Friday, November 29, 2013

Reindeer Games

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and have been enjoying a nice break from school.  I've been  loving this extra time with my family, and am preparing for a fun little overnight getaway tomorrow.

But, first...I finished a fun Christmas mini-pack and got it uploaded tonight.

This reindeer again.  I had to.  I just can't help myself with him!  He's so adorable.
 6 math and 4 literacy prep required - just print, copy, and use with your class!
Click HERE or the photo above to check it out in my TPT shop

Monday, November 25, 2013

December Book-It Reading Log {FREEBIE}

December is just around the corner, so it's time for a new Book-It reading log.  

Read, read, read kiddos!  It's a short month of school!!

Click the link at the bottom of the post if you'd like to use it with your students.  Just print and copy double-sided.  

PS -- Isn't this DJ Inkers reindeer one of the cutest clip arts ever???  
I love him!

CLICK HERE to grab the reading log from Google Drive!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Thanksgiving Brain Boost {FREEBIE}

I am working hard on my second set of Brain Boost pages, but they aren't quite finished yet.  As I've used the first set with my class, I've made note of things I want to tweak on those too.  We're almost done with the first set and I just love that time with my students every Tuesday and Wednesday morning.  I made special Brain Boosts for Thanksgiving and we completed both of them together last week.  Since we don't officially cover Thanksgiving, it gave me a good chance to talk with my students about some of the basics.

I plan to put together a holiday/special events Brain Boost set eventually, but for now they are free for the taking.  Snatch them up if you think they'd work for your class!  
CLICK HERE to snag them!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Five for Friday {November 22}

Happy, happy Friday!!

One extra week of teaching before Thanksgiving means one less week after!  Not a bad trade-off.  It feels so great knowing that, when we come back after Thanksgiving, we'll only have three weeks before Christmas Break!  Crazy!  But, so FUN!

Anyway, I'm linking up with Doodlebugs for Five for Friday...seems like these posts are the only ones I can get around to lately!

1. I love me a good graphic organizer.  My reading group this week completed this bubble map after reading a story about a picnic.

2. I was feeling a bit overwhelmed by moving onto our second writing unit.  My kiddos are sweet as can be and learning so much, but I just didn't feel they were ready to be writing personal narrative books independently yet.  So, we began writing a book together, as a whole class, this week.  I chose a topic that we all have experienced, and we worked together all week.
Last week, our school held an event called "Donuts with Dudes".  Students brought their favorite "dude" for donuts before school in the morning.  We used the Story Hand from Deedee and Deanna's writing unit to plan out our story.
We completed one page each day, and will finish it up next week.  I am so glad that I've taken the time to do this as a class.  I'm hoping it will really help my kiddos know what to do when they get to writing their own.
My kids have gotten SO good at drawing very detailed pictures.

3. We've been working on "Thankful Journals" this week.  As a class, we've come up with something each day that we are all thankful for.  Yesterday, the student I selected said that he was thankful for school and everyone agreed!  I've really enjoyed doing this with my class this year.  It was a last-minute decision, but one that I plan to do for years to come.
 You can find this journal for free HERE.

 4. I was adding this week's words to my word wall today when I was reminded how much I love the tip that Kim Adsit gave at her conference that I attended in the Spring.  She said that she uses different colors for the words on her word wall.  It just serves as one more visual for students that might need it.  They can learn to distinguish the words by color for some added support.  My kids could learn that "a" is green, "am" is lavender, etc.
 I went through my word wall words over the summer and put them together in a document that separated them by color.  Click here to grab it if you'd like!  We follow the Scott Foresman Reading Street language arts curriculum, so it aligns to that.

5. A sweet note from one of my littles at the end of the day today.  The perfect way to start the weekend!

Two days of school next week!!  Enjoy your weekend!!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Five for Friday {November 15}

It's FRIDAY!!  And BOY did I need it this week!  It's been a crazy week, and I actually was gone from school two days.  Which really makes things so, so much crazier.  I'm so ready for a normal week next week, but I will enjoy my weekend first!

1. We have been enjoying all things November, and we finished up a sweet turkey craft this week.

2. I have a parent volunteer come each Thursday afternoon.  This week, the students worked on Thanksgiving patterns.  They rolled this dice to find out what type of pattern they would have to make.
Then, they chose the pieces they wanted to use to make that pattern.  They turned out cute!

 3. We've begun diving into Academic Vocabulary over the past couple of weeks.  As a school, we dipped our toes in the water last year, but this year have a much more organized approach.  I really enjoy this piece of my week and I LOVE hearing my students use these high-level words in their conversations!

4. Well, if there were ever a day that I NEEDED some quiet time, today was it.  Insert DEAR time this afternoon!  The students got out their book bags and an extra book from the reading corner, and we had five minutes of quiet reading time.  Yes, only five.  But I savored those five.

5. I only had three days at school this week because my son had surgery to remove his gallbladder on Tuesday.  It all went well and he did great....and he was back in school today!  We are so grateful!

Linked up with Doodlebugs!  Head over there to check out other Five for Fridays!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Scarecrow directed drawing

I came across this blog post at Welcome to Room 36 last year with directions for the cutest scarecrow directed drawing.  I knew right away that I wanted to try it with my students and I ended up just LOVING it!  I was so looking forward to doing it again this year.

The students just love step at a time they can draw anything!
Click HERE to head over to Welcome to Room 36 for her step-by-step instructions.

I knew that I wanted to display these in the classroom for the month of November, so I added just a touch of writing to it by having my students complete a sentence, and then I stapled it to the bottom of the page.  I had them think of something they didn't like and would want their scarecrow to scare away.
 I scare away bears.
 I scare away ketchup.
 I scare away tornadoes.
I scare away biting bugs.

I love how each scarecrow has it's own character.  They are so adorable!!  If you'd like to grab the "I scare away..." sentence that I added to the bottom, CLICK HERE to get it from Google Drive.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

"Life in an Ocean" extension activities

Remember that post where I told you I'd share about my literature extensions for the book "Life in an Ocean"???

No?  Well, that's probably because I wrote it a long time ago.  And I said that I'd be back in a few days which clearly didn't work out.  

Anyway, here it is. Super late.  But, better late than never, right??

We read this book (it's part of our reading curriculum).  I always like to extend this book because it's our first non-fiction book of the year and the kids love it.

This color word activity was in our literacy station rotation for two weeks.  It was just the right level of difficulty for this point in the school year.

We made a simple emergent reader with six pages to keep in our book bags at school.

And we made a class book!  I love every chance to make a class book. 

We made this list of sea creatures and each student chose the one they wanted to write about. 

They completed these pages.  We have been working on detailed drawings during our writing block, and have discussed how to add all of our details and then draw the setting last.  The kids did a great job and the book turned out adorable!

Our class books always go home with each student before being placed in our reading corner for the rest of the school year.  I put the book in a gallon-size ziploc bag with this sticker on the front.  They keep it for one night and bring it back the next day.  The kids LOVE bringing class books home to share with their families!!

If you'd like the page for the class book, CLICK HERE to head over to Google Drive and grab it!