Friday, May 9, 2014

Five for Friday Teacher Appreciation Week

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week! First of all, this was the sign at the church right before our school, that I thought you all would appreciate.

I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday. I really do appreciate you hosting this linky every week, Kacey!

Having this blog has allowed me to meet and really get to know some of the kindest, nicest, best teachers in the world! THE WORLD! My wonderful friend Sandy, from Kinder-Gardening, called me the other day, just to say, "WOO WOO!" because I had 300 followers! (And then we may have talked for an hour after that-but that was the main reason for the call!) She just always makes me smile- from the other side of the United States! Her blog is as sweet as she is. The crafts and activities she makes with her class are amazing.

When any of you leave me a comment, it just makes me SO happy.  When I get emails from a few of my blogging friends, it truly makes my day. I have had the best time teaching this year, because I have used some of the most wonderful resources from my friends.   I truly feel like I am teaching with my friends when I use them and it makes me HAPPY! You all have such great ideas- and I use ideas from all of your blogs- and always remember where they are from, because it is like gift from you.  It is so neat to say to the children, "My friend made this paper for you to do today ," or "My friend thought of this idea." I use SO many of your great products. Here are some of the friends that I taught with this week!

My sweet friend Sarah, from A Sunny Day in First Grade, shared this adorable Mother's Day Simile Poem that we had so much fun doing.   Oh, the answers were just precious. They did  them on their own and I didn't correct them as they wrote, because I thought moms would like it that way.
Mother's Day Simile Poem! {FREEBIE!}Mother's Day Simile Poem! {FREEBIE!}Mother's Day Simile Poem! {FREEBIE!}Mother's Day Simile Poem! {FREEBIE!}

 This is hard to see, but her mom is as pretty as sparkle, nice as chocolate, and cool as a horse.
 I liked "pretty as can be."  AND it is sweet as a 'baby' not 'bady.'  That darn b and d...

I told Sarah that I had them printed out at home, ready to take to school to copy. My son's girlfriend saw them, and made the sweetest one for her mom while my son was studying. (They are both 20, by the way.)  She made it for her mom, from her and their precious dog. Then, she was going to put her dog's paw print on the picture and frame it.  So- I guess Sarah can change the age level over at TPT to "up to 20!"

Sarah also included poems for Grandma and Aunt which were just perfect for a couple in my class.
He liked to draw the answer better.  I loved the little clown nose, and smart as science.
Sarah has such great products at her TPT Store- and so many awesome ideas on her blog.

My kids are fabulous at ordering numbers all thanks to these two resources- both from my sweet friend Irene, from Learning with Mrs. Leeby!  Two lessons- both from Irene- and my kids are pros.  Ta-da!
It's true.  Tell that to your Superintendent, Irene.

The idea she shared on this video was just brilliant. It WORKED like a charm.  Magic.
After we watched that video, we practiced with our own cards.

A few days later, to review this concept, we did this paper.  

Editable Kindergarten Graduation Pack and Summer Review

OF COURSE I couldn't wait until summer for the kids to some of these pages, because they were too good. So, I am using them now, and then they can review them in the summer again in the packet. That are SO many great pages in the packet. I fell in love with Irene's fonts to begin with- and then just discovered all of her great products. LOVE her!

On Tuesday,  we read Susanna's WONDERFUL story from her Anti-Bullying Literacy Centers.  Susanna is such a wonderful friend- and brilliant artist.
Anti-Bullying Literacy Centers (Includes Full Color Book aAnti-Bullying Literacy Centers (Includes Full Color Book aAnti-Bullying Literacy Centers (Includes Full Color Book a
Her book should really be for sale on Amazon or Barnes and Nobel- in some hard cover, glossy, showy way.  The illustrations are precious, as you can imagine, because it is Susanna... and the story is the sweetest.  My kids just adored it and hung on every word.  Around the edge of each page are facts about the animal that is featured on the page. On Wednesday, we read those facts as we share the activity the children wrote that went with the book about why each child is special.  What great conversations we had, too, about how each of us has special and different strengths.
He is special because his hair is brown, and he can do flips in the air.
I LOVED this one.  "I like me because I have Legos.  I am special because I can bite through subs. I am special because I can climb. "  Hey- biting through subs is no easy feat.

