Monday, July 30, 2012

Winners Announced! & A FLASH SALE!

Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway!  And the winners are....
Congrats to you!  I'll be e-mailing you the combo pack shortly! :)

I really appreciate all of the sweet comments I've received about the Ring Masters pack.  I've decided to put Ring Masters Level 1, Level 2, and the combo pack on sale through midnight on Tuesday!


Today was my first day back at school.  I've got one word for you....exhausted.  I'm working really hard to get my room finished so I can post a video tour for you by the end of the week.  I'm hoping for another really productive day tomorrow.  For now, I am off to bed!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Environmental Print! {Freebies!}

Check out what I've been up to this week!

That's right.  I've been gallivanting all over the city snapping pictures for my new Environmental Print Alphabet posters! I managed to find 1-3 pictures for each letter of the alphabet and only used half of a tank of gas. :)

Do you use environmental print in your classroom?  Here's one of the activities I like to do:
*Revised 3:00pm Central Standard Time- sorry for the mislabeling on p. 4 and 5!
I'm guest blogging today for Marsha at A Differentiated Kindergarten.  Make sure you stop by to read my ideas about how to incorporate environmental print into the beginning of the year.  While you are there, you can download another freebie!

***2013 Update*** 
Here is my latest adventure with photography- 2-D and 3-D Shapes in the Environment! Download the FREE PREVIEW FILE for a sample freebie. :)


The pack includes: 79 photo cards, 8 shape scene cards, 3-In-a-Row game (8 game mats), 26 sorting cards, 2 Spin and Graph games, "I Can" and "Math Talk" task cards

Make sure and download the FREE PREVIEW FILE to grab your "sample" activity.  Click {here}.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Are your kids Ring Masters? {Giveaway!}

I'm so excited to share my latest project with you!  We all have different ways of tackling the mastery of those most commonly used words, right?  I've used the "word cards on a ring" method for a while but this year I wanted to spice it up a little to make it more appealing to my kiddos.  So here's my spin on a sight word mastery program that can be used throughout the year and differentiates learning for your students!

pictured: storage envelope, ring of words, completion certificate
I give you....Ring Masters!! Don't you just love these Circus-themed Dr. Seuss graphics? :)
Set up is easy!  All you need to do is glue the cover/title page on to a clasp envelope and stuff the first set of ring words, the parent letter, and a few "tickets" inside.  Once the words are mastered, the child can move on to the next set of words. Most all of the pages come in color and black and white.  The actual word cards are in black and white so that you can print them on colored paper to make it easier to distinguish between the sets.  Many pages have a full-size and a half-size version available.

The Level 1 program covers color words, number words, and all words from the Pre-Primer and Primer Dolch lists. There are 10 sets of cards (120 words total).  The Level 2 program covers all words from the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade Dolch word lists.  There are 11 sets of words in this pack (128 words total).
Both Level 1 and Level 2 include:
-information pages on setting the program up in your classroom
-parent letter
-class and individual assessment checklists
-colored title pages for storage envelopes and rings
-"tickets" to let you know when a parent feels their child is ready to be assessed on their current ring of words (full and half size versions)
-"Performance Act" reports for feedback- mastery and non-mastery (full and half size versions)
-certificate of completion (b/w and color version)
-flags to create a "Ring Master" banner for display purposes
-10/11 sets of word cards
-blank cards to add any words you would like to use that are not already included

Here are a few more pics from the packs:

I realize that all of us have those kids each year that are way above or way below...so I created a combo pack of Level 1 and Level 2 that you can get for $2.00 cheaper that it would cost to buy the packs separately.  :)

I'm giving away 3 copies of the combo pack!  Check out the rafflecopter below to enter.  This giveaway will be open until midnight on Sunday 7/29/12.  I'll randomly choose 3 winners and announce them on Monday.  I can't wait to hear what you think!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

In Pictures and In Words: Ch. 8 Reflections

Oh my.  I am so embarrassed that I am super late on getting this chapter posted.  That's the craziness with summertime, right?  I feel like I am playing catch up on everything right now!  Anywhoo...my apologies to sweet Kathleen for not linking up on time.  She did a fantastic job oh hosting ch. 8 a few weeks back.  You can click on {here} to see her post.
Ch. 8 is all about the details!  It was very informative.  I had many "ah-hah" moments when Katie Wood Ray wrote about illustration techniques that I've never really thought about before.  I see these things all the time in picture books but never really think about them.  I told you....this book has really changed the way I think about illustrations!

I brought home quite a few books form my classroom library for the summer so that my daughter could enjoy them.  She LOVES watching Scholastic's Chrysanthemum video that features Kevin Henkes' Chrysanthemum, Owen, and A Weekend with Wendell, so I decided to expose her to a few more of his wonderful books.  We read Sheila Rae, the Brave and Wemberly Worried this week.  Of course, I noticed some of the very things mentioned in ch. 8!
Here is a scene from Sheila Rae, the Brave where they are all sitting at the dinner table.  Even though the words do not explain, you can tell what every one of these characters is thinking/feeling just by looking at their facial expressions.  Katie refers to this as Technique 13: Crafting Details of Expression and Gesture.  She points out that even though children usually pick up on facial expressions during reading, they usually do not use detail like this in their own pictures.  It's important to draw attention to scenes like this one so we can encourage them to use this technique in their own work.

