Making the Resources Work for You

As a curriculum resource designer, I often have a set idea in my mind of how my resource should be used.  I create the resource from the perspective of how I would use it in class. This will be a center.  This is a whole group activity.

But I often wonder how often a teacher uses that resource exactly as I have envisioned it.  Based on my own experience with resources I’ve bought or downloaded free, I’d say not every time.

Many of you probably picked up this fabulous resource during the 14 Days of Love blog hop we recently hosted.

Danielle from Crayonbox Learning designed this as a learning center activity.  I really wanted to use it, but felt my first graders weren’t quite ready to read the long vowel combinations independently, and I wanted to do a lesson about how different vowel combinations make long vowel sounds, so I decided to use it a whole group activity.

We sat on the floor in a circle, and I put the header cards out on the floor.  Each child received a word.  We went around the circle, and the child read their word, decided which long vowel it had, and put the word under the correct header.

sorting by long vowel sound

After we sorted out all the words, the kids wrote them on the recording sheet under the correct vowel.

long a highlighted

After they recorded the word, we got out a yellow marker, crayon, or highlighter, and I had them study the words in each column to figure out which vowels worked together to make the vowel sounds long.  We then highlighted those vowel combinations in each word.


Since we had been working with silent e, my kids easily recognized that vowel combination.  Some of the others were more challenging, but working together,  the children did identify and highlight all the different vowel combinations that made long vowel sounds on the paper.

highlighting vowel combos

This lesson wound up being a wonderful way to introduce these long vowel combinations to the children.  They were engaged the whole lesson, and they really liked Danielle’s cute graphics and Cupig.  I know this is not quite how Danielle envisioned this resource being used, but I think it’s wonderful that we have all these resources at our fingertips to use in the way that best suits the needs of our children at a particular moment in time.

I wonder how many of you have used any of my creations in a way not quite like I intended but still loved the outcome?  I’d love to hear about it if you have.

Have a good evening.


Trying to Keep Up

Some weeks I feel like I’m running as fast as I can just to keep up with everything (and not running quite fast enough).  Between school and home responsibilities, with parent-teacher evening conferences thrown in, I felt like I spent last week going in circles.  Without the help of my lists, I probably would not have survived.

When you have weeks like that, something has to give, and in my case, it was keeping up with my blog and everything that revolves around it, like the “For the Love of Teaching” blog hop.  I hope you were able to keep better than I was through the links that we continually added to my little blue frog face that you can find here.   All the freebies have been  fabulous, so just in case you weren’t able to keep up, here are the links for the past three days and today.

And today, be sure to head over to Sugar and Spice where Christina has a Valentine’s writing freebie for you!

In the mood for more freebies?  Check out Primary Paradise’s blog, where she lists the Top Five Freebies of the week, where I am beyond honored to have my freebie offered as the numero uno! freebie.  Wow!  Thank you, Martha!My Primary Paradise

I’m working on a few new products that should be up in the today and tomorrow.  I’m really excited about both of them, so be sure to check back tonight for a flash freebie on my Lent resource that I am thisclose to finishing!  Next up will be my How to Writing for First Grade February/March edition, where I introduce using transitional words and phrases and using graphic organizers to organize ideas.  You won’t want to miss that!

Until next time, enjoy your day!

Day 4 of the “For the Love of Teaching Blog Hop”!

Welcome, everyone, to day 4 of the For the Love of Teaching 14 Day  Freebie Blog Hop!  Special thanks to our friend, Mel (Graphics from the Pond) for designing our unique buttons for each day!

day 4

Aren’t you loving all these freebies?  Samantha,  Cyndie, and Cynthia all had fantastic freebies to share with you.   I can’t wait to work all these activities into my plans for this week!  My kiddos are going to love, Love, LOVE all of them!

I’m excited to share my free item with you today.  It’s called “Love Me True,” and the idea is to read an addition or subtraction problem and decide if it is true or false. If answered correctly, you get to move your marker the number of spaces written on the owl on the math fact card.   I played it with my math group on Friday, and they loved it!

Love Me True Math_PDF

The first time we played, we did it as a whole group with the girls against the boys and I was coach/judge/moderator so that I could make sure they understood how to play the game.

We gathered as a group with the board in the middle and the cards in one pile,  face down.

My Project 2-001

Pick a card and read the math problem.  Decide if it is true or false.  If it is false, tell why.

My Project 2-002

Use the number line to check and see if the person has given the correct answer.

My Project 2-003

If answered correctly, move your game piece the number of spaces on the owl on your card.  Follow any directions that are on the game board.

My Project 2-004

The game I played with my children is in black and white because I printed it out on the copier.  But the download is in full color as shown above!

The girls won the group game, and we ran out of time before we could partner up and play the game, so we are going to do that today.

I hope you enjoy this freebie, and please do come back and let me know how it worked out in your classroom!   Click on the picture below to download “Love Me True” from my TPT store.

Love Me True - A Common Core Correlated Subtraction Game_Page_01

You can also find this freebie featured on Manic Mondays Freebies.  Click the button below to see all the great freebies offered there!

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Next stop is Mrs. Fultz’s Corner, where my friend, Christi,  will have another fun freebie for you tomorrow.  So be sure to come back tomorrow to click through and  hop on over to Christi’s blog.

Ms. Fultz's corner

Enjoy your day!

If you missed any days so far, click on the little blue frog face below.  As more days are added, you’ll be able to see them here.

So Many Things to Share with You!

Gosh, I have so much to share with you today that I feel like I should  pace myself a bit, but I’m too excited.  Just like a kid on Christmas morning, I want to share them all with you NOW!

So first up, if you  haven’t heard, Teachers Pay Teachers is having a Super Sunday Sale, or is it a Sunday Super Sale?  Either way, you can get up to 28% off at my store ALL DAY on Super Bowl Sunday by using the code “SUPER” at check out.  Click on the picture below to load up your cart for tomorrow! If you just can’t wait until tomorrow, I have everything 20 percent off in my store today as well!


Today is also day 2 of the “For the Love of Teaching”  freebie blog hop.  Head on over to Chalk One Up for the Teacher, where Cyndie has a fun and fabulous freebie for you.  I know I will be using this freebie on Valentine’s Day!

The last thing I wanted to share with you is a literacy activity/craft that incorporates some really higher-level thinking skills such as analyzing two stories or a story to the movie to find similarities and differences, and comparing and contrasting two stories in a Venn diagram-ish craft.   I’ll post a teaser photo now and explain in detail tomorrow since my computer has decided to be glitchy and I have to take my daughter to majorette practice soon.  Duty calls!

frosty vs frosty

Frosty the Snowman (the book) VS Frosty the Snowman (the movie)

Be sure to check back tomorrow for the link to Day 3 of the For the Love of Teaching 14 Day Blog Hop and details on my above literacy activity!  Have a happy Saturday!

Day 1 of “For the Love of Teaching” Freebie Blog Hop

Today is day one of the 14-day “For the Love of Teaching” Blog hop.  We’ll be hopping you to a different blog each day to get a fun and fabulous freebie!  I just tried mine out today with my kids and they LOVED it!  But  you’ll have to wait for day 4 (Monday) to see what I’m offering!

In the meantime, click on the button below and  hurry over to Miss Smarty Pants to get your first freebie of the hop.  You will LOVE what she has created!  Make sure you check for the link to day two of the blog hop as well!

day 1

Happy Friday, everyone!

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!