Monday, December 31, 2012


I am starting this new year off right!  I am usually so busy I don't link up until like the end of the month, but this month I am EARLY!!!!  Here's my Currently for January:

My one little word is priorities.  I don't know about y'all, but throughout the year, my priorities seem to get out of whack.  I try to keep God first, then family, then work, but inevitably work seems to slowly take over all of my time.  Before I know it, I'm spending most of my time blog hopping, planning, etc.  Then, my times with God and my family suffer.  I am really going to try to keep my priorities straight this year. 
So, how about you?  Go link up with Farley!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

New Year's Linky

I saw that Jen over at The Teachers' Cauldron is doing a new year's resolution linky party, so I thought I'd join in. 

I love to read about other's new year's resolutions.  Sometimes, I read someone else's resolutions and I think, hmmm...I need to work on that too!
So, here are my resolutions for home, school, and blogging:
Home/Personal:  1.  Keep my home clean and organized.  This is a biggie for me because I am a piler.  I tend to pile stuff up without even thinking about it.  Then, before I know it, my house is a mess!  Anybody out there like me?
2.  I want to make more time for me.  I LOVE my job (it really is my hobby), but I spend waaaayyy too much time on it.  I need to focus more before and after school to get stuff done so I can relax at home.
3.  Focus on the blessings that God has in store for me in 2013.  I blogged about my 2013 Thankfulness Challenge.  You can read about it here.  I'd love for you to join me!
School: 1. My goal is to leave by 4:00 4 days a week.  I stay late on Wednesdays because my daughter has cheerleading at 5:15 so we just hang out at school until it's time for cheerleading (because if I went home and sat down, I wouldn't want to get up again). 
2. Keep my classroom clean and organized - see home goal #1 (the same applies at school)!

Blogging:  1. I want to blog 2-3 times per week.  I know for some of you, this doesn't seem like a lot.  Don't get me wrong, I LOVE when you share your ideas each day, I just can't seem to find the time to do that. 
2. I want to leave a more comments.  I know I love it when I get comments on posts, so I need to be better about leaving comments for others.
So, how about you?  What are your resolutions for 2013?

Friday, December 28, 2012

New Year's Resolutions, Thankful, and Looking Ahead

I hope all of you had an amazing Christmas.  Ours was pretty great.  I finally got the 2TB portable hard drive I've been asking for since my birthday in June.  It's awesome!  I kept running out of space on every zip drive I bought, but on this one - no way!  I downloaded all of my files and then some, and it didn't even register that I had used any of the memory.  You have to get one!

The only problem I was downloading all the great stuff, I knocked it off the couch and broke it.  Luckily my hubby knows me well and bought an extended warranty that protects it, so now I have to wait to get a new one from Office Depot.  Oh well...
As we get ready to start a new year, I love to find new blog friends to start the year with.  I found one today that is AWESOME!  Her name is Samantha and she has some really great freebies on her site and an awesome TpT store.  You can find her here:
Head over there and check her out!
As I look back over the year, I think about all of the things that God has blessed me with.  You know, we have a lot of things that we just take for granted.  But when we stop and think about the little things that we have that other people in the world would love to have.  Even just having a warm house to sleep in and fuzzy slippers to warm your feet.  You know how on Facebook during the month of November, everyone posts each day what they are thankful for?  Well, God has really been dealing with me in the area of thankfulness, so beginning January 1st, I am starting the 365 Day Thankfulness Challenge.  On Facebook and (since I don't have a blog page for my Facebook) on here, I will post one thing that I am thankful for everyday in 2013.  I would really love for some of you to join me in this challenge.  I think it will really help us to be more aware of how lucky we really are.  So whaddya say?  Are you up for the challenge?

Monday, December 24, 2012

Holiday Break Goals

I found this great linky party over at What I Have Learned (which is a new blog for me - don't ya just love finding new blogs?).

