Monday, September 30, 2013

The Empty Pot

At a time when the pace of life, and certainly teaching, seems to be moving at the speed of light I was SO glad to find a wonderful new book (to me).  My fabulous firsties were as still as statues while we read this book.  They understood it, they were able to discuss it and make predictions....and they could not wait to see what happened!  We are working on being able to discuss the characters that we are reading about.  I made a poster that shows HOW we discuss characters.  It will certainly be a work in all things are....but I was happy to find a great story to add to my collection!!

Friday, August 23, 2013

In a world that all too often goes all too fast and has a tendency to veer towards being less personal, I have GOT to share how very impressed I am with!!!!  I ventured (albeit cautiously) into using this last year to test the waters and see what I one was more surprised than me with how much I loved it!!  It's easy to use and very flexible to your needs.  That is GREAT as we know anything that helps with efficiency these days is golden ;)!!  However....what really sealed the deal for me this week was their customer service.  With switching my account to a different email things got a little sticky for a second, and (being the perpetual worrier) I was terrified I would lose everything!!  Mind you (being also the type A) it was saved on my computer.....but somehow I was SURE I needed things merged/saved just "so" to make sure I got off to a smooth start.  So....I emailed the support group assuming that maybe within the week things would be taken care of.  WOW.  Things were nearly immediately addressed with a very personal (non form letter) response explaining exactly what they did.  As I looked into my new merged accounts I noted one tiny snafu....emailed back, and again immediately taken care of with a thorough explanation.  I could NOT be more impressed with their genuine attentiveness and quick response.  SO SO happy!!!!

That being's about that time here.  Starting to get the classroom ready, spending lots of time cutting out lamination and planning.

Hope that everyone has had a wonderful summer and is looking forward to another great school year!!!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Where does the time go??  I had a fabulous day with my first graders!!  Though the skies were REALLY ominous on my drive in to work this morning, the sun surprised us all and allowed us some wonderful outdoor time at our local nature facility that we visited for a field trip today.   It was bittersweet for me knowing this was our final field trip of the year....but watching them learn how to use binoculars was priceless!!  They were SO excited to watch for birds and to listen for birds to "talk" back to us after using an Identi-flier.  This group of kiddos gets along so well that I was smiling and beaming with pride the whole time.

Wishing ALL of my teacher friends out there a very HAPPY Teacher Appreciation Week!!!  I know I emailed teachers (in my home district) this week to let them know how much their time, effort, and energy is appreciated.  I was beaming when my eldest told me mid week that she had made cards for her teachers before school and handed them out for this know you come from a family of educators when....... ;)!!!!  So proud!!!

So many emotions at this time of the year, and so much to do!!!  Hoping that everyone has a wonderful weekend and is able to enjoy a little balance (and family time for Mother's Day!!).  Lots of hugs and wishes for a great Friday!!!!!!!

Sunday, May 5, 2013 dear Miss Danielson

Well, double checking my address here to embed it correctly in my Domain 4.  I'd love to meet Charlotte Danielson.  Truly.  LOL, anyways.......the weather here this weekend was absolutely gorgeous!!!!!!  It was wonderful to get out with the kids, play outside, and read in the sun!!!  I know that at this time of the year it always feels like we're racing the clock.   So....even while we're running to take care of the myriads of details, I'm going to do my best to savor and enjoy every moment with my fabulous firsties!!!!   Wishing everyone a fantastic week!!!!!!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Main Idea!!

Hoping to get this unit up on TpT soon....but had to share some fun pix from my observation this week. I did a big focus on main idea this week....which in first grade can sometimes be a challenging skill. We did A LOT with this this week including: starting small with ~tri-bond games (thinking how 3 things go together), matching houses to "Main Idea Street" if the house's supporting details matched the street sign/main idea, and reading books (of course) to find and agree upon the MI and supporting details. Of course we threw in the BrainPopjr movie too because we LOVE Annie and Moby!! The books I used for the most part this week were both on trees -- one narrative, one expository. The kids LOVED both. The nonfiction book we did first. We talked about the book as we went along and I did a lot of think alouds. At the end they wrote on a post it what they thought the MI was, and we discussed our answers together (and of course WHERE the author put the MI). Thursday I began to read the narrative....but stopped at the cliffhanger moment of the story so they could make predictions....and to peak their interest for the observation Friday ;). On Friday we did the main idea bags....but with the props in each bag I also gave each group sentences to match up to the items and then to a poster in order to see if they could discrim. between the m.i. and the details. Each group presented to the class. I then finished the book...which they loved....and then gave them their own (indep. practice) page where they had to sort out sentences from the story and glue them in the lapbook/folder I created for them. It was a great day, and I think the kiddos have a much better hold on Main Idea and supporting details now. I was SUPER proud of them ♥!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am feeling much better now too...after ~12 hours of sleep last night ;)!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

