gbj promo pig
Resource swap image

Goodbye July, Aloha August!

gbj promo pig

Be sure to grab all of the amazing deals mentioned above!

But first be sure to enter to win a $50 TpT Gift Certificate.  The Rafflecopter will go live at midnight tonight (12am Thursday, July 31st) and will stay live through midnight on Sunday, August 3rd.

Here is a clickable list of all the participating stores! 

Math Problem Solving: Strategies that Work!

Resource swap image

Well I feel so fortunate!  I am involved in a resource swap and review with some fellow TpT Sellers and boy did I get lucky!  My kids have been struggling with solving word problems in math.  But thanks to Amanda Taylor from Second Grade Smiles, we are now smiling in first grade!  We are mastering word problems!

I want to take you through some of the steps and strategies that we have been using in class, as well as share with you an amazing resource which has helped my students master this difficult task!

We started with some basic word problems.  I thought, no worries, I’ve got this!  We started by reading each problem.  We decided to make a list of strategies we could use in order to tackle word problems.  We came up with a list that looked like this.

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This is great, right?  Well it wasn’t enough.  My students still were having troubles!  So I thought we could make a web of all of the ways we could solve the problems…always starting with reading the problem, circling the numbers, and underlining the key words.  So look at this fantastic web we made:

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Yay!  We are rocking word problems (or so I thought).  Nope!  The confusion was still there about these darned key words.  What were we going to do?  This is where I got lucky, really lucky!  Amanda Taylor had this wonderful product on TpT that addressed this problem exactly…identifying key words in problems in order to successfully solve the problems!

So it was time to regroup, step back, and start again.  I explained to the students that the steps we had been practicing were very important, but that we needed to really tackle those key words.  I decided to teach this as a whole group lesson (previous lessons had been on small groups).  We started with addition.  I projected the problems on the screen in my classroom to save on paper.  The students busted out their Math Journals and we got down to business.

Amanda’s product had everything I needed to teach these essential key words.  First, I ran off the cute little addition and subtraction key words printables for the students to glue into their math journals.  On chart paper, I drew a giant addition key just like Amanda’s.  This would be our anchor chart to use as a reference along with the copies in the student math journals.  As we worked through each problem, we added the key words to the “key”.

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As you can see I modeled circling the number words and underlining the key words the students discovered.  I added these to the anchor chart and the students added them to the keys in their journals.

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We practiced problems together until we had a great bank of key words and then the students practiced some problems independently.

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We repeated these steps the next day and tackled subtraction key words.  Here is what that looked like:

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The kiddos were really catching on and I was super excited about it!  Later the students had the opportunity to practice more problems.  Amanda’s cards can be used in a center as task cards or as a Scoot game.  I opted for using them for the whole group direct instruction and later used them in centers as task cards.  Here is the finished work from one little guy:

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My kids loved working with these key word activities.  They kept saying, “I found the key to unlock the problem!”  It was precious.   If you would like to check out this resource, which I highly recommend, you can find it here.  Just click on the picture.  Amanda will be offering this product for 20% off  Thursday through Sunday.

Number Story Cover for Preview (2)

Number Story Sample Page 3       Number Story Sample Page 2    Number Story Sample Page 1

A few more thoughts on problem solving….

I found it very helpful to also talk to my kids about how they could apply number bonds to solving word problems.  So in our classroom we also have an anchor chart that refers to number bonds so that the kids can reference it when solving more complicated problems, when key words might not be so obvious.  It looks like this:

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This works for a lot of kids.  I encourage them to do what works best for them whether it be draw a picture, write a number sentence, or complete a number bond.  Whatever works!

I hope that you will find something here that you can take back to your classroom to use.  Also, I would love for you to comment on strategies that you have found to work with your students.  Thanks so much for stopping by and a big thanks to Amanda at Second Grade Smiles for creating such a fabulous product!


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Wishlist Wednesday- What Teachers Want Mid-Year


So I am linking up with my friend Rebecca over at Line Upon Learning for a fun little blog post about what teachers really want at this point in the year.

Okay, so unfortunately sanity, time, patience, and less chatty students can’t be bought!  But there are several things that I am really wishing for right now that I can actually buy!

So here are a few things on my wishlist on TpT that I hope to pick up at the big sale that starts tomorrow!

1.  Clip Art Birthday Set and Bunting from Sonya DeHart Designs

bunting pic

These are so cute and I see so many possibilities for using them.  I love the colors!

2.  Glitter Digital Paper by Sonya DeHart Designs

Glitter 1Glitter 2

Love the colors!  I have very little glitter anything and think these papers would be fabulous!

3.   Scrappin’ Doodles Line Art School Supplies

School Supplies

I have the color set of this and have been really wanting the line art for completing some more projects!  I can’t wait for the sale!

So those are just a few of the many products on my TpT wishlist!  What are you wishing for?

Thanks for stopping by!


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TpT Sale! and an offer of help…

Big Sale!

So it has been announced!  Teachers pay Teachers will be having a big site wide sale this Thursday and Friday!  They will be offering 10% off site wide when you enter the code TPT3 at checkout.  In addition to these fabulous savings, my store will also be on sale.  Everything will be marked down 20%!  You will save 28% at checkout!  What a deal!

Now is the time to start filling up those wishlists and planning for the next few months!  I know I am always scrambling on Sunday evenings looking for resources to go with my lessons.  I am going to try to plan ahead, think long range, and grab some great resources at big savings!


