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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Freebie, product and a giveaway!

I soooo know how that poor pooch is feeling! Was it a full moon last night?  The kiddos were CUH-RA-ZY!  Do you remember the story of me trying to line the kinders up the first few days of school.  I wanted my lasso to round them all up......well, now, I have lunchroom duty. EGADS!!  They get so wound up (the kinders, not the teachers)---well----okay, so sometimes we do too...but that's not the point.  The K's sit on one half of our cafeteria and the 1s/2s sit on the other half.  It's like it becomes a competition on which side can be the loudest.  Then, they run up to you.....ohh no...heaven forbid we raise our hands (or wipe them off for that matter) and tap at you.  Yes, they are cute....but goodness....pizza hands and I do not get along very well.  EWW....that's all I can say about that.

THEN, to top it all off today----they decided to have a food fight! (Again, they are the kinders, not the teachers!)  Seriously?  A food fight?  See how I relate to the picture above?

OHH, and it wasn't just the K's being all crazy---my kiddos in first were too.  I asked several times on SEVERAL occasions to quiet down today.  I finally said, alright, I'm moving clips.  BOOM!  Yeah, they heard me that time!  OHHH...it just makes me cuckoo.

Since my day was so crazy, I thought.....hmm....I bet other people have crazy days too.  I mean after all we are teachers......what better way to find a positive then a freebie and a giveaway?

Y'all know we are working on r blends this week with Treasures.  I made another phonics sheet with word box shapes.  Now, we also use Wilson's, so there are some chunks on the sheet that we have covered using that, but not Treasures.  You can click the picture below to grab you a copy. 

 Since I'm on the topic of Treasures, I know that many of you liked the Treasures Cut up Sentences and they seem to be helping my kids.  I went ahead and did the same format with the first Unit sight words of Treasures. Click below to head over to TpT to check it out.

Here is a sample from the packet above. Click it to grab it. :)

Now, on to the good stuff.  I was asked by the wonderful people of Educational Insights to do a review on a product of my choice.  I knew right away I wanted to give the Hot Dots a go!  I've been wanting to try them for a while now, because they just looked PERFECT.

As soon as I unwrapped them, my whole family started playing with them.  (We are in our 30's with  a 10 year old and a 6 year old).  As soon as one box and pen was unwrapped, my husband took it.  Then another unwrapped, and my daughter took it.  My poor 6 year old couldn't wait until he got one to try too.  My daughter told him, but you will get to play with them in your classroom, we won't.  SOOO---if we were all excited about them.  Just imagine the fun my firsties were going to have. 

 The colorful cards come in a sturdy box for storage.  It's not too bulky, so when you're cleaning up and storing materials you're not using, it doesn't take up a lot of space.  The cards are made of a pretty thick cardstock, and they are a glossy image.  Here you can see the Hot Dot card for ending sounds.  Students would name the picture shown.  In this case, the picture is a bus.  Then, they would look at the words along the side, and find the word marked bus.  When using the Hot Dot pen with it, the pen makes a variety of noises (both for correct and incorrect answers) and lights up to let students know they have the correct answer.  It's green when correct and red when wrong.  The noises can be controlled by a volume button on the side of the pen.  Even if turned up all the way, it wasn't too loud that it bothered the students working with me, and it was a just right volume for them with the other noises in the classroom. 
Here you can see the pen in relation to the students hand.  It's a very durable hard plastic. It is perfect size for my firsties to use.  They enjoyed working on this as a center alone, and working as partners.
One would take a card out for the other to use.  I think they were trying to be little teachers with each other.  How cute is that? :)

The great thing about Hot Dots, is they are self checking because of the lights and sounds.  Students are having fun, and learning.  This has been by far their favorite center the past two weeks.  What makes it better is they come in a variety of skill levels.  If you've not had a chance to check them out, you should.  Here's the website, or if you want to see what other Hot Dot products are available, click HERE.

