Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Christmas + a Freebie

Whew!  The last few months have been so busy I have neglected by blog.  Between testing and the craziness of the holidays I have not written a blog post in along time. But, I did find the time to make a freebie for you! Holiday Gift Tags!  I am using these to wrap my holiday gifts for my students.  I also plan to print some for my students to use when they make gifts for their parents. Click the picture to download! As always feedback is appreciated.

Christmas Gift Tag Freebie

Monday, October 21, 2013

Adjectives with The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin

The little firsties and I are still working on learning how to identify adjectives.  We did a fun activity today with one of my favorite Halloween books:The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin. I love this story about a little square pumpkin who doesn't fit in until he saves the day. This book not only teaches children that they should not judge others by the way they look, but it is also full of adjectives! I was so glad I thought of a way to tie it in to our curriculum rather than simply using it as a read aloud.  My stack of Halloween picture books I want to read aloud is way to loud to get to them all!

Big AppleBefore we read the story we reviewed adjectives by brainstorming adjectives that described a pumpkin, an ice cream cone and an apple.  After that I started readingThe Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin. Each time the girls heard an adjective I asked them to hold up a finger.  Every couple of pages we stopped reading and listed the adjectives they found on the board.  My class did so well finding adjectives in this book. I was impressed that many of them were able to identify many more adjectives in the book then I thought they would be able to.

What fun fall activities are you doing with your class?

Monday, October 14, 2013

New Freebie

My school is on fall break this week and I am loving the chance to make some new things for my TPT Store.  I posted this new freebie today.  It has two fun printable Halloween themed games that would be a great addition to your Halloween Party. This pack includes a color by sight word sheet and a word search.
Printable Halloween Party Games Freebie! Includes a color by sight word page and a word search.

Go here to download this new freebie.

Don't forget to follow my Facebook page to be notified every time I post a new freebie.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Adjectives About Me!

Last week we tried out this super fun adjectives craftivity that I spotted over at Amy Lemon's blog. She has the best ideas!

I had my girls (I only have girls in my class this year) brainstorm 6 adjectives that described themselves on a piece of paper.  I helped them to correct their spelling and checked to make sure they were really using adjectives.  Then they drew a picture of themselves and pasted their adjectives written on cards around the picture.

We also finished up our Marvelous Me! books we were working on during social studies last week.  They turned out super cute.  The kiddos were super stoked that their work got put together into a real "book."

What are you studying this week?

Monday, September 9, 2013

Hallway Procedures

Students in Line with Teacher
Hallway procedures are a big deal the first few weeks of first grade!  My class and I have been working hard practicing walking quietly in a nice straight line.  My little firsties have made a lot of progress over the first three weeks of school.

Something that has helped my class is reciting a little call and response rhyme every time we get ready for the hall.  This rhyme was made up by one of my genius colleagues. I have been amazed by how it has helped my class behave in the hallway.

Teacher: "Hands are.."
Students: "Back!" (students put arms behind back so they are not touching others)

Teacher: "Feet are..."
Students: "Together." (Student put both feet together)

Teacher: "Faces are..."
Students: "Forward." (all students turn to face the front of the line.)

Teacher" Mouths are..."
Students: "MMMMM..." (Students close mouths and say MMMM.)

I love this rhyme because it gets each student ends up with their mouths closed at the end.  My class knows once they finish the rhyme their mouths cannot open again while in the hall. It is amazing how quiet they are when they are focusing on keeping their mouths "MMMM."

What are your tips for helping your class behave in the hallway?  Let me know in the comments below.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

My First Week of School

Cartoon School Bus
I survived the first week of school!  I have a great group of students in my class this year.  I loved the first week of school but I am glad it is over.  This weekend will be a nice chance for me relax and try to get a jump start on my planning for next week.

One of my favorite activities for the first day of school is reading the book First Day Jitters to my class.  The girls in my class loved reading the book this year and they were so surprised by the ending.

After we read the book we talked about the things that we had "jitters" about on the first day of school.  We wrote all of our ideas on the board. Then each student completed a worksheet completing the sentence "On the first day of school I had jitters about:__________."

