Monday, February 25, 2013

A Ginormous Giveaway

A Ginormous Giveaway!
I am linking up with a bunch of amazing bloggers for a ginormous giveaway! 
Phase 1 - Link Up! (Our Sweet Success)
If you would like to join this giveaway by offering one of your products, then join us in the biggest linky party EVER!!!  The deadline to enter will be Saturday, March 2nd!  Head on over to Our Sweet Success and link up!  There are some amazing teacher bloggers who are joining us in the fun!       

Phase 2 - Enter to WIN!  (Mackey's Classroom)
Starting on Sunday, March 3...Mrs. Mackey over at Mackey's Classroom will begin the raffle for the winner!  Make sure to sign up to try and win!  ONE lucky winner will win: 
ALL of the products offered by the most amazing teacher/bloggers on TPT.  

Phase 3 - Prizes Sent!
All teacher/bloggers who linked up will email their product to winner!!
I just couldn't decide what product to give away.  The winner will get to choose ANY ONE item from my TpT shop!  Go ahead and start browsing through the items at my shop! 

Here are just a few new items that I recently added to my TpT store: 

Equal and Not Equal sorting!

Three Little Pigs Companion Packet! 
This pack includes reading comprehension activities to go along with 3 different "pig" stories!  The stories include: The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, Wolf!, and My Lucky Day.  These are great companions and are all different reading levels. 

Don't forget to link up for the Ginormous Giveaway!
Come join us in the fun!
- Michelle

Friday, February 22, 2013

Five for Friday Linky Party

Five for Friday Linky is here again!

      I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for the Five for Friday Linky Party!  Last week was the first time I linked up and it was a lot of fun. 
      Here are five random things from this week:
1.  While all of you are enjoying your Friday night and getting ready for hopefully a relaxing weekend, I am preparing to go to work tomorrow!  YES, that is correct!  We have a make-up teacher work day tomorrow.  I am going in for a half-day.  The positive side is that I didn't bring work home to do for the weekend, like usual!
2.     This morning I was at the gym and while on the elliptical, I was reading The Book Whisperer.  I had heard so many wonderful things about this book, that I decided that I needed to read it!  While reading today, I had one of those aha moments that I pretend to have all the time during my read alouds!  It really happened!  I realized that there are things that I do in my teaching that I learned from my fifth grade teacher.  I didn't even like her!!!  However, she really let me choose book and discover my path as a reader.  It was in fifth grade that I started to really like to read.  I had always been a decent reader, but I didn't like to read.  
      This coming week we will have a read-a-thon for Dr. Seuss week and that was something that I loved about my fifth grade teacher.  We spent once a quarter, ALL day reading  and writing in our journals and this was something that I LOVED.  (Plus we could bring our own snacks!) 
3.  Our February Calendar!  Can you believe that February is almost over?!?! Neither can I!  Today was day 112, which means we only have 78 days of school. 
4. The Valentine Bears... We finished this up this week!  I found an idea over at Mrs. Plant's Press to use the book The Valentine Bears for inferencing.  My students gave examples to show how they were able to infer that Mr. Bear loved Mrs. Bear and how Mrs. Bear loved Mr. Bear.  I used super cute heart sticky notes!  The kids loved doing this too!  This week we are going to take the notes down and put them in their reading journals, so that they can keep them as a record of their thinking. 
5.  I added a new Nate the Great packet to my TpT site!  I LOVE Nate the Great!  This one goes to the book Nate the Great and the Tardy Tortoise.  Take a look!  Your kiddos will love it too. :)

I hope you have had a super week!  Enjoy your weekend!
- Michelle

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Desire 2 Inspire Linky and Happy Birthday!

I am linking up with Lovely Literacy & More for her Desire 2 Inspire Linky party!   This is a perfect Linky for me, since I was going to write today about someONE (who has a blog) and inspires me everyday!

