Friday, November 28, 2014

TPT Cyber Savings Sale Dec. 1 & 2

Has anyone braved the Black Friday madness today??  I really can't think of anything I need or want badly enough to go out to any stores today (or last night).  Plus, that's what online shopping is for!!  Speaking of online shopping...TPT's Super Cyber Savings sale will be going on December 1 and 2!  My entire store will be 20% on the image to check it out!! 

Happy shopping...I'm already making my list and checking it twice...

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Fall Fun with VA Teacher Bloggers Blog Hop

Happy Fall, Ya'll! (I am not a "native" southerner, so even typing that feels odd to me, haha). With the leaves changing and air getting cooler, what better time to give away some freebies?! I was fortunate enough to meet some wonderful VA bloggers over the summer and am so thankful for the relationships - both professional and personal - that have been made.  We are teaming up this weekend for the Getting Festive for Fall with VA Bloggers Blog Hop.  Yay!
I've been loving the fall weather and fun festivities that are going on locally.  My husband and I went to our favorite pumpkin patch a few weekends ago (because I just couldn't wait!).  Aside from him getting pulled over on the way was a great day! We go to Ashland Berry Farms in Beaverdam, VA.  It's the cutest place ever. Once we got there, we were taken out to the massive pumpkin fields on a hayride and then were left out there to start "pickin."  The way it works at Ashland Berry Farms is the best part - you pay $20 for as many pumpkins as you can joke! There is one rule - you must be able to take 3 steps with the pumpkins in hand.  So, I loaded up the hubs with our colorful and diverse pumpkins.  He couldn't see, but he could walk...that's all that really matters!  
We came home with 9 pumpkins of all different colors and sizes (for 20 bucks!).  If you are somewhat local, you've got to check it out!

Onto some fall first grade "stuff!" I spend much of the beginning of the year working with shapes and patterns, but we are beginning to get into working with numbers - simple addition and subtraction strategies.  We will begin with Part-Part-Whole relationships and introduce strategies for solving equations.  One activity I like to use during my math rotations is my Sums to 10 - Turkey Talk Addition activity.  Here's a peek at what you'll on the image to grab your FREEBIE while the hop is "hoppening!"
It's been in my store for awhile (one of my "firsts", actually), but you can snag it for FREE this weekend! I can stretch this activity for several days by only putting out a few sums with the corresponding addends each day.  My kids can write their equations on the recording sheet for those sums, and by the end of the week...poof!  We've done them all! 

Head on over to Hanging Out in First to see what other amazing goodies my VA gals are sharing. :)

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Pattern {FREEBIE}

We just wrapped up our pattern unit in first grade with repeating and growing patterns last week.  My team does an awesome job pulling resources together to teach engaging, relevant, and appropriate activities for our children.  We teach in small, flex groups so that we can target specific skills while differentiating instruction. 

As a review before our summative assessment, I developed this Pattern Scoot activity. It includes both repeating and growing patterns while asking children to either A) name the pattern, B) draw what comes next, C) identify if it is repeating or growing, or D) draw the pattern. I modeled those 4 basic directions before we got started so my kiddos knew what to do - and they did awesome.  This was our first Scoot game of the year and my students loved it (and so did I)!  It was a great way to get in some pattern review, while also letting them move around the classroom.
Grab the Pattern Scoot game by clicking the image below. :)  Enjoy!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Reading Rotations Schedule

I mentioned that my students participate in 'reading rotations' during my guided reading instruction in my last post (here).  A few details needed to be revised with my schedule, but I wanted to share what it looks like in my room.  I keep this schedule (which is a Power Point file) on my projection screen the entire duration of my reading block. My students refer to it often, and each day of the week shows the different activities for word work and spelling - I have found this super helpful and it cuts down on any interruptions about what the job is while I'm with other kiddos at the reading table. I have other options for word work and spelling prepped on an extra slide for use later in the year, as well. I'm sure I'll be glad I did that now and not frantically working on it when I decide to introduce a new activity!

Here's what I use...

This works for me and I hope you found this helpful when setting up your independent jobs during reading! 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

What I've been up to...