You can download the worksheet to use with your class here.

What is your favorite activity to do during the first week of school?  Let us know if the comments below.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Editable Binder Freebie+ Back to School Sale

Whew!  It has been a busy few weeks for me.  I just wrapped up two weeks of professional development including Spalding Reading Training (which is a 3 credit masters course) and back to school night.  Needless to say I am very tired.  I figured many of my fellow teachers are also getting pretty tired prepping for the new school year so I decided that now would be a great time to post a new freebie!   Feel free to use these Editable Binder Covers to spruce up your classroom for the new school year.  There are three different designs included in this pack.

I also wanted to announce that the TPT Back to School sale will be running from 8/18-8/19.  TPT will be offering 20% off all products with the code  BTS13.  Many sellers will also be running their own 20% off sales.  For a total of up to 28% off.  This is a great time to buy all the items on your wish lists!  I will be running a 20% off sale in addition to the TPT sale on Monday 8/19.

Comment below to let us know how your back to school preparations are going.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

3 Ice Breaker Games for the Beginning of the Year

Photo courtesy of stevendepolo at Flickr.com.

I love playing Ice Breaker Games at the beginning of the year. It is so fun to see my students starting to get to know each other and develop relationships that are going to last the rest of the year.   However, when I was looking for Ice Breaker Games to play with my firsties many of the games were too complicated or involved too much writing.  So, I developed a list of three Ice Breaker Games that are easy and fun for young students.  As an added bonus they require very few materials!

1. Who is it?

Supplies: a rag rolled up with a rubber band, chairs placed in a circle

Have the students place their chairs in a circle.  Have the students go around the circle and state their names for the class. Choose one student to be "it" and have that student stand in the center of the circle.  Call out the name of a student in the class.  The student who is "it" must try and tag the student whose name was called with the rag.  The student who was called must call out the name of someone else in the class before they are tagged.   If a student is tagged they become "it."

Question mark in Esbjerg 

Photo courtesy of alexanderdrachmann at Flickr.com.

2. Wall to Wall

This game is great for helping students to recognize the similarities they have with their classmates and to appreciate the differences that exist in their class.

To play this game the teacher reads questions that have two possible answers.  The teacher designates two different walls in the room to represent the answers.  For example the right wall could be yes and the left wall could be no.  The students move to stand by the wall that represents their answer to the question.  Optional: after the students have moved to the wall that designates their answer have the students discuss their answer with a classmate who had the same answer.

Before playing be sure to specify that students must not run while playing this game.

Example questions:

Do you like pizza? (yes or no)
Do you ride the bus to school? (yes or no)
Do you have siblings? (yes or no)

3. Bean Bag Toss

Have the students sit in a circle.  Start the game by tossing a bean bag or soft ball to one of the students.  Ask the student a question about themselves (i.e. What is your favorite color?). After the student answers the question have them toss the bean bag to another student and ask a question of their own.  Encourage the students to make sure that the bean bag is tossed to everyone in the circle before anyone gets a second turn.  Praise students for thinking of original questions rather than just repeating one another student asked.

Tell me about your favorite ice breaker games in the comments below!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Monday Made-It+ Flash Freebie!

Whew!  This has been a very busy week.   I am glad I had the chance to get so much stuff done since I go back to school on Monday (the kids come on the 19th)!  Unfortunately, most of the stuff I got done was things like running errands so I don't have much to show for Monday Made IT with 4th Grade Frolics! However, I did get a few cute things made this week.  Check them out below!

Name Sticks


I plan to use these name sticks to assign class jobs in my library pocket job chart.  You could also use name sticks like these for attendance sticks or choice sticks. 

To make these sticks, I just printed out the circles on a piece of card stock.  After I cut out the circle, I used hot glue to attach them to popsicle sticks.  Rather than writing student's names, you could also write or type student numbers on these sticks to make them reusable year after year.  Go here to print out the circle template and make your own name sticks.

Flash Freebie!

I also got a chance to make some new products for my TpT store this week. 

I finished these alphabet posters in chevron, stripes and polka dots.

And I finished these matching labels packs in chevron, stripes, and polka dots.   The best part is they are editable!

