This calls for a PAR-TAY!!!

Hey guys!! It's Katie, from Little Warriors
Goodness!!! Today I'm another year wiser older! My, how time flies by!!! 36!?!? Wha, wha, whaaaaaat??!?! How does that even happen?? I don't FEEL old, but, when I think about the number, it just doesn't seem quite right.



Thanks Deana!! You said it, girl! Ha!! #lovethatsong

AND, February is a very special month because not only is it MY birthday, but, it's also my blog birthday!!!! 

Shout out to Erin's Ink for drawing my cake and party hat!!!

Ahhhhhhh!!! Little Warriors is turning FIVE this month!!! Can you believe it??? I can't!! But, it's true! HERE is my very FIRST. EVER. post!!!! LOL!

So, with birthdays on my brain, I decided to do a little post about birthdays today!! Here are some things that I do for my birthday kiddos!

Last Summer I painted my U.G.L.Y., rusted lockers in my classroom with chalkboard paint! I cannot even tell you how much better they look! Especially when someone has a birthday! ;) I decorate their locker with colored chalk! It's so bright and fun and really makes them feel special!!

If you don't have lockers are chalkboard paint, another idea would be to use a dry erase marker and write on their table or lockers. I write little notes on my kiddos' tables sometimes. (Especially if I know I'm going to be out and have a sub the next day! It really helps them behave :)


These are the little gifts that I give my Kinders. I found these GEMS at the Dollar Tree last Summer and bought them ALL up!!! They are so fun!! They say "Happy Birthday" across the top AND they light up. PLUS, they have SIX candles on top! I mean, seriously!!! Could they be any more perfect???

A parent of one of my kiddos made me this little hat and neck sign. There is chalkboard material sewn to it to write the date and their name. It makes for a super cute picture!! (No, I don't make the boys wear the hat.)


And, of course we do a little GoNoodle for our birthday kids!! Here are my two favorites!




Want some more AWESOME birthday ideas?? Here are some posts that my Blog Hoppin' Buddies have done in the past! Read about how Erica's Edventures, The First Grade Parade, What the Teacher Wants, Sunny Days in Second, and Mrs. Ehle's Kindergarten Connections celebrate the kiddos in their classrooms!!



Since you read all the way to the end on this post, and it's my special day, I have a birthday surprise for you!! I just finished this February pack last night! I think you'll love it!! AND, it's NO PREP centers! But, HURRY!!! This is a FLASH FREEBIE and it will only be free for 24 hours!!! Just click on the image below to grab yours for FREE today only!!!!

valentines tooth teeth groundhog presidents


P.S. Remember that movie, Groundhog Day??? Good thing that's not real! Or, my birthday would never come!!!! Ha!


HaPpY BiRtHdAy to me! ;)


Join us for the Spring Teacher Blogger Retreat 2016

Hey there!   It's Holly from Mrs. Ehle's Kindergarten Connections! Just wanted to invite you to join in the fun at this year's Spring Teacher Blogger Retreat!   Check it out...


Passion.

As a teacher, what are you passionate about?  

Is it the challenge of meeting your rigorous standards in ways that are engaging and fun for your students?  

Perhaps your passion lies in creating content-rich units for your students that better meet your students' needs than the teacher textbooks...and then sharing them with others on TPT!  

Perhaps, somehow you've lost your passion for teaching...
and you are seeking to discover it again.

One thing I know for sure, is that YOU need to join us for the 

3rd Annual Spring Teacher 
Blogger Meet-Up/Retreat


 Imagine a giant ballroom filled with educators from around the country who chose to be there on their own dime and own time.   Educators who are so devoted to being the best teachers they can be, that they spend their “free time” collaborating with other top educators through blogging and professional development events.  Teachers overflowing with creativity.  Educators who create their own incredible teaching resources and share them with others in order to make a difference for kids across the world. 

THIS is what this retreat weekend is all about! 


Take a peek at just a few pics from our event last year!

 



French Lick Resort is a BEAUTIFUL place, my friends.  As in, breathtaking!  (The picture above, bottom left, is the ceiling of the West Baden atrium lobby!) 

The resort has two main buildings...
  



This place has an AMAZING history!

The French Lick staff treat us like royalty! 
We all LOVE-LOVE-LOVE this place!

And folks, this event would not be possible without the help of our sponsors! 
Some of the most amazing companies in the country team up with us to give back to YOU...simply because they know how hard y'all work and want to support educators!

Here are some of our 
AMAZING SPONSORS...

  








  
  

 Look for goodies from these companies as well:

The Pencil Grip, Scentsy, Origami Owl, Younique, Silly McGilly, Stella and Dot, DoTerra Oils, Coker Mugs, Doodle Bugs Paper, Twinkle Twinkle Little Jar, Udderly Smooth and more!


