Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Extra! Extra! Read All About It!

Happy Earth Day!  Renee here from Fantastic First Grade Froggies.   I'm here with a throwback from my blog, enjoy.

Do you subscribe to kids magazines?  I always like them, but they are pricy, especially if you want to have a few of them for a reading group.  Sometimes, I like the topics, but there are times when I wish I could tailor the topics to what is relevant in my classroom.

I decided to try out making my own on 11 x 17 "magazine readers."  I originally made them to fit onto 11 x 17 paper and then fold in half.  I am fortunate to have access to a colored copier that will work that size paper.

But if you don't have access to that, you could also print each page onto letter size paper and staple them, or mount them onto a 12 x 18 piece of construction paper.

I also made a practice page for each article.

I had the chocolate one laying around our house and my son picked it up and started reading it.  He was excited to tell me some new info about his favorite food group...chocolate!!

Would you like to try it out?  Click below to grab your In The News Chocolate Freebie

The great news is that you can copy the shrink the 11 x 17 down to letter size paper and that works too!  I discovered that by accident.  I didn't select the right paper on the copy machine.  There are four magazines included each month.  Here is a glimpse of what is in the April pack, which is perfect for today.

Click below to read learn more about the April pack.

Thanks for stopping by today!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

April Showers Bring ...April News and Freebies!

Hi, Teaching Friends!

Well, it has been One Busy Month since I was last here at Teaching Blog Round-Up on March 5th! I'm not complaining, really, because I love to do all of this, but sometimes it all seems to happen at once!

* I'm part of a brand new blog,  iTeachFirst!

Every day of the week is a different treat at iTeachFirst::

   Sample Sunday: free samples of bloggers' favorite resources
   Make It Monday: engaging crafts and DIY projects for your classroom
   Tech Tuesday: innovative tech teaching ideas
   Win It Wednesday: current contests and giveaways
   Tipster Thursday: sharing tips and tricks from our own teaching experiences
   Freebie Friday: new freebies every week - interactive notebooks, close reading, centers, and more
   Show-and-Tell Saturday: techniques, resources, and other innovative ideas in action

Watch for my first post there on April 19th (hmmm... that's a Sunday, a.k.a. Sample Sunday. Watch for it!)

If you teach kindergarten or second grade, there's a blog for you, too! Visit iTeachK or iTeachSecond! You'll find the same weekly line-up there, but with posts geared to your grade level.

* There are BIG things happening over at Educents! For two years, Educents has been known as a great place for deals for teachers and parents. Now there's the Educents Marketplace, where more than 500 developers of resources for your classroom have opened shops!

I would love you to visit my new Educents shop... and please become a follower, too! :)

Many of the Marketplace sellers are offering special freebies PLUS the opportunity to win $50 in Educent Bucks!  Visit my blog to enter the giveaway and to find my freebie, this set of ten frames and cute kitty games!

*  Even with all of this, of course I saved time to make a special little freebie for you, just for stopping by Teaching Blog Round-up today!  This subtraction activity works great as a partner game... roll two dice, subtract the numbers, color a space with that number. The first player to color all of his or her spaces wins the game.

A little extra encouragement in the coloring department will turn these math game pages into a spring "stained glass" window display for your classroom!

Enjoy, and whether you're back in school or on spring break, have a great week!

Happy Teaching!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

5 of The BEST End of The Year Ideas

The Best Ideas: (And so many FREEBIES)

Tuesday night, I was featured on 
a Twitter Chat all about the End of The Year
Sooooo many ideas went flying by during the 1 hour chat. 
I have listed some of the best ones below.

Here Are The 5 Best Ideas:

1. Create A Memory Book:  I make the 10-page (12" X 12") book before school starts and then we just glue in a few items from each month. I try to include photos on each page too. 
Here is a blog post about our memory books and a few images of some of our memory book pages:

Click the image to see the

Click the image.

2.  Plan Some FUN Projects/Activities For The Last Weeks:  Keep their attention with FUN projects like this egg carton school bus. You can grab the FREE template by clicking HERE.
Students glue their photo on first and then the photos of 5 friends. These look so cute pinned up in your classroom for Open House.

