Friday, April 19, 2013

Five for Friday

What - my five for Friday is actually going live on Friday? I know, shocker huh? :)

1. Last week we read a Bad Case of Stripes as our story of the week. I couldn't resist Clutter Free Classroom's Writing Activity that goes with the book. The kiddos striped themselves and wrote about their favorite foods using their senses. They turned out awesome and they were very into it!

I love black olives! 

2. For our word study this week we looked at Shades of Meaning, aka closely related synonyms. We talked about how words can be synonyms but not mean exactly the same thing - some are "weaker" and some are "stronger". I got an awesome pack on TPT - Charades of Meaning by Teaching & Tapas. It had lots of fun games and activities. We also made shades of meaning kites. 

They wrote their names on the kites and then I gave them 4 synonyms that were closely related and they had to put them in order of "strength". 

I love how they turned out and they are really starting to get this objective! (Which is awesome since it was definitely one of those objectives that I had to do research on at the beginning of the year to figure out what it meant!)

3. I don't have a picture but I met my first bloggy/internet friend. Stephanie from First Grade Fabulous Fish and I met up for dinner. We had a blast chatting - our poor waitress felt bad interrupting us to take our orders haha! Stephanie is super sweet, be sure to check her blog out!

4. We've had book fair going on at school. I just LOVE books! I feel like I could never have enough! My mom packs up my books for me every track out and always says I do NOT need anymore haha. I had some sweet kiddos get me some things from my wish list.

I'm working on a reading group guide for this one. Stay tuned!

Can't wait to read this one on Monday to the kiddos! We are BIG Mo Willems fans! 

5. I'm going to give away a copy of my new unit, Ungrouping Unlimited with a little pin it to win it fun. All you have to do is pin one of the images below and then leave a link to your pin in the comments. I'll pick a random winner on Sunday. 

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Long Live the Pencil Sharpener!

Pencils. Oh pencils! I often tell my assistant that I think I will be buried in unsharpened pencils. There's nothing like calling on a student in the middle of an awesome lesson and hearing "my pencil broke!".

I have been through the gamete of pencil sharpeners. Last year I even ordered and paid for two new electric ones myself. And every time it's the same thing - they work for a little bit and then stop working.

So when the kind folks at Classroom Friendly Supplies offered to send me a Classroom Friendly Pencil Sharpener to review I was more than excited! Yes, yes and yes!!

I received my sharpener in less than 3 days - I was eagerly tracking the shipment. As soon as I got home yesterday to find it in my mailbox I got it out and gave it a try.

After taking it to school today and showing it to my kids, the verdict is - I LOVE THIS THING!

It clamps nicely to a table.

I love that it holds the pencil - no shoving and breaking the blades. 

It works very well and really gets the pencils sharp. The kids can't over
sharpen pencils either.

Look at all of those sharp pencils ready for a day of learning! :) I'm so excited to have this sharpener!

Go ahead and get yours now - you will not be disappointed!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Five For (Someday)

Yeah, I'm way late but I love Five for Friday so I'm going with the better late than never motto. :)

1. The main reason I had no time to post Friday or yesterday was that I was throwing my bestie's baby shower. We've been friends for a long time now and I was honored to be able to help her celebrate and prepare for the arrival of her soon to arrive son!

All 3 of my best friends are preggo! (I'm on the far right.) 

I spent a lot of time making cute things for the shower. I loved using some cute clipart from Sarah at the Hazel Owl.

2. Last week I introduced contractions and we did contraction surgery using a wonderful pack from First Grade Fever by Christie. The kiddos had so much fun and loved being called Dr. so-and-so. 

3. Last Friday for some fraction fun we made play-doh. It was a blast and really good practice using fractions in real life. I used a recipe I found online for kool-aid play-doh. It smelled amazing! I did have to add way more flour and salt than the original recipe called for. After we made the play-doh the kiddos made shapes and practiced cutting them into halves, thirds and fourths. 

