Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Spiders Galore!!



 
It was a hard decision, Spiders or Bats!  Last year we learned all about bats so this year I did spiders. There are so many unbelievable spider activities out there on TPT, blogs, and Pinterest that is was so hard to pick which ones to do. Since I only had one week to do spiders I couldn't go hog wild with this unit. I found these cute spiders from Amy Lemons in her EEKKK!!! Spiders! unit. It came with some really awesome spider info for the kids. We made our Spider Can, Have, and Are chart and then my firsties wrote 3 facts they know or learned about spiders. We also went ahead and diagramed a spider and read some really cool books about spiders. My firsties really enjoyed this unit. Next year it will be a hard decision again. Kids always like learning about bats but spiders are just as creepy to learn about.
Now on to the big day, HALLOWEEN!! How do you celebrate the holiday with your class? We start the day with an all school parade around the block, proceed into the gym to parade around some more and then back to our rooms to have some Halloween fun. This year it just so happened that we have early dismissal and an inservice the rest of the day. I'm not looking forward to the inservice but the 12:00 dismissal is a blessing. Anyway, have a great Halloween day with your kiddies and on to turkeys.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Adjectives, Halloween and Finally, A Smartboard!



We've been working on adjectives the past week or so and this activity was perfect for adjectives. My firsties loved drawing pictures of their friends. Then they had to write adjectives on the paper describing their friend. After hanging up the ones above I noticed either I have several kids with lots of freckles or the chicken pox are going around. Love these pics. Here are some more.




 
This is the bulletin board outside of my room. I got this idea from Kacey over at Doodlebugs Teaching. She had some of the best boards ( and products)>

 
Finally, we got a smartboard in our room. This kids were thrilled and so am I.  Now if any of you have any good programs to use on it please let me know.
 

 
Thanks for stopping by and have a great day off ( if you have no school tomorrow due to Columbus Day).

Friday, September 26, 2014

Homecoming Season with Pete the Cat



This week we were working on cause and effect with our favorite cat. Once firsties finished writing the cause and effects in the Pete the Cat book they made their own Petes.  Of course one of them had dressed Pete up and when I asked what it was she said he was wearing his Homecoming outfit. LOL! Love it!!


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Back to School Night Pics

 
So, I hope I don't bore you with these pictures. We had back to school night last night and as usual I was nervous. Not sure why since it's my 25 year teaching and I could probably do it in my sleep. I guess when you are used to little bodies staring up at you and now it's big bodies that's a different story. Needless to say I survived.
 
 
This pictures is from the back of the room. I only have 16, soon to be 17 students this year. The lowest I have ever had. As you can tell I don't have a smartboard YET. By the end of the month one will be installed in my room and I can't wait. I just have to decide where to put it, front or back of the room. I would hate to loose all my white board space but I would also hate to loose all my bulletin board space in the back of the room. Any suggestions?
 


Another pictures from the back of the room facing the door. Ignore all the junk on top along the wall. That is the only storage we have besides one small closet. 

 
Looking toward the back of the room from the door.
 



My favorite space in the room. I tried to model my library after Maria Manore's library over at Kinder-Kraze.  I just love her room, you need to check her blog out. She has so many amazing things going on.
 


 
Here is my guided reading table. I made the crate seats several years ago and just change out the coverings every summer. They are perfect for the room.
 

 
Don't you just love this. I saw this idea on Pinterest and had to have it. So I went straight to TPT and purchased it. It was made by Fredia Shumway over at Frogs in First blog. Love it!!
 


 
 



 
Lovin' my new easel. I always had a much smaller one that wouldn't even hold our big books from our reading series. So this year I thought I would just try asking for one and low and behold I got it. As a matter of fact our school ordered several of them and everyone who received it were thrilled.
 
 


 
First grade selfies were so cute. I found these from Jane Feener on TPT.
 
