One of my favorite read alouds to share this time of the year is Gustavo The Shy Ghost by Flavia Z. Drago. Gustavo The Shy Ghost is a story about a shy ghost who's just too shy to make any friends, but he really wants to try. It's such a well written and beautifully illustrated story and a perfect read aloud for any time of the year, but especially timely for Día de los Muertos. I love this book for all sorts of reasons and it's such a great choice for a class read aloud. There are so many different topics and skills that can be addressed before/during/after reading. While there are many different SEL lessons you can pull … [Read more...] about Gustavo The Shy Ghost
With all the random crazy weather days we've had this year, I know many teacher friends who have yet to celebrate the 100th day. If you're anything like me, you like this special day to be organized, simple, and FUN, but MEANINGFUL at the same time. I gotcha covered, friends! Check out some ideas below for celebrating the 100th day of school. For the first few years of my teaching career, I didn't think the 100th day of school was all that. I mean sure...it was special. SUPER special (for lack of a better description). But I didn't invest much time in planning because I guess I didn't think it was THAT big of a deal. Oh, how … [Read more...] about 100th Day of School
Ahhh. It's October. This time of the year lends itself to SO many themes we can use to teach different skills and concepts. Candy, the skeletal system, pumpkins, and Fall. And SO many more! Two of my most favorite thematic units of study this time of the year are bats and spiders. I typically start the month of October using these two themes the first couple of weeks. Today I wanted to take a minute to share with you what the first couple of weeks of October might look like in my classroom. Today we'll start with bats! Tune-in tomorrow for Spider Week activities and ideas! I always start out bat week using a schema … [Read more...] about Bat Week
Can y'all believe we're already (quickly) approaching the end of April?! WHERE DID THE YEAR GO?! Our babies get out at the end of May and you know how May goes. Everything sort of hits us at once. Cinco de Mayo, Mother's Day, testing, assessment after assessment, portfolios, cumulative folders, plays, musicals, field trips, graduation, etc., etc., etc. Try as we may to be on top of things, sometimes the inevitable just sneaks up on us! For me, that is usually Mother's Day. I always think I have more time to plan and prep. What about you?! Well today I wanted to share with you some Mother's … [Read more...] about Celebrating Mother’s Day
Today we're talking all about sight words. Specifically, my top 5 effective tips for making sight words STICK! So often we as teachers focus on assessing our student's sight word automaticity in isolation, but overlook the need to reinforce that same instant recall when identifying sight words in context. We assume that easily reading sight words in context will be a by-product of focused instruction of words in isolation, right?! TRUTH: I would always get so frustrated when my kids would recall words in isolation with NO problem, but when reading them in context...it was like crickets! Complete and … [Read more...] about 5 Tips for Teaching Sight Words – How to Make Them Stick!
Happy first day of Spring to you!!! To be completely honest, I'm not sure Texas even had a winter. Well, not much of one anyway. A few chilly days, but nothing to write home about. I'm definitely NOT complaining....I'm cold when the temps dip below 80 degrees...but it's crazy to think it's already SPRING!!!! And you know what that means?! Summer break is only 48 short days away...but who's counting?! #andalltheteacherssaidAMEN Now let's get on with the reason we're here! WEATHER. Y'all. Have I told you before that this is one of my most favorite thematic units to teach?!?! I love … [Read more...] about All About the Weather – Ideas & Freebies!
We're a week away from celebrating St. Patrick's Day, so I thought it would be the perfect time to First, let's talk behavior. I always get a lot of questions about behavior management. You will never hear me say I have it all figured out. Nor will I declare that all of my ducks are always in their rows. However, I do know that sometimes the novelty of what we're doing wears off and when it does our kids become less engaged in learning and more apt to act unfavorably. I've found that changing up behavior incentives at different points during the year really seems to curb undesired behavior. I don't … [Read more...] about St. Patrick’s Day Activities & Freebies
Tomorrow is Valentine's Day and today I'm at home nursing a sick child. There is nothing worse than not being able to help your baby feel better. This just STINKS. We could absolutely use the prayers. Fevers scare the daylights out of me...especially when the Motrin/Tylenol combo doesn't do a thing to relieve them. For those of you who will be at school tomorrow, here are a few activities you can implement for a little extra fun. Of course, they'll work perfectly for the month of February as well so no need to put them away after all the Valentine excitement has died down! First up, Valentine Bingo. … [Read more...] about Valentine’s Day Freebies! – Blending & Sight Word Games
Can y'all believe it's almost already Valentine's Day? Does it seem someone pressed fast forward on February? Or nah? Well...that's what it feels like to me. Moving on. Since Valentine's Day is just a few short days away, I wanted to share a writing activity & a printable treat tag that you might be able to put to use in your classroom this coming week. First up, let's talk tags. I absolutely LOVE Valentine's Day and love gifting different treats to students, co-workers, friends, and family. There's just something my Kindergarten heart loves about the holiday (as commercial as it may … [Read more...] about Printable Valentine GIft Tag & Writing Craftivity – FREEBIES!
