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Sunday, December 30, 2012

New Year's Linky


I'm linking up with one of my best blogging buddies, Jen Ross, from The Teacher's Cauldron. She's having a link-up for us to share one personal and one blogging resolution. And, we all know that resolutions only work if we tell hundreds of people about them, right? 

Personal Resolution
Well, my one personal resolution is to write neater when I'm not writing for and with my students. I actually have really nice handwriting when I'm around my students.


Neat right? But, something happens when I'm writing notes to myself.


I bet you can't even read it! Well, my resolution is to write neater when I'm not with my students so that I can actually read my notes and lists and stuff.

Blogging Resolution
My blogging resolution is to try my best to not take an hour or longer to write my posts. Seriously! It takes me f.o.r.e.v.e.r. to write every single post. It could be because I write, look at facebook, answer emails, and do about 10 other things at the same time! I LOVE to blog, but, I have got to try and give it my full attention so that I finish my posts in a timely fashion. Does anyone else multitask while you're blogging? While I am writing this post, these are the other things I did at the same time:


1. Answered 2 emails 
(one from Alessia and one from Kristen).

2. Took this picture of my yorkie, Max 
(to show Kristen!)


3. Watched a really cute video of Kristen's new yorkie, Koda, playing with his squeaky toy!

4. Pinned a few things to a new collaborative kindergarten pinterest board. You should check it out!

5. Wrote a few comments on facebook to my buddies.

I think you get the hint! I resolve to write a blog post and do nothing else at the same time. Let's see how long that lasts!

I look forward to reading about everyone's resolutions. And, to writing neater. And writing quicker blog posts. Wish me luck!
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Friday, December 28, 2012

Organization is my middle name!

I am probably one of the most organized people around and I was very excited to see that there is a linky party about one of my FAVORITE topics!

blessings giveaway

I am linking up with Hope at Second Grade Shenanigans, and sharing some of the techniques I use to keep my classroom and students organized.

Ziploc Baggies
I am addicted to Ziploc baggies. I keep everything and I mean everything in labeled baggies. Here's how I organize patterns for crafts:

Presentation1

I put them all in a separate baggie, along with the paper the children need to use for that pattern. I also label each pattern with what it is and the color it needs to be. I've taught the children to put the pattern back into the baggie once they are done using it.

Mailbox System
Also, I love using mailbox systems to hold activities for the children. They know to go to the labeled mailbox and choose an activity to complete while they are waiting for everyone else to finish.


In the mailbox above, there is an activity in each of the numbered mailbox slots. The children look through the binder below to find the activity they want to complete.



Each activity in the binder has a number. If they want the activity above, they will find it in the mailbox slot labeled #16. This way, they are not searching through the mailbox, trying to find what they want and pulling everything out and putting it back all messy. My students learn very early on that messy papers drive me crazy! And, I can honestly say that I rub off on them in a positive way. They'll call out anyone whose papers are dog-eared!

I also go one step further to help keep my students organized. They each have a folder with a menu inside that has a little image of each of the activities they can complete when they are done with their station work. It looks like this:


When they have finished an activity, they lightly shade in the image and cannot complete that same activity until they have completed them all. This helps them remember what they have done so they don't keep repeating activities.

The above activities come from my Writing Station Activities for Young Learners pack, but, you can do this system with any of your activities. However, if you already own this product, just email me and I will give you the menu I made. Oh, and today, I added one more activity to the pack. It's another survey:

Kindergarten and First Grade Writing Forms Part 1

Just download the product again to get it.

Procedures
The last tip I have for you, to help keep your classroom always looking perfect, is to enlist the help of your students. Don't think you always have to do it yourself. Everyone who comes into my classroom always asks me how I manage to keep it so neat, clean, and organized at all times of the day. It's really simple! Everything has a place, the children learn where that place is, and it is easy for them to put it away. It takes some time at the beginning of each school year to teach the children where everything goes, but, they catch on and, when they do, it's smooth sailing for the rest of the year!

I hope I have inspired you in some way, shape, or form, to start 2013 with a positive feeling about keeping your classroom and students organized.

