Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Early Friday Finds

I could NOT wait to share this on Friday!  (Not to mention I am having a minor in office surgery on Thursday & if I wait and post Friday who knows what it will say!)
One of my favorite things about First Grade is that they LOVE ME almost unconditionally.  They think I draw beautifully and sing like an American Idol.  Singing is not something I can do well, even a little.  Seriously, when dating my husband told me I sing like a "Cat in Heat!"  I know you may be asking why I still married him after that comment, but check out the last Monday Made It.  He is great in so many other ways. 
Another example, when my 3rd child was a toddler and I was rocking him to sleep, he actually said to me, "No, Mommy. Don't sing!"   
What do they know!?  
My firsties think I sing beautifully.

I am telling you this because I found the most hilarious book to sing to my firsties.  They are going to love it when I sing songs from ....
On Top of the Potty, by Alan Katz.  

The kids love his books because they are funny and set to the tune of classics like Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.
  This book has POTTY humor.  
But hey, we all go, don't we?

Here is a small teaser called

Tinkle, Tinkle on the Floor
(sung to Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star)

Tinkle, tinkle on the floor
That's what Bob did til age four
And he pooped on the den chair,
on the couch, or anywhere
He'd poop on your welcome mat,
On your swing, or on your cat.

I purchased I'm Gonna Like Me to use for Back to School,  
Cinderella Skeleton to add to my fairytale collection, and 
Does a Kangaroo Have a Mother Too? to go in my Eric Carle basket.  
I have heard so many wonderful things about Stranger in the Woods.  So, I bought it, too.  

Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday Made It! Only 2 more left for me!

I'm Back again for Monday Made it with with Tara @ 4th Grade Folics.  Both projects are Pinterest Inspired!

My First Day of First Grade frame.
Last Day of School I will change the word first to Last. 
Crazy Straw Birthday Favor.
Made with my Cricut and clipart from 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

My Favorite Teacher of All Times

Teachers have the power to make a lasting impression on a child's life.  I want to tell you about my All Time Favorite Teacher - Mrs. Ruth Cox!

Today in church the 3rd point we were to take away from the The HEART OF ENCOURAGEMENT IS HOPE.  
This pastor (who also used to be the BEST 3rd grade teacher @ my school) used an example of a teacher who whispered into the ear of a little girl with a cleft palate, "I wish you were my little girl."  He said it forever changed the little girl's life.
That's what we as teachers have the power to do & that is what one particular teacher did for me.

I was a 6 year old little girl who LOVED school.  My mother always surprised me with books - My favorite, Dr. Seuss, of course!  I lived in a trailer with my mom, dad, a younger brother & a younger sister.  At the time, we were on food stamps because both parents had been laid off from work.  I adored my first grade teacher, but she left on maternity leave after Christmas.  
This particular morning I was late for school (if you looked at report cards, I was late often) and when I walked in there was a SUB!  I immediately did not like this person because she was NOT my teacher.  I wanted my teacher back.  To my surprise by the end of the year, I remember crying because school was out & I was going to miss her.

Move ahead to the next year.  I walk in to my 2nd grade classroom and there she was, Mrs. Cox, my sub from last year!  
Talk about excitement.  This was going to be amazing!
At this point, my parents were back at work, but my mom and dad worked on different shifts.  Mom wasn't around as much as I was used to because of working second shift.  
Mrs. Cox was like a second mom to me that year.  She let me stay after school and be her teacher's pet helper.  She even took me home after school on occasion, when dad was too engrossed in something and forgot the time.  
Mrs. Cox had 2 boys of her own and always wished for a little girl.  She told me I was the little girl she never had.  My mom and dad believed in me & encouraged me, but now I had someone else in my life looking out for me.  Someone who wasn't a relative.

Mrs. Cox encouraged me to always do my best and strive for more.  She believed in me and gave me hope.  For years and years following second grade, I gave her Christmas presents.  Sometimes she would even surprise me with cards or small gifts during the school years.  She kept up with me during middle school, high school, and even now.  She attended my graduation, my wedding showers, and my wedding.  She was even my substitute a few years ago when I was out for surgery.
Once I went to her house to visit her and in her living room was a picture of me and a few of the trinkets I had given her over the years.  I have told her many times she meant the world to me, but I don't know if she will ever know how much.

We have the power to make a difference in the lives of the little ones we teach.  We must chose to be a blessing!  We don't know what each one goes home to at night, but we can be their hope and encouragement during the day.
This is Mrs. Cox many years after she was my teacher.  
At this time I had been teaching about 6 years. 
 She is opening a present from me!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Big Give-Away

I have reached 200 followers and couldn't be more excited!  I began blogging mid January and have loved every minute of it.  You might say I am addicted.   I have ...

  • learned lots from other fabulous teachers and gained tons of new ideas and freebies.
  • won a few give-aways along the way
  • made new bloggy friends
  • participated in an online book study, Valentine Exchange, and joined many linky parties
  • helped out a few teachers in need
  • and been awarded a few awards along the way.
To say thank you to all my followers for joining me on this blogging journey I am having a big give-away thanks to some other fabulous bloggers.

