Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Scholastic Book Order Genres + Freebie

I feel like it's Freebie Palooza over here! Do you ever wonder what to do with all those scholastic book orders? I know I do. I always feel like I have a ton of extras...

My teaching partner told me about something nifty she's doing with them, and I thought I'd share the idea with all of you! The kiddos are going into those book orders and cutting out the books based on genre. One day might be all fantasy books, another day might be non fiction and so on and so forth.

I thought it might be a fun idea for the kidlets to make up their own book of genres so we decided to take a.......(drumroll please)....Genre Vacation!!

I've created this "Sightseeing Journal" for the kiddos to keep that houses all the examples of the genres they've cut out of their scholastic book orders. It also has a space at the top of each page for the kiddos to write down the definition of each genre so they don't forget!
A Cover Page for Each Student
Example of an Inside Page

If you'd like a copy, this freebie is posted here on my TPT page. Enjoy! :)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Freebie Fun!

We've been really busy comparing and contrasting--basically, if it's a person, place, or thing we've compared and contrasted it to something else.

However, our favorite comparing and contrasting activity has been the Classmate Compare and Contrast. As an end of the week reward for working so hard, we did this fun little activity to wrap up (and assess) comparing and contrasting. The students paired up with a buddy and thought of all the ways they were the same and all the ways they were different. It was so cute to see them think of all the creative ways they could compare and contrast themselves.

I, personally, was really surprised at how unique some of the answers got! "I have freckles, she doesn't." "I like pizza puffs and he doesn't." "My favorite day of the week is Monday and her's is Wednesday because she likes craft day."

We filled out a funzie little worksheet to go along with the activity, which acted as a twofer writing grade and reading oh man, do I love a twofer :)

I've posted the worksheet I made to go along with this activity on Teachers Pay Teachers--here's the link :)

The best's free! I mean, there are few words in the English language I love more than the word free....well, maybe the word coffee....or if the word "Free" is followed by "Gift with Purchase".....but I digress.

Stop by and download this little freebie! Not only will you get a (FREE! Have I said it enough?) fun little activity for your kiddos, but you'll give my ego a boost! See?? It's a win/win!....please? :) Happy Tuesday!

P. S. Two yummy new (low fat!) recipes posted on Sparkly, Quirky Lifebox--check it out!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Linking Up with Love

I'll just admit it...I'm a mushy, gushy sucker for love :) The hearts, the chocolate, the red and pink, the inordinate amount of chick flicks and love stories....February is just around the corner and I. Can't. Wait.

It's even apparent in how prepared I am for the next month. Usually I'm a smidge behind the eight ball (I'm human. It happens. haha), but not this month! I'm just too excited! My bulletin boards are done, my math centers are finished and my projects are planned--please, let me just be clear this NEVER HAPPENS! Proof positive of how excited for February I am.

Last year's love month was pretty terrible. It just seemed like one thing after another was happening to ruin my mushy gushy mood. That being said, I'm not going to let the crummy experiences of February 2012 ruin 2013...HUZZAH!

Anywho, my point. I'm linking up with Tales from Outside the Classroom for a fun linky to talk  gush about the things that I'm loving right now.

There are definitely some people in bloggyland that I'm loving right now. They're so positive and their ideas are so fun and fresh I just can't help but think of them as rockstars--for real. They make me wanna jump up and down and scream and sing One Direction Songs at the top of my lungs as an ode to how awesome they are!
.....I am nothing if not a little excessive.....
Anywho! Here are the lovely ladies who are busy taking the teaching world by storm and who I wish I was half as cool as :)

Amy at Little Miss Organized--seriously, she is so cool!!

And Kelley at Teacher Idea Factory--her ideas are crazy good.
  Sour Apple Studio

Right now I am lovin' the Starbucks and the Stacks :) I'm a coffee lover in general, but my adoration of the almighty Starbucks seems to come and go in waves, and right now the tide is high!! It's probably all the leftover gift cards from Christmas--my students know me too well haha.

