Saturday, July 30, 2011

Questions about Daily 5?

I'm finalizing my literacy notebook for teachers and students, and I'm wondering if I've addressed everything.  Does anyone have any questions or something that you'd like to see included in the notebook.  I'm including lots of full color pictures, examples, and printables.  I'm no expert at Daily 5 or Literacy CAFE, but this will be my third year to use it in a classroom setting.  I've also read both books about 12 times. Each year my confidence has increased, and I have seen tremendous growth in all of my students.  I know there are several bloggers who have been posting "how-to's" about Daily 5 and how they organize/manage/setup, but just in case you still have a question I'll see if I can help out. . .

So's looking pretty cute, but I don't just want it to be cute, I want it to be a useful tool!

Questions anyone?

Don't miss this SALE!

Check out all of these great sellers, and think of all of the great resources 
you can get before school starts!  The sale is from August 1st through August 4th.  Use this code {B1T1S} to get the additional 10% off!

     Primary Perspective           Lesson Plan SOS         The Teacher Wife    

 One Extra Degree    Babbling Abby        Anna Brantley        Michelle Oakes             

P.S. I am trying to upload a few new items, but the system must be on overload-I'll keep trying! 

Print, print, everywhere!

I just finished up a great unit for primary learners. . .
What is environmental print?  
It is the print of everyday life in the world around us:  the symbols, signs, shapes, numbers, and colors that can be found in Mc Donald's, stop signs, Wal-Mart, Target, Home Depot, enter/exit. . . and more!  It provides a meaningful and relevant way for young children to understand concepts of print as they connect the alphabet and features of text to their personal experiences.  Not only is environmental print great for reading, it is also a powerful tool that can be utilized across the curriculum...

This resource is 78 pages of class books, art, graphing, map skills, literature connections, and writing-all connected to environmental print!  

Here's one of my favorite activities. . .

Here's another part that I love. . .
I Have Who Has Environmental Print

The first 5 bloggers who leave a comment can snag a FREE copy. . .since I'm posting this at 4:00 in the morning. . .it might just be whoever is up blogstalking! 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

amazing. . .

Remember how I went to see "The Sisters" in April?  I loved it, and since I only saw the Daily 5 portion, I plan to see the CAFE and classroom design parts this year!  While I was at their presentation, we had a chance to share a funny classroom story that was related to Daily 5 or CAFE.  I wrote down my little story, and thought. . .wouldn't it be great if they chose mine?!?

Well, last week I got an e-mail saying that they were going to use my story and that I won a year long subscription to TheDailyCafe-I've been glued to my computer screen watching all kinds of tips and how-to's!

I'm working on a Daily 5/CAFE literacy notebook with lots of printables for my students to use this year.  You'll get a sneak peek soon....I'm working on a student version where students can record their reading goals, track their fluency, and record information about their reading growth.  I'm also working on a teacher version that has space for anecdotal notes, student reading strengths/goals, and reading strategies/activities for guided reading or independent reading conferences.

Also next week I'll post lots of pics of my classroom. . .not too happy with the way it looks right now!

You're probably thinking...why would she leave her classroom looking like that?!?  I was kicked out while working by a few slightly disgruntled custodians!  It drives me crazy to know that right now that stuff is all over the place!  I have my work cut out for me next week.  The good news is that the reason it looks like this is because I cleaned out every drawer, cabinet, nook, and cranny!

I organized all of my books (the ones that I use in addition to the classroom library) and all of my professional books!

I also organized all of my puzzles, games, miscellaneous supplies, and my science stuff.  It will all be worth it. . .I hope!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Making Every Minute Count. . .

I am so sorry for the lack of action around here.  I have really been trying to make every minute that I have left of summer count...hanging out with the boys, napping, and shopping!

Last week I was one of the busiest weeks of my life, and then it hit me this week that my summer is officially over...yikes!!!  This week I've had training for 3 days, next week I'm finalizing my classroom and meeting with teammates, the next week I have 4 days of training, and the following week-the madness begins and we report back full time-those first few weeks are so so crazy!

For those who are participating in the letter exchange or who recently expressed interest, be on the look out for more information by August 1st.  Everything is almost ready to go-thank you so much for your patience!

I still have a ton of "how-to" ideas and fab finds to post, but before I get back to that I wanted to share my presentation from CAMT.  You can take a look at it below if you're interested.  My sessions went well, and I think overall it was a great learning experience.  I literally spent all summer researching (and buying) books, preparing the presentation bit by bit, and making stuff with my handsome little Christian-so go easy on me!  I burned a lot of midnight oil while trying to get it wrapped up, and at one point I thought I wouldn't finish in time.

