Thursday, November 29, 2012

Gingerbread Man: Escape Route!

My firsties did the cutest project today!

We made escape routes for our gingerbread men!  I gave them an oven and gingerbread man to cut out.  I cut a slit in the opening of the oven so they could stick him in to make him look like he was peeking out.  They glued a red hot for a nose and used sprinkles for the buttons.

Then they did a little procedural writing to show their plan.  Each student was given a map to fill in with 4 empty boxes to show the obstacles the gingerbread man must pass.  Of course, I had some who wrote, "Go past the toilet."  Ha.  I love first grade humor.  :P

And a word of advice:  Be sure to glue the legs to the back so the poor gingerbread man doesn't fall through!

You can find this cute little craftivity at my store for only $2!  Click on the picture to check out it!

Short and sweet tonight, folks!  Oh, and you should swing by a new store!  A friend and co-worker has uploaded a few things.  She has a DARLING activity about Rory the Reindeer.  He's a cousin of Rudolph and he has superpowers!  They get to go through the writing process and plan out the character of Rory.  I can't wait to do it with my kiddos!  CHECK IT OUT HERE.

Have a fabulous weekend!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Cyber Monday + Tuesday Sale!

Y'all...I am SERIOUSLY pumped about this sale.  My shopping cart is FULL of goodies that I can't WAIT to get my hands on!  I'm so giddy right now...

So if you're in a shopping mood, swing on by my Teachers Pay Teachers store to enjoy 28% of all products!  Enjoy and have fun shopping!

I'm linking up with the 3AM Teacher for her Cyber Sale Linky!  There are soooo many great sales going on!


And I JUST made the deadline to upload my new December Math Centers!

My December Reading Intervention Kit is also up!  This is really helping my low kids.

Check out all these fabulous people participating!!!!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Go Bucks!

In honor of the biggest rivalry, I'm throwing a 20% sale for today only!

My Store

Thanks to Lisa, from Fourth and Ten for the image! She's throwing a sale, too, so check her out! :)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

CARPET! Reading Intervention! Thanksgiving Feast!

I have to say I am so thankful for Thanksgiving break!  It was one long day.  Another teacher and I were talking about the 3 longest, most painful days of the school year:  the day before Christmas break, the last day of school, and the day before Thanksgiving break.

I left school and went and got a manicure with a sweet teacher friend of mine.  Much deserved, if I do say so myself. ;)

Tomorrow I'm headed to Michigan to head to the grandparents.  My son and I are headed up in the morning and the hubs is heading up Thursday morning (he works tomorrow night...night shift...working for a Budweiser distribution center and loading up trucks...yuck...).  Are there any bloggy friends in MI?  I know this is totally last second, but we could get together for coffee tomorrow somewhere around Detroit!  Yeah, it's late.  This probably won't work.  I'll plan better next time. ;)  I guarantee I'll head up again in the summer at some point.  Besides, I live in Ohio.  You live in Michigan.  Technically, we can't be friends this week.  Hey, I don't make the rules.


Ok, onto all things teacher-related.

First of all, on Tuesday afternoon, I had the biggest surprise!!!!  At least I think it was days now run together.  Anyways, my firsties INSISTED on doing their morning work at their new carpet!  When they came in they went straight to the carpet and sat down.  I had to ask them to remove their coats and get out their morning work.  Seriously.


Today we had our annual 1st Grade Thanksgiving Feast in the hallway.  I stayed up last night making popcorn and cranberry muffins.  At least they ate it all.  Our class was designated as Pilgrims, so we spent all morning and afternoon making our garb.  Then after music we shut the doors and let the feast begin!

I've mentioned this before, but I teach the 1st grade Reading Intervention class.  We meet once a day for an extra 30-minutes of reading instruction.  This is in ADDITION to the Title I services they receive.  So basically, they're taught reading skills in the classroom, in Title for an extra 30 minutes, and then another 30 minutes for RI.  I take the bottom 10 or so kiddos in the 1st grade.  These are the ones that are in jeopardy of repeating.

We keep data with AIMSWeb, if any of you are familiar with that program.  My kiddos are tested weekly with AIMSWeb for progress monitoring.  I have really started to try and target the skills that they are assessed on.

