Sunday, March 31, 2013

April CURRENTLY!

April showers bring...
   this month's CURRENTLY!!

I say it every time, but I look forward to & LOVE doing these every month. It's just so much fun! A big THANK YOU to Farley for always hosting this!


Listening... to the sound of those April showers. We have had so much rain in Georgia, and I am ready for some OUTSIDE recess, but I do love the rain. Especially when it's bedtime! I've always wanted a tin roof so I can just fall asleep to the sound of it.  Plus, those April showers mean spring is FINALLY on its way :)

Loving... that we have only one more week 'til Spring Break. I really wish it was this week since Easter was today, and it only makes sense to me, but I am just happy it's almost here! There's something to be said about knowing we only have 7 weeks of school left after Spring Break...even if it DOES bring on a bit of a panic attack!

Thinking.... about the beach.  Growing up in Alabama, most of my personal friends on Facebook are on spring break right now, or have already had it. I keep seeing all their beach pics, and I'm ready to go NOW!  It's truly  my favorite place on earth, and I'm in serious need of a few days with my butt in the sand and a good book... Heading there in May, but really think I could be ready in 10 minutes if opportunity knocked on my door.  Then again, the beach means swimsuit shopping...UGH!

Wanting...something...EVERYthing in that new mint/tiffany blue color that's all over the ads these days. I'm in LOVE with it, for reals.  I went shopping...err..hunting...this weekend for something that struck my fancy, but came home with nothing. Isn't that the worst??  I really want some mint blue peep toe shoes to wear to a wedding & they are no where to be found. Boo :(

Needing...these darn allergies to HIT THE ROAD!!  I love spring..really, I do...but these white trees and all the pollen is about to kill me. I'm currently drowning, if you know what I mean, and no amount of Zyrtex or Sudafed seems to be helping the constant drip....drip....sneeze...drip...drip... cough.

Advice... Now I'm not a blogger with thousands of followers, so I'm not the expert on this kind of thing. But, if I were to give advice, it would be:

  1 - just be you! Blogs are so much more fun to read when you can sense some personality in there. Be funny, talk about stuff outside of your teaching, and let your blog represent who you really are!

  2 - Leave feedback/comments on things you like or love. Don't just download it and move on, leave the person some bloggy love to let them know you stopped by. Everyone loves comments!

  3 - Last, but not least, I believe in helping out other bloggers. I have heard stories of some people not wanting to lend a helping hand & I just don't get it. We were all newbies at some point, and this is such a wonderful community to be a part of.  Help someone out, network, send messages, and just be nice. Isn't that the right thing to do anyway??

Oh, and #4 - LINK UP!  There are so many fun & cute linkys out there...like THIS one.  Link up & make some new friends... and like I said earlier, visit others and say "hi". :)

Well.... that's about it for me. It's bedtime & 5:30 comes WAAAYYYY too early for this night owl.  Thanks for stopping by & have a happy April !!  Can you believe this school year is flying by so fast?! Wowzers!

Night night!

Sunday Shout Out Showing a little Bloggy Love!

Happy Easter everyone! I hope you've all been able to enjoy your day with your loved ones. This is the first Easter I've spent away from my parents (sad face), but since I'm heading home next week over spring break, we decided to do it this way. It just feels weird.. at 35, this is the first time not waking up to an Easter basket from my mom  & dad. Yes, I'm grown..and yes, they spoil me. :)

Anyway, I've spent my day doing "school stuff", which fits right into "School Stuff Sunday" as MB calls it. That's how I spend my Sunday afternoons, pretty much, and it's become a habit. I'm done except for some laminating, and then it's time to settle down on the couch to watch The Bible. Have y'all been watching it?? I've got them all recorded, and I'm super excited. Plus, today's a perfect day for it, huh? :)

So, keeping it short today. I wanted to tell everyone about a fairly new blogger, Angie at Monaham Monkey Madness.


 She's got some SUPER cute ideas & some great TpT products, so head on over & show her some bloggy love!

If you have a new blog, or you've found one you'd like to share, leave it in the comments. I'm always looking for new ones to follow & I know that's how I got my start - some shouts out & some bloggy love! This is such an awesome community to be a part of :)

Allright, folks, I'm out. I've got a couple piles of laundry calling my name & my laminator (Nate the LamiNATEr) is heated up and ready to roll !

Don't forget about the Spring Cleaning Sale..it ends tonight & everything is 20% off!! :) Click the picture to head to my TpT store.


Happy Easter again...wishing you all happiness and blessings :)

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Spring Cleaning - It's time for a SALE!!!!!!

I don't know about you, but my TpT wishlist is CRAZY long!  It's definitely time for Spring Cleaning!!


Everything in my TpT store is 20% off today & tomorrow.  Here are some of the things you can get for a great deal...

 






 

Head on over & grab some stuff. If there's something particular you want, just click the picture above & it'll take you right there. I can't wait to get all those things I've been dreaming about :)

And, be sure to check out your wish list..there are so many other bloggers participating in this sale. :)

Thanks for stopping by!!


