Monday, November 26, 2012

Jam-packed Day!

Who's got 2 thumbs and stayed up until 2:45am in the morning working on anchor charts, grading, and blogging?  THIS GIRL!!!  Oh my gracious, I am feeling it tonight.  On the up side, I was completely rocking my teaching and in a really great mood-go figure.  Perhaps I should only get 3 hours of sleep every night?  NO WAY!  ;D  Check out what I made...yes, Pinterest was opened the entire time. 


My little Firsties were very happy to see my hard work.  Maybe that's why I was in such a good mood?  Or it could have been because I had a rockin' read aloud with my new book Looking After Louis.  I'll post about that another day.  Tonight it's beddy bye time.  :)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Liebster Award

How cool is this?!!!  I was nominated for a Liebster Award by Kathy Olenzcek from Third Grade Doodles.  I am so honored and excited!  Thank you!!!!!

The Liebster Blog Award is given to up and coming bloggers by established bloggers (less than 200 followers), in order to recognize them, let them know that they are appreciated, and to spread the word about new blogs. The rules are:
  • You must post 11 random things about yourself.
  • Answer the questions that the nominators set for you.
  • Create 11 questions for the people you nominate.
  • Choose 11 blogs you love (with less than 200 followers) and link them in your post.
  • No tag back, (but please leave me a comment on this post with the URL to your Liebster post so that I can learn more about you!)
So this is what I came up with!
11 Random Things About ME
  1. I love to belt out songs when I am in my classroom working-REALLY LOUDLY
  2. My husband courted me and finally won my heart when he read the poem he wrote for me at our local coffee house when I was 17.  (we married when I was 20)
  3. I prefer cats but we have a dog (I do love her very much)
  4. I pray every day that I will serve God in an honorable way by teaching my little Firsties.
  5. I talk too much and have lots of opinions for only being a teacher for 4 1/2 years.
  6. I have two kids, Maddie 8 and Jack 6 (not really random, but needs to be said)
  7. I love to get my hair done and I am a little mad at myself for chopping it all off recently.
  8. My iPad is my newest accessory and BFF
  9. I like to watch Good Luck Charlie on Disney because the mom totally reminds me of me! LOL
  10. My first profession was Respiratory Therapy for 13 years. (Now I work more hours for a LOT less pay, but I adore being a teacher!)
  11. I volunteer with our Jr. High Youth group and I'm heading to Nashville this summer to help in the soup kitchens and serve the city for my second time with the youth.
11 Answers to the 11 Questions that Kathy Asked Me
  1. The recipe that I am most famous for are my Devil'd Eggs.
  2. I started a blog to connect more personally with other teachers and because I think amazing things are happening in my room and I wanted a place to share.
  3. My favorite subject currently to teach is math.  (But it varies often!)
  4. for books to listen to during snack time.  Check out Stephanie's Ponytail by Robert Munsche!
  5. The hardest thing about teaching is balancing it all. 
  6. If I could go anywhere, I would love to go to Ireland.
  7. My ideal classroom has differentiation happening effortlessly, numbers not exceeding 20 students, endless supply of paper-markers-laminating sleeves-books-all other supplies, parents who write the teacher using kind words and no tones, and time to fit it all in.
  8. I used the Grinch Face with writing a sentence or two about how the children would make him smile.  It was fun and super cute!
  9. My favorite music artist is Adele.
  10. My morning poison is coffee, although some may call it coffee flavored sugar milk. ;)
  11. If money was no object, I would buy the Galaxy III for myself and I would buy a carpet spot rug for my carpet time. 

11 Questions for the 11 Blogs that I Nominated
  1. How long have you been a teacher?
  2. What was your best purchase from TPT?
  3. How do you celebrate Christmas in your classroom in one or two sentences?
  4. How did you discover the blogging world?
  5. What is your favorite read aloud?
  6. What are you wishing for this Christmas-money is no object?
  7. How do you incorporate learning goals into your day?
  8. What is your favorite treat to order from Dairy Queen?
  9. Do you wear heels, flats, boots, or other in the classroom?
  10. What is your favorite song to listen to when you are sad?  ...when you are happy?
  11. What was the best field trip you ever went on or planned?
Here are the Blogs I Nominated

Sliding into First
Keepin' it Kool in Kinderland
Blooming in First
2nd Grade Glance
Grade 2 Happenings
The Paper Maid: One Page at a Time
A Teacher's Attempt at Being Crafty
The Teacher in Me
A Passion For Primary
4th Grade Haps and Hacks
Shoot for the Moon

I can't wait to learn all about these bloggers! 


