Saturday, February 18, 2012

A Time Capsule of Teacher Goodies

Have you ever found money in your pocket or purse before?  It's so exciting, right?  Well, I felt that way today when I decided to go through the archives... a.k.a. a Rubbermaid tote from my Title I days.  It was akin to opening a time capsule, especially considering how much I have grown as a teacher since I worked with the little ones.  I don't think I've opened it in at least five years, so I had no idea what I would find in there. I wasn't sure if I could use anything with my current kiddos, but there were a few surprises.   I love shopping at my own house!  Most of it will be going back into storage since I won't exactly be working on phonemic awareness or the alphabet with my third graders.  :)

I pulled out these alphabet cards.  Truthfully, they aren't fancy or necessarily cute.  I acquired a stack of old discarded text books in college, and so I cut photos out of one of the textbooks to make these.  I used them for a bean bag toss game, because there were firsties in my Title rotation that didn't know their letters and sounds yet!  I think I may have posted about it once already.  Basically, the kids threw a bean bag at an alphabet grid formed by the cards, and they had to say the sound of each letter.  When they got better at sounds, we worked on initial sounds, medial sounds, and ending sounds.  This is so simple and versatile, so before it went back in the archives, I snapped a photo to share with all of my early primary bloggy buddies.  Someday, I really want to teach first grade.  I LOVE third grade, but first grade has my heart.  Truly.  :)

I also found a stack of cards I made with word strips and the same discarded text books.  If I were to do this now, I would totally glue cute clip art onto the strips.  Mine look a little sad.  At any rate, I used these strips to work on CVC words, and initial/medial/final phonemes.  I know I mentioned this one before too, but here's a close up at the cards without dry-erase marker all over the place!  :)

I was super excited to find my old Tic-Tac-Toe Word Work envelope.  The kiddos used to build real and nonsense CVC words using magnetic letters, and it was always a HUGE hit with the kids.  Plus it's easy to manage and organize too!  If you're interested, I've typed up teacher directions, student directions (to glue to an envelope), and I've put together a new & improved recording sheet.  You can snag this simple center at my TpT store. 

I'm not going to lie.  I was super excited to find a stack of stencils, more alphabet stamps and a bag full of letter shaped cookie cutters to use with Play-Doh.  I will be adding those to my existing word work centers on Tuesday, for sure!  I thought I left all of this at my old school, so you can imagine how excited I was to find everything today!  Yay! :)

Let's see.  Other than that, I ran around a bit with my hubs, cleaned house a bit, and tried to tackle part of the paper mountain that I found on my desk on Friday when I returned to school.  :)  I had my kiddos work on the I LOVE ME adjective activity by the Lesson Plan S.O.S. ladies while I was out, and they turned out so cute! Take a looksie! I also found a cute little note buried in the stack.  :)  By the way, third grade Reading Street teachers, this activity was a wonderful way to celebrate Valentine's Day and kick off Unit 4 since it's all about being unique!  :)


  1. I <3 finding things I haven't used in forever! It feels brand new again! :o)

    Jamie at 2nd Grade Stuff

  2. Congrats on your sweet finds! I totally understand about your fur babies. We don't have kids either but our dog is totally our child (as evidenced by my having to stay up all night with him last night because he was anxious...). Enjoy your family time! :)

    Living A Wonderful Life

  3. Jack pot for you! I also think it's a jack pot for us primary teachers. I love those sentence strips for cvc words!

    Teaching with Grace

  4. I love the treasure hunt! I taught K-2 for many years and then took a break from the littles with six years in 5th grade/administration. When I returned to first grade two years ago, I found FABULOUS treasures in totes, bins, and boxes in my garage - it was so fun, and brought back so many memories of kids and colleagues from years ago!

    As for the fur baby, we have those too, and your new little one really struck a chord with me. Do you know her breed - is she a "jack-a-bee?" (Beagle/Jack Russel Terrier mix) We had a pure-bred Beagle that we had to put down in December. Shortly thereafter we adopted a cute little baby from the local shelter that they *called* a Beagle, but I knew wasn't *full* Beagle. After doing some internet research, I feel confident that he's a Jack-a-bee.He's a total bundle of energy and mischief (much like a first grader!)! Hope you're enjoying your new baby as much as we are ours

  5. She's a cutie with a look on her face that seems to be saying 'I'm sorry... I'm trying my best!'.

  6. I just came across your blog. Love it! Emma is too cute!

    A new follower,

  7. I love Emma! She looks out of the window like I look at a new kitchen aid mixer. =)

    Emily @ Second Grade Silliness 

  8. I love your tic tac toe idea! Awesome ideas and I also love love love finding boxes of treasures...


  9. The alphabet cards - loved them! Years ago when I began teaching, I was given those same textbooks. I was teaching Kindergarten (still am) and cut them up to put in a plastic (no glass) picture frame. I changed it out each week for the Letter of the Week. It sat in my kitchen center. I was trying any way I could find to get those letters and sounds in their little minds. I still have them, because the pictures are PERFECT. Not using them because we have no fun centers like housekeeping. But I'm hoping those days will come back. Thanks for that quick trip down Memory Lane!

  10. I love finding lost treasures! I also love to move into a retired teachers classroom and to inherit all of those goodies!

    :) Kim

    ~New follower!!