Saturday, February 23, 2013

I Love Dr. Seuss!

Read Across America Day is one of my favorite days as a teacher.  We wear pajamas and read all day.  How cool is THAT?!  Plus, I adore Dr. Seuss.  My classroom is Dr. Seuss themed.  I own most of the Dr. Seuss books.  I have his quotes all over my computer monitor to give me inspiration.  The man was amazing!

I was choosing my activities for this next week, and I found a really cool passport on  The only problem with that passport is that I couldn't choose the books we were reading that day.  Plus, I wanted an activity for my students to respond to each of the books.  We are working on feeling comfortable spelling words on our own, so I wanted them to write their own sentences.  So, I made my own version.

I am really super excited to try it out.  I think my students are really going to like it.

The pages are formatted to be copied double sided and stapled down the middle.

These are the passport stamps for the "book stamp" space.  I made two pages of different book covers.

If you want your own Read Across America passport, click here.  I hope you have fun celebrating the joy of reading!

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Don't forget about my giveaway!
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Friday, February 22, 2013

Focus on Vocabulary

Sometimes I forget my kindergarteners are five and six (other times I do not <smile>), so I forget they don't always know the meaning of words I feel are simple.  For example, I was telling one of my students that I have donated my hair to Locks of Love.  Her mom looks at her and said, "Do you know what the word donate means?"  I thought, "Of course she knows what that word means."  My sweet little student shook her head no, and it was an "Aha" moment for me.

Needless to say, I have been very aware of my word choice and vocabulary instruction since that moment.  With all of the focus on tier two and tier three words in common core instruction, my teacher friend and I worked through an idea of a vocabulary journal.  It's a work in progress, but I completed two different versions this weekend.  One includes a space for a sentence, and one does not.

Click here for the file.

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Sunday, February 17, 2013

U.S. Symbols Common Core Unit

Oh, man!  I have been working my tail off trying to get this unit done.  We've been studying George Washington and Abraham Lincoln in social studies.  Now, it's time to move on to U.S. Symbols.  I have a hard time finding age appropriate information and explanations of the symbols.  The books are WAY too long and detailed for my little kinders' brains.  So, I made my own unit.  :)

I focused on seven main symbols the White House, the Statue of Liberty, Mount Rushmore, the American flag, the Liberty Bell, the U.S. Capitol building, and the bald eagle.

This unit has little readers, writing papers (rough and final draft), a matching game (with self-check answer key and recording sheet), anchor charts, and a summative assessment.  I am really happy with the finished product!  Here are just some of the pages.

 Classroom Freebies Manic Monday
In honor of President's Day, click here for a FREE White House reader.  Woohoo!
If you are interested in the pack, visit my Teachers Pay Teachers store.
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Have a fantastic week!  :)

Friday, February 15, 2013

Black History Easy Readers

If you follow my blog, you know that I LOVE little readers.  I recently found new clip art to celebrate Black History month.  I have to admit that it is always so interesting to learn about the amazing people that helped shape our country.

As I've said before, my students love these as well.  My room is absolutely silent while they are illustrating.  Last week, we worked on George Washington and Abraham Lincoln (which are part of my social studies readers).

Click here to download a free copy of the Rosa Parks easy reader.

Freebie Fridays

If you are interested in the entire file, please visit my Teachers Pay Teachers or my Teacher's Notebook store.

I'm also having a giveaway for a $25 Teachers Pay Teachers giveaway.  Hooray!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have a GREAT weekend!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Abraham Lincoln and Spelling Practice Bellwork

So, it's not Abraham completing spelling bellwork, but those two things are on my mind.  We worked on Abraham Lincoln this last week.  He is such a neat president!  Last year, I read Chasing Lincoln's Killer to my fourth grade students.  I had to leave out several bloody parts (like when chunks of his brain were leaking out of the bullet hole in his head), but it was a REALLY good book.  I highly recommend reading it.  I learned a TON!  Anyway, so we made our Lincoln little books and wrote our Lincoln sentences.  We practiced the sentences for two days, and then we completed the craft.  What fun! 

All of those activities are available in my common core, read across the curriculum, handy dandy, all-in-one unit that is available in my Teachers Pay Teachers store and in my Teacher's Notebook store.

I am always looking for fun ways to help my students practice spelling.  I have my students write rainbow words, complete word searches, find their spelling words and graph them, and we use them as "passwords" to enter our classroom.  Here is a freebie that I made last week to help kiddos practice spelling.

