Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The A, B, C's of teaching

I got to thinking today....it's nearly March and, boy, has the year flown by already!
My kinders are doing such a great job reading, writing simple messages using sight words and "inventive spelling" and learning numbers to 100.

But what about those kids, and there are a few of them, that are still struggling to identify some letters and sounds?
Or those that are having a little difficulty building CVC words?
I made this a while ago and I use it at my Magnetic Letters centre.  Students can match the letter, match uppercase to lowercase, use it to order the letters, etc.
I have even added simple CVC words.
Whenever the students go to this centre, they can choose to complete one of these abc strips.  I change them every couple of weeks.

I thought I would try sending some of these strips home this week for those students that need a little more letter/sound practice.  I'm going to put a couple of abc strips in a baggie with magentic letters.
Click the link below for your free copy of these strips.
Hope you will be able to use them at your centre or with your students that just need a little boost!
Be sure to check out my sale tomorrow only on TpT.
All of my products are 20% off and if you use code L2P9Y you can save an additional 10% off!
It's tomorrow only!
So hurry over and start filling up your cart!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Leap Year Sale!

Here are few things you may be interested in...
Just in time for Dr. Seuss' birthday and 
Read Across America Day 
(March 2)
Perfect for St. Patrick's Day!

If you haven't already done so, come on by my Facebook page!  I just created this page and plan on posting lots of stuff really soon!

Click on the picture to get there.
Be sure to check out all of my other products on Tpt too!
If there is anything in particular you are looking for, please let me know.  I have custom-made many Write the Room activities for teachers...just ask and it can probably be done!
With a sale like this...it's a great time to stock up!
Happy Leap Year!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Let's Eat! - a nutrition freebie!

If you have been following my blog for a while now, you will know how much I enjoy eating a sweet treat (or two!).
That's why when I teach our Nutrition Unit, I have to control myself from bringing in such treats for myself as I want to set an example for my kiddies (this is VERY difficult!).
(Pssst....I do keep a small stash of those tiny Smarties boxes in my desk...just in case of emergencies!).
I created this Teacher Big Book and Student Emergent Reader as part of my Nutrition Unit. 
You can download your copy here for free.

If you do download it, please leave me feedback either here or on TpT.  I appreciate it!

Here are a few things we did while we are learning about healthy and unhealthy foods.

This is our Chit Chat message from one morning.  I took Deanna Jump's idea and have been using it since the first day of school - the kids love it!
Here the students are sorting foods into healthy and unhealthy categories.  We had to stop and talk about certain ones (like pizza and ice cream) as some kids agreed those foods were healthy and others said they were not.
I love it when kids discuss their rationale - "Ice cream is made from milk so it is healthy!"
*I agree!* HA!
We read the book "It Looked Like Split Milk" and created our own spilt milk pictures.  This student is still blowing the paint around and when it's dry we will write about what it could be.

You can find these activities and LOTS more in my

Enjoy the weekend!

Monday, February 20, 2012

We have a winner!

And the winner of BOTH my newest Write the Room activities is...
Mrs. Miner from Mrs. Miner's Monkey Business!

(Yes, Mrs. Miner, today certainly is your lucky day!)

Thank you to everyone who entered!

I enjoyed reading all of the different Write the Room activities you like and ideas for new ones you would like me to create.
I'll be on that soon!

In the meantime, if you would like to have your own
check them out here!

Check back later this week for some more nutrition freebies!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Nutrition AND Dr. Seuss AND St. Patrick's Day! Whew!

It's a long weekend!  We have Family Day here in Ontario (Canada) on Monday and in case you can't haven't guessed...I'm thrilled to have that extra day off!

We were busy little *smarties* this week learning all about nutrition.  I call my students *smarties* but this week I had a student remark "Hey, that's JUNK food! You can't call us that!"  Needless to say, I have been refraining from using that word!
At least my kiddies are learning, right!

My students worked in partners and they had to measure each other using "pancakes" (I love using these pretend pancakes because we talked about healthy/unhealthy food and Tuesday is Shrove Tuesday!)
The kiddies had to also measure other things around the class with their partner and record it on their worksheet.
This activity showed me not only who was understanding the concept of measurement but which students liked (and were able) to work with other students.

We are going to be doing this fun cut and paste with grocery flyers next week.
You can find these activities and LOTS more in my

I had a chance today to finish working on a few Write the Room centers.  There were several teachers who wrote to me asking if I would create a St. Patrick's Day Write the Room activity and a Cat in the Hat Write the Room activity.

If you are not familiar with my Write the Room Center activities here goes...

My students have always loved writing words around the classroom carrying clipboards (something about carrying a clip board, I tell 'ya!).  We started by writing sight words...well, that lasted a few weeks when boredom hit!
I decided to "jazz" up this centre by having students hunt for theme-based words which were hidden around my classroom (i.e. on the wall, cubbies, teacher's desk, door, filing cabinet, etc.).  To add to this, I created cute cut-outs and attached the word and picture beside it (I find that most kindergarten students need that picture).  Let me tell you -
it was as though I invented electricity!
My students simply *ADORE* going to this centre!
(And it's February!)
I switch the words around the room every few weeks or when we introduce a new topic.  The words up in my classroom now are Nutrition.

