Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: GROOVE Book

I am linking up with Miss DeCarbo at Sugar and Spice with...
I just heard about the GROOVE Book app!!  You upload 100 photos for $2.99 a month and a PRINTED book with perforated pictures are delivered to your door!!
That is an AMAZING DEAL!!!
(Note- super busy at Shutterfly bought them out this week!!!)
What do you do with the pictures on your phone?
post signature

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Handmade and Homegrown for the Holidays

Halloween decorations are put away and Thanksgiving and fall decorations are all the craze at my house at the moment.  With that being said, BAM!
Photo: Are you ready? #Jax
If you ask anyone who knows me, they will tell you I LOVE the Christmas season! I try not to rush through the Thanksgiving season, but truth be told my Christmas tree is up before Thanksgiving begins!  So, you know I was excited to be joining in my fellow Florida bloggers with Holidays Around the Blog Linky. Thank to Amy at Learning Lessons with Mrs, Labrasciano for organizing this linky! I have to say I am a bit late to the party, but better late than never!
One of my favorite parts of the holiday season is crafting homemade gifts with my students! Students love to create homemade ornaments for their tree! The hardest part is keeping them in the packages and not telling their parents what they made!

This Santa handprint is a favorite from one year to the next! I love pulling out my son's project from year ago and seeing how he's grown.
Fingerprint snowman ornaments are another tried and true favorite.  After I use their thumbprint to make 3-4 snowmen around the ornament, we let them dry for a day or two.  Students are then able to add snowmen details like eyes, a carrot nose, mouth, stick arms and a scarf to their snowmen with different colored Sharpie markers.  They turn out adorable:)

And what kind of teacher would I be if I didn't pull out a little sequins and glitter during the holiday season?  That in itself make this the top pick for my students! 

So what do we do with all this cuteness? Why we take a walking field trip to our local Christmas tree farm of course!  We walk about a mile up the road (which feels like about five miles to my firsties on the way back!) and enjoy a hayride, a petting zoo, a maze and we cut down our own classroom tree!  There is nothing like the smell of a fresh tree in the classroom in December!

Our final project is a teacher directed painting that my firsties draw, outline with a black Sharpie to make it pop and then water color. I found Dollar Store frames to complete the gift before we wrap them.  I know this came from another fabulous blogger, but I can't find the post.  If you know where it came from, please let me know so I can give credit:)

In the spirit of giving, I have teamed up with some blogging buddies for a super fun giveaway including a HUGE Amazon gift card!! Remember I said I am late to the party??  Well, hurry up and enter the rafflecoptor! It ends at midnight on Sunday. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
You can check out other holiday ideas in the linkup below!

post signature

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Collaboration is Key

Collaboration is key for my teaching practice!  I love sharing and listening to others at school, across my county, in Florida and across the US.  Teachers have so much to share and so little time to share it.  Sometimes we just have to set time aside and take the time. Yes, the papers to grade will still be there and may be dust in my house, but I feel refreshed!
Our school and county are supporting teachers and not only encouraging collaboration, but finding creative ways to plan for additional time for collaboration.  It does call for a little extra planning for the teachers, but it is nice to have extra time to plan and collaborate on instruction as well as assessment. 
I have been blessed to live in sunny Florida as there is an abundance of bloggers here!  It is encouraging and comforting to see what others are doing across the state.  We can relate to each other, share stories, experiences, frustrations and accomplishments.  It has become such a support system!
What is more fun sharing with these fabulous bloggers and teachers? A meet up at Sea World where Florida teachers get in FREE!  Yes, you heard me right! A school id, pay stub and your teaching certificate is what you need for your FREE annual pass! #
Teacher bloggers and Teachers Pay Teachers has encouraged collaboration with so many.  That's why we all get read blogs, isn't it?  A new idea, connections and a quest for innovative approaches is what brings us all together. 
Last weekend I went to New York to meet other teachers from across the country.  We had time to sight see, enjoy dinners together, attend a Brain Pop training, and visit the TpT offices to meet the faces behind the scene!  We even had time for a show on Broadway.  #tpttakesnyc
There were definitely lots of teacher superstars there!  Do you see any faces you recognize?  All I can say is I am re-energized, inspired and ready to take on my firsties! It was an amazing weekend.
So tell me,  do you take the time to collaborate?  I do hope you can find the time.  I know it makes me a better teacher as my teaching practice evolves.
post signature

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Pumpkin Project and a Freebie

A pumpkin project is such a fun way to foster the home-school connection for your students! Our first grade team has done a pumpkin project for several years. This year we are taking a walking field trip to the pumpkin patch to learn about pumpkins and to select out pumpkins!  So exciting:)
This project is as simple as 1-2-3!
1- Send home the parent letter explaining the project.
2- Assign the planning page where students can work with their families to create a supply list and a diagram to help assist with the creation of their character.
3. Students complete their pumpkin project sheet at home.  They will need to identify the main character, setting and details from the story.  There are different versions available depending on your grade level or student ability levels.

