We're Back & Having a Sale

Well we know it's been a while but we have REALLY been enjoying our time with our families. Winter break has been full of family time and we have been busy playing with our kids and enjoying every single minute of it!

And now we're back and ready to share a few new products that we have just finished working on.

Our January Math Journal Prompts can be found {HERE}

Our math journal prompts for January focus on: subtraction (using fewer & more/less), understanding the meaning of the equal sign, beginning fact families, & place value (1's, 10's, & 100's).

We've also just added a set of subtraction worksheets and they can be found {HERE}!

This set of subtraction worksheets contains 6 different worksheets. Each worksheet has 4 different versions so you can use the version that works best for you and your students.

And finally, to celebrate the upcoming new year, we've decided to throw a sale at our Teachers pay Teachers store. Everything in our store is 20% off through January 2nd.
We're both wishing you a great start in the new year and when we return to work next week, we'll be back with more freebies and ideas from our classrooms to share with you all!

We're All About Matter Around Here

Hope you all are having a great weekend. We have been so busy in our classrooms! Our students have been making Christmas gifts for their families, we're so thankful for our volunteers who help us with this one, definitely couldn't do this activity without their help! Our Christmas classroom celebrations are all planned and we're looking for a fun filled Friday with a school wide sing-a-long! LOVE this time of year!
Anyhow, matter has been our science focus this month and we wanted to share some ideas and freebies with you all!
After reading a book about matter to our first graders, we completed a vocabulary building activity. When we introduce new vocabulary to our kiddos we usually complete a worksheet like the one below. Our first graders put these worksheets in their writing binders and refer to them when needed. If you'd like a copy of the worksheets below, just {CLICK HERE}.
After a lengthy discussion about solids, liquids, and gasses, we did a little experiment about solids and liquids with our first graders. It was SUPER easy and they were just thrilled! We showed our kids how liquid takes the shape of it's container by pouring water from a pitcher {cylinder shaped} to a rectangular shaped container.
Next we explained that a solid is different from a liquid because it does not take the shape of the container in which it is placed. We used several classroom objects, like the tape dispenser shown, and again they were lovin' this experiment!
Finally we told them that we can take a solid, turn it into a liquid, and then back to a solid of a different shape. They were seriously amazed! We took a container filled with ice cubes, let it melt throughout the day, and it turned into a liquid. The next day we poured the liquid into a new mold {heart shaped} and turned the liquid back into a solid by freezing it. The kiddos will see our result next week, and we're sure there will be excitement!
We also like to display our science vocabulary cards near our science table. You can get a copy of our matter vocabulary cards {HERE}. See below for a picture.

We hope you all have a great week! If you teach matter we'd love to hear activities that you do with your kiddos. Just comment below!

Reindeer Freebies!

Wow. There isn't much more to say. After conferences, we changed up our schedules a bit to really fit everything in. We are piloting a brand new, off the press math program, and we wanted our math time to be consistent everyday (which it wasn't before), and wanted to get in Daily 5 everyday (which we weren't) and somehow we made it work. But, it feels like we run all day long. The morning is packed so tight, there is very little room to breath. It's a miracle we are able to get in everything we have to teach, let alone fit in any type of Christmas activities. Add to that, the craziness of our little firsties this close to Christmas. We don't know how you all do it! This year, we've decided to focus mostly on our Gingerbread unit, and we are in LOVE! The kids just eat it up, and we are having so much fun teaching it! If you haven't checked it out yet, you should! The books are so fun, and flow so well together. Tomorrow the kids get to taste gingerbread cookies... But I digress...

We have managed somehow to create a tiny chunk of time to reindeer this year. Is this Rudolph just to die for?

We really love activities where the kids get to use hand prints. As a mom, these are always my favorite. Something about seeing the size of their hands way back when. Hopefully this sweet Rudolph is pretty self explanatory, but here are a few helpful hints to help you get started.
Cut for each child:
Head-light brown square 7" x 7"
Ears- 2 each, light brown rectangle 2" x 3"
Antlers- dark brown 9" x 12"
Eyes- white rectangle 2" x 3"
black rectangle 1" x 2"
Nose- Red square 2" x 2"

To go along with this, we wrote this poem. Click {HERE} for your copy. We've also included a writing sheet for the kids to write their own poem.
We also love to make this adorable book Brown Reindeer, Brown Reindeer, based on Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See? This is of course a class favorite, so the kids do their very best to make this an incredible book. We wrap it up, and give it to parents for Christmas, along with their ornament (check back for that post later).

