Wednesday, May 30, 2012

BIG NEWS!!! {You don't want to miss this!}

I am SO excited to tell you what's planned for June!!!  If you read my blog you already know that I am returning to kindergarten for the upcoming school year.  If you missed it, you can catch up {here}.
I have to celebrate, right?  
Well if I'm having a celebration... 
then I have to invite all my blogging buddies and my readers too, of course!!
Beginning THIS Friday, I have 15 amazing bloggers lined up to share their thoughts, favorite things,  strategies, tips, freebies, etc. with you!  Who will be stopping by?  You will have to wait and see!  Drop in everyday because for now it is a surprise!  I promise you will see some people you know and you might meet a few new friends along the way.  You won't be disappointed!

Make sure you spread the word about our celebration.  See you on Friday!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Book Study Time (Whoo-hoo!)

I'm super excited to be participating in not 1, but 2 book studies this summer!  My blogging buddies Tammy and DeeDee are busy organizing right now so grab your books quick so you can join in too!

Tammy at Live, Love, Laugh Everyday in Kindergarten is hosting a Daily 5 book study beginning on June 8th.  Check out her blog for details.
Live Love Laugh

Deedee at Mrs. Wills Kindergarten is hosting one on the book In Pictures and in Words.  This one starts June 22nd! She's already got the whole thing outlined on her blog.  My book should be arriving tomorrow- I can't wait!

This is going to so much fun!  I hope you will join in too! :)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Top Teachers' Memorial Day SALEabration

Happy Memorial Day everyone! 
In celebration, everything in my Tpt store will be 20% off on Sun & Mon!
Check out these other fabulous teachers who will be celebrating with me:

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Last Minute Parent Gift! (free tag)

I have been blessed this year with the most amazing parents!  I wanted a simple way to show my thanks that could involve the kids as well.  You know the "love you to pieces" idea that has been floating around Pinterest for a while?  Finding 20 individual boxes of Reese's Pieces candy was easy enough.  {Though I think the Target cashier thought I was crazy...}

I wanted a tag that was a little more specific to parents.  Also, I wanted it to be from the collective rather than just me.  Here's what I whipped up:
parent gift tags, Mrs. Lirette's Learning Detectives, Reese's Pieces
Click the image to grab your own copy!
I had my students cut the tags out and glue them onto the front of brown paper bags (Those are the one thing I have not seemed to have run out of this year!) Next, we passed the bags around so that every child could sign their name around the tag.  We placed a box of Reese's Pieces inside of each one.  Lastly, we folded the tops of the bags closed and threaded ribbon through.
parent gift tags, Mrs. Lirette's Learning Detectives, Reese's Pieces
Easy enough!  Feel free to click on either image above to download your own tags.

Tomorrow is my last day of school....and it's only a 1/2 day!! We will be saying our goodbyes over pizza while playing fun "Minute to Win It" type games! Oh my word! Wish me luck!  :)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Fairy Tale Comparisons & Reading is COOL!

With only a few days left of school, we are really having to get creative with how we fill up our day, right?  Here's a few reading activities we've done lately:

My kids split up into 4 different fairy tale groups. Each group was responsible for reading the traditional fairy tale and the fairy tale story from an alternate viewpoint.  Then they made a "T-Chart" comparing the characters' viewpoints.  Once every group was finished, the groups summarized their stories and presented their charts to the class.  They had to figure out how to do this on their own, TOGETHER, without any group member conflicts.  None of that "you read this book, I'll read that one...then we'll switch" business. TOGETHER.  Don't you love cooperative learning groups?  :)

They LOVED this activity!  Lemme tell did I!  Zero planning for me, tons of planning on their part, and the comparison presentations were hilarious!  By the way, you can get all of the alternate version fairy tales on Amazon.  They're very entertaining! :)

We also set some summer reading goals for ourselves.  We used the adorable people patterns from my friend Hadar aka Miss Kindergarten. {Get yours HERE.} We free-styled a book to go with it.  We wrote "Reading is Cool!" on one side of the book and our summer reading goals on the other side.  They were simple to create and turned out pretty cute!

The last week of school wouldn't be complete without a little beach-towel, free reading time.

