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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

120th Day?

In the past, the 100th day of school has always been an event.  Over the years it has transformed into a series of enjoyable educational activities.  The Common Core Standards require first graders to count to 120 instead of 100.  Should we celebrate the 120th day of school instead, to align with the new standards?  Or is it still the goal to have everyone attend the 100th day for school wide attendance goals/funding? 

Just curious...

What are your thoughts?

Sunday, January 27, 2013

100th Day Idea

One of my all time favorite activities for the 100th day of school is the Hershey Kiss Hunt.  Basically I purchase a couple of backs of Hershey Kisses and some circle dot stickers.  I number the stickers one to one hundred and then stick them on the bottom of the Hershey Kisses.  While the children are at special area, I hide them around the room (like Easter Eggs for an Egg Hunt). 

When the children return, I set out the hundred chart.  When each child finds a Hershey Kiss, he/she places it on the hundred chart until all the candies are found.  Once all the candies are located, we divide up the Kisses evenly.

The kids LOVE this activity!

Liebster Award


I was nominated for a Liebster Award by A Fairy Tale First Grade, Mrs. Cranfill's Class and Teacher's Take-Out.  Please check out their blogs!  Thank you so much for the nomination!  It is such an honor.  I am so sorry it has taken me this long to respond.  


Ribbons, Recipes and Rhymes posted the following rules. 

"There are some Leibster Rules nominees must follow, so here they are:

1. You must post 11 random things about yourself.
2. Answer the questions that the nominator set for you.
3. Create 11 questions for the people you nominate.
4. Choose 11 other blogs with fewer than 200 followers to nominate and link them in your post.
5. You cannot “tag back” the other blog, but leave a comment on this post with the URL of your Liebster post so I can learn more about you & see who you nominate."

11 Random Things about Myself
1.   I love cows.
2.   Becoming a mom is the best thing that ever happened to me.
3.   I love watching American Idol (guilty pleasure).
4.   Aside from reading informational texts for fun, I enjoy books from the humor section.
5.   I skipped the fourth grade.
6.   The Colorado River is so beautiful! I'm a desert rat by heart.
7.   I have six pets (four cats and two dogs).  I also have a couple of stray cats that I feed.
8.   My husband loves to surprise me.
9.   A close friend and I share the same birthday.
10. It still amazes me to see non-readers become readers.  It makes everything worth it!
11.  If I could travel anywhere, I would go to Paris.  I studied French but have never been to France!

11 Questions from A Fairy Tale First Grade:


1.  What is the best part of being a teacher?
This is a difficult question because there are so many wonderful parts!  If I had to choose, it would be witnessing the enthusiasm a child experiences when he/she learns something new. 

2.  If you could eliminate one aspect of your job, what would it be?
Unnecessary paperwork

3.  What extra support do you think you should receive from your staff developer (math coach, literacy coach, etc), but don't?  If you don't have someone filling this role in your school, do you wish you did, and why?
I wish I had a math coach who can share innovative teaching methods.

4.  What do you think is your greatest accomplishment so far in life?
The birth of my baby girl!

5.  What are the top three items on your holiday wish list?
My baby to be happy and healthy, a new bathroom faucet, and Microsoft Word for my lap top.
 
6.  What is your best time management tip for other teachers?
Another teacher at my school told me about this tip and I love it! Assign the children a number and   have them write their number on all their papers.  When you create files, helpers can easily file by number rather than name.  It helps with inventory, passing back papers to the mailboxes, assigning partners (odd and even numbers) and so on and so forth.

7.  What song do you recommend classes sing for a winter concert?
My Favorite Things from the Sound of Music.

8.  What is the best book you've read this year (personal, not children's)?
I can't choose just one!  What to Expect in the First Year since I have a nine month old and Scary Mommy...It is hilarious!

9. What is your favorite children's book?
This is a tough question because there are so many!  I guess if I had to pick one I would pick the Gingerbread Man because it is so interactive and has such a nice rhythm.

