Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hippo-Ray for 1st Grade Writers!

Whew! Does anyone else feel like that right now? Goodness, these firsties just never seem to wear down! {Which is a little rough on this teacher...I'm feeling ready for bed by 6pm!} The bright side to all of this pint-sized energy is the super writing that we have started already! My kiddos have been so excited to share their "summer stories" with me. So, I just decided to jump right in with my "Hip, Hip, Hippo-Ray for Summer Fun" writing activity. {I posted about this activity earlier in the summer.} We made these adorable little hippo peekovers to hold our writing and let me tell you, they turned out A-DOR-ABLE! And the kiddos loved writing about their summer fun & making these cute hippos!

If you missed this freebie download earlier, no worries... just click HERE to link to that post!

{I feel a little sale & a giveaway coming on...check back tomorrow for details!!!}

Saturday, August 27, 2011

My Classroom Pictures & Behavior Management Clip Chart!

Oh! It's time to kick my feet up {for a few minutes anyway} because it's finally the weekend! I've had 3 days with my new lil firsties & they are a batch of cuties!!! I forgot just how much extra energy it takes these first few weeks just to establish routines. At the last minute, I decided to change my behavior management system just a little bit. Katie, my zebra-lovin' soul sister over at Queen of the First Grade Jungle had an awesome post on her behavior clip chart system. I REALLY love the idea of rewarding all of those kiddos who always make good choices. Katie's clip chart system is a picture perfect match with my  Prize Pass Catalog! I'm soooo excited about this & so are my kiddos! Anyway, here are some of my classroom pics...

Here is the view of my classroom door from the hallway

I have a small piece of picket fence dividing off my classroom library/reading center. I hung a pocket chart on the fence for my pocket chart center.
My reading/listening center! This cozy little zebra bench was another DIY project. I used one of my shorter shelves and added the sides & back. Popped a couple zebra cushions on & WAh LAh!!! Oh, almost forgot... I trimmed the edge with zebra duct tape. Zebra Duct Tape?!? Amazing the stuff you can find at the dollar store!

Don't look too closely at this area...YIKES! I'm really guilty of making "piles".

Big thanks to Katie {Queen of the First Grade Jungle} for sharing her behavior clip chart! Click HERE to check out her post. She has some super-cute jungle-themed sayings on hers! I attached mine to the side of my file cabinet {right next to Deanna Jump's Common Core Standards Posters} and attached ribbon down the sides to clip the students' name clips on to.

Hope you enjoyed the tour of my lil home-away-from-home! If you're interested in a freebie copy of my clip chart, just click HERE!!! 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Those Wonderful Names & a Big Thank You!

Hey! Just a quick lil post this morning before I head off to our back-to-school district meeting... I just wanted to give a quick shout out to my blogging friends over at First Grade Fanatics- "Thank Y'all Sooo Much for hosting the 14 Days of Summer Freebies"! You guys are the greatest!!!
First Grade Fanatics
I've just LOVED poppin' by their blog each day to see what the next freebie treasure was. Well, today is day #14, so if you haven't checked it out- Oh goodness, head on over there! I had a lil freebie from my "Wonderland Name Fun!" unit featured on day #13.
 If you like this activity, be sure to check out my entire unit-it's packed with SuPeR FuN math & literacy activity that use your kiddos names- "OUR WONDERFUL NAMES!" Well, it's time for me to hustle my wee ones off & head out for my official start of the new school year! {Do you guys still get those same butterflies in your stomach each year?} :)  I've got a few more last minute "to-dos" in my classroom before Open House this afternoon & then I will snap some classroom pics & post them tonight! Happy Monday!!!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Welcome to My Classroom Pictures & My Prize Pass Catalog FREEBIE!

Omigosh! I'm feeling a bit exhausted! I've been hitting it hard in the classroom and still not quite ready. I keep finding piles of unorganized "stuff" everywhere I look! BUT...I am soooo excited to finally have my Wild DIY Door Canopy hung up! What do you think?
I'm really happy with the way it turned out after all those hours of ironing-didn't sew a stitch in this entire project! {Yep! you heard right - it is a NO SEW project!} Check my earlier post to see just how I made it-click HERE for that tutorial post.  Thanks to Abby at The Inspired Apple for the inspiration for the banner edge on my canopy.

