2 More Linkys??

Never let it be said that I turned down a good linky! I have laundry to fold and American Idol to watch tonight so I'll try to make this brief, but I couldn't pick just one linky now could I?!

First up is Tara's first linky party that takes a look at your lunch!

I have the cutest lunchbox ever! It's even themed for Spring!

Isn't that cute? Unfortunately it sits at home, unused, because I just buy my lunch at school. I have to give props to our cafeteria - they really try hard to make good, healthy food for our kids. We also have a good salad bar - fresh fruit and veggies, plus mixed lettuce. Generally I have a salad each day, or maybe a beef taco without the shell or chicken quesadillas without the tortilla. I'm low carbing it, so my lunch choices are limited. I do tuck a couple of sugar free candies in my purse each morning though, they're my guilty pleasure : )

We go to lunch at about 11:40 each day - unless I can somehow get through math and writing and cleanup early and get to the lunch line ahead of the other 1st grade classes! Most of the time however, we barely beat the 2nd grade classes, and that's only because our custodian comes and asks if we're ever going to go get lunch! I love that man - I'd be off schedule all day if it wasn't for his reminders!

I eat lunch with my kids in our classroom EVERY DAY. Generally I put on a book on cd and we listen to it silently for the first bit of lunch. This way we have a solid ten minutes to eat without distractions so no one can complain that they didn't have enough time to eat. After the story we can socialize as long as we keep it to a dull roar and stay seated! We dump our trays at 12:05 and then clean our tables and floors - this is very important unless you want ranch dressing on their papers and taco sauce tracked on the rug. I'm constantly amazed at how much they grow when so much of their food ends up everywhere but in their mouths!

Once we're cleaned up, at about 12:10, we go to recess for what is supposed to be 20 minutes but usually stretches to 30 :) We rotate recess duty - MWF one week and TTH the next week. On days when I don't have recess duty I try to use that extra time to get ready for the afternoon or do a quick blog hop : )

The next linky is a Classroom Library linky from Literacy and Laughter:

Coincidentally, our reading time is right after recess, so in a way these two linkys go together!

I have to preface this by saying that almost every book in my classroom is mine. I have maybe 20 books that were purchased with Title I money, but the rest are mine. I was so dismayed when I got to my first classroom and realized that there was NOTHING in it. Literally no toys, books, games etc. The few things that were there were so old and raggedy it was apparent why they had been left behind by the previous teacher! I've been trying to build up my library, but when I got switched to 1st grade this year I realized that I didn't have enough leveled readers. I've tried to improve that situation and now have enough that everyone can have 2 or 3 books on their level during our silent reading time. That said, I am a tad embarrassed that I don't have a more impressive library.

I have tried to make it cozy though:
Here's our Reading Center: a table with two chairs and 8 crate seats. My students absolutely love those crate seats! Our custodian is a big fan too as we just stack them up at the end of the day in the small nook to the right of hermit crab tank so they're out of the way for when he vacuums. Right now our tablecloth has bunnies on it for Easter. I change it out to match whatever our theme is. The kids love to come in and see a new tablecloth lol! Oh, and before you think that I put a whole lot of effort into it, I just buy a yard of fabric and slap it on the table - no hems or anything! Right now our bookshelf just has a variety on it, but I do try to rotate the contents to match our theme.
 These are our leveled readers. As you can see, I have a wide range of reading abilities in my class - all the way from 0.5 to 4.5! We have a lot of Elephant & Piggie, Henry & Mudge and Mr. Putter & Tabby books as well as Fancy Nancy and Biscuit. The empty baskets to the left are for our library books. We had to turn them all in before Spring Break and we don't get to go back for more until Friday. We're also not allowed to take our library books home (school rule, not mine!), so we put them in our color coded baskets, except for poor Purple table which has to use a black one since I can never find purple baskets!
 Here are two of my boys reading EEKK style in the nook. for some reason they all just love to try to squeeze in there with a buddy! I have a lot of non-fiction readers that I keep on the science shelves under the hermit crab tank, and they are wildly popular, particularly with my boys.

