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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

EGADS--tomorrow is February

Where on EARTH did this year go?  We're about two weeks away from hundreds day...tomorrow is the first of February...I feel like I just took down my Christmas tree.  School will be over before I know it....ohh sidenote..it feels like SPRING here.  (Is it wrong I've prayed for snow days? We've had NONE, NADA, ZILCH.  I live in Ohio people---I'm supposed to have snow days!) Ahh, well, whatever, what can ya do? 

Little story for you...my daughter took market rabbits in 4H this past summer.  We told her that we'd get her a pet one (as selling them was hard on her).  Well, her one pet rabbit made my son jealous...so he got one of his own too.  The one we purchased was crippled.  We called the store and they exchanged but offered us the crippled one too...we decided why not.  One rabbit turned into 3.  I asked the pet store to make sure they were all girls.  They assured me they were whenever we checked out with one, though I thought differently.  Whatever...they are supposed to know this stuff right?  So we have a lionhead dwarf named Lilly, a New Zealand dwarf named Snowball, and a Netherland dwarf named Daisy---which we have now changed to Dave.  Yep....we found that out the hard way when our daughter came downstairs and said there's something little and squiggly in the cage.  We had NO CLUE she was pregnant, plus our rabbits were supposed to be all girls.  SOOO---3 babies (we lost one :( ) and 3 rabbits....LORD HELP US! 

Okay, how 'bout some freebies?  Here's a February word bank and a few journal prompts. Click the bear picture below to grab it.

Or for my Treasures Reading Series friends....here's a few worksheets/questions to go with the guided books of Unit 4.1 (Pelican Was Hungry).  You can click the picture below to grab them.

Here's hoping to a less eventful evening tomorrow ;)

Monday, January 30, 2012

Oh, no---it's not supposed to be there

So---while lining up to go home, one of my firsties (as sweet as can be) said,  "Does your hair always look like that?" 
Me--"Like what?"
Her-"That color--I mean is that your natural  color" lol---where is this conversation going?
Me-"Well, yeah, minus the highlights."
Her--"So that gray is your highlight?" AHHHH!!---guess it's time to get my roots done lol ;)
Me--thinking  (but not saying) no honey, that's not supposed to be there.  I sprout a new gray hair every time y'all choose to act up....
Gotta love their honesty, eh?

Okay, so today's math lesson was going really well......or so I thought.  We watched a video, we did a few sample problems, we worked on the front and back together---they all seemed to be doing really well.  Then, my boys....uh....I don't get it.  EGADS!  Those words hurt my ears...so we worked through some more, did a little one-on-one, small group, retaught and modeled it again.....they just smiled at me like I was a crazy woman. ....which I am, but that's beside the point....so tonight I made a practice sheet to make sure they get it.  My kiddos LOVE rolling dice.  So here's a quick review sheet if you wanna download it.  It's on tens, ones, and expanded form.  I demonstrate expanded form like it's an elastic band.  It STRETCHES out the whole number.  We even put numbers on the band so they could see the "longer form."  Here's hoping for a better math day tomorrow----and I need to get my "do" done apparently!

Click the pic for the practice sheet.  Just remember, comments are so sweet!! :)
Earlier this summer, I posted a football workstation for both math and language.  I thought with Super Bowl coming up, maybe you'd want to check it out! Click the picture below to download.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Bloggy Tag and a Few Freebies

Tag--I'm it! What a great idea---BLOGGY TAG! Megan at First Grade Magic tagged me in the game.

Here are the rules:
 1.  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 in your post.
5.  Let them know that they have been tagged.

