Sunday, September 30, 2012

Self-Evaluation Freebie & Giveaway Reminder

Well, we've only been in school 18 days and already it's time to start thinking about parent-conferences! Kind of crazy! Our conferences fall earlier than normal this year (Oct 10, 11 & 18). Report cards (plus the related assessments) won't be completed until after conferences. Kind of interesting!

I love giving the kids a chance to self-reflect and came up with this form this year. There are two sides with academic categories (Reading, Writing, Math) on the front and academic enable categories (following directions, doing my work, friendship actions) on the back. 

I added extra pages without the "Quarter 1 2 3 4" part in the upper right for those of you who go by trimester or semester. 

Hope you find it helpful!

You can have it for free by clicking on the first picture. :-)

There is a typo in the pic, but not on the download. :)

Also - if you haven't had a chance to enter my giveaway for my Personal Narrative writing unit, please head over to that post by scrolling down or clicking the first preview picture below.

(Giveaway closed.)

Have a wonderful week!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Common Core Personal Narrative Unit Giveaway...finally!

Hello, hello!
I'm thrilled to offer you the (long-promised) giveaway for my writing unit: Starting Point - Personal Narrative! Hoping that with the student samples and other additions that you'll find it is worth the wait! The giveaway will go until Wednesday, October 3rd.

This unit is about 3-5 weeks depending on how you implement. You can always condense it if you need to. It was created from 1st and 2nd grade Common Core Standards, but could be utilized in 3rd grade as well. The student samples are from 1st graders in my class this year. I am hoping down the road to be able to add 2nd grade student samples. So if you are a 2nd grade teacher who wins or buys this unit and would be willing to send me some photos, that would be WONDERFUL!

Here are the preview files to give you an idea of what's included in this 60ish page unit...

I've will be giving away 5 copies in two different giveaways...for a total of 10 copies given away. Some of you prefer rafflecopter and others prefer blog comments. Please choose ONE way to enter, but not both. 

Option 1: (I will use to generate the 5 winners.)
To enter by blog comment, please leave me a comment at the bottom of this post with:
1. The name with which you follow me. (For example, if on Google you follow me by your blog title, please put your blog title. If it's your first name and last initial, please put that. If you're not sure, scroll over the followers to find yourself to see.) If you follow me via feedburner email, leave me the email address that you gave to feedburner when you followed me by email.
2. Follow me on TpT. If you have a TpT store, let me know the name of your store. I'd love to follow you back!
3. Briefly tell about an embarrassing moment in your work or home life. Embarrassing moments make for GREAT personal narratives!! (I'll share my embarrassing moment in a future post when I reveal the winners.)


Option 2 - Rafflecopter, enter below...

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thanks so much for your interest!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

First Grade Common Core

Hi Friends!
I keep adding to my Personal Narrative Unit and PROMISE it will be done and posted by the end of the weekend...FOR SURE!!! I want to give away 10 copies of it and am "noodling" on how to make that happen in the "easiest" way possible...
In the meantime, though, have you seen this workbook for 1st Grade CCSS? I've seen a few posts here and there and am pretty curious! It is 550 pages long!!! And filled with activities for CCSS, both ELA and Math. You're sure to find a bunch of stuff to use with your sweet firsties!

You can check it out easily by clicking right here: First Grade Common Core.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Giveaway Winners...

I just checked Rafflecopter to select the winners. chose them and I got to send four FUN emails to:

#422 Rhiannon Mitchell
#243 Kelly Beam Brown
#869 Rebecca Repko
#545 Maria Youngblut

Wow - Giveaways are fun!!! I already have my next one planned for when we get to 200 followers. It's Pete the Cat related (I'm sort of obsessed with him)!

Thanks soooo much everyone. My Personal Narrative Unit will be done soon, I'm waiting to finish a few parts and add student samples.

Have a wonderful Friday!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A Freebie to say THANKS!

Oh my goodnesss! I am thrilled with all of you followers! Thanks so much for your interest! I worked on a little freebie last night to say thank you. I tried to upload it, but Blogger was being kooky. I figured that out, then TpT was being kooky. Well - here it is, friends...finally! Sheesh.

Just a quick reminder that the Thirty One giveaway is over tomorrow night. If you haven't entered, go for it right here! :)

Activities in my Literacy Stations change out each month-ish (ha!)...One of the stations is "Authors & Characters" and in this tub goes 10-15 books, some with a character, some by a specific author. One month it is Eric Carle & Froggy, another month it's Kevin Henkes, Frog & Toad and Fly Guy. 

At our school, we do the Daily 5's Three Ways To Read a Book with a heavy "study" emphasis. Meaning... heavily encouraging and modeling how to study and savor the pictures & the words during guided reading and with read alouds. We study the books as readers & as writers, often asking if anyone has tried something they've seen in a book in their own writing (if so, we celebrate!).

At any rate, here's an activity that goes in the Authors and Characters's prettier than what I've been using, but it's not super elaborate. I want the kids to have enough room to record their answers. I plan to use a new page in each month's Authors & Characters tub so their activity ramps up each month but that it's familiar enough to be figured out relatively independently as time goes on (once there's been scaffolding in the first months). Kids are expected to complete the activity each time they rotate to that tub (which is every 10ish days, as I have 10 stations), using a different book.

Generally, at the Literacy Stations, each tub has 4-6 activities inside, some of which can be used multiple times with different books, some of which are a "do once" kinda deal.

