Writer's Workshop: Writing Off an Object or Memory

26 April 2011
I am super proud and excited because one of my students, Paige,  won first place in the Suffolk County Writing Contest for first grade.  For those of you who don't know Long Island, Suffolk County is huge!  I am so proud of her.  Paige will read her winning prose at a special dinner event in June!  I am invited along with my principal and her parents.


The winning prose was written after a Writer's Workshop lesson on Writing Off an Object or Memory.  I started the lesson by reading Something Beautiful by Sharon Dennis Wyeth.  I have uploaded the lesson to Google docs.  Click {here} to download it.  This lesson has just been added to my Writer's Workshop Resources packet, which has been updated and is available on Tpt. Click {here} to check it out!

Mother's Day Project and Mother's Day Handprint Card

25 April 2011
I take a photo of my students holding a sign that says "Mom, I love you to pieces!"  I have the kids mount the photo on cardboard and glue puzzle pieces around it.  Click {here} to download this project.
I also have my students make this Mother's Day Handprint Card.  It is a combination of two handprint poems. Click {here} to download the card.

*Do not request access for these files through GoogleDrive.  You need to just hit the down arrow on the top of the page or download the files {here} and {here}.

Check out Blog Hoppin' for some more great Mother's Day ideas!

Free Clip Art

21 April 2011
Whimsy Doodle Graphics is giving away two free clip art downloads this month.  One is for Autism Awareness Month...how cool is that?!  I am the inclusion teacher and mainstreaming teacher for the ABA program in my grade.  Autistic children will always have a special place in my heart. 

The second download will not be up much longer.  Check them both out by clicking {here}.

Listening Center

19 April 2011

Setting Up Your Listening Center
The listening center is a center that is easy to set up and manage.  This center is a student favorite and can be utilized to expose students to quality literature that may be above their independent reading level.  This center can be used every week provided you have enough books on CD or cassette. 
Helpful Tips:
*If you do not have enough listening center books on CD or cassette for the school year, swap with other teachers, borrow from the library, or use Scholastic bonus points to order books on CD/cassette. 

*It is best if each child has his/her own book to look at while listening.  If not, two children may share a book.  

*I store the books and listening logs for the week in the plastic bin pictured below.  I have attached plastic hooks to the side of the bin to hold the headphones when they are not in use.

*Place a green sticker (star or circle) on the play button, a red one on the stop button, and an orange/yellow one on the rewind button.

Materials needed to create the center: 
     Small table or desk with seating
             CD/cassette player with headphones
             Plastic storage bin
             Plastic hooks
             Books on tape/CD
             Recording Sheets
Store the listening response sheets with the listening center books.  I store the books and sheets in plastic Ziplock bags.  I place these bags in a storage bench that doubles as seating at my listening center.

To check out my Listening Center Setup and Response Activities by clicking {here}.
Click {here} for some free listening center response activities not included in my packet.  DO NOT CLICK REQUEST TO SHARE.  You just need to click file and download.  I delete all emails that say "request to share."

Writing Letters to The Tooth Fairy

11 April 2011
As part of my letter writing unit (Click {here} to check it out), my students wrote letters to the Tooth Fairy and created Tooth Fairy crafts.  We read the books Dear Tooth Fairy by Alan Durant and You Think it's Easy Being the Tooth Fairy by Sheri Bell-Rehwoldt .  Then for fun, we watch The Tooth Fairy, starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.  It was a great movie to show kids that boys can be Tooth Fairies, too.  Finally, the "Tooth Fairy" wrote the kids back!  Some of the children said it was "the best day of their lives!"  How cute.
Dear Tooth Fairy You Think It's Easy Being the Tooth Fairy? Tooth Fairy


The tracers and letter writing papers are included in my Letter Writing Unit on TeachersPayTeachers, click {here} to get your copy.  If you already purchased, please redownload, as I added the Tooth Fairy tracers to the packet.  To see my previous post on other activities from this unit, click {here}.

Math Monday Blog Hop

10 April 2011
Check out Love2Learn2Day's Math Monday Blog Hop by clicking {here}.  I posted my "Math" tab on the site.  I love creating math centers for my first graders and they love doing them.  Hop over and post your math link, too!

Teaching Blog Addict

Are you addicted to teaching blogs?  If so, check out this great new blog dedicated to Teacher Blog Addicts like myself. 

Contact Tamara via email (click {here}) to have your button displayed and to become an author on this great new blog.

Jelly Bean Math Centers and Dollar Tree

06 April 2011
I started my Jelly Bean Math Centers today.  I sent home the donation letter that comes with the packet and I was overwhelmed by the response from parents!  It just so happened that Dollar Tree had all the donations needed.  The only thing I needed to do was buy a few more small Dollar Tree metal Easter buckets.  As I was at the Dollar Tree, I met a parent and she so graciously took the adorable plastic chick eggs, that I plan to use with Anna Brantley's Hippoty Hoppity Math and Literacy Centers, out of my hands and bought them for me.  So nice to have supportive parents!
The kids were so excited to go to the centers and they were actually very quiet.  They were really enjoying themselves and concentrating!   I am also very lucky that our AIS math specialist pushes into my class for math centers and follows her group around to the various centers.  Check out the photos below of three of the Jelly Bean Math Centers.
*Don't forget to enter the "Spring Themed Fun Contest" to win the centers and more.  Click {here} to enter on my blog and click {here} to enter at Anna's blog Crazy for First.

Jelly Bean Addition and Subtraction Center
 Jelly Bean Egg Estimation
Jelly Bean Sorting, Tallying, and Graphing Center

Letter Writing Unit

02 April 2011
I just posted my 62 page letter writing unit to TPT.  Click {here} to check it out.  It includes a bibliography of letter writing themed books, lessons based on those books, anchor charts, file folder word walls, and reproducibles.

I just finished the Help Me, Mr. Mutt! activities this week.  If you do not own this book, I suggest you purchase it.  I absolutely love it.  It is great mentor text for Voice. My students found it hysterical.  I am the owner of both dogs and cats, so I had a lot of Text to Self connections with this book.  After reading the book, we brainstormed problems dogs could have.  Then each student wrote his/her own letter in the voice of a dog needing advice.  The students then responded as Mr. Mutt to their own letters.  After that, they added the cat's quip and created a dog or cat craft.

Help Me, Mr. Mutt!: Expert Answers for Dogs with People Problems

The tracers for the cat and dog are in my Letter Writing Unit on TPT.  Click {here}

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