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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Fun With Froggy!

I should be packing for our upcoming family vacation.  Instead, I'm sharing with you my newest product that I actually sat down and created!  It's taken me a little over a month to actually sit down and start on my "TpT to-do" list.  I guess it's better late than never!
 
I love children's literature.  I guess that's because I'm an early childhood teacher.  I especially love those books that engage the students and allow them opportunities to interact with the text.  Our district follows the Balanced Literacy model in the lower grades. One of my favorite components is the interactive read aloud.  As a teacher, I absolutely love reading to my kids.  And with the interactive read loud component I still get to read aloud to them, BUT, I get to dig a little deeper into the text and be a little more purposeful with the types of text I read.  I'll be the first to admit that I wasn't that thrilled with all the "turning and talking" that the CCSS calls for.  But over the past year I have seen how easy it is to do  as long as I'm intentional with what standards I'm wanting to cover with a particular text.  Previewing the text prior to reading takes time, but I have found that it is a necessary evil when preparing for lessons.  My class last year really became great thinkers because of this model.  They amazed me with their connections and relevant questions during our interactive read loud time.  This was all due to the fact that I was teaching them how to engage themselves as active listeners and learners.  And, because I had a great planning team that really took the time to find great literature to use for the standards we were teaching at the time!
 
As I mentioned above, I love books that are engaging and allow for the students to be active participants in a read aloud.  One of the most engaging book series that I can think of is the Froggy series by Jonathan London. Who doesn't love that green frog?!  Can't you hear your students now?  FROOOGGGGYYYYY?  WHAAAAAATTTTT?  I don't know a kid who doesn't love these books!  And as an 1st grade teacher, I sure do love reading them in class!  When I found out that Nikki, Ms.  Melonheadz herself, had created graphics to go along with this series, I KNEW I had to create something to go along with this series of books.  So I did.
 
Introducing: 


This was a fun unit to create.  And the graphics were just adorable!  I tried to include lots of different activities that would match any of the books in the series.  There are a few "book specific" activities, but for the most part the other activities can be used with any Froggy books that you may have in your library.
 
Here's whats included in the pack:
 



 
 
I can't wait to use this with my new class.  I hope they love Froggy as much as I do!
 
If you would like to check this new unit out, you can find it in my TpT or TN store.  I've marked it 20% off until Saturday.
 
What's your all time favorite interactive read aloud book?  I would love to know!  Leave a response with your email address and I will pick 1 winner to receive my new Fun With Froggy pack.  I will pick the winner Sunday night before the family and I set sail for the Bahamas Monday morning!
 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Sticky Notes

I want to share with you today a little tip that I kinda just stumbled upon one day this past year.  One of the things that I always do at the beginning of my small groups is go through sight word flashcards.  The words that we review depend on what group I am working with.  I do this to practice fluency and to see who is "getting it."  One week I noticed that one of my little guys consistently struggled with one particular word.  Like most teachers, I have a little basket of materials that I keep on hand that I can grab from when I'm meeting with groups.  So I reached in and grabbed my sticky notes.  I wrote the word that this little fellow was struggling with on the sticky note and told him to go stick it on top of his desk.  I told him that whenever I came around his desk I was going to stop and point to the sticky note word.  When I did that, he would have to tell me what the word was.  BOOM!  That's all it took!  By the end of the day, he had that word down pat!  That little trick worked so well that I continued to do it with several other students that struggled with certain sight words as well.
 
So, one easy little tip that won't cost you an enormous amount of time or resources.  Any teacher I know always has a ton of sticky notes on hand.  They don't even have to be fancy!  The plain yellow ones work just fine.
 
 
So, when you are out doing a little back to school shopping, throw a few packs of sticky notes into your cart.  There are lots of other ways you can implement this tip into your class as well.  You could even use them for addition or subtraction facts, vocabulary words, important symbols, dates, number identification, letter identification, etc., etc., etc..  The possibilities are endless!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Currently!

What?!  It can't be July 1 already?!  Where is the summer going?  I mean, the next time I blink, I will be headed back to school.  Now that's a thought I don't care to even remotely think about right now.  I'm kinda liking this laid back summer thing.  So here's what I'm doing Currently!
 
 
My oldest daughter has become quite obsessed with the Boy Meets World series.  I think she is trying her best to watch every episode that was ever made.  Along with that, she has also become quite obsessed with the new show, with the same cast,  that is out on the Disney channel.  I have to admit though,  I prefer these shows over the Dance Mom shows that she also likes to watch.  Ugh!!
 
I will be the first to admit that I haven't really accomplished anything on my to-do list this summer.  It's not that I don't want to, I just can't seem to get the motivation that I need to start anything.  I'm enjoying watching everybody else get their mo-jo on while I sit back and relax!  I feel guilty that I'm not pumping out TpT products and making things for my classroom.  But, I just needed to relax this summer.  I'll get busy soon!
 
