Thursday, January 29, 2015

Valentine's Day Freebies

Hi everyone!  It's Megan from Mrs. Wheeler's First Grade!  Today I am here to share a few Valentine's Day freebies that I have available for you to download.  I have made them over the past several years, but I know some of you may not have them.  I can't believe that it's almost February! Do you have a party for Valentine's Day in your classroom?  I usually's the only "big" party that I have each year.  For drinks, I like to give my kids a bottle of water and include these editable tags with a flavor pack.  The kids think it's so cool to make their own water in class!  Hahaha!

On Valentine's Day before we have our party, we usually spend the day doing "Valentinish" things, such as this sight word game.  To prep it, just write or print some sight words onto strips of paper. Fold them up and place in little heart boxes.  Be sure to number the boxes.  Print and copy the recording sheet and have the kids walk around {with music playing, of course!} and write the words. My freebie includes the Fry's First 100 sight words and a recording sheet.  You can select which words you want to put in the boxes.  I got my boxes at Dollar Tree many years ago, but I have seen them around town at various stores {Hobby Lobby, Target, Etc...}.

We also have Valentine-themed centers during the first part of February.  This "Mustachy Measurement" center is always a hit during math tubs!

To see more Valentine ideas, click below!  Happy {almost} February, friends! 


Monday, January 26, 2015

Managing Must-Dos for Daily 5

Hey everyone!

It's Tina from Tina's Teaching Treasures!

Do you have students who are off task during Daily 5? Trying to differentiate and pulling out your hair with too many bins, stickers, reminders, etc?  I was too.  Until, I found my Must-Do system! This has been a sanity saver for me AND helps my students get the differentiated learning they need!

It's so easy (and cute!) and FREE! For details, check out my blog post on Tina's Teaching Treasures!

That's all for now!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

iPad and Mobile Device Poster Set FREEBIE

I don't know about you, but lately I've seen too many of my students trying to treat my iPads like TV dinner trays.  They've gotten a little too loose with the rules...but it happens because we're over halfway through the year.

To curb these actions I've put together a simple set of classroom rules for my iPads (I know some of you use other devices).  You can grab a free set for yourself in my TPT store.

I kind of felt like I was rewriting the rules for Gizmo.  The last thing we need is more gremlins running around school.

Enjoy the posters!  Grab them HERE.

If you're wondering where I got the excellent clip art, look no further than Jen at Teaching in the Tongass.  She has excellent graphics!  I've gotten quite a few sets from her store.  Here is the link for the iPads.  She has tons of choices, which seems to impact my clip art habit.

...and if you want to check out my latest PBL activity that journeys through the rainforest just follow this link:  Discovery in the Rainforest.

This is a cross-post from Digital: Divide & Conquer.


Saturday, January 24, 2015

Using Beads for Letters, Phonemic Awareness, and Phonics

Hi everyone! Today I want to share with you a simple idea that is low-prep but loads of fun. I've used pipe cleaners to practice sight words, but this year I started using them in a few other ways. 

With my kinders, we use pipe cleaners and letter beads to practice our letters and sounds. I put on letters they know and a letter(s) they are working on. They put the beads on, making the sound or saying the letter name as they do. When they are all on, they practice the letters a few more times by moving the beads. They can mix up the order by taking the beads off and on again. It's like a fluency strip that moves! Ha! You can get letter beads on Amazon (tons of choices here) or at a craft store, like Joannes or Michaels. 
Remember, we want our students to have automaticity with their letter sounds. This activity is great for all kinders, even if they know all of their sounds. This would be a great warmup to your Guided Reading group. Give each student a pipe cleaner with several letters and have them make the sounds as they move the beads. Then they could switch with a buddy and do it again. 

You can also use them when your students are just starting to sound out words. I start with just two beads: a vowel and a consonant. I stretch the vowel sound as I move it toward the consonant. "/aaaaaaaaa/ /t/ Say the consonant sound when the vowel touches it. 

