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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Ringing In The New Year!!! 2016 Resolutions

Where in the world has 2015 gone??  I swear time flies by TWICE as fast when you have kiddos running around the house.  :)  Exciting, but way too fast.  

I love starting a new year, though.  Time to clean, rearrange, repaint the kitchen (not the smartest choice before Christmas, but it is done), and think about what I need to improve on.  I love this linky because I really want to focus on my school life improvements.  And I love my ladies at the Primary Punchbowl and others I follow on social media because I KNOW  I can be a better teacher with their help! :)  

After looking over reading scores before break, I've decided to incorporate some chapter books into my high reading groups.  I usually try to do the the last nine weeks, but I have some super duper readers this year!  And they are flying through the Journeys stories with ease.  I use my close reading units I make for TPT with our themes of the month, but I might bring more of those out, too.  I guess this is a good problem to have?? :)

My next resolution is to surround myself with positive co-workers.  It's hard to avoid those Debbie Downers (you know who they are...)  but if they ruin a good mood, turn around!

I think everyone knows how drained they are after school.  I look at the treadmill like it's the devil in disguise. Hahaha, and even if I had energy, I still have to make dinner and go through my daughter's homework, etc.  BUT, there is a BUT, I know that I will feel better after I make myself get on that thing.  Three times a week!  I can do this!!

The last one, and very important one, STOP stressing over TPT stuff!! If I'm on a roll, I create a mindset that I cannot stop working on it.  If I don't have anyone share my pin, I get bummed out.  And don't even mention getting a lower than 4.0 score on a product....STOP THE MADNESS!!!  

I need to learn to take a deep breath and know that THIS part of my life is not my profession, it is merely a hobby.  I cannot let it stress me out more than I already am.  It is a BLESSING that I am grateful to be able to do, I don't want to ruin the moments... :)

Happy 2016 everyone!!!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

One week of school left, less than two weeks until in the holly berry did this happen???? :)  Every year it sneaks up on me, but this time I'm ahead of the game when it comes to gift giving!!!

I'm so excited to share this recipe with you today.  It's literally the EASIEST candy recipe EVER!!  I've never had much luck with fudge and this recipe is definitely a keeper.  Three ingredients, jelly jars, twine, and cute appetizer spoons = gifts that anyone will love!

Let's start with our ingredients:

One bag of Milk Chocolate Chips ( I use Toll House, but I bet Hersheys would be yummy too)
I can of sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla

Packing materials:

glass jelly jars (Walmart)
bakers twine (Target)
plastic appetizer spoons (Walmart) 
gift tags (Target or any you choose)

Pour the bag of chips and condensed milk into a glass bowl.  Microwave for 30 seconds, then stir.  Microwave for 15 seconds, then stir.  If needed, microwave for ten second intervals and stir until smooth.  Add a teaspoon of vanilla and mix well.  Have jelly jars clean and ready to fill.  Pour the fudge into the jars and let set up.  After a few hours, put the lids on the jars and decorate!  If you use bakers twine or jute rope, I would tie a knot before you tie the bow.  :)  Just a tip!  Add those super cute spoons and now you have the sweetest gift!!

Happy Holidays from Mrs. Baker's Dozen!!!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

The First Thanksgiving + Digraph Voyage FREEBIE

It's amazing how Thanksgiving arrives and leaves so quickly every year.  I kinda feel like we don't give the poor holiday enough attention!  

Enter "The First Thanksgiving"...

I'm super pumped about using this unit for the upcoming week.  My plans are included in the unit, so it's easy peasy!  First, I will start with our first cold read (in the first picture), edit our reading (strategies included in the unit), and then focus on vocabulary (below).

I've included some great activities for stations/Daily 5.  I absolutely love my mini-reader, "Squanto's New Friends".

My firsties were having a rough time with certain digraphs, so I whipped up a Digraph Voyage game for some fun review.

Then I created some new Roll And Read pages.  Laminate these babies, throw in a die, and voila!  Instant Read to Someone station!

Add turkeys to any grammar game and it's totally fun, right? ;)

Anyone working on character traits in the classroom?  This is one of my favorite activities I've included in my Complete Core units.  Also comes with a worksheet to assess learning!

Now for the FUN PART!!  Actually, FUN & FREE PART!!

Click here for the Digraph Voyage game freebie!

If you are interested in the whole unit, feel free to read more about it at my TPT store.

Make sure you hug your loved ones tight and don't forget to give thanks to the One who created us all. :)  Happy Thanksgiving!!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Five For Friday! QR Codes for Parent Teacher Conferences and More

Wow, Fridays came and gone like the wind over the last two months.  I'm still in awe that it is the end October!!  We packed in so many activities this month in first grade.  I can't wait to tell you all about our Bat Week, Paragraph Writing, All About Animals Books and using QR Codes for Parent Teacher Conferences!

First up is a few fun bits from our Bat Week.  I swear bats have to be one of the most interesting creatures.  The kiddos gushed over how creepy, cute, cool, etc these guys are!

I found this read aloud of Stellaluna yesterday on YouTube and it features the guy from Reading Rainbow!  I love it because he gives a little forward discussing nocturnal animals before the read aloud.  You can find it HERE.

Last week the first grade read the story, "How Animals Communicate" in the Journeys series and went crazy over the animal facts!  I decided to 'whip' up (whip as in take over a week to finish) some informative writing templates to create animal reports.  At first I created general templates to use with any animal.  Then I took at look at Educlips Animals A-Z clipart and just had to have it!  

