Thursday 30 August 2012

Bad Blogger! {and math centre freebie}

I've been a bad blogger this week.. I was going strong with Teacher's Week, but after Wednesday, I just kind of gave up! lol. I have been so busy getting my room ready this week I haven't been thinking of much else. I'm happy to say that my living room at home looks MUCH better without the huge pile of boxes in the corner. :) I'm not quite ready for my big classroom reveal yet. I promise to share lots of pictures next week! And I'll share some details of our first few days back as well.

I'm off camping for the next four days, then teachers officially report on Tuesday morning! I've got a staff meeting in the morning and some final touches to the room in the afternoon, then my firsties come storming in st 4:30pm for Meet the Teacher night! I am so excited to meet these little ones. I'm sure I'm in for an interesting year. Did I tell you I'm up to 27 students now? Eek. I don't have any more hooks on the wall! If I get one more student I'll need to get a portable coat rack. I have no room for that!! The room is bursting at the seams as it is! I'll show you what I mean next week ;)

Also, I have reached 500 followers!! Well, 501 to be exact ;) I am so excited! I am planning a giveaway, but you will have to stay tuned for that.

Well I will leave you with a little freebies here... It's called  "Cookie Scramble". It is to practice putting the numbers from 0-20 in order. There are cookie cards and a recording sheet. Click any of the pictures below to download! Enjoy!

Wednesday 22 August 2012

Where I Teach Wednesday

I spent a second day in my classroom, moved a second carload of stuff, and made quite a big mess in my room! I did get lots accomplished though... so I'm feeling ok right now! :) Here's a few pics of the progress so far...

View from my door as I was leaving today.... 
that big pile of boxes on the desks are empty though, so that's good!

Here's my listening centre all set up... 
I'll post more about how I set that up another day.

I got my calendar wall all ready to go. 
I am so lucky to have a black board in my room. 
A non-magnetic black board to be exact. So useful. 
I stocked up on some small 3M hooks
to help me hang pocket charts in that space.

I covered all my back bulletin boards today. 
On the back shelf I have my levelled library books and 
my new, bright coloured student book boxes. 
I have to get those labelled tomorrow.

I also found out I am getting a new student, so that puts me up to 26! At least it's an even number. That makes it ok for me :) Plus the secretary said she looked like a little sweetheart!

I promise to give you a full classroom tour when I am all done. For the mean time, check out the other classrooms that linked up with Blog Hoppin' today. {Click the pic below.}


Tuesday 21 August 2012

Technology Tip Tuesday

Oh my, yesterday was my first day in my classroom. I did tons of organizing, moved a whole carload of stuff, and got started on my calendar wall. I am taking a day off today to do some housework and play with my poor neglected puppies, but will be back to the grind tomorrow!

Here's another Teacher Week feature--Technology Tip Tuesday! Click the picture below to see the other teachers who have linked up with Blog Hoppin' to give you some fabulous techy ideas.

Here are five fabulous FREE websites I have come across for first graders (click the pictures to go to the website):

{1.} KB... Konnected Kids --> I love when other people organize a list of sites for me, so I don't have to! This is a collection of sites for students, organized by topic (read alouds, art, math, animals, etc.). So many websites and easy to use!

{2.} Johnnie's Math Page --> Here's another collection of websites, but this one is all math websites/games organized by topic. Fantastic!!

{3.} Dreambox Learning --> This site only has a few activities (five frames, ten frames, make tens match, etc.) but is really good to use with an interactive whiteboard. I can't wait to use some of these activities with my Mimio.

{4.} Literactive --> Free, but you do have to register. This website has tons of reading games... started at a pre-reading level, working to level 7. Activities for different reading skills (rhyming, initial sounds, CVC word building, etc.) These would be great for an interactive whiteboard as well.

{5.} ABCYa --> Another collection of great educational games. There are reading, math, and other games. So much fun!

Hope these can be useful! I can't wait to check out all the other Blog Hoppers!

Monday 20 August 2012

Monday Made It and Must Haves Monday {Double Linky}

Just a quick post because today is the {{FIRST DAY}} I get to set foot in my new classroom since the last day of school. I have been waiting and waiting for this day to arrive! Now if only I had more than two weeks to get it all organized and pretty... Oh well! Gotta start somewhere.

So I'm doubling up on linky parties today. A quick "Monday Made It" with Tara from 4th Grade Frolics.

I finished up my PVC pipe pocket chart stand. I ended up spray painting it with a glossy black paint and added some polka dot duct tape at the top. I might add somemore duct tape to the sides... haven't decided yet. I think it looks pretty cute!

