Back to School Expo

I'm so excited about the Back to School Expo that's happening August 25- September 1. I love, love, love hearing from other teachers & sharing ideas about instructional strategies, management, & well...just about everything! And guess what?!? They're installing my new SmartBoard right now, as we speak!! YAY! So excited! And since I have no experience using a SmartBoard, I'm really looking forward to learning some tips! And it's an added plus that it's all online, & all at your convenience. How cool is that?

 There are some great presenters:
  •  Technology Tools - Cara Whitehead of Teaching…My Calling
  •  Reading Success -Annie Moffatt from The Moffatt Girls
  •  Creating a Fun Math Environment and Back to School Procedures - Yvonne Crawford of MixMinder
  • Classroom Decorating 101 - Melanie Ralbusky of Schoolgirl Style
  • Classroom Environment and Back to School Procedures - Eric and Brian of Wise Guys

In addition to the great presentations, there's also going to be a VENDOR HALL & I just heard that attendees are going to be a GOODIE BAG too! I am SO there!

In fact, I am virtually setting up a booth in the vendor hall! Open to attendees from August 25th until September 1st, the vendor hall will feature items from many, many sellers at 
30% off! 
I've loaded up my booth with my:

Calendar Math Pack

Beanie Baby Decoding Strategies Posters

Beanie Baby Comprehension Strategies Posters 

Do you have your ticket yet? Just click the Expo button.
For a $10 contribution they get the following:
  • A ticket to the event ($19.95 value)
  • 30% discount on hundreds of items
  • Well over $100 worth of items in the Goodie Bag
  • Two teachers will get tickets to the event for free
Don't wait too long! This deal ends Thursday the 23rd. After that, you can purchase tickets for $19.95.
I am so excited! Hope to see you there!

Guided Math So Far & a New Coins Exploraton Pack

I've already finished my first week of school...and things are going GREAT! (knock on wood! lol). While we were reading Guided Math & chatting about the structure of it in our classrooms, I determined to do 3 new things:
  1. Find a way to integrate our school-provided journals into our routine.
  2. Seriously amp up my math meeting/calendar board time.
  3. Move toward a new weekly format that is more in line with the one suggested in the book.
 So how am I doing?

I think we are on our way with most of it...& we'll keep on polishing it as we go. Here's what's up so far:
1. I took a look at the agendas & thought about what we could do with the. There's just not a lot of space there! I also thought about the skills my kiddos needed to work on. Time is definitely one of them. I decided to divide up the math meeting/calendar time...a little bit in the morning & a little more right before recess/lunch. Here's what I'm doing with their agendas: as soon as they come in, they stamp a blank clock face in their agenda & "make it look like the one on the board". After announcements, we write the time & indicate whether it's a.m. or p.m. We also code the date, write the number of days of school, record it in tens & ones, & decided whether it's even or odd. 

2. We've also been cruising right along with our calendar journals. We've not gotten up to getting everything done each day I said, we're still polishing! We'll get there!

3.  Something new to me when it comes to weekly routines is using Friday to create anchor charts & graphic organizers... I'm so excited about this! We did this on Friday & created MONEY anchor charts. I gave each of my kiddos either a coin or a label (value, name, etc). Then they had to find their matches. Once all the pennies, nickels, dines, & quarters were together, each group made a poster & practiced what they would say if they were teaching a first grader about their coin. I was really excited about how this experience turned out! I think it really helped several of my sweeties learn a bit more about coins. 

This week, we're going to extend our learning by making All About Coins books during math workstations. They'll do coin rubbings & add in information about each coin. 

I added this little packet to my TpT store. It includes everything you'd need to do this same activity. It'd also work great as a bulletin board in your classroom. I'd also like to give this away to the first 3 people to leave a comment telling me how you help your kiddos learn about money in your classroom. Don't forget your email!!!


Big 'ole sale!!

Have you already started putting things in your cart in preparation for the TpT Back to School Sale? My cart is fair to bursting! I can't wait to click purchase & start the printing!!
Everything in my store will also be 20% off. Use the code BTS12 to get an additional 10% off which makes an actual 28% off. Wowie! Wow! Wow! as Junie B. would say....that's awesome.

