New Year Reflections, Freebies & a Fabulous Giveaway :)

Friday, December 30, 2011
I can't believe tomorrow is the last day of 2011!! WOW!! I'm really excited about starting a fresh new year!! My "teacher" new year's resolution is to simply stay organized. This has always been one of the hardest parts of teaching for me. I am a clutter bug with limited space. I have a hard time letting go of "my stuff" because..well.. I might just need it one day. Sometimes I get discouraged & exhausted trying to keep everything in its place. Am I the only one out there who *organizes* for hours and then can't find one darn thing that I need?!?! Thankfully, Deanna Jump's organizational words of wisdom posted {HERE} completely inspired me to keep working on my goal!! First step(s)- have faith, let go of the stuff & deep breath....

As far as a personal new year's resolution, I want to start spending quality time with my hubby. Confession~My almost 3 year old son has only spent a total of 2 nights away from us. It's time y'all...time for me & my hubs to enjoy a little getaway while our precious Parker stays with his grandparents!! Where to go? Where to go?

With all the new year's reflection and excitement for 2012, I made a few things to share with you!

New Year's Resolution Writing Paper

 Bubble Map 2012 Predictions
 Click {HERE} to download!
Graphics Courtesy of Scrappin' Doodles

Making Words with Happy New Year!
 Click {HERE} to download!
Graphics Courtesy of Scrappin' Doodles

Read the Room {/ew/ and /ui/ words}
Click {HERE} to download!
Graphics Courtesy of Scrappin' Doodles

 You'll also want to check out the New Year's Blogging Bash Giveaway!  The contest runs until midnight on Saturday, December 31st
One follower will win 13 PRIZES!!  The winner will be chosen at random and announced on Monday, January 1,  2012!!!!  Click on the picture to enter NOW!!!!

And don't forget everything in my TpT store is 20% off until tomorrow at midnight!!!

Happy New Year!!!! Wishing you only the BEST in 2012!!!

FYI- By request,  I've added a place on my sidebar {under my sweet followers}for you to follow my blog by e-mail!! All you have to do is enter your e-mail address & you'll get an e-mail notification when I make a post!!

Happy New Year Sale!!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Graphics Courtesy of Scrappin' Doodles
2012 is just around the corner & to celebrate everything is on sale in my TpT store from 12/28-12/31!!!
Click {HERE} to check it out!!!

Happy New Year!!!


Playful Penguin Math and Literacy Centers

Monday, December 26, 2011
Hey Friends!! I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday break!!! I'm enjoying every single second of it!!! My house looks like a tornado hit a toy store, but we've been having a BLAST!!!

I posted my Playful Penguins Math & Literacy unit on TpT today! It includes 15 penguin themed hands-on centers, plus a bubble map, brace map, and "All About Penguins" writing paper. Your students will have fun learning about penguins while also practicing important first grade math & literacy skills!! I plan to use these after my Winter Wonderland centers.

Here's a sneak peak for you!!
Math Centers
Literacy Centers {Plus bubble map, tree map, & writing paper}
Click {HERE} to grab your copy!!
And for my wonderful freebie lovers, I hope you like this Penguin ABC order center! Click on the picture to download!!
Graphics Courtesy of Scrappin' Doodles
I have more January and February activities, as well as my Winter Vol. 2 math journal coming soon!!

My Hip Hoppin' Elf Family!!!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

We like to get down hip hop style on Christmas Eve in my family!!!  heh-heh

Go Elf Yourself {HERE} if you haven't done so yet!!! Too much fun!!!

Happy *almost* Christmas!!!

Merry Christmas!!!

Friday, December 23, 2011

I hope everyone is enjoying their well deserved holiday break! I just wanted to drop by to let you know what a blessing you are to me!!! Each and every day I'm blown away by your love, support, and inspiration! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of your positive comments, TpT purchases, feedback, sweet e-mails, and for simply being a part of my teaching journey!!
Wishing you & your family the gift of faith, the blessing of hope, and the peace of His love this Christmas & always.

Merry Christmas!!! 


Reindeer Noses:)

Thursday, December 15, 2011
Y'all, I about died over a bag of "Reindeer Noses" I saw an intern give my coworker's class yesterday! I just had to have them for my sweeties!! When I got home from school, I found the idea all over Pinterest!! Whoever originally came up with this is AMAZING!!! They are too cute & so stinkin' easy to make!!
Here's what you need to make them....
1. 1 huge party size bag of Whoppers
2. A couple bags of gumballs (you have to pick all the red ones out). I found the perfect size gumballs at the Dollar Tree..check out the name...Au'some it!!
3.Cello treat bags - I like the vase shapes ones shown in the picture!

All you do is put 8 Whoppers and 1 red gumball in a treat bag!! If you want the tags I made for my bags, you can get them {HERE}!! These would make an awesome gift for your students!!! I'm planning on handing mine out on our Polar Express day that's right around the corner!

