Saturday, October 26, 2013

5 For Friday... on Saturday!

 Okay, I'm starting to find more time to get things done around here!  This is one linky I haven't been able to take enough pics of before now!  We started school much later than everyone, and up until this week, I have been singing Dory's song... "Just keep swimming..." cause it is STRESSFUL this year with all the EXTRAS to teaching that was thrown on us this year!

This one made me giggle this week.  Then, after I wrote my note at the bottom, I realized that what I wrote could TOTALLY be taken out of proportion too and I laughed harder!  So, I did add a little something in front.....  PARIS was what I was thinking.  Really!!!  lol

ugh.  My first ever "what I was wearing" picture.  It was RED day for Red Ribbon week.  AND, it was freezing.  Me and flats do not go well, because I have narrow heels.  But, I did pull these off for part of the day.  The other part was wearing boots--with HEELS!  (for the first time since spraining my ankle, on the first day of school...)  And it was a success! :)  Thanks to blogging and TPT, I have been able to update my wardrobe a bit.  Now, I just need to get back to running...

I have found a new obsession at lunchtime!  These are to die for!  I had to run out mid week to get some more.  It was the PERFECT mix of yogurt and chocolate (white--but still chocolate!) and of course crunchy graham crackers...  but it was SO much better than eating a gazillion peanut butter cups because of the stress!  ;)

Another reason my life has started to be less stressful----we started our math "drawers!"  My kids have been enjoying the math stations after our lesson---and they are so engaged and excited!  What thrills me the most is that this year, we do NOT group our kids homogeneously.  I have low to high mixed and they are ALL doing well with these!  (The past 2 years I have taught the high achieving math kids--so I was unsure how this was going to unfold this year!)

This was my classroom on Friday---3 minutes before the bell rang to start the day!  ALL are sitting.  ALL are working on my morning letter with morning work at the bottom.  And best of all--ALL are QUIET!!!!!  I love how I start my day---so much that it is one thing that I have NOT changed in the past 10 years of teaching!  My mornings are peaceful.  Never chaotic (unless the copier was broken and we don't have a message to work on)  You can read about these {HERE}

Don't forget to stop by my last post by Sunday night at 9 for a chance to win some FRIGHTFULLY FUN math and literacy activities to do this week!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Nocturnal Animals and more Frightfully FUN hunts!

We've officially started off one of my favorite units this week.  Nocturnal Animals!  It was the first "research" packet I made last year, and now I have turned just about everything I can think of into some kind of researching!  If we read Froggy books, we'll research frogs.  Pete the Cat?  We'll research cats!  {Most of my lit packets--with the exception of Mo Willems and Robert Munsch--and my Click, Clack DO pack have research built in--though, don't be surprised when you notice a "download" again blinkie because I just may have added a little research into those too!} ;)

Here are some pictures of owl researching this week.  I didn't get too many.

Next week is Bats!  Can't wait!  {You can get all of these sheets in my Creatures of the Night pack on TPT}

On a different note---this is what I spent last night doing:
{Notice the Matchbox cars nearby....  I do what I can do with those little ones I have at home!  I gotta say, my 3 year old is one of the best cutters I have seen!  I think he may cut even better than some of my firsties!  He's not quite ready to help ME cut though!}

I got this laminator from  I gotta say, I never thought I would need a laminator at home.  We have one at school, that usually lasts all year.  When I was offered this, I thought it was an offer I couldn't refuse!  And, now, I'm SO glad that I did take it!  It is SO convenient!  SO easy to use.  It laminates different thicknesses and even has a cool laminating setting.  (I really am still new to those.  I've just kept it on the one it tells me!  HA!)  It also has a release button if anything gets jammed, though I haven't had to use that yet! :)  I'm finding it quite convenient and am not quite sure why I haven't had one in the past!  It reminded me of when I first got an iPhone.  I just couldn't see needing such a fancy thing!  NOW---I can't live without it either!  THIS is the laminator I have.  I've used it a lot for home things too, such as photos, but also those adorable drawn artwork my boys will do on rainy days!

Last, here are some pictures of my kiddos going on their "hunts" today!  I had them bring in flashlights and they just had a BLAST!  It was awesome to see them SO excited!  I actually did a math and reading one today (at different times, of course!) BUT, I had all cards hanging up keeping the kids in anticipation all day as to what we'd be doing with the cards!  I have more of these in the works!

Leave me a comment and I'll send these to a lucky winner on Sunday night!  (get your comments in by 9pm EST on Sunday!)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Frightfully Fun Hunts!!!!!!!!!