When your kids are ready, add another consonant to make CVC words. Start with just one word family and change up the initial consonant.

Let's back it up a bit! You don't even have to use letters. This is a great way to practice phonemic awareness. Put different color beads on the pipe cleaner. Start with two, then add on the third when your students can proficiently blend two sounds. I love this because your students don't have to know a stinkin' letter to do this activity but it is SO valuable. They need to develop their phonemic awareness! To do this,  you would say a word with two or three sounds: "at" and your students will move the beads as they say the sounds, "/a/ /t/". You can do it the other way, where you point to the beads and say /a/ /t/ and they copy you then blend the sounds to guess the word.

Do you use pipe cleaners? Tell me how you use them! It can be for anything- arts and crafts too. I have an overload of pipe cleaners and I'm itching to use them! :) 

Here's a little page to use for some follow-up in your classroom. :)

Friday, January 23, 2015

Timeline In Class

Hey everyone!

I might be posting this later than usual, but I'm posting!

I have a timeline in my class that is super simple and basic!

The only things I am using is a sentence strip (cut up), a sharpie to write the month, and then a paper from a kid for whatever subject(s) I want to "remember".

Super simple and easy! And my kids love referring back to what we studied in each month.

A few more pictures are up over on my blog if you want to see more!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

100th Day of School Giveaway

I don't know about you, but our 100th day will be here before I know it.
I've learned the hard way, that if you don't prepare for this day, it's a disaster.
And although no one will notice that it was a disaster, you will. Then you will shame yourself into believing that it won't happen again next year.

This vicious cycle continues until you get everything you need at your fingertips. . . in one download.

Are you convinced yet?

Trust me, you need this.
I need this.
The kids need this!

Do it for the kids and for the parents and principals that will look at all of the cute things that were accomplished on this glorious day.

You'll be the talk of school and everyone will remember you (and your 100th day) for years to come.

There's a lot to this pack, including tons of examples for those visual learners out there.

I'd like to give one away to a comment below.
I'll choose someone tomorrow.
*If you can read these words, then the giveaway is still open!

WINNERS! EMAIL ME- neither of you left your email! :)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Celebrating Ruby Bridges: Enter to Win!

Yesterday we observed Martin Luther King Jr.'s Birthday and classrooms are buzzing this week with "I Have A Dream" sentiments.  I absolutely love having conversations with my little first graders about diversity and how we can change the small step at a time.

I most definitely want to keep the momentum going this month with a strong focus on fairness, equality, and courage so I created a new unit on another heartfelt hero that our kids can definitely appreciate!

I grew up with Ruby Bridges as my role model.
I still get butterflies when I hear her name mentioned in conversations.  Meeting her in person is on my bucket list.

I truly hope this unit will inspire my little ones!

I invite you to stop on over to my blog and enter for your chance to win a copy of Ruby Bridges!

 Can't wait?  Click on the image above to purchase the unit from my TPT store.

Have a fabulous week!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Parent-Teacher Conference MUST HAVES!

Hey guys!  It's Angie from Lucky Little Learners and I'm back to bring you some Parent-Teacher Conference MUST HAVES.  I love parent-teacher conferences ONCE I AM READY FOR THEM!  It's such a great time to connect with my families face to face!  All of my students' data and projects go into a folder or 9x12 piece of construction paper folded in half.  On the outside of this portfolio I like to attach a conference folder cover sheet.
 I decided that since I made them for my classroom, I should make a set to work for YOUR classroom!  Introducing my Conference Folder FREEBIE...
 I hope you find this useful and time-saving! 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

milestone celebration

Woohoo! I made a TpT milestone! I'd love to celebrate and thank you all for an amazing year by having a giveaway! Enter below to win either $100 to spend on whatever you like in my store, $20 TpT gift certificate to spend anywhere on TpT, or your very own set of custom Teaching in Tongass clipart Jamberry nails! Whaaaat?!
These turned out super cute! I own my own copyright because I'm the creator of the actual clipart, which means I get to use it to design nail art! I've only made 2 of these, so chances are you won't be bumping into anyone with the same nails! #theygonnabejealous
Enter below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

And because I can't let you leave empty handed...

