Monday, December 19, 2011

Gift From Principal

We have two new administrators this year and, as McDonald's says, I'm lovin' it!  The environment is very positive and they are very much for the kids, which is the way it should be, right? 

Last month, the principal asked every staff member to send her the name of any current student on our campus who "warms our heart".  Besides my own child, another student immediately popped into my head.  I had Alan my first year in first grade.  He is one of those kids who is low academically, can be a stinker, but also a sweetheart, and you cannot help but love him! 

All we were told was to send her the names....nothing else would be required of us.  Things that make you go hmmm.

Friday, our last day before the holidays, each teacher had a gift from the principal (with a little help from the students we chose).

This was in a picture frame.

 Every time I read this, my eyes tear up. 
I'm his favorite out of ALL the teachers!!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Secret of Santa's Island

The Secret of Santa's Island is a great book that I was introduced to just last week.  It is about a boy who receives the ultimate gift from Santa--all because he said "thank you".

The Secret of Santa's Island

The story ends with Santa giving Sam a snow globe with this inscription on it:
"Thankfulness is the secret to happiness."

I gave my kiddos a paper plate with the instructions to draw/color/write something(s) for which they are thankful.  We added a trapezoid to make the bottom piece, with the quote from Santa. 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Oh No....Santa's Stuck!

Several weeks back I found these paper plates at Target and got them, not knowing exactly what I was going to do with them. One day I read the book, Santa's Stuck, and an idea popped into my head. Students had to draw a Santa and write about how/why he got stuck and how he got out.  Here is the book and end result:

Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday, November 25, 2011

I'm Walking On Sunshine!

Yes, I am walking on sunshine after getting this comment:

Chrissy said...

I love reading your blog and seeing your creative ideas.
I'm giving you the Sunshine Award.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

 Chrissy

First Grade Found Me
November 23, 2011 12:12 AM

Thank you, Chrissy!!

The Sunshine Award rules are
1. Thank the person who gave this award and write a post about it.
2. Answer the following questions below.
3. And pass the award to 10~12 fabulous bloggers, link their blogs and let them know you awarded them.

* Favorite Color?  red
* Favorite Animal?  cats and dogs
* Favorite Number? 628
* Favorite Drink?  coffee
* Facebook or Twitter? Facebook
* Your Passion? My family.
* Giving or Getting Presents?  I love giving gifts, especially when I it's something they love!
* Favorite day? Saturday. Even though I work most Saturdays, I like knowing I have one more day off.
* Favorite flowers? ?? I don't really have a favorite!

Here are 12 blogs I have chosen to pass this award on to:

The Corner On Character
Grade ONEderful
Teaching First
First Grade Delight
The Teaching Thief
Inside The Classroom
2nd Grade Ponderings
First Grade Exploration
Runde's Room
First Impressions
4th Grade Frolics

Monday, November 14, 2011

Day 58

Some days, I think....
WOW!  It's ALREADY the ____ th day of school! 

Today is not one of those days.
Today I am thinking, is it ONLY day 58??!! 
That means we still have 119 days LEFT??!@#@!?

Don't get me wrong--  I love these kids and I love what I do,
but I have quite a group this year! Here are my list of gripes:
~They cannot/will not sit still.
~They cannot/will not be quiet.
~They cannot/will not get their work done!!
~They cannot/will not get along.
~They cannot/will not __________!

I am exhausted today.  Who am I kidding?
I'm exhausted/frustrated EVERYDAY!

Okay, I think I'm done venting.  Thank you!

Onto some good news. 

Our district Math coordinator visited
my classroom last week and LOVED what I was doing.

 Very simple, but effective.
The kids GOT IT, and that's what is important!

Plus, I got this ticket (sorry it's blurry!)
because the coordinator
"Spied Marvelous Math"

She wrote:
Love the "10" chart.
Great activity.
Great questioning.
Love the journals, too!

Now I'm entered into a drawing for free Starbucks.
And that, my friends, puts a smile back on my
exhausted/frustrated face!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Blog on Fire? Mine, really??!

I want to give a great BIG thank you to Rebecca at

Teaching First

for nominating me for the Blog on Fire Award!!

As part of accepting this honor, I will tell you seven things about myself. 
I'll try to make it interesting, but I cannot guarantee that you won't fall asleep while reading them! 

1.  This is my 12th year of teaching.  My first 9 years were in 4th grade, and the past 3 years have been in 1st grade.  I've been lucky enough to have been at the same school the entire time.

2.  I've been blessed with a great family and we moved around a lot when I was younger.  I've lived in Wisconsin, Ohio, Louisiana, Texas, Spain, and Germany.

3.  I went on a 19 mile bike tour in Amsterdam.  I only fell down once, after I ran right into someone else. 

4.  While visiting Paris on a bus tour with my friend, we had a little snafu at the Eiffel Tower...... We bought tickets to go all the way up to the top, so we (and several other tourists) rode the elevator up, stayed for a few minutes, then decided it was time to head back to the bus.  The driver had already warned us that he was leaving at 5:00, and he would leave whether we were there or not.  Well, there was the slightest problem......the elevator that we rode up on was no longer working.   It was almost 5, so we decided (along with the other peeps from our bus) that we needed to make a run for we did!  We ran all the way down the stairs to the bottom of the Eiffel Tower, then kept running until we got to the bus.  We made it, but with only minutes to spare.  Whew!!! 

