Friday, March 30, 2012

Thanksgiving Riddles Cards

Seems like you never have enough ways to review and tell the Thanksgiving Story.  Here is a set of Thanksgiving Riddles cards that tell about the Thanksgiving characters that we plan to use with our Thanksgiving unit in November.

Riddles included for 20 Thanksgiving characters:
  1. turkey
  2. deer
  3. Pilgrim girl
  4. Pilgrim boy
  5. Native American girl
  6. Native American boy
  7. Squanto
  8. King of England
  9. corn
  10. pumpkin
  11. Crow
  12. Mayflower
  13. Indian Chief
  14. rooster
  15. chicken
  16. clams
  17. fish
  18. cabin
  19. winter
  20. green tree

You can purchase this riddle card set HERE at our TPT store.
I got a little creative and drew a few clips for this project myself.  Other clip art is from KPM Doodles, so be sure to check out all her cute clip art at her BLOG
Cute Yellow Big Dot border is from Graphics From the pond.  You can click on button on the right hand side of our blog or HERE.

Math Calendar to Match Helpers Cards

This morning I made new Classroom Helpers Cards and decided that I needed to get the rest of my Math Calendar board to "match".  One of those traits I all has to match!  The cute dot border is from Graphics From the Pond...the rest I created myself on the computer.  This is the same Math Board I blogged about earlier and posted as a Green/Yellow and also Blue/Purple scheme...just added the Black Dots border (and got rid of some of the gradients) to match the Helpers Cards.

Here is an thumbnail of the Math Calendar Packet:

You can purchase this ready to go Math Calendar packet at our TPT store HERE.  Please let us know what you think and if you would like a different color scheme, let us know!

Classroom Helpers Cards

Is there such a thing as falling in love with clip art?  I used to be such a DJ Inkers addict, but now I think my new favorite is KPM Doodles!  (Can you tell by our blog header and logo?)  Just created some new Classroom Helpers cards for our Helpers Pocket Chart using KPM Doodles "Classroom Helpers" clips.  Can't wait to print and laminate!  (I'll probably have to end up buying some more laminate on my know how it gets at the end of the school year.)

Here's a thumb of the new Classroom Helpers Cards:

The cute Dots Border is a FREEBIE from Graphics From the Pond, so be sure to check out her blog!  You can see a preview of the rest of the Helpers Cards at out TPT store HERE.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Clouds Mini-Book

Great for a unit on Clouds or Weather. Goes great with an activity where you can make clouds with cotton balls: "I looked up in the sky and thought I saw a ____, but it was just a cloud."  Here is a mini-book that students could read first to think of and draw up an idea of what they will create with the "cloud" cotton balls.

Words included in this book:
The words of the book go like this:
I see clouds up in the sky.
Some clouds bring rain.
Some clouds bring storms.
Some clouds make tornados.
But some clouds make pictures of things I see up in the sky.
Like yummy popcorn, I'd like to try!
What do you see?

Here is a thumbnail of the mini-book I put together tonight.
(It doesn't show the cover page or the last page where students get to draw their own picture)

Updated file:  May 2015 new clip art used and a different border.  (Clouds Doodles by Clip Art by Carrie and FREE Popcorn Clip Art Bundle by Educlips)

Old version:
You can purchase this book at our TPT HERE.

I'd appreciate your feedback!  

Clip Art and Border: old version
The cute little squiggly border came from Graphics From the Pond.  Check out her blog HERE.
The rest of the clip art from the book came from public domain clip art sources:,, and

Cloudy With A Chance Of...?

So next week we continue our study of the world around us by talking about Weather.  Since its such a short week, we will mainly talk about the different types of weather they have around where we live.  Then go into different types of weather around the world and connect that to the continents and oceans study we did the past two weeks.  In the past we've gotten in depth on hurricanes, tornaoes, thunderstorms...and it seemed to scare the first graders a little bit, so we are going to tone it down a little bit.  We will do a few pocket chart poems about clouds, weather, and some literature response activities.

One of the activities we will be doing is a retelling/creative writing activity after reading/listening to the book "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs".  Students will get to create their own version of the book by adding the missing facts from the retell and also add their own twist to the book by deciding what kind of food falls from the sky and what will happen in the town of Chew-and-Swallow.  There are 11 pages total to the booklet that students will write and illustrate.

