Monday, 30 July 2012

Blog Awards

Hi There! I wanted to acknowledge all the wonderful bloggers out there who have recently given me an award. Although I have already received these awards, I would like to say a big thank you to each of you for thinking of me. I appreciate it very much. So here is the list of fabulous bloggers I have been lucky enough to be noticed by. I am happy to be amongst your followers. You can click on any of these ladies buttons to visit their blogs.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Great Giveaways To Tell You About

I want to tell you about great Giveaways that are happening right now to 2 blogger friends of mine.
The first is Brigid at Brigid's Daily Lesson Log.  Head on over for the chance to win products from her store and so many other great blogs and their stores!
And the second giveaway is Tamera, she is having a 200 follower giveaway. She has lots of great prizes including products from her store and lots of other fantastic stores. You can check it out here!
You have until tomorrow to enter both these Giveaways. Good Luck! 

Friday, 27 July 2012

Freebie Friday and Mr.Difference re-vamped

Hi! The weeks are flying by, I have 4 more to go and then it's back to school for me. So, I took Mr. Difference and the Subtractors and added some more stuff to make him a better overall zebra. His stripes are shining even brighter now. I threw in a Center or 2 with missing subtrahends (what kind of a word is that?) and he is your Freebie Friday. You can grab him all day long today. After that, he will be in my store, if you need him. I hope that Mr. Difference is something you can use and I am so happy to share him with you. Just click on him. Have a great weekend.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Rockin Resources

I want to share my top 5 resources I use in my classroom, which is a linky with Kelley at the Teacher Idea Factory. Just wondering if coffee counts as a resource - pretty sure it doesn't, but it should, for me it's a resource, but I didn't count it in my top 5.
Here are my top 5 Rockin Resources...
The Time Timer, one of the best inventions ever! The reason that it is so great is cause the kids can see and in bright big red too, exactly how much time is left. I knew I would like it the minute (no pun intended) I laid eyes on it and it has not let me down. It comes in 3 sizes, but I have the jumbo, which is the only one that beeps 4 times as opposed to just once for the smaller ones. One of my best purchases EVER!
My thin tip sharpies - love them! And I actually put the black one on my kids supply list. I like them to have one of their own, it's good for tracing over titles in stories (in good copy) and they are great for tracing over words when writing a comic to make the letters stand out.

When all else fails, electricity is very important. Sharpened - immediately!
I'm addicted to post-it notes. I love them and have pretty much started a collection. I know I should probably get out more, it's a weakness, but I love them. 
So, I bought this arrow through Scholastic, it is magnetic, I just stick it on the chalkboard, I have 3 of them. And they are oh so handy, I use them for so many things, mostly though when I just want to draw attention to something.

Now you know all my resource secrets. If you have time, link up with Kelley and share yours. I'd love to see them.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Newbie Bloggers Blog Hop

Hope you are all having great Saturday! And that it's sunny wherever you are :) I  am linking up with Janis at Grade Three is the Place for Me. This is a linky for new bloggers, what a great idea!

So, here are the questions and answers
What State do you live in?  
I actually live in Canada, but the closest state to me would be New York.
Your current teaching position?
I teach 1st grade.
Your teaching experience?
20 years- yikes, but I started young.
When you started blogging?
Around the end of May 2012.
Share a blogging tip/resource
I would have to say other bloggers have helped me so much. I learn from them. When I see something on someone's blog that I don't know how to do, I e-mail that person and they help me and explain the how to's.

This is a great linky Janis - thank you! For other newbie bloggers, I hope you join up and share.

Speaking of sharing, Amy at The Resourceful Room is celebrating her Bloggiversary with a huge giveaway. The contest closes July 24th. While you're there, check out her new blog design.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Freebie Friday...First Day Back Pack

Happy Freebie Friday! If you're anything like me, you start school with the idea that you're just going to plunge right in from the first day. You know, I'm gonna do this, then read this story, see how the kids respond, move on to some Math work, and so on. But, at least for me, it never works out that way on the first day. I look around the room at the end of the day and it is usually total chaos, supplies strewn everywhere and books out of place. And I have to say my objective now is pure survival, on that first day. The kids come with so many supplies that have to be dealt with, there are parents at the door even before that first bell and, well, it is just not an ordinary get down to work day.

So, this year I have decided not to fight it. I am going to just go with that first day flow that can razzle even the most organized teacher. I made a mini pack for y'all. And I am going to use it, or as much of it, as I need to, to help me deal with the day. I am hoping that it will give me more time to talk to anxious parents at the door and more 1 to 1 with my kids and maybe even a little sanity time to check supplies.

