Banana Split Words

Two posts in the same day?? There may be a blog post law about this somewhere...But I'm going to go with it anyways. Forgive me! ha

When I was off last week for snow days I got to thinking about ways to improve my kids sight word and reading fluency. I still have some sweeties who try to sound out sight words. I decided that I wanted to start sending home Fry word lists in their SAFARI books as something extra they can practice and study in their spare time at home. {they already have word lists they practice each week with their reading story} I started thinking of ways of how to track their progress and what would be a fun incentive for them learning the Fry words.....enter "Banana Split Words!" I immediately began working on a fun pack to use with my class called "Banana Split Words."

This pack was created to help improve my first grade students sight word and reading fluency through the use of Edward B. Fry’s Instant words {Fry Words}. This pack includes the first 600 Fry words. I have broken the first 600 words down into 30 lists of 20 words. All of my students will start out with list 1. Students will let me know when they are ready to be assessed on a list and I will give those as time permits. Students will work at their own pace for this project. They will not get a new list until they have fully mastered the list they are working on. As a fun incentive for learning the words and to reward students for their hard work I have named the Fry Words “Banana Split Words.” We will track our progress and at the end of the year we will celebrate by having a banana split party. I have included two different ways to track student progress. The first way is by building a banana split. Students will start with a bowl. Each time they master a set of “Banana Split Words” you will add an ingredient to their banana split. Depending on the goal you set for your class may depend on how many banana splits they actually build. You could set a class goal each grading period, twice a year, or once at the end of the year. You can set the goal {number of lists/words they master} depending on their ability and grade level. This pack includes the first 600 Fry Words but depending on the grade and age group will be a deciding factor in the goal you set for your class. Once you have set their goal, students will begin practicing their words at their own pace at home. When students meet the goal then they will participate in the banana split party. Or you could also let everyone participate in the banana split party to celebrate everyone’s progress. Up to you! For the second way of tracking student progress I have included monkey and banana patterns. Each student will start with a monkey. When they master a list of “Banana Split Words” they will receive a banana above their monkey. For this way of tracking you can set a goal for the number of bananas they should have. For this way you can also set a goal each grading period, twice a year, or by the end of the year. You will also celebrate by having a banana split party.
There is a note to parents explaining “Banana Split Words”, 30 word lists, 30 assessments, banana split ingredient images to make a bulletin board tracking display, monkey and banana images to make a bulletin board tracking display, tracking display examples, certificate of completion, a banana split party donation note to parents, and thank you notes or parents.

This is my display....that I seriously whipped up mega quick! I have a jungle/monkey theme in my classroom this year so I decided to use some monkeys and bananas {from creative teaching press} that I already had on hand that were already cut and laminated. I went crazy buying monkey and jungle stuff this summer.. so needless to say I have a lot of extra on hand that was begging to be used! haha My classroom is tiny and display space is very limited. I had to use this board behind my desk to display our monkeys. Normally, I would have put the monkeys at the bottom...but due to my desk covering up part of the bottom of the board I put the monkeys at the top. I haven't sent any lists home yet, so that's why there is not any bananas yet. I plan on sending list 1 home with my kiddos next week.


 I will put this somewhere next year....but for the sake of not having to rearrange my other boards at this point in the year I went with the one board that was somewhat will have to do! haha 

Here is a preview of the display ideas that are included in this pack. The pack has images included to create these displays.

Banana Split images for this document are from Dancing Crayon Designs.
Monkey images for this document are from Creative Clips.

Here is a preview of the word lists and assessments.

You can check this pack out here

A banana split sounds yum right about now...a trip to Dairy Queen might just be on the agenda tonight! ;)


Winter Fun {Penguin Style}

Hello four day weekend! We are out on another snow day today. We managed to get in four school days this week after being out for Christmas break for two weeks and then missing a week after that for snow/cold days. We got busy right away learning all about penguins.


They completed a little penguin writing to go along with their penguin craft to the prompt "If I were a Penguin..." Here were some of the popular go-to activities my sweeties would do if they were penguins..... dive, swim, eat fish, dance, sing, be happy :), slide on their bellies, and wobble/waddle! :) I love it! The penguin is from my It's a Winter Wonderland of Fun pack.

I finally changed the paper on my bulletin board in the hallway! It's been the same blue for what seems like forever!! I decided to go with pink.... since Valentine's Day is knocking at our door. 

This week we focused on verbs. After reading a ton of non-fiction books about penguins, we made a chart with penguin verbs. One of my little sweeties said "wow, penguins sure are full of action!" ha 
Some of them gave me phrases like "wear a tuxedo." So I circled the wear and we discussed how wear was the verb and not the "a tuxedo" part.

