Thursday, August 30, 2012

Random-ness and a Freebie

It has almost been 2 weeks since I first met my new little firsties. I gotta say they are cuties and keep me laughing! We are finally getting procedures down and things are getting better. Here are a few random pictures from our first few weeks together.
I get to teach another darling granddaughter this year!
Got the cute frame idea from tons of other bloggers.
We read the book "Don't Eat the Teacher". So now we are playing a game called 'Don't Eat Mrs. Peterson'. 

I made a card with different pictures of ME. The kids put a skittle on each picture. One player turns his back while the others choose one of the pictures to be 'IT'. Then he starts picking the candy off the pictures. When he touches the picture that is 'IT', the others yell, "Don't Eat Mrs. Peterson"!
Meet with our 6th grade buddies. We will read with them twice a week. 
Absolute cute-ness in the library. Mrs. Adams has decorated with a Dr. Seuss theme this year. My kiddos LOVE it!
This is a quilted Dr. Seuss wall hanging she made. 
Dr. Seuss sayings are all around the room along with a banner of book pages.
I put a mirror above my sink and every week I change the saying. You can't see it very well but it says: "I AM nice to everyone". White board marker write and erase really well on mirrors!
Here's my new C.A.F.E. board. I LOVE CAFE and Daily 5. My kiddos are doing really well on their stamina. We are up to 6 minutes for reading to self. 
We learned about number sentences this week and did a fun activity called 'Magic Number Sentences'.
Magic Number Sentences is an activity I got several years ago at Core Academy. I've tweaked it a bit over the years and my kids love the magic. I put it together in a FREE packet for ya' all with new cards and a new recording sheet! (The cards in the picture above are the old one)

 You can buy plastic magic hats at the party store, make some magic fabric bags, or use the labels I made and glue them to a paper bag.
Click HERE to download a PDF.

I don't know about all of you but I am looking forward to a 3 day weekend! I hope you all have a great one!
Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Vowel freebie

Yeah! The first week is history! It's been a little rough start this year. But now things are going great. I have some really cute kiddos and a few hard ones but isn't that how it goes. It doesn't help that I have 31 and will surely grow but like Pete the Cat says "It's all good!"
Here is a little long and short vowel freebie from my vowel mega packet. There are 5 sheets one for each vowel. You can download a free PDF by clicking the picture.
You can check out the vowel  packets at my shops. Just click on my shop sidebar. They are sold separately or in a big mega packet for a discount.

And good news! I'm featured over on Lisa's darling blog today- Learning is Something to Treasure. You can head over and find out more about me. Thanks Lisa!
Thanks for stopping by. I hope everyone has a GREAT, RELAXING weekend! 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Numbers or Letters Freebie

Two very important concepts that I like to discuss at the beginning of the year with my firsties are the difference between numbers and letters and the various fonts we may see letters or numbers written. This hit home to me last year when late in the year one of my little ones sat looking and looking curiously at a chart I had made. Finally he said he couldn't read it and asked me what some of the letters were on the chart. I was taken back by this because by now I thought all my kiddos knew their letters. I told him what they were and he frowned and said "oh yeah I guess sometimes letter are kind of funny looking." It dawned on me that we needed a lesson on fancy fonts. After the lesson he never had a problem. He'd just look at me and shake his head and say "fancy font!"
Sometimes we don't realize what is going on in their little heads. I love to use fun and fancy fonts and I think it's good for my kiddos to be able to read them. We know they are seeing different fonts in environmental print every where they turn. So why not teach it. Also, you need to know if your students can distinguish between a number and a letter. This is a skill mastered in kindergarten but sometimes I'll have a few that don't know the difference. Most of the time it's the terms we use that confuse them. This is a great lesson to teach both concepts at the same time.

There are letter and number cards you can print, laminate and then use as a class sort in a pocket chart. While sorting, I like to point out the differences in the '4', 'a', 'g', '9' and any others they might get confused with.

Then I have them pick any 10 letters and 10 numbers and write them in the correct columns. This is a great assessment.
Then on another day I have them do a sort.

If you'd like to download a PDF copy just click HERE.