Hmm....what shall we do tomorrow?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

BIG Announcement and a Freebie too!

Let me start by saying this has been a fantastic year for me!  I have enjoyed 2nd grade more than I ever thought I would.  I have been blessed with the most amazing group of kids this year!  They are the sweetest & smartest things ever (with an amazing attitude towards learning!)!  You get the idea......

That being said...

I've been given the chance to go back to Kindergarten next year and I just couldn't refuse!!
{Stay tuned for a freebie to celebrate!}

Though I've really enjoyed not having to wipe noses or tie shoes this year....I sure have missed the little ones!  You know that joy you get from watching the light bulb go off when a child really gets it?  Or the satisfaction you feel when your little ones beg you to play the letter song over and over for them?  Or what about when your student shows you the picture he drew of his family and you are right there smack in the middle of the pic with the rest of the family members? Of course, these scenarios can exist in many different grade levels, but for me, I'm visualizing my experiences with the littlest ones.

Would you believe me if I told you that some people have approached me in the last few days wanting to know why in the world I've been moved back down to kinder?  That's right. "Moved down" as in a demotion.  Truth is, folks, that I'm doing this by choice.  I absolutely love what I do and I don't think there is anywhere else I'd rather be than surrounded by a bunch of 5 year olds that love me unconditionally.  Call me crazy, but kindergarten was calling my name again.

I should add that I have absolutely nothing against any other grade level! I've LOVED teaching 1st and 2nd and would be happy to return to either grade one day.  :)  I will continue to create and share things across the K-2 span so I hope you will continue to read this little ol' blog even if you are not a K teacher!     ::wink, wink::

As for that's my latest Rock, Paper, Scissors game.  It's on letter naming (and sounds) and it is free.  Just for you! Click the picture to grab your copy.  I hope you'll leave some blog love for me in the comment section below! (or tpt ratings!)
letter naming, rock, paper, scissors game, Mrs. Lirette's Learning Detectives

Freebie Fridays

Monday, May 14, 2012

Pioneer Day Fun!

pioneer day, pioneer gamesLast Friday we had a blast with the past!  That's right....Pioneer Day!

We dressed in aprons and suspenders, learned to churn butter, and played some fantastic games from the olden days.

I was cracking up at my kid's faces when I first told them we would be spending the day playing jacks, throwing horseshoes, having an egg race, and playing "Pass the Handkerchief"- hilarious!  I think they thought I had finally gone completely cookoo.....until they realized just how much fun they were having! :)
pioneer, Sarah Plain and Tall, pioneer games

We tied our pioneer studies into some great reads last week.  We started off with this book to really help us understand the ways of life for a pioneer:

We then read Sarah Plain and Tall.  {love this series!}
We did a few activities after finishing up this book, such as comparing and contrasting the prairie to the sea.  We worked in groups to create a gigantic organizer for our information.  My kids were a little stuck on what to list until they realized they could use examples from the text AND connections from their own experiences.
It's a hot mess....but maybe you can make out some of the words and phrases.  :)

We started reading Skylark today (the sequel to Sarah Plain and Tall) and it is really good!  We can't wait to find out what happens! :)

8 days left!  How about you?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Pinterest Exchange Goody!

I joined in on the fun of last month's Teacher Blogger Exchange.  How fun to give a surprise gift and receive one in return!  Look what was delivered to me:

Isn't it cute?  It's an adorable scrappy rug from the fabulous Michelle!  You probably know her as:
She's a mom who teaches, blogs, makes graphics, and crochets??? That woman is amazing! I love my new rug and I've put it in my laundry room too, Michelle!  Thank you!!

I can't wait to participate in the next exchange!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mother's Day crafts!

We finished up our goodies for our sweet mothers today.  Nothing too fancy, just some simple crafts.  This first one turned out so cute!  We used a poem from the internet (no known author) and created our own paper bouquets to go with it.  My kids really got into designing their own flowers.  The "poofy" fingers really made for a nice finishing touch.  I saw the idea on the web, of course!

Our whole grade level planted flowers for our moms this week too.  We used clear plastic cups as pots.  Each student designed their own paper sleeve and we slipped it in between 2 clear cups before planting the flower.

