Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Freebie and a SNEAK PEEK!

The restlessness has set in. You know what I'm talking about. That feeling that you get where you THINK you should be doing something, and something work-related, NOT housework. You're almost in a panic, looking at the clock thinking....I would be doing my reading block right now, or we'd be having lunch.....yes, you and I have School Detachment Disorder!!!

I could find an excuse over the weekend- it was Memorial Day weekend. I counted it as a holiday and didn't let myself think about the fact that it's "summer vacation".

Today, well I've run out of excuses for myself. I ran errands this morning, thinking that would get rid of this feeling- I switched our insurance to a new company (YAY no more USAA!!), mowed the front lawn and took one of my mini schnauzers to the groomer.....

Guess what? The feeling didn't go away. :(
Now I feel even more guilty that I'm not at work.
SOOOO, I sat down at the computer and thought- what could I do to pass the time!

Well, here you go- first is a freebie that you can download from my store on Teachers Pay Teachers: click the picture to go to my store:

I created three teacher quote posters. Thank you to Scrappin Doodles Fancy Dog Studios and Pink Lemonade Company for the awesome borders, frames and papers!

If you have a specific teacher quote that you would like to see on a poster, please let me know. I'll create a poster and add it to the current free download.

Now...a preview of coming attractions:
 I am making a HUGE Dolch Word Wall Pack- stay tuned for more information and a chance to WIN this awesome activity!

I'm Free at Last!

What a whirlwind of a week. I am checked out and free for 2 and a half months! Sort of......

Because of the impending implementation of Common Core, I'm going to a plethora of teacher workshops this summer. We are also adopting 2 new kinds of math curriculum, Every Day Math and Singapore Math. I know NOTHING about Singapore math, so it should be interesting!

I'm also on the Healthy Lifestyles committee with our physical education teacher for our school. I have a workshop in July to go to for that. 

In the meantime, I'm going to be working on some new "back to school" packets. You will get a sneak peek here first and a chance to win each one, so make sure you keep checking back!

So what kinds of professional development are YOU doing this summer?

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Final Days......

This week has been so busy! We are nearing the end of our school year. The 23rd is our last day. I have so much to post about, but I'm too tired! In the last week, we've had a field trip, Olympic Days and Senior Send-off. Plus we are trying to fill out our check-out sheet so we'll be ready to checkout of our classrooms. 

I wanted to post about a freebie that is in my TpT store. I don't know about your kids, but mine are getting tired of the same 'ol behavior tools. Mine LOVE LOVE LOVE the iPad. So I created a behavior tool based on the iPad. Even if you don't have an iPad in your classroom, this can STILL BE USED!

Included in this freebie is a printable ipad with blank spaces where the apps will go (includes a beach background). The apps will be stickers. There are 20 app slots to last approx. 4 weeks. When students show positive behavior, they will add a sticker to their iPad, creating an app. When they will up all 20 app slots, they can turn their card in for a reward card. There are several choices in cards, ranging from iPad time, to individual time for games such as Angry Birds, Magic Piano (a hit with my class), Temple Run and Toontastic. Also included are non-iPad rewards, such as extra recess and sitting by a friend. I'm planning on using this next year with my first graders.

I hope you can use this freebie! Just click on the picture to go to my TpT store where you can download it. Let me know if you use it in your classroom!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Check Out My TpT Purchases Linky Party!

Has Teacher Appreciation Week been awesome or what? I was very thankful for Teachers Pay Teachers and their sale this week. I found some new teachers with great products and was able to purchase some from my wishlist also! This is what I snagged:

Babbling Abby over at the Inspired Apple had the cutest dinosaur centers! They are very colorful and organized. My kids are going to LOVE these.

 Kathleen Pederson from Growing Kinders posted this awesome grammar pack. This pack consists of printables that can be used as morning work, Daily 5, extra work, etc. My kids LOVE these. Their favorite part is finding someone to check their work and putting a checkmark in the box. I can't believe something so simple can be so effective with my students!!

