Thursday, October 27, 2011

Halloween Food Fun, a Freebie & a Major Announcement

Wow...I couldn't think of a shorter title!!!  This post is packed, and you are in for a treat!!!  Stay with me to the bottom and I hope you will share in the excitement with me when you read the news I am going to share!!

First, the Halloween Food Fun!

We are getting ready for our Halloween Celebrations and of course, we have to remember the healthy treats, too!  This one is a little time consuming, but too cute!!  The bigger the orange you can find, the better.  Cut off the top, take out all of the insides and "carve" a simple face.  Fill the orange with grapes or any other small healthy food.  Cut a small slit in the top and put your spoon or fork through.  I forgot my green spoon for the much cuter with a green spoon handle sticking out like it is the stem.

I make this veggie skeleton for my own kids' preschool snack.  Healthy and fun!

Here is your freebie...a fun "following directions activity"!
Click on the cover page to go to my TPT store to download it for FREE!
Graphics courtesy of Scrappin Doodles.

And now, for the major announcement!
A little background first...I am so very fortunate to work in a district that has a full time literacy consultant. Kate is a blessing to our staff and has transformed our district into a K-8 Readers Workshop world! If you enter any classroom during a reading block, you will see a mini lesson, active engagement, independent reading, conferencing, partner work and a share. Kate has made this possible across our whole district in 2 short years! Readers workshop has transformed the way I look at reading instruction and it is proven in our reading scores! Kate is the Donalyn Miller, Debbie Miller and The Sisters all rolled into one...just without a published book or website. This girl is amazing!!!! People in the teaching job market get interviews in neighboring districts just because she is a reference on their resumes! Yes, ladies and gents, she is THAT good!  My friend and I always say we feel smarter every time we talk to her!  : )

Kate and I met today to talk about some amazing resources that she has created for the Daily Five and Readers Workshop model. They are almost ready to be rolled out and posted here on this little blog of mine. When she pitched the idea to me, I was in awe and saying to myself..."why didn't you think of this sooner!" You all will be totally amazed!

So...sit tight, follow my blog or subscribe by email so you don't miss the post that is coming very, very soon.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Elephant and Piggie Pack!

If you are a lower elementary teacher and haven't heard of Elephant and Piggie yet, you have to dash over to your nearest book store and pick up a few copies for your classroom!  If you are a Mo Willems fan, and own every book he has ever written (please tell me I'm not the only one), then you adore Elephant and Piggie, I'm sure!  I forget how much firsties LOVE Piggie and Gerald until I pull the bin out for the first time and read just one.  They are instantly hooked and cannot get enough of the dynamic duo!  My kiddos are allowed to pick them as their look book when they go book shopping and the bin always sits empty week after week!  I have about 15 copies of various titles and they are always rotating through from kid to kid.  You should hear the barganing on shopping day..."I'll trade you this Elephant and Piggie book for yours."  Stinkin cute!!

Since I already have a Mo Willems' Fun with the Pigeon pack in my TPT store, I figured I should give Elephant and Piggie the same kind of love.  : )  I just posted an Elephant and Piggie Pack to use as extension activites after you have introduced these pals to your kiddos.  Click on the picture below to go directly to the Elephant and Piggie party!  : )

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pumpkin Fun! A glyph and a freebie!

We are beginning a study of pumpkins and their life cycle this week.  Pumpkins make me happy, but sad as well, because that means the snow is going to start flying soon.  Any other northerners feel the same way?

Click on the picture below to see the latest glyph I just posted.  

Happy Pumpkin Days!

Graphics courtesy of Scrappin Doodles.
While you are in my TPT store, don't forget to grab a free copy of the graphing activity I made using BooMallows!  If you download it, please kindly leave warms my heart!