Just click on the sale image and you will be taken to my store so you can start prepping for the sale.  I have just posted my popular March Morning Work or Homework as well as an adorable integrated unit for some St. Patrick’s Day fun.  You may want to chech them out.


An Offer of Help… 

Have you ever considered becoming a TpT seller?

If this is something you have had in the back of your mind, but are not sure how to get started, I am offering my help.  I will be available to walk you through the process from signing up, to creating products, posting products, advertising; everything I wish that I had help with at the start.

If you have any questions about this or would like to know more, just shoot me an email at  I am here for you and am more than willing to help.  If you think you are ready to go for it, just follow the link below and you can get started.

Link to sign up

I am really serious about my offer.  I have met amazing people as a TpT seller and I really believe I have become an even better teacher.  After 24 years of teaching this experience has rekindled my creativity!

Thanks for stopping by!

Nancy Taylor-Davis :)

I’m in Love With…(& TpT Gift Certificate giveaway)

Just one more day until Valentine’s Day!  I am blessed to have so many wonderful loves in my life…

family, friends, and my job!  I am linking up with Lucky to Be in First! for this fun post!

Here are a few  things that I love in my life.  Now you will know a little bit more about the person behind Fun Times in First!


My sweet granddaughter Lily is four years old and simply warms my heart.  I am so fortunate that she is close by and can be a big part of my life!


Oh yes!  These are my favorite markers!  They have such beautiful colors and I love how I can write chunky letter with them!


This is one of my favorite shows right now!  I think I must have a little crush on Donnie Wahlburg!


My absolute favorite vacation!  I am in love with any cruise, but my all time favorite was a cruise through the Mediterranean!   This summer I am cruising Alaska and can’t wait!


TpT is my creative outlet!  I used to be a scrapbooking addict, but I have taken all of those creative juices and poured them in to creating classroom resources which have really enhanced my lessons in first grade!   This of course leads to…

I'm in Love with

Can you say addicted?  That’s me and my love of clip art!


Coffee…must include half & half and Splenda!  I need at least two cups to start my school day.  Don’t even talk to me about the number of cups I drink on the weekend!


This was by far the best investment I have made!  it didn’t cost much and I order laminating sleeves from Sam’s Club online for a bargain price!  It has allowed me to create so many durable products for my classroom!

So now I have been exposed!  You know a little bit more about me!  I would love to know a little bit more about you!   Please comment and tell me one thing that you are in love with!  Thanks for stopping by!


As a thank you to my followers, I am offering a giveaway!  I will be raffling off a $50 git certificate to TpT (good at any store), as well as several product prizes from my store.  To enter, just click the link  below and complete the RAFFLECOPTER entry.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks so much for stopping by!


Spiral Review Strategy {plus freebie}

I don’t know about your students, but mine tend to have the use it or lose it thing going on when it comes to some skills!   Give my students a long weekend or a longer break and they look at me like I have three heads when I refer to a skill that has clearly been taught and practiced!  Thank goodness it doesn’t happen with everything I teach!  Haha!

One strategy I have found to be extremely helpful to combat the use it or lose it problem is spiral review and practice…DAILY!   I incorporate this strategy into many lessons during the day.

But the easiest and most effective way I have found is the use of  morning work.   I have created a product which provides my students with daily practice of many important ELA and Math skills which they tend to forget about without such practice.  It is great for reviewing previously taught skills in a “themed” kind of way.

My newest Morning Work pack has a Valentine’s theme.  Somehow the cutesy clip art draws the kids in and they don’t really realize that they are practicing many essential skills!

Here are two sample pages:



During the daily practice included in the February morning pack,  students have the opportunity to review the following skills:

~Fact families (creating fact families when given four numbers)

~Fact families (identify and write the missing fact from the fact family)

~True or False (when given a math equation, students solve to prove if it is true or false; then write a true equation for the given sum)

~Identify ways to show a given number

~Draw the hour and minute hands on a blank clock for a give time to the hour or half hour

~Complete a tally table with given data and solve the problem

~Solve word problems involving addition, subtraction, missing addends, and/or three addends

~Write addition or subtraction sentences to match a given picture then solve

~Practice comma usage in a series and in dates

~ABC order

~Read and choose the correct linking verb in a sentence

~Read and choose the correct verb form for sentences

~Read sentences and select the correct pronoun to replace the underlined noun in the sentence

~Read and select the correctly spelled word to complete a sentence

~Edit and correct sentences for capitalization and punctuation

~Identify sentence type (this month is exclamatory and interrogative)

You can grab the two pages above for free HERE.

If you are interested in the entire February Morning Work Pack, it is available in my TPT store  HERE.


Thanks so much for stopping by!


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Take a Peek and Freebie {January Morning Work Pack}

Brrrr!  It’s cold outside!  Soon we will be back to school and my students will need some warming up.  After two weeks off from school their little brains will need some serious revving to get back to where we were in December!

I wanted to share a little about my morning work pack that my students work on every morning when they arrive at school.  I love that in one printable page I can cover so many essential ELA and Math skills and provide the opportunity to continually review and practice each day.


As you can see from the cover, I include 23 days of printables so that there is a page for each school day.  I choose to use this as morning work, but I occasionally send a page home for homework.

