February 2012 - Queen of the First Grade Jungle

March 2nd ***Free eBook access***

Have you all tried using eBooks in your classroom before? They are the coolest things ever! My kids get so excited to read a book on the Smartboard.  I got an email today that said Sylvan Dell will have all of their eBooks available on Friday in honor of Read Across America Day! How cool is that?!?
Here are their new spring books that I wrote about a couple of weeks ago.
And if you want to check out my favorite Sylvan Dell book, here is a direct link below! I use this book when my students are studying the African Savanna.
I hope you enjoy these fantastic books!

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My books are here!

You may not remember but a couple of months ago I was asked to write an article for an online book company - *Booksource*. They had seen my blog posts about my classroom library and thought I might be able to write an article for their monthly newsletter.  I was excited by the prospect of even being asked but then when they offered to send me some books, I was thrilled! Nothing gets me excited like the smell and feel of new books!! I labored over what to get-- more books for my leveled library or real literature for read-alouds for the gobs of kids that I have reading above grade level (yay!). Well if you look at the books below-- you will easily be able to see my decision!       

36 Leo Lionni, Patricia Polacco, and Ezra Jack Keats' books! I am officially in Heaven! Do you love these authors as much as I do?

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Number Detectives Freebie Grades 3-5

The lovely Beth from Thinking of Teaching asked if I could take my original Number Detective Paper and make it appropriate for grades 3-5. Well why not? I have half an hour before my shows start :)! So she and I emailed and this is what we came up with gals! Go easy on me-- remember I teach the little ones!

So grades 3-5 here you go:

 And if you missed my K-2 version, click on the picture to download it:
If you download it, please leave some feedback! I love to hear from you!

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*Representing Numbers: Western Style*

I am am extremely fortunate to say that I *heart* my team.  We have extremely different personalities, but work VERY well together!  We were planning together after school yesterday, and I am pretty sure you would have thought we were having a party the way we were cutting up and laughing. This fun but challenging game was the brain child of that planning session.   I hope ***fingers doubly crossed*** my kids can master this game for our Curriculum Cops' (as Kristin would call them) walk through on Thursday! Put on your cowboy boots because you might feel like your square dancing as you tell your kids to "scoot" and "slide" around the room!

Click on any of the pictures to go to TPT and download it. Don't worry gals (and the occasional guy), it is FREE!

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Word Work Freebie

Have I mentioned how much I LOVE having a student teacher?? Let me rephrase- Have I mentioned how much I LOVE having a very talented, creative, and capable student teacher?? I don't know what I am going to do without her when she goes to her fifth grade placement in a week and a half. I have spent the last two days organizing my files while Miss Student Teacher breezed through the beginning of her solo week. Just to make sure I didn't get too rusty, I created this word work activity for my students. Our word family this week is -ent.  My students have really got the word family thing down except for the close variations.  I thought that it wouldn't hurt to have a little extra practice. I used some of my tried and true Scrappin Doodles clip art and a Read the Room format. 
If you like enough to download, please let me know! I always appreciate the feedback!

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Pirate Themed Valentine Freebie

I made some really cute valentines for Nash's Montessori Class and I thought I would share with you all!
Just buy enough ring pops for your class. I found mine at the dollar store!
And attach my freebie valentine and you are set!  What kid doesn't LOVE pirates?!?

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Adding -s or -es *Freebie*

I am going to write a really short post tonight, because I have some major junk tv to catch up on right now! One of our skills this week is making words that end with -ch, sh, x, or s plural. I threw this activity together really quickly, and I am super happy with it!
Happy Almost Friday! I will be back later this weekend to share some really great ideas my student teacher had for teaching layers of the earth!


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Much Anticipated... Cloud Frame Freebie

Back in September my class was in the middle of weather unit and I saw this on Pinterest...

Found here at The Techy Teacher.

So if you read my Currently post you know that I lose sleep at night wishing for more printer ink.  We don't get to print in color at school like most of you probably, and let's be honest--it is so expensive. So I made my own version that could be printed on colored card stock at school.  I used a di-cut at school to cut out the rectangle and then hot glued tongue depressors to the back for handles.

They were a huge hit with my kids!  So for all of you that have emailed me and I haven't gotten around to sending you the cloud frame... I am SO sorry.**** *Here it is now!*****

And a close-up up with one of my cuties and his "Cloud Frame" in action!

