It's Christmas!

Thanksgiving has come and gone. It's hard to believe how quickly November passed by! We had a different kind of Thanksgiving this year, as we headed to our nation's capital for several days and enjoyed visiting the memorials, monuments, and Smithsonians.
December temperatures are here in central Virginia! We went from warm to cold! Our Christmas parade was on Sunday evening and as my husband and I waited, the rain came! It was quite chilly, but we had a great time talking while we waited for our daughters on the float from our church.

Thanksgiving Centers

Like you, we have been busy working away! I love this time of the year! We broke out our Thanksgiving centers and have been having a lot of fun. Hang on for a lot of pictures! 😀

My first graders have been working on geometry and these activities were a lot of fun!

This first one is a freebie from Mrs. Plemons Kindergarten. Use pattern blocks to create the turkey feathers! We had a recording page to draw our feathers and count the blocks we used.

Halloween Mash Up

What a crazy week! We have been super busy with reading novels and researching about spiders, along with beginning our money unit in second grade and finishing our skip counting unit in first grade.

This week we broke out all of our Halloween centers and went to town!

Show and Tell Tuesday

I am linking up with Stephanie at Forever in Fifth for my Show and Tell Tuesday, all about fun October things!

Classroom Library

Books. {Insert sigh.} For as long as I can remember, I have loved to read. The worst punishment growing up was not being able to read and having extra chores. I wanted my students to have the same love for books that I did when I was their age. So during the summer I worked on organizing my books and leveling them. I had no idea how huge of a project that was going to be!

Making it Equal: Equality {Halloween} Unit for First Graders

I love teaching math, especially in math groups! This is my second year teaching a split class and now I think I have the hang of it down. One of my favorite parts is having my kiddos sitting around me as we work through our new skills. 

Some of the new things we have been working on are ...
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Back to School Read Alouds

Back to School? Do we hafta?? Well, since we do ... how about some different read alouds? I just blogged on the Virginia is for Teachers blog about some of my new books I am going to use this year!

Join me over there to read about the books I am going to use!

Organize the Mess!

How can it be?? School in my district starts on August 15 and I return on the 5th, but at the same time I'm trying to still make the most of my time off!
I wanted to share some of my mini projects that I have had going in the living room this summer. I think my husband will be happy when I get all of this out of here!

What's Going On ... at Virginia is for Teachers

I am part of a collaborative blog at Virginia is for Teachers. Today I blogged about fabulous back to school pins. Check out the preview below!
Back to school can be a very stressful time of year. I started thinking that in less than a month, I will already be back. No more shorts or flip flops. Or multiple cups of coffee. No more bathroom runs whenever I want. I have a lot that I still want to pack in this next month! But I still want the beginning of the year to be a smooth transition.

Shark Week!

I am so excited to be part of this shark week blog hop! My youngest daughter just loves sharks and we have the DVR already set to record like crazy this week!
My shark freebie for you is perfect for your kinders or firsties! Click on any of the images to download your freebie.
Included are telling time matching cards ...
... and addition double facts I Spy with a recording page.
If you like the freebie, it is part of my paid shark math unit on TPT.
Be sure to HOP over to Margaux at Learning with Sunflower Smiles!
Learning with Sunflower Smiles

Wrapping Up the Year

I cannot believe that I have only four more days until this school year is over! Our grades were due earlier this week, but there was so much time left that we needed to stay busy. Here's some ideas to do in your classroom if you're like me!

Mr. Putter and Tabby Walk the Dog

I LoVe Mr. Putter and Tabby!
My second graders are at the point where they can read a couple of chapters and work independently on skill work. I knew I wanted them to be introduced to Mr. Putter and Tabby.

Joy Cowley contest: Barbie the Lamb

I have had the privilege of reading some new books by Joy Cowley, featuring the characters Mr. Whisper and Barbie.

I featured Mr. Whisper in a post last week. If you didn't see the post, click here.

Joy Cowley contest: Mr. Whisper

I have had the privilege of reading some new books by Joy Cowley, featuring the character, Mr. Whisper. Hameray Publishing is having a giveaway!

Mr. Whisper, well, whispers! He is a lovable character!

Featured Teacher Tuesday!

NOOO!  It’s come to an end!  This is the last blog post for a while of the Featured Teacher Tuesdays!
Heidi Neels from Flipping for First is a spunky and organized first grade teacher!  
Years of tumbling, cheerleading and a passion for teaching made her blog name come to life!  She has been teaching for 9 years, 6 of those being in first grade!  She has truly found her teaching niche!
Heidi has been married for 15 years (yep, he’s tied up in the basement) and has two beautiful girls ages 15 (don’t do the math) and 10!  Faith brings joy in her life each and every day!  God has blessed her family and teaching career!  She is a middle child (typical middle child syndrome) and requires lots of attention from those around her!
Organization fuels Heidi through first grade!  (It may be a disease!)  Check out her blog for some amazing tips on how to organize Words Their Way, Listening Stations, Behavior Management, Erin Condren Planner, Common Core Assessments, Classroom tips and so much more!

