Thursday, December 12, 2013

Gingerbread Crafts & Freebies

Every year I like to have my students create a special holiday present for their parents and for the past few years we have been making these super cute gingerbread ornaments. 

The first step is to cut the men out using sandpaper from the dollar store.  I usually cut these out ahead of time because cutting sandpaper can be very challenging for those little student scissors.  

Once they are cut, I have students rub a cinnamon stick over them to give them a yummy smell and then glue them to a piece of brown construction paper.  

I let the gingerbread men dry overnight and then students can cut out around the brown construction paper and begin the decorating!  

Gingerbread men can be decorated with crayons, puff balls & goggly eyes.  To finish them off you just have to punch a hole in the top & add a ribbon to hang it from.  It takes us a couple of days to finish these adorable gingerbread ornaments but they are so worth it! 

Now for the FREEBIE!  Gingerbread Adjective Craftivity!  Check this out in my TPT store, you can  have students create their own gingerbread person using construction paper and then use adjectives to describe them. There is also an alternative follow up Create Your Own Gingerbread Person adjective practice worksheet included!

Thanks for stopping by!  What are some of the fun things you make for parent gifts this time of year?  What do you you give your students?  

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Holiday Linky Party

It's been snowing here all day and as far as I can tell, it has switched over to an icy rain mix now!  Brrrrrr!  It is beautiful to look at, I'm just hoping to get a snow day tomorrow so I won't have to drive in it!!

I just want to write a quick post today to share some holiday fun!   While I was surfing my favorite blogs today, I found this great linky party over at My Kinder Garden Blog.  Hop over there and check out all the amazing and cute holiday ideas in the linky!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Gingerbread Fred & Gingerbread Sally are back!

I can't believe it is almost December.  When we go back to school it will be December 2nd!  Wow, this year is flying by already!  Anyway, December means that it is time for Gingerbread Fred and Gingerbread Sally to make another appearance in 1st grade.  Each year they come and visit 1st grade and we have loads of gingerbread fun with them.

As soon as we get back to school, I will introduce our new gingerbread friends and share the exciting news that Gingerbread Fred and Gingerbread Sally will be going home with each of my students to spend an evening with them.  Students have a blast taking the gingerbread friends home, taking pictures of them and writing in their journal.  Check out the the whole unit here in my TPT store!  I bought these cute little friends at CVS a few years ago but you don't even have to have the cute fluffy versions, just print the gingerbread friends in the unit and laminate them for durability like the rest of my team does!!

 Gingerbread Fred and Gingerbread Sally really kick off my month full of gingerbread fun!  We love reading different versions of gingerbread stories, making gingerbread fact families and check out my Gingerbread Adjectives Freebie!

 What fun holiday activities are your favorites?

Thursday, November 21, 2013

My favorite activity for Thanksgiving!

Hi and happy almost Thanksgiving!  I wanted to share this fun Pass the Turkey Please Thanksgiving craft with everyone.
I started this activity last year in my classroom and will do it every year from now on because it was so wonderful!  We have been learning all about culture and what makes our families special so this was a perfect activity to tie things together before the holiday.  We created turkeys in class and then they had a class meeting to talk about all the things we were thankful for.

My sweet kiddos each wrote one thing they were thankful for on one of the turkey's feathers and then I explained what they were going to do with their special turkey creations.  Their job was to take the turkeys home,  bring them to the table on Thanksgiving day and ask their family what they were thankful for.  I sent a letter home to parents explaining the project and reminding them to have students bring turkey back to school on Monday.

On Monday morning all the turkeys came back to school and everyone got a chance to share what everyone in their family had written.

The responses were wonderful and filled with love.  I was totally crying by the time we were done sharing!  A few parents told me at the end of the year that the turkeys were one of their favorite projects all year and that they planned on bringing their "thankful turkey" out each year.

I can't wait to do this with my class this year!  Hop over to my TPT store and grab the project that comes with a parent letter and all the templates you need to create your own "thankful turkeys".

This year I have so much to be thankful for!  I thankful for my friends, my wonderful family, my amazing team at work and all of the amazing teacher bloggers who help me become a better teacher every day!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Thanksgiving Linkys and a FREEBIE!

Hi!  Between report cards and parent teacher conferences, I feel like I am just coming up for air and it is already 2 weeks into the 2nd quarter!  Wow!

I have been surfing around tonight and found a few cool linky parties with all these fun Thanksgiving activities and I thought I would share them with you.

Mrs. Thompson's Treasures and My Kinder Garden Blog!  Hop over and check them out!

Also, check out this fun word work freebie from my TPT store!

If you like that, them you will love my other work work units!  :) 

Friday, November 8, 2013

I'm so thankful Blog Hop!

We are celebrating all that we are thankful for and that includes teachers!  We want to show all of you how much we appreciate you.  Teachers do so much and this is our time to give back and say thank you!  Thank you for following!  Thank you for participating!  Thank you for collaborating!  Thank you for sharing!  Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

Join us by hopping through each blog and gathering lots of Thanksgiving and autumn freebies.  In each freebie you will find a picture of a pie with a word on it. That word will tell you something that teacher is thankful for.  Record all of the words on your recording sheet and follow each blog along the way so that you can enter the amazing giveaway at the end!

You may start anywhere along the hop, but if you would like to start at the beginning you may go here.  This is also where you will go in the end, for the giveaway!!

You have made it to blog stop number 13.

