Sunday, April 29, 2012

A brag (or two!), a new product (or two!), and a freebie!

Today is certainly shaping up to be a good day! Alessia, from Mrs. Albanese's Kindergarten, sent me an early morning email, to inform me that I am one of the Top 100 Sellers this week at Teachers Pay Teachers. Of course I had to look to be sure, thinking that Alessia must have confused me with one of the other Lori's because I never look at that list, thinking I would never be on it. Me? Really? I am thrilled to pieces, and grateful to Alessia for letting me know. I actually took a screen shot and will save the image forever. 

I am also proud to have come in second place in the TpT banner contest. My goal was to come in first place, but I simply could not compete with someone who actually increased her votes by the hundreds every hour. Like Dave said, I guess it pays to have a lot of facebook friends! There were tons of great banners submitted and I was happy to be part of the contest. I think TpT chose a great banner as the ultimate winner.

Okay, I'm done bragging now! I don't usually toot my own horn; actually, I'm pretty hard on myself, but, I felt justified in doing it this one time! :) 

This week, my classes will be completing many Mother's Day activities. In the past, I usually do it the week before Mother's Day, but then I feel pressured to get it all done and I feel bad if we don't succeed. This way, if we don't finish, I can take a day or two the following week to do so. I plan on having the children fold a large pink piece of construction paper in half to make an envelope to hold all the activities they will complete for their moms. They can decorate the outside and I'll staple up the sides. Then, I can send it all home on the Friday before Mother's Day. Many of my activities will come from my own Mother's Day Packet, which you can find by clicking the preview below.

It's filled with many different writing activities for grades kindergarten through second. My students will write sentences, letters, essays, and more about their sweet moms. I love to read all the kind cards and emails the moms send me after they receive their goodies. It makes all the hard work worth it!

After we are done with Mother's Day, we'll embark on a two week ocean animal extravaganza! Most of my activities will come from my own Oceans of Fun Activity Pack for Kindergarten:

and first and second grade:

For those who are also doing an ocean theme, here is a labeling activity I hope you find useful. Just click on the first image to download from TpT or the second image to download from Google Docs .

After we are done exploring the ocean, we will begin to wind down the school year and spend the final 2 1/2 weeks completing fun end of the year activities. Most of them will come from my own End of the School Year Writing and Grammar Activity Packet. My students will conduct interviews, write letters of thanks to support staff, sort parts of speech cards, and much, much more. The activities are designed to keep my students engaged while I deal with the minutia of closing out my classroom. Here is a preview of my activities. Please click on the image for more information.

Thanks for letting me brag and show off some of my goodies! I promise my future posts will contain more substance than this one! Now, I'm off to take care of a leaky window in my bedroom. I had no idea the window was leaking so terribly until one of my yorkies was in there barking terribly. I went to see the commotion and found him standing in a small puddle of brown water. Eeww! I know! We are having terrible rains in Florida and it will be this way for the rest of the week. I closed my hurricane shutter on that window and it is STILL leaking! I guess I know where my TpT banner prize money is going! :( 

I'm linking up with:

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Throwback Thursday...Sight Words!

I am joining The First Grade Parade's Throwback Thursday Linky!

Here is an old post I wrote about sight words...

I love to show off my word wall because it took me an entire  summer to create. I teach kindergarten, first grade, and second grade, so I had to come up with a way to differentiate my words and have room enough to fit them all in. My word wall consists of all the Dolch words for each grade, plus words that my students frequently use in their writing. It has really helped them become independent spellers. They are always referring to the word wall and using it to help them with their writing. Here are two pictures:

My word wall spans one and a half walls in my room. All kindergarten words are in red, first grade words are in yellow, second grade words are in green, and words frequently used in writing are in orange. My younger students love to boast that they can spell words from higher grades correctly and I sometimes point out to my second graders that they are misspelling words that they learned in kindergarten.

My students and I love to play word wall games and I have a plethora of word wall activity sheets that the children use when they are finished with their station work. My students' favorite word wall games to play are definitely Sparkle and Hangman. Of course there are many more games that we play, but these two are the most requested games.

Another popular game is my Sight Word Memory Game. My students play this all the time and love it!

They also love sight word scrambled sentences...

And, sentence puzzles!

Between word wall games, word wall activity sheets, sentence puzzles, scrambled sentences, etc., I think I've pretty much got it covered! LOL! 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I think I'm a 5 star blogger! What do you think?