I'm not done with Susanna yet... We also had the best time with her Secret Sentences with Phonics Codes!
Secret Sentences with Phonics Codes (60 pages) Whimsy Workshop

OH. MY. GOSH.  What a fun idea.  The kids had no idea it was work.  They got right to it, and solved the sentence, and felt SO proud!  They can't wait for the next one.  I almost feel guilty pretending it is a reward that I let them do these papers... who am I kidding, I don't feel the least bit guilty. It is fabulous that they think it is a reward  that they get to do these papers!

This one made me smile, because as he was handing it in with a yellow tractor, he looked down and said, "OH MY GOSH- it says the tractor is BROWN!"  So he ran back to fix it.  Yay!

Anne Gardner, from The Core Connection has some amazing products at her TPT Store. It seems like if I need something, it is at her store! Like magic!  I am so lucky, because Anne actually even LIVES NEAR ME and such a genuinely kind, wonderful person!  Her son and my son played baseball together, and we played tennis together WAY back when- before blogs even existed, I bet.  Wow.  This summer, when we have some time, we plan on having some Upstate NY Blogger Meet Ups (aka the two of us taking walks and talking, or even meeting at Dunkin Donuts).  I can't wait. It's not even The Venetian, and I can't wait!  Anne also made some iPad apps.   She is amazing. This week I had the kids practice some more of her reading passages.  They are so great for teaching the children to read a little passage and answer a question- choosing only ONE answer, and then going back into the passage to "prove it" by finding where they found the answer in the passage.
Reading Comprehension Passages with Text-Based Questions:

She has all different levels!
Very First Reading Comprehension Passages: Guided Reading Level CReading Comprehension Passages for Guided Reading Levels I and J

Finally, my other friend's product that we used was Deedee Wills.  I have lots of Deedee's activites, but this week I have been especially loving one thing that she probably just thought was a simple game for practicing CVC words.
CVC Superheroes  Memory Match and Gotcha! GameCVC Superheroes  Memory Match and Gotcha! Game
I also have/love the Dinosaur Game- but this week was all about the Super Heroes.
CVC Game ROAR!!  DinosaurCVC Game ROAR!!  DinosaurCVC Game ROAR!!  Dinosaur
It turns out that it was a magic key for some of my kids  because it seems like since we have been using these cards, they finally "get" the idea of hearing each letter's sound and putting them together to make a word.  I have "said" that a thousand  times, but this game seemed to make it click.   I actually think I saw the lightbulb go on in a couple heads this week when we used these cards.
 So- THANK YOU, Deedee!

I didn't even play this the right way.  I had my little group in a semi-circle, and we went around and read a word. If you read the word correctly, you got the card (no, not forever- that is what the kids said- "We keep it FOREVER?!").  That's all it took- but they REALLY wanted those cards- so they REALLY put what they knew into action.  This game also REALLY showed me that I still have a few  with 'd' and 'b' issues...

They are perfect, too, because when my mother comes in to help at center time, she has been using these cards with one student at a time, just practicing hearing each sound and making words.
And finally, for a bonus...

We LOVE Dr. Jean's Cheer Cards.  I know you all probably have and use these, but if you don't, they are free at her site. FREE- and such fun, great  movitators.  Our favorite of this week is.. the Hamburger Cheer.

I printed the cheer cards out and put them on a ring, so I can flip through and find one if we need something different and fun.

Here's a video of Dr. Jean showing some of her cheers!

We sing  My Mother is a Baker- any chance we  get! AND I am pretty sure that none of the children I teach will be able to say the names of the months without doing the Macarena as they say them.

I hope you all had a wonderful week.  Have a beautiful Mother's Day weekend! We are off to watch my daughter Emily graduate from Niagara University in Niargara Falls!
Thanks for stopping by, and thank you for being such wonderful friends!


  1. You're the sweetest. I'm using every single thing!! What was teaching like before all these amazing connections with wonderful teachers? We're both celebrating our children's educational feats this weekend. I'm so proud and excited for them. Enjoy! Isn't it neat that they're graduating on Mother's Day weekend? Have a sweet Mother's Day, Carolyn!

  2. Those reading passages look fantastic, thanks for sharing!

  3. I love the uniqueness of this post. It's nice to give each other credit as we teach "with them" daily through use of all the wonderful ideas and products in the blogging world :)

  4. I'm so thrilled to see your kiddos enjoying the book and sentences! Yay! I'm going to show these pictures to my class so they can see someone else doing the same projects that they've done - they'll be so excited!!

  5. So glad to find your blog! Love Dr. Jean's "cheers" and use a lot of my own with my second graders! Also love Susannah at Whimsy Workshop!


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