Reindeer & Gingerbread

Happy Sunday!  We're officially on winter break, but I thought I'd share a few reindeer & gingerbread activities that my first graders did last week.  They had a BLAST!  If you still have a few days left with your students these activities might come in handy. 
 Already on winter break?  Tuck these away for next year :)   

This cute little freebie created by Kelly Witt can be found {HERE}.  We completed this book as a class and my first graders had so much fun reading it aloud!  They just loved how it rhymed.
Later that day, we completed a step by step reindeer drawing.  Here's the video:
I absolutely LOVE Doodle Academy.  Her videos are easy for my first graders to follow and her drawings are so simple and easy for young kids to recreate.

We also completed gingerbread activities last week!  Several of the activities that we completed can be found in our Gingerbread Galore pack.  

Here are some gingerbread stories we just LOVE!

We began the week by first reading The Gingerbread Boy and completing a retell activity.
On Tuesday we read The Gingerbread Girl and completed a Venn Diagram comparing the charters in The Gingerbread Boy and Girl.  On Wednesday we read The Gingerbread Baby and my students completed a writing activity to go along with the story.  Thursday we read Gingerbread Friends and completed a gingerbread cookie tasting activity.  Finally on Friday I read The Gingerbread Bear and my kiddos made paper gingerbread people and decorated them with sequins, pom poms, and all sorts of craft materials.    

If you'd like to check out our pack it can be found {HERE}!

We hope you have a WONDERFUL holiday season! 

Matter Mania

Hi friends!  Last Friday we had a "Home Room" day which meant no pull outs for reading or other groups.  Since I had my first graders for a solid two hours, this made it the perfect day to incorporate some matter activities!  I thought I'd share with you some ideas and activities I found and I am including links as well!

I started by talking about matter and then we did a matter sort using
matter cards and the chart below.
You can find the cards {HERE}.

Next I talked about how each of the balloons in the container below hold a form of matter.  One had a solid (ice), one a liquid (water), and one a gas (air).  I passed each balloon around separately in the container so each student could get a turn feeling and guessing what type of matter the balloon had.
This idea came from, but her website is down currently.
I will try and add the link later :)

Next my kiddos completed a matter sort on their own using a freebie found {HERE}!  They did so well and hardly needed my support at all!

At the end of the day as we gathered to go home, I showed this fun video by Harry Kindergarten.
I just LOVE his videos!

If you're looking for more matter activities/ideas, we've got some posts about matter 
{HERE} & {HERE}!  

And since it's almost winter, we added a new editable welcome sign to our store!
You can find this freebie {HERE}
Have a great week!

Happy December!

Hi It's Leslie here!  Hope your December is off to a great start!  I've been busy with my kiddos and trying to get all of our December projects complete in only 2 weeks!  YIKES!  The week after next is filled with gingerbread activities from our Gingerbread Galore pack!  My first graders just love when we have a week filled with gingerbread lessons tied into our math and reading.

I wanted to share some information about several new products we've added to or store!   
CVC short vowel cards
Each set contains:
*Lowercase letter cards a-z (use to build CVC words) 
*CVC picture cards 
Word cards that match the picture cards

I like to use these cards with my large hanging pocket chart.  My first graders can easily place them into the pockets and they enjoy matching the words to the correct picture or building the words using the letter cards.  These are put out at my pocket chart station during my Literacy station rotations.  
Erin likes to use these cards with her kindergartners using her Show and Tell Apron.  

If you'd like to check out these cards, plus more, you can find them {HERE} in the pocket chart category in our Teachers Pay Teachers store, or you can find them bundled {HERE}!  

Here's a sight word bingo set that I'll be using in my small reading groups this week and next!  It's a freebie so just click on the picture below or go {HERE}!

There are 10 individual cards so you can have up to 10 players, or have your kiddos share :) 

Have a great week friends!

Sight Word Assessing & Some Random Freebies!

