Sunday, September 28, 2014

Red Ribbon Week Book Review & Givewaway

I've been a bad blogger and haven't even posted photos of my classroom yet this year. Yikes! Part of the reason has to do with our kitty Stevie. (I'm going to take a minute for something personal here then get to the book review.) You may remember me mentioning him before. He was blind and somewhat deaf and had several other medical issues. Sadly his kidney disease got the better of him recently and we lost him last Tuesday. Our lives had been centered around him since June when we thought for sure he wouldn't make it much longer. We gave him subcutaneous fluids every day , them every other day, then 3 times a week. For a while he improved and was running, purring, and playing like the happiest kitty on Earth. Then things changed and he had a few seizures and just couldn't recover. We tried so hard to help him and he tried so hard to get better. He was only 4 1/2 years old. We miss him very much! Here's one of my favorite pictures of Stevie.

Now for some happier news... I'm having a giveaway! Woot! Woot! You have a chance to win one of 3 autographed copies of this adorable book that can help you celebrate Red Ribbon Week. It's called

Sarah's Sick Day is about a little girl named Sarah who wakes up one morning with a sore throat and fever. Her mom tells her she needs to stay home from school that day. The problem is that it's Share Day and Sarah really wants to share her birthday doll plus she'd miss snack time with her best friend, storytime, and it's her day to sit on the class beanbag. So Sarah remembers about the purple medicine in the cabinet and thinks that she'll just take a sip to help make herself feel better. Luckily she can't get the cap off and mom comes in just in time. She explains about the danger of taking medicine by yourself. Sarah promises never to do that again and mom lovingly tucks Sarah back in bed with her birthday doll.

I received an email from the author of Sarah's Sick Day, Erainna Winnett, asking if I would like a signed copy of her book in exchange for blogging about it. I looked at her website and watched the trailer for the book (which you can see HERE) and quickly replied YES!

This is a very sweet story and I'm looking forward to reading it to my class during Red Ribbon Week. I like that it addresses the issue of taking medicine rather than illegal drugs or alcohol. For a few years in my first grade room I would bring up friend trying to make friends take drugs and the dangers of alcohol then the hands would come up and I'd hear stories of "my neighbor who smokes marijuana" "my dad gets drunk sometimes". And I feel bad that some kiddos don't know about drugs and drinking too much and I don't want to be the one to tell them about. Right or wrong, I want the innocent ones to stay innocent a while longer. But I feel this book touches on something very pertinent for little kids and it seems very likely that K-2 kids could try to take medicine from the medicine cabinet on their own.

Erainna has graciously offered 3 autographed copies of Sarah's Sick Day for a giveaway.  The giveaway only goes for a couple of days so that your books can be mailed out to you very soon. 

If you're a pre-K to 2nd grade teacher, you definitely want this book! It's also for sale on Amazon and you can access her website HERE.

Good Luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Sunday, August 3, 2014

New Hard & Soft G Sounds Activity Pack (freebie & Currently too!)

Whew! That must be my longest blog post title yet. I've enjoyed my time off this summer so much. Just relaxing at home. It's been nice. At the beginning of summer we thought we'd lose our little blind kitty Stevie to his kidney disease. He's 4 years old and it hit him again hard! But with a lot of effort of his part, from us, and from our fabulous vet, he's still here- happy, purring, and playing.
Aside from that I've been able to catch up on some reading and get some things ready for this coming school year. I can't believe it's time to get back in the classroom already!

One of my projects was to finish up this hard/soft G sound packet I started using with my first graders last year. I had a group of higher readers who were getting confused about how G could sound like J in a word like huge. So I created a word sort and game for them to play with my instructional aide. They had so much fun with it! And it got them through that little struggle they were having. With more time to work on it the activity pack I've added a Read/Write the Room activity for my whole class to do and a few other things. I like having something like this because it's easy for my aide or parent volunteer to do with a group too. It looks like this and you can pick it up in my TPT store. It'll be in my TN store early tomorrow.
My aide started off with a word sort to explain how the G sound changes depending on what follows it (often anyway).
They did this over a 2-day period. My aide is so wonderful and teaches some of our RTI groups, so she was able to judge what my students needed.

After that she thought they were ready to play this game

I wanted to save myself some printing, so next year I'll use these same cards for a Memory game. To play Memory with them I'll print a 2nd set of cards and sort them so that each pair of students gets only 16 words. I'll put each set a in a baggie and that way I'll actually have 3 games and can they can play Memory several times. Once the game has been played in a small group with me or with my aide or parent volunteer I may include it as a choice for Work on Words during Daily 5.

This word sort also helped incorporate what my students were learning about language.

You can check out the entire packet on my TPT store. I included a directions sheet for each activity so that an aide, volunteer, or sub can easily know what to do. Here's a little freebie from the packet for you. Just click on it to download.

I'll leave you with my Currently.

I almost forgot... I created some ocean themed number cards for Math Work Stations. They're in my stores too and I'll have school themed ones there tomorrow. Wow! Thanks for sticking with me  through all that! Have a terrific week back in the classroom or hanging out at home!

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Alphabet Letter Exchange Show & Tell

This morning I'm linking with Barb over at Ruby Slippers Blog Design to show some 2013 Alphabet Exchange photos and to tell you how the exchange is going for 2014.
These first photos are from Kathy in Virginia.
This close up photo shows a few of the letters better. H is for hat, Y is for yellow pom-poms, W is for water (I think it had ocean animal stickers on it.), S if for snake, and I loved the A is for astronaut! It was so cute! I think it came from Alabama.