I also have a recording sheet HERE!

So as you can see I had to upload the document to TPT to be able to share it. Please someone let me know if  this actually worked! Thank you Gena at The Techy Teacher for the inspiration.


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...Coming in and going out!

I was so excited about my blogger meetup this weekend that I neglected to tell you all about the package that I got. *Sylvan Dell* sent me their 5 new Spring books! Now...I haven't had the chance to use them in my classroom yet, but I can give you several reasons why I know these books will be a great addition to my library:

1.  We do a penguin unit in January and the book The Penguin Lady highlights many different kinds of penguins. 
2.  The Great Divide helps students understand all the names that different groups of animals have. My kids will LOVE this! (*Not to mention it helps set the foundation for division- love a book that has embedded learning :) )
3. Home in the Cave - I actually read this one to Nash and Emmie already, and they really enjoyed it. Mommy was a little bit squeamish about it, but  this book would be perfect when discussing the interdependence of animals (even if it is about guano!) 
4. Three Little Beavers will make a great read around Earth Day.  Children seem to understand better than we adults do the impact that we have on animals!
5. Gopher to the Rescue: Now I am really excited to read this book to my kids.  Once again another book that will explain to kids why we need all animals in order to keep everything balanced in  our ecosystem. The book highlights how a gopher's actions help bring back life to a mountain after a volcanic eruption.
*I promise I will share more after I read the books to my students!
As for the package going out....
I am participating in this Valentine exchange:
Be My Valentine

And just mailed this little package to someone very special.  I am sure you are very interested in knowing who...but that would ruin the surprise! I really hopes she likes it!


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In the spirit of trying new things lately I am joining Farley's Currently linky party! Enjoy!

Hope your Monday was as painless as mine!


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Groupie Update...

You all were right! All my silly nerves were for nothing! Everybody was so sweet.  I got to meet SO many people and it was nice to finally put a faces with the people I had been reading about for about a year now. It was a little difficult to figure out who everyone was because there truly were about 50 of us there! I would be 2 to 3 minutes into a conversation with someone and then realize who they were which would spin me into a couple of minutes of gushing about how much I adored their blogs!
First O.M.G moment was meeting Jodi from *Fun in First*. I totally rely on Jodi's fluency packets during literacy centers. She was so nice!

Claire and I debated grabbing Abby and Michelle, but we knew we would regret it if we didn't get a picture with them! They were so good to us and already have started talking about the next time we can all get together! Sorry for the blurriness.
 You all should have seen how silly we looked trying to get a picture of all 50 of us there in this packed mall! I am sure everyone thought we were nuts.

As usual I didn't  get all the pictures I wanted to so you all will have to be happy with seeing the buttons of people I met...

I came to the gathering hoping to find Amanda. She has fantastic lessons that center around comprehension. She is a fellow literacy snob like me :).  I wish I had been able to pick her brain a little more!

I laughed when I met Ashley because I had just used her picture to show my kids how they could dress on the 100th day of school!

Katie's blog is new to me,but I can't wait to get more time to look through it. I also was super excited when I saw her website readingresource.net. I love some good reading ideas!

Made In The Shade In Second Grade

Another new one to me, but funny gal-Lisa!

Stories From Second
Another 2nd grade Lisa (who was super sweet!)

There was also LaNesha from Just another Day in First Grade, Megan from Mrs. Wheeler's First Grade Tidbits, and Stacy from Off 2 Kindergarten. I am so sorry if I left anyone out. I was a little overwhelmed by all the teaching excellence in one room!

Now, I need to go take care of this yucky migraine that has decided to ruin my Superbowl Sunday!

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I feel a little bit like it is the first day of school. I have big butterflies in my tummy, because bright and early tomorrow morning my blogging/school buddy *Claire* and I are headed to Cincinnati for the blogger meet-up hosted by Abby and Michelle. (P.S. if you haven't visited Claire's blog you definitely should! She is a special education teacher at my school who has great ideas and a great perspective!)

This means a couple of things:
1. I get a whole day without kids(love mine to death, but grownup days are fun too!).
2. I get to be around people who are very passionate about what they do.
3. I get to eat some YUMMY food.

I am so excited but very nervous! Wish me luck!

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