Sunday, December 30, 2012

New Year's Linky and planning my attack!

Wow, look at me!  Two posts in one month!  Woohoo!  I'm hoping you caught my sarcasm..snort.

I'm linking up with Jen at The Teachers' Cauldron for a New Year's Resolution linky par-tay! 


I love linky parties!  It's always so fun to meet new bloggers and learn new stuff about my faves.  And that it's during break when I actually have time to read and respond--even better!

Personal Goal

I was writing this post in my head while showering this morning and realized that I have had the same resolution since I was in the fifth grade.  I can remember doing a writing assignment on it and the sweet comment that my teacher wrote on my paper.  I have been resolving to lose weight for that long in my life.  She wrote on my paper that I was one of God's beloved children and that she knew someone as smart, sweet, and amazing as I was could do ANYTHING (in all caps!!).  I still cry (am as I write this) as I think about her.  I think I decided in that moment to be a teacher.  But still all these years later, I have not managed to accomplish this goal.  And I feel anything but amazing.  

So I'm going to try a new approach this year.  I call it the plan of attack.  I know that in my teaching career before I do anything I plan, plan, plan and what do we do for each child's progress??  Track, track, track, document, document, document...  I went back to SparkPeople today.  I hadn't blogged there since 2009!!  If you aren't familiar, it is a website (and now app) that is completely FREE and allows you to set goals, track your food and fitness, and has a very supportive community of teams, bloggers, and message boards.  I reset all my goals, blogged, and am going to start a SparkTeam for primary teachers with a friend of mine.  I'll post the link as soon as we come up with a name.  We bloggers know how hard coming up with a name is!  Any ideas?

Here's their link if you want to check them out:

You know I'm all about the **spark**le   haha!

Here's my page there:
 

Blogging Goal

This one is simple.  Blog more!  I actually do have some good ideas, I swear!  I feel like a frogger.  Fraud Blogger.  Haha!  Just kidding, mostly.  I'm missing out on some great things here.  You all talk of the amazing friendships that you've made from your blog and I'm jealous.  I haven't experienced that yet but it's my fault.  You have to be a friend to get a friend and to post and put yourself out there to make those relationships.  My goal for tonight is to visit, comment, and follow everyone in this linky.  :-)  

Plus I want to learn about creating.  I made my own media buttons yesterday and put them over there on the sidebar ---->  I was so proud of myself but was shaking in my shoes when it came time to move my design around and hit apply to blog.  I was afraid I'd mess something up.  Life's too short to be afraid of change or taking chances!  Attack!  

Go link up!

Much love and cyberhugs,

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Currently and Christmas gift idea

Oh my...how on Earth did it get to be December?  New month, new attitude!  I'm not, not, not, not...do you hear me, NOT going to gain any weight in December!  Even if I have to sew my mouth shut!  I finally finished my stash of Reese pumpkins (and off with their head for anyone who brings me a Reese tree)!  Those things are like crack!  Haha!  And I got my need (want) for Hardees out of my system this morning.  It's time to wipe the dust off of those Zumba dvds!

It's also time for Farley's Currently... 

I promised myself I'd be a better blogger in November, but I have this Common Core project that is taking me just forever to finish.  I came up with this great idea to align EVERYTHING I've ever bought on TPT and all the games/activities/centers/etc I own to the Common Core with labels and a spreadsheet and color coded.  Miss Organization, you know?  I had NO IDEA I had this much good stuff but it is taking me forstinkingever. I'm getting there! At least it's not still spread out all over my living room floor.  

Moving on..
Have you bought your students a Christmas gift yet?  If not, check these out!


My dear teaching partner and I have been buying these 100 piece art kits for our kids for several years.  They (((LOVE))) them!  You are the best teacher ever kind of love.  ;-)  They are on sale at Michaels for 2.79 plus your 15% off teacher discount.  Someone on Facebook said yesterday that her Michaels has them for 1.89!!  

Have a wonderful week and go link up with Farley!

Much loves,

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Free BrainPOPjr!