Look what I got in the mail today!! Woot! Woot!
I still can't believe I did it!!! So excited that I made it through with a 2 year old & full time job!!! I'm not going to lie. It was HARD! But I can't even put into words how happy I am that I accomplished this dream!!!! Now on to my specialist degree...JUST KIDDING...haha...maybe in a few years if I'm brave enough!!

Happy *almost* Friday! Please send fast ornament making vibes my way for tomorrow. My classroom is going to look like Santa's shop!! Fun stuff!!

Shapin' It Up!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011
I just wrapped up my geometry unit with my students! Here's a snapshot of some of the activities we enjoyed together!

The Greedy Triangle is a great book to introduce or reinforce 2d shapes! I love anything by Marilyn Burns...she IS a math genius!! This year instead of reading the book to the students, I let them listen/watch the story on Schooltube! I love this resource!! If you don't know about it, you MUST go check it out now!!! 

We also enjoyed a CUTE Greedy Triangle SMARTboard activity from SMART Exchange {another one of my favorite online resources}! Check it out {HERE}!! 

Then we went on a "Shape Search"!! My students enjoyed looking for 2d shapes that are all around us in our classroom! Click on the picture to download the recording sheet for this activity.
Our shape searching fun led us into a great discussion about the plane shapes we see at school, at home, while we are in the car, etc. The precious little song below from Schooltube reinforced this concept!!

Then Geoboys, Geogirls, and even Geoelves came to life in our room!! I just gave my kiddos paper pattern blocks and they took off!! The pictures below were taken early on during the activity...wish I had some of their final creations to share!! I was oh so impressed with their creativity! Not only did they create fabulous shape people/elves with detailed shape backgrounds, BUT they also wrote stories to go along with them! LOVE!!

Learning about 2d shapes was a blast! I'll be back soon with a post about our 3d shape adventures!!

Hope everyone is surviving the last days before Christmas break! Whew! My name is Anna Brantley and I am T.I.R.E.D. Seriously.....between the craft sticks, glitter, sequins, and the kids bouncing off the walls holly jolly spirit...I am exhausted with a big ole' smile on my face. 'Tis the season for hustle and many lessons, assessments, & ornaments can we do?!?!?...READY....SET....GO!!!! With all the craziness, I just keep reminding myself how lucky I am to have a group of 22 children that are happy, excited about the holidays & working hard on their centers in my Holly Jolly packet because they know "Santa is watching all the time"! heh-heh... If you have any time left, check it out! If you're already thinking,"What am I going to do after the break?", then you should check out my Winter Wonderland Math & Literacy Centers! I plan to start these the first week back & can't wait!! I'll have my Penguin pack coming very soon...along with other goodies for 2012!!

Now back to spray painting more ornaments...coat #2 here I coming soon!!  

Happy Hump Day!!



Friday, December 9, 2011

I'm having a super FAST FLASH TpT SALE until tomorrow at midnight!! Check it out {HERE}!!! Thanks to each and everyone of you who purchase my products!!! Y'all are too SWEET!!!

After Christmas break, I can't wait to use my Winter Wonderland Math & Literacy Centers!! They are on sale, too!! 15 ready to go, fun, hands-on centers for just $8.00 =WOOOHOOO Winter Wonderland!!!

My penguin packet is still a work in progress. Hubby got the flu this week & it has completely thrown my family time off a bit...I don't know how nurses do it!! YUCK! Plus, my little energy suckers  sweeties are putting me to bed super my toddler's bedtime kinda early!! They are coming though...I promise!!!

Happy Friday, Friends!! I hope you have a wonderful weekend!!! Not too much longer until our break!!! YEAH!!!

Attributes and Sorting Fun!!

Sunday, December 4, 2011
To kick off my geometry unit, I always focus first on attributes! To have some fun & get the children "hooked", I read A Lost Button in Frog and Toad are Friends. It's chapter 3 & about a search for (you bet) a lost button - Toad's lost his button, and Frog spends his time looking for it - they find many buttons {of all colors, shapes and sizes}, but not the one Toad's looking for, which turns up back at Toad's house. Toad rewards his friend by sewing him a special jacket filled with all the buttons he found during the search. Too cute & my kiddos love it!!

Once I read the story, I get out a gigantic bag of buttons...loaded with different attributes & we play "Guess my Button!". My sweeties take turns secretly choosing one of the displayed buttons only whispering the identity to me. (I have 6 buttons projected on the SMARTboard using my document camera.) The student then gives the rest of the class attribute clues to help them guess the "secret button". During this game, I emphasize to the kids how we can compare & contrast the buttons based on their shapes, colors, sizes, etc. Once we have played this as a whole group, I then break my students up so they can play it in small groups.

