Friday, July 25, 2014

Listen Up Listening Station {Donors Choose}

Happy Friday! Well blog friends this is my last Friday off before school starts. :( Next week I have two days of PD and two days off (that will likely be work days in my classroom if I don't get it ready before then). And then students come for registration on Friday and the first full day is August 4th. Yikes!! Where did the summer go??

I wanted to pop in today to share with you about my first Donors Choose Project that I did this past school year. My Donors Choose project was for a listening station from Lakeshore Learning. I did not have a listening station and wanted one to use for Daily 5/center time.  I was beyond excited when this project got funded! My students were thrilled to finally be able to listen to reading during our Daily 5 and center time. I wanted something more though than them just listening to our weekly stories. So when I got to looking for other activities to do with the listening station I found that the oh so sweet and talented Deedee Wills had listening station packs!!!! Is there anything she doesn't have!? LOVE her and LOVE her stuff!! So I purchased several of her packs {well let's be honest most all of them. ha!} and like a mad woman went on the hunt for the Scholastic books and CDs that went with her packs. I had a really awesome group this past year that loved ordering from Scholastic. I was able to get alot of the book/cd packs with Scholastic points. YAY! Even better!!

If you don't have her listen up listening station packs you are missing out... these are seriously amazing!! What I love is that with these packs I now have activities to hold the kids accountable for their listening so I can check for comprehension and make sure they aren't just pretending to listen. ha 

Here are two cuties listening to "Bug Patrol." You can see Deedee's sheets on the table that the kids will complete after listening to the story. Love!

I have my listening station set up at a round table. I have four head phones, so four students can be here at once. 

In the tubs are my listening station book packs. I printed Deedee's sheets from her listen up packs and then made copies of those sheets. I put the copied sheets and the corresponding books each in a large ziploc bag. Then each week I can grab the pack I want kids to listen to and put the books and sheets in a center tub. If they are at the listening station they will grab what they need from the tub {book and corresponding sheet} and take it to the listening station. I already have the CD inserted for them... so all they need to do is press play.

The containers I store them in are from the Dollar Tree and the cutie chevron labels are from Creative Teaching Press

Here is a closer look at the listening station from Lakeshore Learning that I got through Donors Choose.

 I didn't get my listening station until around late February last school year, so I'm really looking forward to using it along with these packs from the start of the year! 

You can check out how Deedee has her listening station set up by clicking HERE. And you can go HERE to check out her awesome listen up listening station packs in her tpt store. Go get you some.. NOW! I promise you will love them! :)


Speaking of Donors Choose.......

I just posted a new project to Donors Choose and it went live last night!! I will have 24-25 students this upcoming year. Boy...that's a big group!! I would love to add more technology into our daily routine because many of them do not have access to technology at home and the technology at our school is very limited {especially in my little classroom}. If you would like to check out and read more about my project you can check it out HERE! For the next 7 days when someone donates to my project and enters the code INSPIRE, Donors Choose will match that donation dollar for dollar!!!!!!

Have a fabulous weekend blog friends!!! :)

Monday, July 21, 2014

Flash Freebie {Of Your Choice!!}

Happy Monday! It's my last full week of summer break. Sad times!! I thought it would be fun to do a little flash freebie today...All you have to do is follow my new oh so lonely facebook page, follow this little blog, follow me on Instagram, pinterest, and my tpt store and the flash freebie is yours!! Easy peasy, lemon squeezy?? Once you have followed me in all of those places email me at letting me know that you have done so and what name you follow under. And then let me know which item you would like {any item in my tpt shop $5.00 or under} as your freebie. But do it fast....This offer is good until 10:00 pm central standard time tonight! 

Don't forget about these little packs that are perfect for back to school!