Here is a thumbnail of the activity that I put together today:
You can purchase this booklet at our TPT HERE.  The cute graphics border is a freebie from Graphics From the Pond.  Be sure to check out her blog HERE.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Phonics Tic Tac Toe

This week we pulled out an old favorite and revamped it a bit.  Seems like after so many years, you look at something you've made and want to make it look "cleaner" or use different clip art or a cuter font.  In between parent teacher conferences this week, I tackled that project.  There is a set for Short Vowels, Bossy R vowels, Digraphs, and Long Vowel sounds.  These games are sold separately or as a combo pack.  You can look at a preview of these at our TPT store.  Click on the links below...

Short Vowel Tic Tac Toe:  HERE (A, E, I, O, U)
Bossy R Tic Tac Toe:  HERE. (AR, OR, ER, IR, UR, EAR)
Digraphs Tic Tac Toe:  HERE (SH, TH, WH, CH)
Long Vowels Tic Tac Toe:  HERE
(AI, AY, A-E, EE, E-E, EA, -Y, I-E, IGH, -Y, O-E, OA, OO, OO, OW, OW, U-E, EW)
You can purchase these four games as a combo HERE at our TPT store:

Monday, March 26, 2012

Math Game & Work Mats

Here are some game and works mats that can be used with the 1st Grade Everyday Math program.  We have been using the Coin/Counting Money mats and the Base 10 block mats for years, but wanted some new ones to use for some of the other Everyday Math games and activities.  Our tables look pretty busy with all the "stuff" that the name tags have on them.  For some kids with vison problems its hard to find the little pieces for the games because they blend in with the table top name tags.  We are hoping that using the mats gives the kids a "place" to play the game on the busy table top.

These mats are made for 11x17 printing but print fine on 8.5x11 paper, too:

  1. Base 10 Block mat (use for "Roll for 50")
  2. Coin Counting mat (with pictures of trades they can make at the bottom of the columns)
  3. Coin Dice "Bank" mat (can be used with multiple players)
  4. Coin Dice 2-Player "Bank" mat
  5. 2-Player "Top It" mat (for any Top It game)
  6. "Before and After" game mat
  7. Counting on the Numer Grid mat (includes arrows for fingers to follow for kids who can't find the next row)
  8. Basic Pattern Block Dice game mat (use for any Pattern Block game you have where students roll the dice, pick the Pattern Block shape, and put it on their game board)
  9. "Two-Fisted Penny Addition" mat (included fill in the blank number model where students can write with a wipe off marker)
  10. "Domino Sums" mat that included "Part-Part-Total" diagram and fill in the blank number model for quick wipe off.  Students build addition facts using chips and place them on the domino to create the domino dot placement.
  11. "Who Can Make The Biggest Number?" (for place value game using the Everyday Math card decks)
  12. "The Difference Game" mat (included a circle to place the chips and a box to drag the difference to)
  13. Fact Family Facts (students put the fact triangle in the triangle shape, write the numbers in the boxes of the triangle, and then write the number models that they can make with the 3 numbers for the fact family.
  14. Show the Amount, Make Trades, Show With Fever Coins mat (includes a box to show the amount using play coins, a gray shaded area to remind them to make trades to the bank, then a place to pull down the remaining coins to show the same amount with fewer coins.
  15. Double-Digit Addition mat (to use with B10 blocks)
You may find this packet of work mats at our TPT store HERE.  You can get a free preview download of the Fact Family mat.

Clip Art used in a few of these mats by KPM Doodles and public domain clip art:

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Word Decoding Pages

We created these word decoding pages about 5 years ago when one of us had a student teacher (which means extra time to make and create when they were full-time teaching).  We wanted something to help kids prepare for their first standardized reading test in the spring.  These were made to go along with our sequential phonics program that adds one new spelling pattern each week.

On the top half of the page, the student needs to find the word that matches the picture.  This is where they have to be a decoder as well as a "reader", meaning sometimes decoding isn't enough.  They need to know which word "looks right".

The bottom half of the page has a sentence and two pictures to choose from.  Here the focus is on comprehension.  To extend this into a writing activity, I usually have the students write a sentence on the back of the paper that matches the picture they they didn't choose.

These were created in Appleworks, our district transitioned us to Pages, then switched us to use Remote Desktop so we are these never got transferred electronically.  So, we just scanned these into a PDF file...hence the grainy edges.

Clip art is all DJ Inkers so this is a FREEBIE we wanted to share with you all.  You can get it through Google Docs HERE.

Hope this is something that you can use.  The kids love coloring the pictures!

