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Monday, December 28, 2015

Phonics- Digraph CH & A AGIVEWAY!

Hi Friends! Happy winter break! I have tried to stay busy and keep with getting up at a decent time in the morning, but it's harder than you'd think.
This week I got busy & created this awesome Digraph CH resource! My kiddos will be working on CH all next week and I wanted them to have some fun, engaging activities to practice the skill. Heading back to school and adjusting to a five day week right off the bat will be challenging, but I know we can do it!

My kiddos LOVE to cut & paste. I go back and forth on it, but if it keeps them engaged and is meaningful, it's a win-win in my book.
I knew I wanted some sorts, as well as some writing. Getting my kiddos to read words is one thing, but then encouraging them to use the words in a sentence is where they begin to struggle. "I don't know what to wrrritttteeee" begins to happen and we all know how that goes.
I also knew that I wanted there to be "I Can" printable goes, as well as "CH Rules of Thumb" to help my kiddos remember when to use -tch or just CH.
These will be super easy to hang and take down to put in my CH file when we move on. 

I seriously LOVE a good sort, and so do my kiddos! 

I also created a build-able book! This is the first one I have ever created and I am super excited about it. My kids love anything that can be a book. Need to write an informational piece? Turn it into a book, it's now about 100 times more fun! That is what inspired me to turn CH words into a book! 

The letters are on the right side, and grouped into phonemes (see how CH are in the same box?) to help students see that those letters go together to make a sound. Students will cut, and then paste the letters to make a work (the letters are in order), and then can draw a picture. The next part is up to you. They can either write the word several times, or put it in a sentence like I did here. You can include as many or as few words as you would like to make it as long or short as you want. DO NOT copy these double sided like I did! You will have some cut up pages (Whoops!). 

There is also a trace & draw book with numerous pages, with two words on each one. 

My students LOVE books, so if yours are anything like mine, they will love this too! It is great for your lower level students who need help with the words as well as letter formation. 

There are several pages that include writing activities.

And last but not least, the foldy book! I LOVE these and so do my kids! They are SO easy for kids to fold and then they can put them into their book boxes when they are done!

To begin, flip the page facedown.

Then, fold the bottom up to the top (hamburger).

Then, fold in half again.
And VIOLA! You have a book!

I love these because the skill words are dotted, so students can go back and trace them. I let mine trace with a highlighter or pen. 

Awesome, right? 
I will let my higher kids read independently, middle kiddos work together to read, and then my little friends will read it with me in a small group. There are instructions on how you can use it in your classroom within the product. 

And here are all of the other activities that just wouldn't fit into one post! I am SO excited about using these activities in my classroom and setting my stations up with them!

I am SO excited about these NEW Interactive CH Activities that I am giving TWO away! Just enter below! The drawing ends on Sunday! Good Luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, December 21, 2015

Winter Break To-Do List

You know when you have a bunch of stuff to do, but you just don't remember all of it, so instead of thinking about it, you just do nothing? Well... I never do that. I have a laundry list (literally laundry) of things I need to do over break that do not include sitting and doing nothing. Although, there will be at least ONE day, where I sit, and do thing. I have ten long workdays to be uper productive, oh if only I try!

At the top of the list is to clean my closet. I seriously need to get rid of SO much stuff. We have an ok sized closet but it is pack to the gills with stuff that I just don't wear. I would eventually like to do stitch fix because I see so many people having so much success with it, but I know I need to clean out what I have, and try and sell some of it to pay for Stitch Fix.
Seriously... Look at that mess! Yikes!

Next up, grocery shopping. Because a Costco size container of apples is apparently not enough variety for the other person living in our house. 
And you people who are finished with your gift buying? I don't know you. 
Laundry? You mean I have to wash it, dry it, and put it away? HA!

Create. This is my favorite, and it shouldn't really be on my "To-Do" list. I have to make a to-do list so I don't just sit and create all day. I have attachment problems with my computer and I am not afraid to admit it. 

I have so many things I want to make over break, but I know I will not get to all of them. I sure am going to try though!