 
Well, that's  first grade in a nutshell. I have seen so many awesome rooms out there I am amazed. Keep up all the hard work, it's well worth it!! 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Bulletin Boards

 

 
When I saw this adorable bus bulletin board I knew I had to have my firsties do it. It's just so cute. I had all the pieces ready for the kids to put together. When we were just about done with it and ready to hang up one of my lovelies said, "Hey, where is the window? All buses have windows" Low and behold I completely forgot to give them the window piece and by now there was no room for it. Oh well, it turned out cute anyway. As a matter of fact our second grade class purchased it also and they did put the windows on their buses.  I found this over at  Firstgradeblueskies if you are interested in making it too.
 
 
This is one of the cutest back to school boards I have seen in a long time. Our wonderful second grade teacher has this outside her classroom.

 
Since our back to school theme is to be kind I decided to start the year off with a Kindness unit. I saw this poster on Pinterest . As we go along and make a few kindness projects I will staple them up on this board and fill it in.


So of course the heat is on here in Chicago. We have not had many warm days this summer and of course here it is now. Monday was in the high 90's and our classrooms were also in the 90's so we had to do the next best thing and spend the day in the air conditioned church. It's really interesting trying to teach in the pews of the church especially when many other classes are in there. Now every morning as my firsties say their prayer intentions there is always one of them who prays for winter to get here. I just pray for 60 degree weather (we all know how brutal Chicago winters can get). More pics to come soon.  Stay cool!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

First Grade Begins!!

 
 
 
So today was our first day of school. And of course summer decided to begin today too. All summer we have had very cool and rainy weather (not pool weather). So today summer decided to return with temps in the high 80's, humidity, and no relief in site. Of course!!  Anyway, we had an awesome first day. Only one crier for only a few minutes. This year I have 16 firsties which is the lowest I have ever had in my many (25) years of teaching. I really hoping that means we will be able to get a lot more done this year. Here are a few pictures of my room. Sorry about the lighting. I will be posting more pictures soon as soon as I can get some projects up and the lighting is much better.  
 
 
As I was doing my usual blog stalking this summer I came across Maria Manore's blog and her AWESOME classroom. The first thing I thought was I GOTTA HAVE IT!  I was on a mission all summer to recreate her room or at least her library. This is what I came up with. I just love my new class library and have had many compliments on it. I am still planning on getting the boy and girl silhouettes but as we all know there is only so much time to get ready.
 

 
 This is the same clipchart I used last school year. It worked wonders last year so I was not about to change it out. My firsties were all over it today.


Here is a view at the back of my room. This is my calendar/math board, word wall, and the yellow board is going to be our Kindness board. We will hang our kindness projects on that.


Here is a view from my door. As you can see we are loaded with windows which I usually love but not when the temps are up. The sun is beating down on us since we our right outside the blacktop parking lot. I plan on hanging our anchor charts on the screens as we make them together.


I just love my door decs this year. I got the phones from Molly over at Lucky to be in First. They turned out adorable!


Here is the bulletin board right outside my room. It's the same one as last year and I still love it. This idea came from Kacey over at Doodle Bugs Teaching.
 
 
 
 Here is another shot of my library before I picked up the bench cushion. I was lucky enough to find a lady in the neighborhood who sews for a second job so she made the red cushion for it.

 
I will be posting more pics in the next several days, but in the meantime I want to show you some of the awesome bulletin boards you will find throughout our building.
 
 
I want to explain this Kindness board. Our school's theme this year is kindness. We have a little girl (2 year old) who lives in our neighborhood.  She was born with Apert syndrome, which is a cranial facial syndrome. Her name is Mary Cate Lynch. Her parents did not know before birth that anything was wrong so when she was born they were totally surprised. It is so rare that one a few babies a year are born with this syndrome. Her parents decided to embrace her and her differences and wanted to educate the public about this syndrome. Therefore, her mother, Kerry, goes around to all the local school and brings Mary Cate with to talk to the school children about being kind and that just because she looks different doesn't mean she is different. Kerry is incorporating the book Wonder into her speeches. It is incredible what she is doing. So far Kerry has visited over 50 schools, been written up in the Chicago Sun-Times, and even did the Today show over in Australia. If you would like to she has a blog and a facebook page which you can read all about her , just go to Mymarycate.org  or Mymarycate facebook page. Her story is really touching. Kerry and Mary Cate came to our school on the last day of classes in June and talked to the whole student body. Therefore, we ended the school year with kindness and now we are beginning our year with kindness.