What are my plans for this holiday break?
1.  Clean my house - Seriously, y'all - it's a MESS!!!!  And I refuse to start the new year with a messy house.  Now, I just have to get my hubby (who is also off until the new year) to help!
2.  Get all my lesson plans typed - I'm having my observation/evaluation when we get back in January.  Since I haven't typed up my lesson plans since October, I've got some catching up to do!
3.  Get report cards/data up to date.  Luckily, we have a new online system, so I can get all of it done from home.
4.  Get back on the blogging bandwagon - life's been sooo crazy, I haven't been able to really blog like I should. about you?  Click the link above to join the party!

Friday, December 21, 2012

She read my mind...

Ok, so I was going to post some pictures of my first attempt to make gingerbread houses with my students at our Christmas party yesterday, but then I found this post on Facebook.  I know some (or most) of you may have already read it, but for those of you who haven't, it's a must read.  After reading it, I thought, "Yes!  This is exactly what I've been thinking."  Click on the link below to read:

To America from a Teacher

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Almost there...

We have 1 and a half days left until Christmas vacation.  About 1:00 this afternoon, I told the teacher across the hall from me, "Ok, I'm done!  I'm officially not teaching anymore until Christmas vacation!"  The kids are soooo super excited about Christmas, it's just not gonna happen, lol!  So, we're going to finish our Christmas Story book, maybe watch some classic Christmas videos and just party!  How about you?  Are you going all the way to Friday or are you out already?

On another note, Christmas came early to me today.  I found out last week that I was awarded a grant that I had applied for through our local education association.  Back in October, I had written 2 grants for $500 each - one for interactive whiteboard activities from Lakeshore and one for downloadable centers (mostly from Doodle Bugs Teaching and Deanna Jump) .  They stated that applicants could apply for more than one grant, but only one would be funded. I just figured I had a better chance of getting one funded if I wrote both of them.  When they told me I was funded for $500, they didn't tell me which grant was funded.  So today I get a call from our bookkeeper who told me that she got the check but there was a problem with it.  They had written it for $1500 instead of $1000.  I told her she was wrong and forwarded her the email I had received that said I was funded for $500.  She called the education association and they told her they had some extra money so they decided just to fund both of the grants!!!  YEAH!  So, I get to start the new year with cool things like these:

Space Sort! Interactive Word Games - Complete Set

Mastering Math Interactive Games Library - Gr. 1-3

And, of course, tons and tons of activities from Teachers Pay Teachers.  Seriously, I know most of you know Deanna Jump, but you have to check out Doodle Bugs Teaching.  Her stuff is awesome too!

On Thursday, we'll be making graham cracker gingerbread houses at our Christmas party.  Now, I've never tried these, so wish me luck (and any tips you have would be GREATLY appreciated)!  Check back Thursday for pictures.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Run, Run As Fast As You Can...

Since Thanksgiving, we've been working with the gingerbread stories.  So far, we've read The Gingerbread Man, The Gingerbread Boy, and The Gingerbread Girl.  The kids are really enjoying it, and I've been trying to incorporate more Common Core type questions for them to answer.  On Monday, our "Mad Scientist Monday" activity was this fun one:

Pinned Image
You can download it for free at Teachers Pay Teachers (just click the link to go directly to the product).
I know we're all getting used to Common Core (some of you are way more advanced with it than I am), so I'm trying to get my students to get used to the type of deep thinking required with Common Core.  So, instead of the weekly selection test that comes with our basal, I decided to write my own "selection test" based on the gingerbread man story.  I asked the kids to think of a word to describe the gingerbread man AND cite text evidence to support their decision.  Well, let me tell you... my intern and I thought we were going to LOSE OUR MINDS!!!!  The kids just wanted to write their word and then say that they know that because they read it in the story.  But - we stuck it out and encouraged the kids to keep trying.  We kept leading them to see that they had to write what the "it" was that they read in the story. 
After only about an hour and a half, they finally started to understand what we were saying.  Then, I got the most creative and amazing thinking from them.  Some examples:
"The gingerbread man was fast.  I know this because the characters couldn't catch him."
"The fox was sneaky.  I know this because he tricked the gingerbread man."
"The gingerbread man was hungry.  I know this because on the bottom of the second page, it says that he ate the gingerbread man."
"I know the gingerbread man was yummy.  I know this because everybody wanted to eat him!"
"The gingerbread man was smart.  I know this because he came up with the rhyme, 'Run, run, as fast as you can.  You can't catch me I'm the gingerbread man!"
This week, we've been reading The Gingerbread Girl and The Gingerbread Boy.  I came up with a test for these stories too.  On this one, I ask them to compare and contrast the gingerbread boy and girl, to  explain how the gingerbread girl knew not to trust the fox, to choose a word to describe the gingerbread girl and give text evidence (similar to the ones above), and finally, to tell which story they liked best and explain why. 
I can't wait to see what they come up with!  If you'd like a copy of either of these worksheets, just leave me a comment with your email and I'll send it to you!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Cutest Turkeys Ever!

