Thanksgiving Friends Math Stations

Hello friends! I just posted my Thanksgiving Friends Math Stations on TPT! I really should be finishing my lesson plans, but watching the World Series and blogging is so much more fun! This packet included 9 different stations

*Odd and even sorting game
*Spin and graph activity
*Roll and color picture
*Roll and cover activity
*Numbers and ten frames memory games for numbers 1-10 and 11-20
*Counting, one-to-one, and number recognition activity
*Least to greatest activity
*Greatest to least activity

I can't wait to show my kids new math stations. I've already promised them that they will get new stations and new math partners on Thursday!

And, as always, I like to give a few away to loyal followers! I'll send a copy to the first five people to leave a comment with their email address!

Shout out!

I have to give a huge shout out to Kelley at the Teacher Idea Factory! I've been using her Good Morning Reading Work for October in my classroom for a couple of weeks and I love it!

In fact, I love it so much I went to her TPT and bought the rest of her Good Morning Work packets. They are amazing and my kids are really doing well with them. Be sure to check them out!

I heart school goodies!

Hey y'all! If you read my post yesterday I wanted to give you a quick update. My kids LOVED the story and we all agreed that the illustrations were absolutely beautiful! One of my loyal followers, Christy, posted a link to this great echolocation video that your kids will love! Warning: you'll be singing it all day long! Thank you Christy!

So the title of this post is "I heart school goodies!" and it's true. I could spend all day buying cute things for my classroom. Big problem: the teacher store is SO FAR AWAY from me that it truly has to be something I cannot live without for me to want to go there! Well, MPM School Supplies asked me to do a little shopping and let post about my experience. Y'all they have EVERYTHING you can think of. I bought dice in dice! I have wanted some for ages, but the price at my teacher store is CUH-razy!
Their site is easy to use, shipping was super quick, prices were very teacher-wallet friendly too. They had so many items my local teacher store doesn't have for bulletin boards. I found the cutest Thanksgiving bulletin board set and couldn't help myself! I bought one set for me and one for a friend. Our bulletin boards will be so cute! 

Give their site a try if you're looking for more goodies for your classroom!
Click HERE to shop! 


I stopped at Barnes & Noble today to pick up ONE book. But I found three other that I HAD to have. (Want vs Need anyone?! Apparently I don't know the difference anymore) I walked up to the Halloween table and there was this ADORABLE book by Ari Berk.

It's about a bat that is learning to use echolocation for the first time and how the world "looks" to him as he is flying. The illustrations are gorgeous and how cute is little Chiro the bat? I'm using Erica Bohrer's Batty About Bats unit and this will be great to use with my lesson tomorrow!

First Year Bliss

C'mon now- y'all know how many good stories teachers have! I'm linking up with Michelle the FAB 3am Teacher and clip art genius to join her First Year Bliss linky party. We're supposed to share a story from our first year of teaching. I LOVE good teacher stories.

I want to tell a funny story, but my first year all I can think about a student named....let's say- Ronald. I worked in a Title 1 district teaching 3rd grade. I was told before the school year that Ronald was a major behavior problem and that he wasn't very bright since he was going to repeat third grade. I decided right then and there that Ronald would become one of my favorites. (Kids with that reputation never get to be favorites) I called him on everything and I set high expectations for him and it turns out he really was quite smart- but he hadn't wanted to move the year before. He stood up for me, he kept other kids in line, he somehow figured out my phone number and would call me. "What up? Whatcha doin'?" "Ronald, have you done your math homework?" "No ma'am." "Then hang up, do your homework, THEN you can call me." "Yes ma'am." He improved in all subject areas and made more progress than I could have hoped for.

One time Ronald missed the bus to school in the morning. He came a couple of hours late. He had ridden the city bus, by himself for more than an hour, wearing his older sisters glitter jeans because they were the only thing that was clean and he didn't want to miss being with me. I loved that boy. I love all my kids that year. In fact, every year I tell my kids I love them. I do. I may be the only one who tells them that day.

