Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Hump Day!

Today was picture day (I know I said it was last week but that was yet another error in a comedy of errors about picture day). Usually they take a picture of each child and then send home the proofs in a few weeks and if you like them you can order them. Last year the company sent the ACTUAL PHOTO PACKAGES home! That's right - $30 worth of pictures home with each child - you like them? Bring back $30. You don't like them? Bring back the pictures. I bet you can guess how many people were honest and sent back the unpaid-for pictures!

Well, today, after hyping the kids up the past few days to "wear your best clothes and make sure you comb your hair" my darlings came in pressed and shined like you wouldn't believe. I have some real cuties in my class! Unfortunately, the company neglected to mention that THIS TIME they weren't going to take Any pictures unless the student paid in advance! So of course only about 4 cuties actually had the money with them and everyone else was all dressed up with nowhere to go :( I had several kiddos almost in tears over this - picture day is a huge deal to them because they never get to go anywhere like Sears and get their pictures taken :( I felt so bad for them!

Tomorrow is our Cat in the Hat day and Friday is The Lorax. I can't wait to show you the pictures - we have so much fun planned! Note to self, make sure to bring the camera! Tonight we frosted cupcakes after work in preparation for making them into Thing 1 and Thing 2 creations. I'll be dressing up as a Thing as well, complete with blue wig. I know my kiddos are going to be so tickled. I think they really enjoy the fact that they have an uninhibited teacher who will dress up or act weird. I frequently crack them up with my kookie dancing, but they still like me ; )

Yesterday we had the Army band come in to perform (not sure what the occasion was, but I wish they would come every week!) We had a great time rocking it out, and it turns out my kiddos are pretty awesome little dancers. It was one of those things where you go in thinking it's going to be a waste of instructional time, and leave thinking it was the best thing since sliced bread. So much pent up energy and silliness was released and the kids all danced with each other and laughed like you wouldn't believe. It was great  to see them having such a good time. Of course, a roomful of handsome soldiers was not a hardship for the teachers either!

Alright, I am out of here as I have yet more lamination to cut out! I hope you had as good a time as I did at the TPT sale today - so many cute things out there!


Leap Day Sale!

In case you didn't know, there's a big sale going on at Teachers Pay Teachers today! Everything in my store is 20% off and if you use the code L2P9Y at check out you'll get an additional 10% off! I know I'll be getting a lot of stuff off my wishlist today!


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Seussy Gift!

Waaaay back in January, Denise from Sunny Days in Second Grade posted a pencil flag freebie for the New Year. I loved the idea, and my kiddos adored their new pencils and flags!

Well, fast forward 2 months and lo and behold our pencils are mostly stubby with no erasers left, quite a few have been broken or lost, and our caddies are lackluster with just plain old pencils! Soooo, inspired by Denise, I created some Seussical pencil flags featuring some of my favorite Dr. Seuss quotes and characters. The fabulous clipart is from Michelle, aka The 3AM Teacher of course! Here's what they look like on those sparkly Dollar Store pencils that are 12 for $1!







I know my students will love them! If you'd like to make some for your kiddos too, just click here to grab them from my TPT store for free! And please rustle up some comment love for me if you decide to use them!

For more fabulous March ideas make sure you head to this blog hop too!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Seussical Fish Fry Phrases! Linky and Freebie!

Whew! I have been creating like a mad woman today! There is something about Dr. Seuss that just inspires me I guess! I thought I'd have a cute craftivtiy for you, but unfortunately it hit some snags, so it will have to wait for tomorrow night. I am about to run down stairs and help my sweet husband make chicken curry, so this will have to be a short post. I have to brag just a bit though - my sweet husband swept, vacuumed AND went grocery shopping for me today so that I could finish making my lesson plans and activities for this week! I am linking up this little freebie to Mrs. Bainbridge's linky party - you have to check it out for more wonderful Seussy ideas!
Also, don't forget to check out TBA's Freebie Friday linky - there are lots of fun freebies!

Freebie Friday Seuss Week


Here's a little sample of my larger Seussical Fish Fry Phrases:


Alright, off to cut up some chicken now. Have a great night!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Seussing it Up!

We're Seussing it up next week! We've got a week of activities planned, including dressing up as Thing 1 and Thing 2 complete with blue wigs! The other two 2 1st grade teachers will be our Cats in the Hats. My room is surrounded by our kindergarten and T1 classes, so I tend to plan more with them than with the other 1st grade classes since they are a hallway away! We'll also be doing green eggs and ham - my kindergarten partner is going to cook it in her room...unless I decided to mix it up and do this fabulous deviled green eggs and ham sandwiches instead:
Pinterest idea: http://pinterest.com/pin/2040762301073215/


I even got a brag tag to commemorate this week for my kiddos:
My husband is almost finished with my Brag Tag board and then I'll be posting more about my experience with Brag Tags (plus there may be a giveaway!) so check back next week for that!

