Tuesday, December 13, 2011

More Grinch Day Fun

So, here are the life size Grinches we made. I got the patterns from the Glyph Girls on TPT. You'll need to check them out if you haven't already. They have glyphs for all occasions. We didn't really do the project as a glyph, I had the kiddies follow me one step at a time and they turned out so cute! I have them hanging in the hallway along with our pin the heart on the Grinch. We also completed this anchor chart about the Grinch which I saw on First Grade Parade (told you she has some awesome ideas). What a fun day we had!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Grinch Day!

What a day! We had a blast. Our kids were so excited about coming to school all decked out in their green. The kids were a riot. I loved the ones who came with the green hair. We have 6 classrooms on our floor so we rotated kids every 20 minutes. They loved going to someone else's classroom. Each room had a different project. I had the kids pin the heart on the Grinch and then we made these cute little Grinches. They were the perfect size. Tomorrow I'll post more pics of our projects I was just too exhausted to stay and take pictures. Oh, and by the way we also had our faculty Christmas dinner after a faculty meeting today. Now I'm ready to collapse. I will give Cara over at First Grade Parade and Mrs. Jump a ton of credit for all the awesome Grinch ideas. Thanks for sharing.  Have a great day tomorrow.

Monday, December 5, 2011


I know, it's not fire prevention month. Our reading story was called Firefighters. I found this project on Pinterest and had to do it. First we made an anchor chart of all the things firefighters do. Then the kids had to write three or more sentences about what they learned about firefighters. They turned our really cute. So now on more Christmas. Our Christmas program for the parents is tomorrow night. We've been practicing like crazy so not much teaching going on these days. Anyway, have a great week!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Stuck Santa and Anchor Charts

 So, today we read the book Santa's Stuck, What a hoot! The kids loved it. We went on to make these chimneys which I found on Cara's blog on First Grade Parade. I tell you, if you haven't seen her blog you must check it out. She does awesome things with her class. Kudos go out to Cara!

Here are a few anchor charts we've done in our class. I don't know about you, but I am running out of room for all these anchor charts we make. I hate to take any down but will have to switch some out. The odd and even chart is really a helpful one for the kids. They refer to it quite often. Anyway, on to more projects. I'll have some more projects to post in the next day or so. Today several of our teachers did projects they came across either on blogs or pinterest. We were comparing projects and each one is as cute as the next. Once again, I am soooo thankful that all these great teachers share.  Have a great week!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Holiday Bulletin Board

Omg! When I saw this bulletin board on Pinterest I just had to do it. Thanks to my wonderful aide in my class we were able to duplicate it. It's so cute! I don't know about you but is Pinterest just so addicting? I can't seem to get enough of it. There are so many awesome ideas out there and wonderful people who share. But on the other hand, isn't that what teachers do, beg, borrow and steal?! I am so very thankful for all the teachers who share their creations. They're awesome!  Have a great week and thanks for stopping by.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Our Turkeys in First Grade!

So, what a day today was! I was completely exhausted when the kids went home. We had our pilgrim and indian feast with the kindergarten. We usually entertain the kindergarteners and they feed us. However, our school has had to put a stop to food brought into the building that isn't ok'd by parents first (we have two children who are deathly allergic to certain foods). Anyway, our firsties sang songs and read poems to them while the kinders sang to us. They also had their own snacks from their lunches. They had a blast. We then went on to sing to the preschoolers too. In the afternoon my daughter came to visit and she had this cute turkey project for them to do. We also somehow squeezed math, religion and a reading test in. I don't know how we managed that. Now, tomorrow the kiddies have a half day and parent conferences will be the rest of the day and night. Oh my! I will be glad to see Wednesday come. Now on to all the wonderful holiday activities. Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful turkey day, gobble, gobble!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Mayflower boats and Trying to Catch My Breath!