The following skills are covered in the entire pack for practice and review:

~fact families
~time to the hour and half-hour
~word problems
~ordering numbers
~representing numbers with tens and ones
~identifying the ones place or tens place
~solving problems using tally tables
~ABC order
~using the correct verb tense
~using pronouns
~identifying correctly spelled words
~writing sentences with correct capitalization and punctuation
~identifying sentences as declarative or interrogative


For the month of January, there will be practice with fact families each day.  In addition my kiddos needed some serious review of declarative and interrogative sentences, so they will practice editing these each day as well.  In December we worked on measurement, so this month they will have the opportunity to practice this skill.  For the first half of the pack they identify how many units long the given object is.  For the second half they will draw worms to match the given unit of measure.You can also see a math word problem.  Every 5th day there is a word problem for students to solve.  They must show their work!  They also will practice telling time to the hour and half hour as well as ABC order.


On this sheet my students practice ordering numbers.  Some pages cover ordering from greatest to least.  Other pages cover least to greatest.  You can also see that the students practice using was or were correctly in sentences.


One of my favorite math skills for my students to practice is solving multi-step problems and using data in a tally table.  Here you can see an example of this.  Also, this sheet provides the opportunity to use the correct verb tense in a sentence.


On this page you can see that my students will review place value.  They practice identifying and circling then tens place or the ones place in a two-digit number.


Finally, you can see here that my students review place value by drawing tens and ones to represent the given number.  In addition, they are practicing using the correct pronoun to take the place of the underlined noun(s) in a sentence.

Also included in this morning work pack are three winter themed coloring pages…just for fun!  My kids LOVE to color!

To grab Day 1 for free, click HERE and download it from my Google Drive.

To purchase the entire January morning work pack, click on the cover page above.  It is on sale now for 20% off through January 2nd.  Thanks so much for stopping by!


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New Year’s 20% off Sale!

Head’s up!  I am having a sale to ring in the new year!

All products in my store will be on sale for 20% off from

Tuesday, December 31st-Thursday, January 2nd!

This will be a great time to stock up and save for 2014.

Be sure to stop by my store and start making a wish list.

Just click on the picture below and it will take you there.  Happy shopping!

new year sale pic

New Year’s Resolution Activity Freebie

I hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday!  I am sure everyone is enjoying their time off from school and getting lots accomplished!  My New Year’s Resolution this year is to stay on top of creating products and posting to my blog.  As a thank you to all of my wonderful supporters, I have created a New Year’s Resolution Freebie that is now available in my TpT store.  I figure there is no better way to start the New Year than to offer a freebie.

I can’t wait to use this with my students.  They love doing interactive flip/flap books.


I couldn’t resist the adorable polar bear clip art from Scrappin’ Doodles!  I have invested a small fortune in their clip art!


Here is the top of the flip/flap book.


You can have your students write their resolutions on the lines provided on this part of the “book”.


If you want your students to write a paragraph about their resolutions, I have included lined paper.

New Years Resolutions

I plan on using this party hat for the kids to decorate.  I am then going to attach it to a sentence strip so they have a headband to wear.


Finally I have included a little coloring page for early finishers.  My kids never finish writing at the same time so this will definitely help!

You can download this freebie  here from my TpT store or click on the cover image above.  I would love your feedback!  Thanks! Nancy

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December Morning Work Pack Giveaway

Enter for your chance to win my December Morning Work Pack for First Grade.

December MW pin

Your kids will love the daily practice and review of many important first grade ELA and Math skills with a fun Christmas theme.  Twenty-three days of morning work or homework are included as well as three bonus coloring sheets.

Enter for your chance to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cyber Sale & Freebie

Well I am just back from a fabulous cruise!  I spent the week of Thanksgiving visiting Grand Cayman and Cozumel and boy was it what I needed!  Now, back to life…back to reality!  Isn’t that a song????????????

I wanted to let you all know that TpT is having a site-wide Cyber Sale on Monday and Tuesday.  In addition, everything in my store will be an additional 20% off.  So you can save a total of 28% in my store by entering the code “CYBER” at check out under the promo code section.


Click the sale picture to go directly to my store.

I hope you will take a few minutes and check out my store and stock up your wish list so that you can take advantage of these fantastic savings.

I also wanted to share a freebie with you all…if you haven’t already found this I created a December Math Centers freebie.  This freebie reviews a lot of first grade math skills.  Your students are certain to enjoy the colorful graphics as they practice many important skills like:

~word problems


~place value

~2D shape attributes

~missing addends

~odd or even

You can find this Freebie by clicking here

Here is a peek at the freebie:

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Also if you didn’t know, I have been creating monthly daily morning work or homework packs that cover multiple ELA and Math skills.  You can grab the latest (and previous months) on sale on Monday and Tuesday.

The regular price is $4.oo but you can save 28%, which ends up being $2.88 for an entire month of printables!  It includes 23 days of daily work and 3 bonus coloring pages.

Here is a preview of the pack:

December MW pin

You can find this in my store here

Thanks so much for stopping by!


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20% Off Veterans Day Sale

Hello everyone!  I am sorry that I have been so quiet for a while…I have lots going on (not like you don’t too!).

Grades were due this week which is my favorite thing to take care of   always fun,  I have a group project due in class Tuesday,  the Facebook Frenzy is in full swing, and I am working hard to clear out a room in our house as my boyfriend’s mother will be discharged from the hospital on Wednesday and is coming to stay with us under the care of Hospice.  :(  It is a difficult time.