Along with the presentation, I created a pack of math tools and resources that you can use along with the literature.  The pack has ideas for addition, subtraction, problem solving, patterns, fractions, time, money, and more!

You can grab a copy {here}, but the first 5 bloggers to take a quick scroll at the presentation and leave a comment about their favorite activity or book-will get a FREE copy!
CAMT '11 Presentation

Monday, July 18, 2011

Class books updated. . .

I made a few updates to the file.  You can grab the cover for your grade level along with the alphabet pages here.  

Friday, July 15, 2011

Fab Finds and a few freebies. . .

Here are some fab finds for the week. . .

I'm working hard to finish up my presentation for CAMT (which I will share with y'all too once the conference and presentation are finished), and I haven't been out to hunt for great finds as much as I usually am.  Although it's probably a good thing that I haven't been out and about as much because today I walked into the Dollar Tree, and the manager (who recognized me immediately) said, "Hey girl!  How are ya?"  I'm sure no one else visits Target or Dollar Tree that much. . .right?!?

This week I'm sharing some of my favorite "digital" finds and a new addition to my classroom. . .

I love this book because it's simple yet it provides first graders with a great review of names and basic sight words.  I love class books, and I'm sure we'll start our year off with this one!

Recently I purchased a back to school unit from Abby on TpT.  It's should check it out!  My favorite parts are the literature connections and the first grade backpack!

If you're a fan of post-its, you NEED these coupons!

Writing is one of my absolute favorite parts of the school day, and these journal covers are perfect.  They're ready to go for the entire school year!

My favorite purchase of the week was a "Summer Inspirations Lemonade Stand". . .from Joann's fabric store-They have TONS cute summer items on clearance. . .and an entire section of the store with teacher stuff!  It was supposed to be $69.99, but it was 70% off!  Christian loves it, and I'm sure my new bunch will too!  He immediately began telling me he wanted to order lemonade and some popcorn!

Please excuse the clutter in the background. . .my office is currently full of school supplies, back to school files/books, all kinds of half finished projects, and of course it's not complete without-random objects that belong to my boys! 

This is one of my favorite back to school books.  It's by Steven Layne.  I made a class book that can be used along with it.  Click on the picture for a free download. 

I also love using this book along with Daily 5 and reading activities at the beginning of the year.  I made a quick writing activity to accompany it.   You could also use it as a class book.  Click here to grab a copy!

While working on this post, the mail arrived. . .and here's a portfolio that I ordered from Doodle Bugs Paper!  It was so hard for me to choose from all of Kacey's designs that I just may have to order another one!
If you like them, Kacey is having a giveaway right now or you can visit her website to find out more information!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Letter Exchange

I would love to host a "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom" letter exchange at the beginning of the school year.  This post has all of the details so if you're interested just leave a short comment with your name and email address.  Based on the number of responses I get, I'll either move ahead with the project or wait until a later date.  

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom (Lap Edition) by Bill Martin Jr.: Book Cover

Here's what you'd need to do to participate.  . .

1.  Your class will be assigned a letter of the alphabet and placed in a group with 25 other teachers/classes.   Each teacher will have their students brainstorm ways to decorate their letter of the alphabet then decorate 26 of the same letter.  There will be a template posted on my blog with the entire set of letters in a basic font like the one below.  You'll need to print out "your letter" on white card-stock paper and then start decorating.  You can decorate the letters with all kinds of as creative as you'd like!  
2.   You'll mail 25 of them to your group members for their complete set, and keep one for your own set.  Each teacher will be responsible for postage charges.

3.  After the project is complete, you'll have a complete set of custom alphabet letters.

4.  You can read the familiar back to school book "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom" to introduce this activity.

5.  Another part of the activity, which will be optional is to send a short letter from your class with information about where you live, your grade level, and how your school year is going.  I have also used googleEarth to map the locations of where mail came from in the past, and my students really enjoyed that.

The dates of the project will probably be September 1-30 which will give you a full month to complete the entire process of brainstorming, decorating, and mailing.  Let me know if you're interested!

I love Clifford!

Do you love Clifford the cute little  big dog?  Norman Bridwell has so many books, and he's a wonderful person to use for an author study, especially when it comes to creative writing features.

Kohl's Cares for Kids has new books, and I'm so excited because one of the books is "Clifford's First School Day."  Also for purchase is the original title, "Clifford the Big Red Dog," along with "Clifford the Firehouse Dog," and "Clifford's Birthday Party."

Kohl's Cares Clifford Plush Kohl's Cares Clifford's First School Day by Norman Bridwell

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Have you seen these yet?

