"First Day of First Grade" sign FREEBIE

Thursday, July 31, 2014 No comments
Each year on the first day of school I take an individual photo of each child holding up a sign that says "My First Day in First Grade".  I upload the photos to Sams Club or Target to have them developed and send them home to parents sometime during the first week (usually on the Friday of the first week).  Parents love getting these photos!  I made a few signs - first started with a chalkboard style, then decided something colorful may be better....anyway, I put them up on my Teachers Pay Teachers store for FREE if you'd like one.  And a little tip...print on cardstock if possible, it'll hold up better :)

Also....Don't forget to enter my raffle right here for a three month subscription to FarFaria!!!  This is a SWEET prize!!!

By the way, I'm all ready for the BIG sale at Teachers Pay Teachers!!!  All of my products will be 20% off , BUT you can save 28% at my store on August 4-5 by entering the promo code BTS14 at checkout!!!!

Get your shopping cart ready!

FarFaria GIVEAWAY - You REALLY don't want to miss this chance to win!!!!!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014 2 comments
I have to share with you one of my favorite finds this summer!  It is FarFaria!!! 

I am so excited about this app! I have tried many ways to make my reading center an engaging center, but having a variety of books on the right levels or a variety of books with CD's for students to listen to is expensive and a lot to keep up with.  I think choice is important - of course we all know that kids will read more and stay engaged if they get to pick books THEY want to read.  Enter FarFaria.  FarFaria is an app that has over 750 illustrated children's books and 5 new books are added each week! Books are leveled P-4:  P for Preschool and 4 would be for fluent readers grades 2, 3 and 4.  This gives so many options for my reading center!

The app is SO easy for kids to use!  It also gives the option for them to read the story or have the story read to them.  I have spent a lot of time playing with this app myself and I love that all of the stories would appeal to my first graders.  There is a huge variety of stories!!!   There are stories my first graders can read on their own (P-2), but they will also love having the higher level stories read to them.

There are 11 different "islands" to visit on the Explore page.  Students will choose an "island" (like Animal Kingdom, Fairy Tale Falls, Genius Jungle, etc...) to see the stories listed.  My favorite island is Mt. Make Believe!

Here's more info from FarFaria:

FarFaria - Children’s Books for the iPad, iPhone and Android Devices

FarFaria is an app that provides the perfect story time experience. With more than 750 amazing children’s stories—and five new ones added each week—story time has never been easier.

Created for children ages 2-9, FarFaria helps children develop a passion for reading and encourages families to spend quality time reading together. FarFaria’s engaging story-discovery experience encourages children to stumble into new stories they’ll love forever.

     Unlimited reading from our library of more than 750 stories.
     Five new, engaging stories added every week.
     Interactive experience is fun for kids and easy for parents
     Every story can be read aloud with a Read-to-Me feature.
     Reading-level badge on every story cover.
     Offline access to read Favorite stories
     No advertising. No hidden fees.

Try FarFaria for Free: Download FarFaria and read one story every day for free with no obligation to pay. Unlimited access starts at just $4.99 per month.

Website: Farfaria.com

Now I'll get to the good part!!!!  I have a FREE SUBSCRIPTION TO GIVE AWAY!!!!!  Enter and then tell your friends to enter!!!  I'm so excited that I get to share this with someone!!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Counting Songs and Alphabet Songs FREEBIE :)

Tuesday, July 29, 2014 1 comment
I found a GREAT freebie this morning from Have Fun Teaching! For a limited time they have their Counting Songs AND Alphabet Songs full albums available for a FREE download!  I have used their songs and videos in class and the kids love them!

Not sure how long these will be free, so grab them quick!

Back to School Freebie for the First Week of School

Sunday, July 27, 2014 No comments
I was going through some photos tonight and found this picture of my desk that I took on the first day of school last year. The photo was taken at 7:44 - about 15 minutes before students started to arrive.  

My computer shows what was being projected on my white board :)  How exciting!

I have a Back To School Freebie for you.  I use this each year during the first week of school.  Its a fun activity and a little bit of a time filler since I call the students up one at a time to select their transportation card, put it in the pocket chart, walk back to their seat and call the next student.  (I love how we can take our time and not worry about rushing to get everything crammed in during the first week of school.)  I go first to model picking a card and putting it in the correct spot, etc...

After everyone is finished, we analyze our data.  We count the cards for each column and I write the totals on the board.  We talk about which one had the most, which had the least.  We make tally marks to represent the numbers, talk a bit about greater than/less than, etc....  Then we talk about graphing our data and use this worksheet:

You can click on the photos or here to get this free "How Do We Get To School" graphing activity from my store at Teachers Pay Teachers.  It includes the picture cards and labels for your pocket chart and the graphing worksheet.

 I have some more back to school freebies that I will be posting on my blog in the next two weeks, so make sure to check back!!!!

Word Family Fun! On sale for a short time!

Thursday, July 24, 2014 No comments

I've got a new product to share.  Word Family Houses!  

This product is $3.00 but I have it on sale for $2.00 through Sunday (7/27/14).

There are 29 pages and the kit contains 5 unique word family house pictures, 15 word family heading cards (these go on the roof of the house), 4 CVC word cards and 4 CCVC words for each word family - 120 cards total. (These are the “windows” of the house.)

