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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Fall, Fluency, and Fancypants

Hey Diddley Ho, Neighbors!
Where have you been?
I've been looking for you!
Have you been looking for me?
There have been some "nutty" happenings in the Squirrel Household- so I have been just
a little busy.

I am currently working on getting kicked out of every room in the house as I try to start this post.
And I am debating leaving the one I am in because there is a fly in here- he waits until I think he has left-
(and I am pretty confident it's a male)
and then he buzzes right by me!
He even lands on my head!!!
He is making me crazy!!!

Speaking of crazy-
There has been lots of the regular crazy classroom stuff going on-
new students, students withdrawing 15 mins before dismissal, PTC,a college student observing, benchmarking in the building- so I have NO AIDES.
I miss them. I love them. I will tell them I love them when I see them again tomorrow.
Oh how I hope I see them tomorrow.

We did manage to get some great reading done!
And I am not talking about just me. It's them, too!
They are reading like crazy!

They can't wait to come to me on Monday morning and "cold read" and then they read throughout the week. And then Friday they come back for the BIG "hot" read- and man, they are excited!!!
I had parents come in at PTC and tell me how excited they are that their child can't wait to read with them at night.

And now you ask,

(Well, if you'll quit yelling at me, I'll tell you).

I have started including fluency passages on the back of their newsletters. The week before they appear on the newsletter, the students  "cold read" them with me. They aren't for a "grade" or any type of testing like DIBELS ORF- but they are a great assessment tool for  me!!!
I included three of them this week- one is sort of a rhyme, one is non fiction, and the last is sung to the tune of a familiar song.
When parents came in Thursday night- they couldn't stop talking about them!

and now you ask,

(You are really going to have to keep it down, some of the Littles are already in bed).

They are from Jodi's (Fun in First) Fall Fluency Passages.

Fun in First
They are amazing!
We had a themed week of apples this past week- and it was great to have these little reading selections to supplement all of the trade books we used!

One particular passage we dissected- writing each sentence in different color Scentos Marker onto sentence strips.  (love those things- makes the room smell like Fruit Salad)  Then I placed them in five spots around the room and they raced to put them together again!
Man, they were excited! Especially because they had practiced them so much!

Not only are we just reading them- we are really working with them!!! There are vocabulary words and comprehension and phonics activities to go along with each passage!!!  Each passage also includes a seperate page of language arts skills. AND they are matched to CCSS!

Check out Jodi's Tpt store  for examples of them! You will LOVE them!
They are sold by theme, month, and season (I jumped in for the whole Fall Season!!!)

Okay- now on to non teachery stuff-

We had a wedding this weekend.
A chance to polish up my Squirrels and take them out in public.
The oldest son wins for "most polished" this time around.
He is at that stage where I think he believes soap and water will melt his skin off- so this was a nice change:
I LOVE love love that he wanted the bowtie!

Littlest Little was ring bearer- so he was all decked out in a tux.

The rest of us were as pretty as peacocks, too!

We tried to get a serious picture of the men in the family-
watch as my Littles ruin that opportunity and Chickadee photobombs the whole thing:
(Notice how the Mr never moves....creepy)
Gotta love 'em!

Alright- well it's on to finishing prep for the coming week-
hope this holds you over til Wednesday:

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

First Grade Common Core

Hello Friends and Happy Wednesday-

Today is a very Happy Day for me!

I have to admit when I saw that Common Core for Kindergarten Workbook circulating, I was
a bit jealous,
I wanted one so badly for first grade-Check this out!
This Book has ELA Standards and Math Standards, too! There are close to 600 pages of worksheets, activities, centers, and posters inside of the book for you to use in your class. I know that personally, I need something get a good feel for before I spend money on it- Well, there is a sample download right there with the book so that you can get a good look inside. I know this is going to be a major time saver when creating plans.
Go to First Grade Common Core to check it out!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Happy Monday to Me...

Happy Monday!

And I am being serious- Happy Monday- 

yes that day that starts with "M" and usually ends in
That day that starts the work week and ends the weekend.
That day that the line at the copier is suuuuuper long in the morning.
That day that EVERYONE has a note in their folder.
That day that the laminator runs out of film.
That day that your own personal children have a cough or  tummy bug.
That day that introduces the most material and is the hardest to make up.
That day.
Happy Monday.

