Friday, January 31, 2014

Fill Your Heart with Freebies Blog Hop & Giveaway!

Are you ready for February?  Need some fun freebies to see you through?  Take some time this weekend to grab the goodies my fabulous friends and I have put together for you... and enter a great giveaway!

I know you're anxious for your freebie, so here it is!  This game is a great CVC word sort/writing activity.  (And it goes great with those cute mailboxes in the Target Dollar Spot!)

Don't forget to enter the GREAT giveaway...

a Rafflecopter giveaway

and have fun as you hop along to your next stop, my good friend Kimberly!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Building Your Classroom Library on a Budget

I'm back!  :)  Blogging again after just one day, what's gotten into me?  But I just had to come back today and share some tips for building your classroom library on a budget (and brag a bit about some things I found while shopping around today!)

In the summer I compared different options for book bins.  You can see the breakdown of that post by clicking on the picture below:

In my library I actually use the yellow hole-y baskets from Dollar Tree for Listening Center baskets (each basket has one book and an iPod), since they weren't too stable but I loved the color.  The teal baskets from Big Lots we use for our Favorite Author Book bins.  And for our thematic book bins, we use these baskets from Dollar Tree...

Note that these are the rectangular boxes, NOT the 12" by 12" square ones.  They sell out fast as soon as they come in for Dollar Days, but man they are GREAT!

So there's a bit about how to save on setting up your library.  But how do you stock up books on a budget?  Here's my big three (well, four actually):
  1. Thrift Stores (Savers, Goodwill, etc).
  2. Scholastic
  3. Ebay
  4. Local Library Sales
Scholastic's Reading Club is just about my new favorite thing on the planet!  I finally signed up this year and am loving this Bonus Point thing especially.  I scored a whole bunch of new guided science readers for my class for FREE by using the bonus points I got earlier this year.  Maria from Kinder-Craze has a great post on boosting your parent orders- check it out by clicking on the picture below!

But the biggest place where I score my books is thrift stores.  A lot of people have reservations about shopping at Thrift Stores, but I am not one of them!  Savers is hands-down my favorite for picking up picture books.  They are $0.69 each, buy 4 and get the 5th free.  (And let me not forget my other elementary friends- chapter books are only $0.99 each, buy 4 and get the 5th free!)  PLUS you can get a 20% off coupon for making a donation.  So this weekend I was able to buy... 

*insert drum roll please*

More than $100 books for $48!  Not too shabby.  :)  And as you can see, I got some great titles by fabulous authors and a variety of books (including leveled readers!)  And that's not all I bought...

Isn't this gossip bench the most AWESOME THING you have EVER seen?!?!  (Please excuse my excessive capitalization and poor punctuation, I am just beyond excited!)  I scored this sweet thing for only $20.  I am so excited because I was dying to get a piece of furniture to use as a divider in my classroom library and at last I have found it!  

So... hopefully I'll be seeing you soon for a Monday Made It!  :)  Have a great weekend and I hope you got some good tips for building your classroom library on a budget!

Friday, January 10, 2014

What in the World Have We Been Up To: Winter Week!

I've totally lost count of how many weeks we've been in school!  All I know is the 100th day is drawing closer and I'm not ready... report cards are due in 1 1/2 weeks and I'm not ready... need to schedule an observation and I don't feel ready... (I'm sensing a theme here.  Seems like there's always too much to do!)

Here's a look at some the things I actually LIKE to do in January... :)

Shared Writing
This week we learned the sight word "in" and made a list.  Look at all those kindie sentences!  :)

Word Work
Thank goodness for Marsha's differentiated activities, I couldn't do Daily 5 without her!

My class loved this cute poem!  We had fun focusing on rhyming words and searching through to find all our sight words.  After reading the poem, we illustrate it and keep our poetry journals in our Daily 5 book baskets.

Mitten Retelling Fine Motor Craft
You can actually grab this activity for FREE from Jan Brett's website!  We used the book to help us retell the story when needed.  I absolutely adored this craft... it was great for practicing all the elements of a story!  Click on the picture to be directed to her website!

There was also a great illustrating inferencing moment in this book- at the very end, check out Baba's face!  We had a great time guessing what we thought was on her mind.  Ultimately we decided that she was confused.  :)

Math Stations
Snowboard Bump was definitely the favorite math game this week!  I can't believe it's taken me so long to teach them how to play this game.  They were so excited when I promised to have bump games the rest of the year.  :)

We also played Mitten Match...

Went on a magazine shape hunt for 2-D shapes...

And played Snowball Scoop Count & Write!

Science Fun
This week we made a snowman and brought him inside!  We recorded our hypothesis and observations...

Yes, he did melt into a puddle.  A puddle that included goose poop.  GROSS!!!  (Note to self: next year use ice cubes!)

We also learned about hibernation/migration and started exploring some nonfiction books.  We made these great pipe cleaner and cheerio bird feeders that I forgot to take a picture of, but it was from this picture on Pinterest:

Dramatic Play
Setting up our hot cocoa stand was so much fun!  (More on that later, I promise!)

I hope you all had a great first week back at school!  By Friday we were back in the swing of things, so I'm excited for next week.  :)  Have a great weekend!

Friday, January 3, 2014

It's a Pizza Planning Palooza & New Year's Goodies Giveaway!

I meant to post this yesterday but got carried away eating pizza and planning with my teacher bestie Denise and my new laser printer!  (Thanks hubby, you are the BEST!)  Here's a peek at some fun things we prepped... with your chance to win these goodies in a giveaway!

Math "Wake Up" Work

Literacy "Wake Up" Work

Math Stations

Mitten Match

Snowboard Bump

Snowball Scoop

Cups of Cocoa Count Tally & Graph

Flurry Flip Five

Word Work Stations

Snowman Spy

Winter Roll Say Keep

See something you need this New Year?  Now's your chance to grab ALL of these goodies for FREE by entering the giveaway below!  This giveaway ends on Sunday so sign up fast!