Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Christmas break is finally here!

December is such a busy month at school. From practicing for our school-wide winter holiday program to dressing up in pajamas for Polar Express Day - I have to say, the month of December can be a bit of a whirlwind.

First graders can definitely get excited in anticipation of the holidays. And it's so contagious!

With so much "busy-ness," it wasn't until Friday afternoon, after the students left, that I could really appreciate these delightful Santas. I just love children's art. I'm always amazed at each child's unique expression.

Hats, beards, smiles, cheeks . . . and even one that seems as though Santa is looking in wonderment.

Don't you just love the eyelashes?

I hope these bring you some holiday cheer. Merry Christmas to you!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Cyber Monday Sale

Happy Cyber Monday, everyone!

If you haven't already heard, Teachers Pay Teachers® is having a huge sale!

Everything in my store will be on sale for 20% off today and tomorrow. You'll find lots of Christmas and winter products. Don't forget to use the promo code CYBER to get a total of 28% off!

I just completed Christmas Writing for Second Graders.

It's filled with lots of writing activities for the Christmas season. I also have Christmas Writing for Kinders and Christmas Writing for Firsties.

And if you're looking for some fun and engaging math activities for the holiday season, check out another new product, Christmas Math Centers First Grade.

The ten math centers include true false equations, measuring reindeer, time to the hour, place value, 3 number addition, story problems, and more.

Primary Possibilities is having a Cyber Monday and Tuesday link-up. You can find other sellers who are having great sales, too.

Have fun shopping.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Back to School Sale and a Giveaway

Get ready for the Back to School Teachers Pay Teachers® Sale! It's a BIG 2-day event.  I will have all my products on sale for 20% off.

I've created lots of new back to school products.

Back to School First Graders is an updated product and my best seller. Click on the picture to take a peek at the preview. You'll find lots of fun first grade activities for the beginning of the school year.

And how about some back to school writing activities? I've created back to school writing packets for kindergarten, first, and second grades. They are filled with a variety of writing activities to start the year off.
Back to School Writing for Kinders

Back to School Writing for Firsties

Back to School Writing for Second Graders

You can also find a back to school writing packet that's a FREEBIE here.

And if you haven't entered the Bi-Coastal Back to School Bonanza, you still have time! It's hosted by A Burst of First and Lucky to Be in First

Click on the picture to enter to win 18 Back to School products! 

Have you started back to school yet? We start next week. I love the excitement of it all!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Back to School Shopping Finds

Back to school shopping for new school supplies is not only a ritual for students but also for teachers.

 New school supply shopping is truly a summer ritual for most teachers.

I ran into Walmart® to pick up a couple of items one morning. As I passed the aisles, I noticed that the school supplies were just being placed on the shelves. Such luck!

I was completely excited!

I immediately went to hunt down a cart. Part of my excitement was the assortment of colors and new items that I saw. Another teacher was already in the aisle {of course} filling her cart. We helped each other find what was new and the "sale" items. Such fun!

Several people walked by and asked if I was a teacher. {It was a bit obvious, as I loaded up the cart.} Another shopper came and started filling up her cart. I asked her if she was a teacher. She said she was purchasing the items as gifts for her children's teachers. How sweet! Lucky teachers.

And then, the counting began. I will most likely have at least 30 students in my class, so I bought at least 35 of whatever I bought. I loved that they had lots of colors of everything from which to choose. {Checking out was a chore. The cashier had to recount everything.}

This is what I purchased:

Composition books. Love the chevron and polka dot cover designs.

Pinks and reds, too. 

I'll use the books mid-year for writing journals. The firsties get so excited to choose a book for their writing. The books are a real motivator. I find that the children want to write more when they get to use the "special" composition books.

Small composition books. Hard-covered.

Bright, shiny covers.

I'll place these at our writing center. These will be class composition books. Ready for stories, poems, lists, jokes, riddles, rhymes, and drawings. 