Happy Monday!  It’s Leslie here and I am so glad to be back online!  My internet has been intermittent for that last two weeks!!! L  
Turns out it was our router, and I'm FINALLY back on!  I’ve had this post in the works and am finally able to share with you all.

Here's how I assess my students on their sight word knowledge. 

Using our Read the Rainbow Sight Words pack I assess my kids weekly.  Our first graders are assessed in our small reading groups 
(I am currently assessing nine students). 
 Our pack has 11 lists with 20 words on each list (first 220 Dolch words).  You can find this pack {HERE}.  The white cards below are on my word wall.  Each card has a colored icon that corresponds to the colored list.  The cards on colored construction paper are what I use to assess my kiddos.  Each list is copied on a different color.  I have an extra set of these cards and my first graders often practice with these cards during their literacy station rotations.
After I asses my students, they are given a list to practice at home for the week.
I have a poster displayed near my small group reading table and each student has a numbered sticker.  I place their sticker on either side of the number that corresponds to the list that they are currently working on. 
They move along the rainbow as they pass their list.  
If you’d like this little freebie you can fid it {HERE} or click on the pic below! 
There are three different options!
And here are a few random freebies!  I used this missing addend worksheet with my first graders last week.  The answers are on the bottom and my students just crossed them off as they filled in the missing addends.  
Just click the pic below if you’d like your copy! 

Here are a few random non-school related freebies.  These two printables are both saved in a 5x7 format and are meant to be framed. Writing down a weekly dinner menu is a MUST for me and I typically plan my meals on Saturday for the following week.  This little menu printable can be placed in a 5x7 frame.  I display it in my kitchen.  I use a dry erase marker and write on the glass.  The other is a countdown to Christmas.  I have both in frames and LOVE that I can just write on the glass!  If you'd like a copy just click on the pictures below to grab your freebies!

Thanks for stopping by & have a WONDERFUL week!

Happy Wednesday!

Hope you’re week is off to a great start!  Classroom Friendly Supplies contacted us a few weeks ago and asked us if we’d give an honest review of their pencil sharpener.  Having a decent pencil sharpener is very IMPORTANT to us and we were more than happy to try them out.  
They sent us one in purple, their newest color.
How cute is this?
The pencil sharpener comes with a screw type clamp to secure it to a table. 
I just LOVE it!  This pencil sharpener sharpens pencils perfectly!  I am even able to sharpen my Handwriting Without Tears pencils and they’re pretty short. 

You simply squeeze the two black knobs and gently pull the pencil holding compartment out.

It will stay out until you squeeze the tabs again.  Next, you’ll want to squeeze the tabs again and insert your pencil.  Once the pencil is inserted you can release the tab and start sharpening
As you are sharpening, you’ll see the pencil slowly moving into the sharpener.  You’ll know it’s completely sharpened when you hear a quieter sound.  The handle will also turn faster when the pencil is fully sharpened. 

And what’s great is that my students can easily use this sharpener and they know when the pencil is sharpened rather than sharpening the pencil is down to nothing.  My classroom helper is the pencil sharpener for the day.  After checking in with me, he/she goes right to the dull can and sharpens five pencils.  My first graders LOVE it and can easily sharpen independently.

In Kinder, Erin also uses this fabulous pencil sharpener. Even her sweet kinders are able to independently sharpen their pencils, without breaking and wasting their precious lead. In kinder it's incredibly helpful being able to have the sharpener stable at one spot in the room, yet also easy to move to a different location. We move around our classroom a lot, and until we get another one in the room, it has to go back and forth between the front of the class and the back. Since Erin is new to kinder this year, she has quite the wish list, so she'll have to wait to purchase another. But we have to tell you, this company is the best to work with! Such great customer service and such a great product!

If you’d like to check these out, you can stop by here:
They also sell replacement blades and a permanent sharpener mount!

