Thursday, November 27, 2014

Black Friday STEALS

Hey friends! I hope you had one heck of a Thanksgiving! My family was fighting sickness,but we still made it to our family gathering! I was worried for a second that we might miss it. 

I am seriously addicted to crafting! I finally got a Silhouette Portrait and I am seriously in love! This machine is SO great for the classroom! I love all of the things I was able to make! If you follow me on Instagram , you can check out all of the great things this little machine will do!!!  

If you are like me, you LOVE a good deal! The Black Friday deals going on are UNREAL! 

My sweet friends over at Silhouette America are getting you squared  away! Just click here to check them out! Use the code TREASURE to get your Saaaawwweettttt discounts! 


Portrait Bundle
-          Portrait machine & 1 free year to Club Silhouette for $179.99

CAMEO Bundle #1
-          CAMEO machine, Designer Edition software upgrade, Dust Cover, 4 Tools and $25 Download card to the Silhouette Design Store for $269.99

CAMEO Bundle #2
-          CAMEO machine, Design Edition software upgrade and 1 free year to Club Silhouette for $299.99

CAMEO & Portrait Bundle (One for you, one for a friend!)
-          CAMEO machine, Portrait machine and 2, $25 Download cards to the Silhouette Design Store for $299.99

Already a Silhouette user? 
Use my code to receive 40% off at (*excluding machines, design downloads, download cards, subscriptions and gift cards) PLUS Free Shipping on orders over $25 for the lower 48 states
50% off all designs at – no code needed!

This is one heck of a sale and I can't wait go snatch up some goodies! Thanks for stopping by friends and Happy Thanksgiving! 
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Sunday, November 23, 2014

All About Maps

Hey friends. We are gearing up for Thanksgiving around our house tonight, but I thought I'd take a second to share with you some of the fun we've had in my first grade class!

We have been learning about Maps for three.whole. weeks. There is only so much I feel like we can teach little firsties about maps haha! We started our unit with a Poem and interactive read aloud.  Both of these have the vocabulary that our standards require firsties to know. 

I created this little packet that includes a poem, interactive read aloud, a booklet for shared reading, vocabulary cards, ABC order center, vocabulary printables,  and interactive notebook pages. My kiddos really enjoyed the foldable booklet during shared reading. The booklet is written on a level that they could read. 

I bundled my newest maps packet with my older one. You can check out the bundle!

In math, we are practicing addition and subtraction centers. As a school, we are all working on our math fluency. My kids were not really into the whole flash card routine, so I had to think outside of the box to practice fluency.

I created these little slider cards. The kids LOVED them. I have student a pull the "ladder" up and call out the facts to student b. You could do SO many things with this. I also laminated them and the kiddos used a wipe off marker to record their own answers. 

I also made a little "Lightning Math Center". The kiddos have to try and answer as many questions as FAST as they can using the sand timer. It's amazing what a sand timer does for group of first graders!

The thing I love about this packet is it's super low prep! I printed everything on bright card stock, sent it for lamination and boom! It's done!

I'm typically not a big fan of "task cards" in first grade. But this year I have a group  that can handle them and needs something a little more challenging than what my curriculum currently calls for. I created a few little sets of task cards just for them! They are working well and are easy for them to follow but still give them that challenge that they need.

Thanks for stopping by! I hope everyone has a family filled Thanksgiving! 

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Friday, November 21, 2014

Thanksgiving Freebies

I don't know about y'all but I'm counting down the hours until Thanksgiving Break! We go until Wednesday afternoon! ekkk!! I was looking for some free activities to get us through and thought I'd put them all here for you to grab! 

I created this little word search for morning work! My kiddos ask for word searches all the time and I figured morning work would be a great place for it!

Just click the picture to grab your freebie :)

Here are a few other freebies I found!

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Saturday, November 8, 2014

Burned Out Teachers

As I sit here in the Atlanta airport I'm thinking about how many conversations I've had with teachers lately about how to "fix" education. What is the answer to funding, overcrowded classrooms, lack of support and the sinking feeling like we are not doing enough?

I wish I had the answer to that question friends. I wish I could sit here and give you 1,000 reasons why educators should continue to fight.   I'm a everyday classroom teacher just like all of you. I'm a mother, a wife, active member in my church and (sometimes) a gym rat. 
I struggle just like everyone else to find the balance. How to be the best mom, wife, teacher, church member and keep myself in shape. While I haven't figured out the perfect equation to doing that..I have had my own "ah ha" moment. I've experienced a lot in this last year in my personal life. It has drawn me closer to Jesus and I've realized that most cliche thing ever. Seriously. It's just this: Life is too short. We aren't guaranteed tomorrow. You'd think I would have learned that by now in my old age of 29.  And even though I've had tragic experiences in my life...I'm just now finally, believing these silly cliches...."Life is too short." "Everything can change in an instant". "Live life to the fullest"

We have to remember that we are humans. We have a life outside of our classroom. Our family deserves our attention and we should not get so caught up in the our work that we forget that. Our job is not like others. We can't "punch out" and come back the next day and have everything run smoothly. It's the downfall to our job. Every job has them....

Which brings me to my next point.. So if we know that we have to have a life outside of our classrooms, and that may hinder us from being able to accomplish everything we want to accomplish.....

We have to learn that we will never be able to give 200%, 200% of the time. It's just not realistic. We should strive to do our best and give each lesson all we can. But we can't expect that everything will always go perfect. Because it won't. No matter how much planning you put into it or what the lesson plans say....sometimes we have to....

Yes, I just did that. I know. And I'm sorry. Couldn't help it. Seriously. Haha!

