Saturday, April 30, 2011

Economics Made Easy!

My dear friend over at Stepping Into First Grade has just posted her Economics unit on TPT.  She showed it to me after school yesterday and it is A.MAZ.ING!  If you have been struggling to teach such a hard concept to your kiddos, you have to grab this one!  It is worth every penny and she is even putting it on pre-sale for her blogging friends!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

This Year Was DINORIFIC!

I just posted a cute end of the year memory book at my TPT store!  Click on the picture below for a direct link.    It is covered in adorable school dinos from Scrappin Doodles and is sure to be a hit for any grade!

PS...It is on sale for all of my blogging friends until Sunday evening, so don't delay!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Math Fun

Here is a simple way to practice math facts (works best for addition or multiplication) made for 2 players.  Using a deck of cards with aces and face cards removed, deal an equal amount of cards to each player.  On the count of 3, each player places their top card face up.  The kids will add (or multiply) the two numbers on the cards together and shout the answer.  The first player to say the correct answer gets to keep the cards.  In case of a tie, push those 2 cards aside, play again and the winner gets all 4 cards (2 from the tie, and 2 from the current match).  The player with the most cards at the end, wins!  How do you use playing cards to practice math skills?

Monday, April 25, 2011

And we have a winner...

Congratulations to PINKY!  Please contact me with your email and I will get your prizes to you ASAP!  Thanks to everyone who entered and became a follower of What's The Buzz and Stepping Into First!  We will be teaming up again soon to giveaway one of Andrea's units.  : )  Stay tuned!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

It's Giveaway Time!

YIPPEEEE!  It is officially giveaway time from What's The Buzz in First and my friend from Stepping Into First Grade!  All you have to do to gain entries are the following:

1 entry if you follow this blog and leave a comment!
1 entry if you follow Stepping Into First Grade and leave a comment!
1 entry if you follow my little Teachers Pay Teachers store!

One lucky winner will receive a $25.00 Dollar Tree gift card, my Frog and Toad unit and the End of the Year Friends game in my TPT store!  This giveaway will end Sunday afternoon at 5:00 EST and the winner will be announced Monday.  Good luck and happy blogging!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Rainy Day Ideas

These are fun, but simple games that kids love to play!  Maybe you have already played them in your room...

Still as a Statue
When we are waiting outside of the gym, library, music or art rooms for our special to start we play Still as a Statue.  Not only do the kids think this game is totally fun, it keeps them quiet while we wait!  Tell them to be as still as a statue.  When you find a child standing so still that all they are doing is breathing and blinking, pick them to be"it."  Then they get a turn finding a friend who is also still as a statue and the person who was "it" goes back into the line.  Continue playing until your wait is over!   : )

4 Corners
I like to play this game on those rainy days when kids don't get to go outside for recess.  The teacher covers her eyes and counts to ten, slowly.  The kids go to a corner in the room (assign the corners numbers 1-4 in the room before you begin the game).  When the counter reaches 10, call a corner before uncovering your eyes.  All of the kids in that corner are "out" and have to sit at their desks.  Start counting again and continue playing until you are down to 4 kids.  When you have 4 kids, they have to pick separate corners.  Continue playing until there is only one child left standing.  I let my kids choose a prize from my prize basket for winning.

I am so excited I have more than 75 followers!  When my friend over at Stepping Into First Grade also reaches 75 followers, we are going to team up to host a giveaway!  So "step" on over to her blog and follow along!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Hopping Into Summer

I work in a school district that is probably one of the last ones out for the summer (June 17th) but I am already thinking of all the fun things we do the last couple weeks of school.  It will be here before I know it!  Here is a fun little game I made for partners to play and at the same time, reminisce about their school year.
You can get it by clicking on the frog below.
Don't forget to follow my little blog as well as my friend's from Stepping Into First because when we both reach 75 followers, we will host a fantastic giveaway!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Money Mini Book

Here is a mini book I made about coins.  It includes coin combinations up to $1.00 and an extension worksheet to go along with the book.  Enjoy! 
PS  Don't forget to become a follower of my blog.  My friend from Stepping Into First and I will be hosting a giveaway when we both reach 75 followers!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Frog and Toad Unit Complete!

Yeah!  I have officially opened my TPT store!  If you do a Frog and Toad unit, you can't miss out on this one!  See the post below for some freebies, and go HERE to purchase the full unit on TPT.  Don't forget to follow my blog...I will always post free pieces from my units before I officially sell the whole unit on TPT. 
HOPPY shopping!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Frog and Toad Preview

Here is my first attempt at posting a document using Google Docs.  It is a free sample from my new Frog and Toad unit.  I am still working on some math activities, rewards, literacy activities and a few fun crafts.  Stay tuned for more!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Scrappin Doodles

So I made my first Scrappin Doodles purchase today.  It was totally impulsive... Now I am in the middle of making a unit with the goodies I purchased and I cannot wait to reveal what I am making!  I will try and post a preview tomorrow.  I know...the suspense must be driving you crazy!  : )

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Smelly Stars!

