Story Map Freebie!

We are starting our unit on Bears!  Last week we read many versions of Goldilocks and the Three Bears.  Part of our work on the story included this story map.  It is made for kindergarten students, but would be appropriate for first grade too.  They drew pictures to show their ideas and then I labeled the drawing or wrote the dictation about what what happening in each part of the story.

First, the kiddos worked on the setting and characters.  I love this colorful busy picture that includes all sorts of details.  She put the beds outside the house because she wanted to include some of the items from inside the house in the picture.

This little boy drew just the house, but added the different sized bowls and had me label them.

This was a great characters picture.  So darn cute!


Then on another day, students did pictures for the beginning, middle, and end of the story.  First, we did an activity together where we ordered picture cards and talked about different parts of the story.  It was great to hear the kids verbally retelling the story in their own words.  That is one of the things that is great about doing an activity like this - a great way to really listen carefully to the oral language of students.  

I love the picture of Goldilocks in this one.  Her hair is great!

I was so excited when this little sweetie used the word "discovered" in her dictation to me.  Woo hoo!  Great language!

I thought my sweet little students did a great job with this activity!  And I was happy with how much they were enjoying the many versions of the 3 bears stories.  And, now that they have done a complete story map with a very familiar story, I can start doing these with more challenging literature.

OK, here is your freebie, just click on the link under this image to go grab it in my TpT store:

I hope it is a big help in your classroom!
Please leave some love in the comments if you are using it with your class.  
Happy Teaching!

Dream Snow Calendars

Just wanted to post the cutie patootie calendars we did this week.  And, yes, this is the dream snow idea from Pinterest.  Here is the link to the blog: Dream Snow at Artolazzi.  Such a simple addition to a cut paper snowman project.  I just ran the laminator machine with nothing in it and got a nice length of clear plastic.  We cut them to size and the kids made snow flakes on them by painting with Q-tips. You could use overhead projector transparencies too, if you still have those around at your school.

Here's one before the snow was put on.  Don't you love the big arms?  Logs, not sticks...  So darn cute!

Here it is with the snow on.  The kids LOVED these!  They are really magical.

There is something about the idea of snow to a California kid that IS magical.  I know when I was growing up, I wanted nothing more than snow in San Francisco.  It only happened once, but when I was about 7 yrs old, I woke up to snow on the ground.  Of course it melted away by 10:00 am, but still...

Adorable kid art is just one of the many reasons I LOVE kindergarten...  If you want to do a monthly calendar project with your class and need some writing templates for the rest of the school year, you can get them here:

This pack includes lots of art project ideas too!  It has sure saved me a bunch of time this year.  
Thanks for checking out the blog:)
Happy Teaching!

Counting and Reading

Hi there!  This is a quick little post on a cute counting book my kiddos made.  It is a simple idea, but has been a great little reader.  I especially love how it is helping my students practice reading the number words.  I thought it would be fun to use these old teddy bear stamps I had hanging around...

Do any of you still have these in your classroom?  They are soooooo old.  I am pretty sure they are from the Mathland program.   It was the math adoption back when I first started teaching over 15 years ago.  But, since I don't use mine often, they are in very good shape and worked out great for this little book!  My kids did the pages as an independent center over several days. 

My sweet little students did a great job on these.  But more importantly, they are a favorite in the book boxes and are read weekly by most of my kids.  I just LOVE when something we do covers both reading AND math.  This little book covers LOTS of standards!  There is something so magical about books that the kids make themselves.  They are so much more engaging than the other reading books we use.  The kiddos love reading them!  (and that makes me very HAPPY!!!!!!!!)

So, I want to put this out there to other teachers - I am sharing this idea so that you can do this in your classroom.  Yes, of course it is for sale on TPT, but since I am sharing it all right here on the blog....  if you have the time and inclination to make your own, GO FOR IT!!!!  I feel like all we do in our blogging, making products, and pinning on Pinterest, is sharing ideas and helping each other.  That is always my intention when I make something.  I made it for my own classroom and am just passing it on in hopes it helps you too!

It would also be really cute to make the pages using stickers like these.  In my packet, there is a page of paper teddies the kiddos can color, cut, and glue on to the pages.  There is also a set of pages with the teddies already on them.

So if you don't have the time or inclination to make it yourself but would like to use this book in your classroom, you can get it here (just click on the image):

Thanks for stopping by the blog.
Happy Teaching!

A Very Merry Memory Game!


Ok, I know the holidays are over.  But, this is something I had photos for (although they are not great).  Sorry about that.  I don't know if it is my cheap camera, or the florescent lighting in my classroom, or both.... ugh!

This was something I had to do QUICKLY during that last week before winter break.  I know this is not some brilliant revelation, but I was easily able to make a cute holiday memory game using stickers I had on hand.  The whole thing only took about 30 minutes, including laminating!  It was just what I needed for one of my centers on the last day before break.  I wanted to make it a "fun" day and due to my schedule this year, I needed a quickie - something that would only take 10 - 15 minutes per group.  This sweet little game was perfect! 

I tried to use stickers that were somewhat holiday "neutral" because not everyone in our school community celebrates Christmas.  We had just finished a fairy tale unit which included gingerbread, so elves, cookies, and candy canes seemed appropriate.

I wrote the words on the cards just to add a little literacy to the fun.  The kids had a blast with it.  Our other centers that day included decorating gingerbread cookies the kids had made the day before.  They got to eat them later at our class party!  We also had a story reading center where I pulled out  my winter holiday books just for one day.  Most groups wanted to hear How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. Suess.  I love that book!  So it was a fun day for all in Room 5. 

Hope you had a wonderful holiday season!
Happy teaching!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!  I hope you all have had a wonderful holiday season and a great winter break.  Are you ready to go back yet?  Well, I am getting my classroom ready for more fun and I thought it was a perfect time for a sale.  Enjoy 20% off everything in my TPT store now  through this Sunday January 5th.  I hope you find something to make your life a little easier as we head back to school.  Just click on the sale image above to get there.

One of my new year's resolutions is to blog more.  I have really let it go for a while.  But, I will do my very best to share more of what we are doing in the classroom in 2014.  I hope you are staying warm and having fun on the last days of your break.

Happy Teaching!