Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Classroom Pics & Fun Activities

My Classroom rules posted.
The little girl beside the rules is from an activity we did today with Chrysanthemum.  We talked about how hurting someone's feelings can stay with them for a long time.  Students shared something someone had done to hurt their feelings and when they did they wrinkled the cut out.
Afterwards, we tried to fix the wrinkles by saying "Sorry."  
Even though, she looked a little bit better, the memory of the hurt feelings remains.
 This is my CAFE board which I plan to start soon after introducing Daily 5.
Around the title are my kiddos faces. 
This photo represents about 1/3 of my classroom library.  
This shelf is divided into nonfiction, fiction, and authors.
It is a two sided shelf.   On 1 of the shelves on the back is an entire selection of leveled readers A- M.
Then, the shelf you can barely see behind the blue chair contains more author baskets and my read a-louds.
Lunch Count & Attendance in 1.
I took photos of my students, typed out their names underneath and ran them through my Xeron to put magnets on the back.
 Students got a kick out taking their photos in this huge frame.  I sent the photos
to parents yesterday afternoon and received so many positive comments.
 I broke down & bought the bulletin board set for Math Mountain.
I like all the colors.  Probably won't start using it for another month or so.  We are only on day 2.
Today, we read Owen, also by Kevin Henkes. 
Owen loves his blankie and his neighbor thinks he is too old for it.
His parents try a few tricks to get him to get rid of his blanket, but none work.
Finally, his blanket is made into small handkerchiefs for him to carry in his pocket.
My students brought in their treasured items to share with the class.  

In math, I had students do some problem solving.  They were given a large blanket like Owen's.  I gave them 4 "handkerchiefs" and asked them to figure out how many they could make out of the whole blanket.  I love activities like this that challenge their thinking, require teamwork, and requires student talk.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Amazon Rewards & Update

If you are a teacher, you're missing out if you don't have an Amazon Credit Card.  I signed up for my card at the beginning of June & in 2 months I have gotten over $85 in credit.   I get 

  • 3x the points for using my card @ Amazon.  
  • 2x the points for gas & groceries
  • 1x the points for everything else

This month I had enough points for $55.  What did I buy?  Books of course!

I had to purchase Chewy Louie because I made a text to self connection.  I think Howie Schneider must have been the first owner of my dog Cooper.  When I got to the page where Chewy Louie chewed up the back porch, I laughed out loud (and this was just hours after my lithotripsy) because currently my porch is ALL chewed up!
Patricia Polacco is one of my favorite authors so I always try to pick up more of her books.   If you don't mind crying in front of your class, you will love this book.  Miss Wichelman teaches her students that when life gives you lemons, add water and a little sugar to make lemonade.  In the end, her students help her remember the same.
In this book, my Firsties will learn big words like cooperate, respect, and patience in an engaging way with rhyming text.  The pictures are busy and fun to explore.
You have to add this book to your fairy tale collection.  Baby Bear tells you what "really happened" when Goldilocks broke into his house.
And finally, I purchased these 3 books for my measurement unit. 

After 1 trip to the emergency room, 1 trip to medical park for a stent, and 1 trip to the Stone Center I may be on the mend.  My 6mm stone has now been blasted.  It is amazing how something so small can hurt so much and cause so much trouble.  
Thanks for all the well wishes and prayers.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Back to School Jitters Linky Party

Back to School Jitters Linky Party

I am joining Jessica's Back to School Jitters Linky Party.  
Go visit her at A Turn to Learn.
I've been working & planning all summer, so 
why do I still have the jitters? 

I grew up 5 minutes down the road from where I live now.  I went to a different elementary school than I teach at now, but both schools feed into the same middle school and high school.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

New Blog Design & a Little Prayer

Hello out there in blog land.  
I just LOVE my new blog design. 
McKenna over at Project 3 Designs created this amazing blog.  She was in contact with me throughout the whole process and was willing to make as many changes as my little heart desired.
Please go check her out @

Also, please say a little prayer for me.  I just went back last Thursday to have stitches removed from my gum surgery.  Then, I was hit 2 a.m. Sunday with a kidney stone measuring 5.5mm.  I had a stent put in yesterday and will have the stone blasted Thursday.  If that works, I should be better by next week.  If not, I will have to have another surgery to remove the stones next week (workdays).    That would mean I would miss some work @ the very beginning of school.  


Friday, August 10, 2012

Common Core 1.NBT.1 - Freebies

This is my second year using the Common Core Standards.  I like the new standards, but as a first grade team we were always searching and pulling for activities.  Our math book, which I didn't like even with the old State Standards, only covers SOME of the standards.  Most of the time we were creating our own activities.  Over the summer, each teacher on the team was given a few standards to focus on.  
Here are 4 activities for Common Core 1.NBT.1.  
One uses dice and the other playing cards.  There are 2 versions of each to provide for differentiation.
Click on each to get them for free.


Thursday, August 9, 2012

I'm Back! & TPT Back to School Sale

I have been missing.
Last Thursday, I had a minor dental surgery followed quickly by a Girl's Beach Trip. 
Don't be too jealous - it rained all but one day we were there!
This is the house we stayed in for a fantastic price!  
Can you see our beach chairs on the roof?  What a view of the ocean!
Me in the middle with my beach bum friends!  

Sunday and Monday, TPT is having a Back to School Sale.  They are offering 10% off using the code: BTS12.  I am also going to offer an additional 20% off.  I hope you will stop by my store.

Friday, August 3, 2012


Farely has the cutest Currently design this month.  I'm loving the mustache!
That's all I've got for you today.  I've cleaned, paid bills, and now I'm ready for a nap.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Product Swap & 20% off SALE!

I participated in Jessica Stanford's Product Swap over at Mrs. Stanford's Class.  What a fabulous idea!
She paired us up with someone on our grade level and we swapped products for FREE

I was paired with Stephanie McMahon over at First Grade Fingerprints.

First Grade Fingerprints

 I received her Word Work Station Center for August thru December.  You can get your copy here.

This is a 76 page document with 17 weeks of word work for your students.  The 2 centers in the picture below are for weeks when you study short a and long a.

Each game has:
  •  cover with directions:
  • a black and white master
  • a colored master (child is playing with the one I finished) :
The six houses are cut into onset / rime for students to put together to form
six short a words.
  • and a recording sheet :

The centers are simple and can be finished easily by students.  
To extend the activity, students could come up with more examples of their own on the recording sheet.
I know have word work activities to carry me all the way through December.  Once I teach the August center, students will be on their way.

Stephanie will be reviewing my Measurement is a Hoot product.  

For the next 4 days, everything in my store will be 20% off.  Click here to shop my store.


My new Math Workstations are now for sale on TPT. 
These activities would also be great for small group instruction.