My daughter and I are spending today coming up with a few more craftivities and ideas for next week, including something for my classroom tree. I am completely stumped (haha!) as to how to make it Seussy!. For now though, check out this super-cute truffula tree she made for me! This is one of the activities we'll be doing in class, along with this writing paper.


Just click on the picture to grab it for free in my TPT store! Speaking of, I've put up quite a few items lately, including some freebies, so please check them out  ; )
I love to get comments, so I'll give away a copy of my new Seussy Word Families unit to the first two followers to rustle up a comment below!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Exhausted...but still have a freebie!

Oh friends, I am soo tired right now! I stayed at work until 5pm because my daughter had an after school meeting and there was no point driving all the way home just to come back and pick her up within 1/2 hour.

Then, I raced home, dropped my kiddos off and raced to a PTA Founder's Day dinner which lasted until 7:15! Longest dinner of my life - the food was catered by a German restaurant and the schnitzel was so tough my plastic knife broke trying to cut it :(

Then I still had to stop at Hobby Lobby for some magnets because I have been promising my kiddos for a week that I would attach magnets to their bead creations but my magnet roll somehow walked off on me. We usually have beads as a center during inside recess, and its always popular! By the way, their creations are becoming so much more creative and intricate, I love it:
 Teepee and Sunflower person.

 Dolphin variations.

 Hearts and a hexagon.

 American flag.


I also had to stop at Dollar Tree to pick up some goodies for my kiddos who do well on the spelling test tomorrow. This week we have been rocking our words and I think it's going to be close to 100% of students getting 100%!!


Then, I decided to stop into Hastings to pick up a new book because I know I'm so tired that I won't be able to fall asleep tonight - do you have trouble sleeping when you're overtired? As I set my books on the counter I started to swipe my card - before the poor clerk even had a chance to start ringing them up! I'm sure he thought I was a loon lol!

Anyways, I am turning in for the night, but though I'd share a freebie for my kinder friends. Its a patterning activity to go with Read Across America week!  Just click on the picture to download it for free in my TPT store. I hope you enjoy it, and if you do,  please rustle up a comment for me below!


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Read Across America Plans? (+Freebie!)

Tonight's post is a bit random, but bear with me, because there's a freebie at the end!


Does anyone else make their children do things for their class/blog? My daughter is very artistic, so whenever I have something creative in mind for my classroom I usually turn to her for help. It usually goes along the line of, "Hmm, Daddy's putting the boys to bed right now Moira, BUT if you help me make a new leprechaun craftivity for my class I'll let you stay up 1/2 hour more!"

Or, "I know you want to watch the new episode of Glee tonight, but I can't come watch it with you until I finish this new color-by-sum worksheet and write a quick blog post...maybe if you colored the picture for me to make sure there aren't any mistakes I'll get finished quicker..."

She also loves to draw and is pretty good at it, so I'm considering buying her some software so she can make me my own clip art! Wouldn't that be great to have an in-house clip artist?! "Hey! I need some black-line drawings of rockets for my Space unit, no dessert until they're finished!"

What do you think - creative use of resources or child labor law violation??

Anyways, I had a good day at school today! We came back well rested and surprisingly unchatty from our 3 day weekend! Of course, it helped that my morning was spent with only 1/2 the class as the nurses took 1/2 the class at a time for their vision and hearing test. Amazing how much quieter it is when there are only 10 students instead of 20!

Oh! I am also desperately trying to remember where I found the Wrinkles writing prompts! I know I got it off a blog, but there's no name on the writing paper or on the prompts! If you know where I got this please let me know! It is a little dalmatian dog and there's a set of writing prompts that the children reply to. Today's was along the lines of Wrinkles breaking a toy while his friend was out of the room. The children then write a letter back to Wrinkles advising him what to do. My kiddos are LOVING this! They seriously buckle down and get so engrossed in writing him back. It's almost a little disturbing that they get so intense about writing to a stuffed animal...  Anyways, I am almost out of prompts and need to see if the blogger has made more or if I should go ahead and introduce a new "friend" and write my own prompts!