 Now, some lucky person can win their own set of Hot Dots (your choice) and pen for their classroom.
Here are the rules to enter:
1) Must be 18 years old or older
2) Must be a US/Canada resident
3) Prize will be sent in mail by Educational Insights

To Enter, please follow the rules set forth by Rafflecopter.  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, September 24, 2012

Just a quick freebie

Hey guys!!  I just wanted to post a quick freebie for you to grab.  Then I'm off to veg on the couch for my Monday night show---they are all back on!!!  I'm pretty sure that Mike and Molly, Two Broke Girls and How I Met Your Mother are all on tonight!! WOOT WOOT!! I'm usually not much of a TV chic---but LOVE me some comedies---and even better, quiet time with the hubby as soon as we put my two sweeties in bed!

Okay---this week our phonics focus in Treasures is r blends.  I am not a fan of this currently because I think it's WAY. TOO. EARLY, but it is what it is...so....here's what I came up with.  I started later in the year with the phonics sound sorts when I was posting them last year....so I hadn't made anything for the first several units.  Here  ya go!

This is for Cr- and Tr-. 

*Note there are two pages of pictures to sort on one sheet (less paper) :)  
Pictures are crab, crib, tree, trunk, crow, trumpet, train, triangle, crown, crayon,
 tractor, and crossing guard.  (Pictures were all made using microsoft clipart.)

Also, you asked, I listened.  I hope to be posting this tonight or tomorrow.
Have a happy day!!  We're already one day down this week!! WOOT WOOT! :)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

My Week

Wow! Here it is Sunday evening, and I'm still trying to recover from my week.  Is it always this crazy at the beginning and I just don't remember?  I am POOPED!

I have to remember to take pictures this week--pictures of everything.  I haven't even given you all a classroom tour, but it looks just the same as last year (Because I'm cheap, and lazy HAHA).

I did manage to take a few pictures of some of the things we worked on this past week.
We've been working on our "jobs" unit for a couple weeks now, and the Community Helpers packet from Journey of a Substitute Teacher saved me on this.  I projected the story, and the charts to the board.  We read it, discussed it.  We choose two jobs to write about.  Here are a few pictures.

Projected onto my white board
Here it is for student work.

My grade level also splits for intervention or what they call "Wow" time.  My intervention group was working on sequencing.  Last Sunday, I went to go work on some lesson plans, and make my own product for The Little Old Lady That Swallowed Some Leaves, but I had remembered that Mary from Sharing Kindergarten had posted a set over the summer.  Saved once again!

I read the story The Little Old Lady that Swallowed a Fly.  We discussed it and sequenced it together.  Then we worked on The Little Old Lady That Swallowed Some Leaves throughout the week.  We sequenced it, did a listening activity, and they we finally wrote about it.  All these activities are in the packet.

 This was my model---and that is supposed to be a cupcake (oohh but I didn't finish my work--it's a cupcake with sprinkles!)
 I loved this one.  It was a scarecrow with a button.  Then he went on to say that it was a button that went ARRH  ARRH---in his crow voice! HAHAH
 How cute is this one?  A snowman with a hat! :)

For some of our workstations this week, the students were on the computers.
 The website they were playing on was Cookie.

 They played beginning sound bingo  One student was the caller. The others had game boards in which they were trying to match the letter to the beginning sound the caller said.  This is also self checking as the letter is on the calling card. We used ones cubes for our place makers. 
You can find that activity HERE

 We wrote our spelling words/sight words in pyramid form.  Then they played with Hot Dots to match letter sounds.

This rotten kiddo (my own son who just loves showing off his silly smiles while the teeth are growing in haha) was working on another center in our room.  Here the students are to grab a bag, which I've numbered 1-6 (that's all that we worked on).  They take a bag back to their seats, unscramble the sentence (Sentences match the picture on the recording sheet, and are color coded to match the color words.).  They seemed to enjoy helping each other out on this one.  There are several recording sheets for this center available for free HERE, so you can differentiate accordingly. 

I have other great products (from teachers who have SAVED me) that I will be sharing soon.  I'm so thankful to TpT---it really helps me not stress out---and if you read the last post, you know I don't need that! HAHA!!  

That brings me to this week.  You all know by now, I'm sure---as much as I complain about it lol-- that I haven't had my math booklets that go with Envision Math.  I am supplementing the online edition with what I have made.  I just posted an Introduction to Subtraction today.  You can click on the picture below to head over to check it out.

 Here is a sample worksheet from the packet.  Click below and you can grab you a free copy.

I also have several kiddos who are below grade level in my classroom.  They are struggling with their Kindergarten Treasure sight words, among other skills.  I put this packet together in hopes of reviewing those skills with them. You can head over by clicking on the picture below.

