We Have A Sale Coming Up!

We are so excited to offer you all 20% off at our TpT store August 1-6. In addition to our sale, Teachers Pay Teachers is offering you 10% off of your total by using the code B1T1S when you checkout! This is a great savings! So come on by and check out our products in our TpT store!

What We Do With Our Game Cards

Hi blogger friends! So we we have been creating games for our students and have them listed in our TpT store. The cards that come with our games can be used interchangeably with the exception of the "special" cards that relate to the game's specific theme. Some of our games include a space on the game board for cards, and for the other games we like to use plastic cups, pails, and plastic bowls as containers for our students to draw their cards out of. They can grab a card and either place it back in the container, or not (completely up to you). Our first graders like to put them back in the containers, especially the cards that allow them to move ahead 2 spaces, hoping that they'll grab that card again! Well, we've been doing some shopping lately looking for some containers for these cards, and have found some great deals.

The red and white tumblers and green and blue bowls came as 4 packs for $1 from Target's dollar spot. So that's 12 containers for $4! The pink and green pails were just too cute to pass up and they were at IKEA in the pottery/plant department and they came in sets of 3 for $2.99, not too bad either. And here is an example of what our newest game cards look like in one of the bowls:
The cards in this bowl haven't been laminated yet (wish I had one at home) but they will be as soon as I head back to school. We like to laminate the entire sheet, and then cut with our large paper cutter. This makes it a lot easier than cutting first and then laminating. We will soon be posting about our newest unit that contains game cards that have beginning of the year sound, letter, number, and basic addition skills we want our first graders to master. If you are looking for game cards that contain more addition, subtraction, and sight words we've also added a set to our TpT store as well. These cards have similar equations and sight words that come with our Race Car Math Games, but are in a large and small format. These cards can be used with any of our games as well! You can find the cards HERE if you are interested!
Here are the games we have created so far:
And below is a picture of a little freebie that we'd like to share with you all, because we are so thankful for our followers. JUST CLICK HERE for the hall passes that we've created for our students to place on their desks when they are either in the bathroom or at the office. Simply cut on the fine dotted line, fold on the fine straight lines, and these should look similar to a tent that could easily stand. Laminate before cutting and folding for extra durability.

Reading Strategies Poster Pack Winner

Congratulations to Caterina! Caterina, email us and we'll send the pack off to you. Thank you all for your ideas. Our students enjoy these strategies and we constantly refer to them throughout the school year. The bookmark is a great tool for students to have as they are reading during Daily 5 and the parent sheets work as a great tool for parents to refer to at home.

A Few Back to School items and a freebie!

Although we still have a few weeks (4 to be exact) before we have to go back to work, we are beginning to create some beginning of the year activities to do with our first graders. We've got a big giveaway in the works with some of our blogger friends, so make sure to be on the look out! We're going to be busy these next few weeks as we prepare to go back to school, so hang on tight!

We've got a few things to share with ya'll today. First is our new All About Numbers Pack at TpT. This is very similar to our All About the Alphabet pack. Our number pack has a focus on numbers instead, counting and recognizing numbers from 0 to 20. Click the Picture below to check it out!

We've also added a new Reading Strategies Poster Pack to our store. We've seen many versions of these floating around, but have never found one that worked just perfectly for us. We wanted one that included all of the decoding and comprehension strategies, and that looks neat and clean, with a real focus on the strategy. We've used these with our students for the last 2 years, and it really is AMAZING how quickly they pick these up. They love having the bookmark in their book boxes, and are able to tell you which strategies they are using. They are just fabulous! So, check out our version of our posters. We hope you find them useful. Comment on this post with a way that you use or could use these in your classroom, and tomorrow we'll pick a winner to get these for free!

And since we love all of our fabulous followers, here's a treat for you! This is an All About Me book that we do at the beginning of the year. This 8 page book can simply be cut on the dotted lines and is aligned more to the right so you can easily staple the left side without covering up the pictures and words (this was a problem with the one we used last year, so we created our own) Click the picture below to download your free copy!

Happy Monday! Don't forget to leave us a comment for a chance to win our Reading Strategies Poster Pack!

Scrappin Doodles Discount Code

We just found this and wanted to share in case any of you need some clipart this month. Use coupon code JULY2011 at checkout for 15% off your order of $5 or more! Hope it's useful for ya!

All About the Alphabet Freebie!