And my second project was to make dice bottles! I first saw this idea from Shari Sloane and she has some printables to go with them... Shake and Share Addition and Shake and Share Subtraction. Simple project to make.... I got some small Dasani water bottles, threw in two dice, sprinkled in some glitter (I matched my glitter to the dice... I'm cutesy like that!), add a few drops of dish soap to stop the glitter from clumping, put the lid back on, and glue shut with some E6000 glue. Voila! A fun way to spruce up your dice games. Plus.... they are a lot quieter than rolling dice on the desk!

Now before I get into the second linky party, I just wanted to share with you a brief family history. I come from a very close family of teachers. My mom is a teacher. Her mom is a retired teacher. Her dad is a retired teacher. Her sister is a teacher. My brother is a computer tech. for my mom's school division. Even despite my mom's warnings school stories, I always knew I wanted to be a teacher. The reason I bring this up is... having a mom who is also a teacher is pretty much the most awesome thing ever. Why you ask? Because she gets me. She understands my love of post-its and picture books. She knows I can't walk past a book store or dollar store without going in. Plus she buys me the BEST birthday presents... :D Look at my fabulous new Skippyjon Jones bracelet from Sophie's Beads. I am in love!! I plan to wear this bracelet every single day this year.

Thanks, Mom!!! (Oh, and if that wasn't enough... she also got me a Pete the Cat shirt & bag and a Classroom Friendly Sharpener. Love!) Ok, onto my second linky party... Is that allowed? Two in one post? Oh well, no blog police around... Here we go! It is Teacher Week over at Blog Hoppin' and today is "Must-Haves Monday".

Here are my top five must haves for back to school:

{1.} An organized teacher binder! I like to keep my lesson plans, parent contact info., classlists, calendars, etc. all in one binder. I'll take pics of binder once I get it up and running. I also keep a second binder for my assessments and student info.

{2.} A desk calendar. I am a visual person so I like to see everything  all laid out in front of me.

{3.} Good read alouds. I have said this many times--I love books! Big books, small books, funny books, sad books. Here are some of my favourite back to school books:

{4.} My laptop. I blogstalk, I create, I buy, I share. I need my laptop. And it's purple. My favourite colour.

{5.} A cute back to school outfit! (Or five...) I bought this cute shirt from Old Navy. It has tiny green apples all over it! Paired with a demin jacket... looks adorable!

What are your back to school must haves? Link up with Blog Hoppin'!

Thursday 16 August 2012

Sneak a Peak {Linky}

My poor wallet is mad at me. It has been taking quite the hit these last few weeks! I was so excited for the back to school sale at TpT because my cart was just bursting at the seams!! I'm glad my ink arrived last week so now I can get everything printed out and ready for the year! I am linking up with Blog Hoppin' to share my top ten B2S purchases(in no particular order). {Note: I did purchase way more, but ten seemed suitable to share!} Click the picture of each product to check them out at TpT.

Must Have #1: Back to School with Kevin Henkes & Friends by Brooke Hildebrand at Once Upon a First Grade Adventure. I always start the year off with Kevin Henkes books... especially Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse, Chrysanthemum, and Wemberly Worried. This unit is packed full of activities to go with those books perfectly!

Must Have #2: Elmer Book Study by Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits. Love this book and the craftivity is just adorable!

Must Have #3: Cut, Stack, Staple and Read by Kim Adsit. A different way to do emergent readers. Easy and fun! Perfect for practicing fluency.

Must Have #4: Egg Carton Math Shake-Up Gams by Sarah Cooley at First Grader... At Last. I have been saving my egg cartons all summer so I can make these! 

Must Have #5: Let's Get Started Math Lesson by Amy Lemons. I love these lessons! Especially the math tools vs. toys sort. This is perfect to teach first graders about math manipulatives and how to take care of them.

Must Have #6: Saved by the Bell by Cara Carroll. A great stash of activities to keep the kiddos engaged while I am busy getting supplies, forms, and other things organized! This will be perfect!

Must Have #7: School's In Session by Julie Lee. I have a very weak class coming in, so these Kindergarten activities will be perfect for the beginning of the year.

Must Have #8: Story Stones by Natalie's Nook. I knew I had to make these as soon as I saw them on Natalie's blog! They are adorable! Pictures modge podged onto rocks as story starters! Love!! I still have to go buy some rocks from Michael's so I can make these.

Must Have #9: Word Family Book by Mrs. Lindsey, The Teacher Wife. This was on my list of things to make for my class, so when I saw this I thought it was perfect! Glad I can check at least one thing off my to do list! :)

And last but not least, Must Have #10: Ten Flashing Fireflies by Ms. Arnold at Oceans of 1st Grade Fun. A fun little addition pack to go with the book ten flashing fireflies. I love connecting math and books, so this was a must have for me!