Anyhoo....I had to give you a back story because my story is really about Ronald's last day. It was just before Christmas. I had heard from the AP that his family might be moving. Now remember, it's Title 1, so I knew he didn't have much. I had already gotten him a backpack with new school supplies (and maybe I put some clothes in there including jeans WITHOUT glitter). But when I got the note that morning that it was Ronald's last day I couldn't take it anymore. Do you know NO ONE IN HIS FAMILY HAD TOLD HIM IT WAS HIS LAST DAY?! I pulled him out to the hall to tell him and we both burst into tears. All during recess this big ten year old boy sat on my lap and we both cried. "I don't want to leave you Miss L(maiden name), I love you." "I love you too." We cried all day and all the way to the bus. The bus had to leave late because he wouldn't let me go. {Now I'm crying}

I made Ronald promise me to finish school and never join a gang. I won't lie- I look for him all the time. He would be a sophomore in high school this year. Maybe someday he'll track me down! 

I know for many of us there is so much going on with our schools, admin's, budget cuts, etc that it's easy to forget that we make a difference. BUT WE DO!

Tell Me Something Good

Whew! We're more than half way through October and for me this week I have parent conferences. PDAS observations begin in another week and I'm feeling a little overwhelmed. So it's time for another Tell Me Something Good linky party so we can focus on the positive things that are happening! Just tell me at least one good thing that's happening at school and at least one good thing that's happening in your home life.

Something Good at School: My first graders are catching on to related facts and fact families so quickly! Normally I have another week of teaching related facts, but we're going to move on, which may free up some time for Halloween crafts next Wednesday on Halloween. (*Notice I did not make the fact that Halloween is mid-week my something good at school. ha)

Something Good at Home: I have more than half of my Christmas shopping done, thanks to a slight addiction to 31 bags! I love those bags and they are so well made. My mother, grandmother, sister, and sister in law will all be getting a cute bag-monogrammed of course!

I would love to hear about the great things going on in your life! If you don't have a blog leave a comment telling me your Something Goods!

Friday Freebie


Ok, so I don't really care too much for Halloween, but there is so much cute EVERYTHING out there that I've actually gotten into a little this year. I've gone nuts at TPT and Teachers Notebook buying Halloween, bat, October units. I'm wishing it was payday so I could buy everything I have on my wish list!

On Fridays my morning work is a word search. My students work so hard during the week that I like to give them something fun to do as a treat. I thought I would share! Click on the picture to download

Trick or Treat-- a Giveaway!

Happy almost Friday! One of my BBFF's (Bloggy Best Friend Forever), Rebecca at Teaching First and I haven't done a giveaway together in ages so we're doing one now! We're each giving away two of our Halloween-ish packs to two lucky winners.

From Me:

8 Legged Math Stations
And my newest item to go with one of my favorite Halloween books, "Room on the Broom" by Julia Donaldson.

From Rebecca:

Spider Themed Letter Activities

Four ways to enter:
1) Leave a comment telling me the name of your favorite Halloween book
2) Follow my FB page
3) Follow Rebecca's FB page
4) Blog about this giveaway

We'll make it short and sweet and announce the winners here on Saturday morning!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I've Been Boo-ed


I've been BOO-ed by Valerie at All Students Can Shine
To see the rules and all the links to other blogs that have been BOOed go here. Each blogger that's been boo-ed posts about some of their favorite Halloween products or books. It's fabulous! I just spent $ at TPT and then I bought three books at Amazon!

Three products or books that I love:
My October Vocabulary Board! It's a great addition to my writing center!

My 8 Legged Math Stations. I'm so proud of how much progress my kids have made using these stations. (My obsession with Melonheadz clip art is getting out of hand by the way!)

My Bloggy Bestie, Rebecca at Teaching First has this adorable unit that I'm loving. Big hit in my class!

And I LOVE the book The Biggest Pumpkin Ever

I remember this book from my childhood! Makes me smile!

Now to BOO some other great blogs!

A Pirate's Life For Us
First Grade Schoolhouse

Adjectives and Reading Rings

We had an amazing day today! They're rare these kinds of days- where every itty bitty thing you had planned, or hoped you could squeeze into your day, actually fit AND everything went better than you imagined!

