Friday, October 7, 2011

LOOOONG time no Post!

It has been FOREVER since I have posted on here...Talk about a slacker.

I'm going to try and post a few things I have been meaning to get on here since the start of the year over the next week! Here is what we have been working on!

First I wanted to share a little activity we did at the start of the year. We have been doing a few author studies in my class. We learned about monarch butterflies which I used Eric Carle's "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" for. Then we read some of his other amazing books.

One of my teacher friends has a video about how he makes his art but I'm sure you could do it without the video. It talks about how he creates these big pages of pattern paper to use. He creates different colors and patterns. Sometimes with an idea in mind and sometimes just to paint. When he has all his pages done he cuts them and lays them out as whatever is in his book.

So I had all my kids paint pattern pages with their water colors. Then we cut them in half and they chose 2 patterns to make an animal out of.

Here is how they turned out!

After we made the animals each kid wrote a story about them to put in their writing folder for the end of the year too!


Monday, August 22, 2011

Meet the teacher Monday!

Blog Hoppin' is have a week long linky party! WHOO HOOO! Today is Meet the teacher Monday. I put together a little all about me poster with pictures.

Enjoy and make sure to link up to the fun


Friday, August 19, 2011

first week of school!

So I guess it's been a week since I posted...what a slacker!! I have been busy putting my classroom together and getting back into the swing of things this week. We had meetings Tue and Wed and the kids came the last 2 days (but just until 1!).

Here are a few pictures of our first week of school.

Here is an update of our classroom management chart.  I added the 5 bees as our rules.  They are just so much fun.  
This is my new reading bathtub.  My dad snagged it for free!  My wonderful husband and father-in-law helped me clean and paint it.  We did it all in one weekend.  The kids are so excited to read in it.  

All the classrooms in my hallway have B-I-G windows that look into the classroom. So we turn them into nice little displays during the year.  This is my window for back to school.  We are "Sailing into First Grade" for our theme.  Each kids name is written in a driftwood font and their picture is masked with a circle to fit into a porthole.  { I do have to say I didn't make the actual boat ~ one of our AMAZING 1st grade aides drew the design and drew them up for us! }

today we did a fun little graph of how many letters we have in our names.  I printed their names in a fun font and cut the letters apart.  They had to glue them together and write in how many letters they have in their names.  Then we did some comparisons.  Fun little activity from pinterest !

Hope everyone else is have as good a time with back to school as I am!


Friday, August 12, 2011

Blogging Questions!?!?!

Ok so I have 2 questions about blogging this morning....

1} I have been following all of your super amazing blogs.  I have been using google reader but it seems as though the blogs I have added in the last few weeks are not showing up =( 

Is there a limit or do I need to go in and add them by address?  Any ideas what might be wrong here?

2} When I leave comments I like to put my blog address.  I have noticed that some people have their address as a link. 

How do I get my blog address to show up as a link on comments?

If anyone could help me out with these few things I would really appreciate it, still kind of new to this blogging stuff!


Thursday, August 11, 2011

My Classroom!!

I have been working so hard in my classroom all week long trying to get it ready to go. Well last week the first grade wing flooded, 2 rooms were not effected {mine was one of them} but the other 3 had to move E-V-E-R-Y thing out of their rooms {and 2 of them were pretty much set up for the start of school!} So I am hoping to get my room done by Monday so I can help out when the others are able to move desks in. Here are a few pictures of whats going on!

This is just outside of my door...they even took out their bathroom doors!

Another hall way shot!

This is my classroom door...I'm trying a new management system this year...The dots are write on wipe off, we are going to put word patterns on them sot he kids can add to them as they find words in books and such.

My desk...its pretty clean but the counter behind it is piled with things that need to have a kids name written on it.

Reading table with a little helper... just in case your wondering behind there is a bird feeder built right into the wall.  I tried to cover it with a calendar but I am thinking I might just put some bird seed in it!

Students desks!!  I found out yesterday I will have 21...not to bad =)

I will post some final pictures of some of my little areas when I get done with it all!

How is everyone else doing with setting up their classroom??


