Saturday, 14 November 2015

A Thanksgiving Freebie

Hi again
I am linking up this week with Teaching Blog Addict for their Freebie Friday.

Since it's getting closer to Thanksgiving, I thought I'd share and re-share (if you already have it) a Math and Literacy freebie with a Turkey theme.
It's a great skills review and so fun to do. Just click on the pic above to download.

Still on a Thanksgiving theme, I created this Interactive PowerPoint to liven up my class a bit. It's fun, it's a mystery and it requires your kids to pay attention to clues and try to find which character is helping the Turkey escape. You can click below to play a sample. Remember you need to download it completely first, then play it as a slideshow for it to work.
You can check out the entire product here.
Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Haunted House: An Interactive PowerPoint

I love Halloween! Always have, always will. It's such a fun time of year for kids. My kids never cease to amaze me with their costumes, check out this couple Belle and Darth Vader, quite a combo.
Who knew that Darth Vader wore sneakers like that?
Anyway, I am always on a quest to make Halloween fun and a little spooky at the same time. So, I made this interactive Haunted House.
Here's how it works. There are 12 rooms in the haunted house, and for each room there are 2 identical slides that you open in powerpoint.  In the first slide, your kids read the riddle that is there (or you read it to them) and then they try to figure out, from the clues in the riddle, what character is in that room. They record their answer on the sheet provided, then you go to the next slide where the character is revealed.  You can have kids come up to click the answers in every room. Check out how the slides work by clicking the sample below. Remember to download, don't just open in preview, then play it as a slideshow. It's a fun activity you can do with your class this time of year. Plus the spooky sounds that play when the mystery is solved make it even scarier.
The haunted House is on sale in my TPT store, but if you'd like to win a copy, leave me your e-mail and tell me what scares you. For me, it's snakes!! I wish they didn't but they do.

Have a great week.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Tricks & Treats: A Halloween Blog Hop and Giveaway!

Happy Sunday!

This weekend, I am joining some amazing bloggers to give you tricks and tips to help Halloween run smoothly in your classroom. Let's face it, it can be a day like no other...
There is so much going on in my school on that day. I teach in a school that has all levels, Kindergarten right through to Senior High School, so the big kids plan lots of stuff for my little ones. In the afternoon, my kids visit the "haunted house" and they always, always come back from that visit totally pumped!! And wired! So, I have an activity ready to go when they return. You can click on it below to download. 

Have your kids color the patterns. It helps to bring them back down from whatever candy induced haze they might be in. 

Now onto the best part - the Giveaway! Your chance to win 1 of 4 $25 TPT gift cards. So much fun. My secret word is
Remember this word when you enter the Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Now, it's time to haunt on over to the next blog. Happy Halloween. Hope you get lots of great freebies from the blog hop.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Perfect Picture Books - Pete the Cat

I'm back with another picture perfect book. This time, I couldn't pick just one.
Pete the Cat has saved the day for me soooooo many times. But, I think what is truly great about him, especially for younger kids, is that they make an instant connection with him and in turn with you, their teacher. I love him and the love, I'm sure, shines through as I am reading his stories and this just spills over onto the kids. Then, the fact that they can sing and dance to each of his stories…well, that's the cherry on top, it really is. 

So, to start your school year off right, I am giving away the first 3 Pete the Cat books and CD's. If you've never had the chance to read these stories to your kids, enter my giveaway for a chance to win your very own copies of the books. Or if you already love him, then these are great to add to your collection. 