What have I been up to lately!? Surviving. Just simply trying to survive September! Although I love watching/helping my kids grow (and, oh, how they have) as we set up our classroom routines and expectations, there's no getting around the fact that the first month of school is exhausting! I've been meaning to blog - I really have.  So, several weeks later, here I am!  One part of our day that requires a lot of "training" and practice is my reading block, which is why I chose to share some aspects of it with you.  There's a lot going on simultaneously and there is an expectation of independence during our rotations.

I will be starting reading groups next week - yay! So it is essential that my kids are comfortable with the routines of our reading block. My reading block is about 1 hour and 45 minutes - mini lesson, FIVE reading groups (whoa!), and a closing/sharing time. If I had to describe my reading instruction, I would say it's reading workshop with my own take on Daily 5. I have found that my kids work best when we rotate through jobs as a class, so we have a schedule that includes 1) read to self, 2) word work, 3) listen to reading, 4) spelling word practice, and 5) read with teacher. (I'm tweaking my schedule this weekend, but will post what it looks like when it's complete). "Spelling word practice" includes activities from my pack here that I choose to use for our weekly spelling words. During "word work," students are doing activities with their weekly Words Their Way sort. The rest is pretty self explanatory. 

I've been introducing the routines with the word sorts at the table with me for about the last week and half as we've been establishing out reading rotations routines.  Hopefully they'll be ready to handle it independently next week!  Here's what our "word work" routines have been so far...
Literacy instruction is my passion and I'm so excited that we are getting  into our groove and ready to get rolling with reading groups! What have you been up to?

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Classroom Reveal

Finally! Better late than never, right!? I really love the way it is coming together - there are still some things on my to-do list, but I finally had to convince myself to stop and that all things will eventually get done. Plus, I'm probably the only one who notices those little things. I'm linking up with Alexis at Laugh, Eat, Learn for this classroom reveal! 

So...I showed my husband these pictures and, after telling me that he thought it looked great, he quickly called me out and said, "This is the cleanest your room -- and teacher desk -- will ever be!" So true. But I'm going to try really hard to keep my desk area clean and organized (this happens to be the same goal I set every year...still working on it).
Immediately inside the classroom door. To the left are student cubbies and built-in shelves where I store my read alouds and professional books (covered with polka dot curtains, of course).
The view from right inside the doorway. My mat takes a lot of abuse over the year. We are on it A LOT. I love that each child has a clearly defined spot when we sit as a whole group at the mat. I also do y math groups there rather than at a table. My small group can spread out with whiteboards, manipulatives, etc. and not have to worry about limited desk space. 

My somewhat organized desk. I never sit's just a place to accumulate piles of papers!

"Reading table." I've made this arrangement of desks work for years for reading groups, but a REAL kidney table is arriving next week!! 

One side of my classroom library...

...and the other side! I like having it split so that the kids are spread out while in the library.

This is what I walked into 2 weeks ago. I was so thankful that at least my furniture was not stacked in the center of my room! Notice the kidney table - that has since been taken to another room and I am waiting my new one!

Well, there she is, my room in a nutshell! Enjoy your Labor Day weekend and happy Back 2 School!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Teacher Work Week = Tired Teacher

Now that I am recovered and rested from my INCREDIBLE trip to Alaska, it's back to reality and time to go back to work...where has the summer gone?! It was only a 3 day work week (although, I went in on Monday to begin setting up my room) and I'm EXHAUSTED! Whew! The staff meetings have already begun and that is why my room still isn't finished...sigh. I'm making progress and hope to have pictures up soon.  In the meantime, I did complete my "welcome to first grade" postcards. I typically make phone calls to each family, but our schedule continues to be slammed with meetings next week and I wasn't sure if I could make those phone calls prior to our Open House. Luckily, my friend Sarah at There's No Place Like Second Grade made these adorable postcards...and they're a fan freebie on her FB page! She is so talented and I adore everything she makes!
I'm excited to put these bad boys in the mail tomorrow so I can finally cross something off of my ever growing To Do list(s)!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Fall Clip Art is Ready!