And here’s a little freebie I wanted to share!  A few weeks ago we were learning about frogs and their life cycle in my first grade classroom (I tie my weekly themes with my Treasures Reading themes) I created cards with pictures and text to retell the life cycle of a frog.  We recreated a life cycle circle on the floor in our large group area. 

These cards also work great in a pocket chart with or without the arrows.  I have these placed in our pocket chart station and these are one of the resources my first graders can use when they’re at the pocket station during literacy stations.    

If you’d like this little freebie, you can go {HERE} or click the picture below!

Have a great rest of your week!

How I Do Literacy and Math Stations

Hope you’re all having a great weekend! 
It’s Leslie here and I thought I’d share with you all about how I do math and literacy stations in my first grade classroom. 
         Last year and several years prior to last I followed more of a Daily 5 rotation.  Using our Treasures reading program, I would teach whole group reading, then my kiddos would go to their first station while I met with my first small reading group.  After my first group, my kids would switch to their next station and I would meet with my second group.  This would continue as I met with all of my reading groups. 
         The problem that I had with this rotation schedule was some of my kiddos weren’t able to complete their stations due to time.  Some kiddos also missed some of their stations due to an additional reading group.
 So this year I tried something different and 
used Kickin’ it in Kindergarten’s It's Station Time cards which I 
Love, love, love!  
Each child has their picture in the pocket chart.  These are the white cards that are shown below.  They are flipped over in the picture.

  My kiddos have 3 rotations they can choose from each day.  
Reading to self or a buddy (I made these cards) is a station that all of my students can choose each day.  I also created an iPad, iPods, and a listening card to match our classroom iPad and iPods.  My students can pick (out of their three choices) what station they go to first, and I don't require them to get to all three each day.  Several of my students leave during our reading block for other literacy groups so it would be impossible to require them to go to all three.  Having this option provides them an opportunity to make choices, yet also complete their work before they can go to their next station.  
The next morning I move the station cards down, rather than move the picture cards.  That way my kiddos know where their picture is on the chart and they can easily find it.  I chose to have six rotations so the groups could remain small.  Every seventh I change the stations and or activities at the stations.  I am keeping a list of what I do for each of the six days, so next year it will be A LOT easier for planning! 
I handle math stations a little differently than literacy stations because my kids finish their independent work at different times.  Our math program has some guided work that my students do along with me, and an "On My Own" page.  After we complete some of the work together, my students complete the "On My Own" page independently.  When my kids are done with their "On My Own" page they choose a math station that they would like to go to.   Kids that have a 1 by their picture on the pocket can go to an iPad or an iPod and play a math game that I have in a designated math station folder.  Kids that have a 2 by their picture on the pocket chart can go to and practice math on a classroom computer.  All other students can choose a math game/manipulative math station.  This system works for me at math because if I required kids to go to a game station, sometimes there would only be one student since others might still be finishing their independent work.  So when my kiddos finish their independent they find another child who has also finished and play a game together.  Others join in as they finish.  Independent activities with manipulatives are also available.

If you would like a copy of the sign above my pocket chart, you can click any of  the pictures below, or go {HERE}!  They're FREE and there are 8 different options!
Here are four of the eight!

I have made expectations that my kiddos need to follow while they are at literacy and math stations.  These cards are on display beside my pocket chart.
I also have them on a ring and they are hung in our meeting area, so we can review often.
If you would like to check these out, you can click on a picture above, or go {HERE}! I have made two different choices for the first card. You can choose stations or centers depending on what you call them in your classroom.

I also made these cards for my small group reading area.
The white card hanging on the hooks contains names on the other side.  It's just flipped over in the picture. My kids know to look here when it is time to meet with me.  For example, before we begin literacy stations, my kids look here first to see if they are the first group to meet with me.
 This is how it looks when the names are displayed.  

If you would like an editable version, so you can just type your kiddos names in.  Just click one of the pictures above, or you can go right {HERE}!  It's FREE!

Thanks so much for stopping by!  Hope you all have a great Sunday!

