Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Huge Giveaway at Terry's Teaching Tidbits



I NEVER win anything, but a few months ago I checked back on a giveaway I had entered and was shocked to see I had won!  It was so much fun to have my email inbox full of teaching materials!  So, I highly recommend entering these great giveaways on teaching blogs.  Terry at Terry's Teaching Tidbits is having a BIG giveaway!  I love how she separated the donated items into grade categories.  You can enter the giveaway specific to your grade level or enter them all!  The 1st grade giveaway includes 24 units/teaching products.  My Sweet Science and Literacy Centers pack is part of this giveaway.  It's running until the 31st.  So, stop by and submit your entry!!  Also, don't forget to enter my little 'ol giveaway here for a Starbucks card and DVD's! :)

Do any of you depend on google reader for keeping updated on the blogs you follow?  If so, you probably know that it will soon be non-existent.  I'm working on finding a replacement.  Think I've found a good one!  I'll be posting about it as soon as I get it all figured out.  Stay tuned!

2 days until Spring Break!!
~Melissa

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Spring Break Giveaway! Starbucks & Movies

Are y'all ready for Spring Break??  I don't have a southern accent, but I think I have spring break fever.  It's making me giddy.  : )   I have an easy entry giveaway for you.  The prizes are..
$15 Starbucks Card

AND
Chrysanthemum (and 16 other whimsical stories) Storybook Treasures DVD


This contest is only open to those who have a US (48 contiguous states) address since I will be mailing these items to the winner.  To enter the contest you can follow me on TPT, my blog, google plus, twitter, pinterest, facebook or all of them!  Each follow counts as an entry.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, March 16, 2013

The traps are set!

Was your classroom full of green, rainbows and sparkles this week?  In an earlier post, I shared that I usually don't do much in the classroom for St. Patrick's Day.  About a month ago, one of my little ones shared his excitement over the approaching holiday and I thought I'd better do a little something. :)  So, all this week we've had a mischievous visitor.  He's very subtle! :)  The first day he changed the writing on the white board.  I write the homework/reading assignments on the board using their group color.  He changed it so every group was the green group!  The next day he changed some letters and they almost spelled the word leprechaun.  We think that he doesn't go to school.  Another day, he left little prints on our entry task.  We weren't sure if they were footprints or handprints.  The excitement has been growing all week!  Friday morning he left us a tiny ha! ha! on the board and left green leprechaun dust and a plastic shamrock on our desks.  We discovered the leprechaun dust was tasty and reminded most of us of sugar.  One of the tasters was certain that it tasted like grass.  This was also the little skeptic who has been shouting out "it's teacher" but then saying "hmm, it is suspicious."  A group of them started collecting the "evidence" and gluing it into their daily editing (entry task) books.  One of them tried to express her idea that we should leave the "evidence" out on their desks.  I quickly stated that this was a bad idea since they could then just get rid of the evidence.  (I'm sure that was the only reason --nothing to do with needing desks cleared off to work!)  I love that it is at this point the student asks what evidence means!  It only mattered when it derailed her plans! :)  So, we decided we had to set some traps before we left for the day on Friday.  There were some ADORABLE traps on pinterest, but we went with creative, kid-created uniqueness!  Here are the pics of ours:
We had some green marshmallows.  This one has a marshmallow in the bag and a sign that says "marshmallow shop".  These were all their ideas!  So cute!



Other kid cuteness of the week came from our writing conferences.  Who knew they could be so entertaining?  I asked one of the students if he liked writing fiction or non-fiction.  This was his response:

I managed to keep a serious face and write it down.  LOL!  The "back in the day" was the best!

We have 2 more weeks until spring break and I am counting down the days!  My youngest son and I were arguing over who is more excited about spring break.  It's totally me! :)  

What special things did you do in the classroom this week? 

