Family Traditions, randomness and a Big ole' FAT SALE!!!!

Saturday, November 30, 2013
This week has pretty much been bliss ~  I love time off with my family...even though at their ages they want to fill their time up with sports and friends more than mom....but I enjoy it anyway.  How pathetic am I that one of the highlights of my week was a teenage girl in our volleyball carpool told my daughter at practice...I love it when your mom drives - she's hilarious!  LOL  The little things in life....
So my mom was BIG on traditions - there were 4 of us kids and we had several growing up.  My mom was so organized  { I lacked that perfectionist gene from her btw } that she would write on the outside of the angel box and nativity box the year and who set it up or who put it on the tree... me I say, " Look on my facebook or last years photo album I have no clue "  LOL  I would say I took my job as a kid a bit more seriously than my boy here:   
what!?!?!  Wise men can't be upside down...we actually have 2 of these sets.  This is the kid friendly one and then we have the pretty breakable kind.
Would you agree with me that tpt has come in handy for several reasons...I made my hubby this simple little banner for his bday

I would have had no idea how to do something like this except with the use of my cricket....but I was his hero because the background is this:

Anyway he loved it and that's all that matters.

So there's a big sale coming up if you haven't heard about it yet...Everything in my shop will be 20% off and then tpt throws in some love - so you walk away with 28% off my products.  Be sure to use the code: CYBER to get your extra discount before you check out.  Here are some fun Christmas'y' things I made recently you might like:

reindeer craftivity
and an oldie but a goodie...

Tell me about a family tradition you have and I would love to pick one of you to win one of my NEW December creations...  Happy Shopping!  Oh~ Don't forget to leave FEEDBACK for old will get an extra discount if you have feedback credit...whoo-hoo!!!!


Flash Freebies On and Off today ~~~ Wait, what?!?!?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Well friends I'm speechless and humbled right now...I am in complete shock that I have met another one of my tpt milestones...I never thought little ole' me would make it in the top 100 even if it's just for the  God is so good!  So in honor of my milestone I'm having flash freebies on and off today...the first a 76 page Gingerbread Galore and the Common Core product...Christmas is less than a month away people!  Grab it on up and see what else is in store for you throughout the day!
Here's the first one...
Be sure to follow me on fb to grab them all - that's where I will be posting the rest of the links today:
Thanks for visiting my shop and being a loyal friend and follower.
Enjoy your freebies!


5 for Saturday { and a winner }

Saturday, November 23, 2013
Hi my friends --- I'm a little late to the party but I have a good excuse { I promise }....I took my kids and their friends last night to:
It was sooo good - anyway I had such a fun week this past week:  Here's what was up:

I had my formal observation on Monday and you can read all about it { here }.  It went well and I had some nice compliments from my principal which always feels good.

Next we worked on some pilgrimy long ago type stuff and some fun Thanksgiving stuff too of course. 

Comparing chores then and now... 
thanksgiving fun pack - art, writing, glyphs and games

Roll a disguised turkey  - they loved this!

thanksgiving sight word pack and activities

Sight word stuffing fun!

All of these can be found { here } and  { here }

I had to throw this one in just for fun....I love giraffes and this is my first year with an owl I often get giraffe or owl presents...on this day 2 girls had some cute owl beanies on...

Oh my goodness they are just too cute aren't they?!?

Every year the first grade team dresses up like Pilgrims...who I am kidding?!?  We are hardly a team - there are 2 of us this year...last year it was just me...LOL

Look how creative these little cuties got...

thanksgiving feast dress up ideas

Lastly -- 2 things:
bubble wrap art project for corn - thanksgiving art idea

This is one of my favorite Thanksgiving crafts....bubble wrap corn.  The parents love it too.