You have to list at least 3 non-teaching blogs and 3 teacher blogs that inspire you.
      My first non-teacher blog that inspires me belongs to my Mom!  It also just happens to be her birthday today.  She has a blog called Living Intuitively, where she shares reminders and inspiration to listen to that voice within all of us!  You should definitely check out her blog!  She is a writer and artist.  She is extremely creative and I thank her for that trait!!  She is my biggest blog follower, biggest supporter, and a HUGE inspiration to me and many others. Happy birthday Mom!!

     My next non-teacher blog is Simply Kierste (formerly Brown Paper Packages).  It is a great craft blog.  Click on her picture to check out her blog.
DIY shutters clipboard

     My next non-teacher blog is I Heart Organizing!  It has great organizational inspiration!

       Choosing my top inspirational teaching blogs is VERY hard.  I have to say that I am inspired by each blog that I follow and that shares information.  I am so proud to be part of such an amazing blogging community.
      My first teaching blog that inspires me has to be The Schroeder Page.  Monica was the first person to introduce me to blogging and she encouraged me to get start my own blog!  Thanks Monica! 
     The second teaching blog that inspires me is The Inspired Apple.  It was one of the first blogs that I started following and she always has amazing ideas to share.
The Inspired Apple
     My third inspiring teaching blog is First Grade Blue Skies.  This was another blog that I started following a at the beginning of my blogging adventure.  She has been inspirational to me and to many other new bloggers!
First Grade Blue Skies

     Thank you to ALL of the amazing bloggers who inspire others each day!  I know that being a part of the teaching blogging community has made me a better teacher! 
Happy Birthday Mom! 
- Michelle

Sunday, February 17, 2013

February 17th Means....

February 17th means…March 17th is around the corner!

     Yay!  I love teaching about St. Patrick's Day and all the fun centers and reading activities that we do at that time of year!  Today is February 17th, which means that St. Patrick's Day is exactly ONE month away.  On a weird side note, I realized all of this today, while at the gym.  I was looking at my calendar on my phone, when I realized that I signed up for bicycle number 17 in my cycle class, today was the 17th of the month and that exactly one month from today would be St. Patrick's Day (March 17th)!  
     I am working on some fun St. Patrick's Day math stations that are Common Core aligned.  When they are ready, I will post them here!  Until then, take a look at my next novel study that I will be doing with some of my more advanced readers.  This is a cute mystery from the Calendar Mysteries series from the same author and similar to the A to Z Mysteries.  This packet includes questions and answers for each chapter and a double-entry journal for students to record their thinking while reading.  Click on the picture below or HERE to get ready to solve the mystery of the missing leprechauns!

I hope you enjoy your President's Day, especially if you have the day off! We are having a snow day make-up day.  So I will be at school with my kiddos. 
- Michelle

Friday, February 15, 2013

Five for Friday Linky Party

      I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for the Five for Friday Linky Party!  This is my first time linking up and I am excited to join in on the fun!  Don't forget to stop over and link up.

Here are my 5 random things from this week:
    1.  This was a LONG week! Valentine's Day was CRAZY in my room.  The kiddos were bouncing off the walls even before they had any sugar!  How about your students?  I am ready for the weekend!  We were supposed to have a teacher workday on Monday but due to a snow day, we are making up our teacher workday on President's Day. 
   2.   My students made some super cute Valentine's Crafts for their parents.  I found it over at The Inspired Apple, last year.   Here is my example that I use for the students to follow when they make their own posters.

     3.   We read about one of my favorite characters yesterday, Amelia Bedelia!  I let the kids guess what we were going to read and I told them it was one of my favorite characters.  Once I said it wasn't SkippyJon Jones, they knew it must be Amelia Bedelia!  Click on her name and grab a copy!  I created a packet to go along with this book that I hope to use next year, but this year I already had my week planned out before the packet was created.                                                                                                                                                 

     4.  My student teacher started teaching science this week!  It is great working with her and I am really excited to see her continue to grow!  She just joined our classroom a few weeks ago because of some changes in my school. 

