Friday, December 30, 2011

Frames and Arrows and a SALE!

I've been flipping through my planning from last year and identifying areas that my kiddos had trouble with. One of those was completing frames and arrows diagrams. To help with this next year, I've done up this mini-pack. 
It comes with 2 centers. The first center focusing on counting forwards and backwards from 2, 3, 5 and 10 with frames and arrows diagrams.
The second center focuses on frames and arrows with 2 rules. This one requires students to use their mental computation strategies to add 6, subtract 4 for example.
Both centers come with a recording sheet like the one below and a student direction card.
You can grab it from Teachers Notebook and TpT. The first 3 people to comment with their email address will also get a FREE copy!

Remember to enter the giveaway that I and 11 other sellers have contributed to!

Also, both my TpT and Teachers Notebook stores are on sale until January 1st! Both shops have everything 20% off!

 Graphics by Scrappin Doodles

Saturday, December 24, 2011

20 Literacy Centers, craftivities, booklets

I finally got this pack finished and uploaded to TpT. It's amazing how little gets done in a week when you sleep in every day!

This pack has 20 Winter themed literacy centers, activities, craftivities and foldable books for your kiddos. Click on the pics to check it out at TpT.

I couldn't get it to load to Teachers Notebook, so I'll work on getting it on there later (may not be until after Christmas). It's 20% off for the next few days. It includes templates for these little cuties:
 This is my rushed version of the Fact and Opinion Penguin - I'm sure your kiddos could do better and make it more colourful.
 Descriptive writing Penguin.

Well, it's Christmas Eve. I've got lots to do so probably won't be back on until after Christmas. We'll be having breakie at home (always so big I feel like a nap afterwards), late lunch at mum's and then all my nephews are coming over for a swim in the afternoon. Should be a lovely day spent with family. I hope you have a wonderful day, filled with love, laughter and lots of food (surely that's one of the best things about Christmas!!). 


Friday, December 23, 2011

Is 12 too young for a phone + craftivity

I can't believe tomorrow is Christmas Eve! I'm glad to say I've gotten all my Christmas shopping done (I only started on Tuesday!). I'm a little nervous though... I got my son a mobile phone. He is 12 and in January will start high school. He'll be catching the bus and might be late some days because he is interested in going to the school's Homework Club so he doesn't have to bring homework home. Soooo... I thought he should have one so I know where he is and so he can contact me if he needs to. Is he too young to have one? I'd love to know what you think.

I'm also just about to list a new pack I have made on TpT. It has 20 Winter themed literacy centers and activities. It also comes with 2 craftivities and 2 student foldable booklets

Here's a sneak peek:
Penguin descriptive writing

So, is 12 too young for a mobile phone?  Have you experienced any problems with your kids and their phones? Bills, bullying or anything else??

Monday, December 19, 2011

Flip the Sound Accuracy CAFE strategy + FREEBIE

I felt really bad about 'wasting' a whole week camping so I decided to do up a pack on the Flip the Sound strategy. I found this was a strategy that many of my students this year had to work on.
So, seeing as though I did not want to brave the shops on a weekend this close to Christmas, I made up this pack! It's too late for them since I start with a new bunch next year, but my students next year will benefit!
I thought having the sounds on display would help them with remember the sounds so I made up a display wall header and cards. These are some of the cards showing two sounds these letters can make:
I also made 2 charts/posters to have at the guided reading table. This is the second one. The other covers the vowels and y.
I also made up a flip book for students to record words that have the spelling/sound.
Here's one I put together for the instruction page:
I have the writing down the bottom so students can flick through easily to find the page they need and so it doesn't get cut off when they staple the book together.
It also includes 2 blank templates.
It covers 12 letters/letter combinations (short and long a, e, i, o, u, the sounds of y, c, g, ch, oo, ea, and ow. 
If you're interested, you can grab it on TpT and Teachers Notebook on sale for the next couple of days. TpT also has a preview.
 Now, the freebie. I found this song on ProTeacher. 
Please note that I DID NOT write this song. The song was posted on Proteacher at this link by sn02py. Thanks for sharing it - I'm not creative enough to come up with one!

