Friday, July 21, 2017

New Products

Hi, friends!  It's been awhile since I have blogged.  I have been busy after traveling to Minnesota to see my mother in law's new cabin.  I have also been getting ready for our garage sale.  In between those things, however, I've found time to create some new products!  Today I am sharing them with you!  You can click the cover of each product to view the description and price on TpT.

1.  I HAVE, WHO HAS GAME BUNDLE--I love I Have, Who Has games!  They are fast paced and great for vocabulary development in our kindergarten and first grade students.  I have the games available for individual purchase but you can also grab the bundle to save $$ and receive all future games for free.

2.  PARTS OF SPEECH BUNDLE--These activities are AWESOME for literacy centers!  There is not a lot of prep and they make a great spiral review of nouns, verbs, and adjectives.  Each pack has three sets of cards, (nouns, verbs, adjectives) and you can choose which you want your kids to work on that day/week as a center activity.  The thematic graphics/vocabulary are also great for building word knowledge.  Again, these are available individually but save $$ with the bundle and get all future packs for free.

3.  CVC CUT/GLUE/WRITE--These printables are great for extra practice with cvc words.  Just select the pages you want to use (separated by vowel) and go!  Kids select a few pictures/words, cut them out, glue them, and write sentences with them.  A sentence rubric is included.  Great supplement for any Phonics program!  **All of my Cut/Glue/Write packs are bundled to save extra $$**  I am including the bundle below, as well.

4.  PASSWORD OF THE DAY BOARD--I am so excited about using this in my class this year!  This is a set of the Fry's First 100 sight word cards and letter cards.  This is going to be an excellent review of sight words for my kids each day as they enter the room.  Requiring them to point to each letter and say it is also wonderful practice.  To read about how to put this board together (great summer project!!), click the cover and check out the description on TpT.

5.  EMOJI PARTNER MATCHING CARDS--No more fighting over who your partner is!  Find the match to your emoji and get started on the activity/game!  I'm really looking forward to using these this year!

6.  MONTHLY BINDER COVERS--Who doesn't love crisp binder covers and spines?!  This set of 12 color and b/w binder covers will help you organize your monthly files.  Several spine options included in both color and b/w as well.

7.  COLOR WORD POSTERS--I am super excited to use these in my room this year!  A fresh set of color word posters are going to look great hanging on my cabinet.  I printed 4 to a page so that I have "mini" posters.

8.  CVC STAMPING BOOKS--These make a FUN and simple center!  These are my go-to for literacy centers!  Two versions of the pages included for differentiation.  You choose the vowel(s) you want to include in the on one in isolation or add a few for a spiral review.  I'm also including a link for my favorite letter stamps and ink pads below!  *affiliate*


So as you can see, I've been busy creating this summer!  Hope you found some useful new products for your classroom!  Be sure you're following me on Instagram!  I post products half off for the first 10 people!  I'm @mrswheeler 44


Sunday, July 9, 2017

Simple Writing Center Idea

I don't know about you but sometimes when I'm planning for literacy centers, I need something quick and simple that doesn't require a lot of prep.  Sometimes I don't have enough "themed" centers for the week and need just one more center to add in.  When those times happen, I can count on my "Writing Center Vocab Posters" for help!  This is a pack of 40 thematic/seasonal vocab pages that can be printed out and placed in clear sleeves or hole-punched and placed on a ring.  You can even print "mini" versions of the posters and have your kids each have their own set for Writing Workshop! One other option for use is to print the posters in the size of your choice and display them each month {if you have a designated Writing Center spot!}.  Also included are two versions of a mini-book where students write their own sentences choosing words from the posters. When I use this set as a center, I only place the posters that relate to the most current holiday or theme in the bin with pre-stapled mini-books.  Easy-Peasy!

If you're interested in checking this Writing Center out, click the cover page below!  I recommend printing/laminating/putting these in sleeves this summer so you can whip them out in a jiffy when you need them throughout the school year!

Mrs. Wheeler 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Attention Getters and Transitions

I just love using sounds for transitions in the classroom!  They are a way to gain students attention without shouting.  In my classroom, I use a few sounds.  Today I'll be sharing them with you!  *This post contains affiliate links.*

Chimes--This is how I call my kids to the carpet.  Every time.  I don't say a word; I just ding the chimes.  If I am across the room and I want the kids to come to the carpet, I ask a student to ring the chimes for me.  I purchased my chimes about 10 years ago, from a local lady whose husband makes them, but I have seen them on Amazon.

School bell/Doorbell-- I use my bell when I want the kids to clean up centers, quiet reading, inside recess, or any games/activities we may be doing in class.  Again, I do not say a peep; I just ring the bell.  Sometimes, I'll ask a student to ring it for me. This year, I'll be trying something new: a wireless doorbell!  The reason for this is because many times when I want my class to clean up, I am across the room and the bell is on my desk.  I like the idea of clipping the doorbell button on my name badge so it's on me for whenever I need it.  Anything to free up more time in the day is good with me!  

Click to see the doorbell in use!!!!!!


            Click the images below/links to grab one for yourself:  


Push bell--I use this when I'd like kids to come to the front of the room.  This is a nice option to have, because sometimes I {and they} get tired of sitting on the carpet.  We come to the front of the room when we are watching a Brain Pop, or doing something on my large white board.

