Monday, January 28, 2013

Inside Recess Center Labels FREEBIE

We had an in-service today and it was split into 2 parts.  In the morning we had a local university professor who travels the country helping kiddos read fluently.  

His name is Dr. Tim Rasinski.  He has written many books and participated in a lot of reading research studies.  He was very inspiring.  The two biggest things I took away from his visit were I need to be singing and reading poetry with my kiddos EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. and that my kiddos need repeated readings whether it is reading with me, their parents, or listening to reading on tape/computer.  

He shared so many stories of increased reading performance in kiddos who were well below grade level through the use of poetry and repeated readings.  Of course there was more, but those were the biggies.  He was such a great speaker!  

In the afternoon we had another speaker and she talked to us about SLO's.  She came from a nearby county and gave us some much needed info.  After her visit I feel much better about creating these SLO's.  

All in all it was a gooood day!

I shared my inside recess centers with you last year, but I have now created signs to go with them.  You can see my last year's post here.  

Here is my Inside Recess Center Labels Freebie to help you with the long winter days of inside recess craziness.

Here is how it works in my room:

I have 7 inside recess centers.  Each group has 4 kiddos in it.  This is because I only have 4 computers.  I rotate the centers every day so they only get to each center every 7 days...this helps keep them from getting bored.  

I have a small pocket chart that I got at Target.  I have a picture card at the beginning of each line with four kiddos following.  The first kiddo in each group is the one who gets the recess center out of my cabinets and puts it back.  This keeps my 28 kids from gathering  at my back cabinet and not being able to move.  

Each center has a certain place in the room.  The first person gets their group's things and takes them to their group.  The rest of the group goes to their spot and waits.  I have a larger size picture card matching the one from the pocket chart in my recess cabinet so my kiddos know exactly what they are doing and where everything belongs. 

These centers cut down on the inside recess craziness.  Now they don't argue over what to do or who to play with and there is no arguing over who has to clean up and put the toys away.  

Inside recess is soooo much more tolerable with centers.  

I hope you can use this freebie and that inside recess doesn't drive you crazy anymore!  :)

Here's to a quick winter so we can get back to outside recess!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Best Guided Reading Group Tip Ever- Finger Lights!

My mother-in-law bought the cutest little lights last year for my hubby's cousin's children.  They were red, blue, green, and white and had little elastic bands on them so you could put them on your fingers and flash them around.  

The kids loved them so I thought my first grade kiddos might enjoy them too.  

I headed out to the dollar store and bought 2 packages of 4 for $2.  I took them to school a couple months ago and they were such a hit.  I have a disco ball hanging up in the center of my classroom for my Rock 'n Roll theme and the little lights reflect off it really well around my room.  My kiddos thought that was the coolest thing ever that day.

Well, we have been getting out those little lights every once and awhile when I had a reason to.  After reading The Teacher Wife's blog post a couple days ago I saw how we should be using them!

This is how we used them today:  

Here's a close up at what the lights look like.  

Oh. my. goodness. 

I don't think guided reading groups will ever be the same.  I actually had to force my kiddos to leave the table today.  

...Can't we just read one more book?!
...Can we use these again tomorrow?  
...Can I take this home with me?   

Since my lights have elastic they were kinda snug on some of my kiddos' fingers so I told them to take them off and just hold it.  It didn't really matter as long as they could use them to point and follow along as they read.    

I can't wait to let the rest of my kiddos use them tomorrow.  My class was trying so hard to keep busy during Daily Five, but most of them kept peeking to see what the group at the table was doing with those cool lights.  

Thank you so much for sharing this great idea, Lindsey!  She also mentions who she heard this idea from on her blog so go check out their posts too!  :)

I have 8 cute little lights, but one is already out so I'm headed back to the dollar store.  I'm keeping my fingers and toes crossed that they still have these!! 

Do you have any other ideas for these lights?  I'd love to hear more ideas!! 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Fantabulous Friday Freebie- MLK Jr and Penguins

Yay for Friday!!  That means another Fantabulous Friday Freebie post.  Here are some great freebies I found this week from some great TpT sellers.  

If you use their products, make sure to show your thanks!

We're going to be using these goodies next week.  These Fantabulous Friday Freebies are Martin Luther King Jr activities and a penguin nonfiction research freebie.  

My kiddos are going to be spending the next couple of weeks researching and learning about penguins.  They are so excited!  

Check out these great freebies:
This is an adorable MLK Jr pack!  There is a writing prompt, word search, and a bubble map.  So cute!  

