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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Feature Teacher Tuesday & LOTS of Thanksgiving Ideas!!

Hi Everyone! Sorry I am posting Feature Teacher Tuesday SO late, we had conferences (again) tonight, and am just not getting home. So here it is!
This week our Featured Teacher is Heidi Martin from Droppin' Knowledge!

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Heidi Martin is a 1st Grade Teacher & Whole Brain Teaching Staff Member!  She is also a mother of a 13 year old daughter (lord help her), a newlywed, and expecting a baby boy in January!

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Heidi has been a teacher for 4 years at a priority school in Racine, WI.  You can read all about her teaching journey HERE!  She was voted 2nd best teacher in her county last year & recently won 3rd Runner up in the Thred-Up – Raise a Hand for Teachers Campaign!  Heidi has a passion for helping under-privileged students & loves to watch her First Graders grow into leaders.  Through Whole Brain Teaching, Heidi teaches her students to become teachers & run a self-managing classroom.  Whole Brain Teachers like to call it “teacher heaven”!  You can read all about Heidi’s WBT Journey here!

If you want to learn more about Whole Brain Teaching, join Heidi for WBT Wednesdays on her blog and Blab.IM show! Just search WBT on Blab to find upcoming & past shows!

Besides running her blog, Heidi is also a TpT Author!  You can find her store at Droppin’ Knowledge with Heidi Martin. Some of her newest products include…

These packs are perfect for working on sentence structure while team-building at the same time!


To see how she uses these in her classroom (and see other versions available), CLICK HERE!

Her **BEST SELLER** is her Editable Newsletter Templates!

This comes in a PowerPoint format so all you have to do is add your own text!

Now, how about some FREEBIES?

For 2 days only (November 17th & 18th), you can get a copy of Heidi’s Add the Room activity ~ November Edition! & the Add the Room DECEMBER edition for FREE!


A favorite forever freebie are Heidi’s “Author Check” cards!
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Get more Freebies HERE!

Thank you for checking out this week’s Featured Teacher!  Have a Happy Thanksgiving and we will see you back on Tuesday, December 1st to meet Elisabeth from Literacy and Lattes!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Five For Friday (Sunday??)

Hi Friends!
How are you? I am exhausted. I need a weekend for my weekend. We celebrated a friend's birthday last night and this old lady was out well past her bedtime. The tiredness has carried over and now I am ready to hit the hay at 6:30 on a Sunday night. I know I am two days late, but I wanted to link up with Kacey from Doodle Bugs anyways. I really love 5 for Friday, but sometimes struggle to come up with 5 good things! I think I am ready this week though!

My sweet firsties and I went on a great trip to Govenor Bebb Metropark and visited a Settler's Village. It was so fun! My kiddos got to learn about how the Settlers in the Ohio River Valley lived, and how they just got by. You should have seen their little shocked faces when they heard there were no TVs, computers, or cell phones. Oh the horror!!! 
Man did we luck out on the weather! It was November 6, and was supposed to RAIN all day. Not a drop of rain fell on our little heads and it was relatively warm too!

We learned all about summer kitchens and how they didn't heat up the houses in the summer!

We learned that old schools had lots of rules!!

And where the phrase, "Don't let the bed bugs bite!" comes from. 

We made candles the old fashioned way!

and passed out as soon as we hit the bus!

It was a fantastic field trip if you live in Southwest Ohio!

These great fact family activities that I just made!
These pictures are all of the same activity, but you can see how interactive they are! The kids LOVED them and asked when they could do this activity again!

It was so easy to differentiate too! I helped this kiddo label all of the squares, and then all of his numbers with Ps and Ws (part, part, whole) so he could match the letters. He was able to see that two parts make a whole and a whole minus a part equals a part! 

That is just one of the activities in this product! There are several other fact family practice activities in there!! :)

Daily Oral Language. Holy important. I am SO tired of seeing lower case letters at the beginning of a sentence, and hello, capital letters all over the place. And one really really long sentence that just never ends even though it has like six different things in it and at the end of the sentence I am out of breath. A couple of weeks ago, I knew it was time. I knew it had to begin. I knew we needed to start DOL. I just didn't want to. But, we started, and the kids love it.

Here we got to practice proper nouns too! My kids find these very motivating because, hello, RED PEN!!! I do not let them use their red pens very often, only for editing, so any chance they get to use them is really exciting. Once we fix our sentence up I let them take a four minute "color break" and express themselves. In this picture you can see Ace my dog and I outside, while poor Mr. Duris is stuck inside with his shopping bag and his new shirt. Hello adorable!
And I just wanted to show you this because it's really cute:
Mr. Duris' new shirt has shoulder pads. The kiddos sure do know the way to my (and Mr. Duris') heart!

