July 31, 2014

Firstie Friends HUGE B2S Giveaway!!!

Hello friends!
 Are you ready for a HUGE giveaway? 

I have gathered together with some AMAZING teacher bloggers and we have put together a fantastic set of prizes for you. We have 42 bloggers participating, so we are giving away a prize pack of 14 products each to 3 winners! 

Step 1: You can enter to win by visiting the  Firstie Friends Facebook Page.
Step 2: Rack up LOTS of entries by clicking on the link to our page above. 

The giveaway begins on Friday, August 1st.
The giveaway will end on Sunday, August 4th at 8pm CST. 

At the bottom of this post you will also find links to ALL of my Firstie Friends' stores! 



Head on over to our Facebook page and rack up those entries!
 Good luck in the giveaway!

July 29, 2014

Leveling Your Classroom Library

Books, books, and more books.
I didn't think I had that many books in my classroom library. I mean I've only been teaching for 3 years.
Well, that was until I took on the task of leveling each and every last book that consumed 18 book bins.

Here's my journey:
When I started off I was excited!
Last year I decided I had it with students picking books they couldn't read...and pretending to read them.
Fake reading. I knew the perfect solution would be leveling my class library by DRA level.

So I emptied my library (picture above) and hauled the books home basket at a time.
Note: this took several trips! Eek!

My first challenge was finding a database to search for each title.

I turned to IG and found some great ideas, some from you!
I ended up using 2 main sources.

Scholastic Book Wizard (app and website)
Level It (app)

The scanning adventure began.

I successfully unsuccessfully found almost every book.
And this is when I began to get frustrated and tired.
 I may have started guessing since not every book was in either database. 
Yes, I did "guesstimate" levels for maybe one-fourth of my class library.
I also started to make categories for similar books that were either too hard or did not show up.
Example categories:
Animal Characters
Dr. Seuss

Once all sorted out into levels or categories, each got a corresponding sticker on the front cover.
This is how the students will tell where to return the book when they are book shopping.

To finish off this massive overhaul, I relabeled each book bin with the DRA levels...

... put the books inside...

...and BOOM, done!

It may have taken all summer but I am one excited teacher again!

July 25, 2014

FREEBIE Friday {Chevron Decorations}

Who doesn't love a cute room!?
My entire teaching career...3 years...my room has been safari "theme" with primary colors.
Then the chevron fad came along. So I thought "Hey that kind of looks like zebra print!" and I incorporated some of it into my classroom as well.

Today I'm sharing all of my chevron creations with  you for FREE!
Just click on the pictures and it will take you straight to my TpT store to download them.
I would appreciate any feedback!

First up:
Small Chevron Alphabet Cards 
(small as in index card size)

Number Word Cards from 1-20

Next up:
Math Tub Labels

Table Tub or Table Labels

Happy downloading!
Check back next Friday for another FREEBIE

July 18, 2014

FREEBIE Friday {Writing Templates}

I'm going to start right off by being honest.
My first year of teaching writing was totally....me teaching myself how to teach writing.
(Almost total fail)

My second year of teaching writing we implemented Lucy Caulkins.
(Off to a much better start)

My third year of teaching writing was...awesome!!!
(I had some great writers at the end of the year)

Each day we started off with a mini-lesson of some sort.
They then went to pick up a piece of paper or continue writing.
I turned on our writing music and conferred during the silent (YES! It was almost always silent) time.

Here is an example of a graphic organizer I would introduce during a mini-lesson time.

We would complete the example together for a few days.
Then during another mini-lesson I would transfer our "sloppy copy thinking map" into our final copy, first showing them how to draw, write, and then self-check.

My favorite part of the template above is the self-check component at the bottom. 
You MUST teach and re-teach this part in order for them to become self sufficient in checking their writing.

You can download both of these template for FREE by clicking on the pictures above!

Happy downloading!
Check back next Friday for another FREEBIE

July 11, 2014

FREEBIE Friday {Lesson Planning}

Before I feel in absolute head-over-heels LOVE with my Erin Condren Teacher Planner, I had the bomb dot com lesson plan template. 

You see, I am a complete organizational freak.
My desk.
My files.
My centers.
My library.
AND my lesson plans. 

So...I created this template my first year of teaching. It worked wonders my first few years! 

Since I like things so nice and neat, I opted to open up the document and type in my plans each week.
Handwriting them just wouldn't work (only because I would erase my writing a thousand times if it wasn't neat enough). But if you're not so OCD than that option could work for you!

I like for everything to be in ONE place.
This template allows you to include everything in your week.
From spelling words to reading and intervention groups to sight words and math....all in once place.
That's why it's the ultimate FREEBIE!


You CAN customize it.

So if you have a different schedule, change those times.
If you want to include what center you have out for the week, add that to the side bar.
If you don't have a theme of the week, delete that item.

Click on one of the pictures above to download the template. 
{It will take you to Google Docs}
From there, click on the downward arrow in the top lefthand corner.
This will start the downloading process.
The document will open in Powerpoint.
Customize away.

I hope you find this template useful for your upcoming year!

Happy downloading!
Check back next Friday for another FREEBIE

July 9, 2014

Workin' on it Wednesday

What have I been workin' on you ask?
I'm linking up with Kindergals to show you!

The most important thing I've been working on this summer is......

 my fitness of course! I've discovered my LoVe for Zumba and clean eating and couldn't feel better!

The most irritating thing I've been working on is.....

leveling my classroom library!
It's SO time consuming and SO irritating that not every book comes up when I scan them.
{having a tantrum in my head}

The only, yes only, product I've been working on is....

sight word cards for my classroom word wall!

They are both up on TpT.
Grab the chevron theme pack {HERE}
Grab the safari theme pack {HERE}

One thing I have in the works is....

anchor charts for teaching reading strategies.

This is going to be a lot like my best selling product Glitz and Grammar Anchor Charts that you can print, laminate, and go! I like to use them for introducing a topic. Read more about them {HERE}.

Be on the look out!