What a whirlwind!!!  Report cards are done, literacy data is in, now to enjoy my fabulous firsties!!!  So much has changed this year (understatement of the century I know)...and I have been he** bent on keeping a balance between the demands and what I believe as a mom and teacher is developmentally appropriate for my students.  All in all, I can honestly say from where I stand today that I am happy with how things are going so far.  To be honest, it *is* one of those years where my class is an absolute gift.  They truly make me laugh and smile every day.  They are genuine, sweet, thoughtful and hard working.  They are really great kids.....I so wish I was looping this year!!!!!  What we have been doing for literacy centers and aiming to go more thematic with my instruction has not only motivated and engaged me.....they come in happy and engaged as well.  Priceless. visits (always fun!) to tie in/finish up our unit on health/wellness AND making paper mache easter baskets.  Thank goodness I have a great group of moms and dads willing to come in and help as this is one VERY hands on project;)!!!  My hands will be a total wreck tomorrow after all that time immersed in flour....but it's worth it.  LOVE my sweet hubby for blowing up 20+ balloons (a BIG no no for me with corn and latex sensitivity/intolerance).

I'm interested in reaching late June....not because I'm rushing the year.  Goodness knows I am not ready to say goodbye to this class, but because I am anxious to see how all of this "stuff" this year pans out.  Change is never easy, and certainly not always welcome......but it will be interesting once we've got the first full year behind us of APPR, CCLS, SLO's, etc. to see where we are.

For tonight though, I'm smiling looking forward to a fun day tomorrow with my students.  For tonight I am thankful for having a great year thus far.  Next on the agenda:  sight word sentence game for centers tomorrow, check long e sort, and then go to sleep ;)!!!!

Good night and wishing everyone a super fun and rewarding rest of the week!!!!!!!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

"Pairs" of Homophones

My fabulous first graders had a lot of fun brainstorming pairs of homophones!!!  They then wrote pairs of homophones on pears to decorate their trees and read their words to a partner/friend.  They turned out great!!!

Once Upon a First Grade...: Text to Self Connections...

Once Upon a First Grade...: Text to Self Connections...: After reading Biscuit books all week (and having a lot of fun in the process) my class enjoyed making text to self connections.  Not...

Text to Self Connections...

After reading Biscuit books all week (and having a lot of fun in the process) my class enjoyed making text to self connections.  Not surprisingly they had a GREAT time sharing how sometimes they liked to stay up a little late just like Biscuit :)!   Check out my Biscuit unit at my TpT store if you are interested!!  My kiddos had a lot of fun with it!!  Teacher tested, kid approved!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

A little early.....but wishing everyone a wonderful Friday and a fabulous weekend!!!  Don't know HOW this week went by so fast, but I suppose that's the way vacations always go?!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Once Upon a First Grade...: Yeah!!!!!  It's amazing what one can get done with...

Once Upon a First Grade...: Yeah!!!!!  It's amazing what one can get done with...: Yeah!!!!!  It's amazing what one can get done with a week off from school!!  I'm feeling so much more relaxed....and still catching up on ho...
Yeah!!!!!  It's amazing what one can get done with a week off from school!!  I'm feeling so much more relaxed....and still catching up on housework, loving the extra family time, running errands, and (finally!) finished the 51 page Biscuit unit.  This is the unit we'll be doing after break, so I'm looking forward to lots of fun!!!!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Biscuit activities coming soon!!  Any ideas or things you'd like to see??

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Eating Healthy Journal!!

Well, I finished my Eating Healthy Food Journal for my TpT store!!  This will be used along with our unit on Food Groups and Nutrition.  I truly hope this helps to teach the kiddos healthy eating habits, and to increase their awareness about food groups.  Check it out!!!!  Click on my TpT button to the right to check it out at my store!!!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Check out this link on Teachers Pay Teachers for a FREE printable card to make for a special veteran this Valentine's Day!!  Please feel free to use this to acknowledge and support the veterans in your community.  Cards may be dropped off at a local VA Hospital, veterans group/post, or to family members who have served.  Thank you for supporting our Veterans!!!!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Once Upon a First Grade...: Gretchen Groundhog, It's Your Day!

Once Upon a First Grade...: Gretchen Groundhog, It's Your Day!: These turned out soooooo cute!  After reading Gretchen Groundhog, It's Your Day we wrote letters to Gretchen.  The kids got to decide ...

Once Upon a First Grade...: Cute pix!!!!

Once Upon a First Grade...: Cute pix!!!!: Had to share some of our more recent writing activities!!  Here of course, is our response and craftivity from The Little Red Hen .  They ...

Gretchen Groundhog, It's Your Day!

These turned out soooooo cute!  After reading Gretchen Groundhog, It's Your Day we wrote letters to Gretchen.  The kids got to decide what advice to give her, and if they thought she should or should not go out.  This worked well for beginning to dabble more in persuasive writing and using voice.

