Freebie for September

Just stopping in to share a quick freebie I made for my Firsties.  In the beginning of the school year, I prefer using simple word work centers that do not require a lot of prep, and that my students can independently complete. 
This Fall, I plan on use magnetic letters and a cookie tray for a Word Work activity.  To go along with this center, I created a few sheets for my students to place on the cookie sheets.  We thought you all might enjoy them also!

I purchased cookie sheets at The Dollar Tree and found magnetic letters at the Dollar Spot in Target.



 
























This FREEBIE is currently on our Facebook page..
Click HERE or on the picture below to get it =)


Hope you are all enjoying your last few days/weeks of summer!

How do you contact your students' parents?

Have you ever wanted to send a quick text to the parents in your class?  Maybe reminding them tomorrow is picture day or that tomorrow is the last day to hand in money for the class trip?  It sounds like an amazing idea, but lets be honestly, do you really want parents knowing your personal phone number? Well, no need to worry anymore... just download  REMIND

         REMIND is an AMAZING app and website that allows you send text message blasts to parents/students without them knowing your phone number, or you knowing theirs.  

Signing up is super easy!
You either sign up through the app or on their website
To start, you will be promoted to enter your email address and your name.


Then, you'll name your class.



You will then be at your "home screen." On the left, is your class' sign up number and in the middle is where you write your messages. (this is from the website, the setup on the app is almost exactly the same)

The blue icon (on the top right side) will give you options of how to inform your parents about Remind.  I always tell them at Back to School Night and print the PDF to hand out.

And voila! You are now able to send texts without ANYONE ever seeing your phone number.  I loved it and will definitely be using it again this year!
Oh wait, almost forgot!!! it is totally FREE.

          

Reading Buddies Decoding Strategies

Who does love using this well known reading strategy buddies with their students?? We L.O.V.E. using them so much, we created a package that contains materials you can use to introduce and practice each strategy with your class. 


We always introduce the new strategies to our students by leaving a package for the students to find. In the surprise package contains the reading buddy beanie baby, the poster and the activities that go along with explaining and understanding the strategy.  It is such a fun and exciting way to teach your students the different strategies.  

Our unit is currently on SALE in our TPT Store

orrrr you can go check out our  Thrills and Frills in First Grade Facebook Page where we are having a contest where you can win this product..  The contest will go until tomorrow night.  




BLOG MAKEOVER

We are so EXCITED about our blog makeover. Jessica from Creations by Jlynn did an AMAZING job turing our little vision into this beautiful blog.  It was such a pleasure working with her, and we are in LOVE with our new design.
It took a lot of hunting to find a blog designer who was in our price range, most blog designs, that we found, started around $100, which was more than we wanted to pay.  Jessica was extremely affordable, (her blog designs begin at $15) and always responded quickly to our emails.  Overall, we couldn't be happier with our new blog.  If you are looking into a makeover we HIGHLY recommend Jessica.

THANK YOU SO MUCH JESSICA!!!

Jessica is offering Thrills and Frills in First followers 10% off her store until August 21.  Use the Coupon Code "Thrills10" to get your discount.

Interactive Notebooks

We hunted and hunted for Interactive Notebooks for First Grade, but just couldn't find one that fit our needs ...so we created one ourselves =).   We just put our Interactive Notebook for First Grade in our store and it is currently on SALE for 7.00.




orrrr you can go check out our  Thrills and Frills in First Grade Facebook Page where we are having a contest to win this product for you and a friend.  The contest will go until tomorrow night.  

Library Organization

For the past few years I did not have my library organized by level, but rather by interest, but this year I am going to change things up. After a year of Daily 5, and students always "shopping" for books, I soon realized the importance of organizing a library.  I am hoping by doing this, the book shopping process will run more smoothly and my library will stay more organized.  I do not teach my students to browse only specific levels, they are allowed to choose books that interest them, but for my sanity I think organizing it by DRA/GR level will work better    

Over the past 6 year I have acquired A LOT of books.  The majority of them came from Scholastic, Goodwill, garage sales, and my favorite.. THE LIBRARY.  Did you know libraries sell books that are taken out of circulation, or have been donated?  The best part is, they are SUPER cheap.  My library sells hardcover books for 1.00 and softcover for .50... (and if you tell them you're a teacher you can get them even cheaper).  Here are some of my purchases from this summer... 20 books for less than $10, can't beat that!
To begin my library overhaul I had to figure out how to organize my books.  If I was teaching 10 years ago this would be a daunting task, but thankfully we live in a technology age where everything you need is on your iPhone.   To get started, I downloaded two apps; Level It for $3.00 (I think) and Book Wizard from Scholastic which is FEEE, they are both very user friendly. 

You simply scan the bar code.

The GR, Lexile and DRA level will appear for the book.  (if it is on file) 

If a title is not in one app, I double check it with the other one.  A lot of the times one program won't have it, but the other will.  

It made leveling my books so easy! 

The last step in my library overhaul was finding bins to store my books.  I found a GREAT selection of bins at BigLots, aren't they beautiful??  I LOVE the bright colors and they were the perfect size for my bookshelves. The baskets ranged in price from $2.50 - $4.00.  Target also has book bins in the DollarSpot, but they do not have nearly as large of a selection.  

I made these labels to put on the outside of the bins. 

You can get the labels FREE on our Facebook Fan Page. 

Click HERE to get them!

Thanks for stopping by, be sure to stop by next week for my organizational tips.

Organization Linky Party

The upcoming school year it is my MISSION to be organized! I thought it would be fun to share some tips that I plan on using next year, and I would LOVE to hear what you do in your classrooms.  Since I need all the help I can when it comes to organizing, I figured a linky party would be the best way to share my goals and tips, while at the same times getting advice from all you!
 So link up and share your secrets! =)

For some reason, no matter how hard I try, I am just not an organized person...and I absolutely HATE it!  I am so envious of all the classrooms that have everything perfectly organized All.THE.TIME. How do they do it???  Everyday after school, it looks as if this has happened to my room....
This summer and next school year I have made it my goal to be organized, and I am on a mission to stick with it! To begin my organizational makeover, as I like to call it, I purchased Seusstatic Chalkboard Classroom Labels.  They are the cutest labels, and the best part is, they are editable so you can customize them for your classroom needs.  

A HUGE issue I had this year was having my students keep their supplies organized.  Last summer I saw a lot of other bloggers using caddies for students to share supplies.   I *thought,* key word, thought, it was an amazing idea... but, boy was I wrong.  It was a MAJOR failure.  I am not sure you understand, but when I say major failure, I mean of epic proportions.. and I will never, ever, do it again.  Markers and crayons were constantly on the floor, students were fighting over supplies and the majority of my supplies went missing.  After all that chaos I knew I needed a new plan, and that my friends is when I went hunting on Pinterest. During my hunt I found these fabulous Pins. Since I am neon obsessed I was instantly hooked, and I decided to purchase this unit, and I couldn't be more pleased.
 Next year my students will keep their supplies in their desks, and I will have extra supplies in my art center, as I have always done in the past.  To keep my art center organized I used Seusstastic labels for my crayons, and I made similar ones to organize my markers.  I am in L.O.V.E with how they turned out.  

The drawers are from Target, and cost around $5 for a set of three drawers.  To have the labels stick, I simply Modge Podged them onto the drawers. 

Stayed turned for next weeks post with more organizational tips for the 2014-2015 school year! 

How do you stay organized?  Link up and share your organization tips.

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