In it, there is a get to know you better page, a stressless Math activity, comparing 2 Pete the Cat's (am I allowed to admit that it's really Him?) 4 corners vacation time, self portrait, know your colors, search the room and find...and last but not least a word search. is your freebie friday, hope you can use it.  Just click on the picture below.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Picture Book Linky Party

Good Monday morning to you. So, I am linking up with Lindsey -The Teacher Wife for a picture book sharing.
 I am addicted to picture books, spend hours looking for just the right one.  I am convinced that we do such a fantastic job with a read aloud when we are in love with the book. Here are my top 5 books I love...
The Night I Followed the Dog
I love this story about a boy who wonders what his "uninteresting" dog does at night after he sees him getting out of a limousine in a tux. So, he decides to follow his dog the next night and what he discovers shows a side of his dog he never knew. The illustrations just make the story even more of an adventure.
Charlie Anderson
So, now onto cats. Charlie Anderson is about a cat who wanders into the lives of two sisters and they love him immediately. He becomes their cat, but he mysteriously disappears into the woods each morning and is gone all day. They eventually discover that they are not the only ones who love and take care of Charlie. 
Please Louise
This is a great story about a boy named Sam whose younger sister Louise just torments him constantly, follows him everywhere and just wants to be around him. Finally, he gets fed up with all her tagging along and wishes for aloneness. But, it's a be careful what you wish for story, cause in the end, he really does want his sister near him. It is a great connect book for kids, especially kids with a younger sibling.
Little Beauty
Little Beauty - I love this book. It's a story of a unique friendship between a tiny kitten and a gorilla. And how, in the end, they would do anything for each other. Also, a great connect book.
The Stranger
Last but not least is The Stranger by Chris van Allsburg. I read it every fall to a new group of kids and every year I wait to see how they are going to interpret it cause frankly I am still trying to figure it out myself and I love to hear a 6 year old's take on it.  I love the mystery of it and that it just keeps you wondering. 
You can click on each book to buy.
Thanks Lindsey for the great sharing idea:)  

Friday, 13 July 2012

Subtracting Freebie...knowing the Difference

In the province where I live (Quebec) we have, for every grade level, Competencies. They would be very similar, I would think, to what I read and often see on other people's blog posts - the common core, except for Texas where I think you call it TEKS? if I'm not mistaken. So, a child needs to satisfy the Competencies. And there are many and they are nightmarish. I think Shakespeare's long lost cousin helped write them. I won't bore you with them. Anyway, within the Competencies is something a little less nightmarish called the progression of learning. This I use to guide me. Mostly because I can understand it. So, my point, which I am getting to is, in Grade 1 Math, there are certain vocabulary words that my kids are expected to know. The usuals - addition, subtraction, plus, minus, sum, BUT... then there's difference. It is hard to teach little ones that word and help them to understand what it means. And then remember it.
No one really wants to call the answer when you subtract the difference. It's too long. So, I had to help it out. Enter Mr. Difference

Now, I know to all of you he is just the Scrappin Doodles zebra, but to me he is Mr. Difference and like any rock star, he has his own band - The Subtractors! This is how I teach the difference. The only other thing I add is the spelling. I thought, I've come this far, I might as well find a spelling trick. So, I borrowed Miss Honey's method (the movie Matilda)
It goes like this- Mr. D Mr. I Mr. FFE Mr. R Mr. E Mr. NCE. Miss Honey actually did it with the word difficulty.
So, I know what you are asking yourself...did it work? You bet your zebras it did! My kids never forget it now. They can spell difference and talk about differences until the zebras come home. I made a little packet out of it. It is your Freebie Friday. Just spreading the love. Click on Mr. Difference below to download.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

3 Ways to Read a Book

So, you know I love the Daily 5. I've declared my love for the Daily 5 in previous posts. In keeping with the love, I wanted to show you what I do to teach and then re-inforce the 3 ways to read a book. 

I start with this

This I use so that my kids have a visual of how exactly to do this. Let's face it, even the best of them at times are distracted. We practise this and practise this so much at the beginning of the year that I could recite it in my sleep. Once the 3 ways are in place, I give my kids a chance to tell me and show me what 3 Ways to Read a Book looks like. Then I move in with the writing, tell me the 3 ways and then
draw yourself actually doing one of the ways. You can click on the picture to download.
But, I guess what I've learned from doing this over the years is that you have to keep at it all year long. They need to be reminded of the ways even after they already know how to do it.  Once that's established, they just need to get better and better at it. I hope:)

Monday, 2 July 2012

My First Currently

I love the link up with the Currently, it is so fun. This is my first one. Here goes...
This is my all time favourite read aloud.

And I have read it so many times, I usually read it around Halloween cause it has kinda spooky qualities, but my kids year after year, class after class LOVE it and always want to hear it over and over again. The best part is when the wolves actually do come out of the walls,  and it's ALLLLLLLLLL OVER. 

And what can I say about Debbie Miller
After reading her book, my classroom practice changed for the better. I re-read her book each year just to refresh the great ideas. She has been a great influence on me as a teacher and a reader. Hope you have time to link up with Currently.