Monday, January 30, 2012

MLK and snowmen

Here are the MLK facts that we glue on the bottom of the MLK art project.  I know it's too late for this year, but you can file them away for next year:
Martin Luther King Facts

I put a bunch on a page so you could save paper.

Now for the snowmen.  We used the patterns from Oceans of First Grade Fun.  Since we were working on writing describing sentences last week, I had the kids write sentences to describe their snowman.  Yep, you can get the writing sheets from Ms. A's website too (just click the link above to go directly to the post).  When everyone had finished their writing, we played a little game where the child read his/her description and we had to guess which snowman was theirs.  The kids had a lot of fun and it taught them to be specific when they were writing their description.  For example, one child wrote that his had 3 buttons and 3 snowballs.  He soon discovered that this wasn't a good description because they all had 3 buttons and 3 snowballs.  We then posted the snowmen and the descriptions in the hall so everyone could have fun guessing!

Aren't they cute?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

I've been tagged!

Ok, I have to admit it - I thrive on comments (as most bloggers do!), so when I saw comments on my last post, I had to check them out.  When I did, I saw a comment from my blog buddy Lisa that said, "Tag...You're it!"  Huh?  What?  We're playing tag and I missed it?  What's this all about?  So, the curious little thing that I am, I went straight over to her blog Live, Laugh, and Love to Learn to check it out.  I found a fun little game of tag going on. So, since I love a fun game, the 2 post rule must be broken!

 Here are the rules:
1. You must post the rules.
2. Post 12 fun facts about yourself on the blog post.
3. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post, and then create 12 new questions for the people you tagged.
4. Tag 12 people and link them on your post.
5. Let them know you've tagged them!
Now, this is definitely my kinda tag.  I'm really not athletically inclined, so a game of tag I can play sitting on my couch in my jammies - I'm in!
12 fun facts about me:
1.  I love to watch football and I pick my favorite teams by whether or not I like their mascot (is there any other way to pick a team?).
2.  Savannah, Georgia is my favorite place to visit (if you go, you've gotta stay at the Foley Inn - wonderful).
3.  I'm originally from Ohio and graduated from the University of Cincinnati (Go Bearcats!).
4.  I love to watch the People's Court.
5.  I love to bake, but not to cook (yes, people, there is a difference).
6.  I love to ride roller coasters.
7.  I spend 3-4 weeks every summer in Kentucky visiting my mom (teacher summers are great).
8.  I spent a month in Europe when I was 16.
9.  I'm trying to figure out how to start a charity.  I want to start a group called "Teachers Helping Teachers" that helps teachers whose schools have been affected by natural disasters.  This idea came to me back in 2007 when a tornado destroyed the town of Greensburg, Kansas.  I organized some donations of teaching materials for those teachers and gained a great friend in the process.  Laura and I have been penpals ever since and our classes write to each other throughout the year.  This past year, we also sent over 1,300 pounds of teaching materials and supplies to Tushka, Oklahoma when they were hit.  We also held bake sales and sent them some money for  supplies as well.  I can't help thinking how much more we could do if we had a true charity that people could contribute to.  Anybody know how to go about setting one up?
10.  My original major in college was a dual major in International Affairs and French.  I wanted to be a translator.
11.  I love my job, but would love to be a professional college student as well.  I would take classes on anything and everything.
12.  I am the worst housekeeper ever!
Here are the questions Lisa left for me:

