Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Teacher Gift FREEBIE

This week was my official week back. If you are still on summer vacation, we can't talk right now! Just kidding! 

Incase you're anything like me and you're checking off last minute "to-dos" off your list, I have a cheap and cute teacher gift FREEBIE for you! This weekend while I was at Hobby Lobby, they had all their metal decor half off! Mmmhmmm, that's exactly what I said!!!  I came across these small metal letters that happened to be $5.00 on sale! I couldn't pass them up. I grabbed letters for each of my daughter's teachers, my teammates, and our office staff! I may or may not have bought them out! 

 (Hobby Lobby has both large and small tin letters. I believe the large are around $20 on sale.)

Next, I grabbed a few Scholastic books I had left over from previous book orders, some burlap twine, and these tags for a quick, cheap, simple and cute teacher gift. 


Another idea: Buy a book from Half Price Books along with a gift card and attach it to the tin letter! 

You can find the tags here for FREE! **The download includes both large and small tags depending on if you purchase the large or small tin letters from Hobby Lobby**

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Back to School Read Aloud!

Have y'all watched Hope and Amy's Engagement Made Easy LIVE series on Facebook? Each week they (along with a guest) share different activities to get your students excited and engaged during those first few weeks of school. It has been such an amazing  series! This past week, we shared our favorite back to school books along with some activities to use with them. 

One of my favorite books is, "The Recess Queen" by Alexis O'Neill. I have used this book for years during the first few weeks of school and I think I love it more every year! This book is great to use when discussing playground expectations, bullying, friends, and how to treat others. It is also great for vocabulary!

You can find this book on Amazon here or read online here

If you are looking for a few activities to use with this book during those first few days/weeks of school, head over to my Smitten With First Facebook page to see the live video of how I use it year after year! 


You can find all the activities above HERE

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Insta HOP!!!

The Back to School Bash 2016 has been so much fun! Thank you to everyone who has joined us this year. BUT...it's not over yet! We have one final chance for you to win! When we say win, we mean WIN BIG! Anyone needing some updated technology for your classroom? I give you the B2S Bash Grand Prize...



Yes! This is real life!
Yes! This could be in your classroom very soon! 

But you have to enter first! Here's how you do it: 

1) Begin the insta hop by locating @stepintosecondgrade on instagram. You will want to begin with Amy so that you collect the letter tiles in order. Each blogger will link to another letter. Click on the letter and hop to the next location. As you hop...

a) follow each blogger 
b)  collect each letter

The letter tiles look like this....


2. The letters will reveal a question. (Don't worry...the letters go in order so you don't have to unscramble a thing!) 

3. Once you have figured out the question, hop on over to any of our blogs to enter the Rafflecopter to win! You will be asked to answer the instaHOP question! 

You only have 24 hours to enter, so go get your hop on! ;) 

 Yep! That simple! So have you finished your hop? 

Enter below: 


Sunday, August 7, 2016

B2S Bash 2016 GIVEAWAY TIME!!!

Eeeek!! It's here, it's here!! Today's the day, y'all! We have 24 blogs for you to hop around to for a chance to win some amazing giveaways!! Believe me,  you do NOT want to miss out on these! 

Here's how it works! You'll have a few days to hop around to 24 blogs and enter the giveaways using a Rafflecopter. At the bottom of each post there will be a button that will lead you to the next giveaway. The more blogs you enter on, the better your chances are of winning! 



So....are you ready to hear what I am giving away?!

EEEKKK!!!! Yep, that's right. A $100 gift card to LaRue Chic Boutique! Just in time for some back to school shopping!!! I'm so excited for you I can barely stand it! 

If you know me, then you know I am a sucker for some cute clothes and especially the clothes from LaRue Chic Boutique. When I say cute, I mean for real cute! They have graphic tees and kimonos galore...oh, and the cutest dresses and shoes. Here's a few of my favorites. 

For a chance to win this gift card, enter the steps in the Rafflecopter below. You have until the end of Tuesday! You DO NOT want to miss out on this! Hellooooo shopping spree!!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway 
Now, hop on over to my adorable and amazingly talented friend, Cara Carroll to see what's in her basket!!

