Tuesday, February 25, 2014

TPT is 3 Million Teachers Strong!

Hi, Friends! How are you? I’m linking up with the fantabulous ladies over at Blog Hoppin in celebration of TPT’s 3 million strong sale! All products in my store are set for the sale at 20% off {2/27/14-2/28/14}. With promotional code, TPT3, you can save an additional 10% off too. Who doesn’t like a little shopping, especially at a bargain price!? Spring break coming up? Shop now, prep later.


 I'm heading over to double check my wish list now! Go 'head, get your shop on! You can find the link to my store HERE. Enjoy the sale! =)


Friday, February 21, 2014

Five for Friday~TGIF {Smart Art Freebie}

Hi, Friends! How are ya? I don’t know about you….BUT for me, this has been a loooooong week! The kiddos and I had something going on every night. Today {Friday}, was the first day that we were actually able to leave school and just go home. The headache that took over most of my brain required meds and a nap; NOW I’m wide awake and excited to share our Smart Art project from today!


I love linking up with Kacey for Five for Friday because it causes me to reflect over the best parts of the week. Smart Art from this week is probably my favorite…


This Friday’s installment of Smart Art was a wrap up to our focus on nonfiction texts. Wanna really know if your kiddos comprehend the features of a given text? Have them create it, extend it, connect to it. This little cutie did all 3!!! Autobiography is a big word for a firstie to wrap their mouth around, but they totally rocked writing one! Our main story was a biography written about Tomas Rivera. Students have been independently researching African American historical figures on PebbleGo.com, so we blended the two with this activity.

After testing over our story, we researched two historical figures on PebbleGo.com and made note of how the information was organized.


I helped them get started by modeling the first page with sentence starters for students to copy and fill in the blanks. For each page, a timer was set for between 6-8 minutes to write 1-2 sentences, illustrate and color. With a set time in place to complete each page, there was no time for talking…just thinking, writing, and reading. We also stopped midway for a brain break.

After each page was completed, we met for a sec at the carpet to discuss the next heading and appropriate information to include on the page.


Students who finished early were encouraged to add text and graphic features that we had discussed during read alouds (labels, bold print, italics, highlighting, etc…).


They had such a fun time writing about themselves that almost everyone shared today!  There were lots of smiles at the carpet and thunderous applause as each friend reached the last page of their book.

….annnnd because Tomas grew up to become a published author, we’ll further connect to the story by choosing some of these to include in our classroom library! Interested in completing a little Smart Art of your own? Click the pic below to grab it!


I assembled them by folding each of the printed pages back at the center, then stacking the 3 inside pages within the cover with the open folded edge to the middle. If you have the option to print BORDERLESS images in your printer’s settings, it will stretch the PDF file to get rid of the white edge and give your friends a little more room to write and draw too. Enjoy! 

Freebie Fridays


Monday, February 17, 2014

Ready to rock? Ready to ROLL…{dice roll}!

Hi, Friends! How are ya? The sun was out today and warmed things up a bit. I’m in a sharing mood, so I thought I’d stop by to show ya a little of what we’ve been up to in math.


Lots of our lessons start with doodled directions. Like many of you, we spent our Presidents’ Day at school. Well, most of us did. A number of my kiddos were out, so the rest of us spent the day reviewing skills in rowdy, fun ways! During math, we pulled out the dice and got ready to roll. We have a set that is blue and red; they're numbered 1-6 on one and 7-10 on the other.


Students worked together in pairs to roll, build, and compare numbers. Each student created a quick place value mat showing the position for a hundred, tens, and ones. We could have used a premade one, but I like to have my kids create and organize things like this to solidify learning. After we made our mats, students took to the floor {one of our favorite places to work} to roll dice, say the number, build it using base-10 blocks and use comparative language to describe what they’d built. Simple~Roll. Build. Compare. REPEAT. No writing involved; just lots of math talk and building a better sense of what those flats, longs, and units really mean.
Before all of the rockin’ and rollin’…we completed this little cutie to record our learning. It took us several lessons over the course of a week.

Slide1 Slide2

Do you fold and learn in your classroom? Here’s a peek inside….

Slide3 Slide4

Students used dice to roll and record numbers, represent them using drawings of base-10 blocks and make the jump to 10 more on an open number line. Dice were also used to record numbers and compare them using the symbols <,>, and =.

….and they really felt like big kids writing expanded notation for numbers to 120. Our state standards are changing. We used to only work with numbers to 99 in 1st grade, now we’re going to 120 and the kids are loving it. It’s been fun for us as teachers too because they're getting to see the pattern of numbers continuing beyond 100.

