Tuesday, December 17, 2013

And the Winners are...

First and foremost, I apologize that I am now just getting around to posting the winners from the giveaway.  Things have been a bit chaotic in my world to say the least. 

Without further waiting, here are the two winners-

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Congrats ladies!  I will be sending your prize packs your way as soon as possible. 

Thank you everyone who entered!  I cannot even begin to express how much this whole blogging experience has made me into a better teacher and has created friendships with other teachers that I would never had made.  I appreciate each and every one of you for stopping by, reading, and leaving comments.  It all means the world to mean!

With lots of love and hugs,

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Beginning of Addition, Engaged Graphing, and a Reminder!

It is terribly cold here in WI!  When I say "terribly cold" I'm talking in the negative numbers with wind chill.  My owls have been stuck inside all week due to this extreme cold, but I really must say they are handling it well.  We will see how next week goes, seeing as it the week just before winter break.  :)

In math, I have slowly been exposing my owls to the idea of addition.  We did some vocabulary introduction and a little dice in dice action to get warmed up.  The owls nailed it!  Today we stepped it up a notch and did some actual "here is a group of objects" and "here is a group of objects" and what is the sum work.  I did this through some winter themed, hands on fun.  Each owl got two foam snowmen, a bag with 12 cubes, and a die.  They rolled the die and that was the number of cubes that went on the first snowman.  They rolled again and that was the number of cubes that went on the second snowman.  They then counted all the cubes by moving the cubes onto the carpet above the snowman.  The owls LOVED this and caught on really quick!  Teacher's dream!

In a math station this week, I wanted to have my owls do a little independent graphing.  This is what was inside the station basket- a superhero spinner set, a princess spinner set, and the graphing pages.  The owls picked which spinner and graph they wanted to work with and away they went.  Super easy and the owls loved being able to make a choice.
Please note that when my owls turn in recording pages, I don't just collect them and check for right answers.  They have to answer questions for me first, so I can check for actual understanding.  :)  If you would like the spin and graph set, click on any of the pictures and download it for free.
Don't forget that my one year blogiversary giveaway is still going on.  It ends this Saturday so make sure to click HERE and enter for your chance to win one of two amazing prize packs!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Tackling Social Studies While Teaching Writing

I will be honest with all of you, I have struggled with how to fit everything into my day for many of my years as a teacher.  The sad reality is that the amount of "work" we have to do is not decreasing, it is instead doing just the opposite.  Knowing that the additional paperwork and mandates are not going away anytime soon, I really have been looking at different ways to tie subjects and even skills together to cover more. 

This week during our scheduled ELA/Writing block, I did just that.  I pulled in a topic (families) that is normally a Social Studies focus and taught it along with some writing/ELA skills. 

We began our week of crossing the curriculum with just some basic brainstorming.  I asked the owls to think of all the people that would be part of one's family.  These people are people whom we care about, take care of, and love dearly.  The owls started by doing a quick think to themselves, then turned to their knee partners, then to a small group of 4, and then we finally shared out to the whole group.  While the owls listed the family members they came up with, I wrote them on our Smartboard and they each had a paper to write the list on as well.  This kept all my owls engaged even the ones who were not providing answers.

Next day we reviewed our family members list and introduced the word adjectives.  We discussed what an adjective is, examples of adjectives, and when we might use them in our writing.  The owls thought of different adjectives to describe their families.  We went through the same process of brainstorming and sharing as the previous day, along with me writing on the Smartboard and each owl writing on their own papers.
The following days were spent talking about sentence structure and how we could use our brainstorming pages to build sentences.  I would think aloud and model how to write a sentence and then the owls would get a turn.  To help them feel a bit more comfortable with the idea of sentences, we said our sentences aloud before writing them.  In the end, most owls had three complete sentences on their papers. 

On the last day, we made those adorable little faces to put with all of our writing.  I simply traced the bottom part of a container of wipes to get a circle and the owls cut them out.  Each owl was allowed to pick the size google eyes he/she wanted and the girls got a pair of pink lips and the boys a mustache.  Those were just foam stickers that needed the paper peeled from the back.  The hair was cut from small, black construction paper rectangles.  The girls cut their pieces into long, thin strips and the boys small strips.  Love how each one looks just like the owl who created it.  :)
So basically for the whole week we focused on a Social Studies topic and still worked on improving our writing at the same time.  I would call that a successful week!  The owls were super proud of their writing as well!
On a different subject, don't forget to enter my 1 year blogiversary giveaway that is happening right now through to next Saturday.  I will be giving away two fabulous prize packs!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck and enjoy the rest of your Sunday!  We are currently getting  hit with snow, so I will be heading outside soon to shovel.  Nothing beats the workout you get from shoveling.  Haha!


Saturday, December 7, 2013

It's Giveaway Time!

Hi all of my wonderful followers! 
It is with good news that I am posting today. 
I have gotten all the goodies together for my 1 year "blogiversary."
Here we go...

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Make sure to enter through the rafflecopter for your chance to win one of these amazing prize packs!
This giveaway will run from today until next week Saturday! 
Good Luck,
(backgrounds are from Ashley Hughes and border is from Graphics From the Pond)

Monday, December 2, 2013

Gearing Up for Winter!?!

As I have mentioned in previous posts, my little owls cannot get enough of "BANG!" like games.  Whenever we have a few spare minutes or just need to take a bit of break, I will pull out one of our many versions of this game and play.

Keeping this in mind, I quickly put together the following to work on our sight words and to keep with a snow-like theme.
I have included two different sized sets of sight word cards, number word cards, and color word cards.  I also offered another suggestion for use in a pocket chart.  There are also two different recording pages to hold your littles accountable if this is placed in a workstation.  Those pages also work for simple writing practice as well!  Best part- easy to prep, loads of engagement, and FUN!
Click the picture above to take a look at this product in my TPT store.  This is on sale for 20% off, along with everything in my store, through tomorrow.  If you are taking advantage of the big TPT sale, remember to use the code CYBER at checkout to save even more.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like....A Sale!

Over the past few days, I have stepped away from my teaching role and got things in my house ready for a visit from that ever so famous man, Santa.  Let me tell you, the minute the tree was lit, my little man has asked each day if Santa is going to be here.  I may or may not go crazy if I have to hear that little question every day until he actually does come.  :)  I also managed to get all of my shopping done as well.  Nothing like a few days away from the classroom to get life back on track. 

All of you in blogging land are probably very well aware of this but TPT is having a cyber Monday and Tuesday sale.  I will be putting my entire store on sale for 20% off.  Then when checking out, don't forget to add the TPT promo code, CYBER, to get even more savings.  What a sweet deal!?!

What are you waiting for?  Click the picture below and fill up those carts!
Enjoy your last hours before heading back to school tomorrow!