Saturday, March 31, 2012

Outlaw Words {Literacy Centers}!

Do your buckaroos ever struggle with those random words that don't seem to follow a spelling rule or they even make up their own rule to follow?  MINE DO! At the end of the year, it's even move prevalent that they struggle with reading some of these words. Those crazy rule-breakers are called OUTLAW WORDS!



These cowboy themed centers will be perfect practice for your buckaroos! These literacy centers all come in full color or black/white.



In this packet, you will find:

*Outlaw Word Book {large & small}

*Roundin' Up Words {oy and oi word sort}- with recording sheet

*Spinnin' Spurs {ight word practice}- with recording sheet

*Boots or Books? {oo word sort}- with recording sheet

* Sheriff's Round Up {words that end in y}- with recording sheet
*Horse Corral {words that end in y}- with recording sheet
*Outlaw Word Cards- with recording sheet
*Moo! {outlaw word game}
*Cowboy Sentence Corrall {sentences using outlaw words}- with recording sheet
*Don't Get Poked {silent letter game}- with recording sheet


Newly added:

*Outlaw day note to parents
*Snack ideas
*Pennant Banner
*Handkerchief Poem
*If I were a cowboy
*If I were a cowgirl
*Cowboy/Cowgirl tree map {whole class and recording sheet}
*Cowboy/Cowgirl bubble map {whole class and recording sheet}





You can check out my new packet on TpT {here}.




I want to send this packet to the first person to guess what my very first country concert was {leave your email please}...

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Organizing Centers

Hey friends!  I'm getting some SPRING FEVER....especially because in 8 days I'll be in California sippin' Diet Coke with some of my blogging friends!  I cannot decide what to wear.  Do I wear heels? Do I wear flats?  I don't want to tower over Kristin {Teeny Tiny Teacher}. Because let's just say, I'm not teeny tiny!  If you have advice on what I should wear, I'd like that. :)


I'm here to show you all how I organize all those bagillion {is that a number?} centers I have.  Last year, I did lots of posts about organization that you can look at {here}.


Each center is put in it's theme-specific clear bin.  Each bin is clearly labeled. It's all about labels, my friend.





If the game is more neutral or I use it only in a math concept, I put it in it's corresponding bin that I have for math.


Then, inside each bin, I have the games separated in ziploc bags.  I love the freezer gallon sized ones.  Thank you Costco for providing me a huge box of them!  Inside of the ziploc is each piece for the game plus one recording sheet as my blackline.  If I'm feeling really awesome, I put that blackline in a page protector. You know, to protect it. :)





And that's all folks! :)  If you'd like my labels, you can download them {here}.  Just do me a favor and click the file on GoogleDocs and click "download". They will download right to your computer.  No need to click "share". :)

I use AVERY 5163 label size and I stick a piece of book tape over it to keep it durable.



Clipart and/or fonts are used with permission from:
DJ Inkers {djinkers.com}
Thistle Girl {thistlegirldesigns.com}
Kevin and Amanda {kevinandamanda.com}


Do you organize your centers this way? Or some other way? I'd love to hear about it!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

New and Improved!

Did you know that Earth Day is less than a month away {April 22nd}?  In honor of Earth Day, I've revamped and improved my free mini-unit! Our class is "going green" {your class can too! This is a multi-grade level unit}.  This unit is full of Earth Day topics such as reduce, reuse, recycle, pollution, mother earth, and more!


You will find activities for:
*Math
*Science
*Writing
*Centers
*Art
*Reading



Here are just a few of my favorite things...







This little guy is my favorite! 
This is a tin foil statue made from recycled foil!



Saturday, March 24, 2012

Can you come see me?

I'm going on a VACATION to So Cal {Southern California....ok, I probably didn't have to explain that}! What better way to spend my vacation than having a meet-up with all of you?!?!?!  I really wish Natalie could come too, but she's kinda having a baby. Soon. I promise we'll take lots of pictures to show you, Natalie!  We'll be meeting in Irvine. Ya'll, I  have no idea where anything is in California. I haven't been there since high school and I took a school bus there. :)

My husband is coming with me and I are taking this vacation together. It was a mutual decision. :).He's not really invited to the meet-up though. He needs something to do during that time. Any ideas?  Could our husbands congregate to some sporting event during that time?  Nah...I'll just leave him at the hotel. I told him I'd only be gone a couple of hours. HA!  He just rolled his eyes nodded his head in agreement.

At the Utah blogger/teacher meet-up that we had last November, I about lost my voice from talking SO much. I can't wait for that to happen again!  

You can email Hadar at misskindergarten@hotmail.com  or you can shoot me an email at whattheteacherwants@gmail.com  for more info!
P.S. I love Hadar. Not in a creepy-stalking-I'm a werido- kind of way. But, she's just so sweet and fabulous and I love her blog. Just sayin'.


PLEASE COME! It'll be so fun. Like Hunger Games at midnight kinda fun.




