Blog Hop The 12 Days of a Teacher’s Christmas

Welcome to the 12 Days of a Teacher's Christmas Blog Hop Stop Number 2

Welcome to the 12 Days of a Teacher’s Christmas Blog Hop Stop Number 1

Grab your Blog Hop Freebie Below. Click on the link!  Don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter to win a great teaching units and prizes!

If you are just now discovering the Blog Hop go to Teaching Little Texans for the Start of the Hop!   Do this so you can grab all the freebies!

We will be picking 13 winners for the 13 units. In addition, 1 lucky winner will receive a TpT gift card to purchase whatever they want, 1 winner will get a brand new pencil sharpener from Classroom Friendly Supplies and 1 winner will receive a $25 Target gift card. Woo hoo!!

Roll and Cover Penguin Friends



Click on the Image above for the next stop on the hop!

Don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter below!

Scroll down to see all the great activities some wonderful bloggers are offering! WOO HOO!

A Great 12 Days of Christmas for Teachers!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway





blog 2BLOG 3



Thanks for stopping by,


Please check out my app recommendations for classrooms!

2 Great Free Apps for Teaching Reading

I hope you will enjoy learning about these apps and using them in your classroom! I love, love Endless Reader by Orginator. This app is free but you can purchase more word packs if you want to extend it. I purchased the Reader Pack 1 because I wanted more words. There are six words in the free version but this app explores each word through spelling, word meaning and sentences. The words are animated after the letters are dragged into place. The app also reads the sentences. Words can be dragged into the sentences. The little characters are irresistible.

These are screen shots I took using my iphone. The app works on iphones and ipads.

You can get Endless Reader here.

Another app I really like is Little Speller by Grasshopper Apps. This app is very versatile and allows you a lot of control of the words that the children can work with. This app is also available for the iphone and ipad.

As you can see from the screen shots I’m sharing with you there are a lot of variations to choose from. You can really concentrate on the sounds you think the children need.

This app features great images for words. The letters are out of order but the correct spelling is under the images so even your most hesitant spellers and readers can feel confident with this app. The app says the letters and then reads the word after the letters are in place.
You can get Little Speller here.I hope you can use one of these apps or both in your classroom. I always teach the apps before letting the kids do them without supervision. Sometimes I teach them as part of my guided reading lesson and other times I work with a group during a Daily Five Rotation. I am teaching both Kinders and First Graders this year and my smart Firsties are great teachers so they often get the first lesson on a new app!
All the best,
Grab this winter freebie this if you like! Penguin Fun Dice Roll and Cover Game.

Balanced Equations and Part of Speech

Created a quick freebie to share with you all.  Be sure to visit Wise Owl Factory 5000 Likes Contest!  A lot of super bloggers donated products for the contest!


You can grab your freebies here

Balanced Equations

Parts of Speech

Have a great week!!!   Please sign up for my newsletter! I’m going to be running a contest soon for my newsletter subscribers.


Wild Things I Have Who Has Game Comment Contest

Where The Wild Things AreHead over to my facebook page and leave a comment to to win a free copy of this game! While you are there how about liking my page!



Stellaluna Comparing Fiction and Non-Fiction

I’m a guest blogger at Charity Preston’s The Organized Classroom Blog.

This is a portion of the post I wrote for The Organized Classroom Blog for this month.  To read the first part of the post click over to Reorganizing, Reading and Stellaluna

These are books that I took out of my book boxes labeled for other topics.  I like to use the small round white labels because they are easy to remove and don’t damage the books. I put new labels on the books to make a collection about bats.

Books about Bats

books about bats

These books have gotten a “B” for bats. They will be placed in their own book box during the unit and them returned to their original boxes.  This allows me to easily display books and encourage the children to read them.  It also gives children a way to find materials and then to return them to the proper place.  My kindergarteners and first graders are doing a great job getting books back in their places. It has been a wonderful time saver for me!

