Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

From our home to yours...
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

November Currently and Centers

November is here!  I'm so excited!  It is going to be such a short month!  I'm loving that we don't have  a full week of school the whole month!  Last week we missed two days due to Sandy.  We were all VERY lucky around here and didn't have any damage (some folks had temporary power outages).  Next week we have four days as we have Election Day off (they use the schools for voting) and it's my fiance's birthday!  The following week we have Veteran's Day off and then we have two days the week after so that gives us  FIVE days off for Thanksgiving!  Wahoo!  I'm linking up with Farley from Oh Boy 4th Grade for November's Currently...
This past week we were finally able to fit in the AWESOME Fall Math Work centers from Kimberly at Funky First Grade Fun.
We had SO MUCH FUN!  These work stations include: telling time to the hour and half hour, clothespin addition, clothespin subtraction, addtion +1, subtraction -1 and place value match!  My first graders LOVED the addition +1 game!  My third graders loved the telling time and place value match games and begged to play again and again!  This week I am going to let my firsties play the telling time game (with just the hour cards as we just introduced it to them on Wednesday).  I highly recommend these work stations!  Your kiddos will LOVE them!  Pick up a copy for next year (just click on the picture above to go directly to Kimberly's TpT store)!
As I mentioned in my last post, I've been working on labeling with my firsties and they are starting to get very good at it.  Labeling has been wonderful for improving their vocabulary, language, and reading skills.  This month I'm going to try to work on their writing skills.  I thought I'd share another labeling freebie with you.  If you'd like a copy, just click on the picture below.
Have a great rest of the weekend!  One EXTRA hour of sleep tonight!  I LOVE it!

Monday, October 15, 2012

State Testing and a Freebie!

So we have been completing our state tests for three weeks now.  Okay, not EVERYONE has been testing for three weeks, each grade level has completed their test over the period of a week.  Fifth grade was first, then fourth grade and finally third grade this week.  It has been CHAOS people!  The first two weeks meant that I had to relocate to other locations around the school with my kiddos so my roomie could test her students in our room.  Sounds simple right?  Mmmm yeah, not so much when every other special education teacher, reading specialist and other various interventionists have to do the same thing!  We didn't thrive...but we survived!  Now it's my turn to test one of my students in our room and the poor kiddo has just been in tears because it's the reading portion of the assessment and he's currently reading on a first grade level (he's in third grade).  I felt so,so bad!  He wanted help so badly but my hands were tied...absolutely no help or the test is invalid.  Ohhh and did I tell you the very humorous (perhaps more like ironic), name of our state tests?  They are called the NECAPs!  Yeah like you've been hit in the kneecap and are now incapacitated!  Does anyone at the state level EVER put any thought into the names of these tests?  I'm so happy that we will be finishing up the reading portion tomorrow and moving on to the first math section which my kiddo should do okay with {fingers crossed}.

With all this testing I have missed seeing some of my students.  Boo!  So I am trying to squeeze in as much as possible when I do have them (okay I ALWAYS try to squeeze in WAY to much)!  I have been working in a little labeling practice for my firsties because they need it for the language and reading skills that it provides (not to mention cutting and gluing practice).  I have started to make my own labeling sheets and have one to share with  you today!  Just click on the picture below to download this from Google docs.   I hope your kids enjoy it!
I'll be back soon {hopefully} to review this Fall unit from Kimberly at Funky First Grade Fun.

Check out the fantastic giveaways Tessa is having at her blog by clicking on her button!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

October Currently & What's In The Works

It is October 3rd and that means that it is time to link up with Farley at 
Oh' boy fourth grade
for the October Currently!  Yahoo!  I {big puffy heart} LOVE Currently!
Product Details
I love the Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman and so do the kids.  It has repetitive text and is so catchy!  We do lots of retelling activities with this book and the students love it.  Check it out...I KNOW you'll love it too!
I know I've been a bad blogger lately but my year has gotten off to such a rough start!  Seriously I have been in TEARS and people I (usually) LOVE my job!  I truly have my work cut out for me this year!  I have students in first, third and fourth grades.  That's a BIG age span!  AND they have a VERY wide range of needs (speech and language disabled, learning disabled, developmentally delayed, vision impaired, multiple handicaps, etc.)!  We are down a special education teacher, a speech and language pathologist and a COTA so we can no longer co-teach like we used to!  It makes me SO sad!  Right now I'm just trying to keep my head above water...but I have a LOT of creations in the works so I hope you'll stay with me!

And there are LOADS of giveaways going on right now!  Go check these out!
Sara is giving away a $25.00 gift certificate to Hobby Lobby in celebration of her birthday!
Amy is having an amazing 100 followers giveaway with a $25.00 Ann Taylor gift card and lots of units up for grabs courtesy of some fabulous bloggers! 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

First Grade Common Core

On Monday we had an early release day for professional development.  We spent the afternoon in trainings about the Common Core State Standards for reading and mathematics.  Our training was just an introduction to the CCSS and we were only given copies of the standards for our grade level along with two websites to check out for more information.  As you can see we have a long way to go!  Therefore, we will be spending ALL of our professional development days this year on the Common Core; getting familiar with it and aligning it with our current curriculum.

