Friday, March 24, 2017

Five for Friday 3.23.17

Linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for another Five for Friday!!

Hi, friends!  I'm coming to you from the ROAD TO RECOVERY!!!!!  As many of you know, I had shoulder debridement surgery 11 weeks ago.  I was healing ok and then things went South.  My shoulder started to freeze up and I was in excruciating pain.  I pushed through therapy but it just made things worse.  Finally, my PT tried dry needling on me and WOW-did it hurt!  But WOW-did it WORK!  Everything was so tense from my surgery and my various muscles compensating for the 8 months before my surgery {I tend to wait until things get real bad to do anything about them....}. Luckily, I was FINALLY cleared to return to work on Monday!  Woo Hoo!!  Still dealing with discomfort and I have to continue PT for awhile, but I will take it!

And because I'm heading back to work, I ordered a few new things for my classroom, like this bag of 100 dice!  Don't you love the colors?  These are great for my Math Games on the Fly!  If you'd like to grab yourself a big bag of dice, click HERE!

I had PT on St. Patrick's Day last week, so I took my awesome therapist a little shamrock plant and some fun earrings!  I just love buying presents for others!  It makes me feel so good!

I also stopped at a local coffee place and got a green tea {festive, right?} and I had to use my rainbow coozie from my bestie Missy Squirrels!

Because I couldn't wear my fun St. Patrick's Day stuff to work, I wore it to PT instead.

I started reading a new book and it's SO good!  If you haven't read it, you must get it!  Grab it HERE!  It's perfect for teachers with all levels of experience.  

April is National Poetry Month!  Can you believe April is right around the corner?!?!  Do you teach your kids how to write poetry?  I teach my first graders and it's SO MUCH FUN!  You can check out how I teach it HERE and grab my best-selling poetry unit below!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Telling Time Math Games

Hi, friends!  I wanted to let you know that I added the final game to my Math Games on the Fly Bundle, the "Telling Time" game pack.  This is such a fun pack with lots of variety!  If you're new to my blog, these "On the Fly" games are intended to be minimal prep for those times when you just need a little something to supplement your current Math {or Spelling!!} instruction.  Below are a few of my favorites:

Spin and Color--This simple game has kids spin and search for a matching time on the provided recording sheet.  Any time a paperclip is involved, it's an added bonus!  #novelty

Roll and Read--This is a great way to get kids recognizing analog AND digital times!  Just add a die and some chips and you're ready to play!  This can be a partner OR individual game!

Tic-Tac-Time--What 6 year old doesn't love Tic-Tac-Toe?  I mean, I still enjoy it as an adult so...

Connect 4--And who doesn't love Connect 4?!?!?!

Write-the-Room--There are MANY variations of this activity included!  This is always a fun, Friday review!

So there it is:  Math Games on the Fly: Telling Time!  Check it out below and if you want to save some $$$, you can snag the bundle of ALL my "On the Fly" games!!!


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Teacher Style

Hi, friends!  Today I wanted to share a few more goodies that I recently got from my favorite online boutique, Trendy Tags.  I'll be heading back to school on Monday {PTL!!!!!}  and am excited to finally be able to "get ready."  I think I've only "gotten ready" about 10 times in the past 11 weeks. It's been mostly pj's or gym clothes for PT.   Anyhow, Tuesday nights are when Amy {the owner of Trendy Tags} posts her new items.  This happens at 9pm EST via Facebook.  She shows what she has and how many and which available sizes the items come in.  You have to have fast fingers to shop! Just comment "SOLD" and your email and size and if you are quick enough, you get the item. Payment is all done via PayPal, which makes things so easy!  If you're worried about fit, you always have 2 days to let Amy know that something you got didn't fit.  She offers refunds!  I've done this a few times and it's been so easy.

Trendy Tags offers adorable pieces!  It seems like every week I am finding SOMETHING that I MUST have!  I also like that the things I buy are different...Below are a few pieces I've gotten this past fall/winter.

I hope you will check out Trendy Tags' Facebook group!  Be sure to join the group before the sale tonight at 9pm EST!  See you there!


*Some pieces in this post were purchased by me.  I was also given some of the pieces in this post in exchange for a blog post.  All opinions are 100% my own.  