Hmm...12 (fun? I dunno?) facts that I haven't already blurted out to y'all?  Here goes
1.  I've been told I sound like a little kid when I talk.  I guess when people call MY house and ask ME to talk to MY mommy, maybe there's a little truth in it.
2.  I am slightly OCD.  I can tell if things have been moved and not put back right.  It drives me CRAZY nuts.  My husband will go around sometimes and rearrange things just to see how long it takes me to fix it. 
3.  My favorite color is purple---though I rarely wear purple.
4.  I love making things and sharing them on my blog---I hope that others are able to use the things I post.
5.  I am seriously content in staying in my jammies ALL DAY.  Some people view it as lazy...but it's so relaxing.
6.  I have never worn lipstick that I can remember---I guess I'm a glossy girl.  Actually, I don't wear much make-up at all. 
7.  When I was a little girl I wanted to be a paleontologist.  I was a little bit of a tomboy.  I loved digging in the dirt, rocks. My mom used to get so mad at me for dragging in HUGE rocks from the creek with imprints on them.
8. I say if I ever won the lottery, I'd quit working and be a stay-at-home mommy and homeschool my kids.  Hubby says that I'd never quit my job---he seems to think that even when I'm able to retire, I'm going to keep going until I can no longer go.
9.  I don't like to cook.  I LOVE to bake--not cook.  Cooking involves way too much time.  Give me a new cookie, cake, cupcake recipe and I will be gone in a blink of an eye.
10. My high school didn't offer many sports.  We had cheerleading, basketball, baseball, softball, golf, volleyball, track and Cross Country.  Yep, that's it.  I guess we didn't need much as we were a small school.  I only had 39 kids in my graduating class. 
11.  I have a brother and a sister.  I was lucky to get one of each. My sister is one of my best friends!
12.  My new addiction is Pinterest.  I have to limit myself to 30 minutes or I go into my own little world and you can't bring me back.

 Okay, now I'm going to Answer Megan's questions she has for her 12 friends.  Here they are:

1.  Do you have a pet?  Yes, we have 2 cats and 3 rabbits.  I also have 2 kids and a husband, does that count?
2.  What is your favorite type of food? Junk food!  I love me some reese cups!
3.  Do you have a phobia of anything? Yes--it's called Glossophobia.  I hate public speaking, speaking in front of groups, speaking in front of a big group of coworkers.  Silly, huh?  Give me a group of little ones and I'm good to go---put adults in front of me and I get all shaky.
4.  If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go? besides, Disney?  Australia
5.  Do you prefer salty or sweet snacks? hmm....combination? 
6.  What did you want to be when you grew up? Besides the paleontologist, I wanted to be a teacher.
7.  Where did you go to college? University of Rio Grande--small college in Ohio
8.  When did you realize that you wanted to be a teacher? 1st grade
9.  What is your favorite grade level to teach? 1st
10.  What subject do you like teaching the most? Reading, though I'm beginning to like Math too
11.  What is one thing in your classroom that you feel like you can't live without? My projector/mimio
12.  What is your favorite part about blogging? Sharing with people and hoping they can use the stuff I make--and the comments are always so nice to hear.

Christina at Mrs. Bainbridge's Class
Amy at Krazy about Kiddos
Sandra at Sweet Times in First
Deb at Oh My Little Classity Class
Heather at Heather's Heart
Delighted at First Grade Delight
Hadar at Miss Kindergarten
Hope at 2nd Grade Shenanigans
Kara at Treadwell's Math Adventures
Megan at Learning in First
Melissa at Life's a Teach
Sandra at Literacy Minute

MY TURN to ask questions. :) My questions are:

1) What is your favorite recipe? (Would you like to share?)--oops that's 2 questions.
2) If you could have a profession besides teaching, what would it be?
3) Are you a sports fan?
4) Do you have any hobbies outside of blogging and school related things?
5) What is something you won't leave home without?
6) Where do you like to vacation?
7) What is your favorite movie?
8) Do you have a special talent?
9) Who is your favorite CHILDREN'S author?
10) Do you think technology makes things easier?
11) Would you ever participate in extreme sports?
12) What do you like most about teaching?

Okay....long post, but I have to add a few more things. Here's a few freebies for you.  We will be working on Long o/silent e this week.  I've made a few things for to use.  This is the pattern for their spelling words too for the week.  I introduce the words on Monday with a pre-test, and we talk about the spelling pattern, and the sounds.   We do the sorts on Tuesday as their morning work.  The shape boxes we do on Wednesday or Thursday as morning work. Scoot is never "planned" we just do.  It usually falls on a  Thursday though.  You can click each image to get the different activity/worksheet.