Hello all!  
Just a quickie this morning!  I just wanted to tell everyone that BrainPOPjr is FREE this week!  If you've never used any of their fun videos and games, check it out!  We viewed the President video yesterday and played the games (don't forget the Pop a Joke--they LOVE).  

Sorry, friends!  They changed  it during the day today.  :-(  It is a great program if you've never checked it out.  They do always have at least one freebie each week.
  Click Moby to visit the site!


And don't forget to ROCK the VOTE!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Classroom Freebies Too, Monsters, and Adding One!

   Happy Halloween!

I hope your little monsters are sweet to you today.  We are going on a field trip to a corn maze…and it’s freezing cold!  It was 80 a few days ago and now…brrr!  Pray for us! 

I’m so excited that this will be my first post writing for Classroom Freebies Too!  Thanks so much, Charity, for the opportunity!
For all you CF fans I am sharing a game that I made tonight to help some of my sweeties master the math strategy of Adding One.  Most all caught on quickly, but some still need more practice.  Click the pic to go grab it at my TPT “store”. 

Add1


We had Monster Day on Friday and read some of our favorite monster books such as I Need My Monster and  Monster Manners .


We created our own monsters after this.  I wanted to tie into our geometry Envision topic so we talked about how we could create monsters by cutting the shapes that we know.  There are some c.u.t.e monster patterns out there for the snagging lately, but this time I wanted my kids to be able to completely make the monster how they wanted it.  We don’t have an art special anymore so I worry about hindering creativity.
So I put out every color construction paper I own and let them have at it.  They turned out soooo cute!  

Here are a few:
monsters

One fella made one with wings (I forgot pic of it) and it is the only one that keeps falling off the wall.  Too funny! 

They completed a My Monster description page after that.  
Here is Maddy’s (hers is the green monster above).  If you’d like a blank copy of this sheet, just click Maddy’s page and it will take you to Google docs. 
 
20121025_164031
Do you know about Dogzilla?  I’ll have to post about him soon!  They LOVE! 


I hope you can use some of these!  Have a great rest of October!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

I like big BOOKS and I cannot lie...

Oh dear friends...thank you sweet baby Jesus that tomorrow is Friday!  My sweet first graders have forgotten all our procedures in just a week!  I actually had a girl tell me today that she'd come to join her reading group when she finished her puzzle.  Really!!  Oh, and did you know that when we come back from the bathroom with the pass, we stand in the door and yell at the top of our lungs.....
Okay, who needs to go the bathroom??!!  
**bang my head on table**

We did manage to get some work done this week, however.  
I am TERRIBLE at using my big books.  I have so many of them but seem to only use them to teach to my themes.  I forget about them the rest of the time.  I've noticed that during free choice centers on Fridays (after our morning of testing), lots of my firsties were getting into the big books.  As I sat on the beach last week (ah...was it just a week ago?), I came up with a way to let them use those big books and start on the concept of research.  I came up with this form:
Click on pic to snag the form!
I introduced the form on Monday during literacy stations.  We practiced the form using No, David!  You'll be amazed at how many exclamation points are in this book!  
They are LOVING this station! 
I've "prettied" up the form since I took this pic!  Haha!
I hope your kids enjoy this as much as mine!  Have a wonderful Friday!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Make them beg!

Greeting from the Beach!  

I'm on Fall Break!  It feels so incredible to de-stress and do nothing but read for pleasure and listen to the waves. I've read one trashy romance novel a day so far.  Haha!  The weather here in Florida is GLORIOUS!  When I left Tennessee it was 40-something and raining!  Yuck!  

I was sooo mean to my sweeties last week.  They returned from library on Tuesday and found this:


I had pulled out all of my Halloween and Fall books and put them on the shelf at our carpet area.  And wrapped them in caution tape!  They were so excited and immediately wanted me to start reading them.  Nope. Not yet.  Not happening.  

I made them wait for 2 days.  They were dying! They BEGGED me to start reading these books.  It's amazing when they are begging for books instead of games or movies.  Before I took the tape off or read even one book, they had to complete this page:

Frame from Jen Jones at Hello Literacy

You can snag the file by clicking picture above.  I starred the word predict because we are working hard to add it to our vocabulary.  I hope you can use it!