I know this is an odd blog post...but with all the heartache and stress in my everyday classroom life, I felt like I should share so we can know that we are not alone in this career. Blogging has brought so many wonderful educators into my life and I am so thankful for that. I'm a better educator because of the virtual collaboration that goes on. Tonight I'm remembering why I became a teacher, and why I want to remain a teacher...probably the same reason you do...the KIDS! 

Here's to a stress free week and to remembering why we became educators!

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Saturday, November 1, 2014

Election Day

Last weekend I spent some time in NYC with some of my blogging buddies and my sister! We had such a blast! I can't wait to go back!
It was so great to meet these people "in person". 

This week we dove into elections. This skill can be kind of boring for firsties so I tried to make it as fun as I could! We started off with using a few election poems.  I used the poems for part of my shared reading in my balanced literacy routine. The kids loved them poems and they are full of sight words so it was a win win!!! 

My handwriting is horrible so I whipped up these little anchor charts to give the students that visual aide that they need so much. 

We used my pocket chart vocabulary cards to present the material in another aspect. I love watching the kids refer to these materials when we are discussing the skill. It shows me that they really do need the extra reinforcement. 

We also used my ABC Order center during guided reading groups. I love this because it only has  a few words so they can really understand how the concept of ABC order works. This is a skill we will work on ALL year long. I can't wait to see the progress they make with this. Research shows how learning ABC order tremendously helps the literacy development. I couldn't agree more. The students really focus on the letters and the sounds they make in order to put the words in ABC order. 

You can get all of the activities that I talked about plus much more in my Election Unit!

Here's a few other little previews for you :) 

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Friday, October 10, 2014

All About Shapes and Patterns

The past two weeks we've been diving into shapes! I tell ya, this is not my favorite SOL to teach. Just because it seems to be so easy and there's only so many ways you can describe a shape!!! Maybe that's just me :) 

I had to find some different ways to teach geometric 2d shapes. We used Linda's Product "What Does The SHAPE Say". I can't believe I forgot to take a picture of the anchor chart! So CUTE! The kids loved it and I feel like it really help spark their interest in "shapes". We were always saying "What does the SHAPE say" and then that high pitch lithe noise that goes along with it haha. 

The kids really enjoyed this activity. We essentially just built  the  2D shapes with q-tips!  The kids really enjoyed bending the q-tips to create the shapes. Couldn't believe how much fun the kids had with this!

You can get this for free RIGHT HERE!

Next, we learned about sorting shapes by different attributes. Sorting is such a hard concept sometimes because they often only want to sort by color or size. Our standards require that students are able to sort the shapes by color, size, thickness and shape.

I created this little sorting center for my kiddos to get a different approach to sorting shapes. 

You can grab your FREE  copy HERE!! 

We use read alouds in EVERY subject, every single day! While I think it is important to use read alouds, I often can only find a few books on the topic verses enough for 10 days. So I made my printable books to give my kiddos exposure to different types of print.
We used my printable Shape Book. This packet comes with some printables to link literacy to math. I'm all about using cross circular items!!

Since I just posted this book, it's on SALE until tomorrow :) Check it out right here!

 Pattern Math Centers

We are now diving into patterns.  The kids are loving making their own patterns. At first, we just used the cards to create our own patterns. But the cards would fall and they'd lose them. I feel like the kidods just needed some guidelines. So I laminated a sentence strip and applied velcro! Ohhh my goodness! What difference this made! They were actually making patterns, touching them, and then labeling them with a expo marker! I was in love! Something so simply yet made SUCH a difference. 

You can check the cards and much more out right here! My Pattern Kit is also on sale! 

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Friday, October 3, 2014

Guided Math Made Easy

Hey friends! We just finished week 5! Can't believe it's already half way through the first grading period! My life has been so full of meetings, planning, meetings, trainings, meetings..did I say MEETINGS?!? I am certainly glad the weekend is here :)

This week, I kicked off formal data collection in guided math. 
I used my Guided Math Binder to document all of my assessments and observations. This way I could easily jot my notes down and form my groups based on the data. I'm  not the most organized person so this is SO helpful for me.  I just separated my data by skill or SOL (our standards in VA). It was so helpful come conference time to when I was asked directly how a student was doing on a specific skill. I know it's another dreadful binder, but it's been such a help this year! 

Implementing Guided Math

We started our guided math routine off very simple. I introduced our guided math routing with Reagan's Guided Math Posters. We discussed the word stamina and how we were building up to be bale to work for longer periods of time. I have four tables in my classroom. Each table got a hands on activity to complete for just 8 minutes. Each activity was introduced to the entire group.  I used very simple activities. I wanted my students to get the hang on working in a group with activities that they could pretty much do on their own. We started off with  math tubs filled with Skip Counting PuzzlesPlace Value Work MatsMath Interactive Notebook, and Math Literacy. These activities are easy to prepare and simple for the kiddos to pick up to get the hang of working in groups.  I allowed the kids to work in 8 minute rotations, teaching them that when the timer goes off, we began to clean up. 
This worked SO well for my kiddos. They enjoyed fun, engaging activities that were not so much prep work. It was a teacher lifesaver :) Each week, we've built up our time and are now completing 13 minute rotations. I've begun to pull my students that need a little extra help with the skill we are working on. The great thing about guided math, is that we will continue working on previously taught skills for the year. 

Our first SOL or objective was counting to  50.  
We used these interactive notebook pages to practice counting, place value and skip counting. 

You can check out this notebook right here! AND It's on SALE :) 

Happy Teaching! 

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