Sunday 30 September 2012


Thank you to everyone who entered my little giveaway. Congratulations to the winner.... Cecelia P.! You will be receiving an email from me shortly....

Saturday 22 September 2012

Weekly Update & Giveaway!!!

Here's a peak at some of the things we did this week... Hold tight, it's a long one!! In math I have slowly been introducing the math by myself and math with someone activities. We have just about gotten through all of them. I used some of the centres I posted about last year {here} and some from my Intro to Guided Math Centres that you can buy {here}. We've also been working on the numbers 1-5. I made this "All About the Number Chart" inspired by Kim Adsit's chart from her All About Numbers pack. We complete the chart together then work on a little number book. This year I am using Kathleen's mini books from her Fun with Numbers! pack.

When we worked on the number 5, we read/sang the book "Five Green and Speckled Frogs". Then we did a little activity on the Mimio. I chose a student to move some frogs onto the log and some into the pool. Then we wrote the addition sentence together. We did this a few times to get all the ways to make 5! If you have a Mimio, you can download my file from MimioConnect {here}.

The next day we sang the song again. This time I had five students wear froggy neclaces and "act out" the song for us. Then we made our own froggy craft! We glued a log and pool down, then they could glue some frogs on the log and some in the pool. Then we filled in the numbers. You can download all the pieces here.

We have been chugging along with our Daily 5 practice. We are still building stamina with our Read to Self. Next week we will start Read to Someone. I love using my Mimio to organize Daily 5 things. I made this chart to keep track of our reading buddies.

I have 10 word work stations that I want to teach the class. So for this week, I put the class into five groups and each group will get the chance to do 2 stations each day. That way, by the end of the week they will have tried them all and when we get into our rotations (hopefully by Oct. 1) they can start to choose which activity they would like to do during Word Work.

Our theme this week was family. We read a few different books about families and talked about how families are alike and different. We brainstormed all the people (and animals) that are part of our family. Then we practiced our family words by drawing some pictures of family members in the boxes. Click here to download your copy of family words.

We did a venn diagram of our brothers and sisters on the Mimio. I have no only children in my class! After the graph we drew a picture of our family--just the family that lives in our house. We practiced writing our last name at the top and wrote how many people in our family at the bottom. The pictures turned out really cute! Click here to download your own copy of the family portrait page.

And lastly, we made a family glyph (idea from Shari Sloane). You can download the words for the key here. The letter clipart is from KPM Doodles.

If you made it to the end of this post, you deserve a prize. So here it is--giveaway time! I am celebrating over 500 followers! 517 to be exact.

One lucky reader will win themselves these three prizes:

{1.} Any three items from my TpT store.
{2.} $20 Amazon gift certificate (.ca or .com)
{3.} A one-year classroom subscription to Samson's Classroom ($80 value)

This giveaway will run for one week. 
I will announce the winner on Sunday, September 30th. 

Samson's Classroom is a paid website, for students in grades K-5, that helps students work on their sight words, spelling, and reading. It has some really fun activities! I am going to use the sight word section with my students this year. Click here to watch a video of how the site works.

I'm using RaffleCopter for the first time, so here goes it! Hope it works!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday 15 September 2012

Starting the Daily 5

So I have officially completed seven full days of school. Whew! It is been a whirlwind of learning procedures and routines (the kids AND me!!! the joys of moving to a new school yet again... hehe). I can't wait to get to the point where we can actually learn something.

My favourite new things in my classroom this year is my Mimio! If you don't know, the Mimio is a small device that turns your whiteboard into an interactive screen. (It connects to your computer and projector.) I have used a SMARTBoard in the past and I think I liked it better, but the Mimio is a cheaper alternative and it's pretty simple to figure out. It comes with a pen that you have to use as a pointer. It's funny how engaged the kids can be when doing anything on it.

I have been using the Mimio a lot with the start of our Daily 5. I keep all of our anchor charts in one file so we can refer back to them each day as we start, so then I don't have to have them hanging on the wall where there is not much space. I found a lot of great ideas from Mrs. Meacham's Classroom. She has a bunch of great Daily 5 SMARTboard files to download for free. A lot of the book ideas came from her! Love it.

