Thursday, March 31, 2011

Story Wands- Consolation Prize

I found these super cute story wands in our school's Reading Specialist's room.  She is the Lakeshore Queen!

After using them whole group, I have been having my buddy readers use them while reading to each other. The students love them! Anyway, I will need to turn them in soon, and they cost $25 from Lakeshore. Here are my knockoffs:

If you are not a cheap-o like me, click here to get the real thing!


Mrs. McDaniel please email me so Erica and I can get you your prizes!

I cannot thank Erica Bohrer enough for all of her help with the contest.  Thank you! Thank you!!

Thanks to everyone who entered!  I am finishing up a consolation prize and will post it soon.

Thanks again everyone for all of your encouragement!  You're the best bloggy friends EVER!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tonight's the Night!

If you have not entered the contest for the wonderful Jelly Bean Math from fabulous Erica Bohrer and the personalized door hanger from me, do it now! I'll be posting the winner tomorrow! Click here to enter.

You know you're a teacher when.... Linky Party!!!

Babbling Abby is having a Linky Party through her Teacher Blog, The Inspired Apple! I absolutely love the topic, "You know you're a teacher when...." Without further ado, here is my contribution to the Linky Party! :)

You know you teach first grade when...
-You take things out of people's trashcan because it would be perfect for whatever project you or your kids are working on.
-Shut up and boobs are bad words.
-Almost everything in the Dollar Spot at Target can be used for something in your classroom.
- You can always use a couple more storage bins.
- You watch Wizards of Waverly Place, Hannah Montana, and Phineas and Ferb to get ideas for your job.
- You've considered buying stock in Pink Pearl, Elmers, and Dixon.
- Tears of joy roll down your face when a student who couldn't write her name, didn't know her ABC's, and cried every day at the beginning of the year because, according to her, she was just too dumb for school, leaves the writing center to bring you this (while sporting a huge toothless smile nonetheless):

Notice it begins with a capital letter, ends in a period, and was written all by herself!

Now it is your turn! What a wonderful idea Abby! Click her button to join the party.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Kite Themed Mini Unit

My absolute favorite activity to do with my kids in the Springtime is to have them build their own kites and fly them. I put together some kite themed activities to do the week of our kite project. At the very end of the unit are instructions on how you can do the "Build a Kite" lesson.

I hope you like it! What is your favorite Spring project?

P.S.: Thanks to everyone who has entered My Very First Contest, and a BIG thanks to Erica Bohrer who is giving away her Jelly Bean Math unit from her TPT store!

If you have not entered, do it! Contest will end Wednesday. :)

Friday, March 25, 2011

Character Traits with SpongeBob SquarePants

Who lives in the hallway on the right? SpongeBob SquarePants!

 I blogged a week or so ago about teaching character traits. While introducing them, I was inspired by a student's comment to do a SpongeBob lesson. I have several SpongeBob books that stay in the "Just for Fun" reading tub, but they came in super handy to teach character traits.

      We stared the lesson by voting on a book to read, and my FirstGrader SmartiePants picked the perfect one.  
It showed SpongeBob as a hard worker and good friend who can get a little annoyed at times.

After reading, each student wrote a character trait on SpongeBob.   Here are a few examples of what they came up with.  

"Nice Dresser"  :)

"Jellyfisher"  <--Haha.  I love it!

Then I gave each student a sentence strip and asked them to write the definition of character traits.  This SmartiePants almost wrote  everything, word for word, that I had been telling them all week.

This was so much fun and they loved it!

Students are almost finished with the rough drafts of their writings about SpongeBob.  I still need to make a writing mat for their final draft.  I will post a copy of that and some of their writings when they finish.  My kids are a hoot!

My Very First Contest!

        When I reached 100 followers, I promised there would be a giveaway posted on this blog by Friday. Well, that is today! I wasn't sure what to do or where to start, and the wonderful and oh so talented Erica Bohrer offered to help.  I cannot thank her enough!  Without further ado,  here is what you can win:

A personalized door hanger from me,
This is mine from school, but I will make it however you request it.