Cute pix!!!!

Had to share some of our more recent writing activities!!  Here of course, is our response and craftivity from The Little Red Hen.  They had so much fun with this!!!

Sunday, January 27, 2013
Freebie!!!!!  Here's the link to my store for a free download to go along with Gretchen Groundhog, It's Your Day!!  It's a response activity for students to share what they would tell Gretchen to do and why.  This could be done in "regular" written form, or as a letter.  Enjoy!!!  (Fingers crossed for an early SPRING!!)

Monday, January 21, 2013

It's up!!  For anyone looking for some new ideas to add to your Groundhog's Day activities please check out my store at !!  This file contains 18 pages of fun ideas to enhance your Groundhog Day activities. Pages include:
-a Web for describing/charting what they know about Groundhogs
-Prediction writing
-class prediction tally chart (recording sheet)
-pieces to create a class graph
-spinner (shadow/no shadow) and coordinating recording sheet for centers
-Question/Answer/Support on your favorite season
-telling time to hour and half hour
-Fill in missing numbers on 100 chart
-Frames and arrows (up and back by 2's and 5's)
-board game with -ou and -ay words
-100 chart work/suggestions
-adding on/subtracting by 10's (using 100 chart if needed)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Phew!  Seem to be better and back in the real world!!  So, so thankful for the long weekend.  If you still need something for this week and MLK Day be sure to check out all the great ideas on Pinterest and TpT including my mini unit at  I know I'm looking forward to a little extra time with my kiddos tomorrow!!  I'm already planning ahead and looking to Groundhog's Day...trying to work on creating at least a few pages of related activities this evening.  Predicting, /ou/, maybe -ay?  I'll keep you posted and link anything I make!!!  Have a great weekend!!!!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I've got a rumbly tumbly and I REALLY, REALLY hope I am not catching one of the bugs that are making the rounds right now!!!!  For once I am actually hoping (ha) for it *just* being a food reaction.  The next two days are going to be packed, and I really don't want to take off!!!  Sending lots of hugs to anyone out there who is sick....hoping we all feel better soon!!!!!!!!  Just in case....just spent the last hour typing up sub plans....keeping my fingers crossed that the morning will find me back to normal.  Now off to go sleep....after I finish cloroxing things....LOL!

Friday, January 11, 2013

It was another great, busy, and fun-filled week....but this girl is happy it's Friday!!!!!  Had to share a cute photo of the Gingerbread Men in disguise that my class did (we had to be convincing so the fox would not know who we were!!)!  Love my fabulous first graders!!!!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Ah...Sunday evening (or night now) always creeps up on me!! We had a GREAT dinner, some fabulous snuggle time, and I've got cinnamon rolls in the oven now for breakfast :)!! Looking forward to doing (various versions of ) Little Red Hen this week!!! Wishing everyone a great week! :)

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Martin Luther King Jr. Day activities...

  It's here!!!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Testing FB link.....
We had a great PBIS assembly nice to see the whole school together:)!  It was a fabulous day with my firsties....but bittersweet as we learned that tomorrow will be the last day for one of my students.  That is always hard to hear.  I've got snacks/juice for tomorrow and a little gift.  Her bright smile will definitely be missed!!  Tomorrow we also have some new "Rainforest" assembly.....the kids are REALLY excited for that and I'm sure that will make her last day extra fun and memorable!!  Hope everyone has a great night.....I'm off to go do some prep work for tomorrow and then hopefully save an hour to start mapping out my next unit for TpT :)!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

All in all it was a great first day back!  As tired as everyone was, it is always so sweet to hear all about  their holidays and adventures :)!!!  My favorite part of today was having them write about their favorite memory from 2012 (kinda figured that should come before making resolutions!!).  Not sure how well I'll hold up for an 8:30 dance class tonight.....but we'll keep fingers crossed that I'll make it!!!  Looking forward to a PBIS assembly too tomorrow!!!  And.....I sold 3 more TpT products today...woo hoo!!!!!  Boy -- just wait till these people get a load of me once I really figure out what I'm doing, lol!  Maybe some day I'll even be able to translate java script....or something ;)!  Have a great night!!!!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Check out my store for a new freebie!
Happy New Year!!! I hope that everyone had a wonderful New Year's!  I enjoyed a relaxing NY Eve at home with the way I'd rather celebrate.  Then today we enjoyed having some of our very best friends over for a day of food, fun and laughter.  It was great to see the kids play together and have a lot of fun, the dog was spoiled ridiculously by all the kids, and the adults had a wonderful time catching up!!   Now.....finishing going over everything for tomorrow.....hope everyone has a wonderful first week back after vacation :)!!!!!!  Wishing everyone a wonderful new year!!!