Wednesday, August 29, 2012

happy hump day freebie

Is tomorrow already Thursday?! Thank goodness! I mean this week has just been rolling along and it is beginning to dawn on me that it is already progress report time-- say what?! I know some of you are just beginning your school year, it is hard to believe we are almost halfway through the first 9 weeks...our 20th day to be exact!

I finally took some pictures of my A-D-O-R-A-B-L-E milk crate seats at my guided reading table.

I love them! I put hanging file folders inside and now I am storing my leveled readers that came with the reading series in them. I have each week separated in a file folder (I should've taken a pic! sorry!). I am hoping this will make finding books super easy and now they aren't in those UGLY, HUGE reading series displays. I am in love! 

This week we have been working on communities. I found the perfect circle map on pinterest:
I used this template from Ginger Snaps in our lesson yesterday. I also introduced the topic with BrainPop, Jr. (have you used this?). I really like how I can introduce a topic and the kids are totally engaged. 

Here is our anchor chart. I broke the Fire Marshall's rules and hung it on the blinds. I need my wall space for other (more important) anchor charts! 

We are working with another first grade class to build a first grade community tomorrow! I can't wait to see how it turns out!

In other news, we are working on addition with Envisions. Do you use Envisions? I HATE the way it teaches addition with part part whole. It doesn't make any sense. So, I made some super cute Part, Part, Whole mats! Feel free to use :)

Click the pic for the TPT link!

One more thing, have you seen these before?

These little cones are an AWESOME behavior management tool. During whole group, small groups, transitions, basically anytime during the day I use these to keep my tables on track. I just have to drop one on the desk (it makes this noise that automatically gets the other tables attention). The table with the most cones at the end of the day gets their choice of a gumball or a dum-dum from this:

I used this during open house too. Those blue circles are actually items from my wish list. 
Anyway, those cute little cones are from Dollar Tree! Have a great rest of the week :)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Late Freebie Friday and an AMAZING pencil

I know... I am late... It seems sometimes in this bloggy world we make our own time! I have been working hard to start centers next week. It will be challenging, but it WILL happen!

I hope to actually pull a small group by the end of the week... it's only the 4th week of school...
we have learned a few things...

For example: I learned on Friday that First Grade will be taking the Stanford Achievement Test this year! Am I super excited about this?

I don't know... Should I be? Apparently, teachers in our county haven't been happy with the new eval. system-- part of it includes TCAP scores (which are not from 1st grade) being averaged into our evaluations. I can understand that frustration but my firsties are not, I REPEAT, NOT ready for a standardized test! Who's with me on this? Any of you going through this?

I am going to get over it... I mean.. I don't have a choice! So, we REALLY REALLY need to start guided reading ASAP!

I know I posted all summer about D5 and I really really really wanted to implement it but with my late move, my lack of leveled readers, and my EL kids--- it isn't happening right now! It may happen at Christmas... just slowly take away a center a week until all that is left is D5. We shall see... I hope everyone else is moving right along with it!

That is why I am a late linker. I stayed at school for 3 hours today (with my sweet little girl) to prepare centers for Monday morning. Glad that is out of the way... and I was even able to go get some frozen yogurt at our fave, Sweet Cece's, with my little helper.
Phone photo
Now, I can get on with it! I made this freebie a couple weeks ago but didn't post about it. I used it to go along with Topic 1 of Scott Foresman Envisions Math. It was a good "I have, Who has?" ice breaker.

You can click either picture for a link to my TPT store! 
In other news... have you heard of Zebra pens? You can buy them at along with a ton of other supplies (that we use on a daily basis!). I got this neat little binder full of pens in the mail the other day and I can't wait to use them...

You know you can't resist a good pen that just rolls across the paper. I have a favorite pen. (Addison tried to take it out of my purse today-- it wasn't happening!). Anyway, here are some nice writing utensils that are worth a look:

These are all clicker pens... I love a good clicker!

I love this little mechanical pencil! So adorable! It is called a Cadoozle and it is adorable! I am thinking of getting these for birthday presents... you know the kids will love them! 

You should check out for more than just pencils... but that will be my next purchase :)

Last bit of info...

I don't know if anyone recalls this but I was starting a series for Reading Street supplements over the summer and then I switched jobs. I switched to a county that uses Treasures so I will not be adding anymore Reading Street packets to my shop... I will be adding supplemental Treasures packets! I am getting a late start (because of the move... LOL- I wonder how long I can use that excuse for!), so the first one I am posting is for Unit 1, Week 4- Pet Tricks. I will eventually go back and create the first three weeks but I am just going to start from here.
You can click the picture to check it out on TPT! 
Ok, I know that was a long one... Enjoy the freebie and the rest of your weekend!!

Sunday, August 12, 2012


Yesterday there was a package on my doorstep... 

The hubs called me and said, "What have you been ordering on the internet?" I am not an everyday internet shopper (except for TPT and clipart) so I had to think for a minute.... 

When I got home I found out what it was:
A huge box of school supplies/decorations from Craft Project Ideas! I was super excited to open it and go through it today! Look at some of this amazing stuff...