Notebooks. A bargain. 17¢ each.

I think I'll use these for poetry notebooks.

Two kinds of pocket folders.

The yellow pocket folders will house homework. I'll use the orange folders for guided writing folders. 

Color puzzles. 

Blue color puzzle. 24 pieces. 8 1/2 x 11.

I use floor puzzles and table top puzzles at the beginning of the school year. They are great for spatial relationships and hand-eye coordination. I found these in the dollar bins. Each puzzle has objects of a specific color. I thought I'd use them with color activities. They are the perfect size to put at a thematic center. They are small enough to be put together at a student desk, too. Great partner activity.

Now, I need to "cutesify" everything. Stay tuned for pictures of folder covers and labels and some freebies, too.

I'm linking up with Jayne at Smart Kids for Super School Shopping Saturday. Click on the picture below to see more back to school shopping finds.

Happy school supply shopping. I'd love to hear about some of your favorite finds.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Behavior Charts for Throwback Thursday

I am linking with Cara at the First Grade Parade for Throwback Thursday.

But, with jury duty and an evening class on Thursday, I'm linking a bit late. Early Friday.

Back to school is about a month away. I begin to think about all the classroom management ideas I'll put into place. 

I tried something new last year. Students took home a behavior chart each Friday. It was one way I communicated to parents how their children were doing in class. The parents especially appreciated it.

I wanted to keep it simple and easy. At the end of each day, I would use a colored marker to highlight the color each child had to turn his or her card to on the class behavior chart. It was recorded on my weekly attendance sheet. If a child stayed on green, I would not highlight the box by his or her name. It was an efficient way to keep a record of student behavior.
   _  _   _   _   _   _   _   _   _   _   _   _   _   _   _   _   _   _   _   _   _   _   
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.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Favorite Pins Friday

Today I'm linking with Cara Carroll at the First Grade Parade for Favorite Pins Friday.
I'm thinking "back to school" right now {only a month away}, and I know many of you are, too. So I thought I'd share some of my favorite pins for the beginning of the school year.

Back to School Favorite Pins

Back to school balloons by Monarch Madness is a first day of school activity that I'm going to try. First of all, I'm on the hunt for some polka dot balloons. Love those! If you look closely, each ballon has a name written on it. {A quick way for students to find where they sit on the first day of school.} And attached to each balloon is a first day treat for each child. These are sure to put smiles on anxious faces.
Who doesn't love Pete the Cat? Even Pete the Cat loves reading. A perfect poster for the reading center. Find it at the ALA store.

Isn't this clever? I just had to pin this. Such a cute idea from Eighteen 25.

What a wonderful idea from Once Upon a First Grade Adventure!  The Kissing Hand, by Audrey Penn, is such an ideal story for talking about first day back to school feelings - use heart in hand visual chart for recording those feelings.

Literature is such an important resource for teaching concepts. Amanda from One Extra Degree uses Prudy's Problem and How She Solved It, by Carey Armstrong-Ellis, to teach story structure - problem and solution. I'm adding it to my "Must Have Books" list.

The "David" books are always favorite reads throughout the year in my classroom. Mrs. Ayala from Mrs. Ayala's Kinderfun includes a directed drawing lesson with the book, David Goes to School, by David Shannon. I'm just fascinated by children's art. Craftivities are fun, but my favorites are the children's own drawings.

I thought I'd share one of my most popular pins. It's the book, Do Not Open This Book! by Joy Cowley. I use it at the beginning of the year to get children excited about reading and to teach making predictions. My original post about it is here.

"Kids come in all shapes and sizes" from Apex Art is a great way for students to depict acceptance of others' differences. I thought it would also make a great way for students to paint family pictures.

Click on Pinterest to follow my boards.

Happy Friday pinning everyone. You can see more favorite pins at First Grade Parade.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Fourth of July with Throwback Thursday

Hi everyone. It's hard to believe, but it's been almost 2 weeks since I've been out of school. I'm loving every moment of summer break. We actually have a short summer this year. I'll be back to school mid-August.

