Read Across America Kickoff

This has been a jammed packed week for me and my kiddos. We have been working non-stop! This whole week we have been doing activities for Read Across America. Tomorrow is our big assembly and the kids get to wear their pajamas to school! You would think the President was coming to visit or something with all the excitement on campus. Today we were FINALLY able to finish our Happy Birthday to You cupcakes.

This adorable activity is from the awesome Linda Kamp! I am ALWAYS looking for new and creative ideas for Read Across America and this one stole my heart! I could just "eat it up!" 

 Our classroom is now in full spirit and ready for all the classroom visitors that we will have in our room tomorrow! I can't wait to share all the pictures of our super fun day.

We are also gearing up for St. Patrick's Day in my room. I finally was able to finish my 
I am so excited to use these with my kids next week because I added a bunch of activities for skills reinforcement that they have been struggling to master. We just completed our district quarterly literacy test this last week and my kids had trouble with parts of speech and multiple meaning words. I made sure to hit those skills hard in this packet. 

Recalling story details and sequencing is another big skill we are going to practice some more. The kids are  going to make a Pot of Gold BME book after I read them Jamie O'Rourke and the Big Potato by Tomie DePaola.

I am also participating in a HUGE giveaway over at Adventures in Room 129! Ciera is celebrating 600+ blog followers with some incredible prizes from some amazing bloggers! The giveaway ends on Sunday so hurry over and check it out!

Five for Friday {on Saturday}

I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for this week's Five for Friday on Saturday! I have a REALLY good reason why I am a day late...
1. So right after school yesterday, my family and I went to do this:

Yep, that is me in a giant air tube! We went skydiving at iFly! OMG, what an awesome experience! Friends of ours asked our family to join them on this incredible adventure. My boys (5 and 8) were so excited! When you get there, you watch a quick video to teach you hand signals you need to understand from your instructor while your are in the tube. Then we got suited up: earplugs, goggles, helmet and all! There are parts of your body that start flapping in the wind, that you didn't know could flap in the wind-HA!

2. After our adventure, we went to dinner at a Brazilian restaurant. If you have never been to this type of restaurant, they bring your food to the table on giant "swords" and cut off the pieces right in front of you! Another crazy, fun experience!

 Now on to some teaching fun!
3. We are in the middle of our telling time unit and my kids made watches and went around the room asking each other "What Time Is It? You can read more about this activity HERE. The kids loved it!

4. This week I ordered more of these from My Binding. I think I have been a laminating machine lately. I can't believe I already need more. 

5. And finally I completed activities to compliment my Wild and Wacky Weather Unit which we will be starting in a few weeks. I am super excited to use this unit. It has literacy activities, graphing practice, common core writing activities and craftivities. I am in the process of laminating and getting it all ready!

HALL PASS, Please!

I am super excited to be linking up with Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits for a HALL PASS linky! Don't we all need a pass every once in awhile??? I know I sure do.

Here is how this linky works:

PRODUCT- My favorite product...That is a tough one. I use everything I create in my classroom, so I always get excited when I create a new product. But, I have to say, my most life changing product for me,this year, is my Winter Writing Prompts and Craftivity.
This product has changed the way I teach writing! I hear the angels singing now!!!! Everything I need to teach the common core writing standards is in one place, at my fingertips. I don't have to go searching around and looking for a rubric or checklist that goes with my prompts-it's all there! I love that it has a variety of levels too. It makes differentiating for my students so much easier. I loved it so much, I started making a pack for each season!!!

AREA- My favorite area of my room is my writing board. I have such little space to display student work in my room. I saw this idea from Michelle at Apples and ABCs last spring. I almost did back flips when I figured out how to make it work in my room too! Each student has their own "cork board" where their writing is hung with pride. 
It is easy to change out their work and I have space to display our standards, prompts and rubrics! 

SIGNAL- I use different clapping patterns to get the kids attention. They have to repeat the pattern back to me. Sometimes, I speak very quietly and give a direction to fold their hands and eyes on me.The ones that are listening lead the rest of the class into submission!

SANITY- Starbucks, York peppermint patties and my team partner are the things that help me keep my sanity. If I can start my day with a hot vanilla latte, I am good to go. When the day is rough, I have my stash of peppermint patties-LOVE THEM! They are sure to help turn around any slump I am in. However, my number 1 sanity saver is my team partner. We keep each other motivated and really help one another out with all the school demands that pile up on each of us. I am blessed!

Join the HALL PASS party and link up so we can see what everyone is talking about!