Last month I found a great resource for teaching the Kindergarten Common Core State Standards and I blogged about that resource.  Well they have a First Grade Common Core workbook too!  The first grade edition has over 550 pages of Common Core Activities and Common Core Worksheets!  There are also assessments and posters (you can download these on the website for free too).  This resource is massive!  If you click on the picture (or on the hyperlink above) it will take you directly to to the book!  Can you believe it's only $39.99 and it is an instant download so there's no waiting for the mail to arrive!  I can't wait to tell my colleagues about this book!
Here are some phenomenal giveaways that you definitely want to check out!  They are giving away MANY units and activities that also correlate directly to the common core state standards!  Just click on the pictures to follow these amazing blogs and enter their giveaways!
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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Please Check Out..."Teachers for Lane"

Ashley at The School Supply Addict is currently hosting a charity drive to help Lane Goodwin, a thirteen year old boy from Kentucky who has been diagnosed with Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma stage IV, a rare form of childhood cancer.  Lane is so courageous and inspiring!


You can read more about Lane's amazing story on Ashley's blog.  If you donate a minimum of $30.00 Ashley will send you a link to a "virtual gift bag" of more than $150.00 worth of  products from generous teachers.  This is such a worthy cause and you get so much for your donation....many, many, goodies, but also the knowledge that you are helping this young, courageous boy and his family!  Please click on Ashley's button below to read more about this great cause and consider a donation AND a prayer too.  Thanks so much!


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Kindergarten Common Core

Our school district has adopted the Common Core and we have started to implement it this year.  As you can imagine we don't have many resources yet and only a handful of us have had any training about the Common Core.  So you can imagine how excited I I was to see this amazing book:

This amazing resource book is filled with worksheets and activities addressing the Kindergarten Common Core in Math and English.  It is 399 pages and only costs $39.99!  If you visit the website (click the picture above or on the words "Kindergarten Common Core") you can download a sample of the book and view for yourself what a great resource this is!  They also have versions for grades 1-5!  I'm hoping my district will buy several copies of each grade level.  Go check out this fantastic resource!  You won't be disappointed!
You will also want to check out Primary Possibilities.
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Stephanie has created an amazing resource of "On The Back" (word work) activities and when she reaches 500 followers she will be offering the whole pack for free AND she will be hosting a 500 follower giveaway!  If you are not a follower yet...head on over (just click the button above)!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

My Erin Condren Planner and Dolch Sight Word Assessment Freebies

Look what was on my doorstep when I got home last Saturday night!!!
I won this AMAZING planner from Katherine at Yay Third Grade! Thanks so much Katherine!!!!!

Last year I bought the life planner which is awesome but I think this planner is even better!  It has monthly calendar pages, lesson plan pages, a place for seating charts, a folder for loose papers, a small clear pouch that seals for small things like sticky notes and my VERY favorite....labels for just about every kind of meeting that there is!  It is organization at it's best!  And I got FREE COLORED PENS people!  You have no idea how much I LOVE color coding!  This will help to keep me organized for sure!

This week we are administering DIBELS assessments to our Kinders and First Graders and AIMSWEB oral reading fluency and math assessments to all of our students (Kindergarten through Fifth grade).  In addition, most classroom teachers are administering Dolch sight word assessments, curriculum based spelling tests, reading benchmark tests and taking writing samples.  Whew!  The list is exhaustive!  I'm sure all of you can relate!

In our school it is expected that first grade students will master all 220 Dolch words by the end of the year (yes really...lol).  For several years we have been administering this assessment using single lists of words (there are eleven lists, each containing 20 words).  We assess five times during the school year (once at the beginning, once at the end of each marking term and once at the end of the year).

This year I have several students who have orthographic processing difficulties (i.e., they have difficulty remembering symbols - letters and numbers).  I had these same students last year and I knew that they could identify some of these words but the list format was not working for them so I created a powerpoint presentation to assess their sight word recall.  Each slide is displayed for three seconds (the amount of time we allow a student to identify a word) before moving on to the next word. In addition, every 20th word slides down to signal to the examiner the end of "that particular list."  Clear as mud?  I found that this presentation was much more effective for my students!  It held their attention and they didn't have to manipulate the lists.  If you are interested in trying this out with your students please feel free to click on the pictures to download your own Dolch Word assessment presentation and recording sheet.  If you prefer, I have also included a copy of the lists in print format.  (I copy the lists on cardstock, laminate, cut and bind with a metal book ring).
I'd really LOVE to know what you think!