It's about that time of the year....for us anyway...to introduce & reinforce 2D & 3D shapes (concepts and ideas). Does that hold true for you, too? Shape identification and geometrical language are always among my favorite concepts/skills to teach. Hands-on and engaging and so many connections to the real world! And for our kids, shapes are tangible. They can feel real world shapes. They can play with them. They can even identify shapes in the environment around them. Shapes are EVERYWHERE! And shapes are among the earliest objects they learn, recognize, and identify (thank you, Mickey … [Read more...] about 2D & 3D Shapes
Happy (ALMOST) New Year, friends! 2017....really?!?! Have you made any resolutions? Me...notsomuch. Of course, I always want to be a better version of who I was the year before, but resolutions never quite "stick" if you know what I mean. Sure...I want to eat healthier. Work out more. Get more organized. Keep the house clean. Do the laundry...regularly ;) Yes...I want all those things. And to eat all the things and still be able to fit into my jeans. But really...I just want to have a great year filled with lots of laughter and more memories than I can count. I'm still … [Read more...] about All About January (and a few freebies!)
It's almost time for our family elf, Elfabet, to visit us from the North Pole. He is one of my favorite family traditions because his silly hijinx always make my boys laugh. There is just no sweeter sound to wake up to in the morning, I swear. Not only are the elves flying back to homes everywhere across the country, but according to my calendar, they're flying back to classrooms everywhere, too. Here's a peek back at our visit from our classroom elf a few years ago. A special delivery straight from the North Pole with a letter, a gift tag, and everything! I read the letter to the kids and they … [Read more...] about Classroom Elf Freebies & Ideas
Hello all! I hope this week's supermoon hasn't throw your babies off at all. Oh, who am I kidding?! I know it has, LOL!!! Here's to you and making it through to the Thanksgiving holidays up ahead! Halleluia, right?! Okay, so let's talk math, shall we?! I just wanted to share a couple of math activities from my Simply Social Studies Thanksgiving Mini Unit (K/1) that you might be able to use in your classroom this week or next. I always try to include ELA & Math extension activities in my social studies lesson plans. I love cross curricular teaching and our kids tend to build a more … [Read more...] about Thanksgiving Math Freebies!
We talked a bit about writing on Monday, so I wanted to follow up with a few short vowel activities today. Teaching our kids how to identify medial vowels, blend, and segment sounds is one of the first steps we take to make them independent readers and writers. One of the first phonics skills I cover at the beginning of the year is vowels. I introduce both short and long, but focus mainly on the short vowel sounds until that concept is mastered. However, I think it's important for our kids to know BOTH sounds since they'll encounter those sounds/vowels in their reading. When I introduce vowels, I tell my kids … [Read more...] about Short Vowels, Deal of the Day, & A Freebie!
Hello friends! This will be a quick post as I have a full day ahead of me prepping for some PD I'll be doing in OK later this week. As I was going through some files to share, I came across these lists I created to send home with my kids last year. I compiled a list of different books parents can buy/check out from the library that reach their independent reading levels. I also included books that would be great for fluency! Parent notes are attached to the top of each list. I sent these home in my kids' portfolios at the end of the year. I also gave the parents a copy and explained it to them … [Read more...] about Suggested Summer Reading
Happy Saturday!!! Did y'all survive Friday the 13th?! I honestly had NO clue that was the date until my brother mentioned it last night. Then I came across this meme and laughed WAY harder than I'm proud to admit..... DYING. Okay...so my Friday the 13th was filled with celebration. My college BFF recently had her third baby and I got some snuggle time with him. It didn't send my ovaries into a tizzy which was wonderful...I mean, we really are finished having babies. Ha! And then we went to a little gender reveal for my brother and his wife. We were all certain they would be having a … [Read more...] about Snag It Saturday (EOY Freebies!)