Here is a sample from the packet. Click below for your own practice page.  Students will cut the words, glue them in order.  Then they will copy the sentence and draw a picture to match.

This activity is similar to my Read! Draw! Write! 

If interested in seeing more about this product, you can click HERE for a free page from the packet.

In other news....I shared this on FB today, but my daughter deserves a shout out here too.  I gave her the choice today to either dust, or finish my math packet for this week......Apparently she's been watching me more than I realize and has picked up some skills of her own (oh and she totally went straight for the computer). She made her OWN product!! ;)  (By the way...she's 10--check it out by clicking on her image)

I hope you all have a GREAT week!!!  I hope to be posting more pictures of other great things I am using in my room so stay tuned!!!  For now, I'm going to head off and grab me a plate of these, and a glass of milk!! 

Surprise---they aren't cupcakes this time!!  Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cookies!!  YUM!!  
Yes, I do have the recipe to share....you can click HERE to grab it!  Looks like there are a few penguin freebies at that link with the recipe too! :)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

MIA---but I have a freebie! :)

Hey guys!  I'm so sorry that I've been MIA lately.  The best way to describe it is----DRAINED!  I love(d) my job, but there's some uncertainties that are overwhelming me this year.  I won't get into all of it, but it really stinks when what you thought you've been doing right---for FOURTEEN years, you find out just how wrong you are!  What do I know?  I'm just a teacher...I don't make the big bucks.  I don't get to dish out the orders.  Ooops--I said I wasn't going to get into it, but UGH!  Since when did it quit being about the kids?  Isn't school supposed to be a place they want to come back too???? What happened to the fun of guided reading and workstations?  That's my thing peeps!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE teaching phonics/reading/strategies.  Again, what do I know---I'm just a little person. 

The thing is....I take all this home with me.  I love(d) my job so much that I spend BOOKOO (is that a word--urban dictionary thinks it is, so we'll go with it!) hours on making things for my classroom, trying to do what's best for my students.  Then I stress out because I am having a hard time doing what I think is best for my students vs. what I'm told is best.  Let me tell ya friends....there is such a thing as Stress Induced High Blood Pressure.  I'm living it right now....so I'm not usually one to voice my own concerns on here regarding health---BUT, I'm a believer in the power of prayer--so if you are too, I wouldn't mind you throwing my name out there in your next prayer to the Man above. 

Anyways.....let's get to the good stuff, and I'll *try* to maintain a Positive Polly attitude that you all have come to know and love!!  Yes, you love me!! I know ya do! :) 

I was going to do a classroom tour for ya all, but here we are 18 days into my school year....I'm too pooped to video at the end of the day (and my, oh my, you would NOT want to see my classroom after a day of my little ones).  I was going to post pictures of our centers that we are working on, but I'll save that one for the next time.  SOOO----how about I share with you a new math packet?

I made a math packet that went with Envision Math a few weeks ago. 
Yes, I see that it says Envisions...forgive me. You can click the link below to grab that freebie.

Tonight I finished up Unit 3---or we'll just call it an Introduction to Addition.  A few of you asked if I was making anymore to go with the series.  So, I did, and I posted it tonight in the store for $2.  There's about 16 pages of material (Work/Centers/Recording Sheets) in the packet.  
You can click the picture to head over to TpT to see some preview pages.  
You can click HERE for a free sample of the product.

One more thing I wanted to share with you.  Our phonics skill this week is short i.  Last year I started making phonics pages around November, so I missed out on doing this routine with the first part of the reading series.  Below is a picture of a short i page.  Students will name the picture, fill in the word shape, and then write the word on the lines provided.  **The word kick is in the reading books, and we also have added the sound 'ck' to our phonics dance.  For those of you that do Wilson's Fundations, it will help in that regard too.