After "Guess My Button", we have a button sorting party!! Our party mission is to find as many ways as possible to sort all the buttons. I do this in small groups and differentiate it by the amount of buttons I give the children.{I apologize for the poor quality of the pics..all I had was my phone that day!}

Another fun activity my kids enjoy is called "Buttons! Buttons!". They pick any two different buttons, glue them on their sheet, list their attributes, and what is alike/different about them.

Click on the picture to download the "Buttons! Buttons!" sheet.

To continue to reinforce attributes, I pull out "The Woozles" from the Land of Attributes. You can get the Woozle cards for FREE {here}! This is an activity that comes out of Van de Walle's elementary math K-3 series- Teaching Student-Centered Mathmatics! If you don't already have this resource book, I highly recommend it!!  

Anyhoo, back to the Woozles. I pair up my students and give them each a set of cards. They sort them by similiar or different attributes.  

Then I give each kiddo a blank index card to make their own Woozle. Once everyone has created their lil' wooz card, we share & sort them by their attributes (ex. # of arms, shape, squiggly hair, etc.!! Fun stuff!!


If you teach using Investigations, you are probably familiar with the shape cards below. We used them to play "Guess My Rule". I tried to find a free copy of the cards online for y'all without success...BOO! But you could easily just make a set of shapes with a variety of attributes (3 sides, 4 sides, curves, no sides, etc.) or just get a set of attribute blocks! To play "Guess My Rule", I paired up my students and gave them each a set of the shape cards. They put four shapes on their work mat that followed a rule {all had 4 sides, all had curves, etc} and their partner had to guess it! Great attribute practice and they were so engaged during the activity! YAY!! 

We also played "Guess My Rule" using the printable below. My students worked independently for this activity so I could monitor/assess their understanding of attributes. I had a ton of paper pattern blocks that my SWEET, AMAZING, GO OUT OF HER WAY paraprincess cut out for me. Bless her! The kids glued pattern blocks that followed a "rule" and wrote about it on their sheet. If you can't use paper pattern blocks, you could also let them just draw shapes or trace pattern blocks. It all works! 

Click on the picture to download the printable.

In addition to these activities, we enjoyed playing a couple of related computer games -Guess My Rule & Guess My Button!

As you can imagine, by the end of all of this fun, my sweets had a strong understanding of attributes/sorting! We were super duper ready to then move on to 2d/3d shapes...more activities/printables coming soon since this post is already a mile long....

Coming Soon!!!
I'm really excited about my next set of math  & literacy centers that are FULL of playful penguins!! I hope to have it posted in the next week or so & can't wait to share it with you!! Love some penguins!!! 

I hope all of you have a wonderful week!!! 12 more days until Christmas break!!! YEAH!!!

Winter Wonderland Centers and Huge Cyber Monday Sale!!!

Sunday, November 27, 2011
Hey y'all!!! I'm SO excited to have finished my Winter Wonderland Math & Literacy centers just in time for Cyber Monday! This winter themed pack includes 15 hands-on activities FULL of snowmen, snowflakes, mittens, hot cocoa, & more that review several important first grade standards! Click {HERE} to check them out!!!

Here's a lil' sneak peek of the packet!!

Happy Cyber Monday!!
Many bloggers, including myself, are offering 20% off ALL the products in our stores on top of the TpT 10% discount (use promo code CMS28 at checkout-valid only on Cyber Monday)! You can also enjoy 20% off our products from November 29th- December 1st!!  For more details, click {HERE}!

I hope you have a great week!! 15 more days until Christmas break...woooohoooo!!!!

Happy Holidays TpT Cyber Monday Sale!!!!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Are you ready for an awesome Cyber Monday sale on TpT?!?!  Many bloggers, including myself, are offering 20% off the products in our stores on top of the TpT 10% discount (use promo code CMS28 at checkout-valid only on Cyber Monday)! You can also enjoy 20% off our products from November 29th- December 1st!!  
Happy Shopping to our Sweet Customers!!!

I'm Thankful!!!!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Ohhhhh, what a beautiful Thanksgiving day with friends and family!!! Loved everything about it!!! God is SO good, isn't He?!?!? What a great day to join the "I'm Thankful" linky party over at What the Teacher Wants!!

1.  What are you thankful for in your classroom?

Every single one of my precious 22 first graders! I seriously love them to pieces!!! So thankful for the opportunity to touch their lives!!

2. What person are you most thankful for?

I am thankful for my husband & best friend, Josh, and our healthy son, Parker!

3. What 3 blogs are you most thankful for?

You know what...I am just THANKFUL for the entire blogging community!!! I love all of y'all and can't thank you enough for inspiring me every single day that I get on here!!!

4. What guilty pleasures are you most thankful for?

My iphone, the internet, my laptop, cute clipart, and Starbucks!!

