Monday, October 13, 2014

A Spooky Little Giveaway!!!

October is the time of year when the creepy crawlies come out!!! Kids are fascinated to learn all about these creatures!! It's the perfect time of year to dive into a little Non- Fiction palooza with your crew. A few of us are teaming up to  bring you some our very favorite resources we've created  to help you teach all about bats, owls, and spiders this month!

Check out the amazing packs we're offering up below!

We're keeping this one real easy. You can enter quickly using the Raffeclopter below. We'll each be giving away our packs to a winner and one lucky winner will win them ALL!! The giveaway is open through midnight on Wednesday. We can't wait to see whoooo all our sweet winners will be! :)

Monday, October 6, 2014

Catch Up: Fact or Fiction, Making 10, Word Work, and More!

Happy October, y'all!

So, a bazillion things to share and not near enough time.  Where on earth did I get the idea that being a stay-at-home-work-at-home-teacher-mom *might* be a little easier?  Ha! Notsomuch.  Someone commented recently and said that homeschooling is more of a routine as opposed to a schedule.  Sooooooo true.  We do school everyday, but no day is ever the same.  Lesson plans are mostly written out in my head.  Most inspiration occurs mid-story or mid-snuggle on the couch.  The flexibility is perfect and allows us to make learning, creating, and exploring a priority.  And, playing!  Can't forget the playing!  I'm such a huge advocate of play.  

Here's a few things we've had going on...

We spent the week following Apple Week studying Johnny Appleseed.  Becks watched the Disney film about Johnny on Youtube.  And, we completed a KWL activity.  

We also transitioned from Fact/Opinion onto Fact/Fiction!  This worked out perfectly, though wasn't initially planned ;)  Beck completed a little flip flap book activity and it turned out soooooo cute!  {PS.  I added the Johnny activities we did to my Little Bit of Apple Fun unit, so if you already own it you can go in and download these activities, too!}
Becks has definitely mastered number recognition and making numbers up to ten, and we spent the whole first month of school making sure.  The activity on the left is an addition skill drill from Guiding Firsties and the activity on the right is making ten using apple manipulatives (from Michaels) and an egg carton.  He recorded all the different ways to make ten on a piece of scrap paper.  Nothing fancy!
While not everyone agrees with the use of flashcards, I really like them.  I think they are a pretty versatile classroom tool and can really help with fluency once your kiddos are ready for the practice.  {Leaf manipulatives also from Michaels!}

I have no idea why he was working in his jacket this day, or why he was perched on the table, but as long as he's learning, I'm game!  Becks has been involved in a lot more household chores since we've started learning at home, and he's now responsible for folding anything that is rectangular or square-shaped.  He's doing a pretty bang-up job!  And, since I hate laundry, this is a win for all.  Future Daughter-in-Law: you're welcome.  

I try to vary word work every day, but Beckham has been REALLY into stamping and highlighting lately.  Which is great for me since I have these same activities for EVERY sound we'll be working on this year!  Just like when I was in the first grade classroom, it's so nice to have consistency across activities because it transfers to independence for your kiddos.  These are great activities to put at a center.  {You can purchase them bundled >>>> HERE <<<<< or scroll to the bottom of that same link where you can find them listed and linked separately.}  I know they don't look like much, but sometimes the simplest activities do the trick!
This week, it's all about bats, owls, and spiders OH MY!  We started with bats today!  I will pop in and share what we're doing {hopefully} tomorrow :)
In other news, we've decorated for Halloween...
This girl is ELEVEN MONTHS OLD and thriving...
Life. Is. Good.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Small Group Staples: Phonemic Awareness for Guided Reading and RTI

It was a new school year.  I was teaching first grade for the first time.  And, there I was on the floor with six little firsties, eagerly staring back at me as we began our guided reading lesson.  They had little mini-readers in front of them and my basal shouted loudly from its throne, Thou shall follow me implicitly and never stray from my ways! and I decided I would obey because I was clueless about what else I should be doing.  

Fast forward five years and experience, knowledge, and conversations with my best teacher friends have changed my mind about what small group time should look like in the primary classroom.  In fact, it was several months ago that texts between me and my friend, Rebecca, led me to believe I wasn't alone in the What can/should I do during small group time?!  

We began brainstorming, and the idea for Small Group Staples was born.  We wanted to make a resource that was detailed, comprehensive, all-inclusive, and perfect for small group gatherings (like Guided Reading and RTI).  And, we *hope* we've accomplished just that with our first resource in this series!

Here's a little preview of what's inside...

Truly, we tried to include EVERYTHING you would need to have a successful small group experience, whether you use this resource for Guided Reading or RTI.  Hopefully, it will make your life a little easier and your small group time a little more meaningful, too :)

For the rest of the weekend, you can snatch it up on sale!  Go >>> HERE <<<< to check it out! 

Well, I'm off to get my lesson plans done, finish start the laundry that's been taunting me all week, and enjoy the GORGEOUS Kentucky weather!

Happy Sunday!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Peek at My {Last} Week: Apple Week 2104!

True story: I plan better on the fly.  Frequently, I'm inspired in the moment, while I'm teaching.  This didn't fly so well in the traditional classroom, but there were many times I was teaching in front of my students and completely threw my lesson plans out the window (shhhhh, don't tell!), so that I could teach a more meaningful lesson with an activity I thought of spur-of-the-moment.   Creativity doesn't always fit tidily into lesson plans.  But, that's the beauty of it.  

All of that to say, that if I had posted my weekly lesson plans that I initially laid out last weekend, they would look drastically different from what we actually did.  So, here's my plans from Apple Week 2014.   

You can view and download my lesson plans by clicking the plans below!
 Click on the product covers for more information!

And, you can read about each day and activity in more detail in the posts below:

We're doing Johnny Appleseed this coming week, so check back for more fun activities and ideas for incorporating this thematic study into your own classroom!

Have a great Sunday!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Five for Friday!

So excited to link up with Kacey today!  Click the graphic above to join in!

Apple Week concluded today!  It was such a fun week, but I'm grateful for the weekend and a little space from all things apples ;)  After our weekly spelling test and a quick apple diagram activity from Rachelle at What the Teacher Wants, we ran some errands and went on an apple field trip.  Gotta love Fridays!
Let's talk about how Becks insisted he use tape instead of glue.  ??????  #whatevs


I love these two.  A whole lot.  I cannot even tell you how grateful I am to be their mama and to be spending some extra time with them these days.  I'm so content.  

Many of you asked for a compilation of my apple activities.  They're now in resource form and...if you're an Inspired Apple Facebook know that there's a little something special if you purchase by tomorrow at 11:59pm.  Just sayin'.

Product Found >>> HERE. 
This is my view right now.  Except it's night now and all the open cabinets are kind of freaking me out.  Also, we have too much stuff.  #noted  Though we love a good DIY, we actually hired out for this project after a few friends said that if we wanted to stay married we shouldn't attempt it ourselves.  #alsonoted
I am doing a *phenomenal* Bible study with She Reads Truth.  If you're a female follower or seeking Him in your life, I highly suggest you download this free app to your phone and start one of their studies.  I'm doing the Open Your Bible one, currently, and am learning so much about just how much God wants to be a part of my everything.  I need reminders ALL. THE. TIME.  I'm weak, I'm a sinner, and I am terrible Bible reader.  This study is really helping me with that last one.  

I'm planning to do the next one, too, which is 1 Peter and 2 Peter.  If anyone else is interested in doing it, too, holla and we can keep each other accountable!

Happy Friday!