Sunday, December 1, 2013

Christmas Countdown Activity

It's December first woo hoo! Now it's time to countdown to our break. If you're looking for a educational Christmas countdown, last year I made these. One is First grade sight word count down. They take a chain off each day and read that sight word. This year I decided I'm going to make them tell someone a sentence using that sight word. I told them they have to try at least three times during the day to use that sight word.  I plan on using it with my students tomorrow. The other is math facts. They have to solve each math fact each day. I've made this one a little harder for upper grade students. So there are times tables as well if you want to add those in.  They also come in black and white if you don't want to use colored ink. Which I know kills me to use. Tomorrow is Cyber Monday so you can get a deal on these. I know my cart is already full for tomorrow. Happy Shopping!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Pumpkin Pie Oh My!!!! Classrroom Management Freebie

How is classroom management going in your classroom? I decided to change things up for the month of November. My class is working really hard to earn a pumpkin pie party.  They have to earn 8 pumpkin pie slices by the end of the month to get their pumpkin pie.  Every year, I make little pumpkin pies with the students. Not really pumpkin pies but ones the students can easily make on their own that look similar to pumpkin pies.  So I thought this year why not have them earn it. Don't tell them they will for sure get to do it. But it's fun for them to think they have to work to get it.  I do take the slices off if they're being noisy or not following directions. You could easily put them on a pizza pie pan and make it look like the real thing. I was going to do that but ran out of time. I also wanted to add the magnets to the back of the slices but my life is too busy so you get the ugly rendition. 
If you would like your own copy of the slices and the recipe click on the image below. If you do download it, please leave me a comment.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Spiders and Witches oh My!

I'm not so sure that anyone checks this anymore. I have been so absent. I found out that I'm pregnant and that has pretty much consummed my life lately. I'm finally in my second trimester and starting to feel a little better so I thought I would blog tonight. I hope you haven't given up on me. :) We've been studying spiders like crazy. My students are so into non-fiction it blows me away. Especially the facts they come up with after studying non-fiction. Today they were telling me all about the body parts of a spider. I was amazed at the names they could remember, like abdomen, and spinnerets. These first graders blow me away. Today as a wrap up to our study we made spider hats. They turned out so cute and several of them wanted their spider hat to have 6-8 eyes. They were so proud of their hats that they wanted to wear them all day even in the hallway where others could see. They were too cute. 
 I told them they had to cut 8 lines because spiders have 8 legs. I found a great idea of using an elastic to attach them together. You staple the elastic to both sides. Then it gives them plenty of room to fit their head in between. Then you're not measuring all their heads perfectly.
 We've also made our hallway witches and they turned out so cute. I love seeing all the different ways they come up with to decorate theirs. 
 One boy in my class was adamant that he wasn't going to make a witch, his was going to be a wizard. 
 We had to add warts to our witches too. Chick peas worked out perfectly.
 I love the different hair ideas they come up with.
I'm loving this holiday. It always feels like there isn't enough time to fit every fun thing I want to do in.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Back to School WOWZA!! (freebie)

I don't know about you but I have been spending the last two weeks in the classroom everyday. It didn't help that I had to move classrooms plus change districts this summer. I'm now closer to home and I feel like that is where I'm supposed to be. But I really feel like a brand new teacher. I can't believe all the new things I have to learn. Lunch count, school wide behavior program, grade book, new teacher series, the list goes on and on and on. I'm starting to stress because Monday is back to school night and Tuesday is our first day. So basically I'm scrambling to get everything together before I go back to school. Here is a back to school questionnaire that you can give to parents. I hope you can find it useful. Good luck on your back to school/first days!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Meet Me Teacher Week 2013

Meet Me......
My family is the most important thing. I love my children so much and I'm so thankful God sent me two of the best kids. I'm seriously the luckiest to get to spend everyday with these people. They make my heart happy. 

My two favorite people. ........My daughter K and my son N.

N will be going to Kindergarten this fall and it really makes my heart happy and sad. As a teacher many of you know that we have to spend our back to school night and SEP's with our own students. I will miss all those special nights with this little guy. It makes me very sad. I won't even get to take him to school on the first day because I'll have to work. :(
 I LOVE LOVE LOVE to shop for little girl clothes.... One of my new favorites is Appearel Tree. You can find them on Facebook. They have seriously the cutest stuff. My daughter has this exact outfit and it looks so cute on her. I also plan on having her wear it to the first day of Preschool.
I love headbands too. The bigger the better in my eyes. I love the over the top frilly kind. My husband always says it looks like her whole head is covered but I just find them to be so stinkin' cute. My favorite are Cozette Couture also on facebook. Here's one of my favorites.

