Saturday, November 1, 2014

November Currently! Or yes, I do still exist.

It's been a minute (read: months) since I've blogged so I thought I'd ease right back into it with one of my favorite blogger link-ups...Currently!

Listening: The game is long over now but it was good until the end when Ole Miss lost. My fiance used to tease that my family is un-American because we didn't watch football growing up. Like ever. Okay, maybe the Super Bowl but that's it. Perhaps having a nationally ranked football team nearby helped turn me into a fan! 

Loving: I am always, always, always hot and now that the weather has turned cold today was the first day I didn't have to turn the air conditioner on in my house. Jason teases that he has to sleep in a sweatshirt, sweatpants, and a hat because I keep the air conditioner set at 66 degrees. Crazy? Possibly. But I sure am comfortable! 

Thinking: I get to go to the NAEYC Conference in Dallas this week but I haven't even started to pack. And I'm not going to check a bag which makes the thought of packing doubly exhausting. 

Wanting: I'm getting married in June and finally ordered my Save the Dates! He's from New Jersey, I'm from California, and we live in Mississippi so we thought a Las Vegas wedding would be so fun for our friends and family! My mom found these perfect Save the Dates. Did you see that they are scratch offs?! Can't wait for them to arrive! 

Needing: We bought a house and moved in June but had quite a hectic summer so I've yet to unpack my home office. I'd show you a picture but just think about a little old lady on an episode of Hoarders. That's about what it looks like. 

Reading: I read more blogs, People magazines, and Facebook posts (just keepin' it real) more than anything but I've started a new Jodi Picoult and I'm already loving it. I've never been disappointed with any of her books! 

Share what you're up to by linking up

Monday, May 5, 2014

CVC Word Work Fun!

I'm so excited to be a part of this Teacher Appreciation Week Blog Hop with some of my best blogging friends! I'm going to share a little about how I teach my students CVC words. 

One of my favorite parts of teaching the littlest scholars is teaching them how to read! You work so hard to lay the foundation with phonological awareness and the alphabetic principle and before you know it your students are ready to read words! What an exciting time it is for both teachers and students! I created my bestselling CVC Word Mega Pack to give my students plenty of practice decoding, reading, and writing CVC words all scaffolded with pictorial support.

This mega pack includes over 130 pages of activities and printables! 

You can use these Elkonin box cards to segment the sounds in words using chips or other small manipulatives.  

You can increase the rigor by having students remove each chip (beginning sound, medial sound, final sound) and write the letter that corresponds with that sound--reinforcing the alphabetic principle! 

I use these cards as a part of my pocket chart center or for fun games during transitions! 

I use these word work mats at my magnetic ABC center. Just laminate and place on a cookie sheet and you're ready to go! 

I think my favorite part of this mega pack are these segmenting and blending cards! You can use them in a variety of ways and can increase the rigor by covering up the picture as your students decode the word. 

Your tactile learners will love moving the car along the sounds as they say them and then blending them on the road.

You can increase the level of rigor by covering the picture (I used an envelope cut in half). The student decodes the word and then checks by removing the card from the envelope. 

My students love this spin and graph or spin and find center! 

I included this spin and graph center as a part of my literacy centers. 

Adding the bingo daubers to this spin and find center just makes it more fun! :) 

These cards are used with CVC Bingo! There are a 6 different bingo cards for each short vowel so you can play in a small group without any students having the same card. 

And on top of all that CVC'll also get a ton of printables! 

You can enter to win my CVC Word Mega Pack and a bunch of other great resources by entering the rafflecopter below! If you'd like to try it out with your little scholars, download my sample freebie by visiting my TpT shop

Continue on The Best for the Best Teacher Appreciation Blog Hop by clicking the picture below.

Elementary Matters

Monday, April 14, 2014

Blog Makeover Mega Giveaway!

I am SO ecstatic about my blog makeover! I hope you love it as much as I do! Kassie from Designs by Kassie did an amazing job turning my rough (and boy were they rough) ideas into this beauty! With the help of some fabulous friends I've put together a giveaway with TONS of great prizes to celebrate the new look! There are 18 products up for grabs including my Teach Me Sight Words Pre-Primer Bundle AND a $20 gift certificate you can use toward your own blog makeover! 