Not sure if you can see my "Secret Code Word" wheel hanging on the door, so I took a close up pic of it. Since I have this jungle theme going, I needed to spice that wheel up a bit also. You guessed it-zebra print! I just attached the "Secret Code Word" wheel to a piece of zebra print scrapbooking paper and...WOWsie!!

This word wheel is a great way to practice sight words with your kiddos during transition times. My students love it! Click HERE to read all about the Secret Code Word wheel. The other sign is hanging right next to my door. Don't you just love that oh, so cute ribbon?!? I also want to share another lil project that I've been working on..."Our Best Behavior Prize Pass Catalog". I've tossed that ole prize box & replaced it with this...

I give each student a punch card. {Click the pic to download Punch Card FREEBIE} After their card is full, they can look through this catalog for a prize {such as No Homework, Show & Share, Stinky Feet, etc...}
When they have decided on a prize, I initial and pass out a coupon that they can use whatever day they would like.

I cannot take credit for this idea- thanks so much to Amanda at Frolicking Through First, Beth at Primary Connections & Jess at Rambling About Reading for the inspiration! {You have to check out their awesome blogs!} I combined some of their suggestions with a few ideas of my own and added a touch of zebra to create my catalog. I shared this with some of the teachers in my building and they just loved the idea. So, I would like to share it with you too! Just click on each picture for your FREEBIES!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Sight Word Practice & a lil DIY Project!

Hey everyone! I was just trying to get some of the things put back on my walls and ran across my "Secret Code Word" wheel that I had on my door. This is a super cute & quick way for your kiddos to practice sight words during transition times. I don't know about your class, but my students seem to have a hard time waiting {calmly} in the hallway while everyone is taking a turn using the restroom or getting a drink. Well, here's how I solved that little moment of craziness... I made a Secret Code Word wheel & attached it to my door. It has interchangable sight word wheels that slip right inside. As the students finish up, they come over to the door and must read the "Secret Code Word" before they are allowed to go into the classroom. This is a quick way to fill those transition times and give your students some sight word practice. They just LOVE it! I just posted this kit on Teachers Pay Teachers & Teachers Notebook if you'd like to take a look at it. Click the picture above to check it out!

Anyone need some cute pointers? Well, this is soooo easy! Not sure if you can see it real good... for the sticks, I used a dowel rod  & wrapped it with zebra print duct tape {the 2 on the right} and the other 2 are just small pieces of bamboo that I found at our local lumber yard. It was cheap {only about $1.50 for 4 feet!} Then I hot glued those cutie-patootie little jungle animals on top {Hobby Lobby for only 67cents!}, added a lil ribbon and...TA DA!!! AdORabLe new pointers!!!! {Oh ya, the basket is a Target Dollar Spot special with a little zebra print ribbon weaved around it!}

Well, back to the classroom again. I should be just about ready to take some classroom pics - hopefully I'll get them posted tomorrow!!!

Friday, August 12, 2011

3-Day Back-2-School Sale!!! and Name Activities Unit posted!

I've only got 1 more week until I officially have to head back to the classroom & I feel like I'm gonna flip! Yikes!!! I'm sure many of you are feelin' the same pressure. So I decided to throw a lil Back-2-School sale-EVERYTHING at my TpT & Teachers Notebook shops is on sale for the next 3 days! And check this out...

Oh yes, this new unit is on sale also! I’ve been so excited to share this with you!  My new unit- “Wonderland Name Fun!” is loaded with super fun literacy & math activities that use your kiddos’ names. There are also activities included that go along with "Catalina Magdalena" & "A my name is Alice". You know how there’s nothing as special to a child as their name, so why not use that to kick off some “wonderlandful” learning! Check out all these activities & centers-you’re gonna love it! {And so will your kiddos!} Remember, everything in my TpT & Teachers Notebook shops is on sale right now until Sunday, August 14th!!!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Say Goodbye to the Prize Box! {& a Freebie!}

Well here I am, 1 more day closer to having 23 kiddos streaming through my door! Augh!!! {that was a scream of panic} I'm really excited to meet my new firsties BUT I have soooo much to do yet!

