Monday, May 27, 2013

Father's Day Breakfast

Happy Memorial Day!  I hope that everyone is have a blessed and safe weekend.  I am at school getting ready for tomorrow tie-dying extravaganza and for our Father's Day breakfast.  I had the moms come in for breakfast a couple of weeks ago, and I was thrilled to find Jodi's (from Fun in First) conversation starters from to put on the table that morning.  If you didn't find them, click here and save them for next year!  They were awesome.  I decided to remake them for the Father's Day breakfast tomorrow, because the kids and parents loved them so much.  Hopefully some of you will find them just as useful as I found the Mother's Day version to be!  You just cut the questions out and put them inside a paper sack.  Then you make the Dad, I mustache you a question tags and glue them to the outside of the sack.  Easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy!

My breakfast celebration is short and sweet.  We already eat breakfast in the classroom each morning, so I just buy some yummy breakfast goods like donuts and kolaches and the dads can come and go during our regular breakfast time.  They sit and eat with their kiddo and this year they will be able to use the fabulous conversation starters while they eat.  We also made a little picture last week to give to them.  I took pictures of all the kids, and then glued them to cardboard rectangles.  The kids did Q-tip painting for Q day around the pictures, and then they glued on some rocks that I bought at Wal-Mart.  On the back we glued a small paper that says Dad, you rock!  They turned out really cute, and they were super easy. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

My *I-wish-it-were-Budding* Blog :)

I love this linky idea.  I follow a lot of blogs, but I know there are sooo many more.  Great way to see new blogs that are just starting out that we might not have run across yet. I'm not sure my blog could be classified as budding, because I have no followers yet.  So, I'm calling it my I-wish-it-were-budding blog.  :)  Maybe one of you will be inspired to become my first follower...who knows?  Then click on the picture below to find other budding bloggers. 

1. Why did you start blogging?
I read a lot of blogs for a lot of years, and I loved all the collaboration and ideas that they provided.  So many times over the years that I have been teaching I have made something, and people have said that it is great and that I should share it.  I just never had faith that it was something worth was just something I whipped up for my fifths or my firsties.  But as I was reading all of the other blogs I realized that is what these people are doing.  They are just sharing what they are already creating for their classrooms, and it has been so helpful for me.  I decided that maybe I could offer up my own experiences as well, and that someone else might find it helpful too.

2. What is your favorite subject to teach and why?
My favorite subject to teach is definitely science.  There is so much interesting content there, and it is ALWAYS engaging for kids.  It's never hard to convince them that science is fun to learn.  I love all that information and all of that enthusiasm.  Some of my science favorites for firsties are plants and life cycles.  Some of my science favorites in fifth grade were energy and earth science.  I <3 SCIENCE!  Reading is for sure a close second, because I have always love to read.  It's easy to teach something you naturally love, because the kids feel your excitement and it spreads to them. 

3. Describe your teaching style.
I am VERY structured with super high expectations.  I feel like it is my job to push all kids to their highest potential intellectually and behaviorally.  I also try hard to give them experiences that they have never had.  For example when I used to teach 5th graders, we would carve pumpkins in October.  It's such a little thing, but I can not tell you how many of my students told me that it was so fun and that they had never done it before.  I play all kinds of music from around the world, and I try to read books they might not choose for themselves.  I want them to leave my class smarter, more autonomous, and better behaved.  I hope they remember that I loved them fiercely, and that I always, always, always pushed them to do their best.   

4. Give three interesting facts about you.
1~ I have a daughter. She is the love of my life. *BUT*...she is in middle school. I will happily accept all prayers you have for these next few years.  I know you feel me on this one.
Here is a picture of us before and after the color run earlier this month.

2~ I love to cook and bake. I'm trying to lose weight, so I have been holding off on the baking this past year. I made the mistake of buying s'mores fixins though, and I keep making them in my toaster oven. BAD idea!! 

3~ My favorite quote is "Tomorrow is always fresh with no mistakes in it."  It is a line from Anne of Green Gables.  It has gotten me through some very bad days.  I have to remind myself that no matter what, I can always try better and harder tomorrow.  Tomorrow is ALWAYS a new opportunity to be a better human being, and that I should treat it with forgiveness for others AND for myself.

5. Do you have a TpT store? If yes, post the link :)
I do.  It is small aka budding.  :)  I'd love for you to visit it and follow it, as it is sure to grow!

Thanks for reading about my little 'ol blog.  I'd love to hear from you anytime!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Roll 3 and Add Freebie...Also Known as, "Quick! I need another math tub!"

Hey there, bloggerland.  I am getting myself ready to reteach and reassess math skills before our final report card, and I needed one more thing for my math tubs this week.  I needed something quick and easy, but still useful and fun.  Along with Braille playing card cards I also have some Braille dice for my student who is blind.  So I made this very quick and simple Roll 3 and Add game for my firsties.  Feel free to click on either of the pictures if you can use it too.  Of course it will be extra awesome, because most of the students will be using the giant foam dice... they just love those things.  Don't you love how first graders are easy to please sometimes.  ;)

Friday, May 17, 2013

Freebies, Lapbooks, and Math Tubs..oh my!

Yay for getting my act together for two weeks in a row!!!  Also...a super yay/ holla that there are only 12 days of school left.  Which is exciting in and of itself, but that also meant my favorite day for our A-Z countdown: N for Nachos!!!! 

Another Five for Friday, which is seriously the perfect way to sum up the week.  Thank you Doodle Bugs Teaching! 
Here we go:
1. Finally set myself up with an Instagram.  I'm so excited, because I love my personal Instagram, and I know this one is going to make it hard to pry myself away from my phone!  Can't wait to hashtag all my firstie fun.  #hashtaggingiscool @FirstGradeWolves
2. We have been all about the lapbooks this week.  I found a picture on Pinterest of one for Thomas Edison.  It was for upper grades, but it only showed the front cover.  I decided to make one for my firsties that used content aligned with our district curriculum.  If you want any of the sheets from that lapbook, you can click on the picture below to download. 