Alright, I hear American Idol starting in the next room, gotta go! Make sure you check out both linkys! Oh, and please Rustle Up a Response for me below and let me know that my library isn't as sad as I think it is!

The Fire Marshall Cometh Plus Two Linkys in One Post!

When I got in this morning, I was greeted by the words:

"Just so you know, the Fire Marshall came through last night, so be prepared. The principal is coming around, telling everyone what they have to move and change!"

What other words could strike such fear in a teacher's heart more than "Fire Marshall"?! This is the first time in the three years that I've been at this school that we've had a visit from the Fire Marshall, so I had no idea what was in store.

I walked into my room, filled with trepidation. I checked my desk but there wasn't a note or anything, so I wandered the hallways, asking all the other teachers what they had heard and waiting for the principal to come tell me that I had too much on my walls or some such.

No one had heard anything about my room, so I tried to get on with my normal morning. Meanwhile my next door neighbor is busy hauling furniture out of her room. By the end of the day she had hauled out about 5 various pieces of furniture, from tables, to bookshelves to a dry erase cart etc. It was like that all through the hallway - teachers moving stuff out of their rooms, and trying to rearrange what was left. Seeing all of that, I got more and more nervous about what I was going to have to change in my room.

Well, lo and behold it was afternoon by the time I saw our principal. Here I've been waiting on pins and needles all day, and it's 2 o'clock before I see her on our side of the building! Talk about mounting tension! So I nervously ask her what the verdict was and she told me that I didn't have to change anything! Can you imagine the happy dance I was doing?!  Apparently all of my furniture is sufficiently far enough away from the entrances and that was all he was really focused on, since one whole wall in my room is windows I can apparently get away with the amount of paper I have on my other walls!

In light of my relief at my reprieve, I am going to celebrate and do two linky parties today!

The first is from 5th Grade Rocks, 5th Grade Rules. You probably already know all you ever wanted to about me, but just in case you're a glutton for punishment, here are my answers to the survey:

1.  Are you married, do you have a bf, or are you flying free as a single lady/man? 
I'm married AND I have a boyfriend! Well, that's if you count my youngest son who is constantly picking me flowers and asking me to marry him. He's going to be a pro at popping the question when he gets older because of all the practice he's getting with me! He even goes down on one knee sometimes!

2.  Where did you grow up?
Suburbs of Chicago/London, ONT Canada!

3.  Do you have any pets?  If so, what kind and what is his/her name?
I have too many pets, according to my husband, and I've shared pictures of most of them on here before. We have two beagle pups named Lola and Max, two cats named Tubbs and Mr. Nibbles, and a rabbit named Babbitty Rabitty. Ok, ok, you twisted my arm, here are a few pics:
This is Babbity last summer with my dog Panzer who had to be put down because of bone cancer. She loved Babitty but Babitty sometimes swatted her on the nose with his paws. He apparently has no idea he is a just a little bunny.
He also loves the camera, it's hard to take pictures of him because he tries to get really close to the lens. Here he's standing on his back paws to try to get to it!

Tubbs is our big boy. He likes to walk around meowing for no reason...continuously. He also likes to try to cram his body in the smallest boxes/baskets he can find.

4. What is a favorite tv show you are embarrassed to admit to watching?
I don't watch much tv, mainly just House, Once Upon a Time, Glee, Raising Hope and American Idol. I will also watch cooking shows liked Chopped and Iron Chef America (oh that's right! Alton Brown is my other boyfriend!)
5.  Are you a saver or a spender?

Spender unfortunately. Probably because I am addicted to clipart, books and feeding/clothing my 4 children.

6.  What is your favorite children's book?
So hard to choose! Here are a few faves:

7.  Were you the class clown, teacher's pet, or neither?

Neither. I was that painfully shy kid who never talks at all. The one who is so quiet that you sometimes forget she's there unless you make it a point to remind yourself to make sure you talk to her at least once a day.  I also had a really bad speech impediment from playing a game of "Cops and Robbers". I was the robber and my little brother was chasing me on his new motorized police motorcycle on Thanksgiving Day. I was wearing my black patent leather shoes and slipped and fell on my face in the street. We thought I had knocked my teeth out and then realized that they had just been smashed back up into my gums. Since they were adult teeth there was nothing to do but wait for them to reemerge, which they did, horribly crooked. I had to learn to speak clearly all over again!