~Melissa

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Font Collection

While helping my son with a research project, I got sidetracked searching for the perfect font for his display board.  I kept thinking...this would be great on one of my teaching items!  So, these are all fonts that are free and allowed for commercial use.  If you are using them on a commercial use project, please read the terms of use as you download the item.  Oftentimes, the creator just wants credit.  My favorite fonts are those that are easy for early readers.  I usually choose fonts that have the a in a print style.  If the font is just cute & I want to use it anyway (like Doctor Soos Bold!) then I just make sure to not use it near a place that requires student writing (they will try to copy it that way!).  I also included some decorative fonts for titles and such.  Enjoy!

1. Print Clearly
2. Coffee Tin
3. Gabriela
4. Shooting Star
5. Langdon Langdon
6. Love of Love
7. Lifesavers
8. Let's Go Digital
9. Doctor Soos Bold

Sunday, March 3, 2013

2 Lucky Winners & some tech tools for random names!


Whew!  So glad to make it past the exhausting super fun February events!  On to March...  I haven't even started thinking about St. Patrick's Day yet and I think I'd better do it soon!  One of my little cuties recently told me he can't wait until that day where everything is green and there are sparkles everywhere.  I'm thinking, huh?  He then elaborates about his plans to catch the leprechaun and all the traps he will set in the classroom.  I just had to ask him what he will do with the leprechaun if he catches it.   He said "I just want to see what they're all about!"  Such high expectations for the holiday!  I didn't have the heart to tell him we usually just wear green and talk about who St. Patrick was.  Ummm... sounds very boring next to his big plans!  So, I may have to do some pinterest browsing and get some exciting ideas. :)  BTW, I'd love to hear any great ideas you have.  Leave a comment and let me know if your plans are more developed than "wear green". :)  Here's a pin to get the inspiration started:

Every month I choose 2 names from the follower list.  These 2 followers each get to choose any item from my TPT store.  The winners are... Molly Wiard & Sarah (from the fabulousfirstgrade-sarah).  Congratulations!  Please email me with the name of the item you'd like.  Please claim your prize by March 31st.  If you want to increase your chances of winning exponentially (Statistics slipping out - it's final week in the Statistics class I'm taking.  Pray for me!) then check out my TPT store.  If you leave a comment on a free or paid item then you are entered in the monthly drawing.  Psst!   I'll let you in on a little secret...there were 19 #'s to choose from at TPT and 146 on my blog.  I'll let you figure out the probability. :)

To choose the winners, I just use a random number generator.  They are free all over the internet.  That started me thinking about our classroom name selection.  I used to use the Popsicle stick in the can idea.  If you're looking for a more "techy" way to do it, there are lots of great tools.  Here are a few of my favorites:

2 are free and online and I found a really great option for ipad/iphone.  It's .99 cents, but well worth it!

*The Random Name Selector by Primary Technology - I like that this one has sound effects and a timer.  It could be projected so the students can see the list.  I'm envisioning using it for teacher conferences (during writing workshop) so they know they are on the "list" and how much time they have to meet with me.  It would also be great for my ipad rotations so I could  get rid of the timer.  We have 2 ipads and I currently set the timer for 6 minutes each rotation and then an extra minute (so they can wrap up what they were working on).  I definitely want to try out this option.
Random Name Selector 
 * The Random Name Generator by Super Teacher Tools is great if you want something super simple.  Just type in a name list and it will randomly let you click through the list.  The names appear on a chalkboard.
Random Name Generator
* RandoMeister -This one is available on iPad/iPhone and is .99 cents in the app store.  As soon as I saw some of the key features, I thought this app was designed by a teacher.  Yep!  You can tell.  You can place your students into group, temporarily disable absent students AND restrict individual students from being placed into groups with each other!  Love that last option!  I just downloaded this app and am so excited to start using it.  I love that I can have it on my phone so it can go with me anywhere in the classroom.
RandoMeister


Enjoy the rest of your weekend!
~Melissa


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