Sunday, February 26, 2012

New TPT product, A Giveaway, and A Sale!

 Happy Sunday! This has been the most unreal winter ever. I cannot remember the last February where it was 60 degrees outside on a consistent basis!

This weekend, I finish a new literacy mini-unit that I am really excited about. The Down on the Farm literacy mini-unit includes an original story by me, which is great to use for guided reading or individual assessment (a running record is included). It also includes a shared/interactive reading activity that you could use whole group or as a literacy center. Lastly, it includes an original song written by me, along with puppet cards to go with the story.

Here are a few pictures of what is included:
This is the title page of my original book. I have included leveling for DRA, Reading Recovery, and Fountas and Pinnell Guided Reading .

This is an example of the pages in the story. Most of the story is very repetitive, to build reading confidence and to practice using high frequency words.

These are the cards to use with the whole group shared/interactive reading activity. Students will order these cards in the pocket chart, and then complete sentences with either words or pictures, depending on your students developmental levels.

These are the word and picture cards used to complete the sentences in the shared/interactive reading.

This is the original song that I have written. It goes to the tune of "Down by the Bay." My kids LOVED this song. Each time you sing the song, you replace the animal line with a different one. They love how silly it is!

These are the puppet cards that students can use while singing the song.

I am going to giveaway the Down on the Farm mini-unit for FREE for the first 3 people who comment on this post (remember to include your e-mail). I don't have a lot of followers, so it should be pretty easy to win! Tell your other blogger friends! I would love to get some more followers!

Lastly, I am having a TPT sale! The Leap Day sale on Feb. 29th will give you 10% off of all TPT products, with the product code L2PY9. I have marked all of my items an additional 20% off! My products will be 20% off from Monday-Wednesday, but to get the BEST deal, keep them in your cart until Wednesday to use the Leap Day code as well!

I know my cart is filling up quickly!
Enjoy the rest of your weekend. I will be busy planning next week. Read Across America Week, Dr. Seuss, Leap Year, Lent, ahh! I don't know how I am going to fit it all in!

Good luck to you all!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Fire Safety! and Freebie!

Ok so I know fire safety week was forever ago, but our story this week was about firefighters, so I thought better late than never!

We read a few more picture books about Fire Safety and Firefighters. We read Stop, Drop, and Roll and Dot, the Fire Dog.

Then we practiced what you do when you Stop, Drop, and Roll. I was amazed how many of my students didn't know that you only do this if YOU are on fire. I realized this may be more than a week long unit when I heard that you stop, drop, and roll when there is a fire in your kitchen, and then you try to put it out with some water. Ahh!

We did tons of writing activities that are free for you here!

I hope you can use these next year! Later in the year when we are working on our maps unit, we will be drawing maps of our houses, and figuring out our escape plan if their is a fire! I was also amazed how many of my students did not have a plan of what to do if their house caught on fire!

Friday, February 17, 2012

President's Day fun!

My kids had absolutely no idea why they were getting the day off on Monday, so we really needed to discuss President's Day!

We read a bunch of read-alouds about who the president is, what the president does, and about major presidents of the past. "Abrum Lincoln" was our favorite! We couldn't quite say Abraham :)

After we read all of these stories, we discussed what qualities made up a good leader. We made a tree map of what a good leader is, has, and does. You can get a copy of it here.

Then we made a class book using the ideas from our tree map. We are working on the writing process, and I we are working on using a prewriting activity (like the tree map), so create a first draft. We are also working on knowing the difference between facts and opinions. The students will answer the prompt: A President is a good leader because.... You can get a copy of the class book template here!

Enjoy Mardi Gras weekend! Living in the second biggest Mardi Gras city in the US, I cannot wait for tomorrow! Going to bed early tonight!


PS: Funny story of the day: Yesterday during inside recess, we watched a Magic School Bus video about underwater volcanoes and how they are what form islands and a lot of the land we see today.

So we are finishing up our President's Day book and talking about Abraham Lincoln and how we was trying to end slavery. I explained that the North and the South had different ideas on how slaves should be treated. I told them, eventually everyone agreed with Abraham Lincoln and all new states would be slave free!

So one of my little boys says, "Well, Miss Moellering, how do new states form?" And without missing a beat, another little boy says, "Well obviously by volcanoes." Completely serious. Straight faced. I had to put the book in front of my face so he would not see my laughing. I couldn't hold it together!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!! (plus FREEBIE!)

Happy Valentine's Day! My students were filled with love today (and by love I mean ice cream, cookies, chocolate, pixy sticks, etc.) and were crazy. Most of them worked hard for me in the morning, but in the afternoon we all went a little bonkers.

This morning, we read a book by our FAVORITE author Marc Brown. You guessed it, another Arthur book! I swear, if "Arthur" ever came to our classroom, I think we would start hyperventilating. We read Arthur's Valentine by Marc Brown. I told the kiddos to focus on the things are Arthur did on Valentine's Day while they were listening to me read.

After reading, we filled out a Venn Diagram comparing ourselves to Arthur, with a Valentine's Day twist. In one heart, we wrote what Arthur did on Valentine's Day, and in the other heart, we wrote what we did on Valentine's Day. Where the hearts intersected, we wrote things that both did.
You can get a copy of it here!

I knew that there would be a lot of similarities between us and Arthur, so I tried to make the middle section bigger!

Have a good rest of the week!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Lots of Love Math Literacy Stations!

Ready for Valentine's Day? If not, consider buying my Lots of Love Math and Literacy Stations packet from TPT. It has 6 math and 6 literacy activities, and is only $6.