I give you...READING INTERVENTION KITS!  That's right, folks.  I have 5 sets of materials to target all the necessary early literacy skills for the firsties.  Nonsense words, rhyming words, letter recognition, phoneme segmentation, and fluency.  I make all the cards based around the same idea for each month.  I just switch them up a tad so that they get exposed to different words, sounds, phrases, etc.  And it's always fun to change up the graphics so they're not staring at the same thing for weeks and weeks and weeks.

For nonsense words, I made nonsense word cards (6 for each short vowel).

I've suggested 4 different games/activities for each target area to use with the cards.  On this particular day, we used the nonsense word cards and sat in a circle.  I played music (Ohio State marching band IS football season, after all!) and the kids passed their card clockwise around the circle.  When the music stopped, they had to read the card that they ended up holding.  They LOVED this!

Another day we played with rhyming words.  I made a T-Chart with two words (in this case, "cat" and "dog") and gave each of the kids a word card. They had to decide if it rhymed with "cat" or "dog".  They came up and stuck it on the board.

For letter recognition, I gave each student approximately 3 cards.  I asked "Who has the letter that makes the /a/ sound?" and so forth.  Then I gave them time to line them up in order.

One of the activities for phoneme segmentation was to have the students create their own 3-letter words.

To practice fluency, I put several Fry Phrases on cards.  I split the class into two teams.  I would show one team a card and have them try to read it.  They got 2 tries to read it correctly AND they could help each other out (remember, these guys are pretty low...they struggle...we have an open, loving, encouraging classroom where they don't have to be ashamed to get it wrong!).  If they still couldn't get it, the other team had a chance to steal.  Whichever team was able to read the card got the point.  My kids love anything competitive.

I can hear you now..."But Sarah, Thanksgiving is over..."  Fear not!  I already have my December Kit up in my shop.  ;)

Alright, friends, time to knock out a little more on my December Math Centers and then I'm headed to bed.  Long day ahead tomorrow!  Enjoy your turkey and time with friends/family!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Thankful For So Much...

This time of year gets me all excited!  I just love the holidays.  Call me weird, but I LOVE when they're over, though.  I love taking everything down, cleaning everything from top to bottom, reorganizing, and starting fresh.  But to get to that, we must first go through Thanksgiving and Christmas!

So Stephanie, over at Teaching In Room 6, is hosting a fun Linky Party!

I'm sure I could go on and on, but I will narrow it down to 4.  These are 2 of the most fabulous products I've come across on Teachers Pay Teachers and 2 of the most fabulous bloggers.  It is SERIOUSLY hard to narrow it down.  Like I said, I could go on and on!  There are SO many amazing bloggers out there and their stuff is just amazing!  I told a friend tonight that sometimes I wish we didn't have any textbook adoptions so that I could just use all the awesome stuff that's out there!


1.  My biggest thanks has to go to Amanda Nickerson at One Extra Degree.  I am not kidding you, I don't think I would be where I am today if it weren't for her.  I believe her blog was the very first one I ever stumbled across and followed.  That was last October/November.  And look where we are today.  Amazing.  I went to my very first bloggy meet-up in Ohio this past January and met her and several others.  She really helped me out and gave some good pointers and made me believe this was something I could do and pursue.  Had I not met her, I don't know that I would've had the spark that I did that lead me to where I am today.  :)  We are still good friends today!  She's always an inspiration to me.  When I get tired and worn out, it's like she swoops in to offer some encouragement and a pick-me-up!

2.  My next blogger that I'm thankful for is Lisa Pesce from Fourth and Ten.  She is another fellow Ohio teacher-blogger from Cincinnati.  She is such a big encouragement and someone I could laugh online for hours with.  Ok, that doesn't make me sound nerdy or anything.  :P  Her and I have helped each other out a few times and she's always been one to comment on my blog.  Sometimes the blog world can be lonely when you don't have many followers.  Just when I thought nobody read my blog, she'd comment and it helped me keep going!  Plus, we're both huge Buckeye fans.  Need I say more? ;)

3.  I am SOOOOO thankful for Deanna Jump's Writing Through the Year series! has TRANSFORMED my teaching of writing!!!!  It has something I've been looking for for YEARS!  If you are at all stumped on what to do and where to go, this has got to be the most well-thought, systematic way of teaching it!  Ohmyword...seriously...CHECK IT OUT! 