Although I am not wishing my summer away (not by any means!), I just finished my FALL set...and in time for the big TPT sale!  This was the perfect project for a rainy afternoon today.  Who doesn't love fall? A little hot apple cider, changing/falling leaves, cooler temps, Thanksgiving season ever! 
Hope you like 'em! 

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Back 2 School SALE!

Who doesn't love a good sale?!  It's time to mark your calendars and start making your wish lists, peeps. TPT will be holding it's annual Back to School Sale on August 4-5.  My ENTIRE store will be 20% off! Want to get a head start on making your list and checking it twice? Click on the sale image to head to my store. Ahhh, I can't wait to start shopping!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

School Supplies Clip Art

Are you working on "stuff" for Back 2 School? Updating existing files? I can't wait to add these School Supplies images to some of my beginning of the year files.  Change is good!
Spruce up your PowerPoints, forms, worksheets, bulletin boards, centers (and just about everything else) with this latest set of LG Doodles clip art!  You will get 41 total images - 26 color and 14 black & white.  Click on the pictures to go to my TPT store. Hope you love 'em!  

Monday, July 21, 2014

Monday Made It ~ Birthday Bags & a {FREEBIE}

I'm joining the Monday Made It Linky with 4th Grade Frolics. I've had all of the supplies that I needed for this project (you can see what I put in the bags later in the post), but just hadn't had the time to do it....until today...a rainy Monday afternoon. Each year, since my second year of teaching, I make BIRTHDAY BAGS for my students.  So what is a birthday bag?? This was an idea from my mentor teacher when I began my career and I was hooked.  Birthday bags = brilliant! It is a pre-made bag filled with small goodies for the birthday boy/girl. All of the bags are identical so there is no need to write any student names on them.  I put a "Happy BEE-Day!!" label on the outside of the bag in place of having a card.  Easy!  
Prior to using these bags, I would often forget the birthdays of my students {shame}. No matter what I did! I had a calendar just for birthdays, they were on a wall in the classroom, they were added to the classroom monthly calendar, they were practically staring me in the face, but I would forget - or get busy doing other things even when I did remember...which led to forgetting later! Then I'd find myself scrambling to find a card, fill out the card, and gather a bookmark (or anything else in my desk drawer) all while the birthday boy/girl are watching me and probably realizing that I forgot it was their big day.  Ugh!  NOW, I have these birthday bags prepped at the beginning of the year and stored in my classroom.  I put them on top of some overhead cabinets in my room.  They are not taking up vital real estate in the classroom, yet they where everyone's eyes can see them (including mine). On a child's birthday, I simply grab a bag and put it on their desk..done!  Along with other festivities in the classroom - singing, choosing their own classroom job for the day, etc. - they keep this bag on their desk all day long. Surprisingly, it is not a distraction at all.   I ask that they open it at home.  Why, you ask?  Well, if they open it in front of their peers, the contents are no longer a surprise for all future birthday bag recipients! I'll let you in on the secret,'s what's inside my bags this year:
What fun stuff do you do in your clasroom for student birthdays? Do you want to use birthday bags?  Snag the labels for FREE here
Be sure to head to 4th Grade Frolics to see other fun Monday Made It ideas!

Friday, July 18, 2014

ABC Doodles...Part TWO and a VA Blogger Meet Up

Hey all!  Once I finished my first ABC Doodle set, my dear friend and running buddy asked me if I could work on some additional images to support her phonetic cues that she uses with her kinders.  While working on those, I decided just to make a second set so that I could offer TWO complete ABC sets.  Then...drumroll please...I bundled them together for an even better deal!  You can get both sets in the bundle, or purchase them separately based on your need.  Gotta love having options! 
Click on the images to be directed to that product in my store.  
I hope you love them - cuz I love making them!
Also, a few days ago I was able to meet up with a bunch of wonderful other VA teacher bloggers.  Move over Vegas TPT Conference, make way for the VA Blogger meet up in Richmond! It was so great to make new friends, share ideas, brainstorm new ones, and even vent a little bit.  Wait, what?! Teachers have things to vent about? Nahh...Here's a pic from our meet up!  Hopefully we can get a linky or blog hop set up soon. :)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Word Work Activities

