Christmas Around The World Update

December 20, 2012

Just a quick note that I have updated my Christmas Around The World Unit.  I have had requests for readers and comprehension questions among other things, and although it has taken me much longer to do this than I intended, I'm happy to say they are now done!  Although it's too late to use them this year, maybe you will be able to another time.

Silence For Sandy Hook Elementary

December 16, 2012

First Grade Reading Interventions & More

December 11, 2012

I hope everyone is enjoying the fun that is mid-December!  I certainly am but am also looking forward to next week! :-)
You might remember me mentioning awhile back that I would be working with some First Grade kiddos a few times a week on reading/sight word interventions during part of their reading block.  We met for a few minutes last week to get to know each other, and this week I will start assessing.  The goal is to start jumping into interventions in January.  Here's what I've put together so far:

With First Graders, it's easiest for me to go to them.  I use my Thirty One Organizing Utility Tote.  (Oh my gosh, I love these bags!)

Cyber Monday Sale!

November 25, 2012

It's that time again... time for the Teachers Pay Teachers Cyber Monday and Bonus Tuesday Sale!  I'm ready to empty my wish list!  How about you?!?

Celebrating Christmas & Other Holidays Around The World

November 21, 2012

It's been a little while since my last blog post.  I've suddenly hit a cleaning/organization craze.  I consider myself to be somewhat of an organization nut but every now and then, I'll get some divine inspiration and ideas that I must do immediately.  A few weeks ago I finally succumbed and jumped into the Thirty-One craze after being on the lookout for a new teacher bag.  I must say I'm in love!  I ended up buying two of the Organizing Utility Tote bags (one as my school/home bag and the other as travelling bag).  Oh my gosh, they're awesome!  In the past I've always had so much stuff thrown on top of each other that I never can find exactly what I'm looking for.  With my new bags this isn't the case!  The organizing pockets on the outside are perfect for holding pens and markers, my personal belongings, etc. while the heavy-duty stuff goes on the inside.  No more messy and torn papers for me!

Pumpkin Day

November 04, 2012

I'm a few days late posting about Pumpkin Day.  I had intended to blog about this day prior to Halloween but I just haven't had time to until now.  So, please bare with me that this is an "already came and gone" post...maybe there will be an idea or two here that you can use next year though!

A lot of schools can't exactly celebrate Halloween anymore... no parties, no costumes (although some do a "Dress Up Like A Book Character Day"), and no treat bags.  Since kids absolutely love Halloween though (and I do too!), here is an alternative to skirt around the day and instead celebrate "Pumpkin Day". 

Election Day Freebie

October 31, 2012

Here is an Election Day freebie!  This ABC Order sheet goes over some important vocabulary words just in time to get your students prepared for Tuesday's election.  Enjoy!

Election Day 2012

October 16, 2012

Updated for 2020:

With the second of three Presidential debates tonight as well as today marking only three weeks left until Election Day, I recently began to think about how to incorporate the election process and nominees into the classroom.  Since young kiddos usually don't really understand much of what is going on, I've created fluency readers and activities to not only teach my kiddos what an election is, but also what a President does, who the nominees are, and what it means to be a voter.  If you're familiar my with blog, you know how much I love to teach history/current events!

Writing at Home - Parent Handout

October 05, 2012

For the final installment in my parent handout series, I tackle Building Writing Skills at Home.  Included are two handouts - one maps out an overview of writing development in grades K-2, while the other lists ways parents can building writing skills at home.  As always, these are perfect to attach to a weekly newsletter or pass out at parent conferences!

Building A Reader At Home - Parent Handout

October 03, 2012

Here is the next installment in my parent handout sheets - Building A Reader At Home:

So many parents want to help their child become a better reader but they often want tips and ideas other than "read every night", "ask questions", etc.  In an effort to share reading tips with parents, I created this little handout that would be great to hand out at the beginning of the school year, parent nights, or parent conferences.  When meeting with parents, you might also want to highlight the areas you want parents to work on.

