Wednesday, April 27, 2011

When I Am Old With You

We’ve mentioned before that we use the Houghton Mifflin reading series.  This week we are on Theme 9-1 and our main story is When I Am Old With You by Angela Johnson.  In the story a little boy imagines all of the things he will do with his Granddaddy when he is old with him. 

We needed something new to go along with this story so . . . {here} is a little book we’ve created.  Students can write about some of the special people in their life and what they would want to do with them if they could be old with them.  image

We like to make all of our books so that they are easy to copy.  Just decide how many pages you want to include in your student books and make a master copy.  If you are lucky like us you can choose the collate AND  multiple staple option on your copy machine . . . it automatically puts 4 staples along the left hand edge of the book.  (It’s a dream come true!)  Then all you have to do is cut the books in half and they are ready to go.

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Monday, April 25, 2011

Insect Activities

We always end the year with a HUGE animal unit.  Since our reading series {Houghton Mifflin} includes an informational article about the life cycle of a butterfly we usually do a week filled with insect themed activities first. 

We’ve been working hard to update and create a few new insect themed center activities and we are happy to announce that they are all now available on TpT.

Here’s a little {sneak} peek.insect {sneek} peeks

We’ve told you before that we LOVE incorporating literature into everything we do . . . so, we’ve also put together an insect themed literature unit.  It is a 51 pages and includes 10 activities that go along with books by Eric Carle, Leo Lionni, James Howe and more. imagesignature

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Easter Egg-stravaganza

We think all of you deserve a little {Easter} treat . . . so if there is anything you have had your eye on in our TpT store now is the time to add it to your {Easter} basket. 

The sale runs today through EasterEaster Salesignature

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Sight Word FUN winner

Wow . . . everyone had such great ideas for how they could use our {new} Sight Word FUN unit in their kindergarten and first grade classrooms!!!  Thank you so much for all of your positive comments and for entering our giveaway. 

We are happy to announce the winner . . .sight word fun winner

  If you didn’t win you can still get copy of Sight Word FUN.  Just head over to our TpT store.

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Monday, April 18, 2011

Sight Word Fun

Earlier this {school} year we were looking for new resources to use with our struggling readers to teach and reinforce basic sight word recognition.  One of our favorite purchases was from Scholastic.  It is called 10 Week-by-Week Sight Word Packets and it teaches the first 100 Dolch Sight Words . . . which are incorporated into every primary reading series.  You might look for it in the teacher resource section of your monthly book order.  

We loved the systematic approach that this book offered, but we felt like there were some ways that we could incorporate more literacy skills into each weekly packet.  So, we created  a little unit called Sight Word FUN that is based on the words in each packet and we posted it over on TpT

It includes flashcards for each list, an ABC order practice page for each list, a sentence scramble using the sight words for each list, a Guess the Word activity for each list, Connect 4 game boards for every two lists, Lightning Words for each list that we use at guided reading and at home to reinforce the words and a check list for teachers to record mastery of words is also included.  There are also directions for a few of our favorite sight word games that we play every week.

Here’s a little {sneek} peek . . .sight word fun {sneek} peek

We would LOVE to give one of these away.  Here’s what you need to do to enter the contest.

1.  Make sure you are one of our followers AND post a comment about how you would use this in your classroom.

For an additional entry you can . . .

2.  Blog about this giveaway and then post an additional comment with a link to your blog.

3.  Become one of our followers on TpT.

Check back on Wednesday, April 20th to see if you are winner!!!

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Friday, April 15, 2011

Writing Graphic Organizer

friday freebie pencilIf you’ve followed us very long on TpT, or just looked at our classroom blogs, you probably know that we both LOVE doing writing activities with our kiddos.  Next week we are taking a little break from our reading series and we needed something to do with the groups that come to us during our daily reading intervention time.  So, we sat down and did a little brainstorming and decided to focus on writing all week long.

We have created a new graphic organizer that we think will help our kids {and their thoughts} stay organized and on topic.  Our plan is to go through each step together on Monday, using “space” as a theme, since we just wrapped up a two week long unit.  Then the rest of the week we are going to do Easter themed writings.  Maybe something about rabbits, an Easter egg hunt and the Easter Bunny.  Hopefully by the end of the week the kids will all be comfortable with this format and be more independent writers.

There are two graphic organizers in this set . .

one for the girlsimage

  and one for the boys.image

If you would like to use these with your kiddos just click {here} to download your own free copy.  We created them on legal size paper.  If you have 11x17 paper available at your school you can enlarge them to give your little writers more space.

Have a great weekend . . . and check back next week to see the new sight word unit we will be adding to our TpT store.  We are putting the finishing touches on it.  It has a variety of games and activities that focus on the first 100 Dolch Sight Words.

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Terrific Tuesday

Terrific Tuesday

We are having a TERRIFIC Tuesday . . . hope you are too!!!

Every item in our TpT store is 20% off today.

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Monday, April 11, 2011

Updated Plant Unit

Last week we posted a new plant themed unit over on TpT.  It’s got lots of Jack and the Beanstalk themed activities that incorporate math and literacy skills.  Over the weekend our good friends at Scrappindoodles made us a special set of clipart. . . so we updated our unit with the adorable new clipart and reposted it.  jack and the beanstalk

If you’ve already purchased the unit you might want to head back over to get the new {revised} edition.  Hopefully you will love the new clipart as much as we do!!! signature

Saturday, April 9, 2011

{Generic} Graphic Organizers

We are not really {generic} kind of girls . . . but sometimes you just need a {generic} graphic organizer if you teach 1st grade. 
 
So, we created this set that you can use with ANY book.
 
We have found that it is great to have a few copies on hand to use with books your kiddos read at guided reading, at the listening center, or even with a thematic book you read aloud to the class. 
 click here button
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They are all made on legal size paper.  If you have 11x17 paper available at your school they enlarge PERFECTLY to that size.  This allows your kiddos a little extra space to write.
If there is another type of graphic organizer that you think you could use . . . then send us an e-mail and we will try to add it to this free collection.
Have a great weekend!!!signature

Friday, April 8, 2011

Everyone is a Winner

friday freebieEven if you weren’t one of our lucky winners we don’t want to leave you empty handed.  So, here is a little freebie just for you.  It’s a set of pocket chart letter tiles we’ve made to use with our Vowel Power and Rime Time books from Primary Concepts.  We copied the vowels on colored cardstock and the all of the consonants on white cardstock.  We use them A LOT at guided reading to build words along with our students.  I’m sure all of you creative souls will find oodles of ways to use them in your classrooms even if you don’t have the Primary Concepts products.
click here button 
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Primary Concepts Giveaway {Winner #3}

Congratulations to our final winner in the Primary Concepts giveaway.  You are the lucky winner of the Vowel Power book.  It’s a great word building resource that you are sure to love!!!  All you need to do is send us an email along with your mailing address and we will send it your way!!!primary concepts winner 3primary concepts 4

If you weren’t a winner you can still pick up these great products for your classroom by heading over to the Primary Concepts website.  They really are wonderful resources!!!

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Thursday, April 7, 2011

It’s Time for Plants

In just a few weeks we are going to be celebrating Earth Day with our kiddos and learning about plants.  We’ve updated lots of our favorite plant centers and even made a few new ones.  We are happy to announce that they are all posted on TpT now.  If you are looking for something new head on over to our store and check them out.

Here’s a little {sneek} peek at all of the center activities.image

As we’ve mentioned before we like to post all of the centers individually so teachers can buy just the ones they know they really want and will use.

By popular demand, we have also put together another little unit that has a few of our favorite plant themed art, writing and math activities.  This 21 page download includes a total of 10 activities.  Many of them go with the classic tale of Jack and the Beanstalk.  There is also an art activity that will teach your students about the parts of a plant and what it needs to grow. 

If this sounds like something you would be interested in . . . check it out!!!image

As always, we love to hear from you!!!  If you EVER have any questions, comments or suggestions about how we could improve any of our products or just want to let us know how they were received by your students please send us an e-mail.signature

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Primary Concepts Giveaway {Winner #2}

It’s Wednesday . . . so that means it’s time for another winner.  primary concepts winner 2

There are still two great products left to choose from.primary concepts products

Don’t worry, you still have one more chance to win.  We will announce our final winner on Friday. 

Good luck!!!

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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Star Light, Star Bright

If you are looking for a new writing activity to supplement your space unit we just posted one over on TpT.  It is called Star Light Star Bright and It goes along with the classic nursery rhyme. 

The download includes an art and creative writing activity.  And, the best part is, it won’t take long for you to get everything ready.  The only things you will need are little yellow stars and black construction paper . . . everything else in included!!!image

Here’s a little peek at what the final product will look like.DSCN4723

  At the end of the day we let the kids read their wishes aloud to the class . . . that may have been their favorite part.