Found these at Target today for $2.50 each, and I can't wait to use them!

How "Tues"day Tip #4

This is part I of "Creating a Cozy Classroom."  Here are 5 simple things you can add to your classroom to make your room warm and inviting.  Part II will feature 5 additional tips and will be posted next week.

1.  Add some green to your scene. . .plants, ficus trees, and greenery will make your classroom feel more warm and cozy.  I opt for ivy plants because they're easy to maintain and they grow fast and furiously.  My "gardener" of the week just needs to water it on Monday morning.  It's also a great tool to use when we study plants and photosynthesis.

2.  Organization Station. . .Every teacher has tons of notes, to-do lists, papers, school supplies, and so much more!  I use this organization station to help be de-clutter my desk and work area.  You can purchase these kind of bins at Target right now for $2.50 each.  I created a few small labels which make filing and organizing much easier.

3.  What's your theme?  A common theme throughout your classroom adds personality and warmth to the room.  There are so many great ones to choose from.  I've seen everything from frogs to polka dots to outer space.  Here are a few blogs with some amazing "theme based" resources.  

Take a look at Mrs. Jump's pirate materials here!  She also has a really cute word wall and pirate "work station" organization here!

You'll love  Miss Kindergarten 's beach materials!  They are adorable, and I can't wait to use a few of them in my room.

Clutter-Free Classroom has fabulous posts and great information about all kinds of themes!  She has an entire series of posts that are have some very cute and creative ideas.

4.  Contain the chaos. . .be creative as you look for ways to use containers and storage items.  I love the "how to" post that Rachelle made, and I'm going to make one next week!  If you haven't checked out her post, you should because she lists several time saving tips and some great ideas for how to make the process smooth and painless!

I love love love using storage materials that are typically used for other purposes.

Here's a picnic basket that goes along with my beach theme.  Next year I'll use it to store books.  As I plan my reading and writing mini-lessons along with favorite read alouds I can add books to the basket then change them out as needed.  When the books aren't in use, I can close the lid and move it away to make room for other materials and resources.

I also grabbed this picnic caddy that can be used to store my supplies.  It can stay at my desk area, or ss I travel around the room to take anecdotal notes or work with individual students, I'll have everything I need!

I could go on and on about this tip. . .Mr. Perry is SO supportive of me and of all teachers because he knows how hard we work, but every once in a while he does ask the question. . ."How many containers and bins do you need!?!?"

5.  Print, print, everywhere. . .environmental print is such an integral part of a primary classroom.  Here are a few of my favorite ways to include print in meaningful ways that your students will love!  Include a sign about yourself with your favorite things.  Instead of writing out each word, add pictures and icons of favorite books, restaurants, movies, and more.

Label your classroom items.  There are many commercial products that have "desk, eraser, computer. . ."  You can also consider taking pictures of the items in your own room and add print to create your own labels.  I plan to try this out, and I'll you know if it seems to work well.  You can also use velcro on the back of each picture so that students can easily remove the photo label as they're writing.

I'm working on a new unit that's all about environmental print. I hope to have it completed by next week, and it's been a really fun project.

I'm sorry this post is so late in the day. Earlier I had a play date with two handsome little guys and a few friends, then lunch with "dear old dad," and then spent a bit of time catching up with one of my teammates!

Ready to roll. . .

I'm back, and I've got a lot of catching up to do in the world of blogging!  I have a new How "Tues"day post for today which will be ready this afternoon!  I've missed blog land, but the rest and relaxation was much needed!

Friday, July 1, 2011

summer slowdown. . .

I'm taking a summer slow down for the next week or so.  My wedding anniversary is today. . .5 years!  I'll be hanging out with Mr. Perry all day!  I'm also hosting a "red, white, and You" party next week on the 4th so I have lots more to do in preparation for that...I love hosting/planning parties!  Next week we'll be going on vacation to visit my sweet sister, her hubby, and my three beautiful nieces (one of which was born Monday)!  My parents and grandmother will also be there so I want to spend as much quality time with them as possible.

After my slowdown, I'll continue with How "Tues"day's and Fab Finds.  I'm also working on lots of back to school stuff, a watermelon unit, and a beach unit!  In the midst of hanging out with my boys, I'm putting the final touches on my presentation, and trying to make sure that I get some rest and rejuvenation in!  

I also want to say a huge THANK YOU to the sweet blogger friend who nominated Primary Perspective for the Really Good Stuff blog contest.  There are SO many phenomenal blogs out there so I'm just glad to have the opportunity to share some of my ideas.  I also LOVE having access to so many brilliantly wonderful and creative teachers!  I am amazed by y'all!  

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