It's a SALE!!

Just popping in real quick (I'm in the middle of page 32 of a case study for grad school...so I apologize for the briefness here) to let you know I'm throwing a Easter weekend sale in my TPT shop! The sale runs Sunday-Monday! :) I love a good sale, don't you?!
Click HERE or on the picture above to check out the sale!

Happy Easter! He is risen indeed! :)


And the winner is...

I can not tell you how overwhelmed I am by all of your support! I am so excited that our Donors Choose project for "A Little Bit of This and A Little Bit of That" has been FULLY FUNDED!!!

I truly cannot thank each of you enough that gave to this project! I am so overjoyed and humbled by the generous giving and support that everyone gave so that my class could receive these resources! This is going to benefit every student in my classroom and I can't wait to tell them!

Now for the big announcement of the winner of my Entire TPT store!

Could I get a drumroll please for....

Congratulations Michelle!! Lots of goodies coming your way soon! :)

Thank you to everyone who gave and entered! I just couldn't let any of you walk away empty handed, so I'm sending everyone who gave and entered a copy of my Earth Day Unit (found HERE):

You all are the best! Thank you for so generously giving so that my class can enjoy these new resources for our classroom!


Win My Entire Store!!

I'm throwing a HUGE giveaway for a chance to win my entire TPT Store!

Take a look at ALL of the products that you could win--it's a grand prize worth OVER $145:
Click HERE to check out all of the items you could win from my TPT store.

Now I have to admit, this giveaway is a little different from usual giveaways. In order to enter you have to give at least a $1 to our Donors Choose Project:
A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That (click HERE to check it out) AND use the matching code INSPIRE to match your donation. Here are the details:

I know that this is not like a typical giveaway thrown, but I am so passionate about getting this project funded for my students it only has $299 $140 to go!! Every dollar makes a difference and these resources are going to greatly impact my students' learning!

This project includes a little bit of this, and a little bit of that. Think of it as a potluck style of educational resources! These items will be used everyday in many different ways. The page protectors will be used every morning by my first graders in their math notebooks. This will allow them to practice and gain independence in our math skills. The classroom set of clipboards will be used daily in centers-my kids LOVE to move around the classroom and do read and write the room activities regularly, but they don't have anywhere to write on. The clipboards will also be used for science and other learning experiences. The differentiated cubes will be used in our learning centers and will allow me to easily switch out the skills we are working on. The pocket charts will be used for centers, small group instruction, and for new words. The bins, binder, and hanging files will help keep our classroom resources organized and running smoothly!

I am so excited for how these resources will benefit my students' everyday learning! While this project has a potluck style of resources, all of them are going to allow my students to stay engaged and be hands-on in their learning. Thank you for helping us continue to learn and grow! It's amazing how a little bit of this and a little bit of that add up to making a GREAT difference in our learning! We can't thank you enough!! 

Plus, I have a special surprise BONUS for anyone who gives and enters:

Thank you so much for helping out our classroom! What I LOVE about this giveaway is that at the end EVERYONE gets to be a winner!


If You Give a Mouse a Home {Take-Home Bag!}

Every year in first grade we do a Laura Numeroff unit and after we read the book If You Give A Mouse a Cookie (click HERE to get the book), I introduce my kids to Mr. Mouse!
I snagged this guy up at Kohls a couple of years back for $5! Love those Kohl's Care Book and Stuffed Animal Deals!

He is a well loved little guy-hence the reason his neck is a little droopy! The yearly bathing he gets in my washer machine hasn't helped that either, but trust me he needs it! :) The reason he is so well loved (and so dearly in need of a bath) is that he goes home with each of my sweet kiddos each year in a take-home bag:
After telling my kiddos that Mr. Mouse wants to go home with each of them for a night, they get to write their names down on one of the mouse name cards, which I then put into a small container:

We pick a name each day and one student gets to take home the take-home bag for the night (that contains the mouse and journal). The student will get to take Mr. Mouse home and spend the evening with him. They then get to write their adventures with Mr. Mouse in the journal and draw or include a printed picture of their time together:

All of the instructions are included in a letter from Mr. Mouse that goes in the front of the journal:

The student then brings everything back the next day to share with the class--this is a great speaking and listening activity! That student will then get to pick the next name from the mouse name cards. When everyone in the class has got to have a turn with Mr. Mouse, I always add or finished journal to our classroom library. Did you ever notice how students love reading each others work?
My students LOVE getting to take Mr. Mouse home and I LOVE that the family involvement, writing, and speaking and listening that happens as a result of this take-home bag! If you have an extra copy of the book, you can also add the book into the take-home bag:

If you would like to add this fun "If You Give a Mouse a Home" take-home bag to your Laura Numeroff unit or classroom activities, I have put everything in a packet for you!