On a positive note I am thankful for the three day weekend and for having some additional time to take care of things.  I wanted to do something special to celebrate and honor the amazing veterans that have served our country.  So, I am throwing a sale in my TpT store.

Everything will be 20% off on Monday and Tuesday.

Veterans Day Sale slide

I hope that you will pop into my store and check things out.  Maybe you will find something that you need and will get to grab it while it’s on sale!

Also, if you haven’t had a chance to check out the November Facebook Frenzy, you can get started here for a ton of great fall freebies:

Thanks for stopping by!


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Place Value Practice to 99

Well I finally got it together and finished my place value practice pack that I shared about in my September 27th Five for Friday post!  It only took me about fifty forevers to get it done!  So I wanted to share with you all that is included in this pack.  And because you follow my blog, you are in the know.  This pack is for sale in my TpT store, but WILL BE FREE next weekend during the November FB Frenzy!  Whoop! Whoop!  Lucky you!

Here is a look at the entire pack:




















All I can say is that my firsties loved these activities and it gave them great practice with place value.  These activities can be used by individual students, partners, or can be used in a math center.

Like I said this is now available in my store, but you can grab it free next weekend during the November FB Frenzy.  You can link up with the Frenzy on my Facebook page  There will be frenzy loops going on for each grade level from K-5, so there will be a ton of freebies!

 I hope your students will enjoy using these fun, hands-on activities!

Thanks for stopping by!


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Halloween Boo Linky!


I have been boo-ed!    Now it is my turn to do some booing!

Maybe you’ve seen or heard of this fun “game” in neighborhoods or even at your school… but let’s try a blog version!
Here is how it works:
If you’ve been booed, copy and paste the above pic and these ”rules” into your post.
1.  Give a shout out to the blogger who booed you and link back to their site!
2. Share 3-5 October activities, books, products (yours or someone else),
or freebie(s) that you love!
3.  Share the Boo love with 5 bloggers- make sure you check this link to make sure you don’t boo someone again:
And don’t forget to tell them that they have been BOOED!
4.  Link up here  with First Grade Friendly Froggies so that others can find you and read about your October ideas!
And while you are there… check out the other great blogs!
So here are a few Halloween favorites I wanted to share.  Some of these I grabbed during the current FB Frenzy that is going on right now through Monday at 8 PM EST.  So it;s not too late for you to grab these too!
1.  This first freebie comes to you from Laura at Differentiation Station.
This freebie is packed full of activities for practicing numbers to 20 in a variety of ways.  You can grab it until 8 PM Monday through the FB Frenzy.   It is super cute!
Halloween Candy
2.  The next Freebie comes from Brenda Tejeda at Tejeda’s Tots.  It includes a fun little subtraction game and a monster craftivity and writing activity.  This one is also available for free through the current FB Frenzy.
Halloween subtraction
3.  Here is a cute freebie I came across on TpT.  It comes from Julie from  It includes game boards to practice addition and subtraction through 20 in a “Connect Four” type of game.  I can’t wait to try it!
4 in a row
4.  I know I have already shared this next one, but I absolutely love it and feel the need to share it again!  It comes from Chrystine at Tweet Music and is packed with interactive notebook activities!   You can also grab this one from the current FB Frenzy!
Interactive notebook
5.  Finally I thought I would wrap it up with my freebie for this FB Frenzy.
 You can grab this from my FB page
Just look for the FB Frenzy tab.
Halloween Sorts Freebie
Let the booing proceed!  Have a great Sunday!
I am off to boo the following blogs:

Cupcakes & Curriculum

Sommer Pride

Fantastic First Grade Froggies

An Apple a Day in First Grade

Comprehension Connection


Five for Friday- FB Frenzy Freebies!


So I am sure you are aware of the awesome October FB Frenzy going on right now through October 21st.  This frenzy offers an amazing opportunity to grab a ton of fall themed freebies and educational resources.  I hopped all the way through the K-1 frenzy and 2-3 frenzy on Friday and (although this is a little late) wanted to share with you my top 5 favorite freebies.  It’s not too late for you to join in and grab your freebies too!

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Okay the first one I want to share comes from Lauren at Mrs. Thompson’s Teaching Treasures.  My students have been working on her Halloween Hundreds Chart mystery pictures and my kids love them.  I am excited to take their learning to a new level with her Halloween Picture Graphs.  The kids have to color in boxes on the graph coordinating a number and letter (grid coordinates).  It will be a challenge but I have advanced first graders so I think we will give it a shot!

Mystery Pic 1

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Next up is a fabulous, huge pack from Chrystine Tinney of Tweet Music.  She has a wonderful Halloween and Math Interactive Notebook freebie that has 86 pages!  Her resource includes work with CVC words, contractions, tens frames and numbers, the poem/song Five Little Pumpkins, and rhyming words plus so much more!  I can’t wait to use these resources in my classroom!

Interactive notebook

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Another one of my favorite freebies comes from Nikki Sabiston of Teaching in Progess.  It’s called Halloween Hats and Spider Sorts.  This freebie includes an emergent reader, sentence builders, word cards, writing pages, and a sort for “an” and “at” words.  Looks like a lot of fun, useful resources that my students will really enjoy!

Halloween Hats and Spider sorts

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I found some really cute morning messages from Lindsey Levis of Lovin’ Kindergarten.  This is a power point product.  I can see putting up one of the morning message slides and using it as a daily journal prompt for my firsties.  I think since they are so excited about Halloween that they would be excited to write on the different prompts.  I can’t wait to use these!

