A Sweet Giveaway

Happy Saturday! I'm sending you lots of warm fuzzes as the 1st winter storm settles in over the east coast.  Today I wanted to drop in and share a sweet giveaway as many of you begin to prepare for Valentine's Day!

I'm teaming up with the fabulous Angelique St. Clair for a lovely giveaway.  Angelique creates charming graphic pillows in her Etsy Shop, LovedBird Creations.  I purchased a few designs in the fall to sprinkle around the house and school.  Just check out some of her lovely holiday designs below...





Angelique's designs are unique and perfectly whimsical, don't you agree?  One of my favorite designs from her store coordinates perfectly with my reading hut!  


If the pillow isn't exciting enough, I'm throwing in a little finger candy with an Alex & Ani ring. This fashion jewelry seems to make a daily appearance in my social feed.  I'm head over heels for their entire Valentine's Day collection.  The Romance Ring Wrap is simply adorable and is part of my contribution to the giveaway.


I did mention preparing for Valentine's Day, right?  Let me assist you in a little less holiday prep by contributing my book companion that will inspire our littlest learners with kindness and compassion through the powerful story entitled, Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch.  Click the graphic below to link to my blog post and learn more about the book companion. 


I sure hope you love all the goodies featured.  The winner of this giveaway may select one holiday graphic pillow and the color tone for their Romance Wrap Ring. There are many different ways you can enter to win. The winner will be announced on Monday January 25, 2016 and featured on the rafflecopter below!

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The Clock Struck One {A Time-Telling Book Companion}

Captivate students with math themed fun while meeting learning standards! This 202 page packet is packed full of excitement.

Meet 1st and 2nd grade core standards with a little extra fun using Trudy Harris' Time-Telling Tale: The Clock Struck One.  

Link Provided in Graphic 

This companion is split into two parts: literacy work and math centers. What's included in this ORIGINAL Time-Telling Book Companion?

Build background with a heavy dose of story vocabulary that will assist language learners with words such as sprang, dashed, splattering, hive, charged, brook, glen, staggered, trudge, heap, bliss, and grandfather clock.



Provided are several options for recording vocabulary words.  Option one includes a vocabulary book with clipart images.  Option two includes blank vocabulary response pages.  Option three includes an interactive journal page with all clipart images.



You'll find engaging comprehension response sheets for compare/contrast, cause/effect, predict/infer, story mapping, and sequencing events.  You can also practice timelines while working on recording analog and digital times.

Engage students while reading The Clock Struck One by interacting with sequence cards in a pocket chart or glue cards to a tongue depressor for retelling props.  

Trudy Harris did a remarkable job incorporating grammar skills throughout this familiar rhyming tale with verbs!  I've included each action word with a verb hunting recording page.


As you are get to the meat and bones of your math lesson, an additional set of math vocabulary words are provided.  Words include: dial, analog clock, hour hand, minute hand, second hand, o'clock (analog), digital clock, o'clock (digital).

To assist in your anchor chart or providing students with a visual practice, an interactive clock is provided.  Students will work to add each hour around the clock with a rotating center dial for an am/pm visual.  This additional dial will assist student in understanding the rotation of the hour hand twice during a 24 hour day.  All you need is a brad!

The remainder of the packet includes math centers for continued practice.  Centers include puzzles, bingo, time order, and write the room.  



Time Puzzles include the written time.  Students will identify and match the analog and digital clocks.  I packaged the puzzles based on the skills needed to meet different standards: Time to the Hour, Half Past the Hour and Quarter Hour.





Time Bingo includes both analog and digital clocks on each board.  I packaged the bingo games to include five boards for each of the skills: On the Hour, Half Past the Hour, and Mixed Time.  Also included are Quarter Till, Quarter Past, Mixed Time 2 (Quarter Hour).


Time Order cards are prepared in two separated groupings: On the Hour & Half Past the Hour  AND  Quarter Till & Quarter Past.  The cards should be used as Bingo Calling Cards, too!





Write The Room is also packaged to practice various skills and assist in specific printing needs: On the Hour, Half Past the Hour, Mixed Time, Quarter Till, Quarter Past, and Quarter Hour.



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#bethedifference Gingerbread Week

The PERFECT Man


He's cute, he's sweet, 
and he doesn't get upset 
when you bite his head off.
Introducing, the Gingerbread Man!


Gingerbread week happens to be one of my favorite times of the school year.  Kids are engaged and eager to participate in learning activities centered around various ginger friends who always seems to be on the run!  

Today I'm writing to share with you some fun resources I found on The Mailbox Gold to enhance my instruction and boost reading engagement with my first graders.

I find engagement to be at it's height when teaching themes.  Setting the stage elicits excitement while meeting the standards.  This week, we will turn my classroom into a sugar sweet learning lab. The entrance includes yummy candy canes and lollipops that flank the classroom doors.  


