Wednesday, February 29, 2012

March Madness

It’s hard to believe that tomorrow will be the first day of March.

We’ve got lots of fun activities coming up this month and we wanted to share a few things with you.

Thanks to so many great creators and sellers on TpT we are happy to announce that we are having our very first Dr. Seuss day . . . EVER . . . on Friday!!!  We know it’s probably hard for you to believe that we have NEVER done anything to celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday until now . . . but it’s true.  We’ve got TONS of fun stuff planned for our kiddos on Friday.  We have even invited them to bring their favorite Dr. Seuss books from home. 

We wanted to start off the day the “Seuss” way so we made a little Word of the Day worksheet and poster to display.

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click {here} to download

Today we made these cute little lion art projects to decorate our classroom bulletin board.  We began by reading the book In Like A Lion Out Like A Lamb by Marion Dane Bauer.  We talked about what it means when the weather comes in like a lion  during the month of March and goes out like a lamb.  Then we did a writing project to go with it.

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Here’s a folder cover that tells you exactly what you need for this art project along with tracers and writing paper. 

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click {here} to download the tracers and writing paper

For all of you who will be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, here is a graphing center we always use.  Just laminate and cut out the shamrock cards and let your students sort them by color.  Then they can use their graph to record how many of each color they have and use them to solve some basic addition math problems.

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click {here} to download a copy

Here is a worksheet you can use with any book during the month of March.  We usually pair it up with one of our St. Patrick’s Day listening centers.  After reading (or listening) to a story let your kiddos go on a sound hunt through the book. 

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click {here} to download a copy

If you are a Houghton Mifflin user here is a sight word game our kids always LOVE.  Just laminate the cards and use it during your guided reading time or let students play in small groups.

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click {here} to download a copy

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Leap Day Sale

Don’t forget . . . today we will be taking part in the Leap Day sale on TpT along with lots of other great sellers.  Every product in our store will be 20% off plus you can save an additional 10% off if you use code L2P9Y when you check out.

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Monday, February 27, 2012

Lost!

Last year we did a fun little writing activity to go with the main story Lost! in our reading series.  The kids absolutely loved it and it sounds like a few of you did too because you’ve come across it on our class blogs and  we’ve gotten tons of emails lately about posting all of the materials we used.  

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We began by making a Lost and Found box that was filled with items a first grader might really lose.  We thought about just using items out of our school Lost and Found . . . but really, who needs 24 stories about lost mittens.  So instead, we dug around at home through our kids treasures, and came up with some fun little items to put in our box. 

Examples include:  silly bands, toy cars, headbands, action figures, earrings, necklaces, etc. . . 

Then we let the kids come up to the Lost and Found box that we made and pick one item out.  As you can imagine it was a very tough choice.  Their job was to use their item and fill out the graphic organizer by guessing who they thought lost the item they choose, where it was found and who found it.  They also got to create a scenario of how it was lost.  We of course practiced doing this as a group several times on the Promethean board using items from the box and working together as a class.

The kids were SO ready to write once they got their item.

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Here’s an example . . .DSCN4476

After students finished filling out their graphic organizer they used it to write a story.  You would not believe how this little pre-writing activity got their writing juices flowing because they turned out GREAT!!!  So good that we asked our principal if we could bring them down and hang them up around the Lost and Found nook at our school.

To download a copy of the graphic organizer and writing paper click {here}.

We are planning to do this activity again later in the week . . . can’t wait!!!

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Quick Trip

This weekend we had the opportunity to meet up with the one and only Cara Carroll from The First Grade Parade.  It was just like getting together with an old friend . . . who just happens to be a celebrity!!!  We had the perfect excuse because Diane’s daughters were playing in a softball tournament in Denton, TX (which just happens to be Cara’s old stomping ground) and Kelly has a friend that lives just south of Ft. Worth that she was dying to see . . . so we packed up the car and headed south on Friday.

Thanks to Mr. Schmelzer for being such a great chauffer.  I’m sure he just loved listening to us talk about teacher stuff all the way to Denton and back!!! 

We had the BEST time!!!.  We met up at one of her favorite little Mexican restaurants and after three hours of nonstop talking and countless glasses of iced tea we headed out together to do some shopping.  So fun . . . and we even found a cute little outfit for Abby that would go great with her unitard.  We couldn’t resist texting her a picture!!! 

Folks, we have to tell you Cara is as adorable in person as she is on her blog.  She is such a generous and kind hearted soul!!!  We definitely feel like we have made a good friend.

   We need send out a big thank you to the dear young man working at the information booth at the mall.  After several attempts he was able to snap this little picture of us together that we all {sort of} agreed on.  Don’t think he really knew what he was agreeing to do when we politely asked him if he would take our picture.  We are also very sorry to the people who were patiently waiting to get information about the mall from him.  We really didn’t mean to get him so distracted from his job duties!!!

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In other exciting news we are joining forces with several other bloggers and TpT sellers to take part in the AMAZING leap day sale.  Don’t miss out on the savings . . . these kind of sales don’t come along very often.  We are planning to make our wish list early because there are several great products we have been eyeing!!!

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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sunday Spotlight–Houghton Mifflin Resources

This week’s Sunday Spotlight is coming to you kind of late . . . at least it’s still Sunday!!!  We’ve both been out of town most of the weekend with our kids activities.  Diane has two daughters that both play softball at Emporia State University and their season is just beginning.  She headed south to Oklahoma for games on Friday and is just now headed home.  Kelly has a son who is involved in basketball so she was at an MAYB tournament today just up the road in Newton, KS.  {She had to miss out on all the games yesterday because she had some of the yummy stomach stuff that’s going around}

So, what these two teachers need more that anything is a day off to relax and get their lives back in order. . . no luck with that though!!!  We always spend President’s Day teaching our little darlings about our countries great leaders.  If you are one of the lucky teachers out there that will be home reading this post while your still dressed in your favorite pj’s . . . let us just say we are jealous!!!!  Then we want to pass some savings on to you. 