As you can see my table area was a HUGE mess when we finished! 

4. It's no secret that I love elephants. I get elephant pictures, keychains, and stuffed elephants all the time from my sweet kiddos. One darling gave me this sock elephant that she made over break for me. I about cried it was so sweet! I felt so loved!

5. In TPT news I finally finished my Ungrouping Unlimited unit. It's all about teaching students how to subtract using place value only, NOT borrowing! I can't wait to share some pictures of my kiddos work this week.

It includes:
- A parent letter explaining why ungrouping is so important
- A strategy poster
- A strategy example
- Put Borrow to Bed Activity & Poem
- Pre-Test
- Place Value Mats
-Subtraction Sort
- QR Crack the Code
- I SPY Subtract & Match
- Spinning Subtraction

Head on over to my TPT store to check it out. I hope it helps your students really understand subtraction of larger numbers!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Let's Get Acquainted {Linky}

Yay, another linky! I'm linking up with Flying into First Grade.

This week is all about Favorites.

Favorite Place to Shop - You mean I have to pick just one!!! :)

Target. As in if it's at Target I might need to GET it. I LOVE this store! It's so bad for my wallet to go in Target. 

Michaels is another favorite store of mine. I love to craft - I have a whole room in my house dedicated to it. Just walking through Michaels is like a treat to me. I get so inspired!

Favorite TV Show - Hands down, Parks and Recreation. It's so funny! I want to be Leslie Knope when I grow up!

Favorite Sweet Treat - Frozen Yogurt! There are tons of froyo places around me. I'm not a big topping person. My favorite place is Yogurt Mountain. Especially the watermelon sorbet.

Favorite Food - I like a lot of foods. I'm not a super picky eater. I'll go with seafood for this one. Shrimp, scallops, crab cakes. Mmmmmm Mmmmmm!!

Favorite Restaurant - So many choices! A local favorite is Salsa Fresh, a mexican place. I also really like sushi. When I visited my friend Amber in Belize a few years ago we went to an amazing restaurant called Cactus Plaza. I made here take me back, it was so good! Fresh mexican food served by the sweetest people while you sit outside not far from the bay drinking a pineapple Fanta. I wish it wasn't so far away!!

Head on over and link up too! I'd love to hear some of your favorites!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Currently: April

I'm linking up with Farley for April's Currently.

Listening - I am so obsessed with the movie Pitch Perfect! I absolutely love it! I've watched it at least 5 times in the past 2 months. This weekend I found it at Target for $10 and immediately bought it. I also have the soundtrack and I listen to it over and over! 

Loving - I loved the long holiday weekend. I already had my track out a few weeks back so I'm not on Spring Break but a 3 day weekend was great! I got a lot of things done around the house, worked on some tpt projects, relaxed and celebrated Easter with my family and friends. I had 2 Easter meals yesterday and I thought I would never eat again I was so stuffed! (Wish the me from yesterday could convince the me of today of that!)

Thinking - It is definitely busy season! At school I'm trying to get my kiddos ready for some testing that's coming up, plan a field trip, get ready for our class play, and you know do the regular teaching, grading, planning, and more. I've also got a lot of events coming up, including throwing my best friend's baby shower in a few weeks. I'm so excited for it but I'm such a perfectionist with wanting everything to be super cute! 

Wanting - I didn't go anywhere during track out or the long weekend and I just really want to get away! I wish I could go somewhere tropical! I am going to the mountains in June so I'm excited for that but I still am thinking I need to plan a big vacay for sometime next year!

Needing - I was sick when we first tracked in with a nasty cold/infection/virus. I'm feeling much better but I'm still coughing and completely exhausted by the end of the day. And I haven't been able to go back to working out since I get out of breath so quickly - I miss my Zumba time!

Advice - I haven't been around blogging or tpt for very long but I can say that the teaching blog community is wonderful. I have truly loved meeting new people that are so kind and helpful. I also have learned that it's important to be a people person and interact with others.