Monday, February 28, 2011

Ideas coming soon... computer broke. I didn't realize how dependent I was until it's gone. I have this  great Olivia lesson, a fun sight word game, and some fabulous Dr. Seuss ideas but I have no way to share them! I'm currently using the hubby's phone and I'm not enjoying it! Hopefully I'll be back in blog business by the end of the week....fingers crossed!

P.S. I can't wait to get my package from my accesory swap partner....hope she likes what I sent her :)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Grouping Chart-a-mazing management idea!

It's back to work tomorrow after a busy 6 days off. I'm sure you can all guess what type of classroom I'll return to. Probably messy and a little unorganized, possibly some daring firsties who have had a taste of freedom and don't want to give it up. Either way I'm excited to get back.

No big lesson to share tonight...I have totally been off my game lately. I think life is a tad bit overwhelming and I'm not exactly living up to its standard. I promise (you & myself) I'll get back on track and start sharing my fun (I hope) lessons.

For tonight, I thought I would share something that I use on top of my reading center groups. For reading centers, I have my kiddos inter-grouped according to their ability. During centers I pull my reading groups so I try to put one student from each leveled group in their reading center groups. This month our reading center group names are Valentines, Cupids, Dentists, & Presidents. For most everything else I use my grouping chart.
I made this chart at the beginning of the school year. I made the "graph" and then had it laminated so that I could use it year after year. I list my students in alphabetical order (w/ dry erase marker). Then I go down the list using A. B. C.; 1. 2. 3. 4.; & shapes. I don't have any rhyme or reason for which student gets put into which group. (Ok, that's not entirely true. For the shape groups I try to make sure that the groups are different from the letter and number groups.)

Throughout the day I will just call out "number groups" or "shape groups" and my firsties know who they will be working with! It's a great management tool! And it was quick and simple, my 2 favorite things!

P.S. The reader's chair worm that is clipped to the chart is moved down the list of kiddos each day to go along with our reading calendar. Each day a different student reads a book of their choice to the class and I record how they did in their RAP (Reading Any Place/Reading As Partners) folders.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Finally...the week is over!

This week has been long.

I haven't had time to blog stalk or blog at all. Sunday night my hubby's grandma passed away and Monday I came down with the flu-bug (thank you to my love bug firsties who are full of hugs and germy hands).

Tuesday I went to work...I shouldn't have. By the end of the day I was practically a zombie and my kiddos knew it. They were all so good and well-behaved. They even offered to do all of the teaching on their own so that I could rest. It was the sweetest thing. I planned on rushing home after school, but, it was a faculty meeting day. So after a very long day I finally made it to my couch only to discover I had a fever of 102!!


I don't remember much after that. I stayed home Wednesday. And slept. And watched a lot of House Hunters. Thursday was spent at the viewings and Friday was the funeral.

Wheeew and today I'm back to resting. Tyring to knock this cold clear to China. I haven't even looked at my school bag since Tuesday afternoon...gasp. Worst teacher of the week award goes to me! Sorry no new or cute ideas from me this week. Family takes priority.

On a much happier note, my best friend Keri got engaged last night!
This is Keri & me at my wedding! Can't wait to snap a picture at her special day!
 My bestie read a beautiful verse for us on our wedding day!
And this one is basically how we are 99% of the time. Silly.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Magical, Bossy "e"

So much for snuggling on the couch watching the Grammy's and doing nothing but eating my ice cream! I can't stop blog stalking and adding to my to-do list I was trying to ignore for the rest of the night.

 Mrs. Wheeler's First Grade Tidbits put up this cute magic "e" idea the other day and I couldn't help but think it would work in my classroom. I have been teaching the silent e as a bossy letter; it tells the vowel to say it's name. While I was out grocery shopping yesterday...ok who am I kidding, I was out "browsing" the aisles at Old Navy....I found this cute wand for a mere $5. I'm all about quick and easy sometimes, and this was just too perfect to pass up. I bought it and wrote e on it in permanent marker. I plan on telling me students that not only is the "e" bossy like some Queens and princesses we know, it is also a very magicical letter. I'm really hoping it helps my lower level readers understand the long vowel concept! Thanks for the great idea Mrs. Wheeler!

Valentine Gifts

First off I can't believe the weekend is almost over!! I feel like I just came home from 100th day and now I have to go back to the Valentine's Party. Talk about busy, busy, busy.