You can find this Back to School DOL in my TpT store, or click on the first picture!

We held a really cool Veteran's Day celebration at our school this year. It was amazing. And while I didn't get to do anything with my kiddos because of time constraints, we did get to attend the celebration and partake in it. All of the kiddos got flags, and several grade levels sang "American" songs. 

The coolest part? These Veterans coming and celebrating the day with us. They shared their military traditions and sang with us. They entered our cafetorium to a "USA!" chant, and you could see them becoming overwhelmed with emotions. It was a really touching and amazing experience for my kiddos and I. 

This was the one I was so excited to post about.... Curriculum and Coffee is getting a face lift! I am so excited to have paired up with Alexis from Laugh Eat Learn. Alexis has been awesome and was the one who inspired me to change my blog name from Flipping into First to Curriculum and Coffee. I knew that I needed to change it because it was really similar to like three other blog names, and that I wanted one that was not grade specific. While I love first grade, I know it's not somewhere I will always be. I am SO happy with the name change, so I bought a domain through Google, and am now working with Alexis to come up with the perfect design. She is SO patient, kind, and understanding. I am SO excited to see what the final product looks like, but this is what Alexis has designed so far:

It is SOOOO me! She was able to make magic with Paula Kim Studios and create clip art (I LOVE PKS!!!) and then work from there. I cannot wait to see the final product!!! 

That's it for me guys! Be sure to link up with Doodle Bugs for her weekly Five for Friday link up and check out some of the other blog posts as well!  

See you guys Tuesday for Feature Teacher Tuesday!!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Feature Teacher Tuesday!

Our next Featured Teacher is Carol Polston over at The Chocolate Teacher

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Carol is in her 23rd year of teaching.  She has taught mostly first grade with a few years of second and kindergarten sprinkled in here and there.  Her love is definitely first grade.  Her favorite part of teaching first grade is seeing the growth in her students from the beginning to the end of the year.  This growth never ceases to amaze her.  She feels blessed to be able to be a part of her students’ growth!
Carol has been married for 38 years.  She and her husband have three grown children and two adorable grandchildren.  An unusual fact about Carol is that she had the privilege to teach all three of children in first grade.  Her older two children she taught as a homeschool teacher and her youngest child was in her 1st grade classroom in public school.  She feels happy that she got to teach all three of them how to read!  Her youngest daughter is now also a teacher (teaching P.E.- a love she did not get from her mom).  
Carol loves teaching just about every subject (ok, maybe not P.E.).  She especially loves to teach phonics and reading!  Grammar is also a subject she enjoys teaching.  Carol started creating phonics and language units to sell on TpT a little over a year ago.  She enjoys creating units to use in her own classroom and to share with others.  The first grade classrooms in her district use her phonics and language units.  You can click the links below to see a few of these.

She also enjoys providing activities to get her students up and moving as they learn.  To encourage this, she has created Write the Room activities.  These activities are a bunch of fun.  Students move around the room looking at cards that are pinned to the wall and they record their answers on an answer sheet.  These are a highly anticipated activity in her class.  She has created quite a few to go along with her weekly phonics skills.  You can check out her short vowel word family bundle here:
Carol also just completed a beginning mapping unit.  She used it in her classroom and the kids loved it.  The culminating activity in this unit is a map skill lap book.  You can see it here:
Carol has quite a few free products in her store.  Here are two that you can try that will introduce you to her phonics units and Write the Rooms:
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Are you wondering why she named her store with the unusual name- The Chocolate Teacher?  You can read all about why she did that here:   
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You can follow Carol at these sites:

Thanks so much for taking the time to read about Carol!
Be sure to tune in next week for the next edition of Feature Teacher Tuesday!

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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Pick 3 Pinterest Linky

Hi! I am here linking up with Pawsitively Teaching & Inspired Owl's Corner for their November Pinterest Pick 3! I am really excited about this cute linky party!
 Inspired Owl's Corner

This link up is all about cute November Pinterest inspired activities to do with (or without) your kiddos!!

First up is a cute little art project!

This blog is in Italian, but you get the jist! Cute kiddos making cute fall art! All you need is come Q-Tips and some basic paint colors. 
This is a super fun, and easy project to complete. I would then have my kiddos write about their tree. Maybe what's happening to the tree, or who lives in it

Math Fact Turkeys are all the rage right now... in first grade. This will for sure be an activity that we do at least once, if not twice [both addition and subtraction... or maybe fact families!]. These come out SO cute and we will put them up in our room!

These cute little snack bags may be what were having as a snack that last day before break!
SO cute! So easy! The kiddos would LOVE these!

If you're searching for more great ideas check out and follow my Pinterest feed!!