Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Freebie and A Giveaway!

Happy Tuesday everyone! I realized this evening that I forgot to share a freebie with you from a few weeks ago.  I guest blogged for Greg at Smedley's Smorgasboard of Kindergarten while he was away on his honeymoon.  (Congrats!)  You can visit Greg and the original post {here} or take a look below.
(Make sure to check out the end of this post for info on a MEGA giveaway!)

I wanted to share with you one of my tricks for learning sight words.  In my classroom, we call our sight words "popcorn words" because they are supposed to "pop" into our brains when we see them.  We work with our words a lot each day because as I'm sure you know...the more exposure the better!  Beside my class door, I have a "Popcorn Word of the Day" display.  I hot-glued one of those popcorn buckets from the dollar store to a display poster and attached it to the wall.  Every day, I use a velcro dot to attach a sight word to the front of the bucket.  As my kids enter/exit the room, they look at the word and read it aloud.  At the end of the day, I ask one of my students to go read the word, pull it off and place it back into the bucket.  (I usually pick a student who has struggled with the word so that I can see if he/she can read it yet...simple assessment!)  The next morning my kids love to try and be first in the classroom so they can see what the new word of the day is!  Sometimes it is a brand new word (introduced earlier in the week) and other times it is a word from the bucket that we need to review again.  It just depends  :)

If this looks like something you might want to try in your class, you can click {HERE} or either image below to download a copy for FREE.  I've included all of the sight words that my district teaches as well as a page with blank popcorn pieces in case you want to add more words.  I hope your kiddos enjoy the "Popcorn Word of the Day" as much as mine do!

And now for the MEGA giveaway!!

My sweet friend Hilary from Rockin' Teacher Materials is hosting a gigantic, enormously huge giveaway right now!  She is giving away almost $200 worth of products from many different bloggers of various grade levels!  I've donated my American Government Unit, just in time for the upcoming election.  :)

Get this...you have 122 chances to enter!  Click the pic below to head there now and check it out.  Tell her Mary sent you!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Fire! Fire!

Last Thursday was all about fire safety!  We took our first field trip of the year to The Memphis Fire Museum.  It is free to schools in the area and is a great (and beneficial) experience.  I wish I could show you the faces of my sweet ones so you can see just how much fun we had!

We learned a poem called "Fire! Fire!" and added it to our journals.  It's from the fabulous Deedee Wills and she has offered it as a freebie on her site {here}.  LOVE this! Thanks Mrs.Wills!

We also enjoyed this cute book:
(You can click the picture or here to read the description of the book.)

No fun day is complete without yummy food, right?  :)  Here are our edible fire trucks we made.  Forgive the pink icing....my red food coloring just wasn't enough to overpower the white frosting.

 I found this idea when searching through images on Google.  We painted graham crackers red (pink...) and then added oreo cookies, cheese-it crackers, gumdrops, and pretzel sticks.

We reviewed all that we learned by putting together another one of A Cupcake For The Teacher's awesome craftivities.  Not only is the craft cute as can be but I love how the kids get to illustrate each page of their fire safety booklet.  Thanks Mrs. Cupcake! :)
I think I was so exhausted by the end of the day I forgot to take pictures of my kids' work! Oops.

How do you do to teach fire safety?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Fall Trees and Scarecrow Fun

This past week went by super fast!  We wrapped up our fall unit with a beautiful art project and some scarecrow fun. Here is our week in pictures:

We painted the background colors first, then free-styled the tree trunk and branches.  Once everything was dry, we balled up tissue paper and glued it on to represent the leaves.  I think they turned out beautifully and I love how they are all different.  They really brightened up the hallway!

We talked a lot about scarecrows.  I read these two stories:
 (You can click on the images to read the description of each book.)

We have really been using a lot of visible thinking strategies in our classroom.  We looked closely at the cover of the second book and did an "I See, I Think, I Wonder" thinking routine with it.  The kids came up with answers such as "I see birds flying."  "I think the scarecrow is happy."  "I wonder what it would be like to stand on a pole all day and night."

