Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Teachers Are Heroes

Starting tomorrow Teachers Pay Teachers is honoring teachers everywhere by having a site wide sale! This is a great time to purchase those spring items you have on your wish list! Please check out my store for great goodies!

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Goldilocks-and-the-Three-Bears-1727983 https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Daily-Fix-it-Capitalization-and-Punctuation-1683669

Monday, February 23, 2015

It's a Snow Day!

Well we got to school this morning and around 10:30a.m. the snow started pouring down. So we let out early! We're a little mountain school, so our rural roads get pretty bad and the buses just can't make it! I'm still here waiting for the call that faculty can leave. I'm just glad we actually have snow falling and it's not an icy mess like it has been! I'm going to go home and cozy up and work on TPT because guess what?? There is going to be a site wide sale starting Wednesday!!!! I am trying so hard to finish my reading unit's for Scott Foresman's Reading Street! I'm so close to finishing Unit 4 then on to Unit 5. I've made awesome changes to them and am so excited to get to use them. I guess if you have to use a Basal you need to make the most out of it! Be sure to check out my store for other goodies if you don't use Reading Street. Have a Happy Monday!


Saturday, February 21, 2015

Saturday Ramble

Ever since I started doing Worksheet-Free Wednesday, it's really made take a step back as an educator and evaluate myself. I think I get so caught up in needing to see them apply their skills on paper, not really for me, but to have something to show their parents. It's sad because I know how much more engaged children are during hands-on activities that I have no reason to not being doing more. Now I will say this, I really don't think I hand out lots of worksheets. Every day when the kids get to school we have about 10 minutes to kill before we go to breakfast. I usually do have a simple, no instruction necessary, paper that I have for them, usually from Deanna Jump's monthly pintables. We do our Building Skills (Deanna Jump's) worksheet as a class during calendar time, this is meaningful, this is not busy work. We do our writing that goes with our stories and we do our phonics practice. Lastly, our Math Workshop has one worksheet a day. So I'm probably sending home a total of 3-4 completed worksheets a day, excluding Wednesdays. That's not too bad. But I've most certainly realized that if it's not  a necessary worksheet I don't even bother with it. Why? For many reasons: 1. I try to save paper and ink, yes our school pays for it but I'm not going to waste paper/ink on busy work. Which leads me to reason 2. I don't believe in busy work. My students are in my room to learn. I  want to give them quality time in the classroom and not burn them out or just keep them busy with something that is just not important to waste our time with. I'm already pressed for time as it is. I know some teachers give busy work so the kids don't run a muck and I get that, believe-you-me. But there are other ways to "keep them busy". Anytime we have downtime, I go straight to GoNoodle. If you don't know what that is, it's a website designed with TONS of brain breaks for all grades. We do yoga, we dance, we sing, we do breathing exercises, we act silly and they love it! It's perfect for transitioning. For instance, if we finished our phonics lesson and I'm ready to get guided reading/literacy stations going, I put on a GoNoodle so I can get their centers ready! The kids are engaged, they aren't needing me for anything, and I can get them ready for the next thing! It never hurts to burn a littler energy for a couple of minutes either. Another thing to do, which is so simple, is grab a story to read! Better yet, tell them to get their library book out or go grab a book. Reason 3. on Tuesdays when I prep for Worksheet-Free Wednesday, it's so stress-free. No rushing to the copier and flipping through all of my binders to find what I need. I basically just write the plans on the board for the kids to see and then I'm home-free.

I guess this post was mainly me just rambling but I got excited about this today because I noticed Blog Hoppin' is having a book study, and I can't wait to start it! We will be reading Worksheets Don't Grow Dendrites. I cannot wait.. I'm even more excited about making changes to my classroom because I get to visit the Ron Clark Academy this summer! And RCA sounds pretty worksheet-free and vey hands-on from all the reviews lately :)

My weekend plans will be to cozy up with a couple of good reads, and work on TPT!
Happy Saturday, y'all! Stay warm!!!!


Friday, February 20, 2015

{Five for Friday} Weekly Linky

Oh, Friday! --sigh-- a short week wears me out more than a full week. Why is that? We were out for Presidents Day and then Tuesday for an "Okie snow day" (definition: no snow, just ice on rural roads). Anyway, I was kind of sad that we didn't get an extra day to fit in fun stuff I had planned for Presidents Day. Especially since I've been using Deanna Jump's new Guiding Readers series, she has the cutest stuff for Duck for President in her February unit.

Here's my Five for Friday:


1. Ok, so since we had a snow day, I got to go get my hair done! Yay me! The last time I got it done was November, so I was really excited. Also, snow day=no make up! =)
 2. Ummmm Snow day also equals cuddling with this cutie all day long!! He melts my heart...

