Sunday, January 29, 2012

I've Been Tagged! Now You're It!

Amy over at the Resource(ful) Room tagged me! It is my first tag and I am so excited!

And now YOU ARE IT!
Here's What you have to do if you are tagged...

1. You must post the rules.

2. Post 12 fun facts about yourself on the blog post.

3. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post,

and then create 12 new questions for the people you tagged.

4. Tag 12 people and link them on your post.

5. Let them know you've tagged them!

Fun Facts About Me!

  1. I met my husband when I was 14 @ the local skating rink.
  2. I cheered in elementary school, middle school, and high school. I made the squad in college but decided against it as we had no football team & I disliked basketball.
  3. I live in the same town where I grew up. All 3 of my children have or will graduate from my high school!
  4. I once had a high school teacher get on his hands and knees & ask me to run for School Office. I did & I won! Loved being involved in my school
  5. I love to dress up & do crazy things at school. I have been Captain Underpants, Cat n the Hat, and the Paper Bag Princess to name a few.
  6. I was born on my mother's 18th birthday.
  7. I love to camp in a camper - no tent. We sold our camper a few years ago & I miss it soo much. Plan to get one again sometime - once kids are out of college.
  8. If I weren't a teacher, I would probably work in a nursing home as an event person.
  9. When I was in elementary school I wanted to be a Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader or a Vet.
  10. I am a Scrapbook Collector right now. I used to be an Addict, but haven't scrapbooked much since I went back to school to get my masters. I miss it.
  11. I have always wanted to go to the old Texas stadium and stand in the star & have my photo taken.
  12. I would love to travel route 66 one summer.
Questions from my tagger:

  1. What's your favorite season? Fall. I love the colors and the cool weather & Halloween since my birthday is the day before.
  2. What's your favorite book? One that has always stayed with me since high school: They Cage the Animals at Night
  3. What's your favorite TV show? Grey's Anatomy
  4. How do you celebrate March is reading month? I love to celebrate with "Author Tents if the weather is nice. Students are divided into small groups and rotate among tents. Each tent is devoted to one author.
  5. Do you live close to your school (work)? 5 minutes. :)
  6. What's your favorite thing to teach? reading groups
  7. How do you track student progress? charts, charts, charts - with color codes
  8. How do you use technology in the classroom? I was turned on to technology in the classroom a few years ago in grad school. If it is neat and educational, I don't mind giving it a try in my classroom. (Smartboard, individual blogs, MP3 players, ipad (soon), Raz-kids, xtranormal, skype, podcasting, videos, photography, webquests, and more)
  9. Do you use Accelerated Reader? How do you reward kids for points if you do? We do not use AR at our school anymore.
  10. Do you play sports? what? I used to play softball, run track, and cheer. I don't do any of that anymore. :( I like kickboxing and Zumba.
  11. How much time do you spend doing your hair each morning? No hair products at all - straighten it mostly with curling iron or flat iron. I don't have the patience to do much more.
  12. Whats your favorite memory from high school? Powder Puff Football where I finally got to play football & scored a TD. I always wanted to play football, but my dad would NOT let me. I had tons of school spirit.

People I'm Tagging:

Kelly over at Busy in Kindergarten
Randi over at Teach It With Class
Elisabeth over Twins, Teaching and Tacos
Julia over at Loving and Learning in PreK
Heather over at Heather's Heart
Leslie Ann over at Life in First Grade.
Jennifer over at First Grade Blue Skies.
Tanya over at First Grade is Fantabulous
Jennifer over at Keys 4 Education
Jennifer at Kinderpond
Delighted at First Grade Delight
Jennifer over at The First Grade Dream

Questions for those I've Tagged:

  1. Besides teaching, what is your hobby?
  2. Did you always want to be a teacher? If not, what?
  3. What is your go to meal if you are feeling too tired to be creative?
  4. How many kids do you have? pets? married?
  5. What is a pet peeve of yours in the classroom?
  6. What is the one (or 2) classroom supplies you couldn't do without?
  7. In what state do you teach? Is your school using Common Core this year?
  8. Favorite Sports Team, if any?
  9. How many states have you lived in? Which ones?
  10. Favorite tv show you hate to admit you watch?
  11. Favorite candy?
  12. One thing on your bucket list.
Can't wait to hear from you.
:) Tamera

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Strep & Winner! Winner! Chicken Dinner!

