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Rhyming Dust Bunnies Freebie!

Hi friends! I am Katie King from Queen of the First Grade Jungle!  I am a new author for Blog Hoppin', and I am oh so happy to be here! Many of the ladies that write for this blog are the reason that I started blogging myself!

Today I wanted to share with you a great beginning of the year activity to introduce word families or reiterate rhyming to your first graders. 

Aren't these little guys the cutest?  One of my students bought this book for me at the book fair a couple of years ago, and I immediately fell in love with it!  

We are starting spelling tests this week with the -at family, and I wanted to come up with an interesting way to have them understand word families and really "get it." This book did just that. 

We came to our meeting spot with our ipads. 

Yes, you have permission to hate me. 

I have 25 glorious ipads in my room through a 1-to-1 grant from my district. 

During this lesson we used the ipads as a way for me to check the students' understanding! Each time one of the adorably silly dust bunnies asked for a word that rhymes with another word, my students recorded their guesses on a free whiteboard app. As soon as they finished, they held up their ipads so I could quickly scan for understanding. 

We repeated this procedure three or four times during the story.  My student engagement was through the roof!  I secretly was wishing one of my administrators would peek in my room at that exact moment!

We were able to talk about several different word families and write many CVC words! At the end of our lesson we completed a very simple handout to display in our hallway. 

We glued sparkly pompoms in the middle to act as our dust bunnies (found in the craft section of many stores)!
The students wanted to name their dust bunnies too- hence "Velvet" and "Snowflake." 

Click on the picture below to download the document!

Here is a picture of all our dust bunnies together! 

I hope you enjoyed my activity and will come visit me soon!

Pinterest Directories for Teachers

Just how much do you love and adore Pinterest? Are you using Pinterest for your room's facelift? For your lesson plan inspiration? For your bulletin board make-over? 

I had the pinspiration that it would be helpful to 'find' other educators using Pinterest for educational purposes. To that end I started creating Pinterest Directories to help us 'find' others in our specific niches, to make the pinning easier. 

Here's the link to the first directory. It is the broadest and the oldest and has nearly 600 people linking their Pinterest account in a PreK-High School directory..... click here to go directly! 

photo of: The Great EDU-Pinner Link-UP hosted by RainbowsWithinReach
Original Directory of Pinterest EDU-People

The next directory was to help folks find fellow Early Childhood Educators on Pinterest. If you are in preschool or parent young children, this list is a wealth of pinteresting people to follow.

photo of: The GREAT "ECE Pinners" LinkUP hosted by: RainbowsWithinReach
Early Childhood Educators on Pinterest
The third directory in the series is specific to the Kindergarten world. All things kinder. Kinder bloggers and kinder-teachers, and folks like me (author-illustrator of picture books) that spend a LOT of time in kindergarten. Here's the link to take you directly to that list of kinder-hearted pinners. 

photo of: The Great "Kinder-Pinner" LinkUP (via RainbowsWithinReach) Pinterest linkUP for kindergarten
Kinder-Pinner People Directory
Last Saturday's Directory is specifically designed for the Primary Grade folks. Primary Grade Bloggers, Primary People in general: Primary teachers and administrators. All you've got to do is follow this link to find this subset directory. 

photo of: Directory of Primary Pinterest People: Primary Grades of Bloggers + Teacher
Primary Grades Directory on Pinterest

Week number five is a round-up of all sorts of Art Teachers and Teaching Artists. If you're looking for creativity in the classroom, this is the list for you! 

photo of: Pinterest Directory for Artists, Art Teachers, Teaching Artists + Creative types LINKUP (via RainbowsWithinReach)
Art Teacher Directory

Wishing you an amazing new year and hoping that these directories of similar minded pinners can help you utilize this amazing resource for your ease and professional development. They seriously need to give professional development credit for Pinterest! 

By all means, please come and add your PINTEREST URL to the growing lists. Come and follow your peers. I would be ever so *grateful* if you'd pin the directory that serves your purposes specifically. 

-- Debbie -- 

Back to School Books Linky Party and Giveaway!

It has officially started for me!  School has begun!  

During the first few days (and weeks AND months) in kindergarten is spend some time dedicated to teaching  classroom expectations.  Sound familiar?

