Sunday, April 21, 2013

Mr. Giso's Room to Read Takes Part in Another Magical Product Swap

I'm very proud to take part in my third Magical Product Swap put together by Jessica Stanford, author of the blog entitled Mrs. Stanford's Class.


This time around, I had the pleasure of being paired up with Nicole Johnson, author of her fantastic blog Teaching's a Hoot-- Musings of an Elementary School Teacher.

Teachings a Hoot
It was so cool emailing back and forth with Nicole, prior to the swap.  We have a lot in common.  We are both former reading teachers, her from Title I and myself from Reading First.  We share the passion of having a classroom and a group of kiddos to call "our own."  As a result, we both returned to the classroom as first grade teachers.  What could be better?  It's obvious Nicole has a love of teaching.  She's created countless, quality resources, supplementary materials, science units and mini-books.  Check out her TpT store by clicking HERE.  Her blog's a lot of fun to browse, for you can learn a lot more than teaching tips--like what she likes to read, where she likes to shop and her favorite places to grab a bite--I really enjoy her personal touch.  I'd be all set if I were to leave Boston for a trip to Oregon!

On to my product...

There were so many of Nicole's items that aligned with my first grade curriculum in MA (life cycles, living/nonliving, etc.), but I chose to review her item entitled "My Book of Fact Families."  You see, that was what I was just starting to teach.  I've seen adorable ideas out there with the "fact family in a house" theme, but never came across any first-hand.  This item was exactly what I needed.  It includes over 60 (yes, 60) pages of all the possible fact families for numbers 1-10.  There's a colorful cover too.  Each page has a house with a cloud backdrop and is decorated with charming clipart.

Here's how I used Nicole's "My Book of Fact Families" in my classroom.  I printed, in color, and laminated a bunch of her sheets.  I love laminating...woohoo. 

Next, I got a shiny new clipboard and tied a bunch of colored curling ribbon to the top (spring has hit New England).  I was a bit cheerful.  I also attached a dry-erase marker.  

In my math center I let children fill out the members of the fact family and show me when they were done.  Then, they easily erased their answers and got another sheet.

I also decided to print out the cover page, in color.  I printed the other pages in black and white ink and decided to make a book with most of the pages for all of my first graders, because they were really into this activity.  How neat is this cover?

In my math center, I made our number lines, 120 grids and 10-frames with colored counters readily available to complete the fact families if needed.  My two furbabies are standing quite proud by the final product.  They both give it two paws up!  Oh, I also used some sheets for Before School Work and for homework--so many uses...

There you have it!  "My Book of Fact Families" is a valuable addition to my unit of addition--obviously it's Common Core-aligned and ready-to-go.  To get this item, please click away HERE.  Click HERE to check out  some more quality resources out there in the blogging world.  This swap is always so much fun.  It's great to meet other teachers from all over the country and to have a chance to grab and try out a great product.


  1. Thanks for the fantastic recommendation Rich!
    1 - your personal laminator looks amazing! What brand is it? I've been pondering getting one too.
    2 - I LOVE that your furbabies gave it two paws up! I also have two furbabies. :)
    3 - I love how you used my book of fact families in so many different ways! Wow!

    Teaching's a Hoot

  2. Definitely welcome!

    The laminator I have is a Staples Brand 17466. I use the Staples Brand laminating pouches too (letter size).

    Thanks for taking so much time to share my blog with your followers.


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