January 31, 2014

Groovy Groundhogs!

Oh what fun we had today! We learned all about that cute, little, famous rodent, the Seer of Seers, the Prognosticator of all Prognosticators....you know who we are talking about right? Yes! You got it, none other than good 'ol Punxsutawney Phil!!

We had a jam-packed day of groundhog goodness today, so much we didn't even finish! Ha!
Here's a look at all of the groundhog-themed fun we had:
Cute groundhog read aloud, Ten Grouchy Groundhogs...

Catchy groundhog song by Dr. Jean...
February 2nd,                          
Is Groundhog Day.
Gather round his hole                   
To hear what he’ll say.      
Will spring be early
Or late this year?
Watch and listen
To what you’ll hear.
You can check out the rest of the lyrics here.
Fun groundhog phonics centers...

Adorable groundhog hat craftivity...
First the children had to color and cut out the groundhog pattern. Look at these children hard at work!
Adorable final product!!
Hilarious children-turned-groundhogs and creative writing...
Oh my goodness.....cuteness overload!!!
When the papers were handed out, we gave them to the children face down. We then told them to turn them over a table at a time in order to catch their reactions. Here are two very genuine reactions to seeing themselves turned into a groundhog!
The children then completed sentences for a little creative writing. A few of the sentences were:
My name would be ____________.
I would be as tall as a ______________.
I would be good at ___________________.
I would not want to _____________________.
Here is a sampling of some of their answers:
My name would be Chilly.
I would be as tall as a cat.
I would weigh as much as a can.
I would be good at tree climbing.
My name is Lilly.
I would be as tall as a jar.
I would not like to die. (Oh my!)
My name would be Fuzzy.
 Super-smart fact writing...
Lastly, we made cute groundhog book where the children wrote some new facts they learned about groundhogs. First, they needed to cut out the pages of the book and color the cover page:
Here is "Punxsutawney Shawn" hard at work!
Then they wrote facts from dictated sentences. Here are some sample sentences and final book products.

Whew! What a busy, but very fun, and productive day!

The children seemed divided on whether they want little Phil to see his shadow, so we will see what happens on Sunday!

We'd love to hear what kinds of groundhog-fun you did with your students this week!

January 30, 2014

Ten Apples Up On Top!

"Look! Ten apples up on top! We are not going to let them drop!"
(Ten Apples Up on Top by Theo LeSieg)
Could you do it? Could you balance ten apples on your head and then jump rope or roller skate or hop and drink milk at the same time? We gave it our best try today!
Before the children experimented with the apples, we asked "How many apples do you think you can balance on your head?" The answers ranged from 0 to 100. One child said, "I think zero because the apple is round and my head is round and I don't think it will stay up there." Love that higher level thinking!!

The most we could do was two apples up on top! And we are not ashamed to say that we let A LOT of them drop!

After reading, children were to pick their most favorite character out of the three major characters and tell why it was their favorite. Here are a few of their responses:

 How many apples do you think you could balance up on top?
Could you do any fancy tricks while you are doing it?

January 29, 2014

Read any good groundhog books lately?

We are getting excited to see what good 'ol Punxsutawney Phil has to say about winter/spring this year. It's been so cold this winter, it would be great to see some warmer temperatures soon!

We are looking for some good read alouds for Groundhog Day. We have a few, but nothing that makes us feel like "Wow, that is awesome, I want to read it every year". Here are a few we have stumbled across recently:

We would love to hear your ideas!
What book do you read every year for Groundhog Day and just absolutely love?

January 28, 2014

Creativity with Black Dots!

What can you make with 10 black dots???

Today, we read Ten Black Dots by Donald Crews. We brainstormed what the children could make with ten black spots or dots. Then, the children came up with their own creations!

Look at what a few of our darlins came up with:
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this!!! How stinkin' cute!!! Two black dots are eyes on the zebra.

One black dot can be a yo-yo. This child spelled all of his words correctly today!! Wow! What an accomplishment for him! And his handwriting is beautiful to boot!

Three black dots can make a dog. That is the eyes and nose of the dog!

We had to laugh today...we love when the children really get interested in school, learning, and quite frankly, it's like we turn them into little "nerds," haha....in a good way of course!

Kelly's students were all crowded around her table when they came in this morning. What were they doing? Spying through her pile of graded papers to see who got all their math problems right yesterday. HA! After she passed them out there were several who shouted "Yes!" and were SO proud of themselves! Love it.

Kim's little smarty pants boy decided he would make a ten frame with his black dots! He must really love math...his mind went straight to his math tools... Another little "nerd" in a good way!

The children also match words, pictures, and the correct number of dots to make a predictable text to practice reading at home. We found lots of sight words, new and old, and did some partner reading as well. The children are all making lots of growth in their reading and writing! What a fun part of the school year when the children REALLY start to show what they know and what they're really capable of learning. They're such sponges!!!

Do you have any fun stories to show how much your students really LOVE school and LEARNING as much as we teachers do?

January 23, 2014

Facebook Free-for-All!!

We are getting excited!! Just one more day until the Facebook Free-for-All! You will not want to miss out on this one!
There is something for all grade levels! Just look (closely) at this lineup!
We are excited to be part of this Facebook hop. We will be giving away an adorable Lovebug CVC center! All you have to do is like our Facebook page and grab our freebie!
See you there!

January 22, 2014

Snow Day = Creation Day!!

We are home today because of snow/ice. Today was suppose to be a professional day for us, so I guess we will have to make it up later in the year.

We are going to take advantage of the day off and start working on a Valentine's Day Center Pack.

