Thursday, March 27, 2014

Spring Has Sprung and Games Are Fun! Blog Hop

Spring has finally sprung...or at least the calendar says so. I still beg to differ since we had snow this week. Not a lot, but it still made me yearn for warm spring weather.  I'm sure everyone is a little tired of this winter, so join some fellow bloggers for spring game freebies and a chance to win some prizes!

I don't know about you, but at this point in the year I'm looking for something quick and easy that will keep the kids engaged. Roll & read games are a favorite in my room.  Just print, laminate (or put in a sheet protector), add  a die and some games pieces and go!  I'm loving these cute flower gems from the Dollar Tree.

This game is played like connect 4- roll, read a word in the column and try to get 4 in a row.  I use these as centers, small group review and also to send home for extra practice. Quick and easy, but the kids love them!  I've used these throughout the year with different themes. It is so nice to just change the game boards and not have to explain the rules each time.

In honor of spring finally arriving, you can grab a FREEBIE version of short a cvc words here.  There are also Super Spring Roll and Read Game Packs for letters, CVC words, and CVVC/CVCe words.  You can find my Roll & Read games in other seasonal themes too!

 Super Spring Roll & Read bonus pack includes all of the Super Spring Roll & Read games as well as 3 bonus games. If you're interested in winning this bonus pack for free just enter the raffle below:

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I hope the spring warmth finds you soon!  Spring on over to OCD in first for another game freebie and giveaway!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Five for Friday...What a Week!!!

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday. I realize it is Sunday, but on Friday I was at the Virginia State Reading Association conference accepting my Virginia Reading Teacher of the Year award. So, I feel like that is a legitimate excuse to be a few days late!

At the VSRA conference banquet on Friday night I got to accept my Ofie T. Rubin Reading Teacher of the Year award.  Virginia is filled with such outstanding reading teachers, so I feel quite honored to be chosen as the 2014 Reading Teacher of the Year. I received a $500 award which I plan to use to promote digital literacy at my school. Follow my adventures for upcoming details about that project.

One of the highlights of the VSRA conference was when Stephanie Harvey tweeted a picture of her and I! Not retweeted, but grabbed her phone and got a picture of us to tweet! Wow!

The VSRA conference was simply amazing. I learned so much from literacy gurus such as Stephanie Harvey, Tanny McGregor, Donalyn Miller, Jan Richardson and many others. I feel like I need a week off to process and plan what to do with all of the new information and ideas. 

As if that wasn't enough excitement for the week, my brother got married on Saturday and I was a bridesmaid! Luckily he and his wife were very understanding and let me miss the rehearsal and dinner as long as I made it back in time for the wedding. Saturday morning I woke up early and drove across the state to make it to the afternoon wedding. Can you say busy weekend?!? The wedding was lovely and I'm so happy for my little brother!

My first graders have been working with my husband's Advanced Drawing class for a few months to create a cardboard reading chair for our classroom.  The dinosaur chair finally arrived on Wednesday! My class was SO EXCITED and I know it will get a lot of use the last few months of school!

Spring is finally here! Yeah! The calendar and the flowers in my yard say so, but there is a chance of snow on Tuesday. I am so ready for warm spring weather!

That about sums up my week.  I'll be blogging more about my award and the VSRA conference, so be sure to follow me and my adventures in literacy! Head over to Doodle Bugs Teaching to see what everyone else has been up to this week.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Sunday Funday: iPad Place Value Fun

I'm linking up with A Burst of First and Lucky to Be in First! to share some fun my kiddos and I had this week. I'm usually sharing our literacy adventures, but we do have some fun with math too ;)

This week I checked out the class set of ipads...can you hear my kids' screams of excitement?!?  They LOVE ipad time!!!! We did a little place value fun using two FREE apps: Doodle Buddy and Number Pieces.

Number Pieces is a free ipad app that has base ten blocks as well as writing tools. It is a super easy e-manipulative.  I've used it hooked to my apple tv to project on the board for many lessons. Best of all it is FREE!!!

Doodle Buddy is another free app. This app is basically a glorified whiteboard with endless possibilities.  Text, drawing, stamps, backgrounds, etc. My class loves writing with the glitter option. 

We did a few different activities focusing on place value using these two free apps.

For the first activity I said a number and they had to draw the number representation on Doodle Buddy using base ten blocks (squares, lines and dots). You could do this activity with whiteboards or paper, but e-chalk and glitter just make everything more exciting!  They also got to give themselves a stamp from Doodle Buddy when they got it correct. This was a quick and easy informal assessment to see who gets it.

For the next activity I used the Number Pieces app to put base ten blocks on the board. The students had to write the numeral on their iPads.  I let a few students come up and make the block number to try to "trick" their friends. 

Next came the real fun... students got in pairs to work with a partner. One student made a number with base ten blocks and their partner had to write the numeral. This was such a simple activity, but they had SO MUCH FUN!!! Again, glitter makes life so much more enjoyable!

My kids and I love using iPads in the classroom. Do you have a favorite app you enjoy? Leave a comment and I'll check it out!

Thanks for checking out my Sunday Funday. On a personal funday note, my husband and I are headed to the RV show today. We've spent the last few summers on 4-6 week camping adventures. Today we'll go see all the neat things we can't afford on our teachers' salaries, but it will get us excited for our upcoming road trip this summer!

Be sure to check out the fun other bloggers are having, leave some love and link up if you're having some fun too!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Five for Friday...the First!

It's been a random week, so might as well end it by linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for my first Five for Friday!

The week started off with a beautiful 70 degree Sunday...then it snowed on Monday. Gotta love Virginia weather! I'm totally over winter and snow, but I love a good snow day off of work (or two). And I could really get used to a 3 day work week!

The snow days gave me a little time to put the finishing touches on my Sight Word Recognition in Isolation Intervention pack.  I've been using it as an intervention in my classroom the last few months and now it is finally uploaded. I'll post details on it later, but it is a quick, easy intervention that has helped my students with their quick recall of high imagery, high frequency words in isolation.


I booked our spring break trip!!!! We already had a trip booked, but unfortunate circumstances changed our plans. When life gave us lemons we decided to buy the whole lemonade stand and go bigger and better. So we'll be cruising the Caribbean the first week of April.  Can't wait! Last spring break we had a blast cruising through the Panama Canal.

On Thursday I was awarded a few grants to beef up the classroom! Our school system has an amazing Education Foundation that awards grants twice a year. My teammates and I wrote a few together and were so excited to get them all! I'll be getting new book bins (look how "loved" our old ones have become), whisper phones for every child, a few double whisper phones, and listening books/cds. It will be like Christmas in March when they come in!

Read Across America Week was so much fun! It was cut short by the two snow days, but still loads of fun. My niece and I rocked our Thing 1 & 2 costumes for character day!