Next week, October 7th {my birthday} through the 13th, is Fire Prevention Week 2012!  What do you have planned?  If your answer is something like "I don't know," then maybe I can help you :)
This unit is over 30 pages of fire safety fun!  Your littles will create some fire safety cuties {a boy or a girl} and write or draw about how to stay safe during a fire:

Here's what's included:
*fire kids craftivity pics, patterns, and directions
*3 versions of the safety tips writing prompt
*11 different worksheets including: ABC order, can-have-need, & more
*8 vocabulary cards
*how to use a fire extinguisher poster

Aaaand on top of all that, I've included a freebie with this download :)  In order to get it, you will need to DL the preview of this packet {BEFORE purchasing} on TpT!  It's a fire hat:
Just attach it to a sentence strip, and you'll have a class full of real fire cuties! :)

If you're interested in purchasing fire safety kids {craftivity & printables}, or if you want to learn more about this product, head to my TpT shop!  Don't delay, Fire Prevention Week is just around the corner!!  Please let me know what you think!!

Pssst!  I have a fun new unit planned to "debut" next week, on my birthday {have I mentioned my birthday yet??}.  The "release date" I chose is a big hint as to what the unit is about... stay tuned!!! ;)
Hello friends!  Tonight's post will be a quickie-- I need to shower and go to bed!! :)
I just wanted to stop in and share a little something with you:
rainbow roll-n-write {freebie}

This freebie is a fun twist on the classic "rainbow writing" or "rainbow spelling."  With the "roll-n-write," your kiddos will use dice to determine what color they write with!  I was inspired by {this post} and knew I had to make my own colorful version!  I printed a few copies in color and laminated them, then popped them in a center basket with crayons, a list of words, and the included answer sheet:
I also included a black & white version in the freebie:
The b&w sheet will come in handy if you want to do this activity with your whole class {they can color in the crayons according to the code before you begin} or if you're low on colored ink!

My kiddos loved this center!   It's fun and EASY :)  You can DL your copy of this freebie from my TpT shop!  As always, please let me know what you think, especially if you grab one! :)
As I've said a gazillion times, fall is my favorite!!  I especially LOVE October... my birthday is in October {two weeks from today, actually!} and Halloween, too!!  I've already started decorating my house for Halloween.  Too soon? ;)

This year, I added a special new item to my Halloween decor:  a countdown calendar!  It just might be my favorite decoration, yet!
On Friday night, I got together with my mom-in-law and sister-in-law for a little craft night.  We were inspired by this pin, and went to JoAnn's to pick up our supplies.  We headed back to my house and got our craft on!

If you want to make your own countdown calendar, this is what you'll need:
*cookie sheet
*calendar counting back from 30 {I quickly made one in Word}
*3 pieces of coordinating 12x12" scrapbook paper
*various Halloween stickers
*mini magnets

I wish I took picture of the steps, but it completely slipped my mind!  Basically, I mod-podged the colorful scrapbook paper {cut to size} onto the cookie sheet, and then added the countdown calendar on top:
I also added some stickers {the October 31st strip, and Happy Halloween} along the top and bottom.  The spiders are sticker-magnets, so I can move them around!

Once all your paper is mod-podged to the cookie sheet, you'll need to choose 30 different Halloween stickers to use to cover the calendar:
I won't lie, using the stickers from the craft store can get expensive!  It cost me abot $30 for all of my supplies.  I think the end result was totally worth the cost, though!  You could probably print Halloween shapes onto cardstock for the same effect {and for less money}.  Anywho, when you have all your shapes ready, pop a mini magnet on the back:
Since I used stickers, there was an extra step involved:  some of the stickers were sticky all over, so I had to back them with scrapbook paper, cut them out, and then put the magnet on.  Others only had a small foam sticky on the back, which was easily covered by the magnet.  When all of your shapes are magnetized, place them over the numbers on the calendar, and you're all done!!

Now I have the cutest {in my opinion} countdown calendar ever!!  On October 1st, I will remove the first magnet to reveal the number "30," and I'll keep counting down from there:
Here is a picture of all three of our countdown calendars:
I just love how they turned out!!  We plan on making another set for Christmas ;)  And maybe even a countdown to summer vacation!!  Seriously, they are THAT cute!  What do you think!?
Fall is my favorite time of year!  Cooler weather, pretty colors, apples & pumpkins... I love it all!!  I'm going apple picking this Saturday with my hubby and another couple.  I can't wait to bring home apple cider donuts!!!

Oh, and a bag full of apples, of course! ;)

To celebrate the start of fall this weekend {and Johnny Appleseed next week}, we began talking about apples in class today.  We learned about and labeled the parts of an apple:
My little ones did a GREAT job with this!!  Take a look:
Much better cutting than last week!
Lots of seeds on that one!
Here's a view of all the apples, lining the hallway:
I love them!!