I always do a note taking lesson comparing then and now with internet/technology and the town crier.  I walk around the room very dramatically with a BIG loud bell and ring it while yelling Hear Ye, Hear Ye.  It's funny I walk around the whole room and do it for over a minute or so which doesn't sound long but it really is I mean the bell is BIG - really big.  It's the Kindergarten teacher's bell to rally the kids from their little always makes quite the impact on these little guys.  I make up a message about a meeting in the town square.  Sometimes I think I should've been an actress - stuff like this is my favorite part of teaching...hamming it up!


What have YOU been up to?  Do you work next week at all?  I'm off for 9 days...whoo-hoo!!!  Happy Thanksgiving my friends!  Join in and link on up.

 Oh I almost forgot:  The winner of my informational Writing Pack is...

Maria Eshman --- congrats I will be emailing you soon!


Informational Writing tied into Speaking and Listening

Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Today was my formal observation day....I use to get sooo nervous on these days!!!  Now after 20 years I can happily say I go in with more calmness and confidence...thank goodness.  We get observed 2x's every 3 years.  How often do you get observed?  I almost always do a guided reading group because I think that is my strong suit and I feel that's where I shine the most.  I started thinking though since I only get observed every 3 years I should do something else and glean some insight on writing.
Sometimes this is how I feel during observation week though to be honest:
So ~ Informational Writing it was!  I introduced it last week.  I had each child bring in a stuffed animal from home ( my awesome friend Tammy's great idea ).  We took notes and discussed facts about our animal.  I wanted to move from an inanimate object to a person as our writing assessment in December will be on 'me'.  So I created a few anchor charts:
writing anchor charts first grade

Here is the graphic organizer from my Informational Writing Pack that worked { perfectly } for this lesson.

I know they could've written right on the paper but they loved taking notes on a sticky note and I had a couple kids I gave an extra sticky note to because they wrote more. :o)

writing graphic organizers - primary

I broke this lesson down into a step by step version...I modeled the first square on the anchor chart about my mom and then transferred the notes to my sticky note.  Then I had the kids THINK and write and then this is where the speaking and listening came in...
They took out their talking sticks { thank you to Pinterest and Tammy Williams } and took turns sharing what they wrote.  I had the 'listening' kiddos REPEAT back to the speakers what they heard them say about their moms.  It was great!  I loved hearing the dialogue in my class and they were all engaged.
Use a talking stick during partner talk share time to make it more efficient

A rough draft - I love her closing mom is a lovely woman. :o)

If you like any of these ideas ~ Check out my informational Writing Pack - I also have a bundled pack with informational, opinion and narrative.  How are you doing with informational writing this year?

and here is the link to the { bundle }.
Leave a comment about how you think his pack can help you in your classroom and I will pick a winner later this week.


Random Ramblings about what I'm doing in November

Monday, November 11, 2013
It's sooo nice to have today off...who's with me?!?  Years ago I job shared and I'm telling you it was the BEST thing ever!  I actually felt like I had a semi healthy balance between home and school.  Today's post is my random ramblings about what's been going on in my little neck of the woods. 
First off we made these darling little guys ~ and I will tell you the kids loved them and I have had lots of compliments on them too. 
turkey craftivity

turkey craftivity
This one looks like she's waving...

turkey craftivity, a perfect hallway display

If you love this fella you can get it at my store { here }

behavior management tips, build a turkey for behavior

Last month's Build a Jack - o - lantern was so fun that we decided to do one for this month too...It's been a great behavior incentive.  I even bring the turkey and a few pieces to their 'specials' and have them try and earn pieces with those teachers too!

I just hit up Michael's and they seem to have these types of packs - perfect for this behavior incentive!
These pages were fun to work on too - we discussed Veteran's Day on Friday and worked on  these addition/subtraction pies too.  These can be found in my : What I'm Teaching for November Pack.


We've been working hard in reading groups discussing Fiction vs. Non Fiction and working on story maps too.

Lastly this was just a FUNNY thing that happened that I shared on Instagram:

Ha!  I can say that I wasn't even born when I made this comment according to TPT... Don't you just love glitches!!!
If you are off too Enjoy your day and THANK a veteran!