Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Who knew?!?!

We just discovered dry erase crayons and we are so excited!!!!! It's the little things in life right?!?! Maybe we are the last to jump on the bandwagon but we had NO idea about this great invention until a colleague started talking about them. Office Depot was a buck cheaper then Office Max having them for $3.99 a pack. Go out and get some if you have not;) We're so excited about using them tomorrow! Perfect for page protector activities...oh the possibilities are endless....Happy coloring everyone:)

Sunday, August 28, 2011


A literacy center we both use in our classrooms is journaling. We were finding that students were drawing and writing the same stories over and over again. To solve this problem Journal BINGO was created.

There is one for each month and students glue it to the front of their journal .Students can either do 5 across, diagonal, down or you can have them fill the board. Each time they "won" and we checked to make sure they wrote enough to fulfill the assignment they would get something out of the treasure chest and then they could continue playing on the same board.

 Each month students would get a new board and they absolutely LOVED it and we got some really great writing out of our students. To download your own copy click on the picture below.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Word Work

Here's a great word work activity. It's a packet that includes three and four letter words for students to make using scrabble tiles that are included. Assessments are also included! Click on the picture and check it out!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Cutting Up :-)

In the past year we have both introduced the Math Journal into our Guided Math program.  This has been a great and innovative way for students to communicate their math knowledge.  However, we both found the same thing; the students were only using a small part of the page, and we felt most of the journal was going to waste.  So we decided we wanted to find a way to cut the journals in half! 

We made a few phone calls, and got a lot of laughs on the other end.  Most of the big hardware stores told us no over the phone.  We called a printing store and they would do it, but charge $1.50 a cut.  Feeling discouraged, we went to the stores in person, composition notebooks in hand.  Our logic was that it would be much harder to turn down a teacher in person.  (I mean it is all in the name of education right!?!?)  We were finally successful at one of the big hardware chain stores.

Ta-Da!  One notebook becomes two!

Each child now has a manageable sized notebook.
Our cart full!  We could not thank them enough!

While we were there we stopped by the paint department.  The employees were kind enough to donate each of us a class set of paint stirrers.  We use these as individual shelf markers for the students in our classroom libraries. The kids decorate them with markers and love using them, and our books stay organized!

All-in-all a successful trip!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

And the Winner Is......

EVERYONE WHO ENTERED!!!! That's right you heard right everyone who entered. If you haven't already email us at and we'll get these 5 packets to you right away! Thank you to everyone who entered! Happy back to school;)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Back to School GIVEAWAY

Since most of us have started back or are starting back soon we thought a back to school giveaway was in order. We made it through our first week of 5 days with the students so 5 seems like a perfect number for this. We are are going to giveaway 5 units: Be Cool and Follow the Rule, Scrabble Words, Holiday Kit, Global Postitions, AND the American Folktales to 5 winners...that's right not 1 winner but FIVE.  All 5 items for 5 lucky winners. To enter is EASY. 5 ways to do it...of course;) And you can do all 5. Good luck! And thank you to everyone who continues to show us support.We will randomly pick winners next Sunday, August 21st.

1) Follow us and send us a comment that you are a follower.
2) Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and leave us a note to let us know.
3) Blog about our giveway on your blog and leave a comment with the link.
4) Follow both of our TPT stores: Dishing It Out and Katie Wood and leave us a comment letting us know.
5) Vote on one of our products and send us a message letting us know.



Thursday, August 11, 2011

Our Earth and Our Country

Our First Social Studies Unit is "Our Earth and Our Country", or Global Position.  It is hard to fit Social Studies in at the start of the year, but with so much curriculum to cover, we have to hit the ground running.

I find myself using a lot of maps to teach this unit.  We have desk maps and a wall map in our classroom.  We are also fortunate enough to have interactive white boards in our rooms, so those come in handy a lot during this unit.  Hopefully you caught Third Grade Gridiron's post on using Brainpop and Pete's Power Point Station to teach this concept, it was super helpful!

I always find myself searching for first grade appropriate assessments for this unit, and have trouble finding ones that I like, so I made some!  This Global Position Unit has a vocabulary matching game, as well as some assessments.  It is also one of my personal goals to challenge my students more this year, so I included some Depth of Knowledge journal prompts.  Hope this helps you all out there!

Snag your copy here!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Our New Friends: Books!

As exciting as it is to get a new set of students every August, I find that there are so many things that I have to reteach!  The most important thing that I teach in the first couple weeks is how to use the classroom Library.  If you remember our post about our book obsession you could guess that we are both a little protective of our books.

It is important to me that my students have access to as many books as possible, because that is how they improve their reading.  The Wonderful Book, by Leonid Gore is a wonderful book to use with a mini-lesson about how to use the classroom book.  We both made a companion activity to go with this book.  It is a sorting activity for the students to do after they hear the story.  Check it out here!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Back to School!

Monday was the first day back for our county so things have been a little hectic!  It seems like every year I forget what I do the first week of school.  Courtney made this awesome back to school rules packet which has been a lifesaver. What are some things that you do the first day of school?