10.  What is one goal you would like to accomplish in the next five years?
Again there are several so I will pick two (even though the question only asks for one.  My number one goal is to raise my daughter to the best of my ability and make sure she has all the tools she needs for a happy and successful life.  Another one of my goals is to move into a bigger house.
 
11.  Does your school use any curriculum programs you are passionate about?
 No.  When I was teaching in Arizona, we used VoWac (Vowel Oriented Word Attack Course) to teach phonics and I absolutely LOVED it!  I still use parts of it to this day.

11 Questions from Mrs. Cranfill's Class

1. What is your favorite thing about teaching?
 The kids and the opportunity to continuously learn.
 
2. What is your least favorite thing about teaching?
Unnecessary paperwork and not enough time in the day.
 
3. What advice would you give to a first year teacher?
Take a deep breath, jump right in and remember that you are there for the kids!
 
4. What do you find to be the hardest part about blogging?
Finding the time to do it now that my baby is much more active.
 
5. What is your favorite teaching blog?
This is hard to say because there are so many.  I guess I am in awe with what Mrs. Jump has accomplished.
 
6. Since I am getting into the Christmas spirit, what is your favorite Christmas movie?
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation!!!
 
7. What is your favorite Christmas tradition?
Opening one present on Christmas Eve with my family.
 
8. How do you celebrate the holiday season in your classroom?
I do a unit on Holidays Around the World.  We pretend to travel to different countries and do a mini project for each country.
 
9. What is the best purchase you have made on TpT? 
They are all so good!
 
10. If you had to be something other than a teacher, what would you be?
An accountant.
 
11. What is your favorite children's book?
I love the Serendipity Book series.  Leo the Lop has always been a favorite from that series.  I also like the Gingerbread Man books (especially around the holidays).

11 Questions from Teacher's Take-Out

1. Where were you born?
California! I now live on the other side of the United States.

2. Where are you living now?
Florida

3. What is your favorite dessert?
Chocolate Malt

4. When did you start blogging?
August 2012

5. What is your favorite subject to teach?
Reading

6. What grade(s) have you taught?
K, 1, 2 and ESL (some 3rd and 4th graders too)

7. What is your favorite movie?
Hmm. This is a hard one.  I guess Grease

8. What is your favorite story to read to students?
The Gingerbread Man

9. What is your TPT link?
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Groovy-Educator

10. What is your favorite color?

Blue

11. Do you have any pets?
Yes!  Two dogs, four indoor cats, and two outdoor stray cats that we feed.


11 Questions for the Blogs I Nominate

1.  What made you decide to become a teacher?
2.  What is your favorite subject to teach and why?
3.  Are you required to use pacing guides?  If so, do you find them effective?
4.  How do you think teachers should be evaluated?
5.  Do you use the DRA to assess reading?  If not, how do you assess it?
6.  What is the most important routine in you classroom?
7.  What is your favorite thing to do in your free time?
8.  Do you use literacy stations in your classroom?  If so, which one do you find the most effective?
9.  List three of your favorite children's websites.
10. If you could teach any grade level what would it be and why?
11. Are you required to eat lunch with your kids?  If not, who watches them?  What is the lunch procedure?

11 Blogs I Nominate 

1.  Carrberry Creations
2.  Realistic Teacher
3.  Australian Teacher Resources
4.  Dots of Fun Clip Art
5.  Totally Terrific Teaching
6.  The Juggling Teacher
7.  Lesson Plans and Lollipops
8.  First Grade Fireworks
9.  A Flutter Over First Grade
10. First Grade Smiles
11. Hanging Out in First


 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Donors Choose

School Kids on Rug Listening to Books






Image courtesy of mycutegraphics.com

There is an amazing website called www.donorschoose.org where you can write a grant in which donors from around the country can contribute.  My project was funded!  I am so excited!  My project is called Tech Time at the Listening Center. I am looking forward to using ipods in my listening center instead of cd players.  This will help motivate some reluctant readers and help me implement Daily 5 more effectively in my classroom.  This is just so exciting!