Halloween PowerPoint Morning Messages

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Finally, last but not least, is a great freebie from Andrea Crawford of Reader Stars.   This Pumpkin Patch Synonym resource will be perfect for my top group as we have started to learn about synonyms.  It includes pumpkin matching with synonyms and pumpkin vine puzzles with synonym matching.  I think this is great for strong readers in first or with second or third graders.  Can’t wait to use it!

pumkin patch synonyms_Page_01

Well I hope you have enjoyed learning about a few of my favorites!  It was hard to narrow it down because all of the freebies are amazing!  So, don’t miss out.  Head over to my Facebook page to start the frenzy and grab your freebies before the frenzy ends on Monday evening!

Thanks for stopping by!


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October FB Frenzy has started!

If you haven’t heard, the October FB Frenzy has started!  It runs through Monday at 8 PM EST.  There are three hops going on: K-1, 2-3, and 4-5.  The K-1 hop has 45 participants!  Each stop has an awesome fall freebie for you to rake up!  You can start the FB Frenzy Hop on my FB page or on any of the participants pages.  Here’s all you do:

1.  Go to

2.  Look for the rainbow colored FB Frenzy tab.  Click on the  tab.


3.  If you have not already liked the page, you will see this image:


4.  Once you click like, you will see this image:

screens shot 2

5.  Click on the moon to grab your freebie from Google Docs.  After downloading and saving, go back to this image and click on the Jack-o-Lantern to go to the next page and freebie.

6.  You will follow the same steps on each page.

7.  Here are the maps of the K-1 hop and the 2-3 hop so that you can refer to these if you get stuck along the way.

map for k-1 (2)

2-3 Map

4-5 frenzy map

Have fun grabbing a ton of freebies!  Be sure to share this info with all of your teacher friends!


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October Facebook Frenzy {& freebie}

What a crazy week!  I am sorry that I don’t have a Five for Friday post this week, but with grades being due, a presentation due in the gifted class I am taking, and the usual list of responsibilities…it just wasn’t happening this week!

I did want to give you a heads up though about the next FB Freebie Frenzy!  It will start next weekend and you will again be able to hop from FB page to FB page raking up some fabulous freebies!  I know I grabbed a ton of great resources during the September frenzy and can’t wait for this one.

This hop will be filled with great resources with the theme of pumpkins, scarecrows, and Halloween.  I have already prepared my freebie which is called “Halloween Sorts”.  It includes 5 word sorts and 1 picture sort with the Halloween theme.  Here’s a peek at the cover:

Halloween Sorts Freebie

Here is one of the sorts which you can go ahead and grab now. :)  Just click on the image to be taken to the document to download. Slide3

I hope you will be checking out the frenzy next weekend.  It runs from October 18th-21st.  Remember you can start on my FB page and loop all of the way through the k-1 pages.  Click on the image to go to my FB page.


Enjoy the beautiful fall weekend!


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Five for Friday {on Saturday!}


Doodle Bugs Teaching Five for Friday
There are just not enough hours in a day!  I apologize that this post is late…but I simply have not had a moment until now!

Here is what has been going on this week.

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First I am stealing an idea from one of my teammates.  She tweaked a design she saw on Pinterest for an adorable door design.  What I love about it is that she didn’t have to cover the entire door with paper which we all love to do  which we know is a total pain to do!  I think the door turned out great and wouldn’t be too difficult to create.


Hello Frankenstein!

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My teammate next door  had a cute idea for a bulletin board with a Halloween theme, displaying cute work created by her students.



Her students have been working on adding within ten.  She created cute little monsters with addition sentences.  The students then represented the addition sentences with googly eyes!  What a cute idea!

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My class has been working a lot with finding ten more, ten less, one more, and one less than a given number.  They are doing very well with this.  One of the activities in the Georgia Standards Framework for first grade included an activity where the students race to 99.  The students took a 99 chart and colored the alternate rows of tens in two colors.  After that, they cut the rows of tens apart and glued them together to make a REALLY long number line.  They did that part on day one in a small group with my wonderful paraprofessional.

On the next day we got to play the game.  Trying to save paper, I gave the students a square on manila drawing paper.  I modeled on the board how to design their spinner.  We were then able to place our clear spinners on top of these squares to use in this game.

1.  The students worked with a partner.

2.  They laid out the number lines next to one another all around the classroom floor.

3.  The students placed their clear counters on the zero and the game began.

4.  The first player spun the spinner and moved on the number line according to their spin.  They counted on or back ten more, ten less, one more or one less.

5.  Then the partner took a turn.  The first player  to reach 99 was the winner.  A few pairs then decided to race back to zero! :)

This was a super fun way to review this concept and the kids LOVED IT!  I absolutely love when the kids can learn and have fun!

Here are a few pictures from the activity:

100_6389     100_6382




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Here are a few pictures of my classroom.  I LOVE all of the bright colors!

Back of my classroom

Back of my classroom

Whole group area

Whole group area

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I am really excited for Columbus Day this year.  We do not have the day off so I have planned for a full day of Columbus activities.  Here is a peek at the Columbus Day pack I will be using on that day…it is packed full of literacy and math activities for an entire day of fun!






You can grab this for $3 in my TpT store:

Columbus Day Literacy and Math

Thanks so much for stopping by!


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Five For Friday {September 27, 2013}


I am so excited for my very first Five for Friday.  I am getting a late start so you may not get this until Saturday! So here is what we have been up to in the past week or so.