I have decided it was time to take the 5-Star Blogger Challenge. To the best of my knowledge, I think I qualify. At least, I hope I qualify! Let's break it down...

CHALLENGE ONE: I have contact information listed on my blog somewhere.  While I understand many bloggers need to remain anonymous for various reasons, you can create a free new email address which can match your blog name in minutes.  Hit up any gmail-type email provider and register your new email.

*I have an email button clearly posted. When you hover your mouse over it, you can easily see my email address. Perhaps that is why I've been getting more spam than usual...But, if it helps me become a 5-Star Blogger, I'm willing to delete a few (hundred) spam emails!

CHALLENGE TWO:  No Pass the Award/Tag posts from you in the last 5 posts on your blog.  You know the one when you receive it, then have to tell 50 things about your last dental visit, and pass it on to 125 other bloggers with red hair?

*I received no less than 7 of them already and answered 3 of them. I just received another one from a lovely blogger and would happily answer her questions, but, I wouldn't be a 5-Star Blogger if I did, so I'll sadly pass. 

CHALLENGE THREE:  Not featuring anyone or anything but yourself and your own ideas on your own blog in the last 3 blog posts.

*Just me talking here! Score!

CHALLENGE FOUR:  No self-promoting new products with no content in the last 4 blog posts.

*I had to check my last 4 posts to make sure. I admit, I do like to showoff my products. However, I always have something else to say or show in those posts. Phew...I almost became a 4-Star Blogger. That would have been embarrassing!

CHALLENGE FIVE:  I will write a new blog post that gives a great teaching idea that I want to share with teachers everywhere.  I will link up that blog post below making sure to include a backlink in my post to this blog post (a bonus etiquette point).

*I can definitely do this! I just posted last night about an adjective idea and included a freebie. I wanted to go back and add a few more pictures. I hope that counts.

Charity, thanks so much for offering this challenge. I hope that I am  thought of as a 5-Star Blogger because I really enjoy sharing my ideas, pictures, and products with anyone who is interested.

I am officially awarding myself the 5-Star Blogger award. Congratulations, me! 

5-Star Blogger

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Words that describe me...

Kind, sincere, funny, giving...oh, wait, that's not what this post is about! Silly me! 

I just love the "Words that describe me" adjective activity that I've been doing for years and see that many of you do it, too. I always look forward to seeing the portraits and reading the words that the children write to describe themselves. I also have them fill out labels to describe the color of their shirt, pants, hair, etc. I promised Krista, over at Stellar Students that I would share the labels with her, so I figured I would share them here in case anyone else was interested. You'll notice that the labels I'm sharing with you today are much cuter than the ones I used in my activity. I made mine years ago, before I got all cutsie and such! I didn't want to share my plain, boring labels, so I quickly cutsied them up! I hope you find them useful. Just click on the image below to get a copy. 

Here are some pictures from my class:

I just wanted to share with you some of the comments I received on this post. Susie Q, from Learning With Susie Q. mentioned that this would be a good beginning of the year activity. I agree and thought it could also be used at the end of the year and the children can draw a friend and label him/her with describing words. I think it would make a cute keepsake. It can even lead into a writing activity. (Example: Billy is funny because he is always making jokes.) Then, Kristy, from Teachin' First, said that she's going to have the children draw their moms and label them with adjectives. That is a super idea and I will probably do the same. I think all the moms would love this activity! Thanks for the great ideas Susie and Kristy!

This post was written in response to the 5-Star Blogger Challenge posted on The Organized Classroom Blog. Make sure to click on over to see more great 5-Star Blogs!

Thanks for looking! If you download my labels, please leave me a comment. I just love reading all my comments! Thanks so much!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Manic Monday at Classroom Freebies!

It's just another Manic Monday...wish it were I don't have to run day. I just LOVE this song and I LOVE Manic Monday at Classroom Freebies! Thanks, Charity! 

I'm linking up and sharing a freebie I posted last week. My first and second graders write on notebook paper a lot and have a difficult time figuring out how to properly use this type of paper. To help them be successful without having to ask me, "Is this the right way?" I keep a laminated model showing the proper way to use notebook paper at each table. They find it very helpful and I love to watch them comparing their paper to the model. If you would like a copy, please click the image below.

You can link up, too! Come and join the fun!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

TpT Banner Contest...please vote for me! Thanks!

