Wednesday, 28 November 2012

It's My Birthday and I'll Cry If I Want To

It's my birthday tomorrow. Back in my younger days, age never bothered me. I remember my best friend and I were both turning 24, within 2 weeks of each other, and we would always say - Oh, 16 years to 40!! And we would laugh hysterically, knowing that milestone was so far off. Let me tell ya - I passed that milestone a while ago and now there is a new one looming in the distance. Anyway, I am trying not to dwell on it too much. I plan to just focus on the fact that, even though I have to go get my hair colored once a month to cover all the grey feel better about myself, I am lucky to be surrounded everyday by little people with so much energy and enthusiasm for learning. Honestly, it makes me feel younger. And as I get older, the kids in my class get cuter and cuter. Have you noticed this too?

So, in honor of my birthday, I wanted to share a little Christmas freebie with you. I hope you can use it. There's a little bit of addition, a little bit of subtraction and a little bit of Santa. Just give it a click and you're on your way.

As I celebrate my birthday this year, I am so grateful to have met so many amazing teachers through this blog. I thank you all for your kindness and I feel truly blessed to know you.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Christmas Writing Pack and Cyber Monday Sale

I just finished a Christmas Writing Pack. Like honestly, minutes ago. I really wanted to make a packet with a Christmas story in it, but there are so many rules now about copyright, that I was afraid if I used one of my favourite Christmas stories in my packet, I might break a copyright rule. So, I wrote a story myself, which means I can do anything I want with it. And so I did. Do anything I want with it, I mean. In the pack, there is story sequencing and writing and creative writing and reindeer riddles. My kids need story sequencing practice, especially when it comes to the writing end of it. They are okay with the actual telling part of the re-tell, but as soon as I say - write that down, they panic. So, we're working on it.
If it's something you think you can use, I'll give it away to the first 4 people who leave a comment.

If you're looking for Christmas Centers, my friend Corinna at Teaching Fabulous Firsties has a great pack she just finished also. It is amazing!  Just click on the Santa to have a peek at it.

As for the sale, it starts on Monday. Remember to use code CMT12. I am loving this graphic for the sale! It's thanks to Ashley Hughes, you can check her out here and in her TPT store here
Happy Shopping!

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Oh The Places You Can Read

The Daily 5 has been in full swing in my class for a while now. I won't tell you how many minutes we're up to yet cause I'm a little behind where I should be. I have noticed something about my little read to selfers though. They love to read in nooks and crannies around my classroom. It's really cute! I allow them to read anywhere they would like, as long as they are comfortable and they have enough light. These are the places they like: corners, under desks (especially mine), and any other place that is cozy. Who can blame them? I grew up reading Nancy Drew in a corner of my parent's kitchen, closest to the
heater.  And not the paperback Nancy Drew of today, the old hard covers. I devoured them.

So, those are the places they love to read.

They also love to sharpen their pencils. And unfortunately when it comes to pencil crayons - both ends.  
I really really want the quietest pencil sharpener in the room. Can you hear the whining in my voice. Like really really want one. I have begged the owner of these pencil sharpeners for one, but he stands firm on his can't ship to Canada policy. But.... my friend Corinna at Teaching Fabulous Firsties is having a quietest pencil sharpener Giveaway. So, I've been scheming  thinking that if I win her Giveaway, they would have to find a way to get it to me. Right? I mean they'd have to cause I'd be the winner, you know!? Anyway, if you would like to enter, just click on the pencil sharpener below and good luck.
Really really...want one. 
Happy Thanksgiving

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Going Owling

So, I've been owling with my class. Owllow me to explain. I started a mini owl unit cause I love owls. We read this book, one of my absolute favourites, it has so much to offer.
I hardly ever read a book without stopping to notice things and we stopped often for this one. The language is so rich. We also stopped right before the owl makes his appearance: to
predict whether or not the little girl in the story will see a real live owl...
And for the most part, they thought she would and they were right. There are some great lines in this book, if you've never checked it out, it's worth the effort. I read it very, very quietly cause when you go owling, it has to be quiet. By the time the owl shows up, it is mesmerizingly quiet in my classroom. I quite like it, all the quiet, cause it doesn't happen often.
And next week, we'll get down to it, learning some new owl facts and doing some owl art. Owl keep you posted. OK, I'll STOP! In the meantime, if you can use this Owl labelling, owl you have to do is click. This time I'm really stopping.
See y'owl later.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