 Does anyone else really dislike trying to keep up with the "Prize Box"? Well, I decided to say goodbye to that thing throw it in the trash can!!! I sometimes have lil extra incentives where the kids can earn lunch with the teacher or something similar & they LOVE it! So I've decided that I'm going to make up a whole binder full of prize passes, such as: No Homework, Wear a Hat, No Shoes, etc... I don't have it finished yet but, I did start on some of the passes. And OoOoOo, they are turning out so cute that I just had to take a little break & share my first one with you! Just click the pic!!!

Do you have any suggestions for incentives/prize passes??? I'd love to hear them-just leave me a lil comment! I'll be happy to make them up & post more freebies! Happy Thursday friends!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

More Zebra Stuff & a new "First Grade Connection"!

Oh, I'm sooo weak! I kept telling myself that I was not going to Hobby Lobby or Michaels or Target AGAIN before school starts....ya, you guessed it-Hobby Lobby got me! As I was driving past the parking lot, something cRaZy happened-my steering wheel made a quick turn to the left! {Whew! Good thing nobody was behind me!} I told myself that I was only going to pick up that 1 roll of ribbon that I needed for my new crate seats. It seemed like in every aisle there was zebra stuff flashing in front of me, could I resist these cutie patootie zebra treasures!?!

I'm using the little zebras to make pointers and that adorable storage basket is going next to my desk. I haven't decided what I doing with those cute lil tin buckets but I knew I needed them! :)  Well, at least the basket & ribbon was 50% off-that makes me feel better! {Now this was absolutely my LAST shopping trip!}

I'm also really REALLY excited to tell you about a new blog called First Grade Connections. This is a collaborative blog {kinda like Teaching Blog Addict} only this one is geared to first grade teachers. I just about flipped when I was invited to be a contributor on this blog! I just love this idea-if you teach first grade, you just have to check it out!!! The blog is brand new & your input is needed on the design-head over there!

 Ok, back to working on school stuff. Does anyone else's house look like a mini Wal-Mart/Kinkos??? {School supplies & lamination is scattered everywhere! YIKES!}

Monday, August 8, 2011

14 Days of Summer Giveaway & Freebies!!!

The countdown is on! We are officially in the final days of summer (or at least summer break!) In the midst of this cloud of panic-you know what I mean... miles of lamination that still need to be cut out, ever-changing rosters, new lesson plans & teacher inservice meetings- there is a silver lining! Oh yeah! GIVEAWAY & FREEBIES!!! First Grade Fanatics is celebrating our last two weeks of summer with a FAB-U-LOUS Back to School Giveaway! The winner will get oodles of back to school items from their TpT store for free! Head over there for the details!

Now for the part that everyone wins...14 Days of Summer FREEBIES! I'm soooo excited to be teaming up with Erin & Leslie over at First Grade Fanatics & so many other amazing bloggers for this  celebration! Starting Tuesday, at least one freebie will be shared everyday! I've got a brand new unit bursting with WON-DER-FUL fun that I can't wait to show you!  Be on the lookout-my freebie activity will be featured at First Grade Fanatics on Sunday, August 21st!

Hooray for summer freebies!!!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Collaborative First Grade Blog

Calling all first grade teachers...your vote is needed over at Primary Connections. The name for the new collaborative first grade blog has been narrowed down. Now we need to vote on the most popular choices by Monday. Head on over & cast your vote!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Teachers Save 15%!

I discovered something this morning that I have to pass on to all you bloggin' teachers out there. I just happened to find myself in Michaels this morning...{don't know how that happened! :) } Anyway, when I took my "treasures" to the check out lane, I saw this flyer sitting there. Michaels offers teachers 15% off the entire purchase! Woo Hoo! I LoVe surprise savings! All you have to do is show something that identifies you as a teacher-it's that easy. Now, tell me who doesn't like the sound of that!!! Not sure if they have been doing this for a long time or its something new-either way, I'm LOVIN' it!!!

