Tuesday, February 24, 2015

All About our Earth and TPT Sale

Due to all the snow and freezing temperatures it has taken us about twice as long to get through this unit but the kids were very interested in our Earth!  I think their favorite studies were the bodies of water.  The conversation about not being able to drink salt water was priceless....the epitome of what a first grader would say!  "BUT I HAVE DRANK SALT WATER BEFORE WHEN I HAD A CUT!!!"  Right, but you can't LIVE off of salt water.  Oh and explaining how 3/4 of the Earth is covered with water...they kept saying the Earth is split into four parts. Hehehe!

I wanted to hook my kids in a fun and engaging way so I gave each student a picture of a particular land form and then had them find their group.  After they thought they had found the correct groups I had each one come to the front of the room and discuss how they knew they belonged together.  The discourse was great to hear them talk about why or why not they were in a group.  The peanut gallery was also chiming in with great input as well!  We finally sorted them in our pocket chart.

After we had our little introduction to landforms we read about the different landforms and created a book.


We then moved on to bodies of water with this informational non-fiction book!  
We also did this super fun flap book!

As a culmination of our studies we did a class true or false sort.

Of course don't forget the TPT ONE DAY TEACHERS ARE HEROES SALE!  My entire store will be 20%, with the code heroes you can save up to 28%!!

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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Teachers Pay Teachers Tip

I have been buying from TPT for about 3 years but just recently began heavily producing my own resources and offering them to other teachers.  What I have learned from being a buyer and a seller is amazing and during this post I want to share a very valuable how to tip.

After you buy a product or download a free product they are all stored in your MY TPT under MY PURCHASES.  Once you click on my purchases you will be able to see everything you have purchased and downloaded for free.
On the following page you will be able to click PAID PURCHASES or FREE DOWNLOADS.
You will want to go in your paid purchases and free downloads to see if any of your resources have been revised.  You can click on the green - DESCRIPTION OF REVISION to see why and what was revised.  Sometimes it may be typos (ouch!! hate when I do that) or it may be that the author added more to the product (yes!!!).  Of course then you will want to click DOWNLOAD NOW re-download the revised edition of the product.

Why is this important?  Yearly resources, such as New Years and Calendars, are revised each year so once you purchase them you get all the revisions for FREE!  Also, many authors revise and update older products to be bigger and better, once again you paid once but get all the revisions for FREE!  The most practical reason is when an author accidentally has typos or erros in a product, hopefully, they have revised the product and then you can re-download the revised edition.

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Saturday, February 21, 2015

Thinking Quick On Your Feet - Vowel Digraphs

Every teacher loves snow days - well at least most of the time.  But some people don't understand that it can sometimes make it tricky for the teacher to be off one, two, or even three days, like our school was this past week! I am not sure if it is personality or just because I am a new-ish teacher but I like to go home for the weekends with the next week fully planned.  Well MOSTLY planned.  

Therefore, when snow days happen EVERYTHING gets shifted, rescheduled, or even thrown out or skipped for time sake.  We went back on Thursday and with only two days I didn't want to move on in our phonics lessons.  So Wednesday night I had to completely re-do my plans, ugh!

FYI:  Our school uses Treasures but we also use Saxon Phonics so of course they don't follow the same sequence - - so that can be tricky!

In our reading the weekly skill was vowel digraph EA but we had only learned vowel digraph EE in our phonics curriculum so I thought those days would be perfect to work on that skill.  Pinterest to the rescue!!
First I introduced this skill with a comparison of EE words and EA words that sounded the same but were spelled differently and meant something different.  We talked about them being homophones but didn't go into that much detail.  It was an easy way to introduce this skill and tie into what they already knew!
I put EE and EA words on index cards and put them around the room.  The students recorded the words with EA on the leaf and the EE words on the tree.  They cut them out and glued onto a white sheet but I didn't grab a picture - sorry!

 Then on Friday we used the same word cards to play bingo!  The kids LOVE bingo but we never have time so it was a rare treat!
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Saturday, February 14, 2015

Saturday Stray, Sale, and a Freebie!

Ok so I really never understood the time blogging takes!!  Is it just me or did I underestimate?!  Maybe I don't know something I should.  Sorry I wasn't better about keeping with my weekly linky...I promise I will get better!