3.  Have a Last Day Celebration:  Whether you have a graduation ceremony or just some Last Day FUN, here are some great ideas to make your last day awesome:

Make a Last Day or Graduation frame.
Click the image for pre-k, Tk, or K certificates.
Candles made from their old, jumbo, kindergarten crayons:

Candles made from their old kindergarten crayons.
Click the image for a FREE poem to go with these.

 Clean the room AND practice skills:
Clean the tables, practice writing sight words and #s, and have FUN!

4.  Send Home An Individualized Summer Review: I use to print out a parent letter (comes in English AND Spanish) and flashcards so parents can help their child practice the skills they need over the summer.

I LOVE ESGI! They offer a FREE trial for 60 days and I have a code for you to receive $40 off of your 1st year. Just enter the code B2174 while grabbing your FREE 60 day trial. 
The parent letter shows them the specific skills they have mastered and the ones they have not.

The flashcards can be used to create games and to practice skills while in the car.
I suggest that parents place flashcards in zipper-plastic bags to float in the bathtub!

Your administrator will LOVE all of the data!
Check out the sidebar at the right for more data.

You can use the built-in assessments or you can even create your own! 
Are you looking for some great TK Assessments?
I made some great assessments for TK (or Pre-K) that 
combined the pre-school foundational skills with the CCSS for Kindergarten. 

You will save so much time and your students will actually BEG to be tested! 
Check our ESGI by clicking 

REMEMBER to use your 
discount code:

5. Get Ready For The Next Year: Here are some ideas you can do now and store in the cupboard until the new school year:

Crayon Table Tray: (Fits 6 small or 4 jumbo crayons.)
Buy popsicle molds at the Dollar Store over the summer.
Great for use on table tops and it promotes sorting every day!
Crayon box organizers: FREE template for small or jumbo 8-count boxes.
click the image
Click the image.

Remember to do something for yourself too. Attend a conference and get re-energized for the new school year.  Here are 3 conferences I'll be presenting at over the next few months. I hope to see you there:

The Rocky Mountain Early Childhood Conference
April 17-18
Denver, Colorado:
(Click the image.)
Click the image.

I Teach K!:
July 6-10
Las Vegas, Nevada:
(Click the image.)
Click the image.

Frog Street's Splash:
July 30-Aug. 1
Grapevine, Texas:
(Click the image.)
Click the image.

Two more things: 

I have a new Educents Store where there is ALWAYS a FREEBIE and something on SALE:
Click the image to get your FREEBIE and see my SALE.

Join us every Tuesday night on Twitter

6PM Pacific Time
8PM Central Time
9PM Eastern Time

Use #TeacherFriends on Twitter
I suggest using
(It's free and keeps the chat organized.)

I'll see you all on May 4th!
Palma :)

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Spring Had Sprung

Hi friends, Renee here from Fantastic First Grade Froggies.  I hope you are having a wonderful start to your spring.  We just finished our spring break and I am feeling quite refreshed.  Now I am planning ahead for my spring activities that I will do in my class.  I love this time of year!

Here are some of my favorite spring books.

Spring is Here!
It's Spring
Spring: An Alphabet Acrostic
Miss Rumphius
Spring is Here
In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb
Kite Day
Frog and Toad Collection
And Then It's Spring
Fletcher and the Springtime Blossoms

What are some of your favorites?

Here is a freebie I had on my blog a couple of years ago.  I do this every year and my kids love it!


Spring has definitely sprung here in northern California.  I was feeling the need to get something spring hung up.  So we went on an impromptu spring walk around school and then brainstormed things we noticed or we know that relate to spring.  

After our brainstorm session, I gave them a circle map to fill out.  They had to put one word in each circle that reminds them of spring.  They were to use this circle map to help them complete a spring writing.

(Click the Spring Is...picture to grab your freebie)

The next day, I pulled out the watercolors and just let them paint what they wanted, as long as it was a spring theme.  They loved having a chance to free paint.  
This was my favorite.  A boy flying a kite.

It was a reminder to me that I need to let them have free paint time more often.  Has spring sprung where you live?

Friday, March 13, 2015

Hands-On Learning Made Easy!

