Sunday, July 27, 2014

Bloggy Blurbs from A-Z and a Freebie!

Hi Friends! Welcome to my new blogging mini-series! Boy, time just always gets away from me especially when school is in session. There are SO many things I want to share with you on this little old blog of mine that I never quite got around to posting! Join me for the remaining days of my summer vacation time and into the fall for some bloggy blurbs, classroom ideas, resource links, freebies, photos, and total randomness (in a way that is somewhat organized)! Most will be short and sweet, unlike this one, so check in often!

I'll be writing these here bloggy blurbs in ABC order beginning today with ideas for teaching the alphabet. It's my simple solution to help improve letter recognition, letter sounds and phonemic awareness. The crucial foundational skills for literacy. Since many of you have followed me over here from my First Grade Gallery blog, you may be able to use some of these ideas with your Kinders or incoming Firsties! My upper grades teacher friends, there will be good ideas for your classroom here too!

Flashback Time
Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, I found myself new to teaching a half-day Kindergarten. There was no specific curriculum map for me to follow, imagine that! We did have Tonka trucks for play time, wooden blocks, some bear math counters and silly looking BLOW UP letter people dolls that came with corny songs on cassette tape. Maybe you remember them from your Kindergarten days? :)

I quickly realized that it was up to me to develop a plan of action for getting my Kinders ready to read  that went beyond the letter people! 
My plan started with one simple, cheap and highly effective tool. Alphabet FLASHCARDS! 

 We started each morning with alphabet/ letter sound drills. Normally I'm not a big fan of flash carding students to death, however, we did all of these drills orally during carpet time so they were excited to join in.  My flashcard set displayed both the upper and lower case letter with a corresponding picture clue.

 Here is the chant:
We say the letter name shown on the card (A).
If the letter is a vowel, we name it long or short. (Long A)
We bounce twice on the sound and say the name of the picture clue (A, A acorn (repeat) A, A acorn).

 How easy is that? And it works like magic.
In no time, my students were articulating their sounds correctly and they had all of their letters/sounds mastered with picture clues stamped forever in their young minds!

 Times have changed, curriculums are more rigorous, we have access to fantastic resources and all of that good stuff! No matter how teaching strategies change or improve, there is something to be said for good old repetition!

For some other super literacy ideas, you may want to visit Reading Rockets!
 I LOVE that site!

Dusting off the Cobwebs
I have an entire folder called WORK IN PROGRESS on my desktop. 
 I'll be digging out some of my half-finished files little by little and polishing them up to share with you as I go! 

Here is a freebie flash card set I finally got around to! 

 Just click on the image to download a copy if you like.
I've included picture clues for both long and short vowels which are hard to find in a flash card set.
Hope you can use it with your class, intervention group or even your own children!
 I'd love to hear from you if you do download it! Comments and feedback always make my day.

 By the way, Lovin' Lit has some great freebie flash card/task card templates. 
You can use them to make your own cards for anything you are studying.

Next up~ Letter A
Join me next time (between linkys) for a post on bloggy blurbs for things that begin with A. Off the top, what comes to mind is Accelerated Reader, art supplies, and a chance to meet a special cutie pie who's name begins with A. Who knows what I might dig up! 
You may find some cute project ideas, resources and more freebies for each new letter to follow. 
Hope to see you back!

Have a happy day!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Teachers Notebook~ Christmas in July Sale

'Tis the season for sales friends! It's time for another amazing sale to celebrate summer and get a head start on everything you have on your wish list for back to school! If you missed out on our Summer Lovin' Sale, you can find all of Creative Lesson Cafe's shop items at a 25% discount.

When you leave feedback on your purchases, you can also earn double the rewards! 
Head on over to Teachers Notebook to check it out and see the many shops that are participating!

Did you know that Teachers Notebook also has a blog? 
You can find some really great tips and ideas for your classroom there too! 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Summer Lovin' Sale~ Classroom Decor Sets

Well, this is it friends! It's the final day of our Summer Lovin' Sale! I hope you were able to grab some classroom items you are LOVIN' over the last few days.