Next up is my trusty ole Penguin chart. I made this three-ish years ago after seeing it on Cara's blog. It's been a good one... but it's beginning to look pretty rough when you get up close to it. ha


We used our Scholastic News about penguins to hunt for verbs. Students hunted for verbs and highlighted them. I got this idea from Amy Lemons. She did this one time with Turtles. :)

While off on snow days last week I ran across this super cute snazzy snack idea on Pinterest. The link didn't take me to a site though... just to a pic of it. Not sure who it belongs to but it's adorable!! My kiddos were going to make this delicious and oh so cute little snack today... but I guess it will have to wait until Tuesday. Can't wait!

Here is a picture of the penguin snack we have made the last couple of years. We love snazzy snacks!


Non-penguin related.... but this is something else we did with verbs. I gave each student a post-it and they wrote down a verb and illustrated it. Some examples of what I got jump, run, tapping, singing, sleep, etc.

Last year I purchased this precious pack from The Teacher Wife but never got around to using it. Monday morning when I got to school I pulled this bad boy out and headed straight to the copier. We worked with this pack all week. My kids LOVED it! They were so excited and into the lesson. Such a fun pack!

I did it just a little differently than the pack calls for simply because I wanted to carry this on through this week and into the next week. First up we went over the four steps of solving a story problem. 

Then I gave them all a copy of the recording sheet. Rather than playing the game {love this idea though!} we met on the rug with our recording sheets and I let a student come up and pick a snowball. The student read the story problem on the snowball and then went through the remaining steps to show us how they would solve it. We did this with a couple of students and then I let one come up and pick out a snowball and read it to the class. Then they all went through the steps to solve and find the answer on the recording sheet. Then I had the little sweetie come back up and show us how to solve it and students checked their work to see if they agreed with the student and if they were correct. Then students went back and completed one of the story problems sheets included in this problem on their own. We did this like this each day. Students held onto their recording sheets and would bring it back to the rug each day to complete a new one. Yesterday we filled up our recording sheets and turned them. Next week, I plan on letting them do the group work activity that is included in this pack. If you don't have this, it's a must have! Such a fun way to do math in the wintertime.

Well that's a wrap! Happy Friday!


Froggy's First Kiss Companion Pack & A Giveaway!!

Valentine's Day is one of my favorite times at school. I love all the fun learning that can be done during this time. Hearts, flowers, candy... I could go on and on! One of my favorite Valentine's Day books is Froggy's First Kiss by Johnathan London. Since I got an extended Christmas break due to snow, ice, and freezing temps last week I decided to be productive and start working on some planning for next month. I whipped up a fun companion pack for the book Froggy's First Kiss and I can not wait for my February to get here so we can get started on it ASAP!!

In this companion pack you will get 5 interactive reading notebook/journal activities, a word search, 3 writing prompts, Froggy and Frogilina crafitivity patterns, 5 literacy centers with recording sheets, and 5 math centers with recording sheets.

Literacy centers included:
ABC Order
Synonym Match
Compound Words
Read the Room
Sentence Fix It Up {sentence editing}

Math Centers Included:
3 digit addition
Number Comparisons {greater than/less than}
1 less/1 more
True or False Equation Sort
Even or Odd Number Sort

Here is a preview of one of the interactive reading journal activities included in this pack.

Froggy and Frogilina craft! I can't wait for my kiddos to make these in February! My mom has already got them cut out, bagged, and ready to go! 

Want to win a copy of this pack? Leave me a comment telling me what your favorite Froggy book is and I will pick a winner or two sometime tomorrow. :)


Don't forget to check out the app Cinderella Dressed in Yellow on iTunes from Creative Teaching Press. You can read all about this awesome app HERE.

****Don't forget that I'm having a giveaway that is ending soon for 10 Free Learn to Read books from Creative Teaching Press. If you have not entered already you can enter using the rafflecopter gadget below. These are wonderful books and a great addition to your classroom library!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Well after 3 weeks off I will be back to the grind tomorrow. Excited to see my sweet firsties and here all about their break. I have a lot of fun things planned. I will be back soon to fill you in on what we are up to in room 4.


Cinderella Dressed In Yellow CTP App {And a GIVEAWAY!!}

I am on snow day number 3 today! We got quite a bit of snow and ice on Sunday night and have had super freezing temps! I thought I would take advantage of the snow day and do a blog post.

Looking for some fun digital learning? Creative Teaching Press has an app for that! Cinderella Dressed in Yellow is an awesome app that Creative Teaching Press is offering for FREE until February 28, 2014! 

I wanted to share a few screen shots with you from the app. 

Type in the box to insert your name.

Throughout the digital story there are several counting opportunities for young learners! Here is an example below... How many kisses did he get? When you click on the lipstick smooches on the prince's cheek it counts out loud. Children can count them first and then tap on them to see if they were right.

