Saturday, September 22, 2012

Free Clip Art Snatch-Up: Halloween Costume Party!

Whew, my. goodness. I have been neglecting my blog this week! I have so many things I want to write and share, I just can't find the time to get them into a post! It's after 2am right now and I am heading off to bed, but I wanted to post a clip art snatch-up for my newest bundle of clip art: Halloween Costume Party- for all you blog hoppers who eat breakfast in front of their computers, you will be the first to see this :)

This set includes the color AND the black and white images for just $3.00 at my little TpT shop. The first three people to post a comment on here, follow my blog and TpT store will get this festive set for FREE! If you aren't a breakfast blog hopper and miss the giveaway, you can grab the set {HERE} at my TpT store :)

I have also passed 700 followers on TpT so I am gearing up for my big celebration giveaway for that! Thanks for following! I'm actually at 732 followers now, but it's been such a crazy week I haven't put together all the giveaways I have planned. I'm talking lots of freebies folks!! It will be 7 days of freebies- FOR EVERYONE! Plus 7 big winners at the end of the week. Stay tuned and I'll try to get my act together for setting it up soon!

Hope everyone enjoyed their *first* official days of fall! Bring on the apple cider, sweatshirt weather and pumpkin flavered food in every shape and form :)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Two big Freebies for almost Friday!!

Hi blog friends! Today was a fabulous day! After two in-service days on Monday and Tuesday, being bogged down by curriculum changes, teacher stress and just pure exhaustion, today was exactly what I needed. My kiddos have been great all year, but today was just fantastic all around. On my high from a great day and because tomorrow is Friday :) I thought I would share a bunch of freebie of activities we have done this week. Get ready for a hod-podge of stuff, but take what you want and hopefully some or all will be useful for you :)

First up, an Awesome Alliteration Activity. My kids L-O-V-E-D alliterations today and spent the whole rest of the day finding examples in our classroom, other books and around the school. I had the kids pick an animal and the letter that it started with was their alliteration "sound" or letter. We used this brainstorming sheet to record words with the same letter sound before the kiddos wrote a funny paragraph/story with them. The sheet really helped them plan and was a great review of parts of speech (nouns, adjectives, verbs). Here is a {freebie} of the activity if your interested. The first sheet is the brainstorming sheet and the second one is the publishing page. The kids wrote their alliteration letter in the small circle and did a small illustration at the bottom of the page under their alliteration paragraph:


Next freebie is a math activity that I came up with to practice sampling and graphing with my class. I wanted them to see how sampling could be used in real life situations, so I put a circus scenario together that required them to solve a problem by making conclusions about a sample and population. You can grab it here if you want it. The only thing I don't have included in this freebie is the graphing paper, because I used a blank graphing sheet from our math curriculum and didn't want to post it for copyright issues. Here is a little peak at the activity and click {HERE} for a free download :)


One last questions for you. So last year I taught first grade and still have a TON of resources and freebies that I created for that grade that I would like to share this year now that I have a blog. I am currently teaching third grade, so I am also posting ideas from this year and resources for third grade. I would really like to keep ONE blog, but how should I present these freebies since my posts will be a mix of first and third grade resources? Anyone else in the same boat? Is there a way to categorize them on my blog? Lemme know! Have a fantastic Friday and weekend all!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Actually made it in time for Made it Monday!

Mark your calendars! It is the first time I have actually remembered/had time to/had something to blog about on a Made it Monday! Actually I have had this "made" for a while, but didn't have the photos taken.

When I was getting ready for this school year, I discovered paper cake doilies. Okay, yes I knew they existed, but I didn't know they went beyond those lacey white ones that shed and leave white flakes everywhere. I found these little beauties at AC Moore (sorry for the glare):

I forget exactly how much they cost, but I used a 40% off coupon and I think they were only like three dollars for 10 doilies? There are other smaller sizes of the same type and you get like 12 or 16 in a package.

I had been going through black ink "like whoa" and I thought these papers would prolong the life of my black ink cartridge. I used them on my binder covers and I think they are too cute if I do say so myself:

The binders are the white kind with a clear overlay. I used scrapbook paper and then printed out the white circle/lettering on my computer.

Because they came in packs of ten (and of course I bought two packs), I also found other ways to use them in my room/decor. I glued these "Welcome" letters on them before I laminated them and glued them on the ribbon.

I slipped one under my estimation jar to jazz up my little table here. 
And yes, those are truffala tree pencils!

I bought the mini ones and have yet to make anything with them, but I can tell you that I have lots of ideas! They also come in white I believe, but I liked the bold black edge with the black and white zebra that I had in my room already.

Well, it wasn't a very elaborate Made it Monday, but if you are lookin to put a little "fancy" into your classroom, these paper cake doilies are perfect!