We just love making centers for our children!! They get so excited when we introduce something new and they are so engaged and having fun while learning!! Who can ask for anything else?

We would like some input from you! What are some center activities that you would like to see in our new super fun pack we are creating?

January 21, 2014

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!!

Thank you to everyone that entered our "Sounds from the Burrow" giveaway! We had so much fun and it was great to hear from you! Here are the 3 lucky winners!! Keep a lookout for these fun centers in your email box!

We wish we could give these cute groundhogs away to everyone that entered, but not to worry, there will be many more giveaways to come. Be sure to follow our blog to stay up to date with new contests.

Be sure to come over to Facebook this weekend and check us out in the upcoming Facebook Free-for-All! There will be many freebies posted from other teacher bloggers too! It sounds like a lot of fun! See you there!

Here's to hoping the groundhog DOES NOT see his shadow on February 2nd!

It's Almost Giveaway Time!!

We are so excited to be giving away our newest groundhog center, Sounds from the Burrow!
The giveaway ends at 4:00 PM today! If you haven't entered yet, please go it now. Here is the link:
We are so excited to see who wins! Come back later to find out!

January 20, 2014

Remembering MLK and Don't Forget to Enter the Giveaway!

Hello everyone!

We hope you are enjoying your day off today. It is a day for us to remember a great man in our history! Martin Luther King always stood up for what he believed in, he never backed down. There are so many wonderful quotes out there from him, it was hard to chose just one. They all speak volumes!

On another note, we wanted to remind you to enter our giveaway. We will be giving away our newest center creation, Sounds from the Burrow! The giveaway ends tomorrow at 4 o'clock. We will pick one (or more) winners from those that leave a comment on the blog post. Please take some time and enter, we know your students will love these fun and engaging centers.

You can link back to the blog post here!
Enjoy your day off!

January 19, 2014

We're Giving Away Groundhogs!

Do you ever get that excited, just giddy feeling while working on a new product for your class? You say to yourself, "These are so cute, I can't wait for the children to use them!" Or you just can't wait another second to laminate them?


We had so much fun working with these cute critters to make new phonics centers for our students, we just had to share with you! Our children love nothing more than new thematic centers that they can use as fast finisher work or during center time. They think they’re just plain funbut teacher bonus: they’re learning through them also!

We made new literacy centers that focus on three important skills for our beginning and emergent readers: beginning sounds, medial vowel sounds, and ending sounds.

 Check out these newbies!

Matching the beginning sound of words to the correct letter
Completing the missing medial vowel sound in CVC words

Matching ending sounds of words to the correct letter

To share our excitement over these new cuties, we’re going to pick a lucky winner (or several) who will receive this entire pack of groundhog greats to add to their classroom centers! All you have to do is comment on this post with your name, grade you teach, and your e-mail address.

We will pick a winner randomly at 4PM on Tuesday, January 21st!
For every ten people to comment, we’ll give one pack away.
So send your friends and we’ll give away more groundhogs!

 Are you hoping the groundhog sees his shadow on February 2nd?

Love freebies and giveaways? Follow us here, on TeachersPayTeachers, Facebook, and Instagram. We will keep you posted on plenty of free fun to come!


January 6, 2014

All Aboard the Syllable Train! AND a Giveaway!

We've been working on breaking words into syllables and counting the syllables.
How do your kids count syllables in words?
We clap them and tap them (and some look like they're praying their answer is right, ha!)...
...and we count how many times our chin drops when we say the word.

To go along with our winter theme (and our crazy winter weather lately!), we made a new literacy center for counting syllables....All Aboard the Syllable Train!

Children will look at the words on each train car and place them behind the engine with the correct number of syllables to create a train for 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 syllable words.
Here is a student's center work in progress...

Guess what?!?
We're giving this new literacy center away FREE tonight to the first three followers to comment on this post. Be sure to also leave your email so we know where to send the file!
If you missed this giveaway, you can find "All Aboard the Syllable Train" in our TeachersPayTeachers store at:
These cute animals and snowmen are bundled up for this crazy weather! We had a snow day last Friday and our temps are dropping down into single digits and below zero windchills tonight...Brrrrr!
Did you have a snow day or cold day off of school today?

January 2, 2014

The Cold Lady Swallowed What?

Welcome back to school!! We hope everyone had a great break!! We went back today and now we are getting snow, hmmm....another day off maybe?

Today we read There Was a Cold Lady Who Swallowed Some Snow by Lucille Colandro. It is a nice way to ease everyone back into the routine after the break, also quite fitting since snow is on the way! This old lady is just hilarious. Is there anything she won't eat??

After reading, children worked in cooperative groups to sequence the main story events:

Then they assembled their snowman:
Their writing assignment today was to tell about their favorite part of the story and then tell why it was their favorite. They are getting so much better at this, even after having a break they did well!
My favorite part was when the cold lady swallowed a pipe because she was starting to get warm.
My favorite part was when the little old lady hiccupped two times. I liked it because the old lady made a snowman. **Check out the old lady in his picture** Hilarious!
In math we collected and data and made a graph. The children used a spinner that had some of the items the cold lady swallowed on it. They took turns spinning the spinner and they kept track of their data by using tally marks to represent each spin. After collecting their data, they transferred it to a graph and then answered questions about their graph.

Whew! What a busy, but great, day!! We have a similar version of these activities in our TpT store. You can check it out here: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/There-Was-a-Cold-Lady-Who-Swallowed-Some-Snow-retelling-writing-math-too-467584

Did you go back to school today? If so, how was your first day back? What fun activities did you do?

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