Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Holiday Traditions: Winter Wonderland

Hey ya'll! I'm linking of with Ashley from Schroeder Shenanigans in 2nd and Angie from Lucky Little Learners to share my FAVORITE holiday tradition: our Winter Wonderland bulletin board.

(I blogged about this last year, so this is really a "re-blog." Is that a thing??)

This is such a fun activity, and you're able to tie it in with lots of your standards. We turned this into a math/social studies lesson. For the social studies part, we discussed what you would find in a community: businesses, homes, parks. schools, etc. We discussed different holidays that people celebrate in the winter, and we listed activities that people do in the winter/holiday time (not easy since we live in Texas, but they came up with some good ones.)

 Here they are sledding, skiing, making snow angels, and singing Christmas carols.
Those snow angels kill me. So darn CUTE!
Yes, these are pics of my kiddos. They brought in "winter" outerwear one day because it's not that cold here. They chose the activities they wanted to do, and I had them pose and then printed out small pics.
They turned out so sweet. I just cut out little pieces of construction paper for the sleds and skis.
 Next we have our ice skaters, snowman builders, and our shoppers.
(That's my co-teacher and me having a blast as we leave the candy shop!)
For the ice skaters, I printed out little ice skate clip art.
 And, of course, we had to have a snowball fight!
 Finally we have some kids skiing and choosing Christmas trees. If you live in Texas, you KNOW we had to have our favorite grocery store: HEB! And seriously, how precious is that church?

Okay, so now to HOW. We started by brainstorming the buildings that we would need in our community, and then I gave the kids measurements for each building. This is the math part. It worked out perfectly because we were right in the middle of our measurement unit.

 This is the fire station. You can see the measurements and the ruler because this is serious business! The kids had to sketch their idea before they were able to start with the  construction paper.
I also told them everything needed to be cut out. I's cuter, right? Plus, once it was all finished they were able to use my SUPER-SPECIAL oil pastels to add details like Christmas lights or Hanukah menorahs in the window. This is quite the privilege (because they are smeary and you must be very mature to use them), so they were super-excited about this part!
 I kept having to say, "Less is more, people. LESS IS MORE."
Sorry I don't have a pic of that part, but you can see the details in the final product pics.

There you have it! So fun! The key is making sure to incorporate the holiday traditions of all of your students. It is truly one of my absolute favorite projects. Thanks for stopping in!
 Let me know if you have any questions about this project.

Head back to Schroeder Shenanigans to check out the rest of the blogs!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Ready for the BIG Sale?

Hey friends! Jana here.
Are you as excited as we are for tomorrow's TPT CyberSmile sale?! This is the last sale of the year, and I'm super-pumped! I've got my eye on some cute holiday clip art for sure!
Don't forget to use code SMILE at check-out for that added bonus.
The sweet and oh-so-talented Jen at Teaching in the Tongass created a fun linky that I just had to join! My TPT wishlist is huge. I'm always adding items to it, and then digging  through it when there's a sale. Today I'll share my top 3 most wishlisted items.
Maybe one is on your wishlist?

 This item is one of my all-time faves and is also the #1 seller in my store. 5-a-Day Math has been huge in building independence and strengthening my students' math skills. The concepts build on each other and continuously spiral throughout the year so that skills are not forgotten.

 The coolest part is that it's just ONE SHEET of paper per week! I print on legal-sized paper, and my students fold it and keep it in their math folders throughout the week.

I recently created a 2nd Grade 5-a-Day as well.
It's a growing bundle and can also be found in  my TPT store!

You can read more about 5-a-Day Math here: All About 5-a-Day Math
Number 2 on the list is also a bundled item. My Vowel Teams, Digraphs & Diphthongs Bundle includes seven of my word work units. These are quick print-and-go activities and great for practice throughout the week during your spelling practice or word work time.

 You can read more about my word work routine here: Word Work Made Easy

 Number 3 on the list was a pleasant surprise for me! My Life in the Garden unit was one of my very first TPT creations, and it's also one that I love to teach. The activities are fun and hands-on. It's always best to get a little dirty during science time! :)

You can read more about this unit here: Life in  the Garden

Hey guys! It's Ashley now...thought I'd jump on in and share my top 3 wishlisted items. As Jana mentioned, I LOVE these sales because my wishlist is FULL FULL FULL (5 pages full to be exact), and I can't wait to move some of them over to my cart! 
My number one item is one of my first TPT creations. It's a QR code scavenger hunt. I love using QR codes to get my kiddos up and moving. They get to scan the code, an image pops up on the iPad or other electronic took, and they write the CVC word on their recording sheet. You can get the bundle here or each vowel is sold separately if you'd like to try just one at a time. (Short a is my best seller of the individual sets.)
My second most wishlisted item is my most recent product. It's the LA version of Jana's Math 5-a-day. I used the math 5-a-day last year and was constantly wishing I had the LA counterpart to go along with I got busy creating it! It's such a fun quick way to practice sight words, phonics, spelling, sentence rules, etc. It is a spiraling review so it helps create independence and build self confidence too. I print mine on a legal size paper so it only uses one sheet of paper per week!
And my final product is a science unit called Life in the Pond! This unit is packed full of HANDS-ON science lessons, including an outline on how to create a small desktop pond habitat. My students LOVE this science unit!!!