 
 
I hope this wasn't too long and boring for you. As soon as I take more pics they will be posted. Now back to school for our back to school ice cream social ( the teachers do all the scooping and the kids love it)!!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Wishin' I Was In Vegas!!

 
 
So, I'm sitting around the house tonight really wishin' I was in Vegas along with all the other awesome teachers and bloggers when I decided to clean out my lesson plan binder. I'm not sure about any of you but my school bag was still sitting right where I left it the last day I left for the summer vacation. I knew I had to empty it but kept putting it off until tonight. As I was cleaning it out I came across this paper that I took away from one of my little darlings. I take it he was really mad at Cheyenne. Don't you just love the picture with the fangs and red tongue not to mention the spelling of meany. This note is one of the reasons I stay down in the lower grades and don't teacher the older kids. If this is how they show their anger I'll take it. I think this is a keeper for my folder of special notes the kids write me for my collection. I love it!
 
 
 
Summer is going super fast. Before you know it we will all be posting pics of our classrooms and planning what to do on the first week of school. I'm anxious to see everyone's awesome rooms this year. It's always one of my favorite things to see on the blogs. My wheels are tuning already for the new year, especially since I will only have 16 firsties compared to 23 from this past year. Woo Hoo!! Now, on to more Pinterest and more ideas for the new year.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Insects, Bugs, and Bucket Lists

 
These shoes are just so adorable. My firsties wrote about what they hope to do this summer. I found this project from The Bubbly Blonde blog. 4 more days left but whose counting?  Me, me, me!!!
 

 
Since we are finished with all our science and social studies I decided to do a short unit on insects and bugs (tis the season after all). My firsties are lovin' it. Together we made an anchor chart about what insects can, have, and are. We also made a huge list of insects they know of. It was amazing what kind of bugs they can name. Some of them I'm not even too sure they really exist. After that we did some directed drawings from Kacey over at Doodlebug Teaching.  I have never done a unit on insects before and after seeing how much my kiddies know and want to know about them I may have to squeeze this unit in next year.





 
 
Non school related
 
My brother has the most adorable, pleasant, easy going labradoodle. Two weeks ago they noticed how he was bumping into everything. So they took him in for a check up and found out he is full of cancer. It is sooooo heartbreaking. Canyon isn't even ten years old. Everyone just loves him.
So my brother and his family decided to fill Canyon's bucket list before they have to say goodbye ( who knew dogs have bucket lists)! Well, one of the items on his bucket list was to take a ride in the firetruck.  That was an easy thing to do since my brother is a fireman. Here is Canyon getting his ride. We laughed so hard upon seeing the pictures.

 
Now they are going to have a birthday party this coming weekend for Canyon and anyone can come and bring their dogs. They will have the yard fenced off and a piƱata filled with dog treats. What a hoot!!  Item number 2 on his bucket list.
 
They took Canyon to Petsmart and let him roam the store and sniff all the dog toys. They bought him his favorite toys that he pulled off the shelf. Item number 3 on his bucket list.
 
They are feeding Canyon anything he wants to eat (he always had such bad allergies he was on a strict diet and now prednisone takes care of that) including a huge steak. Item number 4 on his bucket list.
It's going to be one sad day around here when everyone has to say goodbye to him. He is an awesome dog and great friend to many!!

 
 
Here is the latest selfie my daughter and I took last weekend. Thanks for stopping by.