Drinking my Water and Ready for Monday...i think

I am for real going to try to stay on the wagon and drink my water instead of the ridiculous and toxic large quanties of pop I usually choose. 
(See, I'm drinking water!)
This evening I am feeling very content with knowing that I finally have my common core linked with each lesson.  I have color coded my Common Core Galore that I purchased from Rachelle Smith from TPT at the beginning of the year.  It has be a tremendously helpful tool as we are wading through this massive jungle of standards.  I am OCD when it comes to using standards, so I HAVE to have them labeled in my old fashioned handwritten lesson plans.  So tonight I am super happy!  :)
I have the color stickers on to break up the standards by quarters.  Naturally some skills overlap, but this helps to be sure that I have taught the standards needed.  I LOVE IT!
I am also super excited to use my new Thirty-One bag as my new teacher's bag.  Just a quick little plug. ;)  Yes, it matches my lesson plan book, naturally.
Well, I have planned all of my lessons and now I'll be adding some cuteness to the plans for the week.  Our school will be having a visit for accreditation from the Advanced Ed. people and I do have some butterflies.  Hoping that we have a smooth and proud next few days.  I work with amazing people and we have a fabulous school, but you know how it is.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Touch Money

I have learned so many things from so many people, but one of my biggest inspirations is a certain 2nd grade teacher who tells it like it is, is very clever, bold, wicked smart, and is the most captivating reader of the read aloud you will ever find.  Dare I go on?  Any-whooo, one thing that I am currently using that she uses to teach money is the touch money method.  I have found this wildly successful with my own kiddos and they are doing so much better then my little ones from last year.  It's pretty remarkable! 
I recently found this great little freebie and sent it home for my parents to be able to understand the symbols that we use in the classroom.   
I am constantly trying to connect with my parents in any way possible.  I so miss the parent-teacher conferences that we used to hold on our half days.  Indiana no longer has 1/2 days, which means we no longer hold "mandatory" parent conferences.  I typically only see the parents that I need to discuss matters of behavior or a child that is struggling academically...but I digress.  This is a great handout and I recommend it to anyone that teaches coins using the touch math method.  :)

A Quick little Pin It tutorial

I have learned from many and here is how I add the Pin It button:

1st: Write your blog post with pictures.  Be sure to publish it so that you will have your blog link to go to.

2nd: Open your blog and click on that story that you just wrote.  That way the Pin will take the follower directly to that page and not just your home page.  (As a Pinterest follower, I get soooo annoyed when I want to learn more from a pin and I have to search all over someone's blog to try to find the needle in the haystack.)

3rd: Go to this website and scroll down to the Pin It Button for Webpage info.

4th: Add the URL of your blog to that page with your picture directly on it.  For example, I wanted my pic of Looking After Louis to be pinned, so I clicked on the Differences to get this URL.


5th: Add the URL of the image.  You'll need to open your blog, click to edit your page, and then switch over to the HTML to view the codes. 


6th: Highlight this code beginning with http: and ending with .jpg  Paste this code in the URL of image to pin. Then you can describe the pin.  Doing this step opens the html code for you to paste in your blog under the picture (or wherever you'd like). 
7th: Paste this code in your blog while in the HTML view. 
8th: This is all there is to it!  You added your Pin It button.  :)  I have not ever added the smaller code on my page and so far it's not been an issue.  Good luck and be sure to save and publish your post.  :)


Saturday, November 17, 2012


I have a new little one in my room with special needs.  A few years ago I was in a classroom where the teacher read Looking After Louis by Lesley Ely.  The students responded so well and it was a great classroom building lesson.  I have been meaning to get this book to add to my very own library and now I finally have!  I am sooooo excited.  God has put a special little someone in my room every year and I have become great friends with our Special Education teacher.  (She's such a magnificent woman!) 

So, once I get my Amazon order I'll have a lesson to go along with my new purchase.  It was well worth the $ because as the years go by, my special needs population in my classroom is increasing.  I believe that the best way to deal with the "elephant in the room" is to educate all of the children.  It always melts my heart to watch the compassion and love exude from my little Firsties towards the little one that may need some extra patience. 