As we start to think about thinking (not ready to say we're thinking yet, we still have another month!) about heading back to school, we've been thinking about how to review some kinder skills with our little first graders fresh out of kindergarten. Word work in the beginning of the year will look way different than it did at the end of the year of course, so we need to freshen up our activities. We've created a little "All About the Alphabet" pack over at TpT that we'd love for you to take a look at. There are some great Alphabet posters for your classroom, some fun matching games, and games to help reinforce sounds. So head on over and take a look! Here's a little preview of what you'll see!

As a little bonus we've also created a few alphabet worksheets to go along with this pack and we'd like to share them with you all! So click below to download your copy! Have a great Thursday!

Click here for ABC Worksheets

Like this Alphabet Pack? Click below to pin it to one of your Pinterest boards!

We Have Some Winners!

Congratulations to taniceto, sherrymc62, Ms. Martin, & Delaney White please send us an email and let us know what item in our TpT store you would like.

What To Do With All Those Jars?

Well, I admit I kind of have a problem of keeping jars and always have intentions on using them for something. So I finally got around to it and I am excited to clean up my classroom desk with them. My family eats a lot of pasta and we tend to have a lot of these jars around. My picky daughter enjoys her pasta sauce from these jars, which are a little smaller than the ones mentioned above. Finally, I buy a lot of pesto that and it comes in these jars,which are the smallest in the bunch. After they've been emptied, I scrub the labels off and run them through the dishwasher. Then they usually collect somewhere, like on the top of the refrigerator, until there are too many and I must find something to do with them. So, I decided to paint them, add a few bows (to cutesy them up), and use them as storage containers for my pencils, pens, scissors, and all kinds of other things that collect at my desk. I think it's time I get rid of the coffee mugs and cutesy the desk up a bit. So here is how I started:
I began by adding primer to the outside of the jars which added a nice base for the paint to stick to. Then once the primer dried, I added the cute colors you see above: Watermelon, Pistachio, and Blue Ocean Breeze. After a few coats and some ribbon, here's what they look like:

And here are all of the items I painted, I just couldn't stop at the jars:
The large jar in the back is an old sauerkraut jar, and the wooden box was my $1.99 Goodwill find. Don't ya think these will look so much cuter than old coffee mugs? One more thing, we will be choosing a winner tonight for our giveaway. If you haven't had a chance to enter and would still like to HERE is the link. We also have a few freebies there too! Hope you all have a terrific week!

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Glitter Makes Everyting Better!

How cute are these? Don't you just think that glitter makes everything better? On a quick trip to the Container Store (Which, although I love it, it's usually way too expensive for my taste, but I needed something specific. You can find some good deals though.) I spotted these little gems. I LOVE glitter and anything sparkly, so naturally I just HAD to have these. They were only $1.49 each, so definitely in my budget. Now, the question that I ask all of you lovelies: What do I do with them? I do have my classroom grouped into tables (red, orange, yellow green, blue and pink) so I'm thinking they could be used by table group. I don't want them out all the time though, because I'm sure with my little first grade fingers, they wouldn't last long. So, any ideas? I'd love to hear your creativity!

We're Having A Sale

We're having a Christmas in July sale now through Monday June 18th at our TpT store. Come on over and have a peek. EVERYTHING is 20% off!!! Click HERE to start shopping!
Also, DON'T FORGET to enter our giveaway and check out our freebies. See below to see what the celebration is all about.

We Made It To 400 Followers! Giveaway & Freebie Time!

Thank you followers! We are so excited to have reached 400! Now about our giveaway and freebies! We are going to give 4 followers 1 item from our TpT store for FREE! And the winners will get to choose their free item! There are 4 ways you can enter this fantastic giveaway:
1. Follow our blog (1 entry)
2. Follow our Teachers pay Teachers store (1 entry)
3. Blog about us on your blog and add the link in your comment (1 entry)
4. Comment on an item you have purchased
from our TpT store or would like to purchase (1 entry)

We will choose our winners Monday, July 18th so comment away!

Now for the freebies! Below are pictures of the items we would like to thank you with! Just click on the words above the pictures and start downloading! Thank you all for your support! Sorry this was so late. Google docs wouldn't take one of our uploads (too big) so we uploaded it to our TpT store.

Here is a great management tool for you all!