Erica's brand new, 42 page,  Jelly Bean Math from her TPT store!  I bought it last night, and she covers a ton of First Grade math skills.  It is fantastic!

This is what you do to enter:
1.  Follow my blog.
2.  Follow Erica's Blog and her TPT Store (which is packed full of amazing resources!).
3. Post the Contest on your blog.

Leave a comment for each step you do!

You have until Wednesday, March 30th, to enter.  The winner will be announced Thursday.

I am so excited!!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Ten Things I've Learned From Teaching Linky Party

Jennifer at Rowdy in First Grade is hosting a Ten Things I've Learned From Teaching Linky Party. Click here to join this fun and reflective Linky party!

 1. Graphic organizers are the bomb(dot)com and help students become successful readers and writers.  Use them!

2.  If a band aid won't do the trick, lotion will.

3.  Facial tissue and Elmer's Glue don't mix.  They do make "pretty spider webs in the snow" as one of my sweet angels told me.

4. Put small inspirational quotes around the room just for you.  These are wonderful reminders on the hardest of days.  Here are my favorites and where I have them placed.  Across the top of my computer monitor : "The secret to education is respecting the pupil."  On my desk: "They may not remember exactly what you said, but they will remember how you made them feel."   On the magnetic dry erase marker holder:  "Give positive pushes, not negative shoves."  On my dry erase rolling thingy: "Kids are like mirrors they will reflect our attitudes in life."                            *These are not my personal quotes, only ones that I have found to be inspirational.*

 5.  Want to get students' attention?  Use Justin Beiber, a Jonas Brother, or whoever is popular at the time in story, math problem, or example.

6. Not every lesson is going to turn out the way you planned.  Sometimes it turns out so much better than you expected and other times, not so much.  Every time is a learning experience.

7.   You can get a hundred cute ideas from other teachers but you have to find out what works for your kids.  If you do an activity and the kids didn't get the concept, it is not necessarily a bad activity.  "Reflect" on the presentation.

8.  It is not true that teachers are on their feet all day.  Part of the day is spent on our knees, "pockets," and all fours.

9.   Taking away recess can sometimes be a punishment for the teacher.

10.  Love what you do.   

What has teaching taught you?  I can't wait to read it!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

This, That, and a Giveaway!


I read a post earlier about tattling. A couple of years ago, the creative lady next door to me, Mrs. Halatyn, showed me an ear she uses to get students to stop tattling. I have used it ever since, and students have cut down on the tattling tremendously. Here is my version of the ear:


Click the picture to get to shopping!!!


Mrs. Schroeder at Schroederpage... Behind the Scenes in Second Grade is giving away an entire butterfly unit that she created and an interactive butterfly in a jar!  She has a super cute blog and web page. Go check it out.  Hurry! 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Thank You, Thank You!

     The  puppy and I are super excited that 1st Grade with Miss Snowden has hit 100 followers!  I think it has become a Blogland tradition that when you get 100 followers you have a give-a-way.  So 9 lucky followers will get.....

are you ready????

A puppy!!!

OK.  Just kidding, but if you haven't read my puppy story click here.  I LOVE Lucy and want everyone to know why! :)

Seriously, thank you fellow bloggers.  I love, love, love all the ideas everyone shares.  It's like a big, creative melting pot here in Blogland.  Thank you for reading and responding to things I post.   While I am making things for my classroom I am usually thinking, "This is so silly.  People will think this is totally dumb." Your comments are a huge encouragement and I am so, so thankful to all of you!

Anyway, THERE WILL BE A GIVE-A-WAY POSTED ON THIS BLOG BEFORE FRIDAY.  I just have to come up with something.  :)  

Thanks for reading and sharing!!!

Night night.  Sleep Tight. :)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Favorite Spot Linky Party!

