Friday, 29 March 2013

Thankful on Thursday and a Spring Sentence Pack Giveaway

So, I am linking up with Tara from and they all fall down for Thankful Thursdays, even though I'm a bit late and it's Friday. 
Ok - I am going to be brutally honest. I am thankful that it was a 4 day week this week. How bad is that? And I have actually looked at the rest of the school calendar for this year and counted all the other 4 day weeks. I love my kids, but I love a good balance too. Tara is also having a 200 follower giveaway, that you can check out here.
I've been working on a paragraph pack for my kids for a while now and it's finally ready. Here's a peek.

Basically, it is just meant to give your kids some practice putting a paragraph together. Then, once they are used to that, they try writing one on their own. It is on sale in my store from now until Monday. If you think you can use it, just leave me a comment and I'll choose 4 people at random to send it to.
Talking about sales, everything in my store is 20% off all weekend long as part of the Spring Cleaning Sale. The adorable graphic is courtesy of Krista at Creative Clips.

Have a great Easter weekend!

Sunday, 24 March 2013

The Truth - Confession Time

So I thought I would fess up from last time and tell the truth.  I love to roller blade, so the part about the 21 K marathon was actually true. And guess what - we did win the lottery at my school! It was beyond awesome, I used the $ to take my daughter to Florida. But, the Scotland/Gaelic stuff, I fibbed that. Hope that I was able to fool you, it renews my faith in my fake self.
The two truths and a lie actually got me thinking about a certain short person in my class, who has a hard time admitting the truth. And his lies always happen after he has done something he shouldn't and he's trying to cover his tracks and realizes he can't. It goes kinda like this. I'll call him Pinocchio -

ME: Pinocchio, did you hit that little girl with the ball?
P: NO!
ME: Pinocchio, it's always better to tell the truth, are you sure?
P: NO I DIDN'T HIT HER!! (becoming angrier)
ME: Why would she tell me that you did then?
P: runs away. I never chase after him, there's no point. He always comes back.

Sound familiar? If it hasn't happened to you yet, trust me, it will. But, I've had Pinocchio in my class for close to 130 days now and I have used every spare minute of it to attach to him, at least as much as he'll let me. And on Friday, we had a breakthrough. Pinocchio hit someone else, the other little boy told me about it and our usual scenario did not play out at all. Instead, when I asked P if he had hit, he looked right at me and I saw something in his eyes for just a flicker of a second, and I reminded him for the 130th time that it is always better to tell the truth. Right? Oprah's been saying it for years, the truth will set you free. Denzel Washington said it in Flight (great movie). And after that flicker, P replied - Yes, I did hit him. IT WAS SUCH A GREAT MOMENT!! I was so happy because we could move on from there. He apologized and meant it and things were good. It restored my faith in perseverance.

Then, at lunch he hit an adult and now he is suspended for 2 days. And I am sad. I guess that you would have to know him to know why I feel sad. Underneath that hard wooden Pinocchio exterior is a sweet, little boy who just needs things he doesn't have. So, despite his breakthrough, probably the only thing he'll remember from Friday is the suspension.

And me - I'm just gonna keep on keeping on.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Tell Me Lies and an Easter Freebie

Today I am linking up with Latoya from Flying into First Grade for her Let's Get Acquainted Linky Party. This week's topic is 2 truths and a lie... Basically you share 3 things about yourself, two of them are true and one is a lie. Here goes...
 My 3
1. A few summers ago, I did a 21 K roller blading marathon.
2. We have a lottery group at my school and we once won $50,000.
3. I'm Canadian, but was originally born in Scotland and can still speak a bit of Gaelic.
Can you guess which one is a lie?

I've been busy messing around with Math morning work this week. It started mostly as a way to keep a few of my Math wizards on task and I'm not sure if I'm going to continue it from here, but thought I would share with you what I'd done so far. You can click on it to download.