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We have been working hard on number sense to 120.  I created a spin and draw activity.  The kids loved it.  They spun the spinner, built the number, drew the number and then wrote how many tens and how many ones.  The kids loved it!


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I finally got my clock labels up!  I LOVE them.  And, drum-roll please, some of my kids are actually looking at the clock and telling me what time it is!  In first grade we only tell time to the hour and half hour, but in calendar math we have gone further and some of my students are telling time to the minute. :)


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In reading groups (last week) we were working on summarizing the texts we had been reading.  We used “Somebody, Wanted, But, So” to work on this and it was fantastic!  All three groups worked on this with their leveled readers and I was thrilled with the results!


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We celebrated Johnny Appleseed’s birthday with some “Apple-icious” activities!  I created a freebie for the FB Fall Frenzy that I was so excited to use.  But, we were fussed at by the administration for how much copy paper we have already used this year, so I couldn’t print everything I wanted to.  We still had a ball tasting apples, describing them with adjectives in our journals, and then graphing our favorites!

Slide7  Slide6

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We worked on a math activity with partners where the students visited 10 stations around the classroom.  They were to count the group of objects.  The first day they all tried counting by ones and most of them never finished counting before it was time to switch.  The next day we talked about the previous days activity and I asked the kids if there would be a faster way to count the objects. Light bulbs turned on and someone called out “We can count by tens!”  So that is what they did.  They made groups of ten and then counted the ones.  (Two boys finished quickly and got creative with the worms they were counting!)



Thanks so much for stopping by!  I hope this will be the first of many more “Five for Fridays” to come!


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Columbus Day Literacy and Math

Columbus Day is just around the corner.  I have created a super cute product to use with my firsties that covers a bunch of skills.  Here is a peek at this product!


You can have your students read to get information about Columbus using either the adorable flip book or little book.  The flip book looks great put together, but if you want to use less paper the little book can be run off front to back and covers the exact same information.


After reading the students can write facts for each of the key events and sequence them.  I have also included a quiz.  I am always in need of a Social Studies grade!  This also shows the cute color by sum printable.


Graphing!  I love graphing!  I have created a spin and tally activity to create data for the students to graph and interpret.  My kids love to use a spinner so I know they will love this!


Finally, we have been working on common and proper nouns.  The study of Columbus seemed like a great time to throw in an activity to review this.  The pack includes a center where students sort the ships into two categories: common and proper nouns.  There is a recording sheet for this center.  If you want a quick activity, there is also a cut and paste with common and proper nouns.


I hope these activities will be useful in your classroom.  If you are interested, you can grab them in my TpT store.  Just click here!

Thanks for stopping by!

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A Freebie for My New Followers

Thank you so much to all of my new followers.  To say thank you, I decided to offer an exclusive freebie just for you!


This sentence activity pack is a fabulous resource to help your students understand the whole concept of sentences.

This packet includes resources and activities to help you address:

•Subjects and predicates (4 activities/printables)
•Complete sentences (3 activities/printables)
•Word order in sentences (3 activities/printables)
•Capitalization /punctuation of sentences (3 activities/printables)
I hope that you enjoy this freebie.  Please be sure to follow my blog on Bloglovin’ so that you won’t miss out on any great ideas and resources!
Grab the freebie here
Thanks for stopping by!

Facebook Frenzy

If you haven’t checked out the Fall FB Frenzy that is currently happening, be sure not to miss out on all of the freebies. It runs through Monday. You can start the K-1 hop on my Facebook page here
and by clicking the Fall FB Frenzy tab! Have fun hopping and grabbing great freebies.


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Scooting Our Way Through Math

I must have been living in a cave or something because until recently, I had no clue about the game “Scoot”.  I saw the game advertised on TpT, but had no idea what this game was, how to play it, or how it might benefit my students.  I came across a place value scoot game from, and decided to try it in my classroom.  My students LOVED it!  I LOVED it!  So I decided I needed to create some Scoot games to cover an array of math skills to use in my classroom.  So the “Scoot Mega Math Bundle” was born!

Here is a peak at this fabulous pack:


I have created a Scoot Mega Math Bundle that includes 15 games that cover 15 1st and 2nd grade math standards.  Each game includes 24 game cards.  Let me share with you an overview of some of the fifteen games.

Slide1     Slide2

Slide3     Slide4

Slide5    Slide6


I will be using these games for whole group scoot games and for task cards in math centers.  Here is a list of all of the games included in the bundle:

1.  Counting tally marks to 30
2.  Place value with base ten blocks (to 120)
3.  Time to hour and half hour
4.  2D and 3D shapes
5.  10 more/10 less & 1 more/ 1 less
6.  Skip counting (forward/backward 2’s, 5’s, 10’s)
7.  Addition to 10 (True or False)
8.  Comparing two-digit numbers (true/false)
9.  Fractions (halves, thirds, & fourths)
10. Addition and subtraction to 20
11.Numbers before or after to 120
12.Unknown numbers in addition/subtraction problems to 20
13.Odd & Even numbers to 30 (with picture support)
14.Two-digit addition/subtraction (no regrouping)
15.Addition/Subtraction word problems to 20 (all kinds including 3 addends)

Each scoot game cover states the common core standards that are covered.  With this bundle, the games are only 65 cents each!  That is quite a bargain!  If you are interested in the bundle, please check it out in my TpT store here!

