Wednesday, February 26, 2014

120 Days Smarter

My class celebrated the 120th day of school....we celebrate this day bc of the common core.  So I created a packet of activities to help my students celebrate this day and number.  Not only do we focus on the number 120 but we also dress up like we are 100+ years old too!  OMG my students did a great job dressing up! Take a look at the pics below.  I blogged about the 120th day last year as well.  You can find more info here.

Bulletin Board...we found the idea on Pinterest!
I used my 120th day packet...found in my TPT store. Click on the picture and it will take directly to the packet.  There you will find more examples of what is in the packet.  This packet truly helped make my students 120th day special!
One last thing....I am participating in the sale going on over at TPT. Starting tomorrow and ending on Friday.  Click on the link below.  Everything in my store will be on SALE! Thank you to everyone who follows my store and has purchased items! Don't forget to check out other stores as well!  There are some great items at Teachers Pay Teachers!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day!

I have the Beatles song stuck in my mind...

All you need is love
All you need is love
All you need is love, love
Love is all you need

Yesterday my students celebrated Valentine's day due to professional development day on Friday for the teachers.  I gave my students candy hearts and I created the valentines to pass out to may class. Pics below...They absolutely LOVED their gift! I got this idea off Pinterest of course, but that person had bubbles as their gift instead of the monster poppers that I gave out. HUGE. hit. in my room! I got the monster poppers off Oriental Trading. Below you will also find the message that I put on my classroom blog to send out to my students' parents.  I use animoto...if you signup they will allow you to make free 30 second videos, which I think is great! My parents always enjoy seeing a small clip of their child and see what their child is doing within the classroom.  Take a look at the pics below if you are looking for some Valentine's Day ideas!

We made a classroom heart!

All together now!

Click on the picture to go to my classroom video!
Happy Valentine's Day!
I hope you all remember and appreciate the people and things you LOVE today!

Monday, February 10, 2014


During the month of January my class focused on visualizing.  This is one of the skills that I love to teach.  I found this activity over at Lacy's Letters...Cyndi has a lot of great ideas on her site!  Below you will find a copy of the sheet my students used to record their visualizations. First my class read My Neighbor's Dog is Purple by Jack Prelutsky (one of my favorite children's poets).  We did not read the last few lines of the poem. I did not show my students the last few lines of this poem until after our first visualization.  Students made their visualizations in the first box.  We then highlighted focus words that helped us visualize...I another copy on my SmartBoard.  

Then we read the rest of the poem.  My students were SURPRISED with the ending of the poem! Next they went back to their desks and filled in the second box with their new visualization.

My students did a wonderful job on this activity.  Another cute poem to read by Jack Prelutsky is Green Giant.  My students made their mental images in their poetry journals. I don't have pics of that but can get some soon.  We not only made visualizations with poems but we also read a lot of books!

One book in particular is In the Tall, Tall Grass by Denise Fleming.

My students' favorite part...SHARING!

Free Copy of My Neighbor's Dog is Purple by Jack Prelutsky...

Monday, January 6, 2014

It's a New Year..

Happy New Year!
I thought I would blog today being that we are having a snow day...mmmhmm 12 inches!  This gave me time to think about this New year.

As I look ahead I think of a quote I just heard and thought I'd share....

"A goal without a plan is just a wish"

Isn't this so true?!?!  Who has set a New Year's goal and never accomplished that goal.  Hmmmm?  Yep I am raising my hand right now. ;) So now that it is the new year, I need to share my goals for my classroom and blog...fingers crossed I make the time and accomplish a few of my goals or at least one!  If not then I made a good wish and was hopeful.

This is what I have so far:

1. Blog more often & collaborate with other bloggers...overall I love blogging...I love the idea of sharing my ideas and not only inspire others but get inspirations from other bloggers.  

2. Stay organized! I created a blog planner a while back.  I only got as far as writing down a to do list...yikes! I guess it's a start. Right?!?  I love organizing and keep my classroom and lesson plans organized, however I need to focus on my blog!  It's all about balancing and setting your priorities.

3. Take time for myself.  Enough said.

4. Continue to create.  This is my passion. I absolutely love to create things for my classroom, home, friends, etc.

I will keep my goals to a minimum.  I feel good about these goals and know that I can accomplish a few, if not all.  Hey if I don't, at least I made a great wish!  Have you made new goals for the year?

Need back to school activities for the new year? Click on the pic...

Free BLOG PLANNER click here...

You want to collaborate?
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Saturday, November 2, 2013

Fall Conferences and using Technology...

Conferences came and went...

Are you running on time when it comes to conferences?
Do you have anything out for parents to look at in the classroom or hallway?

I thought I would take this time to share what I did for our fall conferences...

I always have my students color a pic for the front of the folder that I share with parents...inside the folder I keep the conference form, writing samples, a useful sheet with reading behaviors, student self-assessment, math objectives sheet (which shows whether their child is proficient, advanced or below basic), students letter to their parents, and anything else I think is important to show parents.  Below you will see what I included in the folder (some of the items can be found at my TPT store)
These items can all be found here...

I set up the hallway where parents can sit down while they are waiting, write a letter to their child, and view their students work.  My table in the hallway always includes writing paper and writing utensils.  I also included a QR Code that linked up to a video of photos of my students throughout the school year, via Animoto.  On my large bulletin board I posted my students writing pieces about Fall (I got this idea from Jen over at Finally in First...check out her blog).  Then each student recorded their fall writing piece on our classroom fotobabble and then created a QR Code.  I asked the parents to bring a Smart Device, if they had one, so that they could view a small video of our class and listen to the fall writing pieces.  If they did not have one I provided the classroom iPad. A lot of the parents where thrilled to see their child's work and write a letter to their child.  I heard positive feedback on tying in technology to the conferences.  Take a look at some on of the pics below.  I hope all of your conferences go well!

Table outside my classroom...

Sorry this shot is blurry...this is my BB of my students fall writing. I linked up each writing piece to a QR Code, which then led the parent to fotobabble...a site where my students were able to record their fall writing piece.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Currently October

Can you believe it's already Fall?!?!

I can...and I am loving it! I love everything fall...lattes, jeans, leggings, boots, fall tv shows (Chicago Fire, Revenge, Hart of Dixie, The Voice), pumpkins, Halloween, chili, football, fall candles, leaves changing colors...the list can go on and on!

I thought I would link up with Farley over at Oh' Boy Fourth Grade.

Since it's almost that time of year, I thought these reminders would be helpful!

There you have it! Happy Fall! Don't forget to link up with Farley!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Writer's Workshop

This month in writing we will be creating writing plans and then writing our small moment stories.

First off, we talked about our writing folders and handed out our "Book of Words".  Our class then learned about authors and how they create a writing plan before they start writing.  As the wonderful writers that we are, we created a plan and listed ideas to write about, in the front of our writing journals.  This will be a great reference for students who are stumped on what to write next.  Throughout the year we will focus on our first grade writing goals.  These are clearly stated on our "writing bulletin board" within the classroom.  As we continue to become stronger, more confident writers, the students will start feeling and seeing their own success in writing.  To help them visualize and think about their writing goals, I have posted these goals on the board with students' writing pieces to match each goal.

Here are a few pics from our writers workshop to get a clear idea on what we are doing within the classroom to reach those goals!

Word book found at my TPT store

Happy Writing!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Curriculum Night/Open House

Curriculum night came and we are focused and continue to be in full swing!

I thought I would share a few pics and a freebie from what I share on curriculum night.  Curriculum night is an important night for parents and teachers.  There is a lot of information that needs to be discussed and sent home.  I thought I could hopefully give you a few ideas for your curriculum night.
I place a few items at the students' desk/seats for their parents.  I also have a table set aside for our classroom wish list.  I place stars on the table and write the items that we need for our classroom.

The following items can be found at their seats:

Mini-Me (Who Am I? activity) on the link to find out more!
Family portrait
Folder (students color)

Inside the folder I include the following:
Copy of my complete powerpoint presentation (parents can keep a copy and take notes)
Reading strategies for home
Math websites
Sheet on ways to raise money for our school
Ways to Motivate your child (freebie below)
Class list
Our first Book Orders

Below you will find pics on how we get our classroom ready...
This is a pic of my classroom door...every so often I will change the pics to update the school community on what we are learning within the classroom.
We fill buckets in our room...

We are currently working on our stamina... 

Parents love looking at what their children want to be when they grow up.  There are some creative ideas. I place this outside our classroom for all to see.

On Curriculum Night I have my students create a "mini-me"  On the front of the mini-me's, each student fills out a "Who Am I?" mini booklet.  The parents have to find their child's mini-me and read the "Who Am I?" mini booklet to make sure they are at the correct seat.  The kids were so excited to do this activity...they couldn't wait to hear if their parents could guess where they sat.

In front of their mini-me's...I place a folder with important info...the kids color their own folders...on top of the folders the kids draw a pic of their guardians or family.
 Click on the pic below for your freebie...
I always have a few family's who inquire about motivation at home...I put a few ideas together and created this sheet to send home on curriculum night....hope it helps!