Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Dollar Tree Easter Goodness & 2 FREE Centers!

I know everyone is just about sick & tired of hearing about "Hump Daaaayyy!", but I can't help myself every time Wednesday rolls around.  It gets stuck in my head, I can't lie.

But, since I'm on spring break (yay!), the days are running together .... just the way I like it! They are going by way too fast, though.... boo.

So, in my spring break - sleep late - wear yoga pants & flip flops - do nothing state, I decided to venture out and run some errands. I had seen these super cute plastic carrots on people's Instagram, and I knew I had to find them.So, I went to the Dollar Tree and there they were...these little gems of goodness.... along with way too much other stuff.

Mr. Greg at Smedley's Smorgasboard of Kindergarten posted how he used those cute carrots for some addition and subtraction practice with dice. It's so cute & I love how the kids really got into it.

I can't wait to try out some of Greg's ideas, but I also knew that my kiddos need more....more....more...practice with word problems.  So, I made up this little center to go with these adorable carrots.  I mean, you can't have too many ways to use these, right?! 

Just print, roll them up & put them in the carrots :)
Obviously, since I'm on spring break, I don't have pictures of my kids using these to share with you, but I wanted to get it done so you all could grab it in time for Easter, or your spring theme.  Click the picture to grab it for FREE

While at the Dollar Tree, I also saw these super cute eggs. Now, y'all know I love me some polka dots, so I had to have them :)
 Since I knew my kids would love the carrot activity, I thought I'd make an ELA center for them to use, too. I'm going to fill these bad boys up with some "Fix It Up" sentences, and put them all in a basket with some grass, and voila - center done!

   Here's the 2nd FREEBIE for you - Hatchin' FIx It Up Sentences.  Color & black/white is included. Just click the picture.
I hope your kids love them. I can't wait to get them printed and ready to go in my room next week.

We start our state testing as soon as we get back & I have to proctor for the upper grades, so I needed some center activities to leave with the sub. I think these will be perfect because they don't require a lot of teacher assistance, and my kids should be able to do them independently... fingers crossed :)

Oh, and don't forget about the FREEBIE BLOG HOP
& the awesome $25 Amazon card and TpT Product Giveaway!
 Click {here}to start the hop, grab some more awesome free stuff, and enter to win! 

As always, thanks for stopping by :)


Saturday, April 5, 2014

Hippity Blog Hop - Come on, Hop Along!

I said a hip hop,
Hippie to the hippie,
The hip, hip a hop, and you don't stop, a rock it
To the bang bang boogie, say, up jump the boogie,
To the rhythm of the boogie, the beat.
Hi Friends!  I'm so excited to be joining up with some AMAZING bloggers for the 2nd annual Hippity Blog Hop.  And yes, I totally have "Rappers Delight" by the Sugarhill Gang in my's ok, you know you're singing it, too! (Unless you're too young to even know what I'm talking about...and, in that case, I might just feel like an old lady)

Anyway, Easter is on it's way, and Irene from Learning with Mrs. Leeby and Kimberly Ann from Live, Laugh, I LOVE Kindergarten invited me to be part of this SuPeR fun blog hop.

You might be here because you've already been hoppin' and you were sent here by Teaching in the Tongass - don't you just love her?? She's amazing..AND she lives in Alaska, which is just so cool to me.

Or, you might be starting right here.... so WELCOME!

Here's how this works -
    There are 13 stops - each with a FREEBIE just for you! 
           You grab a freebie, leave a little bloggy comment love, and hop on to the next blogger.

There's also an awesome giveaway you can enter just by following all of our blogs - the winner gets a gift card to Amazon, and some amazing products from all the bloggers. Fabulous, right?

Just enter the Rafflecopter at the end of this post & a winner will be chosen at the end of the week :)

  Now, on to the FREEBIE!
      I don't know about you, but my firsties are still struggling with rhyming words, especially when the actual ending of the words don't  match (i.e break, cake).  Here's a little Rockin' Rhyming Robots matching center to help the kids match words with identical endings, and those that just sound the same... 
 Just click the picture or {here} to grab it! :)

Next up?? Hop on over to First Grade Fantabulous for another awesome FREEBIE!
  And, don't forget about the giveaway... I can think of a MILLION things I could spend the gift card on, and these products are incredible.   Good luck! :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy Hoppin', Friends! :)

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Digging Through the Dictionary & some FREEBIES!

You know when you just can't figure out a *NEW* way to teach the same ole thing??
After 13 years in first grade, it happens quite a bit.  I mean, it's the same content and although I have new kids, I get tired of teaching it the same way & I'm always on the lookout for new ideas.

And that's why blogs and Pinterest might JUST be the best thing ever invented! :)

So, I was trying....trying....trying to find a new way to practice dictionary skills with my kids.  Not the most exciting topic, for sure. 

