Sunday, April 29, 2012

Winner and Discovery Time!

Okay, so what did I do on my Saturday night? Did I have wild and crazy plans? No, I fell asleep on the couch at about 8:00 before I could post about the winner of the giveaway. I'm sorry! Here is the winner:

I'll contact you soon! Thanks to everyone who entered and thanks for your support of my friend Sara in the TPT banner contest. She didn't win, but it was fun!

Do you have time for your students to play built into the day? I call mine Discovery Time because I don't want it to be thought of as free choice. I want them to have a purpose. While they are playing, I find that I am pulling kids for an assessment or extra help. There is just not enough time in the day to do everything that I want to do!

We have a wonderful Literacy Coach in our district. (Read about her at What's the Buzz in First or New Adventures in First Grade!) She gave our K teachers this idea from another teacher about having a "seminar" during this time where you can can meet with a small group and work on skills/strategies that need extra practice. The day they told me I knew I had to do it so the next day, we had our first seminar. I called it a seminar and told the children what seminars are and why adults attend. I put up a sign-up sheet with 5 slots and it filled up right away! We reviewed /ar/, made pirate patches with paper and string and read pirate jokes. There was a lot of pirate talk going on! Before having any repeats, I wanted to have a few new seminars, so we've also had greater than/less than, (where we made alligator puppets and chose between numbers to eat), and contractions (contraction surgery).

They are EATING it up! They look for the sign-up sheet every day and many who aren't a part of the seminar are watching! The seminars don't last that long, so the children still have time to play, but they really want to be at the seminar.

The kids are loving it and many who didn't sign up, watch!

My hope is that soon, they will start to host seminars of their own during Discovery Time! :)

I have a little Mother's Day craft available on TPT. It looks like this:

 If you'd like to win it, be one of the first three to comment about this post and tell me if you have play at your school and what your kiddos do during this time. Please leave your email. Enjoy your Sunday!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Pigeon Giveaway Ends Tonight and a Freebie!

It's Friday! SOOOO happy! Not sure exactly what's going on this weekend, but I MUST work out! I haven't been feeling well lately and I think that will help. I've been slacking a bit...

If you haven't entered my Pigeon giveaway, what are you waiting for? It ends tonight! See this post and enter up to 5 times!

This week we focused on r-controlled vowels in some of my small groups, so I made a little activity that my kiddos loved. We made eye patches out of paper and cord and then went around to search for -ar words by reading pirate "jokes". I called them jokes, but I made them up and they are really ridiculous! Here is one:

I used library pockets and they had to pull out the answers from the back, say the ar word in their best pirate voice and write the ar words on gelboards. The last one said, "What is a pirate's favorite candy?" The answer was Smarties and of course we had to sample a few!

I really like to do activities where they can move, so another day I had them hunt around the room for ar words and they had to sort them by whether they are real or nonsense. Here is a copy of that:

I only used 15 words, but you could add more nonsense words if you wanted.

Have a wonderful weekend! Giveaway winners will be announced tomorrow! :)

Monday, April 23, 2012

A Positively Perfect Pigeon Giveaway!

So lately I'm really into alliteration, but I couldn't think of a p word for giveaway, so it will just have to be giveaway! I hope you had a great Monday! I had Reading Workshop Lab and learned a few things that I will share with you in later posts. I also tried one of these:

A DQ frozen hot chocolate. My friend Lynne and I always used to ask each other, "Was it worth it?", when we'd eat something bad so that the other person would know whether to bother trying it and I must say, this was worth it!  (Because if it's not worth it, then it's just not worth it. Understand?) If I already told you this story, I apologize. I do that and it will probably happen again! :)

My friend Sara made the cutest banner for a contest that TPT is having and could use your "like" on Facebook. Click here to like it and help her out!

On to the Perfect Pigeon Giveaway! My friend Jaime, from What's the Buzz, and I are so excited about the new pigeon book that we want to give one away to one lucky winner!

The Duckling Gets a Cookie!? (Pigeon)

But that's not all! The lucky winner will also win this game:

Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus Game!

and Jaime's Pigeon and Piggie TPT items!