The following 15 word families are included:
ab, an, at, ed, en, et, ig, ip, it, og, op, ot, ub, ug, and un.

Each word family also has a worksheet for students to write the word family words and to think of additional words. There are two sets of worksheets, one to print a full copy that covers three word families of each medial vowel sound, or one sheet to cut into thirds (cut lines are included), to give students one word family at a time.

You can differentiate your instruction by using either the CVC or CCVC cards to meet the needs of your students or grade level.

Common Core Listening and Speaking Standards - Read with a Buddy!

It's time to address those Listening and Speaking Common Core State Standards!  I've just uploaded a new center on Teachers Pay Teachers that does just that!

This is a great center to address the Common Core Speaking and Listening standards! Use the reading buddy cards to get your students reading, thinking and talking about books!
There are 7 pages in this kit.  Please check out the free preview on my Teachers Pay Teachers page to view all 7 pages and see exactly what you will get.

Assembled with a book ring.

{ This is a sample of one of the pages.}

Common Core Standards that are addressed in this center:

 CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.1.1 Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 1 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.1.1a Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., listening to others with care, speaking one at a time about the topics and texts under discussion).

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.1.1b Build on others’ talk in conversations by responding to the comments of others through multiple exchanges.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.1.1c Ask questions to clear up any confusion about the topics and texts under discussion.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.1.2 Ask and answer questions about key details in a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.1.3 Ask and answer questions about what a speaker says in order to gather additional information or clarify something that is not understood.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.1.4 Describe people, places, things, and events with relevant details, expressing ideas and feelings clearly.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.1.6 Produce complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation. (See grade 1 Language standards 1 and 3 here for specific expectations.)

Thank You PJ's Design Laboratory!!!

Saturday, July 19, 2014 2 comments

I love it :)

If you need a new blog design- I HIGHLY recommend Parker.  So awesome to work with!!!!

I'm having a SALE!!! Happy 4th of July!!!!

Thursday, July 3, 2014 No comments

I'm Having A Sale!

I've been busy this week adding some new things to my Teachers Pay Teachers store and now I'm having a sale!  The sale will run from July 4 - July 6.  

Click here to go to my store:

Get 10% off all of my products, including my new items:

Happy 4th!!!

Interactive Word Walls

Make your word wall words interactive!  I made these little books last year and they were a big hit with the students!  I hung them under my whiteboard.  Each book has a cover with a different letter of the alphabet and the pages of the books are word cards that correspond with that letter. The word cards include all 220 Dolch sight words plus an additional 46 high frequency word cards, all in alphabetical order. You will also get the words and covers for Color Words (11 word cards), Days and Months (19 word cards), Number Words (28 word cards), and Ordinal Numbers (20 word cards). 344 words in all.  I also have an EDITABLE TEMPLATE to go with the books so you can make and add your own word cards!  This template has the same font, font size and card size that I used to make this kit.

I punched a hole in top left corner of each book and used a book ring to bind them. I have this handy dandy little paper drill that made it SUPER easy to punch all the cards at once:
Mc Gill Adjustable Drill Punch, 1 Hole

Print shops (like Fed-Ex Express, formally Kinkos, Staples,etc...) will punch a huge stack in one shot, pretty cheap too.  If you have production at your school or district, they will do it too.  Or you can do it :)

 I found some large colorful push pins at Walmart (that happened to match the books really good), so I hung each book on a push pin.  They were VERY accessible to the students.  If they were writing and needed help with a word, they could get up and get the letter they needed.  I also used them in Word Work centers, Reading centers and at Guided Reading.

I just put these up on Teachers Pay Teachers.  Its a 43 page kit and it's only $3.00!!!  I always try to price things low because we're all teachers, we're not rich.  Here are a couple of photos of what's included:

This also coordinates with my Ultimate Writing Center - Chevron Style:

And another one...

Wednesday, July 2, 2014 No comments
Part two....I've just uploaded another Writing Center to Teachers Pay Teachers!  Very similar to the Chalkboard Writing Center (the Chalkboard Style has a few more printables), but with a different look.  This is a rainbow chevron style:

Click on the photos below or click HERE to go to Teachers Pay Teachers to see the free preview of this new 35 page kit!

Here's more info on what is included in this kit:

Tips, ideas, and photos for setting up your board are included in the download. The following items are also included:

1. Six title styles to choose from (three in colored lettering, three in black lettering)
2. Two sizes of headings. Headings included are: Letter, Story, List, Card, Postcard, Poem, Recipe. (Colored Chalk and White Chalk styles included)
3. “What Can I Write About?” Story Prompts
4. "Super Synonyms" Printable
5. “What Good Writers Do” Printable
6. Alphabet/Number Chart
7. Bonus Writing Checklists - Cut and handout to students during the editing process
8. *Two Card Samples
9. *Two Letter Samples
10. *Two List Samples
11. *Story Sample
12. *Two Postcard Samples
13. *Two Poem Samples
14. *Recipe Sample
15. Postcard Template (two per page)
16. Card Template (two per page)
17. List Template (three per page)
18. Two Story Templates
19. Two Letter Templates

I also have a great new kit, Interactive Word Wall Books, that coordinate with this Writing Center: