Saturday, August 27, 2011

Color Day FUN

We have both had SO much fun getting to know our kiddos during these first two weeks of school.  As we’ve mentioned before we always kick off our school year with a big color day unit.  Not only do we review the color words and how to spell them . . . but we also have lots of FUN doing literature based activities that incorporate reading, writing, math, art and even eating!!!


{graphics courtesy of Scrappin’Doodles}

Here’s a little {sneek} peek at some of the items that are included in our Color Day FUN unit . . . which is available to purchase on TpT.  If you are a kindergarten teacher this might also be a fun unit to do with your little ones at the end of the year.color fun sneek peek

We also have several color themed center activities available that we will both begin using on Monday when we do centers and guided reading for the first time . . . wish us luck!!!  Those first few days of learning how and when to rotate are always a little CRAZY!!!

 Adding Colors

To read about our color days and see how we are using all of the resources included in this unit with our kiddos head on over to our classroom blogs.  Later this weekend there should be some updated pictures.  We both have a weeks worth of photos that need to be posted!!!

kelly's blog diane's blog

Have a great weekend friends!!!


Friday, August 26, 2011

Free For All Friday

Happy Friday friends!!!  It’s hard to believe that we already have 10 days of the school year under our belts.  I guess it’s a good sign that we are not feeling quite as tired as we were this time last week.  In all seriousness, we were both feeling like we had been hit by a big yellow school bus this time last week!!!

We’ve both had so much fun this week checking in on some of our favorite blogs and reading all of the posts that were linked up on Blog Hoppin’.  What a FUN idea!!!

For our Friday freebies we have the {new} posters that we are using this year for our Top Banana and Star Student classroom displays.  We send the poster home with our “student of the week” to decorate over the weekend.  Then they get to share it with the class on Monday and display it, along with other photos from home, all week long.

Graphics courtesy of Scrappin’ Doodles 

image click {here} for Diane’s STAR Student posterimageclick {here} for Kelly’s Top Banana poster


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Three For Thursday

We are linking up with Blog Hopper again today to share three of our favorite things.

1.  Our Favorite Font
This is a really hard one because there are so many that we both LOVE.  This summer we discovered a new one that we have been using a lot lately.Dooctor Soos Bold

You can find it . . . and lots of other great ones {here}!!!

2.  Our Favorite Blog
There are SO many great blogs out there that we are both absolutely addicted to checking on a regular basis.  But, we would have to say that we LOVE how new sites are popping up (just like this one) where teachers can link their posts and readers can hop around from one to the next and see what kind of exciting things are happening in classrooms all across the country.

Blog Hoppin\

3.  Our Favorite Online ResourcesReading - Your Reading Resource Center


We can’t wait to see what your favorites are!!!


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Where It All Goes Down Wednesday

Hey friends, we are so excited to let you peek inside our {little} classrooms and take a look around.  We must warn you though . . . our rooms are very oddly shaped and they seem much more roomier in these pictures when there aren’t 22 little bodies inside. 

Last year our entire K-1 primary building relocated to a newly renovated building that was right next door.  Even though we were thrilled to have a nicer building, we weren’t exactly excited about these rooms.  After sifting through all of our stuff and getting rid of enough to probably start up a small charter school we managed to get everything crammed into our new little homes away from home.

Come on in and see where it all goes down . . .

dianediane 1kellykelly 1

We both use the same approach to discipline.  Our students operate on a color card system.  Each time they make a bad choice they have to turn their card.  Students shade in a behavior calendar at the end of the day in their daily folders to document how they did.  This goes home every night for parents to see.behavior boards

We both have word walls . . .which seem pretty bare at this point in the year!!!  We also have a “Word of the Day”.  Right now we are reviewing the color words.  In a few weeks we will start getting new sight words.  Each day the new word is displayed and students complete a worksheet all about that word.  They have to practice writing the word, cutting it out and arranging the letters in a sentence and using it in a meaningful sentence of their own. word wall

We both have guided reading tables where we meet with small groups each day.  We both probably spend more time sitting here than anywhere else in our room.  Luckily we have great parent support, so while we are working with small groups we use parent volunteers in our rooms to assist students at centers, monitor behavior, assemble books, cut out new center activities that we’ve made, etc . . .guided reading

We also have a special place in both of our classrooms for students to be recognized.  Each week we choose one student to be the star.  They get to decorate a poster, bring photos to share, and bring a special item for show and tell each day.  star student


Monday, August 22, 2011

Meet the Teachers Monday


We have added links to both of our class blogs on the left hand side of the screen.  We would like to invite you to follow along with us this year and see how we use all of the items we create in our own classrooms.

