Monday 29 July 2013


Congrats to the winner of my 700 follower giveaway--Amy! Amy, check your email for more info!

Thanks to everyone who entered the contest! I feel bad now for making you countdown how many days of summer are left... Especially those who go back next week!! Oh boy! Well enjoy the rest of your summer and I'll be back again soon! Toodles!

Friday 26 July 2013

Hall Pass Freebies and Where Are We? Mini-Posters {Plus a Giveaway!}

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen this picture of my awesome Oriental Trading loot that came in the mail last week. I got some awesome Dr. Seuss cut outs, some fun fish counters, an inflatable campfire (have been dying for this forever!!), a cute treasure box, a fun word work centre, tooth keeper necklaces (144 for $7.25!!), and some bright colourful lanyards.

The lanyards I bought because I wanted to make some hallway passes. I like the idea of a lanyard when students go to the bathroom because they don't have to hold on to it while they go! Yuck! :) The pack I bought has 6 fun, bright colours. I made two bathroom passes, a telephone pass, and a water fountain pass.

The other two I used for a fire drill class last. I saw this idea on Pinterest, to keep the lanyard by my door and have my class list on the back, so it's easy to grab when I'm heading out the door.

The final lanyard I made for myself is a classroom management trick I'm going to try next year. My new school is a K-9 school, so we have the juniour high sports teams and our school mascot is a Bengal. Well I just happened to have a cute stuffed tiger (an adopted pet from WWF) that I decided was going to be Benji the Bengal. I'm going to pass out Benji Bucks to students for good behaviour. Those tickets will go into a bucket and each day I'll pull out a ticket and that student gets to be Benji's Caretaker. They get to keep the stuffy for the day and wear the badge. I think this will be a fun motivator for students!

Now, I know not many of you are going to have a "Benji Caretake" in your class, so I have added a "Nurse Pass" to the collection of hallway passes because I know a lot of schools down south have nurses. I have made these passes a freebie, so click {here} to download.

Now keeping with my fun, colourful theme, I wanted to create a set of "Where Are We?" posters to hang outside my new classroom. I just adore Melonheadz clipart and I had the perfect sets to create these fun posters. I always have my special helper change it whenever we head somewhere in the school. These posters are two-to-a-page. I print them out on cardstock, laminate them, and hang them on a ring outside my classroom door. Click the picture to check out the poster at TpT.

As I logged into blogger to put this post together, I glanced at my stats and noticed I had 700 followers! Wow! I can't believe my little blog reaches that many people! So as a thank you, I am having a little giveaway! For 700 followers, you can win 7 items! Your choice of any seven items from my TpT store. Just enter on the Rafflecopter before Sunday at midnight and you can win! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday 18 July 2013

Back to School Word Work Centres

I have put together a few back to school word work centres. I liked using these centres in September because they are so hands on and very engaging for these young learners. Each of my word work packs have similar activities, so when I switch them out my students still know how to do them. Stamping is a centre I have all year round. This back to school centre has a mini booklet of ten school words for students to stamp and colour.

The second centre was a favourite among my kiddos. Who doesn't love to use bingo dabbers? This centre has two sets of cards--lowercase letters and uppercase letters. I put one set out at a time with a recording sheet. Students choose a card, find the matching letter, and dab it! There are two lowercase and two uppercase recording sheets. One is in ABC order and one is random. You could also use the cards to play concentration or as a pocket chart matching activity.

The third centre uses mangetic letters (or foam letters or glitter stickers or included letters). There are a bunch of different sequences that students need to find the missing letters for. There are two possible recording sheets to go with the centre too.

The next centre is a short A word family sorts. Students sort picture cards by the correct word family. There is a cut and paste recording sheet to go with it.

The last centre in this pack is to practice initial sounds. There are 26 picture cards. Students choose a card, draw the picture on their recording sheet, and write the letter of the first sound. I make the recording sheet double-sided, so students have more spaces to draw and write.

If you are interested, you can check out this pack at TpT by clicking {here} or the picture below.

Sunday 14 July 2013

Phonics Cards Updated

I had a few requests to make my phonics cards into full-size posters and I finally finished adding the posters to my pack. I took the same 120 phonics sounds and turned them into large posters. So in the pack you get 120 small cards (3.5x3.5") and 120 large posters (8.5x11"). If you want smaller posters, you could print them off two to a page from Adobe. The price hasn't changed. If you already purchased the pack, make sure you go to TpT, My Purchases, and re-download the pack to get the additional posters!

Click this picture to check out the pack at TpT.

This is a sample of the small phonics cards--six to a page.

This is a sample of a large poster--same colours and clipart as the small cards.

Here is a quick preview of all 120 sounds included in the pack. 

Saturday 13 July 2013

Thanks! Freebie!

Thank you lovely ladies for your advice! I liked the idea of having a row of five apples the same colour. It will definitely be good for building number sense. So I decided to keep the same colours for all the numbers 0-20. Here's a pic of my cards, all printed and cut, waiting to be laminated!

They're pretty simple, but I think they turned out pretty cute! If you would like a copy for yourself, you can download theme {here}.

Thursday 11 July 2013


I've just been enjoying another lazy summer day... playing with the puppies in the pool, baking cookies, a bit of laundry thrown in... I also started designing some number posters for my room. For my alphabet, I use the Carson-Dellosa Quick Stick Alphabet. I love the bright colours, cute images, and the fact that they have two pictures for the short and long vowels! They don't stick anymore though. I mounted them on cardstock and laminated them. Now they will last forever! 

