Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Read Aloud Websites

Who doesn’t love a read aloud?  In the past few years one of the coolest things I’ve seen is the increase in websites offering read alouds.  I thought it might be fun to share a few of my favorite read aloud websites.

Storyline Online is a collection of 25 books read aloud by famous actors.  Some of the stories read aloud are Stellaluna, A Bad Case of Strips,  Enemy Pie, and My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother!  

Fallsmead Storytime is a collection of 13 books read by teachers at Fallsmead Elementary School.  I am featured reading My Many Colored Days and Falling for Rapunzel, which are 2 of my favorite books.  This website was created by my friend and former teammate, Jessica Shevitz.  I don’t work at Fallsmead anymore and have been trying to encourage my current school to do the same thing.  Students LOVE going to Fallsmead Storytime during their center time to hear their favorite teacher read them a story.  Try it out at your school and let me know how it goes!!

Barnes and Nobel has an online reading feature too called Online Storytime. There are 16 books featuring some great books like, Where the Wild Things Are, Olivia, The Kissing Hand and Strega Nona.

Pinterest and You Tube are also great resources for finding read alouds.   One More Story and Tumble Books are 2 greats sites that are full of wonderful books too.  These 2 sites require subscriptions, but many school districts have subscriptions so check with your media specialists to see if your school subscribes to either of them.  I have also found that some public library systems have subscriptions to them so you can access them through the public library’s website.  

I’d love to hear back from you, especially if you have some other great read aloud websites to share with us.  

Happy Read Across America Day everyone!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

March Freebie Linky

I can't believe it, but March is right around the corner.  To help us all get ready for upcoming month, I thought it might be fun to throw my first linky party!!

Please join the fun.  Link up and add your favorite March Freebie!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A few good ideas & a FREEBIE

If your anything like me, you're out there searching pinterest, google and the world wide web for tips and tricks to help your classroom be more organized and engaging for your students.  I thought I would share a few good ideas that I use in my classroom for small group instruction (guided reading and small group math stations).
Liquid chalk + a dollar store closet push light = a quick way to let my kiddos know not to disturb us while we are working in our small group.  My kiddos are totally into the "do not disturb light" and will point to the light if someone comes up while we are meeting in our small group.  I have even heard students tell each other, "Look the light is on, you can't go over there until the light is off." 
This is my guided reading/small group math table.  Another teacher friend of mine gave me the idea of using contact paper as instant dry erase boards.  I used to have white contact paper rectangles on the table but found these crayola dry erase wall decals on clearance and cut them in half.  I have also found dry erase contact paper in rolls.   All of them work great and are super convenient!

This year, I started sending guided reading books home with students and needed a way to send them home safely AND get them to come back to school each day.  I laminated large envelopes for students to keep their books in, students will get 1 small sticker on the back of their book “bag” if they remembered to bring the books back to school.  They will get an additional sticker if they can tell me who they read to the night before! When they have 5 stickers, I circle them and they earn 1 ticket to spend at the treasure box! It works great and students are super motivated to read at home each night!  Feel free to pick up the book bag cover freebie at my TPT store.

Thanks for stopping by!   I hope you enjoyed taking a peak around my room.  Please comment and share some of your great ideas! :)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Easy to make Valentine's for students

Ok, I have to admit that I was so focused on the 100th day celebration that I almost forgot to make Valentine's for my cuties!  I just got finished making these cards and they were super easy to make, so I thought I would share.
To make them you need pencils, construction paper and a hole punch.  I printed the message on my colored printer and cut out hearts that were slightly bigger using different colored construction paper. 

After I cut the hearts and message out, I hole punched them together in 2 places, and slid the pencils in to place.  The whole process took me less than an hour to make and my only cost was the pencils from Dollar Tree, but they would be just as cute with plain pencils!

We are having some snow here tonight, so we decorated our Valentine's bags in class today just in case we have a 2 hour delay tomorrow!  Check out how cute they turned out!  We have been having so much fun with our new Monster Place Value center that we decided to make monster themed bags!

How cute are these monsters?  I have to give a little shout out to the awesome graphics designer, Laura Strickland over at, all of her graphics are super cute!!

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

100th Day Celebration

Last Thursday was our 100th day of school!    We were inspired by Deanna Jump's blog and 100th day unit!   To celebrate, we dressed up like we were 100 years old!  This is my amazing team of teachers who let me talk them into dressing up like old ladies! 

In reading, we celebrated by writing 100 words and timing ourselves as we wrote our names for 100 seconds. In writing, we celebrated by collaborating on a class book documenting all the things we know now that we are 100 days smarter.  In math, we brought in collections of 100 things to sort and group.  By the time the day was done we felt like we had learned 100 ways to have fun with the number 100! 

I just love being in 1st grade!! 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Valentine's Day Freebie

Valentine's Day is right around the corner and I just love Valentine's Day, it's a day to celebrate classroom kindness and friendship!  Before I go home Friday, I am going to get out my Valentine's Day decorations and decorate my room with all things pink! :)  I'll post a picture next week, but today I wanted to share a fun Valentine's Day word work freebie.  Click the picture below to download the freebie.

This freebie is part of a bigger word work unit that has 20 different word work activities!  This unit is on sale until Valentine's Day.  Feel free to check them out by clicking the picture below and heading over to my TPT store!

                                                                                   Thanks for stopping by! 

Friday, February 1, 2013

Teacher Chair Makeover!

Do you have a boring grey office chair in your classroom or home office?  Wanna change it up?  I found this cute idea on Pinterest!


All you need is some fabric, and a staple gun!  I had 2 ugly grey office chairs and refinished both of them in about an hour!  For the seat of the chairs, I put my fabric down on the seat and cut about 8 inches larger than I needed so I could wrap it around the bottom.  Then I flipped the chair over and started using the staple gun to secure it right on top of the ugly grey fabric.  For the backs of the chairs I sewed two pieces of fabric like a pillow case and added ribbons so that I could tie them to fit.  The link above gives a nice detail explanation if you want more info before you take out your scissors and staple gun!  A friend of mine refinished hers by using a zebra patterned pillow case and it was even quicker and she didn't have to sew anything!  She bought a pair pillow cases at Walmart for $10 and cut one up to staple onto the seat of her chair and she slipped the other one over the back, and she was done! 

Goodbye boring chairs!!

Don't you just love pinterest? So many cute ideas, so little time...

Happy Friday everyone!!