Sure, the kids think dictionaries are cool, but I needed to spice up our lessons a little bit.  Then, I stumbled upon the CUTEST dictionary kites from Cara at The First Grade Parade.
When I saw these, I KNEW we had to make them & my firsties would LOVE it!
Plus, this is our last week before SPRING BREAK (woo hoo!), so this idea was perfect 
for our spring theme.

We started with our anchor chart... AND a discussion of why we need to learn how to use a REAL dictionary...and not just the one on our iPad or phones...

After our  mini lesson & some exploring through our dictionaries, the kids each got a word.
I differentiated the words based on the level of each student.  
I wanted them all to be different.

They  had to find the guide words (ugh, guide words!), the page number, and the definition.
Then, they recorded it on the different bows for the kite.

When they were finished with all that, they got to illustrate their word on the middle of their kite.

Within our study, we also made Dictionary Clouds to go with our kites.

They started with their name - a favorite dictionary activity from the past.
With each letter of the child's name, they had to find a word that begins with that letter, and define it.

Then, they recorded each letter & word on a cloud.
Of course, they had to write their guide words & page number, too!

Then, the covers were colored & I stapled them all together to make little cloud books..

Of course, everyone's book was a little different...
different words, and with everyone's names being different lengths, some books were bigger than others.

They turned out super cute & allowed the kids to really practice using their dictionaries.

The kids really loved doing both of these activities - they were busy, engaged, and learning, too!
Who knew using a dictionary could be so much fun??

NOTE: The kite idea is not mine. I found it on The First Grade Parade, and give sole credit to Cara Carroll.

I did make the kite templates because I needed something for my own classroom. If you'd like to grab it, click {here}.

The Dictionary Name Clouds can be downloaded {here}.

If you download either one, I'd love to hear you comments!! :)

So, that's it for me, friends! One more day 'til spring break, and I. AM. READY!

We are hosting a Relay for Life Movie Madness event at school tomorrow - the kids bring money and get to "skip class" to watch a movie with their friends.  And the best part?? Teachers get that time off to work in their rooms... a WHOLE TWO HOURS! What?!??!  

It's an amazing way to raise money AND since we don't have any more teacher workdays, it's an awesome way to get a little work time in!

I hope you've all had a fantabulous Thursday, and as always, thanks for stopping by ! :)

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April Currently!

It's time for the Currently.... one of those things I look forward to each and every month!  And the April Currently makes me even happier, because it means we're THAT much closer to SUMMER!!! Woo hoo!! Thanks to Farley for always hosting this fun linky :)

Listening.... to some good ole' news & weather. I admit to being a total weather dork, and I am constantly checking it on my phone, staying up late to make sure I know what to wear the next day, and then watching it again in the morning JUST to make sure.  Plus, I like keeping up with what's going on in the world.  

Loving....that in 3 fabulous days, I will be on spring break. It's so late compared to a lot of other people I know, but it always falls where we only have 6 weeks left of school when we get back, so I love it. Plus, I know people that don't even get one, so I'm considering myself lucky :)

Thinking.... that I want to get this last formal observation over with. We have 6 observations/evaluations per year, and this is the LAST one.  I thought it was going to be today, but it never happened. Since it's unannounced, you just kinda spend your day waiting for the door to creak open, but not today, friends...not today.  And I was all kinds of prepared! haha.  Does that ever happen to you??  So, fingers crossed it's tomorrow. It has to be before Thursday afternoon, so I know it's coming.  After 13 years, you'd think I wouldn't get nervous anymore, but it always happens. 

Wanting... some OTBT shoes. I was out with my best friend this weekend, shopping & getting manis and pedis, and this girl walks in with the cutest shoes I've ever seen.  I had to ask her where she got them, and she proceeded to tell me all about OTBT (Off the Beaten Track). They apparently are the MOST comfy shoes ever...and although expensive, she says she TEACHES and wears them EVERY day. Now, I dont know about that with this big ole' heel, but they looked so precious with her cute cropped boyfriend jeans, and I want them. Bad.  Hmmm... I do have a birthday coming up.... haha :)

Needing... a nap. I wish I could take back all those times I refused to nap as a kid and cash them in now. Wouldn't that be fabulous??? Yeah, doesn't look like that's gonna happen.

Hours and Last Day...  We have to report by 7:40. Kids can show up starting at 7:15, but they don't come to our rooms until 7:45. We meet in morning assembly, and go back to our rooms to start the day. The bell rings at 2:40 for the kids to load buses, and I can leave at 3:15....not that many of us do.   Our last day is Friday, May 23rd, with two post-planning days the Tuesday and Wednesday after Memorial Day.  So, not that I'm counting, but that gives me 38 DAYS of school left...  not that I'm counting....

So, that's it for me, friends... Now, it's your turn to get your Currently up & running, so I can be nosey and read all about what's going on in your little piece of the world. Head on over and link up!! :)

As always, thanks for stopping by!!