Thursday, February 28, 2013

Roll and Read Freebie

The snow piles are still laying in piles all around town. They aren't as pretty or as welcome as they were when they first arrived in November. They have worn out their welcome and we would all be happier if they would go away and make way for spring. Spring is in the air. I can tell she's arriving by the way the birds welcome me each morning when I step out the door.  The sun is shining at a different angle and my daughter is on her way home for spring break. Spring, you can't come soon enough for me.

Soon my owlets will be reading poems filled with flowers, birds, kites and leprechauns. To help them enjoy repeated readings of poems and words around the room I've been using a Roll and Read chart. My kiddos love talking in some of the silly voices that they've heard me use over the year. I hope that your kiddos  enjoy using this chart, too! Click HERE if you'd like to use this!

I'm helping Janet celebrate having 100 followers. Be sure to follow the link by clicking on the picture below to Janet's blog for a chance to win some great prizes!

Freebie Fridays

Friday, February 22, 2013

Dental Health Freebie!

REALLY? Another Snow Day? I can't believe it! As soon as I heard the phone ring at 5:45 AM I knew it could only mean one thing. Each day we have scheduled Crazy Hair and Hat Day at school it has been a Snow Day. I've had enough. I miss my Owlets!

At least we had time to get some wonderful work done yesterday. We read directions to make a mask and, of course, followed them!  I know it is wrong to pick favorites, but... Is this mask not gorgeous? He spent so much time making his mask look like a cheetah. Some students just rushed through to get the job done. I don't know how to get some of my friends to slow down and do more careful work. It seems that many activities become a race to see who can finish first. I've tried many things to slow them down. What do you do to help your students be more thoughtful and careful workers?

Today was going to be Dental Health Day. Sadly, we'll have to put it off until Monday. Would you like to join in the fun? I've written this little play about dental health. You can buy it at TPT, or get it free HERE! Or we could facetime and my class could put the play on for you....Wouldn't that be fun?!
Freebie Fridays

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

National Day of Whispering and a Freebie

Did you celebrate today? My class celebrated Whisper Day all day. I'm not sure if this is an actual holiday or not but I'm sure it isn't as much fun as National Doughnut Day! I greeted my students today with a whispered, "Good morning and you get to whisper all day!" Somewhere upstairs during the night I lost my voice. I'm sure it had something to do with the headache and sore throat I had over the weekend. Now I have a VERY talkative class, but I didn't feel bad enough to call myself sick. Bless their hearts they whispered ALL day. Even my owlet who regularly hoots in his outdoor voice whispered.

It is amazing to me that when you raise the level of expectations, kids rise to them. They worked harder at Daily Five than I've ever seen before. And thank goodness for all the routine I've built into the day because I didn't have to give a lot of directions...They just did it! Even though I couldn't give a lot of verbal cues they have made such great progress that I could write information or directions for them to follow and THEY DID! I had such a great day with them that I think we'll make it National Week of Whispering!

All day I have been laughing over one owlet who(ooooo) I heard talking whispering to another. "Please stop parannoying me." She then changed it to an I message... "I mean, it parannoys me when you keep talking to me!" I went over and talked to them about it. What is parannoying I wondered out loud. Apparently it is even worse than annoying! This same student is quite artistic and asked why we didn't color as much in first grade as she did in kindergarten. So I came up with  a special worksheet dedicated to her. We are working with ordinal numbers, so this will be helpful for the whole class! Want one? Click on the picture and break out your crayons!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Presidential Parade and a Freebie!

After a four day weekend I was ready to get back to see my owlets today. Of course, I had an extra reason for being excited to see them. They had a special assignment over our mid-winter break. I gave them a piece of poster board with a hole cut out for their faces and asked them to turn it into a presidential costume. They all wanted to become George or Abe, so I had to limit their choices to any president but the very popular Washington and Lincoln. Here are some of our past presidents in action...

...and some close ups...
 I'd like to introduce Thomas Jefferson and Dwight D. Eisenhower!