Off to sunscreen up and pick out my book for today.  Blessing to you!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

First Grade Common Core

Hands-on Common Core activities!  
Common Core ideas for First Grade! 
 Do I have your attention yet?  I've been hearing such wonderful reviews about the K version of this book so I was excited when they released the 1st version.  I was even more thrilled after I downloaded the free sample.  I was expecting a typical workbook feel but that's not what this is!  It looks just like our favorite units that we download from TPT (even with graphics by Scrappin Doodles)!  Activities, posters, worksheets!   I'm so excited to get my hands on the First Grade Common Core workbook!
Go check it out!



Friday, September 7, 2012

Oh, those fairies!

Have you visited Ms. Jessica  for technology tips over at A Turn to Learn?  If you haven't then get yourself over there as soon as you read this!  She rocks!

Back in April she had this post about creating a talking avatar. I missed that one but saw this post about the talking Handwriting Fairy. Oh...my...gosh!  I showed this to my kids and they lost their minds for a minute!  Every time we write they want to see if the Handwriting Fairy has a new message for them.  Jessica has been creating new messages, but I realized that I wanted to create my own HF (Handwriting Fairy) so I could personalize the messages.
So here she is..




So on Friday I began training my kids on how to keep their desks neat and organized.  Then I told them that sometimes the Desk Fairy visits and leaves little treats for neat desks.  There were audible gasps all over the room.  They wanted to know if she knew the Handwriting Fairy and if she will talk to us.  Haha!  So you know what immediately went on my weekend to-do list.  I told them that she's the Handwriting Fairy's sister.
Here she is!  She's a little goth, haha!


This was so much fun!  Thank you to Jessica for the ideas!

You can create your own free account at www.voki.com.  They have created a Voki Classroom feature but it is 30 dollars per year.  I used the free items to create the Fairies above.  

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

A Birthday Hit!

I saw some really cute ideas for birthday celebrations this summer on Pinterest and blogs.  There were the pixie stick or curly straw balloons that I loved.  I just couldn't find straws that I liked so I wanted something else.  While shopping at Dollar Tree I saw these coloring books..


That is my friend, Rita, modeling it for you, haha!  They are HUGE!  DT had all different kinds...pirates, princesses, dinosaurs, fairies.  The first page is a whole page of stickers.  I chose this one for the boys because the stickers were boyish.  The one for the girls is similar but with girly stickers.  

I gave out my first one on Friday and wow, was it was a hit!  Serious oohhhs and aahhs and kids reminding me of when their birthday is.  I love it when a plan comes together!  

Check these out if you haven't figured out your birthdays yet.  The best part is that they are just a dollar!

Take care,

Monday, September 3, 2012

Yes, David...it's Open House!

Hello everyone!  I know some of you are lucky enough to have Open House BEFORE school starts but not us.  Our Open House took place 11 days into the school year.  I had to have something cute for the hallway.  I pinterested (that is a verb now, right?).  I looked in my files, searched blogs, pulled old Mailbox magazines out...nothing grabbed me.  

My firsties always love David Shannon books like crazy at 
the beginning of the year.  I saw a David pattern online, remembered a poster I had in a drawer and ding ding ding!  Idea!!   I have searched the world over and can't find where I got this pattern.  If it's yours or you know where I got it, PLEASE let me know.  I hate that I'm not going to be giving someone credit for this.  I've got to do better about writing down where I get things.
UPDATE:  Yay!  I found it!  The pattern is from Angie Neal's TPT store.  Here's the link:
David Learns the Rules


The pattern said to have blue stripes for the shirt, but I just passed out their markers and let them have at it.  They were so excited to use those markers!  I let them put as much or as little hair as they wanted.  I'm pretty sure I have a few vampire and zombie Davids here.  Love them!  

I cut a piece of copy paper in half and let them design a book for David to be reading.  Some of them copied  books from our classroom library and some designed their own.  They turned out so stinking cute!


A few closer..



Take care,

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Whose turn is it?