So, what’s on your wishlist this weekend? I can't wait to clear out my wishlist during the TPT Cyber Smile Sale! Our stores will be 20% off, and don’t forget to use promo code SMILE to save an extra 10% at checkout!

Head back to Teaching in the Tongass to see everyone else's Top Wishlisted Item posts!

Friday, November 20, 2015

5 for Fri-YAY

I’m a little embarrassed that this is my first blog post for the school year and it’s NOVEMBER! November, people! Yikes!!! I decided to team up with Doodlebugs for a little Five for Friday fun!
Teacher Life Hack
I love decorating my classroom and hanging up posters, anchor charts, kids’ work, etc. I don’t love when all of those lovely things end up on the floor. This year I have a classroom with cinder block walls all around so stapling into the wall is not an option and hot gluing to the wall leaves such a mess. With a little help from some hot glue and painters tape my walls are getting more colorful! I just put hot glue on my posters, then put painters tape over the glue then taped the posters to the wall. I suppose any tape could work, but I MY HUSBAND painted my classroom this summer so with painter’s tape there’s no sticky mess left behind. 
Classroom decor available in my TPT Store 
   LA 5-a-day
Last year my teammate (Jana Guerra) created Math 5-a-days. They are AWESOME and really aligned with our curriculum. I kept thinking that I needed something similar for language arts…so I created the LA version. I use them with my 1st grade RTI groups for a quick review of handwriting, sight words, and phonics. I love having all of these skills in one spot and it only takes a few minutes at the beginning of each of our groups. The same skills are reviewed in two week chunks to help build mastery and independence. I print mine on legal sized paper so it only takes one paper for the entire week. We normally grade them together on Fridays. 

Coding apps
Is anyone out there using coding apps in your classroom? We had a quick PD meeting this week on some engaging coding apps that I thought I’d share. We are fortunate to have 1:1 ipads in our school, and the kids cannot get enough of these two coding apps! I am by no means an expert on either of these apps, but I enjoy learning with the kiddos. If you have any coding apps to share, please do! I’d love to learn more. These were perfect for Kinder, 1st and 2nd graders.
3rd Birthday
My oldest daughter turned 3 this month so we decided to go “glamping” (glamorous camping) to celebrate! We had so much fun playing in the tent, roasting marshmallows, and creating our own s’mores at the “S’mores Bar.” Here's the menu if you'd like it. =)

Everyone needs this picture at least once right…
I took my kiddos to see Santa…the 3 year old kept a safe distance, but the younger one didn’t have a choice.  Poor baby!

Monday, August 3, 2015

All About: 5-a-Day Math

Hi friends! It's been a LONG time since Ashley and I have blogged, and we've had many changes- both professionally and personally. Ashley is moving into a part-time RTI position at our school. For me, I decided at the end of last year that I would switch to a grade level that I've always wanted to teach- 2nd! The biggest change for me personally... Meet my sweet baby boy, Drew!

This little angel is a month old and is making TPT creating quite difficult, but I wouldn't trade him for the world!

One thing that I definitely wanted to create is a 2nd grade version of my favorite product: 5-a-Day Math. Because our math curriculum doesn't spiral through the skills, the review really helped my firsties last year.

5-a-Day Math is a daily review of different skills. The same skills are reviewed in 3 week chunks- this helps build skill mastery and independence as students know exactly what is expected of them. They are printed on legal-sized paper for just one sheet per week! My students completed these at the beginning of our math block last year. This next year it will be our morning work.

Originally, we checked them as a group on Friday. I then started collecting them and grading them and allowing the students to correct any errors. This gave me a much better picture of where the students were with the skills we were reviewing.

The 2nd grade version is a growing bundle and currently includes the first 6 weeks. I'll be adding  the additional weeks throughout the school year.

You can check out both units in my TPT store. Click on the pics below for more info!

For more BTS math items, check out my Surfing Into First and my Fall Football Themed math tubs. My entire store is on sale for the Teachers Pay Teachers BTS Sale!

That's it for now! Let's go fill up our carts before time runs out!