Workout. Adventures in Teaching recently posted a blog about how teaching is making her fat. I totally get it. Cookies and candy and coffee, and let's not forget the afternoon chocolate pick me up, and oh, you're ordering pizza for lunch? I'll take a piece! And then, after school, getting me to get off the couch is a chore, let alone go to the gym. The only time I would typically go during the school year is before school (5:15 folks!!), and let's face it, winter is not an ideal season to be up and out of your house that early!  It's an EVIL cycle, and sometimes I need a break to remind me that I feel better when I workout and eat like a normal human being. So I am using this break to rejuvenate and hopefully get into a rhythm of working out. 

Floor care? Do you have a dog, or a child? Is it wet where you live? Point proven. My floors stay clean for .5 seconds with my dog when it's wet out. To a certain extent, what's the point?

Blog... Well! Here I am! Avoiding all of the other stuff on my to do list!
RESA can just go to H-E double hockey sticks. This is the most important but least motivating thing do. It's all around awful and is something I don't feel I should have to use my personal (unpaid) time to do. 
(more like the journey to hating Ohio)

Plans- I really actually enjoy typing plans, but this will have to wait until it gets closer to going back. If I type them now I will lose them, or forget what the heck I am supposed to be doing. So those will wait until next week. 

And the last one, that I really can't put on the list, is just like Aaron Rodgers says,  R-E-L-A-X!
 I have some quality snuggle time ahead of me with my furry friend and our new fuzzy blanket. This is one of the reasons winter is my favorite. I have an excuse to stay inside, drink coffee until I am shaking, and watch bad Nicholas Sparks movies until I fall asleep. 

What's on your winter break to-do list? I'd love to see it! Leave a link to your break plans in the comments!

Until next time!

Saturday, December 19, 2015


Hi Friends!
It's time! It's TIME! After two months of exchanging e-mails, discussions, and changes, it's time! Alexis, from Laugh Eat Learn helped me out, and redid my entire blog!

She worked SO hard and I can never thank her enough. I was picky, and she was with me every step of the way. I knew I wanted something "different" but could never quite put my finger on it until Alexis helped steer me in a direction. She even got in touch with my favorite designer, Paula Kim Studios to create custom coffee cups for me! The coffee cups are now available in Paula's TpT store. Seriously folks, if you're considering a blog-rebranding, head over to Alexis where she will tolerate you to no end, and make you feel like you are her #1 client. I am SO over the moon with the design and all of her hard work! Up until this point I had done all of my blog design myself, but I knew I wanted something more polished and professional looking. Alexis helped me achieve that, and helped me stay me until the very end!

I LOVE my new blog button!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Feature Teacher Tuesday!

Hey everyone! Welcome back for another week of Featured Teacher Tuesday!
Does anyone have anything fun that they're doing with their kiddos for the holidays? I am trying to squeeze in some last minute instructional things that I really just never got to, and stay engaging. We are doing a TON of cutting & gluing. My custodian has to hate me! Whatever keeps my kiddos engaged in meaningful activities is A-OK with me though!

This week we are showcasing Melinda King from Tales of the Sassy Teacher!
Melinda is married with 2 children who are 10 months apart. She has started her 15th year of teaching. She has been at the same school for her entire career. She has taught 1/2 split classes for 2 years, 2/3 split for 1 year, 2nd grade for 2 years, K-2 reading teacher for 5 years, K-2 writing for 4 years, and this year she is teaching 1st grade math. Melinda’s dream is to teach Kindergarten or her 1st graders all day with all subjects.
Melinda has been on TPT since 2011 but hasn’t really started selling until a year ago. She loves to create products that are not just for sales. She creates to get her students excited about learning.
Some of the products in her store that her kids love using are…..


Be sure to check out Melinda on TpT!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Feature Teacher Tuesday!

Welcome back for another Featured Teacher Tuesday! This week, meet Sarah Hankinson from Learning is for Superstars!

Sarah and her husband, Josh, just had the adoption of their daughters finalized! They were foster parents for these girls for 414 days before they became a forever family.
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Sarah is in her fifteenth year of  teaching in central Virginia and is a Liberty University graduate. She taught 8 years in fourth grade before moving six years ago to first grade. She has an interesting group this year - a combination of first and second graders! All of these years have been at the same school.

