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Monday, April 28, 2014

2014-2015 Clip Chart Calendars and Interactive Notebooks

I know this year is just about over and it's hard to think about next year already, but, I have had a lot of requests for my editable clip chart calendars, so I decided to create them now and have the extreme satisfaction of crossing something off my l-o-n-g to do list

Gosh that felt great!


I used different clip art this year, but the rest of the calendar looks the same. These calendars are editable, so you can change the note at the top and the side labels to fit your needs. Just insert your own text and format the font so it's not the boring Comic Sans font! There are calendars for August 2014 through July 2015.


For those who don't wish to edit the calendars, I included a set that is already labeled. See the image below to see if this version meets your needs. If so, then you just need to print and copy and that is it!


I just added this PDF to the file today, so if you already purchased the calendars, please go back and download the file again.

In other news, my first graders are so excited to be my guinea pigs this week! They are trying out my Reading and Language Interactive Notebooks!
I am super duper excited about using interactive notebooks. My students will spend the week trying out the different components, giving me feedback along the way. I am creating lots of fun, engaging activities for our weekly lessons, that include activities for sight words, phonics, grammar, reading, etc. These notebooks will be a great addition to the Journeys reading program, but will also benefit any teacher who wants to use interactive notebooks. 

Are you using interactive notebooks? Do you plan on using them next year? I would love to hear from you about how you feel about using them or what you would like to see in my notebooks. Thank you for your time!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Ellison AllStar Machine Review and AMAZING Giveaway!

I have been a HUGE fan of the Ellison Press since I started teaching back in the 90s. All the schools I've worked at since then have had a few presses and lots and lots of die cuts. I have used them for EVERYTHING! Labels, bulletin board decorations, games, certificates, design elements in class books, etc. I have been a very happy and satisfied puncher for many, many years. Well, imagine my surprise when the company emailed little ol' me and asked me if I would be interested in getting my OWN press and some die cuts and reviewing everything on my blog! What a total dream come true!

They sent me the very lightweight and portable Ellison AllStar SuperStar Machine! And this machine is a true SUPERSTAR! All I had to do was take it out of the box and attach the handle. Then, it was ready for action!

Ellison let me choose some die cuts and I chose the puffy star, 3-piece puzzles, and the flashcard reel top and bottom.

The machine is super easy to use. All you do is fold your paper in half, lay it on top of the die cut, foam side up, and sandwich it between two acrylic sheets. You crank it through the machine, which is very easy and incredibly quiet. You can hear a slight crunching sound as the die cut does its job. Once your sandwich reaches the other side of the machine, you are done and left with a perfectly cut design.

Below, you can see some CVC word puzzles I made for my kindergartners. I also added blends and digraphs. My students LOVED putting the puzzles together and making lots and lots of words.


Here is a sample of how I used the flashcard wheels.

Ellison has tons and tons of different die cuts and it was very hard for me to choose which ones I wanted for this review. I am looking forward to getting a few more to add to my collection.

Would you like to start an Ellison collection too? Well, this lovely company knows that everyone will enjoy what they have to offer, so they are very generously allowing me to give away an AllStar Machine and some die cuts of your choice to a very, very lucky follower! This giveaway is worth over $200! Wow! Just use the rafflecopter below to enter with integrity. Good luck to you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, April 21, 2014

Building Sentences and Blends

I recently was able to finish up two new activities that I started a while ago and never seemed to find the time to complete. 

The first is Building Sentences
Now that my kindergartners are writing more and more, I wanted to give them lots of practice writing complete sentences and following all the proper conventions.
Building Sentences contains 21 different word lists that can be used to make lots of different sentences. The words used are all the popular sight words and decodable words. I used almost all the Dolch Pre-Primer and Primer words and the words from the 2014 Kindergarten Journeys reading program. The activities are very easy to prepare and I numbered and color coded everything to make it easy to keep organized. I even color coded the different parts of speech.
I printed and laminated mine and store them in Ziploc Baggies. It's easy for me to pull out a pack and place it in my Word Work station. You can keep the same list at the station for one week or more. Whatever works best for your class. I keep a lot of my stations out for more than one week.
There are a few recording sheets too, to check for mastery.
You can check it out here

I also finished up Let's Build Words With Blends
Building words is such a fun way to practice decoding and blending. My original pack did not have words with blends. 
You can find it here. It's on sale for a few more hours!
Next up...building words with vowel patterns!

Be sure to stop by my blog tomorrow! I am so excited to tell you all about my review of this...
Just imagine how much fun it would be to have your very own Ellison Press! Your dream could become a reality!
See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Ellison Press


Who loves the Ellison Press?


Who do you think will be giving one away really soon?

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Prefix and Suffix Freebie

Just wanted to share some prefix and suffix flip books with you.
 I shared this book with you last month here.




I made some more! 
I added books for the prefix un-, and the suffixes ly- and ful-.

I also made a cute poster to help my students remember the correct terms. I use the term root word, but I know that some of you may use base word instead. I googled the difference between the two terms and, from what I understand, they have slightly different meanings, but can still be used interchangeably.


I hope you enjoy the books and poster and find them useful. If you do, please leave feedback here. Thanks!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Learning Resources Answer Lights Review and Giveaway

I am a HUGE fan of Learning Resources and am more than happy to show you how I am using one of their brand new products for 2014.



These answer lights come in a set of 4 and have provided tons of excitement to many different classroom activities. The lights have 4 different colors and each light is labeled with a letter or a number. They are great for counting syllables, letter sounds, and multiple choice questions. The children just need to tap a light to make their answer known. The light stays on until it is tapped again. I use these lights during small group instruction. 


Here are my students practicing for the upcoming SAT. This task could be a bit on the boring side. But, the addition of the lights adds a great amount of thrill and elation. It's easy for me to see who is correct and, if different colors are lit, we all know we need to discuss our answer choices.

There are many, many ways to use these lights and I literally discover new ways every single day. The children thoroughly enjoy using them and they are a wonderful addition to my classroom.

Learning Resources knows that you will love them too, and are generously allowing me to give away a set of 4 answer lights to one of my lucky followers. Just use the rafflecopter below to enter, with integrity. Good luck to you!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Scholastic Teacher Book Wizard