Ohhhh!!! And one more thing!! Be sure to check out INSTAGRAM on Wednesday for the GRAND PRIZE announcement and how to enter! You definitely do not want to miss out!!! It's AH-MAZING!!!

Friday, August 5, 2016

Teaching non-fiction text and graphic features

I think we would all agree that teaching non-fiction text features in the younger grades can be quite the struggle! It just doesn't hold their attention. #canigetanamen 

Last year, I did a few activities with my students that helped make this comprehension skill fun and engaging for them. Throughout the summer I have been adding to those previous activities and put them all in my newest Tying Up Comprehension pack. Let's take a look at those activities. 

The activities are broken up into different themes. First up are detectives and spies. Last year, I placed these posters all around the room. I gave each table group a handful of sticky notes and magnifying glasses. Their job was to look through their book and "spy" all the different text features. After they found the features, they recorded the page number on the sticky note and stuck it to the poster. Y'all, my kids NEVER forgot this activity. 



To continue the detective theme throughout the week, students can create this detective and use any non-fiction read aloud or book from the library to find the different features. Another option is to cut and paste the example of each feature under the correct flap. 

Students can also complete these case files by using any non-fiction book as well. 

Next up, students become hunters and hunt for features. Bring in some binoculars and students interest and attention is immediately hooked. They can use this craftivity with any non-fiction book. 


Students also receive their "orders" and complete their orders either individually or with a partner/group. Again, this can be used with ANY non-fiction book. 


One of my favorite activities is Diggin' with Diggy. Give each table an archeologist hat, shovel, and bucket and they are ready to start digging. Throughout this activity, students "dig" up features and glue them under the correct flap. 

For reading groups or station work, I created a few games and vocabulary puzzle cards
The games can be used with any non-fiction book. 

Another option for these puzzle cards is to use them throughout your learning as partner cards. Students have to find their partner for partner work by matching the vocabulary word to the picture.

Also included is a non-fiction vs. fiction sort. 

You can find everything above in my newest comprehension pack, Tying Up Comprehension with Non-Fiction Text and Graphic Features.



Thursday, August 4, 2016

CHEAP Camping Theme idea!

This year, our school is doing a camping theme. Our grade levels are divided into pods so each pod creates a different theme to go along with the overall school theme. The first grade theme is, Navigating Through First Grade. Each teacher is decorating the outside of their door as a different "place" that you might navigate through when camping. Mine is Hudgeons National Forest. I wanted to keep things simple around my door since most of my decorations come from my student's work. 

Everything in this picture is from Hobby Lobby minus the brown paper. It was all under $50.00 with the Hobby Lobby 40% off coupon! 

The green paper is called Fadeless paper. It is the same brand as the shiplap paper I used inside my room last year and this year. You can read about the shiplap paper here.  To create trees, we (I had lots of help from my mama and sister) cut the green paper in to strips and crumbled them up. It took 3 rolls to get them full like I wanted. We used regular clear packing tape to attach them to the wall. We used tulle balls for pinecones because my daughter said, "Mama, you need to use tulle balls for pinecones!" Um....#genius! The tulle balls are also from Hobby Lobby and come 2 to a package. 

The woodland animals come in a package altogether at Hobby Lobby for around $6.00. They were super easy to put together and are just about the cutest thing I've ever seen! You can find them in the birthday party section. 

The chalkboard arrow is also from Hobby Lobby (last year), but I recently saw a few this year. 

I can't wait to show you my teammates doors once they are completed!

.....and if you are looking for a free banner template, stop by my store to download this one! Did I mention that it is editable!?!


Back to School Bash 2016

Hello friends!!  It's that time of year again...time for our BACK TO SCHOOL BASH 2016!!!  This year we have teamed up with even more bloggers so that we can bring prizes-a-plenty to you!!!  Mark your calendars for August 7th because you will NOT want to miss out!!!

Each blogger will host a Bash Basket that contains a prize valued at $100 or more!  Make sure to follow the blogs below so you don't miss a single thing!  Check back in on August 7th so you can get your hop on!

See you August 7th!