Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Calm Before the Storm....

It has been pretty chaotic this week.  I set up my classroom, made some copies for the first day of school and went to two days of DII training.  Has anyone heard of that before?  It correlates with Common Core and will help guide my teaching.  I just wish they gave us this training at the end of last year so I would have all summer to come up with stuff and mull over it instead of doing it right before the school year starts.  It has been a little bit overwhelming.  

Anyway, here's a great tip I found online for my classroom.  I always wanted seat pockets but was too cheap to pay $$ for them and not skilled enough to make them but I found this great idea.  You get JUMBO $1 Target Stretchable Bookcovers, flip over one of the sides, then place it over your chair.  My students can put their books to read and maybe even their journals!  Thanks to The First Grade Parade for this AWESOME idea!!!

Hope everyone is enjoying their long weekend!  I sure am... before the madness begins on Tuesday!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Where has the time gone?!  Well, since my last post... so much has happened.  One of the main reasons for my absence was due to the fact that my hard drive crashed... along with it some of my files that I didn't get a chance to back up as well as my motivation to work on more activities for my store.  When school got out, I wanted to just RELAX.  I did that for about a month.  Then when I was ready to work on units for TpT, my hard drive crashed.  I lost some of my clip art that I purchased and I was just so bummed.  I had to send out my hard drive to a specialist to retrieve the data.  Some of it was damaged because my hard drive made a clicking noise before it died on me.. which resulted in various files on my computer to be gone and unretrievable.  I didn't get my computer back up and running until just recently and I had to start getting my classroom together for this year and so here I am.

ANYWAY,  we don't start with the kids until next Tuesday but we've already started meeting for training and getting acquainted with our new principal.  I'll try to be better about updating this blog and will lick my wounds and get on the ball with activities for the classroom.  Thanks for reading!  I hope y'all had a refreshing summer!!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Chicks, Man!

Every Spring, one of my coworkers always hatches chickens so that students can study the life cycle of a chick to tie in with our science curriculum on animals.  It never occurred to me that I can have my own incubator and hatch eggs for my students.  This year, my friend was able to get an incubator for me from another teacher who wasn't going to use it so I just had to pay for the fertilized eggs and we're hatching eggs!!  We just put them in the incubator on April 26th so they are set to make their debut  on Open House which is May 17th.  EEEK!!!!  The kids were SOOOO excited about it and as soon as I told them what we were going to do, they squealed with delight and had to tell their parents!!  Some parents thought we already had chicks in our classroom.
The empty incubator
 The incubator with 21 brown eggs and 21 white eggs
I searched on TpT to see if there were any good activities on chickens and I came upon this great set from Christie from First Grade Fever.  All of her activities are so appropriate for my first graders and I love the can, have, are thinking map, the story she wrote, and all of the reproducibles.  
 One of the best things is the Egg Journal which we will be using to keep track of our egg observation.  We wrote and drew how many eggs we put in the incubator.
 How cute is that?!
 My favorite one-- she even drew the thermometer!
Then we made predictions about how many of the eggs would hatch.  I told the kids that not all the eggs would hatch but some kids still thought that most of the eggs would hatch.
 A little more realistic...

 This little girl has a lot of faith!
 We also did this sort of oviparous and viviparous animals which I found from Kindergarten Hoppenings.  Then the kids did their own sort.  They did such a great job!  So many exciting things going on in Room 46!!!

Something to make you laugh... I wonder where he lives... ;)
I hope everyone is having a great week!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Sorry for the lack of posts!

I can't believe a month has passed since my last post!  It's been CRAZY here.. (as all of you can attest!)  We have about 39 days of school left (I think!) and a lot of learning to be done.  I love TpT and stalking blogs but with lesson planning, grading papers, and "life"-- I have just fallen behind.  I will try to come up with more original units and lessons for TpT.  There's so many wonderful units/lessons out there already that I don't feel like making another spring unit that looks the same (besides-- the ones already on TpT are so fabulous already!!!)  My creative juices are not flowing too well.  Hopefully the summer will be a much better time for my creativity to flow.  Here are the last few weeks in pictures...

My students love using their Lakeshore mini whiteboards to practice words during small group reading.

We learned about health and worked on the curriculum that was sent to us through the American Dairy Council.

One of the best assemblies we ever had in my 13 years of teaching-- fun, engaging, and full of learning.
 My kids loved this part when the storyteller went inside the balloon.

Lovely piles of papers to grade.  I realize if I don't grade things every day, it piles up and then I don't even want to look at it.!

We had out annual field trip to the tide pools.  The ranger always does such a great job!  We love it.  The kids get to learn about tide pool animals.  Then they get to go explore the tide pools.