I found these adorable books by Rosemary Wells that seem to do the trick!
Click on the book to find the source
I don't have a student named Miracle this year, but I did we did experience a melt down.

Click on the image to find the source.
And this is a super cute book about a child's first day of he worried?...NOPE, but his mom is not holding up so well.    As a side note, I think I will write a book like this for me next year. I will call it, Mom, It's My First Day of College!   That will be in the background!!!

Click on the picture for the source.

As you may have heard, my husband and I have started a new book website JUST for teachers.

We have organized books by teaching strategies to help you find the perfect book.

Additionally, teachers/bloggers can earn affiliate credit!

Link up your favorite back to school books and enter to win a $50 gift certificate to 

Winners will be randomly selected on Friday, August 31st!

Teacher Week {Freebie Friday with Kinder Alphabet}

Hello Blog Hoppin' Friends! I'm Lidia from Kinder Alphabet.  We are at the end of Teacher Week.  I am excited to share some freebies on this Freebie Friday. I hope that you are able to find many ideas and resources to download. Just print what you need so that you can start using them in your classrooms as soon as possible.

Here are a few freebies to get you started this year.

1. Everybody needs some First Day of School Forms. This free packet includes Transportation Information, Class Roster and Student Information forms.
Find the Spanish school forms here.

2. Dismissal is a good transition time to review some basic rhyming skills. Post this free dismissal chant by your door. Students can chant this rhyme as they line up at the end of the day.

3. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom is always a class favorite. You can use these free activities in a literacy center or during your small group instruction time.

4. I have two free reading logs. This is one of them. The teacher or student can circle the current month. Then, students simply fill out the form with the title of the book.  This reading log also includes a section for daily parent signatures.
Find the Spanish Reading Log here.

That's it for today. Make sure to visit my Kinder Alphabet blog for more resources.

Do you have recent freebies that you would like to share? Then, link up:) 
If you do not have a blog, make sure to do some blog hoppin' 
to find some neat freebies:)

Teacher Week: Therapeutic Thursday with Life In First Grade

Hey y'all! I'm Leslie Ann from Life in First Grade and I'm so excited to be a part of Blog Hoppin'. Since it's Therapeutic Thursday, I'm here to talk about how to relax after a really stressful day. Although almost every day is a busy day in first grade, I’ve been lucky enough to only have a handful of what I consider to be extremely stressful days. These are days where nothing is going right and you just feel like you want to cry. I’m sure we’ve all had these kinds of days. I usually feel like this after a special event or a field trip! I don’t think I’ve ever felt as tired as I did after my first field trip. Here’s what I do to make myself feel better after an overwhelming day.

First off, I stop on my way home and get something to eat. Food makes everything better and let’s face it, eating something sensible and healthy just won’t make you feel better. Added bonus: you won’t have to cook as soon as you get home! My go to comfort food is a Zaxby’s chicken finger plate. Yum! Just typing this makes my mouth water and instantly puts me in a good mood! :) 
Lots of people go to the gym to unwind after a hard day. I so wish I was one of those people! Going to the gym sounds like such hard work to me and if I've had a bad day, it's the last place I want to be so you won't see it on my de-stressing list!
Once I’ve gotten home, I take a bubble bath. Bubble baths always make me feel better. I think of it as washing the school day off! Using yummy smelling bubble bath is must. My current favorite is 
Philosophy’s Bubble Bath/Shower Gel/Shampoo in Margarita. *Love* 

After my bubble bath, I put on some comfy clothes and sit down to get lost in a tv show and try and forget about the stressful day. My go to guilty pleasure tv shows right now are Revenge and Lost (yes, I realized I’m way late to the Lost party, but I’m catching up on Netflix and rest assured, I’m beyond confused!). 

By this time, I’m usually feeling much better and ready to prepare for the next day. And if you aren’t feeling better at this point, you can always just take a personal day! ;)

Now let’s hear how you relax after a stressful day! Become a follower of Blog Hoppin’ and link up below. Remember to link up to the direct post, not the home page of your blog. Include the Teacher Week graphic and link back to Blog Hoppin’. Super Simple!
Thanks for reading y’all! :)

Teacher Week {Where I Teach Wednesday with Second Grade Shenanigans}

Hey blog hoppers! This is Hope King from Second Grade Shenanigans and I am so excited to share a little peek into my home teaching space! One of my favorite things about being a teacher is the fact that I get to design and decorate my very own classroom! I mean…what teacher doesn’t go crazy preparing a classroom for a new year?!? I tend to go a little beyond crazy, but I am totally ok with that!