I love how these boats turned out. I got the idea from First Grade Parade. If you need any great ideas check her out. I just love her blog! Back to the Mayflower, we started by reading a book about the Pilgrims and the Mayflower. Each child wrote a fact they learned on sticky notes and placed it on the anchor chart. After that we made the boats. Each page has a fact abou the boat. We are having a Pilgrim and indian feast with the kindergarten class on Monday so we will use these boats as the center piece. The kids are just loving all the November activities. We only have a day and a half next week. Parent conferences are Tuesday after the kids go home at noon. We do all the conferences in one day and then have the next day off. It sounds like a long day (and it is) but it's also nice to get them over with in one day. Anyway, I'm still busy taking classes for my masters in reading and it is soooo busy now. We've had some easy classes but now the work is piled on. On top of that our school is getting evaluated by the Archdioces in February and we have a ton of work to get done by January 1st. And, I still want to do all the wonderful projects and activities in my classroom. I feel like my head is spinning. I even woke up the other morning dreaming about guided reading books.
Unbelievable, huh! So I'm off to type up a lesson plan for my classes. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

First Grade is for the Birds!

Ok, I don't think my kids want to make another turkey! I saw several great turkey ideas on the blogs and just had to make them. I have been making the same old turkey every year for the past many years and I wasn't about to make it one more time. When I came across these they were perfect. First we made the turkeys along with our counting by 10's math lesson. Then we used the pattern pieces to make another turkey. Finally, we made turkeys with our phonics. I will say the pattern piece turkey was fairly difficult for some of them, they just didn't get it. Either way, they turned out cute. Life has been so hectic around her. You see, our school is getting evaluated by the Archdioces this February so we have a ton of work to do for that. I am taking classes toward my masters in reading and have a ton of reading tests to give and evaluate this week, all on top of the regular school work. AND the most important thing this week  is that my girlfriends and I are going away for a scrapbook weekend. So, that explains the craziness. I'm sure it's no different than your life. Anyway, have a great weekend and thanks for stopping by.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Spider Season

I saw this great spider project on Reagan Tunstall's blog and just had to do it with my kids. They loved reading, hearing and learning about spiders (the boys more than the girls). After a few days of spider lessons they kids wrote out the facts they learned and drew their own spiderwebs. They turned out really cute. This was a good writing assignment for them. We've been working on writing sentences so this was perfect.
Well, the big day is fast upon us. Don't you just love the fact that Halloween is Monday this year! What a way to start the week. Our school starts out with a parade around the block for the parents to see us. We then go into the gym to have our own parade around. Each class walks around so the other classes can see everyone. After that we have to have our parties right away. Unbelievable! We all would much rather have them in the afternoon and send the kiddies on their way home. Now we have to deal with them and their excitement all day. I think it may be a movie kind of day. Anyway, I hope everyone has a fun day and enjoy!!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

First Grade has gone Batty!

We have been doing a short unit on bats and the kids love it. Here are some of the awesome activities I found  on some of the blogs. The kids got a kick out of cutting out 600 mosquitoes to show how many a bat can eat in an hour. I think that was their favoite thing to do. If you haven't read the book Stellaluna you definitely have to. It's so cute. Well, tomorrow is our school walkathon and it's been raining all day today. Keep your fingers crossed that it stops for the walk tomorrow.  Have a great weekend and thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Leaves are Falling!

I found this cute handprint tree on Pinterest and just had to do it. First they made their handprints. When it was dry they went back and used their finger tips dipped in paint for the leaves. They didn't turn out too bad for first grade. Well, it sure doesn't feel like fall around here. It's about 80 degrees here. I guess that's good for the football games. We have a great weekend planned. It's family weekend at my daughter's university so we're heading out east. We'll go to the football game and then the best part, a concert by the band Chicago. An oldie but goodie. We're looking forward to it but not my 16 year old son. I wonder why!! Anyway, have a great weekend.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Happy Fall, Yall!

