Back to School TpT Sale & Promo Code!!!

Saturday, July 30, 2011
Get ready for an awesome back to school sale on TpT!  Many bloggers, including myself, are offering 20% off in our stores on top of the TpT discount of 10% (use promo code B1T1S)!  The sale will run from August 1st to August 4th. Click below to check out our stores! I know I can't wait to get 30% off several awesome TpT products!!! Happy Shopping!!!

Back to School Bonanza Giveaway!!!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Are you ready to go Back to School?  Erica Bohrer is hosting a Back to School Bonanza Giveaway that should help you get in the mood!  Twelve fabulous bloggers have teamed up with her to give one lucky winner a huge back to school prize pack!  Scroll, down to see the twelve tantalizing prizes you could win.The contest will run until midnight eastern time, on Thursday, July 28th. You have 4 chances to enter HERE!!

All the links and prizes are listed below!  Best of luck to you.  We wish you a great start to the new school year!

Blogs (click on each button to go directly to each blog): 


Teachers pay Teachers Stores:
6. One Extra Degree's Store
11.Ms. M's A Teacher's Plan  (this store is not on TpT)

Follow on Facebook:

Here is what you could win!


5. Amanda of One Extra Degree's Sub Tub

6. Miss Kindergarten's Calendar Pack

7. A Teacher's Plan Pre-Made Lesson Template from Ms. M.

8.  Yvonne of Sassy in Second's Football Number Bonds Tiered Math Tub

9. Melissa Freshwater's Monster Mash Math and Literacy Fun

11. Cheryl of Primary Graffiti's Celebrating Yummy Birthdays

12. Michelle of Fabulous in First's Back to School Beginning Sound Sort and Back to School Word Work

Good Luck Everyone!!!

Back to School- 2nd & 3rd Day

Friday, July 22, 2011
 Day 2 & 3 = lots of back to school fun! 

Day 2
For morning work on the 2nd day, my students will decorate the cover of their "All About Me" book. Super Simple! I'm currently using a book that my team passed along to me a couple of years ago...I think it's from a teacher resource book??
After the kids come back from activity, it's calendar time & another round of the name game. Another fun ice breaker I play on the second day is "Mrs.Brantley's True/False Quiz". On the first day, I tell the children a lot about family, where I live, my favorite hobby, etc. I quiz them on this information w/ a true/false game! For example, I might say "Mrs. Brantley has a son named Parker!" and they would all say "True!!!". It's loads of fun and gives the students another opportunity to get to know me better!
Then we have fun with our names all day long!! I'll begin our "Name Day" with....
After I read the Chrysanthemum, we'll talk about everyone's special name! I send home the printables below to help with this activity. Click on the pictures to download the parent letter and "My Special Name" homework sheet!

Here are some other fun things you can do with names:

*Graph the number of letters in your students' names and discuss who has the fewest letters, who has the most, who has the same, etc.

*Let students create an acrostic poem using their name.

*Let your students write & decorate the letters in their name with sequins, noodles, pom poms, etc....

*Play the name scramble game. Students make letter tiles with paper squares to spell out their name. Pair everyone up with a partner & ask them to try to unscramble their friend's name. Lots of fun!! 

 Day 3....
My students will continue to work in their "All About Me" books for morning work! After calendar time, they'll complete this learning profile questionnaire. I like to review these over the weekend to prepare for the following week! Click the picture to download it!
Then we'll play a game called "Find a Friend". I'm using the fabulous Babbling Abby's creation for this! You can get it HERE on her blog, The Inspired Apple! Thanks for the freebie, Abby!

For snack, we are making "Friendship Fruit Salad"! I found this idea online last year here. You have to scroll all the way down to the bottom to find it! Here is how you make Friendship Fruit Salad...

In a large bowl....
Add one can of fruit...."These are the kind kids in our room."
Add another can of fruit..."These are the hard workers in our room"
Add another can of fruit..."These are the kids who share" 
Add some marshmallows..."These are the kind words being said in our room." 