Fonts: CK Handprint

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Pinterest Christmas Craft

Well I'm back from my week of camping! We had a GREAT time, but I can't help but feel like I've wasted a week of my holidays! I ALWAYS feel like that! We've only got a month before we start to go back in! EEKK! Then the new kids! I totally don't feel ready to tackle a new bunch of kids! 

Before the end of the school year, we had a 'step-up day' so the Grade 1's came up to Grade 2 for an hour in the afternoon. Now, my school was not that organised so I didn't even have MY kids for next year... 1A simply went up to 2A, 1B to 2B etc. (I know, why  have a day like this if the the kids don't even meet their new teacher, know what room they're in etc, for teachers to see their kids, perhaps get a writing sample, see how they follow instructions etc). OH. MY. LORD. Talk about not being able to sit still, follow simple instructions, stay focused for even 1 minute, calling out, the constant asking to go to the bathroom - they were only with me for 1 hour and boy was that enough!! They weren't THAT bad, though it might sound like it, but I forget how young they are at the start of the year, and how much time we spent on routines, procedures and behavioural expectations to get them to the way they are at the end of the year. It didn't just magically happen and they were this great bunch of kids who knew that we aren't allowed to HUM, TAP or WHISTLE! GGRRRR! I think teachers need the break before a new school year returns just to get the energy back to go through it ALL OVER AGAIN!!

Now, to my post heading.. during the last week we made these great reindeer Christmas decorations - EASY PEASY to  make! Because it was a HOT day, the paint took hardly any time to dry so it was a very quick activity. I know you've seen it - it's alllll over Pinterest!

Don't you LOVE the red and green eyes-  CRAZY RUDOLF!

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Reading Goals

5 days to go until the end of the year! I absolutely can't wait! Sure I'll miss my kids, but boy am I exhausted! Sorry for the lack of posting in recent weeks but I've been coming home and collapsing!

Here is something I've been doing the last term with my class. At my school, we are required to set individual reading goals for each of our students every five weeks. Thank you CAFE and conferencing for making this easy to do! (The time consuming part is having the beginning data and ending data in order to show growth, or lack thereof, every five weeks to show the powers that be before amending the goals/setting new ones). This is how I've displayed my goals for each student (another requirement).
It's on a window so you can see the blu-tac sticking the construction paper to the window! I don't have that much wall space - two sides of my room are completely covered in windows and one more has one of those concertina doors across the whole length of it so it can't be used for anything :( It's actually a shame to cover them up because when you look out my windows you see our local forest less than 20m away! It's a great view!

So anyway, each of my kiddos have a leaf with their reading goal on it (e.g. summarising texts without retelling, using a particular decoding strategy, finding the main idea etc).

I then end up grouping kids together that have similiar goals and meeting with them (even though they might be at different reading levels) during the time I usually do guided reading. I LOVE it! I end up planning a series of lessons that focus on the goal  and meeting with just the kids that have that goal. I set aside two days a week to meet with Goal Groups rather than levelled groups. I've found this really beneficial and the kids have come a long way.

I'm looking at changing it for next year... perhaps a Pot of Goals! and each of the goals are written on a gold coin... not feeling it. Does anyone have any other ideas??

Also, are you looking for some great Christmas activities? Amy at The Land of Second Grade is having a giveaway of two of her Christmas products. Be sure to head on over! It's being drawn Sunday.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Christmas Fry's Sight Words games

I've finished uploading the second and third game in my Christmas themed Fry's sight word phrases board games! They use Fry's sight word phrases Level 1, 2 and 3 (the first 300).

Each game has 4 sets of cards, with 25 cards in each set (100 cards, using 100 sight word phrases). You only need one set per game, so just swap over the cards and you have a new game or print out a game board and a different set of cards for different groups of kids! You can use the cards in their sets or mix and match according to the needs of your students. Easy to differentiate! I like keeping the same board, and just change the cards, so that it looks like everyone is playing the same game, even if they are at a different level. 
The first game, Pack the Sleigh, I've already written about here. In this game, students are trying to be the first player to get from Santa's Workshop to the Sleigh - the first to get there (pack the sleigh) wins! This game uses Fry's 1s 100 sight word phrases.
For the second game, Here Comes Santa, Santa is trying to find his way to the home, filling stockings along the way! This game uses the 2nd 100 phrases.
The third game, Night Before Christmas, has Santa making his way from the chimney to the Christmas tree. It uses the 3rd 100 sight word phrases.
With the 3 games, there are 12 sets of 25 sight word phrases for your kiddos to practise!