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Back to School....Back to School!

So I have to go back to school on Monday (that's only 5 DAYS away!!).  I have been trying to think of all the fun things we do on the first 2 days (1/2 days actually).  It's been so long I am having a hard time to remember them all.

Don't worry I did remember one great activity!  Each year during the first 2 days we make a coloring book!  I have the kids use their black marker to draw a picture on a plain piece of typing paper.  The only rule is that they can't color it in.  They love this because A) they get to use markers B) they get to draw ANYTHING they want!  I do show them some samples, I normally make a page or two for the book.

When they finish I make a cute little cover, send it to central copy and have them make and bind a copy for each kid. 

We used ours all year last year.  They kept it in their desk and pulled it out during fun time or inside recess, and when we had a bit of extra time during the year. 


Monday, August 1, 2011

Little Organizing Idea!

So at our school we have quite a few subscriptions for the kids, and they all have passwords.  Of course every subscription has a different format for the user name and password.  That's too much for a first grader to's too much for me to remember.

So last year I made this little organizer

A closer look

It was pretty simple to make.
To make the poster:
1. I took some fun library pockets (that I got at Dollar Tree) and but the bottoms off to the size I wanted them. 
2. Then I used tape or rubber cement to place them on construction paper (purple because everything should be purple!).
3. Next I laminated it like any good teacher, and used a razor blade to cut the slit at the top so you could still put stuff in it. 
4. Last I wrote every kids name on a pocket. (I used a dry erase marker so I could change names easily)

Then for inside the pockets:
1. I found these little cards in my room
2. I put the name of the site or subscription on the back (like AR or iXL).  I have all my sites saved on the computer but you could also put a URL if you needed on the front.   
3. On the front I put the user name at the top and their password at the bottom, at first I put UN and PW so they would know which was which but then the kids typed in the UN and PW, so I took that off and they just new the first line went in the first box and second line in the second box.

I also found that when we started AR testing some kids needed help with their testing so they would put a star stick in it that says test so when I had time I could help them take a test.  I also have some that say HELP! and they put those in when they have trouble with a program and I can work with them one on one with that problem as well.

By the end of the year they could work on any one of our subscriptions independently!!


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

First Days of School

So I'm getting some things ready for the first days of school. I am going to switch things up a bit this year and get some technology integration going right out of the gate this year.

Our first project of the year is going to be an "all about me" video. It is just like the book I have used in the past (you could make it into a book when you get done with the video too). I made the pages from my book a full sheet of paper with a title, a place for a picture and little sentence for them to fill in. I will have the kids work on a page at a time through out the first day or two at school.

Here is the video I put together tonight (not an artist).

Click here to get the pages I used!

Here is a little info about making paper slides!
I have the kids work in groups of 3. Each group has a paper slider (person who pulls the papers when they are done talking about the page), narrator (the person who talks about the page), and videographer (the person who holds the camera). In this video the narrator is the person who the video is about.

They practice a few times during small group. Then we film them. I only let them film once, no start overs!! I use my flip camera in class to film with, as well as my document camera. You could also use an iPad, iPod touch, or regular camera with a video function on it.

The first time we did this last year it took a little bit of time for them to be comfortable, however by the end of the year my kids could make a film video on their own.   We have used them for vocabulary practice, retelling, cause can effect, and math problem descriptions, the possibilities are ENDLESS!!


Monday, July 25, 2011

Peanut Butter and Jelly

This year I am going to try out The Daily 5 in my classroom....or something very similar to the daily 5! I am the most anxious about read to someone. I don't know how my first graders are going to pick a good partner. So I decided to give them a little "help"!

I am planning to split my class into two groups. Then they only have half of the kids to choose from (even less when you take out the kids that I will be working with at my reading table).

Then I wanted to find a way split the class in half and make it something fun for the kids. So I came up with .... Peanut Butter and Jelly partners! I will put their name on a tag that has peanut butter or jelly on it. They will magnet to either the white board or the heating unit in my room. That way I will be able to see who they pick and we can put them up at the end of the day, or leave them so I can see that they pick a different partner the next day!

