Monday, July 22, 2013

Technology in the classroom: Free online Books: WE GIVE BOOKS

I am really excited that my new classroom has a Smartboard. I've never been able to use one, but I can't wait to this year. I am dedicated to using technology in my classroom authentically this year.

How do you use technology authentically?

I just stumbled across (on tumbler), a great website called
We Give Books
Horizontal banner

Here is their suggested blog post:

I just found an amazing free resource and I wanted to pass it on to all of you. We Give Books is a free online library of children’s books that enables your kids to help other children around the world while they’re reading. The best part is, your reading will directly impact the great work of non-profit organizations around the world! Their tagline says it all, “combining the joy of reading with the power of giving.” It’s the perfect tool for parents, teachers, caregivers, and anyone who loves children’s books!
When you go to, you’ll be able to read a special selection of books without a We Give Books account, but you have to sign up to access their full library. It’s definitely worth it, though. It’s just a quick form, and once you’re signed up, you’ll have access to over 150 quality children’s books! There are a lot of familiar classic titles, and even more new ones for us to discover. You can sort the books by age level, genre, author, and seasonal selections in the “Featured” section, so everyone can find something they like.
On the Causes page you can learn more about where your donated books are going. This fall, We Give Books is focusing on early childhood literacy across the United States and supporting great causes like Jumpstart for young children. In the winter, you’ll be able to read to support global literacy and give books to non-profits like Room to Read. They also give you the option to donate to help your book donations reach even more children.
We Give Books is a program of the Pearson Foundation and Penguin Group. Penguin works with its authors to provide an outstanding selection of online books while the Pearson Foundation donates print books to charity partners. We Give Books is a great way to get your children excited about reading and to teach them about the importance of helping others.

I can't wait to use my Smartboard to share quality literature with my class, and this website will be one way I can do that. I've already chosen the first one:

The Night Before First Grade book cover

I have received no financial incentives for sharing his great website.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Superhero Where are We poster

I've just finished creating and uploading to TPt my latest creation for my classroom this fall.

I Want any late arriving students or administration and parents looking for the class to be able to find us, so I've created this cute little Superhero "Where are We" poster for display on or beside our door.

I've created more matching cards than I imagine I'll need, but I wanted to be able to share this product with you too, and knew you don't all have the same extras in the building.

If you download this file and find I haven't created a card for the place your class goes, let me know, and I'll create it for you.

Here a preview. Just click on the first image to go to my TpT account.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

I want to feature YOU!

I'm trying again to find lovely bloggers to feature on my blog. Last time I tried I only had four participants.

This time I'm using the power of the TpT forums to find bloggers to feature. Haha, I think I found out how to gain interest in features!

Today I posted a request in the forums:

Which included a link to this Google Doc (just like this screen shot:
So please consider clicking over to my form and become my next featured blogger. I can't wait to hear form you!

Direct link to form

Friday, July 12, 2013

Favourite Pins Party: Superheros

Do you pin? Of course you do!

The lovely Cara from The First Grade Parade started up this great weekly pin party to entertain us all this summer. This is my second week participating.

The Rules as written on her blog:
Here's how it works.  Pin like a crazy person through the week {oh that just me?!?!?} and highlight your favorites every Friday.  Of course, you can post about your favorite teaching related pins, but feel free to post about anything else you pinned, too!!!  I love finding a great new recipe or a something I've never seen before that I just "have to have" :)
The only rule:  please make sure to link back to the ORIGINAL poster and not to Pinterest :)  Please and thankyouverymuch.

You can follow me on Pinterest if you like :)

Now onto my favourite pins this week. Click on images to go to the source.

I'm a little Superhero obsessed for my classroom this fall (have you figured that out yet?lol). So here are ten favourites from the last week.

1. Reading awards to recognize reaching reading goals. I think I'll give these out to students who read so many set minutes at home with their parents.
Super Girl Reading Certificate
2. Voice levels chart, just add a clip to indicate what is acceptable for right now.
3. Reserved signs for student work in hallway. A great way to show students from the first day that you're waiting to show off their hard work, or to encourage slackers to finish quickly.
4. I was in search of what to call my silent reading time and reading assignments, when I found this free binder cover on tpt.
Superhero Themed Reading journal cover
5. Sign for outside our door (or in window?) No original pin, is this yours?
Superhero classroom door sign. (I corrected spelling on superheroes)
6. One possibility for decorating my classroom door. Another dead link.
Superhero themed door
7. Superhero prepositions. Can I make a poster and worksheets to match? My wheels are churning!
Prepositions simple! Can also use this in an FSL classroom

I think is enough for this week, it is after all a lucky number right?

Have you seen my latest Superhero freebies?

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Ten Pin Linky: Science and Social Studies

I'm starting at a new school in a new province this fall, and so I need awesome ideas to prove myself as a teacher this year. Pinterest is my inspiration.

Thanks to this linky party, I can share some of my favourite ideas for this fall with you.

Want more? Check out my Pinterest Page here.

I'm going to share one awesome Pin from each Unit/Strand for First grade in Saskatchewan that I just may try this coming year.

Click on the images to go to the original pages.

Living Things
I fully intend to use music in my classroom to help students learn their outcomes. Here's one example:

Objects and Materials
To explore Structures and Materials, I'll read 3 little pigs, we'll try to blow them down using a hairdryer. Which is strongest?

Using our senses
A cute little student made book to use while learning about the five senses, including a foldable on the cover.

Daily and Seasonal Changes
Students draw a picture of outside their window for each season.

