My First Guest Post

Hi everyone! I am so excited to have my first guest post!!!! Mary from Mrs. Lirette's Learning Dectectives is with us today! If you have not checked out her must! She has some FABULOUS ideas!

Hello there! Are you as excited as I am about today's Blog Swap and Hop? I hope so!
I'm Mary from Mrs. Lirette's Learning Detectives.  I was thrilled when I found out I would be posting at sweet Mrs. Shelton's blog today.  Her blog is too cute and full of wonderful ideas! :)

I'd like to share one of my favorite alphabet and sight word activities with you today.  Have you ever thought about teaching your students the alphabet letters in Sign Language?  Maybe you already do this in your classroom!  Having your students sign the letters as you sing your daily alphabet songs or chants really takes the activity to the next level.  It gives them the opportunity to become actively engaged while providing a multimodal learning experience.  Not to mention it caters to several different learning styles and we know how important it is to address the needs of all learners!  {think Gardner's Multiple Intelligences}

These days it's relatively easy to find alphabet charts that include American Sign Language.  I have a few charts that I keep posted in my classroom that were all purchased from the dollar store a few years ago.  I actually cut apart the letters in one of these charts and it has served as the letters on my word wall ever since.  Here is a picture of my word wall from when I taught 2nd grade.  The words are obviously different from what you would use in a K or 1 classroom but you can see the Sign Language on my letters.

I love to incorporate finger-spelling into our whole group and daily literacy stations.  My kids really enjoy using Sign Language to practice their sight words, vocabulary words, spelling words, etc.  I've done this with kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade- it is always a favorite! Spelling with your fingers just makes it more fun!  Sometimes we play a game with our words by trying to be the first to guess which word is being spelled (using our fingers instead of oral language).  Also, I like to keep select cards on a mini pocket chart in our Word Work station for extra practice.  I love it when I catch my kiddos quizzing themselves or friends on how to finger-spell a sight word!

Here are a few examples of the cards I use:

I like to showcase the alphabet letter beside each symbol and the complete word on each card to support print knowledge and phonemic awareness.  Multiple exposure can't hurt, right?
I put together a packet of all 40 Pre-Primer Dolch words that you can grab for free {HERE}.

I hope your class enjoys using these cards as much as mine do!  I'll be working on creating free sets for the Primer and 1st-3rd grade lists as well.  Make sure you are following my blog, facebook, and store so you will be the first to know when they are posted! Thanks again to Mrs. Shelton for having me over! 

See???? Didn't I tell you she was AWESOME!!! Love this idea! Aren't you having fun hopping along and getting some great ideas and freebies? Today I am a guest blogger at Caitlin's Blog: Kindergarten Smiles! I hope you will come visit me there and grab your freebie!

Kindergarten Smiles
Make sure to hop along to all of the other great blogs that are participating today. {See below}

Teacher Blog Swap and Hop

Mark your calendars for Saturday, June 30th for the Teacher Blog Swap and Hop.

There are some awesome teachers that will be guest posting on another blog and I'm sure there will be some FREEBIES out there. I am so excited about my 1st guest post. Check back on Saturday to see where I will be and who will be here! Here is who is participating:

Also, don't forget about my giveaway that ends Sunday night!

400 Followers Celebration...A Giveaway

I am so excited to have reached 400 followers! Thank you to all of you who have followed me on my almost 1 year old journey! I have had so much fun and swear I am a better teacher because of y'all!!! I have lots of LOVELY ladies who are helping me out with my giveaway! Here is what 1 winner will win:
is giving away her Farm Math Stations unit.

is giving away her Kindergarten and Writing Forms

It's LMN Tree

 is giving away her Don't Get Skunked: Letter and Sound Recognition Games

Fabulously First

is giving away her Sight Word Rainbow Writing Pre-Primer Unit

HoJo's Teaching Adventures

is giving away her Long and Short Vowel Sorts

Kindergarten Smiles
is giving away her Awesome Words for Inspiring Authors

Mrs. Miner's Kindergarten Monkey Business

is giving away her Pokey Pin Numbers Through 10 unit

Kindergarten Lifestyle

is giving away her Goldilocks and The Three Bears Word Wall Game

BWS tips button
is giving away her Celebraton Vibrant Ultimate Classroom Theme Decor Set

joyin6th Homepage
is giving away a $10 gift certificate to KPMDoodles!!!

is giving away a $10 giftcard to Teachers Pay Teachers!

is giving away her Super Star Story Wands

And I am giving away my Reading Words Around the Rainbow Unit (or any choice of my store).

This giveaway will run until Monday, July 2nd at 12:01am. I am using Rafflecopter for this giveaway, so please enter below! Thank you so much to all of the wonderful bloggers helping with my giveaway! I hope you will follow all of their blogs and stores! They are awesome!

Reading Words Around the Rainbow

I super excited I just posted my "Reading Words Around the Rainbow" unit!

I am cracking up because I posted about working on this unit here in September of 2011. Yeah. It takes me awhile!!! :) We teach our sight words according to the colors of the rainbow. We begin with red and work through to purple. The kiddos are rewarded as they pass one color. They get to color in their rainbow (also included in the unit):

As well as move their name to the correct color on the rainbow:

As well as punch their card (made from vistaprint) - purple is at the top:

They love this and it really encourages them to work hard to get to the next color! I hope you like it! Just click here if you are interested in getting this for your classroom! I would also love it if you would follow my store!

Wait! I Thought I Followed You?

I swear....every time someone has a giveaway I enter and make sure I follow the blog. It seems like every time I hit "already a member - sign in" it shows me as not a follower. What the heck???? I swear 1/2 of these blogs I was already following. I am shocked when I come across a blog I read daily and I am not a follower. Who knows! Am I the only one this happens to?
On that note....I am do you read your blogs? I go through my blog roll and see what everyone is posting and click on there. I know some people use Google Reader but I don't know much about that. You think I would since I have had a personal blog since umm......2006 I might know how to do this but no. So, how do you catch up on your favorites?

My Teacher Toolbox...Completed!

Woo Hoo! I have finally completed my teacher toolbox. I am linking up with 4th Grade Frolicks and her Made It Monday linky party!
After getting a lot of inspiration from Create*Teach*Share I decided to make my own teacher toolbox. I purchased mine at Lowes for $16.99.
Knowing that the navy didn't match my decor, I spray painted it green. **Note to self: Sand before spray painting plastic. I was lazy and didn't. It just took about a week to dry completly.
Then I got out my cricut
and my vinyl
I got busy. I almost left the drawers clear without paper but decided to go get some of this from Hobby Lobby:

And here is my final product. I'm pretty sure I like the paper instead of the clear.

It is kind-of hard to read some of the fonts in the picture, but not in person. I'm the only one who will be using it anyway. :)
Only one mishap:

Yep...that's green paint that hadn't dried stuck to the dining room table! Oops! Luckily we weren't using this table in our new home anyway! Make sure you check out Made It Monday...there are TONS of cute things over there!
I'm also linking this up with Run! Miss Nelson's Got the Camera because I have decided I HAVE to have an Erin Condren planner. She's having a giveaway for a $50 giftcard to Erin Condren and it isn't by coincidence that the planners cost $50! :)