It WAS a happy one for me.
I finished my plans early Sunday morning
(because The MR wanted to clean out the
garage and I had to work feverishly at the computer, so I wouldn't have to help).

I printed out Math Stations too- (after a showdown to purchase MORE ink).
The battle was worth it though-
Take a look at these sweeties LOVIN these Apple Dice Games
These are from Tammy @
Live Love Laugh

I printed.
I placed them in sheet protectors.
I put the correct amount of dice in my Gerber food containers (love how they make dice stay together).

I added them to the center boxes- had an aide help with directions
My kiddos loved them and can't wait to move to a new one tomorrow!
Kudos to you, Tammy-
we are approximately 650 miles from each other and you mananged to have my ENTIRE class engaged in Math today!
Thank you:)

Our school is using this program this year as we adopt CCSS and try to go deeper with less standards and  more time,
If you are using this program I would love to pick your brain- leave a comment or email me @

Hope everyone has  great night and an even better tomorrow!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

WTH?!?! Wednesday

Hey Howdy Neighbors!
It's Wednesday.
Wednesday = tomorrow is Thursday = the day after tomorrow is Friday.

I don't know why I get excited when I see that those days that start with "s' are here??
The only difference is, I can wear my "kajamas"  longer.

This weekend will be a tad different-because I have scheduled sleeping in on Saturday-
I mean it.
I will.
Past 9am...
even if I am awake, I am not getting out of the bed until after 9am.

Is everyone out there getting settled in?
Are you in love with your sweeties?
Are you all on track with an AWESOME schedule that NEVER gets interrupted?
Are ya coming in at 7 and leaving at 3?

You are all answering "Yes" right?

And this begins another installment of

WHO THE HECK is Squirrels, kidding???

I've got people coming in and out of my room..
Kids are getting pulled out, progress monitored, serviced, intervened with
They are getting Pre tested on paper, on the computer, with manipulatives, in front of me, with a
volunteer, with each other
I got your small groups, your whole groups, reading groups, math groups,
meetings, meetings, and more meetings
papers, papers, and, oh yeah, more papers
I got withdrawls (students leaving- don't worry, I'm not detoxing from anything)
New arrivals (again, students- not babies)
I have "data" running like the scroll on CNN at the bottom of my dreams!

It's gonna slow down though- we're gonna get through this.  We have to- because this is what we do-
it's who we are.
It's how we work.
So we find the time.
Speaking of time...

WHERE THE HECK did the time go?
Today I sent home the 6 week progress report-
I know, right!?? Six weeks we have been in school already.

We are past procedures (whew) and there's lots of learning going on!

The CCSS in reading are now my friends.
At first, I did not like them.
I wouldn't let them sit at the lunch table with me and the other state standards.
We talked about them behind their backs!
We said things like
"Oh, they think they are so much better!" "What DO they Have that we don't already??" "No one wants ANOTHER change!!"

BUT CCSS started smiling at me.
They started to be nice. They said, "Hey, give us a chance- we're not so bad"
So I did.
And we started hanging out- like after school and stuff.

We are still in that "honeymoon" stage- but I gotta tell you-
I think the CCSS and I are going to be really good friends.
Although they are already spending too much time in my house.
This is why I am scheduling a sleeping in day.

WHEN THE HECK did this little Squirrel go "Inter-nation-AL!?!?!
Check this out-
I (lil ole me) was found by people searching from India and England....
WTH were they searching for?

Isn't it nice to know I can bring a smile to someone's face??

Isn't it also nice to know that I show up so often for searches involving "poop"?
Either way-
I'm global-

(giggle giggle)

Before I go, I have to ask you if you have seen this new (to me) app called GifBoom?
 I am IN. LOVE.
It is a hoot- you can take pictures that are already taken (like a series) and smush em together to make a little .gif- OR you can do thirty at time and it makes it for you real quick.
Here are a few I was playing around with- Homecoming was my inspiration because I was being a dork following Chickadee down the street to aggravate her...
Chickadee before Homecoming.