Have you seen yonique products. They sell this amazing mascara that makes your lashes look like fake lashes. If you know me. I seriously have no lashes with out mascara. My lashes are white until I put on mascara. This mascara is fabulous. If you're a mascara snob like me check it out.
I love girly things, my last favorite thing is Jamberry nails. If you haven't tried these you should. Can I just say how amazing they are. I have the chevron print ones on right now and they have been on my fingers for three weeks now. No chips, nothing. They look awesome. I'm scared to death of germs. I know great that I chose the teaching profession.  I wash my hands constantly so for them to stay on my fingers this long. I'm amazed. If you're looking for a consultant I can hook you up with the gal I bought mine from. They have so many fun prints and even some back to school ones. 
 Last but not least I'm addicted to candy crush. Don't play it because you will be too.
Go link up and find out more about your favorite bloggers. 

What I want the parents of my students to know

I found this great article off of Petals of Joy it is exactly how I am feeling as I'm starting to head back to school. I know many of you will feel the same way. Best of Luck as we start our coming year.

What I Want the Parents of My Students to Know

My refrigerator holds a list. Summer to-dos. Almost 20 items needing attention before school begins. Important things. Things like: Sort through financial records. Write my AP syllabus and book proposal. Take down Christmas lights (wish I was kidding about that one.) Clean, really clean, my house.
This year my list has six red lines. Only six crossed-off tasks. Six out of 20. I go back to work in two days. When all I want is to sit in the middle of my living room and cry. I mean really sob over my list that won’t get done. But I can’t. I have to take my daughter school shopping.
Then the school year begins. And I won’t sit again until June 2014.
So before the madness of the coming weeks ensues, there are some things I want you to know about your child’s teacher. Things which may spur you to pray for me over the coming year, or which may cause you to shake your head—I’m glad it’s her and not me. Things which sometimes need to be said.
I’m already tired. I’ve worked all summer. I’ve sat through workshops and certification classes and read journal articles on the newest teaching strategies and creative ideas. If I’m not physically working toward the next year, I’m thinking about it. All the time. I will begin the school year exhausted, leaving behind an incomplete summer task list.
Right now—I’m broke. My pockets are empty. Every spare penny has been used to purchase bulletin board materials, novels, and extra bookcases. Anything that will bring warmth and brightness to my classroom. The state or school doesn’t fund these expenses. My purse foots the bill.
The bell never ends my day. School hours don’t provide enough time to finish the job I’ve been given. Like a briefcase full of papers, I carry the cries of hurting students home. And then? When I walk in my door? I still must help my own children with homework, fix dinner, carpool to dance, finish laundry, and straighten the house.
I spend more time with your sons and daughters during the week than my own. And while I love to teach, my heart breaks a little each time I hug my baby and say, “See ya later, alligator!”
I’ve trained hard for this role—going to college and then graduate school in preparation to teach your child. You may have said, “How hard can it be? You learn. You teach. It’s as simple as that.” I want you to know it’s so much more than ABC’s and 123’s.
Because teaching is hard. Very hard. For just one lesson I can spend hours thinking through Piaget’s cognitive theory, Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences, anticipatory activities, appropriate pedagogies, exit strategies, scaffolding techniques, and hierarchically-ordered questioning. Each of these theories is necessary for one effective lesson. Not so easy.
I will make mistakes. Numbers get crossed. Eyes do too. After hours of grading, sentences can begin to run together. Something right will be marked wrong. But something wrong may also be marked right. Approach me with kindness, and I will right my wrongs. Because, I promise, even if I have a typo, I know proper grammar and mechanics.
I am in desperate need of grace. If I don’t immediately respond to an email or a phone call, it may be because I want to have all the information I need to give you all the information you need. Give me time. I’m human.
I need a chance. Please. Please, please. Approach me with a problem before you approach my boss. Wouldn’t you want someone to do the same for you? It may be a simple miscommunication. A miscommunication that could wrongly put my job in jeopardy. Did I say please?
I hate standardized tests. Not in the we-should-never-measure-student-growth way. But in the there’s-so-much-more-to-life-than-choose-A-B-C-or-D way. The learning box we are stuffing children into tears at my heart a bit each day. It’s wrong. And my hands are tied.
It’s not always my fault. Even if I sang every lesson while doing cartwheels dressed like my favorite book character, some students still won’t pay attention. I can beg. I can bribe. I can cry. But some of my students are already too hardened by life—they just don’t care. Yet, society tells me I’m responsible for every student who fails. Every. Single. One. This is an anvil around my neck.
I want you to know every year is a make-or-break year for me. It could always be my last. Because this is not just a job. It’s a calling. And there are some days I wonder if I’m still called. Because some days rip me to shreds, leaving wounds that gape and scars that haunt.
I feel responsible for the next generation in mind-blowing ways. This is a heavy burden. I sense its weight each time I step into my classroom. I understand—really understand—how great the task is that lies before me. The question Am I making a difference? is a constant.
But I know my job is worth it. I know this in the way I know my students are worth every ounce of effort in my body. And when I see the light behind a teenager’s eyes? Every fiber, every muscle, every tendon tightens and then soars. The light of knowledge is mine to bestow. The role is serious. Success is always just a breath away. Sometimes I’m holding mine. When my students get it? I can smile. I can breathe.
Because really, I’m teaching them about life. Each day. A new lesson teaching rhetoric, similes, or Thoreau is really a lesson about life. How we’re connected. How we’re living. How we’re breathing.
And you must know, you absolutely must know—I pray for my students. Their hurts break my heart. Magic wands and pixie dust don’t work in this real world. I know there is only One who has the power to heal souls. So my knees are raw from the bending and stooping over the desk of your precious one.
I love your sons and daughters. And while a need for education may be the reason they walk through my door, my deepest desire is that my students know they are loved. This is my goal. My objective. My mission.
Because they will know my sweet Jesus by my love. And even though His name can’t even be a whisper on my lips within school walls, I will love your children. I will love them because He first loved me. I will be His light in their darkness. And because I love your sons and daughters, they will learn. They will learn all that matters in this life. They will learn because they are loved.
By this all people will know that you are My disciples,
if you have love for one another