Building Math Skills at Home - Parent Handout

October 01, 2012

It's almost time for Parent Conferences/Parent Nights, and I always like to have valuable handouts for parents to take home on these ocasions.  It's so easy to suggest an idea or two to a parent in passing, but in my experience, parents appreciate having something tangible they can take home and place on their refrigerator.  It serves as a great reminder!  Over the next few days, I'll be sharing several subject-themed handouts and conference preparation materials that hopefully some of you other teachers can use as well! 
Today I am sharing a Building Math Skills at Home Parent Handout.  As we all know, it is so important for parents to practice math skills at home with their kids, and this handout shares some creative ways parents can make math fun, engaging, and effortless at home!

Autumn Leaves Are Falling! - Free Resources!

September 22, 2012

Does anyone else find it impossible to believe that today is the first day of Fall?  Seriously, where did the time go?!?  As I still try to wrap my mind around this, here is a FREE packet containing resources for any Fall/Autumn Unit.  I hope some of you might be able to use these ideas with your kiddos next week!

Johnny Appleseed

September 21, 2012

I've created a Johnny Appleseed unit for Grades 1-2!  It includes lesson activities for all subjects, including some fun reading, science, and writing projects.  One of my favorite activities is this How To Make Apple Pie Craft and Writing Activity:

How to Make Spelling Fun - Parent Handout

September 01, 2012

Many students find spelling to be boring or repetitive, especially those who struggle with their spelling words.  Here is a handout you can give to parents that lists fun and inexpensive ways to practice spelling words with their children.  I guarantee no child will complain about having to study their spelling words with these suggestions, and you will see an increase in spelling ability!

Playground Rules - FREE Fluency Sheet & Emerging Reader

August 29, 2012

Establishing rules and procedures is essential during those first few weeks of school, and one area you might not think to review is the playground.  Playground/Recess time can be a blast for students and a somewhat "relaxing" time for teachers, but that is only if students know and obey playground rules.  If not, recess can turn into an accident-prone time!

Back to School Sale!

August 11, 2012

Thanks to Mel at Frog Spot for the cute graphic!
It's time for the Back to School Sale at Teachers Pay Teachers!
On Sunday and Monday, August 12th and 13th, everything in my store will be on sale for 20% off!
Use the code BTS12 at checkout, you'll get another 10% off!

Dolch Sight Word Bottle Cap Labels

August 08, 2012

 You may remember my Sight Word Bottle Cap Labels post from a few months ago...well, I am happy to announce I finally got around to completing the set!  

Fall Clip Art Set

August 07, 2012

I've just put together my first clip art set, a Fall-themed set full of graphics, frames, and background papers!  I hope some of you might be able to use them as well.  These graphics would make any worksheet or classroom newsletter look festive and cute.  Here's what is included: 60 individual png files (in both color and black and white, so 30 of each), 4 frame png files (in both color and black and white, so 2 of each), and 5 background papers (in color only).

Hundred Board Freebie Packet

July 17, 2012

Will you be teaching Hundred Board skills this upcoming school year?  If so, here is a FREE Hundred Board Packet!

Welcome To Grade Signs

July 05, 2012

I know "Back to School Night" is still a few weeks away, but here are some "Welcome To ___ Grade" signs you can post near your door and class list.  

Flash Sale!

June 30, 2012

Hi everyone! To inspire some summer teaching creativity, I am having a flash sale in my Teachers Pay Teachers store for 24 hours ONLY!

Everything in my store is $3 or less!

Thank you so much for being a follower of my blog and/or store!

Click Here For My Store! :-)

Winner of the Samson's Classroom Subscription Giveaway

June 29, 2012

The winner of the one year Samson's Classroom subscription (via is…

 Comment #14: Jackie who said, "I follow your blog!!"

Congratulations, Jackie!  You should have received an e-mail from me.

A very special thanks to Samson's Classroom for sponsoring this fabulous giveaway and to each of you for entering!

End of the School Year Celebration

June 26, 2012

As hard as it is to say goodbye the kiddos you've called your own for the past ten months, I know you are happy summer is here! Here is a run-through of an End of the Year Celebration I have done in the past.

