Wednesday, June 29, 2011

We "A.R." Growing as Readers!

I use Accelerated Reader in my classroom and I LOVE it!  One way I acknowledge my kiddo's accomplishments and reward them for passing A.R. tests (besides the A.R. store at our library) is to give each student a "leaf" for our A.R. tree each time they pass a test.  Each month I pick a different themed "leaf" for the tree.  For example, in February we used hearts to fill up our tree.  In March, we used shamrocks.  You get the idea...  Below is  picture of the tree without leaves and then one tree as we filled it up.  It's amazing how motivating it is for the kiddos to put a leaf on the tree.  I love the smiles and joy it brings them!

60 Follower Giveaway at Fourth Grade Frolics!

My friend Tara at Fourth Grade Frolics is going to be having a giveaway once she reaches 60 followers.  Head on over to her blog and become a follower so we can all have a chance to win a Starbucks gift card or a Target gift card.  Pick me!  Pick me!  (Tee hee - picture my hand waving frantically in the air!)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

First Grade Fresh Giveaway!

First Grade Fresh is having a giveaway!  Go to her sight to enter to win a $20 giftcard to Lakeshore Learning!

Ms. M's Blog Giveaway!

Ms. M's Blog is having a giveaway for clipart.  She is giving away 3 $5.00 gift coupons to Digi Web Studio where everything is on sale for just $1.00!  I already purchased 16 different sets from there!

Another Great Giveaway!

First Grade Frenzy is giving away not 1, not 2 but 3 different items to the lucky winner.  Head over to enter for your chance at jewery, a vowel sorting activity and a Later Gator!

Erica's Elementary Excitement Giveaway!

Erica at Erica's Elementary Excitement is having a giveaway that you don't want to miss - a $50 gift card to Lakeshore Learning Store AND a $25 gift card to Target.  Head on over to enter and to see her great blog!

Signing In!

My students have to sign in on a dry erase board as one of their jobs when they arrive each day.  I have an easel dry erase board set up with magnets that have the numbers 1 through 18.  (I bought counters and hot glued magnets onto the back of them.  Then I wrote a number on each one.  I wish I had a picture...)  The students find their number and sign in next to it.  I start out by just having them sign in with their first name.  After a couple weeks when they are used to that routine, I switch it to signing in with their last names, then first and last names and eventually they sign in with their middle names too.  As the year goes on, I switch the sing in skill.  I have had students sign in with their phone numbers, street addresses and even their birthdays.  The students LOVE signing in and it's a great way for them to practice their names, address, phone number and birthday just to name a few!

4th of July Giveaway!

Frogs, Bees, & Under the Seas is having a 4th of July Giveaway to celebrate 500 followers.  Check it out!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Another Giveaway!

First Grade Blue Skies is having a giveaway to 2 of my favorite places to shop:  Target or Amazon!  The winner gets to choose!  Head over to her sight to enter to win!

Dollar Tree Dominos!

My friend Tara over at 4th Grade Frolics found these adorable Dominos at the Dollar Tree.  So of course I had to get some for my own classroom.  They are itty bitty - 1 inch by 1/2 an inch.  They come 28 in a pack. 

I know it's not a new idea to use dominos for math addition facts, turn-around facts or fact families, but I just loved how cute and small the dominos were...and I think the kids will love them too!

Here are some activities that I made to go with the dominos.  Enjoy!  I'd love to hear how you use dominos in your own classroom!

Friday, June 24, 2011

3rd Grade Gridiron Giveaway!

Head on over to 3rd Grade Gridiron for a $25 gift card to Target giveaway!  She's celebrating 100 followers.  Way to go!

First Grade Friends Journals

We use First Grade Friends Journals at the beginning of the year to help us get to know one another as well as to practice writing.  Each day, I pick 1 student that the class "interviews".  I then model expository writing by writing what we found out about the student.  The students then write in their very own First Grade Friends Journals.  When they are finished, they add an illustration of course!  After we've interviewed each student in the class, my journal goes in the reading corner (The students love reading this throughout the entire year!) and the student's journals go home for them to read and share with their families.  Click below for the cover that I use for the journals.  :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Finally in First Giveaway!

Head on over to Finally in First .  She is giving away the cutest game called Place-Value Go Fish.

Fry Word Fun!

Each year it is my goal for all of my kiddos to be able to read the first 300 Fry Sight Words.  They each have a F.I.S.H. Folder binder that serves as their take-home folder.  (More to come about F.I.S.H. Folders soon!)  In the binder, they keep their sight words along with a letter that explains to the parents the importance of them knowing their sight words and an area for them to keep track of their success.  I also have each set of sight words printed on colored paper, laminated and put on rings to be used as flash cards in school.  The word rings can also be used to play all the wonderful sight word games that I've been finding on wonderful blogs.  If you have any cute ideas to share about sight words, I'd be happy to hear them.  :)

Below is a picture of my desk area with the Fry Sight Word rings hanging on the front.

Below are pdf documents of the first 300 words and the letter that I use in my F.I.S.H. Folders.

Words 1 - 25    

Words 26 - 50    


     Words 251 - 275 

Puzzles! Puzzles!

Yesterday I went to the Dollar Tree and found tons of new puzzles!  I already have a great deal of puzzles in my classroom, but most of them are 100 piece puzzles, which proved to be too hard for a majority of my kiddos.  This year, I'm going to start my students off with easier puzzles ranging from 24 to 48 to 60 pieces.  We will gradually work our way up to the more challenging ones! 

How to not lose the pieces?  Last year, inevitably, the students would find a piece or two once the puzzles were all cleaned up and put away.  We put them in a lost and found puzzle piece pile, but they didn't always find their way back to the right puzzle.  This summer I am going to write a letter on the back of each puzzle piece and on the back of each picture of the puzzle.  The storage bag will also have the same letter written on it.  I'm hoping this way when we find a piece laying on the floor, we'll know exactly where it goes.  If you have any other ideas on how to not lose the pieces, leave me a comment!


Phonogram Picture Cards

Our district uses Spalding Phonics.  One project that I was going to try to tackle this summer was to make picture cards for each of the phonograms.  Then I stumbled upon Step Into 2nd Grade with Mrs. Lemons.  She has made a complete set of phonogram cards and they are adorable!  I am in the process of printing out two sets.  One set I'm going to use as flash cards.  The second set I will hang in my classroom as they are introduced for my students to use as a reference when reading and writing.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


So...I am brand new to this whole blogging thing.  We'll see how it goes.  I hope I can keep up with it.  I'm obsessed with checking out everyone elses blogs!