1. Do you have aspirations to become an administrator? Why/why not?  I really don't have any desire to be an administrator.  Yes, the pay would be nice, but:
1. They work all year and I love my summers (see number 7 above)
2.  I may only have 1 or 2 parents during the year that get upset about something.  I can then send them to take it up with the principal.  I can't imagine having all of the mad parents (and teachers) coming to yell at me about whatever. 
3.  I pretty much tell it like it is, so I don't know how long I would really last as a principal ("You're mad that your kid had time out for throwing a chair?  He really needs a good spanking!" - yeah, wouldn't last long).
2. Real book/E-reader?  I've always been a real book kinda gal, but my hubby got me a Kindle this Christmas.  I have to say I still love real books, but when I go to Kentucky this summer, it'll be nice to be able to take a bunch of reading material without taking up a bunch of suitcase room.
3. What did you learn in your classroom, that they never taught you in college? What to do when a child glues her lips together and then cuts them apart with her scissors.  Yep, you gotta learn that the hard way...
4. Teachers lounge--good or bad?  A little of both - depends on who's in there ('nuf said).
5. If you were to win $1000 for your classroom, how would you spend it? On organizing stuff (bins, binders, containers, etc) - I am the MOST unorganized person and it drives me crazy.  I am that teacher that has piles all over the place, but I can usually tell you what's in each pile, so I tell myself it's not that bad.
6. What is your least favorite thing about teaching? It's a toss up between the paperwork and parents that let their children raise themselves.
7. If you could choose any grade to teach, which would you choose? Why?  That's a hard one.  I did my internship in 3rd and LOVED it, but now with all of the high stakes testing - maybe not so much.  Soo, I guess I'll have to stick with first (although 2nd might not be too bad...).
8. Does your school have a specific dress code for teachers? We're pretty lucky in the dress code category.  Pretty much anything as long as it's not jeans or sweats.  Shorts can be worn, but they must be the longer shorts.
9. If you watch American Idol...Steven Tyler as a judge--good or bad? I don't watch it anymore.  I used to watch the beginning of every season just so I could laugh at the really bad singers, but I found better shows that I got hooked on.
10. What is your favorite genre of music? Contemporary Christian
11. Who is your favorite Golden Girl? Definitely Rose - I just love Betty White, she reminds me of my Grandma.
12. What is your favorite TV show? Well, since I'm a TV junkie, I can't really answer that with just one.  It really depends on the type of show: 
Crime Drama: Criminal Minds
Court Show: People's Court
Home Show: House Hunters
Food Show: It's a tie between Cupcake Wars and Chopped
Comedy:  I don't really watch any new comedies.  My favorites are the old black and white shows (think Dick Van Dyke, Addams Family, Munsters, etc).

Now, I've gotta think of 12 questions to ask.  This is the hard part...hmmm.  Okay, here goes:

1.  If you couldn't be a teacher anymore (for whatever reason), what job would you have?
2.  If you could go back to any decade/era in history, when would it be?  Why?
3. What is your favorite book?
4.  What is your favorite type of candy?
5.  If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?  Why?
6.  If you had the chance, would you go to space?
7.  Are you an early bird or a night owl?
8.  What is your favorite holiday?
9.  What was your favorite toy as a child?
10.  Black Friday - get up at the crack of dawn, shop from home, or avoid it all together?
11.  Do you collect anything?
12.  Do you clip coupons?

Ok, now to tag 12 people:
Rebecca at Teaching First
Lory at Fun For First
Mrs. Cupcake at A Cupcake for the Teacher
Stephanie at Aloha Kindergarten
Jennyfer at The Accidental Teacher, Mom, Runner
Courtney at Swimming Into Second
Fran at Kindergarten Crayons
Melissa at Mrs. Freshwater's Class
Miss J at Smiles, Crayons, and Endless Stories
Abby at The Inspired Apple
Janine at Faithful in First
Deanna at Mrs. Jump's Class

Valentine Adjectives

As I was sitting this afternoon, trying to write lesson plans for this week (please tell me that I am not the only Sunday afternoon lesson planner), I saw that we are working on writing descriptive sentences again.  We did this last week, and we made the CUTEST snowmen ever!  I got the idea and the pieces from Ms. Arnold over at Oceans of First Grade Fun.  I'm going to post some pictures and more details tomorrow.  Meanwhile, you've gotta click the link above and go check her blog out!