Here is the first thing parents saw when they entered our classroom.  I didn't do much in terms of decorating, but I thought it still turned out cute and simple.  I made stand-up signs (I'm pretty sure there is a term for these but for the life of me, I can't think of it!) using scrapbook paper.  Whenever there are visitors coming to the classroom, I know there will be a point where someone will be talking to me and I won't be able to get away, so I made these signs to help with that problem.  The signs in this photo just welcome parents and ask them to fix a plate for themselves and their child.  We had our get-together right before lunch so the parents could each lunch with their child if they wanted, which explains the lack of food in the photo. :-)

Samson's Classroom: Product Review & Giveaway

June 25, 2012

Have you heard of Samson's Classroom?  It is an online reading program for children in grades K-5.  The goal of the program is to help children become better readers by focusing on three core areas: sight words, spelling, and reading comprehension.  I was recently given the wonderful opportunity to try Samson's Classroom and found it to be an engaging, educational program.

Samson's Classroom is divided up into three core areas: Sight Words, Spelling, and Reading Comprehension.  I absolutely love this because, as teachers, we all know there are different components to building reading proficiency. Students can work on one specific area, a mixture of areas, or all three areas together, which is a great way to tailor learning to their needs.

Sight Word & Phonics Interventions

May 20, 2012

I know it is the end of the school year, but I wanted to share an AMAZING resource that you might want to use during the next school year.

I've been on the lookout for a good intervention/sight word program for quite awhile.  Recently I just happened to come across The Moffatt Girls' Ready2Read Program.  Oh my gosh, it is AMAZING!  The Ready2Read Program has EVERYTHING.  For each unit she has put together a combination of sight words, phonics, and word families to be learned and has created daily lesson plans to ensure mastery.  Each unit includes activities such as singing, reading, emergent readers, word family sorts, CVC boxes, tactile activities, coloring, word family slides, Play-Doh mats, games, etc.  They are jam-packed with goodies!  I could go on and on about how well-thought out these units are.

Teacher Appreciation Sale

Teacher Appreciation Jackpot!

May 03, 2012

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, I participated in an awesome event with over 130 teacher bloggers!  On May 6, for one day only, we gave away one item for free in our Teachers Pay Teachers store worth $3-$8!  In all, over $600 worth of products were given away!  Wow!  A huge thanks to all of you teachers for everything you do!

The event was divided up into three categories:
PK-Grade 2- April NcNair on A Modern Teacher
Grades 3-6 Laura Candler on Corkboard Connections
Grades 7-12 Adrianne Meldrum on The Tutor House 

Mother's Day Book Gift

May 01, 2012

With Mother's Day fast approaching, I wanted to share this sweet gift idea for your kiddos' moms.  Every year I guide my students in a conversation about their moms and all the things their moms do for them.  Afterward, we make these sweet books.

Earth Day

April 16, 2012

For Earth Day, I love to use The Lorax by Dr. Seuss!  I have ALWAYS used this book to teach my entire Earth Day unit.

After reading the book, learning about Earth Day, and participating in some recycling/cleaning up activities, here is a Lorax craftivity your kiddos can make where they will write about what they think the Lorax would tell the class if he came to visit.

For a closer look at my Lorax unit, click here.
To get the entire unit on TPT, please click here.

Titanic - Read All About It! (Freebie!)

April 08, 2012

I admit I am still fascinated by Titanic after all these years.  It's terrifying to think of that fateful night and how the passengers/crew must have felt.  Through the years much has been said and done about the ship, but I'm still struck by the story.  This weeks marks the 100th Anniversary of Titanic's maiden voyage (April 10th) and sinking (April 15).  In honor of this, I decided to create a small unit on Titanic to teach kiddos all about this legendary ship.

Hippity Hop Easter's On Its Way!

April 02, 2012

Although I'm a little behind in getting it finished, I am happy to say I just finished my Spring/Easter themed unit!  I created the unit around a Beatrix Potter study and her stories The Tale of Peter Rabbit, The Tale of Benjamin Bunny, The Tale of Jeremy Fisher, and The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies.  Such classic, fun stories!