I know that lots of people do the turkey disguise project.  I started doing it last year and they were really cute, so I did it again this year.  I have to say that they turned out really great again! Check them out:

The pig in the middle of the window was my favorite.  The pig mask actually lifts off and you can pull the turkey out of the costume.  They actually made this turkey have a double costume - when you pull him out, he has a Pilgrim costume on!  Oh, and I forgot to mention, the pig costume even has a piggy tail on the back. 

If you've never done this before, you need to try it next year.  The kids and families really have a blast doing it and they usually turn out great!

**Sorry for the delay in posting this, but my Mama flew down for Thanksgiving, and I spent the whole week just enjoying time with her!**  I hope your Thanksgiving was awesome!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Election Day and a cute Thanksgiving art idea

Hey guys and gals,
      Every four years we do a mini unit on elections.  The kids get to register to vote and then we vote for President on Election Day.  This year, we used activities from this book:

It's really a great resource with a book on elections and voting, information on presidents, even voter registration cards and ballots to copy.  Our first grade classes have to bring their voter registration cards tomorrow and vote based on their "address".  For example, my class "lives" on Spradlin Street, so they will go to one "polling location".  We give each teacher an "address".  We have Alford Avenue, Bruey Blvd., Padgett Place, and Jackson Junction.  I can't wait to see who "wins". 
I did make an election day quiz to go with the book we made.  If you'd like a copy, feel free to grab it below:
Election Day Quiz

On another note, I wanted to share an adorable activity we do each year for Thanksgiving.  The kids get to pick if they want to make a pilgrim or an indian. 

I know I posted about these last year, but they're just so cute, I thought I'd post for my new followers.  I got this idea from The Virtual Vine. Just click the link to go there (you have to scroll down almost to the bottom of the page to find them).

Sunday, November 4, 2012


Ok, so I haven't done a currently in a while, only because by the time I have a chance to sit down and do one, it's like the end of the month and by then, what's the point? So now, I'm linking up and here's my Currently:
Head over and link up by clicking below:
Is anybody else really excited about the holidays?  I start getting excited around Halloween.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this time of year. 
We're voting on Tuesday!  Come back for some cute pictures and ideas for Thanksgiving activities!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Monster Fun

One of my sweet co-workers told me today that she wished she had done her internship with me and that I was her hero.  I don't think she realizes how her words touched my heart.  Thanks, Gwen!  ;0)

So back in August, I was shopping and saw these cute tissue boxes:
You've seen these, right (actually, I hadn't seen the black ones until this picture - I had the orange and yellow and a blue one)?  Anyhoo,  I finally used up the tissues in one and was going to throw it away when I thought, "you know - these are really too cute to throw away!" 
So...what's a teacher to do?  Why, make a game with them, of course!  I haven't made it yet because I only have 2 of them, but I'm thinking some kind of monster sort for Halloween.  Kids can sort pictures according to vowels, math facts, etc.  I thought maybe you could use this idea.  Plus, if you give me some ideas on how you would use these, I promise to make some game pieces, pictures, etc. for you to use.  Just let me know what you're thinkin!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Where in the World?