Altogether this packet includes:
-Instructions on making and using the take-home bag
-Journal Cover
-Instruction Letter from Mr. Mouse
-Journal Pages (in both ruled and lined options)
-name cards (for choosing a student each day)
-a printable mouse (incase you don't have a stuffed animal mouse)

AND I'm putting it on sale for 50% off for the next 24 hours! Plus the first 2 people to comment, leave their email, and tell their favorite kind of cookie will get it for free!

 And if you weren't able to snag up the cutie mouse from Kohls a couple of years ago and don't want to pay the $30 he is going for now (yikes!) I did find these more affordable stuffed animals from Amazon. Just click on the pictures to check them out:

I'll be reading "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" on Wednesday and can't wait to start sending our take-home bag this year!! So fun!


WINNERS and Earth Day FUN!!

Sorry to keep you all hanging with the announcement of the winners! Sickness has been plaguing our household and I'm hoping we are on the other side! :) Is it spring yet?!

Ok now on to the big reveal!! A big congratulations to the grand prize winner:
 and the 2 Runner Up Winners!!
I have emailed all 3 of you and am looking forward to hearing from you! Thank you to everyone who entered!!

Each of the 3 winners will be receiving my NEWEST unit that I just finished for celebrating Earth Day! I told you I was wanting Spring to come!! :) I'm willing it here by getting ready for it!

"It's Earth Day Hooray!" is fun and hands-on craftivity and mini-unit with 45 pages of resources! These Earth Day activities can be used on their own OR can supplement your current curriculum!

I don't know about you, but my students LOVE making craftivities! I find that they are so motivated to write and do a great job with their writing when they get to create a visual to go with it. This cute Earth Day character is the perfect craftivity to go with any of your Earth Day lessons. 
Isn't he look like he and Olaf could be friends? "Hi, I'm Earth Man and I love warm hugs!" :)

I have also provided 7 writing options for you to choose from, to go with it! These writing printables work perfectly with the crafivity--here are 2 different writing examples:

OR the 7 writing printables could be used on their own or in a writing center! Each option comes in both lined and ruled!

One of my favorite things in this packet are the 2 fun and hands on Earth Day activities! Students learn best when they participate in the learning and apply the concepts that we are teaching! Instead of just teaching about the ways to take care of the Earth, your students will enjoy putting the 3 R's to good use with one or both of these activities! 

Crayon Recycling
and a Class Book Swap
I have included instructions and handouts to send home for both of these activities to make your planning easy!

This also mini-unit also includes a 8-page Emergent Reader and 8 Earth Day Vocabulary cards with a recording sheet that can be used for Read and Write the Room (are you kids as obsessed with that as mine are?! Let's be honest-I love it too! It gets them up and moving around in productive ways!!)

Altogether this packet includes:
*Earth Character Craftivity (with blackline master and templates of each piece)

*7 Writing Options that work GREAT with the craftivity or for centers (each option comes in lined or ruled paper)

*Emergent Reader to teach students about Earth Day (8 pages long)

*8 Earth Day Vocabulary Words and Recording Sheet (perfect for using with the Emergent Reader AND/OR for Read and Write the Room)

*2 Fun and Hands-on Earth Day Activities-Handouts and instructions are included for Crayon Recycling and a Class Book Swap.

OH and did I mention that this unit is going to be 50% off for the next 24 hours!!! Woot woot!! Click HERE to grab it for half off while you can so that you can join me in getting ready for Spring!! Plus the first 2 people to comment and leave their email address will get it for free! :)


I'm Lovin' Daily 5 on the Fifth {March Edition}

I am SO honored to have a dear and talented blogging friend of mine be my guest blogger for this month's edition of I'm Lovin' Daily 5 on the Fifth! Julie Marciniak from the
First Grade Critter Cafe
is a creative teacher with lots of great ideas and is one of the sweetest bloggers you will meet! If you aren't following her already, please make sure to stop by her blog after reading all of her great ideas here for Daily 5!
Here is the wonderful post from Julie!!


