Saturday, March 26, 2011

Adding a Signature to your Blog

For all of you newbie bloggers like me, I found a really easy way to add a "signature" to the end of your post.  It literally took me about 2 minutes and couldn't have been easier.  It's a few more steps if you want your actual signature because it has to be scanned and all that.  But for right now, I'm pleased.  Just go to My Live Signature and create your own.  It guides you step by step and then just copy the HTML code.  In Blogger, go to "settings", then "formatting" and "Post Template" and copy the code there.  Then just type your regular post above your signature.  Easy, peasy, lemon squeezy!

10 Things I've Learned from Teaching

10 Things I've Learned

Jennifer from Rowdy in First is having a linky party.  It's been wonderful to read these posts from so many teachers and be able to nod your head and think, "I knew I wasn't the only one".  I've taught for 12 years and I know I've learned a lot along the way.  Here are just a few (or 10 to be exact):

1.  No child named "Angel" is ever an angel.  In general, teaching can ruin a lot of perfectly good names.

2.  If anyone deserves Happy Hour on Friday, it's a teacher!

3.  No matter how ready you are for the school year to be over, you will be the same kind of excited for it to begin again in August.

4.  Back-to-School ads create just about the same amount of excitement in me as the Black-Friday ones.

5.  Before-school yard duty is 10 times worse than recess yard duty, even though it's the same amount of time.  I don't know why, it just is.

6.  I've heard/read this many times, but it is one truth I try to remind myself of all the time.  Kids will not remember all the "things" you taught them (in first grade or any other), but they will remember how they felt in your class.  Make it fun!

7.  As much as technology has changed the way we teach, kids still enjoy the simple things like a good picture book and a song.

8.  Your expectations are never as clear as you think they are- kids need LOTS of examples.

9.  Nothing is greater than knowing you've helped give a child the gift of reading.

10.  Teachers will NEVER get paid what they're worth.  Get over it and move on.  Complain about it over a margarita (or two), but then let it go and be the best you can be!

Enjoy your weekend!

Monday, March 21, 2011

SmartBoard Lesson for Sounds of Y

Sounds for Y
click here for the download
Thank you Mrs. M at for your suggestion to post this on TpT.  While I'm happy to email any and all of you, it's probably easier to just download it yourself.  I've never posted anything there before, so I hope it all went well.  Please let me know if you are not able to download it and I will happily email the file to you.  I apologize if the pages do not fit your screen.  I've never understood why files created on one computer come up looking different on another computer.  If you know of a way to make the pages a little more universal, I'd love to know.  Thanks for your interest in my lesson.


Sunday, March 20, 2011

SmartBoard Lesson for Sounds of Y

SmartBoard Lesson

I created a short lesson for the SmartBoard for the vowel sounds of "y".  I am not quite sure how to share these via my blog.  In the meantime, while I try to find a hosting site for this and other files I have for SmartBoard, I am more than happy to email you the file.  The picture shown is just a couple of the pages from this lesson.  I also created a word sort for the pocket chart or small word work center to use for this skill as well.
Hope you have a great Monday.


Revised Math Game using Jing

I have been dying to know how to show an image on my blog of something I've created without having to embed a Scribd or GoogleDocs window.  I like the look of this because it shows up on your sidebar and looks more inviting to people checking out your blog.  A teacher friend from school (who really introduced the blogworld to me) told me about a free download called Jing.  (You can visit her blog, My First Year in First Grade, for more great ideas.)  You can take a screenshot of something on your computer and save it as a picture file and then link it to GoogleDocs or wherever you have your file uploaded.  So here is my first try at this.  I thought I would use a file that I already had.  I posted this game and then later realized it had a mistake.  Here is the corrected version.

My kids really liked this game and it was challenging at the same time.  I gave them a small cup of Honeycomb cereal to use for their "markers" while they played.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Money Songs

I LOVE TO SING!  Now, I'm no Kelly Clarkson (not a die-hard fan, but the girl can sing!), but I can carry a tune.  Although, I was once told by one of my kindergarten students that I would not make it Hollywood (on American Idol, of course).  Nevertheless, we sing all day long.  I especially love songs that teach!  Soooo.... I thought I would write a few of my own.  While getting ready to teach money to my kiddos, I was pulling out some money songs and found that I was missing my song for "nickels" and that I didn't much care for the "quarter" song.  Hence, my own collection of money songs written to familiar lyrics, was born.  I typed them big so we can add them to our poem/song folder.  We add to it throughout the year and it provides great practice for fluency as well.

By the way, I desperately want to know how to embed this link without it being so big.  I was hoping for just the picture of the document to show up.  I would love any pointers, if you have them.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

So Many Giveaways!

I just found a new blog today, and what do you know! She's doing a giveaway.  Mrs. Thiessen at the First Grade Sweet Life is giving away a $20 gift certificate to Scrappin' Doodles.  Don't you just love all the stuff you can get for just a buck- so $20 can go a loooong way!  Head on over today and enter.