I am going to use this pack to hang up outside my room in the hallway.  Adorable!  

This pack is a great little book that your kiddos can put together after reading about MLK Jr.  My kiddos love making books!  :)

We are starting our penguin research next week and this little nonfiction book will be perfect!  Love it!  :)

Have a great long weekend!  I'm pretty sure you all love 3 day weekends as much as I do!!  :)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Will you host a Flat First Grader??

We have been reading about Flat Stanley in our classroom.  We have already read the first book and now we are on to the chapter books.  My kiddos are loving them!  

I started using Flat Stanley in my classroom last year and it was such a hit that I had to do it again.  It's a great activity to help get us through these long winter months....especially since there is no snow in sight which means no snow days anytime soon!  :)

I created a Flat Stanley Pack last year that we are using again.  It has reading and writing activities along with a Flat Stanley project and a Flat First Grader project.  You can visit my post about it from last year here

This is how it works: 

I have 2 copies of a Flat Stanley.  Each weekend 2 kiddos get to take him home and spend the weekend with him.  They take home a parent letter explaining everything and a journal page that they fill out.  They write about what fun things they do together and then either attach real pictures or draw pictures of their weekend together.  

I've told my kiddos that Flat Stanley is kinda like our class pet.  He hangs out with us all week and then goes home with someone on the weekends so he doesn't get lonely.  They love this!  

We have also made Flat First Graders.  Each kiddo has a flat version of themselves which we mail to friends and family across the country.  This is where I need your help!! 

I have a few kiddos who don't have anyone to send their Flat First Grader to and they're so sad....  :(  Would you and your class be willing to host a Flat First Grader for a few days????

It's really easy.  Take a few pictures of your adventure and fill out the journal page so we can learn a little about where you live.  We have several going to other states so we can learn about places outside of Ohio.  We'd love to learn about more states or even other countries!! 

If you're interested, please leave me a comment or send me an email at and let me know!  

All of my Flat First Graders have found a place to visit!  Thank you so much for volunteering!!  :)

Thank you for making a first grader very happy!!  :)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Apple TV and iPad Apps

I absolutely LOVE my iPad.....and so do my kiddos!  

I am lucky to have an Apple TV in my room so everything that is on my iPad can show up on my SmartBoard.  Isn't that cool?!?!  :) 

This is an Apple TV.  

Product Image

It is very small.  Only a few inches long.  It sits on my projector completely out of the way.  This magic box allows all of my kids to see what is on my iPad.  They love this.  

**side note: My hubby and I have one of these magic boxes at home and we love it too!  It's great for navigating Netflix and Hulu Plus!  

I wanted to share a couple apps that I have found that my kiddos really enjoy.  Some are free and some are not, but I wanted to share them all.  I'll share more great apps as I find them.  

If you have any good ones you use, please feel free to share!  I'm always looking for new apps.  

This is Splash Math.  This game allows you to play 20 questions for free every day.  If you want full access then it's $9.99.  This is great math review and probably my favorite app right now.  

iPhone Screenshot 1

This is First Grade Learning Games.  There are 10 games total.  The first 3 are free.  It's $2.99 to unlock the rest of the games.  It covers a wide variety of skills.  

iPhone Screenshot 1

I know it's not Halloween, but my kiddos still want to hear this story.  This app reads the story to you or you can record your own voice.  On each page if you touch the pumpkins they talk.  You can also hear the birds singing, the leaves rustling, and the waves in the ocean.  It's adorable.  This app is $2.99.  

iPhone Screenshot 1

We can't get enough of the Common Core Standards right now so here's an app!  This one is free!  

iPhone Screenshot 2

I can't leave out Class Dojo!  This app is amazing and my kiddos absolutely love earning their Dojo points.  We use my Rock Star Behavior Reward Catalog.  For every 10 points my kiddos earn they get a prize.  The best part is that all of my prizes are FREE and don't cost me any money.  This is so much better than my prize box last year.  :)  I have a kiddo who picked Fragrant Feet for tomorrow so he will get to take his shoes off all day!  He is so excited!!  

iPhone Screenshot 1

I hope you are able to use some of these apps.  My kiddos love using my iPad.  It definitely helps with keeping my kiddos focused.  

If you have any other apps that you use and are kiddo approved I'd love to hear about them!  Please share!!  :)

Friday, January 11, 2013

Fantabulous Friday Freebies- 10 More/Less and Place Value

I'm finally back with another Fantabulous Friday Freebie post!  I took a break over the holidays and it feels like it's been forever since I've shared some wonderful freebies.  It's good to be back!! 