I just finished my cute Valentine gifts for my firsties. I totally stole the idea from Cara over at The First Grade Parade and mine do not look nearly as adorable but they'll work. (By the way-how crafty is she? I mean seriously I'm inspired by the things she makes. I'll certainly be giving her store my order when I have babies of my own)

Ok....back to my attempt at making a cute craft, which I am 100% ok with admitting I am not the most "creatively" inclined. I told myself the gifts are for 6 and 7 year olds, so how bad could they really think they are?

Not terrible, right?

Now I should go to bed but the Grammy's are on & the hubby is working 2nd shift tonight so I think I'll snuggle up on the couch w/ a bowl of Peanut Butter Cup ice cream and forget about my huge to-do list. Happy Valentine's Day blog friends! Enjoy your day full of of sweets :)

Accessory Swap!

The Adventures of Miss Elisabeth is having this fun accessory swap. It sounds like a fantastic way to make new friends...AND....get some fabulous new accessories! Who can say no to that? There is a $20 limit and you have until this Thursday (Feb 17) to sign up! 

So head over, sign up, & grab her button!


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Cute giveaway!

Check out Patton's Patch for a fabulous giveaway! I'm loving this blog world where everyone is so willing to share and give their great ideas to others!! Why didn't I join sooner?

Friday, February 11, 2011

And we made 100 boys & girls!

Wheeeew today was 100th day and I'm e-x-h-a-u-s-t-e-d, to say the very least!

I've been preparing all week it seems! I went to the wonderful world that is Walmart last night and bought myself a black t-shirt with the intent of decorating it. I had some neon fabric markers left over from the stockings I made for my kiddies for Christmas. What I discovered was these neon fabric markers do not work on black cotton t-shirts. SO my great idea to make and wear this cool shirt was a failure. Complete failure. I could have just hopped in my car and trudged back to the store for new supplies, but at 8:30 the night before a very crazy day I only had eyes for my couch and some tv. The shirt didn't happen but 100th day did and it was tons of fun!

Thanks to some great ideas from the fabulous ladies over at What The Teacher Wants I had a very successful day in first grade. I loved, loved, loved some of their activities so of course I added them to our line-up of fun things to accomplish in about an hour and a half of jam packed centers!  There are only 2 first grade classes at my school so we combined our kids into 7 groups and had 7 centers:
1. Listening to One Hundred Hungry Ants and then writing about what they would do with $100.
2. Drawing a picture of what they would look like at 100 years old.
3. Finding 100 nouns, adjectives, and verbs out of magazines.
4. Cutting out 100 heart patterns to form a count-by-fives-caterpillar.
5. Estimation station...students had to estimate then count the actual amount.
6. Dice game-they had to roll the dice until they got to 100 counting by 5's.
7. Using 100 pennies to make any object the group selected.

During math time, we grouped jellybeans, smarties, unifix cubes, and animal counters into 5's and 10's. We also sorted by color. In reading we read 100th Day Worries!

Of course we made some 100 day glasses!

It was actually a pretty mellow day. I had 4 students absent and 1 left early...broke my heart that they missed all of the celebration but boy was it easier to control!

 My firsties attempt at taking a picture of Mrs. Edwards :)
 100 nouns, verbs, & adjectives

 Coffee mug in honor of my daily cup o' joe I have! My firsties know me so well...they got me Tim Horton gift cards for Christmas!
 A money tree? I love it!
 I also love this!
The cane makes the picture!

Hope all your 100 day celebrations were just as fabulous as mine! Now I'm off to put my feet up and catch up on my Tivo.  Happy blogging :)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Totally Tooth-y

In honor of dental health month, we spent some time as tooth detectives and artists. We read the story "Open Wide, Tooth School" and talked about all of the different teeth and things we need to do to keep them healthy. In writers workshop, we used the step-up method to write about how to brush, why it's important to visit the dentist, and what healthy foods we should eat. We read the story "Tooth Trouble", which the kids loved! They had to write a letter to Wilbur the walrus telling him why he needed to go to the dentist. But, the absolute best activity we did were our self-portraits! I can't take full credit for this one. The fabulous teacher I student taught with introduced me to this project. First I took a picture of each of my students holding a magnifying glass in front of their smiles. Then they wrote how many teeth they have lost ---->download here

Next I did a guided drawing. The drawing is made up of connecting different shapes. They had to draw their mouth exactly how they thought theirs looked. It was so fun to see how they thought they looked. We labeled our canines, molars, and incisors. Last we put everything together, graphed it in the hallway, and wrote different tooth facts to display on the graph.

It turned out amazing and the kids had a blast drawing themselves!!

What fun activities do you do for dental health week? 

Monday, February 7, 2011

I'm Done, what should I do now?

How many times a day do you hear that? For me, it's like background music. I created a "I'm Done What Now?" packet.