Since the projects are hanging outside, I created a little anchor chart for inside the classroom:
It's up on my closet door.  Below it, we did a fact & opinion activity {don't mind the glare!}:
Tomorrow and next week, we'll be working on crafts and papers from my Johnny Appleseed unit.  I can't wait to show you all the completed crafts!  Stay tuned!

The ideas in this post were inspired by activities from Growing Kinders and What the Teacher Wants.  Be sure to check out both sites for free printables and more ideas! :)
This is the post I originally planned for Sunday... before Columbus pushed it aside ;) 

We had some extra time on Thursday and Friday last week {as I always tend to have... do you find this to be true in your classroom??} so I decided to work on a couple hallway decorations!  The halls are lookin' pretty bare, so I thought they needed some sprucing up!

The first thing we did was read Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and talk about the letters in our names.  We counted the letters, and since we are big first graders now, we also counted the vowels and consonants!  Then we put it all together in a cute little palm tree project, that reminds me of summer days:
That one's mine!  Here are my students' completed projects:
You'll have to forgive me:  I spent a great deal of time on Photobucket, erasing all of my students' names.  I'm a little paranoid when it comes to showing my kiddos' names {and especially FACES... never, never}, so I just had to get rid of all traces.  Haha!  You can use your imaginations to complete the pictures ;)

I got the idea on Pinterest, and I traced it back to Mrs. Jump's classroom website.  I made my own writing piece, and made it available on Google Docs for you to use, if you want!  You can DL it for free {HERE}.
Friday afternoon we started our second hallway project, by reading Pete the Cat Rocking in My School Shoes.  I had never read a Pete book before, and oh my, I LOVED it!!  And so did my students!  They got such a kick out of the song, and they sang it for the rest of the afternoon!

I plan on surprising my little ones with this as soon as it arrives:

Anywho, while we sang, we got to work on our own school shoes, straight from my pal Alisha's CUTE  Steppin' Into a New Year unit!  We ran out of time so we didn't get to finish the projects, but here is a peek at what we have so far:
Most of our sneakers look like the pair on the left... but I couldn't resist snapping a pic of the pair on the right!  Gosh, so cute!  Some of us need a little cutting practice, don't ya think?? :)  

And since this post is all about sprucing up the halls... my neighbor Ms. C and I just received a new bulletin board that will hang between our classrooms:
We plan on sharing it... so excited!! :)

Before I begin today's post, I want to take a minute to ask you to show some random love:
My girl Alisha from The Bubbly Blonde has a friend who was diagnosed with stage 3 cancer.  Her name is Tiffany, and she is a 28 year old mommy to a sweet one year old girl:
Alisha came up with a great way to help pay for Tiffany's medical and living expenses... and YOU can help!  A bunch of bloggers banded together to donate items to this special cause.  The items {including something from me} are all bundled together in one big zip file, worth over $200!  By making a donation of just $20, you can pick up this amazing pack FULL of goodies.  Please, please show some random love by clicking the button above...

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Happy Sunday everyone!  I had another post complete and ready to go for today... but then I finished my Christopher Columbus mini-pack, and got too anxious to share it with you!  You know me, I have no patience, hehe :)
Since I often gravitate toward little people crafts, I decided to change it up this time and go the way of the boat for Columbus Day:
What do you think?!  I hope it's love at first sight!  Haha!

In this mini-pack, I included:
*ship craft patterns with directions {in pictures & words}
*All About Christopher Columbus writing page {primary & secondary lines}
*Christopher Columbus labeling sheet
*four additional handouts {ABC order, word search, create-a-word, KWL}

Here are some pics from the pack:
If you want to see more, or grab your own copy of christopher columbus {craftivity & printables}, visit my TpT shop!  It's just $3 :)

I'll be back Monday or Tuesday with today's original post!  Stay tuned!

Down here!  Want to win one?  Leave me something sweet {and an email address} in the comments, and I'll pick a winner sometime tonight!  Congrats to #1 {Elizabeth} and #40 {Courtney}!!  Emails have been sent!
Folks, I am in love!  And I'm TIRED.  And my body aches.  But mostly, I'm just in love :)  Today was day five with my little ones.  We still need a lot of practice with our routines and procedures, but we are slowly getting into the swing of things.

These first days have been mostly about seeing where my students are {level wise} and practicing our Language Arts routine.  We use the Treasures series, and if you use it too, then you know there is A LOT involved.  I don't want to overwhelm my little ones, so I am introducing things one at a time.

I also found some time to squeeze in a few craft projects... of course!  We made the buses from my bus craftivity pack on the first day:
And yesterday we made our heart flags in honor of September 11th:
Now that I have student decorations up, my room feels a little more complete. :)

In other news, I got a new desk calendar that I am super excited about:
{Did it rotate?  It's giving me trouble!!}
Everytime I go to Staples, I eye this puppy down.  And then I don't buy it.  Yesterday I gave in, and I'm so excited that I did!  Who doesn't love Post-Its?!