In addition to my fun "toys," I also use attention-grabbers.  These are quick and fun callbacks that I do with my class. The kids love them!  I teach them these the first few weeks of school.  You can grab them by clicking the cover page below.  If you are short on space, print two to a page for smaller posters.

I have found these transitions to be instrumental {no pun intended} in making my days smooth.  They are great for auditory learners and save you a lot of unnecessary talking/raising your voice!  


Friday, June 23, 2017

What I've Been Up To!

Hi and happy Friday!!!  I am just returning from a 9-day trip to Sandals Negril, Jamaica and wanted to share some photos from the trip!  It was an amazing adventure!  My husband and I went to our first Sandals resort last summer for our 10th anniversary and fell in love.  We went to St. Lucia {Grande Resort}.  While on property, we booked a trip for Jamaica for this year!  And we may or may not have booked another trip for next year!  Look out, Nassau, Bahamas!  We are hooked!  Sandals is need to worry about money while you are there.  All drinks, food, water sports, and entertainment are included.  The only things you pay for are off-property excursions and souvenir shopping.  Oh, and the spa, which is to die for.  

Our view each day!
We found tons of sea life right off the shore.   PS-that's not my hand!  LOL!


Cliff diving {there was no way I was going to do this after my shoulder surgery!}

Clear water

Turquoise water at the cliff diving site

Anniversary dinner on the beach


Sunset photo

#onelove in Jamaica, Mon

One of the many pools/hot tubs

Hand-carved art--I wanted all of it!

The lobby of our resort

Swim-up suites

This drink was incredible--fresh coconut water with coconut rum!

Banana tree

Hope your summer is amazing!  Are you traveling?  Where to?  Leave me a comment below!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Guided Reading BUNDLE: Summer Prep

If you have been following me for a few years now, you know that I have a large, first grade (and kindergarten) guided reading bundle for sale in my TpT store. This bundle took me 6 months to create!  It is certainly the most extensive thing I have ever created.  This bundle includes activities for pre-readers through levels j/k.  The reason it includes packs for those not yet reading and those below grade level is because of what I've lived the past 13 years.  I have never had more than 4-5 kids come to me in August reading "at grade level."  It just doesn't happen.  I work in a very low, Title I school district.  The majority of our incoming kindergartners have never been to pre-school and our building is their first school setting.  I get a WIDE range of learners from non readers to the occasional above grade level reader.  I know that having just 4 kids come to you on grade level is probably not the norm everywhere.  However, every teacher gets a wide range of learners.  So that's the backstory behind why my pack is technically a k/1 bundle.

I have received wonderful feedback on my guided reading packs over the last two years, so today I wanted to take some time to share what all is included and how I choose to use it in my first grade classroom.  *Before I get into the meat and potatoes, I want to let you know that if you are interested in purchasing this bundle, do it THIS SUMMER!  There is a lot of prep required as far as printing and laminating/cutting goes.  Summer is a fantastic opportunity for prep!  We all like to have grand ideas of doing things "in the fall," but when fall rolls around and a thousand other things come up, our "plans" don't go as planned!  So if you have the time this summer, I strongly recommend taking full advantage and getting this bundle ready for your classroom!  You will be SO HAPPY that you did!

As I mentioned above, this bundle includes activities for pre-readers through levels j/k.  Each pack is somewhere between 100-150 pages.  Most levels are their own individual entity, but some are combined.  Each pack has activities carefully selected and created to match that specific level's needs. For example, in the pre-reader pack, you'll find many alphabet ID and beginning sound activities.  In the level E pack, you'll find digraph and sight word activities.  My selection process in creating these activities was based on research as well as my 13 years experience teaching first graders how to read.

There are many games included in the packs, because everything is more fun in game-form, right? There are also flash cards and printables.  What you won't find in here are books.  I  do not have experience with leveling text {and honestly have no interest in learning how!!}.  I also prefer to use real books with my students during guided reading time.  I like to give them an authentic experience when learning to read.  However, I know that not everyone has that option.  I am fortunate enough to have a leveled book room at my building.  It contains packs of leveled books from pre-reader through level z.  Each teacher checks out the book sets that he/she needs and returns them when finished.  It's been a wonderful system for many years.  If you do not have access to real books, I highly recommend Reading A to Z.  A membership is pretty affordable and you can print your own books for your guided reading groups.  You can also sign up for a free trial to see if a membership is something you're interested in.

Once you've prepped the materials, you can store them in a variety of ways.  I prefer to store mine by skill, as I have a plethora of materials that I've either created of purchased over the past 13 years. I use clear tubs to keep my materials in.  When I need a specific game or activity, I go straight to the tub and grab what I need.  You can also store the materials by level in your tubs.  There are labels included in the bundle for organizing by level.  If you don't have the space or don't want to spend the money on tubs, you can always organize your materials in binders. Simply print out the included binder covers by level and add some clear sheet protectors to your binders.  Place games and printables inside them for quick access.  You can also purchase poly pockets that snap or zip shut if you want something more secure inside the binders.  The binder method is nice if you prefer to plan at home or need to plan at home for some reason.  They are great for on the go!

If you're on the fence, feel free to watch a YouTube video preview HERE or browse my other guided reading blog posts HERE.  However, I can say with certainty that this purchase is going to be an invaluable resource for many years to come! Feel free to email me with questions at