Riddle me this:
1. Can you come {don't make me beg}?
2. Should I take my hubby to Disneyland {he's never been}
3. What is a must-see in So. California?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Poetry Pack {mini-giveaway!}

I am so excited about the new POETRY PACK I just created! 

I have a little secret, I have hated teaching poetry in the past. I personally love writing poetry, but it just seemed so hard to teach. 

Which poems do I teach about? 
How in-depth do I go? 
What resources do I use? 
What do I expect students to produce at the end? 

It just seemed so confusing.

Well, as you know, I will be going on maternity leave sometime in the next couple of weeks. I usually teach poetry in May, but I didn't know how/what to write for sub plans. Like I mentioned, I never had any good resources. I knew that in order to write my sub plans, I would have to come up with something great...

And this, my friends, is my finished product:
This Poetry Pack includes 11 poetry posters. Each poster includes a description of the poem and an poem to use as an example. (All poems are original - written by me.)

This pack also includes a half-sized blank book of poems for your students to create their own published book of poetry. 

This unit should last about 3 weeks. Teach one poem each day and have students work on their own original rough draft of the poem (11 days total). Save some days at the end so that all students can create their own published book of poems. 

I recommend copying the blank book of poems on cardstock and binding it down the side. Your students' finished products will look something I like this: 
Just for fun, here's a little mini-giveaway:

Write a short poem about how much you love What the Teacher Wants and post it as a comment on this post. 
I will use random.org to pick 3 winners. 
Giveaway ends Sunday at 7 pm MTS. 
Winners will be announce on our facebook page.
(Make sure you "like" us!)


Sorry, giveaway is closed.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Math Tub Time!

We just finished place value {I looove Cara's Packet of Place Value Fun} and I feel like my kiddos are getting it!  Even though we are finished with this topic, I still like to stick a few of those games in my math tubs.

My kiddos love memory/matching games and this one is from my




I feel like time is so fun to teach! It's awesome to see the kiddos telling you what time lunch starts {only if they raise their hand, of course!}. They are loving this game, "Rock Around the Clock" from my "Telling Time Packet".



You play music and the kiddos dance around the classroom, when the music stops, they find a different desk and write any time {whatever time you are working on} they want {digital}. Then, I start the music again {they dance} and when the music stops, they find a different seat and draw the analog clock time to match the digital time. I check them off, they erase their boards, and we play again. :)
The mats are laminated and we use dry-erase markers on them.



Check out my cuties dancing!  Notice the boy on the floor doing the "worm". :)






This one is also from my "Telling Time Packet". Why are kids so obsessed with spinners?  They spin the spinner and make that time on their analog {Judy clock} clock. If you don't have a set of Judy Clocks, you can use the DIY cardstock clock that I provide in the packet.






Here's one of the most popular games that my kiddos loooovvvee {you might have seen this from last year, but I thought I'd share it again}.

Here is a game for teaching/practicing time! I have left the clocks blank so that all grade levels can insert the times that they are working on. In partners, each player takes a turn drawing a card. Then, they write down the digital time on their recording sheet.  Watch out for that fly in that pile! If you pick one, you lose a turn!  The first player to fill up their sheet is the winner!




Click {here} for the downloads!




And....head over to Jamie's blog and enter to win my Springtime Math Centers and 9 other spring themed packets! Whoa....

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

F...l....u....e.....n.....c.....y



As I was finishing up my report cards a few weeks ago. I noticed that MANY of my students were FAILING not meeting the standards in fluency.  I always talk about fluency, but I've never really stressed it.  My teammates also had the same problem.  They suggested that we all start doing Fry Phrases.  I found a fabulous set of Fry Phrases for free from Ocean's of First Grade Fun.  She made the first 3 lists all cute and typed and COLOR CODED. How did she know my OCD self I would love and need these! :)


I've also started using Jodi's Fluency packs. Ohmyword. There is about THIS MUCH in these packets. They are Ahhh-mazing! They are also great for vocabulary and comprehension.


Then, as one of my Daily 5 mini-lessons, I did a fluency lesson. I want my kiddos to know what fluency is so that they can have it! :)

I made these posters to help them remember.  I only went over one poster a day.  I showed them non-examples and then good examples of each one.  So, for example on day one, I did explained rate.  I read a poem SUPER fast. I had to give me a thumbs up if I had a good rate or a thumbs down if I had a bad rate. They gave me a THUMBS DOWN!  I was too fast!  Then, I read it too slow.  I bet you can guess what happened next.  Yes, they gave me another thumbs down.  I finally read it just right. I got lots of thumbs up and even a few thumbs down.




With each poster there is also an action:
Rate- Not too fast and not too slow {they pretend to run slow and run fast- with their arms}
Expression- Don't sound like a robot {they do the robot dance- channel your inner 80's dance moves}
Accuracy-Read the words right {they do a check mark in the air with their pointer finger}
Punctuation- Read the punctuation marks {they make an exclamation point in the air}



Then, once a week, after I do a running record on a student, I quickly have them fill out this self-assessment.  We then set a goal on what they will work on.




