Monday, October 29, 2012


In an effort to combine my fairly sick and unhealthy addiction love for technology and parent communication, I started a Facebook page for my classroom.  I know that this is not cutting edge, but for me it is....and I LOVE it!  This has proven to be a very effective way of alerting parents to the happenings of our little classroom.  (Mrs. Cruz's 1st grade Class)

At the beginning of the year I sent out permission/release of image forms.  Every single one of my Firsties' parents sent them back approved, *except* one.  I just crop/edit her out of photos. 

I set this up like a business page and have my parents "Like" my page.  Then they can see all of the updates I post.  I post pictures from my iPad and I have even uploaded a few videos.  This is awesome for the parents who are wondering what their little ones are up to all day long.  One posting even clarified the homework that night for a couple of parents. 

In this fast paced world, I love that I can use the tools for good and not evil (*sounds like a movie or something!).

 The best part is after 30 "Likes" you can see how often your page is being visited.  Parents can comment and message me.  I have had no issues yet and I am monitoring the page very closely for safety. 
Come on over and check it out for your self!  Mrs. Cruz's 1st grade Class

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Spottin' the Change Freebie! Math

I am still working on figuring all of this blog world stuff out.  If you go to the link at the top of the picture you can find this math freebie.  This is a quick little activity to use during calendar time or to make for the Firsties to use in pairs.  My kiddos like to do this as they are waiting for their peers to finish morning work.  Great addition and subtraction practice. 
Common Core Standards 1.OA.1, 1.OA.3, 1.OA.4

Friday, October 26, 2012

Grab My Button

Ok, I am learning from Mrs. Jessica Stanford how to make a button and let you all grab it.  If you like what you see, then you can "grab" her button by going to her blog and doing it, too. Her button is on my page, she's the cute blonde.  ;)

OK, so this is what my button will look like:

New and improved...


I am trying to figure out how to add buttons for Pin It! Pinterest and to make my own buttons....this blogger world is a little tricky.  Day One of my fall break and this is how I'm feeling about my blog.  Maddie's behind me for dramatic effect!  lol ;)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Evens and Odds

 Learning about evens and odds today in math.  An even number always has a pair, but in the odd number there is always an "odd man out".  My Firsties loved this lesson!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Classroom Art and Daily Happenings

We All Belong classroom art.  Then I used watercolor paint to color in the rest of the art. It is up above the student mailboxes.

 Then I used their thumbprints to make the leaves.  Then I used watercolor to fill in the rest of the art with color.  This is showcased on top of our mailboxes. 

 These kiddos are using their one-inch voice.  They hold their hands like this to show one-inch.  It reminds them to speak softly and in a whisper-like voice.  It always cracks me up to see them turn and talk with their fingers like this...but to them it's what we do!  Love it.  ;)
Making predictions about our story.  It was pajama day for us!  Always a good day when we get to wear our pj's. 

This is one of my little ladies using my iPad (thank you School City of Hobart!) to form her letters correctly on my Handwriting Without Tears App.  I have the iPad under my document camera so all of the Firsties can watch.  Wow, talk about an engaged lesson!  They were all silent and eager to have their turn.  Love this program, check it out if you can! 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Morning Notebooks

So, I am LOVING my summer Pinterest find.  I saw this and I just had to have my own!  So far this year I have used the cut composition notebooks with my "Fix It" sentences.  Eventually I will use these with my math problem solving word problems, too.  It's proven to be a great teaching tool and assessment tool.  In the morning the students take their morning work and sentence strip to start their day.  Then I use my document camera and we do the work together.  Thanks to HeidiSongs, my kiddos have been singing their sight words while they fix their sentences in their Red Journals.  Ahhhhh, happy teacher! 
(That's my sweet Maddie modeling for you.) 


This is my behavior system for the year and it's working!  I took the positive behavior colors and put it into a chart form.  It hangs between my the  boys' and girls' bathrooms.  The special treat is I added the punch cards for an extra incentive.  When a kiddo gets 10 punches, they get to pick out of my treasure box.  When a kiddo gets 20 punches, they get to have lunch with Mrs. Cruz...and we are about to have our 1st lunch group! 


Meeting our Learning Goals

Whoo-hooo!  My firsties are AmAzInG!  In the beginning of our math unit my kiddos took a pre-test (which they bombed!) and then after weeks of learning and practicing our learning goals of counting by 5's and then 1's with tallies and $, telling time, and identifying numbers that are more or less, my little Firsties rocked the math test today.  The majority of the tests were A+'s and NO ONE failed.  I couldn't be more proud...we even made a bar graph to show our growth! 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Start up on Teachers Pay Teachers

I have two items up and I'm planning on adding MANY more!  I'm so excited about this and eager to create more products for my kiddos and store.  :)

ABC Bird Memory  This is a sample of my ABC Bird Memory Game.

One Year Later...

One year ago I started a blog and then with life's surprises I never got back to it.  I have been stalking other teacher's and now I feel ready to start back up with this passion. 

Soooo...I have started a classroom FaceBook page and my own Teacher's Pay Teachers store since last night!  There is so much to learn, but I'm looking forward to being able to help out other teachers with ideas just like I've been helped out so much.

Newest addition: Toby the Time Out Turtle
Toby is here to help out with our feelings.  Sometimes you need to take a break and tell someone how you feel.  Toby stays in a little nook of our classroom.  He has a pencil, crayons, and journal to help my little firsties express their feelings.  He has been a huge success and getting lots of hugs!