Wow!  It's been so long since I logged on to Blogger I had to look up my password!  I hope all of you had a wonderful start to your  new year.  I have 20 new sweeties--10 girls and 10 boys.  We have had a good start so far.  I have a few challenges but progress is being made so I can't complain.  
Look what I got on the first day of school from one of my parents!  I have never gotten a beginning of the year gift and this one was A-mazing!  

It even has my initials on it!  She had to do a little research for my middle name. It is orange and white because I live near Knoxville, Tennessee..otherwise known as the home of the Tennessee Volunteers.  It was full of gourmet goodies!  I say was because they are g-o-n-e.  Haha!

It has been more of a challenge of time to incorporate Daily 5 and math stations this year than I had anticipated.  I am still working on getting my math stations going to my satisfaction.  We are enjoying Daily 5, but I'm not happy with my instruction so far.  I have some D5 blog stalking planned for later tonight.  You should see my to-do list for this holiday weekend!  

Whose Turn is It?  
Now to the main topic of my post..taking turns on the Promethean Board.  I love using my PB.  I love to let the kids use it often.  But I have found that if I give EVERY child a turn at the board each day it takes f...o....r...e...v...e...r.  They get the wiggles, start talking, tick off the teacher.  So I started having Girl Day and Boy Day.  I made these cute little signs from Scrappin Doodles clip art to hang next to my board.  


I have found that it's easier for me to keep up with turn taking by making everything based on this system.  So on Girl Day, the girls get to use the PB, share their journals, and read anywhere during D5.  The boys get their turn the next day.  The kids make sure I change it each day.  :-)  It works for me!  

Take care!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Read to Self is in the BAG!

Happy Friday!  
I've been studying and trying to get my brain wrapped around Daily 5.  Back in the day (haha), I used the Four Block Literacy Model.  In this model they had a component called Self Selected reading.  The student would chose just right books for them and during that block read to themselves.  Sounds sorta familiar, doesn't it?  

I used those hard plastic magazine files for them to keep their books.  I really didn't care for them.  It never failed that we would all be deeply into reading and all of a sudden...BOOM!  Someone dropped their file on the floor (and chipped/broke it).  Also the non-fiction books that the boys like are usually larger sized.  The magazine files do not always store those sized books very well.  So they would shove them into the files (no matter how many times I modeled otherwise).  I would end up with a full Book Hospital. 

So I knew that I had to do something else besides the magazine files for them to keep their books for Read to Self.  I was going to buy the book buddy bags from Really Good Stuff and then found these at the Dollar Tree!


They will hold 5-6 books easily and seem sturdy enough to last all year.  I got orange (UT orange) and hot pinky/purply for the girls.  I wanted one color for boys and girls so there won't be arguing over colors.
They had other colors also.

They are plenty big enough for the larger books as well.  This pic shows a full-sized hardback book.  There is still more room!  Hopefully my non-fiction books will stay out of the Book Hospital this year.

I'm going to store them in a large rubbermaid tote or laundry basket.  I'm lucky enough to have a separate office in my classroom (which I am going to share in classroom pics next week).  I have plenty of room under my desk in my office to keep the tote/basket when not in use.  I think I'm going to like these!

Now for one non-teachery item...
I went out with the girls a few nights ago.  We went to dinner and to see Magic Mike.  I've got one thing so say.  Y'all can have Matthew M. and Channing Tatum...  This is who I want!
Have a good day!  :-)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday Made It!

Ohmygracious!   It is now Sunday at midnight and I have been painting all day!  I think this will be my last Monday Made It for a while.  School starts on Aug. 9th so I need to get in program mode.  I'm incorporating Daily 5, Debbie Diller's math stations, and a new behavior plan all this year.  I may be crazy..or will be by September!
But it's been fun!

This is my take on the READ sign that everyone did this summer it seems.  I brought in my star theme and those bright colors I love.  The D is still wet!


Next, I have this horrible problem going on by my classroom door.  I used to have one of those rotary pencil sharpeners. Hated it!  It would only sharpen one side of the pencil.  I finally asked the custodian to just take it down and throw it away.  That left me with this ugly wood block.  