I did a lesson on adjectives today and my first graders were so engaged. We've been discussing adjectives a lot over the past week, but today we hit it hard. I cut a huge pumpkin out of butcher paper. Then I asked my students to give me words that would describe how it might look or feel. I stuck their words onto the pumpkin using Post-its.

When I tore the paper the corner ripped. Ugh! I pushed my OCD teacher self aside and let it go....I think.

Then I wrote "I have a pumpkin." on the board. I asked my students what it the pumpkin would look like. Was it small? Was it large? What color was it? What shape was it? No one knew. 
So we started adding adjectives to our writing. 
Then we wanted to add more details so we added more sentences!
When I was done I used the picture I had taken of our pocket chart and printed out a smaller version to glue onto the adjective anchor chart as a reminder to students. (You can see it in the picture above)

Next I wrote the sentence "I have a cat." on the board and asked students to write a few sentences and add adjectives for details. They really did well! I had several kids ask if they could fill their whole page with sentences! Plus, the details they added to their pictures were amazing. One student added a toy helicopter to his picture because he wrote that his cat likes to chase the helicopter. WOW!

Aaaah....I love it when lessons go REALLY REALLY well!

I was at Michaels last week and {IMPULSE BUY} saw these black and orange rings with eyeballs and thought they would be a great alternative to witch fingers. They were $2ish if I remember correctly. I told my students that the eyes would be reading the same words that they were. (A few eyeballs have fallen out, but my students have gotten creative and said, "They are winking!" or "I think he's wearing an eyepatch.") Too cute!

Phonics Dance- Halloween version

Hey y'all- we are really chugging along with Phonics Dance. There is a Halloween version for October. There is also a seasonal version in case you have students who don't celebrate Halloween or your school doesn't allow it.

I listened to the Halloween version on the cd in my car for a few days, but I still had to use a cheat sheet the first couple of days in October. My kids caught on SUPER QUICK and they think a Halloween version is just a hoot! There aren't really hand motions for the Halloween version in the manual so I made up a few and so did my kiddos. 

In the Phonics Dance manual it suggests starting the "hunks and chunks" on week three. Well, it's like week six and we just started. Maybe next year when I'm used to the program I can be on the ball like that! So far we've learned "sh" and "ch." I'm so excited to see how my students use these hunks and chunks when they are trying to decode a word. I have high hopes because I still hear students sing parts of the song while they are writing and reading! (It really is too cute!)

My Bloggy Bestie

Hey All-
Hope your Monday is off to a great start! Did you know Becca at Teaching First is like totally my one of my bloggy best friends? She is! We met through our blogs and became such good friends that I feel like I've known her forever! Well, Becca is having a FAB FAB giveaway of her spider themed phonological awareness packet. Isn't it super cute?

 Head over to her blog to enter the giveaway...

8 Legged Math Stations

I just completed my 8 Legged Math Stations and posted it to TPT. (TPT is having some issues this morning and the image previews are not showing up.) I've been adding to my stations all week and I've already had my students using some of the stations.  (I actually have pictures but my camera is at school-waaa!) The stations are for work on number recognition, number words, addition, subtraction, counting on, greatest to least, least to greatest, and number order.
Here's a little preview of some of what is included.

Most of the stations are spider themed for those of you who aren't allowed to use Halloween themed items in school. Click on the picture below to go directly to the TPT page!

As promised I'm going to give a few of these away to the first five people who comment and leave their email address!

Short u freebie

Well y'all tomorrow is Friday and since I had to leave school early last Friday for an appointment I was reminded that I would have to play the Friday song twice-Holla! (The Glee version is really far better than the Rebecca Black version.) Anyhoo this week we've been studying short u words and I have a few students who needed some extra practice.

I bought a huge bag of clothespin and stuck on letters from the local craft store. (They are Recollections brand and stuck on really well!)

Here is one of my first graders working on this activity. I had the clothespin's clipped the the edge of a little box I bought from the Target dollar section. 

I asked my first graders what each letter was, what each letter sound was, and then we blended the sounds together before they matched the clothespins to the cards. Very cute and super easy to put together! Click on the pic below to grab your copy