Wednesday, March 30, 2011

You Know You're a Teacher When...

- You become an expert at reading first grade writing / spelling.

- You say "Put your name on your paper," "Don't forget to use a capital and an end punctuation mark," and "Use the restroom during recess," so very, very many times a day!

- By this time of the year you can recognize each student from behind, since you know their coat and backpack.

- You have a love / hate relationship with bulletin boards.

- You have tons of pictures just like these on your computer.

Linking up with Abby from The Inspired Apple

P.S. Did you guys notice that I was today's winner at First Grade...a la Carte!? You NEED to check out this amazing blog by Kathy Law. She made a wonderful game just for me (okay, she made it for all of you too!). I'm in love with it!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Vowel Pair Review Game

I can't take credit for the idea of this game, since it was first told to me by our school's special ed teacher, but I did try to *fancy* it up. This game is a great review of some of the vowel pairs we introduce in 1st grade. I know some of my students just get totally lost with all the different sounds so hopefully this will help even my low bunnies. The directions are on the first page.

Click HERE to download Roll - Away

How do you review the vowel pairs with your students?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Easter Eggs

I made this game awhile ago, and if you're a Houghton Mifflin user, this may be useful.

Click HERE to download the game and directions.

Also, last Friday was when we put together the hygiene kits for Japan, and it was a C.R.A.Z.Y. day! I was pretty much running back and forth between my classroom and the faculty room (where the assembly line was) all morning. Oh, and a reporter for our local newspaper asked if I had a "few minutes" to answer some questions....20 minutes later the interview was finished! Thank goodness I had a couple college students to help out or I don't know what I would've done.
It was totally worth it though, because our school collected enough items to make 65 completed kids (each one goes to one family) and 15 more that are almost completed. Not to mention the 200 bars of soap, toothbrushes, and tooth paste that we'll be donating for future hygiene kits. I'll have to post a link to the article once it runs. No wonder I took yesterday completely off and enjoyed snuggles and pj time from my little man and husband (there were also Jr. Mints in the equation - good day!).

Thursday, March 24, 2011

10 Things I've learned from Teaching

Jennifer over at Rowdy in First Grade is hosting a linky party entitled 10 Things I've Learned from Teaching. I decided to join in.

I've been teaching for 5 years so I've learned at least 10 things:

1. Teaching is another form of acting. There have been quiet a few times when I’ve taught them a lesson that I’ve pretended to love (this leads to #2).

2. Students really do mirror your face. So the more excited and into a lesson I get, so do my students.

3. Most first grade problems are easily solved by an ice pack, a Band-Aid, or a drink of water. “Serious” problems require all three.

4. Sometimes parents can be the hardest part about teaching (this has been my best year though!).

5. Always bring Tylenol to take right before the bus ride on field trip day. First graders love to sing LOUDLY on buses.

6. I I’ve met some of my best friends through Parent-Teacher Conference.

7. Going to a student’s piano concert / dance recital / sports game makes a HUGE difference. They will then believe they are your favorite.

8. My husband teaches 12th graders and we’re constantly amazed at how we can use the same techniques.

9. Teaching is a job that does not end at 3:45! At least not for good teachers.

1 0. Everyone (there’s no age limit) loves to be read to. Junie B. Jones is a great read-aloud for first graders. She’s so stinking funny!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Remember my post about the accessory swap party? Well I got my package in the mail last week and I was so very excited! I was paired with Nancy, the cutest 2nd grade teacher in all of Florida.

Check out the all the fancy earrings! I love that I can show them off now that I have short hair.

Oh, I LOVE all the colors here in the bracelets and necklaces. Very spring-like! Also, each item came in it's own decorated envelope. Great touch!

THANK YOU Nancy for all my amazing new goodies! I've already worn about half of them :o) Also, thanks to Miss Elizabeth for hosting the swap! It was too much fun.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Flat Stanley - Part Two

This is my final Flat Stanley post (to see the older post click here). The majority of our Flat Stanleys have come back and the students have really enjoyed sharing and displaying where their Flat Stanley has gone. We've already learned so much about different parts of our country.

For example, did you know that at the University of Idaho they cut out a hole on the side of live cows and place plexiglass so that the students can study the insides of a cow. Crazy! We also got to sample freshly squeezed tangelo juice (a hybrid of tangerine and a pomelo) from Southern California. So delicious!

How have your Flat Stanleys turned out?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Helping hands

Like many people world-wide, I feel a need to do something to help out the people in Japan after the devastating earthquake. So I'm organizing a school-wide service project. Yikes, right? I'm hoping it'll be pretty easy, actually. We're collecting items needed to make hygiene kits through the LDS Humanitarian Center. I just sent a note home with the students with a list of all the items needed for the kits and they can donate whatever they can. Then next Friday I'm going to take advantage of all our college students in our classrooms and have them put the kits together. Sounds easy enough...I guess I'll let you all know how it goes next weekend.

Here's a list of the items needed to make a hygiene kit:
  • 2 unbreakable combs (no sharp handles)
  • 4 toothbrushes (packaged)
  • 1 tube of toothpaste (6-8 oz., no pumps)
  • 2 bars of soap (approximately 4 to 5 oz.)
  • 2 hand towels (new towels, approximately 15" by 25". Please do not use dish towels or washcloths. To sew towels, serge or zigzag the edges of terry cloth to make a 15" by 25" towel.)
If you're interested in doing something like this with your class / school / organization please let me know. I'd love to help!

Monday, March 14, 2011

St. Patty's Day Coupons

Every time there's a holiday I celebrate with my students by giving them a coupon for a night off of homework. I'd say the majority of them use if for that night (so I make sure that it's always a review night for math homework and not a new concept), but a few kiddos save it for a busy night.

Anyways feel free to join in the festivities and click HERE for the download.

PS - I'm sure by now you've all seen the awesome giveaways that are going on, but just incase, check out What the Teacher Wants for their giveaway for $100 to the container store (my heaven!).

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Mystery Trash

Way back when, when I was in college, a professor told us that the two people in a school that you NEED to be your best friends are the secretary and the custodian. They are the ones to go to if you need anything (and they kind of run the school, right?). Well my custodian is A-MAZ-ING! Seriouly, this is one woman you want to keep happy because she does an awesome job.

So to help her out, I have my students look for "Mystery Trash" every day right before they go home. I choose a piece of trash (or just something that needs to be picked up / put away) and whoever finds it get's a penny (I use fake coins as my incentives).

The kids LOVE it! I had no idea they would be so into picking up trash, but they do it every day and I've been told that I have the cleanest floors in the school. Give it a try - you won't be sorry!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Since I stayed home sick today I don't have anything prepped for tomorrow. We do centers on Wednesday and I had planned on teaching a review on syllabication for my center. I'm still not feeling my best, and probably won't be tomorrow either, so I decided to take the easy way out and find some cute worksheets to help me (I'm not a huge worksheet fan, as you all know how ineffective they can be). I did find some cute ones those that I thought I'd pass along.

Click HERE to go to the TLS-books site and find these worksheets. There are three that review syllabication, starting with 'Skateboard Fun.'

How do you teach / review syllables?


Remember my Flat Stanley post? Well, our Flat Stanleys are starting to come back and I've been so impressed with how cute my kiddo's family members are. One little guy's grandma made a whole book out of her adventure with his Flat Stanley. They're just so cute. I'll post a picture of my bulletin board when I get a few more back.

Here's a couple pictures of where my Flat Stanley was sent. I sent her off to visit my friend Lo and her darling baby. Can you guess where they live?

Hawaii! Ahhh I'm so jealous of my Flat Stanley (and my friend Lo who is also a teacher and get's to live in Hawaii)!!

Okay I should go back to bed since I'm taking a sick day because I was up all night with the flu. Blah!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Johnny Appleseed Day

Did you know that this Friday (March 11th) is Johnny Appleseed Day? This guy actually gets two days, one in September (for his birthday) and then the one in March (since it's during planting season). There's a great story in our HM reading basal, but it's not for another couple of weeks that we'll get to that.

We just learned our sums of 10 facts and the majority of my students are getting it, but there are those few that are still struggling. So I made this matching activity to review those math facts and include the apples to introduce the Johnny Appleseed story.

Hope you can use it! Click HERE for the download.

How do you celebrate Johnny Appleseed?

Friday, March 4, 2011

Restroom Passes

I have a little cutie in my classroom that has a medical issue that makes it necessary for her to use the restroom more often than my other students. I've noticed over the past few weeks that she was leaving the classroom around 4 times a day to use the restroom and she'd be gone each time for around 5 minutes. So after some suspicion I would watch her walk to the restroom and see that she was just roaming the hallway. After a stern talking to, I thought we had resolved this issue.

Nope. On Monday two of my students ran into my room to tell me that this student would stand on the stall and climb over the walls. What?!? First graders do the strangest things sometimes. The best part though, waswhen I asked her why in the world she would climb the walls in the bathroom she told me that she couldn't stop herself because it was too much fun. Love the honesty!

So after talking to her awesome mom I came up with this plan of using an Emergency Restroom Pass. She gets to use one a day and the days that she doesn't use the Emergency Pass (and just uses the restroom during recesses like the other students) she could get a prize. This form stays in my desk and I just cross out that day's pass if she needs it. Does that make sense? Check out the picture and see if that helps.

This system has only been in place for a week, but so far - so good!

Click HERE for the download.

How do you solve restroom issues in your class?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Thank you to everyone who entered our little giveway. Nicole and I are happy to say that we have a winner!

Congrats to Lindsey from the teacher wife!

Lindsey, please message me with your address and let me know which one of the three musicals you'd like!

Hope you all had a fun Dr. Seuss Day!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


One more day to enter the musical giveaway. I promise your students will love it and the parents will think you're extra fantastic. Click HERE for more info.

The musical Go Fish!

How fun does this look? Sorry it's so fuzzy. I did it so you couldn't see the kiddo's faces.

Best of luck!