Monday, December 1, 2014

My Best Yet! :)

I am in LOVE with this new digital paper pack!  Christmas is coming and these pretty papers with red, green, and white just make me so merry and bright! (hey...that rhymed!)

Click the picture to check it out!

It's on sale for $2.00 for a very limited time!  Don't forget to get yourself an even better deal by entering this code at checkout!    TPTCYBER

23 digital papers for less than $2!  Merry Christmas!


What a DEAL!

Load up your carts!

I am having a SUPER sale!  :)  Everything single thing in my little store is 20% off....then, to make it even better, TpT will give you another deal if you enter the special code!  TPTCYBER

Go check it out! 

Sunday, November 30, 2014

FLUENCY FREAK!

That's me lately.... a fluency freak. :)  I can't help it... my little learners are just growing, learning, and getting so much better.  I feel this huge urge to always keep them excited about reading.  It probably helps that I've been tracking their progress A LOT lately.  Those are the big pushes this year - tracking data and fluency.

....and let me tell you, having the students track their own data is like MAGIC!

I was a little concerned because I thought it would make my "strugglers" upset when they weren't seeing as much growth... but that is not the case at all.  They want to be like the top reader.  It pushes them and motivates them!

I track their sight word progress using a basic sticker chart.  I have 19 lists.  When they pass the list, they get a sticker.  Well, I have a super smarty pants who is already on to 2nd grade words and FLEW through his 19 lists.  He is the one to beat...and all of the other students are trying to catch up!

Not only do they LOVE playing sight word games in class, they also are starting to study more at home (that's a huge problem....very little parent involvement...sad).  But, between flashcards, game, and studying at home, I'm seeing (and THEY are seeing) huge growth! Yay!

My struggling students have gotten really good at blending cvc words (I know, I know....it's a Kindergarten standard...I have some real low students).  I'm going to start introducing SENTENCES (like I said in my last post).  But, I don't only want them practicing during games....so, I also whipped up some Fluency Strips that have very basic sight words (the, I, will, we) and tons of cvc words.  Now they can practice during our Reading Block!

Here they are...:-)  I plan on putting them on binder rings and hanging them up so the students can just grab one.

I'm going to keep this fluency fun going!  Enjoy your Sunday!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Christmassy CVCs!

My creative juices are FLOWING today!

My students have inspired me to work so hard this year.  I have such a great group of little learners.  They make me WANT to make learning fun.  They make me stay up at night thinking of how I can make a lesson on boring irregular verbs engaging and exciting.   They'll also inspired me to delve into some great data tracking.  :) 

Speaking of data.....

We are VERY big on fluency this year.  With my initial fluency assessment, I found that some of my students were reading at 2 words per minute while reading a Kindergarten fluency passage.  No bueno!  So, we've hit reading HARD.   We've been stepping up game, for sure!  

A month after the initial fluency assessment, I did another and each and every one of my students had gains.  They are reading faster and more accurate.  I am so proud!  It just makes me feel like all of the hard work I'm putting into planning and teaching is really paying off.   One of my students is reading 30 words per minute faster!  WHAT!?  Crazy.

My students favorite LOVE to play BAM!  We call it Bam, but I've heard it called so many other things.  Basically, it is a stack of sight word flashcards and there are some cards that have the word BAM!  Students pick a card, read the word (keep the card if they are correct, discard if they are incorrect).  If they pick a card that says "BAM", then they have to discard all of their cards.  They are O-B-S-E-S-S-E-D. 

The game can be played with any words but we've been playing with CVC words.  I noticed that some most of my first graders came to first grade without any idea of HOW to sound out.  YIKES!  No worries - we are sounding out MASTERS now.  :)

To keep the game fun, I've been making holiday editions with new words.  Since my little learners are getting SO good at sounding out the words, I decided to introduce sentences!  AH!  

Here's my new Christmas edition of the games.  I made it all Christmassy and pretty for you.  Click the picture to check it out! 



Thanks for checking it out! :)  

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Bloglovin!

When I started my blog, I was overwhelmed with everything.  I got used to reading all of my faves right in blogger on the reading list.  But, then I heard about Bloglovin.  I didn't really know what it was (and still kind of don't) but I definitely set up an account.

Well...I decided to log on and see what it's about.  It's been over a year since I logged on last. Oops!

I updated my profile and I'd love for you to check it out and maybe follow me?! 

Just click this little cute picture!
Follow on Bloglovin

This post is short and sweet because I have a BUSY day ahead of me....at the water park! Yay!  :)

Happy Sunday, bloggy buddies!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Want to Make FaNcY letters?