Anywhoo,  since we wrote about our really cute snowmen last week, I had to think of some other activities to reinforce adjectives to do this week.  One of the ladies in our church goes to visit some nice ladies at the nursing home every week.  I told her that my class would be willing to make Valentine cards to send to the nursing home for Valentine's Day.  I thought that maybe we could combine the Valentine cards and a lesson on using adjectives (so we're learning and not just doing "fun" stuff).  So I made this little poem that the kids could fill out to glue inside their cards:

Valentine Card Poem

My thought was that on Monday we could review adjectives and discuss color words as adjectives.  We could brainstorm things that are each color (I'm picturing a beautiful anchor chart like this one from Mrs. Lemons):

Or maybe a beautiful rainbow with things of each color listed on the bands of the rainbow...can 'ya picture it?  But...since I have the artistic ability of a kindergartener (no, really, I can't draw a thing), it might not be so pretty, but you get the idea!  Then, we might brainstorm things that are sweet so they will have some ideas of words they can use in their poem.  I'm hoping that the ladies at the nursing home will enjoy getting these Valentine cards and that my kiddos learn the importance of reaching out and doing something nice for others.  I'm also hoping that maybe you'll be able to use the poem frame for your firsties.  I'll post some pics of the cards and poems when we get them done!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

MLK and Literacy Week

As you know, last week we celebrated Martin Luther King, Jr. day.  Each year, we spend about a week talking and learning about MLK.  We read books, watch videos, etc. (as I'm sure many of you do).  One of the things that our grade level does each year is to make an MLK art project.  The kids use simple shapes to make the head of MLK.  Now, you would think it would be easy, right?  Just trace some simple shapes to make a picture.  Anyone who has taught young kids knows - it's not so easy!  These turn out so funny every year!  Some of them look fairly normal:

and some of them are downright funny!:

I meant to bring home the tracers we use and the fact strip we paste at the bottom, but I forgot.  I'll try to remember to post them tomorow.

On another note, our school is celebrating literacy week this week.  Today was dress like your favorite book character day.  Now, I have to admit that I was slightly worried about this day.  You see, our kids all get to dress up on Halloween and it's CRAZY!!!!  Halloween is always an early release day for us, so I was completely stressed out because today was not an early release.  So, when I hear the kids say, "I'm gonna be Darth Vader," or "I'm gonna be Spiderman", I could just imagine the craziness (and all  of the teaching that I wouldn't get done).  So I spent the evening thinking of a character I could dress up as that would let me wear jeans or some kind of comfy clothes (is there a character that lays around in her jammies all day?  If so, please tell me).  Because I was scared of the crazy kids, I had thought about being Miss Nelson (from Miss Nelson is Missing) and just sending a note to school saying I would be out for the day... I even had my favorite sub (and former homeroom mom) agree to dress up as Miss Viola Swamp, but I decided against it (principal might not think it was such a great idea).  Soooo, I decided to dress up as:
Can you guess?  Hint: I'm a farm girl (hence the jeans and flannel), and I have a tiny little pig as a friend.
I meant to take some pics of some of the other teachers to give you some ideas in case you ever have to have a dress like a character day, but I got busy (surprise, surprise), so all I got was Mrs. Sapp (one of the teachers that teach with us).  Can you guess who she is? Hint: black and white, orange beak, "TACKY" hawaiian shirt.
We also had some teachers dress as the Cat in the Hat, Miss Bindergarten, the Grouchy Ladybug, Fancy Nancy, and Junie B. Jones.
I only had a few kids dress up today:
Little Red Riding Hood

The Karate Kid (is that a book or only a movie?)
Sleeping Beauty

So do you guys dress up for Literacy Week?  What are some of your costume ideas (and do you know what Mrs. Sapp and I were)?

Friday, January 20, 2012

From a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day to a Wonderful, Terrific Very Good Day

So I went to school today just like any other day.  Everything was normal until about 8:00 when all of a sudden, the power goes out.  Now, I'm thinking, "No day can be good that begins with a power outage 15 minutes before the kids come." One thing you need to know about me - I do EVERYTHING on the Smartboard (okay, maybe not everything, but you get the point), so I'm freaking out.  So the kids come in and they are as you would expect them to be - all crazy and riled up, and I'm thinking, "This is going to be one of THOSE days!"  We carried on for about an hour until the lights finally came on.  As you could guess, this threw my lesson plans all out of whack, so we were trying to cram in our reading test and spelling test in the short amount of time we had left before specials. 