Truman being precious! These pictures remind me of Emmit Otter's Jugband Christmas!
Neighbor's grandson
Easy to share, too!

(and Free).

So whether you are here because you searched for a smiling face (or "poop") or if you are here because you wanted to  see WTH was up- I'm glad you're here!
BOLO for some great writing activities and book studies (brought to you by the letter "A" for AWESOME Tpt Teachers)

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Winners out the Wahzoo and Final Giveaways

Great Buckets of Wild Geese- People!
We have winners out the Wahzoo! And more Wonderful prizes to come.

(When I see the word "prize" I picture in my mind those mirrors from the fair that had
Def Leppard etched on them. You can giggle to yourself if you have one- or any of the big hair bands on a mirror)
hee hee

These are winners from the last giveaway

This is Ashley Clark.

I have sent your info to the "prize contributors"- sorry- no Def Leppard Mirrors this time- maybe next time.

These are the last of 500 Followers Celebration Giveaways.
I know.
Insert sad face here ------->

But the good news is that we can get back to WTH Wednesdays and How did you get here? and Are you Freakin Kiddin Me Fridays and oh, yeah, that teaching thing that I do!:)

I hope that everyone has enjoyed trying to win items from bloggers and creators that you already knew and that you got to know some new ones! 

From Cheryl

This 43 page pack was created to use with my class in the beginning of the school year. It is a great introduction to letters for Pre-K or Kinder and a great review for First Grade.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

From Michelle @

Schedule pictures are a lifesaver! You never have to answer the question, "What's next?" again! 

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

From Mandy@

Mandy's Tips for Teachers

Any Item from her store
a Rafflecopter giveaway

From Rachel @

 These lessons are intended for use as one-day emergency substitute teacher lesson plans. They can be downloaded by a classroom teacher to keep in a substitute binder or by a substitute teacher to keep handy in your bag of tricks. But they can also be used a lesson at a time. The lessons are literature-based and aligned with reading, writing, and math Common Core State Standards. These lessons are written at a 1st grade grade level, are based on Skippyjon Jones and include:
- A warm-up
- A reading lesson
- A language arts lesson
- A social studies lesson
- A science lesson
- A math lesson 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sarah From
Kindergarten Korner

 TONS of Common Core Standards met in this unit:
K.CC.1 – Count to 10 by ones
K.CC.2- Count forward beginning from a given number
K.CC.3 – Write numbers from 1-10, Represent a number of objects with a written numeral
K.CC.4 – Understand the relationship between numbers and quantities
K.CC.5 – Count to answer “How many?” questions
K.CC.7 – Compare two numbers between 1 and 10 presented as written numerals

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sally from

Here are 5 Bingo type games with dice to practice basic math skills. The roll of the dice determines which items to cover. Sometimes there's a decision to make, so the children get to use some strategic thinking.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Fern from

This Zip File is a bundle of my EIGHT most popular ADDITION center games. 410+ Pages!!
Represent and solve problems involving addition and subtraction.
Understand and apply properties of operations and the relationship between addition and subtraction.
Add and subtract within 20 with counting.
Add and subtract within 20.
Represent and solve problems involving addition and subtraction.
Fluently add and subtract within 20 using mental strategies

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Layla from
Fancy Free in Fourth
Streamline teaching idioms by presenting an idiom a day with this daily activity pack of 144 of the most commonly used idioms.. Students will love this quick and fun activity. You will hear them use these idioms both verbally and in their writing. In addition they will be better prepared for when they see one on a state test.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Rebecca from
Teaching First

(Yes you have seen me give this away before- but I didnt really give it away because I didn't add her rafflecopter)

This is a great game for beginning learners! Match the tally marks to the number on the ladybug cards.

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Julie and Krista from

The Jr. Olympians is geared toward Primary grades and is designed to introduce and study Greek and Latin Roots. The program can be downloaded on day - implemented next and can be started any time of the year!! Research strongly supports that learning roots is beneficial to all levels of readers.

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

 Reagan from

 This packet is all 6 of my daily math packets in one! 130 pages of daily work.

