Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!!

Happy New Year to you!! I hope 2014 is good to you.  What are your plans for the new year celebration. I am the designated driver for a group of responsible college kids. We will drop them off at their destination and are on call to pick them back up about 2 a.m. Yikes! I sure hope I can stay awake that late. These old bones usually don't make it past 10:30. With that being said, I will probably be spending the night checking out your blogs and spending a little bit of money on TPT.
Have a great New Years Eve and Day ! Stay Safe!!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Ugly Christmas Sweater Day

Since it's been such a crazy week around school why not throw ugly sweater day in the mix! All the teachers in our school wore some really ugly sweaters and didn't tell the kids we were going to do it. The kids loved it. Especially the upper grades. We even had the student council walk around and vote on the ugliest one.

 This was the ugliest sweater voted by the student council kids. The back of it made it. It was hideous!
Here are our Christmas gifts to the parents peaking out of their bags. The snowman idea came from Reagan Tunstall over at Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits. They are way too cute! I then gave the kids scraps of scrapbook paper and they cut it apart to make the trees. Since everyone was here today and several firsties tend to take the last day off  before break (I have no idea why) we sent the bags and all their projects home today. Now, one more day of craziness and then the break begins. I can already feel a movie coming on for tomorrow. So, if you are still in for one more day have a great day and if you are already off have a GREAT day!!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Christmas W/Firsties is Exhausting!!

Other than looking at Pinterest I am running out of clever ideas for Ralph, our elf. Today our elf was caught taking a bubble bath and playing with the bears, his rubber duckie was MIA. Since it has been so crazy these days with our little lovelies Ralph is now sitting in our prayer corner saying a rosary. Maybe this will calm them down a little (not!).
One of the reasons it was a little crazy around first grade today was that it was Polar Express day at our school. Everyone was in their jammies and we switched classes throughout the day to do different activities in each room. It was a ton of fun but exhausting. Here are our trains we made, from Stacy at Funky Fresh Firstie, after trying to make trains with the pattern blocks. We also played hot potato with a bell and we played Conductor Says ( just like Simon Says).

Today was also the last day for our after school classes we have. Myself and another wonderful teacher at my school did a Christmas class where we made ornaments, decorated stockings, frosted Christmas cookies, and dipped pretzels in chocolate. This was even more exhausting than Polar Express day. We had an awesome group of first through fifth graders in this class and it was a ton of fun. Now, hopefully three quiet days around the building.  Wait, Thursday the teachers are wearing their ugly Christmas sweaters and the student council will vote on the ugliest. That should be a hoot. AND the kids don't even know we are doing this until we all show up on Thursday.
Now, on to clean jammies and a comfy bed.
Before I sign off for the night does anyone know of a sight that blurs out faces on the net? I really would like to post more pics but I just can't post pics of my kids. I thought the blurring would work out and I know the sight piknik is no longer. Any other suggestions?

Thursday, December 12, 2013

A Hodge Podge of Christmas and Odd and Even

 This bulletin board is just too cute. Our second grade teacher found in on Pinterest and had her own children help her recreate it. Love it!!
 Here are a few projects we have completed so far this season. Since we are a catholic school we always make Advent wreaths. The children color in the candle each Monday during Advent and they really look forward to coloring them in on Mondays.

This is also one of my favorites. I found this project last year on Doodle Bug Teaching.

One of their favorite stories my firsties love to hear is Santa Got Stuck. They can't imagine that happening to him. Some of their ideas of how they are going to help get him out are a hoot! We also completed this elf writing and art project to go along with our class elf, Ralphie.  I found this project on A Cupcake for the Teacher's blog. She has several different versions of it. Check it out.

I had to throw this anchor chart in. We have been working on odd and even numbers. The kids love skip counting so working on odd and evens were fairly easy.

And lastly, these reindeer are made out of graph paper. The second graders in our school do this every year. Aren't they adorable?!
Now, on to our school Christmas program. Wish us luck!!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Why I Love Teaching 1st Grade!!

Okay, I was all ready for bed when I thought I would check my emails one last time and this is what I came across from a parent of one of my sweet firsties. Her mom was cleaning her room today and she found this in her daughter's bedroom and passed it on to me. I just love my firsties!! That just made my night!

Friday, December 6, 2013

More Christmas AND An Amazing Teacher

I had the pleasure of going to dinner last night with one of my favorite bloggers, teachers, and friends. Erica Bohrer from Erica's Ed-ventures came to our town to conduct an inservice and I just had to attend. Not only did I get the chance to attend the inservice but some of our other wonderful teachers at my school and I  took her to dinner. I sure hope we didn't pick her brain too much. We had a wonderful night visiting with Erica. She is an amazing teacher with one great idea after another. Thanks, Erica, for spending time with us. You are welcome to Chicago and to visit our schools anytime!