And I know some of you don't celebrate holidays in the classroom, but for those that do, here are some Valentine things you might be interested in for February!

Stay warm friends!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Newsela!!! Current Events Lexiled and all!!

Hi everyone!!! Nicole here from All Things Apple to share an A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. website today!!! A good friend of mine shared this site with me this week, and I am seriously obsessed with it!! With the need for more nonfiction texts and practice, this website is quite frankly a gem!!

Welcome to Newsela!!!

Ok, so you may be asking, what's so great about this website? Well, let me answer that for you!
1. The articles are all on current events. You receive a daily email with new current events articles as well. You can read them online OR print them out in a very nice layout!!! So VERSATILE!!!
2. Each article has up to 4 different Lexile Levels to choose from for students!!! OH MY WORD!! Awesome!!! DIFFERENTIATION!! Once you set up your class, it will automatically select the grade level appropriate Lexile Level for the article chosen. However, you can still pick a different level if necessary. So far, the lowest Lexile Level I have come across was in the 300s.
3. After you've set up your class, you can assign specific articles. You can even hide articles you don't want them to read. Many of the articles have quizzes along with them too. You are able to track everything as well!
4. You can have your students sign up with the classroom code, and this allows them to go to the Binder to read the assigned articles.
5. ANNOTATION!!! You and your students can annotate text by simply highlighting sections with your cursor and clicking on a highlighter color. You can even write notes with the annotation!!! AND the teacher can respond to the comments!!! WOW, right?!?
So basically, you MUST GO CHECK THIS OUT!! :) I'm so excited to get my kids going with this website!!! I may even use it during Literature Circles!!

Have you ever used this website before?? If you have, how have you used it in your own classroom? We would love to know!!

Hope you all enjoy this!!! Make sure to visit me over at my blog, All Things Apple (formerly All Things Apple in 2nd :)!!

Nicole :)

Thursday, January 15, 2015

How High Can You Climb? - A Differentiation Assessment Strategy for ANY Grade!

If you're like me, then you sometimes struggle with differentiating assessments for you students.  It takes a lot of time an effort to make/find different assessments for different levels of kids over one specific topic.  Too time consuming but so worth it...  Here's a little strategy you could use that would help you fix both problem!  It's called "How High Can You Climb?"  It's a 'ladder' strategy that allows students to work on differentiated levels of problems.  Here's how it works!
  • A teacher creates a ladder of about 5-6 problems.
  • The problems go from easy on the bottom of the ladder and get harder and harder as they go up the ladder.
  • Students begin working at the bottom and see how high they can climb without getting frustrated.  This allows the high students to work as high up as they can and then the lower students can work until they feel like they need help.  
This is SUCH an eye opening strategy.  It really helps show those 'frustration' points with all levels of kids and shows where they're making their mistakes.  It helps to them pinpoint where I (teacher) need to go next on my lesson not just as a class, but for each level.  It also gives all students a chance to try out those harder problems without feeling obligated.  And they are quick to make!

Here is an example of a ladder for elapsed time (3rd grade).

As you can see the easier problem is on the bottom and the higher up you go the harder the problems get.  I always allow the back of the paper for work space (or side if I shrink the ladder to 1/2 page size, which I normally do!).  

The students LOVE the ladders.  They like seeing how high they can go and they don't feel pressured to always to go the top.  This strategy can be used for ANY grade and ANY topic area!  I've made a blank template for you as well.  You can click both pictures to download them for FREE!  You can also make your own template to use with the same idea of course!  I'm planning on creating a line of TPT products that incorporate this strategy in the very near future ;)  Keep an eye out!  

I'd LOVE to hear what you think about this strategy!  How are you going to implement it into your classroom?  Do you think it will help you or your kids in any way?  Please leave a comment!

And as always, thank you for reading!!

Make sure you're following Adventures of Room 129 everywhere I go!