Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Farewell, 2013!

Hellllooooo, is there anyone alive out there? 
*If you can tell me what movie that's from, email me the answer and I'll give you any product from my store. lifeinfirstgrade@gmail.com

I hate to begin a blog post with "Sorry I've been missing here lately" but I really am. My number one New Year's Resolution is to blog more often, both here and on my fashion/beauty blog. I'll be back tomorrow to share with y'all my resolutions but I wanted to first look back on my teaching adventures of 2013. 
In January, my sweet first graders learned about apostrophes with this adorable book. You can find this activity here.

 We also made these cute penguins to help practice compound words. You can find the pattern here for free!!

In February we spent a week learning about the Mexican culture and ended the study with my favorite event from my last year in 1st grade: our Fiesta! 

In March, I took spring cleaning to my classroom and felt rejuvenated! Who doesn't need a little spring cleaning now and then.

In April, we studied fairy tales and poetry and had a blast making these adorable Goldilocks and the three bears craft from the Glyph Girls. Quite possibly my most favorite craft I've ever done. You can find my Jack and the Beanstalk Unit, along with The Little Red Hen Unit here and here.

In May, it was time to say goodbye not only to my sweet boys and girls, but to first grade. 2013 brought a big change to my teaching career: moving from 1st to 5th!

In June, I enjoyed summer before getting to work preparing my new classroom.

In July,  it was back to school! For me at least. I had the best time working with my sweet mom to create my new 5th grade classroom. It was the easiest classroom to create, which I took to be a great sign for the new school year.

In August, I officially became a 5th grade Reading/Language Arts teacher and I've loved every minute of it! While I do miss teaching phonics and basic 1st grade math, I LOVE this age group and how much more they can do with a concrete foundation for reading. I'm still learning so much each day about how to teach such a different grade and I'm having the best time!

In September, we learned about Johnny Appleseed, which the kids loved! I decided making pan hats wouldn't work on fifth graders, which I have to say, was a nice break from fitting 20 kids for construction paper hats.

In October, we completed a two day Frankenstein compare and contrast project that was fabulous! This activity helped SO much with writing compare and contrast statements and summaries. Love!

In November, we tackled subject-verb agreement and worked really hard on Narrative writing

In December, I finally gave in and purchased a cameo. I'm so glad I did!

2013 contained some big changes in my teaching career and I can't wait to see what 2014 has in store!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

My new favorite toy

I don't know what it is about the holidays, but I love to splurge on something "fun". This year I decided it was finally time to purchase a Silhouette Cameo cutting machine. I've been wanting one ever since we did a linky party over at Blog Hoppin' where everyone showed off their neat creations. You can find that post here
I took the sale price as a sign that I truly needed this :D 

There's SO much you can create using this machine. I've had a Cricut and absolutely hated it. It didn't cut well and it was so expensive buying all those cartridges. I mainly used mine for cutting out letters, so I was basically paying $60 per font. CRAZY! That's what I love about my cameo: it hooks up to your computer, so you can use any font you have. *love*
Here's some of the things I've created over the past two days...I've gone a little crazy after discovering vinyl. LOL

Those fabulous parts of speech posters were created by the talented Lady Bugs Teacher Files. *LOVE*


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Show Us What You Bought Linky

Click the links to check out the fabulous units I picked up during the Cyber Monday Sale on TpT. I'm downloading, printing, laminating, and cutting as we speak! :)
Link up with us over at Blog Hoppin'!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Elf Craft Freebie!

Happy Monday y'all! I know I said I'd be sharing my purchases from the TpT Cyber Monday SALE, but since the sale goes through tomorrow, I thought I'd wait til then to share what all I snagged in case I shop a little more tomorrow :) Today, I thought I'd share a post from a couple of years ago that features a freebie that's perfect for Christmas, especially since lots of you are special enough to have an elf come visit your class!! :) Here's an elf craft that I did with my kids that's super easy, free, and always a big hit! Click here to download the patterns. Feedback is always appreciated (and rewarded with TpT credits!)!
I'm also having an Instagram Giveaway for my newest Christmas Unit! Follow me and enter to win! (msleslieann01)
**Remember my entire store is on SALE through tomorrow night! Click here to visit my shop!
Be sure and check out my fashion/beauty blog Southern Belle Inspired. I'm sharing some of my favorite  new finds that I've recently discovered and fallen in love with!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Christmas Language Arts Centers and a SALE!!

