Saturday, January 26, 2013

Groundhog Day Dice Game Freebie!

Hi everyone!  Hope you had a great week.  We have a little bit of snow that allowed the teachers to leave 20 minutes early yesterday.  It has been so cold that we've had indoor recess allllllll week....  Next week is supposed to warm up a little.

I'm planning on having groundhog fun next week.  It's the first time that Groundhog Day doesn't come during the week!  I'm excited to actually get in a FULL week of Groundhog stuff!  I created a research packet that my kids will be doing.  It also includes a graphing activity, some comprehension pages to use with any groundhog themed book and also some writing----like a letter to the groundhog telling him/her to see the shadow or to not see the shadow...  I'm rooting for no shadow!  I want some WARM weather SOON!!! ;)

You can click on the picture to see more about my packet.  I'm going to have it on sale through Sunday night!

Here's a freebie for ya too!  It's 2 different dice roll games using the 120 chart.  There's a back story to both, but it's not on the paper.  The first one is wanting spring.  So when the player lands on a cloud---they get to move 10 ahead.  If they land on the sun, they go back 10.  (Clouds get you closer to spring---cause that's a fighting chance that he didn't see his shadow!)  The second one is winter---so if they land on the sun they move 10, if they land on the clouds they go back.

Click {HERE} to grab your copy!

Have a great weekend everyone!  I'm hoping the Groundhog doesn't see his shadow.  I want some warmer weather!!!!  What do you want him to do?

Sunday, January 20, 2013


Last week was an odd week.  Our kiddlets were getting tested.  DIBELed and the DDS (Diagnostic Decoding Survey---anyone out there do that??)  I was out half a day to do the DDS, while others pull my firsties for the DIBELS.

So, I decided that we needed a little imagination and creativity last week.  Do you know, I asked my kids what imagination was, and only a handful raised their hands?!!?!?!?!  I was in some serious shock.  Yeah, yeah.  I know everything out there doesn't allow for that imagination that we had growing up.  I remember loving my little cardboard box that I made into a playhouse, and then something else, etc...  It did give me a wake up call for my own children at home.  I need to do more pretending with them.  Even at 6-7 years old!  Creativity is a key to problem solving!  (IMO anyway---I don't have research or classes behind that theory, but do know that some problems need some creative solutions!  Without a little imagination, there's no creativity!)

So, we responded all week with imagination and creativity to the Snowmen at Night series books.  Boy did they have a blast!  They wrote what they thought their snowman does at night.  They created a job for their snowman and wrote a few "facts" about that job for the snowman (like he's a snow doctor and he makes sure that all the snowmen have nice white snow, etc..) and they wrote about what they would do with their snowman during the different seasons!  PRECIOUS!  I loved each and every response.  The only thing that would have made the week better was to actually have snow outside!  But we were having a little "heat wave" of mid 40s-50s, so there was no snow in sight... but some rain.  This week we're heading to the 20s... but, no snow in sight either.  I mean, if it is going to be freezing.... there needs to be snow!  (BUT NO SNOW DAYS!!!  I love me some summer!!!)

The word we did came from my packet:

The last day of our snowman things, we painted with "snow paint."  Have y'all seen those on pinterest?!  Well, I decided to try it out---without trying it out first!  ha!  I just mixed 1/2 and 1/2 of shaving cream and glue, plopped some down on construction paper.  Gave them a popcicle stick (for those who didn't want to touch it), put out scraps of felt, construction paper and googly eyes and let them have at it!  I just LOVED the giggles we had.  One little girl told me that it was even more fun than Kindergarten!  HA!  These little creations are still drying in my room.  Hopefully they will dry when I return on Tuesday to hang up in the hallway with their writing.  Fingers are crossed that I had enough glue to keep that shaving cream from disappearing!  I hear that the glue keeps it from evaporating.  Time will tell! :)

The was the best MESSIEST "paint" project ever.  Shaving cream does wonders on desks----so when they were done and I moved their masterpieces to dry-----the kids got wet paper towels and wiped down their desks!  (Of course, some had extremely clean desks while others---who are "neat" at their creations, only got a little cleaner)  lol  some probably even had even cleaner hair that evening or morning, whenever they washed their hair!  ;)

What's up for this week:  Martin Luther King, Jr. and the food groups!   (Both were just finished this weekend and put up in my store.  You can click on the pictures to read more about it!)

