With the year flying by and the quickly approaching Valentine’s Day, there never seems to be enough time in the day to get everything done. To save you some time,  I have joined up with 13 teacher bloggers to bring you the 14 Days for the Love of Teaching FREEBIE blog hop.

love of teaching blog hop

We hope to make your planning a little easier, and bring some educational fun to the classroom. The blog hop will begin on February 1, at Ms. Smarty Pants.


Make you sure you stop back by to grab your freebies!


Pennsylvania Fun Facts for Kids

I’m very excited about my new unit, Pennsylvania Fun Facts for Kids, because it’s the first time I’ve really ventured beyond my comfort zone of first grade products.

This eSource covers a range of grade levels, from 1st through 4th.  Some of the simpler concepts, such as states that border PA can be completed by first graders with the aid of a map, up to 4th graders as a quick quiz.  It also delves into the five regions of PA and the basic landform and traits that define each region.  It includes mapping activities and some fun language arts word building integration

The booklet, which my first graders illustrated as part of our Gingerbread exchange project, gives information about state symbols and background about the why Pennsylvania is called the Keystone State, and briefly discusses the typical weather in Pennsylvania.

Here’s the fun part for you!  As a thank-you for following my blog, I’m putting the border states page for you free on my blog.  You can get it by clicking on the picture below.


Have a great Monday!

Simple Spanish Words to Learn and a 50% off sale!!

I teach elementary Spanish — very elementary Spanish — to first and second graders at my school.  We have a series of videos we watch, and there are activities to go with them, but, much like activities in teacher’s manuals all over the US, they are a bit — er — well — blah.  Boring.  Snooze-inducing.   So very often, I come up with my own activities to complement our lessons.

One thing we do is sing, sing, sing.  I can play the guitar.  I’ll never be a rock star, but I know basic chords and can usually figure out which chords go where to complement the melody of the song.  So we sing a lot.  We sing about animals and weather and hello and goodbye and numbers.  We sing about my name is and his or her name is.  We sing about hidden colors.

I also like to make simple flashcards.  So versatile, and I can make up all kinds of games to go with those flashcards.   Games like “Qual falta,” where I put up all the flashcards and tell the kids to cover their eyes, then take one away.  They have to tell, in Spanish, which thing is missing.  Whoever gets it right gets to — wait for it — TAKE THE NEXT CARD AWAY and call on the next person.  Complete, utter elementary joy, being PUT IN CHARGE!  We can also play Yo tengo, Quién tiene with the flashcards.  When we get to the end, the last person says Yo tengo ________, no mas!  Below is a link to download my first set of vocabulary cards.  I sell these in my TPT store, but they’re free if you follow my blog.  : )  (For some reason, page 6 looks slightly smaller in the PDF, but it prints out the correct size)

Spanish Vocabulary corrected_Page_1

FREE FOR YOU! 16 Spanish vocabulary flashcards. Greetings and numbers 1-10.

I also like to create little flip and flap books for the kids to use to remember vocabulary.  I like to have them create little books using VERY basic vocabulary and sentence structure.  I just created a new Spanish eSource, “Simple Spanish Words to Learn:  La Familia”  It includes names for immediate family members, and foldable flap book, and an eight page mini book for the kids to write about their families.  You can take a look at it by clicking on the picture below.


As an added bonus, here is a link to download a bonus PDF, available only through my blog of a cut and paste worksheet that goes along with this eSource.


If you like these activities, be sure to check out the other Spanish items in my store.  All these products are going to be listed at 50% in my  store for the next three days, March 9-March 11, 2013!

Spanish Days of the Week and Spanish Response PromptSpanish Flashcards Numbers 1-20 including Tengo,  Quién tieneWhich Witch's Hat? - Halloween English/Spanish Color Word CenterYo Veo . . . El Dia de HalloweenSimple Spanish Words to Learn:  La Familia

Yo Veo...El Dia de Halloween - A Halloween Spanish Beginne

I also have a Pinterest board dedicated to Spanish called Spanish Activities and Lessons.  It covers a wide range of abilities.  You can see it here.


