Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Earth Day Activities Recycle

We're Reducing, Reusing and Recycling a few of our most popular Earth Day posts today!
It's our way of saying We're on Spring Break! Save the Earth...
Read all about how we make our Hoot Owls.
We love working Earth Day into our Habitats learning too! It's the perfect time to take a stop in the Rainforest...One of Earth's most precious habitats and one of our first graders' favorites!
Did you survive Tax Day? 
We did and now we're celebrating with a Tax Day Retail Therapy Sale! 
Our entire shop is 15% off April 15th and 16th only!  

Our giveaway has ended, the winners have been picked!
Congratulations to
Carol Polston!!
Grand Prize
Lime Stripes and Polka Dots Straight 
Purple Chevron Straight Border Trim 
Happy Suns Sunsational Work Bulletin Board Display Set Border Trim 
Lime Polka Dots Frames Accents 
Chevron Funtastic 4" Letters Combo Pack
Lime Chevrons and Dots Lesson Plan & Record Book 
Happy Suns Brilliant Awards
Chevron Stickers 

And, Congratulations to 
Megan Siegel!!
1st Runner Up
Lime Chevrons and Dots Lesson Plan & Record Book

Not a winner? Not to worry! Teacher Created Materials has another GREAT giveaway going on right now...
 Click {here} to check it out!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Interactive Phonics Readers ~ R-Controlled Vowels + a Book Bag Freebie

We are so excited that our class is reading up a storm! We're diving into those R-controlled vowels this week and we've just finished up our latest set of Interactive Phonics Readers to help our first graders out. 

They just can't get enough of these little books, and now that we've made our way through the short vowels, long vowels and digraph sets, they are Interactive Phonics Pros right about now. 
True story...
We asked a parent volunteer to run this station the other day. About halfway through the first group, she turned and asked if she could leave because the kids were so independent they didn't need her! HA! 
We didn't let her go...

Included in Each Set:

-Interactive Phonics Reader with Tracing Lines 

-Interactive Phonics Reader without Tracing Lines 

-Mini Word Walls (Color and Black and White)

-Directions Cards

-Home Reading Reminder 

-Reading Reward

Each R-controlled vowel set is sold separately, or bundled up with 

all 5 sets for the price of 4. 

Lots of you have asked what we do with all those books? We do like to send them home for reading, but we insist they come back to school to 'live' for the school year. 

We keep it simple...Just a zippered plastic bag with a cute label that keeps all their little books from oozing out of their desks and zipped up in one place. From time to time, they take their book bags home to read to their families too. 

Need a book bag label for all your little books?
We've created a free download for you too. We print on Avery labels #8464, or any labels 3 1/3" x 4" in size. Enjoy!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Bright Ideas Linky! Student Art Portfolios

We absolutely adore teaching art in our classroom. 
How do we find time for art, you might be wondering? 
We are fortunate to teach at a school that has a PFA sponsored art program, which allows us to learn and practice the techniques of a designated artist each month. 
We love it!

Here's a few of our favorites from this year...

Georgia O'Keefe
Asian Inspired Art
At the end of the year, each student selects their favorite masterpiece to be put on display in our school wide spring Art Show. We love that every one of our first graders is proud to have a self selected piece of art out for their school to see!
But, what were we to do with all the extra masterpieces?

We decided to keep the rest of their art projects in class for Open House. We create a Do-It-Yourself Student Art Portfolio to cart all their art. We use these for art...But honestly, they can be used for any work you need to package up whole class for display or send away. 
Here's What You'll Need
2 sheets of 11x17" (Ledger size) copy paper
Post-It/Sticky notes
11x17" copy paper or white construction paper (2 per portfolio)
Fine Tip Black Markers
Gluestick (if mounting onto colored construction)
Lamination (optional)

Here's What You'll Do
1. Make a title sheet for your portfolio. It can be done on the computer and can say whatever you want! Our art program is called Art Masters, so we chose "Meet the Masters". You can even have the kids design their own. 

2. Give each student a Post-It/sticky note. 

3. With a pencil first ~ Write name in the center bottom of the sticky note, large enough so it can be read after tracing with a black marker. Next, have them draw a self portrait from the shoulders up. 

4. With a fine tip black marker ~ Trace all pencil lines.

5. Collect student portraits and attach them to 2 sheets (front and back of portfolio) 11x17 copy paper in any arrangement you'd like. If you have more students, you can decrease the size of the sticky note or squish their pictures closer together on the portfolio masters.

6. Run a set of portfolios on the copy machine (1 set of front sheets and 1 set of back sheets). You can use 11x17 copy paper, then mount onto colored construction paper or copy directly onto white construction paper if your copy machine allows.