Sound like fun? 

Want to re-energize your teaching?

Then join us!

Here are the details...
WHO:  YOU are invited!

WHAT:  Spring Teacher/Blogger Meet-Up Retreat!

WHEN: March 11, 12 & 13, 2016

WHERE:  French Lick Resort & Casino - French Lick, IN

WHY:   To meet new friends, share teaching, blogging & TPT tricks & tips, and just have fun! {LOTS and LOTS of FUN!}

Below is the basic agenda for the weekend. 

Join us for the whole weekend, or just a day!
(Please note that if you are interested, there is a link at the bottom of this post you can follow to tentatively register.  Once you submit your info,  we will add you to our private Facebook group so that you can receive detailed event details, including hotel discount code...and payment submission info.  Sometimes it's better not to post "too" much info on-line!)    

Friday, March 11th

IF YOU CHOOSE... You may check in on Friday night and check out the resort on your own...or meet up with those of us who check in early!   Rooms will be offered at the French Lick Springs Hotel in the "blogger block"  for a discounted rate.  (Hotel rates are $169/per night.) Regular rooms have two queen beds and sleep 4...but you may choose to add a roll-away and pack in even more co-workers or blogging friends!  The room rate doesn't change...you just have one person book the room and then split the cost! Also, please note that during registration you can indicate that if you are willing to share a room with another teacher(s) and I can help match you up with other teachers to save some money!  Many attendees meet up on Friday night for dinner or simply to gather and socialize at the beautiful West Baden Hotel (connected to French Lick Springs by trolley and free shuttles!) Come early and join us! 

Saturday, March 12th 

12:30 pm - Blogger Meet-Up Luncheon
(Private Meeting Room at the French Lick Springs Hotel)
Join us for a get-to-know-you luncheon event filled with TONS of prizes and product give-aways! We guarantee some epic teacher-swag giveaways, my friends!  We had over $10,000 in the BEST teacher product giveaways last year...and we are working on surpassing that this year!  We will also be playing some seriously fun get to know ya' games, which will result in forming friendships for life!  Oh! And I can't forget to mention our annual "Teacher Tool" gift swap game! #funandfunctional 

The cost for attending this luncheon event will be $40, which includes your lunch and beverages, as well as a portion of the room reservation/technology fees.  This is the ONLY required fee for the entire weekend!  The rest of the event (hotel fees, if you choose to stay on site, and the remainder of the meal fees will be on your own, based on your choices!).  If you live close, you may choose to drive in for the day.  This fee needs to be paid by Feb. 11 to guarantee your registration.  Also, note that due to the increasing popularity of this event, registration may have to be limited due to size.  (More details for payment will be posted on our private FB meet-up/retreat group page.)

2:00 pm - Teacher Tips & Tricks for Blogging, TPT and more!
After the luncheon and meet-up fun, we will be having a sharing session about teacher technology, blogging and creating TPT products.  Bring some of your best ideas and a list of your favorite resources to share with others!  You might want to bring your laptop for this too!  This session is totally optional...but is a fun way to share ideas and set up networks for blogging, Pinterest, "linky" parties, etc.  Last year's workshop session was INCREDIBLE...and this year's will be even better!  We will be sending out an email survey to everyone who registers, asking for topics of interest. Then, we will be recruiting topic discussion leaders with experience/expertise on the hottest teacher topics to help facilitate our group sharing. Oh! And look forward to lots and lots of informal pop-up presentations, as our questions lead us! We will also be doing some round-table sessions with special topic/grade-level break outs.  We believe everyone has an area of expertise and something to share!  

5:30 pm - Dinner Reservations at Resort Restaurant/s
We will meet up for dinner at one of the resort's casual, but classy restaurants!  This event is not required (just in case you plan to bring your spouse and would prefer a romantic dinner!?), but we will be offering group reservations for dinner that will offer an incredible meal at reasonable prices! (We are teachers, ya' know!)  

9 pm - Saturday Night Social Event:  Epic 80's Party!!!

Teachers Just Wanna’ Have Fun, right?  <-- (That’s a Cyndi Lauper 80’s reference, if ya didn’t get it! LOL) We had SO much fun last year at our Teacher PJ Party that we knew we had to bring back the Saturday night social event!  We have a team of incredibly fun teacher-bloggers who are working hard brainstorming ideas on how to make this event super fun and incredibly inspiring!  Stay tuned for more details…but get your leg-warmers, neon gloves and parachute pants ready!  

(The optional Saturday Social Event will have a cost of $10/attendee to cover room/service fees, party favors, food, photo booth, and much, much more!)


