Search This Blog

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

My First Give Away

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is my first attempt at a give away.  The winner will be notified and I will e-mail you the products that you select from my Teachers Pay Teachers Store.  I would love for you to follow my blog!

Thanks for participating!


Saturday, February 23, 2013

Five for Friday (Feb. 22)

I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching and the 3 AM Teacher for the Five for Friday.  

1.  We had our AR coke and popcorn party yesterday!  My school is big into Accelerated Reader (AR).  Basically the children read books, take a short online quiz, and earn points.  Most books are worth half a point.  The first grade goal for each student is to earn 30 points to get on the Wall of Fame (in the main hallway).  The classes have goals to earn different parties.   Our class earned 225 points so far so we got the Coke and Popcorn party.

It still amazes me to see eighteen kids hyped up on caffeine.  They were as sweet as can be but my oh my!

2.  In my quest to get healthy, I weighed in again this week and have hit the 25 pound mark.  It doesn't seem like much since I have a long way to go.  BUT when I think about how my daughter weighs about that amount, I realize it is something to be proud of.

3.  We have a track at school that I want to walk on so badly but I keep having meetings and things pop up after school.  I have also been thinking about childhood obesity and want to help combat it (ignore the coke and popcorn party).  I had an idea about a Book Talk and Walk.  I plan on sharing it with my principal.  Maybe we can get K-2 on board or even the whole school!  We have over 900 kids at our school so that might be hard.  I wrote a post about the idea.

4.  I'm so exited that I have finally settled on a classroom theme after all these years!   STARS

5.  My ten month old baby girl amazes me everyday.  This week she started pretend play with the telephone.  She holds it up and make believe talks into it AND she tried to put her sock on after I took it off.  These small successes make me think about the classroom and remind me to celebrate the small victories.  With that said, I gave a kid a Helping Hands Award this week.  I told him he was a hero.  One of my other little guys slipped on the playground equipment (ladder) and was stuck.  This little boy was holding onto the one who slipped so that he wouldn't get hurt more.  It was incredible to see the look on his face as he strained to save his friend.  I was so proud of his effort.  It really was heroic.  When I praised him, it filled my heart with joy to see his face light up.  With the stresses that we have these's these moments that matter the most!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Book Talk and Walk

I had an idea that I want to try out in my classroom first and then see if my grade level or multiple classes might like to participate...

It is the Book Talk and Walk!

This year I am really trying to focus on getting healthy and help find a way to fight childhood obesity.  We have a track at our school that I want to walk on so badly but after school I am either in a meeting, frantically grading papers (have to get home to my baby) or I'm simply exhausted.

After I dropped my kids off at art one day, the Book Talk and Walk popped in my head.  After my class completes reader's workshop, we can go out the the track and walk a lap with a book and a buddy (a lap usually takes about five minutes).  The kids can take turns discussing their book (at the half way point they switch).  The conversation can focus on whatever reading focus it is for the week or it could be a book review.  The possibilities are endless.

We could even take a lap after science and the kids could teach each other/review the lesson.  Yet another idea is to partner up with another class.

I am so excited to try this out as soon as the weather warms up.  It would be a perfect activity for spring!

What are your thoughts?  Any suggestions?

Images from

This is a book I would like to read about the topic...

Stars, Stars, Stars!

This is just a random post...

I've finally decided on a theme for my room after thirteen years of teaching!  In the past I was a cow fanatic and had some cow decor (not enough to "cow up" the room).  After many years loving cows, I starting adding owls.  Last year my board read "Who's in the Mood for Learning?" Who - Owl and Mood - Cow.  As you can see I couldn't let the cow bit go...
Well I've decided to slowly revamp my room and do it all in stars!  I even plan to put some glow in the dark stars on the ceiling.  If it wasn't for the fire marshall, I would have sight words on the ceiling too.  I've always wanted to secure a bunch of high frequency words to the ceiling and make a game of turning out the lights and shining a flashlight on the words.  When my daughter gets older I might do this in her room!

I am so excited!  I will post pictures as the transformation occurs.