Then we also made a lapbook for the book Mouse Soup.  We read a little bit each day, and we did a different activity after each lesson.  I used the I-Can summarize from the Guided Reading Flip Flap Books by Simply Skilled in Second.  I love all the flip-flap books in this should really pick it up.  I made the pocket full of predictions modeled after her pocket full of Author's Purpose, because I really wanted my kiddos who were about to do the higher level DRA soon to practice making quality predictions using the words might or maybe.  If you want a copy of the pocket full of predictions click on the picture below to download a copy. 

3. We are learning all about the suffixes er and est.  This amazing packet from The Teacher Wife is what I bought to use for this, and my students love it.  They especially like the spinner bingo game, and they actually cheered when I said I would keep it in centers next week.    Thank you, Lindsey!  You guys should all buy this thing.  Who doesn't love phonics games mixed with superheros!?1?

4. In DRA-LPAC prep-math assessment-desperation mode, I made this quick little worksheet for my kids to practice using their balances and using the weight vocabulary while I was busy testing.  They loved it!  You can click on the picture below to download a copy for yourself.  (Don't worry, I went back and added a border before uploading it to Google Drive once I was less frantic.)   :)
 5. In my last post, I talked about the fact that I have a *relatively* new student who is legally blind.  Which meant that all those cute match and record card games I had been using for math tubs from all of you fabulous bloggers just weren't going to work, unless or until I learned how to adapt them for her.  I found out right away that they had playing cards in Braille, and I got straight to work making some review math tubs that used nothing but a deck of cards, paper, and a few plastic bags to hold them all.  Also,  yay for the Dollar Tree with their 2 decks for a dollar!  There are six math tubs.  One is place value with two-digit number, word form, expanded notation, and a model.  There is a fact family tub, a counting on tub, a subtraction tub, a parts of a set tub, and a certain or impossible tub.  They are really easy to prep and use.  My kids really enjoyed using them for several weeks and my newest student got to be totally involved as well.  It was awesome!  Sadly, I was so frazzled that I forgot to take pictures of them in use.  :(   Ah well...there's always next time.  If you want to buy these math activities, they are for sale in my TpT shop.  You can click on the picture below to purchase.
 And an unofficial daughter and I got this movie from the redbox last night, and it was sooooo good.  If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it.  Tons of laughs and a tearjerker too!
Have a wonderful weekend! 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Five for Friday...Finally!

I haven't blogged in a month.  Epic.Failure.  :(  I had been doing so well, and I need/want to create and blog, but it has just been so darn busy.  About a month ago, I got a student who is legally blind.  She is a sweetheart, but the planning has gotten so much harder.  I had to do about 3 weeks worth of plans in a matter of 5 days, and ever since then I have to stay a week and a half ahead at the least.  Y'all....let me tell you.  I just don't work well this way.  Some people would love it...being ahead and knowing what's coming up...for me, um no.  I can't keep straight what I'm supposed to be doing anymore.  Am I teaching long i or suffixes?  Am I teaching inherited traits or life cycles?  Are there two weeks of school left or four?  Is it April or May? day I thought it was almost May, and my daughter was like, "No it's not.  It's only April 6th."  Ha!  I feel like I'm going a little bit kooky.  Anywho...Hallelujah!  Finally a post.  And it's a Five for Friday to boot! 
1.) I have been wanting to make some awards that are hornet themed for my sweet firsties, because our school mascot is the hornet.  They would work great for bee or bumblebee too though.  I finally had time to sit down and finish them!  Yippee!  You can click on the picture below to go to my TpT store if you need some bee or hornet themed awards too!

2.) We are doing an ABC countdown like so many others.  Today we had Ice Cubes gum for I day...seriously one of the easiest things I have ever done.  And, the kids thought I was a rock star for it.  Gotta love that!  Also, we had H day, which meant crazy hair.  Here's mine...a little rainbow ponytail action.  :)

3.) We have been learning about the three Rs ever since Earth Day, and so we decided to put the reuse idea into action for our Mother's Day present.  I took pictures of all the kiddos, and then we used some old cardboard and a puzzle that was missing pieces to make a picture frame.  On the back we glued a page that says: Mom, I love you to pieces!  They loved making these, and we got our science lesson in there too.  Bonus!  I'm going to add a little ribbon for hanging, and then we will present them to our moms on our Monday breakfast celebration.  :)

4.) I finally made the glue sponge containers from Pinterest.  I can't for the life of me find the original pin that I saw it on, but can I just say enough....LIFE CHANGING.  I'm not joking.  I spend a small fortune on glue sticks each year.  Not anymore...these things are my new favorite invention.  Thank you to the smartie genius that invented these things.  It looks like there's no glue in there, but that's because the sponge has soaked it all up.  I poured about half a bottle of Elmer's into the containers I found at dollar tree, and then I just popped in a sponge from WalMart.  They have been sitting on my shelf for about two weeks just soaking up the glue.  I finally got them out to try them (see above, about trying to keep my head above water), and me and my students are in love.

5.) Last, but definitely not least, I am officially done being this year's yearbook coordinator.  The books have come in, and I have gone through my spreadsheet and sorted/labeled them to hand out on Monday.  Praise the Lord...I did it!  Yahoo!!!!  (These in the picture are just some of the yearbooks BTW.)

 Now then...a blog post and the yearbooks are done.  A girl's gotta get out of here and celebrate.  Where's my margarita!?!? ;)