Monday, January 27, 2014

Celebrating My New Blog Design With a Giveaway!

I am so excited to show off my brand new blog design!
It's so me! All my favorite colors! Thanks so much Kassie!

In celebration of my new design, I'd love to do a quick giveaway of a product of your choice. (Up to $5.00 in value!)

All you have to do is visit my store and find the product you'd like for free. Leave the link in the comments and I'll come back tomorrow to choose the lucky winner. You MUST leave the actual clickable link to the product and not just the name of it. Click the button below to browse my store and get your link!

Here's more great news! Two of my blogging buddies just got pretty new blogs too, and they are joining me in this giveaway! 

That's 3 chances to win! Woo-Hoo!

First, there's Teri, from A Cupcake for the Teacher.
Just click on her cute cupcake button below to enter her giveaway!

And next, is Tammy, from Live, Love, Laugh Everyday in Kindergarten. 
Click on her pretty button too!
Good luck!


The giveaway is over! Thank you, everyone, for all the sweet comments about my new blog design and the activities I have created. Your kind words keep me motivated!

I had one of my students pick a number and the lucky winner of my giveaway is...

Jeannine from Creative Lesson Cafe!
I am emailing you right now!

Thanks again everyone!
I truly appreciate every single thoughtful comment!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Lights and Sounds Buzzers Giveaway!

 If you don't have lights and sounds buzzers in your classroom, you are really missing out on some excitement! I am teaming up with Learning Resources today, and showing off one of their many fun classroom  products.

We use these lights and sounds buzzers several times a week.

They add fun and excitement to learning!

Here are my first graders practicing long a word families. I said a word from a long a word family, and the first team to buzz in with a word they had that rhymed with my word, won the round.

The cards they are using come from my Pocket Chart Activities...Long Vowels Edition. We'll be playing plenty of games using these cards! You can read more about my Pocket Chart Activities here!

We also played a few rounds, using our Scholastic News Magazines. I would ask a question and the first team to find the answer and buzz in, won the round.

We've also practiced cause and effect, parts of speech, ABC order, sight words, and much, much more! 

These lights and sounds buzzers are a must have in every classroom! Learning Resources is allowing me to give away a set of 4 lights and sounds buzzers to one of my lucky followers. I am sure your class will enjoy them as much as mine does! Just enter using the rafflecopter below. There are many opportunities for you to enter. Please enter with integrity! Good luck to you!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Pocket Chart Station

This week, I added a new station in my classroom for kindergarten and first grade. The Pocket Chart Station! It was a huge hit! And it's really easy to set up and, the best part of all - I don't have to make copies, or collect work to grade! It's a win/win!

This week, my first graders are working on long a. At the pocket chart station, I have some long a word family header cards and lots and lots of word cards for the children to sort.

I am so sorry about the quality of these photos! There was a terrible glare and I couldn't seem to get rid of it. I don't have any pics of the children sorting the cards because I was conducting reading groups at the same time. After the children sorted the cards, they practiced writing the words on white boards. I am not using recording sheets because I want the pocket chart station to be a place where the children work collaboratively to read, sort, match, etc. I also didn't add pictures to the words (except for the compound word pack) for two reasons. First, I want the children to focus on actually reading the words, not matching them to pictures. And, second, I was able to add tons and tons of cards for each phonics skill because I didn't have to worry about finding pictures to match the words. 

The cards you see above come from my new Pocket Chart Activities series. 
This is the long vowels edition.

All the popular long vowel word families are in this pack. Just print, laminate, cut out, and use the cards all year long. I put mine in labeled baggies and I store them in a plastic container.

I also made a contraction edition because contractions are not something you teach once and forget about. I feel that it is important for the children to practice contractions all year long. I love knowing I have an entire collection of (cute) contraction cards to use whenever I need them.

There is also a blends and digraphs edition.

I bought a blends/digraphs pocket chart set at my local teacher store and was so disappointed that not all the blends and digraphs were included. No worries here! I included all digraphs, l-blends, r-blends, and s-blends. And since I didn't include a clip art image of each word, I was able to include tons of words. Students can sort blends and digraphs all year long. 

And, finally, here is the word families edition for kindergarten.

We've been working on sorting short a word families.

The children sorted the cards and then wrote some of them on white boards. This set includes all the word families known to man. Again, I bagged them and store them in a container for quick and easy access. No more hunting for cards. 

Now I have a very comprehensive system for teaching CVC words/word families. You can find most of what I use here. There is a good mix of whole group activities, small group activities, worksheets, games, and more!

And, last, but not least, I made a set of compound word cards for the pocket chart too. This is another skill that needs to be taught all year long. Since there are 111 compound word cards, they can easily be used all year long.

And I'm not done creating pocket chart activities! I have a few more editions up my sleeve. Can you think of any you'd like to see? Leave me a comment with any suggestions you have! Thanks!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Common Core Printables

Wow! This winter vacation went super fast! I had a great time, but can't really remember anything I did. I seriously have THE shortest memory! I tried hard not to think about school, but that is almost as impossible as trying not to breathe.

One thing I definitely remember doing, is creating some new resources to help my students during the second half of the year. All of these new resources require that your students have access to a highlighter. Since they are so inexpensive, that should be easy to do.

These first grade printables cover the majority of the common core reading foundational skills and language standards. I will be using them during my guided reading groups and as assessments. Since my school takes the SAT, I will also use them as test prep.
Here are some images of what's included...

Just right click and open in new window to see them larger.

Click here to find this resource in my store.

I also started a series for kindergarten, using a highlighter. My students love to highlight and it is a good skill for them to master now, because they'll definitely need to highlight important information as they get older.

These activities will really help my kindergartners practice reading and writing CVC words AND practice reading grade level sight words AND practice their grammar skills. Students read the CVC words, write them on the line, read the sight word sentences, highlight the CVC words and then use one of them in a sentence. Lots of repetition! 

Click here to find this resource in my store.
If you click on the preview, you will find a FREE printable!

I also made a rhyming edition.

In this edition, students read a word, write the word, read a sentence and find the word that rhymes with the word they wrote and highlight it. Finally, they use one of the words they wrote in a sentence. Some of the sheets focus on CVC words, some on digraphs, and some on blends (l blends, r blends, and s blends). Lots of critical thought going on here!

Click here to find this resource in my store.

If you are in need of some fresh activities for the second half of the year, you may want to check them out!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year, New You, New Freebies

Have you set some New Years resolutions for yourself this year? I typically tell myself a thing or two that I want to do differently, but I never write them down or do anything to hold myself accountable for following through on them. This year I want that to be different! I want to set a goal and I want to reach it.

My friends at Freebielicious and I want to share some of our goals and resolutions for 2014 with you! To help you get a jump start on the new year we've also added some freebies that may help you reach your own similiar goals. 

I have a terrible habit of starting a million different projects and not finishing most of them. Sometimes, it's because I forget I started it. Sometimes, it's because I get bored of it. And sometimes, there's just no good reason.
In order to help myself reach my goal I have found a file I started on December 12, 2012 and FINISHED IT! So, not only am I helping myself reach my goal, I am also helping you out as well! Especially if your goal is to collect writing activities for your students to do!
Click here to download!

Isn't it ironic that my freebie is all about making goals?!
Well, I'm off to find something else to finish!
Laundry, vacuuming, cleaning...
The possibilities are endless!

Hop on over to my friend Laral, over at Little Miss Kindergarten for another resolution and matching freebie!

Little Miss Kindergarten

One more thing before I go! I am having a New Year's sale in my teaching store. Click the image below if you want to do a little shopping!

Scholastic Teacher Book Wizard