Just complete the rafflecopter below to enter! You can pin the image at the top of this post and share on your Facebook each day for even more entries! :) 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Telling Time Using Student Names

I'm so excited to be participating in yet another Bright Ideas Link Up! I loved reading all of the fabulous ideas in March and I hope you'll love it this round too!

Easy way to teach telling time using student names!

I want to share my tried and true trick for teaching students to tell time without getting the hour and minute hands confused! The secret? Write a student's first name on the hour hand and last name on the minute hand. Then students will say the hour first as they find their first name first and the minute second as they find their last name. I use these cheap foam clocks from the dollar store but you can use any clocks you already have in your classroom. If you don't have enough clocks for each student to practice, you can write your name on the hour and minute hands of a clock or even a favorite book character's name! 

I used my blog name to give you an idea! 

If you liked this bright idea and would love to see more, please follow me on Facebook, Instagram or my TpT shop

Be sure to check out more bright ideas by clicking any of the links below! 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Getting Your Students Talking with Talking Sticks

Getting my pre-k students to engage in discussions has been a goal of mine this year. We started very basic with tracking the speaker whether it was me or another student, then we moved on to using our "loud and proud" voices, and finally to speaking in complete sentences. My students were doing such a great job but I noticed that several students were dominating the discussion. I needed to find a way encourage all of my students to participate in discussions in an equitable way. When Laura Candler offered to let me try her Talking Sticks Book Discussion I jumped at the chance!

I introduced talking Sticks during small group guided reading. Each student was given 3 sticks and  I explained when they wanted to contribute to the discussion, they had to place one of their sticks in the Talking Sticks cup. I also explained that the goal was to use all of your sticks before the lesson was over. My students who tend to dominate the conversation were quickly out of sticks and students who rarely participated were encouraged to use all of their sticks before the lesson was over. To foster discussion about the book we were reading, I also used Laura's discussion prompts. Her unit includes discussion prompts for Personal Response, Informational Text, and Literature so no matter what text you are reading you have discussion prompts at your fingertips! It has been weeks since I first introduced Talking Sticks and I can't imagine teaching without them. What I love the students are more thoughtful in their responses because they don't want to "waste" a stick!

With Talking Sticks Book Discussion the possibilities are endless! Use it during whole group or small group (just vary the number of sticks), you can use the discussion prompts with any text you are reading, you are encouraging your students to engage in meaningful discussions about text and ensuring equitable participation all while addressing the Listening and Speaking Standards. I used Laura's Kindergarten set but she has them available for ALL grades K-5, so you can find the set that is perfect for your students! If you are interested in using Laura Candler's Talking Sticks Book Discussion in your own classroom, you can check it out at her TpT shop.

How do you get students talking in your classroom?

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Movin' To Learn

I hope you've gathered lots of great ideas already on this Bright Ideas hop! I am so excited to share my absolutely favorite brain break website with you...Move To Learn!

Why do I love Move To Learn so much? To start, Move To Learn videos are FREE! You can download them so they are easy to access and always right there on your computer. There are videos for K-3 and 4-6 and the videos were recorded by a PE teacher in a real classroom, so all of the activities can be done around a desk.  The videos are all close to 5 minutes long which is the perfect amount of time to get the wiggles out so your students can sit down and focus. We were lucky enough to have Coach Calhoun visit our school and it was the best program! He was such an energetic presenter and the students loved getting up and moving during an assembly. The Move To Learn website has a ton of information and resources all for FREE...I hope you'll check it out!

Be sure to check out Heidi's Bright Idea post about using vocabulary and sight words during transitions!

My (Not So) Elementary Life

For more Bright Ideas click any of the links below!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Giveaway Winner and Elf in the Classroom Freebie!

Coming back to work after a week of PJs and couch surfing has been exhausting so I just wanted to pop in to announce the winner of my Interactive Giveaway and share a freebie with you! Congratulations won my Interactive Alphabet Bundle (a $78 value!), you should have an email from me shortly :) Thank you to all of you who entered! I loved reading about your favorite holiday children's books and I have even ordered some that y'all mentioned. You can still grab the Interactive Alphabet Listening Center Bundle for 28% off its already reduced price until midnight tonight :)

I also wanted to share an Elf in the classroom freebie I made. Our special visitor will be arriving tomorrow so I made a journal for us to document his adventure in our classroom. You can grab it [here] for FREE!

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