Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Ten Frame Table

Just a quickie today!  This was my last day of summer vacation.  I am soooo sad!  I spent ALL day in my classroom and am dragging tail.  But I had to show you what I did to my table yesterday.

I turned it into a giant ten frame!!  It is so cute!

From above

Walmart had these plastic plates on sale for 50 cents.

Look how perfect they are as counters!  

I can't wait for the kids to use this!  

I am nervous about tomorrow but it will be all good.  Channeling Pete the Cat lol.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Bloglovin and InstaAddicts Anonymous!

Long time, no blog.

So I’m ridiculously slightly addicted to Instagram. I don't know why it took me so long to join! I joined in on #teachertalktuesday and this girl was HOOKED. It’s so much fun to see my favorite bloggers in a more personal light. If you haven’t joined up yet, what are you waiting for?! You know you need something else that you constantly check like FB and email. Haha!

 You can follow me here:

Some of my pics:

Haha!  Proof that I love my dog, the beach, hot men, drinks, and my Daddy..

Also, the end of Google Reader is just an hour away.  I will be honest and tell you that I used GR probably once, but all you bloggers have me a little freaked out!  So I joined in on the Bloglovin.  I mean, really, blogs and love.  Why not?!

Have a fabulous day!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

What did they say??

I'm so tired, y'all.. Mentally tired!  I couldn't remember how to spell there earlier!

6 days and 2 hours left.  I think I can, I think I can....

I am linking up with Jessica at A Turn to Learn for her What Did They Say?

What Did They Say!?

My kids are such a hoot that I have 2 for you.

I was on recess duty a few weeks ago and noticed a group of kids crowded in one area.  All of a sudden they all scattered in every direction and were screaming!  I went to investigate and saw one girl, normally very shy, walking behind them dragging her leg.  As I got closer I could hear her saying....
"I'm not a zombie!!!  I just hurt my leg."


We have some bees that hang around during recess some days.  These bees are really HUGE.  We had a new student on the playground experiencing the bees for the first time.

The girls were sitting on the bench with me.  The new child was a bit freaked out by the bee and my student said, "Oh, he's just looking for snack.  But don't worry..he's fat.  Fat bees don't have stingers.."

I said, "Oh really?"  She said, "Oh, yeah!  Their bodies are so fat there is no room for a stinger.  My kindergarten teacher taught me that."

It was news to the K teacher when I talked to her later.  Haha!
Thank God for my sweet funnies!

Go link up!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Class Dojo-rific!

By now I'm sure most of you have heard of Class Dojo.  This is my second year using the program and I have nothing but great things to say!

If you don't know about Class Dojo, it's a real-time, internet based behavior program.  I love this program so much that I created a short video to show you all about it!  I'm talking very fast because there is so much to show and tell!

Have I mentioned that I really lurve Class Dojo?  Haha!

What I didn't tell you in the video is that I keep this up on my Promethean board all day.  It helps keep the kids on task just having it up.

My classroom parents rave about this program.  They can log in and check their child's behavior at any time.  And believe me they do!

Here is the take home form that I created to send home on Fridays.

Many of my students do not have internet at home so they do not get the emailed reports.  And I can't afford to print and send the color reports each week!  Plus I like getting the signed reports back so I know a parent is aware of behaviors.

As I said in the video, these are the negative behaviors that I have set up.  I know many of you like to focus on the positive.  But on this form I just try to be as explicit with my parents as possible.  This also serves as behavior documentation for me.

Please feel free to snag and customize this form to suit your needs.  I saved it as a Powerpoint with an embedded Excel spreadsheeet.   If you need help let me know!

All graphics from Class

Hope this helps!  If you have any questions or comments, please let me know!

How many more days?
Off to TPT shop!  Woohoo!

Friday, April 12, 2013

The Hug Bandit

No one but me may have this problem but I had to blog about a success! 

I have a student this year who is extremely, severely, powerfully,  intensely, excessively, and VERY ADHD.  He's honestly the Energizer bunny and like he's had 10 cups of coffee and a six pack of energy drinks...ALL...DAY...LONG..  He wears me out!

Of course he doesn't have any meds which is a whole other long and makes-me-want-to-bang-my-head-against-the-wall story.  Which I won't get into...{smiles}

He's mine for this year, and he needs my love most of all my kids in my class.  He seems to think he can get out of his seat as many times as he wants (even during spelling tests) as long as he is coming to HUG me.

I call him the Hug Bandit.  It makes me feel like an ogre when I'm fussing at him for hugging me.  I know he needs it.  But I just can't allow him to constantly be up out of his seat.  Monday he tried to hugged me 37 times.  I counted.  Seriously..37.