Transportation & Apple Activities

 Hi everyone it's Leslie!
Hope you all are having a fantastic weekend!  
Well, it's finally October and we're just loving it!  
We've been in or classrooms for about a month now with our kiddos and it finally feels like we're in a solid routine.  Schedules are finalized and our math and reading stations are running smoothly, YAY!
Here are a few things we've been doing along with a few new freebies!
  A few weeks ago I incorporated apples throughout my week.  We read lots of books about apples, used some smart board activities from the smart exchange website, and incorporated these activities below. 
After reading several nonfiction books about apples.  My kiddos retold the apple life cycle by placing picture and word cards into a pocket chart. (Please ignore the picture quality, bad lighting).  
A few days later we completed the worksheet below.

The following week I included an apple label activity in my fine motor station.  This will continue to be at my fine motor station for the next 6 days of literacy stations.
The life cycle cards were also used again 
and were put at my pocket chart station.  
Both were a great reinforcement about a previously learned topic!
These activities can both be found in our 

Look for Erin's apple activities soon!

 Transportation was one of the reading themes in my Treasures reading program last week and I incorporated a transportation sort along with a few transportation books and songs.  
Here's a picture of the sort below.  

When my stations change next week, I will include this picture book in my publishing station.  
There are picture cards that go along with this book.  
The kids can color, cut, and glue their pictures on the appropriate page.  

The picture sort and mini book with pictures can both be found here: 
I am enjoying including activities that relate to previously learned topics at a few of my reading stations.  My kiddos can work independently and feel successful while completing these activities!  Next week one of our reading themes is frogs.  I've got a few things planned that I'll be sure to share with you in a few days!
Lastly, here are a few freebies that we'd love to share with you all!
This little welcome sign is placed in a 5x7 frame on my counter as you enter my classroom.  It's editable and in our TpT store!  It's replacing the September one that was displayed last month.  Just click the picture below to get your copy.  It will print on a standard 8 1/2  x 11 piece of paper.  I just prefer to shrink it down to fit in a small frame.  

I also updated a few posters that I use quite regularly in my classroom when solving addition and subtraction story problems. 
These little gems are hole punched and have a ring through them.  I hang them right above my document camera cart and pull them down when we complete math story problems.  My kiddos get used to this, and hearing these words repeated over and over help when they complete story problems independently.  Just click the pictures below and you can get these little freebies as well!

Hope you all have a wonderful week!  

It's back to school for us this Tuesday,well actually we've been back since last week, but this week will be our first week with our new kiddos and we're so excited to meet them!  We've got lots of Pete the Cat activities scheduled for our first week back.  Pinterest has sooooo many wonderful ideas!  To go along with our Pete the Cat themed week, we created a little award that we're sending home with out kiddos on the first day of school.  It's an editable version too!  Just click the picture below to grab your copy!
This little award has been on our blog since we first started blogging.  It works well after reading The Kissing Hand books with Chester the Raccoon.  Since we added our cat version and made it editable, we updated our raccoon one as well!  You can click the picture below to download this recently updated freebie!

Our next resources tie in nicely with our First Grade Treasures reading program.  Leslie uses this program with her first graders and has mapped out the themes for the entire year!  If you use First Grade Treasures and would like a copy of our map, just email us!  She plans on sharing freebies and book titles that tie in nicely with the weekly themes!  So check back often for updates!
Smart Start will begin next week and will run for three weeks.  After that, Unit One Week One will begin.  
The themes that we've connected to Unit One Week One in our series are:
 My Home
My Senses
 School Rules
If you don't use Treasures, we're sure these freebies will still work for you at some point throughout the year!

Here are a few books that we've checked out through our local library network and plan on incorporating in our themed book display.
And here are two freebies that we'd love to share with you!

This simple book provides easy patterned text for your kiddos to read to someone,
and includes two printing options.
All About Me Book

We hope you all have a wonderful week!
We'll be back later this week with classroom pictures!