Monday, November 2, 2015

Reading fun with Oriental Trading

I have not blogged in FOREVER. 

It has been an awesome school year so far! I have a wonderful group of first graders. One of the great things about this year is I am teaching Language Arts (Reading, Grammar, & Spelling) and Science. My teaching partner teaches Math and Social Studies. This has allowed me so much more time to focus on those new subjects.

I am constantly looking for great resources for Reading and have found that a great and affordable place to look is Oriental Trading. I have always used Oriental Trading for seasonal things, party supplies, etc., but have recently discovered all the great learning resources they have. 

I was so excited to review some things from Oriental Trading for my classroom.*

My students love using pointers. These are great and come in a pack of 24. The best part is...right now, they are on sale for $2.78

In my classroom, we do Daily Five. I had made whisper phones out of PVC pipes a couple of years ago. They worked, but were still a bit to big for my first graders. When I saw these whisper phones, I knew I wanted to try them. They are made of plastic and the perfect size for my first graders. So far, they have held up great. 

I was so impressed by these Dominoes; they are really nice! My students love any sort of game we play while learning. These are perfect for partners, early finishers, or a small group. There are two sets of sight words. 

My first graders are becoming very good writers. We do writer's workshop every day and these spacers are a fun way for them to remember to leave spaces between their words. They are made of sturdy cardboard so they can last.

We play lots of games that use fly swatters and I'm always looking for fun, new swatters. These are a bit more pricey than normal swatters, but they are much more sturdy and designed specifically for the classroom. My students always grab these first if given the choice.

Word Work is one of our Daily Five stations. Each day, students practice building and spelling words in a different way. These stampers are quickly becoming a class favorite for word work. They are holding up well and a great value!

There are 20 readers in this set with many common word families. My students have loved reading these books when they correlate with our phonics pattern.
This week we are working with short u so we will read this book. I like to have students listen for words that end in -ug and then we create a list of all the words we heard. These books are small (5x5inches) and perfect for little hands.

Thanks again, Oriental Trading for allowing me to review these awesome products. I love finding new resources and for great prices! 

**This review is based on my opinion. Others may have a different opinion or experience with the product listed above. I was provided the sample free of charge by Oriental Trading. I provided my honest opinion. No other type of compensation was received for this review.”

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Science Fun (and a freebie)

Can I just say...I am loving my group of first graders and all things school this year! At my school, we are trying out team teaching this year. There are two first grader classes and I teach both classes Reading and Language Arts & Science. 
It allows me to put all my focus and energy into two subjects. We have an hour and half Reading block; really wish it was 2 hours per class, but it is working. I also teach Science to both classes two days a week for an additional 30 minutes.

My first graders are LOVING Science and I am, too! Normally on Mondays I introduce the Science skill and we practice it in some way. Then on Wednesdays we use what we learned to do some sort of hands on learning or experiment. They love Wednesdays. :)

This month, we having been talking about things sinking or floating and what causes something to sink or float.

On Monday, we watched the BrainPopJr. video on Sink and Float and then played the game...twice. Each kiddo just HAD to have a turn. ;)

Then, on Wednesday we predicted whether watermelon would sink or float. Then, we tested it. 

They just couldn't resist getting their hand wet; I am a softy so I let them as long as they didn't splash anyone. 

Of course, when you do a Science activity on watermelon you need to taste it. I was shocked of the 32 first graders, every single one tried and liked the watermelon. 

Click on the picture below for a freebie. 
Font from: Hello Literacy 
Clip art from: My Cute Graphics

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Classroom Reveal 2015-2016

One of the fun parts of being a teacher is getting to set-up a classroom. I know most teachers spend hours dreaming, thinking, and pinning about what their classroom will look like and how everything will be set-up. 

My first two years of teaching I had a specific theme---Dr. Seuss. All the other teachers at my school had different themes so I decided to as well. I loved my Dr. Seuss stuff, but I also got tired of it very quickly. So, last year I decided to change my theme up a bit and make it more flexible. 

My theme last year and this year was...


I loved it last year and still love it this year. It is easy to switch and change things and really brightens up my classroom. The main thing I changed in my classroom this year was the layout of everything. 

So, here are some picture of my classroom...

This is what you see when you walk in my door. I only have 16 students this year...last year I had 25. It's AMAZING!

My classroom library area. My chalkboard banner was in the party section in Target. I wrote "We <3 books" on it. My little bench is a Pinterest inspired project. 

These are my students lockers. I use four of them for storage. 

