Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Resolutions & Giveaway Winner

Happy almost New Year! 2012 was a bit of a rough year for me personally, so I'm hoping that 2013 will be a lot better! There are a couple of New Year's Resolution Linky Parties, so I'm linking up with Jen from The Teacher's Cauldron and Amanda from Teaching Maddeness.

Blogging Goals: I want to blog more consistently and share what's going on in my class. I'm hoping to blog at least 3 times a week.  I also want to make sure to comment on more blogs.  I love getting comments and I want to spread the comment love!  I have found so many more great teaching blogs recently.  I have read teaching blogs for the last 2 years and discovered even more since I started blogging.

Personal Goals: I want to get my running groove back! I used to be able to pop out 3 miles like it was nothing.  I even completed 5 marathons back in the day! It seems that once you stop running, it feel so hard to get back going. I have the Couch to 5K app on my phone and I'm hoping that motivates me to get moving!

Congratulations to Cherie Mae Ong! She won my 50 Follower Giveaway and received a copy of my Winter Blends Literacy Centers.

Cherie, make sure to check your email because I already sent you a copy.

If you didn't win, this packet is on sale until midnight for $3!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Compound Words & Sale

I've had a lot of free time on my hands since Christmas, so I decided to start planning when school starts back up in January.  It hasn't been fun free time because my dad has been in the hospital, but he seems to be doing a lot better today. 

I was able to make one new packet for compound words.  I LOVE teaching the kids about compound words and was looking for some more activities to complete with them.  

I plan on the playing "I Have, Who Has?"game with them. 

There are also two center activities.


Can't wait to use it with the kiddos next week!

I'm also throwing a TPT sale from today until December 31st.

Be sure to enter my 50 Followers Giveaway if you haven't already!

Off to play on the laptop some more! I'm headed home today and my flight has been delayed by over an hour. I have claimed an outlet....I'm not moving until it's time to go!  

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Blends + a Giveaway

Right before Christmas break, we started to learn about beginning blends.  

I made 4 characters - Gretchen, Drake, Brad, and Crissy.  Each table had to work together to write words for each beginning blend.

Side note about the activity - I loved seeing how the students decided who would write on the poster. Some tables figured out quickly a fair way to share the responsibility. Other tables, not so much. :)

Since we covered this topic right before break, I wanted to reinforce it when we return in January. I made a Winter Blends Literacy Centers that covers r-blends, l-blends and s-blends.

The first activity is similar to posters we completed in class. Students will sort the words onto the correct character.


There's also a Penguin Real or Nonsense Word Sort and an Igloo Word Match Up.


Since I recently reached 50 followers, I wanted to host my first giveaway. The winner will receive a copy of the Winter Blends Literacy Centers for free. The giveaway enters Sunday night 12/30 at midnight EST.  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Merry Christmas Break!

It's officially Christmas break for everyone! We had a half day on Wednesday and I've been enjoying my comfy pajamas ever since. 

The Christmas party was one of the best I have ever had in my class. Thanks to the wonderful moms that planned it!

Here's the reindeer toss.

The snowman toss....

All ideas from Pinterest! I really think life should be divided into two eras - BP (before Pinterest) and AP (after Pinterest).

I'm sure you've seen a zillion gingerbread activities, but I never got a chance to share mine. The gingerbread unit is one of my favorites, so I have to share!

We took a bite of a gingerbread cookie and graphed our results.

We made a chart of adjectives (inspired by Abby's gingerbread chart).

This is something new I did this year.  I bought Baking Up Adjectives Craftivity + Center Activities. Each student chose an adjective and created their gingerbread man. The students absolutely LOVED this.  I had scrapbook paper out, along with some sparkly things and their creations were wonderful. This was one of my favorite - a hairy gingerbread man!

