Friday, November 28, 2014

Five for Friday

It's Five for Friday time!  I'm linking up with Doodlebug's Teaching.

I have to say, I was thinking this morning about what I would put since I kind of took lots of naps, watched lots of Hallmark movies, and ate lots of food.  I was seriously pretty lazy, but it was very much needed.   I decided I would pull some of my favorite Christmas ideas and freebies :)  Hope you enjoy and that this saves you a little time!

December Book Reports are always a huge hit with my kiddos, so here you go.

Do you know what you are doing for your parent gifts yet?  I've made these ornaments and reindeer bags the last few years.  The kids LOVE doing them and overall, they are pretty easy.  I grabbed all the supplies at Michaels.  If you decide to do them, make sure you check and see if you got plastic or glass ornaments.  There's a big difference when one rolls off the table.  Trust me!  Also, I would go grab the ornaments ASAP.  They always seem to sell out pretty quickly.  Oh, and don't forget that Michaels will give you a teacher's discount if you show them your badge.

Do you like quick centers?  Here's a center that I pull out every year that my kiddos love.

Do you watch Polar Express every year?  Well, we usually do it the week before we get out for Christmas.  One of my favorite things to do are writing activities that tie into what is interesting to my kids at the time.  Oriental Trading has these great train stickers!  I order them every year and my kids have to write about their train, where they would go, who would go with them , etc.  It's a fun, little writing activity and they LOVE getting to do anything that includes stickers.

Last, but not least, here are a few fun math printables that you may like.  A funny story about these is I drew them around ten years ago - long before I knew Teachers Pay Teachers existed.  I have a hard time focusing in meetings if I'm not drawing or writing, so I drew them in a meeting.  I know that's probably not good to admit, but honestly, as long as I'm drawing I hear every word someone is saying.

If you are out shopping today, be safe and have fun!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

I'm linking up with Miss DeCarbo's Wordless Wednesday.

My grandfather makes these every year for my WHOLE class.  My kids talk about them for days before we make them.  The turkeys are a classroom tradition.  What's a tradition you do in your classroom at Thanksgiving?
Have a great Thanksgiving tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

December Writing Bundle

Do y'all love Thanksgiving week as much as me?  I get the WHOLE week off, so that means I get lots of naps, lots of free time to create, and oh, just a few dozen hours to watch Hallmark Christmas movies.  Don't get me wrong.  I LOVE my class, but weeks like this are perfect heading into the three weeks before Christmas projects, rotations, parties, and all things that make school fun.

Anyway, last Thursday I was talking to a friend about teaching writing.  It is one of my favorite things to teach and honestly, I love how it looks in the hallway.  I think most of the time it is the best representation of the personalities in my room.  Does it take forever?  Sometimes!  However, I have to tell you, I skipped writing projects for the last few weeks to get in assessments and my kiddos actually asked me when they were going to do writing projects again.  They missed them which makes my teacher's heart happy.

So, now that I've gone off on a trail, let me get back to my friend.  We were talking and she needed a good writing activity for December.  I started thinking about it, and I have great activities for January, but not for December, so I told her I wanted to create something - a December Writing Bundle.

This bundle might be my favorite writing packet ever.  I created four separate writing activities so you can choose which ones you want to do.  I also tried to make sure that all types of writing were covered.  I also made the handwriting paper where it can fit K-2.  There are multiple sheets, so you can pick what fits you best.  The graphic organizers and the rubrics are editable, so they can be adjusted to fit your requirements.  If you want to check out my packet, click any of the images.  It will take you to the packet.
Now, I know what you are probably saying, "Faith, I don't have time to do this.  It takes too long and I'm one person."  Well, here's how I do it.  I have a parent come on Tuesdays for an hour.  She takes my lowest group.  We have a STEM Lab, so she usually takes them there to work.  That way they can focus a little better.  Then, I work with my middle students.   Since that group is a little bit bigger, most of the time I put a few of them on Headsprout or Nook Kids (iPads).  Once my middle students finish I rotate them out with the technology kids.  My high kids work independently.  Part of the reason I take my middle kids instead of my lowest is it helps me decide when they are independently writing.  Once I see that they are starting to write on their own and they aren't needing my guidance, I move them to the high group.  Many of my lower students are going to need ongoing help, so my goal is to get my middle and high kids working independently so that I can then focus on the lower students.  I am not going to tell you that this is the only way or that it is always perfect, but it has worked great for me 90% of the time.  I also see them transferring the skills we work on weekly into their writing assessments, so I feel like they are getting more of a foundation this way.