Making Words Folder

March 30, 2012

If I had to choose my favorite Pinterest find (as hard as that is!), it would be this Making Words Folder from Teachers Bits and Bobs. I think it is pure genius!

Sight Word Bottle Caps

March 29, 2012

I love Pinterest, and I recently got around to making some Pinterest finds that I thought I would share.

Awhile back I found a pin on using water bottle caps as letter tiles.  The post showed how a teacher (From Kindergarten with Love) had written letters on the lids, and the kids would use these tiles to fill in the missing letters in words.  I thought this was a great idea as I love making word activities, especially for my struggling readers.

Blends Blender

March 28, 2012

One of my absolute favorite Pinterest finds is this blender from Mrs. Pollard at Tales of a Teacherista.  I think it is so creative and cute that I just had to make one!  I'm all for finding a creative way to teach things as I believe kids as more apt to remember things if they are taught this way.

I added quite a few more blends to my blender and also included final consonant clusters and trigraphs.

Teaching Life Cycles with Mealworms

March 21, 2012

I'm the last person who wants anything to do with worms.  I know they're good for the environment, but I have no desire to do anything but avoid worms at all costs. As a child, I always got far away from classmates who loved to pick up worms off the sidewalks after a rainstorm, and today as a teacher, I'm no different! So, you can imagine my horror when my teammates wanted to teach life cycles with mealworms. I knew my kiddos would be so disappointed though if they were the only class without their own mealworm, so I caved.  Each kiddo got their own mealworm. They had a special container with bedding and food for their mealworm. After everyone got their new pet, they named their mealworm and got some time to play with them.

Saint Patrick's Day Fluency, Comprehension, and Bubble Map Sheets

March 14, 2012

I took a little bit of a break to enjoy this fabulous weather we've been having here lately (it's been in the 80's lately!), but it lasted a little bit longer than I intended. 

I'm happy to announce I just finished putting together a FREE Saint Patrick's Day Fluency, Comprehension, and Bubble Map Packet.

Teachers Pay Teachers Leap Day Sale

February 29, 2012

Happy Leap Day! In honor of today, I am having a sale on everything in my Teachers Pay Teachers store for today only! You can save up to 28% off using the code L2P9Y when checking out. This is the last sale until Teacher Appreciation Week in May! Happy Shopping!

The Lorax

February 28, 2012

Who else is excited about The Lorax movie coming out this week?!?! I usually do The Lorax around Earth Day, but with the movie coming out, I think it would be a great time to go ahead and visit this classic children's book! I created a little unit to go along with the book. I know it's a little late, but I'm happy to say it is finished!

Target Finds and Teaching Multiplication

February 24, 2012

I went to Target last week and found some great things in the dollar section (love that section!)

(Two small easy reader board books and two 50-piece packs of Mini-Easter Erasers!)

February Giveaway Winner!

February 23, 2012

Thank you so much to everyone who entered and for all of your sweet notes! You all are so inspiring, and I appreciate you so very much!

The winner (via is Miss Jaana S. from Just Teaching... Kindergarten! Congratulations Jaana! You will be receiving an email from me shortly!

A HUGE thank you again to everyone who entered!

February Giveaway - CLOSED!

February 20, 2012

First of all, Happy President's Day!

I've gained many new followers lately and appreciate you all so much! To say 'thank you', I am having a little February-themed giveaway! I'll be giving away five of my units (which are often used in February) to one lucky winner! The winner will receive:

George Washington & Abraham Lincoln Reader & Sorting Sheets

February 16, 2012

In case you haven't snagged my President's Day freebies yet, I'm sharing these again!

Here is a George Washington and Abraham Lincoln fluency sheet and a compare/contrast sheet:

Last Minute Valentine's Day Ideas

February 13, 2012

Tomorrow is the big day! In case you're pulling at the strings for some last minute ideas (like I usually am) here are a few activities I have used in the past:

Open Wide! Dental Health Unit

February 11, 2012

February is my favorite month to teach. Although it's the shortest month, it is packed with fun material: Groundhog Day, Valentine's Day, 100th Day of School, President's Day, Black History Month, and Dental Health Month! Phew... did I leave anything out?