Flash Freebie!

And last but not least I put up these Word Wall Headers in polka dots and chevron (also included in the matching classroom labels packs).  The polka dot word wall headers will be free for the next 24 hours as a thank you for following my blog!  Please leave feedback on TpT.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Monday Made It- Paper Medallion Fan Table Signs

I am linking up with 4th Grade Frolics for Monday Made-It to share these fun table signs I made. I love the way these signs add color to my classroom. You can use them to label table groups, or centers areas. You can also just make these fans without labels to use a super cute decorations!

Here is what my fan looks like before I put the label on: It would be a super cute to just use it plain for decoration!

Here is how the signs look hanging in my classroom:
To make your own paper fan signs you will need:

 -5 sheets of 8.5x11 paper for each fan in a color of your choice
 -White glue or hot glue (both work fine but I prefer hot glue)
-A single hole punch
-String or yarn for hanging

1. First make accordian folds in each of the five pieces of paper. For a slightly larger fan fold the paper horizontally (this works best for using the fans as signs) for a slightly smaller fan fold the paper vertically. I fold mine horizontally so I have room for a bigger label in the center of my sign.

 2. Now, fold each of the folded pieces of paper in half. Add glue (either hot or white) to the middle of the fold and press the two sides together. Your paper should now look like "pie slice."

 The finished "pie slice:"

3. Next, glue the edges of your "pie slices" together to make a circle.  I found it easiest to glue the slices together when they are smashed together.

 Here is what my fan looked like when all of the "slices: are glued together before I glued the last edge to complete the circle:

 4. If you wish add a label to the middle of your paper fan. When hung from the ceiling these fans will spin, so I added a label to both sides of mine. Go here to print the table labels I used for free! Glue the label onto the center of the fan.  If you are labeling both sides of your fan make sure that the labels face the same way!

5. Punch a hole in the top of your fan and add string for hanging.

 That's it!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

New Blog Name!+Sale

You may have noticed my blog is no longer called Sweet Little Things.  I made the change from Sweet Little Things to Teaching in the Primary Grades because I felt the new title would make it easier for readers to understand what kind of content I offer.

To celebrate the new blog name I am having a 20% off sale for the next four days!  Everything in my TpT store is included in the sale!  Click the picture below to be taken to my TpT store.

Friday, July 19, 2013

New School Year's Resolution

The new school year is getting closer and closer!  I am excited for the new year to start but sad that my summer seems to be over so quickly.  I have spent a lot of time thinking about what things I want to focus on improving in the next school year (its a long list).  So, I am linking up with 3rd Grade Theatrics to share my resolution with the blogging world. 

I have lots of things I would like to improve in the coming school year but I decided to focus on two main resolutions so that I can focus on them and hopefully make a lot of progress towards them. 

My first resolution is to have increase the amount of positive notes I send home to parents.  I tried to send home as many positive emails as possible last year but when things got busy it fell to the bottom of my to-do list.  I am excited that my school is requiring me to send at least one positive parent email per month this year because it will help me make this a priority.  I hope to send home one positive email a month along with some less time consuming positive notes such as the ones below I found on Pinterest.
I especially love the behavior bracelets! I think they are so cute and the kids would be so proud to wear them.

My second resolution is to work to create a stronger community among my students and promote kindness in my classroom.  Next year I will be teaching a classroom of all girls so it will be especially important for me to ensure that all the students in my class feel safe and are able to learn.

I plan to accomplish this resolution a couple of ways.

First, I plan on reading Have You Filled a Bucket Today? A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids by Carol McCloud in the first week of school. This book tells students that everyone carries and imaginary bucket.  This bucket is our self esteem or how we feel about ourselves.  When people are kind to us, they help to fill our buckets.  When people are mean to us they "dip" from our bucket.

 I love this book because it really makes students think about how they feel when someone is mean to them.  It helps students to realize that their peers feel the same way as they do when unkind things are done to them.  Additionally, this book give students ideas of how they can "fill the buckets" of those around them by doing things such as smiling, including those who are left out and complimenting others.  I plan on referring back to this book frequently through out the year.