You can have up to 5 chances to enter by doing the following:

1. Follow my blog.
2. Follow my TPT store ~Here
3. Follow Jaime's TPT store ~ Here
4. "Like" Sara's banner on FB ~ Here
5. Blog about this giveaway and link back to this blog.

(You will need to leave a separate comment for each item you complete to serve as your entries.)
*You must leave your email address with your comments so we can quickly email you to get your mailing address.
The giveaway will end on Friday at 11:59 p.m. EST. I will announce the winner on Saturday!
RULES: Giveaway open to U.S. residents only. Must be 18 yrs or older. Giveaway ends Friday, April 27, 2012 at 11:59 PM EST. Rules must be followed. Winners will be selected using and will be emailed no later than Sunday, April 29th and given 72 hours to respond with a mailing address. In the event of no response, a new winner will be chosen. Blogger is not responsible for prize fulfillment. Prize fulfillment comes directly from participating sponsor. By entering this giveaway, you agree to have read these rules.

Have a wonderful week! :)


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Math, Mammals, Mother's Day and a Mile-high frosting MESS!

Happy Tuesday! Today was one of those days where I not only stopped for a coffee drink before work, but also after. I really needed it, but that is not a habit I want to start! (It was yummy though. Love me some Starbucks AND Tim Horton's!)

So we've been busy identifying and counting coins using Money Man to help us. Here is a little sheet that I made to help my first graders with our money unit. They keep it on their desk. My little Sam even thanked me this morning and said that it really helps her! Yay!

Money clipart courtesy of Ginger Snaps.
We've also been learning about mammals. Here is a little sorting activity I created (<3 Freebie! <3).

There was a lot of debating going on over whether some of the animals were mammals. It was great!Here is a pic of a completed mammal page:

Jaime from What's the Buzz, created the most adorable Mother's and Father's Day craftivities! They are now on TPT. I'm so lucky to work with someone so creative and I can't wait to try these with my kiddos! :) Click on the pics below to check them out.

And finally, the mile-high frosting mess!!! I cannot eat regular cupcakes since I follow a gluten-free diet, but I have a parent helper that comes in quite often so when someone came to my room handing out cupcakes, I told them to set it on my desk and I'd give it to her. But then I forgot about it, reached over to grab something and didn't realize that I had frosting all down my sleeve. So since I didn't realize it, I also didn't realize that I was wiping it all over the front of my shirt or down the front of my pants. If you were to look at this cupcake, you would see that it looks fine, it looks like someone just licked a little of the frosting. That's how much frosting was on this cupcake. Crazy! I, on the other hand, was covered. Not kidding. So I think my shirt is ruined and it is one of my faves. And the worst part, I didn't even get to eat the cupcake. At least then maybe it would've been worth it! Sigh...

Hope your week is going well. Tomorrow is already Wednesday! Yay!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Wait, what do you mean Spring Break is over?, Careers and a Freebie!

Last week we were on Spring Break and so my hubby decided we should go on a road trip. We LOVE road trips together, but it's hard when you only have a certain amount of time. So our break was spent mostly driving, but we still had fun!

I don't know about you, but I've eaten way too much Easter candy! Most of my faves are gluten free and oh so yummy!

My kiddos had the day off yesterday but I went to work to finish report cards. I really like the idea of trimesters and doing 3 report cards instead of quarters with 4. It seems like it would make more sense.

I had a rough weekend, found out some bad news so I was totally sad, but I know that things have to get better, so I remain positive. (Or at least I really try to... what other choice do I have? Life goes on...)

I finally saw The Hunger Games! I haven't read the books in years, so I honestly don't know exactly what was left out. I do know that I didn't love who they cast for Peeta, but Gale was a cutie! I thought they could've developed the characters more, but I realize that it is a movie and according to my hubby, it was long enough!

At our school, we decided to have Career Day every other year. So that means that it is this year. I made a little craft and writing activity and it is on TPT.

I also created a community helper booklet freebie. Get it here:

I hope you are having a good week, my friends!