New look, a sale, and a freebie :)

Y'all I cannot tell you how much I miss blogging. Between moving states, switching grade levels and about 100 other things going on in the last year this poor little blog has been so sadly neglected but I truly miss sharing and creating and collaborating with all of you! While I still miss Kindergarten with all my heart, my current "first grade adventure" will be continuing for at least 1 more year and I already have 1000 ideas rolling around in my head!!

First up was a brand new blog design! I have been wanting to do this for a very long time and after lots of comparing and shopping around I found the FABULOUS Tenille. I cannot say enough about how wonderful she was to work with. She managed to take my sporadic design and color ideas and create exactly what I wanted. The first day it was installed I kept logging on just to look at it!
I've been knocking off a ton of things on my To-Do List and slowly updating ooollldddd products so to celebrate my return to blogging, I'm throwing a sale in my store today and tomorrow. Click on the picture to find some of my most recent products :)

Lastly, I wanted to share this quick freebie with you. I'm excited to be really digging into better math instruction this year (much more on that to come as the school year goes on). My math brain has been buzzing all summer. This is one of my favorite games to get kids talking about making different combinations of numbers. I hope you can use it in your room!!

Have a GREAT holiday weekend :)

What's Growing in Your Garden?

Hi friends!! I feel for most of you Spring Break has already come and gone but I am right in the middle of enjoying mine. I've found a great balance of productivity Super Woman and total couch potato Netflix addict haha. I swear you can do both!! One of my productive streaks has been getting this little blog back in order. I have lots of fun things to share with you in the next few weeks.

Last week before going on break we read a lot about plants and gardens.  I absolutely love making these gardens with my kids when we are learning about plants and farms. 

The first thing you need to do is prep the gardens. Start with a 9x12 piece of brown paper. Fold the bottom up leaving about 2 inches on the top.

Again, fold the bottom part up leaving another 2 inches. This makes 2 pockets.

 When we made these last week, for the sake of time, we just stapled the sides, but you can just as easily use a glue stick to secure the sides. I HIGHLY reccommnend prepping the actual gardens ahead of time. The kids will have enough fun making all the veggies ;)

First we read "Growing a Vegetable Garden" and we looked up pictures of real vegetables online. One of my sweeties was insistent that I look up parsnips...I honestly couldn't have told you what one looked like before we looked it up!

Then I gave the kids construction paper and let them have at it. Some of my favorite crafts come when I don't have patterns or tracers and I just let the kids make something out of nothing.

This one made me so happy. The day before in small groups we had read a story about how strawberries grow. After he made his garden, one of my struggling readers ran over to show me how he had made a runner for his strawberries to grow on just like he read in the book. Melt my teacher heart. 


 Last year when I did these I made a little book for my Kinders to go along with making our gardens. This year I had some writing paper for the kids to write all about the vegetables in their gardens. You can grab both the writing paper and the book (along with a little labeling/reading activity) by clicking the picture below.

Have a Happy Thursday!! Both my TV and my clip art folder are calling my name :)

Wintery fun and lots of freebies :)

We had a "Cold Day" Monday and a teacher workday Tuesday so my days are all messed up in my head...I can't believe it's already Friday tomorrow!

I can't tell you how excited I am to actually live in seasons now! I saw snow outside my window on Monday! It lasted about 10 min and didn't collect on the ground at all but yall I am a Florida girl and I saw SNOW and it was a little bit magical :) We been having fun with some winter activities this week.

On the first day back from break I always love to do "learning resolutions" with my kids. We talk about the things they want to learn in the new year. The answers are always hilarious. Here are a few of my favorites:

"I want to learn to make cheese dip"
"I want to learn more art because I'm probably going to be an artist"

One of my favorite January activities :)  You can grab the page here. I made a 2015 version in case you want to file it away for next year.

We are working on long vowels with silent e and vowel teams right now in reading. Today while I was pulling some reading groups they made these flap books. I had them highlight the vowel team or silent e pattern and then sort them out. It made for great fluency practice and helped me see who was still struggling with those tricky vowels!

You can grab the pages for this here and here.

I have always made these cute name snowmen and I love them!

Since I'm in 1st this year I decided to amp it up a little with this activity. I found this idea on Pinterest the other day (originally from Kinderdi) , and adapted the response page for my class.

 (Sorry for the shadowy picture...I really need to invest in a new camera!)

You can grab my response page here

You can also grab one of my favorite snowmen math freebies by clicking the picture below ;)

I have plenty more wintery goodness over in my store if you need anything!

Happy Friday friends :)

"What is hiding?"

Holy first day back batman. We had quite a busy day. I'm so excited about some wintery fun things we are going to be doing in the next few weeks. Pictures to come soon. For now I want to share some more math fun :)

I got this idea from a math workshop a few years ago and it has become a favorite game in my room over the last few years. My partner teacher and I ran home from the workshop, cut out a bunch of L shapes from construction paper and collected all the colored dot stickers we could find in our drawers and made ourselves a full set for numbers 4-10.