The following ladies are donating 1 item from their TPT stores.
Randi @
Kathy @
Yolanda @ 
Sarah @

And Kristen from A Teeny Tiny Teacher is giving away her All About Me Book.
And I will be giving away any 2 items from my TPT store!

Best of Luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Common Core Math Workstation & Must Have Picture Books Linky

I am breaking an unwritten blogger rule about posting twice in one day, BUT I feel soooo far behind from being on vacation & feel like I missed out on a ton!  
I went in to work for a little bit before vacation to start organizing my math workstations.  I decided to store them in tubs ice cube buckets like my kiddos store their reading books in (see here).
Before, I was storing them in baggies in my filing cabinet behind each Common Core Standard File Folder.  It just wasn't working!
Once I organized them, I realized I was short a variety of activities for certain standards and had lots for others, like place value.  So, either I could start searching TPT or create some of my own.

Here is a game I created for practice with adding 3 numbers.
Just click on the picture above to get it.


Lindsey @ The Teacher's Wife is having a wonderful linky about your Must Have Picture Books.

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this linky.  My LOVE for Children's Literature began as a child.  I was an avid reader!
My OBSESSION with collecting children's books began during my Children's Literature Class in college - Thank you Dr. Cates!  I remember crying in class when she read, I'll Love You Forever.
Later, I purchased that book for my mom for Mother's Day & years later sang the song to my beautiful children.  The power of books is amazing!  The amount of money I have in books is STAGGERING. I could possibly retire if I sold them all for full price.  With so many books and so many memories, how could I just pick a few?  I decided I would pick a one book for several different categories.

  • Math book - Time

  • Science
Gail Gibbons books are amazing & I use them not 
only in science, but also in teaching 
non fiction text features.

  • Beginning of School
Chrysanthemum is one of my beginning of the year books 
used to teach about our classroom community.  We talk
 about how not to hurt each other's feelings and how 
to get along.  I have a few super cute activities I use 
with this book which  I will share @ the beginning of 
I also use this at that time during math, where we look 
at the length of each other's names and do graphing & 
counting activities.

  • Writing Features
One of my favorite Writer's Workshop Units is teaching 
Writer's Craft.  I begin this unit with Lester 
Laminack's, Saturdays and Teacakes
but follow it up with lots of other books.  
The Recess Queen provides many examples like:
stacked words
bold words
sound words
repeated phrases
Not to mention, this is a great book to talk about being 
the new kid in class or bullying!
  • Just to Read Aloud
The message in this book is heart warming.  
Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge likes to spend 
time at the nursing home next door.  He likes all 
the older people, but he especially likes 
Miss Nancy Alison Delacourt Cooper because 
she also has 4 names.  When he finds out she is losing 
her memory, he does his best to help her get her 
memory back.
  • Word Work
Twenty-six Princesses is a great book to use for 
Rounding Up the Rhymes 
where you look at, study, and use rhyming pairs 
to help you read & write other rhyming pairs.  
Check out my lesson here.
Also, a great book to use when teaching how to write ABC books.
  • Fairytales

One of my favorite times of the year is when we learn ...
 "What are Fairytales."
I love to compare and contrast different versions of favorite fairytale. Petite Rouge is a spin off of Little Red Riding Hood
 and is a MUST HAVE! 
It is creative and funny, 
especially if you hear me trying to read this
 with a Cajun accent!
  • Vocabulary
Fancy Nancy always uses Fancy words which are often perfect for 
stretching the vocabulary of our young readers and writers.
Check out a free lesson here.

I could go on & on & on!

Newbie Blog Hop

Janis from Grade Three is the Place for Me has a great New Bloggers Blog Hop going on.  I am not sure what counts as a newbie, but I am barely under 200 followers and love to find new bloggy friends.  So, I decided to jump in.

  •   what state you are in
  •   your current teaching position
  •   your teaching experience
  •   when you started blogging
  •   share a blogging tip / blogging resource
I teach in North Carolina.
Currently, I teach first grade.
I have 2 years in 2nd grade, 1 year 10 days in Kindergarden, 4 years teaching reading, and the rest of my 20 years in first grade.  I have my master's in reading.
I started blogging in January.
One blogging tip or Two:
       - Post pictures when possible.  
       - Join the linky parties - they are lots of fun!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Just made it for this Award & MUST enter Give Away!

Thank you Melissa @ Teacher Treasure Hunter for giving me the Liebster Blog Award.  This award is given to a new bloggers as a way to encourage them.   It seems to have originated in Germany where the word "Liebster" in means "beloved" or "favorite."
When you receive this award, you should:
  1. Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them.
  2. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
  3. Present the award to 5 other bloggers who have less than 200 followers & leave them a comment on their blog.
I am passing the award on to the following new bloggers.  Please check them out and give them some LOVE.