So I came up with this little management plan.  He has a Hug Bank.  I put 5 magnet shapes right by his seat and told him that he can give me 5 hugs today.  

We talked about how he needs to space them out and plan them so he doesn't run out.  He used up 2 in the first hour of school.  When I showed him that he only had 3 left to last the rest of the DAY, it finally started to register.  He used the others after lunch and tried to give me 2 more later.  I just said "Oops, sorry!  Your hug bank is empty."  He laughed and sat down quickly and never got up again!

Oh my stars, y'all!!  It WORKED!  I wanted to dance and sing when the day was over! 

He was so excited when he found out this morning that he gets 5 more today.  He used one right away and then another 30 minutes later.  I reminded him that he only has 3 more for the whole day.  He looked up at me with these big brown eyes as he hugged me and said, "That's okay..I just really need one right now. I love you."! 

So if you have a hug bandit like I do, give this a try! 

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Pass the Torch Linky

Get Ready for Bloggy Olympics!!!

Photobucket Photobucket

Join The 3AM Teacher, the Reading Olympians, and over 80 SUPREME education bloggers as we take you through a tour of the Reading Olympians Root Study Program!!
Hi everyone!  I'm so happy that you are here visiting me on my blog!  

Wow, what a week!  It was so hard to come back after spring break.

I'm so thrilled to be joining lots of fabulous bloggers in the Pass the Torch Linky.  I was worried that I wouldn't be able to get everything done in time to actually show you anything!  As I said, we were on break last week and this week was CRAZY.  The bad part about living in Tennessee is that on an early spring day, the temperature might start out at 32 but end up at 70.  It makes us all a little bonkers! 

I was so excited to see this program and how it would relate to my firsties.  Krista and Julie (the Reading Olympians) have done such a wonderful job creating this study.  I'm very impressed with how it is broken down for the teacher.  It is completely teacher-friendly!  

First I showed my kids the book from the Reading Olympians program to introduce the concepts. I gave them a little history about Greece and told them  some of the names of the god and goddesses to go along with the book.  I couldn't help it!  Michelle's graphics are so great!  

I have always been interested in Greek mythology (that's the inspiration for the Athena in my email and Blogger id).  I actually went to Greece in 2005 and it was a-maz-ing!  I shared some legends about the gods and goddesses but honestly wish I hadn't.  Because as we went through the book on the screen, they wanted to know who each character was!  And to tell me which one THEY were.  It got us waaaay off track.  Ack!  Live and learn!  

My sweeties were fascinated with the clip art from the 3am Teacher!
Okay, back on track...
I decided to focus on just suffixes -s, -er, and -ed for now.  I will definitely use the entire program over time (and beginning earlier next year).  In the program there are great visuals that really allowed us to not only talk about what suffixes do but also what they MEAN.  They caught on right away and were coming up with words of their own.  Makes a teacher's heart sing!

I like to tie any concepts that I teach to kid literature when possible so I used the book Happy Endings.  I bought the book from Scholastic for a reasonable price.  It's over 18 dollars on Amazon!  It is a great book to really help the kids take note of the suffixes and how important they are in words.

We did a quick visual to show how the word changes with the new suffix.  I took pictures...I know I did!  But somehow they didn't end up in my Photobucket.  Technology..grr!!  

Anyhooo, I chose the words jump and play and made large cards with them.  Then I made cards with s, er, and ed.  We had jump stay in one place and the kids with s, er, and ed took turns moving in behind jump so they could make the connection that only the ending changed!  We repeated with the word play.  I heard some ahhs by the time we were finished.  Yay!

I also threw together a quick practice activity for -s, -er, and -ed.  I had these printed intending small groups to do them, but time was not on our side today.  We did them whole group instead with me showing the words and the kids telling me in which category to put the word.   They completed the recording sheet as we went along.  I will change the words this weekend and let them practice in small groups with new words.

The words in front of me.. I really need to clean that board!

Words on the screen.  Can you tell I LOVE my Promethean board?

Click on the picture to snag it.
Graphics by Creative Clips (Krista Wallden)

I just love first graders!  We had free AR time after these lessons and they drove me crazy showing me the suffixes in their books! Haha! 

But I am so excited by this honestly because I can really see the power of being suffix detectives!  I can't wait to see the impact in their writing!

I hope you got a little something while you were here and come back and visit me sometime.  

Enjoy the rest of the linky!

Discover the program IN ACTION in more K-6th grade classrooms as you Pass the Torch!! Get ideas, discover the progression of the program, and enter the Raffle for a chance to win ONE of the three prizes listed below!!