Many of you already have a Write the Room centre during your literacy centre time.  I would love to hear if you do things differently.

I will be giving BOTH of these two new Write the Room activities to 3 lucky people!

Simply leave me a comment telling me which Write the Room Center that I have created is your favourite and/or what you would like me to create in the near future as a Write the Room Center and I will choose 3 people at random.
Contest closes Sunday at midnight!

Happy long weekend!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Love Bug!

Happy Valentine's Day!
I hope you all enjoyed a wonderful day (I did but I am super beat so I'm off to bed!).
I ate W.A.Y. too much chocolate in one day and I think now I am feeling it.  That chocolate high wore off about an hour ago!

Here's our cute little card that we made to take home to our families.

*You've caught the LOVE bug! Ahh-choo!*
(Sorry if you can't read the poem!  You can e-mail me if you would like a copy.  The idea for this craft is from a friend of mine.)

I promise to be back later this week with a post about our nutrition unit.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Valentine's Day, Nutrition and a *freebie*!

Can you believe it's already Sunday afternoon?
Where did the weekend go?!?!
This week is sure to be fun, though, with Valentine's Day just around the corner. 
We are also going to be starting our Nutrition Unit.

Last week in our class we worked on a few Valentine's Day activities.

The kids opened up "mail" and had to identify the beginning sound on each picture.  They then coloured in the envelope to match and wrote the letter in the box.  They *loved* it!

Sorry - can't seem to turn this picture!
We had fun choosing a "Secret Friend" (by pulling a name out of a hat) and writing that person a message.  We have been brainstorming positive words to say about one another all week.  The students had to come up with their own words to fill in the blank on this tag (which we will use on Valentine's Day):
You are ___ and ___.
They did such a great job!
I love how this little girl wrote "great" and "kind".
Everyone was smiling all day - they loved hearing what their friends had to say!
These activities are from my Valentine's Day Literacy and Math Activities on TpT.  If you are looking for a few more last minute Valentine ideas, go check it out!  It's packed with LOTS of stuff!

I wish I had taken more pictures this week - but I found each day went by super quickly (we had lots to do and an assembly fundraiser kickoff on Friday afternoon).  I promise to take more pics this week. 
I will be sure to post our "Love Bug" card tomorrow.
Can you say cute, cute, cute!!!

I just finished my Nutrition Unit and posted it on TpT.
We are starting this unit tomorrow.  I plan on reading Gregory, the Terrible Eater and having the students sort out plastic food items into healthy and unhealthy groups.  Have you ever read that book?  It's really sweet - a goat likes eating healthy foods (instead of what goats are supposed to eat like tires and bags!).  
A favourite book in my class year after year!
Here is a little *freebie* for you!
It's from my Nutrition Unit.
This will be out at my Writing Centre this week for students to complete.  Hope you will be able to use it too!
Just click on the picture to download.
Happy & healthy eating, oh I mean teaching! 

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Playing Tag!

I *love* the beach!  See below for more...

I have to apologize to these 4 lovely blogger friends for tagging me a couple of weeks back and for not responding sooner!  I wait for the weekend to finally get a chance to catch up on blogland!

Staci from Going Nutty!
Cheryl from Crayons and Curls

Sorry again for the delay...here goes:

Rules of the Game:
1. Post the rules.
2. Post 12 fun facts about yourself in your blog post.
3. Answer the questions that the tagger has set for you in their post; then create 12 new questions for the people that you tag.
4. Tag 12 people and link them in your post.
5. Let them know that you've tagged them.

12 Fun Facts About Me:

1. As you can clearly see (as I am not watching the Superbowl right now) I am not one for sports - neither watching nor playing (well, maybe just going to the Leafs game!)
2.  I LOVE ice cream -> Baskin' Robbins Jamocha Almond Fudge and Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey are my favourites (really, I can eat the entire container if I'm not paying attention!)
3.  I am of Italian background and the first in my family to be born outside of Italy.  Don't speak the language very well though! HA!
4.  I have 2 little children (girl and boy): Chiara (3.5 years old) and Luca (17 months old).  *Love* them sooo much!
5.  I need (NO MUST HAVE) coffee first thing in the morning!
6.  Every Monday night NO ONE can bother me during 8-9 pm (that's when Gossip Girl is on...shhhh...it's embarrassing to tell people that!)
7.  I call my grandmother every morning on my way to work to catch up (she is 85 years old and lives like she is 65!)
8.  We make homemade sausages every January since my husband won't eat store bought (ours really do taste better).  Hence that was what my weekends were occupied with for the past 2 weeks!
9.  I absolutely LOVE the school I work at and my colleagues.  We work so well together and are great friends outside of school.
10. I hate massages - Swedish massages - I'll only do Hot Stone because it's not as painful!
11.  I'm such a beach bum!  Sit me on a beach for a week or two and I am ONE.HAPPY.CAMPER!!!
12.  Speaking of camping...done it a few times back before the kids...I'LL.NEVER.DO.IT.AGAIN!