Just use the rafflecopter below to enter. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

For some Pete the Cat Freebies, click here

Good Luck and have a great back to school.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Pete the Cat Rocks It Back to School

I have a stash of books that I use for the first week of school. I love them cause they are fail safe and of all the times in the year, this is the week I need things to go super smoothly. One of my absolute faves is this one.
I love it for so many reasons - it's cute, kids love Pete the Cat and we can sing it after. But, it became part of my B2S book collection a few years ago when I had a little boy in my class who just wasn't adjusting well. He missed home all the time. Usually all I wanted to do was grab him, hug him and tell him I kinda missed home too, but I digress… I needed him to feel good about school, about the routines and the new surroundings and so I picked up this book and started reading, hoping the whole time that he'd connect with it. As always, Pete saved the day and this kid was hooked. Hooked on Pete, hooked on the music, the rhythm, the story, all of it. As far as school was concerned, he was good to go and I had Pete to thank for it. The story just gave this kid the little bit of reassurance he needed and a great character to fall in love with.

Later that same school year, I was looking through my library for my Pete the Cat books and the basket was completely empty. After some searching, I found every single title in this little boy's read to self folder. Pete - the Cat that lasts and lasts.

Check out this great story for starting the school year off right. Plus a great freebie to go with it. Just click the pic.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Teacher Made Stuff - Reading Passages

I am constantly making stuff for my class. All school year long, all summer long, all the time.  Most often, it comes from a void that I see and need to fill. At the beginning of the last school year, I got THE group. You know, the class that just does what you ask, and to add to that, they did it quickly and quietly. I was truly blessed. After a week had rolled by, I noticed that they were all pretty much primed for reading. Their DRA levels were close together and they were ready to take that next step, but I needed something specific for them and only them. I needed some reading passages that used the short vowels and the pre-primers all at the same time. So, I made what I needed. And I thought if you can use it too somehow, then even better. Here's a peek at what it looks like. There is a coloured and black & white version for each one.

Cluck on any of the pics for the free download.

So, definitely something I used a lot at the beginning of the year. Hope you can use it too.

I'm linking this Freebie up with Teaching Blog Addict's Freebie Friday. You can find other great freebies there as well.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Picture Perfect Books - Featuring Hazel's Amazing Mother

Happy Summer! I hope you're enjoying your time off. Summer is a great time to catch up on so many things that we just don't have time for otherwise and having this extra time got me thinking about something I really LOVE - picture books. You're right there with me, I know you are.

I have to admit that when I first starting teaching, I knew of a few children's authors and some great books, but I had barely scratched the surface. Now, after so many years of reading story after story, I feel like I've gotten a handle on what books really work for me. And what I've discovered is that the books that really work for me fall into their own special category. I call them Mesmerizing Reads. For me, these books are the absolute best because as I read and watch my kids' faces, I can't help but notice how truly captured they are by the story. No one is looking out the window or playing with a dangling bracelet or elbowing their neighbour, they are engrossed in the book. And that is a magical moment for a teacher.

I think part of the reason a mesmerizing read works so well has a lot to do with how invested kids are in the story. They truly want to know what happens.  And my role at that point? I READ on…

A story that mesmerizes my kids year after year is this one.
This is the story of a sweet little badger named Hazel. She heads out one morning, along with her doll Eleanor and Eleanor's beautiful carriage, on her own little adventure. After some shopping and candy tasting, Hazel ends up in a park across town, having taken a few wrong turns.
There, she has the misfortune of meeting some unsavoury characters (bullies) who capture Hazel's 
doll and hold her ransom. The prize winning part of the story though is when Hazel's mother just "knows" that Hazel needs her and so she comes to her daughter's  rescue in true super hero style. Wonder Woman would have been proud, trust me. 

After Hazel's mother has rescued Hazel and Eleanor, Hazel's asks her - "Mother, how did you do it?"  
to which, Hazel's mother responds "It must have been the power of love." As I read this page to my kids, one of my little sweethearts said "AWWWW."  She just GOT it. I reminded myself in that moment to never underestimate the understanding of a 1st grader. They will amaze and surprise you.

Hazel's Amazing Mother is part of my Picture Perfect Books series. It's the first in a long line of mesmerizing reads that I want to share with you.
I would love to give away a copy of Hazel's Amazing Mother, I'll send it right to your door - Promise. Just use the Rafflecopter below to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!