In other news I will be joining some blog friends for a back to school blog hop and giveaway! Check back soon for all the details.. you don't want to miss out!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A Facebook Fan Page :)

Hi blog friends! I finally bit the bullet and made me a facebook page for this little blog. I don't know why I'm just now getting around to doing this! I would be super duper thrilled if you would come show my page a little love and like it. This way you can stay up-to-date with my first grade happenings, freebies, giveaways, as well as when I could use some extra eyes to edit my tpt files that will also be posted here! :) You can visit my page HERE! :)

When I reach (if I even can! haha) 100 followers I will do a giveaway! :)

Facebook shares have pushed its value over $100billion market value ...

Took this cutie patootie for a happy meal today. We're wild like that! ha 

Photo: Took this little booger for some chicken nuggets today! Haha can you say spoiled rotten!? ��

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

How Do You Manage Cooperative Group Work?

Hi blog friends! Today I wanted to share with you a litle bit about how I use cooperative group work in my classroom. I try to incorporate as much group work as possible into my daily routine and lessons. Why do I do this? Here are some reasons why: Cooperative group work can be an effective method to motivate students, encourage active learning, help develop key critical thinking skills, improve communication and enhance decision making skills. Group work also helps students take responsibility for their learning. Students can also learn a great deal from their classmates through cooperative group work. 

Without careful planning and facilitation, group work can be very frustating to both the students and the teacher. I want to be sure that my students are truly benefiting from working cooperatively in groups and not wasting our precious time. In order to do this you must manage, manage, manage! In the past I have given each group member a job. Job examples: time keeper, team leader/captain, reader, problem solver, etc. Another way of managing my group is group/table points. When groups are working together, quite, caught being good, etc. they get a point. At the end of the week the group who has the most points gets a prize. Prizes are anything from a trip to the treasure box, a Hawk Buck {this is school money}, monkey tokens {this is classroom money}, a popsicle, homework pass, etc. This works great and students really try to earn points for their groups. 

I wanted to change up my job titles and I thought  it would be a fun idea to tie in a community helper theme to help manage my cooperative groups. Since community helpers all have a specific job that they do, this will be perfect for my students to understand the importance of doing their job and helping their group (city). These are all community helper jobs that most students should be familiar with. I have turned these ideas into a little pack. I can't wait to use this pack with my firsties!  

This pack includes management tips, job roles for 3, 4, 5, or 6 students {depending on how you group them}, job necklace templates, job application, group rules/expectations poster, rubrics, and a management display for group points. Everything in this little pack will help get the new year started off right when it comes to cooperative group work! :)

Isn't that melonheadz clipart super cute!?

Job necklaces-- each group member will have a specific job. The necklace has the job on the front and their duties on the back. 

Cards to make job necklaces--- these are for a group of 6. There are additional cards for groups of 5, 4, or 3. 

Rubrics... this is for groups of 6. There are additional rubrics in this pack for groups of 5, 4, and 3.

If you are interested in this pack you can check it out in my little TPT shop by clicking the pic below! I would love to give a couple of these away. Leave me a comment sharing how you manage cooperative work in your classroom. I will randomly pic a few winners later. :)

Have a great Tuesday blog friends! 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Reading Street Spelling Printables...and a Freebie! :)

July, already!!?? Summer sure is flying by....I have one month left of summer break. What about you...when do you go back?

Last summer my district adopted a new reading series {Scott Foresman Reading Street}. I've been working on a few things for the new school year that I've had on my summer to-do list. I really need to get a hobby! ha  Anways, two of the projects I finished up last night and this morning and I wanted to do a little post about those.

The first project is simple spelling printables my students can use for word work. I wanted something that was the same each week so students could work on these independently and confidently. I have created spelling printables for units 1-5. Each unit is made up of 6 weeks. In this pack I have included a spelling word list and six printables for each week in the unit. You can get these packs seperate by the unit. Or I have bundled them together for a savings of $5. You can check the bundle out by clicking the pic below.