Another one that I think I see a lot but haven't paid too much attention to in the past is Technique 15: Revealing Character with Background Details.  Katie reminds us that we can learn so much about a character just by looking at the background details.  Speaking of focusing on the background....have you ever noticed sweet Grandma in Wemberly Worried?  This goes right along with Technique 14: Crafting Physical Details of Characters too.
She is hilarious!  Her appearance says it all.  :)

If you aren't familiar with Kevin Henkes you should check him out.  His mice characters are pretty easily recognizable.



I'll be back soon to catch up with ch. 9.  I'll be linking soon Cheryl! Don't give up on me!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Christmas in July! {Bring on the SALE!}

We've made it to the middle of the year...you know what that means! 
The holidays are exactly 6 months away!  Let's celebrate! :)


All my seasonal products will be 20% off in my TpT store!  
Here are a few things to grab up:


That should stock you up from December to the beginning of March! Happy shopping! :)

NOTE:  Teachers Pay Teachers will be off line on Wednesday until 9am, so sadly there will be no early birds...

Monday, July 23, 2012

Gettin' Crafty! Part 2

I'm linking up with Tara at 4th Grade Frolics again for Monday Made It!
Reality has set in people.  One week from today I will be back at school.  Wow...the summer has flown.  I've got to make the most of these last few days!  Here are a few things I've wrapped up since last Monday's link up. {Please ignore the picture quality....I took these last night...}
I saw these last week and HAD to make them!  I got enough for a small group set and I plan to place them in my writing area to help my kiddos brainstorm for ideas.  Too cute!  This idea came from Mrs. Plum.  See her original post here.

Here are my labeled drawers!  I found these 3-drawer organizers on clearance at Target about 6 weeks ago.  The adorable monthly labels are from Tammy! As you can see.....my things are starting to pile up!  I need to get all of this out of my house and into my classroom!

Woohoo! I finally got around to making seat crates for my guided reading/math table!  I found the perfect denim material on clearance at Wal-Mart.  I threaded polka dot ribbon through the crates to bring in my class colors.  The hubs helped with these so they are super sturdy! I think they are going to be a big hit this year.  :)

Yep.  I made the lego soap.  I saw this on Pinterest a few days ago and knew that I had to make it for the sink in my classroom.  What kid would not want to wash his/her hands with this?  It was a super quick and easy project that my 3 year old was thrilled to help out with.  The hardest part was being patient enough to slowly rip the label off the soap without leaving the sticky residue!

I've got a few more things on my list before school starts back.  Have you seen this yet?  I am totally this type of person.  :)



Sunday, July 22, 2012

Daily 5: Ch. 5 Reflections {FREEBIES}

I know, I know...I'm hooking up super late for this one!  I figured better late than never, right?
This chapter was co-hosted by my friends Mary from Sharing Kindergarten and Marsha from A Differentiated Kindergarten.  They did a wonderful job so make sure you visit their posts as well!

Here are a few thoughts from this chapter:

First of all, I LOVE partner reading!  I call this "Buddy Reading" during my daily literacy block.  We also "Buddy Up!" outside of this time for other shared reading activities.  I love to match my students up with a class of older students (or younger students when I taught 2nd grade) for partner reading practice.

I do encourage EEKK reading (elbow to elbow, knee to knee) but do not require it as long as the reading buddies are close enough and on task.  I have several places around the room that work well for partner reading: bean bags, cozy carpet spaces, "Pair Chairs," my "Book Nook" hut, and a "Buddy Bench."  As you can see...I like to name my special areas.  :)

Here is an EEKK reminder sign I plan to display in one or more of my reading areas along with my 3 Ways to Read a Book sign.  You can click on the pictures to download each sign.


You know the check for understanding wooden check marks that are mentioned in ch. 5?  I decided I want my students to be able to hold a wooden check mark too (to help them remember to check for understanding while their partner is reading).  After I asked the hubs to make me some...and he explained that it would require a tool that he does not have but would be willing to get (another tool??) I did a little research and found some cheap ones online here.  The largest size costs .75.  Shipping and handling is the biggest expense but I went ahead and ordered some.  I plan to paint them when they arrive and write "I can check for understanding!" on them.

Listening Lane is one of my students' favorite literacy stations.  They have several choice ways to listen to reading.  I have a CD player with 2 baskets full of books on CD.  I have a mixture of purchased CDs and ones I have recorded myself.  Here are a few you'll find in my room:


 
I also encourage my students to listen to reading on the computer.

Here are a few sites I have bookmarked for this purpose:

I was fortunate enough to receive several Leap Lad learning systems for my room a few years ago.  These are also available for my students to use during the listening component of our literacy stations.  I keep all the materials inside of the backpacks the kit came with.  That way, a child can pull a backpack off the shelf and have the pad, headphones, and a few book choices all in one location.
 
I'll be back in a few days to catch up with Ch. 6!