Mrs. Thompson at Adventures in Teaching is hosting a Linky Party for your Favorite Area or Item in your classroom.  My favorite spot is most definitely the independent reading center.  We call it the "Reading Garden."
       I change out the books in the yellow display case every month.  These are books that I use to teach different topics and seasonal books.  Of course it is filled with Dr. Seuss books right now.  You can also see a few plant books and St. Patrick's Day books.  I put these here so students can go back and revisit their favorites after we read it in class.  By the way, my dad built the display case for me.  Isn't he talented?!
       The little white tub on the floor is for our library books that the students check out each week.  Oh, and I just love my tree with the big flowers in it.

This is the little gnome that lives in the Reading Garden.  Students read to him and tell him about their book :).

      I bought this bench at a resale shop.  It was Winnie the Pooh but I painted over everything but the seat, which has bees on it.  So, I added more bees where Piglet, Tigger, and Pooh were once upon a time, and sewed a few bumble bee pillows to make it super cozy.  The books in the tubs under the bench are leveled  readers that the students can choose from if they do not get one from the stand up shelf.

That's my favorite area in my classroom.  Go join the Linky Party!  I can't wait to see your favorite spot!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Two Great Giveaways!

Mrs. Durning is giving away a copy of her Easter Math Centers. I'm sure it is super awesome like all of her stuff! Click her button to check it out.

Mrs. M is giving away customized lesson plans!!! What you do to win is a prize in itself. One step is to visit the Kolton Ryba Surgery Fund Blog and make a donation. What are you waiting on? Go! Then come back and visit Mrs. M's Blog. Click her button to go.

Spring is on its way!

       My sinus headache and the ever thickening yellow layer on my car tells me that Spring is right around the corner!  Here are a few bloomin' activities:

The synonym and antonym flowers were an idea I got from a picture of Mrs. Thompson's room at Adventures in Teaching. She is hosting a Linky Party so go check it out! I'll be joining in on the fun tomorrow after I take a picture of my reading center!

After reading a few books I found on, The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle, and a couple Life Cycle Science Vocabulary Readers we will organize what we have learned on the flower graphic organizer. 

On the we're blooming writing mat, students will write about spring and how flowers bloom.

What are some of your favorite books to teach plants?  I would LOVE to know some other books I could use!  

Money, Money, Money!!!

     Here are some coin and price tag cards you can use to practice counting and identifying money.  They can be used in centers or in a classroom store.  To differentiate instruction,  there are two different coin cards for each price tag.

Friday, March 18, 2011

For Japan

Click this poster to see how you can help.   

Monday, March 14, 2011


      I have no idea how to begin this post.  My heart and prayers go out to the people of Japan.  A teacher friend's son is on the USS Ronald Reagan, and she is staying updated by Yahoo News on the ship's whereabouts because her son cannot contact her right now.  Let's remember to pray for the safety of those courageous men and women who are offering help in this turbulent time and their families.
       I am sure that  some students will have questions about this natural disaster.  Pete's PowerPoints has some great presentations on Japan.  My favorite one is called "Geography and Life in Japan."  Click the picture to visit Pete's PowerPoints.

National Geographic Kids also has some good facts on Japan.  Click National Geographic Kids- Japan.

Thank you Mrs. Saoud at Primary Graffiti for posting the BrainPopjr video about Fast Land Changes to help explain why this tragedy happened.  

Character Traits with Synonyms and Antonyms

When we get back from Spring Break, we will be studying character traits and learning how to increase our vocabulary. (The way our curriculum words things is so funny! :)) So, I stuck the two together. I'll project this onto our interactive whiteboard.    I will probably only copy the last slide for students to complete for an assessment.  Here is a little preview of what is in the file.  Click the picture to get the whole thing. 

Friday, March 11, 2011

Give-A-Ways Galore!