You all probably have different ideas on how it could be used and I'd love to hear from you! Leave me some feedback on TpT and/or the blog and I'd really appreciate it!

This will be free for a few weeks. I'm planning to add more to it and charge for it on TpT (not a gazillion, but a little bit)...if you check back on TpT in a few weeks and see that it costs something, feel free to email me ( and say you saw it in this post - I'll happily email you the updated file for free cuz you're a follower and all. :)

Here she is - click the first picture for the link


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sneak Peek & I'm TRIPLING the Giveaway...

Hello New Friends!!
Thanks so much for joining me here in the pinter-blog-iverse! I'm thrilled to have you!! We made it to 62 followers in about 48 hours - that's AMAZING! Thanks for getting the word out there to your people!! You may want to keep sharing, as I will be tripling the giveaway if I get to 93 (every 31 followers = 1 Thirty One Giveaway)...and I could even be arm-twisted to give away more for 31 more and more, etc. Let's see how it goes!

Click the picture below to get to my post containing the Rafflecopter for you to enter...

Sneak Peek:
I'm working on a starter unit for Writers' Workshop that I'm calling "Starting Point: Personal Narrative." It's just that...a starting point...something to kick you off in your narrative genre study...You all know and use wonderful strategies in your own Writers' Workshops and I will love learning from you as we get comments going back and forth! Over the school year I will have more Starting Point WW units for some of the different genres we study in first grade in my district.

A sneak peek at the first few pages is included below...I plan to have it blog/TpT ready within the week. Once I post it here and on TpT, the first 10ish people who download it will get it for FREE. After that it'll have a price listed. So, if you click on it and it says free, that means you're within the 10ish people. If you freebie download it or pay for it, I'd LOVE your feedback via blog comment and/or TpT feedback (you can earn credits on TpT when you purchase items).

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Thirty One PERSONALIZED Thermal Lunch Tote Giveaway for when....

I reach 31 followers! I am getting close. :-) Your odds of winning will be pretty darn scroll down to the Rafflecopter's easy-peasy to enter.

Who doesn't love Thirty-One? Who doesn't love fun lunch bags? One (possibly two!!!) lucky winner(s) will win a personalized thermal lunch tote from Thirty One in a pattern of their choice and I'm super excited about it!!
Thermal Tote
And...if I get to 62 followers by the time the giveaway ends I will DOUBLE the giveaway!! Super excited about that!

I made my giveaway button using backgrounds from Shery K Designs and the owl from The Digital Bake Shop. My blogger button was made by Alicia at Dreamlike Magic.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Indoor Recess Activity Bags - Freebie!

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

We had a last-minute-hadn't-taught-the-kids-yet indoor bus line up when it poured buckets at dismissal time yesterday. All hands were on deck and everyone got home safely, thank goodness.

It got me thinking about Indoor Recess...

During lunch recess, our school offers A.I.R. (Active Indoor Recess), which is wonderful! At our grade level recess, we are on our own.

Last year, my esteemed colleague, Shelley, shared her Indoor Recess Activity Bag activity. Love her for sooo many reasons! This year, I'm all excited about my digital graphics so I'm cuting up the parent note.

The idea is that you send home a gallon sized zip lock (freezer works well) home with each student (labelled with their name) and they fill it with small items that they can do during indoor recess. Our firsties loved playing with their Hot Wheels, Pokemon cards, Squinkies, Polly Pockets, mini-games, mini-puzzles, card decks...etc. Drama free recess practically guaranteed! Bags were kept at school...

Here's the letter. Click right here to download it for free!

Common Core Reading Posters - Black & White Themed

So, our district doesn't require us to post the common core standards we are working on yet, but I am thinking it could be on the way sooner rather than later.

I love Deanna Jump's common core posters (see them here), but I've kinda got a black and white theme going in my room now and I wanted to coordinate so I looked at TpT for black and white ones that worked for me, but I guess I'm too picky. So, I decided to start the tedious process of doing my own.

CCSS in Reading have three components: Literature, Informational Texts & Foundational Skills. My thinking decor-wise is to have three different black/white/gray-ish backgrounds, one for each of the components. Each component would have one-two full pages listing all the standards for it. Then there would be pages fitting 2-3 "mini" versions of the standards which would be displayed on a ribbon (like in Deanna's example) or using magnets.

I plan to have these on TpT sometime soon. I'd consider making them for first grade math, as well.

Pictures below...I would love your suggestions and feedback! Thanks so much for your help...

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Fun Giveaway!

Have you seen this great giveaway from Jen at...
teaching, life, and everything in between
She is having a GREAT giveaway! I'm hoping to win the $25 Amazon gift card. Go ahead and click her button above to head on over for your chance to win.
And, while you're there, check out the wonderful ideas and cuteness...

Volume Level Charts & A Freebie

Well, my four-year old daughter's 3rd Annual Vomit-Fest is in full session. Let's say that the holiday weekend isn't quite what we expected...on the up side, though...while she's sleeping on a bunch of towels on the floor nearby I've been doing some creating.

I've added two versions of volume version with bright backgrounds, one version in black and white. Each file has 12 different backgrounds. A few of each are below...

Find the black & white ones here...and the bright ones here...

Here's your cardinal directions signs freebie below. Click either picture to download it. :-)

Hope the rest of your Labor Day weekend is wonderful!