Any other fluency tips for my 1st graders? 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Good Handwriting Can Happen!

I feel like 90% of my students have excellent handwriting. I motivate them by using the Handwriting Fairy {and it's NEVER too late for you to start!}.   You might have seen {this} post of mine about the Handwriting Fairy.  I've actually created a whole packet that really ties everything together!





This packet will help motivate your students to have good handwriting! Did you know the Handwriting Fairy comes into your classroom each night and looks for neat handwriting? If she sees something she likes, she leaves them a "Neat Treat". 

In this packet you will find:

*Handwriting Fairy Book
*Neat Treat Printables
*Handwriting Fairy Craftivity
*Dear Handwriting Fairy Writing
*Whole class Tree Map {about Handwriting Fairy}
*Tree Map recording sheet 
*Bubble Map {about Handwriting Fairy}
*Expository Writing 
-How to Have Bad Handwriting
-How to Have Good Handwriting






Here's an example of the Handwriting Fairy craftivity 
the patterns and everything are in the packet}:



You can check out this packet {here}!



Wednesday, March 7, 2012

MIA: Playing Catch Up

Hey everyone, I'm very sorry for my absence from blogging. I am right in the middle of finishing up 9 weeks of maternity sub plans!! (I only get 6 weeks of maternity, but because my 1st baby surprised us 3 weeks early, I have to be ready just in case.)

I have a bunch of stuff I want to share with you, so please accept my apology for being gone for so long.  Follow along as I play a game of "Blogging Catch Up!"

*  *  *  *  *

Rachelle just shared her awesome Substitute Survival Kit (which I love and am totally using a couple of her pages!). I wish I had a substitute pack of sorts to share with you too, but everything I've made for my maternity plans is so specific to my class/school that I'm afraid nothing will be applicable to anyone else.

I do have a cute binder cover that I can share with you, if you'd like. :)
(Clip art by Thistlegirl Designs)

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We just had our BIG state writing assessment.  Let me tell you, my life for the past 2 months has revolved around persuasive writing. It is so nice to have the assesment over!  I won't know my students' scores for a little while, but I am pretty confident that they ROCKED it!

I do want to share some Persuasive Writing stuff with you all, but I'm still putting some finishing touches on everything. In the meantime, have you ever heard of a TAP F? I never had until my new team member (thanks Kathy!) introduced me to it this year. It's basically a way to brainstorm your persuasive writing. You teach your kids how to make a TAP F and you train them to do it all on their own. After weeks of practice, your students can do ALL of this all by themselves.

This is just an example of what one of my struggling writers produced. I was blown away!

Here's the quick explanation of a TAP F:

Have your students fold a blank piece of paper into thirds. They write the letters TAP F down the left hand side (T=Topic, A=Audience, P=Purpose and F=Format), they make a T chart for pros and cons on the right side, and the middle is for a mini outline of their paper.

For the state assessment, I read the testing instructions, said they could begin, and my students got busy working on their TAP F's. It was amazing to see. The quality of the essays they produced was outstanding. I can't wait to see the results!!

*  *  *

For fun (and to reinforce synonyms) my class has been playing the Hink Pink game. They LOVE it! If you have a subscription to Super Teacher Worksheets, they have a bunch of different worksheets you can download.
*  *  *

As always, I'm behind in my social studies teaching. I am now just barely finishing the Revolutionary War. My students did this cute project where they wrote about the differences between the American and the British soldiers and drew a picture of each. Their work turned out so cute! 
Oops... sorry the above picture is so blurry... 


Here is a copy of this download for you. Since I'm sure you're all much farther along in your history teaching, I have also included a similar project where they compare Union and Conferderate soldiers from the Civil War. 

*  *  *

In math, we just finished up our BIG fraction unit and are now moving on to Geometry. Since Geometry is so rich in vocabulary, I always give my students a blank vocabulary sheet that they can glue into their math journals to help keep track of all the new words we learn.

Here's a copy, if you want one.
*  *  *
Well... We've been doing tons of other things in class too, but I have about a million things on my baby to-do list that need to get done. I promise to try to blog more in the near future.

Oh, and please expect some darling pictures of my little cutie when she gets here! :)
She should be here in 3-6 weeks! SO EXCITING!!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Punctuation Perfection Craftivity!

Remember this freebie I posted a few weeks ago:

{click *here* for that freebie}

Well, I had the most amazing 2nd grade teacher email me {Hi, JoAnn} and she had done the best craftivity that went along with my Punctuation Perfection freebie!  I immediately asked her if I could blog about it and she graciously shared!  Thank you, JoAnn!

Look at these commas! ADORABLE!



This little period guy is adorbs!



An exclamation point craft that will make sure your kiddos never forget their ending mark!



LOVE!!!



P.S. I had a teacher request that I add an apostrophe to the pack and of course I couldn't say no! It was a great idea! So...re-download! :)
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