8.  Who is your favorite athletic team?

None, nada, zilch. I am not into sports AT ALL and neither is my husband thankfully!

9.  Where did you go on your last REALLY fun vacation?

Disney World in Florida last Spring Break!! First time at Disney for the kids, it was a really fun trip, plus we got to meet up with my brother and his family for the day!

10.  Who is your favorite actor?  Actress?

Umm.. I have a few actors whose movies I boycott because I don't support their lifestyle choices (think short guy with a kooky religion and a last name that rhymes with ooze) but my favorites change a lot. Daniel Radcliffe is a favorite, along with Orlando Bloom currently. I'm also really bad with names/faces, so a lot of times I won't recognize actors/actresses and my husband has to remind me what other movies they were in!

11.  Tell about the last time you cried because you were happy.

I am not a big crier, but whenever I watch those "homecoming" shows and see soldiers reunite with their kids and see the kids start to cry I always tear up.

12.  What is your favorite season?
Winter! I hate the heat, so summer is out, fall and spring seem like summer in Oklahoma, so really winter is the only other season by default!

13.  What is your biggest regret?
None, everything I've done or not done has led me to this point in life. I have a wonderful husband and 4 great kid plus a career I love. How could I ever regret anything that led me to this?!

14.  What food do you just NOT like at all?
Seafood. Might have something to do with shrimping on the beach of the North Sea in Holland when I was on vacation when I was little. Shrimp look so much creepier alive than on a plate, why would I put anything from the ocean in my mouth after that?!

15. Who was your most memorable teacher, and why?
Mrs. Leeman, my kindergarten teacher because I wasn't afraid of her (and I feared most of my teachers growing up). She also read us Charlotte's Web and we had a guinea pig named Wilbur in the classroom. Also, Sister Catherine in high school, taught me 4 years of French and was so passionate about her subject. She was such a good teacher that even 15 years after graduating and not speaking any French in the meantime, I was still able to take a CLEP test and score the equivalency of 2 semesters worth of college level French!

I won't add another question to the list, because I think it's quite long enough, but please link up and let me learn more about you!

The next linky is from Mrs. Lirette who has an absolutely precious blog!

We're supposed to link up spring-themed posts, ideas, freebies, & products. Well, you can check my TPT Store for some fun spring products, plus don't forget my Easter Egg Addition freebie! I also created this fun freebie for you too! It's one of my favorite Spring poems, with a teacher copy for you to laminate and keep, a student copy for them to color and put in their journals or take home, plus the pictures and pocket chart cards if you want to print them out.

Baby Chick

Glad To Be Back!

Today was a hoot! My kiddos were remarkably well behaved considering it was our first day back from spring Break AND we had indoor recess because of construction. Ongoing construction I might add, meaning that we will probably have indoor recess for at least a few more days. I may be singing a completely different tune by the end of the week, in that case, but for today I really enjoyed being back at work!

I have to be honest and say that part of it was due to my class ham having moved away. Loved that kid to death but his antics required me to keep an eagle eye on him at all times! I also had two absentees - guess the week off wasn't long enough for them!

 Coincidentally those two are also my talkers/arguers. You know, those kiddos who, when you say "Get out a pencil." will, instead, proceed to either a) tell you a story all about the time their sister took their pencil or b) tell you that it's not time for writing, you're supposed to be going to Music, even though you are the teacher AND  you can tell time whereas he can't.

So yes, I was down to my best 18 today, but it was still a really good day and I was proud of how well we behaved considering we had a week to forget about procedures! We didn't do anything all that earth-shattering, although we did write about our Spring Break experiences and I realized that I really need to do something about their propensity to use "And" at the beginning of every other sentence. Example:

Yep, definitely have to teach them about "also" and "then".

What's that? You want to know about the chicken?? You mean you weren't there during spelling when every time I introduced a spelling word one of my darlings managed to use it in a sentence about her dog/chicken disaster? Well, it went something like this:

Me: Our first spelling word is "sadly". "Sadly" is an adverb that describes how something is done, for example, "I forgot to do my homework, the first grader said sadly."