P.S. I excitedly went to Starbucks yesterday (well it actually is a Starbucks kiosk in my grocery store, Dover doesn't have a stand alone Starbucks) and was all pumped up and in the autumn spirit to order my first pumpkin spice latte of the season.....they were out!! Oh the defeat. I didn't even order something else instead- the Caramel Apple Spice Cider is usually my other go-to fall favorite. I will have to try back- for now I am relying on my other true coffee love: my Pumpkin Spice Keurig cups, which are now sitting next to my little pumpkin in my kitchen. Never too early for autumn and picking up a pumpkin while grocery shopping!

Have a great Monday!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Free Font to start off your week!

Just thought I would leave you with a quick free font to start off your week. This free font is called Walk in the Park and is very similar to another one of my fonts, but it doesn't have the dots on the letters. It is a bit more simple for worksheets or text heavy resources that you might make. It is {FREE} so check it out at my TpT store and download if you like!

Enjoy your Sunday evening!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

"Expand" your students' writing with Descriptive Details {Freebie}

Hi all! We made it through another week! Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. My kiddos are troopers this year and I feel like we have started the year off with a bang. Although after getting 14 hours of sleep last night, I'm still tired!

We started state testing on Wednesday to get a benchmark for the year. Not fun. One of my littlest ones came into school in tears because he hadn't scored well on the test last year and was scared about the test. It broke my heart. Since I changed from first grade to third grade this year, it is my first year giving the state test. Thankfully we only have one more day of testing next week and then can focus on instruction and learning so that the kids will feel more ready in the spring. What do you do to help those kiddos with anxiety and nerves about testing? I'm thinking I will have a fun test prep theme in the spring like "Rock the Test" with a guitar and rock 'n roll theme or something like that.

Last year my team and I started this challenge called "Finding the fun in rigorous instruction." Okay, so I actually started it and was lucky that the rest of my awesome team humored me in the process :) My school has a huge push for "rigorous instruction" without the "fluff." I am all for purposeful learning and lessons, but I also became a teacher because I love the fun, creative aspect of teaching. I felt like rigorous instruction was getting misunderstood with intense worksheets, extensive writing and too many two-dimensional lessons. I call a "two-dimensional lesson" one that doesn't go beyond worksheets. It's flat. So when I was going to be teaching descriptive writing to my third graders this week, I knew I needed a little spunk.

We read the book, Crickwing, by Janell Cannon. I LOVE LOVE her books. Stellaluna is one of my absolute favorites, and although Crickwing is about a cockroach- I still love it!

The book has so much descriptive language, so I had the kiddos do a listening activity for really good adjectives and verbs. I was really impressed at how many they were able to write down just from listening to the story. We talked about "said" substitutes last week (other descriptive ways of saying  "said"), so they were really good at picking out those. I made up the quick recording sheet below- it can be used with any book though. Click on the picture if you want to download it for {Free}.

This would be a super easy independent activity during centers, too. Students can fill out the sheet as they are reading silently or with a buddy. 

After the kiddos had a chance to identify descriptive examples in books, I gave them a chance to edit a sample paragraph and insert better descriptive words.  I just typed up a short paragraph with very basic language. But the fun part about this lesson is this little guy (there were ants in the Crickwing story, so that is kind of how it tied in, too):

This little ant is one of those toys from the dollar store that grows 600% when you put him in water. I used him to demonstrate how descriptive details EXPAND our writing. When the students were editing the sample paragraph I gave them with descriptive language I gave them these little sheets:

I thought this would be a good visual for them to see how many more detail they needed to add. When they came to me with their fixed-up paragraph, I would tell them how full their cup of details was. If they only added a few descriptive examples, they were "Almost Empty." If they added many details and substituted overused words with better language, they were "Filled to the Brim." When they got to that point, they got to add a cup of water to our little critter.

The whole class really rallied together to get everyone's cups "Filled to the Brim" so we would have enough water to cover our little ant. I forgot to take a picture of how big he was after he grew, but the kids ran into the classroom the next day and were so excited to see how their "Cups of Descriptive Details" made our ant expand.

Last thing, I did an interview for Teacher Certification if you want to check it out {HERE}

I really enjoyed reading the other teacher's interviews on the website, so definitely check them out, too!

Okay, I lied, one more last thing: I am 50 followers away from 700 over at my little TpT store!! Once I reach 700 I am going to have a HUGE giveaway on my blog, so if you haven't become a follower of my shop, click {HERE}!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Can I get a "Whoop, Whoop" for FREE FONTS?

Oh blog friends! This has been a whirlwind of a start to the school year- but my kiddos are AMAZING! I have such a great group of students and they are already working so hard. Last night was our Parent Information Night, so that also busied up my week, too.

There are so many activities and lesson we have done that I want to blog about but I'm going to have to save them for the weekend when I can catch up on my posts! We have two teacher inservice days next week, so I'm thinking that planning for only three instructional days will give me some time to nurture my neglected little blog.

For now, I wanted to finally post two free fonts that I have had done for a while. Snatch up these little {FREE} goodies at my TpT store :) Hope you are having a wonderful week! Happy hump day!

Click on the images below if you want the fonts :)