Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Primary Peach: Freebie Blog Hop!!!


Hi Friends!
  As y'all know, I am proud to be a southern gal & a Georgia Peach! I am so excited to be teaming up with about 30 other amazing elementary bloggers from this fabulous state in a brand new, collaborative blog.  Let me introduce you to....
For our very first blog post, we are all giving away a bunch of fabulous freebies!  Each blogger has something special for you & it's all geared for the end of the year.  We all know how crazy the end of the year can be - the kids are crazy and have summer on the brain....and you do too! Plus, if you're anything like me, you're always on the lookout for new and fun stuff to do in your classroom. Believe me there's some great stuff in this hop.

But, before I get to that, let me introduce myself....
My name is Kelly and this is my blog! I teach first grade right outside of Atlanta, and have been doing and loving my job for 14 years.  I can't believe it's been that long!  I love creating and crafting, and I absolutely love sharing ideas with you.  I am slightly addicted to Instagram and Pinterest, and simply can't get enough of all the amazing things that teachers do each and every day. I am so honored to be part of this profession, and to have the opportunity to share with all of you!

Now, how about that FREEBIE?
I just love doing crafts in my room, and my kids do, too!  My first graders are always so excited when we get out the glue & scissors, and I truly believe in making learning fun...fun and engaging, that is!

We spend a lot of our end-of-the-year time practicing our writing skills....and the kids spend a lot of THEIR time telling me about their summer plans.  So, one of our favorite activities is this little writing & craftivity for Sailing Into Summer...

The kids write about their summer plans & make this super cute ship to go with it!  Here are some pics of it in action...

 The freebie includes all the templates for the craft.
 My firsties cut their own stripes for the top & I use a craft punch to make the portholes.

Time to write!

I just love first grade writing!
 Aren't they cute??
 Can't wait to get these hung up in the hallway!

So, that's it !  Super fun activity for the end of the year...and it's FREE!
Just click {here} to grab the templates and writing sheets.

Don't forget to check out the other bloggers for more freebies, too!

Oh, and we're not done yet.... wanna win some money to spend?  Head on over to The Primary Peach to enter a giveaway for some TpT $$$$!!  Woo hoo!! Money, money, money!!
http://primarypeach.blogspot.com/2015/04/its-launch-party.html


Now, head on over to the next peach, my amazing friend Meghan of Keeping up With Mrs Harris & hop along with us. We're all so glad you're here!
 http://keepingupwithmrsharris.com/2015/04/primary-peach-blog-launch/


If you like this activity, be sure to follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest for a lot more ideas! As always, thanks for stopping by! :)
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Saturday, April 18, 2015

Bright Ideas: Magnetic Manipulatives & Shower Rings


I absolutely LOVE the monthly Bright Ideas Blog Hop & I am so excited to be part of it again this month! There are so many great ideas out there, and teachers are among the most brilliant folks I've ever met.

Saving money in my classroom is something I TRY very hard to do. It's not easy and I know I spend so much every year on things I really want...and of course, the items that I think my students can really use and benefit from.

One thing that I find to be so expensive are math manipulatives!  While I have tubs of them at school, the one thing I always want are those kind that I can use on my white board....the magnetic ones!!  They're pricey, though...and for most teachers, we have tiny budgets, big ideas, and long wish lists!

This year, I decided to make my own magnetic manipulatives with the help of these handy-dandy adhesive magnets.  They are super thin, very afforable, and they stick right to the back of anything you've got!
You can get 100 for less than $5, and if you search the web, you can get a bushel of them for super cheap.  
I love that they are so thin I can cut them to fit onto just about anything, like these Base Ten blocks!

Having magnetic Unifix Cubes has been a lifesaver in our math lessons.  The kids have their own sets at their desk, of course, but being able to actually use them on the board has been awesome!

We also use of lot of two-sided counters, especially in RTI groups. These really give the kids a great visual for composing and decomposing numbers.