Excuse Me, What Time Is It? + FREEBIE

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend...three days long or not!!! I loved the extra day off and was ready to roll today! We are in the middle of our math unit about telling time. The kids are loving all the hands on activities and really catching on to learning to tell time to the nearest five minutes. Today, we had a watch making party! Yes, that is right... we made watches. I saw this idea on Pinterest and modified it for my kiddos. I gave each kid a blank clock face and a strip of paper. They needed to draw the hour hand and minute hand to make any time to the five minutes they wanted. Then they glued it to a construction paper strip and I stapled it together for them. They ended up being more like watch "bracelets" but the kids loved them all the same.
Here is my modeled sample for all of you to see!

 Each child was then given a grid with the numbers 1-20 to represent each student in our class. The kids went around the room and said to a friend, "Excuse me, what time is it?" The friend could only reply by showing their watch! The student who asked the time, would then write the watch time on their paper next to the correct student number.

After everyone was finished, we went over each time, as a whole class, and the kids corrected their work to see how well they did with reading each watch time!

This is the template each student used to collect their answers from each other. If you would like a copy of this template to use with your students, click HERE to download a copy. Please leave a comment and let me know how your kids like the activity. I love hearing from each of you. 

I am also using my Time Will Tell packet during this unit. Here is an inside look to see what is included. I hope it can help your students learn to tell time as much as it is helping mine!

Five for Friday

I am linking up with Doodle Bug Teaching for this week's Five For Friday!

Last night for Valentine's Day, my husband and I surprised each other with the same dinner for one another. How crazy is that??? I found a recipe on Pinterest for scallops.I went to the store to get fresh ones (we had frozen ones at home, but I didn't think they would defrost in time for dinner) Picked up a bottle of his favorite wine and headed home. When I got home he had taken out the other scallops from the freezer to defrost and was going to cook them up for us. SO... we both laughed and I made these guys and my hubs made cauliflower "mashed potatoes" to go with it. It was perfect!
                                 i think i'll call these Christmas Scallops! :) So pretty! :: Seared Scallops and Baby Spinach with Spiced Pomegranate Glaze

2. We got out of school at 12:30 today! Love early dismissals-hate the PD afterwards (especially at the start of a 3 day weekend).
3.We started our unit on time and I have a bunch of hands on activities planned for my little kiddos. We started by making clocks to use for each of our lessons.

4. We had an in school "field trip" today too. The Wildlife Experience came to our school and showed the kids live animals from around the world that had been rescued. We saw a squirrel monkey, African fox, snakes, and a skunk! Each animal had a sad but wonderful story of being rescued and rehabilitated. 

5. Last but not least, I just finished a Spring glyph to welcome in the warmer weather. It is an umbrella glyph about the things kids love about spring along with writing prompts and data collection charts.

Head on over and link up your fun activities this week! 

Fraction Action and Some FREE Love

Today we were wrapping up our fraction unit in class. I am shocked at how well the kids picked up on the concept of fractions! I tried to incorporate more hands on activities for the kids so they could have more ownership of their understanding. The kids were so excited to have fraction centers today.
This center, Order Up, really helped my students grasp the concept of ordering fractions from least to greatest and then greatest to least. They always want to put the fraction with the largest number denominator as the greatest fraction!! NO! NO! NO!  I think I did the crazy dance (pulling my hair and jumping up and down) when this happened while I was teaching. Today I was happy because my crazy outburst must have left an impression on them (good or bad) because they ROCKED this center. Totally and completely GOT IT! 

At this center, students created fractions based on the number of vowels in a word, compared to the total number of letters in the word. Then, they came up with their other foods and made fractions with them as well.

These were the fraction pizzas the kids created at the very beginning of the week to get them Eating Up the idea of learning fractions! These center ideas are in my TpT store: Fraction Frenzy: What's On Your Plate?

We also were able to get our Valentine bags decorated today! Oh boy, are the kids excited about Valentine's Day. I think the THOUGHT of Valentine's Day is just enough to start their sugar high craziness! 
I bought red lunch bags from Target and wrote their names on them. Then I gave them a bunch of foamy hearts and shapes and they went to town. I think I might add handles with ribbons tomorrow for extra leverage, but this is a great start! 

If you are still looking for a last minute filler idea for this week of fun. Check out my There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Rose Freebie.

It includes sequencing of the story events and a tally and graphing activity. If  you grab a copy I would love for you to let me know what you think of it. 

We all need LOVE, right? Well, my friend Aimee from Pencils, Books and Dirty Looks is having a 400 follower giveaway!! 
Some amazing bloggers have helped her out and there are a TON of free things to win! If you enter, you may get to choose anything from my little TpT store of your choice! Head on over and check it out. While you are there, make sure to give some love back and follow some of these wonderful bloggers and their stores if you don't already! Good luck!