Friday, March 29, 2013

Five for Friday & a New Centers Pack

Woo hoo! We made it - it's Friday :)
It's true. I'm totally & completely head over heels in LOVE with Friday.  This week, for sure. It's been a busy one....a great one...but definitely a busy one.

So, it's time to link up with Doodle Bugs for Five for Friday... This is my first time linking up & I'm super excited to be part of it. I just love reading what's going on in everyone's corner of the world :)

#1 My week started off with last weekEND & a great little jaunt to Noccalula Falls...

Legend has it that Noccalula, an Indian princess, jumped to her death here after being told she had to marry a man she didn't love. A wee bit morbid, but kinda cool, all the same.

We've had so much rain around here lately & the falls were beautiful !!

#2 Egg Drop!
   Every year, we have an egg drop. The kids have to come up with a creative way to package a RAW egg so that it won't break...when we drop it from the top of the "big slide" (kid speak).  It's always a good time!


 Of course, some always break... Ewwwww...

#3 MATH Egg Hunt
  I blogged about how we do the whole math egg hunt here, but basically we label different colored eggs with different representations of numbers. The kids are each assigned a number & they go looking for their eggs!


It's hard to tell, but the grass is covered with over 800 eggs!!! Wowzers!

#4 Field Trip..
   Today, we went to the Georgia Aquarium with 80 first graders...
Oh, and I should mention...since it's Good Friday, everyone in the free world was there.  EVERYONE.  We made these reservations back in the fall, and none of us thought about it being a day when a lot of people are off work. Oh yes, it was completely CRAZY! Mass chaos, fo' sho'!

But, it was also really, really cool. Nothing like seeing the kids faces light up when they see a whale shark, beluga whale, or hundreds of jelly fish!

 #5 My New Rainy Literacy Centers Pack
  I spent a lot of time this week making some new literacy centers. It's that time of year for a lot of review and test prep, so I wanted some fun April themed centers to use, and...this is what I came up with !






4 complete centers focused on compound words, suffixes & prefixes with root words, antonyms & synonyms, and the four types of sentences.  You can grab it at my TpT store by clicking the link above or by clicking <HERE>.

And, since I didn't get a FREEBIE made up for Freebie Friday, I want to give away the whole pack to 5 folks... The first 5 to comment with an email address will get it. Tell me, what are you getting ready to teach?? 

Thanks for stopping by & taking a peek into my crazy week. I hope your week was just as awesome as mine & you are going to rest & relax this weekend.  Have a WONDERFUL Easter!!!! :)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Math Egg Hunt - A New Twist!

Has Easter crept up on anyone else but me??  I've been trying to get it all together, and I already know we'll be doing Easter centers next week so we can get all the cuteness in!

So, at my school, we have children of many diverse backgrounds. Because of that, the traditional "Easter Egg Hunt" had to undergo a bit of a makeover.

A few years ago, my team & I came up with the idea for a Math Egg Hunt...
     same plastic eggs, same hunt & find, same fun...

But, with a TWIST..a math twist. 

Okay, I'll try to do my  best to explain..First of all, we do this as a team of three teachers. Keep that in mind when you are reading.

We send home a letter asking for each child to send in TWO dozen, plain colored, plastic eggs, pre-FILLED with candy (no chocolate). 

Then, we separate the eggs out by colors, so each class gets 2 colors.
For example, I get green & purple
    Mr. G gets yellow and blue
       Ms. W gets orange and pink

Next, we make sure that all the eggs are taped shut (and that they have candy in them... you'd be surprised!)

The next part is the fun part . . . we take labels that I made with TEN different ways to represent a number (addition, subtraction, tens/ones, money, numeral, number word, word problem, missing #, model dots, and tally marks) & stick them to our eggs.



Each class has 6 pages of labels. The numbers represented go to 18, so if we have more children than that, we just make an extra set.

Once the eggs are all labeled, we take them outside and "hide" them.
   *I'll be honest, with this many eggs, this usually means tossing them into a big field we have behind our school..haha*

Okay, now for the MATH part...

Before the egg hunt, the kids are assigned a number.  They can ONLY pick up and keep eggs that match their number.  Make sense?

Okay, Sammie is in my class ...so she can ONLY look for green & purple eggs.  She doesn't even pick up eggs of other colors, because she knows they are not for her.

When she's looking & picking up eggs, she has to decide if that is her number. Say her number is SEVEN...she looks for the ten eggs that match her number.  One of each kind of representation (an addition problem that equals 7, money that adds up to 7 cents, tally marks that represent 7, etc...).

So, at the end of the hunt, Sammie only has green and purple eggs that represent her "magic number".

Fun fun!!  The kids always have a blast, so we have done this for years. Plus, it's a great way to review math skills while still having a little Easter..whoops...Spring fun!

*YOU CAN DO THIS WITH JUST YOUR CLASS AND USE ALL COLORS OF EGGS. JUST PUT THE LABELS ON ALL YOUR EGGS, AND HAVE KIDS SEARCH FOR THEIR NUMBER, AND DON'T WORRY ABOUT COLOR AT ALL!* :)

If you would like to grab the labels, you can click the above picture. They're FREE!