Chicken Girl: Or like "Sadly, my dog ate my chicken."

Me: Um, yes. Moving on, our next word is "badly". "If you behave badly you might get sent to the principal's office" (cue horrified gasps from 1/2 the class)

Chicken Girl: Or "My dog behaved badly when he ate my chicken."

Me:  Ahh..yes, um...good example. Our next word is "slowly". Can anyone think of a sentence with "slowly" in it?

Chicken Girl: "My chicken died slowly in my dog's stomach."

Me: Well, hopefully it wasn't slowly, I'm sure he went quickly. Hey that's our next word! "Quickly". does someone else, anyone else, have a sentence using the word quickly?? (Cue crickets as everyone looks at Chicken Girl)

Chicken Girl (waving hand wildly): "My dog quickly ate my chicken in two bites!"

Me: Ooookay. let me see, what's our next spelling word...(I reviewed the list, ruling out "painful" for obvious reasons), "Playful"! That's a fun word isn't it? It has the ay dipthong and the -ful suffix! Let's think of sentences with "playful".

Chicken Girl: "My chicken was very playful before my dog ate it!"

Me: Well, that's it for spelling today, let's move on to our next activity! (cue chorus of complaining firsties) Yes, I know I said there were 13 words and we only went over 5 words. The rest are going to be surprises for your homework tonight! Won't that be fun?!

I feel compelled to mention that Chicken Girl did not seem unduly distressed by the chicken fiasco, more thrilled that she had such a fascinating subject and everyone was hanging on her every word.

I really have nothing to add to this post, so I will close it with a picture homage to one funny lady, Staci, aka Miss Squirrel!  I took these pictures last summer at the pool and I couldn't delete them without sharing!

I'd love it if you'd Rustle Up A Response below! Honestly, any comment will do, even if you just want to tell me I'm crazy for posting pictures of squirrels in costumes!

Sadly Sunday

Well, it's my last night of Spring Break :( I'm dragging it out to the very end though by going to see The Hunger Games tonight! I couldn't let my daughter go back to school without seeing it! We are about to head out the door but I wanted to share a funny story that happened with my youngest today.

He's my early riser, my little man who loves to snuggle in the morning and is my companion for at least an hour before the others wake up. This morning we were both in our computer room and he was on the kids' computer, typing away. He asked me "Does E make the e sound like in sexy?" and of course I swiveled around to see what in the world he was up to. Turns out that he was on YouTube, on a browser that had been left open and had typed in "Glee Se". You see, I'm a big Glee fan. Watch it, listen to the music etc. But I don't let him watch it because it's just not appropriate for 5 year olds. But somehow, he heard a song and was trying to find the video for Glee's cover of "I'm Sexy and I Know It".

Hmm, what to do? Obviously this is not an appropriate song for him to listen to, and I sure wouldn't want him to go sing those lyrics at school tomorrow! Luckily I found this version which just cracked him up:

I then showed him this video which is my current favorite song. At the end of it he came to me, tears running down his face and said "That song made me cry because it was so beautiful!" Aww, that's my boy!

Have a great night everyone! If I survive tomorrow I might have a freebie for you :)

Ack! Only 43 Days Left!

I was just looking at our school calendar to check whether we got a day off for Easter (we don't) and then I started counting and found out that there's only 43 more days of school left this year! Oh my goodness, how on Earth are we going to get to it all?! I am hoping my kiddos come back refreshed after their break, because we are going to have to hit it hard! By the way, there are no days off between now and the end of the school year - crazy! Last year AND next year there are 2 Fridays off in May, but for some reason they aren't on the calendar for this year. since we go by hours and not actual days I'm not sure how that worked out this year!

Next week we have to set up our incubator for our eggs. I am torn between doing chicken eggs again or doing duck eggs this year. Last year we did not have a very good hatch rate on our chicks, so maybe we will have more luck with ducklings? I took a trip to our local feed store yesterday and they had the sweetest baby chicks and ducklings. I can't wait to have some in the classroom! 

