Thursday, December 15, 2011

Reindeer Noses:)

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!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Shapin' It Up!!

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!!!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Attributes and Sorting Fun!!

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!!!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Winter Wonderland Centers and Huge Cyber Monday Sale!!!

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!!!!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Happy Holidays TpT Cyber Monday Sale!!!!

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!!!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

I'm Thankful!!!!

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!!!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Holly Jolly Centers & Winter Math Journal Prompts

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!!!!