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Penguin Shape Composites

This is the last of the penguin things we did last week.  Sorry it wasn't all put together.  I just didn't have pictures uploaded and templates put together to share!

I saw this activity on Classroom Freebies----which made me think how to fit it into our curriculum.  And-shape composite penguins were born!  {Of course, we haven't even touched on this concept yet this year, but it was one they understood quite easily!  Composites---taking 2 different shapes to make a new one.  In first grade, we're supposed to have them make composites---and also composites from composites?!}

Anyway---I tweaked the activity a little bit to fit the standards---including the shapes that are listed in the CCSS's.  I also added a simple recording sheet for them to write what their penguin name would be and the shapes they used.  (Sorry the pics are dark...  my camera wasn't working well)

Click {here} for the template and recording sheet.  (I have included templates for feet and beaks, but I had my kids make their own---they also made their own eyes---I think it gives them more personality!)

Last, I just wanted to let you know that I finished and uploaded my MLK packet to TPT last night.  (I know, it's a little last minute)  I love how it turned out!  I designed more like my research packets for kids to write and research, though I think this time we'll do it together.  Not sure yet!  It's what we'll be spending our time doing next week! :)

Leave me some love (and an email!) and I'll choose someone at random to send this packet out to tomorrow night!!!  (and don't forget to check out my FB page for a chance to win more!  I'll have a new contest starting after the games are over this weekend!)Congrats to Suzi!  The random generator picked number 4---I just emailed you the packet!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Penguin Fact Families

Here's a penguin math craft that we did last week while studying penguins and reading Tacky!  Click here to read more about that!

Students choose a fact family and write the 4 problems (I did not allow doubles facts for this!  They also wrote on scrap paper first, so that I knew they had all the right numbers.  I allowed them to choose ANY family they could figure out---but said to stay under 100, because there was no way they'd fit those numbers on the snowballs!)  They write the 3 numbers in the big snowball at the top and the addition and subtraction on the smaller side ones.  It looks as though the penguin is juggling them! :)  (I also have my kiddos have the addition on one side and the subtraction on the other, but you don't have to)  Click {HERE} for the templates.

**It's nothing fancy.  I made tracers with cardstock for them to trace their own.  (Also teaches patience and sharing!!)**

{This is a kid example.  I have no idea where the picture for mine is!}

The scarf is just cut however they like.  I have them have the same color feet for fun :)

Here's the bulletin board.  I used my Cameo to make the letters!  It was my first project for it!!

PS-make sure to hop on over to my FB page to join in a little contest about the superbowl!

Monday, January 14, 2013

School Board Appreciation---or for anytime/one

I have been so occupied with penguins and my own kids that time was running out for getting something made for our wonderful School Board members.  We always make cards and/or posters, etc. to give to our school board this month-before the first board meeting---which is tomorrow!

This is what we came up with today!  I used clip art, but if you had time, you could totally do it by having kids make their own donuts.  They saying can be tweaked as well-it is quite a mouthful.  :P  We brainstormed ideas to get in the words "donut" "hole" and "dozen" and sprinkled it with love!  :)  The kids wrote their names on the donuts.  I was going to make it a card and have it folded, but it turned out so cute this way!  I can see making this for student teachers, helpers, etc.  The list could go on and on! 

{Donut clip art came from HERE}

Sunday, January 13, 2013


Well, like many others out there in bloggy land, last week we had "Penguin" week.  Well, "Tacky Penguin" week to be exact!  We spent each day reading a Tacky book and working with a story map for each, and then spent time each day researching penguins with nonfiction books that I had either purchased or got from our library!  One day, I got the laptop cart and the kids researched a specific penguin for their packet off the web.  I found a great site: that had a great list of penguin types.