Hi y'all!! Are you as excited as I am for Cyber Monday! I skipped out on Black Friday and decided to do my Christmas shopping tomorrow. I'm so glad I did after seeing all the pics of crowded stores! If you braved Black Friday, good for you! I hope you found tons of great deals :) 
In honor of Cyber Monday, TpT is having a huge SALE!  I've just uploaded two new products that will be on sale tomorrow:

Click the pic to see my entire store:

Check back tomorrow to see what I bought! :) Happy Shopping!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Alabama/Auburn Ideas & Thanksgiving

Hi Friends! Today, I decided to share some old posts that I wrote around this time of year, in case you're looking for Thanksgiving/football ideas. I teach in Alabama, so Thanksgiving means the biggest game of the year is coming up: the Iron Bowl (Roll Tide!) I always tried to do something fun with Alabama/Auburn in first grade because the kids LOVE it! Three years ago I shared what we did right as I started my blog. I'm planning Iron Bowl activities for my fifth graders now, so I'll share them soon. Hopefully you can get some ideas if you want to have some football fun with your class! 

***Be sure and check out Southern Belle Inspired! New post is up :) :)

Alabama v. Auburn (Roll Tide!!!!!!)
Around here, the annual Alabama/Auburn game is a pretty big deal. It was held the day after Thanksgiving and since we were out of school the whole week of Thanksgiving, we celebrated this day the last day that we were in school. All the kids wore either Alabama or Auburn colors. We divided the desks into two groups and all the Auburn fans sat together and all the Alabama fans sat together (Roll Tide!) We did many fun activities that day and I thought I'd share some with everyone. I have lots of pics from this day on my class wiki, so be sure and check it out! :) The link below will take you directly to the page.
* We did cause and effect sentences about the game. This is a hard skill for some of my kids and doing this activity helped. I had them tell why they thought their team would win the game. For example: I think Alabama will win the Iron Bowl because ______. When they finished, they had to tell me the cause and the effect. Here are some of their sentences...

We also made Team Color "A's":

During snack, we had a cookie decorating contest. The kids used red/white and orange/blue sprinkles and icing to decorate their cookies. We had 3 winners. Here's the link for pictures. This was the kids favorite activity!
My favorite part of the day was the Reading Iron Bowl. A team member from each team was asked questions about skills that we had covered in reading and math. Alabama won 4 to 2. I just wish the real iron bowl had gone that way!! 

Looking for a quick and simply Thanksgiving project? Here's my Thanksgiving door from a couple of years ago. :)
Today, we made lists about what we were thankful for. Then, we made pilgrim hats to display our thankful lists and thus our new door was created!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Subject/Verb Freebie

Today we tackled subject/verb agreement and my kids did great! We did several activities with this so the kids had tons of practice. I created this sheet as part of the lesson and I though I'd share it with y'all if anyone can use it. It contains adorable clipart from Melonheadz that is themed around Paul Revere since that's our story this week. Click the pic to download it:

We coded the subjects (singular or plural) using two highlighters. Then we determined which verb agreed with the subject.

We then worked with more sentences. These came from their practice book, but I had them cut the sentences out and glue them onto a colored sheet of paper. I hate simply pulling out a workbook page so anytime the kids can add something to the activity, I'm happy! I feel like they get so much more when they create something rather than always filling out a workbook page.

In small groups, we been busy practicing close reading! The kids are doing fabulously with this. I've found a ton of great resources on TpT that make close reading easy and fun! I'll do a post soon on my favorite finds :)