{Don't forget the TpT sale ends at midnight tonight!}

Friday, August 5, 2011

SALE EXTENDED!!! And...Check out this Jungle Chair!

Do I hear a "WOO HOO"?!? Oh yes, the back-to-school sale has been extended through Saturday (August 6th) at my Teachers Pay Teachers shop! Everything in my lil shop is 10% off and you can get an additional 10% off by entering the code B 1 T 1 S at checkout!!!
Last night I was trying to think of something that would help me get my mind off of my soggy classroom library... A lil DIY project! And check out this jungle chair! It went from  "drab"{ordinary blue & white} to "FAB"! With just a little black spray paint, a zebra-print pillow, little bit of ric rac & a leftover grass skirt, this chair came to life! Who wouldn't feel like king or queen of the jungle sitting in this thing!?! I can't wait to get it into my classroom!
I also want to give a quick shout out to all first grade teachers. Primary Connections is asking for your opinion on a collaborative first grade blog. Check it out!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

My Lil Word Family Book

I was hoping to finish up my classroom library today but OMiGoodness...when I walked into my classroom I realized that I was standing in water! Yep, thats right, my classroom was flooded and an entire shelf of books was ruined! (and 2 rugs & all my floor pillows.) I was so sad to see all of those books soaked. :(  So, needless to say, my classroom library is not finished.

On a brighter note...I did accomplish a little bit today. I got my little word family book done. I made this little booklet to go along with this Carson Dellosa Word Family set.
It would also be a super addition to my "Rhyme Time Word Family Fun!" unit. Check that out at my TpT or Teachers Notebook shops! I'm going to have my kiddos keep this little booklet in their writing folder. After we finish our whole group word family activity I'm going to have my firsties fill out the word family page that we are working on. I'm hoping that it will be a nice little added writing resource that they can refer to.  I'd love to hear about some of the "little things" that you guys do in your classrooms. If you would like a copy of "My Lil Word Family Book", just click HERE for your FREEBIE!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

And the Winner is...!

Super big thanks to EVERYONE who entered my giveaway!!! I love reading all of your comments! Now it's time to announce the big winner of  "Rhyme Time Word Family Fun!"

 Everybody cross your fingers and toes! Could I have a drumroll please? And the WINNER is.....
Congrats Katie! Hope you and your kiddos enjoy some silly Rhyme Time Fun! Remember, all my products are still on sale thru August 4th at both my shops. Teachers Pay Teachers is also offering an additional 10% off  (just enter the code B 1 T 1 S at checkout!) What a deal!!! Thanks again to all my blogging friends for playing.

Be sure to check back tomorrow... I'm just about finished with my reproducible Word Family book. I'll be posting this must-have as a FREEBIE!!!

FAB-U-LOUS DIY Project & 2 Great Giveaways!

Happy Wednesday! I just finished up my lastest DIY project-a lamp makeover. My desk lamp was know, white base, green shade-went great with my frog theme. But...just wasn't gonna cut it with my jungle theme. I found a super cute zebra shade at the dollar store for $5, found a can of black spray paint in the basement & finished it all off with a little "Bling" from walmart and......SHAZAM!!!!

Also, a super big congrats to Jenn over at Finally in First-1000 followers!! Amazing! You have to head over there for an AwEsOme giveaway. You won't believe it-she has teamed with Mixed Bag Designs and is giving away a ton of goodies! (I've got my eye on the black zebra pattern-I'll take one of each style Jenn!) Check it out!
Finally in First
And here's the 2nd great giveaway I found during my late night blogging adventures... Rose over at The Wonderful Word of Kindergarten is celebrating 30+ followers by giving away your choice of a $10 Target or Dollar Tree gift card. Who wouldn't LUV that???
The Wonderful World of Kindergarten
Only a few short hours left until the lucky winner is chosen for my Rhyme Time Word Family Fun giveaway! Good luck!!!