As the school year was ending, a coworker and I were talking about some changes we wanted to implement for the upcoming year.  A few topics/ideas came up, but she kept coming back to some issues she was having with her reading block.  We do a mash-up of reading workshop, literacy centers, and Daily 5.  It works for us. Mainly, though, she wanted to spruce up her word work activities.  Unlike the Daily 5, where students are working on writing, we do word work with our word study skills.  We have a separate Writing Workshop block in our day, and that is when our kids work in their writer's notebooks, publishing books, etc. (Of course, any time they finish an activity, they are always asking to get out their notebooks to keep writing. Smile.) I took what she was using with her kids for word work and combined them with some of my old favs.  Thus, Word Work Activities Recording Sheets was born.  This pack can support any curriculum you are currently using. Check it out!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Classroom/Library Organization & Good Finds!

So many great purchases to tell you about...where do I begin?!
This is a longer post, so hang in there with me...

While most people were searching for red, white, and blue colored "stuff" last week, I was looking for anything and everything GREEN!  I've decided that I am going to streamline the baskets/bins in my classroom library and make them all lime green - my fav! Currently, they are a hodgepodge of primary colors with no rhyme or reason.  In fact, it's confusing for the kids.  Most of my library books are leveled with colored sticky dots but the bins they are in don't coordinate with the color (even though the label on the bin does).  So yellow books, for example, might be labeled as such, but in a huge, honkin' blue tub.  What was I thinking?! Fortunately, the Dollar Tree delivered (for the most part). So far I have collected a bunch of baskets. But...I didn't take inventory of what I needed before I packed up my room, so I'm making my best guess.  I know I still need a lot more, though.  I also picked up the polka dot trays (I got some last year and we used them allll the time), containers, fabric boxes to hide other messes, and smaller baskets. Don't forget, you can order in bulk from the Dollar Tree here if you store has limited quantities!
I definitely still need larger bins (maybe 11"?) for the picture books in the library.  The ones that I have are the perfect size, but not the perfect color. I know that Really Good Stuff has some here, but I feel like they are a bit pricey.  The dollar store spoils a girl! Any suggestions? Spray paint for plastic (I just don't want to deal with chipping/pealing)??

I also found some cute things to go with my black & white polka dot room {I don't see those going away from my decor anytime soon!!} with green accents at Michael's.  I got these two containers on clearance.  They were 50% and 70% off.  I use the green bags for Birthday Bags so I grabbed those while I thought of it. I also found magnetic spice rack containers for my small office supplies and adorable initial cards in the dollar bins. Score!
Speaking of $ bins...Target has their Dr. Seuss stuff in stock in their Dollar Spot section.  Go stock up for Read Across America Day now!
Finally, I have to share this amazing find from IKEA!  I've been searching for a shelf of sorts for on my desk to store my binders.  During the school year, a parent helped me consolidate my files into organized binders. She was a saint and would tackle a few files each week by purging multiples and putting them into sheet protectors for me (there were some files that I HAD to go through first, I was too embarrassed for her to see what they looked like otherwise).  Anyway...I stopped by IKEA on a mission to find something that would fit the height of the binders - for a decent price.  I didn't find exactly what I wanted and finally succumbed to the thought that I'd have to built my own...sigh. On my way out of the store, though, I wondered over to the "scratch/dent/random stuff" section and found exactly what I was looking for!  It was clearly used for display purposes and has some hardware that I need to remove, but it was $4.99.  What?!  I was so proud of my find that I didn't even mind (much) sitting in traffic on my way home! 
What have you been gathering for your classroom this summer?

Sunday, June 29, 2014

BEE-ing Creative ~ Bee Clip Art

My school's mascot is the bumblebee, so of course I couldn't wait to whip up some BEE clip art.  I hope all of my JBBES peeps, and everyone else, love 'em!  
There are 2 sets - "BEE" Unique (traditional black & yellow bees with unique designs) and Polka Dot Bees (rainbow colored bees with dots).  
Click on the images to go to my store...Enjoy!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Crayon Clip Art

Just posted in TPT - Crayon Clips by LG Doodles - perfect for Back to School handouts, presentations, literacy centers, games, etc. :) The image below will take you to my store.  

