Thursday, June 28, 2012

Student Letters and Make-a-Word

Even though I haven't been out of school a week yet, I've already received a few emails from two of my sweeties.

One wrote:

I did it! I got my library card! You were right! I do feel smarter! Then she listed the books she checked out. Most were sequels of books we read in class.

How adorable is that!?  She had been using her Dad's card but I explained to the class that they were old enough to get one and "feel the power" themselves.

The second email came today:

"I lost my tooth but the tooth fairy didn't come.  I am mad.  I have nothing to do. I can't find my Tooth Fairy Make-A Word.  I made 1,000 words in school. My mouth hurts so I might get ice cream tonight.  I miss you.

Poor kid!  No cash from the Tooth Fairy and bored with nothing to do!  (At least imagination is working...1000 words? Oh, my!)

I sent three make-a-words to him and then decided to send them to all my other cuties for a little summer fun! (My class LOVED these and got so good at them! Check out my Free September/October pack!

Why do I love these?

Word Wizard “Make-a-Words” are effective spelling activities to reinforce sound/letter combinations. With September and October themes, these printable worksheets will help your students practice and improve their phonetic skills. These worksheets can be used for literacy center time or independent practice.

Introducing Make-a-Word activities to my class has been a gamechanger for my students. In the beginning, we make words together. I use Magnetic Letters on the board and we manipulate them into words AFTER noticing the letters in the word: the digraphs, vowels, the “s” for plurals, etc. I always remind them that each word MUST have a vowel.

After some independent practice, I often allow them to work together and always have a two-minute break where kids share out a word they made. I’ll write them on board (as we discuss the combinations we see) and students are allowed to “grab” them and add a word to his or her own paper if desired.

Vert guided the first few months but honestly, by the end of the year, kids are able to get dozens- sometimes even a hundred words!  

The following themes are included in this packet...FOR FREE!

★Welcome Back
★Labor Day
★Making Friends
★John Chapman (Johnny Appleseed)

★Fire Safety
★Columbus Day
★Spooky Night
★Rainy Days

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Looky Looky! Monday Made It on Tuesday!

Thanks to 4th Grade Frolics, I've joined her linky party

(excuse the tardiness but I just read about Monday Made It today!)

Inspired by this on Pinterest:

I ran to Michael's today and then turned my old, small table

into this with Duct Tape.  (Duck Brand Zebra Stripe.)

I love the popular zebra and pink ribbon that seems to be everywhere but I think I'm going to go with red. Not sure.  I picked up some ribbon and am debating if I should add a little and if so, which one?  (I was thinking of running a strip on the front side about 1/2 way down. Apples? Stripes?  Maybe run it around the top lip to give it a finished look?)

It took two rolls and 45 minutes.  If I had to do it over again,
I think I would have painted inside legs/sides black.

EDITED TO ADD:  I think I answered my own answer. The ribbon really finished the look of this
side-table-soon-to-be-classroom... something!

Thanks for looking!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

School's Out and Schools In...

School ended yesterday and the timing coudln't be better.


"Just" a cold but one that has packed such a punch, I ache all over.

So, I've been lazing about thinking about NEXT year already. I am switching buildings and my new classroom has no area rug. UGH!

You see, that is the one item (next to small whiteboards and document camera!) that I cannot live without.
So I won't.

I just ordered this baby from

They had the best price (by hundreds of dollars!) that I could find.  For $325 (with delivery!) it could be yours, too.

Now that is some serious cash, isn't it?  The good news and the bad news:  my sweeties gave me a Visa giftcard at Christmas and another one at the end of the year that will not only cover it, but will leave me with some money left over.  So that is very, very good.

The bad news is that I won't be getting a few items from Brighton that I had planned on splurging on with the money.  Sigh.

My love affair with this carpet came about around ten years ago when I was a K-5 media specialist and was allowed to order it. When I returned to the classroom, I used giftcards to buy the small one since I couldn't take the one in teh library with me. (LOVE those gift cards!)  But when I left the classroom, I gave it to my sister-in-law who opened up a gym since I knew it would be great for her kiddie room.

I could get it back but 1. I know she needs it, and 2. I want the 30 dot one like I had in the library.

What's so great about this carpet?  Since my firsties spend so much time on the carpet, it so helps with classroom management.  Makes carpet time a breeze.  Everyone has their own space AND there's no traffic jams getting up/sitting down to go to easel, bathroom, etc.  My green and red dots step to outside "free" aisle and can easily walk and my orange and yellow dots have the purple dot aisle which I leave open for that very purpose.


So ordering it today not only brought me peace of mind for next year, It made me feel better.


Now that school is over, I am planning on blogging AND reading more blogs on a regular basis.  The last few months were sort of me getting my feet wet!

Hope the sun is shining where you are and you're feeling peachy keen!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Winding Down...

Nine days left with my little monkeys! 


This year flew by!  I say that every year but, me, oh, my!  It's true! I am moving to a new building just two miles away but will still be teaching first grade.  Since we have four kindergarten classes, I knew the fifth first grade wouldn't be needed so it's no surprise I'm moving.

This is the last Make-a-Word activity that we'll be doing this year.  This has always been a favorite of my classes.  Always!  Click on pic if you would like to use it or save for next year.

For those still in school, hang in there...summer is just around the corner!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

A Blizzard of Series Books...

Once May hits, I know I only have about 7 weeks left with my little monkeys.  While we've read so many wonderful books this year (favorites of kids so far: Charlotte's Web and Gooney Bird Greene) I know that it's the perfect time to kick it up a notch and read through a blizzard of series books.  I want to get them hooked on the first book in a series- maybe even the second - and have them barrel their way through the rest of the series over the summer.  (Either independently or with family help.) Even my lower readers can get into the action since they'll be familiar with characters, settings, etc.  I also try to have audio books on tape for the kids as well.  Right now, even though we've finished STINK, the audiobook is so FABO, that it's on when they get back from recess each day.

Here are some of the books I've read over last month:

Although I've read two Magic Tree House books to them, so many of the kids are now on their fifth, sixth, or seventh books.  I love them, too! (How can you NOT like a book about a librarian/books? :)

                                                              (Still reading this one! Long!)

Read regular Cam during year so I didn't mind going out of order on this one. Beach weather...ahhh!

 They've been begging me to read another A-Z Mystery so I will this week.  And how did I not know that Ron Roy has The Calendar Mysteries out?  I saw it in book order. Is it new?  Been out for years?  I have no idea.  If I can find a copy, that might be one that kids devour.

I'm so proud of my voracious readers!  If you have any suggestions, please let me know.  Always looking for new ideas.

Happy reading!