Packaging up their Y's to be mailed

Just look at these excited little ones! Aren't they adorable? I love the little ones holding their envelopes high!

Photo from Kara in Tennessee

Thanks for the photos Kara & Kathy! And now for the TELL part of show & tell.

The Alphabet Exchange is FULL for 2014- 208 teachers from 38 states and 2 Canadian provinces.
You can still sign up to be on the WAIT LIST, though. It seems every year that a few teachers need to back out before the project gets started and I've been able to include a few more people. Click HERE for the wait list form. Group and letter assignments will be out within the next 2 weeks.

Thanks again to Barb for hosting this linky each week. Be sure to check it out and maybe link up too!
Thanks to Krista from Creative Clips for the cute hanging frames I found on TPT.

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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Name BINGO with Avery Labels

Helping our students get to know each other is a high Back-to-School priority for all of us. Even though 16 of my 20 students were with me in first grade last year, I need to do some getting to know you activities so the 4 new students can feel like they belong in the class too. To help them out, on the first day of school one of the things we'll do is make and play Name BINGO.
I did this last time I taught 2nd grade and the kids loved it! Who wouldn't, right? It's their own names, it's a game, there might be stickers or M&M's as prizes...  You get the idea. I've seen ideas in books and things where kids write names in the bingo squares, but some of my students have very messy handwriting or will spell a name or two slightly wrong even though they're copying it. Wouldn't that be the case everywhere? Hopefully it's not just me. So instead of having the kids writing the names, I put them on Avery labels. I use the labels where there are 30 per sheet (#5163) and put two names on each label so it looks like this

That way I can cut the three columns of stickers apart and give one to each student and they'll have all 20 names. I'll also cut each column of stickers up the middle (between the two names) so that each name is on its own small sticker. A little hint: only cut up thru the top of the last sticker so the column doesn't get cut in two pieces- they're easier to pass out way. Like this

I also make one sheet of stickers with the word FREE instead of names. I cut these apart and give each student one "free" sticker.

Here's a bingo card you can grab by clicking on it.

I let students put the name stickers and the "free" sticker in whichever squares they choose. You could, of course, have them put "free" in the middle if you prefer. In the empty squares they can write in their own name (so it's on the card twice) and 3 other names. It'll look something like this when they're finished.

For more first day of school activities check out these other bloggers I've linked up with for their K-12 ideas. 
Thanks to Mackenzie from Brownbag Academics for organizing this!
Brownbag Academics

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Friday, July 25, 2014

Christmas in July Sales

Everything in my TPT and Teacher's Notebook stores is 20% today through July 27. If you're a Teachers Notebook shopper, you can get double rewards during this time too. It's a great time to shop!

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Alphabet Letter Exchange- only a few openings left!

I know I posted that there weren't many spaces left, but I mean it this time. My intention was to stop the sign-ups so there would be 7 groups but I accidentally let the sign-ups flow over so I added an 8th group.
Now there really are only 7 spots left in the Alphabet Letter Exchange! So far 201 teachers participating from 37 states and 2 Canadian provinces. Sign up now so you won't miss out!

Click {HERE} for information on the project and the sign-up form.

UPDATE 7/29/14:
The Alphabet Exchange is FULL for 2014- 208 teachers from 38 states and 2 Canadian provinces.
You can still sign up to be on the WAIT LIST, though. It seems every year that a few teachers need to back out before the project gets started and I've been able to include a few more people. Click HERE for the wait list form. Group and letter assignments will be out within the next 2 weeks.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Stitch Fix Show & Tell

Hey there! I'm linking up again with Barb from Ruby Slippers Blog Design for her Show & Tell linky.
Today I'm sharing my Stitch Fix with you. If you haven't heard of it, it's a simple way to have someone else choose clothes for you based on a detailed profile you complete when you sign-up. It costs $20, but that was credited toward the item I chose to buy.

When the box arrived Saturday I opened it right up!

 Inside were two cute tops. I loved the color of this one. It's actually more peachy than these pictures show. I really liked it one me, but it was too sheer for school.
 So I tried on this one. I love, love, love the color! And I really liked the way it looked on too (I'm just to self-conscious to show picture of me wearing them... hence the hangers). I never thought I'd like that type of neck line, but I really did. That's the reason for trying Stitch Fix- I was hoping I'd get some styles I might not choose for myself but would like once I tried them. And it worked!
These was a beautiful mint green infinity scarf
And this cardigan sweater that I fell in love with! Our budget is a little tight right now, but I was determined to keep one item and I knew this was the one before I even tried it on.
I took this picture of the back because I love the knot and the style it gives the sweater.
Cardigans are one of my favorite things to wear! The layers are good for the weather here.

If you're thinking of trying Stitch Fix, here's a referral code you can use that gives me a $25 credit, if you'd be so kind.

I'm so glad I tried Stitch Fix! It was so easy! When you sign up you're assigned a personal consultant who chooses clothes based a detailed profile you fill out and your pinterest board, if you have one. It's amazing how well Pamela did in choosing clothes that were just my style. My next box is set to arrive mid-August. Woohoo!

P.S. Check out this giveaway! Just click on the image.

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