Hey, bloggy buddies!  I took a couple days off from the blog world and I've been oh-so busy....because...GUESS WHAT...!

I sold my house!!!!  Well, I hope! :)  The inspection is in a couple days and, if all goes well, I will have to be out by August 13th.  Oh, you know why ELSE August 13th is important?  Not only will that be my official last day in my house, it is also the FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL. 

So, needless to say, I'm crazy busy. 

I went into my MESS of a classroom yesterday.   I tried to rearrange things, recover my boards (I have a TON of bulletin boards, but I'm not complaining!), and I hung some stuff up.  Then, I went home and got creating. 

I made new letters for my word wall.  These will be the letter headers (does that make sense?). 

I'm also making one of my 92038290 bulletin boards an I Can statement board.  It'll be where I have everything the students will be learning that day - split up by content area, of course.  

I've been thinking about this for a while.....I want my students to know exactly what it is we are learning in each lesson.  I also want them to be able to refer back to the I Can Statements throughout the day, so they need to have big enough writing to be able to see at all times. Also, I want to be able to change the wording at the last minute, if I need to.  So, my plan is to write them on dry erase boards each day.  

Sounds kinda weird, but I'll show you what it turns out like when I'm finished! 

So, for that board, I made the content area headers.  Here they are! :)

I had a friend ask how I did the chevron pattern on the letters.  This is something I learned from another blogger a long time ago (I don't know who! Sorry!).  So, I'll let you know how to do it... just in case you ever want to!

First, open up PowerPoint and create some text. 


Next, change the size and font.  I like a nice thick bubble letter-ish text for doing something like this.  I chose KG Second Chances Solid (check out Kimberly Geswein's store...amaaazing fonts).  

Then, highlight the words and right click.  
Select Format Text Effects.  
Once there, select Text Fill
Solid fill will be selected...but, you need to click on Picture or texture fill


Next, click on File and select an image from your computer.  I use my digital papers to fill in my text. :) With these words, I'm going to use a paper from my Boys Will Be Boys pack.  So fun (and my best seller!).  Select an image/paper and click Insert. 

You'll notice the words have a fun pattern BUT, your pattern might be all misshapen and odd looking.  Ew.  We don't like that.  To fix it, click Tile picture as texture.  You can play with the Scale X and Scale Y percentages to make the pattern look perfect.  For this one, I just kept them both 100%.

Ok, the pattern is looking better, huh?  But, the words could use something else.  YES!  A thicker outline, of course! While you're still in the Format Text Effects box, click Text Outline from the list on the left side.  Choose Solid line and choose a color.  I like black for these words. 

Eh, the outline looks better....but I think it needs to be a little (or A LOT) thicker.  So, to do that, click on Outline Style from the list on the left side.  Change the width.  I picked 3.00 pt but you can do whatever you want! 

Ah!  Click Close and look at your magnificent letters!  

Oh wait!  You want to add more text with the same pattern but don't want to do all of those steps?  

Just click in your text box and type away!  Your letters will show up all patterned, pretty, and perfect!

Well, there ya' have it!  Beautiful letters.  You could use these letters in your classroom (just print and cut out!) or in your products! :) 

Enjoy your Saturday!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Aligned and Mapped!

SAD FACE.  I'm back at work today....

At the beginning of my summer, I had a goal of aligning the Language Arts, Spelling, Social Studies, and Science programs with our Reading program (Lead 21).  It was  HUGE task...but, I just finished it!  Lead 21 has so many components.  Last year, with it being the first year we used it, I just didn't take advantage of everything it has to offer. 

This school year will be so different!  Everything is aligned and mapped out.  I know exactly what I'm teaching each week for the entire year!  The best part, it's all aligned with Lead 21 - lessons will flow and students will be making SO many connections.  I hope it helps my first graders make sense of everything they're learning.  It'll be more of a "theme" each week, rather than random choppy lessons here and there. 

Here's what one month of my little calendar looks like :) 

I think I might go back and color code the different content areas so it's easier to find each.  But, for now, it'll do.  

It has Reading, ELA, Social Studies/Science, Writing, and Phonics/Spelling.  I left out our Math program (My Math) because I like how it flows and it seems to make sense how it is. 

This map will help me pick out the perfect morning work, independent activities, read alouds, and will be the BEST THING for when I'm planning my lessons.  I can look ahead and be so organized!  :)  I love NEW... and organization! 

Enjoy the rest of your summer while I'm sitting through PDs.  I'm jealous!