The best part is when students bring in their completed pumpkin projects to share with the class! Here are a few from last year!

Pete the Cat
 Henny Penny
I hope you join in the fun this year.  I have added this unit to TpT as a FREEBIE!
post signature

Friday, October 10, 2014

Five for Friday {10/10}

Where did this week go?  It totally flew by so quickly.   I am linking up with Kasey from Doodlebugs Teaching with Five for Friday!
Divider 1
We had a Wonders Unit review built into our reading series this week.  The kids had a great time practicing their sight words with Bingo, Boo! Sight Word game, Sentence Scrambles and I Have, Who Has.  All four activities can be found HERE.
Divider 2
One of our county's focuses this year is writing across the curriculum.  Thinking maps are key in organizing information and students' thoughts.  We focused on double bubble maps during reading this week to compare and contrast information about characters in the text.  This was our first go round of students making their own maps and including their own information after several times modeling this thinking map. 
Divider 3
We are loving our Go Noodle Brain Breaks! I feel like this has been mentioned so many times, but I still talk to people all the time who have never heard of Go Noodle! This was our new yoga pose this week.  The kids actually said their legs hurt after this 3 minute activity!!  CRAZY:)
Divider 4
Occasionally, my son leaves me "love" notes  before he leaves my room to go to class this year! They are so sweet and I can't believe that this is his last year in elementary school with me!!  Where has the time gone?  (Insert sigh...)
Divider 5
Last, but not least!  I attended  Deanna Jump's conference in Orlando today!  It was not only filled with amazing, hands on activities for kinders and firsties, but Deanna's love of teaching and enthusiasm is contagious!  I am so inspired.  I also got to spend the day with my blogging buddy, Tamara Russell from Mrs. Russell's Room
Such an amazing way to end the week.
Looking forward to a fun filled weekend. 
More details to come:)
post signature

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

What's Cookin' in Your Class?

HELLO October!!
Florida Octobers are a little different as they mean temperatures drop from the 90's!  This weekend central Florida is getting a "cool" front and night temperatures drop down to 60 with daytime highs at 82!  I am so excited:)  YES, REALLY!!
I celebrated fall last Sunday with my sweet friend Tamara Russell from Mrs. Russell's Room and my favorite fall dessert (and now hers)! Stay tuned for the recipe and a FREEBIE at the end of the post!
I am also linking up tonight with that very same friend for "What's Cookin' in Your Class?".  You can check out Tamara's post along with her fabulous fall resources by clicking on the picture below:)
For those of you who follow me, you know our district's adopted reading series is Wonders by McGraw Hill.  I have organized my units and classroom with this Wonders Supplemental Unit.  It includes flashcards, phonics games, vocabulary activities, study guides for a home connection and word work spelling lists.  Here is a sample of what's included.
I then added my Phonics Interactive Notebook {Wonders Supplemental-Grade 1} to my word work center. It is available for Units 1 and 2 with additional units coming shortly.  My kids love the twist added so they are not doing traditional style worksheets.
Next week is a review week so we will be working on reviewing  using Sight Word Bingo, Quiz, Quiz, Trade and Mixed up Sentences!  The topics are open ended and include Columbus, How to Carve a Pumpkin, Going Batty, my Halloween Costume, My Favorite Halloween Candy and Spider Facts.
 At the Writing Center, we have used themed class journals.  The kids LOVE seeing what their friends have shared before they add their writing! There is a mix of narrative, informational and opinion topics.  Hope you can use this FREEBIE for your class:)
As promised, Pumpkin Crunch will be sure to WOW your family and friends! It is a Pinterest favorite at my home and I am sure you will LOVE it if you are a pumpkin fan:) Click on the picture to see the recipe under my Yummy Foods board and be sure to follow me on Pinterest while you are there!
post signature