Thursday, November 29, 2012

Gingerbread Week, Freebie, and a Proposition

This week, my students have been enjoying completing gingerbread activities. This is always a favorite topic! There are so many wonderful books to read, and all of them are chock full of teaching opportunities. For example, The Gingerbread Girl,


written by Lisa Campbell Ernst, has tons and tons of alliteration examples. You can also use this book to teach onomatopoeia. My students love to compare and contrast this book with the Gingerbread Boy,


written by Paul Galdone.
Writing about their favorite gingerbread book is always fun, too! My first graders also illustrate their favorite part of the story.

Just click on either image above to download.
Here are pictures of some of my
 station activities this week:

This is a fun contraction activity from my buddy
  Alisha, aka The Bubbly Blonde.

These cuties are writing about their favorite
 gingerbread book.

This is a kindergarten activity I did. It can be found in my Gingerbread Fun for Little Learners pack. It actually goes with a scrambled sentences activity. However, what I did was, read The Gingerbread Boy, brainstorm words to describe him, and have the children write two sentences, using a describing word in each sentence.



The scrambled sentences and rhyming activities 
are also from my 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Cyber Monday Sale Started Early!

Thanks, Ashley, for the REALLY cute graphic!

I hope you are all ready to shop because the TpT cyber Monday and Tuesday sale is a great opportunity to do so! As a matter of fact, I've decided to start my sale today just in case anyone wants to purchase anything to use this week.
Everything in my store is marked down 20% as we speak! And, on Monday and Tuesday, TpT is giving an additional 10% off. You just need to add the code: CMT12 at checkout. These sales don't happen often, but, when they do, you can save a lot of money. Here are some items from my store that may interest you...
I have a great blog post about how I use these here!

I have a bundled scrambled sentences pack that includes 7 different winter themes. 
You can find it here.

Don't forget to leave feedback after you purchase something from TpT because then you can use the credits you earn to pay for additional items.

At the bottom of this post, you'll find the links to more TpT stores that will be on sale, as well. These talented teachers have wonderful products that you'll definitely want to check out! Feel free to add the link to your store, too!

Happy Shopping!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

To all my followers...

I  hope this Thanksgiving brings you a generous helping
 of lasting joy and happiness.

I am happy to announce that I have a lucky winner for the Talk Bar! Her name is Lauren Ayers.
Congratulations, Lauren!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Writing Menu Display

The other day, Lory, from Fun For First, made my day when she blogged about my writing menu display. This visual display contains 18 different writing activities for my students to choose from when they are done with their station work. Sometimes, I use it as an actual station.
Lory had an amazing idea to number the posters and then number the baskets where the templates are kept. I immediately sprung into action and did the same thing in my classroom. Here is the final result:


Sorry about the restroom sign! Going to the restroom is NOT one of my writing choices!
Here is where I keep the writing templates.


Posters 16 and 17 are not included in my writing menu product. However, you can purchase the message books separately here. If you have the message books and the writing menu and would like the poster, just send me an email, and I'll send it to you.
If you have my writing menu posters and want to number them, too, you can grab mine by clicking on the image below. I printed them landscape to get the larger numbers on the wall and I printed them portrait to get the smaller numbers for the mailbox slots. I used binder clips to secure them. You can read more about that here.

Numbers for I can write

The children are really enjoying this new system. Thanks for the great idea, Lory!

I have another mailbox system in my classroom. This one has a dual function. My first graders use them as mailboxes and I also use them to hold the writing activities for my kindergartners. When they are finished with their station work, there are tons of exciting writing activities waiting for them in the mailbox. You can check them out here:

I loved Lory's idea so much and saw how organized it kept the templates and how easy it was for the children to find what they wanted, that I decided to do the number system for these activity sheets, as well. For these, though, I have no posters. So, I put an example of each sheet in a binder and numbered the sheets and the corresponding mailbox slot. Now, my students look through the binder, find what they want to do, note the number, and grab their sheet out of the mailbox.




No more searching and searching. No more taking out the wrong sheet and putting it back in the wrong slot. The binder also serves as an example of how each sheet should be completed.

I am really loving this! And, so are my students!
Please note that all the writing templates shown in this blog post have been updated through the years and are even better now!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Gingerbread Freebie, etc.

Here's a fun activity to do this week if you are still in school, like me! Read a Thanksgiving related story and make a list of all the strong verbs. Then, let the children act out the verbs while the class guesses the verb. This is a great activity to do with any theme and is a wonderful way to integrate grammar, reading and writing. This book has tons of strong verbs. After each word is acted out, have the children cross out the word so it's not repeated and so you can see if they can find the word in the list.

The First Thanksgiving Day
A Counting Story
By Laura Krauss Melmed

This is a picture of a first grader acting out one of the words. Can you guess which one?

The week after Thanksgiving, I will be starting my gingerbread unit. One of the activities I love to do is called "How I Eat a Gingerbread Cookie!" The children sample a cookie, describe it, and map out the order in which they bit into the cookie. Then, they write about it, using lots of descriptive words. It's always a favorite.

Would you like to do this activity, too? Just click on the above image and download it for free! I hope you enjoy it enough to come back here and tell me so!

If you need another activity to supplement your gingerbread unit, you can also check out my scrambled sentences pack.

For those of you who are already planning for the holidays, like me, I have this great winter holiday language pack.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Thanksgiving Station Pictures

Here are some pictures of some of my Thanksgiving stations.

Scrambled Sentences

Parts of Speech Sort

Types of Sentences

If you are in need of any last minute Thanksgiving activities, you can check these out here...

Switching the subject entirely, do you remember when I blogged about how I teach handwriting? If not, you can read all about it here. Anyway, when my students finish their handwriting book, they get this cute certificate, telling the world that they have really neat handwriting. This beautiful girl was the first of my students to earn the certificate. She was so excited. As she was coloring her certificate, she said, "I'm so excited, I'm shaking!" Earning this certificate meant so much to her. Everyone in my class is really looking forward to earning theirs, as well.

If you would like to do this with your students, too, just click on the image below. I guarantee, you will see some really neat handwriting. Sometimes, a little incentive goes a long way!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Stuffed With Thankful Thoughts Linky

One of my best blogging buddies is inviting us all to stop and take a minute (or two) to think about some of the things for which we are thankful. Here are some of my random thankful thoughts...

I am thankful for having discovered the wonderful world of blogging. I have made countless friends from all over the world and I truly appreciate each and every one of you. My life is richer and more exciting because of you!

I am thankful for my friendship with Cindy! She's a great friend of mine who recently moved away. We used to teach together and we are like two peas in a pod. We think the same, we like the same teaching activities, and we always complimented each other very well. Although I miss her every day, I look forward to seeing pictures of her new baby! Of course, I have to wait another 5 months.

I'm on the right.

She has a super blog! Be sure to check it out!

I am thankful for great co-workers. They really make going to work fun each day.
I'm on the right.

I am thankful for my two little furbabies, Buddy and Max. They are cute and cuddly and I can't imagine life without them!

I am thankful for my family. I couldn't find any good pictures, but, just know that I have the best family in the world!

Last, I am thankful for good memories. A high school friend just sent this to me today. Ah, growing up in the 70s and 80s sure was a blast! Thankfully, though, to my students, I am forever 21!

I'm on the right. (Again!)

You can link up, too! Come on, it's fun!
Just click on the image at the top of this post!

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