Can you find Teddy Roosevelt, JFK, James Madison and Franklin D.?

Do you have a way to get your kids to read more? I don't give much homework, but I would love to get my young readers to read more.I have been searching for a good organized way to get my kids to do more reading at home. I finally gave up and created my own packet of materials that I introduced to my students today. They were pretty excited about hanging up paper backpacks in the hall to show how many books first graders can read. I'll let you know how it works. Maybe it is something you can use too! Click HERE if you want to give it a try. 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Dear Vacation...A Love Letter!

I bought these cute graphics from From the Pond!

For Valentine's Day my owlets made free hugs! They had to
estimate how many hearts it takes to make a hug. I
traced around their arms. They cut and placed the hearts
from fingertip to fingertip. 

Dear Vacation,
I have missed you so much. I love the way you let me sleep in late and let me play dumb  games like Candy Crush Saga without feeling even a tiny bit guilty. You give me lots of time to catch up on laundry, dusting and school work. I get nice long chunks of time to read awesome books like Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott that make me think, laugh and grow.  I love you, vacation, even though I know you'll leave me again. Thanks for coming at just the right time. You are helping me recover from Valentine's Day, 100's Day, a 14 year old's birthday bash and a weekend long church retreat. I can't wait to see your sister, Spring in a little over a month.
Jenny the Tired

Are you on Mid-Winter Vacation? I needed this extra two days to recover from last weekend and to rest up from all the excitement that has already taken place this month. It may be the shortest month, but I think it is the biggest month for special learning opportunities!

A long time ago I was lucky enough to receive an awesome package from my dear friend, Kimberly. The blueberry jam is long gone, but the other goodies are a reminder of her friendship. I am finally ready to Pay it Forward with 3 packages of my own. Here is a picture of the gifts that I'm paying forward to three lucky recipients. Keep your eyes open, Barbara, Maria, and Dinah and  don't look at the pictures if you want to be completely surprised. I love the handmade candlemats a friend made for me and the Michigan ornaments I found in a delightful Etsy shop that is just down the lake from me. The Paper Marriage is a great shop for custom wood and paper products! If you like owls, you must go to the shop just to see the awesome owl they have up for sale! You can help Ashley grow her business HERE!

Now I'm off to take a nap...After one more level of Candy Crush Saga and a visit to your blog, of course!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Love Notes Linky

With Hundred's Day behind us, it's time to think about that day of 
L-O-V-E! Join me in this fun Linky at Literacy and Laughter!
Her is my Lovely List...
Name: Jenny
Grade you Teach: First, K-8 Technology, and 7/8 Literature
State: MEEEEEchigan
Birthday: October
Favorite Colors: Depends on the day! Today? Snow White
Yep...another Snow Day!

Lucky Number: <Gasp...>I don't believe in luck.
Favorite Subject: Literacy
Go to Snack: Popcorn
TV Show: Once Upon a Time
Last Movie You Watched: Lincoln...Wow! 
Music You are Loving Right Now: Anything written by my son...He's amazing! You can see a rap featured in  a video he made for Calculus class if you'd like....

Always shopping at: TPT and Meijers...I hang out at both places regularly!

Share links to a blog you love... Please check out the awesome blogger on my blog roll. They are more than bloggers. They are friends!

Here is a new friend...
.Celebrating my first Blog Birthday - Lessons From The MiddleShe is having an awesome Give Away...Check it out!

Two Random Facts:
I love birds. It is probably true that I have more pictures of birds than my own children. I have feeders all around my house and every family vacation includes at least one day of looking for birds for me to add to my list. I travel each spring to some migratory hot spot with my sisters to try to see more than we had seen the year before.

 Random Fact #2:  My first car was a Yugo. I loved that car and drove it back and forth from St. Louis to Michigan several times. I would gladly trade my mini-van in for another Yugo as my need for hauling kids around decreases. All my husbands nephews used it to learn to drive a stick shift. It was so much fun to drive!