My other consideration for which to get is that I will be taking a week off in April to go to California. My sister-in-law is getting married April 21st. She and my husband haven't seen each other in almost 20 years, she's actually my husband's 1/2 sister and after his mom left her dad they didn't get to see each other again. Due to the wonders of Facebook, they reconnected last year, but still haven't managed to get together. So we are taking the whole family down to California for a week so we can attend the wedding and the kids get to meet their aunt! I'm really looking forward to it, but stressing being out of the classroom for a week - I have never taken off for that long!

Of course I don't want the eggs to hatch while I'm away, plus I don't want a sub to have to look after baby animals. Last year one of our little chicks died and it was quite a traumatic event for some of my kiddos. So I definitely want to be there in case things don't go as planned. Since ducklings take a bit longer than chicks to hatch, I'm thinking I might be safe going with them. That way if we set them up this week it should be the beginning of May before they hatch! Which will give us just enough time to observe them and love on them before they go off to a local farm at the end of the school year!

By the way, where do you get your eggs? I got some from local farmers last year, plus I bought some "fancy" ones off of Ebay too. The Ebay eggs had a higher hatch rate than the local eggs and the chicks were too darn cute - we called them hobbits because they looked like they had furry feet! I put an ad on craigslist and in the local yahoo freecycle, most of the farmers are willing to donate the eggs since it's a school project :)

I now have eggs and Easter on my brain, so be looking for lots of fun stuff based around that! I also have to start cracking on my Space unit and Dinosaur unit! We always do Space the first week of May since Space Day is the first Friday in May. I've never done Dinosaurs before, but I have two little guys who are dinosaur crazy this year and both their birthdays fall during the same week in May. I promised we would do a dinosaur unit in their honor that week.

Here's a fun Eastery freebie for you - no religious symbols, just some cute eggs, bunnies and lambs so your kiddos can practice their addition facts. You could just have them match these up in a pocket chart or play as a memory game in a small group. Just click the picture to download it for free at my TPT store. Enjoy!

Why Are There So Many Songs About Rainbows?

Wow, it is Friday already?! I can't believe that this week went by so fast! I didn't get 1/2 the things done that I had wanted to - isn't that always the way? Plus the weather was rainy all week - next week it's supposed to be sunny in the high 80's - go figure!

I do feel recharged though, so perhaps I should be content with that. I'm also happy because I saw the most beautiful rainbow while coming out of the commissary after a rainstorm - these pictures don't do it justice, but I didn't have my camera with me, just my husband's phone! I've never seen an entire rainbow before - usually just one end or part of it. This time it was the entire arch - right in front of the commissary entrance. My husband and I stopped in awe and everyone going in and out was smiling -  it was one of those sights that make you feel happy just to be alive.

 Short and sweet tonight, but I have managed to make a few new games and such for spring and Easter, plus I'll have a fun addition freebie for you tomorrow, so be sure to check back!

Sight Word Linky Party Plus Giveaways!

April over at Wolfelicious is having her first linky party and I thought I'd jump on board!

 The topic is Sight Words which is a big deal in our district. At our kindergarten curriculum meeting this summer there were teachers advocating for teaching 200+ sight words and requiring teachers to teach a certain set of sight words each week. This was to help cut down on our more transient students missing out when they move from school to school - I've had kindergartners go to 5 schools in one year just because the family moved around within the district so much.

While I applauded the attempt to make sure that transient students don't fall behind because Teacher A covered a different set of sight words than Teacher B, I also believe that each class is different and that teachers should be free to customize their instruction to their kiddos. Some classes are not ready to learn sight words from Week 1, especially those in Title I schools where most of our kiddos don't attend pre-k and thus can't differentiate between a letter or a number, let alone memorize 5 sight words each week!

Luckily sager heads prevailed and it was agreed that the goal to shoot for is 100 words by the end of kindergarten - both sight words and family names, environmental print etc. Our school uses Literacy 1st and it has broken down the sight words so that 1st grade students are required to know the first 100 words by December and the 2nd 100 words by the end of the year. These 200 words roughly correspond to the Dolch sight words. There's a 3rd set of 100 words as well that students are supposed to know by the end of 2nd grade.

