Monday, July 18, 2016

Merry Christmas In July!

Today marks the first day of Christmas in July! Each day this week I will be having a little sale to celebrate!!

Stop by my shop each day to find different sets on sale for 20% off! This is a guide of what to find each day. Look at the custom categories on the left hand side of my shop to easily find each day's goods.  :)

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Dollar Store Finds For The Classroom


What do you do on a Friday night when you are in Orlando with 4 of your blogging/teacher buddies? You go to the Dollar Tree to see what you can find!! When we returned to Deanna's house, Deanna, Holly, Kim, Katie, and myself had our first Facebook Live video to share what we found.  (You can view that full video replay at the end of this post.) We decided we would do a blog hop to follow up with the ideas. Be sure and visit all 5 blogs to see all 15 of the ideas and enter to win some Dollar Tree dollars of your own!


Here are some ideas that I shared during the video:

This alphabet was found in the school supply section. Just cut and you are ready to roll! You can build all kinds of CVC words and make it into a game adding dice and pom poms. 

Here's how you play:
  • Cut your alphabet and lay the letters in 3 columns. (C/V/C)
  • Place one fuzzy pom at the bottom of each column. 
  • Students take turns rolling the dice.
  • If they roll a 3, they move their pom up 3 letters.
  • Repeat for all three columns. 
  • All players will use a white board to write down the three letters that the poms landed on.
  • Have your students practice sounding out each word and blending it together. 
I explain to students up front that some words rolled will be real and others will be nonsense words. 

I try to introduce a variety of ways to practice phonemic awareness during the year because let's be honest, it keeps it exciting for the kids! Here's a new one to add to your tool box using these fun rollers we found in the summer toys section. 

  • Set out three small balls of play dough. 
  • Give students a word, "Pig" for example. 
  • From left to right, say each sound in isolation as you roll over a ball. 
  • Once all the balls have been rolled make sure you end by blending the word back together ("P...I...G....Pig")

The possibilities with this one are endless! This particular tray had spots for 14 cubes, so I put strips of washi tape over the ones I didn't need to create that barrier. Here is the idea I shared in the video using manipulatives to show multiple combinations of the same numbers. 

To make 6 they can do
  • 3  and 3
  • 4 and 2
  • 2 and 1 and 3 

Are you ready to shop? Would you like a $25 gift card to get you started? Here's how you can win one! It's really simple. All you need to do is...
  • Follow each of us on Instagram. Each blogger will provide their link in their blog post. Here is mine: https://www.instagram.com/fallingintofirst/  Please be sure to like all the Instagram accounts...we will check. :)
  • Visit each blog and read the ideas. Each post will have a link at the bottom to take you to the next blog.  So hop on over to Deanna's to see her ideas!


Once you're ready, get yourself entered using this Raffelcopter!!! 
We will pick a winner on Friday. Good luck and happy shopping!!


You can watch our full Facebook Live video below to see each idea in action! 


Monday, June 13, 2016

Only ONE Month til the Orlando Teacher Meet-up!!





Our Teacher Meet-Up is moving to....

Sunny Orlando, Florida! July 13th at 6pm. #2016orlandomeetup

This will be our 5th annual teacher blogger meet up. If you've ever joined us before, you know there will be lots of fun, lots of laughing, and lots of prizes to give away! Thanks to our main sponsor TeachersPayTeachers

Here's a shot of some of the fabulous teachers who came out last year!
{Check out more pictures from our 2012 and 2013 and 2014 meet ups!}




At last year's meet up we gave away hundreds of prizes and this year will be no exception! We have lots of surprises in store for this meet up, so PLEASE join us!




(A peek at last year's prizes. All donated by our awesome sponsors!)
We had so many other sponsors that helped donate over $55,000 worth of swag, prizes, and goodies!  Can you believe that?!  I don't know about you, but to us... that's a whole lotta love for teachers!  



What you need to know:

*All teachers are invited to this meet-up! You do not need to have a blog to attend this special event!

*You can RSVP on our official Facebook event page: HERE! If you do not have a Facebook account, you can RSVP by commenting on this post.

*Please don't be shy! Every year we have people who are worried about not knowing anyone. This is a great opportunity to say hi to some of your favorite teacher-bloggers, as well as meet new friends and connect with teachers from all over!

*Please download the nametag template HERE.

*The meet up will be held at The Swan and Dolphin Resort, but the actual conference room number will be posted closer to the meet up. Follow our Facebook event page to get updates on the exact location.

We are super excited for our trip this year and know that this Teacher Meet Up will be the best one yet!!
Here are the meet-up organizers from last year!

Can't wait to see ya'll in sunny Orlando!