     5.  Not school related- I had a nice Valentine's Day.  It was very low key, but what I needed after a busy day at school!  I received pretty flowers from my boyfriend and a sweet card from my Mom!  :)

I hope you had a great week and a nice Valentine's Day. 


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

12 on the 12th Linky!

12 on the 12th Linky!
I am linking up with Simpson's Superstars for her 12 on the 12th linky party.

It is not too late to link up and share some randomness!
Here are my 12 random pictures from my day!

1.  Valentine's Day pencils for my kiddos! 
2.  My books are finally out on my shelf for President's Day!  I am feeling a little behind with having my seasonal books out on time this year.
3.  I have two hanging files like this.  They are FILLED with items for the coming weeks.  I try and have items I need copied in advance and sitting in here ready to go! 
4.  Valentine's Day Centers- Conversation Heart Graphing!  They LOVE anything that involves candy. 
5.  We are working on our patriotic books and since the students have a lot of experience now reading and writing nonfiction, the students are completing a lot of the book on their own, based on information they are gaining from nonfiction texts.  This week the students are watching a short video about the Liberty Bell on Discovery Education and then writing facts in their books.
6.  Table Captains-  We have a few students who FIGHT and RUSH to get everything first.  So, I decided to introduce table captains.  This means that one person at each table will be in charge of getting all materials and will be that table's captain/leader for the week.

7.  My NEW bin!  I have 25 math students!  They keep their math journals in a bin.  The students broke the bin last Friday and so I replaced it with a new one from Target!  I LOVE it!
8.  Reading groups-  My kiddos were having a GREAT discussion during our reading group today.  They were really feeding off each other's comments and giving evidence from the text.
9.  One of the teacher's that I had the privilege of working with last summer, created these questions to go along with our unit for reading and I have been posting them here to remind students what our essential questions are!

10.  GLUE STICKS!  AHHHH!  You can tell by that drawer that we are OUT!  O-U-T, out!  We were not allowed to ask parents for 24 glue sticks the last two years. (due to the economy)  I am in desperate need of glue sticks and I need to ask my room parent to send an email to my class, begging for them!
11.  Cubes-  We have been doing addition and subtraction of two digit numbers and the students have been using the work mats with tens and ones.  Unfortunately, I KEEP finding ones everywhere, even on days we aren't using them!  This is today's collection.
12.  Finally, my preparation to go home today!  It included my teacher bag, my lunch bag, my water jug, and my purse. 

These are some random highlights from my day!  I hope you are having a great day! 
- Michelle

Sunday, February 10, 2013

100th Day Pictures are FINALLY here!

The 100th Day of School!

     Our 100th day was last Wednesday!  I have to say that it is a day that I always look forward to, but at the same time wish it fell at a different time of year.  It always falls right around Groundhog's day and  right before Valentine's Day!  Usually we plan our first grade field trip during this time too, but thankfully this year our field trip isn't until March! 
     Here are just a few highlights of some things we did on the 100th day:
  • Dress up as 100 year old people!  I do this too!  My kids LOVE it!
  • Make necklaces with 100 beads! They LOVE thesee necklaces and they last longer than when we have used fruitloops! haha :)
  • Make portraits of ourselves.  I saw this on a blog last year (I can't remember where) and then I saw it this year on Eberhart's Explorers.  They were super cute!
  • Do 10 sets of 10 exercises to get our some of our wiggles!
  • 100th Day Geocaching!  Geocaching is an outdoor treasure hunting activity.  The students work in small groups to move around outside and find different caches.  At each cache the students used clues to color part of their 100's charts and finally they made the number 100! 
  • Read a few 100th day books!
  • Write 100 words!
  • Write what he/she will do when he/she is 100 years old!
  • Make 100th day lapbooks.  This is a good way to have your students collect items all in one place. 

