Saturday, February 28, 2015

You can COUNT ON IT!

Hi guys! I am coming at you with another new product in my store! You can thank all the snow days that North Carolina has had for that!
I started creating this pack in the fall. I got the idea from my co-workers when I first started teaching Kindergarten. I wanted to create my own spin on their idea using cute clip art of course! So Count On It counting mats were born!
Initially, I thought that I would create between 5 or 10 counting mats and 1 recording sheet to go with each counting mat. Well, I somehow ended up with 28 different counting mats, 2 recording sheets, and an answer key for each counting mat!
I laminate the counting mats or sometimes I just throw them into a dry erase pocket. I like to do this mainly so that my Kinders who need some reinforcement and counting practice can cross count the objects on the page. I choose which recording sheet I would like for the specific counting mat and my Kinders complete it during a center rotation.
 I have all of the answer keys cut, laminated, and put on a binder ring so that I can easily access the answers for the counting mat. If I am feeling really wild, I let my Kinders check their own work. It just depends!

If you would like to check out more about the Count On It Pack, check it out here.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Five for Friday

It's time for another Five for Friday link up with Kacey at Doodle Bugs Teaching!

I posted my first paid product on Teachers Pay Teachers this week! I have been working on this product over the last year and I am so proud to share it with you!
See what Sight Word Scoops looks like in my classroom here.
Find it on Teachers Pay Teachers here.
The Mister and I were planning on doing a mini round of Whole30 this week! We completed our first real round of Whole30 almost three weeks ago! I got great results from doing it for 30 days! We learned so much about our food choices and how they affect us. We wanted to make sure that we are still keeping up our good habits so we decided to try and be 100% Whole30 compliant Monday-Friday.
{and it was Freddy's 90th Birthday so we celebrated with custard}
{and I bought a roll of cookie dough}
{and we have had Mellow Mushroom and Chick-fil-a}
{not all in the same day}
{for the LOVE of snow days!}
{yes, I am blaming my bad habits on snow days ;) }
Do you journal? I am definitely a wannabe journaler{wait, what?}. I bought this journal during one of my snow days last week and I am loving it! I hoping to fill it up with things and people that I am praying for!
I have spend the last few days digger deeper into Scripture and it has been amazing! I focused on Joel 2:13 this week. I found this lock screen on the She Reads Truth App. If you don't have that app, go download it right now! I love it!  
 Today is the eighth snow day that we have had so far this year! Wednesday night, a big{by Southern definition} snowstorm hit North Carolina and we got over 5 inches of snow at our house! It was absolutely gorgeous! We made a snowman and I might have put a lei on him to encourage summer to come along a little faster!
I might have not given him a face either! I didn't want to sacrifice my veggies!
{not like my meals this week proved that I even eat veggies}
I actually posted another product to TPT this week too. Reminder Bracelets were the answer to needing a way to inform and remind my parents about upcoming activities and events without having to type up an additional newsletter and waste a ton of paper. These bracelets come 10 to a page and are so easy to print, cut, and tape around a kiddo's arm. It is a growing resource and so if you have certain events that you would like to have reminder bracelets for, purchase the pack here and email me your suggestion. For every 25 bracelets that I add, the price will go up a buck! So the earlier you buy, the more bang for your buck!

Happy weekend!!!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Sight Word Scoops: A Deeper Look

Y'all! I am having one of those proud momma moments! I posted my first paid product to Teachers Pay Teachers just a few minutes ago! I am at the point that I am so glad that it is posted but at the same time, it's a little nerve-racking! Bless it!
Well, let me back track a little bit and tell you the history behind Sight Word Scoops! I started teaching Kindergarten in North Carolina in January of 2013. Before that, I spent most of my time and teaching experience in second and third grade in a great school in Georgia so Kindergarten was a whole new world for me! Since I started halfway through the year, I just used resources that my teammates gave me and tried to wrap my head around the crazy world called Kindergarten!
 I was absolutely loving teaching these 5 and 6 year olds but I started to notice that there was no guidance of what sight words for me to teach to my kinders! I asked my teammates, my admin, and even some of our district representatives during my first year teacher training and no one seemed to have an answer as to what sight words to teach! All I could get for an answer was that Kindergarteners need to know 25 sight words by the end of the year. Are you as floored as I was?
25 words?
In college we always talked about always having high expectations of our students and setting the bar high and here we were asking our kindergarteners to know only 25 words by the end of the year. A slight contradiction, I would say. So that started my journey! I knew that I needed to come up with a collection of words that could challenge my Kindergarteners. So about a year ago, the idea of Sight Word Scoops began.