And since it's so close to Easter, you know I love me a good word search, here it is. Click.
That's it for now. Hope you found something that could help you.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Leprechaun on the Loose

I can't help myself, I just had to do the sneaky leprechaun thing and my kids are buying into it hook, line and sinker. The first day that I tried it, another teacher did it for me while we were in the library, so right away, my kids realized that I had absolutely nothing to do with these antics! After that first day, that was it, they were sold. Yesterday, I caught one of my kids smelling the table in the hallway and then telling me that she could actually smell the leprechaun. I can't imagine what a leprechaun would smell like. According to her, he smells like green jelly beans. Sounds about right. The greatest thing about this whole experience is to see those amazing little imaginations at work. They have surpassed my expectations. They spend all their time thinking about the leprechaun and just caught up in all that he is. I LOVE it! Today, he actually had the nerve to walk across their work. IMAGINE!

My kids finally decided to leave him some lucky charms with a note to tell him not to be so tricky. In case you were wondering, the leprechaun picked out all the lucky charms ate them and just left the rest on the floor. Then he walked right on top of the container they were in. 
Doing this has really brought out my naughty side. I get to make all kinds of mess and never have to clean any of it up. The kids consider it their responsibility to pick up after the leprechaun. Who knew? Maybe I should just start my year with a leprechaun and I'd never have to tidy my classroom again.

Believe or not, we've actually had a bit of time to do some writing. I really like this story - Jamie O'Rourke and the Big Potato. It's a great story for a retell, or just a simple response, which is what we did. You can check out a few of the responses below, including the one the leprechaun walked on.

Here is just a quick labelling activity we did. This and the response sheets above are both from my St. Patrick's Writing Unit, you can check it out here.
So that's it for my bag of tricks. I'm gonna wrap the leprechaun stuff up tomorrow. I'd love to hear about any tricks your leprechaun's been up to...

Monday, 11 March 2013

Some Solid Math Work and a St. Pat's Freebie

It was Spring Break for me last week and so this week I am back at school and decided to mix up my Math class a bit and do some shape work with my kids. Actually, the proper word is solids, at least according to the Math program I use. I needed the solids on some sort of card, so that they are always visible with both picture and word.
This unit is really popular with my kids, they love it! And I think it's because they get to build stuff. I, of course, have to be a drag and make them record each solid they use once they have finished, but other than that, they are totally pumped that they can play with the solids. Who knew this would be so popular? Anyway, tomorrow we are going to try sorting. If any of this solid work is something you can use, just click on either pic to download.
So....onto St. Patrick's Day Math. Here's a little freebie for ya - it's the St. Patrick's word problems from my Super Math Problem a Day Pack. There are 5 in all, just click on the pic below for the download.
And while, we are on the subject of Math, I just uploaded a new Math Pack to TPT - my Baseball Math Centers, here's a peek.

It's a great review of First Grade Math skills! I have a lot of sporty boys (and girls) in my class this year, so I knew they would like these. You can check them out here

That's it for now, Happy Monday. I'm totally looking forward to how it plays out on The Bachelor tonight!

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Pink Shirt Day and Currently

It was Pink Shirt Day this past Wednesday. This is quickly becoming my favourite day at this time of year, mostly because of the message that it sends to everyone. In case you haven't heard of it, Pink Shirt  Day started 6 years ago at a school in the great province of Nova Scotia (Canada's Ocean Playground). A boy in 9th grade wore a pink shirt to school one day and was teased/bullied because of it. Two Grade 12 students, at that school, heard about it and decided to do something. They went to a Discount store and bought 50 pink shirts for others to wear to school the next day. Then they e-mailed classmates to get them on board to wear pink shirts.  The very next day, that student who'd been bullied, was greeted with a sea of pink shirts to show support.  Heartwarming, to say the least. And it put an end to those bullies. You can read more about it here.  And here is a bit of how it played out at my school.

First, some of my little pink people
My pink teaching partner
A little pink 3rd grade friend. Please do not notice what's in the background. I caved a bit.
And finally, a good look at our anti bullying T-Shirts from another pink cutie.
Do you celebrate Pink Shirt Day at your school?

Onto the Currently for March. I love to link up with Farley from Oh Boy Fourth Grade

Can't wait to see what you're up to in this month's Currently, link up with Farley!