Thursday, November 29, 2012

five finger rule

Hello Friends!
Just before the Thanksgiving break, I had parent-teacher conferences. The question I was asked over and over again was, “When we go to the library, how do I know what book my daughter/son should pick out?” Many of them mentioned that their children are eager to read chapter books, but that they are worried they aren’t comprehending the text.
I suggested that they tell their children to use the five finger rule.

I’m sure many of you’ve heard of this before. I made these little posters for my students to take home and hang on their refrigerators. You can grab them below in black and white and color. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Hooray! Hooray! It’s the most wonderful time of the year! CYBER MONDAY IS ALMOST HERE!
My TeachersPayTeachers shop will be on sale Sunday-Tuesday! Make sure you load up your cart with *lots* of goodies!

Click the image below to start shopping!
{don't forget to enter the code cmt2012 on Monday and Tuesday for extra savings!}

Thanks for the button, Ashley!
Here are some of my products that you can find on sale:
Perfect for new teachers trying to build fantastic writers...There's "Snow" Place Like Home Winter Writing Packet (48 pages of winter fun!)
Common Core Graphic Organizers and Posters- First Grade
This packet is great for new teachers/new Common Core teachers. It is 219 pages of First Grade Common Core (Addition and Subtraction) Activities, Games, Assessments, and MORE!

Want to snag some of the goodies I’ll be purchasing too? Click on the covers to take you to each product!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

there is snow place like home!

This is such a fun time to be a teacher! It is this time of year that a billion little light bulbs go off in my students’ heads and everything begins to *click*. I love it!

Recently, I’ve started encouraging my students to add more details to their writing. I feel like at the beginning of the year, they are getting acclimated and still figuring things out, but now they are ready!

To really help get them started on the “write” foot, I’ve created a 48 page long winter writing packet called “There’s ‘Snow’ Place Like Home.” This packet is loaded with *lots* of different winter writing prompts, graphic organizers, and fun crafts!

One of my favorite parts of the packet is this cute little penguin craft. Students can read fiction and non-fiction texts about penguins and then use the graphic organizers and writing prompts to write all about these cute little waddling animals!




Another one of favorite parts of this packet is the “There’s ‘Snow’ Place Like Home” craft idea and writing activity. Students can reflect on why they love their home and then write all about it. They can also create their own house craft to add to a snow scene display.





All of these writing activities, plus *lots* more can be found in this winter writing packet!



This 48 Page Winter Writing Unit Includes:
-Winter Themed Graphic Organizers for Fiction and Non-Fiction Texts
-Winter Themed Writing Templates for December and January
-Penguin Craft and Correlating Writing Activities
-"There's 'Snow' Place Like Home" Craft Description and Writing Template (students write about why they love their home)


In Phonics, we are working on identifying Long “O” words, spelled “o” and "o_e”. I made this fun little board game for my students to play. We played it last week with a Thanksgiving theme and they absolutely LOVE IT! They’ll be excited to see the snow-theme now. Ha!

You can go grab it below for *FREE*! Just click on any of the images below to download!





Phew! If you’ve made it this far, give yourself a pat on the back! The first person who can tell me about their favorite winter activity wins the winter writing packet for free!

I hope you all had a tasty and thankful Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Feasting On Inferences


Phew! I have been so busy lately, I almost forgot all about this little blog! It’s been so fun reading all of the thankful thoughts my *sweet friends* are stuffed with. You ALL are so amazing, and I am so, so very thankful for all of you. If you haven’t linked up yet, don’t worry! It’s not too late! Click here to link up.

My first graders have been been KNEE DEEP in making inferences lately. They’ve been learning SO much and having fun while doing so. How can that be?!?!

First, to get us ready to make inferences, we made a little inferencing anchor chart together.


Then, my students read a story (written by me) all about a family preparing for the big Thanksgiving feast.

Here’s a little synopsis of the story (you can find the full story in my packet below):

Oh no! Mom needs Sage and Max to do some last minute shopping for the big Thanksgiving feast. But, when they arrive at the store, they discover that Mom accidentally gave them the recipe cards instead of the shopping list! If they can't figure out what items Mom needs, they're worried they will ruin the Thanksgiving feast.

After they read the story, they had to use their best inferencing skills in order to help Sage and Max get the items they need for their Thanksgiving dinner. Each pair got a set of recipe cards and WENT TO TOWN! They had to *REALLY* read each recipe card and pull out the clues in order to figure out what Mom wanted them to buy at the store.



After they used their prior knowledge and the clues from the text, they helped Sage and Max save Thanksgiving by creating a new and improved shopping list! Hooray!

