Sunday, February 27, 2011

March Madness, Y’all!

Hope y’all had a good weekend! I was stuck at home taking care of my little bitty. Baby boy was diagnosed with pneumonia and we’ve been trying to get him better!! DANG!! That stuff is scary! Thankfully he’s on the mend and getting better with each dose of antibiotic. Spring can’t get here soon enough!!

Speaking of Spring, I’ve got a fun little “get excited about March” giveaway for y’all. I’m teaming up with Jodi at Fun in First to give away TWO big ol’ packets FULL of March fun!! The lucky winner will win Jodi’s March Reading Supplement Packet and my March Madness Mega Pack of Literacy & Math Activities!! Fun, right?!


Jodi’s item is a 4-week reading supplement packet including 41 pages of fluency passages, vocabulary, comprehension questions, home connections, and a literacy activity to go with each passage.

My item is a 105 page packet full of seasonal, hands-on math & literacy activities including word sorts, literacy games, graphing, word problems, writing/art activities, and more!

ONE lucky winner will win BOTH packets!

So let’s get this party started already!! Here’s what you need to do to enter this little giveaway…

* Become a follower of Fun in First & Emilyk Cole

*Follow BOTH my TpT store & Jodi’s TpT store

Then leave a comment letting me know you’re following all 4!!

For an extra entry…

Blog about this giveaway, come back, and leave a link to the blog post in a comment.

The giveaway ends at noon on Wednesday, March 2nd. The winner will be announced Wednesday evening!! Good luck!!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Positive Reinforcement

I love positive reinforcement. Sometimes…okay, maybe a lot of times…there are a few little friends who need a little something more than positive reinforcement. You know those babies I’m talkin’ about…the ones who just DO NOT…no matter how positive you are…respond to it. Those are the kids that *might* give me a little bit of heartburn & grey hair ;) However, I still use positive reinforcement as often as I possibly can! One of my favorite things to do is give out certificates & awards. The kids LOVE these! I’m always so shocked how motivated they are by a piece of paper :) Not only do these little certificates & notes reward my firsties, but they help encourage the ones who need it most. Whatever works, right?!
Click on the pic to download 16 different certificates/awards/notes!

Graphic courtesy of Scrappin' Doodles

The last three pages in the download are little slips I like to send home “just because”. I like to write positive notes home just to let the parents know what a rockin’ job their babies are doing…bucket filling, if you will ;) I especially like for the kids to fill them out, too!! That’s their favorite!!
How do you use positive reinforcement in your class?!?!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tooth Fairies, Teeth, & a Little Bit of Money

Have you ever wondered what the Tooth Fairy does with all those teeth?!?! We asked ourselves that same question and the kids came up with some pretty clever answers! First, we read a little book…
What Do the Fairies Do With All Those Teeth? - Dental Health Month Books for Kids
And for a little reader’s response, the kids wrote about what they thought the tooth fairies did with their teeth! And they made some cute little scrapbook tooth fairies to go along with their writing.
This is probably my favorite thing we’ve done to date! I LOVE how they turned out!
The kids did pretty much ALL of the work themselves. I showed them an example, but told them they could make their fairies look however they wanted. I cut out the heads, arms, & legs. I also cut out the star on the wand {using our die cuts}. I really wanted them to focus on the writing piece more than the art…but I LOVE how different they all came out!!!
The kids have been having *12 kinds of* fun using their “teeth” and mouth math mats for dental themed problem solving in our math journals. I know this is all shades of ridiculous, but I really love problem solving with the kids! I think it’s so neat for kids to talk about their problem solving strategies and see that even though they solve problems in different ways, they can still come up with the same answers!!dentalhealth1dentalhealth2
Graphic courtesy of Scrappin' Doodles
The mouth mats and problem solving prompts are included in my Dental Health Mini Unit on TpT.
We’re still truckin’ along with money, too.
This was one of the activities in my Coin Collection packet on TpT.

One of our word work activities was sorting /ee/ & /ea/ words. The kids loved it! I love hearing them when they find one of these vowel combos in their reading books…they get so dang excited!
Graphic courtesy of Scrappin' Doodles
This little activity is in my Dental Health Mini Unit, too. You can grab it at TpT if you’re still in the market for some tooth trouble ;)

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be learning about Patriotic Symbols, Presidents, & TEXAS {yee-haw!} in our social studies curriculum, so be on the lookout for LOTS of fun stuff!! In addition to all that greatness, we’ll be knee deep in Open House preparation and Deanna Jump’s America Unit is the inspiration for this year’s theme!! It couldn’t have come at a better time!! Stay tuned for lotsa fun stuff!! I’ll also be posting a March Madness Mega Pack of literacy, math, & science activities on TpT this weekend!! Get excited….HA!!!!

Saturday, February 19, 2011


Shannon {from Langston’s Learners} and Brooke {from Primary Perspective} awarded me with the Stylish Blogger Award. Awww…thanks ladies!! Stylish?!?! I must have y’all fooled! HA!

Here are the rules for receiving this award:

1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this award.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Award 5 recently discovered great bloggers.
4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award.

