Saturday, December 29, 2012

Graphics {I Heart}

I have had more time to peruse through graphics and fonts since our winter break from school.

I get so excited to see the variety of choices available. So many more artists are selling graphics, since I first started creating teaching products on TpT.

I thought I'd share some of my all time favorites and newest finds.

One of my all time favorites is KPM Doodles.

Kirsten Peters McGrath is the artist. First of all, I LOVE her artwork! I first found her art on Etsy, but she now also has her own website.

Click on the picture to visit her blog.

She created the graphics on my blog design. She was able to capture exactly what I wanted. She sells most of her graphics in color and black and white. If you are as obsessed with digital backgrounds as much as I am, you'll have to see the new ones she recently created.

Scrappin Doodles is another graphics site I use a lot. I like that they have such a large assortment of graphics from which to choose.


Click on the picture to visit Scrappin Doodles.

Miss Tiina not only has adorable graphics, but also creates just as adorable fonts. She is AMAZINGLY creative, and it shows in her work.

Click on picture for fonts.


Click on picture for graphics.

I've been wanting to use this graphic since I first saw it. 

Click on the picture to download for FREE!

It was created by Mel {so talented} from From the Pond Graphics. I {heart}TpT, because not only does it have great teaching resources, it also has artists who sell graphics and fonts that can be used for teaching resources. 

I've lost count of how many of Mel's graphics I've acquired. She's a teacher and knows what teachers use and need. Visit her store, and you'll know exactly what I mean.


Click on the picture to visit From the Pond Graphics.

Fancy Dog Studio is also selling graphics on TpT. I've been using her graphics for a long time, but I'm so excited that she's now selling on TpT. Her borders and frames are some of my favorites. She hand draws many of them. 


Click on the picture to visit her store.

And now for a couple of my newest finds . . .

Little Red's Schoolhouse


Click on the picture to see the store.

I wish I could buy all of her graphics. They are so unbelievably cute and so professionally done. She frequently adds new ones to the store. So, you'll want to check back frequently. Most of her graphic images are in color and black and white. 

And another store that's growing by leaps and bounds is Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah Designs


Click on the picture to see the store.

First of all, don't you just love her store name? Her graphics are so realistic and have such a professional look about them. She has digital scrapbook packets, clip art, and graphics. And . . . she does custom listings. 

These just scratch the surface. What I love is that each artist has a personal style and so offers something unique. 

I would love to hear about some of your new graphic finds.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Christmas "Toed" Stockings and The Polar Express

The students in my class create Christmas stockings with a "toed" twist.

The children trace a stocking pattern onto two pieces of 12" x 18" red or green construction paper.

They cut out a snow-melting pattern for the tops of the stockings.

The stockings are glued together {on the edges only} for a two-sided stocking that can be stuffed and filled with a {SURPRISE} treat or two.

I give scraps of colored construction paper to the children and then the real FUN begins.

Snowflakes are a must on this stocking.


Love the snowman's big carrot nose.


Don't forget the snowman's hat.


The lights shine brightly on the top of this Christmas tree.


I'm amazed at the tiny details on this stocking.


And now the stockings adorn our classroom walls.

I don't have a space large enough for a stocking bulletin board, so the stockings are scattered here and there on the classroom walls. It's quite festive that way. And it's as close as it gets to snowing in our part of the world.

The insides of the stockings are stuffed with tissue paper. I put surprise gifts in them for the students before they take them home for winter break. {By way, they just giggle and LOVE that the toes are showing thru the stockings}.

Next week, we're on to Polar Express activities. We will be reading The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg. The children will be engaged in reading, writing, math, and art activities based on the book. 

Next Friday is our last day of school before our winter break. The first graders will come to school dressed in their pajamas, robes, and slippers with their stuffed animals in tow. The rooms will be transformed into Polar Express trains {that even serve hot cocoa}. The morning is filled with a "ride" on the train, rereading the book, and drinking hot cocoa as the children are involved in Polar Express activities. 

We will be using activities from The Polar Express for Firsties


It's filled with literacy and math activities and centers prepared especially for first grade. Click on the picture to preview the activities included in the packet.

I also have Polar Express bookmarks that you can download for FREE.







Bookmark graphics and fonts by Little Red's Schoolhouse, Kevin and Amanda

When I give the students colored bookmarks, I laminate them first. They last longer, and I think it's a great way to promote reading. First graders love the idea of placing a bookmark in a book - especially the beginning chapter books that they are so proud they can read. The black and white ones are great, too, because the children can color them. Take your pick. Both are included in the download. 

You can download them HERE.

I would love to hear about some of the activities you have planned for your last week before winter break.



Sunday, December 9, 2012

Behavior Charts

I have a behavior chart that I use daily in my classroom.

Lakeshore® Behavior Management Pocket Chart 

Each student has his or her name on the chart. Everyone starts out on green each day. 

Green is good behavior.
Yellow is a warning.
Orange is a consequence {usually lose 5 minutes at the beginning of recess}.
Red is action taken {a call home to parents}.

I keep track of the students' behavior on my attendance sheet grid. I highlight {with yellow, orange, or red} any students who have had to turn their cards over to a different color. It's an easy way to quickly mark students' behavior progress at the end of each day.

I also want parents to be informed of their child's progress. I have been using this form to tally student progress.


I tally the number of times students' cards move to a specific color. I comment on any specific behavior I want to inform the parents about on the lines at the bottom of the chart. The box at the top right hand corner is for a student number. All my students have numbers to help with management. I can quickly tell if I have completed a form for each student. These forms go home at the end of the day each Friday.

I'm starting to use a similar chart that students fill out themselves. This idea came from a parent of one of my students who is also a teacher.

The students complete this chart themselves. They keep the charts at their desks and color in the color of their card at the end of each day. I like this form, because the students take responsibility for completing their own charts. 

All the parents of students in my classroom know that the forms go home on Fridays. I don't require parent signatures, unless I set up a special contract with specific students to have the forms signed and returned.


You can download the Weekly Behavior Charts HERE.


Sunday, December 2, 2012

Lucky Day Giveaway

The lucky number is 12 at The Resourceful Apple. Tammy is having an exciting giveaway! She is giving away 12 teaching units created by 12 blogger friends. I am so EXCITED to be contributing to her giveaway!

I am contributing Winter Math Story Problems Addition.


Stop by The Resourceful Apple to see all 12 teaching units. Find out why the number 12 is so LUCKY, and sign up for the giveaway.


Friday, November 30, 2012

Winter Holiday Tips and Freebies Ebook

I'm so EXCITED to announce that the 2012 editions of the Winter Holiday Tips and Freebies Ebooks are ready to download on TpT.

The books were created by a group of TpT sellers as holiday gifts to TpT buyers. Each contributing seller has a special page with a holiday teaching tip and one or two freebies for you to download.

Here's the Pre K & K edition.


Here's the 1st and 2nd grade edition.


Krissy from Mrs. Miner's Monkey Business did the most wonderful job of designing the covers and compiling the books. Thank you, Krissy!

Here's my contribution to the 1st & 2nd grade edition:

Sneak Preview

{includes some FUN holiday writing printables}

Click on the picture to download my freebie: What Can You Write About Santa and Helpers? 

Click on the Ebook covers to download them for FREE!

Enjoy these. And happy December {tomorrow already} to you!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

After Thanksgiving and Christmas Writing

It's the last day of our Thanksgiving break, and I'm thinking about seeing the kids in my class tomorrow {after having a week off}.

The first day back will start with a lot of chatter about what happened over the break.

We'll start the morning off with a sharing circle {something we do each Monday}. It's a great opportunity to work on listening and speaking skills. The sharing animal {small stuffed animal} is passed around the circle and held by each child as he/she shares. It's a great way to start the week. I'm also able to give children my undivided attention as they share. I learn about their lives outside of school.

I'll also have the children share by writing about what they did during the Thanksgiving break. I created some writing activities that I call "Thanksgiving Writing {After the Feast}".


"Our Thanksgiving Feast" is a great way to integrate reading, writing, and listening. The students get to read their writing to two friends. {Make sure you model this first.} The students stop and listen to their friends read their writing to them. Children love an audience for their writing. Their FAVORITE part is putting their "official" signature on their friends' papers. 



Now, it's on to Christmas writing. I have two new packets filled with holiday writing printables.

Christmas Writing for Firsties

Christmas Writing For Kinders

Both of the packets include printables for a letter to Santa and a "Greetings From an Elf" holiday card. Click on the pictures to preview more.

Enjoy the last day of your break!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

It's a SALE!

Hi everyone!

Are you ready for a sale? Two FANTASTIC sales are around the corner.

The Teachers Notebook 3-Day Sale starts this Saturday, November 24th and runs Saturday, Sunday, and Monday {thru November 26th}. Members get 10% off everything in their entire order.

{I will have an additional 25% off my Teachers Notebook products.}
AND

The Teacher's Pay Teachers 2-Day Cyber Monday Sale is a two-day sale that starts on Monday, November 26th.
{I will have an additional 20% off my Teacher's Pay Teacher's products.}

I just completed two new Christmas/Winter products:


I Love Christmas Literacy and Math is a packet of literacy and math activities and centers for FIRST GRADE. It includes lots of writing activities and 3 literacy and 3 math centers.


Winter Math Story Problems Addition includes addition math story problems with a winter theme for FIRST GRADE. Winter season, Christmas, and Valentine's Day story problems are included.

Click on the pictures to see more.

Happy shopping!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Thanksgiving and Christmas Class Books

Our school is off for the entire week of Thanksgiving. The extra time helps me enjoy the holiday season with family and friends. We traditionally get our house decorated for Christmas on the day after Thanksgiving, so I want to savor the spirit of Thanksgiving before the house is transformed. {I also plan on going to school to do some extra planning and organizing.} Do you do that, too, on your breaks?

Throughout the year, I include students' writings in CLASS BOOKS. I put the class books in our classroom reading center, and they are always FAVORITE reads. The students especially love to read them with a partner.

The class books will be read repeatedly, so I always laminate the covers and bind the books.

Two class books for Thanksgiving and Christmas:





Download them for free HERE.

A FUN tip: Raffle off the class books at the end of the school year. The children treasure these.

The Christmas class book is from "I Love Christmas Literacy and Math." It will be available shortly in my TpT STORE.


I'd love to hear about the class book ideas you have for your class.

Enjoy your Sunday,