What did you buy? I'm excited to sneak a peak into all your shopping carts!

Tuesday 14 August 2012

Monday Made It... Just a Tad Late!

It's probably still Monday somewhere, right? I hope I'm not too late! Between this TpT sale and building a deck on the front of the house, it has been busy busy around here! But I am linking up with Tara's 11th Monday Made It over at 4th Grade Frolics!

Before I get to my made its, I just want to say a HUGE thank you to everyone that bought something from my store during the back to school sale. I truly appreciate your business and hope that my products are really useful to you and your class. I never make anything I don't use myself, in the class! :) Alright, on to the main event...

Made It #1: Lucky Duck Sticks

I finally went out and bought new popsicle sticks so I could make these! I painted the sticks two colours and printed my students' names on small labels, then modge podged over them to seal it all. I think they look just ducky! ;)

Made It #2: Brain Breaks

Similar to the duck sticks, I painted these sticks two colours so that once we complete an activity, we can flip it over until we've tried them all! I put together a variety of exercises, songs and videos, games, and movement activities.

Made It #3: Tattling Teddy

I had pinned an adorable tattling teddy from Playground Duty and knew I had to make my own! I found the adorable brown teddy and the blue basket from the Dollar Tree. I added some blue ribbon to the teddy and painted a wooden kleenex box (from Michaels) blue and modge podged a little sign to the side. I just have to find a notepad or some index cards to stick in the basket with the pencil.

Made It #4: Plastic Bag Holder

I took an empty plastic coffee can and spray painted it blue. I cut a whole in the lid, filled the can with plastic bags, and modge podged a little label on the side. Now I have a cute place to keep all those plastic bags at hand!

Made It #5: Pete the Cat Reading Buddy Holder

If you are a Canadian follower... I just went shopping at Superstore and they have the most ADORABLE kids' room decor items. They had a bunch of items that had this adorable blue bear... I found this blue soft square tub with the bear face and instantly knew I could transform it a bit... into Pete!! I just used the back of the bear, stuck on some vinyl, altered the ears a bit, and VOILA! I'm going to put all my stuffed animals into it so that students can choose one to read with.

Alright, now onto the FUN PART! It was my birthday combined with Christmas combined with back to school sales. It was unbelievable! I showed up to the post office today to find some very large boxes waiting for me! They were my cheap ink refills off Amazon (so now I can print out all my new TpT purchases!), my Really Good Stuff order, and some new books!!

From Really Good Stuff, I got my book bins... love the brighty colours! I also got some unifix cube trains to use in my small group math lessons. That Tic-Tac-Toe pocket chart was in the clearnace section for only $5.99. I'm sure I'll find many uses for it! I also got those animal ice breaker cards as a free gift!

And more shopping at Superstore... I found this new Scrabble Game--Scrabble Soup! I can see some super fun word work activities with this! And I bought some more props for math activities--divided plates for part-part-whole activities, apple ice cube trays for some sort of toss game, and a barrel of monkeys for.... well, who doesn't need a barrell of monkeys??

I really need to get into my classroom so I can empty out my living room! I'm starting to look like a hoarder... I've got boxes and bags and bins and stuffed animals and posters EVERYWHERE! On Monday I get to go visit my new room!! We don't go back until Sept. 4th, thank goodness! Are any of you back already? How was your first day? :)

Sunday 12 August 2012

Back to School Sale! **Update**

**Whoopsie** I totally goofed on my very first linky party! I feel like such a dummy! I put the wrong promo code! It's suppose to be BTS12! Everything has been changed and the buttons have been updated, so I hope I didn't mess anyone up! Thanks to my mom and lovely Hadar for pointing it out to me! :) Thanks to all the bloggers who have linked up already! I can't wait to check out all your stores!

It's the back to school sale!!! 28% off at many of your favourite bloggers' stores! Check out all the stores by clicking the picture below. Don't forget to use the promo code BTS12 at checkout. I know my shopping cart is already full, how about yours?? Happy shopping! :)

Saturday 11 August 2012

Calendar Routine and Journal

I really enjoy calendar time. You go through so many skills in such a short amount of time. And the great thing is that you can add new things as you go! At the beginning of the year we work on counting to 30 and skip counting by 10s. Then as the year goes on, we work on counting to 100, counting backwards, skip counting by 5s, and skip counting by 2s. We hit patterns, tally marks, graphing, place value... So much to learn!