Also . . . don’t forget to check back tomorrow.  We will be choosing another winner in our Primary Concepts giveaway.  There are still two great prizes left to win.    signature

Monday, April 4, 2011

Primary Concepts Giveaway {Winner #1}

We are happy to announce the 1st winner of our Primary Concepts giveaway. 

The lucky winner is . . .primary concepts winner 1 Emily we look forward to hearing from you.  All you need to do is let us know which one of the wonderful Primary Concepts products you would like to have for your classroom.

If you didn’t win this time . . . remember, you still have two more chances this week.  We will draw another winner on Wednesday and Friday form our pool of entries. signature

Friday, April 1, 2011

April Fools Giveaway

There’s no fooling around here . . . we actually have a great giveaway to tell you about!

Since beginning this blog we have received several requests and questions about our center rotations, how we group students, how students rotate, etc . . . We PROMISE to put together something soon that thoroughly explains “how” we do everything.  Believe it or not, it’s actually kind of a tricky process to understand without actually seeing it in action.  We won’t let that stop us though!!!

What we can tell you is that four days a week (Monday-Thursday) we do centers and guided reading with our kiddos.  While we are working with a small group of students at the teacher center the other students are at a center with their partner or completing an activity independently at their seat.  We also have parent volunteers scheduled to be in our room each morning. They are able to assist those kiddos who are at their seats and centers.  This allows us to focus all of our attention on the small group of 6 that is with us at the teacher center.

At the teacher center we try to do a variety of activities with each level of readers.  Besides reading decodable books and chapter books with each group at their independent reading level, we also like to do word building activities that reinforce the phonics skills we are working on in our reading series.  Several years ago we discovered a company called Primary Concepts.  We’ve bought several of their products and we use them nearly every day. 

This is why we are so excited . . .

Primary Concepts, has agreed to team up with us and give away three of our favorite products to three of our new friends {followers}. That’s right . . . we said (3) products AND (3) winners!!!  

These are all products we LOVE and we are sure you will LOVE them too.primary concepts giveaway {sneak} peek

  Here’s a brief description of the products we are giving away.  You can click on the product name to be directed to the Primary Concepts website where you can read more about each of them and see sample pages.  This way you’ll know exactly which item you want if you are a winner!

rime time 

Children will practice letter/sound recognition while building, reading, and writing hundreds of words. They will add selected onset tiles (consonants, blends, and digraphs) to common rimes, such as at and en, and blend them together.

We probably use this resource the most.  It is a great way to introduce a new word family.  All you have to do is make a copy of the worksheet and you are ready to go.  There are usually several to go with each vowel sound.  They also reinforce real and nonsense words. 

There are also letter tiles at the back of the booklet that you can copy and laminate on cardstock to use with your students.  We have just made ourselves a set of BIG letter tiles on cardstock and laminated them.  Then we pick out the letters we need for each worksheet and we do them on the pocket chart along with our kids.  This allows them to see each word they make.  Then we go around the table and let the kids take turns blending the sounds in each new word.  They decide if it is a real word or nonsense word and they have to use it in a sentence.

vowel power

Children will develop mastery of vowel/sound correspondence as they build hundreds of words with common vowel sounds and regular patterns.

We use this book more second semester when we begin introducing long vowels and vowel pairs.  The format of the activities in this book is similar to those described above. 

word ladders

Students will create Word Ladders by using tiles to build a chain of words.

You can use these ladders along with letter tiles, dry erase boards or a photo copied worksheet of the ladder (which is included) to play a fun little game we call “Quick Erase”.  To do this you will start with the word at the bottom of the ladder and have students record it.  Then they will change a sound in that word to create a new word on their ladder.  As students move up the ladder one sound will change in each word.  That’s why we call it “Quick Erase” when we use our dry erase boards.

We have decided to choose (3) lucky winners.  The first winner will be chosen on Monday, April 4th.  They will get to choose which item best fits their teaching and classroom needs.  The second winner will be chosen on Wednesday, April 6th.  They will get to choose from the two remaining products.  The final winner will be chosen on Friday, April 8th.  They will receive the product that is left.  Believe us . . . you can’t go wrong with any of these products.  We LOVE them all!!!

So now that you know all about these great products and how the giveaways will work . . . here’s what you need to do to be our first winner. 

1.  Make sure you are one of our followers AND post a comment.

2.  For an additional entry you can blog about this giveaway and then post an additional comment with a link to your blog.

3.  You can also become a fan of Primary Concepts on Facebook and then post an additional comment.

Good Luck . . . this is definitely a giveaway that you will want to win!!!]signature