BONUS: Each game also comes with cards to use for BANG! type games.

I'm having a 20% off sale running for a couple of days so there's no better time to pick up these games. Don't forget you can also save an extra 10% using code CMS28 on Cyber Monday! If you're like me, you'll be stacking up your shopping cart so it's ready to be put through on Monday!

The games use the awesome graphics from Scrappin Doodles

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Freebie: 12 Days to Holidays Count Down

I saw this idea on someones blog and absolutely had to do it with my kiddos this year! I've made up these cards - one for each day of school remaining before we are finished for the year! Seriously, I CAN. NOT. WAIT. for this year to be over! I am buggered!

So, I've put one of these cards into one of 12 numbered balloons. Each afternoon, we pop the next balloon to see what our special treat or activity is for the next day. I started it today, and the kids just LOVE it!

If I had my kiddos again AFTER Christmas, I would pin up each days card with a photo of us doing the activity. It would make a really cute display! But since I'm in the middle of packing up my class for the year, that is just NOT going to happen!
I think I'm counting down more than the kids! To download, just click on the pics!

NOTE: 3 days to go. The 'special surprise' is a big, long bubble wand that I get from Big W for $1 each. Day 3 is also our 'party day' when I give out presents to the kids (since most don't come to school during the last 2 days of school for clean up) so the bubble wand forms part of their present. I also give them a new book or two each, pencils, bookmarks and a 2012 calendar that has a poem and pictures of our year together on it (printed and laminated).  

If this was your idea that I stole, thanks for sharing! And also let me know so I can provide a link back to your blog and give credit!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sight Word Phrases - Christmas Theme

I've just uploaded a new item to TpT and Teachers Notebook. It's called Pack the Sleigh. It is a game for students to practice and consolidate sight words using Fry's sight word phrases level 1, groups 1-4. 

There are 4 sets of cards, with 25 cards in each set. You only need one set per game, so just swap over the cards and you have a new game or print out a game board and a different set of cards for different groups of kids! You can use the cards in their sets or mix and match according to the needs of your students. Easy to differentiate! I like keeping the same board, and just change the cards, so that it looks like everyone is playing the same game, even if they are at a different level.

This game is played the same way as my Crow Crisis game for r-controlled vowels and my FREE Planet Hop board game for the oi/oy sound. I like using the same format so I'm not wasting time teaching my kiddos how to play new games all the time. I can also use the same board, and just swap the cards out, to play games for other concepts in math, for example.
In this game, students are trying to be the first player to get from Santa's Workshop to the Sleigh - the first to get there (pack the sleigh) wins! But don't stop to pat the reindeer, or you'll have to go back! Land on the 'Carried extra gifts' space and you get to move ahead!
I've also included 'Lost a gift! Return your cards to the pile' cards so you can play BANG! with the phrase cards!

Later this week, I'll also have games for Level 2 and Level 3 sight word phrases. If your interested, you can grab it from TpT or Teachers Notebook.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Freebie: What's My Share? division concept activity

Here's another sharing/division freebie for you! This one is called What's My Share? This freebie is an independent activity perfect for your kiddos to practise the division concept during math tubs /centers or Daily 5 Math time.

 To play, you'll need a small container of counters (or some goodies!), a medicine or other small cup (I use the baby-cino cups from coffee shops), and a die. 

Students roll a die and take this many sea creature cards. They use the medicine cup to scoop up some counters or small goodies and then share them between the sea creatures one at a time.

Students record the total number of counters/goodies, how many sea creatures they shared them between, how many each creature got and how many left overs they had on the recording sheet.

I have included 2 record sheets - one to record how many counters and one for how many goodies were shared!
You can download it from my TPT and Teachers Notebook stores. If you download, please vote for my blog at Circle of Moms!

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Freebie- The Sharing Game (division concept)

I have a couple of kids with special needs in my class and I created this game earlier this year to help them with the division concept. It would also suit K and 1 students. It is perfect for math tubs, centers and Daily 5 Math as students play in pairs. 
To play, you'll need 20 counters, blocks or pattern blocks and 1 die.

