Sunday, October 28, 2012

School Supplies!

I got a box of goodies in the mail this week! I was honored to try out a school supply website, MPM School Supplies, and boy am I happy with my new treats.

I got a set of three soft dice that have clear pockets on each side. I don't know what I'm going to use them for yet, but the possibilities are endless! Also, post-it notes fit perfect inside the pockets. I also grabbed some 100th day of school glasses (it's never too early) and more transparent counters that I desperately needed to use with the many many math games we play.

I placed this order last Saturday and had a box on my doorstep by Tuesday! I am so impressed with the super quick shipping.

If you have used any of my Daily Data questions you may have a need for these.
Magnetic Sorting Circles
I've got a 10% off coupon code for your first ten purchases. Just use this link if you want to make an order.
In other news...I've been neglecting my blog for a few reasons.
1) School takes up so much time, ya know?!
2) I haven't felt super because I must be one of those lucky girls who has sickness her entire pregnancy. I'm expecting my first baby in February!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Addition Combinations

Hello blog, I'm back! I'm just stopping by to share an activity I'm using next week to find combinations of 10. A friend and I were planning this week and we've been using the "shake and spill" game (see this post about shake and spill) to find combinations but wanted to change it up just a little. You know, keep the kids interested. Add some candy and you have immediate interest! This is two pages so you can print front and back.
And if you can't handle kids getting sticky hands (or if you aren't allowed to have candy at school...we'll call it a "manipulative") here's a sheet with pennies instead of candy.
The hand clip art I used came from Elizabeth at SweetClipArt. Her clip art is free to use noncommercially (read the terms of use though). I'll be heading back to her site often.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Diagram of a Listener

I have a new favorite chart! I found this on pinterest and knew it would be great to use during the first week with my new little first graders.
Amanda (the smartie who made this) from First Grade Garden graciously allowed me to share a printable I made to go along with her anchor chart. I was so busy my first week that I never got around do doing this activity with the kids, so I'm saving it for one of those days when I think they need a big reminder about being good listeners. Also, I may tie it in with a writing lesson on labeling. Click the image to download this document.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Morning Work: August Daily Data

I've posted about my morning work before, but since it's the start of a new year I'm going to mention it again in case you want to use it too. I start Daily Data the first week of school and it just gets a little more complex each month. I just finished putting together my August Daily Data activities. There are five weeks worth of questions to use for August but I hope nobody's started back yet and will need all five!

Anyway, Daily Data is basically just a question of the week that the kids answer on Monday and then each day they complete an activity that relates to the data. In August we do it whole group and I model every little step of the way. So we actually complete it during math time and not during morning work time. But after about a month the kids are able to complete it independenlty so I bump it up to morning work. And once the kids know what to do it's so easy to prepare. There's only one copy a week that you need to make and very little set-up (just posting the question on the board for Monday). Here's what our first week of Daily Data will look like this year:
This month all the questions are yes/no and are answered on a T-chart. On Tuesday we make a tally chart, Wednesday we write about the data, Thursday we write equations, and Friday we transfer the data to a pictograph. And then we do it all again the next week with a different question. Easy peasy!
We'll record our data on this page which is cut in half and glued into our math notebooks.

If you're interest you can check out the pack on TPT ($2.00).

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Using Flashcards

I was reading Leslie's blog, Kindergarten Works, the other day and she had the best idea for using flashcards during her guided math groups. You know that time at the beginning of group when the kids need to sit down and get busy while you're trying to fix a dang computer, or at the end when you really need to write down some notes but the kids need to be busy too? Well this is perfect and s.i.m.p.l.e.

Leslie's kids quiz each other with flashcards and lie them down on colored foam pieces according to how well they know the answer.
green = fast
yellow = slow
red = didn't know the answer
Hop over to Kindergarten Works to read more on her post about organizing her guided math area.

I was so excited I wanted to make little foam mats right then! I hoard craft supplies but wouldn't you know I only had green foam! So I just made a document to print off and use at my table. Here's a copy if you want it too.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Common Core Practice Standards

I'm thrilled to be on the math committee this year (I'm a huge math nerd!). This summer we had a math common core workshop for our faculty to explain the common core standards and how our teaching will change. Turns out, we don't have much to change. We've been using the Investigations math series for years and it pushes hard for students to be able to think about their own thinking, which is what I think the gist of common core really is.
While planning for this workshop the we decided to make "I Can" statements for the 8 Practice Standards for everyone to post in their classrooms and use as discussion points when wrapping-up lessons. I finally took a picture and uploaded them to share.