I wish I had taken a close up pic of it.  This is actually a zoomed in shot of that whole side of the room.  I found these fab felt stars at Walmart and planned to make a bathroom pass holder out of the star.  I could never get it just right.  This morning on my Walmart trip (I really need to buy some Walmart stock), I found this little chalkboard.  I painted it and painted it and painted it.  Geez Louise, I think it took 6 coats of white to cover the chalkboard part!

Then I realized that I could cut up the felt star and glue it to the back of the chalkboard!  This was the finished product.

I'm not really happy with the writing but I dared not mess with it again!  Haha!  My friend Nancy is a crafting goddess so I'm going to make her fix the writing.  
I painted 2 huge clothespins and labeled them Boys and Girls.  I may ditch these for smaller ones later if they don't work how I imagine.  The small green clothespins are for trips to the library.  We are allowed to send 3 kiddies to the library at a time.  I'm going to attach this to the ugly wood block!  

It is now Monday!  We just got back from the vet and for once this month it was less than 100 bucks!  Yay!  Miss Bella got her stitches out and some meds for her swollen knee.   Bless her lol.  


Go link up with Tara!


Sunday, July 22, 2012

TPT, Facebook, and major rudeness!

This is absolutely not the post that I should be working on...  I'm procrastinating.  I should be working on my Thank You So VERY Much for the Awards post.  I have received the Lovely Blog, Versatile Blogger, and the Liebster award. I started the post three weeks ago when I got the first one and have been trying to find 35 blogs to nominate.  There are just so many good ones!  I'm going to cheat I think because I'm stressing over it!  So look for that post coming by midnight on Sunday.  I don't mean to be rude honestly!  I appreciate the awards so much. More than words can say!  I've just been a funk lately and feeling like I'm worthless.  

I've done a few things this weekend to help push me out of my funk.  The first is that I've opened a TPT store!  There is only one item listed--my star behavior clip chart (and it's free if you want it)!  

Here's my link:

The other project I've been working on today is to add a Facebook like box.  I've had a Facebook page for a little while but didn't tell anyone.  It's that worthless funk!  You've got to laugh that I liked myself.  Mine is one of the faces you see there!  
If you want to like me, it's over on the sidebar over there ---------->  

Educlips went live tonight.  It's been touted as Pinterest for teachers.  I tried it for a while, but it was very slow.  Probably too many users.  If you aren't familiar with Educlips, there's a link to it on my Facebook page.  Haha!  Gotcha!

The other happy for tonight is that Christie from First Grade Fever came to visit and actually followed me!  It's like a visit from a celebrity!  

I guess I should head to bed since I'm planning on being at Walmart at 6am.  I ran out of paint for my Monday Made It project and just couldn't drag myself out of the house today.  I'm going early in the am so I can take Bella with me and she won't have a heat stroke.  She's been a good girl and deserves a bye-bye trip.  And there will be fresh donuts...  Diets always start on Mondays, right?!  

Friday, July 20, 2012

Newbie Bloggers Blog Hop

Why does today feel like Saturday?  It has suddenly hit me that I really only have 1 more week of vacation until summer inservice starts.  Yikes!  Where did the summer go?!

Guess what??  I hit 100 followers last night!  I'm so excited!  I know numbers shouldn't matter, but we all watch them!  I'm thinking about what I want my first giveaway to be so stay tuned.  

I came across this blog hop while I was looking for people to nominate for an award.  I just had to join in!

Grade Three is the Place for Me is hosting a:

Click pic to visit her!
During this hop you need to share:
 1.  what state you are in
    2.  your current teaching position
    3.  your teaching experience
    4.  when you started blogging
    5.  share a blogging tip / blogging resource


My answers:
1. I live in East Tennessee.
2. I am happy to be teaching 1st grade again!
3.  This will be my 11th year in 1st.  I looped to 2nd with my firsties once.
4.  I started my blog in February but didn't start seriously until April.
5. I have learned so much from Kristen at  Ladybug's Teacher Files.  If you haven't watched her video tutorials, you definitely need to do so!  Also, Barbara from Grade ONEderful started a blog design business called: 
She redesigned my blog and was just amazing to work with!  Check her out if you want a redesign!  


Go join the hop!