I spent the next few weeks compiling a list of all the sight words that I wanted my Kindergarteners to know by the end of the year. I used the Pre-Primer and Primer Dolch Words, color words, number words, and the word lists from the TRC assessment that North Carolina uses. I came up with a total of 124 words. That's 99 more words than my district requires. At that point I was unsure. Was that too much? Would my kids be overwhelmed by that? When I told a few co-workers my ideas, I am pretty sure they thought I was crazy and I almost started to believe them. I just kept saying to them and myself, I will just expose these words to my kids. It will be okay if they don't learn all of them but I want to push them towards excellence. So I decided that those 124 words and I were going to be besties from that point on.
My job was only halfway done. I wanted to create a system that motivated my students to want to know sight words. I wanted something that they could track their own progress and something that wouldn't be a ton of work for their dear teacher! :) So I divided those words into eight lists and gave each list a color. The idea is that each student progresses through all the word lists at their own pace.
In the Sight Word Scoops pack, I have created flashcards for each word list. This is my "teacher set" of flashcards that I use during guided reading groups, assessments, and whole group sight word games. For students, I print out all the red word flashcards and send them home at the beginning of the year. Students bring their flashcards back when they know all of the red words. I assess them, and then trade the flashcards out for the orange words flashcards.

I have created a Sight Word Scoops Binder that houses a lot of my sight word scoops resources. I use this binder to help assess the students when they feel like they have mastered their word list. In it I keep word lists, my student tracker, and assessment sheets. You can see the word list and assessment sheet in the picture below. While the student is reading their sight words to me, I am using the assessment sheet and highlighting the words that they miss. I make note of that and then send the assessment sheet home so that parents can keep track of how their child is doing.
I wanted their to be a way to display students progress through the word lists so I came up with the idea of ice cream. Each student starting with a cone and each word list being a scoop of ice cream. My students absolutely love the display, it motivates them and let's them take ownership in their learning. This is the display in my room. As you can tell, Sight Words Scoops has been very successful in my classroom since I have about 50% of my class knowing all 124 sight words. Since we are just over halfway through the school year, I can proudly say that each one of my students are on track to learn all of the sight words! That makes this teacher's heart all shades of happy!
I cannot provide the ice cream scoops and cones to you in my product because of the terms of use of the clip art however, here is the link of the scoops that I used! They are so worth the purchase! I used the black and white versions and then printed them on colored copy paper. You could even make your own if you wanted to!
I have a Sight Word Literacy Center in my classroom where students can practice their word list. I keep all the word lists there and I have created two centers that students can use to help reinforce the sight words. One is Roll and Write and the other is Roll, Read, and Highlight. They are very similar in nature however, I have several students who can easily recognize words but struggle to write them. I provide the option for them to choose which center they would like. I also keep play dough, white boards, and letter charms for students to use to build and practice their words.

Passing a word list is something worth celebrating and to do that, I have created Reward Bracelets that students can earn once they have mastered the word list that they are working on! This is a great way that others in the school as well as parents can be notified of the achievement that was made.
Plus, at the end of the year, I have told my class that we are going to have an ice cream party to celebrate all that we have accomplished with our sight word scoops! I am not above bribing my students with ice cream to learn their sight words! I may or may not reward myself with a little ice cream too!
 I have also included Parent Letters to send home explaining Sight Word Scoops and the schedule in which I teach the sight words! I hope you love this product as much as I do! It is on sale for 20% off for the next 48 hours! You can find it here!
Please let me know if you have any questions about Sight Word Scoops I would love to answer them!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Five for Friday
God Bless Linky Parties! It seems like it has been the only thing to get my act together in this blogging world lately! So here is my Five for Friday for this week!
So on my last blog post, I was wishing for some snow and boy did that wish come true! We had an early release day on Monday and have been out of school ever since! I celebrated our early release on Monday with Chick-fil-a! The iced coffee is free for the month of February! I had the Chick-fil-a calendar card to get the chicken minis for free and I purchased the half and half tea for lunch! All that for a whopping total of $1.91! I love a good deal!