If you’re looking for a last minute activity this week (that is, of course, if you’ll still be in school along with me!), go and grab this packet…


In this packet, you will find:
- lesson plan (with objective and procedures)
- "Last Minute Shopping" story that introduces the lesson
- four recipe cards that your students must read to make inferences
- "Making Inferences" recording sheets
- definition posters that explain what an “inference” is
- extension activities (Thanksgiving themed mini-stories that require students to make inferences)

Need a graphic organizer to help teach making inferences? Grab it below for free! Just click on the organizer to download.


You can find the “Feasting On Inferences” packet in my shop. Click on the link below!

The first person who can tell me their favorite Thanksgiving food can grab this packet for free. Don’t forget to leave your e-mail address.

How do you celebrate Thanksgiving?

Saturday, November 10, 2012

stuffed with thankful thoughts {linky}

Hi Friends! How’s your November going? I always feel like November is the busiest time of year for me! American Education Week, writing report cards, and long parent conferences are some of the MANY things that make me feel like I might collapse and never get up. Ha! So, when Thanksgiving rolls around, I always feel EXTRA thankful for a little break to recuperate and spend some much needed time with family and friends! PHEW! Why don’t we share what thankful thoughts were stuffed with? It’ll help us ALL get through the next couple weeks.

Here are a few of the MANY things I’m thankful for!

1. This guy right here is my favorite person in the whole world! My boyfriend, Michael, is my biggest supporter. He’s unbelievably patient and understanding. Such a sweet, sweet soul! The poor guy listens to hours and hours of stories about my students (haha!) and is always right by my side when I need him the most. I am SO THANKFUL for him!


2. I can’t think of a more rewarding job than being a teacher! I am so blessed for my amazing school, colleagues, and students. They make my heart SO, SO, SO HAPPY! This little girl has become such a beautiful reader. I absolutely LOVE what I do!


3. I am so thankful for all of the amazing friendships I’ve made in this little blogging community. I have “met” some seriously TALENTED and phenomenal women because of this little blog. I hope someday soon we can ALL gather together for a bloggy meet up. I know I’d make some life-long friendships! One real-life friendship that I’ve made thanks to blogging is with my sweet friend, Tracy. I know I’ve talked about her before on here, but seriously...she is AMAZING! She has become of my nearest and dearest friends. LOVE HER!


4. My “Stuffed with Thankful Thoughts” list would not be complete without including my parents in the mix. How cute are they? My mom sent me this picture recently while they were on a much deserved little getaway to the Florida Keys. So adorable! They are both high school teachers, so I’m sure they DESPERATELY needed this vacation. I don’t know how they do it! I just love them so much!
Want to link up and share what thankful thoughts you’re stuffed with? All you have to do is add the button below to your “Stuffed with Thankful Thoughts” post. Make sure you link back to the actual post, and not your blog!


Get sharing!!!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Stuffed with Thankful Thoughts!

Hi, Friends!

I was looking back at some old pictures from when I student-taught in college and came across a picture of a gigantic leaf I had constructed out of cardboard. Isn’t it so fun? I made this while I was student-teaching in kindergarten.

It was pretty easy to construct. I used a large piece of cardboard for the bottom. For the sides, I bent cardboard into the shape I wanted and then taped the bent pieces to the bottom. To make it more “fall-ish,” I painted it yellow and green. Then, I filled it with hay, gourds, mini-pumpkins, and a scarecrow.

In the classroom, I placed it on the floor in a corner and let two students read and act out Thanksgiving stories inside of it. It was a FABULOUS little treat for them. Who says we can’t have a little dramatic play here and there? Right? I may make another one similar to this for my little firsties this year. I know they’d LOVE ME FOREVER, ha!


The past two years of teaching first grade, I’ve had my students record a little video of themselves saying what they are thankful for. At the end of the video, we all come together and say “We’re STUFFED with thankful thoughts!” We share the video during American Education Week and I e-mail it to the parents. The kids and parents LOVE it!

This year, I thought it would be fun to make a little craft that goes along with it. Students can assemble the craft, and then “stuff” their turkey with thankful thoughts by writing what they are thankful for. The writing pages goes behind the turkey to create a little booklet.




To get everyone into the Thanksgiving spirit, I have also created a few fun literacy and math centers for my kiddos to work on over the next few weeks. I’ve combined the craftivity and all of the activities into one big 60 page Thanksgiving packet.


In this packet, you will find:
-Thanksgiving craft templates and writing activity ("I'm Stuffed with Thankful Thoughts!")
-graphic organizers that compliment many different Thanksgiving texts

-literacy centers that focus on grammar, word building, and writing complete sentences
-math centers that focus on conducting surveys
, addition and subtraction, and word problems
-Turkey Trot Math Hunt
- Tasty Bingo (addition and subtraction)

You can find it in my TPT shop for $5.00.

What thankful thoughts are you STUFFED with? The first person who leaves a comment with their e-mail address will get this packet for free!

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