Monday, March 13, 2017

What Phonics Looks Like in my Classroom

Recently, I've received quite a few emails of people asking me what my Phonics block/instruction looks like.  I've posted about it in the past, but today I am going to do a more detailed post explaining it for new followers who may have missed older posts.  I'd like to preface this post by saying that my building does not currently use a specific "program" for our Phonics instruction.  Each grade level does their own thing.  This makes it fun and allows creativity to plan instruction!  I'm holding my breath as I type this, however, because I heard "something is coming" next year.  This saddens me. We've already adopted a Math curriculum and a Reading curriculum and now Phonics is on it's way. It's hard, because where I teach, we've always been allowed to "do our own thing."  That's all changing.  While I enjoy having a guide for curriculum, I feel that rigid programs stifle teachers' creativity.

Ok, back to the topic at hand: how I teach Phonics in first grade.  I will start off by saying that I have about 20-25 minutes dedicated to whole-group Phonics instruction each day.  In addition, my students are in leveled guided reading groups, where they get more Phonics on their levels.

Each week, I select a short vowel, long vowel, diphthong, the digraphs, or really any other skill that I want my kids to learn for Phonics.  I find a coordinating poem to match the type of words we'll be working on.  I use the two poetry books shown HERE for all of my poems.  I have a dedicated space in my classroom for our poem of the week.  It's a pocket chart with the poem written on sentence strips.  We read the poem every day of the week, but we might do something different with it each day.  For example, Monday we might visualize the poem, Tuesday we might echo read the poem, Wednesday we might read the poem with a flashlight in the dark, etc...On Friday, the students get their individual copies of the poem.  We read the poem one last time for the week.  I let volunteers lead us in an echo read for this.  The kids then look for the specific phonics pattern in the poem and color those words with a crayon.  They also get to color the picture on the poem.  They place these into their "Poetry Folders," which are 3-prong folders {that I get for like 10 cents in the summer} with clear sheet protectors inside.  *Each Friday, after we've added our new poem, we go back and re-read our old ones.  This is great fluency practice!  The kids also have the opportunity to read the poems during silent reading time any day of the week if they wish.

On Monday, we also make a T-chart or web where we brainstorm words that follow the specific Phonics patter we're working on.  For example, if we are learning oi and oy, the kids would come up with words where they hear the sound and I would write them under "oi" or "oy."  The kids almost always have their own recording sheet to follow along with, as well.

As the week progresses, we play many Phonics games to go with our skill!  We love Jeopardy, board games, Concentration/Memory, Scoot, and many others!

On Friday, students are tested on 10 words that follow the specific Phonics pattern we are working on.  We review the pattern with our whiteboards or THESE papers/activities.  Grab some FREE Spelling test papers HERE.  

So there you have it, Phonics instruction in Mrs. Wheeler's room!  It's a lot of fun!  To see my favorite Phonics resource, click below.  It contains games and printables  to go with the most common Phonics patterns for first graders.  It's a fantastic resource!  Click HERE to see all of my OTHER Phonics resources!


Friday, March 10, 2017

Five for Friday 3.10.17

Happy Friday!  I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for another Five for Friday.

Last Saturday, I had breakfast with my bestie.  We went to a cute little cafe that we'd both heard of but never been to.  When a place is on an hour wait at 8:45 AM, you know they serve good food!  Look at that plate!!!!!!!!  This was ONE serving!  I def. could have eaten it all bc I was starving that morning, but I left some on my plate!  The hashbrowns were so buttery and delicious!

I started reading a new book by one of my favorite authors!  It's called "First Comes Love."  If you've read any of her books, you'll know that her style is such an easy read!  This book is about a first grade teacher and her siblings.  I am about 1/4 of the way in.  Click here to see it on Amazon.

I got some Squirrel Mail from my bestie Missy Squirrels last week!  Her coozies are the CUTEST! These make great gifts and are SO reasonably priced.  I like to pair one with a Starbucks card for a simple, yet thoughtful gift for my girlfriends.  Click here to view her store.

My Math Games on the Fly: Telling Time pack was posted.  I apologize for the delay.  My shoulder only allows me to sit at the computer for about an hour each night.  If you own the large bundle, get this updated set for free here.  If you don't own the bundle, and only want the telling time games, click the cover below.  *I'll post more about this pack another day!

My hubby got us Thomas Rhett tickets back in the fall and the concert is tomorrow!  I have considered selling the tickets because of my shoulder pain {that is still happening 10 weeks after surgery}, but we haven't been on a date night in 10 weeks, so............I am going to take a pain pill and try to enjoy the show!

Happy weekend,