One of the most fun we've had with learning our sight words was our Sight Word Super Bowl and Sight Word World Series! Of course I can't find my pictures of the events but let me tell you how we did it:

The Sight Word Super Bowl consisted of a goal post made out of pvc. We had some foam footballs with velcro dots attached and some sight word cards with velcro as well. One students played the part of the center and hiked the ball back to the quarterback who attempted to read the card attached to it. If they were correct they got to run the ball down to the end zone and throw it over the mini goal post. One of our K teachers was dressed as a referee and was in charge of attaching a new sight word to the ball after each play and monitoring whether it was read correctly. I was in the end zone, keeping score and tossing the balls back to the referee after each touchdown. This all took place in the hallway outside our classroom, and the students who were not in play sat on the "sidelines" with pompoms and cheered for the quarterback. After the game (which my class won by the way!) we had nachos in the classroom to celebrate!

Obviously this game took a lot of planning on the teachers' part, plus a lot of time and effort from the kiddos to learn the lists the we sent home. However, since there was an actual deadline and a "competition" we found that we had a lot more parent involvement than usual in getting the kids to practice their sight words at home!

Our Sight Word World Series was pretty much the same, although we had 3 outfielders and a catcher for each child at bat. One of our teachers pitched the ball to another teacher who held it for the batter to read. We used whiffle balls and each ball had 4 sight words written on it to give the kids a chance to hit a single, double, triple or home-run. One of the sight words was very easy to ensure that even our lower kiddos got a chance at a "hit". When the batter finished reading the words the teacher put the ball on a tee for the batter to hit and he ran to the appropriate base determined by how many sight words he had read. You should have seen the kids' face as they scored "home-runs"! There may or may not have been strategic placement of the batters to ensure that every 4th batter was capable of bringing all the runners on bases home. Oh alright, there definitely was strategy involved, my competitive nature got the best of me! My class won our 1st game but got beat out by 1 run in the second game.

Again, a lot of work on our part to set things up, we even had the Superintendent come out to throw out the first pitch, and the newspaper came to take pictures! However, the kids enjoyed it so much and they were highly motivated to practice their sight words! Since they had already had experience with the Super Bowl event, they knew they really had to study their words so as not to let their teammates down!

Another thing we do is post lists of 10 sight words on our walls. For each list a child reads correctly, they earn a small treat - an ice cream sundae or a bag of gummy worms etc. When they move on to a new sight word list they are required to read all the words that came before to ensure that the sight words are staying in long term memory. In this way, the students are all studying at their own pace and working on their own set of sight words. the students can go read their sight word list throughout the day whenever they have a spare moment. It is great to see students helping each other as they look at the lists!

I've also created some sight word games that I have in my TPTPre-primer, Primer and 1st grade Dolch word lists so that you can differentiate the game for each small group. It has some fun "specialty" cards to enhance the game play too. I find that my students love these types of games and pick up quite a few sight words from playing - particularly my ELL students who get the chance to hear their peers reading the words aloud. You can click the picture to check it out in my TPT store.

Of course, there are alternatives to buying ready-made games as well. For one of our parent meetings I put together packets with two easy, inexpensive sight word ideas:
 I got these cards from our librarian. Remember the Dewey Decimal System and the card catalog? These cards are a remnant from that pre-computerized world. Check with your school or city library to see if they have any of these cards hanging around. I got two boxes of these pre-punched cards from our school librarian when she was cleaning out a closet! I give each child ten cards and write a sight word on each side. As they master the words I can take them off the ring and add new ones. This is a great portable activity. They can read them in the car, while waiting at the doctor/dentist or in line at the grocery store. You'd be surprised at how enthusiastic the kids can be about reading "their" set of cards!

This one requires a bit of construction paper and some ellison dies, but an hour or so of stamping out shapes and labeling them will give you a class set of sight word games that your kiddos can take home to play! You can use any shape ellison die you have handy. I used these doghouses because of little bone. The object of the game is to have someone hide the bone under one of the houses. The student guesses where the bone is by reading the word on the doghouse! This is a fun game for an older sibling to play with your student, and its inexpensive enough that you can provide each child in the class with their own set!