We also completed a "Scarecrows Have, Can, Are" brace map from Deanna Jump's scarecrow unit. She has a wonderful scarecrow craft too that hopefully we will be able to finish making this week! We glued it next to our shape scarecrow faces.  This was a great review of our 2-D shapes because the scarecrow faces used circles, squares, triangles, rectangles, ovals, semi-circles, trapezoids, and hexagons.  The pattern pieces are from my Fall for All! pack.

We happened to be studying patterns this week so these pattern sheets from Kindergarten Faith were perfect!  We used our watercolors to practice painting patterns.  The kids loved it!

Of course what is a little fall fun with an edible treat!  We made these yummy scarecrows.
 I originally found the idea in a magazine from years ago.  (Parenting or maybe Family Fun?)  You can google edible scarecrows these days and find lots of images.  You "paint" sugar cookies with icing and then add on the pieces.  We used sugar wafer cookies for the hat, brown M&Ms for the eyes, candy corn for the nose, sprinkles for the mouth, and shredded wheat cereal for the straw.

I'm linking up these fall ideas with my bloggy friend Shuna at Pocket Full of Kinders.  Check out her linky for more fall ideas! :)

I'll be back tomorrow with a recap of our Fire Safety fun! Then on to pumpkins, bats, and spiders! :)

Saturday, October 13, 2012


Let's skip ahead a little, shall we?  I know it isn't even Halloween yet but I just ran across this cute clip art set that I purchased a while back and thought I would go ahead and create a few roll and cover games with it.  I had every intention of making a back to school roll and cover game and never got to it.  So sorry!  I hope your sweet ones will enjoy this Thanksgiving-themed one!

I included 3 different levels: Rolling 1 die {man...the singular throws me every time}and covering the number, rolling 2 dice and covering the sum, and rolling 3 dice and covering the sum.  Enjoy!

Of course the games are based off of this fun book:

Monday, October 8, 2012

Fall for All! and a Winner too!

Fall is my absolute favorite!  I love sprinkling a little fall into my literacy and math stations, don't you?  I finished my new Fall for All! pack and aligned it to Common Core Standards to make it easier to plan my curriculum for the upcoming weeks.  Check it out:

Here's what's included:

- phonemic awareness practice posters and b/w reproducible (CCSS)
- beginning sound clip cards (CCSS)
- Oh Nuts! Sight Word Spin and Graph (CCSS)
- Syllaboos Syllable Sort and b/w reproducible (CCSS)
- Spiders Fact and Opinion reproducible (CCSS)
- Singular/Plural Sort b/w reproducible (CCSS)
- Fall Patterning Owl Cards
- Fall Finds (4) - count how many objects in the picture (CCSS)
- Fall Count and Clip mat (CCSS)
- Ten Frame coloring correspondence (CCSS)
- Candy Corn Number Sense/Addition/Subtraction mat (CCSS)
- Candy Corn Ordering Numbers 1-12 with reproducible (CCSS)
- Science Experiment: How many pennies does it take to sink a leaf?
- Scarecrow art project made out of 2-D shapes- templates provided (CCSS)
- Fall writing prompt with example picture (CCSS)

Here are some of my favorite activities:

Phonemic Awareness Cards (full size posters for mini-lessons and clip cards for practice)

Fall Finds Counting Mats (4 total + a Count and Clip to 10 Mat)

Pattern Cards and a Scarecrow Craftivity to reinforce shape recognition

(these are available separately too)

Of course the pack includes more than just the activities pictured. :)
I'll be using these in my literacy and math stations through November.

Congratulations to AJ (aj994gray) who won the leaves collection from the K "Tree"-O!

I'll be sending this Fall For All! pack to you soon as well as A Differentiated Kindergarten's Falling Numbers Write the Room/I Spy Letters in the Fall and Sharing Kindergarten's There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves.  

Thanks to everyone who entered!
If you are interested in grabbing your own copy of the Fall for All! pack, it will be on sale through Thursday of this week!  I can't wait to hear what you think about it! :)Happy Fall Ya'll!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Product Swap! (Fall Literacy & Math!)

Round 2 is finally here!!
I had so much fun last time when I paired up with Mrs. Miner's Kindergarten Monkey Business (see that post {here}) so I knew I had to participate again!