It's basically the same as the "how many are hiding" game that we usually play with playdoh balls and a bowl but this time it's all on the card. They can see the "whole" number and one part and they have to figure out what part is missing. We talk about what they think is missing and why. It's super simple and yet my kids LOVE to play this game and get so excited when I lift the flap to reveal their guesses.  I keep some sets in my teacher cart to pull out as a math warm up and I also threw some in my early finisher tubs because the kids have a blast quizzing each other. 

They are really easy to make yourself with some paper and colored dots but I put a set of gumball themed ones for numbers 4-10 in my store if you'd rather just print and cut.

There's also a set for making 10 in my Penguin Math Unit.

I'll be back soon with some snowmen fun ;)

Hi...remember me??

*opens door...fumbles around for the light...brushes off dust*

Hi friends! It's been a LONG time! I always make promises to be a better blogger but I am really motivated this time. I have had a splendid Christmas break (and it's not done yet!) Seriously how great are the vacation perks of being a teacher?? Granted we need them desperately to keep from going out of our minds, but isn't it a great feeling to see people going back to work and knowing you have another week or so of freedom?

Anyway to help me get my own blogging butt into gear I decided to start focusing on some favorite math activities that I use in the classroom. Math was my favorite subject when I was in school and it is still my favorite to teach.

First up: number bonds. I really love using number bonds in the classroom. When I first started teaching it took a little practice for me to figure out how to introduce well and use them with my kids but they have proven to be a great tool to introduce and reinforce some key math concepts. My last school was a thinking map school and number bonds fit in perfectly alongside our work with brace maps and their "whole" and "part" concepts.

I start by giving them the manipulatives for their mats (in this case goldfish) and we tell number stories and move the fish around the mat to show how the 5 (or at this point in the year 10) can be broken down and then put back together. We have lots and lots of talking and moving (and occasionally some sneaky manipulative eating here or there haha).  It's really a great visual for composing and decomposing and can be extended easily to addition and subtraction concepts.

After the kids have gotten comfortable with the parts and the whole I start moving them into more "missing part" activities. For instance "if there is a 5 on the penguin belly, and we put 3 fish in the top box, how many need to go in the bottom box to get 5 all together?" We use number bonds all year in different ways as the skills get harder and the numbers get bigger.

You can find the penguin number bond mats and some practice sheets in my new little penguin mini math unit.

I'm off to the NC mountains to go skiing for the first time ever...say a prayer that I come back on 2 legs!!

Pete The Cat Subtraction

We have been working on subtraction for the last few weeks. I am just starting to discover the Pete The Cat books (I know I am WAY late to the game!!)  This week we read Pete The Cat and His 4 Groovy Buttons. I found this great freebie from the aptly named Peterson's Pad. I pulled out my button math manipulatives and let the kids model the word problems using the buttons.

Next we made this cute craft. I let them decide how many of Pete's buttons were going to pop off and they wrote the number sentence to match.  We just used short strips of paper with an accordion fold to get the buttons to "pop off".

Jumping into fall with some freebies.

We had a busy busy week in 1st grade. Fall weather is starting to make a subtle appearance and this FL girl is getting excited!! It was the perfect time to start learning about apples and my favorite season of the year.

I had a big Scholastic Book Club order a few weeks ago and I got a bunch of great new books. We really loved this one. My TA and I learned all kinds of new facts about fall that we had never heard before like why leaves change colors and why evergreens stay ever green. It's a great book to start your fall unit with.

We also read "Fall Mixed Up" which the kids loved!  It takes all kinds of facts about fall and twists them around in really funny ways.

 After we read the book I had them make their own mixed up fall fact. I got some really hilarious responses (which I totally forgot to take pictures of). It was a fun little writing activity that made them think outside the box a little bit. I made some writing paper to go with the story that you can grab here.

In math I am still really trying to get them comfortable with their making 10 facts. I found this idea through Pinterest which lead me to a post on Through The Looking Glass.  I adapted it to work for my kiddos. We sponge painted a paper place and a half, and I stapled the parts together to make a pocket. Then I had them color their ten frame seeds brown and glue the making ten facts back to back (so 6 is glued to the back of 4). I'm going to send it home with the kiddos with a note to parents to explain how to use the seeds as a flash card game for making ten facts.

They will look at a seed, say the number and then state the matching number that will help them make 10. I made a set with ten frames and a set with just the numbers. My kinder friends you could use these for ten frame recognition instead of making ten. You can grab the seeds here.

Much more fun to come next week. My kiddos are excited to keep learning about Johnny Appleseed and make applesauce.