Thursday, February 28, 2013

Blog Issues

Hello! I just wanted to apologize for how my blog looks.
I am trying to get it fixed and I hope to be back to normal soon.
Wish me luck!

Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket

Monday, February 25, 2013

Showing off two new products! And, giving one away!

For the past several weeks, I have been working diligently on completing 2 new writing products. I'd love to share them with all of you!

The first, is the companion to my top selling Writing Station Activities for Young Learners. Now that my students have developed their writing skills, and enjoy writing for many purposes, these new activities will give them more opportunities to develop themselves as writers, and, give them the support they need to be successful. I have already begun to introduce some of these activities to my students and they are really excited to give them all a try. Who can ask for anything more?! 

Here is what's included:

To see this item in my store, click here!

The other product that I'm really excited to show you, is 
A Year of How To...Writing.
It contains 54 different How To... writing topics!

Writing events in sequential order and teaching others how we do things is a fun, and necessary way, to develop strong writing skills. It includes a wide variety of topics, such as seasonal, holiday, character education, every day events, etc.

To see this item in my store, just click here.

To show you all how excited I am about these 2 new products, I would like to give one away to a lucky follower. All you need to do is leave me one comment, letting me know that you follow...

And, let me know which item you would choose if you win. 
I will use the random generator to select the winner, in a day or two. Or, three, if I get busy!
Good luck and Happy Writing!


Here's the winner...

Congratulations, Gail!
I'll send you an email!
Thanks again, everyone!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

Have you read this book? It is such a great book to read when you are teaching about George Washington and how honest he was. The author does an excellent job discussing how important it is to tell the truth. It also reminds the children that if they don't have anything nice to say, then you shouldn't say anything at all.

This book is filled with other great learning opportunities, as well. I used it to reinforce sentence editing and the proper usage of quotation marks. I chose a sentence from the book and wrote it on the board, with lots of mistakes. Then, the children came up and edited the sentence. 

It was so funny, because I already had the sentence written on the board when the children arrived. They all got excited, thinking we were going to do a play about George Washington!

This book really went well with Kelley's Honesty is the Best Policy Craftivity. 

The children are writing about a time they did not tell the truth and why they should have. They are coming out so cute. Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures of the finished products. But, here are some cuties working hard. One of them is writing about the time she gave her friend elbow pads and she told him they were knee pads! Oops!

Here are some other stations I have going on...

I  hope you are all having a great week, too!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Hall Pass Linky

One of my favorite bloggers, Reagan, from Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits, is having a linky!
We can link up and share a favorite product, classroom area, transition signal, and ways we keep our sanity when times get rough. Here's my Hall Pass...

One of my favorite products that I use 
every single day is my menu.
Ever since I hung this up in my classroom, I have never had to worry about what to do with my fast finishers. There is always something meaningful for my students to do while the others are finishing up their station work. You can find out more information about this product here.
This is one of my favorite areas in my classroom. It is the mailbox system that holds all the supplies my students need to complete the activities offered in the menu.
All of the mailbox slots are numbered to match the numbers on the menu. So, if they want to write a recipe, they will find the recipe cards in slot number 1. You can read more about this system here.
My favorite signal that I use to get my students' attention is my bell and some magic words. I ring it 3 times and say, "Please stop." And I call out the names of 2 or 3 students who stopped what they were doing right away. Then I say, "Please look." And I call out the names of 2 or 3 students who looked at me right away. Finally, I say, "Please listen." And I call out the names of 2 or 3 students who are listening to me. By the time I am done, all of the children are looking and listening. Works like a charm. They especially like the recognition!
Whenever I need a sanity check after a tough morning or afternoon, I do a few different things. I may reach for a few of my favorite sweets. Currently, it's these:

Or, I may visit one of my dear co-workers for some adult conversation. Or, I may shoot off an email to my sister, who works in the same school, but, on the other side of it! We always make each other laugh, ever since we were little kids.

I hope you enjoyed my Hall Pass and 
I hope you link up, too!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Sweet Sentiments Activity

I'm linking this post up to Simpson's Superstars!
She's having a link up for us to post our Valentine's Day pictures!

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! 
I hope your day was as sweet as mine was!

I just wanted to pop in quickly to share an activity I did today with my first and second graders. I had the children secretly choose a student's name and write something that they liked about that person, focusing on our character traits. Then, they read them out loud (leaving off the person's name) and handed it to the lucky recipient.

 The hearts were so sweet and everyone was so touched when they heard the kind words said about them. Many of us even shed some happy tears! When I asked my students how they felt about this activity, they had such poignant things to say. 

One said, "I feel so happy because I had no idea everyone liked each other so much!" This activity really made them all realize that they don't say enough nice things about each other. And, they all promised to do that more often because it felt so good to hear!

In other news, I hope you entered to win my brand new CVC Words Go Fish Game! It's so new, that I haven't even uploaded it to my teaching store yet. By the time the giveaway is over, I hope to have a few more games done, so, the 3 winners can choose the game of their choice.

 Here are some pictures of my cute little kindergartners playing Go Fish today! As a treat, I had four games going at the same time. Normally, I only have one game at a station.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Team Teaching Tuesday: Share a Teaching Tip

I'm linking up with my buddy, Stephanie, and sharing a teaching tip. This year, I started providing answer keys for my station activities, to make my students' work self-checking. This has really been fantastic for several reasons.

1. It has made my students better editors because they need to concentrate in order to find and correct their mistakes.

2. It has made them accountable for their work. The harder they work, the less errors they make.

3. It has taught them how to use editing marks. They cannot erase their mistakes. They use a "grading pen" to fix their errors, using editing marks when appropriate. The grading pens are just pretty, colorful pens, sitting in a pretty, colorful cup. Once they have corrected their paper, they can put on a sticker or give themselves a smiley face or an A+.

4. I always look over their paper just to make sure they didn't miss anything. It is much quicker for me to look over a paper that has already been corrected, so, this process has saved me lots of time. If a student made multiple errors, I always work with them one-on-one to make sure they know whey their answers were wrong and to make sure they understand the skill.

5. I keep all my answer keys in a 3 ring binder, in page protectors. When students have finished their work, they come to my teacher table, grab the binder and the grading pens, and check over their work.

6. Even my kindergarten students check their own work!

Try it! You'll love it!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Five for Friday and Black History Month Freebie

I'm linking up with Kacey for Five for Friday and
Amanda, for Friday Flashback!

Here's my week in review...

We finished up our 100 Days of School writing activity.

All second graders dressed up.
This cutie looks exactly how I feel sometimes!

We started our Valentine stations.

Rhyming Words

Conversation Heart Write the Room

Click here to see these activities in my store!

Scrambled Sentences

Click here to see this activity in my store!

Possessive Nouns

Click here to see this activity in Katie's store 
(Queen of the First Grade Jungle).

My second graders presented their Black History Month Projects.

Click the images below to grab the templates and an editable version of the parent letter. I used the Comic Sans font (boring, I know!) so you'll probably want to change that to something more exciting, like I did!

My first graders finished up their penguin craftivity.

Click here to see this activity from my buddy Cindy, over at Primary Reading Party!

About a month ago, I started something new with all my classes. I have a seasonal stuffed animal that I name and give out to a different student each day. They are loving this! They all eagerly wait to find out who the lucky person is who gets to hold and love the little animal. Last month, it was Snowy the Snowgirl. This month, it's Valentine!

Holding my furry friends is a privilege and you have to have great behavior in order to do so. Just another incentive to always do your personal best. It is so cute to watch the children take care of Valentine and happily work with her!

There's my week! I hope you all had a great week, too! 

Scholastic Teacher Book Wizard