Thursday, July 25, 2013

Things I CAN'T Teach Without Part 4 Equipment and Technology

I hope you're still with me. This is part 4 of things I CAN'T Teach Without. Today is all about Equipment and Technology. Most of the technology we really don't have a lot of control over. My principal gives us what the district lets us have. So hopefully I'm not too out-dated.
This is my NEW LOVE- My Smart board. I don't know how I taught without it. I'm still finding cool new ways to use it. I had to write a grant to get it but it was soooo worth it!!!
I also couldn't teach without my 'Elmo' document camera. And of course, neither would work without my projector. 
Our district bought us some Kindles last year and I'm finding cool apps and ways to use them more. My kiddos have even taught me a thing or two. 
Of course, I couldn't teach without my computer and I LOVE my iPearl hard shell case. It helps protect my MacBook Pro.

I LOVE my label maker! I use it for tons of things cause I'm a little OCD when it comes to organizing and I like things neatly labeled.

My second year of teaching, I bought my very own paper cutter with my own money. I CAN'T teach without it. I use it all the time. I even bought one for home so I can use it for school and church stuff.
Last by certainly not least, is my KIVA! (aka benches) My hubby made it for me about 10 years ago. There is even storage in the back. It's been re-carpeted and painted twice. If I had to pick only one thing that I CAN'T teach without it would be my KIVA. It's our gathering place, it's where I do over 80% of my teaching. It's more comfortable for my kiddos to sit for a longer period of time. It's easier for them to see because of the two levels.  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT!

Well, there you have it, some of the Things I CAN'T Teach Without. What things do you need to teach? I'd LOVE to hear your feedback.

P.S. Don't forget to follow me on Facebook!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Things I CAN'T Teach Without Part 3 My Packets

Here are a few of my TpT packets that I just could NOT teach without:
Last year I had a BIG problem with tattling so I put this little packet together. It has fun games and activities along with posters I kept referring to throughout the year. It really helped!!! Click HERE for a link to this product on TpT.
My word family charts are a great reference throughout the year. I even use the snipping tool on my computer and put them on my Smart board for daily calendar activities. Click HERE for a link to this product on TpT.
My number charts have been a great help when my kiddos needed to refer to them. They are up there in my room and are as important as my alphabet charts. I've made them in several different themes. Click HERE for a link to this product on TpT.
This is an essential in my room for organizing my math stations. It's a FREEBIE on TpT. Click HERE for a link to this product on TpT. 
This is my newest CAN'T teach without- Math Vocabulary Cards. We are jumping into the new math core this year and these will be very helpful. Click HERE for a link to this product on TpT.

Of course, there are lots of other packets I CAN'T teach without but that's probably enough for today. Check back tomorrow for part 4- Equipment and Technology.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Things I CAN'T Teach Without Part 2 TpT

Here is part 2 in my 'Things I CAN'T Teach Without. This one is about all those great packets on Teacher Pay Teacher. I've found very valuable stuff that make my teaching SOOOOO much easier.
Here are just a few of my favorites: (I had to limit this to just a few or this post would have been super long!)

Lori Rosenberg created this packet about things to write about. I put these cute cards on a big ring, hang them in my writing center and when a child needs an idea for a story they can easily find one. Last year I NEVER EVER heard one of my kiddos say, "I don't know what to write about." Thanks LORI! Click HERE for a link to this product on TpT.
This is a darling book by Rachelle Smith from What the Teacher Wants. It makes a cute little ABC book about school. A great springboard into discussing tons of stuff the first few days of school. There are also some great activities. Click HERE for a link to this product on TpT.
I just found this great packet by Miss Giraffe called 'Writing for the Year Word Charts'. I've had folders with words for my kiddos to use in Writing Center. But these have cute little pictures to go with the words. Click HERE for a link to this product on TpT.  

This is a packet by Abby Mullins from the Inspired Apple. This is a very valuable resource that can be used several ways. It contains 20 double sided review activities that focus on 1st grade foundational skills in CCSS and 25 activities for math. It's a great way to keep track of where your kids are, or use for morning work, or review before testing. You can buy them separate or together. I love, love love these! Click HERE for a link to this product on TpT. 
My BFF Fredia from Frogs in First makes adorable word wall packets. She made this one for my happy camper themed room. LOVE IT!. Click HERE for a link to this product on TpT.

Sorry this post is getting kind of long. But this is only a few of my 'CAN'T teach without' stuff. I have lots of great math & reading center packets, fonts, borders, and background packets too. I CAN'T teach without TpT and all the great stuff I find there.

I hope you'll check out some of my favorites. Come back tomorrow for part 3.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Things I CAN'T Teach Without! Part 1 School Supplies

I'm kind-of getting in that Back-to-School frame of mind. Counting the Mondays I have left did it. Only 3! YIKES! I'm starting my shopping this week and was making my list. It got me thinking about all the wonderful things I have or need that I simply could never teach without. So I decided to post them in a couple of posts. So here is part 1- School Supplies.
I LOVE these:
If you've read my blog you know I've posted about these before. But I could not teach without them. They are 'Do-A-Dot' paints. We use them for graphing, making ten frames, and number sense. My own grandkids love to make pictures with them too.