So we have just begun practicing read to self. We're up to a whole 6 minutes. Not bad with 26 students. Do you know how hard it is to find reading spots for 26 students? Changing books with 26 students? Everything with 26 students takes a long time. They're so slow at everything! And they take up so much space! lol. I think I was just spoiled with 21 students last year. Anywho, the first day we read the book "Look! I Can Read!" by Susan Hood. Then we wrote a list of all the people who read books.

We completed our read to self I-chart together. We kept it very simple and only had four things on the students side: read the whole time, stay in the same spot, be very quiet, and think about the book. 

Then I created a stamina chart to help us keep track of how long we can read. Love the little interactive timer I downloaded from Mimio Connect. I created two charts... one for Days 1-10 and Days 11-20. Hopefully we will make it to 20 minutes by then.

The second day of practice we read the book "Read Anything Good Lately?" by Susan Allen. This is a cute alphabet book that lists all the things you can read: an atlas in the airport, a biography in bed, etc. Then we made a list of all the things we might read.

After that we read "The Best Place to Read" by Debbie Bertram. We made a list of places we like to read. 

Then we talked about reading spots in the classroom. With 26 students all practicing at the same time right now, they need to be spread out. So I took pictures of the areas in the room (not many... no cute chairs or stools yet) and placed them in the Mimio. Then I added the students' pictures. Now I just have to move the students' faces around each time. Easy peasy! Once we get into the full swing of things, I won't pick their spots for them because there will only be 5 or 6 students at a time doing read to self. When we get into practicing read to someone, I'll do the same kind of thing to pick reading partners. Gotta make it easy with 26 bodies!

The next day we read the book "The Best Time to Read" by Debbie Bertram and made a list of when we like to read. This was good to do a little informal survey of who actually reads at home too... Very interesting!

We also started to talk about the three ways to read books. First, we practiced reading the pictures. I found this adorable wordless picture book called "Deep in the Forest" by Brinton Turkle. It's like a reverse take on Goldilocks. A people family goes out for the day and a little black bear comes into their house. I modelled how to "read" the pictures by telling my own story. Then I read the familiar story of "Brown Bear, Brown Bear" by Bill Martin, Jr. and we talked about how to read the words.

The day after we looked at the story "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" and talked about the third way to read a book--retelling a familiar story.

We also read the book "Reading Makes You Feel Good" by Todd Parr. We talked about all the reasons why we read books. 

That's all we've gotten to so far! If you are interested, I put all my blank anchor charts into a pdf file for you to download below. There are I-charts and stamina grpahs for all five choices. If you have a Mimio or SMARTboard or other interactive whiteboard, you can insert the pdf into that software and you have your own electronic charts! Or if you prefer the old fashioned way, you can print out the posters to use. Leave me a note if you find these useful! I love the feedback!

Disclaimer: The Daily 5 & CAFE resources are unofficial adaptations of the Daily 5 by Gail Boushey & Joan Moser. This freebie is not endorsed by the 2 Sisters.

Enjoy your weekend everybody. I am looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow morning.... Mmmm :)

Wednesday 5 September 2012

First Day and Classroom Pics

Oh boy, this year is definitely going to be an adventure! We had our first day of school today and we really got nothing accomplished. lol. So many procedures to get through! Morning routine, religious exercises, bathroom rules, hallway walking, recess time, snack time, lunch time, music class, home time... Hoo boy! :) We made it though! I have quite the mixture of students. Some cuties, some quiet ones, some space cadets, some class clowns, some Lacey-Walker-Nonstop-Talkers, and some low bunnies. Love it!

I did manage to take my kiddos pictures with my Pinterest-crazed picture frame. I snuck them out one at a time to snap a quick picture while they were having some free exploration time with some mah manipulatives. I just put out tubs of bear/animal counters, pattern blocks, links, unifix cubes, and dominoes. We just rotated the tubs every ten minutes or so. Fun and easy math block! (And it stopped all the asking for playtime.. sorry, we're not in Kindergarten anymore!)