Alright, those are some of my ideas, please go link up so you can share yours!

Here are some giveaways going on right now that you might want to check out - hurry though some of them end fairly soon!

I'm a little late joining this linky party, but you have to check out this fabulous resource - a whole lotta k-2 blogs linked up in one place for easy browsing. Go find your new favorite blog (besides mine of course lol!):

There's another blog list that has blogs up to 5th grade, be sure you check it out too:

Spring Break Freebie!

Yesterday was my first day of Spring Break and I meant to spend it at the park with my kids and our pups, but unfortunately we got the rain that has been missing all winter! I'm talking an all-day downpour! You'd think that I would have used the forced confinement wisely and started some of the sorting, filing, laminating or cutting I promised myself I would get to over break but no, I drank Vanilla Biscotti coffee and played on my computer instead!

I did manage to make a few games for Spring, which you can check out at my TPT store:

 I love "I have.. Who has...?" games because they are such a fun way to reinforce skills. This one has CCVC words for reinforcing those initial consonant blends. It's a great game to play during transitions or whenever you have a few free moments during the day. I set a timer and each time we play we try to beat the previous time. I made it with 32 cards so that large classes can play and those with small classes can double up on cards - I usually give 2 cards to those kiddos who have a hard time staying involved in a task, this way when their first turn is over they still have to pay attention to read their next card.

 This one I made two versions of - the Word Family game pictured above, plus another with Dolch Sight Words. Either way it's a fun small group game that gives your kiddos a chance to practice reading while still being entertaining enough to hold their interest. My kids always love the "specialty" cards, I can always tell when someone has drawn one because the whole table will get excited!

This "I have...Who has...?" has such cute graphics, I am in love with the ladybugs! I made 2 versions of this one as well, a CVC game and a CVCE game for those of you working on long vowel sounds!

Can you tell I am focusing on kindergarten? I was almost promised that I will be back in kindergarten next year! Supposedly we will be told our grade level assignments before the end of the school year and unless numbers change drastically we should be good to go. I have asked that if a new kindergarten teacher is required that they move me back down rather than hire someone else for the position and I was told that if a spot opens up its mine. Please cross your fingers for me that our numbers stay where they need to, I've enjoyed my time in 1st grade this year but I really feel that kinder is where I belong!

Day 2 of Spring Break:

No coffee this morning, and I did manage to do a little of the laundry that I allowed to pile up last week - for some reason I must have thought that Spring Break was 2 weeks instead of just one! I have no idea how I'm going to finish all of the things on my to-do-list! I'm taking the kids to see The Lorax this afternoon, so they are motivated to help me tidy up before we go. I'm also going to have to stop at the grocery and book stores after the movie. I did not stock up on enough snack food for the kiddos for a whole week at home, plus I'm out of books to read already! What was I thinking?!

I haven't made anything for my TPT store today, but I did manage a freebie for my fabulous followers. A fun roll and cover game with some of my new clipart! I hope you can use it in your class, please rustle up a response below and let me know if you're on Spring Break yet!
Spring Owls Roll and Cover

I'm a Survivor, I'm not Gonna Give Up!

Woohoo, I made it to Spring Break! It seemed like it would never get here, what with an early morning meeting, last minute report card snafus, leprechaun visits and another attack of the Underwear Bandit, but I made it! At 3:33 I was so tempted to open the doors and set my little gang of Spring Fever Crazed maniacs free 12 minutes early, but luckily our custodian dropped by at that point and gave me a pep talk to assure me I could outlast my little devils angels and I held out until 3:45.
I am relaxing with a plate of carbs and some fermented grapes, so I won't blog too much, but I do want to share our leprechaun traps because some of my kiddos really put a lot of effort into them!

At the end of the day we were going to have some chocolate chip cookies:

But we stepped out of the room for a moment and when we came back that tricky leprechaun had opened the package and done this:
We had some other leprechaun fun, but I'm all blogged out for tonight - off to a nice hot bath! Have a great night and I'd love it if you'd rustle up a response and tell me if any of those tricky leprechauns played a trick on your class today!

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