I also wanted to join in the product premiere blog hop (but it closed before I got home from school to post...bummer). But I can still preview my products for you. 

Perfect for getting your classroom ready for the new school year...

My top seller are my Beanie Baby Decoding Posters. I LOVE using these in my classroom.  They just work so well with my kiddos. Each decoding strategy has a beanie baby 'spokesperson':
Lips the Fish reminds them to get their lips ready for those letter sounds.
Chunky Monkey reminds them to look for chunks they know within an unknown word.
And  Stretchy Snake reminds them to S -T - R - E - T - C - H out the sounds. 
There are 5 other strategies and characters: Skippy the Frog (Skip the word & come back to it), Eagle Eye (look for picture clues to help figure out a word), Flippy the Dolphin (flip that vowel sound), Tryin' Lion (keep trying), & Helpful Kangaroo (ask for help). 

I also have Beanie Baby Comprehension Posters. I always use the posters (both these and the decoding ones) for mini-lessons and we post it along with the beanie baby on the wall. It's interesting to hear my kiddos suggest to a friend to "do Lips the Fish", or to "think about Jabber the Reteller" or say, "I'm just like Iggy the Inferring Iguana".
The Comprehension Poster pack includes:
Rocky Raccoon (who advocate visualizing)
Spinner the Spider (making connections)
Questioning Owl
Digger the Dog (determining importance)
 Fix Up Bear (monitor & use fix up strategies)
Jabber the Reteller
Iggy the Inferring Iguana

My Calendar Math Pack is also 20% off. I've been using it this week-- we've already got our first week in! I'm pleased to say the routine is going well. I'll post about that early next week.

And please check out the Vocabulary Strategy Posters! These also have strategies paired with characters. The characters work so well with the Beanie Baby Posters, that I decided to create characters for vocabulary too! You'll find
Context Clue Lou
Picture Clue Sue
What I Know Moe (prior knowledge)
Dictionary Larry
Word Part Bart (use word parts to help you figure out a word) 

And just to make the big 'ole sale even uber awesome would it be if you WON a $25 TpT gift card just in time for the sale?! Click over to Tonya's Treats for Teachers to find out how you can win!

Good luck & happy shopping!!

Back To School Sale at TpT!

I'm already back to school (actually this is day 4 for me!)....but I'm definitely STILL in the Back To School Shopping mode! I am so excited about TpT's Back to School Sale! 

Have you heard the news? August 12 & 13, TpT is offering an additional 10% off....that's 28% off if the seller is also having a 20% off sale.....which I happen to be doing! And it's not just me! There are lots of sellers having having a 20% off sale.

Want to know who all is having a sale? Click on over to First Grade Garden & check out her linky party. Sellers have linked their stores up & you can actually just click to their stores & check out the bargains! 

I can't wait!! Anyone else have a long list of items on their wish list?

Made It Monday! August 6!

As I typed out my post title, it occurred to me that possibly my title should be Made It TO Monday! hahaha! Today is my first day back with my sweet little firsties who are now second graders. Since I loop I get to have the same crew of kiddos again this year! Yay! I have to say it does make those first day jitters much more tolerable! I got to see most of my kiddos briefly at our open house last week, but we're back in the swing of things today! 

Anyway--on to my Made Its.......


Did you see my Math Calendar Pack I posted earlier in the week? It's up & running today. I have their journals all printed & copied & ready to go! I'll be back later to tell you how it went 'for real...with real live students'!

 #2 Hall Pass Center Here is my pinspiration on the left from Emily at I Love My Classroom...& here is my version on the right....

 Mine is much more simple than Emily's. I got the pizza pan at the dollar store & used a paint pen to draw the lines & write the words. Hubs drilled a couple holes in it for me so I could attach the ribbon.  I only have 1 magnet on right now because the others were still drying. I really, really like that the passes that the kiddos take with them are just clothes pins. I can't tell you how many passes have been lost!! Now if they lose one, I just have to get out another clothespin!