As if Spring Break wasn't present enough, I checked Blogger and saw that THREE of the blogs I follow are having give-a-ways. I wore all green today for our "Spring into Reading," so I am totally feeling lucky!

1. What do teachers love??? BOOKS!!!  Lindsey at The Teacher Wife is giving away a gift card to Barnes & Nobel. Go check it out!

The Teacher Wife 

2. If you give a teacher a chance to get something for free, she will blog about it!  Made for 1st Grade is giving away their amazing unit that goes with the Laura Numeroff  "If you give..." books. (Click the pic to visit their blog.)

3.  Ms. Van Orman at First Grade Fun is celebrating her 200 followers with a DR. JEAN give-a-way!  So excited!

I would love to win any of these!  Like I said, I'm feeling lucky!  :)  SPRING BREAK! YAY!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Potty Breaks

One of the cutest little bloggers around, Lindsey at the teacher wife, posted earlier about students wanting to leave class to go to the restroom.  I have 2 or 3 students who, ask about going to the restroom almost everyday.  They always ask to go during our small group direct reading instruction time.  Most students work in literacy or math centers during this time, but the ones who get too rowdy have to go to their seat and do board work.  That is usually when the "waterworks" :) begin.  Two weeks ago, I decided to start using an Emergency Potty Pass.  Each student gets one per week, and it has seemed to help.   Click the image to get a copy. 


P.S.:  No one has had an accident, no matter how bad they "really, really got to go!!". :)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Butterfly Fact Families

        If I give my kids 3 numbers they can knock out fact families like crazy.  If I give them 2 numbers, they can do it if it is the 2 smaller numbers.  Anyway,  I made these butterfly fact families to give my kiddos more practice, and we are learning about butterflies in our reading series. Did I mention that next week is spring break?!?! Click the pic to get a copy.

Cooperative Learning Groups

  I posted this a few months ago, but I had no idea how to do a PFD or anything like that.  So when I posted it, the file lost all its cuteness.  Here are my new and improved Cooperative Learning Groups Job Labels.  Since I started using these the behavior during group projects has improved big time.  These also help ensure that every student has a job to do and is being an active part of the group.  For an example for when we would use these click here.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Pets Linky Party!!!

I don't think that I have ever been so excited about a linky party!  Ladybug's Teacher Files is hosting a Pet's Linky.  I love my furry babies.  If I were not a teacher, I think that I would be a veterinarian.  Without further ado, here are my pets canine kids.

Here is Henry.  He is my 4 1/2 year old Chihuahua.   He is the apple of my eye! :)
I had to put this pic so you could see how big his ears are! 

He loves to snuggle under big covers...

and wear warm clothes!

This is Striker.  He is a 2 year old Beagle, and a big, fat baby (but I love him!).

         Doing what he does best!

He loves to sit right on you,especially if Henry was there first.

Mollie is a yellow lab.  She is just over a year old.  She is a total wild child.

Meet the most precious stray dog that ever lived.  Lucie showed up one day and decided to adopt us.  I love this dog so much.  She is so resilient.  When she first "moved in"  she had a huge knot and skinned place on her leg.  We got her shots and her leg healed.  Since we already had 3 dogs, we wanted to find a new home for her.  We thought we did with a man that lived almost 20 miles away.  Two days after she went to her new home, we heard a scratch on the living room window.   Lucie had found her way home for a second time.  She loves us and we love her.   
 As with our other pets, we planned to have Lucie spayed.  Before we got to vet, she started sporting her very own baby bump.... OH MY GOODNESS!  And if she didn't have 10 babies last Saturday.

Last but not least, we have Huey, Dewy, and Louie.
As babies in the bathtub. 

All grown up on our pond in the snow. 

These are all my babies!  I can't wait to see everybody's!

One Extra Give-A-Way!

Amanda at One Extra Degree is having a give-a-way!  You can win 2 units from Deanna Jump's TPT store.  

For a chance to win, visit Amanda's blog: