Friday, June 29, 2012

1st Blog Birthday Giveaway!

Happy first birthday to Castles and Crayons!!! I am absolutely amazed at the growth of this blog and I have fell in love with teaching all over again because of you and your amazing ideas and support! Thank you to the moon and back! :)

The best part about birthdays is the party, right?!? While we can't have cake and ice cream {well we can't have them together...I am so having some ice cream this weekend-it is 102 in Bama!}, we CAN have presents! 

Since this blog started on the 28th day of June, there will be 28 presents! I am giving away a unit of your choice to 26 people, 1 person will win all 22 of my units, and 1 person will win all 22 of my units PLUS all of my future units!  
Comment on this post with your email address to enter the birthday giveaway! The giveaway will end on Wednesday, July 4!

To celebrate my birthday, I would also love to have 5 guest bloggers every day next week, July 2 - 6.
Please email me at if you are interested in being a guest blogger!

To celebrate the end of the TpT quarter, everything in my store is 20% off through Sunday!

The 5 winners of the What a Hoot! {Vowel Digraph /oo/} Word Work set giveaway from earlier this week are:

Coming soon... the week of July 9 - 13, I will joining the Daily Five book study to talk about Chapter 5. 
The next part in the Let's Get Organized! series will be all about organizing your Daily Five materials!

Have a fun weekend! :)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Let's Get Organized {MATH} and Giveaway!

Happy Sunday friends! Long time, no blog!!! We just got back from a week at Seagrove Beach! SO GORGEOUS! Love 30A's white sand and emerald water! 

Hello to my new followers! Nice to meet you! Thanks for stopping by!

A few updates concerning TpT:

*I uploaded my newest Word Work unit last week: What a Hoot! {Vowel Digraph /oo/} Word Work and I forgot to do a little giveaway! So sorry! I used to do the first 3 commenters, but then I realized that might not be the fairest way to do it! So...just comment below with ONE comment telling me you follow this blog and my TpT store AND leave your email address. I will choose 5 peeps randomly on Tuesday, June 26 {because in just 2 short months from that day I will be 30! Is. that. real???????}

*Last week there was some fuss about Daily Five materials {both free and priced items}. I took down my free Daily Five posters and activity sheets while the situation was sorted out. I had to include some special wording from the 2 Sisters and have uploaded the free Daily Five posters and activity sheets again! Thanks for your patience! 

Now that 4 weeks {GULP!} of summer have passed, it's time to get organized!!! My school stuff is strewn about in our office upstairs and some of it is {yes, I'll admit it} still outside in the garage. It is in the garage because it JUST came out of my car when we were packing it for the beach! I brought all that stuff home for a reason, right??!! :)

Let's focus on math first, shall we?! 


I LOVE CUBEICALS! I LOVE CUBEICALS! I LOVE CUBEICALS! These are best ever!!! I got mine at Target last summer. I have also seen them at office supply stores, like Staples. 

I currently have one 'cube' for each math topic we teach:
Place Value

To make the labels, I printed the circles on card stock and then glued them to zebra scrapbook paper and laminated. Click {HERE} to grab the labels! 

In each cube I keep games {in gallon baggies}, as well as number work pieces {in quart sized baggies}. Number Work in my room is basically a math center! Number Work consists of a recording sheet {my documentation} and manipulatives or cards. I keep the recording sheet in my Math Menu binder. Each recording sheet is in a page protector. I love page protectors and are one my favorite organizing tools! I tried to keep the cards in with the recording sheet, but they were always falling out. So now, when I begin a new math unit, I pull the cube and all of my math games and number work pieces are ready to go! The kids will sometimes grab something from a cube, most mostly I keep everything in the cubes and take out what is needed each week.


This is where my kiddos grab what they will be working on. There is a box for their Math Journals {which they complete for Wake Up Work every morning!}, Number Work, Math Games, Math Books, and Data Detective. My kiddos work in partners so they go over to the tub and grab what they need. I am thinking of doing 2 tubs for each category this year. I got my tubs from Really Good Stuff. 

I keep the Math Journal prompts and Data Detective recording pages in my Math Menu binder. I usually do a picture scene or Roll and Graph for Data Detective, and all of those pieces fit nicely in the page protector behind the recording sheet.


I keep all my math manipulatives in clear shoe boxes I found at Walmart a few years ago. 
To make the labels, I printed the rectangles on card stock and then glued them to zebra scrapbook paper and laminated. They are very sturdy and WATERPROOF, which I discovered was important the year before when my printed peel and stick labels were getting splashed on during mopping!

Click {HERE} to grab the label template.  

LONGEST. POST. EVER. Thanks for sticking around!

Stay tuned....I have a big giveaway planned for my Blog Birthday on June 28! 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Math Block

Happy, happy Friday!!! It's 3:00 pm on a is officially the weekend! I begin my summer professional development with my district, I am beginning to think a lot about MATH! I feel like my reading block is SET...thanks to the Daily Five! I just keep adding things here and there and it is going so well! Click {HERE} to read all about the Daily Five book study this summer! :)

For the last 2 years, I have incorporated a Daily Five math model into my math block. We call it MATH MENU!
After working out the kinks, I am LOVING it...

Here is the most recent break down of the five choices:
Math Games ~ up to 6 students ~ games galore!
Number Work ~ 4 students ~ pencil and paper activity WITH manipulatives
Data Detective ~ up to 6 students ~ Roll and Graph or class graph completed on Monday
Computers ~ 2 students ~ {a site our district subscribes to}
iPad ~ 2 students ~ lots and lots of fun apps!

The only choice the kiddos HAVE to complete each week are Number Work and Data Detective! This gives them 3 days to choose between games, iPad, and computers. Not every student loves the computer or iPad and would prefer to play card or board games...which is FINE by me! :)

It goes just like the Daily Five...except there is only one mini lesson and one choice per day! 
This is our morning math block:
7:45 - 8:10 Wake Up Work: Mountain Math and Math Journal
8:10 - 8:25 - Morning Meeting and Calendar
8:25 - 8:40 Mini Lesson
8:40 - 8:55 Math Menu choice and work session

I am thinking about taking Data Detective out and incorporating it into our Friday wake up work??? 
I would like to replace it with a Fact game reinforce fact fluency throughout the year!

I have heard the Sisters are beginning to think about Daily Five math. Click {HERE} to watch a video from the Sisters. I have heard there is a book in the works!!!

BUT I am tempted to check out Debbie Diller's math stations??!!?? I feel kind of left out when I read about it on everyone's blogs!!! HA! One difference I can see is that there is not choice in work stations, but with Daily Five math, students choose their station! Another difference is that most of the Daily Five choices go along with the current unit, while math work stations represent a math concept.

What do you do??? Math Daily Five??? Work Stations???? 
Leave a comment and tell me about your math block OR leave a link to a blog post about it! :)

Ok...that is enough school for a Friday afternoon in the summer! :) Off to get ready for a little pizza party with neighbors!

Have a FUN IN THE SUN weekend!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Daily Five book study

Happy June, y'all! This the start of the second week of summer...I have slept in, watched a few talk shows, caught up on Tivo, laundry, and cleaning {in that order}, and have been sunburned by the pool! 

I am so excited to be a part of a Daily Five book study for first, second, and third grades! I LOVE DAILY FIVE! This will be my third year to do Daily Five in my classroom, and in my opinion, it just keeps getting better and better! It is the BEST thing I have ever implemented into my reading and writing block! :) It saves you time, energy, and makes your children so INDEPENDENT! If you have been waiting to jump on board, or if you just started last year, join us on our Book Study! 

The Daily Five book study begins on Wednesday, June 13 on Mel's blog {Seusstastic Classroom Inspirations} There will be a linky party on each Chapter post so you can join in the fun, too! :)

 The following FAB blogs will host a chapter:

Thinking Out Loud

First Grade Blue Skies

Castles and Crayons


Fabulously First

Surfin' Through Second

If you don't have your book yet, order it now! 

Click {HERE} to check it out on Amazon!

The BEST Daily Five news of the summer is that I GET TO SEE THE SISTERS!!!! I am seeing them August 18 in Atlanta {where I grew up!!} I CAN.NOT.WAIT to see The Sisters and eat at some of my FAVE restaurants with my reading coach! We are great friends and I can't wait to spend the weekend with her!

I will be sure to fill you in on everything I learn! :)
Have a great week! 

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