Now, my hubby and I had plans tonight to go out to dinner ('cause the kids are going to spend the night at Grandma's) at Red Lobster.  We don't get to do this very often, so I was really excited.  Through the whole "no power hour", I kept reminding myself, "date night, date night, date night...".  Luckily, the kids were able to get back into our routine pretty quickly and the day started to get better.

At the end of the day, my hubby sent me a message that said, "Take the kids to moms as soon as you can, then come home and pack an overnight bag.  We have dinner reservations at one of your favorite place at 8:45."  Say what????  Now, my hubby is sweet and I love him, but he is not one of the most romantic people I know, so this was totally a surprise.  So I guess my lesson plans and grocery shopping and studying will have to wait until tomorrow evening - I'm on my way to dinner at the Pink House in Savannah!  See - a wonderful, terrific, very good day!

Hope you have a wonderful, terrific, very good weekend!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sharing a Smile

I don't have a lot of time to post right now, but I wanted to share a smile with you.  Each day, our bus riders leave about 10 min. before our walkers so we always use that time to play Brainquest.  Today, one of the questions was, "What country does pizza come from?"  One of my little sweeties yells out, "Pizza Hut!"

SMILE!!!  Don'cha just love firsties?   =0)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Sweet Tens and Ones

I've been working over the last few weeks on introducing tens and ones to my kiddos.  We work on this a lot through our calendar time (as I'm sure many of you do).  We represent how many days we've been in school with tens and ones each day.  We used to use just base 10 blocks or bean sticks to show tens and ones, but then our district told us that we need to show different ways to show groupings of tens and ones.  We do our calendar on the Smartboard, so we started in August putting a crayon in the ones place each day of school.  When we got to 10, we "put" the crayons in a crayon box and wrote 10 on the front of the box.  For September, we used apples for the ones place and placed 10 apples in a basket with a 10 on it.  For October, it was Halloween candy.  You get the idea. 
   Well, since we are (as I tell my kids all the time) "halfway to second grade", we introduced the children to the base 10 blocks.  In our class, we call the 10's "sticks" and the 1's "squares".  My kids seemed to catch on to this really quickly, so I thought I'd have some fun with them.  For our place value center last week, I used this great activity from Teach With a Smile:

If you've never been to her site, you need to check it out!

The gingerbread theme of this activity gave me an idea.  I found some cute clip art in my Mailbox magazine that was candy sticks and gumdrops.  I copied these, colored them, laminated them and put them in my center for this week.  I wrote 2 digit numbers on index cards and put those in a basket with the candy pieces.  Basically, the kids use candy sticks for tens and the gumdrops for ones to show each number.  Because we are low on  out of funds at our school for supplies, we use a lot of scrap paper.  The kids then grabbed a piece of scrap paper, drew the candies and recorded the number next to their picture. 

I know that it's a little late in the year for gingerbread (I meant to do this activity earlier, but...), so I made a version to go with Valentine's day.  Basically, I used a picture of a Twix bar for the ten "sticks" and some candy hearts for the ones.  Just print out 2 or 3 of each page, laminate, write your numbers on some index cards and let your kids have fun with some sweet place value.
Valentine Place Value

Saturday, January 14, 2012

A Cute Valentine Gift Idea

First, let me say that I was a little worried Thursday night.  You see, my plan was to have all of my lesson plans done so that I could really enjoy the weekend.  I took off work yesterday so my hubby and I could go to Winterjam.  If you don't know what Winterjam is, and you enjoy contemporary Christian music, you need to check it out at Well, the lesson plans didn't happen and since I start my fifth semester of Faith Bible Institute on Sunday, I thought my whole Saturday
was going to be spent writing lesson plans.  What I forgot was that Monday was a holiday!!!! Which means no school and I can get my lesson plans finalized then.  Holidays are great, but they are even greater when you don't remember about them until the last minute (unless the last minute is after you've driven 40 min. to school only to remember then that it's a holiday - yep, did that once!).  So, needless to say, I'm doing a little happy dance right now!