 Math Work Stations:
1. Skip Counting Hearts: A work station to practice skip counting.
2. Addition Angels: A work station to practice addition skills.
3. Lovely Word Problems: A work station to practice reading and solving word problems.
4. It Heart-ly Makes Cents: A work station to practice counting quarters and making change.
5. It's Time for Valentines: A work station to practice telling time the hour and half hour
6. Place Value Love: A work station to practice identifying place value.

Literacy Work Stations:
1. Making Words with "You're My Valentine": A work station to practicing using letters to make new words.
2. Sweet Strawberry Synonyms: A work station to practice identifying words that are synonyms.
3. Noun, Verb, and Adjective Love: A work station to practice differentiating between nouns, verbs, and adjectives.
4. Cause and Effect Cupcakes: A work station to practice differentiating between cause and effect.
5. Sweet Sentences: A work station to practice ordering sentences.
6. Loving Heart Sort (Long A Sounds): A work station to practice identifying different long a vowel patterns.

Here are pictures of one of my math stations, "It's Time for Valentines." This station is offered FREE on TPT so you can assess the quality of my work!

There is still time to get these stations ready before Valentine's Day!

TPT Store Fluency Passages!

I have starting creating items for my TPT store! Ahh! I just need to start covering costs for how much money I spend on my students :(

I am so, so excited to share these fluency passages. I made them mostly for my over-achievers, who always finish their work early. We have been working on the a_e, i_e, o_e, and u_e long vowel patterns. So I made a read the room activity for each pattern. The students will read sentences, that include words following one of these patterns. They will choose (or you will choose for them), one of the three response sheets available in these packs. And the best part...they are only $1 each!

Here are some pictures of the preview packet for the Long O Read the Room Fluency Passages.

Here are some pictures of the preview packet for the Long O Read the Room Fluency Passages.

The packets for Long A (a_e), Long I (i_e), and Long U (u_e) all follow the same format, so it is easy for the students to independently complete this activity.

I hope they can help your students when you are introducing long vowel sounds!

Camp-Outs, Constellations and S'Mores!

My kids are still talking about our camping week! (BTW it was 4 weeks ago...) Our basal reader story for the week (I know...I hate them) was all about camping, and since it was a review week, we really had fun with it! We made anchor charts of everything that you can do while you are camping, what you bring with you, etc. We read all these picture books about camping! Arthur of course got the best reviews!

Then, during our long afternoon, we had a camp-out!! It was so much fun! We had just finished our space unit and were still really into constellations. So I bought a black plastic tablecloth at Dollar Tree (my favorite store on the face of the earth) and drew constellations on it with a silver Sharpie. I taped it up under one of my tables, and let the kids go under it and find the constellations with a flashlight! I was in so much trouble when I took it down! I was told: "We weren't finished learning from it yet!"

I also fashioned a make-shift fort/tent in the corner of my room that we just read and played games in.

We were learning how to write "How-to" lists. We wrote them for how-to roll up a sleeping bag and how-to make a s'more. You can get them for free here.

We were also in the midst of learning about money. So in order to make their s'mores (the culmination of our afternoon), they had to buy the ingredients. So I set up a little store and the kids had to buy their marshmallow, graham crackers, and chocolate. They loved that they got to play the customer!

Lastly, and probably one of the most fun, was making campfires. I keep everything (and I mean everything) and I finally found something to do with all of my paper towel rolls. I had to smash them up a little so they would stack on each other. This activity was about following directions. The students had to look at pictures of different ways to make a campfire, and replicate it. They even had tissue paper fire. It was so cute! We all posed for our pictures with our hands "warming" in the fire.

We finished our day off making microwave s'mores. So easy! 8 seconds in the microwave and you have a delicious s'more, without all the work!

It was such a fun afternoon and there was so much learning involved. My kids never have any idea that all the fun stuff that we do is making them smarter!

I have a bunch of pictures on my camera (that is at school)! I will add them tomorrow when I go and get it!

I know I'm way late but.....MLK fun!

I have to get better about posting more often. It seems like I'll post everyday for a few days and then I won't at all for a month. I guess that's the life of a first year teacher! I can only do what I can do!

I'll start with MLK. We did an awesome study of Martin Luthe King Jr. and his life. The kids were absolutely fascinated! My school is not very diverse, and my students could not believe what it would be like to live in a world where everyone wasn't treated fairly. So I did a little activity. Out of my 15 students, I picked out a physical trait that only a few of them had, that cannot be changed....dark brown eyes. I did not tell the students what the trait was, but picked out these three students and gave them a giant bag of candy and told them to go wild. Needless to say the other students' mouths were watering.

They soon figured out that the reason these students got the candy was because they had dark brown eyes, and were all complaining to me that it wasn't fair that these students got all this candy and they didn't. I asked them if eye color is something that they can change about themselves. They said no, and pouted about not getting any candy ;). I told them that this was what MLK was fighting for. White people and African-American people could not change their skin color, and they were treated differently despite that. The kids TOTALLY got it! I was so thrilled and it was a great introduction to MLK and his dream.

We read Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It is the best picture book I have ever read about MLK. It included every important fact about his life, but the history was totally understandable for my students. We also watched the movie version of this book on Discovery Education (the most awesome website ever created).

I used Erin Eberhart's Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Mini Unit that I downloaded for FREE on TPT! After we read Martin's Big Words, we created her tree map activity. We completed her "I Have A Dream" writing activity. They loved it! They had so much fun with his unit!

We had a great week of learning about a staple in US history!
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