I find fun papers to put in there. I change it out every two months. I took an empty paper box and decorated it to hold the packets. Whenever one of my students finishes their work. they are free to pick an activity from the What Now? poster.

Most of them will choose to do 2 pages in their finished work packet. For the months of January & February, I put in snowman math sheets, Valentine's ABC order sheets, comprehension practice, a few fun coloring pages, a snow day writing prompt and Valentine's Day prompt. My kids have really enjoyed having this as independent work. They know that I won't grade anything from their booklet so they have fun with some of the activities. 

Does anybody have any other good ideas for keeping those quick workers thoughtfully occupied? I'd love to hear them!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Contraction Blizzard

Do you ever wonder what to do with left over items from say a kit you bought to decorate your door? Well that's me. I bought a snowflake set for my door and ended up with about 30 extra snowflakes that were already laminated but had no purpose. SO the best thing to do? Make a center of course! We were learning about contractions and my firsties were having a tough time figuring them out. I used permanent marker to write the contraction on one snowflake and the two words that made up the contraction on another snowflake. Then they spread them all out on the floor and slid down the matches to make it look like it was snowing. THEY LOVED IT! After they had all their matches, they had to complete a Contraction Blizzard Worksheet  to show that they could identify contractions as well as use them the correct way in a complete sentence.

Hope you enjoy and that my ideas are helpful!

Learning to Listen

I am in constant search for new ideas for my listening center. I get bored with the same directions every week "Draw you favorite part and write a sentence about it" I know my kiddos get bored with it too. I think I have definetely let this center slide and it's time to beef it up. On my hunt for some fantastic new forms to get my students interested and engaged I came across a wonderful website by Michelle Oakes. Click here for some great listening center forms.

I am brand new to this blog world. I don't know how to upload forms, pictures, not a thing. And what are my limitations too? Help, anybody?

Meet the Teacher

I am a bit skeptic to enter this blog world, but here it goes. I am a 23 year old first grade teacher. I love, love, love my job! I live in a tiny little city in New York with my hubby, Mike.  
I married my best friend in 2009 and moved to North Carolina hoping for bigger and better things. What I got was a nanny job with a wonderful family and a whole lot of homesickness.

(I have two little sisters, who are my life since I have no kiddies of my own yet) 
(I also have a big sister, with 3 wonderful kids of her own and a big brother serving in the Air Force, stationed in Iraq right now)

After some unfortunate events, my husband encouraged me to look in our hometown for teaching jobs. I did, I interviewed at one school, and got hired on my birthday! We packed up and moved home. It was a whirlwind year to say the very least. And that brings me to now...trudging my way through all of the adventures that being a first year teaching brings. Late nights, early mornings, and short weekends are the story of my life right now. I wouldn't have it any other way :)

                                        The First Grade Parade

Q: What would you be doing if you weren’t a teacher?                                             
A:  I have always wanted to be a teacher, as long as I can remember at least.
Q: What are your hobbies?                                                                                    
A:  Reading, shopping,I'd love to say scrapbooking but I don't actually do that, more like I think about doing it.                                                                  

Q: When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?                     
A: At one time I thought I'd be a professional figure skater, seeing as how I can't skate worth a lick that wasn't going to happen.
Q: What are your guilty pleasures?                                                                
 A: DIET COKE, peppermint mocha coffee, Caramel Macchiato..extra caramel<--this one is a severe guilty pleasure since the closest Starbucks is an hour away. Shoes, Vera Bradley, Real Housewives (all but Atlanta), gossip magazines, Tim Mcgraw, movie theater popcorn, LOFT, did I mention DIET COKE?
Q: What is your biggest fear?!                                                                     
 A: Fires. Bats. Speeding tickets (I basically stop breathing when I pass a police officer)

Q: When you’re on vacation, where do you like to go?                                 
 A: The beach with a book in hand...pure bliss.
Q: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?                                                   
A:  Be yourself, Be confident, Be strong. Forgive & always forget, you cant move on unless you do both. Trust God with everything.

Q: What do you value most in others?                                                                   
A:  Honesty & Respect.

Q: If you could choose one of your personality traits to pass down to your kids, what would it be?                                                                                                        
A: A sense of humor! Sometimes you just have to laugh at yourself.  

Q: If you could have lunch with anyone in the world….living or dead…who would it be?                                                                                                             
A:  My grandpa. No question. At least once a week I wish I could call him up and ask his opinion on something or just hear him yodel, yes he could yodel. It was pretty neat.
Now tell us one random thing about yourself:
In third grade, I was in a tv commercial for Camp Fire (the old version of Girl Scouts). I was pretty much famous.