Using pool noodles and decorative masking tape, you can create whimsical candy canes. For making lollipops and candy, you'll need pool noodles, pvc pipe, paper lanterns and saran wrap. These elements go a long way to providing the wow factor!  

Our winter wonderland wouldn't be complete without a little snow.  Living in Florida, we have to imagine what snow looks and feels like as we roast with temperatures in the 80s.  


To create the effect, my sister and I strung around 10 cotton balls on approximately 3 feet of fishing line. You'll need a needle and a glue stick to complete the task.  Once you have 10 cotton balls, you'll need to space them out in random widths.  Use a dab of glue by rubbing the stick on the areas where the balls are located.  A little glue goes a long way. Cotton won't need much to adhere to the line. 

The focus for this post is reading engagement.  Candy capers will elicit so much excitement. I prepared our reading matrix using delicious candy prints found on The Mailbox Gold.  The site provides blacklines of M&Ms, Gumdrops, Candy Canes, Peppermints and Hersey Kisses.  YUMMY! The matrix will become our instructional focus as we compare various texts of The Gingerbread Series.  Below is a sample of several PDFs available for download.  





Pre-typed comparisons are ready to be attached as we explore each book.  The kids will assist in recording various characters and outcomes on the white board.  At the end of the lesson, I will have my students adhere the pre-typed papers to the chart since the space is limited.  You can always facilitate the discussion to ensure the outcome essentials are provided and match the content in which you prepared in advance.  

One of the first activities we will complete includes a graphing activity.  I bought several packs of Little Debbie Snacks.  Goodness, the kids are excited and this eliminates baking stress on me.  The snacks are sitting on their desk when they arrive.  Their eyes are already glazed over and eager to figure out the direction of the lesson.  

I find completing this task first gives the kids the necessary schema for what gingerbread smells and taste like.  Surprising enough, I have over half my class that's never had a gingerbread cookie before. We often take for granted that our student know and understand the text.  Weaving in various content areas helps develop a deeper meaning.  Bring on a little math with graphing...


Also available on The Mailbox Gold are various gingerbread printables.  I found the different options to meet the various instructional needs.  I used the decorated gingerbread men for our retelling props. The large gingerbread men are programable and used for the matrix. The smaller gingerbread men are used for the graphing activity.  For a visual representation, I cut the gingerbread to match the recording sheet provided by The Mailbox Gold.


Using various comprehension pages from my freebie book companion, I follow up with the different stories using a variety of strategies.  This allows for me to informally check their understanding with a familiar format.  


This repetitive text provides students with confidence as they work on retelling and fluency. The Mailbox Gold provides visual retelling props used in the matrix and below on tongue depressors for use in our drama center.  


My niece helped me work through any challenges I may face in the week.  Madelyn just turned four and found the flaws in my printing, lol!  However, she did a remarkable job as I read the text and she reenacted the parts with the retelling sticks from The Mailbox Gold.  The puppet theater came from The Land of Nod and has been used in my classroom for five years.  



I find the kids ABSOLUTELY love this book and are eager to take the back seat to read while their partner is reenacting...


To build a purposeful theme, I want to weave the topic of gingerbread in each content area.   Tuesday will be full of excitement as I challenge the kids with a stem project.  We will be building a gingerbread house with gumdrops and toothpicks.  This will provide the kids with an understanding of the shapes needed to construct our own gingerbread playhouse for the classroom.  


Once we understand the foundation of a gingerbread house, we will construct one using a furniture box from a local store.  I'm assigning kids to work on various tasks when building our playhouse. My experts will create a few sentences sharing how they completed their task.  We will work to collectively combine their words into a shared "how-to" writing paper which will become a model for their independent papers at the conclusion of the week. The Keeper of the Cheerios has an outstanding visual blog post on how to create a cardboard gingerbread house.



By the end of the week, we will bake gingerbread cookies together, following the step by step directions on the Betty Crocker package.  This allows students to see the value of detailed instruction when teaching someone following your steps.

Our final task for the week will include decorating a gingerbread man while explaining how in their own paper.  This performance writing task will become a portfolio writing sample. 


This week is packed full of themed learning that is sure to make magical memories!  Don't let themes overwhelm you.  You certainly don't have to squeeze in everything.  I find going big builds excitement for learning so I typically do one large theme a month.  Best wishes to you and your littles as you navigate through the holidays!

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post!  I'm thrilled to share a surprise giveaway hosted by The Mailbox.  The Mailbox team has offered one of my readers a giveaway for a $100 Visa Gift Card. Please check this post on Saturday for the announced winner.


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Congrats to Sharon Marie!  
Your winning gift card is in the mail.  Best Wishes!
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