Sunday, January 25, 2015

Easy Prep Word Study Games

Head over to Adventures in Literacy Land to read my blog post about easy prep word study games.

Be sure to grab a Shadow Shuffle FREEBIE while you're there too!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

February Fun for Firsties Linky Party: Primary Inspiration

I've given up on trying to catch up on everything. I've decided to be done with January and try to get ahead of the game (haha) with upcoming February. Thankfully, Linda at Primary Inspiration is hosting a First Grade February Fun Linky to get me started.

Be sure to head over to check out the February Fun and link up while you're there!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Fair Share Fraction Fun

In math we've been working on creating fair shares. You'd think this would be a no brainer for kids since they are always shouting "It's not fair!". They all know when something is not fair, but it takes a lot of modeling and practice for many kids to figure out how to make fair shares. Teachers also spend so much time teaching kids that in life fair doesn't mean everyone gets the same thing, so that totally contradicts fair share in a math sense. After many years of pulling my hair out while teaching fair shares, I finally created some activities that provide modeling, guided practice, and independent practice to ensure fair share success!

We had spent the previous week learning about fractions, so my class already had knowledge of parts of a whole, and equality. Here is a peak of some of our fair share activities.

Whole Group:
We worked on problem solving in small groups to try to determine ways to make fair shares. Each group had a set of pencils. They had to try to figure out how to divide them equally between the group members. As a whole class, we brainstormed ways that you could create fair shares.

I projected these kid mats on the board and used a group of magnets to divide equally. After modeling a few samples we were able to complete a few together as a group. We also learned a Fair Sharing Friends song to help us remember how to divide equally.

Small Group:
These same mats were printed to be used in a small group to provide guided practice. Each student had a group of manipulatives to divide equally between the kids on the mat. Some kids "get" fair shares instantly, but this helped the students that needed to manipulate and see the shares they were making.

We played "Fair Share Friends" by rolling a 12 sided die, dividing that number between two kids, and determining if you could make equal shares.

We also practiced dividing groups of small erasers between the kids in the group.

Independent Practice:
The small group mats became independent centers. I also added share fair task cards as a center.

We did a few printables to practice making fair shares on paper.


The hit of independent work was when students got to create their own Fair Share Book. The concept of not including themselves in the number of friends but including themselves in the sharing took a little modeling, but they had great ideas once they got the hang of it. This book was great for differentiation!

We really had fun with fair shares and everyone really seemed to understand it without me pulling my hair out! Yay!

You can find all of these activities and more here:

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Five for Friday {January 16}

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for a quick peek at my week.

We've been working on Fair Share in math. I try to stay away from food in the classroom as much as possible, so I created a few fun resources that will be added to my TpT store this (wonderful, glorious, 3 day) weekend. 

The weather was just gross this week. Cold, rainy, wintry mixy, but no days off or delays. Boo. That meant a lot of indoor recess. Thank goodness for GoNoodle! My kids were so excited about all the GoNoodle we got to do that they almost weren't disappointed in not being able to go outside. Almost.

The good news is that I won an Indoor Recess Survivor prize pack from GoNoodle! Yippee! Soon we'll be waving our Indoor Recess Survivor flag proudly and wearing our kitty high five gloves.  GoNoodle will be giving these away each week so check them out on instagram to share how you've been surviving indoor recess this winter to enter!

I started reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory this week as our new chapter book. My kids love it! 

It is mid year which means I'm drowning in data. Enough said.

Head over to Doodle Bugs to see what everyone has been up to this week. Enjoy the three day weekend!!!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

FREE Kindergarten Winter Literacy Centers

How has winter been in your neck of the woods? No snow in Eastern Virginia yet, but my fingers are crossed for a delay tomorrow. Teacher Tam is sharing 11 Kindergarten Winter Literacy centers on her blog...all free! I'm so excited that she included my Fry Phrases Melted Snowman game. Head over to her blog to check out her winter recommendations. Stay warm!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Go Noodle Sanity Savers

What. A. Week. Back to school after winter break, a full moon, and my sister's wedding shower...I could use a little sanity right now! Thankfully, my kids and I are GoNoodlers and I love the sanity it gives me in the classroom (especially on no recess days!).

I'm linking up with Elizabeth at Kickin' it in Kindergarten for a GoNoodle Sanity Saver Linky. Read about how GoNoodle saved my sanity then visit her blog for a chance to win some GoNoodle swag.

I'm big on movement in the classroom. With a background in special ed, my classes have been doing brain breaks before they were cool and had a cool name. Naturally, GoNoodle was a perfect fit in my classroom and my class loved it. There are plenty of success stories of teachers using GoNoodle for indoor recess, brain breaks, and transitions. We enjoy all of these, but early in the year I found a unique use for GoNoodle in my room.

Due to classroom allergies, I have to clean all of the tables after snack. Not only was this a transition time, but it took me a few minutes to wipe down everything which equaled chaos. Enter GoNoodle to save my sanity and make those few minutes purposeful for the kids! Now as I signal to clean up for snack my teacher helper turns on the projector, I put on a brain break, they move and groove and I clean our room in the 1.5 to 4 minutes. If it is a longer break I even have time to join in. Kids are engaged, tables are cleaned, and teacher is happy! Win, win, win. Thank you GoNoodle!