Fact Family Match-Ups

I tried hard all day to not think blogging or creating or anything to do with making and creating, but couldn't help it.  When an idea comes to me, I have to get started on it!  Here's a new creation that I think our first graders will love.  This will work great in a "may do" center or during math calendar in the Fact Family pocket chart we have.

The object of the activity is to find and match the 3 cards:
  1. part-part-total card with 3 numbers in fact family
  2. addition number models (shows the turn around facts)
  3. subtraction number models
I color coded the different sums so that if this stays together into one activity, the kids could easily sort the cards...and if it goes into smaller packets and one card gets misplaced, it will be easy to figure out which set it goes with.  Here is a picture of the activity:

If you are interested in previewing or purchasing this activity you can find it HERE.  Hope this is something that might fit into your math curriculum.  Thanks for stopping by!

Base 10 Block War Game

So you know when you wake up and you realize you are dreaming about a game to make your brain doesn't shut off when you are sleeping.  Woke up this morning and had to get this off my brain so whipped this up while eating breakfast.  It's a Top It game for numbers 1-30 using Base 10 Blocks.  Students play the game like war and have to decide who has "more". The student with the most cards when all the draw cards are taken is the winner.  Included in this packet is a student record sheet that the winner can record their "win" by writing both numbers and the < or > between the numbers.  If you print two sets of this game you can add the = sign.

Here is a picture of the game:
If you would like to preview or purchase this game, find it at our TPT store HERE.  Please leave us feedback if you purchase at our store or a comment on our blog about what you think.  Is it worth it to make additional games for larger numbers?  I suppose you could make one with numbers in the 100s?!?!....uh oh!  Another game coming soon!  :)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Continents and Oceans Journal Pages

Why does it seem like you always think of things to create AS you are teaching a unit or shortly after?  Afterschool today thought of making journal pages for each of the continents and oceans that students could use for journal time.  This year we just had the kids write about the continents and oceans in their writing journals.  We thought this would give them another visual as to where it is on the map!

If you are interested in purchasing these journal pages, head on over to our TPT store HERE and check out the free preview pages.  Please leave us feedback if you purchase this...we would REALLY appreciate it!

For those of you who have been following our post, these journal pages would go along great with our Continents Fact Generator posters found HERE at our TPT store.

Thanks again for stopping at our blog!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

10 Little Counting Chicks FREEBIE

Cute little number rhyme book that we just realized we had to take off our free products at Teachers Pay Teachers because of the DJ Inkers Terms of Use...SO we are adding it to Google Docs because it is so cute and it was a hot download.  We use this at the beginning of the year when we are reviewing numbers and color words.  If your school uses Everyday Math, it goes right along with one of the first lessons in Unit 1.  Students have to write the missing number words in the poem and also write the numbers in the egg on the right hand side of each page.

Here is a snapshot of the book:
If you would like a copy of this freebie, click HERE to get it through Google Docs.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Math Calendar Packet

Today we finally finished the Math Calendar packet.  Seems like we have been revamping our Math Calendar board each year since we've both been teaching first grade.  And every year we do something different.  We have so much we do each day during math calendar...I think even more than our Everyday Math program suggests.  There's just so many important things that we want to include in our 15 minute group time!

Things we do each day:
  • Write the Date on the marker board
  • Last Month, This Month, Next Month
  • Yesterday was, Today is, Tomorrow will be
  • Attendance (_children are in our class, _children are absent, _children are here today)
  • Tally the Days of School (make a tally, then count the tallies)
  • Base 10 Blocks for Days of school in Hundreds, Tens, Ones pocket chart (add a cube, then count the cubes and write the number)
  • Money for Days of School (and showing skip counting under the coins)
  • Skip Counting by 10s, 5s, and 2s
  • Even and Odd for Days of School (write the number int he HTO boxes and tell if its even/odd)
  • Even and Odd for the Date (put and X on the number box and tell if the 'date' is even/odd)
  • Call the Time and Temperature (record temperature on the Everyday Math thermometer poster)
  • Write the temperature on the Weather Calendar (printable blank calendar we create in Publisher) & color to match the Everyday Math thermometer color zone
A LOT covered in 15 minutes...usually takes a bit longer at the beginning of the year, but by now in 1st grade, they've got it figured out.

So for those of you who HATE making stuff, we put together a packet that you can print and laminate and you are all set. 

Check out this GREEN/YELLOW colored packet at our TPT store HERE.
We also have a BLUE/PURPLE colored one HERE.