First Place Winner : Gold Medal

  Prizes: Complete Reading Olympians Program
            $50.00 Amazon Gift Card
            50% off Discount Code for a 1-Day shopping spree at The 3AM Teacher's Etsy store!

Second Place Winner: Silver Medal

   Prizes: $25.00 Amazon Gift Card
              40% off Discount Code for a 1-Day shopping spree at The 3AM Teacher's Etsy store!

Third Place Winner: Bronze Medal

    Prizes: 30% off Discount Code for a 1-Day shopping spree at The 3AM Teacher's Etsy store!

Pass the Torch!!!
Click the image below to visit the next blog


Grade 1 & 2

Grade 3 & 4

Grade 5 & 6

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Stop! Disco Time!

So picture this if you will...

I am hard at work with a small group then suddenly.....I am interrupted...for someone to show me their broken pencil, or to tattle, or to ask to go the bathroom.  Despite the fact that we have had procedures in place since DAY ONE about what to do in such an instance.  Not mention that I have reached the point where I have told my sweeties that unless someone is:
Throwing Up 
On Fire 
Do NOT interrupt a reading group!

Haha, can you sense my frustration?  Please tell me I'm not the only one experiencing this right now. 

I had to try something different.  I was at Lowe's one day plotting my next home improvement and saw this:

It was on sale for 10 bucks!

A disco ball!  My kids this year LOVE to dance so I knew this would catch their attention.  

So now when it is time for reading groups, I turn on the disco ball.

I must take some photography classes!

So now they start to approach the table, see the disco ball, FREEZE, smile, and take care of the "problem" on their own.  So far, so good!

I'm loving it!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Techy Tuesday-Mentor Mob

Hi friends!

I'm linking up with Katie's Techy Teacher Tuesday for the first time.

I have always wished that I could use You Tube videos in my classroom.  There are such great teaching videos out there.  But unfortunately You Tube is cyber-blocked at my school.  {{sad face}}  I tried saving videos to Dropbox and to a flashdrive but just never could get it to work correctly. 

Good news!  I may have a solution for you!

Have you heard about Mentor Mob?  I first heard about it on Technology Tailgate and then EduKate and Inspire.  I tried it out and to my surprise and extreme joy, IT WORKED AT MY SCHOOL despite the You Tube block!!  I'm so glad Kate blogged about it because it is the best thing EVAH!

Mentor Mob is a site that allows you to save You Tube videos (and other media) in category playlists that YOU create.  On my page I have playlists for Science, Social Studies, Math, Lang Arts, Brain Breaks, Holidays, Favorite Stories and Character. 

Here is my link: 

Please feel free to just bookmark my page and use it.  That is the great thing!   You can view other people's playlists.  My librarian started her own but then just started sending me links to load to mine.  Someone is definitely using my Brain Break list because it has over 1000 views!  

I cannot tell you how wonderful this site is to have.  It has allowed me to spice up my teaching and to have lessons that POP!  Not to mention the wonderful Brain Break videos for when my sweeties have the wiggles.  Their favorite ones are If You're a Kid and Ants in Your Pants.  

Here is a short video from their site:

Again, please feel free to use my lists but if you want to create your own, it is super easy to do!

I created a short video to show you just how easy it is to add videos.  This is my first tutorial, and I hate my Minnie Mouse voice!  Can you tell where I'm from?  Haha!

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

I'm on Spring Break and have been cleaning like a fiend!  Next on the to do list is to schedule some blog posts!  

Have a good night!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

My Advice to You Linky Party

Are you there friends?  It's me, Crystal!  

I have seriously decided that I have SAD.  I have been in the dumps and barely hanging on all winter.  But now that the sun is shining and I can walk the dog at 7 pm and it's still sunny, I'm GREAT!  Terrible sentence but I'm so happy!  Haha!

I have gotten more accomplished in the past 3 days than I have in months!  I have blogged three times today but before I published one of them, I saw this linky from Ms. Fultz's Corner.  

Click graphic to join linky

How perfect!  I have a dear friend who is looking for a job and we just talked about much of this.  

My advice to you:

1.  Communication  
Keep the lines of communication between you and parents WIDE OPEN.  I give out my cell number to my parents.  This allows them to tell me dismissal changes, why folder is missing, little Johnny had a tummy ache in the morning, etc..  I have been able to nip many problems in the bud very quickly that would have otherwise resulted in a furious parent yelling at me or the principal the next morning.  For those of you hesitant to give out your number, check into getting a Google Voice account for your school.  We got one set up at our school last month.  It allows parents to email or leave you a voicemail at your Google Voice number.  It looks great but I honestly haven't used it much yet.