Click either picture to go to the download.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Back to School Class Book

Hello blog! My goodness, it's been a month and a half since I last visited blogland. I'm so out of the loop and have lots of catching up to do. I hope everyone's been having a wonderful summer. I'm officially in back to school mode thanks to Target putting out their school stuff. Why I bought 3 more mini-pocket charts I don't know. Did everyone see the star student chair covers? I got a few! I'm in such a mood I might even run up to school this afternoon to piddle around a bit. In Alabama we're starting school 2 weeks later than usual, so I've still got 4 solid weeks to plan and prepare. Maybe this will actually be the year that I get a few weeks completely prepared before hand (but I won't hold my breath).

Anyway, I've updated a little class book I posted last year. I plan to use it during the first week to help students learn names and to proactice writing their own name. I just posted it on TPT (free). Here's the link if you want a copy.

Also, this summer I helped with a math common core workshop for my faculty and I created some I can charts for the practice standards. I'm hoping to post those tomorrow. I'll be on a roll if I post 2 days in a row!

Friday, June 1, 2012

1st Pinterest Project

I am so happy that I finally completed a project! I made these pots a few weeks ago to give to my fabulous administration and the awesome ladies that work in the office. I also did a big pot for my room mom but forgot to take a picture. Now that it's summer I hope to finish many more cute projects that I've been pinning away. I'm also happy to get back to blogstaking. I've been slacking for awhile so I need to catch up on what everybody's up to.

I got my inspiration from Cara Carroll at The First Grade Parade. Aren't her painted pots precious?!
Pinned Image

I'm linking up with Tara's first "Made it Monday" linky party at Fourth Grade Frolics! Click her button to see many other projects.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Water Cycle

I'm cutting it close with my last science unit this year. Only four days to go and I think we've wrapped up our water cycle study! I snapped a few photos and gathered a few printables in case anyone else can use them.
After studying the water cycle we wrapped it up by making bracelets to remind us of each stage in the cycle. You may have seen these bracelets before but I hadn't until I saw my teaching neighbor, Jodi, making them, she's always got good ideas.

I made a sheet with the steps in the water cycle that the kids had to cut and paste the steps in order before they could make their bracelet. I also made a little bit easier sheet (the stages of the water cycle are just written a little simpler).
regular version
little bit easier version
All week we've been singing a catchy little water cycle song (again, stolen from a teacher friend). One of my sweethearts asked if I could type it up for them to put in their science notebooks. I should've thought of that myself. Maybe I'll let that little one write my plans for the next few days. So here's the song to the tune of Oh My Darling Clementine. The dotted lines are so they can cut it down to fit into composition notebooks.
We also made rainsticks with paper towel tubes but I didn't get a photo. Just put a long strip of aluminum foil inside and then a scoop of rice and a little scoop of split peas (any small beans would work, or maybe none at all, whatever you have on hand really). I have a big rainstick that the kids have loved playing with so they were pumped to make their own.

Have a happy Friday tomorrow. It's my last this year!!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Drawing Conclusions and TPT Sale

Oh Teacher Appreciation Week, I love you! What other profession gets a whole week of extra love? This is one of my favorite perks (after summer break of course, oh...and watching those precious angels learn and grow). I'm looking forward to an hour and a half lunch break Monday!! Woohoo!!!

Anyway, I think everyone in the blogging world knows TPT is marking everything 10% off today through Tuesday. But just in case you didn't, use the code TAD12. I'm also marking everything in my store 20% off to make it all 28% off.

Also, last year I made a jeopardy game for my kids to play when we were practicing drawing conclusions. It was such a popular game that I made and just posted another one. Have a very happy week, you deserve it!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

New Toy and a Measurement Idea

There's a new addition to our classroom that has us all in smiles...

our new Smart board! Yahoo!!
Now I need you to direct me to the best sites for Smart board activities. I've never used one so I'm very new to this, but very excited!