Finally . . . we are happy to announce the winner of our latest giveaway!!!

decodable winner signature

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Weekly Decodable Word Checks

Several years ago we created a set of 30 weekly decodable word lists that we use throughout the school year as quick assessments at the end of each week to document student progress.  They give us a quick snapshot of who needs additional support on specific phonics/decoding skills that we have covered in class.  We recently gave them a little facelift and they have been updated in our TpT store.  If you already purchased them you might want to download the newer version.  We promise they are WAY cuter and there is now a blank form included in the set for you to create your own word list . . . just in case there is a skill that you cover that is not included.

decodable word list

We also have a brand new companion that we just created to use along with our decodable word lists this year that are now available on TpT.  It is a set of 27  nonsense decodable word lists.  Since we began DIBEL’ing {that’s a verb, right???} a few years ago we have spent more time focusing on nonsense word activities.  This seems to be an area that often challenges some of our higher kiddos who have learned to read by sight.  We are hoping that these {new} nonsense word checks will give us a clearer picture of who can really apply the phonics skills and strategies that we spend so much time teaching.

nonsense word list

We would LOVE to give a set of both weekly word checks away to one of our fabulous followers.

Here’s what you need to do . . .

Post a comment telling us how many kids you have in your class this year.

{For the record . . . we both have 22 little darlings!!!}

We will choose one lucky winner tomorrow . . . Good Luck!!!signature

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Blog Hoppin’

Next week WE will be Blog Hoppin’ . . . will you???TeacherWeek

Hop on over {here} to read more about it and join in on all the fun.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Build-A-Word {short vowel} Games

It’s SO hard to believe that our summer break is already over . . . gosh it went by fast!!!  Can we just say that we are SUPER jealous of all of you who are still sleeping in and enjoying your days at the pool!!!  Tuesday was our “official” first day back at school.  It was a very LONG day.  We got lots of time to work in our classrooms that first day and then that evening we got to meet all of our new kiddos and their families at our annual “Meet the Teacher Night”.  Since then we’ve spent our days sitting and listening.

Most of our inservice meetings so far have focused on the new Common Core Standards and of course MTSS.  Believe it or not we’ve actually taken away a few strategies that we want to incorporate into our own classrooms this year and we are looking forward to sharing them with you sometime soon. 

Unitl then . . . we’ve got a brand new item to share with you that we just listed in our little store over on TpT.  It focuses on building real and nonsense short vowel words.   image

Here’s a little Build-A-Word {sneak} peek . . .build a word

We also want to give a little “shout out” to a brand new blogger.  Her name is Heather and she just started a blog aimed at reaching teachers.  It’s already loaded with lots of fun *FREE* math and literacy activities that are available to download.  Head on over to her blog and check it out.


Sunday, August 7, 2011

Alphabet FUN {Literacy Unit}

Each year we spend the first 2-3 weeks of school reviewing the alphabet.  This includes letter and sound recognition as well as proper letter formation.  To conclude our review we spend a fun filled week using some of our favorite alphabet themed literature to do several writing activities.  During this time we make a LOT of class books for our classroom library that are modeled after many of these stories.

We’ve compiled all of our literature based activities into one unit (as well as some other alphabet themed printables) and it is now available to purchase on TpT.

Here’s a little {sneak} peek at Alphabet FUN . . .

image image image


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Houghton Mifflin Resource Pack

From correspondences that we have had with many of you since beginning our blog we know that there are a lot of Houghton Mifflin users out there.  Since adopting this curriculum several years ago we have created numerous resources that we use in our own classrooms every day to supplement the series. 

We have been hard at work the last few days (and nights) trying to compile all of these activities into one BIG 319 page resource pack so we could get it posted on TpT before the sale ends.


Click {here} to download a sampling of every activity from Theme 3. 

If you are not a Houghton Mifflin user, but have a teacher friend who is, we would really appreciate it if you would pass along the word about our new resource pack.  We have put a lot of time, energy and LOVE into every single page!!!

A few little something's we want you to know . . .

1.  Many of you may have have noticed that at the beginning of the year all of our sentence building activities include proper capitalization and punctuation.  As the year progresses we begin to leave these elements off of our activities (example:  center cards sentence scrambles).  It isn’t because we forgot!!!  It’s because we want our students to begin applying what they’ve learned and be able to independently incorporate these elements into their writing.

2.  Since opening up our store on TpT there have been more and more sellers popping up every day offering products that are very similar to ours . . . if not the same.  We understand that you have a choice when it comes to purchasing items for your classroom and we want to thank you for your support and loyalty.  We try very hard to create items that are developmentally appropriate and meet state and national standards.  We teach in thematic units by incorporating skills we have covered in math and reading.  There is a natural skill based progression to each of our units. 

3.  We are extending our sale for ONE more day so you can continue to save money on any items that may still be on your wish list.  Remember to enter code B1T1S at checkout to receive an additional 10% off your purchases.  This would be the perfect time to pick up a copy of our new resource pack if you are a Houghton Mifflin use.