Aren't they soooo cute!?!?


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Linky Party Day 2!!

The Clutter-Free Classroom is having an awesome linky party ...a new party every day! LOVE IT!! So today is based on the illustrations along my favorite picture book it...

I have so many favorites it is hard to pick just one!

I LOVE Mo Willems books. His pictures are just so stinkin cute. Love them all!
Who doesn't love an elephant and a piggie?!?

and of course the pigeon!!

I also love the Harold and the Purple Crayon.  I just love the way he adds things and then interacts with them!

Check out Clutter Free Classroom and join in the fun!!

Monday, July 18, 2011

What have I been up to this summer?

There is a whole lotta linky party going on over at Clutter-Free Classroom! I am going to try and do a few before I leave town this week (I'm going on a sidewalk sale marathon trip with my best friend!).

So the first day is what you have been up to this summer. And I have to say the summer has gone by so fast (only 1 month until school starts!)

I have been working on homework nonstop, I am taking 9 hours this summer towards my masters...WHAT was I thinking!?!

Other than that my son and I have been going to gymnastics class for mom and tots with a friend from school, playing at the sprinkler park a lot, visiting the zoo, and just having fun!

My family has only been home one weekend this summer! AHHH that's a lot of travel in one summer. We have been to the lake many many times, been to my parents farm to help harvest and many other fun little weekend trips!

So what is everyone up to this summer?!?!


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Out of the mouths of babes

Mrs. Dillard is having a linky party all about the funny things kids say. She has some REALLY funny stuff on her blog!

I am so glad she is having this party, my favorite story is about a letter I got from one of my kids and I just pulled it out of a tub when I was looking for sticker two days ago!

At the end of my second year I got engaged, it just so happened that we were working on writing letters to their new teachers, and reviewing the lessons we had on letter writing during the year. So I had a bunch of kids write me letter to tell me how happy they were for me.

This is one of the letters I got:

May 14, 2008
Dear Miss M--,
Its so great that your getting marryed. But your last name when your marryed its kind of strange. so I want to tell you something congraulations.
Your Studnet

So I asked him why my name would be strange when I get married. He told me that it was because my name would be a color (Gray), and that he didn't know anyone who had a color for a name.

I just LOVE the stories teachers have.  Kids are so pure and funny!


Saturday, July 16, 2011

Christmas in July!

Over at Teaching Blog Addict they are having a Christmas in July linky party. And I just can't resist a linky party! Everyone is putting up their Christmas craft ideas. I don't have a great stand out craft but I do have a pretty good project that my friend Lynette gave me last year.

Last year we made a "Christmas Cookie Class'ic Cookbook". I was so super C-U-T-E!! I sent home a note saying that we were doing a project in class and I needed every kid to bring the recipe to their favorite cookie. I might have said it was for fractions or measurement I'm not really sure. I encouraged parents to email them to me. I also asked the staff to send any recipes they might have too, so that it would be a bit longer. I even put in a recipe from my mom and mother-in-law because they are always sending stuff to my classroom.

I typed up or copied all the recipes and 2 on a page to save paper. I put clip art on all the pages for the teachers or staff pages. Then I printed it out. I had each kid draw a Christmas picture on their page with a black marker (because I couldn't print it in color). I put in a cute cover, and a picture of the chefs (the kids) in santa hats - Then I shipped it off to the printer.

The parents and kids L-O-V-E-D it! This one is mine so it is kind of plain. I put ribbon in the kids before I put the staples in then tied them in little bows to give it a little something extra! Here are just a few pictures of the cookbook.

Here is the plain Jane cover.

This is one of the kid's pictures

Here is my page with a little clip art.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Popcorn words

Each day when I have centers in my classroom we have a center to work on spelling and words. This year we are using a new spelling program that includes sight words BUT we don't start until the second nine weeks!

So the question is what to do until then during centers?!?!

My first idea is to practice popcorn words. I made some little cards that have the popcorn words printed on them. I made them so the kids can trace them and then cut them apart and practice reading them.