We've been busy making our fall pumpkins and trees. I just love how these pumpkins turned out. I have been teaching 11 years at my school and I have many kids from the same families. Therefore, I am trying to do different projects with them so they don't go home with the same old projects. Thanks to Pinterest and all these wonderful blogs, I have found a ton of awesome things to do with my firsties. Sometimes I think these blogs are so much  better than any inservice. So, I want to give a huge shout out to all the wonderful teachers out there in blog land who share. Muchas Gracias!!  As soon as I have our trees mounted and hung up I will post a pic. I found this awesome idea on Pinterest. It was soooo easy to do. Enjoy!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Red Eyed Tree Frogs

These are the cutest little red eyed tree frogs. We have been doing a small unit on the rainforest because our reading unit is on animal habitats. I came across this awesome project on Pinterest and couldn't resist it. Anyway, was there something in the air today and lately? My class has been sooo talkative it's hard to deal with. I even made the Nois-o-Meter and Brownie Points. They don't seem too interested in the brownie points, which I was suprised. You see, for my behavior management system I have a Happy Gram Chart. Each child has a clip on it. When they misbehave I tell them to move their clip to the not so happy face and then if it continues they move it to the sad face. Every day I give them a Happy, Not so happy or a Sad gram at the end of the day to take home for their parents to see. I really don't like to have to move clips and I feel I have a ton of patients. But these days I'm losing it. That's when the Brownie Points came into the room. However, since they really aren't phased by that I guess I will have to start moving more clips down and that means no recess. I'm really hoping just a day or two of sitting in will nip it in the bud. Keep your fingers crossed. Any other suggestions are always welcomed. Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Another Reason Why I Love Teaching First Grade

Wait till you hear this one. Two little girls in second grade came over to my room after recess to tell me that a
boy in my room told them to shut up several times at lunch time. I then went on to ask the little lovely what happened at lunch and he went on to tell me that they were telling him that he had "big hairy eyeballs".  Since he did't like that he told them to shut up (I don't blame him, but wouldn't say that). When the girls were questioned about telling him he had "big hairy eyeballs, they admitted it. OMG! By this time  the other teacher and I couldn't stop laughing.  I'm so glad this is the extent of the problems I deal with in first grade. I'm still laughing when I think about it. Have a great week.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Last of the Apples

 So, here is the last of our apple projects. The kids did a great job on these. Sorry about the poor quality of the stained glass apples, they look much better in person. We will still do something for Johnny Appleseed day on Friday ( I know that's not his official day) and then I think I'll move on to spiders. I've seen a ton of awesome spider ideas. Our school is giving the AIMS Web test in the next few days. We've never done this test before. Anyone have any suggestions for me? I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

More Apples, Yummy!

The kids always love when we do graphs. They especially loved this apple one because they could actually put their own apples on it. After we finished that one we colored a paper apples and placed them on the second graph. We went on to describe our apples using the 5 senses and their answers were a riot. Now on to the seasons of the apple tree, some fun apple art projects (which if found on blogs) and Johnny Appleseed day. Thanks for stopping by. I'll try to post some of their projects this week.  Have a great week!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Apples, Apples, Apples!

It's that time of the year. Apple season (one of my favorites). We started our unit and  so far so good. Yesterday we made this anchor chart together as they made their own and today we made apple KWL's.
Tomorrow we are going to graph our favorite's and then we'll do an activity using our five senses as well as eating our apples. Next week we will celebrate Johnny Appleseed. It's just a short unit to get the year started with.
Well, open house went great. I have another great bunch of kids as well as parents, this year. Since I teach at a catholic school we get a ton of support from the parents. I so appreciate that. One great idea many of our teachers do on this night is, we put up a "giving tree" on our boards, lockers, whereever there is room. We put leaves on it with items we go out all year and purchase ourselves. The parents are more than willing to take a leaf or two and send in those items. It's really a huge help, I'm sure you all know. Another theme was the helping hands. I've been doing this for 11 years now and have always had generous parents. Anyway, have a great rest of the week.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Open House Tonight

Yes, I know it's late but our principal decided to change the usual date. So, my day was.... first grade all day, grad school from 4:30 to 6 and open house from 6:30 to 9. I'm already tired just thinking about this day. I have five minutes to breath right now and what am I doing? Blogging, of course. I want to thank all the wonderful teachers out there who share their creations. I have used a ton of them and will post pictures in the next few days. Because I am taking classes myself I don't seem to have any time to create projects. I wish I had something to offer. Anyway, as I said already, thanks for sharing. Now off to school.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Back in the Swing of Things

Wow, 2 weeks are almost over and I think I'll come back! We beat the heat (again) last week. I'm really praying the 90's don't return for a looooonng time. Here are two project we completed and they are already hung up. I can't remember which blogs I found them on, so after this I'll search and come back here to give these wonderful teachers credit where credit is due. So, I've seen so much on all the blogs about the Daily 5 and now I want to implement it in my classroom. I'm working on getting it all put together and then we'll get started. For now, open house is next week and I'm back to grad school, myself. Needless to say, things are a little busy around here. I'll be back soon. Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Heat is On!!

Of course, the heat is back, just in time for school. Mind you, we DON'T have air conditioning. Today was our first day with the kids and by 9:30 they were asking when do we go home. It is in the low 90's right now with a heat index of 97 degrees. My class was 88 when I left (thank goodness it was only a half day). Here are few of my favorite questions I always get on the first day of first grade. I'm sure you, too, were asked these, When is recess?, When is play time? Do we have gym today? Do we have homework ? Can I sit with my friend at lunch? And my favorite question I get every year, When do we graduate?  They just don't get it on the first  day or so.  That's why I teach first grade, I love it!  So, on to do some back up plans for the rest of the week incase the heat continues. Hope everyone out there is have a great week of school!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Classroom Pics!

I've been working like a dog (as did everyone else out there) to get my room ready for our firsties. They come this Wednesday and I think I am ready for them. There is still just a few odds and ends I want to do but that will eventually get done. So here we go.

Our entrance to the room.

View from the door. This is our class library area and where I like to do whole group lessons and our morning math board. I just happened upon this awesome rug when our librarian was moving her room and didn't want it anymore. I love it!

My class library. I sorted the books into the various genres and level 1 through 4 books. I'm still working on the "just right" books this year. Each bin is labeled with a colored dot sticker and all the books in each bin matches the label on the bin. Last school year the kids were real good about putting the books back in the right bins.

I let my kids check out the books like a libray. Each book has a library pocket and index card in it. When they want to check out a book they just take the card and put it in their pocket. That way they don't have to write their names on anything and I can always see who has a book checked out (and who doesn't). This system works wonderful for us. You see our school library has such old books still that I thought it would be nice to allow them to take our class books home.
I saw these little seats on a ton of blogs and just had to have some. So we got busy over the weekend and made four of them. I used the smaller crates (beacause as you know firsties have little bottoms).

Here is our word work workstation. They can use the new seats when working there.

This is my area for small groups and computers. You might be wondering what the 6 and 7 are for on the shade. On the first day I will take pictures of the kids. Then I let them put their picture on the number for how old they are. When it's their birthday they just love switching their picture over to the 7. They also take home the birthday bag with the birthday binder in it to write about what they did for their birthday. This has always been a big hit in our room.

Here is my desk. I also saw this sucker tree on many blogs and once again, had to have it. I give the kids a ticket for all kinds of reason throughout the day (good behavior, returned homework, etc.). Then they put their names on the back of the ticket and it goes in this #1 bucket. On Fridays I pull out a few tickets and if I pull their name they can pick a sucker. If the sucker has a red dot on the stick then they can pick from my treasure box. This ticket system really works, it gets them to return homework and if I carry the tickets with me when we leave the room they are well behaved.

Our bucket fillers and class rules. I really hated my rules chart. It was plain and ugly. Last night I found these rules on The Polkadot Patch blog and loved them. They are all the same ones I have so I printed, mounted and laminated them. Now I just have to get them to stay up, they kept fall down today. I will eventually move them over to hang behind my desk on the wall but for now I want them front and center.                                  

  Here is my writing center supplies. I am still working on it. The blank board is for the Super Star of the Week's poster. The gutters under our white boards are awesome. We saw this done at another school
many years ago and then had our maintance men do this for us. I put books for the month or holidays in it and change them out at the beginning of the month. They are just plastic gutters from Home Depot. 
So, that's it in a nutshell. I hope you may have gotten a few ideas, however, many of my ideas came from blogs. There are so many wonderful teachers out there with awesome ideas and I thank you for sharing them.
Have a great year!