 The labels are saved in a Zip File that open up into 6 Word documents. Make sure you have Word or these won't open.

The labels are made to fit 1" x 2 and 5/8" labels...those that come 30 to a sheet.  If you use Avery labels, it's #8160, but they'll work with most labels that are this size.

You can also get Full Sheet labels/stickers and cut them apart if you choose.

Oh, and two more things - we ask for THAT many eggs, so we can make sure we have enough.  We usually have some left over so, at the end of the hunt, when we come inside, the kids get all the extras in their baskets to make sure that all the eggs are used, and everyone has a happy day...a happy day full of treats!! 

So that's about it.. . I wish I had pictures from last year to share with you. We are doing our Egg Hunt tomorrow since our Field Trip is Friday, so I will post pictures tomorrow night if you need a visual.

If you decide to use this, or think you might, I'd LOVE to hear your comments!! Definitely let me know how it goes..

 This has been a first grade tradition and one the kids just go nuts over.   When we get new 1st graders, many say, "Are we going to do that egg hunt this year?"  LOVE...makes my heart smile & all the hard work (taping, labeling, hiding...) so worth it!!

Oh, and just for the record...we HAVE done this inside before. We used the media center when we had bad weather & it was just as much fun.  Enjoy & have fun!!

Thanks for stopping by..and for all the Bloggy Love :)


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Making Inferences & Problem of the Day FREEBIE

Okay, I'll admit it, I'm a total blog stalker! There are just so many awesome ideas out there, and sometimes, I find myself at the computer for hours looking for new and fun ways to teach the same ole', same ole' standards. 

I truly believe my teaching has gotten better because of teacher blogs. I have been teaching 1st grade for 12 years, and sometimes you  just need some NEW ideas!

If teachers are good at anything, it's "borrowing". I have never understood those that hide behind their classroom doors, and don't share and collaborate. Sharing & creating is one very fabulous part of this job :)

That being said, we have been working hard at making inferences and drawing conclusions from text we have read or heard. Thanks to some awesome bloggers, the unit was a HUGE success!

First, we started with The Inspired Apple's What's In My Teacher's Bag Activity?
 The kids got to take turns digging through my purse & pulling out one item to infer about. They had so much fun! I think they thought it was hilarious to actually go through my purse. They giggled and squirmed and REALLY came up with some great inferences!
 Yeah, I'm not awesome at drawing straight lines & my handwriting looks like my first graders, but you get the point.  The last one killed me... apparently, I love to "jam'! :)
 Then, each child chose two objects to make an inference about... I love that the dollar means I buy candy. Umm..maybe I should really work harder at the Weight Watchers plan!
 You can grab this recording sheet at the link above. Big thanks to Babbling Abby!

Next, we talked about how making inferences is like Reading Between the Lines...
    Nancy at First Grade WOW! came up with this cool idea... using those fun 80's sunglasses to drive the point home :)
I tried to re-create Nancy's cool chart, but it wasn't as fabulous AND I forgot to take a picture. But, here's hers..isn't this great?

Nancy picked up her giant glasses at the Dollar Store, but I couldn't find any :( I DID find them at Amazon for less than $7 a dozen.  Great deal !  Here's the link if you want to grab some...

We paired this with a reading & inferencing activity with No! David by David Shannon.  This is from the amazing Mrs. Carroll at The First Grade Parade.

We read the book, stopping at each page to make an inference about David.  Of course, the kiddos went NUTS when David runs down the street naked! :)

Each child chose their favorite part (naked running was a big hit!), and wrote about their inference. Then, they made Davids! 



Didn't they turn out great??  Some are a little scary, but that's what you get when the kids make their own teeth & expressions! haha

You can grab that inferencing sheet at the link above for Mrs. Carroll.

Overall, inferencing has been a big success.. It's so great to hear them doing it independently & when they don't know you're listening.  Look how cute this is...
A HUGE THANK YOU to all these great bloggers who made teaching this skill SO much more fun! My kids thank you, and I can't tell you how much it's appreciated.  Get out there & blog stalk...there's so much to see!

Lastly, it's almost April (what??!?!!), so I have just finished up my Common Core Problem of the Day pack for April....

I have had so many SWEET comments about last month's, and I'm hoping you love this one as much. One buyer said her kids are using this every single day, and another uses it daily for Morning Work. 

There are 31 total pages...with 22 days of problems, a Math Journal cover, and cut-apart problems for those who prefer to cut & paste into pre-made journals. Plus, the Common Core Standards addressed in the problems are included! 

I know that my kids love it & I have really seen improvement in their problem solving skills. Yay!

If you want to grab it, head on over to my TpT store <HERE>.  If you download the preview, you get four days worth of problems for FREE!

That's it for me tonight... time to work on some plans for next week. How on earth do the weeks go by so fast??  Only 8 more school days 'til our Spring Break...AND we're heading downtown for our field trip this week, too..

I'm already ready for a nap tomorrow!! haha

As always, thanks for stopping by!!  Have a great "hump day" & try to keep warm. I think SPRING might be around the corner...fingers crossed!! :)