Monday, February 8, 2016

How To Win A Super Bowl Writing


When your state wins the Super Bowl, it's hard not to take some time to run with it the next day! I wanted to use the moment to do a writing lesson with my kids that was outside the box. As often as I can I like to tell my kids that, "Some days our learning it just too big for the classroom!" They know this means we are going to bring out lessons somewhere else in the building. So today we headed to the gym to review our transitional words, burn some energy, and work on a new writing piece.


Due to time constraints, I am doing this lesson with them in two parts. We did part one today and will finish up with the second part tomorrow. To start I gathered up my easel, supplies, and we headed into the gym. 


Once we were in the gym I had these guys ran three laps around the gym to prep for writing burn some energy while I set up shop. (That giant Bronco in the background was done by an awesome teacher at our school but not something I created for this lesson. ;) ) I taped the each of the four footballs on a different wall in the gym. 

 
We went over our prompt and went over our objective which was to review transitional words and use them in our Super Bowl writing. There is also a little chant and song we do to coincide with the word "transition" that I wish I could show you. It's nothing fancy though. We march in place and say, "Transition, Transition" while moving our fingers to the right and then we move our arms and feet one big step to the right as we finish with, "one sentence to the next!" I'm all about chants and body movements to help teach academic language!!


After this they got to run to each transition word that is taped up around the gym. When they get to the word I clap two times and say "Stop". One students is called on to read the word, then they all shout the word, and off to the next word we go until we're back where we started. 


Then as a group it was time to sequence a few sentences I had typed up as a sample response. Followed by working together with a buddy to sequence four different sentences together. I had the sentences in envelopes so they were easy to distribute and I also assign the pairs as I hand them out. I make sure to let them know up front that they're only getting 2-3 minutes TOPS to do this together so they get right down to business. 


 I run around the gym checking their work and listening to them read the sentences together. Then we come back to the easel. Part two involves them traveling at their own pace from football to football on the walls writing their own response to "How To Win a Super Bowl." But we'll be getting to that part tomorrow. You can download the sheets we'll use for that as well as all the other parts to this lesson by clicking the image below!

   

I hope this ones helps get you and your crew up and moving!! :)

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Grinch Day :: Reindeer :: Polar Express


Hello. It's Me. I was wondering if after all these years you'd like to meet...

A little Adele anyone?! Ha!! But seriously. HELLO!! From the other side of this computer!!! It's been awhile since I've blogged and I've really missed my little corner of cyberspace. I wasn't sure where exactly the best place to pick back up, but what better place than smack dab in the middle of the present?! It just so happens to be December. Teaching in December. It's not for the weak of heart!! But in the midst of all the crazy, it's fun to work in some magical moments! 

This past Friday was our annual Grinch Day! The kids love it every year and I have yet to ever tire of it. Here's a peek at ours with a few FREEBIES to snag along the way. 


The day before I send home a little note with my class so that everyone can get into the Grinchy green spirit.


Of course, reading the story is an absolute must!!! All the kids want to tell me about the movie. I like to let them know that the movie is based on this original story. 

Then we  listen to the You're A Mean One Mr. Grinch song and jump into adjectives. Together the class brainstorms words describing him and his heart before it grew. We come up with words to complete the sentence:

"You're a __________ one, Mr. Grinch!"


Writing about How to make the Grinch Grin is always worth a few laughs. Some of the kids wrote about giving him cars, hats, and big presents from Santa, but you can read my favorite two below. This writing sheet is a freebie from A Cupcake Teacher that you can grab on her blog, here


We also make some Grinch faces to display alongside our writing. 


Another activity I re-use each year is this Grinchy Green Word Scavenger Hunt I made with "ch" words. (You can download it here.) This one is always a lot of fun and can really been done in 10-15 minutes.  I love the top shot I snapped of my little green mob as they were entering the lobby to begin the hunt! 



When the hunt is complete they earn their Grinch licked candy canes. It was a Grinch Day miracle y'all!!! The ALL green candy cane boxes were back this year at Walmart ($2). And this tiered teacher heart grew a few sizes upon finding them. For the past few years I have made a class set by hunting down multiple boxes of the Starburst multi flavor candy canes, but this year I was in and out in less then ten minutes!! I adore these tags from Cara and have used them year after year. They're a freebie here on her blog. The kids get a kick out of telling everyone who will listen that the Grinch went and licked their candy canes green!! 


We've also been learning All About Reindeer this month! Nonfiction studies in the classroom are a always a favorite. This month was no exception!!


We start with our reindeer mini- readers. I put these up under my doc camera and together we read through them and highlight all of the important vocabulary words as we find them. 


These words also remain on display throughout the unit so that the kids can refer back to them and continue to use them in their writing. Right now they're hard at work putting the finishing touches on their very own Nonfiction Reindeer books




And finally, these cute little reindeer are the first thing you see when you enter our room and they bring a smile to my face every time!!! Too cute!! 


Our last day before break is Polar Express Day! This is the hot chocolate bar that my teammate and I set up for the kids last year. I can't wait to replicate this cozy table of treats again this year. Crockpot hot chocolate is a MUST!!! Along with PJ's and a reading of the original story. 