Stacks is the new funtime restuarant in my town. It replaced our beloved Passtimes (to read more about that, hop on over to my personal bloggity blog and read this entry...) and somehow made it even MORE amazing!! Let me explain. It's called Stacks...after LIBRARY stacks. Yes. The whole thing is old school library themed with books everywhere. Heavenly.

Here are a couple of fantabulous TPT finds that I am ALL ABOUT right now :)

Hope King's Heart Attack Valentine's Day Unit
(Is there anything this lady can't do?? It's like she should have a cape and some sort of emblem....)

Clutter Free Classroom's Snowmen at Night Craftivity
The kiddos just loved this perfect little wintertime activity. So much fun :)

I can't wait to read what everyone else is lovin' on right now!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Teaching Quote of the Day and Update

Kiddos are just too funny--for me at least, it seems this class is especially witty!


I like to play music for my kidlets when we're doing our independent morning work. Today I played them the song Ocean by John Butler Trio. I explained to them that it's an instrumental song that though it sounds like a bunch of people are playing on lots of different instruments, it's really only one man on his guitar!

One of my little sweethearts looked at me after hearing this and said, "This song isn't just awesome...IT'S AMAZING!" I love that the power of music can show them things that are "amazing" :)

Sidenote: If you care to read about my for real life at all, there's a new post up at Sparkly Quirky Lifebox (my personal blog). Please feel free to follow :)

Friday, January 18, 2013

Tell Me Something Good--Linky

I'm linking up with Rowdy in First Grade for a mega positive wonderful little linky :) So...without further's something good!

School: I feel like I have a classroom full of little hams. Hilarious, spunky, little hams. Seriously this room needs it's own TV show because it would blow the Kardashians right out of the water! They are too funny. I've even started sending my friends teaching quotes of the day. For example, this is a conversation I had with one of my little friends the other day:
Kidlet: Did you know the Canadian flag has a flower on it?
Me: I think it's a leaf, my friend.
Kidlet:....agree to disagree.

Agree to disagree??? What 7 year old says that?! Awesome ones. That's who.

Home: Something good about home....hmmm....I feel so blessed most of the time. Home is wonderful. My friends and I have a weekly dinner/game night and I've been spending a lot of time with my family as well. I'm a very lucky little girl. More specifically, my bestest buddy (turned teaching friend!) is about to start on a brand new adventure. She is moving to Laos for 6 months to help her cousins with their new twin babies. She is so brave and adventurous and I cannot wait to hear all about it. More about my for realsie life at my personal blog :)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Oh. My. Goodness. WANT. (Erin Condren Planners)

Ok, so maybe I've been living under a rock or something but has everyone hear of the Erin Condren Planners except for me??? They look FANTASTIC!

Question: Does anyone own one?? What do you think? I'd love to hear some feedback!

Follow the linky if you have no clue what I'm rambling about :) You won't be sorry that you did! 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Apartment Subtraction: A New Look at "Borrowing"

Borrowing, has many names, but each time this traditional subtraction concept comes up I feel it is one of the most difficult for students to visualize and comprehend. I've started doing something with the kidlets that our class has dubbed "Apartment Subtraction". It's a story I tell each year that helps the kiddos understand what to do when we're doing double digit subtraction with regrouping.

Here is the poster I make with the kiddos to go along with the explanation....

Here's the Story:

"'You' are in the top right apartment and you want to give something special to your downstairs neighbor. The only problem is since you're a smaller number than your downstairs neighbor, you don't have enough money. You need to borrow 10.

You always always always borrow from your upstairs neighbor because he's so nice and will always lend you a ten. You NEVER borrow from the downstairs neighbor. He's a grouch--probably because he has to live on the ground floor and doesn't like it.

Once you've borrowed your ten, make sure your upstairs neighbor has 1 less and you have added "10" to yourself.

Now can you subtract?? Yes!"