5.  I've been to Disney Land, Disney World, and Euro Disney.  I want to take my son to Disney....someday!

6.  I work waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay to much!  Ten to twelve hours on school days, plus I have worked EVERY Saturday since August, not to mention all the school things I work on at home.  I'm EXHAUSTED!!  Plus, I'm a single mom to a very active 9 year old boy! 

7.  I am so thankful for my fellow bloggers!  You give me so much inspiration, and I feel I have become a better teacher because of YOU!  Thanks!!

And now, without further ado, are my nominees for the Blog on Fire Award:

The Resource(ful) Room! PhotobucketFirst Grade Blue SkiesPhotobucket

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Chutes and Ladders

 Do you remember Chutes and Ladders?
 I loved it when I was a kid! 
Well....I loved the ladders, but the chutes....not so much! 
Anyways, one day while browsing   
I came across Snakes and Ladders. 

My kids LOVE this game!! 
If we have a few extra minutes at the end of the day,
I pull it up on the SmartBoard, and VOILA,
the kids are excited and talking about numbers--
and where the frog is going to end up --everyone is happy!

We are currently studying addition and counting on,
so I decided to take the concept of Chutes and Ladders,
and turn it into "Race to 100"

I had my kids play with their table groups (3-4 kids).
Each child needs a 100s chart and a game piece.
The group shares one die.

Each child starts with their game piece on 1.
The first player rolls the die and moves their game piece
that many spaces on their board.
All players watch their friends to make sure they are not cheating
 moving the correct number of spaces. 
The goal is the be the first one at your table to reach 100,
or be closest to 100 when time is up.

You could also add a few of your own rules
to make the game more interesting, such as:
~You get an extra turn when you roll a 6.
~If the die rolls off the table, move back to 1.
(I added this rule after some dice went flying across the room!)

You could also make it a little more difficult by using 2 dice,
so the kids would have to add the two numbers
before moving their game piece.

On your mark,
get set,

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Help! We're All Mixed Up!

After reading The Mixed-Up Chameleon by Eric Carle, we decided to have a little fun!

I took a "before" headshot of each student and printed out 2 copies.  The first copy stayed in one piece.  I cut the second copy into four strips, and mixed all the pieces up.  The students got one strip of themselves, and the other 3 are from different students.  Check us out!


Monday, October 31, 2011

If You Give A Student An Oreo

Better late than never!  Here are some pictures from the writing activity we did during the O.R.E.O project.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Winning Worms

My kids are doing great with recognizing, writing and counting numbers, but......... Oh....My.....Goodness!!!!  They are having such a hard time with knowing where numbers fall on a number line!   So, I have been pulling out the "Winning Worms"  (from The Mailbox) every week to help them practice. 

Here's how it works:

Each student has the numbers 1-50 in a bag.  Player #1 pulls a number out of the bag  and places in on the correct square on their worm.  Then player #2 does the same.  If they pull out a number, and the square is already covered, the number goes back in the bag, and their turn is over.  The goal is to be the first player to cover every square correctly.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Shape Rocket Game

After studying 2D shapes, we reviewed with this Shape Rocket game from .  It is played just like Candyland.  It really got the kids talking to each other-- about the names of the shapes, and for some, explaining how they knew that based on the number of sides.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Even and Odd Numbers

We review even and odd numbers every day during calendar.  We talk about how the only digit that can tell you if the number is even or odd is the one in the one's place.  The song we sing goes a little something like this:

Even or odd....odd or even,
these are two kinds of numbers in the world.
Odd or even....even or odd,
these are two kinds of numbers in the world.
0, 2, 4, 6, even!
1, 3, 5, 7, odd!
0, 2, 4, 6, even!
1, 3, 5, 7, odd!
However your number ends, you can tell if it's
Even or odd....odd or even,
Even or odd!!!!!!!!!!

The song was saved on my computer when I got assigned to my classroom, so I have no idea who it is or where it came from!

First Grade Connections has another even/odd song.  Go check it out!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Shape Monsters

We have been studying 2D shapes and their attributes (faces, edges, and vertices) for about two weeks.  Now it's time to let the monsters out!

Students used 2D shapes to create a "Shape Monster".  Then they had to write a story about their monster. 

These pictures are from a colleague's class....hopefully my kiddos will get to finish theirs soon!   I think they look GREAT!!

Friday, October 7, 2011

It's PIGometry, baby!

We are in the middle of a 2D shape unit, and PIGometry is one of fun activities I like to do. 

The students have to make a pig by following these directions:
1.  Choose black, pink, or gray paper.
2.  Cut 7 similar circles for the head, body, eyes, snout, and nostrils.
3.  Cut 2 congruent triangles for ears.
4.  Cut 4 congruent rectangles for legs.
5.  Glue all pieces together to assemble one pig.
6.  Twirl and attach a pipe cleaner for the tail.
7.  Write about your pig.

I helped my kiddos with #7.  I gave them this frame to use:

I used __  ___ for the head, body, eyes, snout, and nostrils.
I used __  ___ for the ears.
I used __  ___ for the legs.

I absolutely LOVE how the pigs look so different, even though they all got the same directions.  Take a look!