Alright, on to the classroom pics! There's still a million things I wish I could do and a million and one things to organize. Bleh. If you read my blog often, you probably know I love labels. So moving into someone else's classroom that is full of all their stuff and not labelled (how I like) stinks! I feel like I can't get truly organized because there's too much stuff! I still have boxes in the corner of my room! Yuck! Oh well, what can ya do! :) Here's a smattering of pictures...

My Classroom Door... The kids love Pete already!

Here's a view of my classroom from the doorway. 
26 (plus me) bodies is a lot to fit in this room!

My mailboxes... It's a shoe organizer I found at Kmart. 
I put the students' names on binder clips and clipped them to the shelves. 
They stay on very well! I have 26 students though, so I had to add an extra tub on top.

 Here's my Daily 5 rotation pocket chart, word wall, 
levelled books, and student book boxes.

Sorry for the shouty caps. 
I love my library space. 
Sure it's missing a few pillows or cute chairs, but look at that rug! 
Adorable! Found that at Target.

The dark brown shelf on the left holds tubs of books sorted by author or series 
(with some matching stuffy friends for reading buddies!)
The light brown shelf on the right holds theme books. 
Right now it is full of school-related books.

This is my author study wall. First up--Kevin Henkes! 
His books are perfect for back to school.

Here is my guided reading area. Nothing special. 
No cute crate stools. Maybe one year.

 Here's my calendar area. Love it! 
My Mimio software just got installed today, 
so I'm looking forward to playing around with it soon!

On top here I have my listening stations. 
In the five blue tubs are mp3 players with head phones.
Below that are my word work tubs. 
Not exactly set up, but we're no where near ready for word work yet!

And here is my math shelf. 
I seriously just started to organize it after school. 
It was a mess. Don't believe me? Look here. Scary, eh?
The tubs with the yellow labels are "Math by Myself" activities 
(hands-on centres to complete independently).
The red labels are "Math with Someone" activities.
The bottom shelf is just extra maniuplatives.
The white tub is all my math books. I have a ton!

 Here's the table beside my desk.
 I need to cover it. It's ugly. And has a few splinters I'm sure.
The supply caddies turned out cute though!

My Daily 5 math rotation pocket chart, computers, alphabet up top, 
behaviour chart (not done the clothespins yet), and daily schedule.

Here's my back counter area. I love my cupboards! 
I'm not a huge fan of hard cover books, so I usually take off the flap 
(if the cover underneath is the same). 
Then I cut out the pics of my favourite characters for a display!
The green and blue tubs are to help me organize--there's a tub for laminating, photocopying, 
correcting, filing, and sending home. Right now the tubs are covered in a layer of junk.
And that's it! Hope you enjoyed the tour! 
I hope I can come visit you again soon. I am pooped these days!

Monday 3 September 2012

September Currently (really... already??) and Labour Day Sale

The arrival of September means back to school, fall, and of course.... Farley's Currently! Check it out at her blog Oh' Boy 4th Grade! If you link up, make sure you follow her rule of three!

So my favourite things... Love my puppies! They get along so much better than we could have ever hoped! They are just the bestest of friends. We just got back from a huge camping trip with our friends... 20 people and 6 dogs on one beautiful, lakefront sight. Best time ever! Here's my favourite pic of my puppies:

Also, loving my new haircut! I did absolutely nothing to my hair for an entire year... No cuts or colours. So it was time for a change! I chopped it all off and went back to a darker brown colour. Love the results!

And finally... Palm Bays. Our official sponsor of our camping weekend (not really, but it should have been!) These are by far my favourite canned/bottled beverage. So tasty!

To cap off a wonderful last long weekend of the summer, I am joining in with the Labour Day sale! Everything in my store is 20% off today only. Offer expires at midnight tonight! Click the picture to check out my store:

{Thanks for the pic, Hadar!}

**Fun Fact** Yesterday was actually my one-year bloggiversary! Can't believe it's been a whole year of blogging! Wow! :) So let's make it a Labour Day/Bloggiversary sale! ;)

 {Thanks to Dreamlike Magic for the clipart!}