Before I tell you about my wonderful surprise weekend, I just wanted to share with you a cool activity I did with my strongest readers last week.  We were talking about nonfiction text features, specifically labels.  Because we were learning about bats last week, I decided to incorporate that into our small group lesson.  I took 3 pages from this book:
and covered up some of the labels on those pages (see below):
I then copied it for my highest readers.  We read the text on the pages together and then we discussed how to go back into the text to find the words and information that would help us complete the labels.  The kids did really well with this activity and it helped to reinforce the idea of going back in the text to find information.  The cool thing is that this activity can be done with any nonfiction books.  Not only could you white out or cover up existing labels, but you could add your own boxes for the students to label a picture. 

Now, on to the fun!  Sorry it's taken me so long to post pictures from the romantic weekend.  Rather than just telling you where we went, I thought it might be fun for you to guess.  Here's some pictures from our weekend:
We saw beautiful plantation houses

Some old homes in town

That's me and my hubby

Some beautiful interiors

Gorgeous gardens

Even the Moon Pie store!

It's beautiful at night

Yep, we took a ghost tour! you know where we went??????  Leave me a comment with your guess!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Just for fun and a surprise weekend...

My hubby surprised me earlier this week by telling me that he has planned a romantic weekend for us this weekend.  He arranged a babysitter for the kids and even arranged for someone to teach my Sunday school class.  The only kicker - he won't tell me where we're going!  Don't worry - I'll let you know next week when we get back.  And yes, there'll be lots of pics too!

In case you had as rough a week as I did, here's a little laugh.  Check out the explanation for the problem at the bottom of the page:

And that is why I love teaching firsties!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Freebie Alert

Hey everybody,
   Just a quick post to let you know about an awesome freebie.  Head over to Rowdy in Room 300 to find out how to snag this huge fall pack.  There are over 70 pages of fall themed Reading, Math, Science, and Social Studies activities!  All you have to do is follow 4 awesome blogs (2 of which were new to me and 2 I was already following!).  Here's the kicker - the offer is only good for a week, so you have to hurry!
Rowdy in Room 300

Saturday, September 29, 2012

First Grade Common Core

I am so excited to share this link with you! I had seen lots of bloggers posting about the new Common Core Workbook for Kindergarten. I checked it out (and the one for first grade) and they look awesome! I saw that they were even giving away the Kindergarten workbook download for free. I was a little sad because, well...I don't teach Kindergarten. I thought, "Man, I wish this was a first grade workbook." I even considered emailing them and asking if they could sub the first grade workbook instead of the Kindergarten one. Well, someone apparently read my thoughts, because you can now get the first grade workbook download for FREE!!! But you have to really hurry, because it ends tomorrow (which is why I am breaking the two posts in a day rule - will you forgive me?)! Just go here to check
 it out:

I did download the preview and it looked really good.  If I do get the free download, I might still buy a hard copy (yes, I am a book junkie - I'm visual and like to have the actual pages right in front of me). 
Hurry and check it out!

Apple Week(s)

This week, we began our study of apples.  We spent this week talking about Johnny Appleseed.  We even had Tasty Tuesday - we made apple pizzas!  YUM (and they make the classroom smell sooooo good)!  Anyway, I wanted to share some sheets that I made to go with these apple books:
Picking Apples by Margaret McNamara
Amazing Apples by Jeff Bauer
Apples by Jenne Simon
Big Red Apple by Tony Johnston

I like to send home books that go with the theme we are studying as they are often more interesting than the take home readers that come with our reading series.  The homework sheets I made are nothing fancy, but they do give the students the chance to practice writing answers in complete sentences and going back in the story to find the answers to questions.  You can pick them up below if you think you can use them.
Picking Apples Homework Sheet
Big Red Apple Homework Sheet
Apples Homework Sheet Amazing Apples Homework Sheet

I'm waiting on a parent to send me the pictures from our Tasty Tuesday.  I gave my camera to my mother in law.  She took my kids to Mickey's Halloween Party at DisneyWorld this weekend!  I'll post them when I get them.  So, how many of you do a bunch of apple activities this time of year?