Social Studies
Interactions and Interdependence of Nations
To aide in this unit about traditions and celebrations, students can cover most outcomes by learning about Christmas around the world
Dynamic Relationships
Grade One is expected to gain an understanding of the relative location of Canada and Saskatchewan on the map, as well as their homes.

This actually a huge unit with tons of outcomes, so I also want to share this idea with you. Students can create personal timelines with their families as a project to bring in and present to the class.
Power and Authority
This will probably be the first unit I teach in Social Studies this year sinc eit touches on so many things you want to discuss with your class when the year begins, like rules and consequences!
Peace Makers and Peace Breakers Charts to make the first week of school.
Resources and Wealth
For Wants and Needs, a great hands on activity will be this Venn Diagram:

A requirement in many provinces of Canada is to incorporate as much First Nations into the curriculum as you can, in fact our curriculum outcomes in Saskatchewan (and Manitoba where I taught previously) actually suggests ways to include them. Since I will be teaching in a Metis community this fall, I will be sure to include as least one idea weekly.
One free resource that I will be sure to use is this document from Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada. There are four different age brackets with their own booklet full of appropriate ideas. The one I"ll be using is full of stories to teach with.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Favourite Pins Friday!

Do you pin? Of course you do!

The lovely Cara from The First Grade Parade started up this great weekly pin party to entertain us all this summer. I'm jumping on board this week.

The Rules as written on her blog:
Here's how it works.  Pin like a crazy person through the week {oh that just me?!?!?} and highlight your favorites every Friday.  Of course, you can post about your favorite teaching related pins, but feel free to post about anything else you pinned, too!!!  I love finding a great new recipe or a something I've never seen before that I just "have to have" :) 
The only rule:  please make sure to link back to the ORIGINAL poster and not to Pinterest :)  Please and thankyouverymuch.

You can follow me on Pinterest if you like :)

Now onto my favourite pins this week. Click on images to go to the source.

For Science students get to grow "hair". Whose will grow longest fastest?
photo of: Springtime Science with Seeds at Kindergarten Rocks via RainbowsWithinReach

Art: Students create city scapes on top of warm or cool colour sky paintings and add themselves as a superhero.

To increase family involvement (I'm definitely going to be looking at this list this year since one of the questions during my interview for the school that hired me was how would I involve families).

Calendar or days of the year: Superhero number cards.

This great capitals Anchor Chart: I'd share the link, but my Google image search only shows me four times it appears on Pinterest. If it's yours, let me know!

Great App for the smart board (get to use one for the first time this year)

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Back to school with Blog Lovin'!

A Teacher without a Class

Teaching is a Gift
Have you heard enough about Bloglovin' yet? I think almost every teacher I ever followed is using Bloglovin' probably because of how easy it is to use. I love how simple it is to find new blogs to follow, but I do have one complaint, there is no EDUCATION category for blogs, so not every teacher blog is posted under the same category.
I'm joining up with this blog hop to make sure you've switched your blogs over, and because I really want to win the laminator prize. It would SO help with making my posters sturdier for this year so they'll last at least until Christmas.
I want YOU to join up with Bloglovin because in my opinion its the best option available right now, afterall, we can't get Google Reader back , no matter how much we cry!

Free Superhero Newsletter template

I'm busy preparing products for my new class, and since one of the questions during my phone interview was ways I'd involve parents in the life of the class, and I answered that  one thing I'd do was send home monthly newsletters, I figured I should have a template ready for when I get my schedule.

Unusual for me, I'm sharing this as a word document so that you can more easily insert text boxes into each section to input the month and information.

You can use any font you choose, but I like these two best (today, hehehe)

I'm going to include my months spelling lists as well as special notes and requests from me, and dates to remember such as holidays, guest speakers, parent visitation, project due dates.

Yes, I realize (belatedly) that I included my name at the top, but you can easily put an opaque text box over the title and put whatever works for you in your favourite font of the moment.

Here's a sneak peak:

Just click on the picture to go to my google drive.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Facebook Fans only Freebie

Well I'm jumping on the bandwagon and putting up a freebie visible only to fans of my facebook page.

I have to thank the wonderful Ms. Fultz for her SO helpful video tutorial.

Here's a sneak peek at my colouring assessment for beginning and end of the school year. It should be useful for Preschool, Kindergarten and Grade one. Please enjoy, and remember to click on over to my Facebook fan page to get a copy for yourself.

And I have to give credit inspiration to Mrs. Miner for her original freebie posted last week.

Click on any mention of my facebook or the image below to go to my fan page. Once you click like you'll be able to access the exclusive Freebie. I'll see you over there!

Freebie Fridays

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

I'm goin' on a blog hunt!

Laura Candler at Corkboard Connections has organized a little blog hunt/ linky party to help us all find those blogs we didn't manage to follow before Google Reader shut down, and to find some awesome new ones too!

I'm really glad I transferred all my favourite blogs over to my Bloglovin' account, but like you, I always want more.

When I found out that Google Reader was shutting down I was as perplexed as many of you were. But I learned about Bloglovin' and Feedly and checked both out. After giving each the "old college try", I decided that I liked Bloglovin' best. It's easy to navigate, and easy to mark posts as read if you've only glanced at the titles and first paragraphs (a necessity when you read hundreds of Blogs). Plus, it's also really easy to see what your favourite bloggers follow, and follow their favourite blogs too! I'll admit, I just added more than a dozen new blogs to read. I need more hours in the day if I'm going to find time to pack up this apartment, move across the country, and set up a new classroom in a different province.   
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