In North Carolina when the kids have snow days, teachers have work days.
I did take Tuesday and Wednesday off to enjoy the snow!
How cute is our little home!!
With the snow days, I did take time to finish a project I have been planning for what seems like forever! My mom gave me this window when I moved to North Carolina and I knew that I was going to put some pictures of the Mister and I in it. Well, over two years later, I did it! Here is the finished product. I love it!
Since the Mister and I are just about settled in the new house, I have been looking for ways to make our house feel more like our home. I saw a pin the other day of a prayer wall and I am so loving the idea of making my own! I think it will be so awesome to look over all the prayers that I have had over the year and see how God has worked into my life! Here are the inspiration pictures!
 So excited to get started on my own!

I am getting ready to post my first product on Teachers Pay Teachers! EEK!!! I am so excited about this product! It is called Sight Words Scoops and it has completely changed how I teach sight words! A blog post is coming this weekend to explain all the details! For now, here are a few sneak peek pictures!


Monday, February 2, 2015

Currently February

Let's be real. I am not the best blogger. I have really tried to spend the month of January spending time with family. Plus, the Mister and I have been doing Whole30 and so I have cooking my life away{totally exaggerating}. Mix all that in with Middle of the Year Assessments and Report Cards, January has been so busy y'all!
But I just couldn't miss Farley's Currently February Link Up so here we are!
I just love The Ellen Show! Thankfully, most days I am able to get home before it starts. I am going to be real. The first 20 minutes are always my fave! Her monologue and the funny segments she does in the beginning are just hilarious!
I love the new running shoes the Mister bought me this month! Going to the gym has been something I have been doing pretty much on the reg these days and the cheapo 20 dollar shoes that I bought at Costco last year just weren't cutting it. So the Mister spent his spending money last month and bought me some fancy Asics running shoes! He's seriously the best and I love, Love, LOVE the shoes! 
I am on Day 23 of the Whole30. I was going to wait until February 1st to start but we ran out of groceries in the middle of January so we just jumped right in! It has totally challenged and changed the way I thought about food. I am so thankful for that because I didn't have the best relationship with sugar in particular. We are going to introduce one or two items back into our diet after Whole30 and allow ourselves to go out every now and again but we are going to stick to Whole30 other than that!
About this time last year, I was absolutely sick of snow days. We just had so many and school was so inconsistent. In North Carolina, typically when it snows, the teachers still have an optional teacher work day. That basically means, come to work or use leave to take a day off. I'll just be honest, I am stickler when it comes to taking off. I love seeing my leave build up so I normally go into work during those optional work days. We haven't had any snow so far this year and I would just love to see one good snow! I think I would even take a day off if it was a good snow day! :)
To Lesson Plan. What's new? I love planning what I am doing with my kiddos but I REALLY dislike typing it all out or writing it all down. I totally need to get better at that! I am so jealous of all of you that do cute visual plans with links to the products that you are using.
[I just have one question to ask you. WHERE DO YOU FIND ALL THAT TIME?]
{pageant title}
One of the biggest things that I am missing during Whole30 is my sweet tea. I just love sweet tea. I am not planning on drinking it as much as I was before Whole30 because I know that there is a gazillion grams of sugar in it but I would love to have a glass of sweet tea every now and again.
Apparently, I am already known for my title as the Sweet Tea Sweetie because one of the Kindergarten assistants came into my classroom with a little Dixie glass of sweet tea because she thought her tea didn't taste right. Even though I knew that it probably wouldn't taste good, my mouth started watering as soon as she said what was in it. How I miss thee, sweet tea!
Have a Happy February guys!