Sunday, March 15th

9:30 am - Sunday Breakfast/Brunch
We will meet at the resort's famous breakfast buffet for our last gathering!  
Good food, good conversations, and goodbyes!

After brunch, you are free to explore the resort or head home, 
re-energized to be the best teacher-blogger you can be! 

 Fun Options for Your Free Time!
If you arrive early, or find some time between sessions or after dinner (or anytime!), attendees may go their own ways, or travel in groups via complimentary shuttle, to any of the resort's entertainment hot spots!  Suggested activities include visiting the West Baden Hotel's spectacular dome, where you can enjoy drinks at Ballard's Bar while watching the dome's colored "light show," or visiting the French Lick Casino for some gaming fun! Other options include visiting the Xanadu Coffee & Creamery for dessert or gathering with new friends in one of the resort's grand lobbies to share blogging tips and tricks!


Wondering if this event is something you might be interested in?  Check out what some of last year's attendees have to say...

Deanna J. "This meet up is like no other! I had so much fun meeting and learning from bloggers from all over the country. The day was packed full of networking opportunities and fun engaging activities. You don't want to miss it!!!"

Lupe R. "I loved the circle when we picked a business card of a teacher we would uplift during the year. That's so important for us to do that for one another because there are enough people putting us or our profession down."

Heidi N. "It was so refreshing to be surrounded by like minded teachers! I left the weekend with new perspective, new ideas, and a lot of new friends!"

Lindsey C. "As a two year attendee, I have always enjoyed the meet up to network with other bloggers and rejuvenate my passion and love for teaching. It is something I have come to look forward to, and I am so grateful for the experience and forever friendships I have gained from the meet ups."

Maja A. "Last year's meet up inspired me to do so many new things, I finished out the school year strong with the things I learned from the other teacher/bloggers there! I am so excited for this years meet up!"

Megan W. "I went to French Lick by myself and was really pushed outside my comfort zone. I had no idea what to expect. It was great meeting friends that I've connected with online over the past 5 years. I loved how informal and stress-free the weekend was. I'm glad I took the plunge and went!"

A few more quotes from our 2014 event attendees...
Annie W "Spending time with fellow teachers who share my passion for teaching and blogging was SOOOO invigorating and exactly what I needed last year. Heck this meet up is one of the big reasons I decided to become a TPT seller. Loved seeing and meeting new blogging buddies while exploring the gorgeous resort. Between the tips and tricks from experienced bloggers and the fun experiences we shared, I will definitely be going again. "

Kelsey B. "This meet-up was so inspiring! I left ready to teach and excited about what I do. It is so fun to meet other teachers that share the same passion as you and are willing to share their ideas with you. I had never created anything on TpT, and I learned so much. I met new teachers that I've stayed in close contact with and have learned so much from. It was definitely a weekend I remember and look forward to!"


Simply click HERE to get more information about this event and pre-register!

Don't delay to register!  The registration deadline is February 11th!

We hope to see you there!


Akiak, the Iditarod Race, and a Freebie

Hi y'all!  This is Katie King from Queen of the First Grade Jungle.  If you follow me, you know I have been very busy this year creating reading units with Amy Lemons from Step Into Second Grade.   We are thrilled with how they are coming along!  I wanted to share with you a little bit of what this week looks like with my class!  Here is my reading board that gets added to all week.  

Our comprehension skill this week is looking at Fact and Opinion. 


On Monday we added the posters (with the Orca) to our board. Our example for the day was pizza!  What kid can't talk about pizza in some way!??! All of mine could haha.  On Tuesday we made the anchor chart below:


I gave each student two post-it notes and asked them to write a fact and opinion about one topic.  They really enjoyed picking their own topics and sharing with the class. 


We added them to the chart as we went.  My kids are so much more engaged when they can become a part of making our anchor charts and post-its are a fabulous way to do that!

There is always one in the bunch :) This little girl explained that this was "her opinion on opinions and a fact bout facts."
Their follow-up activity was to sort facts and opinions about our book Akiak: A Tale of the Iditarod. They did a really nice job with this as well!

 Tomorrow we will be writing about Akiak and how her character traits allowed her to finish and win the race.


My kids are doing a great job with finding evidence in the text as we have been digging DEEP into text for months now, but some kids with need a little support.  So I made this little freebie below that you can snag to use with Akiak!


Today (yes I am writing this post at 5 a.m. HA!) my kids will be learning about the amazingly beautiful state of Alaska and then writing facts and their opinions. 


If you would like to see more of our unit, you can click on the picture below to head to Amy's store!  Y'all have a wonderful day!

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