One thing I've been LOVIN' this summer is creating some new classroom decor sets. 
There are several available at my store and today they are all on sale!

What you may love most is that they are EDITABLE which means you get to type in what you want your signs, binder covers, banners, deskplates and labels to say. 
There are hundreds of pieces included in these sets so you can go labeling CRAZY! 

Here are a just a few of them!

 You can view all classroom decor items and find these sets and more here.
Stay tuned because more themes are on the way!

It's been lots of fun teaming up with my Summer Lovin' friends this week to bring you some great savings on classroom items. Special thanks to Jaime from Bright Concepts 4 Teachers for getting all of this organized! Try to stop by these fabulous blogs today too and see what's on sale!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Summer Lovin' Sale~Fall Fun- Apples and Pumpkins

I'm so happy you stopped by for Day 3 of our Summer Lovin' sale-abration!  Hope you've been able to take advantage of some great bargains! Today, I hope to help you plan ahead with some items you may like for favorite fall themes. Sweater weather will be here in the blink of an eye but that means classroom fun with apples and pumpkins so it's not all bad!

Today my apple and pumpkin life cycle lunch bag books are on sale! 

My class loved putting together the one for apples so much that I made one for our pumpkin theme too!

If you think you might like to create these fun books with your class, click on the pictures to grab them on sale today only!

We always have a project hanging from the ceiling or on a bulletin board for our themes. 
Introducing... Johnny and Jenny Appleseed!

Aren't they sweet?
The kiddo's choose a hair color that matches their own and then write their name in the pot!
 You can find this craftivity on sale here.

There's also a Pumpkin Patch Cutie Pie for October or November themes on sale today.

If you're looking for a cute new bulletin board this year, you can find this little guy here.

So that's all for fall y'all!
 I'll be  LOVIN' our first 90 degree day tomorrow and enjoying it at the water park with my favorite cutie pies. 
I plan to spend lots of time floating in the lazy river thinking about only summer things while I still can!

Remember to check back again tomorrow for the final day of our sale!
Stop by to see what my friends have on sale today too!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Summer Lovin' Sale~ Behavior Management

Welcome to our Summer Lovin' Sale! In case you missed the post yesterday, some of my talented teacher author friends and I are teaming up to offer some terrific deals on items you might like for your classroom. Are you ready for some more summer lovin' fun?

Take a peek at the flash sale going on at my TPT store!
It's a summer bee theme. Bee~havior that is!

Day 2 here is all about encouraging the littles to be on their best behavior!

Every year,  it's pretty much a guarantee that we will have at least one special student in our room that demands more of our time and attention because of difficulties with classroom behavior.

I've tried many different systems and plans for behavior management over the years. Whatever was "in" or popular, I used.  Each had it strengths and weaknesses. None were just right for me, my kiddos or for my parents. 

So I combined my counseling expertise with years of trial and error experiences in the classroom, mixed it all up and created my own system. It has been absolutely perfect. 
It's simple, easy to implement, and parents get it!
I'm Lovin' it! 
Maybe you will too.

It's a little bit like a clip chart. It's also somewhat like the traffic light system. It has only four steps and is heavy on rewarding the positive and reflecting on making good choices. The hives shown below come in black and white so you can create your display using any colored paper you like to match your room decor. I don't have a bee theme in my room, but the management system is a theme all its own so it works!

My favorite part of this system is the way it encourages clear communication between home and school.
 I keep a stack of the weekly reports in a drawer. At the end of the day, the students color in their bee hive. 
My kiddos are so proud to take home a happy note and sticker on their chart when it is earned. 
I like to copy my awards on bright paper.
The bees are hung with magnets on my whiteboard so they are easy to move.
Happy bees from Melonheadz = a happy teacher!

This item is 20% off at my store today! 
You can find a detailed description and the item here.

Buzz on over to see what else my blogging buddies have available today and take advantage of some savings!
 "Bee" sure to tell your friends about the sales too! :)