November 28, 2012

New Blogger Liebster Award and THANKS!

I am overwhelmed by the amount of love and support that is out there in the blogging world! In a few shorts weeks, I've gained followers, made new teaching friends, and sold my units on TPT. I would have never thought things would take off this fast and I LOVE that it has!

I just wanted to express my thanks to those of you who follow my blog or TPT store. Not only do you inspire me but you also drive me to become a better teacher for my team members and students. So thank you : )

And on to even bigger blogger news... I've been nominated for a Liebster Award! The Liebster Award is given by bloggers to up-and-coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. It is to show new bloggers that they are appreciated and to help spread the word about new blogs.

These 3 lovely ladies were kind enough to nominate my blog:

Teaching Snip-Its
Adventures in First with Mrs. Key
Here are the Rules:
1. You must post 11 random things about yourself.
2. Answer the questions that the nominator set for you.
3. Create 11 questions for the people you nominate.
4. Choose 11 other blogs with fewer than 200 followers to nominate and link them in your post.
5. You cannot "tag back" the other blog, but leave a comment on this post with the URL of your Liebster post so I can learn more about you and see who you nominate.

Here are 11 random things about myself:
1. I am addicted to Starbucks holiday drinks. Creme Brulee lattes are my favorite <3
2. I have a fascination with cupcakes.
3. I had trouble as a writer growing up. Therefore, I don't really care to teach it. Oops!
4. I danced for 12 years (competition team and drill team).
5. I would LOVE to be a stay at home mom one day.
6. I am addicted to all thinks Michael Kors (sigh).
7. I normally wear flip-flops, even if it is in the 30-40's outside.
8. I never take a break to eat lunch in the teacher room- it's a working lunch for me!
9. I can never be too organized!
10. I love reality tv shows...especially the Real Housewives.
11. I have a cat who is insanely spoiled!

Here are the answers to the questions from my nominator:
1. Why did you want to be a teacher?
   -I took a teaching class in high school and was inspired by my teacher. I knew then I wanted to  touch the lives of others like she did for me!
2. What is your favorite subject to teach?
    -I love to teach thematic units, whatever they may be.
3. What's your favorite thing to do on your days off?
    -I miss my talk shows (The View, Kelly and Michael, Ellen) during the year so I definitely spend a day sitting on the couch and watching them if I can.
4. How does your grade level plan together?
    -We meet once a week to discuss the skills we will be teaching. Some of us plan together more.
5. What is your favorite blog for inspiration?
    -Definitely the reason I started blogging....The First Grade Parade!
6. What are you afraid of?
    -Junebugs and roaches. Yuck!
7. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
    -I get annoyed by sounds easily (gum smacking, clicking, etc.).
8. What is one teaching area you are working on improving this year?
    -Writing instruction.
9. What is your favorite vacation spot?
    -We love to cruise! Our favorite destination has been Grand Cayman.
10. How long do you spend getting ready for work in the morning?
     -A little over an hour.
11. Do you pack a lunch or buy?
     -Depends on my mood. About half and half.

Here are the 11 questions for the blogs I am nominating
1. What grade levels have you taught?
2. Which was your favorite and why?
3. How many times do you hit snooze before getting out of bed for work?
4. What is your favorite read aloud?
5. How many times a week do you meet with your team?
6. What is one teaching item you can't teach without?
7. Do you have to do recess or lunch duty?
8. What is your favorite unit to teach?
9. What are your Christmas break plans?
10. What or who inspired you to blog?
11. Do you have a guilty pleasure?

Here are the blogs I'm nominating:
1.Teacher Spice and Everything Nice
2. Terry's Teaching Tidbits
3. J:K Speech
4. Diapers Dollars and Diplomas
5. Love 2 Teach 2
6. First Grade Smiles
7. Sommer Pride
8. Coast to Coast Kinder
9. Our Future is Bright
10. The Happy Edugator
11. Totally Teriffic Teaching

All the nominees need to do is leave me a comment so I can read your answers and get to know a little more about you and your blog! Have fun and happy blogging!

November 24, 2012

Any Shopaholics out there?

Has anyone else seen the Black Friday commercials on TV today...better late than never?? Since Cyber Monday is just 1.5 days away (which also means work is that far away) {{sigh}} and in case you haven't heard, TPT is having a 2 day sale.  So sit back from the comfort of your home, fill up your cart, and shop until your heart's desire is met!
Here's how it works.
1. Everything in my store that is priced at or over $2.00 is on sale for 20% off!
2. TPT offers an extra 10% off on top of my sale.
3. Use this code CMT12 at checkout.
4. It's that simple : )
Happy shopping and enjoy the rest of your break!