I hope you enjoyed your 100th day!  Only 98 to go for us!
- Michelle

Saturday, February 9, 2013

To the Moon! Earth in the Universe CCSS

To the Moon!

      Well this year with the Common Core Standards for Science, we added a new unit to our curriculum.  This year we needed to add Earth in the Universe to our science units.  At first, I wasn't too excited about this unit, however, my students LOVED learning about the moon, the day/night sky, and the Earth in the Universe.  I can honestly say that they learned more than I thought they would.  They probably remember more about the moon phases than I do!!
      We started out each day by listening to a song on youtube called Phases of the Moon.

 We created lapbooks that were filled with fun  moon activities! 

 I loved the night sky activity that I saw over at Rowdy in Room 300!  I grabbed her rocket freebie and her idea about the night sky and changed it slightly adding a daytime sky as well.  Then my kiddos wrote about the difference between the day and night sky.  Click HERE to head over to Rowdy in Room 300's blog about the night sky!  You can get your copy of the Earth in the Universe Writing Prompts over at my TpT store!

For my advanced readers, we have been reading The Magic Tree House Midnight on the Moon!  They are LOVING it!  I am LOVING that it has a lot of factual information.  Check out my novel study packet over at TpT!

Happy Saturday! 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Student Rewards

      Student Rewards-
Special Lunch with the Teacher
     For the last 5 years or so, I have had table competitions.  My student desks are set up in tables.  The students work with their tables to encourage one another to listen and follow directions.  The tables that are making good choices earn "bees".  (Our school mascot is a yellow jacket.)  I used to always purchase small goodies for the students.  At the end of the month, we count the bees to determine who wins a prize.  My kiddos LOVE when we count the bees!  The amazing teacher next to me suggested giving coupons held in an envelope and other special prizes.  This year, I have done that and the kids really look forward to finding out what is in the "Mystery Envelope".    Some of the winning prizes have been stinky feet day (students get to walk around in their socks) and stuffed animal day (the winners got to bring in stuffed animals for the day).
     The students who won in December, won a special day of lunch in the room with me!  I usually eat with the students in the cafeteria, so they really thought it was a special treat to eat in the room with me.  We listened to KidzBop on Pandora and they were dancing, chatting, and having a great time! 

     Unfortunately, I sometimes run a little behind and don't always get them counted on the last day of the month.  We just counted January's bees today!  They were SO excited to see that we had a tie!  The top two groups won a free homework pass for a spelling activity.  I had a few students JuMpInG Up and DoWn!   They were thrilled!  Since they were so excited, your students might be excited to get a night free of spelling homework too! 
Feel free to grab a copy of my homework passes that I used! Just click on the picture below!

Do you give your students group incentives?  If so, what type of incentives do you use?

Keep your eyes peeled...tomorrow is the 100th day!  I can't wait to share our fun with you!

- Michelle

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Super Sunday Sale and a GIVEAWAY!

      SUPER Sunday is finally  here! Everything in my TpT store is 20% off and with the promo code SUPER, it is all 28% off!  I don't know about you, but I love a good sale and I know that I will be shopping before the game tonight and maybe a little during the game. (I am not really a Ravens or 49ers fan!) 
      Last week was our first full week in a while.  It was full of fun as we finished our Earth in the Universe Unit and as we continued our nonfiction unit in reading.  This week we have the 100th day!  Check back later this week to see all that we did in our Earth in the Universe Unit and to see how our 100th day goes! 
Here are some of the items you may want to grab from my TpT store, while they are on sale!
This is a Math and Literacy Center Packet that is aligned with first grade CCSS:

This is Grammar and writing pack that goes along with the story The Snowy Day:

These are some of my latest novel studies.  My students have really enjoyed these this year!  Make sure to go take a peak at them by clicking on the pictures! 

This is my first giveaway! 
The first three people to leave a comment with their email address will get all three of these novel studies for free! 

Happy Super Sunday!  Enjoy the sales and the Super Bowl today!
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