April 29, 2018

A Week of FREE Reading Plans!

Lesson planning can get so tedious, especially towards the end-of-the-year! I wanted to share my lesson plans for this week with you all to use. I have Amazon Kindle Unlimited subscription and I use the free books in many of my lessons and I LOVE it. I wanted to share how useful this service is in my classroom. 

1. No more 'I can't see the picture!' - By reading the book on my SmartBoard, every student has a front row seat! 

2. My students can reread the books on our classroom Kindles or on Chromebooks - You can download the books to your Kindles with the push of a button. I often see my students using our Kindles to reread the stories at Read to Self. You can also access the books on Amazon Kindle Reader on Chromebooks! 

3. No more lost books - I'm not always the most organized teacher. I add links to my lesson plans so all I have to do it click and POOF, my book is ready to read! 

April 25, 2018

Cactus Mother's Day Craft!

When the end of the school year approaches, it's easy to forget about a Mother's Day project! This year I wanted to make something that our moms could put on their desk at work, or the kitchen counter. These cacti are perfect! I especially love that you can't kill them (succulents don't do well with me). Here is what you'll need:

Your Imagination! 

Print out cacti on green cardstock. Have the students cut them out. Cut along the dotted line and insert the pieces together. Tape or glue to a paper or cardboard circle inside the pot and decorate! I added small hearts to my cacti!

Print cards and have students decorate. 

April 3, 2018

Chick Activities and a Giveaway!

A few weeks ago my class raised chicks in our classroom. Being new to first grade, this was the first time doing this. Although the entire process only last 2 weeks, I was exhausted. Raising 12 baby chicks is no easy feat! Obviously, my students all wanted to hold and play with them, but I also needed to find meaningful ways to teach my students about the life cycle of a chick. To make my life somewhat manageable I made a Chick Journal to organize all of my chick lessons. At the end of the unit, my students presented their Chick Journals to their parents. Here are some of the activities we completed!

Cover: Of course we had to have a cute cover for my students to decorate!

Chicken Fun Facts: My students wrote a book of facts about chickens. We used these fun facts in our writing. 

Inside an Egg: I used this sheet while we were waiting for the chicks to hatch. My students were so curious what the chicks were doing inside the egg! 

Parts of an Egg: We also used this page before the chicks hatched. Students learned about the different parts you see in the eggs as they hatch. 

Chicken Life Cycle:  Of course we needed a life cycle visual! 

Chick Book of Facts: :I also have my students write a book of facts about chicks. I used this writing paper and had my students write 1 fact per page. They use websites like PebbleGo and BookFlix to find the information. 

You can purchase this Chick Journal on my first grade TPT store

Win A Chick Life Cycle Exploration Kit!


* Giveaway opens 4/04/18 at midnight and closes 4/10/18. Participants must complete Rafflecopter entry form to enter. 

March 15, 2018

Math Fact Fluency: Addition within 10

Learning fact fluency by the end of first grade is an important math skill to prepare first graders for second grade. Basic math facts are as important as learning high frequency words by heart. Students need to see a fact and know it... quickly. 

My class was struggling with fluency this year so I decided to make a no-prep homework packet to send home each week for some extra practice. I give a 5-page packet each week and attach a sheet of flashcards on colored card stock.

I also included some fun and easily differentiated activities I do during guided math. Enjoy!

Fact Fluency Homework: 

Facts 1-10
Flash Cards
Addition & Subtraction page (facts 1-10)
Addition page (facts 1-9)
Subtraction page (facts 1-10)
Fact Family page (facts 1-10)
Timed Addition and Subtraction page (1-10)

Hands-On Addition Fact Fluency Practice for the Classroom

I made these activities to be used over and over again in my class. I have different dice for the games that help me easily differentiate for my students. 

 Roll & Add: Students roll dice to practice addition. These ten frame dice I used help me differentiate because there are 4 different levels of dice (numbers 1-5, 5-10, 10-15, and 15-20). Students are aware of which color dice they are to use. 