Amazing Give Away!  Go Check Out Melissa @ Teacher Treasure Hunter.  She is giving away a $50 Gift card to Amazon to one of her lucky followers.  You don't want to miss out on this!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Having a Hoot with Tens Frames

I am on vacation & finished my Having a Hoot With Tens Frames Activities for TPT.  Here are 2 previews.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Fabulous Find Friday

I am linking up with Elizabeth at Fun in Room 4B for the Fabulous Find Friday Linky.
  • personal calendar for my desk reading table
  • stickers for students' survival kits
  • 2 dome dice -  just shake & 2 numbers & a + or - shows up.  My kiddos are going to love it!
  • magnetic board spinner
  • 10 sided dice & dice in dice
  • Book Buddy bags for Take Home Readers
  • 1 minute timer

3D glasses with the lenses taken out.  I'm going to use these when I teach writing lessons about using a "Writer's Eyes."
More Owl Stuff  
  • name plates for student work in hallways
  •  fabric for curtains to cover shelves

I needed a few new seat pockets.  Some of my old ones were wearing out.  These were 8.95 from Aussie Pouch.  They have several different colors to chose from.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Must Enter Give-Aways!

Check out these blogs for some fabulous giveaways.
Kristi and Crystal from Teaching Little Miracles have reached 50 followers.

Candace from 005 Watkins' Way is celebrating 100 followers!
Find her giveaway here!

Over at Pirate’s Life for Us, Jenn is celebrating her first blog birthday.

Lacey at Wild About Teaching is having a GiveAway worth $100!  Check it out!

Sarah of Fourth Grade Fanatics is having a Summer Giveaway.

Best of Luck!

Team Kenton

The blogging world has become a daily part of my life.  I love visiting the blogs of other teachers to take a peek into their classrooms and get new ideas.  I especially like learning a little bit about the teacher behind the blogs.  I feel as if I have friends I have never met.  Deb over at Oh My Little Classity Class is a first grade teacher in Utah who is going through a tough time right now and could use your prayers and well wishes.  Her 12 year old was diagnosed with leukemia in June.  Kenton has been in the hospital receiving treatment since.  You can read about her journey and join Team Kenton here.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday - not school related

I am joining Angie @ Many Little Blessings for the first time for TOP TEN TUESDAY!.  Well, actually it is Wednesday where I am.  But It's Tuesday somewhere!
This week alone, I have been told by my daughter and the custodian at school, "It is summer" and I needed to take a break!  So, here is my attempt @ taking a break from school.....

Top Ten Reasons I LOVE FALL!

1.  NO MORE 100 degree days.  If I had it my way I would move where it is 70 - 75 degrees year round!  I'm not in love with summer or winter.  I don't like to get sun on my face and after one good snow and I am ready for spring.  Give me nice, comfortable weather so I can wear bluejeans all day and a sweatshirt at night.

2.  I can't think of a more beautiful time of the year.  God's existence is certain when I look around at his beautiful artwork.

Fancy Gap Virginia, Blue Ridge Mountains

3.  I was born October 30, 1969 on my mother's 18th birthday.  We were almost Halloween babies.  Sharing a birthday with my mother has been a very special experience our whole lives.

My mom and I (with my dad & sis) @ our last birthday party.

4. Bonfires, smores, camping, oh my!  Nothing is better than sitting @ a campground by the fire in the fall and eating smore's.

My best friend & I camping.  Can you see the s'more ingredients beside us?

5.  October 12th, 1991 I married my best friend @ the age of 21.  We began dating when I was 14.  This October 12th, we will celebrate 21 years of marriage.

6.  October 29th, 2011.  My husband and I renewed our vows at a little church we visited when we were dating.  It was a small affair and we were joined by only a our closest family and friends.  I have to say it was even more special than the first time.  One of the groomsmen from our original wedding performed this ceremony and our children participated in it, also.

The boys met my daughter halfway down the aisle and walked her to the alter.
Todd met me halfway down the aisle where we stopped for a few minutes  listening to
 Clint Black's "When I Said I Do."


7.  Halloween - who doesn't like to dress up & get free candy?  Do I need to say more?

Campground Trick Or Treating.  That's one way to rack up on Candy!
(The headless person is my daughter!)

8.  Thanksgiving -  family, mac & cheese, grandma's potato salad, pineapple dessert, green bean casserole .... I'm making myself hungry & it is past midnight.

9.  FOOTBALL!  I love football.  I wanteded to play as a little girl, but dad refused.  So, I fell in love with the Dallas Cowboys and have been a fan ever since.  I am the one in the house who just purchased NFL SUNDAY TICKET so I could watch my favorite team every Sunday.

House Divided:
Cowboys vs. Panthers
My team wins, of course!

10.  Time for the Fair - The fair here is always in October.  The night of our "1st" wedding we went to the fair with friends - can you believe it?  I had to go for the rides, cotton candy, and candy apples before we headed out on our honeymoon the next day.

Pictures from inside the Haunted House at the Fair!