For more great freebies, check out Freebie Friday at Teaching Blog Addict.

Enjoy your weekend!

First Grade Language Arts Games – Gone in a Flash! Plus a Bloggy Birthday Celebration

You know what that means?  It’s flash freebie time.  From 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM EST today, January 20, my newest eSource will be free!  Free!  FREE!  This 30 page unit correlates directly with Lesson 12, How Leopard Got His Spots, in the Journeys reading series.   What are you reading this for?  Run and get it now!

digraph hearts_Page_01 Desktop25

I just found  this fun birthday celebration Mrs. Fultz is having on her blog, Mrs. Fultz’s Corner.  She’s been a blogger for a year now, and she has racked up some really impressive numbers so far!  To celebrate her bloggy birthday, she’s got some great giveaways going.  Visit and enter by clicking on the picture below.

Have a great day everyone!

Music Activites for Multiple Intelligences – Teaching Dolch Words through Song

Music Activites for Multiple Intelligences – Teaching Dolch Words through Song

Browsing through TPT this morning, I came across this free item The product is  3rd Grade Dolch Sight Words Songs.  It’s a cute little song that just goes through the Dolch sight words as it projects them on the screen. … Continue reading

States of Matter Real-Life Application

Before Christmas break, we were learning about states of matter in first grade science. For Christmas, my husband bought the family a Soda Stream machine. As I played around with it, I thought, “This will be great for a real-life example of solids, liquids, and gasses.”


The Soda Steam uses water and flavoring syrup (liquids), you need a cup to drink from, a bottle to hold the soda, and the machine itself (solids), and finally, the most important item to make the soda, a CO2 canister (gas).  It literally encompasses all three states of matter.

I took it to school this past Friday and used this worksheet to go along with the actual making of the soda.  First, we talked about and examined all the necessary items for making the pop.  Then we went through the actual demonstration.  The kids saw the water go from flat to fizzy and understood it was because of the CO2 that was injected into the water.  They saw how the liquids took the shape of their containers, and how they lost their shape when the inevitable spill happened.  I also made this little worksheet to go along with the demonstration.  After the taste testing was finished, the kids completed the worksheet.

If you have a Soda Stream Machine, feel free to grab this little freebie.  It was a memorable day in first grade science!

States of Matter-001

Winter Centers – Gone in a Flash!

I had so much fun with my last flash freebie that I decided to do it again, this time with my newest finished teaching eSource, Winter Centers.

Jan Centersjpg_Page1


I’m a little late to the party with this center, but let me tell you a story about how they came to be.  I sat down to make a recording sheet to go along with my alphabetizing center for the month of January.  After I made the recording sheet, I looked at my raggedy old alphabetizing cards that I’ve used the past 5 years and thought, “Let me just whip up some new cards to go with my recording sheet.”  So I did.

Then I looked at my Polar Bear Fishy Facts center.  Next to my shiny, new alphabetizing center, the dingy graphics and bent cards looked, well, sad.  So I thought, “How long can it take to whip out new fish and polar bears.  After all, I have this awesome graphics set from Primary Paradise that would work perfectly.”  So I did.


Then I thought, “I need a center to work with our math unit of place value. Surely that will be easy enough to put together.”  So I did.

Finally, I had one empty board left in my library center, and our newest spelling list introduces silent E, so — well, you know the rest.

So 5 days, 41 pages,  approximately 25 hours of work, and two too many 2:30 nights later, “Winter Centers – “Snow” Much Learning Fun” was born.   I truly had no intention of putting together a set of winter centers.  I was thinking February.  But these winter centers were demanding to be made, so I went with them.   Is that how it works for you all as well?

To celebrate going to bed at 12:30  last night instead of 2:30 — who knew the difference that extra two hours could make — I’m have a two-hour flash freebie.  It is now 2:00 PM EST on Sunday, January 13.  For the next two hours, “Winter Centers – “Snow” Much Learning Fun” will be free!  But hurry because this offer will be gone in a flash!

If you missed the flash freebie, this teaching eSource will be available for $5.50 in my store.

Good luck!