Questions from Anita to me:
(since I was tagged by 4 bloggers I just took the most recent questions)

1. What do you do on your summer vacation? I keep busy with my two little ones both inside and out.  My BFF had a pool (she moved recently, don't know what I am going to do this summer! AH!).  We usually travel for a week or two down south (somewhere hot, see above!).  I also buy a Season Pass to Canada's Wonderland (the amusement park near our house) and I take the kids nearly every other day!
2. What is your favourite restaurant? There are lots of great restaurants in Toronto, but my favourite would have to be Fieramosca in Yorkville (anyone coming up to T.O. message me and I'll give you more details! YUM!)
3. What would your job be if you were not a teacher? Since I was young I have always wanted to be a flight attendant (I love flying, especially if I'm going down south, see above!)
4. What is the worst part of being a teacher? I wish we had more funding so my classroom could be better stocked.  I spend way too much money on my kiddies but I love having a variety of resources available.
5. What is the best part of being a teacher? When you go to work one day and see how much your children have learned (last week I had a student pick up a book and start reading to me - she couldn't do that a few weeks back!)
6. What do you do to unwind after a day at school? Unwind? Huh? I have two small kids remember? I pick up one from school and the other from my parent's house.  They are with me until they go to bed so I don't get to unwind until at least 8:30 (and by that point I'm often heading to bed!)
7. Where is your favourite place to shop? I am such an online shopper (which I discovered on my maternity leave since I couldn't go out as much with a little baby).  So I love anything online!
8. What do you drive? A 2005 Nissan X-Trail.
9. Who is your Hollywood crush? Josh Duhamel.  Wow!
10. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be? Lying on a beach somewhere down south (I love Turks & Caicos) with my family.
11. What is one of your favourite books? Anything by Sophie Kinsella (she wrote the Shopaholic books).  Yes, I know.  Not the most educational or informative books...but they're great!
12. What is your favourite movie? I don't remember seeing a movie (from start to finish, uninterrupted) in a long time.  But I do love the Sex and the City movies (the first movie was my favourite) as it was my TV weakness.  I am looking forward to watching The Help one of these weekends!

TAG! You're It!:

Instead of tagging other people, I thought I would share my newest Write the Room Centers with 3 blogger friends!
If you would like BOTH my Community Helpers and Nutrition Write the Room Centers just leave a comment below. 

I just finished them this weekend! 
I'll give them both to the first 3 people.
It's my way of saying "thanks" for reading through this long post!

Friday, February 03, 2012

Going shopping....a fun little game!

I love food...not cooking it...eating it!
(I have a weakness for anything sweet!)

As I was grocery shopping after work yesterday (and snacking away on a Twix bar), I had an idea for our nutrition unit we are starting next week.
I must say that I am probably the worst person to teach nutrition...I mean I love the unit we have created for our students but I have the W.O.R.S.T. eating habits!
Twix bar...really?  Yup, just before dinner too!
(Don't tell my 3 year old!!!)
I created this cute little game for my kiddies to play teaching them about healthy and unhealthy foods.
It's a simple matching game (like memory) but the idea is to collect the items on your shopping list and place them in your grocery cart.  The first person to collect all the food items wins!
I also included a couple of different worksheets students can do afterwards.

I just uploaded it to TpT and it's only $2!
(Thought I would give you all a break since I know Valentine's Day is coming up....saving up for all that chocolate! YUM!)

I'm just finishing up my Nutrition Unit this weekend and it should be uploaded to TpT this weekend or early next week.
I'm also working on a
Community Helpers Write the Room Package
by special request.  If there is a Write the Room package you would like me to create please let me know.

The first 3 people to leave me a comment below telling me what their favourite food is will win this little game for free!

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Happy Groundhog Day!

Happy Groundhog Day everyone!
I was hoping to post this last night but I fell asleep in front of the TV (no joke) at 8:30!  Next thing you know, my husband is waking me up at 10:30 to go to bed!  Sorry!

This is such a simple and easy craft to assemble and have your students do independently for Groundhog Day.
If you read this post early enough and would like to do it, I have included everything below.

To make this cute little pop-up Groundhog, simply trace a large circle onto brown construction paper and draw a radius.  The students will cut out the circle and the radius.  Fold the circle into a cone shape and glue.
Colour the groundhog and tape him to a straw.
Attach poem to the brown "ground".
Mr. Groundhog simply pokes his head up from the ground while you are singing the song.
(I didn't write the song by the way! I have had it for years so I'm not sure who to give credit to!)

Click on the pictures to download.
(Graphics are From The Pond)
I have even created a poem for you to use as a whole class of this song.