Here is another awesome Christmas bulletin board. Our amazing second grade teacher saw this on Pinterest and recreated it. Soooo cute!!

Now, I'm not a huge fan of the Elf on the Shelf. However, I think it serves it's purpose for a little while and my firsties LOVE it. So with that said, I have to do it each year. Here is how we found him yesterday, playing Uno with the other animals of the room. My firsties love trying to figure out how he gets around the room. Don't you just hate it when you forget about it until the minute they walk in the room for the day and they realize he hasn't moved since yesterday? That tends to happen quite often for me. Next year I don't think I will start it at the beginning of December, maybe much closer to Christmas.
Now, off to bed to get an early start to the weekend.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Christmas Time Again!

So here is one of the bazillion bulletin boards I have. More to come as soon as we finish the projects to go on them. Behind the light bulbs my firsties wrote about different ways they can be kind this time of the year ( I have a few in my room this year who like to secretly give other students little digs when no one is looking, like at recess) I am working on character education quite a bit this year.
On another note, I am looking so forward to attending a kindergarten conference on Friday. There are amazing presenters going to be there and myself and several other teachers at my school are excited to meet many of them.. So check back soon for more pics of the great boards many of our teachers have done in their rooms. I feel our hallway is right out of Pinterest.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksginving!

Well, turkey day is finally here! Here are two more activities we did the last week or so. They got a big kick out of the Run, Turkey, Run! project. They came up with some really cute verbs for the turkey. Last week our reading test included a graphic organizer about main idea and details and I told them to put Thanksgiving in the main idea part. Then all they had to do was come up with 3 details about Thanksgiving. They could tell me whatever they knew or whatever they do on Thanksgiving. Well, one little lovely wrote as a detail "Run, turkey, run!"  We were laughing so hard at that answer when I started to correct them. He was right, the poor turkeys.

Monday we went on a fieldtrip to see the production of Pinocchio. The kiddies were so well behaved and we love the play. What a nice way to spend the holiday week. After we returned (and had lunch) I read The Great Turkey Escape to them and we went on to complete this adorable turkey activity(purchased from Foxwell Forest) Some of their answers were too funny. I loved the one that said to eat grilled cheese instead of turkey. These little lovelies have great imaginations.

We finished our short week with a half day of school on Tuesday and parent conferences the rest of the day. I know it's a long day but we get all the conferences done in one day and on to a long weekend. I don't know about any of you but I think is sure feels more like Christmas break than Thanksgiving break. I'm glad it's not though.
Have a great Thanksgiving, eat plenty of turkey and fixins', and get plenty of rest for the next busy month coming up.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

Here are two bulletin boards you will find down our primary wing hallway. The Pilgrim hats are right outside my classroom door. The owls in the tree are outside a second grade classroom. I just thought they are so cute. What do you think?

Monday, November 18, 2013

Cause and Effect, Indians, and The Windy City

 We've been working on cause and effect and as many of you know this can be a little confusing for first grade minds. So, I decided to bring in one of our favorite cats, Pete the Cat. Who doesn't love him! I read the story to them, we made an anchor chart of cause and effect actions in the story and then we pulled up Youtube and watched the author sing the song. They loved that part. Once we were finished they picked their favorite cause and effect and wrote about it and illustrated it. After we were finished with that part (and after lunch) we made our own Pete the Cats. They are so stinkin' cute. I especially love the ones with the legs going backwards. They're too cute!

This is not the best picture but it's hard to get any good pics of their projects that are hanging in the window. Even with the shades pulled down the pics aren't the best. Anyway, my firsties loved doing these Indians. (Thanks, Teri from A Cupcake for the Teacher).  Last week we learned about the Indians and their homes and what kinds of things they grew and did. This week is pilgrim week and so far it's a hit. I'll post more pics of the pilgrim projects later.


We made these turkeys out of scrapbook paper and they turned out adorable. The pilgrim hats have what they are thankful for on them. Before you know it, it will be time to take it all down and put up Christmas. We are getting ready this week for parent conferences next week. Next week we are also going on a fieldtrip to see the play Pinocchio. Our kids are so excited about going. We do one play a year becaue it's such an easy fieldtrip to do and they really enjoy them.

So I'm sure many of you have heard about the wild weather we had here in Chicago yesterday. My neighborhood was one of the lucky ones. We had WIND and rain but no tornados. However, I couldn't believe the wind. I can't even imagine what some of you go through during a Hurricane. We had several towns in downstate Illinois completely wiped out. So sad and scary. Keep those people in your prayers and hope they can get back on their feet as soon as possible.