Well, I want to create some number posters to display in my classroom that matches the alphabet set. So I'm putting together these cute, colourful apple posters.

Here's a close up of some of the numbers. They aren't full page. They measure 6x8.25" to match my alphabet.

Now here's my dilemma.... There are ten different coloured apples. But notice how the coloured apples follow the same pattern on each number poster? Should I keep it like that or should I mix up the order of colours on each number? I'm not sure what would look best! Advice? :D 

Oh, and I'll put these up as a Facebook fan freebie when I'm done!

Wednesday 10 July 2013

Picture Book Linky Party #3

Phew! I'm all caught up! Woo hoo! This is my third picture book post and I'm linking up with DeAnne over at First Grade and Fabulous for the most current Picture Book Linky Party #3. This week's topic is Picture Books for Character Education.

How Are You Peeling? Foods with Moods by Saxton Freymann

Love the real photographs of these "foods with moods". Great book to use to talk about feelings.

Have You Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud

I haven't tried setting up individual or class buckets yet, but I do enjoy reading the story and using the language to talk about bucket fillers and bucket dippers. I think it's a good metaphor that first graders can understand. I did buy this adorable Bucket Filler Craftivity from First Grade Fever that I would love to try out! 

Elmer by David McKee

Such a classic story about being true to yourself!

Chester Raccoon and the Big Bad Bully by Audrey Penn

Another great book by Audrey Penn, author of The Kissing Hand. This one is a great story to deal with bullying and to talk about what to do if you or a friend is being bullied!

Don't Squeal Unless It's A Big Deal: A Tale of Tattletales by Jeanie Franz Ransom

Tattling is such an issue with first graders. I did a really good sort with my class about which scenarios were reporting and which ones were tattling. So if someone was coming up to me with "He cut me in line!!" I could just respond with, "Are you tattling or reporting?" Usually they would realize it's not life or death and the world could continue tor evolve. hehe. You can find the sorting cards in this post {here}.

Lacey Walker Nonstop Talker by Christianne Jones

Good book to talk about voice levels AND the importance of listening.... Nobody wants a friend that never listens! Lacey learns her friend is actually pretty funny when she gives her the chance to talk! :)

Freckleface Strawberry by Julianne Moore

Love Julianne Moore (the actress) and love her books. The first one is a great story about loving yourself and all the unique things about you. The second book, Dodgeball Bully, is about standing up for yourself. I just found out there is a third book, Best Friends Forever, so of course I had to add it to my shopping cart. Haha!

You Get What You Get by Julie A. Gassman

I think every teacher needs to use the phrase "You get what you get and you don't get upset!" (or throw a fit, depending on where ya live!) It's a phrase I say many times a week... when passing out treats or papers or erasers... whatever it is! We are happy and thankful for whatever we may get! :) This book talks about that concept perfectly.

Jungle Bullies by Steven Kroll

A good story that teaches kids that even laughing at someone can hurt someone's feelings.

My Mouth is a Volcano!,  Personal Space Camp, and A Bad Case of Tattle Tongue by Julia Cook

Love all three of these books from Julia Cook. My Mouth is a Volcano! teaches about blurting. Personal Space Camp is great for teaching about personal space/boundaries. A Bad Case of Tattle Tongue gives a few rules about tattling.

Link up your favourite character education books with DeAnne over at First Grade and Fabulous!

Tuesday 9 July 2013

Picture Book Linky Party #2

And I'm back for round 2! I am linking up with First Grade and Fabulous again for DeAnne's Picture Book Linky Party #2. This week's (day's) topic is Picture Books to Help Teach Math Concepts.

A great introduction to problem solving and addition strategies. There's cute little word problems that make students think about how to solve equations. Cute pictures as well!

This is a good book to talk about how numbers are everywhere! From our house number to our phone number, we use numbers every day. With this book, I plan to do a Math About Me activity... Love these number people from the blog Just Add Clipart

I love the whole MathStart series by Stuart J. Murphy. I have a ton of other titles as well. If you go to the website {here}, they have tons of activities to go with the books too!

This is a classic story for teaching fair shares/division. KindergartenWorks has a free retell literacy center that would be good for math as well. Check it out {here}.

This is a cute book for teaching about skip counting. It shows how it's faster to count by 10's than it is to count by 1's, but you still get to the same end result!

This is a fun book to talk about shapes. The First Grade Parade has some cute ideas for math problems using the book as a spring board.

I made these adorable Penny crafts as a centre last year, which I got from Primary Junction's Second Grade Common Core Measurement Unit. They were fun to make and my students had a fun time using various non-standard units to measure Penny's head.

This is a fun book to use to show different ways to make numbers, based on the number of feet different animals have.

1 = snail
2 = human
3 = human and a snail

See all the possibilities you can do? 

5 = a dog and a snail, or it could be 5 snails, or it could be two humans and a snail! 
This book leads to some very open-ended thinking skills.

All of Greg Tang's math books involve a lot of problem solving skills. You can view all of his books in an eBook format (with audio!) on his website. There are also some free games you can download too.

If You Were a Plus Sign and If You Were a Minus Sign by Speed Shaskan

These are great books to introduce addition and subtraction.

Do you use picture books to teach math? Link up with DeAnee over at First Grade and Fabulous to share your favourites!