There are so many things that I want right now.  A new car, tons of new clothes, things for my classroom.  I'm totally taken in by all of the "summer sales" going on right now.  I've also found that you can buy just about anything on Amazon.  Do I really need all of that though?  No.  I'm blessed beyond belief.  Whenever I need a reality check, I just have to remind myself to look around.  I also need to remember that the grass is not always greener on the other side.  Hard advice to swallow.
 
So, what are you doing on this fabulous, first day of July?  Head on over to Farley's, link up, and share!
 
 















Sunday, June 22, 2014

Reading Buddies

Hey ya'll!  Are you loving summer as much as I am?!  Let me just tell you.  I had big plans for what I was going to accomplish this summer back on June 3 when my vacation officially started.  Have I touched those plans?  NO.  Not.   At.  All.   My mind is telling me to start, but my body is enjoying these lazy days of summer!  Part of me wants to feel guilty for not starting my long list of things to do, but the other part is telling me to enjoy every last minute and just relax a little.  So that's what I have done.  And, I'm lovin' it!!!!!!
 
However, I did take a few minutes away from my lounge chair and book to share how I use reading buddies in my class.  But, you're going to have to head on over to The Collaboration Connection to read all about it!
 
http://thecollaborationconnection.blogspot.com/2014/06/reading-buddies.html
 
Happy Summer Y'all!
 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Currently!

It has been forever since I've blogged!  May was busy, and to be completely honest, I was just simply too tired to try and talk about the goings on in my classroom.  But now, it's SUMMERTIME!!!!!  It will officially start tomorrow after my last teacher workday.  It was a good year. I had a sweet group.  But it was definitely time for the school year to be over.  19 years under my belt.  19!!!!!!  I can't believe I've been teaching that long.  Doesn't seem like it.
 
Anyway, I'm excited to be linking up with Farley for her June Currently.  I look forward to this every month!
 
 
Listening:  My washing machine and dryer hasn't stopped all afternoon.  I've really got to get better about doing  a couple of loads during the week.  Waiting until the weekend to do it just stinks!
 
Loving:  School is out and it is such a good feeling.  I mean it's Sunday evening and I am so relaxed.  I haven't had to run around getting things ready for the week or even think about lesson plans.  How sweet it is!
 
Thinking:  I have spent the last 3 summers taking courses for my Master's.  I finished my requirements at the end of last summer and I am thrilled that I will not have to spend this summer in class or writing papers.  I do have a few PD days, but that's no big deal. 
 
Wanting:  Like I mentioned above, this is the first summer without any academic obligations.  I want to really relax and enjoy every  minute of this break. 
 
Needing:  I know in my head what I need to do.  It's just getting my mind wrapped around doing it.  I'm doing my best to drink more water and less soda.  I've done ok, but I've had a few moments where I just simply had to have a Coke.  Now that school is out I am really hoping that I can break the soda habit.  I also want to focus on my eating habits and start exercising regularly.  We are going on a cruise in July and I would really like to lose a few pounds and tone up a bit for it. 
 
Summer Bucket List: Let's see......I want to read, relax, read, go to the beach, read, and create things for TpT. 
 
What are you up to Currently?  Head on over to Farley's and link up!
Happy June! 
Happy summer!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Group Board Scoreboard

Hey y'all!  Just popping in tonight to let you know that I am posting over at  Collaboration Connection.  Head on over and check out how I am trying to maintain peace and calmness in my class these last couple weeks of school!
 
http://thecollaborationconnection.blogspot.com/2014/04/groupboard-scoreboard.html
 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Earth Day Freebie

Today was the first day back from Spring Break.  It was rough when the alarm clock went off this morning.  By the time I got home, I was worn out.  Thank goodness for my sweet momma!  She sent me home yesterday with leftovers from our Easter dinner.  It was so nice not to have to worry about cooking dinner!  Thanks mom!
 
It didn't take long to get right back into the swing of things once the morning started.  My kiddos were on task and ready to work.  Let's hope this continues for the next 31 days.  It's full speed head now!  Gotta get going and KEEP moving!  I don't know about you, but this is probably the most stressful time of the year.  I have got 2 kiddos who I am watching like a hawk.  The next 31 days are critical for them.  I don't take the idea of retention lightly and I struggle with the cases that are not cut and dry.  These 2 kiddos are not so significantly low that I know for certain retention is the best decision for them.  These 2 kiddos are getting there, but they still have some gaps.  Are the gaps big enough to warrant another year in first?  Or, do they have a solid enough foundation to go on to second and be able to make it?  It's such a tough call and one that is really causing me some anxiety.  Fortunately, the parents are involved and understand what's going on.  Have you had cases like this before?  How do you find the peace in making a decision? 
 
Moving on to Earth Day.  This week is kind of a review week for math.  We are finishing up a unit on place value and double digit addition and subtraction.  To review today, I put together a little place value scoot with an earth day theme.  Instead of doing scoot, I turned it into a gallery walk.  Much easier for  my peeps, and much quieter too! 
 


This is a bad picture of the response sheet.
Not sure why the lines on the table are not showing up, but they are there!
 
There are 20 task cards and 1 response sheet.  It was the perfect review for our end of the unit test tomorrow.  You can download it here for free if you would like!
 
Hope your week is great friends!