Click {HERE} for your copy of the book.

And last, as a special treat for the kids to take home we make Reindeer Dust. I used to do this with the kids, but as demands get higher, we just don't have time. So now I make it and give it to them for a treat to take home. To make it extra cute, add a bit of red glitter to the nose. {Now, I used to make these with stamps, punches, the works. But I now make them for my class, my 2 son's classes, plus our friends kids, so they are on the computer now. :) }
Reindeer Dust Recipe: Uncooked rolled oats, and glitter (I use red, green, and either gold or white, but whatever works).
Click {HERE} for your the bag topper. Enjoy! We'll be back later this week with some more freebies!

Subtraction Stories

Happy Tuesday! Hope you all are having a wonderful week. We've been busy, busy, busy. We only have a few weeks before our winter break, and so much to do! Subtraction is happening in our classrooms and are kiddos are really grasping the concept of whole, part, part. We try to connect literature as much as we can throughout all content areas, and if we need a particular book, our online public library system is a fantastic resource and of course free! We just LOVE it! If you're looking for a subtraction story, the story below is great!

Our kids enjoy watching Sebastian and his friends as they camp and their items seem to mysteriously disappear. And when our first graders discover who is taking their items, they are even more engaged and eagerly await to see what happens at the end of the story. We like this story so much, that we created a subtraction worksheet to use with the subtraction equations in the story. As we read a subtraction problem, we write it down on the worksheet. We have also incorporated whole, part, part vocabulary in the equations.
See below to get your copy!
We've also included an additional subtraction worksheet that could be used without the story.
Click {Here} for subtraction worksheets

Need a few other book ideas?
The two below are also great read alouds
and perfect for first graders!

Do you have any tips or strategies when teaching subtraction? Just comment below! We'd love to hear any ideas and tips you use when you teach subtraction.
Have a great rest of the week!

Cyber Monday...Hurry while you can!

Only a few hours of Cyber Monday to get your shop on! Make sure to head on over to our store while you can still get a total of 30% off of our products. Don't forget to use the code CMS28 at checkout.

Make sure to check out our 2 latest units!

Winter Wonderland Game Pack

Word Family Vol. 2

We'll be back tomorrow with more freebies! Less than 3 weeks to go... {but who's counting?}

It's Time For a Sale!

We hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!
To kick off the holiday shopping season we are having a 20% off sale at our Teachers pay Teachers Store through Monday the 28th.
On Monday TpT is offering an additional 10% off!
Use the code CMS28 when you checkout!
Happy Shopping!

And the winner is...

Congratulations Kelly Bee aka Queen Bee! You've won our
Send us an email and we'll send it off to you!
Thanks everyone for all of your great gingerbread activities, we're
definitely going to have to try them out!
If you'd like to see a preview of our Gingerbread Galore unit you
can head on over to the post {Here}.
It's available in our TpT store and can be found {Here}.

Wishing you all a very
Happy Thanksgiving!

Clipart Courtesy of Scrappin' Doodles.

Gingerbread Galore (and a giveaway)

Hello friends! We are busy in the midst of conferences today and tomorrow, but we wanted to pop in with a quick hello! We know there is a great linky party going on over at What the Teacher Wants, but it will have to wait until tomorrow. We wanted to quickly share our newest unit at TpT with you. Are you looking for some fun Gingerbread activities to do with your firsties? Then this will be perfect for you! This is our newest baby Gingerbread Galore.

She's packed full of all sorts of fun inspired by 3 Gingerbread books. Head on over to our store, and have a little peek! For now, here's a quick preview.

Are you a follower? Comment on our post with your favorite gingerbread activity and we will give away our unit to a lucky winner. But hurry, we'll chose a winner at the end of conferences tomorrow night. Send good thoughts our way... 17 hours left. :)

Didn't Scrappin' Doodles do a fantastic job on this set? We've emailed them a few times lately asking for a clipart set, and they have worked magic! (Pinktastic anyone?)