Talk about how good the salad will taste & then pretend to peel a rotten banana. The kids will usually look at you like you're crazy & yell "Stop!!!".This is a good time to explain to them that the "Rotten Banana" causes trouble in our happy classroom by teasing, not sharing, being off task when it's time to work, etc....YUCK! That's when I ask my students if we want a "rotten banana" in our classroom or fruit salad. We all agree that we want a rotten banana-free fruit salad and classroom:)
While they are eating their yummy salad, I'll read....
Then we'll have a class meeting about what makes a good friend and why friendship is important! Afterwards, they will illustrate four ways they can be a good friend!

At this point, I *hope* my kiddos have a good grasp on how to be a good friend so we move into some math fun! The first game I'll teach my students is called Roll & Record! This is a number identification game in our Investigations Math series. I found it online {here} if you are interested in using it, too! Students roll a die & record whatever number it lands on! During this time, I'll keep busy by going around the room & praising everyone for their great teamwork/friendship skills!! 

Then we'll wrap up our day with a classroom scavenger hunt! You can download the one I'm using with my kids here!

I forgot to add one thing to my 1st day plans yesterday! I give each of my students a "special bag" when they meet me at Open House! They put an object that means a lot to them in the bag to share with the class! The students love sharing what's in their special bags on the first day of school! Click on the picture to download the note I'm attaching to my bags this year (pics to come soon)!
I had many requests for the editable version of my lesson plan format. I had to ask permission to share it since one of team members created the format for me! You can thank her for being more than happy to share it with you. BUT the word doc format is going crazy on me! I've spent way too long trying to get things to look right on google docs, but it's just not happening for me right now...ugh! Click on the pics (page 1 and 2)to download it anyway...hopefully y'all can fix it up on your computer! If you can figure out how to keep the format, please help a girl out & I'll upload it here!!


Next week, I'll be in my classroom working hard on my jungle theme! I'll take lots of pics to share here...until then...
Have a GREAT weekend!

Back to School- The First Day in First Grade!!!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Hey Everyone! I'm sorry I'm a day late posting this...yesterday just wasn't a blogging friendly day...I went nonstop from one errand to the next to the next, while in the back of my head I was thinking I want to share my back to school stuff with my blog buddies! Anyhoo, I am ready to go now!!!

The first day of school will be here before I know it! My kids start on August 10th, which is on a Wednesday! I LOVE starting on hump day because it gives me just enough time to have a lot of back to school fun before we *really* get into our daily routine!! Plus, I learn a lot about the kids to better plan for the following week! PLUS, I am t.i.r.e.d. and my throat always hurts after three days so it gives me a chance to rest and prepare for a full week!!!

When planning for the first few days of school, my main goal is to set a tone for respect and love for one another! I want my sweeties to get to know each other, enjoy their classroom (and teacher), have fun learning, while also understanding expectations for rules & procedures!

I use a simplified lesson plan format for these days since they are so different that my *normal routine*( which starts the following week)!
Normal Lesson Plan Format.....
 Back to School Lesson Plan Format...

Let's get to the good stuff!!

DAY 1 (My Favorite)

I start the day out by just greeting everyone and helping them get settled in! Once the kids are unpacked, they'll go to their desk and write about something fun they did during summer! Click on the picture to download the "Summer Fun" writing paper!  

While they are working on this, I'm taking attendance, making sure everyone has made a lunch choice, checking for transportation notes, putting name tags on...y'all know the drill!!! My grade level goes to activity class first thing in the morning, so I like to quickly introduce myself and explain how they will go to PE/Music/Art before they are out the door!! While they're having fun in activity, I enjoy a nice, STRONG cup of coffee and organize a mountain of school supplies!!!
When everyone gets back from activity, we have our very first calendar time and play what I call the "Name Game". It's super easy...I just go around and say each student's name & then challenge other students to do the same thing...lots of fun! Then to get to know everyone better and to break the ice a bit, we play "Grab a Question"! I put little slips of paper with different questions on them for students to pull out of a bucket one at a time and answer!I even play so the children can get to know me better, too!! Click on the picture to download the questions I use!
Then it's snack time!! I always have extra snacks on hand just in case someone forgets to bring one!
While they eat their snack, I read...

Afterwards, we talk about how everyone has first day jitters {even ME!}! Once we have a nice jittery discussion, I let the students write about their first day jitters on this paper! Click on it to download!