Stellaluna Where Science Meets Art

Since Stellaluna is one of the featured books, I wanted to share an activity with you all that integrates art and science. There have been times when I really didn’t want to read the book Stellaluna near Halloween because it creates so many misconceptions about bats.  I decided it was time to correct those misconceptions and put the children’s interest about bats to work.  It is the perfect time to compare fiction and non-fiction informational texts. Some of the fiction texts I use are Bats Big Game and Stellaluna. The fiction texts I use are National Geographic for Bats and Gail Gibbons Bats. We do oral comparisons as well as written ones.  I do the Daily 5 in my class and I often overhear conversation during Read to Someone about texts. It is music to the teacher’s soul to hear the kids using the language they have learned in school about comparing texts.  In my class library I have a tub devoted to non-fiction for animals and another tub devoted to fiction with animal characters. All of the bat books came out of those tubs when the unit is over I will place them back in the tubs.

I used the rectangle to help the children make their own original art.  This is an example of one I drew but the children drew their own. This is also a great way to integrate math by talking about symmetry.  The picture under this photo shows a “mommy bat and it’s baby snuggling” that one of the children created. After all Stellaluna is a story about love.

bats and Stellaluna

science bats


Tearing light brown long rectangles to make the branches. By using rectangles each child creates an original piece of art work . I love original work from the children and so do the parents.

bats art Stellaluna

Almost finished piece without the leaves. We used the Stellaluna book for reference in making the art. We used brown instead of black since we were learning about fruit bats. Everything was made out of a series of rectangles.  This is a project you will love to do with your class. It is easily modified for students in all elementary grades.

I Can Teach My ChildClassroom Freebies

Chrysanthemum, Math Manipulatives and Target Gift Card

It has been a very busy week in my Kindergarten/First Grade Classroom.  We have been in school for 9 days! The class is learning routines and getting settled in. Of course we are still working on names.  We had two major focuses for the week.  We used the book Chrysanthemum to learn about the importance of names and how words can hurt someone’s feelings. We also used a lot of math manipulatives this week. I love manipulatives and the kids use them everyday in one way or another.

Chrysanthemum and Math Manipulatives

This week we counted a lot. The kindergarteners and first graders both worked on making sets of ten with manipulatives. This is a great multi-level activity and can easily be differentiated.  The first graders talked about tens and ones and the kindergartener worked on one-to-one correspondence when counting.  Some of the kindergarteners got into the tens and ones counting also. I worked with students in small groups that needed more direct instruction and practice.  The first graders also started a self-made book with representations of teen numbers. The children enjoy making these math books and we will keep them for their Math Resources File.


I am totally psyched about the newsprint writing pads I got for my classroom before school started. We used them for the first time this week and I am looking forward to using them for Working on Words in our Daily Five Time and other things related to literacy. The children used Mr. Sketch Markers to write with. They are a long time favorite of mine. We use them on our Morning Message. The children use labels for “Boo Boo Tape” if they want to make a correction.

Letter writingI have done a lot of activities with the kindergarteners and first graders working together. The first graders are providing great leadership and the kindergarteners enjoy having a special friend to work with.  We are working on completing a mystery picture together in math. This picture will take us about two weeks. We spend about 10 minutes of our math time working on it. It meets a lot of common core standards.

Mystery picture

I created a Sunflower Photo Frame for pictures. It is easy to make and the photos look great! Here’s the Freebie for you. The post is at The Organized Classroom Blog you can read it by clicking here.


I hope you are enjoying your class this fall. I enjoy reading and responding to your comments so if you have some time. Please leave a comment below.I would love for you to follow me on Pinterest!

If you follow me on Pinterest please leave a comment below and I will put your name in a contest for a $10.00 Target Gift Card. You must leave a comment to enter the contest. The
contest will close on September 30th, 2013.  Thanks for following.

All the best,

Sarah Tharpe Winchell


Toni Nickelson is the winner of the 10.00 gift card to Target. Thanks to all who entered!!