Thanks so much for stopping by!


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Comparing Two-Digit Numbers

In class we have been working very hard on number sense through 120.  My students have done so well with this.  They love to use manipulatives to represent numbers, and have picked up on things so quickly.  We have moved onto comparing numbers.

I wanted to share a fun, concrete way that we have done this in class.  Of course we talk about the hungry alligator wanting to chomp on the greatest number.  We practice this in our daily calendar routine.  Here is a way, with no copies required, that the students have practiced this concept in a hands-on way.

I give the students two numbers to represent.  I write the numbers on the board so that the students can have the visual of the numbers.  Next the students build the numbers with their base ten blocks.  Using pipe cleaner pieces that I have cut and given the students, they make the symbols to show greater than, less than, or equal to.  Here are some examples:

100_6181                                                         100_6180

100_6184                                                         100_6182

The students have to orally explain why they have chosen the symbol.  Poor kids…I am always asking why!  After we have practiced many examples, they build one last set of numbers to compare.  Then I have the kids write to explain.  I just used plain scrap paper. Here is what two students wrote.

100_6186                                                        100_6185

Comparing Numbers                                                       Slide2

Here’s a free printable if you’d like to try this with the comparing numbers activity;  You can grab it for free here

So, that’s it!  Super easy and the kids love it!  Please share ways that you work on comparing numbers in your classroom!  Thanks for stopping by!


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Classroom Tour~ Part 2

Well my computer has been acting whack-a-doo so I have tried several times to post this!  Hopefully it will work this time!  I am in my 7th week with my students, and while still exhausted I am thoroughly enjoying my class this year!

Okay now back on topic!  Here are a few more photos from my classroom.

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This is a view from my small group table out into my classroom.  My desks are in 4 groups of six.  I only have 21 students right now so I have a few empty ones (to separate the talkers~like that ever works!).  You can see my whole group area, and some open storage that I have on both sides.

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This is the view toward the back of my classroom.  My classroom door is just to the left outside of this picture.  I have my word wall here and lots of room to display anchor charts on the walls.  This was actually taken before school started so the space is filled up a bit more now. See below. :)


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This shows the cluster of desks I was describing.  Pretty basic stuff.  I have nameplates on the desks with velcro.  They last pretty much all year.  To the left in this picture you can sort of see my book-tubs.  Oh book-tubs…you torment me every day!  I need to finish dealing with these.  My intention is to level all of my books and put them in tubs with labels by level.  (The thought of that project makes my head hurt!)

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I have these awesome white cubicle type storage shelves that I picked up from Lowe’s.  I have two sets and store all of my leveled readers for guided reading groups in these colorful baskets that I picked up from the Dollar Tree.  I made labels to match my color scheme and have levels D-P at my fingertips.

I do not have any pictures of my small group table area or the teacher desk area yet.  I will take those soon!  I hope you enjoyed this peek into my classroom!  Thanks for stopping by!

Nancy :)

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Graphing & Opinion Writing Freebie

I LOVE graphing!  My students love it too and they need a lot of practice interpreting data, especially the dreaded “How many more…” questions.  So we work on these skills whenever we can.

Opinion writing is another skill my kiddos need practice with (since we are laying that foundation in first grade)  so I have created several graphing activities to cover all of these skills.  I wanted to share this BRAND NEW one with you.  It is hot off the press!  I hope that you can use this in your classroom! :)

Slide1                  Slide4

Slide5                   Slide9

Slide10                   Slide11

There is an additional page for writing included, as well as a graph title and category labels for the large picture graph.  You can grab this freebie here:


Here are some pictures of a few of my other graphing activities (well, the picture graph part) that I have up in my classroom.



You can find these graphing activities at

Thanks for stopping by!


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The Tour…Part 1

Okay I have not posted ANYTHING in weeks.  I have been totally engrossed in all that is involved in getting my classroom running smoothly!  I do not know how you bloggers do it!  I hope to be like you when I grow up!  I have a few photos from my classroom to share.  So here is a mini tour- part 1!

First I wanted to share my whole group area.  Here we do our calendar math, read alouds, class meetings etc.  Here is a view of this area.

whole group area

I love how colorful everything is!  Some people may think it is busy, but to me it is just right!  In the little baskets on the two white shelving units are my leveled readers that I use for guided reading groups.  It was the only place in the room that I could find to store them.   So to the far left of the whole group area is where I have posted “Our Class Rules” and my behavior clip system.  Here is a close-up of this board.


I made a really cute banner that I have hung from polka dot ribbon to put a title on the board.  I went with the green border for all of my boards this year instead of having a bunch of mismatched borders.  I had some cute paper flowers from all of my scrapbooking stuff that I have tacked into the center of each flower on the corner of each bulletin board in my room.  It is super cute and helps to tie everything together.

To the right of my rules/behavior board is my calendar area.  I have devoted a good bit of space to this area because we go over so many math skills on a daily basis with our morning calendar math.

We start with the date, days of the week, yesterday, today, tomorrow etc.


Next we count the number of days we have been in school using tens and ones as well as money.

calendar 2

Next we do “Ways to Make” a number.  We use the number of the day which is the number of days we have been in school.  It amazes me what these little firsties come up with!  Some have such amazing mathematical minds!   We then work on time (which we do on Brown Bear’s Clock) and you can’t really see anything but part of an arm and leg.  The kids sing a little song and we write the time in two ways.  Next we move onto comparing numbers, skip counting, and ten more/ten less, one more/one less.  These, along with ways to make a number are part of my calendar companion pack I sell on TpT.  If you are interested in the calendar companion, you can find it by clicking this link  ”

calendar 3

calendar 4

I have this next to my 99 chart for reference for the kids.

