Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Best Things in Life are Free

In celebration of this glorious 4-day holiday weekend and to show how thankful I am for the TPT community, I've uploaded two new flash freebies available in my TPT store.

The first one is called Part Part Touchdown!  I saw this football chips and dip tray at The Dollar Tree and knew I had to use it for something in my classroom.  Right now we are working on our fluency with addition and subtraction, so this activity is great for when your students are ready for part-part-whole relationships.

The next freebie I've posted follows the learning sequence for addition and subtraction fluency.  After our kids demonstrate understanding of how addition and subtraction are related, they practice balancing equations by applying their knowledge of those operations.  I love this activity because students can hands-on manipulate and analyze the equal sign in these equations.

I hope you enjoy these freebies!  After all, the best things in life are free, right?  As this year is winding down, I'm especially thankful for my friends and family who've been there to hear my never ending rants and take care of me when I'm down ...and hungry.  ALSO huge shout out to the Dunkin' Donuts app because well, it's free too.  And it blesses me with free iced coffees which have gotten me through countless Mondays and Fridays.  And most of all the other days in between.  :) 

Until next time, 

Friday, February 12, 2016

Maryland, My Maryland

Ohhhh yes, an entire post devoted to the best state ever! I mean really, just Google search "Greatest city in America." What do you get? Baltimore, MARYLAND. And which state is called, "America in miniature?" None other than MARYLAND... and for good reason! We've got oceans, rivers, mountains, the city, country, and the beach. What more could you possibly ask for from a teeny tiny little state? (The 9th smallest state to be exact!) As soon as I saw that the Techie Turtle Teacher started a Maryland Blog Hop via TPT, I was ecstatic to get on this and collaborate with some fellow MD teacher bloggers!

First things first, be sure to click the picture above to download my new measurement FREEBIE!  Please note that this will only be free during the blog hop, and will be available for sale starting February 21st.  

My first grade friends are exploring measurement by different non-standard units.  Using a variety of units helps them understand that the length and height depend upon which unit is being used.  Super glue these game board spinners onto 4" x 4" CD cases so that the spinner templates can easily be changed out.  If you don't want to use CD cases, you can always use transparent spinners.  They can be purchased from Amazon.

Here's Target saving my life again- I love this little lazy susan organizer!

I'm also offering a giveaway to one lucky winner to receive my Monster Math 1st Grade Centers which includes more measurement and place value activities.  (Side note: I created this before I changed my TPT name.)  Complete the rafflecopter for a chance to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


There's so much to love about this state and somehow I've been lucky enough to experience living in the suburbs, the beach, and the city.  What I love most about Maryland (besides the crabs) is the fact that you can always find new adventures nearby.

Here are some of my favorite things to do in Maryland:
  • Go to any concert/festival/event at Merriweather
  • Go to concerts in the harbor at Pier Six
  • Snowboard in the winter / camp in the summer in Deep Creek
  • Go hiking at Patapsco State Park
  • Explore the restaurants, bars, and shops in Fells Point
  • Walk around my neighborhood where the city meets the harbor and the park in Fed Hill

I honestly think I could brag to people all day about how amazing Maryland is.  
For a small state, there's always something going on and so much to do.  Maryland friends, what are your favorite things to do here?

Thank you for reading!  Don't forget to click the button above to go to the next stop on the blog hop!  

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Snowy Day

^ The snowpocalypse weekend to be exact.

Maryland hasn't seen this much snow in quite a while, and this blizzard sure did some damage.  Living in the city, I had the luxury of being able to leave the house every day whether it was to go for a short walk to the bars (which all were in fact open) or head up the street to the park and go sledding.  Of course parking has been and will continue to be a nightmare until the mounds of snow finally melt away.  Believe it or not, there are still many streets here that have yet to be touched by a plow.  People here have been territorial of the parking spots they broke their backs to shovel out, but come on guys, we're all in this together.  I think the cabin fever has got to us all.  Hopefully, if you were affected by the snow this weekend, you were able to get out and enjoy the beauty of it all in some way.

Before all the snow fell, we read The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats.  Then we made magic snow paint and created these snowy day illustrations.  It was SNOW much fun!  (Eh, eh? No?)  Alright, well whenever I return to school, I know my kiddos are going to have many snow stories to tell me about.  What better time to practice narrative writing?  We'll be writing about our snowy days which will be displayed with our snowy day illustrations.

How adorable!  Can you believe this only took about 15 minutes to make and complete?!  One of my kids said, "You know, Ms. Chin, that actually was a really fun activity!"  (Thanks... I think?)  If you want to try this in your classroom, I got the snow paint idea from Stephanie at Primary Theme Park and you can download the snowy day writing template here or click the picture below:

Along with shoveling, more shoveling, crafting, watching too many Nicholas Sparks movies, finishing report card grades, and eating Chinese food left overs, I also got to play around with my GoPro this weekend!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Fabulous Finds

This post is all about a few fabulous(ly random) finds I've come across in the past couple months.