This time I have been paired with the lovely Angelia of:
She teaches special education in a resource room setting for K-2.  She shares some fabulous ideas that you can use whether you teach regular ed or sped.  Make sure you stop by her blog and say hi....but before you do....take a look at some of her things that I will be using in my classroom over the next few weeks!

Have you seen her adorable It's Fall! Literacy & Math Centers?  It includes 4 literacy centers and 4 math centers.  I am in love with the CVC squirrel/acorn match cards!  I have my cards laminated, cut and ready to go for station time when we return from Fall Break.

Here is how I plan to use the cards:
I am going to distribute all of the "squirrel" cards to the students in my small group.  I found a decorative bucket at the Target Dollar Spot that I am going to use to store the "acorn" cards.  My kiddos are going to take turns drawing an acorn card.  If the picture on the card matches the word on one of their squirrel cards, they will get to keep it and set the match aside.  If it doesn't match, they will return the acorn card to the bucket and it will be the next person's turn.  I think this will be an exciting way to practice our blending.  (*I plan to use this activity in my top reading group.)

Here's another one we will be doing from Angelia's fall center pack:
We have worked heavily on numbers 0-5 over the last month and are now ready to move on up to 10.  Though I have not officially introduced the terms "even" and "odd" yet, I think this will be a wonderful math lesson for my small group.  I love how the handout includes a section for drawing out the number.  I used pumpkin erasers for my picture, but as you can see, the students can draw (or use manipulatives) to count out the number and the circle the pairs.  This will definitely help the learners visualize what it means to have an even number or an odd number.  Love it!

This pack includes several other centers that are perfect for 1st grade (and can be adapted for K or 2) such as: blends, digraphs, ABC order, addition, place value, and skip counting.

In addition to the Fall Literacy and Math Centers, Angelia sent me a second seasonal product of hers for my class!  This one is called Candy, Candy, Candy and it is aligned to Common Core Math for 1st and 2nd grade!
I'm printing off multiple copies of the adorable Greater Than/Less Than mat right now....I'm going to let my students work in partners with a deck of cards to practice comparing numbers.  Too cute!

I better keep the laminator on for a little while longer....  :)
Thanks Angelia for letting me use your wonderful things in my classroom!

You can visit Angelia's store {HERE} or click on the product images above to go directly to the packs I mentioned in this post.  She's having a sale right now!

Make sure you stop by her blog to see which product of mine she is blogging about today! :)

Thanks to Jessica too for hosting these awesome product swaps!!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

A Decomposing Numbers Freebie! (CCSS) & Currently

Anyone teaching decomposing numbers this week?  We've decomposed our little hearts out over the last few days and it was time for a little "show what you know" time so I whipped up a little practice booklet for us.
We used paint dot markers (bingo daubers) to color in our dots as we decomposed.  However, if you have students who tend to get a little paint dot happy.....or if you have issues with a little paint bleeding through...I would suggest having the kids color in the dots instead.  We will be doing this booklet for a 2nd time tomorrow as an assessment.  My kids will be using crayons instead of paint dots for round 2! :)

If you would like a copy of the decomposing booklet, click {here} or the image below to download for FREE.  The booklet covers decomposing numbers 3, 4 and 5 using 1-5.
I'd appreciate your feedback in the comments section below if you decide to download!
Mrs. Lirette's Learning Detectives
Common Core (CCSS) K.0A.3
*Just a note:  When you look at the book it will look like 3 and 5 are in the wrong order.  Once you print the pages front to back and assemble the book, everything will be in the correct spot!

In other news....can you believe it is October already???  I'm linking up with sweet Farley for October's Currently!
One of my favorite fall books is Leaf Man.  I love watching my kiddos' faces light up when they recognize the images from the pictures.  Awesome pictures! :)  You can click on the cover of the book below if you want to check it out.

Go link up and read what everyone else is doing currently....
Also, don't forget to enter the 1000 "Fall"ower Giveaway that A Differentiated Kindergarten, Sharing Kindergarten and myself are hosting!!  There are just a few days left to enter.  Click on the image below to see my previous post and enter.