Fav GoNoodle Brain Break-That's a tough one. We love so many! Our new favorite is Koo Koo Kangaroo's Pop See Ko. I'll admit that the first time we did it my kids just looked at it like they were crazy. The next time they were all about it and it has been stuck in our heads ever since!

Riding a roller coaster with Koo Koo Kangaroo
Happy Place-Camping. I love loading up our camping machine (how we often refer to our camper) and hitting the road. Whether we head to the beach or mountains it is always nice to escape!

Guilty Pleasure-Pens. All tasks are more fun if you're using a fun pen. I may have a pen obsession. Shapies and Flairs are my favorite. Last week I found this 20 pack of Flair at Sam's Club with colors I didn't even know existed! Unfortunately, this replaced the big Sharpie pack at Sam's. Life is full of trade offs.

Keep Calm and... run. It's more like when I can't keep calm I go running. Running is my true sanity saver (next to GoNoodle of course ;) )

Here's to some sanity in 2015. Head over to the GoNoodle Sanity Saver Linky and join in the fun!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Winter Wonders Blog Hop and Celebration

Welcome! One year ago today, a group of teacher-bloggers launched the website Adventures in Literacy Land to share tips and tools for effective literacy instruction. I'm excited to be added as one of Adventures in Literacy Land's newest royal contributors!
In honor of a successful year of blogging and adding some new royal bloggers we are hosting a Winter Wonders Blog Hop and Birthday Celebration. Hop along to read a short post by each author, download a free literacy resource, and enter a raffle for a chance to win one of 4 $25 Barnes and Nobles gift certificates.
At this point in the school year my first graders have become pretty solid with their high frequency words so I start shifting the focus to high frequency phrases. Using phrases lets them still practice their high frequency words but also adds some fluency practice.It really takes high frequency words to the next level. I'm keeping this post short so you can hop around and visit some other Literacy Land friends, so here are a few benefits of using high frequency phrases in your classroom:
To help celebrate Literacy Land's Blogiversary I've made a Winter Phrase game freebie. The game is played like Bang/Oh, no!. Students pick a card and read the phrase, focusing on reading it correctly and fluently. If they get the melted snowman card they have to put all of their cards back. I like to put the cards in a winter bag or bucket to add novelty to the game. 

This game uses high frequency phrases including the first 100 Fry words. You can download your free copy by clicking on the picture below.

Thanks for visiting today! If you're interested in reading more from my blog, you can follow it through bloglovin by clicking on the button below. 

Head to the next royal stop, Growing Little Learners, for some more winter literacy fun. Don't forget to make your way back to Literacy Land for the Barnes and Noble gift card giveaway!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

January Currently

I'm linking up with Farley at Oh' Boy 4th Grade for January's Currently.

Listening: I love the Avett Brothers, especially live. Here's hoping I'll see them a few times in 2015!

Loving: The two week break was just perfect! My husband and I went on a Caribbean Christmas cruise the first week. We still had another week once we got home to have some family and friends over and do some projects around the house. Best. Break. Ever.

Thinking: January is going to be busy! This week starts off with two early morning PDs (as opposed to my current routine of sleeping in!). Then there is the usual mid-year craziness of assessing and report cards. And my sister is getting married at the end of the month! Yikes!!!

Wanting: Can we please throw in a few January snow days (or at least delays)?

Needing: I've done a few things on my break to-do list, but it is not nearly done. When I first started teaching I would make a big summer break to-do list and usually only check off a few things. My husband constantly joked with me about this so now I never make a summer list. 

Yes, Maybe, I wish: We have a few ideas for 2015 travels, so there will definitely be plenty of that happening. 

Maybe I will get organized. I'm an organized person by nature and I like organization, but I always seem to find other things to do using that time (like this currently!). 

I wish for my blog and TpT to grow. I really enjoy blogging and making products so I'm hoping 2015 will be the year everything takes off. I'm loving getting to know all of the blogging buddies I've joined up with. You all are simply amazing! I'm also really stoked to be joining a collaborative literacy blog Adventures in Literacy Land this year. Literacy Land is celebrating a 1 year blogiversary with a Winter Blog Hop and giveaways. Be sure to visit my blog on Tuesday to join in the fun!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year Blog Hop

Happy New Year! I'm teaming up with some blogging buddies to bring you some resources to start 2015 off right! I'm sharing a craftivity I will be doing with my firsties when we go back on Monday. I sent home our cute Christmas hall decorations when we left for break, so my walls are pretty bare.

We'll be writing our goals for the new year and adding a cute smile!

Last year we made this craftivity using paper punches. Simple and fun. I loved reading their responses to I want to... I hope... I wish... I will...

You can grab my New Year's Crafitivty Pack here. It includes 20 different graphic organizers to choose from and 10 different hat templates. The craft allows for a lot of options so you can change the look of it each year just by changing the materials. There are a few different samples to see if you download the preview. The pack is updated each year, so once you purchase it you can just redownload each year.

If you're not up for a whole craftivity you can grab my New Year's Reading Goals Graphic Organizer FREEBIE. Students can write two reading goals they have for the New Year.

To start your new year off right I'm giving away a $10 credit to my TpT store. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hop on over to Proud to Be Primary to grab some additional New Year's fun!