Learners can tap on the words to have it read to them. If you look closely in the left hand corner you will see a pic of a microphone. There is even an option for the learner to record and listen to themselves read! How fun!

Here is another counting opportunity... How many scoops did she get? I love that not only are they practicing reading with this app but also get to count!

Once you have finished reading the story you get a certificate of congratulations. You can even add your own photo to Cinderella's face. 

There are three fun activities that can be completed once your your little learner has finished reading the digital story.

Count the tally marks... with the option of choosing easy, medium, and hard.

Help Cinderella Find the Prince... this is my favorite! It asks your learner 5 comprehension questions. LOVE! :)

Color match 

It has an how to use feature.

It also has tips for reading with Kids!

App key features include:

* Word-by-word- highlighting synched with narration
* Record and record feature to allow reader to practice and hear their own narration of the story
* Interactive animation throughout story
* Reward certificate for completion of the story
* Ability to import pictures and send via email
* Three engaging Activities and Games including; Count the Tally Marks, Color Match, Help Cinderella find the Prince
* Optional Background Music
* Tips for using this App to enhance reading skills

Like what you see? You can check it out HERE for FREE!!!

And while your there be sure to check out the great other apps available from Creative Teaching Press!

I'm a huge fan of Creative Teaching Press!! I love anything and everything they offer! I want to give one lucky reader a chance to add some Creative Teaching Press to their classroom collection so it's time for a giveaway! One reader will win 10 Learn to Read books of their choice!! For a complete list of the Learn to Read Books click HERE! These books retail for $3.49 each and are a wonderful resource to add to your collection of books! They have also been recently redesigned with new artwork and covers!

To enter this giveaway use the rafflecopter below! :) Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Dinosaur Fun

I was looking through the pics on my phone this morning and came across some I had taken several weeks ago when we were learning about Dinosaurs. Since I'm trying to do better with blogging I thought I would backtrack and share a few of the things we did during our week of learning all about dinosaurs.

I found some grow capsules at K-Mart back in the early fall. I picked up some packs because I thought I could use them for animal reports. A few weeks later when our reading story was The Big Circle, I thought it would be the perfect time to pull out the grow capsules and do a little dinosaur research. The kids were pumped!

I paired them up with a partner and each duo picked one grow capsule and dropped it into the little cup of waiter. 

Once the capsule grew it revealed the dinosaur they would be researching! Exciting!

I borrowed the mini lap top cart from the upper grades and each duo shared a lap top to write down some interesting facts about their dinosaur. They wrote their rough draft on writing tablet paper and we went back a couple days later and printed it in our BEST handwriting on Abby's cute dinosaur writing paper from her Dino Centers pack. I forgot to snap a pic of those but they turned out great! They wrote the name of their dinosaur in the box at the top of the writing paper and then I had them to pick out 3-5 facts to write on the writing paper. Since this was the first time we had used the laptops for research I thought 3-5 facts was plenty. They have to start somewhere! :)

We made a little dinosaur chart. We discussed our schema {what we already know} and then we read a ton of non-fiction books about dinosaurs, fossils, etc. When we would learn something new we would add it to our chart. I snapped this pic early on before we were finished with our chart. We also added some misconceptions to our finished chart.

For center tubs that week we used the fun activities from Abby's Dino Centers pack. The centers in this pack were precious and the kids loved them! Unfortunately, I didn't snap any pics. :(  
Not only do I need to do better with blogging.... but I need to do better with snapping pics for the blog posts! I think that's my problem.... I don't snap pics.. therefore I don't have any material to blog about! ha  I will do better in 2014!

Happy Friday! It's super cold here in Tennessee and we got snow last night! :)

Are You a Party Animal? Junie B. Jones Is!

Happy New Year blog friends!! I just put the finishing touches on a new Junie B. pack for the book Junie B. Jones Is a Party Animal written by Barbara Park. I was excited to post about this pack today because I'm sure many of you were party animals last night just like Junie B! :)

 This little companion pack has everything for you to create a book study booklet for your kiddos. Included is a book study cover sheet, a prediction sheet, vocabulary sheet, 8 summary sheets, 8 comprehension question sheets, 2 venn diagrams, an opinion writing sheet, a text-to-self writing sheet, a class graph activity, abc order sheet, word search, ideas for a class pajama party day with notes, and 3 different writing papers!

Also included in this pack is a craft to make these slumber party cuties.

I can't wait to get started on this little pack with my firsties! They LOVE Junie B!

Leave me a comment telling me if you were a party animal last night for New Years and what you did to ring in the New Year. I will pick a winner(s) sometime tomorrow. :)

Have a wonderful first day of 2014!