Next year I want to make goodie bags that read, "First Grade All Star." I will have oodles of star stickers on the tag.  I love that stars are so accessible so I can easily find decorations to continue the theme.

Some possible catch phrases:

You are STARting First Grade!
You shine in First Grade.
Shining First Grade Stars
STARt Reading Every Day to be a Star Reader!
STAR time (independent reading-Stop Talking and READ!)-Not sure if I like this one...because it is great to talk about books.
S-Star Students
T-Try their Best
R-Read Everyday

I would love feedback and ideas ... anything cute and related to STARS.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Five for Friday

I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for the Five for Friday.  

1.  This is my first Five for Friday and I think it is the first time I am joining a linky party.  What fun!

2.  It's been a wacky week here in Florida.  We had Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras) and Valentine's Day in the same week!  The kids were wonderful though.  I am so proud of my little angels.  They worked hard even with all the exciting activities.

3.  Today we did a fun activity on George Washington since Monday is President's Day (and we have no school-teacher work day).  I split my kids into three groups.  One team member was the scribe.  The kids decided who was the scribe with minimal guidance.  Those who wanted the job did one round of rock, paper, scissors and the scribe was chosen.  

Each group had to write down at least three things that they knew about George Washington (before we went over any information).  After a few minutes they shared what they wrote and we discussed the difference between fact and opinion.  

Next I read A Picture Book of George Washington by: David A. Adler to the class using the document camera and projector.  We did a true/false activity about George Washington and practiced looking back in the selection to verify our answer.  

After that, the children regrouped and had to list three more facts about Washington.  We then compared and contrasted their first list and their second list. 

My kids LOVE group work!  If we had more time I would have had each child produce a poster including at least two facts about George Washington.

4.  For some reason (probably the weather) I have the itch to do spring cleaning and started to do a major overhaul of my classroom yesterday.  I moved file cabinets, desks, tables, computers, etc. after school yesterday.  Luckily Monday is a teacher plan/work day so I will have a little time in the afternoon to finish up.  This weather has been so warm and wonderful and now this weekend it is going to be close to freezing again.  Either way, I need a change!

5.  Not school related...I have been undertaking a healthy lifestyle change since I have a wonderful ten month old baby girl and I want her to learn healthy habits.  For the New Year I finally dove in and I have been eating better foods.  I weigh in once a week and so far I have lost 20 pounds in the last six weeks.  It feels like it will take forever but I am not going to give up.  I need to step up my exercise!!! Right now I am debating on whether or not to create a blog about my road to a healthy lifestyle...  decisions, decisions.  I probably should just focus on this one since I love it so much!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Hooway For Wodney Wat Discussion/Activity

Today I read Hooway for Wodney Wat by Helen Lester to my first grade class.  It is about a rat who has a hard time pronouncing the /r/ sound.  I love reading this story because there are so many topics to discuss.

Character development:
Wodney evolves from a shy rat into a leader by the end of the story.  The other rats who bullied and teased Wodney come to appreciate him.  More importantly, Wodney has found his own voice.

Various forms of bullying are represented in the story.  Did the other rats realize that by teasing Wodney, they were bullying him?  Camilla Capybara is another character in the story that represents the traditional bully.  In the end was she bullied?  

Wodney was deemed a hero at the end.  Did that make Camilla a villan?  What are the traits of a hero?  What are the traits of a villan? 

Speech Impediments:
Wodney could not pronounce the /r/ sound.  How would you feel if you could not do something everyone else could?  Should we make fun of how people talk?

One of my favorite activities is the mystery cover.  I used construction paper to cover up the front cover and title page.  After reading the story, the class brainstorms possible titles.  I then have the children create their own front cover.  Once everyone is finished, I reveal the actual title and front cover.  The children love this activity!  It can be performed with just about any book.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Valentine Writing

I just created twelve Valentine inspired writing activities for my Teachers Pay Teachers store!  There is a 10% discount on this product and a few others from Feb. 4th - Feb. 8th.  You can get all 12 pages for only $4.50!

Here is a sample of one of the activities.

I would love feedback as I am always aiming to improve!