In math we've been working on measurement. One of the activities my kids loved was measuring tape that I put on the floor around the room. This is an Investigations lesson if you use that math series. We discussed different ways that we could measure to find out which tape is the longest or shortest and I let some kids come try to measure one piece (that I have placed in our meeting area). They're funny because sometimes they tried hopping or scooting one foot instead of just taking steps (and some will want to measure with their fingers or whole body). We decided on a few rules for measuring (by taking steps, heel to toe, and what to do if there is part of your foot hanging off the end) and then they went around the room measuring and recording alone or with a buddy to help with balance.


Here's a recording sheet if you want to do this activity. We also went back later and measured each tape with other units. It's great for getting the kids up and moving and would be fun during these last few weeks of school.

I also had to share what our awesome room mom whipped up for Earth Day. So cute and yummy too! I can't turn down a snack=)

Lastly, I just posted the Daily Data/Question of the Week morning work(or however you want to use it) packet for May. It's got 5 weeks of questions and activities using 3 overlapping hoops and incorporating tally marks, equations, and fractions. It's on TPT for $2.00, click below to preview or purchase.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Free Poetry Booklet

I just started poetry with my kids this week. We're using this little booklet to practice a few types of poetry. I've had it on TPT for $ but this week (until Friday, April 20th) I'm making it free! If you can use it I'd love for you to leave a comment. Comments make my day=)

Also, I've been tagged and I'm terrible about following through with these kind of things but I'm really going to do it this time! (So sorry if you've ever tagged me and I didn't participate, I'm a bad friend).

Jennifer from Herding Kats in Kindergarten (I taught upcoming kinder in summer school last year- my first experience with kinders- and yes, it was truly like herding cats!!) tagged me and asked these questions:

1. If you could eliminate one behavior from your classroom, what would it be?
Hmmm...either tattling or whining! I don't have any horrible behaviors going on this year, just the little annoying stuff.
2. What is your favorite part of the week? (end of day on Friday does not count!)
I have to admit, I do feel relief on Fridays. Knowing I made it through the week is nice.
3. What is your favorite unit to teach?
I love teaching about space because the kids are always so intrigued and my dad gives me great resources from NASA=)
4. After a hard day at work, how do you destress?
I'm trying to do Couch to 5K so I've been walking/jogging after school a few days a week. My best friend, who teaches right across the hall from me, walks with me on our track at school and its a great time to wind down and talk about our day.
5. What's your typical work outfit? Is your school dressy or casual?
My favorite school outfit is a sundress, maxi dress, or long flowy skirt. I get on the floor with the kids so it has to cover! But I would much rather wear dresses and skirts than pants. Most everyone at my school dresses casually.
6. Can you go off-campus during the day? If so, where do you go?
Not really. We could run somewhere when our kids go to PE (30 min) but there is really nothing near our campus. I've never left campus, don't think I'd make it back in time. Strangely, I have a recurring nightmare that I've left to go shopping and accidentally stayed gone for hours and not realized it! I always wake up thinking I've lost my job! Crazy, right?
7. What is your favorite field trip destination?
We go to the zoo every year. It's such an easy field trip. I typically don't like field trips, they make me nervous.
8. Do you snack while blogging? Post a picture of your snack of choice if you do!
Oh yes, I'm a snackaholic! York peppermint patties are a must.
9. What was your worst experience as a student teacher?
I might have said sh*t instead of sheet one time when I was asking 6th graders to take out a sheet of paper! Luckily the cooperating teacher wasn't in the room. I can't even remember how they reacted but I was quietly flipping out in my mind.
10. If you had to do anything besides teaching, what would you do?
Does anyone know what "Sips and Strokes" is? Around Alabama there are studios where you can take a painting class and you bring your own drink of choice. So I decided I want to lead a "Crafts and Drafts" class. Crafting and drinking sounds fun, right? You're all invited!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Reuse Your Egg Cartons

My kids are loving the new egg carton games in math stations this week! Maybe I didn't dye any eggs this Easter but we do eat lots of eggs around my house. Being the teacher that I am I hoard containers (don't lie, know you do too, we need have a support group for it) and egg cartons are some of my favorites because of all the possibilities.

We've been playing addition games so I made lots of recording sheets: full page, half page, for 2 or 3 partners, and one with 3 addends. And for those friends that need the directions spelled out and in photos, I've got that covered. So all you need is a numbered egg carton (or 5 like me!), some colorful pom-poms, and a recording sheet.