This is my small group area. I received a DonorsChoose project for 6 Wobble chairs and my students LOVE them! If you have never checked into them. They are pricey, but things like DonorsChoose can really help. 

This is above my small group area. I post pictures throughout the year of my firsties. They love it! 

The yellow board will hold student work. The ribbons are for our word wall. The blank boards are to hang up class created anchor charts. 

 Student book boxes. I am actually teaching Reading to my class and the other 1st grade class at my school. So, I have two sets of book boxes.

 Our carpet and whole group area. This is one of my students' favorite areas. 

 Our computers and listening center. The little blue table is where they will listen to stories on CD at. 

These little plants and frames add so much to my room. I will be putting student pictures in the frames. I snagged them at the Dollar Tree.

I am really excited with how my room turned out this year and am looking forward to a great year in it with my first graders. 

Also, be sure to enter to win a subscription to Speakaboos.
(Click below to enter)

Monday, August 17, 2015

Speakaboos Subscription Giveaway

I am so excited to share a program I use in my classroom and love. It is teacher and student approved.

Have you heard of it?! If not, click on the logo above and head over to check it out.

What is Speakaboos?
Speakaboos is an award-winning reading motivation platform for early childhood literacy. Our mission is to provide highly engaging and educational interactive stories that motivate every child to read. 

I use Speakaboos in my Listen to Reading station. I also use it as a fast finisher.

Here are some of my favorite features of Speakaboos...

1- There are three options for how stories can be read.
This is great for differentiation and meeting each of my students' needs.

2- It has stories that are classics, but also has students' favorites like "Fly Guy."

3- Speakaboos is VERY user-friendly. My first graders can operate it without any assistance from me. 

4- Speakaboos can be used on a computer or as an App.

My student LOVE Speakaboos because it has familiar stories and stories for all interests.

The best part of this post is that Speakboos is allowing me to give away a one-year subscritption; a $49.99 value.  The winner will also receive a copy of my listening center response sheets; my TPT bestseller. 

Even, if you don't win, I strongly encourage you to head over to Speakaboos and  sign-up for free trail.

Enter the giveaway below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, August 14, 2015

Five For Friday

Woo-hoo! It's the first Five for Friday of my new school year. 

I am exhausted and this is so fitting...

...especially at the beginning of the year.

And while I am exhausted, I am having a great year and LOVING my firsties! 

This week's five...

Loving these plants for my classroom windows.

Ready for the first day...styling in my boot and tennis shoes. :) Normally, I NEVER wear tennis shoes.

Pictures of my firsties on the first day of school 

Today our Read to Self stamina; they are doing great! 


Be sure to come back tomorrow and hear about "Speakaboos" and enter to win a one-year subscription.

Be sure to link-up to share your week.

Have a great weekend! 

Monday, August 3, 2015

B2S Sale!

I am loving this Teachers Pay Teachers Sale and have already purchased several things. I won't will try not to purchase much more for the sake of my wallet. Back to school can really me hard on a teacher's wallet, can't it?!

I wanted to share a few things I have purchased and looked through already and am SO excited about using.

I am looking forward to using these to review letter formation with my firsties at the beginning of the year. 

This will also be great beginning of the year word building activities. I will probably use these with students who are having some trouble with cvc words. 

I plan to send these home with students to practice their reading fluncy. 

I picked up these since I plan to try using Interactive Reading Notebooks this year and this will be the perfect resource for that. 

**Click on each of the pictures to be taken to TPT.

That's some of the things I have gotten and can't wait to use this school year. 

My little shop is on sale. You can click on the picture below to visit it.

Thanks to Doodle Bugs for the graphic!

Happy Shopping! 

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Currently August

Listening---"Bones" is one of my favorite shows and re-runs are on quite often.

Loving---I am always so thankful for my family and friends, but especially tonight. We were having a church picnic and swim party and the night was about to come to an end when i fell down a step and fractured my ankle. My family and church family stepped right in and helped me so much.

Thinking & Wanting---The worse part of the above incident is tomorrow is the first day back to school. I am freaking out about how I will get everything done and ready for my first graders. Thankfully, again, for my wonderful family and friends, many have already volunteered to help in my room this week.

Needing---I'm sure all you other teachers realize the need for feeling better and wanting to be back to 100% ASAP.

B2S RAK---I plan on picking up doughnuts for my co-workers one day this week.

This is certainly not how I planned to begin August or Back-to-School, but thanks to wonderful family and friends and very thoughtful and understanding administrators, we will make it work.

Happy August!