Color posters with Red, Green, Blue, Orange, Yellow, Pink and Purple. These are so cute! I haven't hung any colors up yet this year (with the move I haven't had time) so I am thinking I will move to these colors. They are just so cute!!
I was so excited to see this because I ran out of that hologram border the other day and was thinking how I was going to have to buy more! Saved me a trip! 
Look at all these stickers and incentive charts! There are also stickers for birthdays in blue and pink for boys and girls. If you prefer stamps, they make those too (with the pads). 
There are nametags, notepads, and accent decorations. I love those apples! I will definitely be using them sometime this fall! 
I love these colored file folders! Too cute!!

The best part about all these supplies and decorations... Each is only 88 cents at Walmart. I am usually not a big fan of Wally World but these are worth stopping in for! Check them out for sure :)

Click here if you want to see more products on their website: Craft Project Ideas

Saturday, August 11, 2012

back to school show and tell

I am finally feeling normal... I mean I actually bought some clip art today like I might get around to creating something...eventually!

I took some pictures of my class yesterday... it is still a work in progress but I wanted to share a few things with ya'll...
Here is the inside of my door. I keep my door open 75% of the time so I put this display on the inside of the door. You can download this here
Here is the view when you first walk in
The Reading Nook

Our first bulletin board. 
I wrote all their names on sentences strips and cut up into puzzles pieces. I put the puzzles in individual baggies and each student got their own bag. (I put their #'s on the baggies and made sure they didn't get a bag with their own number on it!) Then they had to put the puzzles together and find their friend (the one who's name was in the bag). Then they drew portraits of each other. Too Cute! I have some awesome artists!!!

Here is my transportation display. We have colored buses, so along with names I added colors to the bus riders. Look at all those bus riders! OMG! These tags are in my mustache packet :)

Here is my hallway display. This makes it easy to change out work fast!!
First, I laminated 20 large pieces of black construction paper. 
Next, I attached clothes pins with hot glue. I made glitter clothespins for this (it was fun, easy, and fast!). Just modge podge, dip in glitter, let dry, re-modge podge, and let dry overnight! Easy peasy!
Finally, I took each student's profile picture the first day. I printed them in black and white, 5x7 size on colored copy paper and laminated them. Then cut out around the profile. Now each student has their silhouette where their work in hanging! I used lime green, blue, and turquoise paper. It is adorable! 

We started Math Envisions this week. I almost forget every year how basic you start. The first topic is numbers 0-12 (it is pretty boring for most of them!) but we are going to do it! I tried to add some fun on Friday. We made fish bowls. They worked in pairs and had to show a word problem with fish counters.  Each two-some had a different number to represent. Here is a completed one:

When they were finished we put glitter on the bottom to look like colorful rocks in the bottom of a bowl. They loved it, and it actually went along with the topic :) I got the bowl and fish from another blog: Give your Octopus a Paintbrush (or 8). She is a stay at home mom that creates printables. So I adapted it for us by adding a story problem to the top. I made this last year (at the beginning), so it is pretty basic but it served its purpose. 
 If you want to use, you can download it on Scribd here:

Math Word Problem

Oh, and don't forget... the big:

Thanks to Amy Lemons for the great sign!

My TPT store is also on sale Today but the extra 10% off occurs only tomorrow and Monday. Click the picture to go directly to my store!

Happy shopping!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

it's august already??

I cannot believe it is already August!! Where have I been? I will tell you where....

In a daze... A school daze...

The craziest thing happened to me since the last time I posted. Life changing crazy....

While I was sitting on the beach, I got a phone call-- a job offer-- to an amazing school!

As my son would say (which I am completely discouraging but will borrow here): SHUT THE FRONT DOOR!

I wasn't planning on changing schools this year- this amazing job just fell in my lap, so I took it!

There was only one little problem.... I got the call Wed. 7/25 and school started on 8/1, and I was IN FLORIDA!! I had to move my other classroom (that was practically together), then try to "pass" all the parts of the new employment with the background check before the first day of school. So for the past 2 weeks I have been in a school daze... I don't know how I am still awake!

One more problem... it is an EL position. Am I worried? Well, I have never actually taught EL but it is a self-contained 1st grade room so I think I can figure it out. I mean all kids have to learn how to read so we are going to figure this out!

The hubs has been amazing! Tomorrow is our 7th anniversary (which I just remembered), need to think of something awesome to do for him... leave me some ideas!

I missed Farley's Currently... so I am a late linker:

B2S Must Haves:

ONE: Milk Crate Seats... I haven't actually made any... yet!! You can better believe that will be my next classroom project. Hopefully I can get them done this weekend! 

TWO: My family has been awesome! My kids have been so flexible starting a new school and me working crazy hours! I love them!!

THREE: I need more time!! My room looks like its together but I am hiding things behind bookcases. I need a filing day!! Hmm... I wonder when that will happen?!

I have some awesome pictures of my room that I will be posting soon! 

One more thing... 

there is kind of a big sale happening this weekend on TPT. Sunday and Monday TPT is offering an additional 10% off sale prices. My store will be on sale from Saturday through Monday. Go get your mustache on... lol