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Sunday Spotlight

This week we have a new Houghton Mifflin product we would like to share with you.

Many of you have purchased our Houghton Mifflin Resource Pack.  One of the items we included in it is the set of weekly spelling words for themes 3-10 that we use.  The series only provided 8 words each week that followed the phonics skill we are learning.  Who has ever heard of only having 8 words.  We thought it must be a misprint . . . but it wasn’t!!!  We just couldn’t handle it, so of course we HAD to add 2 additional words to our lists to make it an even 10.  Each week we chose 2 of the weekly sight words that we felt were important for students to learn how to spell correctly.  We call them the “Writer’s Challenge Words”.

You can imagine how excited we were when a new blogger {Mrs. K’s Munchkins} contacted us about our spelling words.  She’s been using our lists and has created a series of worksheets to go with them that incorporate the two extra “Writer’s Challenge Words” that we added.  They are absolutely adorable and we have already got a set of them copied and ready to go for this week!!!

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Head on over to her blog to read more about this great little product, download a free copy of the Theme 7 worksheets AND find out how you could win a complimentary set.Mrs. K's Munchkins

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Saturday, February 18, 2012

March Thematic Calendar & Units

Here’s a little {sneak} peek at what March will look like for us in terms of thematic units . . .clip_image007

We will be using math and literacy activities from the following units that we have created . . .

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In our reading series we will be finishing up Theme 7 the week of March 5-9.  That week our main story is If You Give A Pig A Pancake by Laura Numeroff.  Last year we developed an entire set of center and literature based activities to go along with all of Laura Numeroff’s other popular circle stories.  It was one of our favorite weeks EVER.  Each day we would focus on a different story and do an activity to go with it.  Then at the end of the week our kids wrote their very own circle stories. 

You can head over to our class blogs to see pictures and read about all the fun we had last year.

kelly's blog          diane's blog

This year we decided to take a entire week off from our reading series.  The week before Spring Break {March 12-17} we are not going to introduce any new skills.  Instead, we are going to spend the entire week doing all of the activities in our Laura Numeroff Circle Story Unit.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Long A Videos {ai/ay}

This week we have become Red-Eyed Tree Frog experts thanks to the main story selection in our Houghton Mifflin reading series. 

One of us even became a Red-Eyed Three Frog expert . . .ha!!! 

{Didn’t catch that until after she had already traced over her title with a Sharpie.}

Today we made these cute little art projects and did an informative writing activity to hang in the hallway.  They turned out really cute and the kids wrote and wrote and wrote.  It’s amazing how much they can write when they feel like they are real experts!!!

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We are also learning about the long a sound spelled /ai/ and /ay/ this week.  Here’s a few more videos to add to your library to reinforce this skills.  They aren’t all as fun as the ones we posted last week, but the kids have still enjoyed them!!!

{Just click on each picture to view the video clip.}

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Wild About Weather

So, we’ve been crossing our fingers for some winter weather here in Kansas for the past month. 

Maybe even a SNOW day. 

Well we got what we wished for . . .kind of . . . it did snow, but not enough to cancel school.  Just enough to make our playground white for a day and then a horrible muddy mess for the rest of the week.  So you know what that means . . . indoor recess!!!

Hopefully you are a little more wild about the weather where you live?  Maybe you are even gearing up for a weather unit in the upcoming weeks.  If so then check out our newest creation.  It’s called Wild About Weather Math & Literacy Centers.  It’s got 11 math and literacy centers that reinforce many of our basic first grade skills. 

Here’s a little {sneak} peek . . .Weather Sneak Peek

To read more about everything that is included click {here}.

Happy Valentine’s Day friends!!!

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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sunday Spotlight

Sunday Spotlight

During the past year there have been lots of inspirational ladies who have given us advice and featured our little ol’ blog and products on their blogs.  We would like to give a big shout out to Cara Carroll from The First Grade Parade, Abby Mullins from The Inspired Apple, Brooke Perry from Primary Perspectives, Gladys from Teaching in High Heels, Rachelle Smith from What the Teacher Wants and Mrs. Larremore from Chalk Talk.  We are probably leaving somebody off this list, but please know how grateful we are for all of your LOVE and support!!!

So this week we are thrilled to be able to do the same thing for a fellow Kansan who is a new blogger and seller on TpT . . . meet Mrs. Mackey from Mackey’s Classroom.

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We are teaming up with her for a giveaway.  If you head over to her blog you can read all the details and find out what you need to do to win her set of  Luck O’ the Irish Math and Literacy Centers

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AND our {new} set of Lucky Leprechaun Math and Literacy Centers.

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Help us welcome her to the blogging community.  Please show her some bloggin’ LOVE!!!

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Friday, February 10, 2012

Long E Videos {ee/ea}

This week we have been learning how to decode and read words that have the long e sound. . . which means we finally got to have some formal lessons about vowel pairs.

Here are some links to a few of the fun YouTube videos we’ve watched throughout the week.  Just click on the pictures to view each video.  They are from two of our favorite educational series {Between the Lions & The Electric Company}.

They all make great little lesson openers to reinforce the skills you are covering.

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