Link Up & Enter to Win - Top 10 Things I'm Thankful For

(turkey graphics by Lita Lita)

One of my favorite things about November is gathering together with family for Thanksgiving.  It is a great time to stop and reflect on all the blessings in my life.  I often have my students write a top 10 list of things they are thankful for, too.  I thought it would be fun to invite my blogger friends to join in on the fun.  As a way to show how thankful I am for each of you, everyone who links up will automatically be entered into a drawing to win a $10.00 Teachers Pay Teachers gift certificate.

So, here is my list:

Now, think about the top 10 things you are most thankful for this year.  You can grab your own copy of the image below and add your own text.  When you have your list made, come back and link up.  This linky will be open all through November!


Another Great Giveaway!

Head on over to Sara's blog, Miss V's Busy Bees to enter her amazing 500 follower giveaway.  There are 4 Rafflecopter drawings where you can enter to win some great prizes from other bloggers.  That means there will be multiple winners :)

On another note, I will be hosting my first linky party starting on November 1st.  Come back then to find out how you can link up and enter to win a TpT gift certificate!

Map Skills & Keep on Rollin' Winner

We are doing a unit on map skills right now.  Our learning targets this past week have been focused around continents, oceans, and a compass rose.  When we first started, I had a large number of student misconceptions.  I am proud to report that my students are now grasping the idea that there is only one Pacific Ocean (even though it is listed twice on a map), that to drive north really means you are moving forward in a particular direction (not driving towards the sky), and that a globe is a smaller version of our planet (the same way a toy car is a smaller version of a real car).  Phew!!
I found some great songs & poems online to help with remembering the names of the continents:
Tune - Row, Row, Row Your Boat
North, North, North America,
South America,
Europe, Asia, Africa,
Australia, and Antarctica.
Tune - Frere Jacques
There are seven,
There are seven,
North and South America,
Europe, Asia, Africa,
To learn the seven continents
think of the letter A.
And when you're down to only one,
an E will save the day.
There's Africa, Antarctica, Australia, Asia, too.
The oceans run between them with their waters deep and blue.
There's also two Americas, North and South, you see.
Now, we're coming to the end,
Europe starts with E!
Some great resources we have been using:
Teacher Created Materials Map Skills, Grade 2

Scholastic Success with Maps, Grade 2
Evan-Moor Daily Geography, Grade 2

Our District has provided the following resources for us to use:

National Geographic Map Essentials

The Nystrom Nystronaut Atlas

I've been "Pin"spired to try a new mapping activity.
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Based on the book: Me on the Map by Joan Sweeney, students create their own Me on the Map Books.  I already have the book.  In the past, we created a circle book, but all of the pages were the same size.  I like the way the different-sized circles can represent how big the world is in comparison to your neighborhood or school, kind of like zooming in.
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Source: Finally in First 

Do you teach map skills to your students?  Any other great project ideas that I am missing out on?
 Thanks to all who commented on or sent e-mails about my Keep on Rollin' 2 pack. I used the random number generator and the winner was Sara. I'll be contacting you very soon to get the pack sent to you :)  Even if you didn't win,  you can still head over to my TpT store to grab your own copy!
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How to Make a PB & J and Keep On Rollin' 2

The second graders at our school spend a portion of the year learning to do procedural writing (aka How-To Writing).  I had been looking for a way to spice up this writing project this year.  Someone in the blogging world pointed me in this direction:
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One of the first writing projects we attempted was How to Make a Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich.  Through a lot of modeling, modeling, modeling, we finally came up with these:
Student # 1 - wheat bread

 Student # 1 - an up-close picture of the sandwich

Student # 2 - white bread

Student #3 - an up-close image of the writing

The peanut butter sandwiches were created using the template in the pack mentioned above with a small modification.  The example in the template showed jelly on top of peanut butter on top of bread.  The jelly had a smiley face on it.  My students thought it would make more sense to have two slices of bread so we did that and I gave them a title template to put on their sandwich.  We also used a brad to attach the sandwich pieces so you could still open the sandwich and see what was inside.  Most of my students are finishing the first draft of their How to Carve a Pumpkin piece.  If I get some volunteer help this week they will get a chance to make their pumpkins to go with their writing pieces.

I have added a new pack to my TpT store to include more independent dice games.  These are games my second grade students play in class during math workshop.  If you have purchased the Keep on Rollin' pack, you might enjoy these games, too.  

 Number Neighbors - there are two versions of this game in the pack.  Students practice identifying a number that is 1 more, 1 less, 10 more, or 10 less.

 Add 'Em Up - working on fast addition facts

 Take 'Em Away - working on fast subtraction facts

Cover 'Em All - roll the dice, add the numbers, and cover the number on the board.  Students will be exposed to probability in this game as they realize some numbers are easier to roll than others.

 Roll to 100 - students will roll the die and move their marker forward that many spaces.  The game is over when a child's marker lands on or passes 100.