Some of my favorite Thanksgiving stories are Bear Says Thanks, Turkey Trouble and Run, Turkey, Run.  My freebie included organizers for all of these stories and a generic organizer that you can use for your favorite!  Enjoy!

Now hop over to the next stop on your journey:

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Superhero SALE!

I'm having a Superhero SALE on two of my Superhero themed reading products plus a few other best sellers! ;)

My students have been having so much fun practicing their nouns, verbs and adjectives with this Superhero themed center!  There is just something about these cute little superheros that keeps my kiddos engaged!  I use the worksheets in the word work center as a terrific follow up to reinforce their learning.

Check out my Superhero Sentences Reading Language Arts Pack, it's on sale too!  It has posters for the punctuation signs and plenty of worksheets to help students practice each punctuation.   My kiddos need lots and lots of practice writing sentences with the correct punctuation and these posters and worksheets are another way to keep it fun while they are practicing these skills!

Friday, October 18, 2013

My first Five for Friday!

I'm so excited to be joining Doodle Bug Teaching's fun Five for Friday linky party for the first time!  I always love reading what everyone is up to be but decided to jump in and join the fun this week!

1. In class we have been working hard for the past two weeks and learning all about the food groups!  This week we finished our final writing pieces and sorted foods to create our own My Plate of healthy eating.  My favorite activity was the food group poem and craft where my kiddos created themselves using food from the 5 food groups.  They turned out so cute!

All the activities we did are all available in my TPT store!  This is my latest product and I am so excited about it!  Please hop over and check it out!  

2.  I got my newest Loreen Leedy book, Jack and the Hungry Giant, in the mail last weekend which was perfect timing for our food group study!  It book has a cute twist on the classic Jack and the Beanstalk, where Jack climbs the beanstalk and meets a giant and learns all about healthy eating and choosing from the five food groups!  It is such a great book and the perfect edition to my classroom library, the kids LOVED it!  If you haven't already, go over the Bunting, Books and Bainbridge's blog to join her giveaway or go to Good Reads for your chance to win this great book!  

3. In math we are getting ready to start our graphing unit so I have been having fun getting all our fun graphing centers and activities together!  I found this cute graphing board that I starting following on pinterest - go check it out!  So many cute ideas!   In case you are looking for a quick and easy center for your graphing unit, check out my Build A Graph center!

4. My son came home from college for his fall break!   Yay!  Having him home was a treat all of it's own, but he surprised me by coming into my classroom to volunteer for the morning!  

He is a freshman at WVU, and is majoring in education!  He is going to be an awesome teacher!!  

5. It's that time of the year, homecoming!  Yet another reason to love the fall!  This picture is actually from last weekend's homecoming dance, but I just had to share this picture of my beautiful daughter all ready to go to homecoming with a big group of her friends!  

Thanks for stopping by and reading my Five for Friday!!   I am off to go and check out what everyone else has been up to!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

TPT Sale & Place Value Fun

Yesterday, TPT hit 100,000 followers on Facebook!  How exciting!  They have decided to celebrate with a site wide flash sale that will last until 10/14!!   Don't forget to enter the code FB100K to get your 10% savings.  I am joining the fun and my entire store is on sale too, so you will actually get 20% anything in my store!! Who doesn't love a sale??  What fun!!

Speaking of fun, in my class we are having so much fun with this new math manipulative and it's all thanks to!

 I just love all the fun things that Mr. Smith does over on his website at! I saw this fun and easy to make math manipulative via his YouTube videos and went right out to the dollar store and made a set for my class! 
I bought 3 green and 1 pink noodle from the Dollar Tree and cut them using a large bread knife.  I cut the green noodles into thirds which made 9 tens, and  then I cut pink noodles which made plenty of ones.

Of course I just had to make a fun center activity to go along with my new place value noodles!  Check out my Build Your Numbers center in my TPT store!  My kiddos have so much fun using the noodles to build the number shown on the cards and then they flip the card over to check their work!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend and don't forget to head over to TPT to check out the super secret flash sale!!!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Managing tablets in classrooms and FREE apps!

Earlier this school year I was lucky enough to have my project funded by!  Great right?  Yes!  I was super excited to have a tablet for my kids to use and when I sent home photo release permissions slips from Donors Choose, I had a parent contact me about donating a another tablet to our classroom!  So cool!  The only problems I had to solved were;  which apps to use and how to manage the use of the tablets in our room.
I did some research in the google store, checked out all the cool ideas on pinterest, and asked anyone I knew who had tablets for ideas.  I found some pretty cool apps for free, but the coolest FREE app I found is called Kids Place.  It is an app launcher, and has easy to use settings that allowed me to put only the apps I want my students to access in the Kids Place app.   The app makes it so simple to use and disables all the other buttons so my kids can't accidentally exit out of Kids Place, or do any damage to the tablet's settings.  Click on the picture below to check the free app out for yourself!

Some of the other educational free apps that I have found are:

Sight Words Games Lite

First Grade Learning Games

First Grade Words Lite

Grade 1 Math Common Core

We use the tablets in word work during our modified daily 5/guided reading rotations, and during math stations.  I am happy to report that after a week of using the tablets, my kiddos are doing a great job!  They are working hard when it is their turn, and they are sharing and helping each other.

I know that I will find new ways to use these tablets during the school year, and will hopefully find a few more apps, but I am happy to have them being used everyday by my cute little kiddos! How do you use technology in your classrooms?  Please leave comments below and share what has worked, and not worked in your class.  Thanks for stopping by!!