Long O/Short O Picture Sort

Word Shapes with Riddles

Would you like the Task Cards?
Or how about an I have...who has?
But we are also continuing working on place value with tens and ones this week.  I've already posted some things to use for that, but I did make a Tens/Ones I have who has. 
I know this has been a long post.  I hope I didn't bore you too much...and hopefully you found something you can use with your kiddos!!  Enjoy the rest of your weekend!! :)

Friday, January 27, 2012

Wanna Peek into My World?

I thought I would give you a peek into my world.,,,,,where I live from roughly 8-3:15, give or take a few minutes.  I don't usually put in a lot of extra time at work.  My husband yells at me for it. It's okay though, I try to be productive at school.  I'd rather grade/plan/work through my lunch and come home at the end of my day.   Here's a little tour of my room (my room was a middle school science room years ago--love the cabinet space.)

This is a view of my room from the back (my kids have left for specials---at least most desks are cleared off and chairs are pushed in---it drives me insane for a chair not to be pushed in lol). You can see the pocket chart, which holds their spelling words and vocabulary words from our series, our classroom behavior chart, reading beanie baby strategies, and my reading table.)

My guided reading table.  Ignore the mess---we are finishing up our AimsWeb testing.  The little basket on the table holds my guided reading books, pencils, post-its, phonics phones, magnifying glass, and index cards.  It is placed in the front of the room, but I'm able to watch my other students that are at centers while my reading group is with me (and not being as distracted).  Notice the lei on the dry erase board?  That's my "don't bother us" sign.  I used it a lot at the beginning of the year, but now my students are much better at not bothering if I'm at the table with someone or a group.

These two pictures are of my wall (yes I said wall) of cabinets. The top shelves hold 2nd grade math and reading materials on the top shelf (apparently I'm to store them because my room is big lol).  On the actual shelves are leveled books for baggy books (discarded Reading Recovery books mainly).  They are all placed inside gallon bags and marked with the level.  There are also 1st grade materials, Wilson's Fundations materials, leveled Scholastic Readers, then leftover Treasures resources (our basal) stuff that I don't use.  The white crate holds our data binders.  (ignore the white roll of paper towels....we were cleaning our desks off after we did shaving cream spelling today).  What's in the cabinets below?

Our inside recess toys.  Shelves are marked so students can match game to shelf.  They did pretty good about putting things back neatly for the most part (we've had inside recess FOREVER).
The other bottom cabinet doors hold tissues, sanitizer, plates, napkins, ziploc bags, and cups.  Also labeled those cubbies (I even have the cabinet doors labeled inside recess, etc.)

At the end of these cabinets, is another BIG cabinet--yes I said another!  Here's what's in it:

Books are in baskets by category.  (The entrance is to the left of this picture).  As we continue around this side of the room, and we pass the entrance, there is ANOTHER big cabinet.  It looks like this:

It holds math manipulatives (shelved by measurement, shapes, place value/counting).  You will also find letters and phonics flash cards here. Shut the cabinet doors, and you see my spelling all-stars board--nothing fancy, but the kids like it.  If they earn 3 + (which is 3 A's) they earn a No homework pass.  I add a star to their name chart and circle it after I get a set of 3.  (Students also receive what our building calls a PAT--positive action ticket--and they see the principal for their GOOD grades, and their ticket goes into a box for a weekly Friday drawing.)
I used to worry about having a board posted like this for students to see everyone's results, but this has actually HELPED my class.  I started it somewhere around Thanksgiving-Christmas.  I'm pleased with the results I'm seeing.  They get so excited to get that little star.  As you move towards the left of the door, there's a bigger cabinet.  It's a MESS---see, I'll show you. (Warning---DUCK!!)

This messy cabinet is my own personal stock of crayons, pencil boxes, pencils, glue sticks, stickers, name tags---you name it it's in there---yep hairspray, shaving cream...even my son's coat!  I'm one of those people who believe if it's out of sight, it's out of mind.  So I tend to "stick" things out of the way to avoid clutter.  The other half of this closet is where my coat and big books go.  There are two little cool pull out drawers in this closet where I have pocket charts and can "file" papers. 

On the front of this door is our school's mission statement, and our classroom mission statement.  It's kept close to our calendar board so we can review them daily. 
Right around the corner is my calendar math board.  I've posted it before, but here's a quick picture.  I keep my month, week, and money posters above it. 