The best part is that the same carton can be used for subtraction or money games. I put directions and recording sheets for those in this game pack on TPT. Click below to preview. Further down is a copy of the 3 addend recording sheet for you to use.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Book Publishing Party!

We recently sent off a class book to be published and it's back! I've been doing this for a few years now and I love how excited the kids get when they see their writing in an actual hard-cover book. So this year we celebrated with a book publishing party complete with punch, cookies, and the very first reading of our book. They even made toasts and clinked their plastic cups together. It was a hit with my little authors!

I posted about the books last year too. Go here to read and get details if you're interested in getting student books published for FREE too!

Speaking of authors, I got to meet and listen to Jane O'Connor read her latest Fancy Nancy book at a signing a few weeks ago. Makes me want to be a children's author. How fun would that be to travel around reading your books to little ones at books stores and schools?
(Don't you love her fancy accessories?)

Well I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter day tomorrow! Don't you throw out those egg cartons though, I've got a plan for them and freebies coming soon.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

April Daily Data

I hate to post just to advertise, but...

I uploaded last week on TPT and I totally forgot to mention anything on here about the April Daily Data pack, oops!! It's got 5 weeks worth of quick math activities to go along with a question of the week. Click the picture to see the preview or purchase if you want. Thanks so much for all of your support with these packets. I'm going to try to have May's ready in the next week or two so you can go on and print and prepare since I know you're eager to get things ready for this last stretch before summer! (only 33 days with kids left for me, wow!)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Cute Storage!

I snatched up some of the cutest polka dotted metal pails last year at a hole in the wall surplus store(I'm a bit in love with polka dots). They were a couple dollars each and I thought I'd surely find a use for them. They've become gift "bags" for my teacher friends birthdays- filling them with a soda, some sweets, and little office supplies and such. Of course I saved this one for myself. It's bigger than the little ones in Target (about 6 inches tall).
While I was cleaning up the house a little this morning (more like moving junk piles from one place to another) I stopped to admire my little pail and found a website on the sticker in the bottom. So of course I grabbed the computer and looked it up and wowie wow wow! If you love cute and cheap pails, bins, boxes, and bags then take a look.
Metal Bucket 5" H x 6" with Pattern - Click Image to Close Gifts Basket 8.5"x6 3/4x7.5"  tote Bags 20" x 15x 6"
All the items are about $.75 to $1.50 each but it seems that you have to order in bulk (like sets of 36 or so) but maybe you could go in with some friends. Here's website bloggy friends,, don't spend too much!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Science lately

I've been absent from blogging for over a month, oh my! Lots of pictures to share but I'll stick with science today. I have to share a few random pics from today too. Tomorrow's my birthday so we celebrated it at school today.

This was an awesome way to start a Friday morning. I got the cutest birthday gift from a sweet child. Didn't her mom do a great job putting this together?!

Here's what I found when I got to my room this morning.
I've eaten so many brownies, pieces of cake, and other sweets today(blew the diet, oops). I have the best coworkers ever!

Now onto science.
I've been taking pictures all along I've just been so busy (or lazy) to post lately.
We've studied animals and had many classroom pets...

humongous earthworms and...

giant snails!
The kids loved getting their hands on these guys.

Then we spent a few weeks on dinosaurs and fossils. The kids became real paleontologists and used these notebooks daily to take notes.
I love the fire-breathing dinosuars (they were a very rare breed you know).

We labeled lots of pictures and wrote about paleontologists, characteristics of dinosaurs, and fossils.

We also made our own fossils and then pretended we were at a museum and walked around and looked at all the amazing fossils.

We talked about not touching (but do you see that little guy at the bottom touching!) and using quiet whisper voices to discuss the cool fossils in our "museum".

And now we've started a space unit. So far we've studied the sun, stars, and moon. We painted suns to brighten up our room! Best idea ever... q-tips for painting. Just throw them away, no cleaning the brushes. Plus I like the dotted look on some of them.

Next week we're studing the planets and astronauts and their tools. Luckily, my dad works for NASA and has given us tons of really cool pictures taken by the space telescope and X-ray observatory. NASA has lots of things that they give away including coloring books, bookmarks, postcards, posters, and stickers (all of real outer space images). I don't know exactly how to get it but it'd be worth googling.