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Saturday, January 24, 2015

Write On ~ Narrative Writing Practice

Writing is quite the ongoing journey in first grade.  It can be such a struggle for young learners.  Some of them cannot read many words, and then we expect them to write detailed narratives about their lives.  This is no small feat for our small learners.

Since September, we have spent a great deal of time writing personal narratives in writing workshop.  With the start of the new year, we are moving into other genres of writing like how-to's, opinion/persuasive pieces, and informative writing.

I want to make sure my firsties don't lose all their narrative writing skills as we move away from daily practice in narrative writing.  So I created a resource to help them practice their writing skills at home.

In my classroom, I send homework packets with my first graders.  Packets go home on Monday and are returned on Friday.  Usually I include math and phonics practice in my homework packets.  So why not add some writing into the mix?!

Write On! {Narrative Writing Through the Year} has over 40 writing prompts to choose from.  These can be used in class, or for homework practice.  I've included options for second pages with writing checklists, as well as a blank prompt.  There is even a parent letter if you choose to use these prompts as homework practice, like I do!

I'm so excited about this new resource!  I've already been using the prompts for a few weeks with my students and have been getting fantastic results.  It's such a great way for parents to see the process that their child goes through to write.  I'm looking forward to seeing their continued growth in writing.

If your kiddos need some additional practice in narrative writing, check it out...






Happy Writing!



Wednesday, January 14, 2015

New Year, New Design

Notice anything different about my blog today?!

I'm so excited about my new blog design!  Megan over at A Bird in the Hand Designs did an AH-mazing job!  I absolutely love it.

A Bird in Hand Designs

(If you are reading this through your email you won't be able to see my awesome new design... so click on over to the web version!)

I chose Megan's "Build Your Blog" design option.  She made the process so easy.  It comes with a header, background, signature, grab button, and installation.  Then I was able to add on some extras!  So very affordable and it felt very customized.

After I selected my add-ons, Megan sent me templates to choose my color and design options from.  From there, she did her magic.

The process from start to finish was so quick... less than a week!

I am absolutely thrilled with the outcome and I hope you like it, too!



Monday, January 5, 2015

Polar Bear Parts of Speech

Very quick post tonight...

We are officially back to school today.  Oh how exhausting getting back into routine can be!  But it was great to see those smiling faces this morning and hearing all about their vacations!!

I wanted to make a fun new winter grammar center to use during my small groups.  It's posted in my TPT Store if you are interested in checking it out...

Saturday, January 3, 2015

January Currently

Happy New Year!!!  I cannot believe it's 2015 already.  With a new year comes new possibilities.  2014 brought a lot of joy into my life.  I achieved some goals I didn't think possible, spent valuable time with family and friends, and had a LOT of fun!  I'm looking forward to seeing what 2015 has to bring!

And of course, with a new month comes a new Currently from Farley at Oh Boy 4th Grade...


Listening - While I realize that Christmas is over, I didn't quite watch all my favorite Christmas movies.  So I need to get them all in before we go back to work on Monday!  Surviving Christmas is and oldie but goodie.  Ahh, Ben Affleck.  Also just bought myself a BluRay player - I'm so fancy!

Loving - I have been on major relaxation mode since coming back to town.  One more glorious morning to sleep in tomorrow, wahoo!

Thinking - My Netflix has been on overdrive these past few days and I'm loving it.  Not sure what to watch next.  Hmm.  Decisions, decisions.

Wanting - I am seriously wanting some fleece-lined running pants.  Today's run was in 20-some degrees (real feel was 13 degrees, eek).  I just got some awesome jackets and top layers, but I forgot to look for better pants!  Today I wore two pairs of pants to keep warm.  That was not too comfy!  Any recommendations from runners?!

Needing - Okay I know I'm still technically on vacation, but I do need to do just a little bit of work.  I have not touched a thing during vacation.  Oh well.  There's always tomorrow!

