Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Giveaway: $20 Amazon/TPT Gift Card

Time is almost up for my 200 follower giveaway. Make sure you get your entries in - you've got to be in it to win it!

Also, you might notice that some of my freebies aren't available anymore. Once I purchase a Scrappin' Doodles licence, I'll put them back up again. 

Classroom Library and Freebie Sign

When it comes to the classroom library, I have to admit that I don't have one anymore. I used to use the 3 small bookcases we get in our rooms for book baskets, but that left me with no other storage at all (I am sooo envious of all the cupboards and storage in some classrooms! I can't believe they take up a wall in some rooms!). Since those book cases are all we get, I had nowhere to put word work materials, math manipulatives, student book boxes etc. My room is small as well, so it didn't leave me many options to bring in my own things. So, my library is really all throughout the room and not in one designated spot.

This is where most of my books are. It was a bargain on ebay. This is one side, it's th same on the other. It holds hundreds of books, even it if doesn't look like it! I got the book stand for $20 on ebay too. I've used Kristen's labels  (Ladybug's Teacher Files link).
This is a little table I brought in. Some chapter books are here. There's a little rocking chair right next to the table the kids like sitting at.
Here are some of our book boxes. Kids can have 7 books in them at any one time. I just bought some cheap magazine holders for them.
I do have some themed baskets as well, just not enough to take up all my book cases! They are also placed around the room. This one is with all the math manipulatives (not sure where I got the label from).
 This one is near the couch.                        
These two in the science area.  We are learning about weather/seasons, so I've got a Fiction Book/Poetry box and a Non-Fiction box.
Student made books. 
Some more chapter books. 
 One of the two new book displays I bought recently. This one holds new books. 
This is a new box I made today to hold our big books. I just taped construction paper to a sturdy box some of my new things got delivered in!  Sorry about the pic - I took it today and it was already dark outside so the light is not the best.
Here's a sign I made to stick on the front of the box tomorrow. Download it by clicking on the image. 
Circle thing(?) by JustSo Scrappy 2.

Font: Pass the Chex by Kevinand Amanda.

If you own any of the labels I've used, please let me know so I can give you credit!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

FREEBIE - Autumn/Fall Making Words

As you may have read, I've been really busy getting prepared for a teaching audit that I was volunteered for at my school. Lucky me was the first teacher to be interviewed today and it went GREAT! What a lovely lady and she seemed really pleased with what I am and we are doing at my school. 

On the other hand, both TpT and Teachers Notebook do NOT like me one bit! I've been trying for about two weeks now to upload some Autumn/Fall themed literacy activities and they just won't upload! I've even tried splitting the centers up into individual files and uploading them separately and they still won't load! GRRRRR!!!! I've really had enough of it honestly because there is nothing wrong with the file to stop it from working. Annoys the heck out of me. I've emailed them again so we'll see. I'm just annoyed that I spent AGES tonight separating them into individual files, making new covers etc and they still wont' load. Ok, that's enough negativity for one night!

So, here's a freebie anyway. It's 3 making words activities that have 3 sheets for the kiddos and big letters for a pocket chart.

Click the pictures above to download.

EDIT: Silly me forgot that I made this using Scrappin Doodle graphics. I've taken everything else down that was free with their graphics and then went ahead and added this. I feel like a goofball! It's taken down for the meantime!

Also, I had a comment from an Aussie teacher who has trouble ordering from Amazon. In light of this, I will give the winner of my giveaway a choice of a $20 Amazon or $20 TpT gift card. No-one has blogged about it yet, so please do so if you have a blog!


Friday, August 26, 2011


I did have a freebie ready for Free-For-All Friday but it used Scrappin Doodle graphics (if you haven't read about it yet at Blog Hoppin!, you need to purchase a licence to use their graphics in freebies). Sooo... while I get that changed, how about you check out the other 22 freebies I have on my blog already?? Just follow this link!
 Grab more over at Blog Hoppin'!

While you're here, join my giveaway for a $20 Amazon gift card!

Teaching Audit - eeekk!