You should also check out this awesome First Day Jitters activity guide that I found online!

Then we have a class meeting to talk about the classroom rules & expectations! We discuss why rules are important to us and our school. We also create a "First Grade Expectations" poster and everyone signs it! I hang this up in front of the room to remind everyone, if needed!!

Once we have a chance to talk about the rules, it's time to take a school tour! We practice following the rules and having the BEST first grade line on our tour!

When we get back, we have some math fun & create a "How Do We Get to School?" graph on the SMARTboard! You can get it HERE! I also add van riders to this presentation since that is another mode of transportation at my school!

After lunch, children usually start missing their parents so it's a perfect time to read them one of my favorite back to school feel good books.....

After the story, I pull students over one by one to do a handprint activity with me (will post pictures when school starts) while they write about their first day in first grade and complete their "Hall Heads". Click on the picture to download "My First Day in First Grade" writing paper!

Here's a picture of what the "Hall Heads" look like when they are done!! I just cut the heads out of poster board and the kids create a portrait of themselves...Then I laminate them. FYI-if you are going to laminate them make sure children use color pencils and not crayons- crayon wax will run all over the place when laminated...learned this the hard way!!! Once they are laminated, I hot glue two clothespins to the front and they are ready to go!! I like to put them up ASAP so I can display their "My First Day in First Grade" writing!! They stay up all year long and add a special touch to our hallway!!

Well, this pretty much sums up what we do on the first day in my classroom! At the end of the day, I go over the playground rules before we go to recess! AND most importantly, I make sure everyone knows how they are going home because it's one more round of the "Name Game" and dismissal time as soon as we get back in from recess!

Whew! I'm going to take a little blogging break and I'll post my lessons & resources for my 2nd & 3rd day tomorrow!!


Jungle Fun Giveaway Winner!!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

YAY, Debbie!!! Please e-mail me at to get your jungle goodies and a product from my TpT store!!

THANKS again to everyone who participated in the giveaway!! I'm putting together a jungle theme in my classroom right now & will post lots of jungle freebies ( jungle theme centers signs, making words, etc.) in the very near future!! Stay tuned!!!


Tuesday, July 19, 2011
FYI- If you downloaded the spine labels today, please forgive me for spelling "resources" wrong on one of them. The letter r and c got a little mixed up on the writing label! So sorry!! It's fixed now!! A big thank you to Cathy for letting me know!!

Applicious Centers, Resource Binder Spines, & Giveaway Reminder

Hey Sweet Friends!!! While my little boy is napping I thought I'd let you know that I finished my Applicious Fun Math and Literacy Center Packet! It includes 10 apple themed hands-on activities that are packed full of fun! They would go great with any apple or fall unit! Swing by my lil' TpT store to check it out here!

Here's a sneak peek of the goodies.....

 Math Centers
1.Applicious Number Neighbors
2.Missing Number Apples
3.Apple Pickin' Place Value
4.Applicious Addition
5.Applicious Word Problems
Literacy Centers
1.Applicious Read the Room with Long & Short /a/ sounds
2. Making Words with Apple Trees
3.Candy Apple Compound Words
4.Applicious Word Sort ( Long and Short Vowel Words)
5. Applicious Sentence Scramble Fun
Applicious FREEBIE!!! Enjoy!!

Also, I made spine labels to go with my resource binder covers. Can't wait to use these this year!!Click on the picture to download them!
Don't forget that today is your last chance to enter into my Jungle Fun Giveway! Click HERE to check it out if you haven't already! You have until midnight!! Thanks again to Clutter-free Classroom & KinderGlynn for donating their awesome jungle themed goodies, as well as all of you who have participated in it!! I can't wait to announce the winner tomorrow! Stay tuned.....

Speaking of tomorrow...this morning I had a MASSIVE lesson plan craving...SO I just h.a.d to  finish putting together my lesson plans for the first three days of school (students start on a Wed. (Aug.10th). Ahhhh, I feel much better now that I can check that off my to do list!! I will share all of them with y'all tomorrow along with a ton of back to school printables!!

Have a wonderful evening!!!