Roll & Count: For this activity, I use these double dice. Students use any strategy to add. Again, you can use higher number dice. 


February 26, 2018

Using Qball in my First Grade Classroom: A Throwable, Wireless Microphone

I love integrating technology and movement into my classroom as much as possible. Having a room of 20-something 6-year-olds has taught me that I must find creative ways to integrate both on a daily basis, however, these products must be durable (I have enough cracked iPads to prove this)! 

When I saw Qball online, I knew it would be perfect for my classroom. After having my Qball for about a week now, here are a few things I learned. This is an unbiased, unsponsored post! 

I LOVE using Qball in morning meeting. It's a perfect way to highlight an individual speaker. It encourages my quieter students to share their thoughts. I take attendance each day asking how my students feel as they begin the day. It's a great way for students to share their concerns and excitements about the day. I'm able to gauge the general vibe of my classroom this way. 

I love using the Qball during whole-group lessons! Students share answers and discuss various topics using this microphone. They are so much more engaged once I take the Qball out because they all want a chance to use it. Answers are amplified throughout the room to ensure each person can hear the speaker. This is especially useful because I have flexible seating. 

* Qball makes every seat a front row seat
* It's super engaging
* It makes quiet voices louder
* It encourages movement 
* Super durable microphone 
* You can hook the microphone to your shirt and use it while teaching. 

* Students have tendency to put their mouths directly on the microphone part. Germ City!
* It's expensive ($179)

I did only found 1 coupon code. Thought I'd share:
Free Shipping - SHRKTNK

January 2, 2018

The Lazy Teacher's Penne Vodka Sauce

Teaching is tough. Some days you need a stiff drink, others you need yourself some comfort food. This recipe is my go-to easy dinner when I need the sweet comforts of vodka and carbohydrates. Enjoy!

  • 2 tablespoons butter 
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 
  • 3/4 cup Vodka
  • 28oz can tomato sauce 
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped 
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated

1. Heat butter and oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook until translucent.

2. Pour in vodka and cook for a few minutes (until the alcohol cooks off).

3. Add in tomato sauce and red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper and saute for a few minutes.

4. Reduce heat and stir in heavy cream. Add cheese and serve over cooked pasta.

December 27, 2017

New Year's Resolution: A Beautifully Organized Classroom!

1. This  Storage Mobile Craft Cart with Dividers

Organize homework, folders, guided reading books, etc. The options are endless! 

2. This White Craft Table

The perfect table for your writing area or a word work station! Students have everything they need at their fingertips. Try putting supplies in clear bins!

3. Galvanized Bins for Leveled Books

Level your classroom library and keep your classroom looking fantastic!

4.  This AMAZING Rolling File Cart

I call this cart my "assessment cart". I keep student's file folders in the bottom, assessments that need to be graded on the top drawer and assessments that need to be files in the middle drawer. It's perfect because I can roll it around my room and use it anywhere.

5. These Over the Door Storage Organizers

Get additional storage in your classroom closet, doors, or cabinets with these fabric storage compartments! 

5. This 10-Slot White Dry Erase Marker and Eraser Holder

Never search for a dry erase marker or eraser again with this versatile rack! It even comes in 3 colors!

6. This Kate Spade Wall Calendar Decal (Clear)


 7. This Wall-Mounted Binder Rack

I had such issues storing my students' writing portfolios because the binders would always slide and fall. I got 4 of these and not each student has their own slot! Perfect to use year after year!

8. This Wall Hanging Storage Bag Organizer 

9. This 3-Drawer (Not Only for Make-Up) Organizer

I love using make-up organizers around the room for my supplies. I label them, plus they are clear so students are able to see which materials are available. 

10. This Echo-Friendly Staple-less Stapler 

11. This Magnetic Modular Storage Starter Kit

Use this to build a tranquil modular garden and add additional storage in your classroom! 

12. This Bamboo Charging Station for your tablets, iPods, and more! 

* This post include affiliate links that help me bring you more content like this. By using my link, there is no additional charge to you!
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