What a week it's been. It has been a really challenge to get on here and post or even to comment on the awesome posts that other bloggers are sharing. I'm off sick at the moment after feeling icky and tired all week and I NEVER have sick days! I hate being sick...

I've also been busy making sure all of my stuff is in order since I was asked by my administration to be visited by our districts auditor. Eeekk!! I'm very nervous since our school is given a rating under set criteria based on what the auditor sees when she visits. So because I have no idea what she will ask to look at, I've been gathering and checking (just to be sure that everything is perfect) all of my planning, checklists, assessment, other data, that I've documented how I've differentiated every little thing etc etc..... All has been ok except for the differentiation - there's so many ways we as teachers just do things on the fly based on what is going on during our lessons... for me, that doesn't make it into my planning. My school provides us with a planning document and on there we need to record how we have differentiated every lesson for every subject. It takes so long that it sometimes doesn't get done as thoroughly as it should. So you can guess what my weekend is going to be spent doing... Wish me luck for Monday!

Remember my post about our literacy schedule and that I had to drop the Daily 5 to the Daily 2 and make sure I documented three 31 minute English lessons? Well, my school and decided to change what is required from us again - and it's over half way through the term! So now I have to look over the new requirements, create a new board to show students what their group is doing etc. I'm exhausted just thinking about it. I'll now be able to do the Daily 3 though so that's something!

To top off an awful week, I've been trying since last week to upload a new item to TpT and Teachers Notebook and it won't load onto either them. I've tried probably 5 or 6 times each. Grrrrr.

Anyway, on a positive note, I reached 200 followers! I'm absolutely gob-smacked. Remember to enter my $20 Amazon gift card giveaway!

I hope you have wonderfully relaxing, yet productive, weekend!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

200 followers giveaway!

Yippee! I can't believe I've reached 200 followers! You guys are simply awesome! (yes, I'm that excited every sentence has to have an exclamation mark!).
To celebrate, I'm giving away a $20 Amazon or TpT gift card! 

To enter simply: 
  1. Follow my blog (1 entry).
  2. Follow my TpT and Teachers Notebook Stores (1 entry). 
  3. Provide feedback on one of my free or pay items from either store (1 entry).
  4. Add me to your blog roll (1 entry). 
  5. Blog/FB/Twitter about the giveaway (2 entries). 
Remember to leave a comment for each thing you do - 2 if you blog about the giveaway. 

I'll choose a winner via random generator on the 31 August! The winner gets to choose which gift card they want.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Teacher Week: Advice for New Teachers

Today's Topic: Advice for new teachers!

1. Find a way to connect with and build positive relationships with every student. Whether it's a short chat as they come in or you remember to wish them luck at a swimming comp on the weekend, try to have a chat with each one of your kiddos. You'll find they have amazing insights and can be so funny!

2. Be a teacher, not a friend. Yes, we do want the kids to like and respect us, but gain that respect through having clear expectations and consequences (positive and negative) applied fairly to all students and not by being too chummy with them. If you let them get away with the little stuff at the beginning of the year, then you'll find it hard to stop those little behaviours developing into bigger ones. Don't let them walk all over you.

3. Have a behaviour management strategy. Do whatever you feel comfortable with, but do something! You need to know what you are going to do when certain behaviours (small and big) happen. Many people are using those clip charts at the moment. Personally, I haven't used anything like that since I had one boy who refused to do anything unless he was given a 'prize'. He expected the same from his parents!  But I do have clear expectations, clear consequences and use lots of specific praise for students who demonstrate appropriate behaviours.

3. Plan with a buddy - you'll come up with heaps of amazing ideas you wouldn't have thought of alone, and save you both time in the process.

5. Use the web - particularly blogs! I've never been so inspired to try so many new ideas as I have since I found teaching blogs! They rock! Websites are also good for lesson ideas.

7. Explicitly teach routines and procedures you expect until kids can do so independently. 

Above all, have fun, laugh at the silly things and don't worry if everything doesn't look cute!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

My name is Kylie and I'm a shop-a-holic

I've been at it again. More shopping. My son says I have an addiction..... sometimes I have to agree!