**I want to add---the books we used for researching were NOT at their levels.  They worked together to find information by using the index and other nonfiction text features.  Also, because of how we group and switch our kids, these activities were only done in my reading group, which I have for 2 1/2 hours a day.  There are SO many other great activities out there that I would have loved to do, but it didn't work out for us.  I did, however, do a few penguin things in math---make sure to follow me and check out that later this week!  (they will be easy, cute freebies!)**

We ended our week with a "Tacky Day!"  The kids dressed tacky  :)  We did a few papers for our "Tacky Pack" (which also included our story maps from each book) and we drew true to life emperor penguins and little penguins.  (Which they also labeled---to get in that "nonfiction text features!")

Here are some pics of our fun week!

{Researching with a partner}

 {Researching with a partner} 

 {Example of one of their pages/work.}

 {Researching a specific penguin on}

 {Researching a specific penguin on}

 {Measuring out an Emperor Penguin using unifix cubes.  We estimated it was about 56 cubes since they aren't quite an inch}

 {One of the finished birds--labeled an all---bad pic though}

 {We expanded the class into the hallway}

 {Our Little Penguin example.  This was done on just a 18X12 construction paper}
 {Class pic of our tackiness.  Too bad you can't see my tacky tights!}

We used the papers from my packet:

Up next:  Snowmen at Night series!

I'll leave you with this little freebie for getting this far---not related to penguins, but will fit great with winter in general!!!!  Remember Rudolph's Reindeer Game?  Read about the games {here} and {here}.  This month I made carrot noses!  Click here to grab yourself a copy to use in your class.  This time I do not have a black and white version.  Click on the picture to grab yourself the freebie!  (make sure to stop back this week to see pictures added of this adorable game!!)

Friday, January 4, 2013

Morning Messages!

I am so stinkin' excited to share this with you today.  It's been a "work in progress" for the past 10 years!

I am a fan of the morning message, however, NOT a fan of writing on chart paper EVERY.SINGLE.DAY or every other, etc.  I don't know about you, but the past few years have been quite crazy with meetings after school and rushing to get things done before... I never knew when to fit it in to begin with!

When I first started teaching, we had a morning message for our kids-but it was typed and each child had their own.  Through the years I have evolved mine, however, up until recently---I could never really share it because it was in 3 different pieces to copy!  It was always a P.A.I.N. to get ready and copy, but it was invaluable.  At one point, I was able to copy a few weeks at a time!  (Then, the snow would hit and the messages would be off....  so I learned from that too!)

Well, what do I write?  I start the year off with the message being very similar from day to day, so that those hesitant readers begin to feel more confident.  It is only a message and an analogy for September.  (analogies are SO much fun!  My kids LOVE this from day 1, and they think they are SO smart---cause they are!) ;)

I always start the letter with Dear Boys and Girls, in the beginning.  Then I start adding other ways... Dear First grade, students, etc...

Next in the letter---I always say "Good Morning!  Today is...."  and I head into "it is day A.  We will have....." (we have cycle letter days for our specials)  Then I will type something about what we will be doing that day, or a few things.  I also might add in there that it's Picture Day, or a Field Trip, etc.  This REALLY helps parents know what is going on in the class on a daily basis, even if it's one thing.  That one thing can help them start a conversation with their parents that night!

Once they are used to the routines, I add in more work at the bottom.  I alternate things about Reading and Math.  Right now I have "Math Monday" "Word Wednesday" and "Fix it Friday."  Tuesday and Thursday are anything goes! ;)  Again, routines!  By the first full week of school, my students are trained to come in, put their stuff away, choose their lunch and sit and read their message!  I can't tell you enough about how orderly my mornings are!  They come in and get right to work!  You can hear the announcements.  They are in their seats!  It is BEAUTIFUL I tell ya!