Another thing I do is we really only do this type of writing on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.  On Mondays and Thursdays, I usually do 6+1 Writing Traits lessons.  This way when we are writing on Tuesdays and Wednesdays we can talk about how what we learned the day before applies to our writing.   I picked Mondays because Mondays are usually crazy, so I want something a little easier on Mondays.  I picked Thursdays because if the final draft carries over then it's pretty easy to adjust the 6+1 lesson.  It isn't as easy for me to adjust my Fridays since a lot of our assessments and special school activities fall on Fridays.

If you have any questions, let me know.
Have a great Tuesday!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Thanksgiving Hop

Hi everyone! 

I am teaming up with some great teacher bloggers to bring you another Take a Closer Look blog hop featuring one of our favorite November productsWe want to give you a closer look and a FREEBIE from the unit to try out with your class.

I wanted to give you a closer look at my Thanksgiving Printables packet.  It is loaded with printables that you can use as assessments, homework, morning work, etc.

Here is a freebie from my unit!

Like it? Love it?

Gotta have it? 

We are throwing a 15% off sale for the next two days to celebrate! 

And now, I'm sending you off to another amazing freebie! 

Hop on over to my blogging buddy Anna's blog.  She has AWESOME stuff that I know you will love! 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Thanksgiving Fun!

Can y'all believe it is seriously November?  I am still amazed that we are in November!  Thanksgiving and Christmas are right around the corner and until a few days ago I swear I was wearing shorts and flip flops.  Well, I actually was since I live in Georgia, but still.  It's just crazy to me!

So, since we are in November and I'm doing my best to not procrastinate quite as much, I'm doing a Thanksgiving post.

Oh, and since it's Thanksgiving, I'm going to include two of my favorite freebies.

#1 - November Book Reports
Have you grabbed these yet?  Can I tell you a funny story?  So, if you've been collecting my monthly book reports, you will appreciate this.  My book reports started with the November one.  One of my sweet teammates wanted to have a book report that was on a kid level.  Do you see the turkey to the right?  Well, this was before I had tons of clip art, so I hand drew a turkey.  Then, I used a scanner to scan it and load it.  Every time I look at it, it makes me laugh at how much I've changed since that first book report two years ago.   My book reports have come a long way since the first one.

If you can use this freebie, feel free to click on the images to grab it.  Hope you enjoy!

#2 - Turkey Template 
This is a little different, but every year since I started teaching my grandfather makes me wooden turkeys.  Friends, he has done this for me for the last thirteen years.  I LOVE traditions, so these little turkeys are huge!  To the point if I've taught two out of three siblings, I have to give a turkey to the third one.  So, you may or may not be able to use this, but it's a turkey template.  If you have a handy friend or husband feel free to use this to make some turkeys for your class.  Oh, and a quick hint, go grab feathers right now!

#3 - Thanksgiving Packet
Well, I have a little Thanksgiving printable packet.  If you want to grab it, click on one of the images. Here's a quick hint that I'm ONLY telling my blog followers.  Right now, the packet is $3.00.  Well, I'm about to add a bunch of new pages this weekend and then the price is going to be around $5 or $6, so if you want to save a little, grab it now, and then download it late Sunday or Monday.  You will get it cheaper, but will also get all the new pages when it is loaded.

#4 Thanksgiving Extravaganza
Do you ever go through your files and find a treasure?  Well, I used this packet from Hollie Griffith last year and fell in love with it!  Friends, it is simply incredible!  Last year, I did the Pilgrims, but this year I am definitely going to jump in and use more of the packet.

This year, I hope to use her foldable about the Wampanaog Indians, the turkey hats, and the turkey craft and poems.  We did the turkey hats last year with The Great Turkey Race and my kiddos loved it!  It's pretty easy to make and I loved how it had a sequencing activity.

The foldables may be a little more complicated, but I think my kids this year LOVE hands-on activities, especially if they get to cut and glue.  I can't wait to see how these go!

Hope you love it as much as I do!  Oh, and I created this graphic organizer to go with the writing activity.

#5 Interactive Thanksgiving Books

Um... Yes!!!!  I have to tell you I was slightly geeked out when I got this packet.  I sent my Fluttering through First Grade friends one of my packets because they are some of my blogging BFFs.  Well, they sent me this packet back and it was the perfect gift.  I had been eyeballing it and had plans to grab it and my girls read my mind.  We will be doing this project the week before Thanksgiving.

#6 - Thanksgiving Roll & Cover
My kiddos love this game!  It makes a quick center or activity that they can take home.  I made it in color and black and white, so you can print, laminate, and use counters with it or you can let the kids color it and keep it for home.  You can click on any of the images to grab it.

Alright, so those are six freebies or packets I'm using over the next few weeks.  Hope you have an incredible weekend!  

Oh, and if it's cold near you drink a hot chocolate for me :)