Tomorrow is picture day - I am already dreading it, but I am going to remember to keep my chin DOWN and hopefully the picture will turn out alright! Remember back in the day when the photographer had those little black plastic combs? I really wish they would bring those back, because I always stand and watch my kiddos get their pics taken and wish that I could straighten their bangs. Oh, and does your school let primary grades go first? Because mine doesn't. Which means we get our pictures taken after recess and lunch. Which means the kids always have stains on their shirts (picture day seems to always fall on spaghetti day!)  and dirty faces from wiping sweat off with dusty hands.

I still have to finalize my Read Across America plans. Our school is just a few blocks from the university, so we always have a ton of volunteers to come to read. I just have to figure out how many I want and plug their schedules into mine. I have a feeling we won't have a lot of time for "real" lessons that day, and that's just fine with me! I am also trying to decide on a final reading list. One book that I want to recommend, that doesn't seem to get a whole lot of love is "Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?" This is definitely a great read aloud book! My mom got it as a present for my 1st Christmas (it was published the year I was born...please don't do the math!) and I can still remember her reading it to me when I was growing up. When I found it again as an adult I was thrilled that I remembered almost all of the pictures and scenarios!


If you haven't read it yet, go grab it because the illustrations are great and it even has a bit of a moral to it..."Some people are much more..oh ever so much more...oh, muchly much more unlucky than you!"

One of the things I will be doing that day is this color-by-sum picture that I made tonight and that my daughter just assured me was error free, although she did have a problem with not coloring the barbaloot bear brown, but I explained that Dr. Seuss is all about being colorful and zany so it was okay for me to decide that the barbaloot should be red, blue and purple instead! I am offering it as a freebie for anyone else who is working on addition. My students love color-by-sum worksheets, any excuse to color and they are on it! I think this one will fill in gaps between volunteers reading very nicely! Click the picture to download it for free!

Alright, I am off to watch tv and figure out a craftivity to go along with our Dr. Seuss festivities. Please rustle up a response below and tell me about your Read Across America plans!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Seusstastic Freebies!

I spent the weekend making a ton of new things for my classroom! Some are posted on TPT for sale and I'd love it if you'd check out my store, but I also have some freebies! I want to give a shout out to The 3AM Teacher, aka Michelle. She has created some wonderful Seuss-style clip art and has great terms of use!

Freebie 1:
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/What-Makes-Ten-Matching-Game-207049


Freebie #2: Read and Write the Room with Simple 2D shapes!


I had to attend some professional development this morning and then spent the afternoon grading and filing, so I am wiped tonight which means this must be a short post. I hope you all have a great week and thank you for reading my little blog! I really struggle with putting things up for sale, and I hope that the freebies I offer helps even things out a bit!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Any Requests?

How I plan to spend my weekend:
1. Conquering the pile of to-be-graded/to-be-filed papers that have been hanging over my head the last week or so.
2. Creating new units for Dr. Seuss and St. Patrick's Day - if you have any requests for content or a different theme please let me know - I love to create things that I know will be used in your classrooms!
3. Finishing our taxes - ugh!
4. Finding a way to display my Brag Tag necklaces! I won these super cute tags from Image Stuff, and now I am going to rope my darling husband into making a peg board to display them in the classroom! Here's a picture of my tag:
 As soon as my kiddos saw them they were so excited and begged me for other tags too - some of their suggestions included tags for addition and subtraction, tags for following procedures, tags for being helpful, tags for spelling and tags for science. Needless to say I will be ordering more tags asap! I love how enthusiastic my firsties are, and really, the tags are fairly inexpensive for my class of 20!

In other news, I spent waaaay too much at the book fair this week, but I got some super cute books! I will be creating a unit to go along with my new "There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Clover" as well as a unit for the "Library Mouse" trilogy!


Check back later this weekend for some freebies!


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

So Excited!


 I am so glad that I didn't open my Valentine's Exchange present yesterday - I had received it several days earlier, but valiantly held off on opening it until the actual day. Fortunately, time got away from me yesterday and I didn't have time to open it after all!

You see, I went to work today to find there was no coffee because somehow the coffee grinds basket was left on the burner so it melted. Caffeine Plan B was also foiled because the soda machine was out of diet soda! So, there's me, going through caffeine withdrawal, trying to teach 19 sugar-crazed firsties who could not be quiet or stay in their seats. I think the fact that I realized that we have less than 80 days left of the school year and we are soooo not ready for 2nd grade yet compounded the problem!


Luckily, when I got home, I had a package to open from Monica of Treasures for Teaching. She's a newbie and could use some follower love, so make sure you go check out her cute blog!



Treasures for Teaching


Here's what she made for me, isn't it cute?!

And, to help me destress from today, some sugar-free luciousness!