The Loves of my life:
I don't have a picture of God but I see Him in the faces of my family, students and fellow teachers everyday!
The other loves of my life are the ones God has blessed me with...

Aren't they lovely?

I hope you'll link-up, too! Thank you Amy, for hosting the fun!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Hundred's Day Freebie!

Hundred's Day has come and gone again! For weeks I was trying to think of things that would make this 100's Day different, special and unique. I wanted to really wow my students. I was trying to plan THE BEST DAY EVER!! I'm so glad I realized that it is all new to my owlets. I feel like we did "the same old thing," but realized after hearing many, "This is the best day ever!"s that the same old thing to me is exciting for my class.  The smiles, the hugs and the excitement will never be the same old thing to me. They will forever be precious and meaningful! One of the things I love about six year olds is their enthusiasm... They love everything.

I did do one thing different this year. It got a little bit long, but they hung in there and finished! They had to follow the directions in a PowerPoint presentation to find a picture hidden in a hundred's chart.  We got up and moved around for a while half way through. I think I'll try doing some more of these for different occasions. Feel free to use this if you'd like! You'll need THIS and THIS!

We put the finished products on the back of our 100's Day vests which we covered with 100 little pictures 

100's Day wouldn't be complete without a visit from our friend Zero...

or 100 snacks!

My backyard tonight looks like this...
All this snow fell today! I'm wondering if I'll be awoken by an early
morning phone call!!

Our collections of 100 spread across the floor. 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Currently and Kid Blogs

Who hosts the best party on the web? You know who it is...Farley! It is Currently time! Go check out some new and old bloggy friends and join the party!

Do your kids blog? I only teach first grade part time. The other part of the time I teach technology classes to k-8. The other part of the time I teach Literature to seventh and eighth grade. I love all the hats I wear, but my favorite is (as soon as I say it I'm going to think, "No, I really love the other!" Thing is kids are my favorite people...Please don't be offended!) Anyway, my favorite is first grade. They are the funniest people I know, and I love to laugh.

What was I getting at...Oh that's right kids blogging. My technology students all have a blog and last month they started doing Currently for Your Classroom . I love all the choices that come with this product and it is easy to print out black and white copies for kids to write and color on even if you don't want to dive into kids blogging. It would be a great thing to add to a writing portfolio! Here are two of my kid bloggers currently(s)...

Want your kids to blog?  It is easy!! Here is my class blog roll HERE! I set it up, so I have to approve all comments...You would want to, too! My students have to comment on three other blogs on days we blog. The comments must be kind or helpful and complete sentences!

I'm out to shovel snow. I love being outside when it's cold and snowy because nothing feels better than coming back in for HOT CHOCOLATE! 
In case you missed it yesterday...

Friday, February 1, 2013

Elephun! Give Away and a FREEBIE!

Have you seen this book? If you use the Treasures curriculum, maybe you even have it. It is an astonishing book! My students were glued to the pages. It is a book they have gone back to over and over.

We were thrilled to find the website where elephant paintings can be purchased. They were pretty sure I should buy one for the classroom for $600.00! I suggested we pretend to be elephants and paint our own picture. One thing led to another and we ended up painting an elephant...
The elephant is saying, "I'm a full-sized baby elephant. I am called
a calf. Do I make you laugh?"
Here my owlets are painting like an elephant...

Most of them agreed that they would rather paint like a kid, and that an elephant would have a hard time painting like a kid! I wouldn't sell the finished product for anything. I just love our little class pet. We're going to continue learning about elephants next week when we use a wonderful unit on elephants that I found on TPT! I wish I had waited for the big sale on Sunday, but I couldn't wait to get started using it. Speaking of sales...Don't forget to use this code on TPT on Sunday:  SUPER

While you are waiting for the sale head over to a new friend of mine Dinah. She has some amazing pictures to look at and she's having an awesome Give Away!

Here is a FREEBIE for you...I hope you like it! I use it often with my class. It is part of my students 15 book genre challenge.
You can get the whole unit on Sunday for 28% off!