So…here is a little look into my teaching nook!

Classroom Library

My classroom library is organized by genre and leveled by Lexile! This year, I also decided to separate my bookshelves into fiction and nonfiction text!


Then, I have a separate section for mentor texts which will be used to inspire young writers! This section is a work in progress {a.k.a. weekend project}!

Double copy books are a must for any library! The kiddos love being able to chit chat about their favorite stories!

And of course…no library would be complete without the King! ;)

Guided Reading & Small Group Instruction Area

This is one of my favorite places to spend time in the classroom! I love teaching reading, and I love the time that I get to spend with my kiddos in small group!  More importantly, I am in love with my table skirt that a precious grandmother made for me! The storage space under a kidney table is out of this world!

Getting the Most Bang for Your Buck

Why place bookshelves against a wall when they can provide the perfect place for centers and/or supplies?! I couldn’t live without this extra space!

A Bird’s Eye View {Almost}



My Favorite Purchase {Totally Unnecessary…but I LOVE IT!}

My LED board! I picked this up from SAM’s and it is perfect for our daily schedule!

Outside Walls

Student Work

Oh Snap Reading Ribbons

Well, that’s all for me! Thanks for taking a tour of my little space! Now we want to sneak a peek into your room! 

If you want to link up and show off your classroom, become a follower of Blog Hoppin' and link up below! Remember to link to your direct post, not just your blog url.  Include the Teacher Week poster {right click the poster from above} and link back to Blog Hoppin'! :)

Teacher's Week {Technology Tuesday with Curls and a Smile

Happy Technology Tip Tuesday!

I am Lynda from Curls and a Smile and I am THRILLED to share with you some of my favorite ways to integrate technology into my classroom instruction and management.  Last year, my class participated in an iPad Pilot. Every child had an was a dream!

These are a few of my favorite apps for the kiddos:

This app allows students to create and entire story from the characters that are featured to the plot of the story. Students are able to manipulate the images to create short videos that tell a story and are narrated by them! It is an excellent way to have students retell stories with detail, create a new version of a story that was read in class and enables students to practice critical thinking skills to improve their reading skills.

This is a fun and versatile app that can be used during small group reading instruction. It was wonderful for students during word work or writing responses to comprehension questions. This app was also a favorite for practicing spelling words throughout the week.

Using the app, the kiddos are able to practice their fluency while reading a variety of leveled text. You can set up your class and it will track the story each child is on, words per minute for their reading and even recommends strategies that  can be used to help build your student's fluency.

Another piece of technology that I can't live without are ActiveExpressions. This is a student response system for the Promethean board that interacts with any question that I have programmed into a Promethean flipchart. 

This summer I was introduced to which allows you to use tablets, laptops, smartphones and idevices that you have in your classroom for interactive student response! I am very excited about using this web based program and experiencing the impact that it will have on student learning and engagement!

Thanks for reading!

How do you use technology in your classroom? 

Share your fabulous ideas  by becoming  a follower of Blog Hoppin' and link up below!  

Remember to link to your direct post, not just your blog url.  Include the Teacher Week poster {right click the poster from above} and link back to Blog Hoppin'! 

Teacher Week {Must-haves Monday with What the Teacher Wants}

I'm posting for  Blog Hoppin' for Teacher Week!!!
{if you want to link up too, just right click the picture and save it to your computer}

Here are my {Rachelle's} must-haves for this year:

* Computer Case
 {This one is from one of my favorite Etsy shops, LoveyDovey Creations}

*Erin Condren Teacher Planner

*Binders... and lots of em'! :) {click *here* for my post about binders}

*Laminator at home {click *here* to check it out online}

*Silhouette Cameo ....A definite investment that is SO worth it!

Thanks for reading! Love, Rachelle {& Natalie}

Do you have must-haves for your classroom?  If so, become a follower of Blog Hoppin' and link up below!  Remember to link to your direct post, not just your blog url.  Include the Teacher Week poster {right click the poster from above} and link back to Blog Hoppin'! :)