The next project was updating my spelling and high frequency word lists that I put in student binders for at home practice. I find it so much easier to only have to change out the word lists every 6 weeks. I simply copy the spelling and high frequency word lists back and front and slip the sheet into a sheet protector and put it in their binders. Easy peasy... and I don't have to worry about it for 6 more weeks.
 Last year I typed them up super fast and they were well, plain Jane. They served the purpose just fine! But I wanted to snazz them up just a bit. I have added these to my little tpt shop as a FREEBIE! :) 

Have a great rest of the week and a Happy 4th!!! :)

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Reading Street Interactive Reading Journal Printables

Hey, hey! Although it's summer break I can't seem to turn my teacher/school brain off. Does anyone else have this problem?? I have been working on a new project to supplement with our reading series. Last year, I used interactive journals for math and reading and me and my kiddos LOVED them! I wanted to do more with our reading series for this upcoming year... so I started working on a little project this week and I finished unit 1 today! Yay! 

The activities found in this pack are aligned to the 2013 Scott Foresman Reading Street text book series for First grade. These are fun and engaging activities to be used as a supplement to the reading series. Interactive reading journals are a wonderful, fun way to keep students engaged. These are a great resource for students to refer back to as a review throughout the year. Students collect learning throughout the year in their journals and they can be a great grading tool for you to use when filling out report cards. Interactive journals can also serve as a portfolio of student progress, growth and creativity.

This interactive journal printables pack is a supplement for Unit 1 Animals, Tame and Wild of the Scott Foresman Reading Street for First Grade series. The activities in this pack will help students practice and learn the following:
-high frequency words
-language arts
-close reading

The unit 1 pack includes two different covers {a girl and a boy} for the interactive student journal, as well as high frequency word lists. These will not be included in the other units as you will need to start out with them in unit 1. :) 

I will also be making interactive packs for units 2-5 and will post them as I get those finished. 

You can check this pack out HERE. :)

That's all I got for tonight! Have a great week! :)

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Sunday Smorgasboard: June 22, 2014

Happy Sunday! I'm linking up with the fabulous Michelle for a little Sunday Smorgasbord action. 


We recently went to Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge for a few days with Eric's family. Here are a few pics from our fun little getaway.



Earlier in the summer I talked Eric into coming to school to help me move my desk. I've taught six years and my desk has been in the same spot the whole time. It was there when I got the room and I just never moved it. Well I decided it was time for a change. Here is where we moved it. Please ignore the mound of stuff that is piled on top of it. I snapped the pic right after we moved it. 


I've been spending lots of time with this cutie baby. Love him big!

 Poor little booger has a cataract in his right eye. We had to make a trip to the vet recently.

And since we were in town I thought we would swing by school for a bit {or a few hours! ha} to do a few things. So we ran by McDonalds to grab a happy meal for Dexter :) and then headed to school. 

Dexter likes to help! ha


Here is some of the things I worked on while me and Dexter were at school.

New reading focus wall...I will attach the weekly skills, high frequency words, spelling words, etc. to the cut-outs on the board each week. My desk used to be right in front of this board. Since moving the desk, it has opend up a ton of space and new possibilities! 

closer look at the focus wall

You can get the polka dot party border and the jumbo bw designer cut-outs I used on the board from Creative Teaching Press!

For the header I attached bold brights 4" letters to 6" bw designer cut-outs both from Creative Teaching Press. I love how it turned out! :)

closer look at the guided reading tubs

You can get the monkeys and bold brights letters that I used for the tubs from Creative Teaching Press

Next year I plan on using Smart Cookie Math from Lucky to Be in First. Here is the display I made for that. Not completely finished with it...but it's a start!

I plan on using Jennifer Bates sight word superstars next year. This is the display I made for that. I used the shining stars bulletin board set from Creative Teaching Press for this display.


We have been enjoying the lake every chance we get! I love spending summer days with this guy! :)

Well that's all I got for this Sunday Smorgasbord post. Don't forget to link up with Michelle with your Sunday Smorgasbord! :)