My Favourite Time and a Pete the Cat Giveaway

Just wanted to share with you one of my favourite times of day in my class. It happens early in the morning, right after we have done the calendar, during our morning work. I keep the work in a binder and we actually do it on the carpet up front. I love this time of day cause everyone is fresh and ready to work. My kids bring their binders to the carpet and we use the binders as a "mini desk" so it's a hard surface they can use to write on and they get busy right away. I love to just watch them. They help each other and chat quietly while they work. It is a great time of day and it ends up being really easy to monitor since they are all right in front of me. I've actually just gotten to this point, it took me a long time to get there. I wish I had taken a photo when I first started showing them how to do morning work cause it did NOT look like this. That's the great thing about routines though, eventually they just purr right along on their own.

Speaking of purring....
I recently got myself a copy of this and it's really sweet. I love to love this cat. If you love him too
then you will love this Giveaway from Lisa at Growing Firsties. She is giving away a Pete the Cat plush toy, a copy of Pete the Cat and his 4 Groovy Buttons, an Amazon gift card and she will donate $$ to Hurricane Sandy relief through her Giveaway entries. It's a win-win, so head over for a chance to do just that.  Just click below and you're there.

Wherever you are, I hope you are having a great week. 

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Sunday Shout Outs

Happy Sunday everyone! I am shouting out this Sunday to tell you about 5 of my blogging friends who
have amazing products in their stores that I just had to share.

First is Valerie from All Students Can SHINE. She has a fabulous Thanksgiving pack that was inspired by her very popular short vowel pack, it is GREAT! While you're visiting her blog, you can't help but notice her awesome design, which she created herself!

Then, there's Lisa from Learning is Something to Treasure. She has a great blog and lots of awesome products in her TPT store,  including my personal favorite Be a Buddy, Not a Bully: An Anti Bullying Curriculum

Next up, is Jennifer from Herding Kats in Kindergarten, check out her blog and her great Thanksgiving
Skills Pack, it is full of ELA and Math activities for this special time of year.

And meet Kaci from Mrs. Hoffer's Spot, all of the products in her store are great, but one I really love is
her I am Thankful unit, perfect for this time of year.

And last but not least is Laura from Peace Love and First Grade. I am using these great Thanksgiving Math Tubs of hers, starting tomorrow and I can't wait, they are fantastic, very well thought out and cover so many skills.
So, there they are - hope they will inspire you as much they inspire me. If you're off tomorrow, I want you to think of me where I will be - at work. I'll make up for it Friday cause I have a teacher workday. Have a great week.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Word Problems

I'm big on word problems, so much so that I created a pack of problems for my kids. We do a problem each and every day, week in, week out all year long. It started off, a few years back, as a way for me to help my kids with the kind of assessment we do where I teach. There were problems provided for us, but they were so generic and dull that I just couldn't get behind them. Plus the language used was often over my first graders' heads. So, little by little, I started making up my own problems and The Super Math Pack was born.
And here are my super workers in action

And a sample of the work
Like I said, I love word problems and my word problem family is growing cause I finally finished a pack that lasts all year. You can check it out here. Here is the rest of my word problem family.

I'd be happy to give any of the 3 packs to the first 3 people who leave a comment.

In other news, my friend Megan from I Teach What's Your Super Power is having a 500 follower giveaway, lots of great products including the pencil sharpener I love that won't ship to Canada (Waaaah!) Head over and check her out.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

November Currently and Remembrance Day

 Farley inspires us all every month with her Currently and here is mine

My desk at school is so messy, I can't stand it anymore. I am actually going to work early tomorrow to clean it up. I started to think about how often my desk looks this bad and I realized - it's often. So then I tried to convince myself that maybe I should just leave it like that all the time. This idea lasts about 3 seconds. Funny thing is, no matter how messy it is, I always know where everything is.  
We are in the middle of a Remembrance Day unit. We have been making poppies, writing about brave war animals and learning about soldiers - our heros. 

That's what we've been up to in my neck of the woods. Don't forget to link up with Farley for this month's Currently.