 Students take turns to flip over a card and take that many counters from the pile. They roll the die and share the counters into that many groups. If they can share the counters equally, they get 2 points and 1 point if there are any left overs.

The game comes with an instruction card, cards numbered 6-20 and a recording table for players to record their points in tally marks.  
You can download it from my TPT and Teachers Notebook stores. If you download, please vote for my blog at Circle of Moms!

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Science - Materials and Schema Freebie

Recently, we have been learning about different materials and how they react when left in water over time. 

We made a class journal (thanks to my student teacher for illustrating it) to document our observations of wood, metal, paper,styrofoam and fabric. 

One of the things we have recorded is what we predict will happen to the material once we put it in water. Students journal their observations in their science journal after 1, 3 and 5 days. We are studying each material for 1-2 weeks.

I  stole this idea from somewhere, and have made a chart and schema files for each material as we start to study them. If the chart and schema file is yours, let me know so I can give you credit - I basically copied it! 
Here is an example of one students schema on wood. After learning about wood, each student will fill in another sheet that says 'My learning about wood is....' and add to the file folder below.

Again, this file folder cover and sheet above was 'borrowed' from one I saw on the net (i.e. copied), so if it's yours let me know so I can give you credit. 

I'm hooking up with Tales of Frogs and Cupcakes science and social studies anchor charts (although, mine aren't really science anchor charts....) linky party. Be sure to link up with your fantastic charts!

You can download the 5 file folder covers (left) - one for each material - here

If you want the My wood schema is... sheet (in word so you can modify to your needs), download it here.

Remember to vote for me at Circle of Moms. I know it's for the Top 25, but my goal is to make it into the top 30. Please help! You can vote once each day!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Foldables - Pinterest Find

Here's a great pic I found while digging through the treasure trove that is Pinterest. It belongs to a wiki all about foldables!
Click on the pic above to head to the wiki - it has instructions for making foldables in all content areas. You can join the wiki and contribute your own foldables.

Even better news - they have a link to a blog Get in the Fold that has lesson ideas, instructions and videos about using foldables! Heart.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Books coming out my ears, nose, mouth....

I thought I was doing well. I mean, I REALLY thought I was doing well getting some of these darn books out of my house! This last week while watching CSI, Bones, Castle and my other fav crime shows, I've been busily contacting books ready to take them to school.

You see, I have a LOT of books - I'm talking about boxes and boxes and boxes of books that are filling up my garage waiting for me to move them to their new home. I made the decision when I first started teaching that I would contact all books before adding them to the library in the hope they will last that little bit longer.... and I've also taught Grade 6 so many of them are destined to stay in their dark little home until I teach a higher grade again! So, these boxes have been waiting ever so patiently for me to flip their lids open, delve into them and remove some enticing covers that catch my eye. The problem is that the job is so daunting - it will take me FOREVER to get them all covered. So, I've broken the job down into smaller parts and I've got a small box of books sitting in my living room to mock me until I break down, roll up my sleeves and pick up a roll of clear contact and get covering! And I've been doing it - I took in 18 books today, 16 yesterday and so on throughout this week. 

And then the deliveries came..... I had forgot about those. First, my Scholastic order showed up at school. More bright and shiny books to add to the almost empty box in my living room. 
Then I received a note in my mailbox saying that I had a package to pick up from the post office. Oh yeah, I had ordered these books online last week when I was procrastinating about getting assessment marked. There's the cultural celebration books to use next year when we do that unit again. And the friendship focus book (Emily and the Big Bad Bunyip) we have to use during our friendship unit. Ok, I'll just add those ones to my theme boxes in my crowded garage and worry about them next year.
Hang on, is that another pick-up slip from the post office? Oh yeah, I saw an online clearance sale and just HAD to pick up some bargains...... I'll just try and squash them into the living room box.... I could use those grammar and story structure books in mini-lessons next week - got to get them contacted...
So, I THOUGHT I had done really well clearing out some of the books.... but it feels like I've gotten nowhere :(

Please remember to vote for my blog at Circle of Moms! You can vote once a day!