Have you heard that Teachers Pay Teachers is having a banner contest? They want to replace their old banner with a new one, made by anyone who is interested. I (almost) never turn away an opportunity to spend quality time creating, so I entered the contest. Here is my contribution:

If you like my banner, I would love it if you would click on it and vote for me. If you don't like it, I would still love your vote! LOL! Thanks so much!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Last Chance to Enter Samson's Giveaway! And some pictures from my week.

Okay, folks, we're coming down to the wire! My Samson's Classroom Giveaway contest ends at the stroke of midnight. Well, not ends when I wake up tomorrow morning! Good news for all you night owls! My students have really been enjoying my free account. It's now officially their favorite computer activity. If you would like to take advantage of this giveaway, please click below for more information.

Do you all play scoot in your classroom? Whenever I tell my students that we're going to play scoot, they literally stand up and cheer. There is something about this game that really excites them. Is it the movement? Is it the fact that I move all my tables into one long line? Is it that every word I say while they are playing begins with an S? Stand, Scoot, Sit, Start, Stop! Do they realize that they're doing work? I don't think so! Scoot really came in handy last week while we were cooped up in our classroom during FCAT testing. Here are some pictures I took of my first graders playing plural nouns scoot.

My version of scoot is not as cute as the one I have at my store.  Today's weather was REALLY bad, so I took advantage of a stay at home day, and cutsied up all my scoot games. I liked them before, but now, wow! I also bundled them to make it a better value. If you are interested in checking them out, please click on the link below to see my bundled game. Once you get to my store, you can find all the games sold separately, too.

In addition to scoot, my first graders were also learning about Earth Day. They wrote expository essays about why Earth Day is important to them. First, we planned our essays on a web and then, after I conferenced with each student to edit and revise, they copied their essays onto publishing paper.

The web and publishing paper are part of my Earth Day Activity Packet. You can check it out here.

The last thing I want to share with you today is a lesson we did on sentence fragments. My first graders needed a little reminder about how to write complete sentences, so I did a group activity where I gave each table a sentence fragment and they worked together to turn it into a complete sentence. They love to write on sentence strips. I don't think this activity would have excited them as much if they had to write it on plain old paper!

Well, that's it for today. I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Notebook Paper Freebie

My first and second graders write on notebook paper a lot and have a difficult time figuring out how to properly use this type of paper. To help them be successful without having to ask me, "Is this the right way?" I keep a laminated model showing the proper way to use notebook paper at each table. They find it very helpful and I love to watch them comparing their paper to the model.

Please let me know if you like it! Thanks!
Teaching My 3 is having a Teacher Appreciation Linky Party and I'm linking
up this post! You can, too! Just grab the button...


Monday, April 16, 2012

Mother's Day, Bragging, and 2 Giveaways

I am very proud of my Mother's Day Unit. It is the first product that I made using PowerPoint. I just can't believe it took stubborn me this long to discover all the benefits of this wonderful program. If anyone is vacillating on whether or not to make the switch, email me and I will give you many reasons why you should. Anyway, here is a preview of my new unit. Please click on it for a larger view.

It is chock full of fun and meaningful writing activities that are sure to excite your students and please their moms! Sadly, not every child has a mom. If this is the case for any of your students, please let me know, and I will change the wording to better suit your needs. If you are interested in purchasing this product or if you would like to see what activities are included, please go to my store to read the product overview, which tells you exactly what's included.

In other news, I just had to share this cute story written by one of my first graders. We just finished up our Spring, Plants, and Insect unit. One of the activities came from Kerri Bordelon's (Teacher Bits and Bobs), The Very Hungry Caterpillar Writing Center. My students love Kerri's writing centers. If you haven't seen them, you should definitely check them out! Here is one of my student's stories.

She was so proud of herself! I just love her creativity. Don't you? Okay, that's my brag for the day!

Now, I would like to give you some information about 2 giveaways from 2 wonderful bloggers. I am happily taking part in both of them. First, there's Jillian, from Jillian's Just Tinkerin' Around. She's offering 9 free items to one lucky winner! You have to hurry, though, because this giveaway ends on 4/18.

Next, there's my blogging buddy, Becky, from Teaching, Learning, and Loving. She's having a 100 Followers Giveaway. She's giving away 3 of her wonderful units and some other activities donated from her blogging friends, me included! 

Okay, so there you have it! A new activity and some bragging from me and 2 great giveaways. I hope you check it all out! You won't be sorry! Thanks so much!

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