Classroom Bingo hangs by the calendar board too.Here's a quick shot of it:
Notice they are in sheet protectors--I try to save on lamination. Plus I hate cutting things out.  Also I just recently added a new way to get points.  See the blue marker?.  Cleaning up at the end of the day, AND remaining quiet while doing so earns 2 numbers being drawn.  For some reason, picking up pencils from the floor requires their voices to get louder.  Who knew?

On this same black board are where center numbers are posted, and where I have our homework/lunch choice set up.  When students walk in the door, they turn in their folder in the black crate, push the Easy button if they choose, mark their lunch choice (we use craft sticks with their names and they put it in their choice of the day.) They have 5 choices: yogurt, peanut butter, salad, regular, or pack.  They sometimes check to see their center number.  You can find out more information about that here.

The red shelf (needs a new paint job) used to be mailboxes for kids.  I've taken it over as I like it to store other things (make up work, After school tutoring pages, Scoot boards, task cards, etc).  To the end of this wall is my teacher computer.  Our attendance is taken online.  I fill out our lunch choice paper and send it with my cafeteria/office helper.
The zebra tote holds AimsWeb data and passwords---yes I know not a great place for them, but I know where to find them! :)  The blue tower was a discarded book box.  I put our lakeshore interactive games and other CD roms in them.  Works wonders.  That's my filing cabinet on the other side--it holds reading, phonics, holiday/seasonal ideas.  Here's how I have my files labeled in this one:
I don't really have a "teacher" desk---mind you this was a science room, but I do have an area where I keep the basals I'm using and my plans/copies for the day/week.

The crate (above picture) holds the basals (Reading/science/Wilson's) as well as a few other things inside.  The basket in the middle holds grader, pencils, pens, stickers, etc (as I have no drawers to hide such things).  You can see from the picture below the black organizer.  There is a shelf for every day of the week.  Mon-Fri.  The bottom bin is for emergency sub plans.  Ohh yeah, what's that brown thing hanging in front of my desk in the picture below?????

My reading hut----I LOVE this.  Hubby made it for me this summer. 
You can see my book shelves on both sides. Below is the corner reading nook.
Ohh, and there's another filing cabinet around the corner (next to my "teacher desk".  It holds basal stuff, math materials, science and social studies stuff.  Here's how I labeled my Treasures stories.  They are color coded and a folder for each one.  Inside the folder are spelling words, word work, vocab, practice sheets, etc. 

On the other half of my room are more cabinets.  They hold science materials, craft materials, centers, etc. Here's a few shots.
 Centers and Extra School Supplies the students have brought in.  The school supplies are in baggies with their names.  I think we were to do "community supplies," but I have the room so I stored them away for later use.
 Science Materials (there's some above the cabinets as well---looks CLUTTERED) and below these cabinets are other centers/workstations
Do you remember the pic of the box by my computer desk?  Well, I happened to have two.  We would find pencils, crayons, etc, on the floor and no one claimed them....so now we have a class set.  (The crayon boxes were left overs from students who moved out and never returned---this happens a lot in our building---move ins, move outs---it's really sad.)  Here's what we use now when we need supplies and find supplies:

A box for scissors, crayons, markers and pencils----all right here on the counter.

Two more pictures and I will quit boring you----the centers/workstations I create--I store them in my cabinets, but---I put the sorting cards (that are already laminated) in a quart size bag.  I store the direction sheets, recording sheets, game boards etc, in a sleeve protector.  I then put them all in a gallon baggie together. 

It all slides nicely together and it's easier to pull when I'm ready for it.  Then next year, I already have everything together when I work on this skill again. 

Finally, I have a place I do like to grade papers, or organize my day (though when kids are gone if I'm in my "corner" no one can see me and it's REALLY nice lol). but here's my "other desk"

My kids have been trained well.  They put their papers (sorted) in piles :)  You can also see my basket of stuff that holds projector remote, index cards, pens, pencils---all the needed supplies so they are right there.

As far as student work, I have a great big place outside the room to display their wonderful creations. 