After President's Day, my favorite February unit is Dental Health! I love Dental Health because it gives me the chance to cover a lot of science.  It is a BLAST conducting experiment after experiment, writing about experiments, and just plain learning! Since I love this unit so much I put together a packet and finally got around to posting it yesterday!

Open Wide! A Dental Health Unit:

An Ode To Love - Valentine's Day Poems

February 06, 2012

With Valentine's Day next week, the focus will be on Valentine's Day-themed EVERYTHING for the next week or so! Here is an activity when you can start the week by writing love poems, but instead of mushy, sappy love poems, your students can write an acrostic poem and poems to both something they love and don't love so much. As for the poem to something they don't love so much, it is a great opportunity to talk about tone - specifically a sarcastic tone.  Young kiddos often have a little bit of a difficult time picking up on underhand meanings, so hopefully these poems will help!

Officer Buckle and Gloria

February 03, 2012

Here is a fun activity for Officer Buckle and Gloria by the fabulous Peggy Rathmann.  I love to do an author study on Peggy and read some of her other books such as Good Night, Gorilla (we also watched the video on Discovery Streaming - you can also find it here on YouTube.), Ruby and the Copyright (my favorite!), 10 Minutes till Bedtime (we were actually late to lunch one day because we got so caught up in this book's illustrations), and The Day the Babies Crawled Away.

Since Officer Buckle and Gloria focuses on safety tips, I spend a good part of the unit talking about safety.  In the past a real police officer and his dog come to visit my class! Before the officer visited though we brainstormed some safety tips we should always follow at both school and home. After we covered our ENTIRE white board in safety tips, each student picked one to do a little activity with. They wrote their safety tips on this star cut-out and drew a picture to go along with it. They turned out SO adorable we decided to put them up in the hallway.

Be Mine: A Mini-Valentine's Day Unit & An Awesome Giveaway!

February 01, 2012

I'm so happy to say I finished my Valentine's Day unit! YAY!

Catch-Up & I've Been Tagged!

January 30, 2012

It's been a few days since my last post...I was so excited to spend this past weekend just relaxing and catching up on some units and laminating. Yeah, that's definitely not my ideal weekend, but it was desperately needed! Then, late Friday night a stomach bug/virus hit big time. Ugh, I haven't felt so sick in a long time. I'm not back to myself 100% yet, but I am feeling better thankfully. Needless to say very little unit planning and laminating was accomplished, but before the bug hit, I did get around to printing and laminating these money posters from my President's Day Unit. You can also get them here separately.

Valentine ABC Order Center Freebie

January 25, 2012

Here's a fun Valentine's Day-themed ABC Order Center!

President's Day

January 24, 2012

Confession time. President's Day is one of my favorite times of the year. Now that may sound a little odd, but I'm a history lover at heart. Sometimes I think I would love to be a history teacher. In primary classes there's not a lot of focus on history. We're responsible for getting the social studies ball rolling by teaching communities and citizenship, which is fun but doesn't include much facts-based history. So, when the chance to teach some real history happens, I jump at the opportunity! I LOVE to share all sorts of random knowledge with my little kiddos, so President's Day has always been a BIG deal in my classroom.

After reading 'If I Were President' by Catherine Stier, we make these President Portraits. My students draw a portrait of themselves as President and on the back write what they would do if they were President. I attach yarn to these (to look like hanging portraits) and display them in the hallway.

Valentine's Day

January 17, 2012

With January halfway over, February is on its way, which means it will soon be time to pass out Valentine lists! Last year I found these adorable Valentine mailboxes at Target for around $2 each. I had a small class, so they worked really well for holding Valentines. I had separate boxes for the girls and the boys. I'm not sure if they're selling them again this year, but if you have a larger class, they would be great for centers or other writing activities!
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