My kids always love working with counting bears. They love making addition and subtraction stories with these little guys.  {Don't mind the messy board.... do white boards ever come completely clean??}

I have been sticking these little  magnets to just about everything. Having manipulatives that I can actually MANIPULATE with my students has been great!!

Another BRIGHT IDEA comes from Instagram. I'm not sure of the actual original source, so if it's you, please let me know!  

One more item I tend to sink a lot of money in to is binder rings for sight words,math flashcards, etc...
Those things are expensive...and my kids are always losing them.

I saw this fabulous idea and just had to run with it..... shower hooks!!
Not only are they crazy cheap - you get 12 for $1 - they actually work SO much better than those binder rings.  More cards fit on the ring, and the kids are able to move them around so much easier.

Genius, I tell you!!

So, that's it for me this month!! I hope you can use some of these ideas in your classroom. Don't forget to check out these other amazing bloggers and their ideas!! 



If you liked this idea, please follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest for more useful tips for the classroom. Just click the icons at the top of the page!  Thanks for stopping by! :)
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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Introducing Build-A-Word!


Hi Y'all !
    It's Tuesday of my spring break, and I'll be honest, I haven't done  a whole lot of anything.  Which I'm totally fine with.  I've read a cheesy chick novel... I've watched some Netflix... I've gone to Target & Hobby Lobby...and Ive stayed up way past my bedtime. That all counts for SOMEthing right?! :) Either way, it needs to slow down.....I need the rest of the week to just creeeeeeeeeeeep by!

   So... on Friday for my Five, I posted a picture of my newest product - Build-A-Word! I wanted to share some pictures with you and give you a little more info about how it works.
 
Decoding simple CVC words, nonsense word fluency, and reading words with blends and digraphs are essential skills for any young reader.  Students with a strong foundation in decoding and word building are better able to read fluently as the level of text difficulty increases.

This packet is a great way to help students increase their mastery of word building, decoding, and identifying real and nonsense words. This pack is perfect for small group practice in guided reading groups, RTI pull out groups, one-on-one with specific kids, and even at centers for practice and review.

 There are word building cards for each short vowel. Each vowel set has several word families for children to use to build words.The lines can be used with dry-erase markers for students to write their newly created word.
 Each vowel sound has its own clip art-which helps with management and organization! I know my kids always work better with centers that have a visual to help them work with the activity...and it makes for easy-peasy clean up too!
Each set - cupcakes, gumball machines, muffins, ice cream & popsicles - also includes beginning sound cards for each consonant, blends, and digraphs. This helps differentiate the use of this activity & assist learners who need visual clues.

With lower learners, you can choose only basic consonant sounds to build words. With your higher learners, you can pull out digraphs and blends to increase decoding and reading ability.

There are also recording sheets for every word family, and one for each vowel sound (a, e, i, o, u).  Students build words, then write each one on their sheet.  They also color the words to identify each as real or nonsense.
I work really hard with my own students in identifying and differentiating between real and nonsense words. This helps increase their thinking while reading, and improves comprehension skills while still decoding words in text.

There's also differentiated assessments for each vowel sound, as well : Shorter words using simple consonant beginnings for lower learners, and more complex words with digraphs and blends for higher learners and those in need of a challenge.
There's also a sorting center for students to practice differentiating between real and nonsense words. My kids love seeing how fast they can read and sort these words. 

Kindergarten students are also doing wonders with this center,and it's awesome to see them sounding out words they don't think they can read!  You should see their faces! :)
 This pack is truly packed full of so much, and it's all stuff you can really use in your classroom.

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Build-A-Word-Short-Vowel-RTI-Small-Group-Pack-1795815

 Click on the above picture to check it out. You can see more pages in the preview.
Thanks for stopping by & sticking around to hear all about the Build-A-Word! :)

Now, off to more TV watching & blog stalking...ahhh, I love spring break!



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Friday, April 3, 2015

Five for Friday: HELLO Spring Break!!