Want to win a free pack?  Leave a comment below with a way to contact you.  I will do a random number drawing by the end of the week for one lucky winner :)

Spectacular Spending

Thank you so much to Patty & Rachel for helping me proofread my latest math file, Spectacular Spending.  Thank goodness they did because I had an answer key for a worksheet that didn't even exist :) 

Here are some preview images of the file:

This pack allows students to read for information, compare numbers, order numbers, and count coin combinations.  What do you think?  You can head on over to my TpT store to grab your very own copy!

As I mentioned in my last post, conferences are next week and I'm feeling super overwhelmed.  I spent a good chunk of my morning at school yesterday getting things organized into student files and making sure I have all of the paperwork I need to share during the conference.  Even though I was there for a few hours, I forgot to snap pictures of the PB & J writing pieces.  I guess I'll take them on Monday and try to get a post up early next week.

Boo & Need Help Previewing a File

Ok, so I have been Boo-ed (twice). 

Here are the rules:

If you've been booed, copy and paste the above pic and these "rules" into your post.
1. Give a shout out to the blogger who booed you and link back to their site!
Third Grade All Stars
Tracey @ Third Grade All stars

Primarily Speaking
Aimee @ Primarily Speaking

2. Share 3-5 October activities, books, products (yours or someone else),or freebie(s) that you love!
Boo! by Robert Munsch
My kiddos loved hearing this story read out loud.  They caught on to the repetition and asked to join in when I read the word, "Boo!"
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Now that we are working on How-To writing, my kiddos have started a piece called, "How to Carve a Pumpkin.  It comes from a pack of How-To Writing Craftivities.  Click on either of the pictures above to get your own copy.
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My kids loved making these poems & spiders (courtesy of Amy Lemons).  I shared some examples on a previous post (click here to read it).

Finally, I saw this picture on Bright Concepts for Teachers:
I made a candy corn template so the kids could trace and cut out their pieces.  Since we have been working on fact families, I had the students use the white triangle at the top to write the 3 numbers in the fact family (just like the triangles used in Everyday Math).  In the orange section, the kids wrote the two addition facts.  In the yellow part, the students wrote two subtraction facts.

3. Share the Boo love with 5 bloggers- make sure you check this link to make sure you don't boo someone again:
I haven't boo-ed 5 bloggers.  Conferences begin on Monday and let's face it, I'm feeling a little overwhelmed and I still have several things to do before the weekend is over.  So, if I find some time to sneak away to blog (aka blog stalk) I will pick my 5 blogs.

And don't forget to tell them that they have been BOOED! 4. Link up {here} so that others can find you and read about your October ideas! And while you are there... check out the other great blogs!

Speaking of time.....

Do you have a little time on your hands?  I'm looking for someone to help preview my Spectacular Spending file.  It was on TpT for a short period of time last spring before I pulled it to make some improvements.  It is just under 30 pages (some are answer keys).  If you have the time to proofread for spelling or mathematical errors and provide feedback and or suggestions, I would love your help!  You can either leave me a comment below or e-mail me directly ( and I will take the first two volunteers.

Names for Numbers - FREEBIE

At our school we have a 30-minute intervention/enrichment block of time 4 days a week.  Our grade level team uses common assessments to determine the skill focus and students for each group.  Right now, I am working with a small group of students on identifying and writing different names for numbers.  The other students in my homeroom are working on independent math stations from our math workshop board.

On the first day, I modeled various ways you can represent a number using several different examples.  Here is what a chart could look like for the number 5:
After modeling more numbers, the students gave suggestions for naming more numbers. 
On another day, I had my students use cards from this pack:

I printed one set for each student on different colors of cardstock paper.  I gave the kids their card sets in a baggie and had them sort the cards into piles.  After they finished, I checked their sorts.  Then I took one set of cards, mixed them up, and put them all face down into an array on the table.  We took turns playing a Memory/Concentration game, looking for matching numbers.  There are 10 cards for each number, so a lot of matches can be made!  These cards can also be used to play Go Fish. 

I have been using this pack with second grade students, but it would also be great for first grade.  My homeroom students were VERY jealous that I was introducing a new game to students who weren't even in our classroom.  I had to promise them I would add the game to our math workstations in the near future :)

If you are interested, click here to grab your own {FREE} copy of the pack.  I would appreciate any feedback you can provide after downloading this file.

Freebie Fridays

Spider Poem & Craft

As I mentioned in my last post, I had some amazing volunteers put the finishing touches on my apples and crank out some cute spiders & poems for me.  The best part was even though I showed my volunteers an example of a completed project, they were able to give the students enough freedom to let their personalities shine through.  Check out these spiders:

Thank you to Amy Lemons for creating such a cute and easy craft for my students. To pick up your own copy of this {FREE} craft, click on the picture below.

The kiddos are working on their final copies of the How to Make a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich paragraphs.  Then they will put together a sandwich craft to go with it.  I hope to share these with you by the end of the week {fingers crossed}.
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