Pete, that Groovy Cat and a Freebie!

The last few days, I've been getting my new "Pete the Cat" activities ready. 

Remember when I posted about our Pete the Cat fun the other day?? Well, my kids are obsessed with him now, so I decided to make our centers and reading next week kind of revolve around him.

So, here is what I came up with....

The first section is filled with book response activities, with options to use as an interactive notebook.

Story structure with problem and solution
Describing Pete
Inferring (using Rocking School Shoes as an model)
Alternate ending
Comparing and Contrasting books

The second section is filled with activities you can do for literacy centers.
Groovy Sentence Scramble
Pete’s Problem – Cause and Effect
Describing with Pete – using adjectives
Build a Pete – following Directions to create their Pete the Cat Craft. I like to use this as a pocket chart center! 

2 Math activities with graphing
Buttons (using real buttons, or I provided a page with buttons)
Favorite Pete the Cat book

These "Groovy Cat" literacy activities are perfect for book responses and literacy centers. There are even math activities added in! These activities are aligned to the common core standards for 1st and 2nd grade.

Check out the pack at

One more thing before I go, I just wanted to let you know to go check out my FB page...I posted the September Calendar cards last night (BEFORE September - holla!). Go to my FB Fab Freebie tab to download them. I'm almost finished with a year's worth - so make sure you grab the rest while you're there!


Week 2 visual plans

It's a rainy day here in sunny Florida. Which I'm actually kind of liking, even though it rained on my beach day. BUT, sometimes you just want a rainy day, right? lol

Well, it's my first REAL week of school, starting in on the Reading series (which I don't normally use, but decided to since I really like Henry and Mudge), so I've been planning off and on all weekend since it's a new year and I have to kind of come up with a new groove. 

Our schedules are never the same year to year, so each year I have to try and find new ways to fit in what I want to do, and it takes a few weeks of trial and error. lol

Here are my first REAL visual plans for the year. It looks a little bare, but that's because I don't know how long each thing is going to take. I tend to forget how much time my kids take to do things in the beginning of the year, since I'm so used to them and how well they work at the end of the year! lol

Click the pictures to get the google doc. In the doc, you'll be able to click on the links to get to the freebies, blogpost, or product links!

I'm now using Bubbly Blonde's Journey sets for some of my activities, check her link in the doc!

I'm also planning on doing a lot of word family activities  but I'm not quite sure where I'm fitting them in yet, so I didn't put them in the plans.

For math, I'm still basically teaching out of my Numbers Every Day pack, 

since it really does cover place value and number sense, but while I'm doing one-on-one testing, they will be doing the 2-Digit Number sense centers I made last year.

Also, I'm still able to use some of Courtney's packs from Treasures, even though they don't' correlate, I have them all, so I can just pick and choose which activities to use from which pack! 

These are the same centers as last week, check out my post HERE and HERE on them.

Hope you have a fabulous week! 


Rules at School Rap

The first week of school, I turned into Queen La Teacha, thanks to my girl, Kelley (Teacher Idea Factory). She posted about her Rules at School, with Ron Brown, Intellitunes (who I LOVE...his CDs are AWESOME!)
Read all about the post on her blog HERE where you can get the lyrics and MP3 for free!

We practiced the song time and time...whole group, knee/shoulder partners, and teams...

Then I had some performers...It was seriously SO cute! They LOVED it.

I even have some correct their classmates, for instance one kid goes "You need to raise your hand, like in the song....I will raise my hand when I want to speak...!" haha! I love it! It was so's on my to-do list every year now!

Pete the Cat, Rules at School and at Home

This week, one of my read alouds was Pete the Cat, Rocking in my School Shoes.


The kids LOVED it!! I played the audio version of it, and when we finished the book, they BEGGED to hear it again. We did some inerencing activities with it, which I will blog about later, (because I'm a little on the tired side. lol), BUT, you can find the audio versions of some of the Pete the Cat books, HERE.  My kids seriously loved it. I'm planning on making some centers that go along with the books. I'm excited about it because they should be able to do the centers independently enough for the beginning of the year.

But, I just had to share, that I  brought the books home to use to plan, and I read the Groovy Buttons one to Autumn (the almost-4-year-old).

I was SO proud of her!! She was actually subtracting when I was reading the book!! One popped off and rolled on the floor, how many buttons does Pete have now? And she would actually tell me like immediately! And THEN she would count the was such a proud mama moment. Sorry, I just had to brag.

Anyway, I just pre-ordered the Magic Sunglasses book!! I was so excited to see that they're coming out with another book! Have you pre-ordered yours yet?? Click the pic to check it out!


Getting in our reading groove

Today, we started our Bloom's Taxonomy  Read Aloud time. 

I'm starting with one of my favorite series....

This is just the cutest pig ever!!

I read out loud for about 10-15 minutes, then I choose a stick (it has their number on it.) That student then picks ONE M&M.

(I usually use Skittles, because I tend to eat the M& I just use the brown as the purple for the posters...since M&Ms don't make a purpe)

Whatever color they pick, that's the level of question they get. They don't know they are levels. But I do. Sneaky, sneaky!

If they get the answer correct, or are pretty close, then they get 2 more M&Ms, whatever color of their choice. It's amazing what they do for Next week, I'll be introducing the writing portion of the pack, which they'll write in their Reader's Notebook.

I'm excited to start the next part to the pack! 

Check out this pack at any of my stores:

Speaking of Readers', we did our first entry!

We've been reading Chrysanthemum

I got Michelle's pack (from Teach123), it's her Chrysanthemum Sentence Shuffle pack. We're doing the sentence shuffle tomorrow, but today, we did the reading flaps in our Readers' Notebooks. They did great!