Believe it or not, Easter is right around the corner! I'm not sure why I thought we had more time, but just in case you missed the memo too, we don't. We don't have much time at all. This SUnday to be exact! I'm in the process of helping the Easter Bunny gather lots of fun treats for the boys. I'm glad I didn't wait to remember that until the night before. Not that I know anything about that ;) I was at Michael's the other day and found these... Of course, I had to have them. Loved that they came 3 to a set. I'm sure they have something similar to this at the Dollar Tree?? … [Read more...] about Last Minute Easter Ideas & FREEBIES!
Did you read that title the way I'm singing it right now? The O'Jays?? Anyone? Bueller?? So let's talk MONEY!!! A few weeks ago I did a standards-based training that centered around teaching financial literacy concepts to our primary babies....first grade to be exact. Our district starts with introducing coins, identifying coins, and determining the value of a set of coins. I felt like I needed to talk a bit about this concept before heading right into financial literacy because they piggyback off each other so beautifully. SO, I wanted to give you some ideas that maybe you can incorporate … [Read more...] about Money, Money, Money, Money….MONEY!!!
If you're anything like me, then you like to plan ahead. With the first day of March being tomorrow, I thought today would be the perfect day to talk about St. Patrick's Day and get a head start on planning...if you haven't already. But before we get to all that, HAPPY LEAP DAY!!!! This couldn't be more true. If you happen to be checking this before your school day starts...or during your lunch/planning break....and you need some Leap Day ideas, you can check out what I shared last week by clicking the pic below. In honor of Leap Day, I'm throwing a sale in my shop. Click the pic below for 20% … [Read more...] about Leap into March!
Leap Day is coming up...February 29th, to be exact. Y'know..in case you needed a reminder ;) So HOW do we celebrate and make this day relevant for our kiddos?! Well here are just a few fun ideas!!! This is a GREAT book to read on Leap Day! Leap's Day: February 29th, by Stephanie Bee Simmons. Here's a great Leap Day video geared toward kids, too! And here's another! Of course, no new concept is complete without an anchor chart. Here's the one I did with my first graders four years ago! That year we learned that Leap Year babies are called "leaplings" or "leapers". We did a little … [Read more...] about Let’s Talk Leap Day!
Last week I popped in to tell y'all all about the books Abby and I are using for our Science of March resource. We just released it yesterday! WOO HOO!!! Here's a little sample.. Rainbows/Color Science, Clouds, Weather in Spring, and Sun/Moon Stars. That's a mouthful! Here's the pacing calendar for those of you who asked... If you're interested in adding this to your science resources, just click on the pic. Four weeks of detailed science lesson plans plus additional cross-curricular activities, too! We always put our science resources on sale (20%) off for the first 24 hours, so you can … [Read more...] about Science of March FREEBIES!
I'm back from a two-day conference in Oklahoma where I got to meet and talk to so many amazing Kindergarten and 1st grade teachers. It was definitely a busy two days, but so much fun!! I absolutely love working with teachers!!! One of the sessions I presented was all about vocabulary. I'm such a huge believer in intentional and explicit vocabulary instruction that not only focuses on academic vocabulary words, but Tier 2 vocabulary words, too. It's so important for us as teachers to provide our kids with instruction that targets vocabulary retention. Not only do we want our kids to know what words … [Read more...] about Simple Vocabulary Activities for ANY Word Study
Yesterday I had the privilege of talking to some of the most wonderful teachers in the world...my Texas teachers!!! Okay, so I'm a little biased ;) Honestly though...it was such a GREAT day in Austin. SO much to cover!! Writing interventions, guided reading, behavior management, and vocabulary! This is how I typically feel after a day full of talking... Hahaha!! I absolutely love it! The exhaustion is most definitely worth it! I promised my Texas teachers I'd pop-in today and leave a few goodies to download :) If you attended my Writing Intervention session, you might remember me … [Read more...] about Writing Interventions, Guided Reading, Behavior, & Vocabulary (with Freebies!)
I wanted to get a jump start on the 100th day this year since I've talked to so many teachers who are in the process of planning theirs. This may be premature, but hopefully a few of these ideas will help you as your plan your 100th day celebration this year!! I know I like to be prepped and ready even though I'm most known for flying by the seat of my pants :) This is one of those days that deserves thoughtful consideration because it can be SO MUCH FUN for you AND your kids!!! And SO very full of meaningful learning and content at the same time :) For the first few years of my teaching career, I didn't … [Read more...] about 100th Day Planning & Freebies