I've been doing a LOT of getting up and moving this year.  I like to put things on walls and have kids find them and do something with it.  We've done a few things in math and reading.  My kids just LOVE it.  They LOVE using clipboards.  They LOVE being out of their seats!  Here's some pictures of the fun:

 Well, rewind to the other night.  My son wasn't sleeping so well and kept me up half the night.  While trying to sleep, I came up with my best idea yet.  You know how the kids are so out of control... on a sugar high...  so enthusiastic this time of year????  I've decided that we'll be spending part of our day going on "hunts."  I'll probably start out with our "Ghost Hunt" where we'll turn out the lights and use flashlights!  But wait!  How am I going to get enough flashlights???  Well, I'm going to send a note home to ask parents to send them in!  We'll see what I can get for the week.  {Of course, you don't have to use these as "hunts," they could be used as centers}

Click on the pictures to check out the newest packets in my store!

Here's the preview of my math packet.  LA will be coming soon...

Need other things to use?  Check out my previous {math} freebies:

Click {HERE} to read about them and snag them at my older blog post!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Great Pumpkin Project! {read for a freebie!}

So, I'm slowly getting into a routine and finding time for my outside-of-school-life.  If you haven't been on my Facebook page, you've missed out on seeing my newest work work packet-Tic Tac BOO!  I'm going to be using this the next few weeks of school for my kids to learn their word sorting words!  (We use Words Their Way)

Now, what we've been up to the past 3 weeks.  We are teaching through "units" that were teacher created.  Our last unit was Harvest.  So we've been reading and working with apples, pumpkins and everything fall!  I've been able to TPT-ify my pumpkin stuff and will share what we did in pictures below!

Pumpkin Measuring

 Digging inside the pumpkin!  {And THIS teacher didn't have to touch a thing!!!!}

{Since we can't have food at school... I had each student take home a baggie filled with a group of 10 seeds} 

Pumpkin Investigation worksheets:

 {I LOVE that most of them "learned" that pumpkins were "gross" or "gooey" inside! ha!}

Pumpkin Researching:

{We read pumpkin books together to complete this research packet.  We learned that we can read informational books "out of order" to find information that we need!  It helped them distinguish between books that give info and books that tell a story.  I've found that they struggle with this because they think that if a book (such as Chrysanthemum) TEACHES them a lesson, it gives them info!}

ABC Order!
We started the week learning how to put the ABC's in order-first will all ABC's then with ABC's with letters missing!

Then we worked on putting words in ABC order and recording on a worksheet (sorry--forgot to snap pictures!!!!)

And-then after that, we did a fun activity where we walked around the room to 10 cards that had 3 words on it.  The kids had to write the words in ABC order on each card!  {Forgot pics there too} :(

And last, we cut out words and glued them in ABC order into a pumpkin vocab booklet!  We talked about whether each word was a noun, verb or adjective.  The kids wrote the definitions and then illustrated it!

Click {HERE} if you'd like to use the pumpkin vocab book with your class!  You will need to make enough copies of the pages to create the book!  I double sided them.

If you'd like to check out my complete packet, click on the picture below to see it!  {everything you see above and lots more-including comprehension activities with pumpkin themed books--is included!!  As well as Essential Question posters!!}

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Character or Setting? {A freebie! YAY!}

We started the year with a new idea for our Language Arts.  We are doing themes this year, which I just LOVE!

We started out the year with Kevin Henkes.  {More will be coming soon about that!  I have a packet created, it just needs the finishing "TPT" touches when I can find the time...}  I quickly realized that my kiddos were having a difficult time with the words "Character" and "Setting."

I whipped these up and the kids had a blast!  You can pick up a copy of these activities on the For Fans Only Tab on my FB page!


We group sorted picture cards.  I made a set for each table.  The kids had a great time discussing and working together.  It was the first "group" activity I had them do!

To assess all the learning, I created these cards to hang around the room.  The students got to use clipboards and go to each numbered card and circle whether it was Character or Setting.  They did such a fabulous job for their first time!  I think I only had a handful that were circling the same thing over and over, even though they were telling me the right answer!  lol

I actually created 20 cards.  We did 1-10 the first day.  On the back I copied my page for students to draw a character and draw a setting.

Here's a closeup of the worksheets:

The next week, I put up 11-20 and they walked around again circling.  They did a MUCH better job this time and were super speedy! :)

Click on the picture to go to my FB page to grab it!

Hope you enjoy it! :)

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