got 5 of the necklaces for $1.  My students know that if I have the necklace on, they are not to interrupt the reading group.
We are now on our second week of reading groups/centers and a handful of my little firsties are still working on not interrupting.
I would love to hear ideas that work in your classroom that help minimize interruptions.

Journeys Series Reading Assessments

Saturday, August 31, 2013 4 comments
I have had a ton of email questions wanting to know what I use for assessments with the Journeys reading series.  This is the main complaint I am hearing:
Students cannot do the tests independently because they are too hard.

The vocabulary that they put on the tests does not match the story vocabulary.  They haven't learned those words yet unless they walk in your door reading on a second grade or higher level.  Some of the answers are too long for beginning first graders to read.  They get tired and frustrated.

The assessments that are included in the "Grab-and-Go" resources are broken into:  phonics, comprehension, and vocabulary.  If you do all of these, you have used at least 3 pages for each test (some of them are longer.)  The paper copying starts adding up. 

I created an assessment pack to address these issues.
Here are examples from different stories that give you an idea of what is included in each assessment.


Each assessment has 13 bubble in questions:
4 questions using the phonics sounds for each story
6 fill in the blank question using the “words to know” vocabulary
3 comprehension questions about the story
(Answer Keys are provided in the packet)

The vocabulary on the tests I created matches the story vocabulary and does not included vocabulary they haven't learned or that is not decodable.   If your students
can already read the assessments in the reading series independently, then this is not the product for you.

This is the third year I've taught this series, and I am just now starting to feel comfortable teaching it.  Hang in there!

{You can click on any of the pictures above to check out the pack in my TpT store.}

Football themed Noun and Verb Activity

Sunday, August 25, 2013 No comments
It's football season again and football is big stuff in my small Texas town.  This is an activity my first graders love!  I am posting about it again because I have had several requests for the patterns for this activity.  You can read exactly what I did with this activity in a previous post HERE.  You can grab yourself a copy of the patterns by clicking HERE.


Happy Teaching!

TPT Back to School Sale

Sunday, August 18, 2013 No comments
It's that time again!  TPT is having their back to school sale.  All the items in my store are 20% off and if you use the promo code BTS13, you get an additional discount.   Have fun!

Center Rotation Update and a Freebie

Monday, August 5, 2013 2 comments
This is my updated center chart.  (I know it is almost identical to my old one but I did make one change.)
I changed out the tags because I felt I was limited as to what to put in each center.  The old version had pictures on the pockets and the new version has numbers on the tags.  Now, I don't feel limited as to what to put in each center.  If I want two math centers, then I can plug it in.

If you would like to read my old post about how I do centers click HERE.

I make two copies of the owl tags.  One set goes on the chart (see first picture above) and the other set goes on desks where students go to complete the center.  (If you do not have desks because of limited space, then you could use center tubs and just tape the picture on each tub.)

I made a few choices  of tags if you are interested in making a center chart.

You can grab a copy for yourself by clicking
I have two more weeks before I officially start.  Of course, I will be getting my room ready before then.  I hope everyone has the best year ever!