I hope this strategy is able to help someone else out! The idea of giving each apartment it's own 'personality' has really given the kiddos something to visualize--making it so much easier for them to remember. Let me know if it works for you too! :)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Party Party Party Time! Classroom Reward Ideas :)

I'm so proud of my little kidlets! They earned their 10 Charger Tickets (schoolwide incentive program) which means they've earned a special surprise....only what the heck are we gonna do?!

Let's be honest--we all love doing special fun things for the kidlets, but sometimes it can get a little pricey or time consuming or lame. What to do...what to do.....

WELL FEAR NOT, DEAR READERS! For I have a few ideas to share :)

We've decided to have a (wait for it....) THEMED. READING. PARTY. (Oh how I love a good theme...) and the kidlets are casting their votes this afternoon. Yippee!

I thought I'd share these ideas with you for a couple of reasons--reason numero uno: I love to share. Reason numero dos: I thought if someone out there in the bloggy land was looking for something fun to do with their kiddos, then this might give them a couple of fun ideas :)

Idea Number One: Reading Slumber Party

This idea is a like a magical pajama day, reading party hybrid. The kiddos wear their PJs and bring in their favorite stuffty animal and a pillow to sit on the floor and read. The best part? What is a slumber party without popcorn?! (Provided by yours truly. I love me some yumalicious popcorn.)

Idea Number Two: Reading Camp Out

Are you a big fan of the great outdoors?? Than this is the incentive idea for you! Have your kiddos bring in a sleeping bag and a flashlight, turn off the lights and have them read by the light of their flashlights! And, (since all parties need snacks....) I found this trail mix-esque recipe on Pinterest (from whence all good things come) for 'Smore Trail Mix. Voila!

Idea Number Three: Beach Party Have the kidlets bring in their beach towels, wear their sunglasses and summer gear and hit the beach for a reading party! Here's a fun snack to match--follow the picture link for the recipe :)

Well there you have it, friendlies! Three ideas I hope you'll be able to take a run with :)

Sidenote: Check out my other blog Sparkly, Quirky Lifebox if you're looking for something to make for dinner this week. I made a (Lowfat But Still Delicious) Cheesy Bacon Ranch Pasta with Chicken and it was pretty yummy. Thank you pinterest!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Happy New Year!

Hi Friendlies,

Just to let you know, there's a new (NYE centered) post up on my other blog Sparkly Quirky Lifebox--feel free to check it out! :)


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

January Currenly

Happy New Year!! Here is this month's currently curtesy of the Fabulous Farley over at Oh' Boy 4th Grade :)

Listening: This was written last night before we all headed out for dinner and dancing. As I was standing in front of my bathroom mirror, listening to the sound of crazy fun dance music (entwined with the laughter of my friends) I realized how truly lucky I am. I have beautiful friends and family and sometimes it just hits me like a sledge hammer; I am blessed.

Loving: I am LOVING the new rose gold watch I just bought. Seriously, I am in love with it. Like it's getting serious and I don't want to see any other watches besides this one. The best part? 14 dollars from Target. Happiness!!

Thinking: I am really putting some thought into how I want to organize my classroom library. My gut tells me that by AR color would be best...that way the kiddos can find books at their level just a little bit easier instead of trying to guess. Does anyone out there in bloggity land have a better idea? Because I am open to suggestions!

Wanting: I am really wanting to stretch out winter break. I love my job, I love my kiddos, I love that I get to play with glitter on a daily basis. That being said...I am reeeeeeally loving winter break. It's just me, my books, my friends, family, and my coffee cup.....bliss :)

Needing: I think I need some new ways to organize the materials and manipulatives in my classroom. The minimal storage makes it a toughie, but I'll figure it out. Again, any ideas you all wanna throw my way would be SUPURB.

OLW: Sparkle. I chose this word because I feel like it's more of a philosophy--hear me out. It's kinda like adding glitter to every part of your life and/or just putting in the extra effort (or sparkle) in everything you do. Smiling more. Laughing more. Hugging more. Doing more. A little extra in everything you do. Sparkle. Love it.