Laughing is important to Heidi!  Mo Willems, first grade quotes, and National Lampoon movies can put a smile on her face.  Just like Wimberly, Heidi can worry a lot!  Therefore Heidi clings to
Psalm 46:10  “Be still, and know I am God!

Heidi’s best seller is her Editable Daily Behavior Chart!  This is an amazing product that every teacher who has a student with challenging behavior needs!!  Heidi loves to hear success stories about teachers using this in their classrooms!!
Fry’s First 100 Sight Words came about when she had 30% of her students struggling with sight words!  Yikes!  To overcome this obstacle, Heidi created a product that focuses on teaching the words in context using pictures, repetition, and motor skills!  She ended that year with 100% of her students knowing all first grade sight words!  Love it!
Heidi’s First Grade Common Core Math Assessments are a full year’s worth of assessments!  She even has a blog post with a yearly calendar to help you plan!
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Check out one of Heidi’s freebies!
Don’t forget to join me in following Heidi!

Happy Tuesday, folks!
Meet Karen Wasdin from Silly Sam Productions!

She is a Baseball Mom from New Jersey and loves to watch her son play for the High School team and travel teams. Her husband is a Videographer/Photographer and she enjoys assisting him in producing sports and educational videos in his business, MoonGate Video Productions. They enjoy taking trips to MLB stadiums in different cities as well as finding beautiful places to capture animals in their natural habitats, with cameras ready at all times.
Karen has been teaching for 30 years in N.Y. and N.J. and has experience ranging from Pre-School to High School. She has spent most of her career teaching firsties and 2nd grade Basic Skills students.

MAKE LEARNING FUN! That is her philosophy and the key to keeping learners engaged, participating and remembering all their awesome educational experiences. "Good Happy Morning", is how she greets her first graders on each new school day!

“A classroom is an amazing place.” she says. “Actually watching the learning process in action is incredible!” She also loves writing curriculum and studying Brain-Based Learning. Her specialties include Cooperative Learning, Behavior Management, Motivation and Differentiation. Inspiring learners and making learning fun is her life's journey.
Finding ways to help her young learners understand the trickiest concepts has driven her to create multi-sensory approaches and engaging lessons that MAKE LEARNING FUN! These techniques can be found in her products at TpT.

Color-Coded Mental Math Addition and Subtraction Posters use the color-coding technique to help learners make connections to math strategies.

Point of View is an integrated Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop unit that has students look at the story of the Three Little Pigs through the eyes of different characters. Then they do the same with their own personal narrative about their first day of school. This helps them truly discover and empathize with others and recognize feelings other than their own.

Short and Long Vowel Super Bundle Package is an extensive unit covering the heart of the first grade phonics curriculum. Word Houses use patterning chunks and vowel sounds to help students become stronger readers and writers. Creating their own Vowel Books helps students celebrate all that they have learned.

You can find and follow Silly Sam Productions here:
Blog: Laugh and Learn with Silly Sam        Twitter:  @sillysamprod
TpT: Silly Sam Productions                          Pinterest:  Silly Sam Productions
Facebook:   Silly Sam Productions                  Instagram:  sillysamproductions

Have a great week!

Featured Teacher Tuesday!

This week I would like to you to meet Christina from Hanging Around In Primary.

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Christina has been teaching for 21 years (gasp!) Most of her teaching has been in Grade 1 but she has also taught Kindergarten through Grade 4.  She also spent 3 ½ years working as a substitute teacher at the beginning of her career.  She has been teaching in a small village just outside of Kingston, Ontario, Canada for most of her career.  

When not teaching Christina is spending time with her family: a busy 12 and 15 year old and a husband who runs his own business.  She loves to travel and spend time time at the cottage.  
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Christina has always had a passion for teaching.  When she was growing up there was no question about what she wanted to do when she grew up.  A first grade teacher was her dream job and she has been fortunate enough to teacher 6 year olds for the majority of her career so far.  

Christina has always had a passion for creating her own classroom materials and sharing ideas with her colleagues.  She stumbled upon Teachers Pay Teachers in 2012 and got the nerve up to post her own products in the winter of 2013.  Since then she has continued to add products and really grow her store.  She has many freebies to help early primary teachers out in Math, Literacy and Classroom Management.  Click on the covers below to check out some of her popular freebies.  

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Christina loves to teach using centers to engage students and keep them practicing crucial skills.  Some of her most popular math centers are

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She also creates products that support directed teaching as well.  These comprehension checks are perfect for whole group teaching as well for small group instruction.  The Word Jail is one of her favourite products.  She uses it to help students learn to read and spell those tricky rule breaker words.  Her students love it.  
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Christina has been blogging for about a year and half.  She enjoys sharing what is happening in her classroom and showing off her products in actions.  You can check out a few of her most popular posts below.  If you like what you read be sure to follow her to keep up with her posts!  
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You can also follow Christina on Social media.   Check out her accounts below:

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I hope you enjoyed meeting Christina this week for our weekly Featured Teacher post.  See you again next week when you will meet another first grade teacher!  

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