My exchange partner was Michelle from Apples and ABCs. I forgot to take a picture of her gift before I sent it, so here's the one she took when she received it:

A big thank-you to Caitlin and Sarah for coordinating the Valentine Exchange, I can't wait to do it again!

The night just keeps getting better though, because I just got to preorder books from two of my favorite authors! Look what is coming out on April 3rd from Mo Willems:


And, because we just can't get enough of Pete, on May 1st we'll get a brand-new story and song!

And, while I was browsing, I found a new Elephant and Piggie book too! I'm not sure how I managed to miss this one, but it just came out on Feb 7th!


Oh, and finally, a hot tip from our Reading Coach, who recommended this book to help out some of my kiddos who are having trouble with -er and -est!!


I am feeling much more cheerful now - new books, chocolate, a new blog to follow and a cute new crayon-art to hang in my classroom! Life as a teacher doesn't get much better, does it?

Monday, February 13, 2012

Two Linkys!

I have to link up with 2 linkys today - one from a new-to-me blog called Kindergarten Lifestyle which I can't believe I haven't been following! I rectified that situation, and now I'm linking up with Jeannie for a "You know you're a teacher when...." linky party!



Make sure you head over to grab her cute little sign and join the party!

The 2nd linky party is from Ms. B. over at Buzzing with Ms. B and it is not really teacher related but I thought it might be fun and hopefully you won't mind reading a little more info about me!
Her linky is all about how you met your hunny so it's very appropriate since Valentine's Day is tomorrow!


I met my hunny while I was in the Army. I had just finished Basic Training and was sent to Fort Bliss, TX for Advanced Individual Training. I was living on the 3rd floor of the barracks, and had classes during the day. One day, right before the first weekend when I would have a pass to go off-post, another girl came up to me and told me that some guy named Knopf wanted to meet me. It seemed he was on night classes and had been checking out the day classes before going to sleep each day and he saw me and asked her for an introduction. So, I ended up going downstairs to meet him and agreed to a date at an Italian restaurant that Friday night. To make a short story even shorter, he proposed 3 weeks later and we got married the following weekend - so that's a total of 4 weeks of knowing each other before we said "I do"! Everyone laughed at us, including the drill sergeants, but we have been married for 13 years now! Sometimes, you just know when you've found that special person! Here are some of my favorite pictures of us from that time:
 Our first date at Como's Italian Restaurant in El Paso, Tx.
Early morning PT, look at the glare from our reflective belts!
Don't we look cute in our uniforms?
Look how young we were!!

 Okay, make sure you head over to the linky to tell me all about how you met your hunny!

In case you missed it, yesterday I posted some conversation heart activities to use in your classroom. I'm reposting them just in case you still need an activity for tomorrow!
Conversation Heart Activities

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Conversation Heart Freebie!

Wow, what a looong week! I swear that was more like 6 or 7 days rather than just 5. Of course we did have inside recess 4 out of 5 days, so that may have had something to do with it! Here are a few pictures from this week:

We made cards for our Valentine exchange with a class in Florida - my kids are sooo excited about this! Of course, being able to use glitter, stickers and special scissors really impressed them too!


We love reading in our reading center - I need to make some more crate seats to accommodate everyone who wants to be here at the same time! In the background is our Science center, we are hoping to get some more hermit crabs soon - we only have 2 left because our biggest one escaped the aquarium! I searched the whole room but could not find him, I imagine he'll turn up at the end of the year as I'm cleaning out my room :(  His escape did lead me to revamp the whole habitat so no more escapes are possible!

Kindergarten went on a "safar" as my son put it! Here he is with his binoculars and bandanna on, posing with the assistant and the sound book they played as they tiptoed through the halls, looking for animals!
In other news, Valentine's Day is sneaking up on us quickly! I can't believe we only have 2 days left! I bought some conversation hearts with the intention of making up an activity with them, and today I realized it's now or never! I bought Brach's "Tart & Sassy" conversation hearts at my local Hobby Lobby. I love that they come in individual boxes so I don't have to fuss with dividing them up. My only complaint is that the writing is hard to read on some of the hearts. The 1oz boxes have about 20 hearts each, which is a perfect amount for sorting, graphing, counting and addition activities!
Here's what I'm going to do with them tomorrow:
Conversation Heart Activities

Just as I was about to put this little blog to bed for the night, my husband yelled for me to come quickly so I ran downstairs and this is what I saw:
 The first snow of the season! My children are crossing their fingers that it keeps up and we get a snow day - they are dying to try out their new sleds! Our little city is not very good at cleaning up snow, so even just a few inches would result in a snow day!

I'd love it if you'd rustle up a response below, today's question is: When is your Valentine's Day party and do you play games at it?
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