ALSO-once mid-October hits, I start making mistakes in my letter for the kids to "discover" and fix!  Kinda like a Daily Oral Language bit, only MUCH more meaningful!  (and sometimes it's mistakes that I didn't mean to make!  oops!)  ;)

My exciting new creation!  I now have them created in an editable PowerPoint file for me (and you too!) so that all I have to do is type in the letter at the top----the rest of the bottoms are there for me (they cannot be changed)----so all I have to do is print it out, lay it in the top tray of the copier and hit 22.  No more getting my 3 sections, lifting up the copy top, making sure everything is lined up....  ahhhhhhhh....  I know most of you can't feel my pain on this, as I haven't come across too many people who do their morning messages quite like me.

What I have to share is a week's worth of messages for you to give it a try!  See how you like them!  I would love to hear what you think!

If you do like them, I will be putting them up on TPT to purchase.  I will have a combo of literacy bottoms and math bottoms, but I will also separate them so that you can have one or the other.  If you get the combo--it will be a Marking Period's worth.  My first set is actually going to be called Packet 3.  The separate sets will have 25 literacy and 25 math.  I tried to think of what we'll be covering this marking period, so it will still be a work in progress----but as I fix and/or add, I will re-upload and you can get any revisions I do make.  (That is one of the beauties of TPT!)

Here's an example of what my message will look like NOW (and this is actually one that will be next week--notice I also have kids filling in things in the message as well!):

What you will get is the analogy part on down.  The top part will be able to add in, with any font you like, your message!  You will need Power Point to use it.

****I ALSO HAVE PACKS 4 AND 1 AVAILABLE IN MY STORE NOW.  PACK 1 IS GREAT FOR BEGINNING FIRST GRADE, OR END OF KINDERGARTEN!  ALL have a week's worth of messages for you to try!  {I'm not 100% sure that pack 4 has a different one than pack 3.  I'll check into that later.  I DO know that Pack 1 has a week from Pack 1}


New Year, New Ideas, New Possibilities Linky!

Hi everyone!  If you are looking for me today, you can find me over at Teachable Moments.  Today I have a 2 fabulous ladies blogging here!

This is Victoria & Tricia from 2 Super Teachers.  We are so excited to be participating in this LINKY's our very first:-) We are fairly new at blogging and selling on our TPT Store. We have been team-teaching 1-2 Multi-Age kiddos together for 14 years! We absolutely love teaming. We have also been making and selling products for about 9 years. It all started when we used to sell our handpainted "Read the Room" buckets with pointers. Then we started making games with little sorting pieces. We were CRAAAAZY...driving around all over town for hours just to find specific little items for all our games. We were so much younger back then;-)

We want to share 2 graphs that we created to help our students organize their Data Notebooks. They love coloring in their data and seeing their progress as the school year goes by. It has really helped our little ones understand goal setting and has given them a better idea of how they are performing. Our parents also really liked seeing them when our students shared their Data Notebooks during our Fall Student Led Conferences.  Click on the picture to grab yourself the 2 graphs for free at our TPT store!

 Thanks for stopping by!  Make sure to check out all the other bloggers guest posting in this great linky from Primary Possibilities!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

I am in denial about our holiday being over.  It is such a blessing that we have time off and can spend it with our kids!  My 2 year old is now developing quite a little adorable personality (not that he didn't have one before---but he has made me smile all day long with the things he does or says!) 

I have a lot that I reflect on each day, but to look back at 2012---it was nothing less than incredible!  I am thankful for everything that I have, and for all of you!  Check out my store today for a sale!  It will end at midnight somewhere!  ;)  (I think it's Hawaii time)

While you are there, check out these units that I just finished somehow during this crazy break! (click the pictures to see descriptions at TPT)

Now, I must get moving on my lesson plans for the next 3 days... the rest of the month is done, kinda-with my Tacky unit and Snowman one too.  (Though I have so many other unit ideas, I'm not sure I'll be able to sleep with excitement!!!!!!)
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