Now off to finish up my Christmas shopping!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Hard & Soft C & G

I always have such a hard time finding activities for the different sounds of c and g. There are activities listed in the teacher's edition of our phonics book of course, but they are so not fun! It's not enough for the students either. This year, with my new found knowledge of how to make my own printables, I made a Hard and Soft C Word Hunt & Activities packet as well as a few Hard and Soft G Printables

The Hard and Soft C packet includes word cards for a word hunt around the classroom, along with a recording sheet.

The Hard and Soft G Printables contains a color code printable and a word sort.

Both packets are free, so make sure to grab them!  I hope you find them useful in your classroom.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas Gifts

I wanted to share the Christmas gifts the students made for their parents this year.  It was Pinterest inspired of course! The students made a brown handprint and added antlers, eyes and a nose. Then they
added green and red dots to fill in the white space a bit.

I wish I was there to see the parents open the gift Christmas morning.  I think a special gift like this had a little more meaning this year.

What do you make for parent gifts?  Every year I try to make salt dough ornaments or cinnamon ornaments, but it fails miserably!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

12 in 12

I'm linking up with A Teeny Tiny Teacher's and Miss Kindergarten's 12 in '12 Linky Party.

12.  Favorite Movie You Watched: I didn't watch a lot of movies this year, but I thought Here Comes the Boom was funny.

11. Favorite TV Series: Hart of Dixie.  Totally cheesy, I know!  But I love it!

10. Favorite Restaurant: I fell in love with sushi this summer.  It's a big thing because I'm such a picky eater. I always go for sushi at Ichiban.  Oh yum!

9. Favorite New Thing: Creating items for my classroom.  I don't have much in my TPT store, but it was so valuable to watch the videos from Amy Lemons on how to create printables. I had no idea that everyone was using Power Point to make stuff!

8. Favorite Gift: I bought a new-to-me car this summer.  It's so much roomier than previous car.

7. Favorite Thing Pinned: Oooh, hard choice!  I LOVE Pinterest.  This recipe for laundry soap is probably my favorite because it has saved me so much money this year.

6. Favorite Blog Post: I don't have many, but I'll go with my Space post. It was the first thing that I created for my classroom.

5. Favorite Accomplishment: Selling my first item on TPT!

4. Favorite Picture: I love this one of my dog, Bella.

3. Favorite Memory: Lounging by the pool in the summer...can you tell I'm ready for a break??

2. Goal for 2013: Pay off one of my student loans.

1. One Little Word: Pray.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Paper Mache Globes

This year I attempted something completely out of my comfort zone - paper mache with 17 six and seven year olds.  It was messy, but fun! At one point, a student had glue in his hair and was sliding around the floor. I couldn't have done it without my parapro and two parent volunteers! 

A few days later, we painted the continents and oceans on our globes.

I think actually painting the globes was messier than the paper mache! As I was checking on the students, one said "Uh, Ms. Deal? I lost my paintbrush inside my globe." Somehow in the tiny hole, his BIG paintbrush slipped in. Accident? I think not! Then I looked at another student and she had paint in her hair, on her face, all up her arms and all over her WHITE shirt. Oh my.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Glitter the Elf

Our elf arrived on Monday and it has been so much fun to see where she ends up everyday. The elf appeared right after we came back from our school's Praise and Worship session.  At first the students thought the elf belonged to a classmate, but then they quickly realized that this was a new elf.  The elf left us a special note with instructions to name her.  We took a quick classroom vote and Glitter was the winner!

The students started leaving notes for Glitter when they finished their work.  Glitter accidentally got knocked to the floor, but we couldn't touch her.  She stayed face planted on the floor until we came back from computer class.  How sad!

On Wednesday, Glitter got a skirt!  A student's elf had left it for our elf at her house. (Did you follow that? ha!) That morning Glitter was hanging out in our Christmas tree.  We left the skirt for Glitter, along with the special note.

You can see all the other notes that Glitter got in the tree too! She is one popular elf.  Glitter even left us erasers and some of the students wrote her a thank you note.

We completed our gingerbread unit this week too.  Imagine our surprise when we came back one day and Glitter was reading one of the books!

If you don't have an elf in your classroom, you MUST get one!  I never knew that it could be this much fun!