I have been sick since Monday with Strep and a side of allergies. I only missed 1 day of work before going full steam ahead again on Wednesday. I was so thankful to see the weekend after working til 6:30 Friday night.

On the brighter side......

Thank you to everyone who entered my first blog give away and for becoming my new blog friends.

Congrats to Amy over at Resource(ful) Room. She was lucky #9.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Daily 5 - Listen to Reading - Raz-Kids

Our school adopted the Daily 5 Model this year in all grade levels. If you are not familiar with Daily 5, one of the daily tasks is to Listen to Reading. Students who engage in "Listening to Reading" are hearing fluent readers read good literature, developing better vocabularies, and building their stamina. They ARE becoming better readers.

During Listening to Reading my kiddos choose from 3 activities:
- Listening to Books on MP3 Players (I have 3 SanDisk MP3 Players and 1 iPod)
- Listening to Books on Tape with my very old Tape Players OR
- MY FAVORITE - listening to books on @ the computer.

Raz-kids is a site with leveled interactive books. I am able to set my class up online and assign students books on their independent reading level. They are able to listen to reading, read alone, and record their reading. Most books also have a quiz they can take at the end. My students LOVE this site. Many of them login at home.

Today, because we were studying Chinese New Year, I was able to customize my students' reading assignments so the only books they were able to choose from were ones related to China. In this instance, my goal was NOT for them to be listening to books on their level. Instead, I wanted to expose them to books related to China and relate it to our Social Studies Curriculum.

Click here to find out more about Raz-Kids.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

My First Give Away

My blog is 8 days old. I have learned a ton this past week about adding gadgets, buttons, etc on my blog. So, in celebration of all my new "techy" skills I would like to have a Give Away.

Up for the Give Away is a brand new All in One Organizer in the Black Parisian Pop print.

You will get one entry for each of the following:
  • Follow my blog and leave a comment on this post.
  • Follow my TPT store and leave a comment on this post.
  • Add my blog to your blogroll and leave a comment on the post.
  • Blog about my Give Away on Your Blog and leave a comment on this post.
  • Grab my button and add it to your site and leave a comment on this post.

Winner will be drawn (the old fashion way) on Saturday Jan. 28 by 9:00 p.m. Best of luck!

More Give Aways

Check out the Pizza Unit give away over at A Special Kind of Class or go to Ms. Rachel's Room. This give away ends today - Jan. 22.

Need a $25 Target Card? Check out Kindergarten Lifestyle for a chance to win one.

4th Grade Frolics is having a give away also. Tara is giving away a necklace or key chain from My Blue Snowflake. I picked out a favorite already. This GiveAway ends Jan. 25th.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Comparing Numbers Math Workstation

I just uploaded a new workstation to Teachers Pay Teachers. My students will be doing this activity with a partner while I am working with small groups. I created this activity so students could practice Common Core Standard 1.NBT.3.


We have a part of our daily schedule called Interactive Read Aloud. During this time I do a variety of activities. One of my favorite activities to do with my students is build their vocabulary. In grad school I read the book, Bringing Words to Life: Robust Vocabulary Instruction. It totally changed my approach to teaching vocabulary. I learned to create meaning activities (with kid-friendly definitions) which get students involved in thinking about words. My kiddos are highly engaged and really enjoy the activities. They often use the words later in speaking and writing.

For most of these activities students are sitting at the carpet with me. I am able to monitor students understanding in a variety of ways: thumbs up, thumbs down, sign language for true/false, whiteboards, etc. There is a multiple choice activity at the end that could be given paper/pencil, but generally I have them write their answers on whiteboards. The most paper/pencil I have had students do with the vocabulary words for the week is to illustrate them, as seen in one of the photos above.

Feel free to click here to download my first vocabulary activity for the book, Fancy Nancy, Bonjour Butterfly. Please try it with your students and leave feedback.

Monday, January 16, 2012

My First Freebie - Buggy Subtraction

Click here to download the post.