These are the book bags I use from Really Good Stuff. They have a medium and a large size. I like the large. My kiddos store all their 'just-right' books in these inside their desks and take them to Daily 5 with them. I've had other brands but these are made really good and last much longer than just one year. 

I got my ABC magnetic letters several years ago and could not teach without them. They are made by Scholastic and are very durable. We use them for all kinds of making word activities.  

10-Sided Dice are a must in my room. I use them for tons of games. My firsties always miss place a few so I add 5 or 6 each year. 
Last year I bought Vowel Tubs from Lakeshore. They were so great to teach/review vowels. My kids loved them. They are a bit pricey at $69. But you could easily make your own. I think there are blend and digraph ones too. I'll have to check them out.

I bought my laminator last summer. I don't know how I taught all these years without it. I L.O.V.E it!!!

Love stamps! I let my kiddos use these after we've checked our papers. 

But my favorite stamp is my 'name' stamp. I learned about this little goody my first year teaching. I went and had one made with my first and last name. It makes it so easy to stamp my name in ALL those new books I buy. It helps me keep track of what is my personal stuff and what's the schools. This is a picture of one from You can customize it up to 3 lines. Just click on the picture for the link.

I love finding new school supplies. I'd love to hear about what you just CAN'T teach without. Leave me a comment and check back tomorrow for part 2.

Friday, July 19, 2013


I learned several years ago that as a teacher of a 6-7 year old, I needed to be 'part of their world'. I had a student write an incredible story one day. I had never seen him write so well. The plot was outstanding as well as the description of the characters. I was talking about it at dinner with my own kids. My youngest looked at me and said, "Umm, mom, that's a cartoon on Nick Jr." Duh! While it had been a wonderful retelling on my student's part, it wasn't HIS original idea. After that, I decided I needed to GET INFORMED and be 'part of THEIR WORLD'! So I have some little helpers now that help me stay current on all the latest TV shows, hit songs, cool fashions, new toys, and movies  (just to name a few).
Here are my experts! My five oldest grandkids. Ranging in the expert kid age of 11 to 5 years old.

We've had a blast going to the latest summer movies for kids. We've seen Monster's University and Despicable Me 2 but we still have 2 more to go- Turbo and Airplanes. We've gone shopping for school clothes and checked out the hit YouTube videos (Taylor Swift is their #1). Ninjago is way cool and Finneas and Ferb are really funny. Needless to say, they've taught me lots!

Now when a kiddo in my class says, "let me be the first to say- ewww". I'll know where that came from. When they start talking about Ninjago I'll know it's a Lego toy. I'll be able to carry on an intelligent conversation with them and maybe, just maybe, be able to connect, bond, or motivate them.

If you can't tell, I LOVE spending time with these cuties! They keep me informed, up-to-date, and 'part of their world! Which makes me a better teacher!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Math Vocabulary Packet Giveaway

I've been working on this new packet for the past 3 days and it's finally FINISHED!!
There are 83 math vocabulary cards with cute, colorful pictures and simple, kid-friendly definitions. It contains the 'common core and more' for FIRST GRADE. I like to place the cards I'm working on for the week on my focus board and then add them to my math word wall. That way the kids can refer to them throughout the year. I also use the snipping tool on my computer and capture a picture of the cards I need and drag them into my Smart board lessons. Then the kiddos can see the cards BIG for the first time. We do the Marzano's 6 Step Process for vocabulary with a few adjustments. You can read all about it HERE from an earlier post.
This is just a sample of some of the words.

I have to give credit to my great team. We had a meeting and went over all the vocabulary from the common core and our new math book. Our district came up with a list of 30 words but we felt like it wasn't complete. So this list is MORE baby!

I'm going to have a GIVEAWAY if anyone is feeling lucky. Just comment on this post, be sure to leave your email address. Then tomorrow at noon (Mountain Time) I will use the random generator to select THREE winners for my Math Vocabulary Packet. I'll be notifying and sending you LUCKY winners the packet.

The lucky winners were Angie, Carol and Kim!!! Congrats! And many thanks to all who commented!!!

Hey, I'd LOVE to hear how you do your math vocabulary.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

More and Less Freebie and New Number Charts

Man oh man, summer is flying by at a rapid speed! I only have 4 1/2 weeks left and I have a ton of things I still want to do. Isn't that just how life is though. Why couldn't the school year fly by at a rapid speed?

I've completed my More and Less packet and it is up on my shops. My kiddos need lots of practice with this concept and I hope this will help.
 There are 12 activity sheets on different levels so you can differentiate your teaching or use at different times of the year. They are grouped as one more or less < 50 or > 50 to 120 and 10 more or less < 50 or > 50 to 120. There are find a friend activities, color it and the more/less boxes.
If you'd like a copy of this FREEBIE from the packet click HERE.

There are 2 activities that could be used in math stations or with your whole class. My class absolutely LOVES the Swat It game.

I also added some new number charts with cute new backgrounds.
This one is 'Nautical Theme'
This one is 'Owl Theme'
This one is 'Chalkboard Theme'

And this one is 'Circus Cat Theme' (aka Cat in the Hat but I can't call it that)
Some of the packets are 0-20 and some are 0-30. If you don't see a theme that matches your classroom decor, just email me and I can make one for you. 
You can check out all these and more at my shops by clicking on the my sidebar.

I hope you're enjoying your summer and it is going by very s-l-o-w-l-y!!!