4.  Then there's Gumball Math!  Do any of you use Rocket Math?  We do at our school, but unfortunately it's not all that 1st grade friendly.  I came across this over the summer and went ahead and invested in it.  LOVE IT!  It fits in SO well with Rocket Math, and it's much more primary-appropriate.  I use it almost daily.  My little firsties are already getting fluent with their math facts!  Love! P.S., they also have a version for mixed facts AND multiplication!

Well, there's my list.  It could go on F-O-R-E-V-E-R.  I wish I could mention every single person on here.  But my eyes are about to close and I have a jam-packed day tomorrow.

Hope you all have a great week!  Find something that you're thankful for in the teaching world!  It makes life a little more happy.  ;)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

November Currently and a Request for Help

Let's start off with some fun, shall we?  I give you - My November Currently!

***UPDATE:  My project has been funded!!!!  Thank you all SOOOOO much!  This means so much!

Last week in church, our pastor talked about how sometimes we have to ask for help.  He made us say, "Can you help me?" 3 times out loud.  I literally felt uncomfortable EVERY TIME I said it.  And I wasn't even asking for anything.  I was just repeating it.  He was trying to get it across to us that sometimes we have to ask for help, and we shouldn't be ashamed to do it.

So here we go...

Will you help me?

There.  I said it.  I still have butterflies in my stomach and feel weird.  Why do I have to be so weird...

Anyways, here's my dilemma, if you will.  I submitted a Donor's Choose project back in May for a new classroom carpet.  If you're a teacher, you probably know how expensive these things are.  Our school doesn't provide them for us, so we just have to bring in our own.  I've gotten a couple cheap ones from Target/Walmart that just fall apart and have the edges fraying.  Then I thought I was going to have an awesome carpet when we moved this summer and I no longer needed our huge area rug because we now have carpet.  Well...ok, this is embarrassing...we have a little dog.  She has had many accidents on said rug.  I spent 2 weeks Pinteresting every carpet cleaning idea known to man.  I've tried dish detergent, vinegar, Febreeze, special pet cleaner, had our custodial staff steam/shampoo the thing.  It's awful.  So I actually found something that worked pretty well and got *MOST* of the stinkiness out.  But now it feels all weird because of all the chemicals I've put on it.

Alright, now you've heard my sob story about my stinky rug that has a weird texture now.  This is the reason I asked for help to get a new one for my room.  I've had 2 whole donors and a match.  My grandma and a college friend.  It makes me really sad that I have 9 days left and still practically $350 left to raise.  The nice thing is that the money doesn't go to waste, because they can just give it to someone else if my project isn't funded.  At the same time, how crappy do I feel that those couple of people so close to me won't really help me out anyways. just bothers me and saddens me.

So with one last attempt to get this thing funded, I'm going out on a limb and asking my bloggy friends and readers for some help.  I know we're all tight and try to spend our money wisely.  That's why I'm going to offer any product from my shop, if you want, if you donate to my project.  Basically, if you were going to spend money in my shop anyways, I'm asking you to instead make a donation to my Donor's Choose project.  Please pick out your items that add up to the amount you donate and I will e-mail them to you.  :)

If you are able and willing to donate, please leave me a comment below with your e-mail address and the products you would like me to send you.  I will keep this offer going for the next 9 days, or until it gets funded.  It doesn't matter if you donate $5 or $500 (ok, well maybe not $500 since my project isn't that much ;)).  Anything and everything helps!

***Just found out about this code: Enter "HoraceMann12" when you check out and the donation will be matched!  THANK YOU TO THOSE WHO HAVE DONATED ALREADY!  I'm not gonna lie, I was bawling my eyes out when I came in to check me e-mail.  :)

I can't thank you enough.  This will really mean a lot to my students and me.

Speaking of projects to's my latest!  I finally finished my November Math Centers aligned to Common Core!

They're now up in my shop.  :)  Enjoy. :)

Have a blessed Sunday...