It's been a VERY CRAZY BEGINNING of the school year for me. Yesterday I didn't know if I could survive this year or not. But today was MUCH better! No matter how many years I teach I forget just how H.A.R.D. the beginning of the year is. 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Smart Readers Under Construction

Hi all! The big day is Tuesday! That's my first day back with my little sweeties. I'm getting excited and nervous. Yeah, can you believe after all these years of teaching I still get excited and nervous! I'm starting again this year with 30 firsties and I'm sure it will increase. I guess I should be used to it but I don't think I ever will.
I thought I'd share with everyone some little tools I print to have on hand when I'm working in guided reading with my kiddos. I print several copies and have a stack of each of these by my reading table so I can quickly grab some for my lessons. Let me start by telling you that I tell my firsties they are 'smart readers under construction'. We talk about what that means and I tell them I am going to help them in every way become a smart reader. I love the word 'smart' more than 'better'. It seems more positive to me. When I think of 'better', I think well maybe I'm not very good to start with and I want my kiddos the think of themselves as good reader and I'm just going to help them be smarter reader.
The first is sorting pages. I have 2, 3, 4, and 5 way sort pages.
I use these a ton of ways. I might have them list short vowel words, long & short vowels, word families, inflectional endings, root word and ending, suffixes, prefixes, characters and describing words, who & what, hard & soft c or g words, the list can go on and on. Sometimes I give the words, sometimes they find the words in their reading. You can use it with the low, middle and high kids. It's open to whatever you can think of to use it with. It's a fun, quick easy practice or assessment for your kiddos. I don't make them into a booklet because I want the kids to take them home so parents can see what we are doing.
The next one is the character sheet. I use this one a lot especially after I've taught describing words. I  can generally use this one at the beginning of the year with my high students too.
Another one I use is Did You Know. This one is great for non-fiction books.
These sheets don't have to be used only in guided reading. Sometimes I'll use them with the whole class like when I read Boxcar Children. We fill out a 4-way sort on the four characters and what we know about them. There are so many possibilities, just use your creativity.

If you'd like a FREE download just click HERE.

Oh and some super GOOD NEWS- I have a new grandson!!
This is Elijah Ray Robison. Born August 15th. He was 10 lbs. 5 ounces. My daughter has BIG boys! I just LOVE all the dark soft hair!
Thanks for stopping by. I hope everyone has a terrific week!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Very Sad Day!

Today I attended the funeral of one of my sweet little firsties from last year. She very tragically drown last week. It's been a hard week. I didn't realize that last May when I hugged her good-bye, it was really good-bye forever. Most kiddos you see the next year in school or many years later at the store or on a ride at the amusement park or even end up teaching their little ones. This is the first one I've lost and it stinks! I found an awesome book to give the family.
This is the best book about how to grieve. It is for all ages from 4 to adults. My little one has a twin sister which makes it even more sad. I hope the book will help the family get through this horrible loss. 
I hope no one has to go through losing one of their sweet little students. They are all so special in their own unique way.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

My Tricky Word Practice Book Freebie

Wow! I picked up some GREAT things yesterday on the TpT sale. I'm excited! I just LOVE this technology that allows us to collaborate all over the world. Thanks for all the wonderful blogs, comments, and ideas that everyone so willingly shares. I know it makes me a better teacher.

My 1st official paid day back is tomorrow. Although I've been working all week to get things ready. We get to do our DRA reading test with our firsties tomorrow. I love being able to meet my kids and test their reading before school starts. That way I can jump right into guided reading as soon as I get them trained in Daily 5.

Here is a little something I use in my guided reading. I call it "My Tricky Word Practice Book". I make a little book for each student and they keep it in their book bag. Each time we find a word that is giving them trouble we write it in their book. They practice writing it and use the word in a sentence. They love seeing how many words they have learned. If they fill up one book then I give them another. My higher kids even enjoy it but they generally don't use it as often as my lower kiddos. I hope this is something that someone else can use. There are 3 to a page and the cover is in color or black & white. I print about 7 pages per student which gives you 21 pages in a book. My stapler can't go through much more.

Click HERE to Download!

Oh yeah one more thing, I am continuing my sale of 20% off both my shops but just for today. So if you missed the big sale you can still save. Head over and check it out. Click on the word to link up.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope everyone has a great day!

Saturday, August 11, 2012


If you haven't heard yet there are BIG SALES going on in the blog world. You need to hop on over to TeachersPayTeachers or Teachers Notebook Sunday or Monday and stock up for back to school!
(Cute sign by Amy Lemons!)

Here are some of my packets you might want to check out.
You can check out more of my packets and several other talented teacher's shops by clicking on the words below.