Our school received the CA Distinguished Schools Award so we took an all school picture.  Imagine getting 900 students all lined up for a picture.   
The photographer went in this to take the picture.  I don't know if you could pay me to get in one of those.  He also was responsible for getting himself up and down from there.  I saw the little basket shaking.  ::shudders::

I love these flowers-- anemones-- did you know that they close up in the dark and open back up in light?
 macarons... have you tried these??
 beautiful clouds...
 a way to sass up my classroom with this tape dispenser...
Spring break came and went-- it was a great time of rest!  I felt rested and ready to come back.  Hopefully I'll have some more exciting lessons and projects to share in the future.  Hope y'all are doing well!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Lucky Day

For St. Patrick's Day, we kept it low key in class.  It was the end of our trimester so our schedule was off AND we had an assembly that morning so there wasn't a whole lot of time to do much of anything besides our regular assessments.  I did have the Lucky Leprechaun Math & Literacy Centers from Made for 1st Grade all ready for my kiddos.  We did them all week.  We will also be working on them until the end of March.  I introduce only 2-3 things each week so instead of having my students do ALL the centers in one week, I stretch it out for two weeks.  I love these centers from Kelly & Diane because my students know how to do them.  The skills are different for each "theme" but it's the same type of activities which I love because then I don't have 20 kids coming up to me asking me how to do it.  I just explain it once and they are good to go.  One of my favorite things from their March centers was the Super Sentence Wheel.  My kiddos had so much fun with it!  They just had to add an adjective for the leprechaun.  They cut it out and I helped them put it together.  They turned the wheel, read their super sentences and giggled with glee!

I love how the Super Sentence Wheel is divided into the subject, verb, and prepositional phrase of a sentence.  My kids love reading these sentences.  I had them pick their favorite 5 and they write it their little book (which is also included) and illustrate it.

As an extension, they read their sentences to the class.  We had such a great time with these!

Some of my kiddos are having a hard time with reading fluency.  Some of them don't get to practice as much at home so during my RtI time, while the rest of my class is gone to the Waterford computer lab, I have my little group sit on the carpet where every they want.  Then we read the story together with the CD that HM included and they get to use these fancy pointers.  They LOVE that.  It also gets them to practice reading the story so that they can build fluency.

As a way of trying to help my kids tell time to the hour and half hour, I printed out these free clock numbers from the awesome Amy Lemons of Step into 2nd Grade with Mrs. Lemon.  I printed them on 3 different colored construction papers, laminated them, cut them and taped them to the clock.  I did this on Friday afternoon so I can't wait for my kids to see it!

I also had some time to create a Dolch words practice for my TpT store. I have the pre-primer, primer, and 1st grade words that can be traced, written, and stamped or written in rainbow colors.  Rainbow writing is when the student writes the word in different crayon colors.  The student can write the whole word in a crayon color or each letter in a different rainbow color.  I had this as an option so that if all the stamps were being used or if a classroom didn't have stamps, it could still be used.
Now for the fun part!  I will be giving 3 of these away to my readers.  Here is how you can enter.
1) Leave ONE comment for being a follower of my blog and my TpT store.
2) Get ONE extra entry for blogging about this giveaway.  
The giveaway will end this Friday, March 23rd and the winner will be announced on Saturday, March 24th.  Don't forget to leave your email address!  Thank you!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Time Flies!

I can't believe how fast time is flying.  I am so glad though!  I am enjoying my class a bunch this time of year since they are really independent and can sit for a few minutes working quietly.

Last week, the giant ROCK that's headed to LACMA was near our school.  (5 minutes away).  So after school and after grading a FAT stack of papers, I drove to the shopping plaza cross the street and walked to see what all the fuss was about.

There were so many people looking at the rock and some people drove by to see the rock.  There were also people who didn't know that the rock would be on this street and were stuck in the traffic!  It was already 6pm and there were so many people out there!

It's saran wrapped so you can't really see it.  It can only travel at night because it can only go like 10 miles per hour and travel about 8-11 miles.  It took over a week for the rock to travel from Riverside to Los Angeles and every night, it would be on the news.  Slow news night?

My little munchkins needed more help with Mathematical Reasoning and Problem Solving so I bought Deanna Jump's Spring Math Journal Prompts to help them with word problems.  There were so many good sellers with math journal prompts but I decided to go with hers since it seemed simple.  I don't know if I'll buy all of hers or try to create some on my own but I figured this was a good start.  I precut the prompts and have my class president pass it out to the students after lunch.  We did the first few together and now they are a wiz at them!  We read the prompt together.  I have my students circle the number words and the write the digit next to or above the number word.  Then we underline the clue word that shows us what operation to perform.  (addition or subtraction).  I also made an addition/subtraction clue word cheat sheet to put in their journals to use as a reference.  They also have a small hundred's chart in the back of the journal to use if they need the help.  Look at all their hard work!!

The covers for their math journals.

The clue words "cheat sheet."

It's really helped them to be better problem solvers!  I hope everyone is doing well and I'll try to work on some more worksheets.. but right now it's REPORT CARD TIME!!  We just finished benchmarks and now report cards.... UGH!  Hope everyone else has survived.

On a side note, if I reach 50 people, I'll do a giveaway.  :)  Thank you for subscribing!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Fab Finds: Life Planners

Just a quickie today...

Hautelook is having a $25 for $50 of products at Erin Condren.  She makes these awesome Lifeplanners  organizers and also teacher planners!  Get yours today.  The sale ends on Saturday.  They will mail out the code on Tuesday/Wednesday.