It's funny, but as soon as the school year is over, I immediately start thinking about back to school and all the things I want to change and try. Do you do that, too?

Next year will be a year of change. Our {most wonderful} principal retired this past year, and we will find out {hopefully} by the end of June who will be our new principal. We implemented the Common Core standards in writing last year. This coming year, we're fully implementing the Common Core Standards. Change is good, right?

Today, I'm linking with Cara Carroll at the First Grade Parade for Throwback Thursday. Such a fantastic and fun idea!

With Fourth of July around the corner, I thought I'd throwback to some red, white, and blue ideas from my post last Fourth of July.

It actually was made up of two posts: Fourth of July part 1 and Fourth of July part 2.

I'm a quilter. Here's a block from my friendship flag quilt.

A group of us made quilt blocks and shared them with each other to make a flag quilt.

I incorporate quilting {lots of great quilting literature books - The Quilt Story by Tony Johnston is one of my favorite} into lessons throughout the year. 

I just love this book.

Quilting Through the Year by Paula Symonds
I always start the school year out making the paper quilt that's on the front cover. I'll have to take a picture of ours this coming year. The faces have so much character. Just plain cute. The paper quilt projects in the book incorporate social studies, math, and art. They also have patterns for various grade levels.

A Fourth of July paper quilt project.

{free download}

A sample.

Or how about a Fourth of July game?

For more Throwback Thursday ideas, click here.

And I hope you have a Happy Fourth of July.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Clipart Challenge

Several fabulous clipartists and bloggers have come together for an amazing Clipart Challenge hosted by Primary Possibilities!  Each blogger is featuring a clipartist and a product they made using that artist's images!  This is a great way to discover new clipart creators for your summer creations.   So keep reading and following the linky at the bottom to head on to the next post!  You may even pick up some freebies along the way!
 I am excited to feature {I'm a BIG fan!}:

Johnston Kindergarten Corner and Digital Clipart

Bobbi Johnston is a kindergarten teacher and also a graphic artist. Her background is in digital design. Isn't that a wonderful combination? I think it's such an invaluable pairing. Think of the endless possibilities for helping children understand new concepts with the aid of drawings and visuals {that you can do yourself}.

I can't wait to show you some of her amazing clipart {and some of my favorites}:

Camping Clipart Package

Farm Clipart

Beach Clipart

Circle Time Children Clipart

Classroom Furniture Set 2

Spring Critters Clipart

These are just a snapshot of what she has available in her store. Click on the pictures to purchase and see more of her adorable graphics.

Not only is she a graphic artist, but she's also a children's author and illustrator. All I can say is, "WOW!"

She's the author and illustrator of these books:

Worry Wart Willy Goes to School by Bobbi Johnston

Nighty-Night Snuggle Bug by Bobbi Johnston

Brave Little Soldiers by Bobbi Johnston

Click on the picture and titles for more information about her books.

I thoroughly enjoyed creating a product that features clipart from Johnston Kindergarten Corner and Digital Clipart. I chose Cute Lemonade Clipart. And they are precisely that - So CUTE, great quality, and so many amazing graphics are included!

Lemonade Math Activities and Centers

Lemonade Math Activities and Centers includes math activities and centers for first and second graders. Lemonade, lemons, lemonade stand, and summer themed activities are all fun ways for children to practice math skills.

A glimpse of some of the centers:

Lemony Slices missing addends and sums

Summer"time" Lemonade telling time to the hour and half hour

Sippin' on Lemonade missing subtrahends and differences

Lemonade for Sale money sort and count

Don't you just love the graphics?

I'm so glad Bobbi Johnston is sharing her talent by selling her digital clipart on Teachers Pay Teachers®. You can visit Johnston Kindergarten Corner and Digital Clipart here to purchase and see more of her wonderful clipart.

Follow the link below to find additional awesome clipartists.

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