I thought I would give you a peek into my daily math calendar routine. {Note: Most pictures are from last year... boo! Can't wait to get into my new classroom and get my new calendar set up!}

So I don't do classroom jobs in my rooom... Too much to organize! I just have one special student of the day--my star of the day. This person gets to be the line leader, helps me pass things out, and does the calendar for us! As the star is doing the calendar wall, all the other students are working in their calendar journals. This way, everyone is engaged and working! :)

First up is the calendar. I use this pocket chart calendar with the Poppin' Patterns months and numbers. Love them!! Each month of numbers is a different pattern and they just have the cutest graphics! **Fun tip** I put all the calendar pieces in the pocket chart at the beginning of the month, flipped around, so that each day the star just has to flip the number over. We don't have to search the room for that missing number! It works perfectly.

I also made these little cards that I put in the pockets for holidays and special events. At the beginning of each month we go over all the upcoming events! It's very exciting when the kids start counting down fun things, like Valentine's Day and Field Trips! Here's a picture of a few of my cards:

If you could use these cards, click {here} to download them. If you would like a blank template to make your own, click {here}. It's a PowerPoint document. The font I used is called "Wish I Were Here" and can be downloaded from Kevin & Amanda here. You just need to change the words and add your own clipart.

As we flip over the number each day, we talk about the pattern that the pictures make. We write on this little white board the letter name for the pattern (AB, ABC, etc.). At the start of the month we make predictions as to what we think will come next. I write it on the board as a dotted letter, so we can check our prediction the next day! I usually have the star of the day think of a way to represent the pattern with our body. For example, an ABC pattern might go stomp, clap, snap, stomp, clap, snap. It's a fun way to get our bodies moving!

Next we keep a tally mark chart of how many school days are in the month. This chart is laminated so I can just erase each month and start new.

Then we change the yesterday, today, and tomorrow cards in this mini pocket chart, and the star looks out the window and decides the weather. We put a weather card under the date and colour in a spot on the laminated weather report graph. At the end of the month we look at the graph and decide which weather was the most and which was the fewest.

Next we do a few activities to count how many days we have been in school. We add a straw to our pocket chart. When we get to ten, we bundle it up and move it to the tens spot. This is great for reinforcing place value. We also count the straws. We count the bundles of ten first, then the ones.

The star adds a number to our 100 chart. We usually practice counting up to the number as well.

Last year we added a bump to our caterpillar every day. He was one long caterpillar by day 182!! I'm not sure what I'm going to do next year, I'm still thinking on it...

And lastly we add a dot to our ten frame. Last year I had paper ten frames and the kids added a dot with bingo dabbers. This was fun, but a little messy. Especially those little lovelies who have to press the dabber extremely hard when I'm not looking, so the ink drips down the page... Fantastic! So I updated my ten frames to be cute and colourful and laminated! I also created this little poster to go with it. The star will colour a dot on the ten frame with a dry erase marker and write how many tens and ones the number has. More place value practice!

I also updated my birthday chart. I have some cute mini cupcake stickers I'm going to stick on here once I get my birthday list. For now, I just drew a few smilies on it.

We also keep track of any teeth that are lost with a tally chart. This can be erased each month.

So here's a peek at my journals. {Remember: no school access, so I can't photocopy and bind yet... Just giving you an example here!} I print the covers on bright coloured cardstock and bind them at the top with a plastic comb coil.

Inside the cover is a days of the week/months helper page. We sometimes practice reading these or chanting them. The first page is "How Many Days Have We Been in School?" The students colour in their ten frames here when the star is doing the ten frames on the calendar wall.

Next is "Let's Count the Days of School..." where the students write a number each day, when the star writes the number on the caterpillar or adds the number to the 100 chart.

And then I have the monthly calendars and weather graphs. I make it so the calendar is at the top and the weather report is at the bottom when I bind them together. I start the year off by having dotted numbers in the calendar, but we work our way to blank calendars where students have to write their own numbers. We write the number, colour in the pattern, and make a tally mark. At the end of the month we also write what the monthly pattern is, how many days in the month, and how many school days in the month. We colour in the weather graph, tally any lost teeth, and record our friends' birthdays.

If you are interested in starting your own calendar journal, I've included my journals with matching posters in this pack on TpT. You can check it by clicking this picture:

In this pack you will get: journal cover (two options), days of the week/months helper page, ten frame page, number writing page, 12 dotted number calendars, 12 black calendars, and 12 weather reports.

You will also get ten frame posters (large and small size) with place value poster, tooth chart, tally chart, birthday graph, and weather report.

I can't wait to get my calendar all set up! Do you enjoy calendar as much as I do?

Don't forget tomorrow is the big TpT back to school sale!! Check out my link to see the amazing teachers that are having sales in their store! You can get as much as 28% off! Don't forget to use the promo code BTS12 at checkout. Click the button below to link up if you haven't yet!