John 13:35 (HCSB).

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Teacher Gifts

Are you looking for an idea for your own child's teacher?  These are what I'm giving my own children's teachers. I got this cute idea from a student in my classroom. I got one of these for teacher appreciation and I loved it. It is a Pringles can, I just used the example he gave me to make these. I'm sure you can find instructions on the web. But I just looked at the one I got and made my own version. I think they turned out pretty cute. I hope they like them... If you would like more details on how to make them. I'm sure I could write up instructions... Just leave me a comment.

What are some of your favorite gifts you have received?

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Mother's Day and Plants

We started our plant unit and my students couldn't be more thrilled. Each child got to make a plant person. I got this darling idea from my coworker. Don't you think it kind of looks like a Chia pet?
 We've been having a growing race in our classroom between Bill and Betty. When my students think I'm not looking I see them switching the two bowls. Hoping I don't notice that they're secretly moving them around. Every girl in my class wants Betty to win and of course every boy in the class wants Bill to win. 
 We've also started our Mother's Day project. They turned out so cute. Thank goodness for All a Dollar. I found this cute idea here 
 Just a few permanent markers and plates. I think I'll have a few mom's who are just thrilled. I think they have turned out so stinkin' cute.
 I love the one down at the bottom. Look at the hands and they added their two dogs to the picture too. A true animal lover. :)
Have you seen these videos? I had to share. The first one brought tears to my eyes.

How are you celebrating Mother's day?

One last question for you, is anyone else getting some pretty bad comments? I have gotten a few that are just vulgar. Does anyone know how to block them? I hate to put my robot thing back on. I don't even know if that will help. But I can't take the comments. My last post has a HORRIBLE comment :(

Sunday, April 28, 2013


School is flying by. I'm actually really sad that school is coming to an end. I have the sweetest class ever. and I'm really sad to say goodbye to them. We only have 1 month left. So I'm trying to soak it up before it's over. I don't know if you know this but I only work part-time, I have an amazing partner and she is retiring at the end of this year. My district is forcing me to go back full-time. :( Which I'm really not looking forward to and move rooms. This summer is going to be a TON of work.

We've been working our tail ends off learning about shapes. I just finished my unit Shape-aholic and it's all Common Core aligned. After teaching it to my firsties, they really got it. If you looking for some activities to teach shapes click on the picture below.
Today the sun is shining and it's beautiful weather here. It has put me in the giving mood. If you can guess my favorite color you can have this unit for free. Make sure and leave your email too. I hope you're having sunshine too!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Spring has Sprung!

We've been getting ready for spring in our classroom. I don't know about you but I'm loving this spring weather. It has finally started to warm up here in Utah. Today we came up with all the words that reminded us of spring.
 Then we made a class acrostic poem of the word Spring.
 I found this cute idea on Pinterest. Now I've tried to find my original pin and I can't find it. If anyone knows who came up with this idea. Please let me know so I can give credit where credit is due.
 The picture I found was one similar to this but it wasn't an acrostic poem.  It was just words that described spring. So I decided to put my own twist on it and turn it into an acrostic poem. Here is the example. The only thing I don't like is I wish the green was behind the orange so it would go in the right order. I just ran out of room. Whoops!!!
Here are my sweet student's work!
I hope your spring weather is as good as ours!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

What did they say?

What Did They Say!?
I'm linking up with A Turn to Learn on her fun linky party, what did they say? So I had a funny today when I was teaching one of my little firsties. She and I were talking and she told me she had made something for me with LOTS OF GLITTER. I said oh that is great I love glitter. She said oh I know everyday you wear lots of glitter on your eyes. So I know that you like glitter. I had no idea I wore glitter on my eyes? I wear this makeup... on my eyes. I guess it's a little shimmery. But I had no idea I wore glitter. 
For some reason I always get comments about how I dress or look. One day I curled my hair and one of my students said to me. Oh man you're having a bad hair day. Did you forget to do your hair? I love how innocent they are and how honest they are. You know they will tell you the truth about how you look.  Go link up...... 

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