Here are a few more random shots from the classroom in my classroom tour part 1:  My birthday display is up on my wall and I will be adding group photos for each month.  All of the January birthday kids will be in one photo etc.

Happy Birthday

Random shot two is where I store extra supplies that the kids bring in and are not currently using.  I use a shoe bag.  I think I got this at the dollar store and the supplies are put  in the compartment with the students’ assigned number.  When they need something they can go get it easily.

extra supplies

I hope you have enjoyed my tour…part 1.  If all goes well I should get more photos loaded this weekend.  Until then, thanks for stopping by!


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Back to School Sale!

I will be having a Back to School sale in my TpT store on August 18th-19th! Every product will be offered at 28% off! So now would be a great time to check out my products, fill up your cart, and get ready for big savings! Use promo code BTS13 at checkout. Happy shopping!  You can click here to go directly to my store.

side banner bright

A special shout out and thank you to TpT store Ink n Little Things for creating my cute Back to School Sale button!
Visit their store by clicking here.

Open House

Tonight we have our Open House from 4-7 pm. We get to meet all of our kiddos! I can’t wait! I still have a million and one things to do before then…Do you meet your students before the first day of school? How does your school handle this? What special things do you do to get ready? Please share!  Click on the freebies tab to grab yours! Nancy

My free back to school Welcome Banner.  So cute!

My free back to school Welcome Banner. So cute!

Off to Pre-Planning I Go!

Today is the first day of pre-planning in my district. Today is mission decoration! I hope to load a bunch of pictures this evening and I hope you will check back to see my classroom in progress! Have a great day!

My Classroom

Stepping back into the classroom for the first time after summer break is exciting, but sometimes nerve racking!  I am not sure what the procedures are at your school, but here is what we have to do for the cleaning crew: everything must be off of bookcases, shelves, etc. so that they can move everything out into the hall to do the floor; we can leave up our bulletin boards; label everything with the room number.

I wish I had a picture from the end of the year when I left so that you could see the ridiculous pile of  ”stuff” on my counter tops!  So after the lovely cleaning crew finishes the classroom, they TRY to furniture back where it belongs.  Key word…try.  My reading table was on the left and was supposed to be on the right side of my classroom.  That meant the teacher desks were on the wrong side of the room as were  the file cabinets.  I think it is hilarious how my desks were arranged too…in tidy little rows facing forward (okay B+ for effort there) and then 5 random desks were on my carpet at my whole group area.  

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Time for some heavy lifting and shoving of furniture!  The one good thing is that our floors are some kind of poured concrete.  They aren’t waxed and they don’t get scratched!  So pushing a completely full filing cabinet across the room is a non-issue!  So that is what I did and here is where everything is suppose to be.

photo (9)

By now I am all sweaty and not really feeling like doing much else, but I pushed on for a little while longer.  I needed to get all of the things that had been put up on the counter back where they belonged.  Some things had already been moved back onto shelves by the cleaning crew…so it wasn’t a terrible task.  I didn’t put my book tubs back on floor though,  because I am about to tackle the job of switching over from “themed” book tubs (Animals, Dr. Seuss, Realistic Fiction etc.) to “leveled” book tubs.  So the book tubs got placed on the desks.

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I know it doesn’t look like a lot of books, but I had to consolidate the books together to fit everything on the counter.  I have roughly 25 book tubs.  I have been thinning things out over the past year…getting rid of worn out books that are missing pages and falling apart.  After all, I have to make room for new books each year!

I am planning on using an app that I have on my phone called “Level It”.  You can use this app to scan the ISBN on the back of the book and it will give you a guided reading level, if it is in their data base.  If you don’t have this app, you should get it.  I do think it costs $2.99 but it is so worth it.  I will let you know later how the leveling goes!  If you are interested in the app, just click on the link next to the icon.  Thanks for stopping by!


Level It Books          

Fun with School Supplies

It’s that time of year again (insert sigh!). Summer is drawing to a close and many of us are gearing up for returning to school. I love summer. I really enjoy the break…but I think I get more excited than my students about returning to school. There are so many things to be thrilled about!

First up is shopping for new school supplies! And I am not talking about supplies for my kids…it’s all for me (well mostly)!  Do you get all excited when you walk into Wal-Mart and the aisles are filled with everything shiny and new? Here are a few things that I still have at home from a recent trip to Wal-Mart (the rest of the supplies have already made it to my classroom)!


 I love my new supplies.  I have to get new Crayola markers, Sharpies, and colorful Bic pens for myself every year.  For my students (for when they run out and their parents haven’t sent in replacements yet) I get the brand new pointy crayons and as you will see next…glue sticks!  I don’t know how my students go through as many as they do, but it is crazy!


 One of my big purchases this year was a brand new personal laminating machine!  So I have been laminating like a crazy person…here is what was accomplished today, but now of course I have to cut it all out.  That is the part that is NO FUN!  I think I used about 85 laminating pockets!


 Tomorrow I head into school to see what condition my classroom is in.  The cleaning people work hard and I know they mean well…but there are always unwanted surprises on that first day back.  Until then…thanks for stopping by!