Five for Friday Linky

I can't wait to say it.... Yep, it is that time of week again... FRIDAY!!!! Hip, Hip, Hurray for Friday!!! I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for this week's Five for Friday.
I can't say that I had a snow day like many others of you out there. However, we have had a wack-a-doodle week of weather. It started off sunny and in the high 70's and low 80's. I sent my boys to school is shorts. Today it is "freezing," in the 50's with scattered showers and a moment of hail!!! Talk about extreme weather! OK, enough with the weather report. Here is my week in review:

1. We continued celebrating football season and the Big Game with this little craftivity and writing assignment. 

2. We sequenced the story of There Was An Old Lady That Swallowed A Rose. The kids cut out the story elements and put them in order.

3. We worked on getting our room festive for Valentine's Day. We made a friendship letter mailbox area in our room. The kids each made a envelope and then all the kids wrote letters to one another throughout the week. They will read them on Valentine's Day. We also worked on reviewing compound words and contractions. Each student made a heart banner showcasing their word.

4. I finished up a little writing craftivity for St. Patty's day that is aligned to the common core standards. I can't wait to make these with my class. They are going to squeal with delight. You can find this little guy in my store: St. Patrick's Day Craftivity and Writing Prompts.

5. AND, I just ordered a bunch of new Dodger apparel for the hubs and I because my oldest just found out his Little League team will be the Dodgers this season. My husband is the manager, so we need to represent. Now I need to get a Marlins shirt to support my little guys team. When is Old Navy coming out with there MLB shirts??? I need me some baseball shirts....

Have a great weekend! Happy Friday!

Valentine Lovin'

We have kicked off this week with lots of LOVE! I just love the month of February!!! Between Groundhog Day, Valentine's Day, Presidents' Day and more, we have so much to celebrate. Yesterday we read the story There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Rose. Then we practiced our sequencing skills. The kids were given the items the old lady swallowed in the story and needed to glue them in the correct order.
Then they chose there favorite item she swallowed and highlighted it by writing about the item and attaching it to the Old Lady. Don't ask me why, but I forgot to take pictures of they kids final products today. Here is the sample I used to model it for them, so you can get the idea.
You can grab this idea and more in my Old Lady Who Swallowed A Rose-Supplemental Literacy and Math ideas as well as my FREEBIE that goes with it!

Today, we worked on getting our room a bit more festive for Valentine's Day. We created a Friendship Letter mailbox center. Each student made an adorable envelope and wrote their name on it. Then throughout the week, they are going to write a short note to each classmate and put them in the envelopes. On Valentine's Day, we will take down the envelopes so each student can read the thoughtful words from their friends. 

We also worked on contractions and compound words today. We made heart banners to show our work. First, each student wrote one compound word and one contraction on their whiteboards. Then they needed to choose one contraction or compound word to showcase on their heart banner. 

We used plus signs and equal signs to show how the words were put together to make a new word.

Here are some of the finished products:

I have to give a big shout out to Aimee from Primarily Speaking for her amazing Valentine Fun Packet that had this idea in it, as well as our Valentine friendship letters.She also was kind enough to offer the heart patterns and plus and equal signs as a FREEBIE on her blog. Make sure to stop by her blog and TpT shop to grab your copies. Her ideas are wonderful!

February Currently

I am linking up with Farley for this month's Currently! Seriously??? We are already in month 2 of 2013??? That's just crazy talk.... Where did the month go? Since it is officially February, here is my Currently.

1. Today was the only day the whole family could sleep in this weekend and we were all up at 6:45!! What??? Why??? No answer. So the hubs was my hero and went into the kitchen to fire up the espresso maker. And now I am a happy wifey with my liquid jolt!

2. Tonight the hubs and I get a night out with some dear friends of ours. Grandma is coming over to watch the kids and the parents are going out to play!! 

3.This weekend is PACKED! Between errands, birthday parties, baseball practice and the Super Bowl, I am not sure how we are going to fit it all in.

4. The weather has been so beautiful and warm the last couple of days. I woke up today and there are clouds. Grey, overcast clouds. Yuck! Bring on more sun.

5. I FINALLY have an appointment to get my hair done. Don't ask me why, but I always put off my hair appointment. It just seems so hard to set aside 2-3 hours on the weekend, so I always put it off as long as possible. I can't wait to get beautifide today.

6. People that aren't honest drive me c-r-a-z-y! Whether it is my own kids, my students or peers-just tell the truth PEOPLE! 

I am also having a SUPER sale in my TpT store Saturday and Sunday. Everything is 20% off. Myself along with many other amazing bloggers are joining this sale. So empty those wishlists into your shopping carts and save!