I hope you've enjoyed a peek into my world.  I know I also like looking at other teacher's rooms! Thanks for listening to the ramble

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Community Project

I just wanted to share what our school district does. We take part in community projects.  We call this "Learn and Serve". Ever heard of it?  For example as 2nd graders, our partner was Red Cross.  Our classes (in our building--we have 4 elementary buildings in the district) made thank you cards for those that donated blood from the blood drive located at our campus.  I'm really not sure what the other buildings do to promote their partner.  That's sad---but we rarely see each other to discuss what's going on.

For our first grade project, we partner up with the food pantry.  This is such a tough project though, as many of our students (in our building) most likely get some of their food through Good Samaritan.  However, ever little bit counts and assists those families in need.  We decided that we would try to boost it and make it a building wide effort.   We are nearing our 100th day of school, so we set up a goal.  We were asking all grade levels (there's 3 classes per grade in our building) to donate 100 cans by our 100th day of school.  As of now, our 100th day is projected to be on February 13th.  Awesome that this is so close to Valentine's Day too.  Can you think of a better way to help spread the love???

Do any of your schools or buildings do things like this?  Would love to hear what you do! :)

By the way, have you seen my Valentine's Activities?  Here's a sneak peek.  

Click the image below for a sample of the hundred box cards.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Calling First Grade Treasures Users

So, I'm not too fond of the basal, BUT I have to admit I like it much better than I did when we first got it (6 years ago).  I thought the skills and concepts were difficult.  I still think that, but either my kiddos are getting better, or I may have a small idea of what I'm finally doing.  I really liked the series for my 2nd graders though.  It just seemed to go much smoother.  I was able to do the FABULOUS trifolds, take the story quizzes, let them hop on AR if they wanted, and it was perfect........I had a system................then, silly me, switched grade levels (which I'm glad), but there it went. Here I am this year learning everything all over again.

The Basal came with Big Book Stories, which I really enjoyed, but starting with Unit 4--big books no more....so I got to thinking...time to prep them some more.  I made a couple of things, not sure how it's going to work until I try them next week, but I thought I'd post them for y'all to see if you'd be interested.  I made a story question sheet to go with the basal story (Pelican was Hungry).  I like to read the story in class and discuss with my students, and then I have them take their book home and reread it to parents for homework.  (I'm not a stickler for homework--but that's another post someday).  I did type up a 5 question page.  It's not fancy.  It's not fabulous like those 2nd grade Trifolds, but it will help them remember their information.  I also added a few questions to the premade Treasures Story Selection Assessment.  I typed up a few sentences as DOL's too.  You can click on the image to grab each different page.

Remember, this is all new to me all over again.  I'm hoping that it works, and that someone else can  use it.  Let me know if ya do!
Story Questions

Selection Quiz

Sentences to read and correct

I will be posting long o/silent e work soon (sorts, worksheets, task cards). Stay tuned ;)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Yep, that word just kinda sums it up.  I don't know what it is, but today---I have just felt kinda "blue".  I guess you'll have that sometimes....I'm usually happy go lucky. But today after school, I came home to take my temp to make sure I wasn't just sick....nope....just blue. Get this---I didn't even want to make cupcakes.  I know right????? SCARY!!  However, after eating my bowl of Raisin Bran (yep, that was supper for me only---boring huh?), and checking over my kiddos homework, I decided to make some task cards.  Everyone loves task cards.  My kiddos love Scoot so much!! (I am so thankful for the person that came up with that game!!) AND if it's going to make my firsties happy, it will help take me outta this funk!

Part of the reason I decided on task cards is we have this CUH-RA-ZY schedule.  My students go to a big block time to allow us to plan together. We still need to plan for the assistant that takes our students for one class period.  She watched a classroom played Scoot and loved it.  SOOO---guess what they will be doing with her? :)  What a great, fun review---and no paperwork (other than scoot boards---but has anyone tried laminating them to reuse?)

Here's a set of Counting to 100 (forward and backward). If you notice there are no answer choices, and I've changed the scoot bard from numbers to letters to help ward off confusion.  **Sidenote-- Someone had messaged me and asked if I would make a set of 24.  I only have 20 in my room, but I decided why not help her classroom out! :)  Click the image to grab  you a set.

Below is a set of missing addends to 10.  Click the image to grab it.

Ohh and if you haven't seen the activities I posted in TPT.  Here's a sneak peek:
Have a happy night!

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