On another note (and on to the topic of this post), I found the cutest little soap pump topper at Bath and Body Works yesterday. 
Ladybug Decorative Anti-Bac Topper - Bath & Body Works   - Bath & Body Works  My son's teacher collects ladybugs, so this is going to be perfect for her (and the best part is that it was 90% off, so it was only like 20¢!!!)  They also have a big sale right now on everything, so now is the time to go.  I've seen such cute little tags and stuff on Pinterest, so I wanted to create a cute little tag I could put on the bottle.  I found these adorable tags on a new blog (well, new for me) called Paper Glitter:

I then had to come up with a clever saying  I could put on the tag, so I came up with I'm "soap"-leased you're my teacher!

Do you think that's too cheesy?  I printed it out with a cute font from lettering delights and put it on the tag.  It looks really cute.  Jump over to Paper Glitter and grab your own valentine tags, then run to Bath and Body works to stock up (on gifts and for yourself!).

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Wild and Crazy Day

So yesterday was one of THOSE days.  You know, one of those crazy days where crazy things that you never thought would happen happen?  You know, a Teeny Tiny Teacher kind of day?  If you don't understand that last reference, you need to check out Kristin's Halloween post (seriously, that is the best teacher story EVER - if there was a hall of fame for hilarious teacher posts, that one would definitely hold the place of honor).  Anyway, here's how my day went (and yes, all names have been changed):

The day had been fairly normal.  At recess time (around 1:30), the teacher next door to me had to go to the office to have her post evaluation conference with the principal, so her students came into my room for inside recess.  So now, I have 32 kids in my room for inside recess (oh, joy).  Now, I have to say that her kids are crazier louder more energetic than mine.  Needless to say, they were able to get my kids a little louder than they normally be.  Because her conference lasted longer than expected (surprise, surprise), we had to start our science lesson with 16 extra kids sitting on my carpet (and with my kids a little riled up from having these new friends in our room).  I was able to get through about half of the lesson before she came to pick the kids up. 

As I breathed a sigh of relief, I got my kids quieted down and focused back on their work.  We were making a book about animals in winter and they were supposed to cut out and glue captions under the pictures on the page.  About this time, one of my sweet little firsties (we'll call her Mary), got up to go to the bathroom.  In our room, they know that they do not have to ask to go if they are working at their seat.  I notice her going, but I don't think anything about it.  About 5 min. later or so, I start to call kids up to get their folders and get ready to go home.  I call a few kids, and then I notice that Mary is still in the bathroom.  At this point, I'm not really worried about it, but I do start to watch the clock to see how long she's in there.  About 5 minutes later, I'm noticing that she's still not out, so I call out, "Mary, you need to hurry up.  It's about time to go".  A couple minutes later, still no Mary.  So, I repeat, "Mary, come on, you need to get packed up!"  Still no Mary.  Finally, I yell  nicely say, "Mary, get out here!  please come out and get ready to go home".   Now, she decides to come out.  She walks over to my desk where I am talking to another student. 

I look up and notice that she is standing there covered in blood (and I mean blood on her shirt, her arms, her face)!!!!

 After putting my eyes back in my head and taking a deep breath, I scream say, "What happened???" 

 "I cut my lip."

 "How did you cut your lip in the bathroom?"

"With my scissors." - Oh yeah, why didn't I think of that?  Of course - how else would you cut your lip in the bathroom?

"Why did you cut your lips with scissors?" I ask.

 To which one of my other little sweeties replied, "Because she glued her lips together!"  

"WHAT!!!???  Why in the world would you glue your lips together?"

"I don't know."

Since it is now about 2 minutes before the end of school, I decide not to send her to the clinic.  I just sent her into the bathroom (after confiscating the scissors) to wash herself up.  Her mom walks to pick her up each day, so I just stuck my head out my door (luckily, my room is on the end of the building right next to the gate) and called her mom over.  I explained what happened, and she really wasn't surprised.  Her response, "That's why she's not allowed to have scissors at home.  She's cut her hair 3 times."  Seriously??