5. What are you most thankful for?

JESUS!! I just love Him and He loves me!! Without His love and blessings, I don't know what I would do!!!

And, of course, my FAMILY!!!

I hope everyone has had a wonderful day of giving thanks with friends and family!!!
Happy Thanksgiving!!!


Holly Jolly Centers & Winter Math Journal Prompts

Sunday, November 20, 2011
Everywhere I go just screams CHRISTMAS!! I love!!! It's hard to believe that's it is just around the corner...CRAZY! It's even harder to believe that I have 90% of my Christmas shopping DONE thanks to online stores:) 
As the holiday season approaches, I get so excited about all of the fun things I can do with my students! I just recently finished my Holly Jolly Math and Literacy centers! It's my BIGGEST unit yet {15 activities} and full of fun to bring the Holly Jolly spirit into your classroom! 
Here is a lil' sneak peek of the goodies!!!
Math Centers
1. North Pole Number Ordering
2. Holly Jolly Fact Families
3. Santa's Shape Riddles {basic 2D & 3D}
4. Reindeer Time {hour and half hour}
5. Holly Jolly Graphing
6. Santa's Math Helpers 
Literacy Centers
1. Holly Jolly Read the Room {long and short vowel words}
2. Making Words with Happy Holidays
3. Making Words with Candy Cane
4. Candy Cane Compounds
5. Elf Editors
6. Opposite Ornaments
7. Holly Jolly Sentences
8. Holly Jolly Compare and Contrast
Click {HERE} for more details about this packet!

I've also posted my next set of math journal prompts!! There are a variety of skills covered: addition, subtraction, number representation, number combinations, number patterns, fair shares, shapes, and more! Many of the prompts promote higher order thinking and multiple solutions. 

Click {HERE} to check them out!!

 Happy, Happy Sunday!!!!

Gobble Goodies :)

Friday, November 18, 2011
Hey y'all!!! I know it has been forever since I last posted, but Strep throat hit my house BIG time this week! Ouch!! I swear that stuff is WAY worse as an adult!! On top of that, my little boy had to have an MRI yesterday because his pedi has been concerned about his very large head since he was 9 months old. He was sedated for the procedure, which scared the mess out of me & my hubs, but all went well...especially when his pedi called to let us know everything was normal this afternoon...BLESSED! Our sweet little guy just has the big head family gene, thank the Lord!!

Okay, now to the teacher stuff!! We've had turkey fever this week in my classroom. One of my favorite activities is a fun project where my kiddos disguise a turkey. I send it home, but you could easily do it in your classroom, too. I loved every minute of seeing how proud my students were when they shared their turkeys!!  I think they turned out SO cute!! Here are some pictures of our disguised turkeys!!

Artist Turkey

Bride Turkey

Chick-fil-A Turkey

 Georgia Power Turkey

GA Bulldogs Turkey

GA Cheerleader Turkey

Santa Turkey

Johnny Appleseed Turkey

Tae Kwon Do Turkey

New York Yankees Turkey

Gymnast Turkey

Princess Turkey

Baby Turkey

Super Model Turkey

Moon Turkey
Adorable, huh?!?!?! They just continue to make me smile....
 I found this activity a few years ago on an amazing website-Mrs.Nelson's Class. She has the turkey printable I used {printed them on cardstock}, as well as a parent letter to send home to explain the project for FREE!! That's right, FREE!!! Thank you, Mrs. Nelson!!!

I also found this sweet Handy Turkey activity from Mrs. Nelson's site that I plan to do next week. You can get the printable for FREE {HERE}!! Just scroll down until you see it!! Precious!!!

Hand Turkey

Since informational writing is our focus in writing right now, we also wrote interesting turkey facts in these "I Am Stuffed with Facts About Turkeys" books!

I don't have patterns for the book. I just free handed the feathers, folded a large piece of brown paper {w/ writing paper inside}, cut strips of brown paper for the legs, and let the kids cut out & decorate their own turkey head! Super simple to prepare!! 

 In math, we had fun making number combination turkeys. You can easily differentiate this activity by giving your kiddos different numbers to use. Again, I do not have patterns for this. SORRY!! I just used a die cut machine at my school for the circles {one small and one big}, traced & cut out the feathers, made triangle beaks, and a little red construction paper wattle.

How do I wrap up a week learning all about turkeys on a SWEET note? With Turkey Cookies, of course!!!

 To make these all you need are:
-chocolate chips (eyes)
-white icing (glue)
-sugar cookies(one cookie per child)
-candy corn (feathers)

- a small piece of a red Twizzler (wattle)
-Nutter Butter cookies (head)
 Delicious FUN!!!

What's even sweeter though is this "vase of flowers" one of my students brought me as we were leaving the playground this week!!! Melt my heart!! I have the BEST job in the world!!