November 21, 2012

Gingerbread Cookies and Reindeer Games

I know I'm not the only one excited that December is right around the corner. Yes, Thanksgiving is tomorrow and Christmas will be in full swing Friday!! I've been working my tail off on 2 new holiday themed packets. I absolutely LOVE spending a whole week before Christmas break teaching about gingerbread. They are just so cute (and tasty)! could you not mention Santa's famous reindeer?? If you teach anything about reindeer or gingerbread, these 2 units are for you!
First up is the 'Literacy Fun With Gingerbread' packet". With so many different versions of The Gingerbread Man out there, why not take a week to explore the books in depth with these literacy activities that take reading and grammar to a fun, new place! It includes 7 printables that will go along with any gingerbread themed book!

Here's a preview:
It includes the following:
*Sweet Punctuation
*Gingerbread Word Families
*Gum Drop Noun an Verb Sort
*What Will Happen to the Gingerbread Man? (prediction)
*Cookie Contractions
*Gingerbread story comparison
*Story Elements map for any gingerbread story
Next up is my 'Reindeer Roundup Literacy Activities' packet. Who doesn't love those furry guys that pull Santa's sleigh? This engaging packet is full of all things reindeer. Each page is a separate printable activity.  It includes 9 reindeer activity printables that go along with any fiction or non-fiction book about reindeer.  There are also a few grammar practice printables as well.
Here's a preview:
It includes the following:
*Reindeer can/have/are organizer
*Describe that Reindeer organizer
*Santa's Reindeer ABC Order
*What Can Rudolph Do? (verb practice)
*Writing prompt: If I were a reindeer...
*Writing prompt: My favorite reindeer to pull Santa's sleigh...
*Reindeer Pokey (song and dance)
*Magic Reindeer Food recipe card
Both unit packets are available in my TPT store.
Here are 3 things I want to leave you with:
1) TPT is having a Cyber Monday and Tuesday sale.  All my products will be 20% off and TPT has a coupon code for an extra 10% off, making everything 28% off! Use this code below for the extra 10% off!
Visit my TPT store {here}.
2) Share my units on your blog and I will give you your choice of either unit for FREE!

3) I am thankful for each and every one of you and I wish you and your family a blessed and very Happy Thanksgiving!!

November 20, 2012

Turkey Time in Pictures

Gobble, gobble! It's turkey time and 1 day until Thanksgiving. This is one happy girl right here {I have a whole 9 days off, counting weekends of course} to eat, sleep, and watch football!  Last week was CR-to the-A to the -ZY and that's why I have been MIA.  But, I have been working hard on December units (smiles)!

Last week we went turkey crazy. Here is a peek at our week in pictures!

 Family Turkey Project
 Turkey Domino Fact Families
Turkey Fact Family Craftivity
 Word Family Turkey Blends
 In all of last week's craziness, I totally forgot to take pictures of our 'how to cook a turkey' writing and our Thanksgiving activities and crafts {sad day}. I did however, take most of my activities from my "It's Thanksgiving!" literacy and social studies thematic unit. It's still on sale on TPT if you want to pick it up for next year. My kiddos loved it and so will yours : )

Get excited! Next post will be all about Christmas, gingerbread, and reindeer!


November 11, 2012

Ho, Ho, Ho...I'm ahead of the game!

Ho, Ho, Ho! It's almost that time of year and these new math center activities are filled with cheer! I could not be more excited to post my first unit for the month of December. I l.o.v.e the feeling of being just a little bit ahead of the game! I spent 7 hours (yes 7) today gathering ideas and putting them all together. I've found that the units I have bought in the past always seem to have an activity or 2 in them that I haven't taught yet, and therefore don't use with my kiddos.  So, I thought I would sell each activity independently and then also as a whole unit. That way you don't feel like you are wasting your money on things you won't use : ) 

Here are all 4 activities bundled into 1 Christmas themed math centers unit. Check it out in my TPT store or by clicking the picture below!


