Friday, February 27, 2015

Winter Writing Idea and Freebie!

Hello There!

Today is day 8 of snow days for me! It is so crazy that I have only taught 2 days in the last 2 weeks. Even crazier is that we have not gotten that much snow!!

My neighborhood with a dusting! 

I live in the Raleigh area and since we don't generally get a lot of snow, the city is just not equipped to deal with it. That being said, our county will cancel school whenever it is possibly unsafe for buses to transport students to school. So now I am wondering how we will ever make up those days? Oh well...

I wanted to share a fun writing idea that is "snow much fun"!

For several years, I have done "bleach stories" with my kids. They EAT IT UP!!

Now you might be thinking...bleach..isn't that asking for trouble? I give my kids the know the one: I know I can trust you because you are such mature 1st graders and I know you will not spill this bleach water or get it in your eyes... isn't it awesome how you can just see them sit up straighter like yeah I am so awesome! :)

So on this snow day my sweet kindergartner and I were looking for a fun project. I pulled out the bleach, mixed about a half cup with a half cup of water and we went to town "bleaching" our paper! We used Q-tips as our brushes and as we worked we brainstormed ideas for our stories.

You won't need much bleach, a teaspoon or 2 per child

While we were letting our papers dry, we wrote our winter story. Then we went back to our picture to color details in our winter scene before gluing it onto our writing paper.

Finally, we were done... I thought! Ella had other ideas, she started making bleach picture headbands for her and her friends...such a cutie!


If you like this idea you can download this writing paper {HERE

You will just need to cut some blue paper 5x7 and you are ready to go! 

I hope you and your students have SNOW MUCH FUN!

Thanks for stopping by and reading! I hope you will take a moment to leave a comment below :)

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Giveaway Winners! ~Still Dreaming of Spring!

Hello There!

I hope you are having a relaxing Saturday morning. I had to double check my calendar to make sure it was really you know if you have been following me on Instagram or Facebook, I have been out of school for 4 snow days! This former California girl is trying not to worry so much about making the days up, but rather just enjoying the time with my hubby and sweet Ella!

*SNOW* much fun!!!

 I am excited to giveaway 3 packs of my New Write the Room~ Spring Edition!

Check your emails!

I am truly hoping I will get to go back to school on Monday. We were supposed to have a snow make-up day today, but the canceled school day make-up day was CANCELED! True story!!

So, I am still #dreamingofspring and created March Hidden Sight Words for my firsties...I just hope they are as excited for spring to come as I am!

Leave a comment below...Have you been dreaming of spring? How many snow days have you had this year?  Do you think I will really get to go back to school on Monday?

I hope you enjoy the rest of the weekend, think warm thoughts for me please!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Hoping for Spring to come soon GIVEAWAY!

Hello There!

Today is day 2 of snow days! While I am excited to have the day off to catch up on things I've been needing to do but have been too busy to breathe, the thought of Saturday school (I teach at a year round school so this is the only time we can make up our days) takes a lot of the joy away!

Last week I finished my Write the Room~Spring Edition pack. As you know this center has been both a student favorite and my favorite this year! Today I have been printing out the sentence cards to use for my class and the spring edition is my favorite pack! Take a look...

Simple Sentences for differentiation

Advanced Sentences for differentiation

Recording Sheet 

I know my students will love the topics.... sports, animals, St. Patrick's Day, Easter, weather, farm, and animal life cycles. Most of all, as always, they will LOVE moving around the room.  I will LOVE seeing them out of the corner of my eye while teaching small groups engaged in reading, writing and practicing their fluency! #happyteacherheart

I would LOVE to give away 3 packs to a few lucky teacher friends! Please leave a comment with your email address by this Friday.

Stay safe and warm, here's hoping spring comes fast! 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

#teachertricks {QR codes and Write the Room}

Hello There!

I hope you are staying warm...we are expecting snow and ice on Monday night, so I am kinda hoping thinking we may have a snow day! I would just love a day to catch up on things (in my jammies of course!)

I wanted to share a few literacy centers my kids and I are loving right now. First, I have to tell you I whole heartily agree with The Sisters when they say students need time EVERY.SINGLE. DAY to be engaged with purposeful reading and writing tasks.

QR Codes
However, before reading The Daily Five, I didn't understand the importance of "Listening to Reading". I knew my students enjoyed putting on headphones and picking a book from the basket every once in a while. After reading their book, I am continually on the lookout for new ways for my students to hear fluent readers model and be exposed to higher level vocabulary. In my classroom, my students "Listen to Reading" at the computer, and the "old school" cassette player with headphones. But their favorite Listen to Reading is with the iPads and QR codes. The technology aspect of the activity is highly engaging to them, plus they get to make choices on what story THEY want to compromising to what the group wants.

Mrs. Winter's Bliss

I love the QR codes first, because my first graders are successful at the task (no management issues) and they are excited and engaged... (true story- I heard cheers when I pulled out a basket of new codes last week!) #teachertrick In addition, the codes are super easy to prep and manage. I printed them, mounted and laminated. The bundle I purchased from I Heart EOSL has over 170 stories.... The following packs of stories are included:
Favorite Back to School Stories
Fall Stories
Thanksgiving Listening Center
Christmas Listening Center
Winter Listening Center
Robert Munsch
Dr. Seuss
Eric Carle
Fairy Tales
Kevin Henkes
David Shannon
Valentine's Day

I think I should be good to go for a long time! :)
Click HERE to get more info on how you can get them for your classroom.

Write the Room

My kids love to move around A LOT! Last Fall I thought of a #teachertrick. I made simple sentences that they could "read and write the room." I gave them a recording sheet and sent them on their way to find the sentences posted around the classroom. They ATE.IT.UP.
When I created the recording sheet I included a checkoff so they would remember to practice reading their sentences themselves and a friend. That means they would read the sentences at least 3 times! #teachertrick

Since my kids were so engaged and successful with this literacy task, I created a Winter and Spring pack. In creating the packs I knew I had to add one more component to make it even better! I wanted to make a way to differentiate the activity to challenge my kids who needed it, but still support my low babies. So I made 2 versions of each sentence. I hang the sentences side by side and have taught my students the sentences are just like "good fit books," we choose the one that is right for us at this time. #teachertrick

If you are interested in taking a closer look at this reading and writing center for your classroom, click on the pictures below.

Write the Room {Fall}

Write the Room {Winter}

Write the Room {Spring}

Thanks for stopping by and reading. I would love to have you comment below on #teachertricks that are working well in your classroom!

 Stay warm!