The first one is pretty much expected considering #TeachersLoveTarget and even more, The Dollar Spot.  These adorable snowmen ($1) were meant for counting down the days until Christmas, but I used it in my classroom as a math center to practice more and less.  Students work together to pick a number, spin the spinner, then identify that number on the snowman by placing a white "snowball" onto it.  The object of the game is to try to get all of the numbers covered on the snowman.  Low prep, skill centered, and fun!  Thank YOU, Target.

The second thing I'm super excited about this month is the 7" Amazon Fire Tablet.  It's now only $49.99, and during Amazon's Black Friday promotion, it was at an even lower price!  At that, I impulsively bought two!  Eek!  I have yet to bring them into my classroom since my students have needed some extra practice with respecting property lately, but I can't wait to start using them with my kids.  I'm all ears to any suggestions, ideas, and educational apps to download!

So here's my last fabulous find:  Parabo Press.  Download this app to turn your iPhone photos into beautiful high quality prints.  These are the 5.5" square prints, and they turned out great!  Use the code SQGR5 at the checkout for your first set of 25 prints FREE.  The only thing you have to pay for is shipping, but it's totally worth it!  Check out their website and instagram for more details and coupon codes.

Oh winter break... I love you.  It's just my luck that I've spent every single day so far sick with a bad cold and cough, but this break from work is just what I needed.  I've found time to cook, craft, write, spend time with friends and family, explore new places, try new things, and most importantly, r e l a x .  Pictured above is one of the little crafts I put together for my roomies in our little home.  I bought the wooden sign from Michaels, painted it with my favorite color, hot glued some clothespins to the bottom, and selected some photos to print.

Well seeing as it's December 31, I guess it's adios until next year!  I'll be spending this evening with good company, champagne, and cheese.  :)  One more thing I just discovered is cranberry goat cheese... oh em gee... that stuff is heavenly.  Happy 2016!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Fact Fluency Freebie... Say that ten times fast!

This year our new principal created and introduced a school-wide fact fluency program that focuses on  fluency and flexibility in thinking about numbers and the equal sign in all four operations.  Going through the program, students are required to solve for missing addends and parts (or the whole) of an equation in all positions by understanding part-part-whole relationships. The first few stages involve addition and subtraction beginning with fluency of facts within 10.  

Here's a fact fluency freebie for your firsties (woahhhhhh alliteration overload!) that can help support understanding of the equal sign and finding the missing number in subtraction equations with zero.  Cut out the pieces and have your friends match the missing number with the equation it belongs to.  Enjoy!

Click on the picture to download from Google Drive.

I also came across this post from Teaching in Progress about word problems.  She posted a great visual and freebie that has helped me to expose my kids to all different types of problems.  Hooray for math and fact fluency!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

First Thoughts on First Grade

UPDATE:  I love first-grade!  I think I should actually change that to "I love first-graders" because they're so stinkin' adorable.  I'm especially in love with the sweet smiles and "Good morning Ms. Chin!"s I'm greeted with every morning.

I taught 4th grade for the past two years, so this is my first time actually teaching 1st.  I'm learning so much about phonics, reading, and basic math from this experience which honestly has made some most days a SERIOUS struggle.  I've had about a million and a half realizations and "Oh righttttt, they're only six years old." moments, but overall I know this year is off to a great start and it's going to be a blast!

We had our first field trip to the National Zoo this week and the kids had so much fun!  We researched gorillas for our non-fiction writing this quarter and we were so excited to see the gorillas at the stinky ape house.  (Although some of them were over dramatically gasping for air once we got out!)

Right after we exited the ape house, we got to see the orangutans walking across the O line.  This was by far my favorite part.  Of all the times I've been to the zoo, I've never been able to see this.  Of course I had to take a video!

Hmmm.. what field trip should we go on next?

Sunday, August 23, 2015

One Last Time

Hello!  I'm currently at the beach in Duck, NC enjoying my last work-free weekend with this absolutely breath-taking view:

Can you believe this place?  It's beautiful!  My friend's parent's dream was to own their own beach house one day and they made it a reality a few years ago.  Their home is like a jungle, and her mom likes to call it, Where The Wild Things Are.  (Yes, she is a teacher!)

On a separate note, I just learned about the awesome Donors Choose Community, Caring Classrooms.  It's such a great idea and way to get the word spread about new classroom projects in need of funding.  I just donated to a project for a classroom to get a puppet show about accepting others' differences.  How cool!  I didn't know that you could create projects that weren't just for school supplies, books, etc.  Anyway, that project has ALREADY been funded because of how generous everyone in this online community is.  

I'm going to leave here on this high note and go get myself an acai bowl (my latest obsession) before I make my trek back home to reality.  Tomorrow is my first PD day and I (honestly) can't wait to be back in my classroom to start prepping for the school year! HERE WE GO! :)