This is some of the new bargains I've picked up recently.
I bought two of these table-top book racks. I'm going to use one to display new books and the other probably for science books.
Remember the It's Getting Dicey Linky party hosted by Little Miss Kindergarten? Well, I loved reading about all of the different dice from other bloggers and had to go and upgrade my collection. So I bought this pack of  162 dice. In all there's 50 decahedron dice, 10 dodecahedrons dice, 72 hexahedron dice, 10 isosahedron dice, 10 octahedron dice, and 10 tetrahedron dice. I also bought a pack of 72 dice in dice and the Lakeshore Sight Word Practice Centre... only because it was on clearance - it is usually $89.99 here, but I picked it up for $26. Some of my kids really need to work on their sight words and I thought I could always make up my own sight word rings and just hang them on the stand.

What I bought that I didn't get pics of? 
  • Snap It Up math game
  • a new 24 pack of student magnetic whiteboards. The ones I have already aren't good for on the carpet, they aren't very sturdy. The new ones I bought are and they are magnetic where my other ones weren't. 
  • A BIG new clock to hang on the wall that displays both analogue and digital time
Here are some recent book purchases too. I put on Bones and contacted away so they are now ready to take in to school. 
Some picture books, some readers and some chapter books - a little something for everyone. My kiddos love it when I get time to contact and bring in new books. Does anyone else contact their books before taking them to school? If not, do they hold up ok? I've got boxes of books that are sitting here because I haven't had time to contact them.... seems like a waste, but I figured they would last longer if I contact them so it's worth it in the long run... Your thoughts?? 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Vocabulary Development Song

As you may know, we are doing a weather unit in Grade 2 this term for science. I found this great idea in Building Vocabulary with Familiar Songs. Click on the pic to check it out at Amazon.
It takes everyday songs that our kiddos are bound to know and uses them to build vocabulary. One song it uses is The Itsy Bitsy Spider. I've typed it up because part of the Word Bank title got cut off on the photocopier. Because of copyright, I can't share it here but thought you might like to check it out and perhaps use the same idea with poems or songs that you use in class.
I'll be doing this one with my kiddos later this week after we learn about the water cycle (so they can confidently choose 'evaporation' and 'precipitation' to replace 'dried up' and 'rain'). 

I've added this as part of A Day in First Grade's poetry linky part (it's a song, not a poem, but I still think it's a great idea you can use with poems!). Check it out here

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Freebie - Planet Hop oi oy words

I hope you have picked up my latest freebie which was posted as part of First Grade Fanatics 14 Days of Summer Giveaway
The goal of the game is for students to read oi/oy words and 'planet hop' back to Earth. It has three levels of play and you could even just substitute with your own cards (spelling or math) and you've got another game. Such a versatile board! To grab it, just click on the board. I sometimes put out this game for students to play during Word Work (as part of Daily 5) with cards that focus on the spelling pattern we are learning. It's always a hit and so easy to differentiate.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Freebie - Eggs-Act Sums

Here is a quick freebie called Eggs-Act Sums.

This is a favourite in my class - I think it's the novelty of using egg cartons! It's very easy to play and takes hardly any time to set-up. 

Basically students roll two dice, find the total and add one of their counters to the space with that number. It's impossible to roll a 1 with two dice, so the first space has a star. This is a free space, so the second time a student rolls a number they can add a counter to this space since the other one will already have their counter in it. The first player to have 1 counter in every space wins. 

Click on the picture to download the instructions for the game:
Here is a quick one I did up in about 1 min using an egg carton I had a home.
No, I didn't paint the egg carton! It's a free range pack that supports a breast cancer foundation. It does look prettier than the grey ones though!  Also, in the pic I used 10-sided dice because that's all I could find. Since the highest number you can roll with two 1-6 sided dice is 12, you'll just need the standard dice. 

I hope you can use it! Also my freebie will soon be available on First Grade Fanatics as part of their 14 Days of Summer giveaway. Here's a sneak peek: 
The cards it comes with focuses on the 'oi' and 'oy' sounds, but swap the cards for any of your own (math or language) and you can use it for anything!

If you're not following them already, get to it so you don't miss out on the next week of freebies being listed by a range of bloggers!
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