Monday, September 3, 2012

September Currently

Hi All!  I am SO psyched that September is here!  I think it might be my very favorite month of the year!  I just love everything about it...the weather, the smell, the newness of everything.  It seriously rejuvenates me!  How about you?  I'm linking up with Farley at Oh Boy Fourth Grade for September's Currently!

I can't wait to show you all pictures of my new planner and to share some Dolch word assessment freebies that I'll be doing this week with my kiddos so be sure to check back! I hope you all have a great day back to school, whether it's you first day or your fourteenth!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Few of My Favorite Books...

I'm linking up with DeeDee Wills at The Clever School Teacher to share a few of my favorite books.  (To order any of the books just click on the covers or on the button on the right side of my blog).
I love any book by David Shannon!  Who can't relate to these books?  And the kids always get a kick out of seeing little David's naked bottom running down the street!
No, David! = No David!
I love Chicka Chicka Boom Boom for it's fun rollicking rhythm!
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
Teachers and kids alike can relate to this book and the kids are always surprised by the ending!  I also love Testing Ms. Malarky which is also written by Julie Danneberg.
First Day Jitters
If you like Amelia Bedelia books then you will LOVE Morris the moose!  So funny!
Morris Goes to School
Here are some other Giveaway's you don't want to miss...
Mr. Michelbook (yes you read that right...he's a MALE first grade teacher) is celebrating reaching (almost) 50 followers!  Head on over and follow him and enter this super giveaway for a $25.00 gift certificate to TpT!!!
Miss Nelson is hosting a great giveaway...and there will be TWO winners.  Check it out by clicking on the link below:
Run Miss Nelsons got the Camera
Sara at Smiling In Second Grade is having another giveaway.  This time you have the chance to win a Duo Trimmer!  To enter click the button below!
Grab My Button!

Monday, August 27, 2012

First Day of School, Monday Made It and Amazing Finds!

Today was our official first day back to school with the kiddos!  It was a GREAT day but I am TEN kinds of exhausted!
I'm linking up with Tara from 4th Grade Frolics for my first ever Monday Made It project!  I actually had LOTS and LOTS of projects that I was going to complete over the summer but I never actually got around to finishing them (so I guess you'll be seeing them in the coming months).  
I'm sure you've seen these all over Blogland and Pinterest!  The kids absolutely LOVED posing for their pictures using this frame (and the other teachers loved it even more than the kids)!
To check out more fun and inspiring crafts on the link below.  

I also wanted to share some AMAZING finds that I found at Target today....I'm urging you to run to your nearest Target if you're interested in any of these items!
I already own a Scotch Laminator but when I saw this amazing deal today I just had to scoop it up! Notice the $10.00 rebate form attached to the box!  That's right....I scored this baby for $19.99 (after rebate).  Wahoo!!!!  I'll be lugging my "old style" Scotch Laminator to school and I'll keep this one at home because it takes up so much less space.  L-O-V-E!
My second AMAZING find was this cutie.

Sorry about the glare (ugh),  Isn't this adorable???  I can think of at least five things I want to use it for!  It a dry erase board AND it's magnetic!!!!
My last AMAZING find was this cute little bucket that I'm going to use for my desk supplies (scissors, staple removers, pens/pencils, etc.).  It was only $4.98 (that's half off the original price).  I love the color (which is actually more of a coral color - it looks pink in this picture).
I hope you all had an fantastic Monday!

Monday, August 20, 2012

A Few of my Favorite Things...

I am linking up with Blog Hoppin' for Teacher Week.
Here are my Must-Haves:
I MUST have coffee (usually two cups a day) first thing in the morning!  I put off buying a Keurig for the longest time...and just recently bought one for the fiance for our anniversary.  I'm in love now!
My computer!  Yes this is actually my computer (the fiance bought me a laptop skin using a picture of our pug - I {puffy heart} LOVE it!).  I need this for all of my blog stalking, clip art buying and pinning on Pinterest of course!  A close runner up to my laptop would be my Iphone that I use for all of these things too!

I HAVE to color code EVERYTHING (yes, even my clothes in my closet are organized by color).  I love, love, love Mr. Sketch scented markers when writing on chart paper!  The chisel tips are the best and the smell is divine!  I use Flair pens for writing on my wall calendar or when grading papers.  Papermate Profile pens are my new favorite pens!  They write so smoothly!  They are super for writing in my plan book or in my calendar (and I bet they are going to rock in my new Erin Condren Lesson Plan book that I won from Katherine at Yay Third Grade- I CANNOT wait to get it!!!!!)
Lots and Lots of cardstock!  I need this to make all of the AMAZING products that I buy from all the talented teachers out there on TpT, TN or in "Blogland."
I love personal laminators even more than the one we have at school (which has thin, flimsy film). Speaking of laminators...if you'd like a chance to win one of your own head over to Sara's blog (just click the picture to take you right to the entry page).
Grab My Button!

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