Okay, I'm signing off.  Sorry for the short post!  I'm working on getting back into the swing of things myself...  Haha!

PS: Did anyone watch The Voice?  Adam Levine?!  Hello!!! ;)
Whew!  I survived the first two days of school! :)
I have the cutest bunch of littles!  Seriously, they are ADORABLE!

We spent most of Thursday and Friday going over routines and procedures:  hand signals, voice levels, how to line up, how to walk in the hall, how to... you get the idea!  I also introduced my firsties to all the workbooks they will be using through the year: 
{More not pictured!}
Between our reading, math, and science series, the kiddos have about seven different workbooks.   And most of them are red!  It's hard to tell some of them apart, so to help my sweeties take out the correct book in the beginning of the year, I color code them:
I just swipe a fat Mr. Sketch marker along the bottom pages of the book.  That way, when the books are piled inside their desks, they can see the colors!  When I ask my students to take out a book, I'll say something like, "Please take out your Grammar Green book!"  It really does help, and it makes transitions quicker and easier!  And after a few weeks, my kiddos will be telling me which book is which! :)

I forgot to take pics of the activities we did this week :(  The first two days were like a whirlwind!  I promise I will definitely be on top of picture taking from now on ;)

Before I go, I have a little freebie for you!  After my last post on paint cans and my various incentive ideas, I got a lot of requests for the labels I used... so I put them together and uploaded them to Google Docs for you! :)  I print the labels on sticker paper from Staples {or you can use Avery full page labels}.
Here's an example of how I use them:
There are two labels included in the download that I don't think I mentioned in my last post.  I use the "Happy Birthday" label on a paint can full of krazy straw birthday balloons, and the "Warm Fuzzies" label on another paint can {I really love those paint cans} that we use as our class bucket {you can read more about that HERE}.

Okay, I'm off!  I'll be completing work for my grad classes and putting together stuff for school this week... and hopefully getting started on a little Christopher Columbus unit that's been brewing ;)   Have a great Sunday everyone!
Tomorrow is my first day with my new students, and I am SO excited!!!  I have a few things I need to do tonight {including straightening my hair, lol} so I'm just popping in to share a quick tip with you.

Actually, it's not really a tip, but a little product that I think you should own :)

A paint can!
These little paint cans are sold in the craft store {in the gift wrap section}, and they have so many uses!  I have a bunch, and I use them for different things around the classroom... like the Kiss Your Brain can that you see above!

I also use one as a home for my Brain Breaks sticks:

And two more for Secret Star starbursts, and Sparklers!
Secret Star is a fun incentive to help students walk quietly in the halls {read more about it on Scholastic} and Sparklers are used as a table/group incentive {read more here}.

These cans are also perfect for holding school supplies, like pencil top erasers and binder clips!  And they come in more than one size!  If you ever see them, definitely pick a few up! :)

And now for Currently... Hello, September!!
I think everything on there is pretty much self-explanatory!  

Quick background on the favorites:
Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin is!  It's from Bath & Body Works.  I bought a bunch of plug-ins and put them all over my house, and I stocked up on candles, too.  Smells deee-lish!

I splurged a few weeks ago and bought a bunch of neon bins from Really Good Stuff.  They are so fabulous!!

I love to sleep.  Enough said :)

Don't forget to link up with Farley for September's Currently!
I really loved reading your comments about my classroom!  I worked my tail off the last two weeks, and it's so nice to hear your wonderful compliments!  Thank you! :)  I can't wait for my new firsties to see it this week!  Teachers go back to work this Tuesday, and the kiddos will be back on Thursday.  I'm so excited!!

I mentioned before that I was slowly working on a pumpkin unit...
Well, I'm happy to say that I finally finished it!!
With this unit, your little pumpkins will create a cutie pumpkin of their own...
...complete with a writing activity, of course!  Your kiddos will write about how to carve a pumpkin, using a "first, next, then, last" prompt!

There's space to draw a little picture, too!
Take a look at what's inside:
*pumpkin craft + directions
*How to Carve a Pumpkin writing prompt {primary/secondary lines}
*How Many Pumpkins Tall Are You? activity
*two class surveys
*pumpkin senses
*pumpkin adjectives
*word search
*ABC order

And here are a couple pics from the unit:
If you want, you can pick up a copy of perfect pumpkins {a writing craftivity} in my TpT shop!  As always, please let me know what you think!! I hope you loveeee it! :)

Enjoy the rest of your Labor Day weekend!!!

Want to win one?
Leave some comment love with your email address and I'll pick a winner tonight! ;)
Congrats to #40 {Nicole from Rowdy in Room 300} and #38 {Tracy}!  Emailing you gals now!
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