Hi everyone! It's Angie from The First Grade Scoop here. I wanted to share an awesome iPad app with you to help make presentations with your primary students easy-peasy!

The app is called 30 Hands. 

It's essentially a simplified PowerPoint. To use it, you'll upload photos from your camera roll or take them directly in the app. When you're done, it'll look like this. 

(Images from the 30Hands website)

Then, click on each photo. You can draw on the photos, or you can even draw your own slide. (I had students make illustrations, then upload those.) Nexg, students record their voices onto each slide. Rather than typing, your students can speak about the slide. When you're done, you can play it or export the video. We have limited tech in my school, so his was the first time my first graders used it for a presentation, and they LOVED it! 

Do you have any other kid-friendly presentation apps you'd suggest? 

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Using Wordless Books

Hi, Teaching Friends!

Do you know what these books have in common?

Yep! They're wordless books {you read the title of this post, right? :)}

Do you use them in your classroom? They are a valuable resource that's easy to overlook!

For beginning readers, wordless books provide great opportunities for modeling and practicing reading strategies.

*Sequencing: Copy all the pages of a short book, or find a copy at a thrift shop or library book sale and cut it apart. Have your students work together to sequence the story before the first time you read it together. Can they explain the reasons for their sequencing decisions? Tape the story up on the walls of your classroom and walk along as you discuss it. Encourage alternative ideas for sequencing, and have your students use details in the illustrations to defend their decisions. When you read the book as the author intended, compare your class' version. This can be the basis of some great discussion!

* Making Predictions: As you do with any book, spend lots of time making predictions throughout the story. The advantage that a wordless book gives you here is that your students will need to pay very close attention to the details of the pictures since there are no words. Even those who have auditory processing issues will get lots of practice predicting, making inferences, and drawing conclusions.

Wordless books are also great as the basis of writing lessons. Have you ever tried shared writing using your document camera? It works really well for this! Show one page at a time on your screen. As a child suggests an appropriate sentence for the page, talk it through as you write it, or have kids come up and "share the pen". Hint: If you don't want to permanently mark up your book, do the writing on "oops tape", so you can peel it off eventually with no residue left.

Model writing dialogue with one page of a wordless book. As students suggest a few words or a sentence that a character might say, write them on one of those great post-its that are shaped like speech bubbles. Then it's back to the doc camera. Display the page with the speech bubbles on your screen, practice reading it a few times together (with great expression, needless to say!), and then have students come up to read the conversation. What a great motivator for fluency practice!

Beyond the primary grades, wordless books are great for continuing to model reading strategies. Because reading in the traditional sense isn't required, this is a chance for your strugglers to shine. Even as you move into more advanced comprehension strategies. these students can remain strong participants in your conversation, unimpeded by decoding or other issues that usually hold them back. What an exciting thing it is for them to have the playing field leveled, and what a  a confidence-builder, too!

What's your favorite strategy for using wordless books? Please share your idea by leaving a comment!

To read some ideas for using wordless books with pre-readers AND to find out what my three favorite wordless books are, hop over to my post at Primary Inspiration!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

St. Patrick's Day FUN & a Rainbow sight word FREEBIE.

My Leprechaun's Gold Shop:

I set up a jewelry shop each March and fill it with all of the Mardi Gras beads I got on sale after Mardi Gras was over.  You can see the necklaces hanging from shower curtain hooks.

My friend made the cute leprechaun sales uniforms for our clerks.

My students decide how much each piece of jewelry costs and they get to "shop" for jewels using play coins.

Reading Color Words:

This month, we also practice tracing, labeling, and reading, color sight words and we create this cute rainbow FREEBIE.  

Click the image to grab your FREEBIE.

We Learned Math With Potatoes:

We predicted and then measured with cubes:

We guessed which weighed more:

Then we weighed the potatoes on a kitchen scale:

We made leprechaun hats, beards, and vests.  We glued 20 sight words to our vests.

Here is the vest:

Looking For More Fun?  Check These Out:

Click the image to see my FaceBook

Click the bus to see my Pinterest Boards.

Click the image to see my TPT store.

Click the image to view KFUNdamentals blog.

So, what are you doing for St. Patrick's Day?

That's if for this month!
See you all on April 4th.
Palma :)