One hundred and fifty-two pages later, All About Animals was born!  :)

The kids loved creating an actual book and I think the favorite was the All About The Author page. :)  I loved the use of text features that my STUDENTS created.  Here are some pics of it in action!

We used my Little Writers Workshop unit and created our very first paragraph!  

First we gathered what we know about bats on a graphic organizer.  Then we added a topic sentence and opinion for the last sentence.  They did so well!!!

We just finished the read aloud, Charlotte's Web and celebrated our favorite pig, Wilbur!
Love that story!!

Now for a project that takes time, but is totally worth it!  To make Parent Teacher conferences a little more creative and unique, I interviewed each student.  Before the interviews, we decided which questions to ask:
1. Name
2. Fave Color
3. Fave Animal
4. Fave Book (they had it to show to the camera)
5. Fave Part of School
6. Subject You Are Best At
7. Subject That Is Hard

They turned out so cute!  A few got a little flustered, but that only added to the cuteness!  

Next, I uploaded the videos to my Google Drive.  You can find this in your Google Mail account.  Another option is uploading it to another server like Dropbox.  

After uploaded each video, I went into Drive and clicked on the Share button by the title.  A box will popup asked who you want to share it with.  Click on the top of the box where it says Create A Link or Shareable Link.  

After the link is created, copy it.  Next, go to a QR Code generator website.   Here's a few choices:

Paste the link into the generator box and click download QR Code.  A box will pop up with the code. Copy the code and paste it onto a Word document.  To make identifying the codes easier, I would type in the student's name under each code that you paste.

After you are done, print off the Word document.  I had each student color a self-portrait and I taped the QR codes underneath each picture.  Here's how my display looked at conference night.

This portrait is my sweet nephew's.  Love those freckles!!

Happy Halloween!!!  To celebrate, my entire TPT store is
 20 % off!!!  

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Primary Punchbowl: Fall Blog Hop!

The leaves are falling, the air is crisp, and your students have finally settled into a routine (maybe).   Autumn is full of possibilities for lesson plans!  I'm so glad you stopped by today because I'm going to make your planning a little bit easier. :)

Today is the launch of The Primary Punchbowl, a lovely collaborative blog that I am so excited to be a part of!  This website will not only hold tips and tricks for teachers, but also be a social outlet for other parts of our busy lives.  And we mean BUSY!  We are celebrating with a Fall Blog Hop, a trail of blog posts to follow while gaining FREEBIES, IDEAS, and a chance to WIN a TPT gift card at every single blog!  That's right, EVERY. SINGLE. BLOG.  Ahhhhmazing!  Is it Christmas already?  Because you better be ready for all the goodies! ;)

Now let's get started with a fun fall activity.  Last week we studied pumpkins in my classroom and honestly, I could probably do pumpkins for a whole stinkin' month!  There are endless possibilities.  First we gathered what we know about pumpkins on Our Pumpkin Schema chart.

We used From Seed To Pumpkin and Spookley the Square Pumpkin to compare and contrast texts.  On my anchor chart, I wrote the similarities in one color and differences in another color.  It turned out pretty good!

And to finish off the week, we dug into some pumpkins and got a little gooey!  We counted the seeds by using big butcher paper.  I drew a tens frame on each one so we could by tens, then add the tens to each separate square.  We ended up with....445 seeds!

Next up is my Fall FREEBIE!!  If there is one way to brighten your day, it's a freebie! ;)  

This is a mini reader from my Pumpkin Patch pack.  "A Pumpkin's Life"  features cute pumpkin life cycle clip art from Whimsy Clips.  I just love their stuff!  This reader is perfect for a short science lesson or hand out to use during reading stations/Daily 5.  

                     Click HERE for the mini reader!  

Now it's time for a major fall sale at my TPT store!  Click on the items below to check out some fantastic deals!

                                                  Pioneer Pack

                                                   Files & Flapbooks: October Edition

Let's wrap this blog post up with a giveaway!  Who could use a gift card to TPT??? I think we all could! ;)
Fill out the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win $10 to TPT.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And don't forget to hit up all the other awesome blog posts that have FREEBIES and GIVEAWAYS at every single blog!  Woo hoo!  Have a great week!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Fire Safety in First Grade! We Love Our Firefighters!

Happy Sunday to you all!  This week is Fire Safety week and we will be discussing how to PREVENT a fire.

I created this unit, The Complete Core: Fire Safety exactly for this week in October.  I'm so glad I have it!  On Friday we will be getting a visit from our local firefighters, complete with a tour of the incredible fire trucks!  So the beginning of the week will be spent going over stuff like this:

Roll and Read Fire Safety!  Perfect for Read to Someone during Daily 5.

Fluency check sheets for the close reading passage of the week, "Can You Prevent A Fire?".

And a few cute math station games, Dalmatian Doggie (missing number) and Fire Engine Place Value (base 10 blocks).

And my week of reading lessons are already included in the unit!  Perfect easy planning that covers Common Core Standards, yippee!!

Danny The Fire Dog has to be the cutest dalmatian ever!  Grab this mini reader HERE for free!!!  

And if you are interested in the whole unit, check out my TPT Store here!    

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

1 on 1 Dollar Deals Linky!!

Wow, October could you have arrived any faster??  Fall needs to slow down a bit so I can enjoy the splendor of the season!! ;)

I love this linky!!  It is a fab way to score some great products at a great price.  Here is what I have for you today, my little pretties....

Here is a peek at my new October Edition of my Files and Flapbooks!  I love these things.  These are perfect to pullout at the end of a busy day or for a sub tub!  October includes Firefighters, Pumpkins, Spiders, and Halloween.  Catch it this week for only $1!  

Make sure you check out the other awesome deals!!