This holiday math center packet includes the following:
*Christmas Geometry--students will follow the directions to put shapes together to make either a reindeer or a Christmas tree.
  *Even or Odd present sort--students will sort the presents and place them under the Christmas tree labeled 'odd' or 'even'. #s 11-50 are included.
*Gingerbread Fact Families--students will choose 3 dominoes and record the 2 parts.  They will add the parts together to get the whole and record.  They will make the corresponding fact family. There is also a gingerbread template for them to generate their own numbers, record, and color/decorate.
*Santa's Shape Stumpers--students will read the shape clues on the Santa card and find the card with the shape that matches.

***Each activity comes with a recording sheet. ***
I'm off to enjoy just a little bit more football before the week begins. It would be the icing on the cake to a PERFECT football weekend if our hometown boys could pull off yet another win.
Our Aggies BTHO #1 ranked Alabama, WHOOP!
So, let's go Texans!

I will be giving one of the activities {of your choice} from my Ho, Ho, Ho! Holiday Math Centers to the first person who leaves me a comment!
I am SO thankful to have 5 days left before Thanksgiving break. Hope you have a gobblin' good week!

November 6, 2012

It's Thanksgiving on TPT!

November is here and in full swing! I'm rolling out my TPT store this week with a new literacy and social studies unit, "It's Thanksgiving!".  This unit includes some great resources to keep your kiddos busy for the next few days before Thanksgiving break.
It includes the following:
-Turkeys can/have/are organizer
- Children then vs. now Venn diagram
-Describing Pilgrims bubble map
-Describing Native Americans bubble map
-Making words with 'pilgrims'
-Making words with 'turkeys'
-Making singular nouns plural (with Thanksgiving words)
-Thanksgiving ABC order
-'If you give a pilgrim a pie....' creative writing activity to go along with If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
Take a little peek at what you get below!

This week we are reviewing addition, subtraction, and fact families. I made this cute little math activity for my firsties to work on one day this week. All you need is a set of dominos and this FREEBIE! Students will choose 3 dominos, add the 2 parts together to make the whole, record the 3 numbers and then write a fact family using those numbers. Easy peasy! Click on the picture to download this activity!

Since my birthday is tomorrow and I'm feeling a little generous, I'm going to be giving away my It's Thanksgiving! unit to the first 2 people who leave me a comment with their email telling me their favorite part about the Thanksgiving holidays!

Don't forget to check out my new TPT store! There are a few freebies on there too : )

November 4, 2012

The Great Pumpkin Investigation

Trying to fit it all in...seems impossible most days.
That's one reason why integrating across subjects is vital to fitting it all in!
We took the theme of pumpkins this week and learned about them all across the board!

Here's a little bit about our pumpkin-y kind of week!


We looked through magazines and sorted nouns into the 3 categories of person, place, and thing.
We then glued them on to our pumpkins.
Our nouns pumpkins grace our hallway like a pumpkin patch!

We read The Pumpkin Book to learn some facts about pumpkins
Then we recorded our learning on our 'can/have/are' chart that was shaped like a pumpkin!

We also studied how a pumpkin grows, the life cycle, while reading the book From Seed to Pumpkin.

After whole group discussion, we worked on our sequencing skills and sequenced the steps of the life cycle using pictures from {here} and sentences I typed up to match them.

We reinforced our learning by completing this life cycle chart together.

 The following day they had to apply their new pumpkin schema of the life cycle and complete this little sequencing art activity.

We've been trying really hard to write our sentences using correct grammar and punctuation.
  I had them transfer their pictures of the pumpkin's life cycle into sentences.
This writing activity came from Oceans of First Grade Fun
Click on the picture for their freebie!

 After learning a little bit about pumpkins, I brought a pumpkin to school for our pumpkin investigation! 

Words cannot explain how excited the kiddos were. Here are a few things we did during our investigation.

{I prepped this chart to hold all of our pumpkin data we observed}
 First, we examined our pumpkin and described what it looked like on the outside.

 Then, I cut the top off and we scooped out the seeds and saved them to count.
We worked on our skip counting by putting the seeds into groups of 10. 

  Putting them all to work, well this took no time at all. I had them estimate how many seeds they thought were inside. We counted by 10's to find our answer and I think we were all surprised by our number of 463!

We practice our measuring skills...

 We measured how tall the pumpkin was with cubes.

As the day went on, we recorded all of our data on our chart. 
Here is our pumpkin investigation data. The kids had their own paper to fill out.
It can be found {here}.

Fitting it all in may seem impossible at times. But it is units like these that help make it all a possibility. 
It's also SO much fun that the kids don't even realize they are hard at work!