Welcome friends to this March edition of I'm Lovin' Daily 5 on the fifth hosted by First Grade in Foxwell Forest!  

My name is Julie Marciniak and I will be your guest host for this month's Daily 5 celebration!  I was beyond thrilled when Becca asked me to be her guest author for this post.  I have been stalking "following" Becca's Daily 5 tell-all's every month because I absolutely love any opportunity to get inside another teacher's classroom to see how the Daily 5 is working for students and the teachers. 

The Daily 5 and CAFE frameworks have been unfolding in my first grade classroom for the past four years.  Each year, I grow stronger, more confident as a teacher, to let my students take on more independent, self-led learning tasks, all thanks to the structure and molding of Daily 5.  I can honestly say that without Daily 5, I probably would still be stuck in that rut of traditional-style teaching methodologies rooted deep in teacher-led learning.

Finding Daily 5 and anchoring the CAFE framework into my classroom was challenging for me at first because it was hard to let go of that leadership role.  How could my students possibly learn anything if I wasn't talking and "teaching them?"
Boy was I wrong about that!
The moment I let go, and started sharing that leadership with the students in my classroom, 
my entire teaching world changed- and all for the better!
I took on more of a coaching role, and it felt good.  Really good!
Non-performing students were now making an effort to try, for the first time, to do something on their own.
I saw 24 different learning styles coming together, working on teams or independently, on learning tasks that were engaging and dare I say, fun?  My "teaching lessons" were shorter, and Daily 5 rounds became longer.  It was all starting to make sense now... I finally had the "Ah-Ha" moment as a teacher.
My favorite part of Daily 5 is the partnerships and coaching that happen during our Read to Someone rounds.
Students coaching students is truly an amazing sight to see!
I now use these partnership rounds throughout the entire day to practice any new learning we have- it may just be for a few minutes but it has made a tremendous difference in stretching new learning to a whole new playing field.

Something special about Room 102 is that we have a ton of little Critters who love to help motivate us to read!

As some of you may already know,
I created my Critter Cafe unit to help my firsties make stronger, faster connections with all those extensive reading strategies.  
Beanie Baby Reading Strategy Posters for the Common Core C
I have beanie babies aligned to each of the CAFE strategies and I use those critters during small group to help reinforce a skill when a student needs more "coaching".

We also have our Critter Chest!
Students who sign out for a round of Read to Self or Read to Someone can open the chest and take out a critter friend to read to!  My kids absolutely LOVE it!

For those of you who have been hunkered down due to the Arctic Blast and Polar Vortex of 2014, I feel your exhaustion.
As of today, my school is up to 14 calamity days.
Funny things happen when you don't have consistent routines and daily schedules....
Kind of reminds me of Aliens invading....and taking over the minds and bodies of my little sweetie pies.
(You all know exactly what I mean, don't you.)
I noticed that even during Daily 5 rounds, things were getting too loud and too abrupt.
So what do the Sisters' always say to do?
Ring that bell and get them back on the floor to regroup!
I came up with this little SNOWBALL game to play with my first graders this week to revisit the rules and expectations of Daily 5.  Of course you can click on the image below and snag a copy for your little aliens sweetie-pies too!

This game plays exactly like all the other "snowball" games.
I have black tubs sitting out under each of the anchor charts.
After we have our snowball fight,
the kids will unfold their snowball,
read the Daily 5 expectation,
and place it in the correct tub.

Again, if you are interested in this little freebie, 
click here to grab it!

I want to thank my very sweet and talented firstie friend 
Becca Foxwell for sharing her blog post with me today.  It has been an honor and a privilege to be your guest host for a linky I truly adore!

I hope you link up with Becca and share your Daily 5 hits (or misses) with us so we can grow and learn from each another.

 I would be honored to have you stop by my blog and visit more with me!
First Grade Critter Cafe'
Have a wonderful week!
Sidenote: The Daily 5 Sisters' do not affiliate or endorse the products or content mentioned in this post.

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