3. With this dreary weather, I'm so glad I have time to get cozy and work on TPT products! Can't wait to get stuff finished this weekend! :)
4. Even though this picture was taken on Saturday (Valentine's Day), I had to share. I hosted an engagement party at our family's lake house for my best friend. Saturday was in the 60's and sunny. Perfect day to celebrate the bride-to-be and her honey. Especially since sleet and snow came the next day! Ahhh the power of prayer! I was really worried it would be bad weather and we would all be stuck inside! Love this group of girls, we have all been besties since grade school!

5. She Reads Truth a.k.a the best thing since sliced bread. Every devotional is great and so meaningful to me. I'm so excited for the Easter study. Check it out!!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Worksheet-Free Wednesday

Worksheet-Free Wednesday was another hit! We love this day!
Our Worksheet-Free Wednesday Schedule
Chit-Chat (blends) on Smart Board
Daily Fix-it on butcher paper/smart board
Read Aloud: Roses are Pink Your Feet Really Stink
Act out vocabulary from story
Make -ay words on Smart Board
Have an -ay word spelling test on butcher paper
Guided Reading and Literacy Station block (always hands-on)
Science Experiment
Number Bonds on Smart Board
Daily Fix-it is a unit I sell in TPT. I simply pull it up on the Smart Board or make copies. On Wednesdays I put in on the smart board and let them fix it on butcher paper. You can find that unit here.

 Next we chit-chat about blends. We went over the "th" blend today and came up with lots of words. I love the Chit Chat units in Deanna Jumps store!
 We made -ay words!
 We also took a very informal-just-for-fun -ay words spelling test on butcher paper.
 Finally the science experiment! Everyone loves this!
What you will need:
Candy hearts
1tbs Baking Soda
1/4 C. Vinegar
1 C. Water
Simply have the students add their water/baking soda mixture. Then have them add the hearts to see what happens. Then have them slowly add the vinegar. Ta-da! dancing hearts. The baking soda/vinegar causes carbonation, which causes little bubbles to wrap around the candies to make them bounce around. Be careful! This gets messy! I used our butcher paper from this morning as tablecloths.

Lastly we did our math lesson as a group on the Smart Board! We are working on number bonds.
Products we use and love!
(Click the images for a direct link to TPT)



Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Worksheet-Free Wednesday + Amerikid Idol

As in my previous post, the past few weeks we have been doing Worksheet-Free Wednesdays! I got the idea from Elizabeth Hall in Kickin' it in Kindergarten. We love Worksheet-free Wednesday. Now don't let the title fool you, we aren't just having a free day and not learning... We are still learning just like we would any other day! We just aren't using a pencil! We are engaging in all hands-on activities. It's so much fun! Here's a few pics of some of the activities we did today!

This week we are reading Hooway for Wodney Wat! Such a cute story! The kids took turns putting the details in the story in order.. This is great for comprehension! 

The kiddos also used their own Wodney Wat retelling cards to put the story in order independently... I didn't count this as a worksheet!

We are currently working on a_e words with that lazy e! I rolled out butcher paper and we practiced spelling words and putting some of these a_e words in sentences. 

We also did our Daily Fix-it on the Smart Board.

For Math, they got with their math partners and worked together to practice Area. They did this as a pair. 

And then the grand finale of the day.. Amerikid Idol. The First Grade Parade mentioned in a post that she has done this before. I'm not even sure how she did but I liked the idea. I gave it my own spin and went all out with golden tickets, contestant bibs, and judges. We had three judges; myself, our librarian, and the secretary of the school. I sat in the middle so I guess you can call me JLo! ;) The kids partnered up this morning and chose what sight words they wanted to sing... Then this afternoon I called them up and they performed for us. They were all rock stars so everyone got a golden ticket to Hollywood a.k.a. an ice cream on Friday. It was so much fun! We will for sure be doing it again!

 Judges table

We're going to Hollywood!!!!

Products I use:

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Daily Fix-it

Hey y'all! One of my favorite things in my TPT shop is my Daily Fix-it series that can be found in my Reading Street units. I thought about it and was like "Hey! Why not make this a unit in itself so everyone can use it!" Basically what the Daily Fix-it is, is daily practice in grammar. Looking for errors in simple sentences and fixing them. These errors include capitalization and ending punctuation. It really gives little learners practice in reading fluency with simple sentences, looking for errors, and practicing their writing skills. It also helps with comprehending the simple sentences by having to illustrate what the sentence says. I use this in my room every day. Sometimes I print off copies and put it in my kiddos clipboards and we work them together on the Smart Board. Other times, I just put it on the Smart Board and pick a few kids a day to fix, write, and draw the sentence. I also use it as morning work and center activities. I really love it!

You can find this in my TPT store for only $3.00... Over 30 pages!!!

As you can see we are in shorts, this picture is from September!!!
Another September pic... I actually am really enjoying seeing this old pictures because I can see how much better their handwriting has gotten.. Aww... tear

I let them write on butcher paper for their Daily Fix-it for (as of recent) Worksheet-Free Wednesday!