Yes / Maybe / I Wish - YES to running personal records this year!  Last year my two big races (the 10 mile hill race and the half-marathon) I focused on just finishing.  Now I'm hungry for faster times and stronger finishes.  MAYBE to more photography.  I've been learning a lot and sharpening my skills.  I even bought some "props" for photographing the little ones.  The good thing about photography is that you can almost always find someone to practice on!  I WISH I could travel more. Don't get me wrong, I travel A LOT.  Mostly to Chicago of course.  But it's never enough.  This past week I was lucky enough to spend so much time with my family, including my adorable nieces.  I just couldn't resist sharing some pics from our time together!!

Sisters on Christmas Eve!

A moment of Christmas calm.

We visited a fire house during our vacation!

Can't.  Stop.  Touching.  The.  Tree!!!

Caught ya!

That sweet face...

And that sweet face...

No more pictures please!


Happy New Year!!!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Christmas Fun


It's officially Christmas break - wahoo!  I finally feel like I can breathe and reflect on the whirlwind that December has been!  Here are a few of my favorite Christmas activities from this month...

{Spoiler Alert - if there are any current first grade parents from my class reading this blog post STOP RIGHT NOW!  There are pics of your Christmas present from your first grader in here!}


Again this year I wrapped up all the read aloud books for December.  It just adds something a little magical to start our day.  (Clearly my tree needs some sprucing up next year - it's rather sparse, yikes!)


We made handprint calendars for our parent gifts.  Mel D created this AHH-mazing resource and we will be able to use for years to come.
These take a long time to complete, but they are SO WORTH IT!




We made gingerbread houses to finish off our gingerbread day.  I could NOT do this without help from parents!  My room was a flurry of sugar and excitement.  I had so many volunteers this year, all I had to do was enjoy the afternoon and take pictures.  Thank goodness for parent helpers!!!  




The last day before vacation is always Polar Express pajama day.
I just love seeing what PJ's the kids wear to school!



This year I gave my students the book Snowmen at Christmas.  (Thank you Scholastic book orders for such a great price!)  My kiddos were super excited about their present.  After we opened the presents we read the story together.
And how precious are these elf pajamas?!!



What's Christmas time without some holiday movie favorites?!  These were lifesavers when trying to finish up holiday crafts and other projects before closing out this year.



How adorable is this candy sled that I got from a family?!  So creative and thoughtful.  I just love the cards my students make for me and how excited they get to give me something at Christmas.  They truly are the sweetest.


Merry Christmas!!!

Monday, December 1, 2014

December Currently with a Christmas FREEBIE

It's December, wahoo!  I missed last month's Currently, so I'm psyched to be back-in-action this month.  Time to link up with Farley at Oh Boy 4th Grade...


Listening - Christmas music is my absolute favorite!  I start listening on November 1st, because one month of those cheerful tunes just isn't enough!

Loving - There are only THREE weeks until Christmas vacation.  Seriously.  Can.  Not.  Wait!

Thinking - My apartment feels so cozy all decorated for Christmas.  There's just something about snuggling on the couch with the glow of a warm fire and the lights from the Christmas tree.

Wanting - Okay I know it's only Monday, but I'm really wanting the weekend to get here already!  I'm spending this weekend in Chicago with my nieces.  I haven't seen them since Columbus Day and it feels like FOREVER!

Needing - I need to get some Christmas shopping done, ASAP.  I plan to do some online shopping tonight... if the websites will cooperate!  Last night I fought with the Carter's website for way too long trying to score some cute clothes for my nieces.  Grr.

Giving - How about a little Christmas FREEBIE?!  I put together a book of Christmas word problems that I thought you might like!



What are you Currently up to?!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

HUGE Cyber TPT Sale!

It's time for the annual Cyber Monday and Tuesday Teachers Pay Teachers sale!
My entire store is 20% off!  You can get an extra 10% off if you use the code TPTCYBER at checkout.

What could be better than that?!!

Hop on over to my TPT Store to check out all my products!



Need some fresh activities for Christmas?  Check out my holiday products below...





Be sure to check out a couple of my best-selling items as well...




Happy Shopping!