Have a great week, Thanksgiving is just around the corner!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween Fun in First Grade!

We've been working on r-controlled vowels this week and I found this cute treasure hunt from Babblin' Abby. The kids love hunting for treasure (ar words) and wanted to do it again. After the treasure hunt we sorted more words out into "ar" categories. I really think they understood the "ar" sound.

Here a few more Halloween writing activities we completed this week. After completing an anchor chart on how to carve a pumpkin they wrote thier own directions for it and then went on to "carve" their own pumpkins. They are so much fun to look at and the kiddies loved doing it.

This is not such a great picture but it was hard to get a good pic with them haning in the sunny window. Anyway, they loved making these Franensteins from Amy Lemons. We just completed a unit on bats and finished with making our own bats and poems to go with them from Teri ove at A Cupcake for the Teacher.

On to the big day. That's me in the middle and our other first grade teacher in the ballerina outfit and our aide as the bumble bee. Usually we get together on our costumes but for some reason this year we just didn't. Oh well! We have had some pretty cold days in October and not much rain. BUT, leave for today to decide to be pouring, windy, cold, and just plain YUCKY!!. So we had to have our school parade in the gym and not around the block. On the other hand, the costumes were unbelievable. I don't know about you but I really think every year the costumes get more  clever than ever. They certainly aren't what we used to wear back in the day (Thank God!). The most popular costume I thought was the minions. We had a lot of groups of them, including my neice. What a great costume.

Here are the primary grade teachers at my school. I think this is the first year in all my years here (14) that we didn't get together on ideas. What were we thinking. We had a lot of fun though. No on to Thanksgiving and turkey day.

Friday, October 18, 2013


We had a short week at school this week so I decided not to start a new reading story. Instead we several pumpkin books. We learned about the life cycle of pumpkins and wrote adjectives describing our pumpkins. Here is one of the pumpkin projects we did. I found this over at First Grade Blue Skies. You should check it out. This unit has a few cute activities to use with your pumpkin unit. More to come next week.

We ended our Columbus Day unit with these ships that came from a unit from A Cupcake for the Teacher. The kiddies are always facinated with his boat and can't imagine traveling this way.

Our week ended with our schoolwide walkathon. It was super chilly but no rain. That's all that mattered. The kiddies had a great time walking  (or should I say running). After the walk was over the family school association (like a PTA) gave all the kiddies a hotdog lunch which we ate with our 8th grade buddies. We even had 12:00 dismissl. All in all it was a great day and week, but I'm glad it's over and on to the weekend. A drive through Lake Geneva to see all the colors of fall. Have a great weekend.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Busy Firsties

It seems so long since I posted. We have been so busy in first grade these days and I can just see how busy the upcoming weeks are going to be. We just finished all our reading assessments and now on to Halloween and our walk a thon. This is a short week with being off today and Friday is a half day.
Anyway, we have been working on our double facts and when I saw this cute project for the kiddies to write their facts on I just had to do it. They did a great job and really loved it. Thanks Amy Lemons for creating this awesome project.

I saw this cute little guy at Home Depot and I knew right away what I wanted to use him for. My kiddies had fun making these little crows and candy corns.

Who doesn't love a ghost. After reading several ghost themed books they got busy creating their own. I just love the legs on them and some of their faces were very creative. Thanks, Teri, over at Cupcake for the Teacher.

I'm sure you're wondering what this is all about. We started an after school program where teachers can do whatever kind of class they want with the kids. I'm doing an American Girl tea party. The kids sign up ahead of time if they want to join us. They are having a blast so far.

Finally, we just finished our rainforest and animal habitat unit and here are our red-eyed tree frogs. The kiddies colored in the dots this year. I usually allow them to use the bingo dabbers and they turn out so cute but I just couldn't find where I packed them away. I guess I am either going to buy more or keep hunting them down.

This week we are going to work on our bat and pumpkin units along with reviewing all the short vowels we have covered so far. Have a great week and thanks for stopping by.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Rounding out the Week!

We finished up our unit on apples and we are ready to move on to animal habitats. The kiddies loved painting the seasons of the apple tree and I think they turned out pretty good. It really helps when you go one step or one color at a time. After we did some apple investigating, (apples  taste, smell, sound, and look like with their real apples) and graphing they made the apple project below. Now I love to eat apples and have nothing against apples (that sounds funny) but I think next year we will pick a different unit. I've been doing apples units for many, many years and I'm burnt out with them. So if anyone has any suggestions of what I can replace this unit with I would love to hear it.

Now on to a long scrapbook weekend with my besties. We just love scrapping and any chance we get we're there. After last weekend and the burnt up car situation I think I need a weekend to not think about anything. So, have a great weekend everyone!!