I pull from my pack of Polar Express Day activities to keep the theme rolling all day!

Whew. That was a lot of December for one post! 

I'll leave you with these final words of December wisdom.


"KEEP CALM AND MAKE IT TO WINTER BREAK"
#twastheweekbeforechristmasbreak #teachingindecember

Monday, September 7, 2015

Objectives Made Easy


As the weekend winds down over here I wanted to show you one way I prep for the start of a new week. Part of my planning includes printing out my new weekly objectives!

Editable Objective signs. Type and display in the classroom!

 I created an editable objectives template for each subject. Tonight I looked at my plans for the week and typed these up real quick to take with me to school tomorrow. Print & go is definitely my style!! 


At school I display them on my white board using page protectors and sticky clips.

This makes it super simple to swap them out each week!



Side note: I'm thinking about moving these from the white board to a bulletin board this year, which will mean using staples instead of stikki clips for the page protectors.

MAKING OBJECTIVES INSTERACTIVE

 Me: "Hocus Pocus..."

My Whole Class: "What's Our Focus!!!"

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Objectives-Editable-1442064

That's what you will hear when it's time to read one of our weekly objectives!

It's amazing what those two little magic words can do to get kids excited about something like objectives! I like to call a student helper to point to the objectives with a special pointer as we read them all together. 

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Objectives-Editable-1442064

Writing these in kid friendly language and making them interactive doesn't make me feel like I am wasting precious wall/board space, one of my pet peeves! We also refer back to them during our lessons. 

You can check them out HERE or by clicking the image above to see more. 

That's it! One more things off my ever growing to-do list!! Now I'm going to curl up on the couch and do a little Netflix-ing to end this glorious 3-day weekend. Hope y'all are doing the same. :)

Saturday, September 5, 2015

How We Get Down With GoNoodle


Let's talk GoNoodle!! I first found out about the amazing-ness that it is two years ago and it's been a staple in my classroom ever since.  Read on to see how I use GoNoodle in my classroom AND enter for your chance to win your very own Champ T-Shirt!!



My group this year is already head over heels for GoNoodle!! I introduced the expectations for how to GoNoodle along with all of our other important routines like lining up in the hall and how to use the bathroom. Why? Because GoNoodle is one of our daily routines!

{GoNoodle-ing on the first day of school..zap it zap it make it happen!! }

So much so that I begin teaching the procedures below on day one! I can't even tell you how impressed I am at the way my class follows these four simple rules in just two weeks time. I don't even have to tell them to sit down after each GoNoodle. They do it automatically! 


I use GoNoodle to serve three purposes in my classroom...


I'm very careful not to only use GoNoodle as a reward for good behavior because it's not just something we do for fun. Brain breaks make such a huge impact on the amount of learning that happens each day. Two years ago I shared how our GoNoodle brain breaks helped transform my afternoons. The number we do each day is ultimately flexible depending on how our day is going and the overall needs for one. But to give you an idea, after the first few weeks (once our stamina has grown) these are the times you are likely to see them happening.


The afternoons are pretty long in our class. Brain breaks make for nice transitions. 


I have a tally system on my white board with smiley faces and frowny faces. If at the end of the day the kids have more tallies under the smiley face than the frowny face they earn a "Just for FUN" GoNoodle! This is also a time when we'll try new GoNoodles.


Last year, we were lucky enough to have Koo Koo Kangroo perform at our school as part of their West Coast School Tour!! As a result, we are perhaps just a little bit biased when I say they are our FAVORITES!!! :) My kids beg to do Koo Koo videos. They would Pop See Ko til the cows came home if I let them!


In the Spring I traveled to Nashville along with some blog friends to meet-up with the GoNoodle team on their home turf. While we were there I learned about GoNoodle PLUS. It includes 16 additional games, and the cool things is, they all incorporate academic content! I wanted to share one detail of what you can do on this end of the site because prior to the trip I had no clue myself. 

{Rocking the Champ T-Shirts....enter to win yours at the end of this post!!}

I can create & save my own questions to use with each game OR I can pick from pre-loaded content that comes with each game by grade level and skill. I can also select the length for each game. 

If you want to check out all of the PLUS features for yourself you can scroll to the bottom of your dashboard and sign up for a 15 Day Trial. 

Do you GoNoodle yet?! If not, you need to sign up... right now!!! It's FREE. 

Alright, it's time to talk GoNoodle Swag!! I'm giving away a Champ T-Shirt!!!
This shirt makes many a Friday appearance at school. 

Use the Raffelcopter below to get yourself entered. It's short and sweet!!

You can also save 15% off ALL the goods in the GoNoodle Shop
Sept 5-11th using the special code: BTSwithGoNoodle

Happy GoNoodle-ing!!!