Even with the busyness of life and teaching a combo class, she loves to create whenever possible!  The most popular item in her Teachers Pay Teachers store is her money pack for first graders. It is full of counting pennies, nickels, and dimes individually and in mixed groups. There are picture cards with money amounts to sort and match, along with printables for each coin. Since Sarah teaches in VA, which doesn’t have Common Core standards, this is designed to meet Standards of Learning for Virginia.

Another popular unit is her Benjamin Franklin pack, one of the famous Americans taught to first graders in Virginia, although the social studies standards change for next year! Included is an informational booklet, along with word/picture matching cards, word search, and comprehension questions.
Who doesn’t need a quick print and go, especially at this time of the year?! Look no further! Sarah’s Christmas print and go is perfect for your first graders! Full of 20 black and white printables, including labeling, beginning sounds, syllables, CVC words, writing prompts, alphabetical order, addition fact fluency, and word problems!

And for a winter freebie, which will last you past Christmas and into January! My children LOVE I Spy activities and this reviews distinguishing between long and short vowel sounds.

Want to follow Sarah? Use the links below!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Currently December!

Hi Friends!
How is your December going so far? Mine hasn't been feeling super Decembery and it's super weird. The weather is off, and no one seems to be in the spirit, just the "I gotta get this done and over with" spirit. But maybe it's just me. I am hoping that decorating the tree helps put me in the mood. The mister and I agreed not to exchange gifts this year too... so maybe that's part of it. There is a lot of stuff we would like to do to our house and money would be better spent there. Plus we splurged on our iMac a few months ago... haha

Anyways... I am here to link up with Farley from Oh Boy Fourth Grade! This is one of my FAVORITE monthly linkups!

I kept waiting and waiting and waiting for her to post on the first... and then I fell asleep! Thanks East Coast time! Better late than never though... Right? So here it is, December Currently!

Listening- I am the only person (my pup is outside doing his morning bird watching) and The Hubs is still sleeping so I have quiet Christmas music playing and not a whole lot else.
Loving- HELLO! Nine more school days with the kiddos and one Teacher Work Day to get through before the majestical Christmas Break arrives. And boy do I SO need it!
Thinking- I have to write my final draft of lesson plans for the week. I plan with a teammate and then I type them up from the written copy. 
Wanting- More coffee, but I am desperately trying to cut back. I even started to drink decaf (GASP!)
Needing- To decorate our tree. The branches have slowly started to fall and I think they may be ready to decorate today. I hope this helps with my Christmas Spirit!
Real or Faux- REAL! I NEVER had a real tree until we moved into our home a couple of years ago, and we are now on our third real tree and I LOVE the scent!

There it is people! Link up with Farley at Oh Boy Fourth Grade and let us know what you have got going on!

I will be back on Tuesday for Feature Teacher Tuesday!!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Feature Teacher Tuesday!

Hey Friends! Turns out I'm not the best blogger when school is in session. I will try harder... PROMISE!!!

But now I am back for another Featured Teacher Tuesday!  

This week we are featuring Elisabeth from Literacy and Lattes!

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Elisabeth has been teaching kindergarten and first grade for 11 years and is a National Board Certified Teacher.  For the past 4 years she has taught a literacy, science and social studies in a first grade classroom and provided one-on-one reading intervention in Reading Recovery.  Elisabeth is passionate about helping her students find a love of reading and making sure that each student feels loved and valued when they come to school each day.  

When she’s not in the classroom or creating products for her students, Elisabeth spends time with her husband and two crazy kiddos.  She loves to hike, read, watch Grey’s Anatomy, put monograms on basically everything and drink way too much coffee!

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Elisabeth is also a Teacher-Author on TpT.  You can find her store at Literacy and Lattes and she specializes in products for Reading Recovery/reading intervention and science in the primary classroom.  

Her newest product - Learning Letters with QR codes - is a perfect no prep literacy center.    
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Her best selling product - Reading Recovery and Small Group Data Collection and Planning -  includes everything you need to track data in reading intervention or guided reading groups.

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Elisabeth also loves teaching science in the classroom and making materials for simple science lab investigations.  

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Keep your literacy centers fun and engaging with the Super Fun Centers packs!
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And how about some freebies?!?
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You can also follow Elisabeth by clicking the links below.


See you next week, when we feature Sarah from Learning is for Superstars!

Be sure to check out what these other great teacher bloggers have in store for you this week!