7 things about myself:

1. I'm addicted to reality TV. Top Chef, Jersey Shore, Hoarders, Teen Mom, Real Housewives...seriously addicted.

2. I was published in the Mailbox Magazine for a literacy/math idea. Kinda exciting!!

3. I get up at 5:15 Monday-Friday to work out at the gym BEFORE I go to school. UGH.

4. I passed out peanuts on a Southwest Airlines flight from Dallas to Houston one time. I was dressed as a cow. {Did I mention it was Halloween?!?!}

5. I've been in love with Jack Nicholson for as long as I can remember. Steven Tyler, too {you know I’m SO lovin’ American Idol this season!!!}

6. My most favorite song is “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay,” by Otis Redding.

7. My husband proposed to me in my classroom in 2003. I was teaching Kindergarten and he had me read a book to my kids. The last page was a typewritten note from husby himself. When I looked up from reading, he was down on one knee asking me to marry him!

Now to pass this fun little award on to five of my favorite bloggers…

1. Babbling Abby at The Inspired Apple

2. Deanna Jump at Mrs. Jump’s Class

3. Kathleen Pedersen at Growing Kinders

4. Michelle Oakes at Fabulous in First

5. Gladys at Teaching in High Heels

Thursday, February 17, 2011

George Washington

We started learning a little about Presidents this week. Our unit on money was the PERFECT intro! Over the last few weeks, the kids have been learning all about coin identification & the Presidents on each…


First up, George Washington. We read the perfect little biography that kept the kids really engaged. They were fascinated by the fact that G. Dub didn’t go to school!! How in the world was that even possible?! We created a circle map and gathered tons of facts about our first President and then carried over our new learning into a little writing piece.

We were reviewing statement & question sentences {using the correct punctuation} so I had my kids write one telling sentence & one question sentence including facts we learned from our reading. I also had the kids make their own little George Washingtons using half a paper plate, flesh colored paint {orange & white paint mixed together ;)}, construction paper, & cotton balls. They turned out pretty dang cute and I was so proud of their writing!


It took NO time to cut out the hats {steps below} and the kids used construction paper to make the eyes, nose, & mouth. The art piece to this little project was really pretty quick!

For the hat…

Cut a 12x4 piece of blue construction paper


Fold in half {bring the left side over to the right}


Cut off the right side bottom corner {diagonally} and cut an upside-down triangle on the top.


Now open it up and VOILA! George Dubya’s hat :)


More President’s Day activities to come!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

How Many {Antonym} Feet Do We Meet?!

This week we’ve been working on antonyms and the kids are lovin’ it! We started by reading this book…
…and then we brainstormed a list of opposites. Surprisingly, some of my babies were having a hard time with the concept. So I had to explain to them, “If something is ______ it can’t be _______!!!” After a few go ‘rounds of that, I sent the kids off to trace their own feet and write a pair antonyms on either one!!
I added all the pairs to a big anchor chart…
The kids have also been working on their very own little antonym books! They’ve been keeping these in their book baskets and adding to them every time they have an “a-ha!” antonym moment :) They LOVE to read these to themselves and their friends during the Daily 5, and they’ve even been working on these when they have “extra” time {ha! Is there really such a thing?!?!}
Click the pic below for the little antonym book cover & pages :)

Graphic courtesy of Scrappin' Doodles

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Candy Heart Math {& A Making Words Activity}

I know Valentine’s Day is over, but I like to extend my Valentine-ish activities throughout the month. After all, February is the month of LOVE, right?! Well, that’s what I’m goin’ with anyway. Candy hearts are my favorite February math manipulative and here are a couple of little math printables & activities for you!!

The first is a little candy heart graph. I know there are a GAJILLION of these floating around right now. I like to graph the number of letters in the conversation. I pass out a large conversation heart to each kiddo and have them count the number of letters on the heart. Then we create a big ol’ graph on a giant heart to show all the data. I’ll come back with a pic later this week!!

I also love this little candy heart probability activity. I placed a set of conversation hearts in a brown paper bag. I made 4 bags…one for each table. In each bag, I added a different assortment of colored hearts, but I made sure that there was A LOT of one particular color. For example, in one bag I put 12 pink, 2 purple, 1 white, 1 green, and 3 yellow hearts.


The kids had to reach inside the bag…without looking…and pull out a heart {10 different times}. On the corresponding sheet, the kids had to tally the color they pulled. If they pulled out a pink heart, they had to put a tally inside the heart labeled pink.


Throughout the activity, the kids were having awesome discussions. They talked about how they kept pulling out the same color over and over and then…on their own…started making predictions as to why that was happening. Sweet!! After each person at their table had a turn to pull 10 different hearts, I had the kids empty their bags so they could see what was inside and then they wrote about it.


Click on the pic to download the printables to go with these activities!!


Speaking of candy hearts, I found these darling little heart-shaped boxes at the Dollar Tree and snatched ‘em up. I knew they’d be perfect for something ;) I put these in our Word Work station for a little making words activity.


I labeled each with a different number and filled them with letter tiles to spell different popcorn words or chunk/digraph words. The kids had to open up the hearts, spill the tiles, and spell a word using those letters. After they spelled a new word, they had to write it in the matching heart on the corresponding sheet.


My favorite thing about these little boxes is that I can use them for ANYTHING!! I think I’ll put coins in them next week for a little hands-on money activity!!

Click the pic to download your copy of the recording sheet.


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