More Give Aways

Ketchen's Kindergarten has reached 50 followers and is giving away a $25 gift card to Target - one of my favorite stores. Click on the link below and see how you can win.
Ketchen's Kindergarten

Mrs. Browning over at Darlin' in First is having a give away too. Be one of her 3 lucky winners for a choice of a necklace, Scentsy Wickless Candle (love, love), or a Thirty-One Bag!

Elisabeth over at Twins, Teaching and Tacos is Giving Away 2 copies of her Soil Unit. This is a must have for me as we will be studying Soil, Rocks, and Plants before long.

Twins Teaching and Tacos

Rebecca at Teaching First and a few of her friends have teamed together to give away 9 packets! WOW! This offer ends January 21st, so hurry on over! Click below:

Teaching First

Common Core Website for Teachers by Teachers

Thanks to Kelly Brown, I stumbled upon a site I have been wishing for called 1st Grade CCSS Links.
It was created in July and has over 100 followers. The site is devoted to first grade teachers who are teaching the common core. If you are like me and new to common core, you need all the help you can get. Share the love and lighten another teacher's load by uploading a free lesson plan or idea to the site. I am currently working on a NBTS lesson and will upload it soon for FREE!

Awesome Give Away from Made in the Shade in Second Grade

How can you pass up on entering a $25 Gift Card to Amazon or Target? I know I can't.
I just found an awesome blog called Made in the Shade in Second Grade and they are doing just that - giving away free $$ ! Click on the link above to get the details.

Fluency Give Away from Fun in First

Learning to read can be slow and cumbersome. Beginning readers are focusing so much energy on simply figuring out the words, they don't have enough energy left to worry about how fluently it sounds, much less use expression. Research shows this lack of expression and fluency can effect comprehension.
If you want to hear your students reading with fluency and expression, they must build their sight word knowledge and practice reading fluently. There are many ways to build fluency. One of which is to practice reading phrases which are concentrated with high frequency words. (You may have heard of Fry Phrases before.)
Jodi over at Fun in First has created a Year's Worth of Fluency Passages that she is giving away! Check it Out! - But I hope I win. She has done all the work for you!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Helping out fellow teachers in Joplin.

Dee Dee over at Mrs. Wills Kindergarten received the following email from a teacher in Joplin.

I teach in Joplin, which made worldwide news last May when our town was cut in half by an F5 tornado. Many of our elementary schools were destroyed or damaged, and as teachers, we have had a roller coaster year. I came from a meeting yesterday where many are struggling with the weight of all we are dealing with. My request is this: would you be willing to donate a created pack of your choosing to give away at a drawing at our upcoming district Kindergarten grade level meeting? The meeting is Monday and I am sorry for the short notice but I did not realize until the meeting how down everyone is feeling.

I gave away a Vocabulary Lesson using the book Julius, the Baby of the World, by Kevin Henkes. This is a lesson I created after reading the book, Bringing Words to Life: Robust Vocabulary Instruction. My kids love the fast paced and engaging activities and really begin to use the words in their speaking and writing. One of my observations this year happened during one of these vocabulary lessons. My principal liked it sooo much she shared it with a team of principals from our county who were impressed by the use of the words from first graders!

Valentine Exchange

Be My Valentine

I am so excited! I signed up to be in the Valentine Exchange as a teacher and as a class. My kiddos are going to be so excited. What a great way to get them pumped up about writing!
(This is reminding me of when I would go to the scrapbook retreats and participate in all the "Swaps." I can't wait!)
If you would like to participate, click on the pic above.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Math Games with a Bug Theme

Teachers Pay Teachers has become an obsession. Just ask my wallet! So, I decided to give it a try myself. It's also another excuse for me to play on my Mac. I created 2 games which review Common Core Standards my kiddos have been working on the second nine weeks. I plan to use the games in my math workstations the next go round. One is called Buggy Subtraction. The second is called Equal Signs Bug Me! You can purchase them in my TPT store.

How Do Penguins Stay Warm?

Yesterday, we conducted a science experiment called "How Do Penguins Stay Warm?" First, students competed in pairs to see who could keep their "flipper" in the cold Antarctica waters the longest. Their faces were the cutest! Then, students placed their hands in blubber gloves and discovered blubber helps penguins stay warm. One kiddo said, "I could keep my hand in here forever, now!"
Special thanks to Deanna Jump for the idea which came from her Penguin Unit.