The first 3 comments I receive on this post will snag a copy of my pumpkin glyph pack for free!  Just be sure to leave your email address so I can get it to you right away! 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Brag Tags {Thanks Cara, from the First Grade Parade}

Thanks to the awesome Cara from The First Grade Parade, Brag Tags are now a part of my classroom!  When I saw her Brag Tags here, I knew I had to have them!  Sooo...I emailed my wonderful principal with the link to Cara's blog and she immediately said YES to our whole first grade!  Gotta love amazing administrators!  : )

 We all know how much cuter things look with scrapbook paper! 
 Each child has a pushpin with his/her tags hanging from it on the bulletin board.
I put them on the board behind my student computers.  That board drives me crazy because it is so hard to get to.  It always ends up being a board that stays up all year, so I thought the Brag Tags were a perfect thing to hang for the whole year. is far enough out of the kids' reach so they won't get "played" with at inappropriate times.  : )  I gave the kids the B.U.G. Award tag for the first tag because we just got done studying insects.  3 of my kiddos also have the Birthday tag since they already had September birthdays.  The kids are so excited to find out which tag comes next...there are enough for each child to have one every month this year! 

If you are interested in ordering Brag Tags for your classroom, check out HERE!  They are the nicest company to work with and even have REAL people that answer the phone when you call!  And you would think they use a supersonic jet plane for the shipping because it is so stinkin fast!

Do you use these Brag Tags in your classroom?  Or are you "hooked" and going to order them now?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

FLASH SALE & Spider Fun

It's been a Wacky Wednesday with the full moon!  To add to the wackiness, I have uploaded a 58 page Mega Sight Word pack to TPT and it is just $4.00 until I wake up Thursday morning!  And I didn't stop there...all of the items in my store are $4.00 or less until the morning!!!  Don't delay...head on over and stock up on some good stuff!!!

We had fun this week studing insects and spiders!  We used Deanna Jump's insect unit and made the most adorable (am I allowed to call an insect adorable?) praying mantises!  Did you know that praying mantises can be absolutely starving, have an ant walk by and they won't even think about eating it?  Scientists don't even know why they won't touch ants!  Weird!

We also made the spiders I found on Doodle Bugs Teaching blog.  She even has a free template for the spiders!  Stinkin' cute!!! 

I had my kiddos add a writing piece to the spiders to make them look a little more "educational."  I found the writing piece here at Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits.

And I couldn't help myself...adding scrapbook paper to anything makes it that much cuter!  I used glittery black and silver paper to cut out the letters.  : )

Next week...pumpkin fun!!!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Fun Halloween Snacks

At a family get-together this weekend, my mom and aunt brought these darling treats for the kids.  I think they would be cute to make at your classroom Halloween celebrations or to use as gifts for coworkers!

The skeleton cups were filled with Chex Mix, Halloween colored M&Ms and candy corn.

These adorable spiders have a mini peanut butter cup sandwiched between two circular pieces of card stock.  The legs are made by using a "corner punch."  Aren't they two cute to take apart and eat?  : )
If you don't have time to make your own, come on over to my Etsy store HERE!  Wouldn't they be a perfect gift for your parent volunteers?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Book Leveling Labels {Made Easy}

Recently our district book leveling chart changed!!!!  And it happened after my kids had already book shopped, had their personal book shopping list and a bag full of leveled books...of course!  I needed to make new book labels, and it had to be done quickly!  I just so happened to have a package of Avery Color Coding Labels in my drawer that are suitable for printing!  It was easy to find the template in Word using the product code, 5472.

I would love to share the documents I made, however, Google Docs will not let me save it as a label document.  It just spreads out all of the typing all over the page.  : (

If you missed my post this summer about book shopping lists {and would enjoy a freebie} click HERE.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Owls, Apples, and Monsters!!!

I can hardly believe it is October!!!  We have been busy making our first grade hallway all fall-ish and it is looking quite cute!!!  Check out these adorable owls!  I wish I had a pattern to share with you, but I free handed the owl heads.  The kids made their own beaks and pupils.  Cupcake liners make them extra cute!

We also studied the seasons of an apple tree.  My awesome retired-teacher-mom came to help with this hall display.  Each child was able to contribute something to a poster.

Halloween is just around the corner so I made a cute Monster Mash Sight Word Game that you can see by clicking on the picture below!