If you have a specific color scheme you would like, please leave us a comment and we can get one uploaded for you to purchase as soon as we can. Thanks! Please be sure to leave us feedback. Thanks so much...

Friday, March 16, 2012

Build a Word Work Mats for Letter Tiles

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Here are some workmats that we dug out of the archives.  Funny how you start looking through your files and you find things you forgot you have!!!  This a great activity for the beginning of first grade literacy centers or any time you need a quick "may do" activity during Guided Reading groups.  These were made with DJ Inkers clip art and have places for students to fill in the missing letters with letter tiles or using a wipe off marker.  This set includes 12 work mats with these themes:  farming, farm animals, zoo animals, baseball, cats, dogs. 
 You can get this free through Google Docs HERE.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Long Vowel Spelling Swat Mats

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This is a great activity to do in small literacy groups.  Students listen to a word that you say aloud and decide which long vowel spelling pattern makes that sound.  They can either swat it with fly swatters (play like Slap Jack) or place a chip on it (if they have their own mats).  You could even make class set of these and do large group. There are 5 mats included and the sounds that are mostly covered in first grade are included:

Long a:  a, ay, a-e
Long e:  e, e-e, ee, -y (like candy)
Long i:  i, i-e, y-e, igh, -y (like fly)
Long o:  o, o-e, ow, oa
Long u:  u, u-e, oo, ew

You can download these swat mats made with DJ Inkers ( clip art for FREE using Google Docs HERE.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Thanksgiving Mini-Unit

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Just updated our Thanksgiving unit last night and today and wanted to share it with you all.  (Can you tell we LOVE our new clip art from KPM Doodles?)
During the month of November we do a theme all about the Pilgrims and Indians and their voyage over on the Mayflower.  Students LOVE hearing the different versions of the story.  You can purchase this unit at our TPT store HERE.

Included in this unit are the following activities:

Thanksgiving Story Retell

Cut Apart Sentence:
Squanto taught the pilgrims how to plant corn.

Cut Apart Sentence:
The Indians and pilgrims had a big feast.

Pocket Chart Poems (sing to I’m a Little Teapot):
I’m a Little Pilgrim (with Fill in Blank Sheet)
I’m a Little Indian (with Fill in Blank Sheet)

Turkey Counts by 5

Thanksgiving (looks, smells, sounds like)

Writing Sheet:  What I Would Pack

Writing Sheet:  I Am Thankful For…

Writing Sheet:  I have ___, but a pilgrim did not.

Poem:  Thanksgiving Story

Anchor Chart:  The Pilgrims

Anchor Chart:  The Indians

Venn Diagram:  Thanksgiving THEN and NOW

Bartering & Trading Sheet (bring a toy to trade with someone)

Venn Diagram:  Pilgrim Boy and Girl Jobs

Pilgrim Boy and Girl jobs chart (for teacher to refer to)

Monday, March 12, 2012

North Pole-Christmas Mini-Unit

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So excited to share this updated mini-unit with you all.  We just purchased some new clip art by KPM Doodles this weekend and couldn't wait to start revamping some of our North Pole theme activities and create some new!  During the month of December we teach a unit all about Christmas and what Christmas is:  a time of giving.  Some of the big projects that we do are:
  1. Write a special messgae to mom or dad and laminate for an ornament to hang on tree
  2. Handprint Reindeer ornament for tree
  3. Holiday Cookbook (student version of their favorite recipe); See picture below of our example of how we used picture clues to help write the directions to a recipe:

    Activities included in the new North Pole mini-unit at our TPT store:
    1. “Dear Santa” letter writing sheet
    2. “Santa Claus is coming to town.” cut-apart sentence
    3. “Christmas is a time of giving.” cut-apart sentence
    4. “Why Did Santa Grow a Beard” writing sheet
    5. “If I Was Santa’s Helper” writing sheet
    6. “Christmas Is” writing sheet (looks, smells, sounds like)
    7. “In My Stocking” pocket chart poem
    8. “In My Stocking” poem fill in the blank sheet
    9. Poems: Santa, Little Elf, Little Reindeer, Christmas Tree
    10. “Counts by 2 Santas” (2-18)
    11. “Elf Ornament” writing sheet
    12. Santa Claus PP Sight Word mat
    13. Mrs. Claus PP Sight Word mat
    14. Boy Elf Primer Sight Word mat
    15. Girl Elf Primer Sight Word mat
    16. Teddy Bear Primer Sight Word mat  
    You can preview and purchase our unit at our TPT store:  HERE.