How's getting into the groove going in your school?? We haven't as much gotten in our groove, BUT as soon as we do, we're going to have to add in our mandatory 30 minute intervention block, which takes away some of my extra reading time I like to do. BOO! Oh well. What can you do? (beside!)

Organizing and Managing Centers

The other day, (actually, I think it was yesterday - ha!) I posted my center menu that I'm doing this year.
(there's also a free center menu that's editable on that post! I explain the menu a little more on that post too)

 I had a few questions about how I do centers, so I'm going to explain as best as I can (it's so much harder in writing, isn't it?). I have 10 centers, which last for 2 weeks. On Monday of the first week, I explain the centers (and yes, I have some that forget, even with directions IN the buckets. oy!). Everyone picks one center each day. They use their clothespin, which has their number on it.

Since I have enough to only have 2 kids at each center, then that's the rule (so might change if I change up the centers later). If their clip doesn't fit on the clear strip, then they can't pick that center. They only do ONE center each day. When it's center time, then they finish up their seatwork (whatever that may be), and then get their bucket, which corresponds with the center label on the pocket chart. 

They take their bucket and find a spot in the room with their buddy. Sometimes it's a pocket chart, sometimes the computer, it varies. You can see inside the bucket is all of their materials they'll need for it, except for their clipboard and pencil. I have the glue, scissors, dry erase markers, and directions and materials in there for them. 

Once they finish their center, they clean up all the materials and put the buckets back. They put their center recording sheet on their desk (whether it's a dry erase pocket, a laminated Scholastic News, or a regular recording sheet.) and wait for me to come check it after I am finished with my reading groups. Then I check off their center menu. If they didn't finish it, then I circle the box where it says T.S. and if they did finish it (and to my liking) then I give them a star, sticker, or just my initials. While they are waiting on me to come check their center, they can go to OLD centers they need to finish on their menu, or they can finish other work, or read and take A.R. quizzes. 

Now, where do they keep their paper recording sheets and menu? In a center folder. Simple. At the end of the 2 weeks, I staple all the (real) papers to the menu and send it home with a "grade" on the menu. 

Now, you may have noticed that my labels and buckets are 2 different colors. One set is blue and the other set is green. Yep. And it's on purpose. My BIGGEST reason is because last year I had 5 reading centers and 5 math centers. BUT, I'm not doing actual math centers right now (in the same format as I am reading centers). We are still introducing a lot of other skills and procedures and basics in math, and I don't want to throw too much at them at once. I DO have them set up right now, so that we can use them when we have the time, and I'm just going to give the buckets to my groups, that way I can keep track of which group is doing which center.


Week 1 Visual Plans!

It's my first official FULL week this week. If you've followed me last year, you know that I did the visual plans. Well, I don't really have my kids in an actual schedule right yet (we're still doing a lot of procedures and explaining), so I'm not going to do my real visual plans just yet.  But I'll show you what my centers are going to be.

I'm going to start doing my running records and ORF testing next week, so I don't have actual small group plans, but I can show you what I'm going to be doing for my ELA centers.

I have an EDITABLE version of this center menu if you want one. I realize there are MILLIONS of ways people set up their centers, but this is what works for me, so if you want to try it, click HERE.

(t.s. stands for teacher signature so that I can keep track of their effort and completion, but also so that they can see if they've already done that center since they're only allowed to choose a center once)

For centers 1-5, I'm using my School Days ELA center pack...

1. Label A Day at School - students can use a word bank to label a picture, add in their own art to it, then write a caption.

2. Silly School Words - sorting real and nonsense words, writing in columns with an option to extend by 
having them write sentences.

3. School Syllables - sorting one and two syllable words

4. School Sentence Scramble - you can do 3 sets or 6 sets of scrambled sentences

5. Sorting Supplies - ABC order 

Then 6-10 are other centers I'm putting together from various resources and blogging finds!

6. Using the book, Me on the Map, they're going to map out their own bedroom. If you want to try that activity click HERE. Click the picture of the book to check out the book.

7. Computer - I will probably have them listen to a book on Tumblebooks, there's a story about "How Do You Read to a Rabbit," about the problems you'd have if you read to different animals. It's super cute! They'll do a response sheet. (click HERE if you have Tumblebooks or have that book and want to do the activity sheet)

8. They read an old Scholastic News article and answer the questions on the back. I'm hoping I can laminate in the morning before school so that they can use dry erase markers on it, but we'll see!

9. They'll do buddy reading, and response sheet from Kristen's Grab and Go pack (I just LOVE that pack!)

10. Write the Room, I just want them to read the room,  I'll have them do one of the back to school pages from this pack. I love having them do write the room activities, so I think this pack will be a fun activity for them to do throughout the year.

These centers will last TWO weeks. Which is perfect since we're not starting the reading series (according to pacing guide), so then all my centers will be able to be review centers for the year!

For math, I'm not really diving into the "series" yet, but I AM starting on my Numbers Every Day, which will deal with place value, 100s chart, money, fact families, etc. So we are going to be hitting on A LOT of skills this week, which will be a good way for me to be able to informally assess where I should start and such.

AND, I have to start my beginning of the year math testing (district assessments), so I'm going to have my kids do my School Days math centers for them to do while I'm testing...Hopefully the testing will go pretty quickly.. Here's what's in those baskets right now...

Time to Color - Time to the hour and half hour - use both, or just the hour! 

Counting Supplies - counting by 2s, 5s, and 10s

Handy Helper Fact Sorting - sorting facts that equal either 7, 8, 9, or 10

Recess Tallies - matching tally marks to numbers

Double the Supplies - a game board that lets them practice their doubles facts

Fact Families - match up the problems that belong in the same family

I'm linking up with Deedee for her visual plans linky!

Mrs. Wills Kindergarten

P.S. Don't forget! 

Make sure you enter that promo code to get the extra percentage off!

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