Sunday, June 22, 2014

ABC Doodles

I'm so excited that I have finished my first official clipart bundle!  This is a little project that I began awhile ago (while school was still in) and never had the time to devote to finishing it...until now! Whew! ABC Doodles includes 52 total alphabet images (26 color AND 26 black and white) - perfect for literacy stations, alphabet charts/strips, flash cards, seat work, TPT products, etc.!

Click the image below to find it in my TPT store...ENJOY!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Facebook Fan FREEBIE

It was way more complicated than I expected, but I've {successfully?} added a Fan Freebie tab on my Facebook page to celebrate 100 followers!  Psssstt...the freebie is a new doodle frame available in 8 colors! 
Click on the image below to be directed to my page...
Please let me know if it doesn't work...fingers crossed!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Munchable Math in Action!

I couldn't wait for math groups today! We did the gummy bear math activity from my Munchable Math that I posted about last night. It was so fun - the kids LOVED it! Check 'em out!
The picture above was taken after my first group of students were finished. I started with more gummy bears than this. :). It's a good thing I didn't sneak any gummy bears before we started, or we wouldn't have had enough!!
I love that we were able to incorporate writing into this activity. I wrote a quick checklist on my easel for their story problems. The checklist included complete sentences, punctuation, and capital letters. 
After doing the activity in groups, students took their gummy bears back to their desks and glued them onto their half-sheet coloring page. I put the coloring page on their desks in the morning for them to do as morning work - quiet morning AND engaged mathematicians...score!
One of my little ones said, "I wish we could do stuff like this everyday!" Well, little does she know...we will be doing the goldfish activity tomorrow! 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

LAST WEEK Happenings...Munchable Math Manipulatives!

I can't believe it's the last week of school! While cleaning, purging, and packing up for the summer are at the top of my list, I have also been focusing on how to keep the kids motivated, engaged, and busy this week.  :)  Allow me to introduce you to my Munchable Math pack!  For years, I have been doing these activities during the last week of school.  I had very primitive looking picture mats and activity sheets, but I've been working on sprucing them up and am SO proud of how it all turned out.  As you know, I've been dabbling in doodles and so I used all of my own artwork for this pack!  Here's a quick snapshot of what's included. Take a look...
Each Munchable Math activity includes a math mat in color and B&W and an activity sheet.  The activities include 1st grade review skills such as tallies, fact families, money, story problems, 1 more/1 less, 10 more/10 less.
The goodies needed for these fun activities are Teddy Grahams, Life Saver Gummies, Gummy Bears, and Rainbow Goldfish Crackers. I contacted my wonderful room moms and they provided the treats and already had them sorted by color for me! To make it easier to pass out the treats, I put them into a veggie tray so they can remain sorted.  Bowls or baggies would work just as well, too.
To save on ink, I only printed out 6 colored copies for small group purposes.  I put them into my wipe 'n write envelopes so they can easily be wiped down and still look fab. Each student will then get a B&W math mat (that is a half sheet of paper) that they will color then glue down their munchable manipulatives {don't worry, I always have plenty for them to snack on, too!}.
Click on the image below to be directed to my TPT store for the Munchable Math pack!
In addition to these fun math activities, we have themes for each of the final four days.  We will be having Motion Olympics (culminating activity for our force/motion unit), Theater Day (a fancy way of saying Popcorn & a Movie Day), Beach Day, and Game Day. 
What will you be doing to wrap up your year?

Saturday, May 10, 2014

More Doodle Frames!

Soooo...clearly I haven't been the best at updating my blog, but I HAVE been doodling a lot! :)  In fact, I finished this set today while I was waiting for my husband's graduation to begin.  Yes, I was sitting in the large auditorium doodling frames.  What else was I to do?  The Mr. (now Dr.!) hadn't even entered yet!

I'm still learning as I go with these, so I'm sure there are way more efficient ways to create them, but right now I am thrilled with what I've been making!  I hope you enjoy them and are able to use them to "pretty up" your creations for your students.