Looking after Louis
Leave me a sweet little note if you have come across any books or lessons that help to educate your little ones on a special needs topic.  :)

One of my favorite quotes:
"Fair isn't everybody getting the same thing...Fair is everybody getting what they need in order to be successful".  I will be incorporating this into my lesson I suspect. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Frog Phonics

I am loving all of the Turkey sightings on everyone's blogs, and I am guilty of downloading and buying every little Thanksgiving theme I can get my hands on....but I'm doing frogs today.  ;)  (Actually, we did our Thankful Turkeys today, but I didn't snap any pics yet) 

My little ones have been LOVING the H Brothers and the PH cousin (I added him with all of the ph words floating around).  The Firsties are so stink'n excited about finding the H Brothers that they shout out at the carpet, interrupt my reading groups, and nearly tackle me to show me their newest H Brother find.  Clearly I have created some monsters, but at least it's all about phonics! 

With all of the excitement, I made a sorting the H Brothers activity I saw on Pinterest from Make Take Teach Blog.  Hop over using this link and you can make your own!  I love how mine turned out and it was all FREE!  I had the bins that I got in the beginning of the year from Target in their $1 section (which is all too dangerous for this teacher) and I had the frogs in an old notepad someone gave me.  All I had to do was print and laminate.  And yes, I have my own laminator in my room and I don't know how I ever lived without it! 
Here's my Maddie demonstrating how to play/sort.  :)

Back to Turkeys tomorrow! 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Phonics and Turkeys?

Monday is always the day of the week that seems to be gone before it begins.  Is anyone else wondering where the time is going?  Yikes!  We did a great lesson that I adapted from Pinterest about the H Brothers.  I'm eager to add my little picture circles to add to our H-Brother Sort tomorrow.  It will be a great little activity to use with some of my mom volunteers. 
And I couldn't help but post by own 1st grader's disguised turkey.  My son, Jack loves the Don't Let the Pigeon...books.  So it seemed fitting to disguise his turkey as a pigeon.  ;)  Too fun!
Have a great day! 

Sunday, November 11, 2012


Another giveaway from this fantastic gal!  Hop over to her super cute Growing Firsties blog. This is just one little pic of all that she is giving away.  ;)  Good luck to you!

Who doesn't love a good giveaway?!  Check out my friend, Lisa's Pete the Cat giveaway on her blog Growing Firsties.  I hope I win!  If not, then I hope you win!  :) 

Good Luck!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Honor, Pride, and FRIDAY!

This was one of those days that I love.  My mind was going a mile a minute BUT I was checking tasks off of my "to-do" list left and right.  Since Veteran's Day is on Sunday this year, we started working on some veteran themed work today and next week we will be writing our letters to the veterans to tell them why we are so thankful for them.  This ties in nicely with the presidental unit we just wrapped up.  Why you may ask?  Because we have been discussing our country and why we are so lucky to be able to choose our leader.  Discussing our veterans provides the how to our freedom discussions.  Check out the cute photos of my Firsties! *Disclaimer* I did not have spellcheck on my super fun smelly markers, so I am not completely sure every word was spelled right on my chart paper. ;)

Added some more skills to our our Reader's CAFE.  This is a process that I would have loved to have started much earlier in the year.  Life threw some major curve balls at me this year.  New assessments, new computer programs, new professional development, and the biggest life-changing event, my dad going home to be with Jesus.  (REALLY missing him tonight)  So, this is as far as we have gotten so far, but geez do my little ones LOVE this.  Makes me happy to meet with my little readers. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Nutty kids = Review of Procedures

Time is just escaping me and I am dying to really dig deep with my kiddos.  All of the new assessments, additional assessments, professional development, and curriculum mapping can really get a girl down.  As much as I know that it is all necessary, I am so looking forward to tomorrow to pull more reading groups!  We had a review of the Literacy Stations of Daily 5 today.  Not the cutest chart, but it was what the Firsties came up with.  I will "jazz" it up to display and refer to in the classroom. 

I am also so happy to have FINALLY launched my Reading Cafe.  This was killing me!  By far, the start to this year was the craziest.  So happy to be pulling my kids and easing into the flow.  it's about time.  ;)

While waiting for the PTO meeting tonight, I put together some cute games that I got from Heather's Heart blog page.  So glad to add them to my phonics tub and my math tub!  Thank you!

Enjoy the day!  TGIF tomorrow.  :)