The last thing I want to say is, one of my best blogging buddies, Alessia, from Mrs. Albanese's Class, is having an amazing New Year's Eve giveaway! What better way to start a new year, than by winning tons and tons of goodies for your classroom. You can enter this giveaway by clicking on the image below. Good luck to you!

NYE-giveaway
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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Give me a C! Give me a V! Give me another C! What's it spell?

Well, it really doesn't spell anything, does it? But, it is one of my favorite acronyms. During the second half of kindergarten, I'll be focusing a lot on CVC words. Being able to read patterns, instead of just memorizing words, is crucial for reading and writing success. Like most of you, I'm sure, I have a lot of CVC activities, but, I'm not too happy with them. Most of them use the same CVC words over and over again, the clip art is unappealing, and the activities are boring. So, instead of frantically searching for CVC activities that I can use for the rest of the year, I decided to create my own. This is why The ULTIMATE CVC Pack was born!
The Ultimate CVC Pack Cover
CVC Pack Preview
It is filled with the following activities:
Scrambled Sentences
Slide1
Real / Nonsense Words
Slide2
Puzzles
Slide3
Memory Game
CVC Memory Preview
Mats
Slide4
I Have Who Has Game
Slide5
Write the Room
Slide8
Bingo
Slide6
Scoot
Slide2 (2)
Word Searches
Slide1 (2)
(Keep reading to find out how you can score a word search freebie!)
Worksheets
Slide7
I have already used a lot of the activities in this pack in previous years, but, I worked hard for the past several days, updating the clip art and adding more variety. I like knowing that my students can use these activities over and over again without using the same words over and over again. I researched CVC words and made myself a list of just about every single one. Then, as I used the words in the activities, I crossed them out to avoid using them too many times.

If you are interested in purchasing any or all of these CVC activities, you can purchase them separately or you can purchase the bundle, which saves you 30%. That comes to a $10.00 savings!

So, now that you've suffered through this long post, you deserve a little freebie from this pack. Hidden inside the preview of the word searches is a free word search just for you! You can find it by clicking here or here and then downloading the preview. I hope you enjoy it! If you do, please come back and tell me so. Thanks!
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Sunday, December 23, 2012

2012 Bloggy Best and Brightest Linky



I'm linking up with Christina, from 
Bunting, Books, and Bainbridge!
She's hosting a fun linky where you share some of your blog's best and brightest moments of the past year, as well as, brag about other bloggers, too.

I looked at my blogger stats and found my 3 most popular posts of the year. 
Of course, I only started blogging this past March, so all my posts are from this year!

This post explained how I use my clip chart and contains lots and lots of freebies!

 This was my first ever freebie! It's a classroom promise that I keep on my door. 
The children love to recite it every single day. 

My MOST popular post, the one that gets the most views, is the one I made with all of my classroom photos.

If you haven't seen these posts yet, I hope you take a peek!

Now, I'd like to take a moment to brag about some of my favorite blogs. I have way too many to list because, I'm slightly addicted to reading blogs, so, I'm going to leave you the link to my Pinterest board, that has links to most of them. Please go check them out! I consider these bloggers my friends even though I have never met them. We really connected through blogging!


Well, this was fun! It was like taking a walk down memory lane! You should link up, too!
Just click on the image at the top of my post.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Snowmen At…

Who loves Caralyn Buehner books besides me?
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snowmen_all_year
SnowmenatNight
After my two week vacation, my students will enjoy some fun activities based on all three books.

Kindergartens will respond to the stories, write the room, label, describe, and write sentences. Each story comes with a writing activity that can be made into class books with colored or black and white covers.



First and second graders will respond to the stories, write words in ABC order, sort nouns, verbs, and adjectives, put together compound words, and play a reading comprehension / grammar game. All of the activities contain words from the stories.

I am so excited for this unit because Caralyn Buehner books always excite my students and bring out their creativity!

I would love to give away one of these units to a lucky follower. All you have to do is comment below and tell me which is your favorite Caralyn Buehner book. Also, tell me the version of the activity you would prefer (kindergarten or first and second grade.) I will choose a random winner tomorrow. Good luck!

*Update*
Congratulations to Robin Smith! 
She has won the first/second grade unit!
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Scholastic Teacher Book Wizard