Monday, March 12, 2012

Monster Writing

 Some of my best ideas are not really planned at all, they just kind of come when inspiration strikes.  I will admit that I'm not the best planner- I could be a tad better.  That's what happened today during our visit to story time.  Our school is reading and voting on the California Young Reader books. Our firsties get to go to the library every Monday and hear another one of the nominees read by our librarian.  After they have listened to all of the books, they will get to vote for the book they liked the best.  They love to hear the results to see if our school picked the book that was chosen state-wide.  Today's book was just too cute and the kids L-O-V-E-D it!  It's called I Need My Monster by Amanda Noll.

It is loaded with great adjectives, which is something we've been working on a lot in writing.  I thouht it would be really cute to have them make their own monster with construction paper and lots of googly eyes of course and then have them write about it.  I'm imagining all the great things they'll come up with for their monsters.  I made the writing paper for their story and will try to post pics of their crazy creatures when they're done.  Click here to get a copy of the writing page. I really need to find out how to embed the link to the image :(

Sunday, March 11, 2012

A Little Break

Hello Blogging Friends,
It's been a while since I've posted.  Life just kind of got in the way, as did Pinterest.  I've been so caught up in finding all the cool stuff that everyone else has been up to, that I have neglected my own blog.  In the time that I've been away, I've mostly been creating a lot of resources for my SmartBoard.  Our school used to only have 3 at our site and now, through fundraising efforts of our Parent Teacher Club (which I serve as the treasurer for) we have been able to purchase 6 more this school year.  Did you know that you can use Scholastic dollars from your Book Fair to purchase SmartBoards?  We purchased 2 of the 6 through this option. 

Anyhow, I will be posting many of the lessons that I have created through my Teachers Pay Teachers store.  All of my materials that I have posted there are FREE!  You heard it right- download whatever you want and feel free to "tweak it" however needed to suit your classroom needs.  There are tons of resources out there and I'm a firm believer in not recreating the wheel if you don't have to, but sometimes you just can't find exactly what you're looking for.  This is why I create so many of my own resources.  The one I'm posting today is for "possessive 's". 
It's a lesson we used a little earlier in the year, but the kids enjoyed it and you can always add it to your files for next year, right? 
Have a great week!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Cause and Effect with Charles Tiger

For those of you who use the Houghton Mifflin Reading Series, Charles Tiger is coming up as the BIG Book story for week 3.   I don't know about your kiddos, but mine looooove this story (I think it's just because they get to "roar" at the end when Charles finds his roar.  I made a little thinking map (sort of an adaptation of a multi-flow map) to show cause and effect.  I don't have any kid samples as we have not actually done this yet.  I'm just trying to actually post something before we do it in our class.  Click {HERE} to download. 

Also, a bit of good great news came my way this week.  They have hired a new 1st grade teacher and I will be losing 7- yes, I said 7, kids next week.  I want to feel sad, but truthfully, with 35 in my room I can't feel anything but relieved right now.  Now we will actually be able to walk in the room and not just around the perimeter.  I hope to post some pics of my room next week.  Happy TGIalmostF!

Monday, August 22, 2011

1st Week "Goodies"

Well, we're back in full swing and it is definitely an adjustment.  In 13 years of teaching, this is the most students I have ever had- 35 to be precise.  It is a little overwhelming, but the kids seem to be adjusting a little better now that we are getting to our regular routine.  But truthfully, I think the only reason I'm surviving right now is because I have a tutor (this week only) and a student-teacher in my room ALL day.  They are truly life-savers!

We started our reading program this week (Houghton Mifflin).  I created some printables to go along with our first theme.  Each day my students do a page of seatwork and then they can go to their center for the day.  Each page reinforces the phonics skill for that week.
Here is an example of one of the phonics pages...

I hope everyone's school year is off to a great start and I can't wait to see all the fabulous ideas you all come up with this year!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

ABC's of First Grade

So, I'm headed to work for the 1st time this school year and now that I'm officially in "school mode" again, I thought I would share something that a colleague shared with me.  I know this has probably been out there for ages and I apologize for not knowing the original source.
It's the ABC's of 1st grade- an alphabetical listing of classroom and school policies and procedures.  Just modify it to suit the needs of your own classroom and school.  My only concern is that I teach at a school with a large population of ESL learners and many families do not speak English in the home.  This is always a challenge when sending home information.  I hope to get this translated into Spanish, but that may take a little time.  I will review this at our Back-to-School night (which is actually the day before school starts.)
I wish all of you a great start of the new school year!

ABC's of First Grade

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Is it that Time Already?

It has been a long time since I have posted anything.  Just to bring you up to speed... the end of the year was a bit crazy.  Our district is changing from 2 K-4 schools to 4 K-6 schools.  This meant a lot of movement and just plain chaos- all while trying to wrap up the school year. 
My oldest just graduated high school and is preparing to go into the service (Air National Guard).
About a week after school ended, I taught a 3 week English Language Summer Academy (I only ended up having 12 kids, but it was still school).  Sooooo... by the time that was wrapped up, I was in desperate need for a break- mentally and physically.  I don't know how some of you gals do it.  It seems that some of you have school on the mind 24/7.  I am that way too sometimes, but this year I needed a little "time-out".
Anywhooo, the time has come and it can't be put off any longer.  I had to get my BTS letters sent out and that meant a trip to school.  It was good to see my room and get a "feel" for what needs to be done.  I will try to remember to take pics as I go. 
One of my favorite things (and worth every penny) is fadeless paper.

It really saves me time because it means I don't have to change every bulletin board at the start of every year.  I know at some schools you are required to take EVERYTHING down, but luckily, we are not.
Lastly, I know that this is not new to most of you, but I am loving Pinterest.  Warning! It is extremely addicting (thank goodness I'm still on vacation).
It is great to be able to browse great ideas and "pin" them without having to search the whole web.  It's *genius* really. 
Hope you're all a lot further along in your back-to-school chores than I am.  If not, stop reading these blogs and get busy. :)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Telling Time with Prezi

It's Spring Break for us and I have to admit, I have a bit of spring fever and have not been real motivated to do "school things".  I had a few things I wanted to post last week and time just got away from me. 
Anywhoooo- a few weeks ago, Mrs. M over at The Techy Teacher posted about a free site called  It allows you to create presentations on the web (kind of like PowerPoint).  So, I created an account and started playing around with it.  It's pretty user friendly and really engaging for the kids.  There's also tons of presentations already made that you can show/use for free.
We were working on telling time at that time (sorry for the redundancy) and so I created a presentation about the parts of a clock and telling time to the hour and half hour.
You can view it here, but I strongly encourage you to go to their site and try one of your own.  If you want to use it in your classroom, it might be better to view it from their site.  Our school computers/ network has lots of filters that make it difficult for us to access blogs and such.  
  I even made a simple one with words spelled with "or" and "ore" just for extra decoding practice.  
Fun, fun, fun!