Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Wordless Wednesday {100's Charts}

During math centers, we used 100's charts this week. 
 I printed them on several different colors of card stock,
laminated them and then cut each one into a different puzzle. 
Easy to differentiate by how you cut the pieces.

How do you use 100's charts in your classroom?
Please comment with your ideas :)
I am linking up with Miss DeCarbo over at Sugar and Spice!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Donors Choose ROCKS! and a Donation

I sat on the fence long enough!  I have read about and heard so many teachers share all the wonderful resources that they received through Donors Choose and still I waited!

I made the leap this year and was honored and humbled by the support that poured in from family, friends, staff, parents at our school (both in my class and those I have never met!) and total strangers! It touched my heart and the heart of my 18 students.  Now it is my turn to give a little back!

We had FOUR projects funded over a three month span and now each child in my class has their own stability ball! My kids {LOVE} them and we are so excited to have them.  I could go on and on about stability balls, but that will be another post:)

I have to say that these particular ball chairs and the Donors Choose projects were inspired by a post at Mrs. Stanford's Class.  You can click on her button below to take her to her post about ball chairs.
Mrs. Stanford's Class
You can even head on over to TpT and download a Donors Choose Quick Guide by Fun Fresh Firsties. It doesn't get any easier than that!

Donors Choose Quick Guide

So now it is time to give a little back!  I have signed up at Donors Choose to donated $10.00 a month so each month they send me a reminder with account credits.  So here is YOUR chance to get $10.00 towards YOUR PROJECT!  What??  No project??  This is your time to sign up or pick a favorite project you would like to support!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don't forget to leave a comment with YOUR favorite Donors Choose project! I can't wait to see them all. GOOD LUCK!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Giveaway Winner and an Easter Sale

Hip Hip Hoorah!  Its double the fun here at on the blog! 
 I just wanted to hop in (sorry, could help the attempt at humor!)
and share with you. 
I am having an Easter sale over in my TpT store.  This is the perfect time to grab what you need for the end of the year:) My store is on sale from today (Saturday) through Monday.

And, the Firstie Friends Product Swap Giveaway has come to a close! Thanks for all of you who joined in on the fun. 

If you had your eye on my Jellyfish Fun,
it is also included in my sale on TpT!

Wishing you and your family a Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Notes of Encouragement

If you read my BRIGHT IDEAS post, you know my firsties have fifth grade reading buddies and we are so thankful for all their reading support this year.  My students are blessed by the friendships they have made with their reading buddy. 

It is our turn to give back a little.  Our buddies took the FCAT test Monday-Thursday this week and then have two more days next week. 

We thought it was super important to build on the connection so our class gave out buddies a handwritten note this week with a little pick me up snack!

Take a bite out of FCAT!
Just keep swimming:)

Don't clown around!  Do your best:)
Off to the teacher supply store tomorrow for two more themed pads.  I would love to hear any suggestions that have a coordinating snack.   PLEASE SHARE!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Firstie Friends Product Swap & a Giveaway

I am linking up with my Firstie Friends in a super fun Product Swap.  These teachers are super talented and are my go to place when looking for top notch first grade products!


I was partnered with the super sweet Haley from My Silly Firsties and knew exactly what I wanted to try out!
My Silly Firsties
It was Animal Antics of course!! This product is AMAZING.  It was aligned with standards that we are currently working on with an animal theme!  What firstie doesn't LOVE animals?  I also appreciate the theme can be used at ANY time of the year so ALL teachers can utilize this product based on their students' needs! 
Animal Antics! Literacy and Math Stations
The Math skills included place value, greater and less than, money, time, number order, less and more, and fact families.  The ELA activities included beginning and ending sounds, scrambled sentences, sight word practice, parts of speech and an animal match.  That's a lot of options!
 Word Safari was the perfect addition to our word work center this week!  The students reviewed nouns, verbs and adjectives and then picked a card from a pile and decided how to categorize it.  I had my firties explain why they put it where they did to their partners.  As I listened, I heard one student coach another, "Well, is it a person, place or thing?"  So sweet:)

We used Wild Order to follow up greater and less than and order groups of numbers.  I had my students underline the tens place of each number and then compare greater, least and in between.  I used this as part of my formal observation and my administrator LOVED it. I also put the recording sheets in plastic sleeves to be used with dry erase markers that could be erased after they were checked. 
And last but not least...Less and More!   I love all the colorful graphics of these activities, but I am super excited to share that each and every activity in this unit comes in COLOR and BLACK and WHITE!  That in itself is worth its weight in GOLD!  I can't tell you how many times I went to print something only to find out I am out of a particular color.  Just pull out some colored cardstock and you are good to go!  We will be playing Less and More net week and I can't wait.
This linky was opportunity to partner up, select a product from a partner and then use it in your classroom over a two week span.  So many amazing products to "TEST DRIVE"!
If you would like a chance to WIN each of these amazing products, follow up through Rafflecoptor and a lucky winner will be selected!  fabulous products:)
A  shout out goes to Cassie from Adventures in Teaching for setting up this product swap!  We appreciate all your time and hard work behind the scene:)  Don't forget to check out the blogs below to read all about these fabulous products.
Adventures in Teaching

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Reading Buddies

Welcome to the Bright Ideas Blog Hop.  I love the simplicity of this hop as I can share a little and then  hop along to hear so many new strategies and ideas that are easy to implement. Collaboration among teachers is one of the reasons I started my blog.

Throughout my 17 years of teaching in the primary grades, I have paired up with a intermediate teacher and implemented Reading Buddies. This experience is a win-win for so many reasons. 

1.  My first graders are paired up with a stronger reader who is able to help them read and decode words with books on their level.  We meet once a week for 20 minutes.  This is such an amazing way to build fluency with my firsties!

2.  Our school uses the Accelerated Reader program where children are able to read leveled books and take comprehension tests on the computer.  We are able to utilize this program that much sooner because our reading buddies are able to show the first graders how to find the program on the computer, how to log in and then help with any unknown words.  The reading buddies ARE NOT allowed to help with the answers.

3. Our Reading Buddies take the FCAT, a standardized test here in Florida.  We are able to write notes of encouragement and send little snacks and pick me ups during their two weeks of testing.  All of our school is matched up with FCAT buddies, but I believe it means even more now as friendships have been made through the year and the kids have a connection to each other.  They know we are rooting for them!  We  are sending over a basket of apples on Monday with our notes of encouragement.

I would love to hear if YOU have reading buddies!  If you enjoyed this Bright Idea, please consider  following me on Facebook, Teachers Pay Teachers and Bloglovin.

For more bright ideas from 150 different bloggers, please browse through the link up below and choose a topic or grade level that interests you. Thanks for visiting!