The kids love seeing themselves in coloring book style!
We ask them to color true to life...No purple, green, or orange friends. They spend a lot of time because they love it. :)
Cut 2 handles (C shape) from black construction paper and mount them on the insides of each cover where briefcase handles would be. Laminate if desired. Then, put front and back together and staple, lace or tape along the sides and bottom. Leave the top open for stuffing. 
**TIP~If laminating, use a razor blade or Exacto knife to cut the inside of the handles out. This take a little time, but the detail is worth it. :)
Our little yellow sign was tied to the handle using tulle and the note encourages them to visit our school Art Show during Open House. 

If you enjoyed this bright idea, please join us on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest for more great ideas.

For even more bright ideas from 150 different bloggers, browse the links below...We also have a Pinterest board filled with even more bright ideas!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Teacher Created Resources ~ Classroom Pick Me Up and Step Into Spring Giveaway!

Decorating our classroom is a passion of ours. We spend an awful lot of time there, so we should love it! 

Naturally we were delighted when Teacher Created Resources contacted us to offer a few of their new classroom decor items. Here's what arrived at our door!
 A box full of chevron and polka dots...which we adore!

We've had our eyes on two areas of our classroom that needed some serious TLC.

Our Guided Reading Area Before...

Our Calendar Board Before...
These two areas just needed a pick me up, and so did we...
Wow, bulletin board letters have come a long way since we first started teaching. Right? These lime green polka dot letters are the cutest letters we've owned. 

We knew we wanted to use them for a calendar board quote, but it took us a bit to come up with the perfect fit. Being that we have an ocean theme going on in our classroom, this seemed the perfect way to dive into our day!
We love the crisp, clean colors of these chevron calendar cards. We laminated and cut them out so they will last forever!
The numbers are clear and large enough for our last row on the rug to read, which is important to us. They fit perfectly in our pocket chart calendar and the new headers are just our style! 
We also used some of the chevron accent pieces and our Silhouette Cameo to add labels and jazz things up around our classroom.
Our Calendar Board After...
Our class will be looking forward to starting table points after Spring Break! We made a table points strip using one of the border pieces and the chevron accents. This was so quick and easy. We laminated the pieces so they can be dry or wet erase.
We made labels for our Workshop supply buckets too.

Our Guided Reading Area After...
We used the border and accent pieces to redo our guided reading area and we LOVE it!
We used our Cameo to make labels for our guided reading groups and supply boxes. Clean, crisp and at our fingertips!
We created reader response spots for our table by laminating the accent pieces so they are dry or wet erase. We stuck them to the table using masking tape and our first graders will use them to share ideas and answers during our guided reading meetings.

This was our favorite ah-ha moment...
We had 13 ugly black magazine boxes holding our guided reading books. They were fine...They do the trick...But, they were ugly.
We were standing in our kitchen one evening and it struck us!
Count those letters...
Shut the front refrigerator door!! 
Things got a lot more exciting when we held the lime green border up to the side of the magazine boxes to discover they were nearly a perfect fit! They needed a slight trim, but once cut down to size we just hot glued everything in place and there we had it...Our new guided reading organization complete with motto hiding all our our stuff!
We used more chevron accents to label some things around the classroom too.
We labeled our turn in boxes. Our green box means "go ahead and grade" and our blue box means "already graded, send me home". We just cut the bottoms off the accent pieces to fit the boxes. Cute!
Our black tray is our walk in the door, catch all. Everything that comes through our door goes in the Black Tray. Why the name? It's a black tray. Hahaha...Apparently our creativity has its limits...
Our Buddy Books basket sits right next door and couldn't go without a label for itself. 

Amazing what a few new decor items will do to our space and our teacher spirits!
And, guess what?
They want to do the same for you!
Teacher Created Resources is giving 2 lucky Fluttering Through First Grade fans some fabulous prizes!
Here's what you can win...

Grand Prize
Lime Stripes and Polka Dots Straight 
Purple Chevron Straight Border Trim 
Happy Suns Sunsational Work Bulletin Board Display Set Border Trim 
Lime Polka Dots Frames Accents 
Chevron Funtastic 4" Letters Combo Pack
Lime Chevrons and Dots Lesson Plan & Record Book 
Happy Suns Brilliant Awards
Chevron Stickers 

1st Runner Up
Lime Chevrons and Dots Lesson Plan & Record Book

Just enter the Rafflecopter below!
Feel free to pin and share any of the images from this post and giveaway with your teacher friends too! Good luck!
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