Second, I plan on assign a "Kindness Recorder" as one of my class jobs each week.  The job of the Kindness Recorder will to watch for acts of kindness among the students of our class.  When the Kindness Recorder spots an act of kindness they will talk to the student who completed the act and say: "I am adding a marble to the class bucket because you_____."  The Kindness Recorder will then put a marble in our class bucket.  We will have a special class activity when our class bucket is full. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Liebster Award

I just found out I was nominated for the Liebster Award by Rachel over at A Tall Drink of Water (I love her blog).  I have seen this award around and I am thrilled to be nominated. 

The Liebster Award is given to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. So, what is a Liebster? The meaning: Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome. Blogging is about building a community and it's a great way to connect with other bloggers and help spread the word about newer bloggers/blogs.

Here are the rules: 

1. Link back to the blog that nominated you

2. Nominate 5-11 blogs with fewer than 200 followers

3. Answer the questions posted for you by your nominator

4. Share 11 random facts about yourself

5. Create 11 questions for your nominees

6. Contact your nominees and let them know you nominated them

My nominees are:
1. Randi at Teaching 5th-8th
2. Brittany at Excelling in Second
3. Jessica at Wild and Fun in Pre-K
4. Heather at Learning With Mrs. Langely
5. Courtney at Mrs. Mcbride's Kinder Cakes

11 Questions for my nominees:
1. Why did you decide to be a teacher?
2. What do you like to do to relax?
3. What is your favorite grade to teach?
4. What is your favorite thing about teaching at your school?
5. Where would you go on your dream vacation?
6. Why did you start blogging?
7. What is your favorite book?
8. What are your hobbies?
9. If you could meet anyone from history who would it be?
10. What is your best teaching tip for new teachers?
11. What is your funniest teaching memory?

Questions from Rachel at:   A Tall Drink of Water

1. How long have you been teaching and what grades have you taught? 

This upcoming school year will be my second year teaching.  Last year I was blessed to teach second grade and this year I am excited to teach first grade.

2. What was the best concert you attended?

Rush!  They are my favorite band and are definitely the best concert I have been to by far.   I am excited that I get to see them in concert again before the summer is out.
Image Source: www.2112.net
3. What is the one thing you must do before going to bed?
I always have to take some time to decompress or I won't be able to stop thinking about my latest project and actually get some sleep.  

4. What is your favorite thing about where you live?
I love all the great restaurants in my area.   I am especially a fan of several Brazilian restaurants that are near my home. 

5. Do you have any pets? If so, how many and what kind?
I have a husband does that count?

6. How did you think of your blog name?
I had a hard time coming up with a blog name.  I thought for a while and finally decided to try to think of a name that describes my students (the reason for teaching after all) and I came up with Sweet Little Things.

7. Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Chocolate-in large quantities.
Health Benefits of Chocolate
Image Source: http://www.charterfitness.com

8. Where was your favorite vacation?
I love traveling so its hard for me to choose a favorite vacation.  However, I will have to say that I loved getting to travel to the Caribbean.  I love the beautiful blue water and the chance to just hang out on the beach and swim in the ocean. 

9. Where did you go to college?
BYU-Brigham Young University
Image source: www.byu.edu

10. What's the funniest thing a student has ever said to you?
Where to start?  My class last year cracked me up everyday.  One of my favorite quotes from last year was on the first day of school one of my students came up to me and said: "From far away you looked like a midget."  (I am only 5'3").  I thought it was so funny and laughed about it all day.

11. What is one thing you cannot live without?
My Family!  I love them all so much and I cant imagine life without them.

11 Random Facts
1. I will be teaching a class of all girls this year.
2. I love reading YA novels.
3. I have never broken a bone.
4. I want to learn to speak Portuguese.
5. I have two younger siblings.
6. I love making products to sell on TPT.
7. I could eat cereal and toast every day.
8. I love to try out recipes I find on Pinterest.
9. I love shopping for school supplies even when I don't need any.
10. When I was in elementary school my class was in an earth quake while we were on a field trip. Every time I take my class on a field trip it crosses my mind as  my worst field trip nightmare.
11. I hate seafood.