Every morning kiddos come in and find their card on the home side, and flip it to school. It’s a visual way to do attendance that is quick and easy. The cards are made of 3 x 5 stock, and I put a home label on the bottom of one side, and a school label on the bottom of the other side. Above the school label I put each child’s picture, so when they are at school you can actually see their face. I use the Carson Dellosa pocket chart which is 30 x 37 ½. But I like to make my own cards so they are personalized every year. The labels are formatted to Avery label 5395 (or equivalent size). So here are the labels that I use for my pocket chart. I've uploaded them in a word file so all you have to do is change the names to fit your class and you are ready to go. We hope you find this useful!
Attendance Card Labels

Map Pack & Another Giveaway Very Soon!

Hi all! We are super excited because we almost have 400 FOLLOWERS!! And to celebrate with you all we will have some freebies for you and a giveaway, but more on that in a minute because we have to tell you about a map pack that we have recently added to our Teachers pay Teachers store. Each year we teach a mapping unit to our students, but we have always felt that we needed a little more to add to the unit. We have searched all over for a great map lesson, but have always had a hard time finding one. So we knew that sometime during our summer break we would create one, and HERE it is! This pack contains:

1 town map in both color and black and white
1 blank town map for your students to create their own unique map
1 sheet of map symbols and map key labels in both color and black and white
Map questions to guide your students around the map

Come on by and check it out at our TpT store.

Okay, back to our upcoming celebration. As soon as we reach 400 followers we will give you all some freebies and have a giveaway for an item from our TpT store. So spread the word to all of your friends because as soon as we get 5 more followers the freebies and giveaway will be announced.
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We need your help... and Ice Cream Winner!

Ok blogger friends, we really need your help. We feel like we are pretty technologically savvy here at First Grade Fanatics. We are definitely a pair of Mac girls, and love learning how we go. That said, there is one little old thing that we can NOT figure out how to do. When we have a giveway, and pick a winner, we'd like to post the picture of the Random Number Generator, like everyone else does. But we can't figure out how to copy and paste it into a document to then post. When we copy and paste it, all we get are the numbers and text, not the picture of the results. Any ideas? Are we using the wrong website? We don't think it's a Mac vs PC thing, because we got the same results on a PC. We would sure LOVE someone to help us out... So the first person to either comment or email us when directions so that we can use the picture will win our Summer Fun Activity Pack as a thank you. We would sure appreciate it!

But now, the winner of our Ice Cream Math Pack.

Congratulations Cindy!! We will email you your copy shortly. If you would like to check out our Ice Cream Timed Tests, head on over to TpT. Have a great Monday!

Ice Cream Math Pack

Hello friends! We know that we've been pretty quiet lately, but don't you worry! We're still here. We've just been super busy hangin' with our kiddos, taking vacations (3 weeks in the sun in South Carolina did my tan some good!), and trying to enjoy our summer. We've got a big to do list though, so we've started to check some things off...

This past year, we really put an emphasis on our kids being proficient at their math facts. Our district previously had a high emphasis on the process that kids go through in math, but not so big on memorizing math facts. Now the pendulum has sort of swung, and we're now putting a HUGE focus on getting them to have their math facts memorized. We know that this will help them as they get older, and with math in the upper grades. We do believe of course that their is a balance, between understanding math concepts and the process, and memorization. Anyway, we started doing timed minute tests in our classes, and although we were resistant at first about having such pressure on the kids, we could not believe the results at the end of the year! The kids were doing SOO much better actually knowing their addition facts, and not having to actually figure them out. We gave our students a 1 minute timed test, and gave worksheets with 20-40 problems on the page. This year, we will be starting this much sooner, and one of the things that we will do is track each child's progress on a bulletin board, so they can see how they are doing. Then periodically we'll have an ice cream treat to celebrate their progress. We've been looking for a timed test pack, but just haven't been happy with what we've found, so naturally we had to create our own. So, introducing our
Ice Cream Math Timed Test Pack!
Inside you will find:
*Ice Cream Scoops bulletin board
*Teacher Record Sheets
*Addition Worksheets for adding 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10
(4 unique sheets per number)
*Awards for each level passed

We're still working on mini packs including worksheets with 45 problems, subtraction worksheets, and mixed number worksheets for addition and subtraction. We'll let ya'll know when they're finished. So please, head on over to out TpT store, and check out our Ice Cream Math Pack. We'd love to hear you thoughts and ideas! Here's a little preview of what you'll find.

Leave us a comment about your favorite kind of ice cream, and we'll pick a winner on Sunday to get our Ice Cream Math Pack for free!