Gobble, Gobble!

We promised that we'd share some of our turkey art projects with you all and let me tell you our kiddos just loved them. Anytime we get out the watercolors or do any sort of art project, we've got all sorts of creativity happening throughout our classrooms!
This simple art project always turns out soooo cute!

We have our students trace their hands, cut them out, and glue them on a piece of construction paper. Next they draw legs, cut out a wattle and beak, and glue on a googley eye. Next comes their favorite part. They add feathers using their watercolors! You would not believe the silence in our rooms when the watercoloring begins, it's AMAZING!
We also have a cute little poem for you all that our kids glue on the back of this page. This poem is all over the web! We also added a few lines after the poem because we have our students write, "I am thankful for..."

You can get the poem and paper {Here}

This next turkey activity is something we found a few years ago somewhere online, but can't remember where. This is an adorable activity using scrapbook paper. We gather several sheets of fall toned scrapbook paper (reds, oranges, yellows, browns, maybe some greens) and cut it into 3x4 inch rectangles. Each child will get 5 of these rectangles. We then print sheets of the turkey body on brown construction paper, the wattle on red, and beaks on orange (download below). We use scraps of white for the eyes, or google eyes, whichever you prefer. For the feathers, we print out several sheets on a very thick cardstock to be used as a pattern {enough for 1 pattern for every 1-2 students}. Kids pick 5 different colored rectangles, and trace the pattern on the back of the scrapbook paper. After cutting out the pieces of the turkey, they glue them together and voila! A cute little detail you can add is before you glue the wattle to the body, crinkle it up first. It looks a little bit more like a wattle then. Also, don't forget to fold the beak in half.

Get your copy of the Turkey parts {HERE}.

We use this along with a "I'm thankful for..." writing and add it to a placemat that we've woven, laminated, and it becomes their Thanksgiving placemat.

Get your copy of the "I'm thankful for..." paper {HERE}.

We are actually doing this on Thursday, so we don't have any pics of the placemat yet, but we wanted to share just in case you still need a few last minute turkey ideas for your class. We hope this is useful for you!

Whales and Sharks

This fall, we've had some fun with the higher reading group doing some non-fiction animal activities. These have been in a pile to share, so we apologize. :) We don't have any pictures, but we will do our best to share.

We started with learning about sharks while we were learning the 'ar' sound. Sharks seem to be one of those things that really just grab the kiddos attention. They couldn't get enough of reading about sharks, looking at pictures of real sharks, and even watching a fun video. We began by reading several books about sharks, and made a chart of all of the cool and interesting facts that we learned. Next we completed this shark activity.

We then read this little sheet that the kids loved, since it had such great pictures. They also loved that the got to take home a little mini-poster to teach their families about sharks. We read over this several times, and by the end, the kids were able to read most of it by themselves. (Keep in mind this is the high reading group, so we have several reading at a second grade level.)

Last we each did a shark report to really share what we had learned about sharks. These turned out sooo cute, I wish I would have remembered to photograph them. Next time!

{Also, I apologize that the jpeg cuts off the side of the picture. Drives me all kinds of crazy! The actual document is ok though.}
Click below for copies of all of these for yourself!

Later on, we learned all about whales when we learned the 'wh' sound. This came right after the sharks, which the kids loved. It was really fun to compare and contrast whales and sharks, and to discuss the similarities between the two.

We followed the same basic pattern by starting with reading several books about whales. We also found some really great videos on you tube. HERE is a great one of whales breaching. Of course there were few if any of our kids who had seen this, so it was really fun to watch the kids watching them. We also watched a great video of Beluga whales singing, which was another really exciting idea for the first graders. Unfortunately when I went to link it, it had been removed. But I recommend sharing something similar if you're learning about whales.

We then completed this whale activity.

{Sorry, it doesn't seem to want to rotate for me. }

The kids loved this whale text that we read together, and loved reading about different kinds of whales, and looking at their different pictures online as well.

At the end of our whale activities, we also created whale reports. We had a great bulletin board of our reports up that turned out so cute!