I'm linking up with Seusstastic's Elf on the Shelf Linky Party and Miss Nelson's blog. Be sure to stop by!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


I noticed a small typo on the Reindeer Rebellion Comprehension Test when my students took it today.  If you already purchased the item, please download it again.  I'm sorry!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Reindeer ABC Order

As much as I love Thanksgiving, Christmas is my favorite time of year to teach!  I love all of the creative things that I can implement in the classroom. My Christmas break is kinda strange this year - we go until December 19th.   But the bonus is that I have 3 1/2 weeks to do Christmas activities! There is a lot I want to cram in, so I decided to make a schedule of themed activities.

Week of November 26 - Reindeer
Week of December 3 - Gingerbread
Week of December 10 - Elves/Santa
Week of December 17 - Grinch

In previous years I usually give my students a worksheet to practice putting the reindeers' names in ABC order.  It comes at the perfect time of year since we start ABC order in November. This year I found an old post by First Grade Parade. I searched high and low to see if there was a template on her page, but I couldn't find one. So I decided to create by own template.  You can download a free copy at my TPT store.

I can't wait to go back to school on Monday to make these with my firsties!  I plan on using them as a hallway display.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Finally posted my mini owl unit!  To start off the unit, I read the book I’m not scared! by Jonathan Allen and my students filled out the story map.

We are still working on identifying beginning, middle and end of stories.  Owl meets different animals throughout his walk in the forest and it is easy for the students to pick out the beginning, middle and end.

Next, I read I'm not cute! My kids giggled throughout the entire book!  They really love Owl!  We brainstormed a list of adjectives at the end to describe Owl.  Then each student wrote a short story "I'm cute when..."

Then we made an owl craft.  I had seen several owl pictures on Pinterest, but couldn't find a template so I made my own.

You can download the owl template and story map here (It's FREE!)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Fall Critters

I'm sure you have seen plenty of spider, bat and owl ideas across teaching blogs this month.  Is it just me or do you find the perfect idea after you finished a unit??  Drives me crazy!

My class started off the month learning about mammals, so I made sure to include bats.  We read Stellaluna and completed this bat activity inspired by First Grade Parade.

My wonderful parapro made this poster to help us with labeling.

She was afraid it looked too scary, so she added hair bows to it.

Here's another poster from the classroom next door.  Super cute!

The next unit was insects.  We made models of insects out of marshmallows and toothpicks. I also emphasized spiders and learning why spiders were not considered insects.

Love this poster!  It almost didn't make it through the laminator because I wasn't paying attention!

This week we're studying birds.  I'm right in the middle of creating a small unit based on the books by Jonathan Allen.  I can't wait to get it posted.

I've donated my first unit on TPT to O FISH ally a First Grader's 100 Follower Giveaway.  Be sure to check it out!  Winners will be announced next Sunday, October 28th.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Math Stations

This year I started having the students complete stations during math. I don't know how I've taught math for the last five years without them!  Sure, I did plenty of hands-on activities, but I never had math set up as station rotation.  I loved seeing math centers on Pinterest and Teachers Pay Teachers and wanted to give them a shot this year.

I make 10 centers since the maximum number of students I can have is 20. This year I only have 17 students and paired them up in groups of two.  One student has to work by himself, but the student doesn't seem to mind.  I change their partners every time I change out the centers.  The students only visit one center per day.

The rainbow colored circles indicate the centers and the pink and green circles are the students' name.  Each day I rotate the the rainbow colored circles.

Each cubby is labeled with a colored circle.

The math stations are stored in these baskets.

Up close view!

Here are my current stations.  

1. Pumpkin Graph (Freebie)  
    This is pictured above. I made die cut pumpkins and a graph worksheet to go along with the activity.
2. Color by Numbers (Freebie)
4. Pumpkin Sorting (Freebie)
5. I Want Candy! (Freebie)
6. Spider Sorting (Freebie)
10. Computer Station

What do math stations look like in your classroom?