I like to have options, so there are pages with and without a name line so you can make double sided copies.  There are a few different variations on the sheet as well.  
Click here for the freebie, and have a GREAT week!
Classroom Freebies Manic Monday
 I'm also having a giveaway!  Hooray!!

Friday, February 8, 2013

I Love Little Readers!

Happy Friday!

I just love little easy reader books.  As a parent (before I was a teacher), I never fully appreciated the power of these books in terms of helping kiddos learn to read.  I always struggled to find low reading level non-fiction.  The kids would lose interest halfway through because there was so much information thrown at them.  That's when I had an idea.

We use little reader books in my classroom each week.  Our writing is centered around a non-fiction topic, so it is easy to bring science into the classroom.  We start Monday by reading through the little book and illustrating to match the sentences (which is a GREAT time to stop a kid trying to draw a robot when we are learning about penguins).  We read the books all week to increase fluency, and they take the little books home on Friday.  I tell parents to keep the little books and add them to their home library.  They are quite popular in our classroom library!

So, needless to say, I love my little books!  :)  On to the freebie!  Since so many people are studying Arctic animals right now, I thought it would be appropriate to offer a penguin little book freebie.  Two pages back to back equal one book.  I use a long arm stapler to make them look extra nice.  Just copy, staple, cut, and you are done.  They really are super easy to make.

Click here for your free penguin reader.
Freebie Fridays

If you are interested in the entire file (with 30 little books), please visit my TpT store or my Teacher's Notebook store.  I also made little readers for social studies and Black History month.

Also, I am currently working on a second round of social studies readers.  Be sure to follow me on my blog or through one of my stores so you are the first to know when they are available.  Plus, I'm sure to have a freebie reader the new set.  :)

Have a fantastic weekend!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

My Newest Endeavor... the Getting Ready for Kindergarten Pack!

I am already looking to get ready for next year's kinders.  I know... we're in third quarter.  Perhaps I am nuts.  I am just a planner.  :)

I am so lucky to work at a school that is in high demand.  We had open enrollment begin on Friday, and there were eighty families waiting outside (some were waiting over 24 hours) to enroll their children.  Does this swell our egos?  Well, a bit... but we have worked very hard to build a strong reputation in our community.  We also have strong parent involvement, which is an amazing blessing.

With that being said, I decided to create a packet to help parents get their child ready for kindergarten.  We have kindergarten readiness testing in the spring.  In years past, we would hand the parent a slip that wasn't very detailed in the areas their child needed help with.  Now, we are planning on e-mailing this packet to parents so they can get their child "kindergarten ready".  The reason we are e-mailing the PDF is there are fabulous links to activities, printables, and videos.  Plus, it's easier to e-mail instead of making copies.  :) 

I am also lucky to work on a team that was willing to read through the packet, and help me revise and add activities to make the packet even better.  I am thankful to those lovely ladies as well.

I have included several fun games, activities, printables, and links for parents to help their child be ready for kindergarten.  There are activities in shape recognition, number recognition, letter recognition, and first sound fluency.  Can you imagine a class that understands the concept of first sound fluency for the first set of DIBELS tests?  Oh, my word!  We're hoping it will help all of our kiddos be green the first time around. 

Check out my Teachers Pay Teachers store or my Teacher's Notebook store to take a look at this helpful product.
In honor of this great unveiling, here is a freebie that is part of the first sound fluency pack.  I hope you find it helpful (although it is a small part of this awesome pack).
This post was featured on two of my favorite blogs, Freebielicious and Classroom Freebies!

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Friday, February 1, 2013

Magnifying Glass Valentines {FREEBIE}

I saw this awesome idea online to use a magnifying glass on a valentine.  I am always looking for fun ways to celebrate this fun day, so I thought I would make a teacher version.  The original version said, "Hey valentine, I've had my eye on you."  I thought that would be a little scary for a kindergartener to receive from a teacher, so I made it kid friendly by saying, "You are Lookin' Good!"

Just buy yourself some magnifying glasses (6 for $0.96 at Wal-Mart in the Valentine's Day section, or also at Dollar Tree in the party supplies), make two slits, and you are all set to go.
Download this freebie here.
I was super excited to see a sale on Teachers Pay Teachers.  Everything in my store is 20% off on February 3rd, so go nuts!  Make sure to use the promo code "SUPER" on February 3rd.

Freebie Fridays