{Click here to snag a copy}

Anyone else have any ideas for a whole 9 weeks of no spelling or sight words??


Ladybug's Teacher Files Give away!!

Check out Ladybug's Teacher's Files, she is having a give away for reaching 1000+ followers! 

There are 3 ways to enter for 4 A-M-A-Z-I-N-G prizes!!! 


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Back to school

At the start of every year I like to get to know the kids as soon as possible.  I send out a post card or a letter as soon as I find out who is going to be in my classroom.

I also have some communication pieces that I give out at our back to school night.  I have a packet of classroom information that I give to the parents and a bag of "goodies' for the kids to take home with them.

Here are some samples of what will be going home at the beginning of the school year!


Click HERE to see the letter that goes home with the parents

Click HERE to see the note that I put in the bags that I send home at the start of the year.

Check out First Grade Frame of Mind...she is having a linky party to share back to school letters.

Blog Mixer Linky

Over at Yearn to Learn they are having a Blog Mixer Linky!  Stop by and check it much fun!

1)   New kid - Sister Teachers have been blogging since the beginning  of July.  Very fun stuff over there.
              Also I just started this blog!  Having so much fun with all the linky parties!

2)  First Last teaches the same level as I do.  She has an  A-M-A-Z-I-N-G blog!!

3)  Lory's Page is a second grade blog that has so many cute things on it.  Lots of great downloads!

4)  Isn't that a super cute button with the little owl and the balloons!

{this is from Finally in First}


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Daily schedule!

I am linking up to my first linky party here! Simply 2nd Resources

is having a linking party to look at different classroom schedules. This schedule is pretty close to what we did in my class last year. I moved just a few things around to make room for some mini lessons that I want to try out this year (we are going to try the daily 5!). So this is what I hope my schedule will be like this year!

7:55 - 8:10: Students arrive / morning work / daily announcements
8:10 - 8:30 Reading Centers {I work with a group while other students work on center choices from    the Daily 5 + Computer option} 
8:30 - 8:40 Reading Mini Lesson {Comprehension, Decoding, Word Attach Skills, Choosing a Book, or any other skills they might need to work on}
8:40 - 9:00 Reading Centers
9:00 - 9:10 Writing Mini Lesson {We start with handwriting at the start of the year, then introduce brainstorming and other skills need for their writing work shop}
9:10 - 9:30 Reading Centers
9:30 - 9:50 Recess
9:50 - 10:00 Restroom Break and Read Aloud
10:00 - 10:20 Reading Centers
10:20 - 10:40 Pathways to Reading Whole Group Lesson {This is our districts reading program.  We use for small group placement and lessons.  It also includes our spelling for the week and phonics and phonemic awareness skills.}
10:40 - 11:10 Whole Group Reading Lessons
11:10 - 12:00 Lunch / Recess
12:00 - 12:10 Restroom break / Read Aloud
12:10 - 12:30 Science / Social Studies / Art
12: 30 - 12:45 Writers Work Shop
12:45 - 1:20 P.E. / Music
1:20 - 1:40 Calendar
1:40 - 2:00 Math Whole Group {Introducing the days topic for math}
2:00 - 2:30 Math Centers {Finish work from Whole Group time and work on enrichment activities}
2:30 - 2:45 Word Wall Work {Working with the word wall to read, and practice phonics skills}
2:45 - 3:00 Clean up / Pack up / Good Things / Dismissal


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Setting Sail!

This year our school has chosen a Sailing theme. So my classroom will be filled with anything nautical that I can find!

The first thing I did this summer was create a back to school unit with a boating/nautical theme. It has some simple addition, missing number, popcorn word practice, missing letters, and sentences for them to unscramble. I also put in a couple of find a friend activities.

So here it is ... enjoy!

{Click here to view}


Monday, July 11, 2011

A New Blog

I have been following all sorts of great blogs this summer and have enjoyed blogging for my classroom. So now I think it is time to set up a blog to share ideas and all the fun things I make in my classroom!!

Hope this blog finds some great 1st grade (or any grade) friends!