#3 Mason Jar Salads - I might be silly, but I just think these salads I've seen floating around on Pinterest are gorgeous! Not to mention uber practical...I love how you can add the dressing & basically pre-assemble your salad & the lettuce doesn't get all soggy & yucky. I also love the convenience! Just assemble on Sunday night, & then just grab & go through the week! Green Plate Rule has some super awesome 'recipes' for mason jar salads.

I have these yummy concoctions waiting for me for the first couple of days. (Shhh...I need to go back to the store & get some more ingredients for the rest of the week!).

Thanks to Tara for hosting this's really been motivational! I'm off to my first day of second grade, & I'll be checking out everyone else's Made Its this evening! Can't wait to see what everyone has been up to!!

Calendar Math- Using Your Students' Agendas & Calendar Journals

After reading Guided Math, & reading everyone's thoughts & ideas about the process of guided math in the classroom, I decided I needed to seriously amp up my math meeting/calendar math time. As Laney Sammons, the author of the book, suggested, I took a look at the Common Core Standards & thought about the skills my kiddos typically struggle with or need more practice in. 

I also wanted to find a way to use the agendas my students get from school for our calendar time. So I found a way to use the agendas & created a calendar math journal. I really like how using the agendas help my kiddos get familiar with the format of an agenda & give them practice in using it. But the agenda is just not big enough for everything to fit in (at least in first or second graders' handwriting!). I wanted my kiddos to graph the weather monthly, so I designed the journal in the pack to be created monthly: cover, weather graph, & the number of pages needed for the month.

I created a pack that includes these skills & activities, & here's where my kiddos will be recording it:

In the agendas:
  • Code the date
  • Determine if the date is odd or even
  • Days of School, & record it in flats, longs, & cubes
  • We'll use a rubber stamp to stamp a blank analog clock face, & the kiddos will duplicate the time I have set on the Focus Wall clock. We'll then write the time.
In their Calendar Journals:
  • Graph the weather
  • Record the "Number of the Day", represent it in hundreds, tens, & ones
  • Write the expanded notation for the number of the day
  • Name Collection Box- record different ways to represent the number I've written in the Name Collection Box on the wall
  •  Fact Family House - We'll choose a domino & write the fact family represented
  • Coins - in their journals, kiddos will draw the coins I have on the board, & will write the amount total
  • Function Machine -On the wall,  I can either give them the rule and fill a few boxes in the chart for them to finish off...OR I can fill in a few boxes, let them determine the rule & complete the rest of the chart.

I know that sounds like a lot....I'm planning to start off with just a few of the skills in the journal, & we'll add as we become more efficient with our time. 

The Calendar Math Pack is in my TpT store. Just print it out, assemble your wall & the journals, & you good to go! I'm so excited about my newest product...I'm going to give it away to the first three people who leave a comment with their email!

Student Websites for Literacy or Word Work Practice Blog Hop!

Have you heard of GameGoo?

GameGoo comes from the makers of Earobics, a leader in language and literacy software. From the website: "GameGoo is home for fun, stick-with-you educational games, that help students build early reading skills, identified as important education building blocks in state curriculum standards. This means that when students play the GameGoo games they are practicing skills they are learning in class. The games are also based solidly in education and literacy research, full of rich stories and characters to engage students in learning adventures".

The games at GameGoo are specifically geared toward K-2 and truly do target those early reading skills. My kiddos love using GameGoo in my classroom as part of literacy workstations. Take a look at this video review:

Do you have websites you like to use for literacy workstations?
I'm hosting a blog hop so we can all share our favorite websites & collect some new ones to use in the classroom! Please feel free to link up as often as you'd like! Share the title(s) of the website in the blog hop & link back to your blog where you describe the website(s) you're sharing. This is a blog hop...don't forget to grab the code to add to your post on your blog. The collection will appear on your blog & update as others share more sites! Voila!! An easy way to add to your personal website collection!

  get the InLinkz code