    Sunday, March 11, 2012

    Short Vowel Circle Games

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    We finally got the short vowel (CVC words) circle games merged together in one file so if you are interested in purchasing those games as a complete set of 5 games you can find them at our TPT store HERE

    If you don't know what a "circle game" is, you might have heard it called an "I Have...Who Has?" game.  Each student gets a card or cards and has to listen for, then read aloud the word in green.  They then have to decode the word in read to ask who has that word.  The game goes ina complete circle until all cards are used.

    We created these for each week that we introduce a new sound.  We made the entire set of games so that each week, the games only include sounds that we have covered in our sequential phonics program that we put together using The Language Tool Kit and one of our favorite instructor teachers, Cathy Angel, who taught classes called Making Reading Heavenly and Tools For Reading and Spelling Success.  Our whole phonics program is based on these two ideas.

    Here is an overview of what the games looks like:

    Saturday, March 10, 2012

    Sight Word Circle Games

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    A few years back we created some class "I have __.  Who has __?" circle games for the Dolch PP, Primer, and 1st grade words.  The words that the student has to LISTEN for and READ are in green and the word they have to SOUND OUT and ask for is in red.  Once students get a bit more independent at reading these words, we use them in small group literacy centers.

    See pictures below for what the games look like.  You can get these games from our TPT store for FREE by clicking on the links below.

    Pre-Primer Sight Wordds Circle game, click HERE.

    Primer Sight Words Circle Game, click HERE.

    1st Grade Sight Words Circle Game, click HERE.

    Thanks for stopping in!  Hope you could find something you could use in your classroom.

    Friday, March 9, 2012

    Money Posters FREEBIE

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    This is probably the 3rd time we have revamped these money posters!  We know we need something on the wall to help the kids refer to and remember the names of the coins/money and how much it is worth.  A few summers ago we took a class on working with autistic children and realized we needed to declutter and desensitize our classrooms.  We decided to simplify some of our posters so they weren't so BUSY.  It's so easy to get hung up on cute clip art, but sometimes simpler is better.  All the kids really need is a visual representation of the heads and tails side, the value of the coin, and a letter to help them remember the name.  If your school uses Everyday Math, your students will know what the P, N, D, Q stands for as this is the symbol that is used in the Math Boxes review pages and on the written assessments.

    Here is what our current money posters look like that we made for this year:

    If you want to save yourself some time without recreating these yourself, you can find them at our TPT store HERE for FREE.

    Tuesday, March 6, 2012

    What is My Word Worth?

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    Here is an activity that we use to practice skip counting coins.  Students choose a vocabulary word, sight word, their name, or spelling word and write it in the top box of the student activity sheet.  In the middle box, the student stamps, writes, or glues the corresponding coins to match the letters in the word.  Students count the coins by writing the skip counting (what they say out loud as they count it) underneath each coin.  Then in the bottom box, they write how much their word is worth using the $ and cents sign.

    You can make a huge poster of this and hand it in your math center or make multiple copies of each mini-poster and do as a large group activity.  If you have coin stampers that works great for a math center, but if you don't have enough stampers to use large group, you can use reproducibles of coins and have the students cut and glue the coins or just draw the coins.

    Here is a picture of the 3 posters we made along with the activity sheet:

    You can purchase this activity set at our Teachers Pay Teachers store HERE.

    1st -

    Thursday, March 1, 2012

    Rhythm and Rhyme Interactive Writing

    The week we celebrate Dr. Seuss we do an interactive class writing where students use rhythm and rhyme to help write a class book just like Dr. Suess did in his books.  Ideas are generated on chart paper, and as a class the students come up with rhyming pairs that follow a rhythm.  After the words are written, the teacher "publishes" the book by adding clip art images (  Each student gets a copy of the book to take home and read to their parents.  Here is a sample of the book Carrie's class came up with this week called, "See Ya Later, Alligators!"  You can get a free download of this book here:

    You can get a free copy of this at Google Docs HERE.

    Colors of the Rainbow Book

    We've just added a new freebie to our TPT store called Colors of the Rainbow Book.  We use this at the beginning of the year to review color words.  Students have to write the missing color word into the blank:  "The ladybug is __ __ __."  It has very simple text so those new 1st graders can easily point to the words and read along with you.  Then they can use this booklet as a coloring book during free time.  It's made with all DJ Inkers clip art so its completely free!  You can get it here.

    Here's a thumb of the front cover:
    You can get a free copy of this HERE through Google Docs.
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