She came in today and you really couldn't tell that she had done anything.  Apparently she not only has a high tolerance for pain (I mean, I get a little cut on my lip and I'm crying like a baby - she didn't really even bat an eye) but also incredible healing powers.

I know that this is nowhere near the caliber of Kristin's finger story, but seriously, that's all I could think of last night as I was telling my husband about it.  Is it bad that when something like this happens, my mind goes immediately to a blog post? 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Today, I'm linking up with Farley's Currently linky party for January.

Run over and link up - this month, when you link up, you're entered to win a cool new pencil sharpener!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


I'm a winner!!!! I mean, we all are really, but... I won!!!  I won an awesome giveaway.  Not only did I win, but I won big!!!!  I won first prize in a really cool giveaway that featured these 12 blogs:


Each blog picked 6 winners, 3 third place winners, 2 second place winners, and one first place winner!  As a firstplace winner, I got to choose 1 item from each of the TPT stores!  That's 12 items!  What a great ending to a Monday!  If you don't follow these ladies' TPT stores, you really need to.  It took me a LONG time last night trying to choose just one from each store - they all have really great stuff.  Thanks again to all of the bloggers that hosted this.  You really made my day!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Disney Fun

So yeah, even though my lesson plans weren't really done and I could have studied my Sunday School lesson a little more, we spent Saturday at Disney.  I really think that every now and then, you've just got to get away (even if you just had 2 weeks off, lol)!  It was beautiful and we really had a good time.  My son has been trying to meet Buzz Lightyear for the last 3-4 times we've gone, but each time we get there, Buzz has just left for a lunch break (not the quick 5 min. ones they take every now and then, but a "come back in a few hours" kind of break) or we catch him as he's leaving for the night.  He loves Buzz Lightyear.  He's been Buzz for 2 of the last 3 Halloweens and when we picked out a costume for next year (yep, I'm one of those moms who buy her kids' costumes after Halloween when they're like $2), guess who he picks?  You guessed it!  For those of you who are dreaming of coming down to Disney, here are some pics:

Oh, and if you do decide to come on down, just let me know.  We have season passes, so I'll just meet you there!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Winter Wonderland

Yeah, I know - "you shouldn't post twice in the same day".  But I also know that some of you were looking for my post about our first day back from Christmas vacation, so I'm breaking the rules and it's all your fault just for you!

Because we live in Florida and most of my kids have never seen snow, I like to give them a little taste of a winter wonderland on the first day back from Christmas vacation.  The first thing I do is to hang snowflakes from the ceiling,  I found these ornaments 2 or 3 years ago at Target during their after Christmas for 25¢ apiece.

I've hung these for the last 2 years and last year, I decided that I would be smart and save some time.  Rather than retying each one (cause I have like a million of them...okay, 60-70, but it feels like a million when you're tying and hanging them), I thought I would just leave the fishing line/paper clips on them and just put them in the basket carefully so that next year I would just have to pull them out and hang them.  Now, I know some of you are laughing at me right now and saying yeah, right, that'll never work, but I've got to tell you, that when I pulled out the snowflakes this year, I found:

Yep, a big, tangled, horrible mess!!!!  Seriously, I spent like 2 hours untangling these. Stop laughing, I can hear you!  I think this year, I'll just hang them from the ceiling in the closet so they don't get all tangled (plus, I can then count all of that going up and down the ladder as exercise for that day, right).

In addition to hanging the snowflakes, I also make it "snow" in our room.  I use this

This stuff is great and is so easy to make.  Plus, it feels cold and wet just like snow, and it melts in a few hours, so it's great for the classroom.  I told the kids that I forgot to turn the heat on over the break and it got so cold that it actually snowed in the classroom.  This year, my class is soooo sweet, that some of them actually believed that it really snowed in our room.  Here are some pics of the classroom after the "snow":

How do you decorate for winter?  I'd love to see some pictures - leave me a link so I can visit your "winter wonderland".