Click the picture for your "morning work." :)

Hope you enjoyed a few of the freebies.  If so, I'd love some love left below!!  :) 
 Happy almost Hump Day! :)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Number Order

 WOW!  What a long day after being off.  I tell ya, IF I Ruled the world (hmm, I said that yesterday too, didn't I?  I must really want to be in charge...I mean, it would be such a better place lol)---anyway, if I ruled the world....all schools would have AIR CONDITIONING!!!!  My building kinda did (though my room never felt cool), but it's BROKEN!! We don't have windows that open either---it was TORTURE I tell you.  My little box fan that I keep in my room only blows around my hot air.  I think I was sweating in areas I didn't know I could sweat (TMI?  Sorry, just trying to get you to realize how hot it was!)  My poor firsties just kinda dropped like flies after lunch today.  They were sweating and even going outside for a quick little afternoon break didn't help.  I live in Ohio people---it's not supposed to be this hot now!!  I'm supposed to be getting fog delays, and thunderstorms---and *fingers crossed that I actually get some SNOW this year*

On the bright side, I told them----"Shhh...if you're really quiet it won't be as hot!"  :)  YEAH, it worked---they were a little calmer today.  Here's to hoping they keep it up and it wasn't just heat and exhaustion from their 4 day weekend!

SOOO...you know yesterday how I vented about not having my little math booklets and such?  I'm still using the Envisions Math.  I do enjoy the videos that go along with the lessons...and we still get to use them.  But, lookie what I made.

Yep, practice work/games that resemble the Envisions booklet.  I tried to create my own practice sheets with resources I had previously made, and I added a few worksheets to go along with it.  Yeah, it's not cutesy and colorful---but it will work!!   (You can click the picture to grab you some work---even though it's geared towards Envisions---it's just number order and sequence work, so anyone could use it!) ;)

And I'm going to throw this out there again....if you haven't had a chance to check out my Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy Math Activities...you must!!  They are, in my opinion, one of my best products I've made.

So, do you think that MY Envision Math Practice will work?  Let me know what ya think. 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Back to School Blues....

There's something bittersweet about these long weekends.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE being able to recover from what has seemed like the longest school year ever already. However, I feel like I had my kiddos somewhat on task Thursday (Yes, Thursday---my kiddos had a 4 day week due to an inservice for us on Friday---that only makes it worse) and now, after this long weekend, I'm back to square one.  On the plus side, there's only 4 days this week---and then I get to get them back on task all over again!!  YAY! Ohh, this isn't sarcasm in my voice (*typing*), it's just honesty.

I honestly love my job---I really do---but I feel like I'm faced with some big challenges this year, and I am coming home EXHAUSTED! So, this weekend was really nice to spend some time camping, walking on trails, resting, relaxing, and trying to not think about school......but here it is Monday night, and I have no lesson plans!  EGADS!! Some days you just wing it! LOL!

I've been thinking about the ability of my kiddos.  I have one (only one) who is about an end of 2nd/beginning 3rd grade reading level, and some (a handful) who don't recognize their alphabet letters.  Talk about a HUGE gap.  The majority are just a tad behind due to the summer slide, so I think they will catch up.  Twenty-three kiddos, no aides, no volunteers, and 2 days without breaks (no specials for the kiddos) equals a lot of prayers please.  I can do this---but I'm so used to having an aide for 30 minutes (Hey, that 30 minutes adds up and is very helpful!)  I know some have a lot more than that in their classrooms, so I will just hush! :)

Then, there's our math series.  We use Envisions Math, but the district didn't get us the little work booklets this year.   Sure, we can use manipulatives, and do the work on the board/Mimio, but they have to use pencil and paper work somewhere----but when you go to print it to the copier, WOW, so tiny.  Sooo----I guess that means pulling what resources I have purchased and/or made. 

Okay, I'm just complaining I know----but if people just asked me how to do things!! HAHA!!  Yes, if I were in charge of the world-------

Now, where was I?  Ohh, let's just forget that.....how about some freebies for morning work/homework/practice? 

Here we go--as I said, I was thinking about the ability of my kiddos.  Do you remember this that I made earlier this summer?

My students will be doing this as a small group activity/workstation, but I also wanted something independent so I could monitor their learning.  I felt that it was too much to have a recording sheet for them right now, so I came up with a cut and paste sort. 
Then that sort led to me to the ones that didn't recognize their capital and lowercase letters.
Since I was on a roll (and I don't have math worksheets), that led me to the first part of our math lessons...spatial recognition and number correspondence.  
You can click **HERE** to get the worksheets. 

One thing before I sign off----am I the only one that wonders what the world would be like if I were in charge?  Please tell me I'm not! :)

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