It's here! It's here!  Spring Break has finally arrived & I couldn't be happier about it!
This week has been a whirlwind, and super busy..... spring has finally sprung with some beautiful weather, and Easter is right around the corner...making for a crazy & fun week in first grade!

Time to link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for my Five for Friday...
 This week started with a Walking Dead tour!!  MB and I met up with some friends on Sunday and went on this super fun tour through all the "hot spots" from the show.  We are a wee bit obsessed in love with TWD, and it was so much fun to actually SEE all the sets.  The show films about a half hour or so from where I live, so it was an easy trip and such a fun day!! :)
 We have been working really hard on opinion writing in first grade. This week, we incorporated April Fools & this awesome book to write about our opinions.  This book is a new class favorite, for sure!!  You can read more about this activity {here}.
 We also did our annual Duck or Rabbit opinion writing.  My firsties absolutely LOVE this every year. They have so much fun arguing...err...discussing whether or not they think it's a duck or a rabbit. It's a great way to get kids excited about opinion writing.  This activity (and freebies!) can be found {right here}!
 We've also been working on multi-meaning words & homophones... I just LOVE first grader's illustrations. This little guy's foot is so stinkin' cute...and check out that spiky high heeled shoe down there! Haha!
 Ahhh, the kids were SUPER excited about the upcoming arrival of the Easter Bunny this weekend. We had our annual Egg Hunt & I made these treat cups for a little (short) movie watching :)  

This was one of those projects you THINK will take about an hour... and THREE later, you've hot glued yourself to the table.  Their smiles were worth it, though :)
 Lastly...this. Yes, this... Spring Break has finally arrived!   I'm looking forward to 9 days of no alarm, yoga pants and flip flops..some Netlflix...and some family & friends time. Then, only 6 more weeks of school...not that I'm counting :)

So that's my Five, friends... What was YOUR week like?

Oh, and my newest product is up & I'm giving away TWO of these tonight on my Facebook page.  Just click the icon at the top & comment to win.  

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Build-A-Word-Short-Vowel-RTI-Small-Group-Pack-1795815
This Build-A-Word pack is packed full of word building, word sorting, and decoding practice & assessment. Click the picture to check out the preview on TpT! :)

Happy Spring, Y'all!




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Monday, March 30, 2015

Creepy Carrots: Pranks & Opinions


Hi Friends!
     April Fools Day is right around the corner, and if your firsties are anything like mine, they think it's hysterical!  They're already talking about jokes and pranks, and their little versions of it all just crack me up!

    I wanted to come up with a way to incorporate their excitement for April Fools into writing about their opinions and ideas. 

    We had our Book Fair last month & I grabbed this book because I absolutely LOVED the illustrations and the story. It's been sitting on my shelf since then, and this morning I realized it would be a perfect way to talk about plans, pranks, and opinions!
The story is about a rabbit who LOVES eating carrots...he eats them ALL the time,and steals them from the field! 
One day, the rabbit starts worrying about taking so many carrots, and starts thinking the carrots are following him....
He sees them EVERYWHERE!!!
So, Jasper the rabbit decides to make a plan to keep these creepy carrots away from him....but the carrots have a plan of their own!

Because we haven't actually done this yet, I don't have any "action" pics for you. But....
We are going to read the story and then lead a discussion about who had the better plan - Jasper or the carrots.

We've been working on our opinion writing, so the kids will be stating their opinion & then supporting it with three details of WHY they think Jasper or the carrots had the best plan.

For an extension activity, I am going to have my kiddos then write about THEIR best prank idea! 
I think the kids will LOVE it!

Plus, I think this is one of the cutest books on the planet, so I'm pretty excited, too! :)

{I just hand drew the giant carrot & then traced around some writing paper to fit inside. Because of its size, the pattern is too big to make a file to share. Sorry!! }

If you don't have the book in your library, here is a YouTube video of it being read aloud.

That's it for me, friends. Keeping it short tonight, but I just wanted to share this book. 
It's such a  fun way to talk about some April Fools goodness AND get the kids writing!


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