2.  Make Allies
It's a great idea to get on the good side of the secretary and the custodian.  They can be so helpful to you and are more likely to help you in a timely manner if you have been friendly and respectful. Just

3.  Be Open to Change
If one thing is true in education, it's that this too shall pass.  Trends come and go.  If you don't like something, be as positive about it as you can and hang on!  

Don't get complacent.  Always be learning and striving to be the best YOU can be.  

4.  Love, Humor, and Fun
Play games when you can instead of "paper" work.  

Laugh with them often and much.  My favorite books to read are funny ones.  Those are the ones that stick with them.

LOVE...your hugs and love might be the only ones that they get on a daily basis.  You might be the only constant in their life.  And the one that is making you want to pull out every hair in your head is the one that needs it the MOST.  I'm living this one every minute of every school day this year.  

5.  Sisterhood
Those of us in the trenches need to stick together and support each other.  Our first grade team is now trying to go out as a group once a month at least.  We are going tomorrow night and I CAN'T WAIT!  I know I will get an ab workout just from laughing.  

6.  Thank God and PRAY
We have the best and most important job in the world.  Pray for patience, love, and to see the sparkle in each one.

Go join the linky!

Much love and cyber hugs,

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Just bummed..

Just got home from parent conferences.   I had my first experience with a hostile parent tonight.  I guess since I've been teaching for 13 years this is way overdue, but it doesn't diminish the feeling.  I have cried all over my teammates and now my keyboard.  I know you all understand.  I do what I do because I love seeing them learn, explore, read, write, grow!  To have it insinuated that I don't have the child's best interest at heart just hurts me.

It's been a tough year..  I have a page full of blog ideas and pics to go with them,   But by the time I get home, I just crash.  I was absent last week to take my mother to the doctor and this was the note the sub left me.
If you can't read it, it says "OMG! How do you still have hair in your head?

That sums it up nicely I guess..

Tomorrow is Pajama day and Read the Most from Coast to Coast for AR.  We are trying to break the most AR tests taken in one day.  Should be fun!  This week was Robot Week also.  I can't wait to show you some of the great work we did!

Happy Friday!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Puppy Cam Science

Hello all!  So much for my blog more resolution!  I wish there were about 4 more hours in the day.  I could get SO much done!  I did a little blog element switcheroo.. I think I like the 2 columns much better.  You just don't know what you want when you first start out, do you?

We have been super busy in our class and I have even been taking pics! Yay me!  I will share more of that this week, but today is all about the Puppy Cam!

You know I'm CRAZY about dogs!  I talk about my sweet golden girl all the time.
Bella says Hello!  LET ME IN!!
I have "liked" a lot of dog groups on Facebook but one of my favorite pages is the WarriorCanineConnection.  This is a group that trains puppies to be service dogs for veterans.  My uncle was a Marine until the last breath left his body...he's probably still telling his war stories in Heaven.  He was such a wonderful person in my life so this group just has a special place in my heart.

I was so excited way back in 2012 when they announced that they were breeding a yellow lab named Misty to provide the next group of trainees.  We got to go through the whole pregnancy and have kept up with the progress of the puppies.  This is the latest pic of the babies. {{{LOVE}}} Their names are due to the fact that they were conceived during Superstorm Sandy.

But the most exciting element is the PUPPY CAM!
Haha!  I'm not sharing the cam until the end of this post because you'll just want to watch it forever!

I was watching this cam during Christmas break for my own fun, but it occured to me that my kids would LOVE this!  I showed it to them as soon as we got back to school and they fell just as much in love as I did.  They beg to check the puppies all day.  They have been snoozing and nursing and being fairly boring (ha!) up until the last week.  They have started to really move around and even play.  We are so excited!

I read this book to my class on about the development of puppies.  We keep going back to this book as a reference for what the puppies SHOULD be doing.  So far they are right on schedule.  :-)

This week I am introducing our Puppy Science journal to my class. We are going to note any changes and write about what they are doing.  This is a VERY simple item (just the facts ma'am) but will suit our needs nicely.  Feel free to snag by clicking the pic below if you'd like. It's really frills..  I don't want you to be disappointed.  Haha!  I had plans for a more cutified one but my to-do list is so long that I went easy.  This exercise hits the Common Core standard  W.1.8.

And without further ado I give you THE PUPPY CAM!  This site has lots of other webcams to explore as well.  Have fun!
Click Misty to see her babies!