These pages can be used for small group, whole group, morning work, seat work, daily warm up, or homework.

The intent with these pages is independent review of key math skills taught in kinder and first. These packets are mostly geared toward first grade, but high kinder and low second graders would benefit from the skills in this packet in a small group or differentiated time of class.

The pages keep the same structure throughout the different packets, but the skills and themes change to keep the interest high.

I use these as my morning work as well as review at the beginning of my math block. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Barbara from

An AUTHOR's SIGNED COPY of Have You Filled a Bucket Today?
Wowie wow wow!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks again for all your bloggy love-
check back Monday to see the final winners!!!!
Have a great rest of your weekend- I am heading to my Google Reader to do some catching up!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Still Celebrating!

Hello and Happy Tuesday to you-

Have you been keeping up with all of the giveaways lately? Whew!
Teachers have a lot of love to give (and units)

These are the winners from the last ones:

I have sent your emails to our generous contributors!

Now for this evenings giveaways-

 From Patty
Patty's Description:
This set of mulitiplication task cards contains both color and added black and white copies for those who can't copy in color. The clip art and fonts are from D.J Inkers which I hold a license for. (gotta love DJ Inkers!) For my second graders who have to start mulitiplication, they need to see pictures to help them see the process. You may have 3rd, 4th or even special education students who might benefit from this. There are task cards, a recording sheet, and an answer key. This is self checking so it can easily be put into a center. You could also use it as a scoot game.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

From Rebecca @
Teaching First

Rebecca's Description:
This is a great game for beginning learners! Match the tally marks to the number on the ladybug cards.

From Heather @
HoJo's Teaching Adventures
Heather's Description:
Use this activity after you have taught the concept of adding doubles, +0, +1, and +2 to check student understanding or to give your students more practice.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

From Arlene @

 Arlene's Description:
This ELA Fall Unit includes a Shared Reading Book, 3 Mini Make and Take Books: 1 for students at the Kindergarten Level, one at the 1st grade level and 1 for at the at the 2nd grade level (Beginning of 2nd grade) and 3 differentiated Writing activities for K, 1st and 2nd grade. Also great for ESL students,Struggling readers and Substitutes Teachers.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Jennifer @

Jennifer's Description
This resource contains over 100 questions and reader response prompts to use for comprehension checks after reading ANY text. They can be used for guided reading groups, after read alouds, during whole-class shared reading activities, for partner discussions after independent reading, or for language centers. Comprehension questions satisfy common core standards for Reading Standards for Literature (1-10), and Reading Standards for Informational Text (1-10).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tracy from

 Tracy's Description:
This fall craftivity not only allows the students to create themselves bobbing for apples, but also to imagine and then even experience biting into an apple. Students will build descriptive vocabulary in order to share each of the senses on an organizer. Then students will complete the writing prompt. Two styles of prompts provided; one regular lines and one has large Kindergarten/First grade lines.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 Kelley from
Sour Apple Studio

Kelley's Description:
Wanna get the most out of your share time? Try incorporating these post-share writing and listening activities in your classroom this year. From persuasive writing and narrative stories to question writing and compliments, these packet covers most of the first grade common core standards for both writing and listening/speaking.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Mel D from

 Mel's Description:
This is by far the BEST behavior modification I have ever done! I got rid of the treasure box and give these reward coupons instead. This intrinsic reward system is extremely popular in our elementary school! The students have to earn the coupons. Stop by my blog and find out how I implement this behavior reward system into my own first grade classroom! There are 55 different coupons to chose from! Trust me your students will be over the moon excited about these!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I thank everyone who has stopped by to celebrate with me!
Be sure to come back and check-
AND please make sure the email address that is Rafflecopter is one that is correct-
you don't want to miss out on a great product because it might be floating in

I don't want to give anything away-
what am I saying? I am trying to give EVERYTHING away-
but there just might be an autographed book to be given away soon- there could also be some
HUGE Daily units.....hmmmmm....Check back for winners!
And be sure to enter them ALL- there are quite a few bloggy buddies who have won more than once:0
SMooches <3 br="br">
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