As mentioned before, we wrapped up by comparing and contrasting whales and sharks, and made this Venn diagram.

Make sure to grab copies for yourself!

We hope you find some of these useful! Tune in later this week for some bat and owl activities. Have a great night!

Some clipart courtesy of Scrappin' Doodles.

What's coming up...

We're still here! Don't worry, we haven't forgotten about all of ya'll! We have been busy working hard with our firsties, and trying to get ready for conferences which we have the week of Thanksgiving. We've been assessing, and DRA-ing our little ol' hearts out. Not to mention working on some fun stuff for you! Keep your eyes out this week, because we've got some big stuff coming up!

*Sharks, Whales, Bats, Owls.... Oh my!!! You won't want to miss this! We'll have TONS of freebies for reading and learning all about these fabulous creatures!
*Some fun turkey art projects, just in time for turkey day! Complete with some Thanksgiving freebies!
*Our next word family pack up for TpT. Have you checked out our first one? See it HERE. These are a great tool for introducing word families. This year we are doing one of these a week, and so far it's working out great! Can't wait to share Vol. 2!
*Our newest unit is just about done... hint, think gingerbread... It should be up by the end of the week! Yay, it's turning into one of our favorites! ;-)

Don't forget about our Pumpkin unit, and our Fall Games pack. These are great additions to your fall lesson plans.

We'll be back tomorrow (hopefully, fingers crossed...) to share some fun non-fiction reading stuff with you. Have a fabulous week everyone!

More Counting Fun & a Winner

Happy Sunday! A few weeks ago we focused on counting by tens with our kiddos and you can go {HERE} to read all about it and download a counting by 10's freebie! Well, last week we did an activity that focused on counting by 5's and we thought we'd share our creations with you all!

We began this activity using cards like these:

There are several activities that you could do with these cards:

1. Place cards in a pocket chart and students practice counting by 5’s to 120. Then have students close their eyes and remove 1 card. Have students try and guess what number is missing.

2. Print number cards twice and use to play a matching game. Students turn over 2 cards at a time, name the numbers, and try to find a number match. If the numbers match he/she keeps both cards. The student who has the most matches at the end of the game wins.

3. Have students work with a partner and place the number cards in order

while counting by 5’s.

Next we had our students each make a counting by fives book. Each child gets 1/4 of the sheet that looks like this:

We pre-cut these for our students.

Then we gave each of our students 3 double sided sheets that look like this:
Giving each student 3 double sided sheet makes 24 pages total inside their book. We had our students cut these out themselves and then we stapled their books together.
While they were waiting for the others to get their books stapled, they wrote their names on the cover and colored the title.

Once everyone had their book stapled we began counting by 5's. On the first page we wrote 5, and then drew 5 of the same shape, on the second page we wrote 10 and again drew 5 shapes (different from the first page). We continued writing numbers and drawing five shapes on each page until we reached 120. Then we explained to our kiddos that we have 120 total shapes on our book and we counted them all by 5's from the beginning.

We also made some worksheets to go along with this activity. These could be great for homework or morning seat work.

You can go {HERE} for the cards, book masters, and the worksheet above. We've even included a blank master too!

Here's another worksheet that you might enjoy too!
You can find this worksheet {HERE} and we've also included a blank master with this one too!

And now for our winner. We had 5 comments on our post asking for advice about reading programs. Thank you for all of your comments.
Congratulations #2 Mrs. S. who said,

"My district uses Treasures also. We are allowed to choose which parts we use or leave off. We found the Phonics portion to be very weak, so we use Saxon Phonics instead. I like the basal okay. There is a good mix of fiction and non-fiction, but some of the stories are not that great. I hardly ever use the workbook, but I do like the big charts that came with the series."
Mrs. S. please email us and let us know which fall related item you would like
from our TpT store!
Have a great week & thanks so much for stopping by!

Happy Birthday to me, and presents for you!

Happy Birthday to Me! Today is Erin's birthday! To help celebrate, we thought we'd throw a little sale at our store! So from now until Sunday night, everything in our TpT store will be 20% off! So head on over and get yourself some goodies.

Thanks for all of your sweet comments about our new blog design! We love it more and more each time we look at it!