Friday, October 26, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

Thanks to Hurricane Sandy I found myself with an extra day and a half off. Let me tell you, there was a time when that would have made me jump up and down with joy. But this year I was mad. How dare they! Do they know how many common core standards I need to cover by June? Do they know I now have to reschedule four conferences? Do they know my kiddos are missing out on their harvest party????

I digress... Anyways, it left me with some spare time to finally post a few things on TPT. First is my Thanksgiving mini-unit.

It includes:
Narrative Writing Template
Pilgrims Bubble Map
Native Americans Bubble Map
Turkey Tree Map
Wampanoag/Pilgrim Venn Diagram
Thanksgiving Now/Then Venn Diagram
Native American Headband Craft
Native American Me! Writing
Thanksgiving Informational Text & Questionnaire

And I also got up my December & January Pocket Chart Stories that match my little books. 

I'm throwing a little halloween sale in my store, everything is 20% off until the 31st :)
I'm getting close to 500 tpt followers, expect some goodies when I get there!

If you need me the rest of the day I'll be snuggling on my couch, listening to the wind and the rain, watching Big Bang Theory and eating Chili. <3

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


In response to the question "Will you be making a mini unit for the election?"


Why not you ask? 

Because my team leader buddy made an AWESOME one, that I can't wait to use! 

If you need election themed materials, check it out here

I also had a request for the ballots & worksheets I used last year for our "Snack Election" so I cute-sied it up and uploaded those as a freebie here.

The Common Core Mini Units I have planned for the rest of 2012 include Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

A few new things for fall!

Hi Friends,
I've had a busy weekend! My Christopher Columbus mini unit quickly became my top selling item, so I've made two new units with similar formats. These are just what I need in my classroom to integrate seasonal topics with the common core. Maybe you can use them too? Check them out! 

My pumpkin mini unit contains the following:
Pumpkin Bubble Map
Pumpkin 5 senses Observations
Pumpkin Tree Map
Pumpkin Inside/Outside Adjectives
Pumpkin Life Cycle Sequencing
Pumpkin Informational Text
All About Pumpkins Writing
Baking Pumpkin Bread Recipe

My Veteran's Day Mini Unit Contains the following:
Informational Writing Template
Veterans Bubble Map
Soldier Tree Map
Branches of the U.S. Military Cut & Paste
Branches of the U.S. Military Informational Writing Book
Thank a Hero Foldable Card
Veteran’s Day Informational Text & Questionnaire

And I've received an email or two asking when my winter things will be up..... I'm happy to let you know I've just posted my Christmas Centers:

And next on my list is Pocket Chart Stories for December and January to go with my little books:

Then Winter centers are next up! 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Animal Freebies

Lions and tigers and bears oh my! My tigers are in the world series!!!!!

This week I created a few animal quizzes/assessments/worksheets..... call them whatever you want. Because with our new common core standards I'm required to assess my students on the same standard more than once, and that applies to our sunshine state science standards as well as the common core. Which means, just giving the chapter test afterwards isn't going to cut it. There are three activities total - one for animal body coverings, one for how animals move, and one for animal life cycles. Grab 'em if you can use em! 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Columbus Day 2012

We have had a blast  last week learning all about Columbus. Here are just a few of the activities we did. They are aligned to the Common Core as much as possible.

Bubble maps

Ship Labeling

Informational Text & Comprehension

Persuasive Writing

Ship snack & sequencing

Counting Book

Art Project-
1. First we painted and stamped our hands to make our ships

2. Then the kids rotated to four stations. At the first they watercolor painted their ocean.

3. At the second station they cotton ball stamped their clouds (I just pinned three cotton balls together with a clothespin which they dipped in white paint.)

4. At the third station they glued on their sails, and at the fourth station they filled in a paper that read "In (1492), Columbus sailed the ocean (blue)." Then glued it onto their paper. 

Here's the finished art work! 

All of these activities except the art project are from my Columbus Day Mini Unit.
The art project was inspired by the pinterest pin HERE.
For last year's Columbus Day post click here

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

So how is the daily 5 going?

To all my friends who participated in the Daily 5 book study this summer how are things going? I am LOVING it in my classroom! Those sisters sure know what they are talking about! In the beginning I was a little skeptical. I felt there was way too much modeling (but honestly, can there ever be too much?) and the practice times were so short to start out with - I felt like we were getting nowhere fast. But slowly, we started to build up our stamina. And now that it's October my students are IN-DE-PEN-DENT! I LOVE it! They know just what to do and how to do it right because we really took our time and built up our stamina while exhibiting only the right behaviors. I will never again question all the modeling and short practices in the beginning :)

As I mentioned this summer, I have to modify a bit to make the Daily 5 work for me. I only have an hour for my small group reading block and the Daily 5 requires a lot more than that. So here's what we do - we still do all 5 components (read to self, read to someone, word work, work on writing, listen to reading) but we also do computer and meet with teacher, and we do them all as rotations. I know children are supposed to pick what they do when in the original model, but with me needing certain kids at specific times for reading groups, it just doesn't work. Plus with not having more than an hour, not everyone would get to do everything every day and I would be stressing about making sure they do different things the next day and not just the same few things over and over again. So here's how my kids rotate: 

1. One of their rotations is always to the teacher table for reading groups with similar-skilled students. Here is a picture of my intervention kids working on identifying their letters:
2. A second center is either Read to Self or Read to Someone. (they are assigned which to go to and it changes each week) My kids who are starting to test up into the Fountas and Pinnelle levels have started learning how to pull from our leveled baskets to get good fit books. 
3. A third rotation is either Computers or Listen to reading. (they are assigned which to go to and it changes each week) We also occasionally use the leap pads if a group is too big to fit at the computers, since I only have two student computers in my room. The students are "listening to reading" no matter which of the three they are doing.
4. And the fourth rotation is to Work on Writing or Word Work. ( again, they are assigned and it switches every week) Right now during work on writing they are working in their writing notebooks that they keep in their book boxes. Starting next week, they will have a choice to work in their notebook or doing some of the activities from DeeDee Will's October writing pack - writing stories, letters, lists or labeling pictures. Students also have choices during word work. So far I have introduced beads, stamps, whiteboards, and magnetic letters. I positioned my word work table right under my word wall so that the students have all their words right there to work on. Next week I will be introducing playdough, rainbow writing, and sight word games. 

Hopefully this gives you an idea as to how the Daily 5 rotations work in my room and you can see how the kids still have lots of choices, even though they don't pick when they go to each area.