Lastly, we reviewed adjectives with A Cupcake For the Teacher's Mother's Day craft.  Adorable!

I'd love to read about your Mother's Day crafts.  Feel free to leave your ideas in the comments below!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Cinco de Mayo Recap and a Sale!

At the end of last week we had a blast celebrating Cinco de Mayo!  We managed an in-class photo shoot on Thursday, where I was able to get some hilarious photos of my kids decked out in panchos and sombreros.
Too cute!

Here's me----> playing the part.

Here's a recap of our little mini fiesta:

One of my favorite literary characters is sweet naturally, we had to read about a few of his adventures!  We also read Cinco de Mouse-O, which is adorable!

We made these sombreros from A Cupcake From the Teacher's craftivity.  The writing reflects what my students learned throughout our study about the holiday.  Some of them were quite impressive!

No celebration would be complete without a little authentic chips and queso!
My students also received a little fun pack to work through on Friday.  I combined a few wonderful activities that I found mostly through other amazing bloggers.  I combined them all together to make a nice little packet of entertainment...perfect for a Friday afternoon.  :)

Don't forget that it's Teachers Appreciation Week!  I hope everyone enjoyed the Jackpot blog hop yesterday...I know I racked up on some great stuff!  Teachers Pay Teachers is still offering their sale through Tuesday, May 8th so make sure you take advantage of the discount!  Everything in my store is 20% off (and MANY sellers are offering the same discount!).  Combine that with the promo code below and you've got yourself 28% off!  I call that a sweet deal!
Here are a few of my best sellers:

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Teacher Appreciation Jackpot!

It's nearing the end of the school year and we definitely deserve a break, right?  We have all worked so hard this year shaping the minds of little ones.  Now it is time for us to show a little appreciation towards each other.  What better way to do this than with a little sharing?

Why?  Because I appreciate you!

In fact....there's is HUGE amounts of sharing!  I've teamed up with April from A Modern Teacher, Laura from Corkboard Connections, Adrianne from The Tudor House, and over 140 other bloggers to bring you a teacher appreciation jackpot!!

Today only  (Sunday, May 6th) you will have the opportunity to download one product (worth between $3 and $8) for FREE from myself and from each of the participating bloggers!  That means over $450 in products for free for one day! Whoohoo!  So click the link below for my Basketball Memory Game

A special thank you to these great bloggers and TpT for hosting this event!
PK - Grade 2 - April McNair on A Modern Teacher 
Grades 3 - 6 - Laura Candler on Corkboard Connections 
Grades 7 - 12 - Adrianne Meldrum on The Tutor House 
This is going to be a blog hop to remember!

Also, for the next three days many stores including mine are on sale so be sure to stock up!

Word Wall & Activities Link-Up!

My bloggy buddy Jen from The Teachers' Cauldron is hosting her first linky!  She is in need of a word wall intervention and has asked us to share out word walls to help her out!  :)

Here is what my word wall looks like:

My dad made me a bookcase for my classroom a few years back.  I use the side with shelves to house some of my books for the reading area.  The back side has shower backing on it.  Originally, I used the back side for my calendar and morning meeting stuff but now I use it for my word wall.  I {heart} the brick paper that I found a Michael's a few years back.  It makes the perfect "wall" display!  We add our high frequency words to the wall throughout the year.  Because the word wall is a good size, my kids are able to use it frequently when they are writing or in literacy stations.  Whenever I am in the need of a time filler activity this wall comes in handy. (For example, when a visitor comes in to talk to me and I need my kiddos occupied for a minute...) Here are some of the activities we do with the wall:
  • Pick a student to point to each word with a pointer while the other students read the words
  • Pick a student to spell a word in Sign Language and let the other students guess the word
  • Play "Guess the Word" or "I Spy" using clues that range in difficulty (synonyms, ABC order, definitions, etc.)
  • Say-spell-clap the words for spelling practice
  • Give the students dry-erase boards and have them alphabetize the words under each letter, write sentences with each word, or answer cloze sentences
  • Partner students up and ask them to write paragraphs or stories using as many of the words as possible
Hope some of these ideas are helpful to you.  What activities do you do with your word wall?  Be sure to link up {HERE} and read how word walls are used in other teacher's classrooms.  :)