This week was a short week because we had a teacher in-service Friday plus Valentine's Day festivities on Thursday; we really had to squeeze in a lot of work!

Working at a Catholic school I am always trying to integrate faith into other areas!  This year I have also been trying to incorporate more virtues in our religion.  Our topic for January was love and kindness, so to accumulate all of our studies we did a writing on how we could live the greatest commandment.  We read the book Do Unto Otters by Laurie Keller.  This is a wonderful read aloud - - like the kids clapping saying "AGAIN, AGAIN!" kind of wonderful.  We then did a quick graphic organizer to get started.  The next day we put our writing into a paragraph in our speech bubbles.  On the final day, I taught the kids how to make an otter with a directed drawing and then we decorated.  The kids did such a great job making the otters unique and one of a kind.  This may be an all time favorite activity for me! 

This pack will be 50% for the long weekend!!  Check it out at my TPT store!

Teachers are clever thinkers!  Especially as a newbie teacher I am learning each and every day and of course my colleagues help me along the way, so I thought to share something that you may not know.  Every once in a while we work with partners on assignments.....sometimes I just pull sticks and let the kids pick their partners but other times I need a clever way to mix them up.  I use contractions, compound words, place value, and really any possible skill that can be matched to quickly and easily review skills and pair the kids - two birds:one stone.
We touched briefly on homographs in our reading this week so I whipped up this super quick activity: each student got a sentence and they had to find their partner that had the same homograph.  There are two versions - one with the word underlined and one without.  Grab it below for FREE by clicking on one of the pictures!
We had our Valentine's Day party on Thursday and it was blast!  My parent volunteer made this adorable pin the kiss on Mrs. Valentine!!! A-DORABLE!  Then all the super sweet valentine cards that my kids made were awesome!                                      
Of course we couldn't have just a normal day so we did some fun Valentine's themed activities.
Our morning work was a fun freebie word search from Kathy Ryan I found on TPT.

In Math we discussed comparing numbers with equal to, less than, and greater than with this fun math freebie from Love of First!  This concept is really lacking in our math series!  I introduced it with the kids picking numbers from a bag and then talking about which one is greater or less than the other.  Of course the kids were good at telling which one was greater but they had A LOT of trouble verbalizing WHY!  It was an amazing lesson - - I let the kids pick two numbers from a bag and we wrote them on the board.  The kids started saying things like one number is bigger or higher - so then of course I would write the other number BIGGER (literally) or HIGHER (literally)!  The giggles were priceless!  After about five times they changed their reasoning to the greater number having more digits, or more tens etc.  It was very successful!

Thankful I get to call this crazy girl my own!  We were happy to get a few warm days last weekend and made sure we spent as much of it outside as possible!  Here are a few pics from the small walk through petting zoo we visited.

Thanks for visiting and if you would like to share some randomness from your week just grab the images and link up!

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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Classroom Loves Linky

With Valentine's Day just days away love is in the air!  I am linking up with Primary Powers to talk about some thing we love as teachers, students, and a class!  Click the link below to visit Primary Powers.

Primary Powers

I don't know how I ever taught guided reading without Reading A-Z!! I am in love with how perfect the levels are for my kids. Their website also makes it so perfect to search for certain skills so everything is connected within your curriculum.  The days of getting close enough with the guided reading books are over!  The only downfall is the amount of paper that is used - - I just grit my teeth and bare it.

There are some days when we have to squeeze in an extra assembly or have a guest speaker and the easiest time to give up is our Daily Five time - - oh the groans!!  My kids absolutely LOVE this time and truly I do too.
If you haven't heard of GoNoodle then it's safe to say you are living under a rock!  This is the best website to get the kids up and moving and is especially perfect for inside recess!  The developers really have teachers in mind and have lots of fluffy fun brain breaks but also have educational options as well.  The kids love to be able to get up, move, and relax their brains.  I love getting to see their individual personalities shine!  There are so many times in the day when I feel we are just going through the motions and getting through the material that we don't always give one another the time or attention we deserve.  GoNoodle moments are perfect to let all that stress go and just MOVE!  

Head to Primary Powers if you would like to link up!
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