You can find this little set in my TPT shop…..JUST uploaded it! We had so much fun with this, I’m sure it will inspire a few more. Check it out! Get those dice out and get ready to roll!

place value dice roll


Saturday, February 15, 2014

Five for Friday~Love YOU bunches!!!

Hi, Friends! How are ya? Happy Valentine’s Day! I’m linking up with Kacey at Doodlebugs Teaching for a quick Five for Friday share. I think I’m just about over the sugar rush from snacking on so many Valentine sweets today. Juuuust about…BUT, I think the Big Red kick will last just long enough to get me through a quick post.


I rarely drink soda, but we had a little with some vanilla ice cream today as our Love Potion and WHEEEEW!!! Let me tell ya…… I have been running around like a hamster on a wheel since my first sip!


I had to take my little valentines to get their chompers checked {at the dentist} on Tuesday, so my kiddos and I only had 4 days to squeeze in lots of learning this week. Every minute counted and we packed each one to the brim. We started the week by working toward meeting one of our established New Year’s goals…….to expand our vocabulary. We explored non-fiction texts to learn about where food comes from and created an A-Z chart. It’ll hang in our writing station next week as inspiration!


Love was in the air as we began to explore contractions. This little foldable was a big hit! Next week….contraction surgery!


You can’t have too many charts, right? Hearts were flowing throughout the room. We couldn’t resist adding a few to our list of yummy favorites. Writers write for a purpose….now I know what to add to the grocery list, IF I were planning on doing a little shopping. Apples and pizza, anyone?


Guided writing was lovely too! Sticky notes make for the perfect sized, quickly assembled graphic organizer! LOOOOOVE me some sticky notes {and sharpies}! Writing about reading makes us HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY!!!


FROOOOOGGGYYY inspired our Valentine card holders, but the smiles drawn on those bags didn’t compare to the smiles that were abound in our classroom this afternoon. Be it the sugar, the Big Red or the feeling of love in the room…it was a crazy, wonderful week!

Hope yours was too!


Saturday, February 1, 2014

Five for Friday~Stolen Moments

Hi, Friends! How are ya? It’s been a doozy of a week! We’ve managed to play “catch up” after our snow day off. Yep! You read that right…SNOW day…! And guess what?! Today, it was over 70 degrees! That’s TX weather for ya!

In between switches from jackets to tee shirts, we squeezed in lots of smile worthy moments….


We completed another class book! As we’ve grown as writers, we’ve begun to really enjoy sharing our writing. One way we do this is through creating class books. Our goal is to have one for every student to take home at the end of the year. We’ve created them to practice abc order, sight words and as a way of making connections to our story of the week. I love that they’re writing! They love having personalized books to read. Win/win!


Word work in small groups took on the form of a mini-book of glued sounds. Students recorded the sounds we focused on for the day, listed 3 words and used them in sentences with their friends at the table. I never imagined this simple activity leading to me needing a tissue, but it did.

I have a student that I’ve affectionately nicknamed ‘Halo’. I call him that because he is an angel. He’s the love of Christ personified in a 6 year old…genuinely kind, always thoughtful, hard working and just an all around wonderful person! As busy as our days become and with all that we have to do, sometimes we have moments that completely surprise us and remind us of why we do what we do. This activity led to one of those little moments. When I asked the kids at the table to use one of their words in a sentence, Halo, leaned over his book and began to write. When he was done, he lifted his head with a sweet smile swallowing his face and the entire room lit up! A sunray from the heavens shone down on his face. Then, I looked at his book to read the sentence he had so proudly written….

Slide5  Thank you for helping me.

….and my heart skipped a beat because he not only wrote a sentence, he wrote a message. A message that helped me to realize, that yes…we had things to do and to cover to catch up from the previous week’s day off. BUT, more importantly we had moments, messages, and milestones to enjoy, to savor, to completely be in the moment for.

Thank YOU, Little Halo, for helping ME!


When you work in a place where appreciation, uplifting, and positivity is the name of the game, it’s an easy thing to show up each day. Our school is more than just a group of people working together, more than friends…we’re family. A collection of dedicated, talented people with one purpose, supporting one vision. We take the time to enjoy special moments, uplift each other and encourage each other. We’re each blessed with unique talents that compliment each other and share them freely. It’s a blessing to walk into the atmosphere of our campus. Though my kids’ efforts and hard work often move me to tears, these ladies bring on nothing but smiles and sheer joy. They’re simply the best and we make one rockin’ 1DERFUL team!


As we all move toward 100th day celebrations, wrap up mid year assessments, plan for the end of the year while looking ahead to the next….stop, for just a moment. Lift each other up. Exhale. Enjoy the moment. Be silly. Be absolutely, 1DERFULLY, insanely silly…….TOGETHER! It’s a 1DERFUL, blessed life that we live.



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