And.... if $20 isn't enough, you can enter another great giveaway for a$25 to Scrappin' Doodles. 
This one is being hosted by the ladies at Burst of First and Fantastic First. 

I hope the the luck of the Irish is with me (and you too, of course)!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sounds of Y Word Sort

This week we are going to be reading words that end with "y".  Students will learn that the letter y can make 2 different vowel sounds when it comes at the end of the word.  I made this word sort activity to help them practice this skill during seatwork/center time.  It includes a sorting mat, the words and a recording page.  Jen Bates also posted a link for a cute little poster about "Tricky Y the robber guy"... too cute. 
Y Word Sort

Have a great week!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Tall Tales and Paul Bunyan

This week the main story in our anthology was about Johnny Appleseed, but our read-aloud on Monday/Tuesday was about Paul Bunyan.  I have a lot of EL learners and it took some time explaining what a "tall tale" is and the expression, "stretching the truth".  Nonetheless, they really enjoyed it (the Disney video on American folk heros didn't hurt either) and they wrote some great tall tales of their own. 

I used 12x18 paper and cut it lengthwise.  We did a directed drawing with a black crayon and then colored.  The paper was folded in half so it made it easier for them to keep the top and bottom in proportion.  I told them to make his shirt stop at the middle and make his pants go all the way to the bottom.  They turned out sooo cute!

I had a parent draw lines with a Sharpie for the kids to write their stories so it really would be a "tall" tale.  I gave them some sentence starters to get them going.  Some of the ones we used were, "Did you ever hear about...", "He was so strong..." and their favorite, "When he was a baby..."

Hopefully I'll have the bulletin board up by tomorrow and I'll take another picture of the whole thing.

Happy TGIF(eve)!


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Pets Linky Party

Ladybug's Teacher Files is hosting a Linky party just for pets.  Right now, it seems like I have more pictures of my dogs than I do of my kids (not to worry, I have lots of pics of them too.)  I never thought I was a dog/pet person before as I did not grow up with any pets (except for a hermit crab, if you can call that a pet).  About a year ago we got a yellow lab puppy, Bailey, and that changed everything.
She obviously doesn't look like this now, but who doesn't love a cute puppy? 
She's a lab (retriever) so her FAVORITE thing to do is play fetch- in the house, in the backyard, wherever!  She's super smart and follows quite a few commands.  She makes me a proud mama!
This is what she looks like now...

She's been to puppy kinder and puppy 1st grade.  She graduated at the top of her class.

We have another dog, Lexie, who's kind of a rescue of sorts.  She is about 8 years old and just loves to be pet and take short slow walks.  She just loves attention of any kind., but is very camera shy.  I must say she has been quite patient with a rowdy puppy around.

I never thought I would be the type to have dogs (big ones at that) in my house, but there you have it.  They are part of the family and we love them to pieces!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Fun with Dr. Seuss

This week was a blast celebrating Dr. Seuss' birthday.  Our school has a door decorating contest each year- the theme of course being a favorite Dr. Seuss book.  We took our classes on a tour around campus to view all the doors.  Here are some pictures of some really cute ones (any of these could be adapted to a bulletin board in your class of course).

 These directed drawings were done by Kinders- super cute!
 This door won for Kinder.
 This door won for 4th grade.
 I had never even heard of this book before.

 This door won for 1st grade.

And of course, last but not least, my door.  You know how sometimes you're in it to win it and other times, you're just trying to get it done?  Well, this year was the latter for me.
To top it off, when we got back after looking at all the other doors (I had my ELD group, not my regular class) a little girl asked, "Ms. Asprec, what are those?"  I replied, "They're pockets."  Then she said, "That's what I told her (pointing to girl #2).  She said they were underwear."  LOL! 
I hadn't seen it before, but I see why they would think that.

And.... it wouldn't be a celebration with a little green eggs and ham...
I went with deviled eggs because I thought they were cute and my personal kids LOVE, LOVE, LOVE these things.  My class wasn't too sure.  Here are the results on our picture graph (title and eggs came from Jenn Bates at Finally in First.)
There were soooo many great ideas out there on all the blogs that I think the Seuss celebration is going to have to continue into next week a little. More pictures to come!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Double Delicious Math Game

I made this game closer to Valentine's Day, but not really for that particular holiday.  It took me a little longer than expected to get it laminated and cut and ready to go.  Alas, the kids are playing this week during math centers and are having a blast.  I have tons of wood cubes (old, old math manips that I kept in my room just for making dice) that I used to make 2 dice.  One is for numbers 1-6 and the other is for numbers 7-12.  The kids have to decide which dice they want or need to use to cover one of the numbers on their board.  I have sat with a couple of groups as they played and it's exciting to see how quickly they start to remember the doubles facts during the game.  Hope your kids enjoy it as much as mine!
Double Delicious Game Board