How do you make a first grader smile? It doesn't take much...
I read some where in blogging land that a teacher would smear flavored chapstick on her kids' hands for a reward because it smelled good (along the lines of a scratch and sniff sticker). I didn't feel comfortable doing that to their hands, so I started giving them "Smelly Stars" on their math papers after I checked them. I bought a tin of Lip Smackers Chapstick in various flavors and started drawing the stars on their papers one day. The first few kids looked at me like I fell down and hit my head when I checked their papers! I told them that they are Smelly Stars and to smell the star I put on the papers. You should have seen them! They walked all the way to their mailboxes at the back of the room with their papers to their noses. I could hear the whispers across the room...she is giving out Smelly Stars and they smell so good! Every kid in the room got their math done in a jiffy that day!!! The stars aren't very dark on the papers, but they don't even care! : ) Just think of the flavor possibilities that are out there! What do you put on your kids' papers after you have checked them?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Reader's Workshop Reading Spots

In my first 8 years of teaching, I never had a theme to my decor.  This year I decided to go all out with the bee theme.  I'm not even sure why I picked bees...maybe the DJ Inker Bee stuff reeled me in when I was browsing catalogs last summer!  Here are a few of the fun bee reading spots we have in our classroom...

My most favorite reading spot in our whole room is the Bee Hive tent.  It has antennae, wings and a stinger!!  We have 2 bee Pillow Pets inside, too.  My mom found it on Amazon and bought it for my birthday.  I set up the tent on the very first day of school, but the tent didn't open until the kids built their reading stamina to 20 minutes.  (It didn't take long!)   

I found this cute bee beanbag at a Mom To Mom sale last fall.  The lady didn't have a price tag on it and offered it to me for a dollar!  Maybe she could tell I was a poor teacher who constantly gets suckered into buying things for my classroom!  : )
This bee reading spot is actually a kid's garden cushion.  They have them at Big Lots for $1.50 each.  I have a bin with lots of these for the kids to use during independent reading.
Check this out...
The Teacher Wife

Thrift Store Finds

 Do you ever get that really excited feeling when you walk into a thrift store and see something that you cannot believe you are actually seeing with your own two eyes?   And then you see the extremely low price and your eyes instantly dart around to make sure no one else is spotting what you have just spotted?  And then you panic because the item is too big to carry, you are towing 2 small children with you and you can't find a sales person to help you claim the item?  Yep...that's what happened when I spied these adorable, yet tacky, rocking chairs.  Chairs = $11 total...the look on my student's faces the following morning = PRICELESS!

And then...there's the gumball machine.  Yes, a real live, heavy duty gumball machine for $8!  So I get it home with a new stash of gumballs and the darn thing doesn't work.  Boo Hoo!  My dad was excited to pull it all apart to try and fix the gears and such inside.  He couldn't fix it and had to order some pretty pricey replacement parts on-line and gifted it to me for Christmas.  Why are school related Christmas presents always the best?  My kiddos thought they had died and went to Heaven the day it arrived in our classroom!  In order to earn a gumball, they have to fill up half of their mini incentive sheets with 10 point stickers.  They earn the stickers by turning in homework, being caught doing nice things for others, working quietly, etc.  The easiest way for them to earn points is to bring in Box Tops or Campbell Soup Labels because they get a point for each one.  Let me tell you...we have won every Box Tops and Campbell Soup Label contest this year because of the gumball incentive!  I even have a kid who makes his mom cut off the labels from the soups before they even eat them!  Too fun!!!!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Linky Party!

Pernickety Pickles is hosting a linky party in which you have to tell about 7 of your favorite things that are totally non-teaching related.  Come up!

 Here are my 7...
1.  I love cherry chip cake!

2.  Cake balls made with cherry chip cake and cherry frosting are even better!

3.  McDonald's Iced Teas!

4.  Snow Days
(Not technically a teaching related item since you can't teach on a snow day!)

5.  Anything from Gymboree for my kids!

6.  The Twilight Books
(I've read them twice!)

7.  Last, but not least...My Family


Step Books

Making these step books are so easy and can be used for just about anything.  This book was made with 2 sheets of plain copy paper.  Lay the two sheets on a table on top of each other, staggered about 1 inch apart.  Fold them down in half so each "step" is about 1 inch.  Staple at the top.  We made this step book during our bird unit.  The kids will decorate the cover and write and illustrate a fact under each flap.

Easy Bird Nest Craft for Easter

Looking for an easy Easter craft?  All you need is a brown paper lunch bag, Easter grass, Robin Egg candy, and a Peep (chocolate covered, or the old-fashioned marshmallow kind).

Open the paper bag and start rolling the edges out until you reach the bottom of the bag.  While you are rolling, you will have to open the bag a little at a time. 

When you reach the bottom, indent it to make it resemble a nest.

Add your Easter grass, Robin Eggs and a Peep.

I do this with my kiddos at the end of our bird unit in science that I plan to end around Easter time.  They LOVE the project.  This year I think I am going to have them make these paper birds from the Family Fun site to add to their nest instead of the Peeps.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Classroom Jobs Made Simple

I have tried every way possible to assign jobs in my classroom.  I think I have finally found the easiest way to do it!  At the beginning of the year, before I have the kids pictures taken for their locker tags, I put their name labels on these adorable bee note pad sheets from DJ Inkers to use as locker tags.  When I had their "real tags" finally made and instead of throwing these bees away, I punched a hole in each one and hung them on magnet hooks on my white board.  One pile of boys and one pile of girls.  Every Monday I flip to the next child in each stack and they are my helpers for the week!  Plus...they fit right in my bee themed classroom.

Friday, April 1, 2011

A Teacher Finds a Pigeon

 So I have to admit I am a little obsessed with Mo Willems' Pigeon books and merchandise!  I found the poster on eBay and paid a small fortune.  It almost didn't fit in the school laminate machine...I would have been devastated!  
Then...I went into a new-local-small-time toy store to see what kinds of toys they had and just as I was about to leave...I spotted THE PIGEON on window clings!!!  How cool is that?  And complete with a HOT DOG and the duck!  I have been told that his Silly Bandz are almost ready to be delivered to stores.