I used some of these freebies this week and they were so well loved by my kiddos that I had to share.  The others are in the plans for next week....

One of our Math By Myself games this month has 10 more and 10 less so we had to do some extra practice this week.  This free packet was a great help for my kiddos!  

We played this roll and add New Year's game for some quick practice this week.  My kiddos LOVED it!  You definitely need to save this one for next year! 

Our phonics lesson this week was y sounding like an i or e at the end of a word.  I found this cute little freebie and used it this week.  There is a poem to read about Detective Y and we circled all of the y words and then there is a word sort...great freebie!

Another math skill we have been working on is understanding place value.  I feel like my kiddos are doing a great job of double digit and triple digit addition and subtraction, but I think they're still struggling with place value.  I found this I Have Who Has game and we're going to play it next week.  We've played I Have Who Has before but with sight words.  My kiddos loved it so I'm hoping this will go over well too!  :)

This is the same game, but this freebie has tens and ones instead of just the numbers.  We'll try this version too!  :)

Hope you were able to use one of these great freebies I found!  If you do use them, make sure you show some love by giving thanks! 

Make sure you become an A-B-Seymour follower and come back next week for some technology (iPad) info!!  :)

Have a fantabulous weekend!  

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Giveaway Winners and 100th Day Pack Sale

Congrats to the following three winners!  They have won my Night Before 100th Day of School Pack.  

Miss Renee

I'm putting it on sale for today and tomorrow for those who didn't win, but would still like to purchase it!  

Everything in the pack is ready to print and will make for a fun 100th Day of School.  

Hope your kiddos enjoy it!  :)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Night Before the 100th Day of School Giveaway and FREEBIE

My kiddos are so looking forward to the 100th Day of School!  I don't usually make as big a deal out of it as other holidays, but it has to be celebrated at least a little!  

Yay for us making it 100 days!  Sometimes it's tough!!  :)

I created this quick little pack to go with Natasha Wing's The Night Before the 100th Day of School.  Everything is ready to be printed.  

I have included a parent letter if you want your kiddos to bring in 100 items, a badge to wear, a class book to make, and an activity book to do.  

Click here or the picture to go to my TpT store and purchase it! 

**This pack is on sale today, January 6th.  Grab it today for 20%off!** 

I will give this pack away to *three random people* who leave their email address and a comment about how you celebrate the 100th Day of School!  

I will choose 3 lucky winners on Saturday!  :)
Winners have already been chosen.  See here.  

Make sure you follow my blog so you know when I'm giving away freebies!  I always give away a few of my newest TpT packs for free when I'm done posting them!!  

Here is a freebie from my newest activity pack:  

Happy 100th Day of School!  :)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

January Currently

We had some friends over for New Year's and had a pajama party!  It's become a tradition over the last several years and I love it!  We played euchre (my Midwest friends know what that is), games, and our Wii.  

I found out that I can't stay on the track in Mario Kart Wii...guess I need more practice!  :)

Now it's time to get back to working on school things and I'm starting with Farley's Currently so here it is!

I love Netflix so there is always something on the TV.   

I love that we have off this week.  We don't go back till Monday.  

I have soooooo many things I want to get done before Monday!  I'm going to go in to school tomorrow. I am.  I am going.  I am really going to go.  :)

We travel every year between Christmas and New Year's so I have laundry and unpacking to do along with putting Christmas presents away.  

I 'need' to watch a few more movies on Netflix before Monday...not at all true (especially after reading my one little word), but I would love to curl up on the couch with my cozy blanket and watch some movies.  

My one little word is time.  I need to get better at managing my time.  Time for school.  Time for blogging.  Time for TpT.  Time for my hubby and family.  Time for my friends.  Time for exercising....especially this one!!  

I definitely need to get better at managing my time. That's my biggest goal/resolution for this year.  

I guess that means my Netflix movie watching time is going to have to wait!  :)

Go visit Farley and link up with your own Currently!  And don't forget the rule of 3!!  

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year BOGO Sale!

Happy New Year!  

Everything in my TpT store is on sale today!  Click on the cute picture below to get to my store and enjoy 20% off! 

The first five people who purchase something in my TpT store today can get a *free item* of their choice that is of equal or lesser value!  Just email me at to let me know your username and what free item you would like to have!  

The first five people who make a purchase today on January 1 *and* email me their info will get a free item!!

Have fun shopping today!  :)