I am such a sucker for clipart. ESPECIALLY borders and frames! I snagged these cute borders from Lindsey Haralson. Aren't they adorbs????

I also snagged Ms. Talley's "Lots-a-Dots!" borders.They are so whimsical and cute!

My firsties are having a VERY challenging time with fractions this year. When I saw this amazing unit from The Teacher Wife, I HAD to purchase it. I have already posted the posters and having that visual has REALLY helped my kids.

I grabbed this great ongoing activity for my next group of firsties from Christine Statzel. This is the cutest scrapbook. Each month students will create a page that has to do with whatever month it is. I can't wait to do this and send them home on the last day of school. My parents will love it!

Well that's it for my TpT Teacher Appreciation Sale purchases! I hope this sale was not only nice on the pocketbook but beneficial in meeting new people and sellers. I know it was for me!

Also, please visit Erica Bohrer's blog if you would like to link up and share your purchases or view what others found on TpT! 

Wordless Wednesday: What I Was Greeted With This Morning!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Everybody Walk the Dinosaur......

I was listening to my new favorite app, Spotify and happened upon an 80's playlist. Well on came "Everybody Walk the Dinosaur". How perfect that song describes my week!We are counting down. We are now 12 school days away from summer break! This is also our field trip week, so we are busy cramming as many fun activities into the week as we can.

I am super excited for this time of year! It is an annual tradition for first grade to visit the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History on the campus of the University of Oklahoma in Norman (GO SOONERS!!!!).

Here is a video detailing the highlights of the museum. Take a look if you have a moment. This museum is AMAZING and I look forward to going every year.

So with our museum field trip a matter of days away, we have started our dinosaur unit. We started out by reading the cutest book called, "I Wish I Had a Dinosaur". It's about a little girl that imagines all of the wonderful things she could do if she had a dinosaur. I got lots of giggles out of my kiddos on this book. After we finished reading, I had them do a writing activity. The book was a springboard to get them thinking....what if I had a dinosaur pet? So they completed the writing prompt, "I Wish I had a dinosaur....". Their ideas were very creative.

For our literacy centers, I took a great idea from another blog, Life in First Grade. She took dip and chip trays and created a "Roll and Write" Literacy Center. This center requires the students to recall story elements from different books. All of mine are dinosaur themed this week, and vary on level. My trays only had 4 sections instead of 6, so I had to double up a couple of questions. I found the trays at Wal-Mart for $1. I used her free printables for the questions and the response page. You can download the packet free on her blog!

For the writing center, we are making sticker stories using dinosaur stickers. I have to limit them to 3, because otherwise my boys would have 20 or more on theirs! Ha Ha. 
Since we rotate centers 2-3 times a day, each student goes to the center more than once a week. That means I have to have plenty of activities available to choose from to keep them busy. I also have some dinosaur puzzles, stamps, and dinosaur bone sets that they actually put back together!

I hope this week is as fun for my students as I want it to be.   I am putting together some of the activities that I am doing with my students as an activity packet, and will post it in a few days. It will have the sticker page templates as well as the writing prompt activity and a dinosaur book list.

Well, the Hubby is headed home from work and I'm hungry, so off I go to cook dinner. I hope everyone has a great night!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

It's Teacher Appreciation Week!

This is a week to thank your teammate, your child's teacher, ANYONE who is a teacher. We spend so much time behind the scenes, most people don't really understand just how much we put into our students and our classrooms. Our local news station posted an article yesterday about an education rally at our state capitol. It was so frustrating to see all of the negative comments posted about teachers, schools and education in general. We all know that not EVERY teacher was born to do the job, but most of us truly love what we do. It's not for the summers off, it's sure not for the money. It's for our KIDS.

To say thank you, I am making one of my very first items created for Teachers Pay Teachers free TODAY only. So grab it in my store while you can! Read below for more information on the activity pack.

If you download this pack today, please leave me feedback. I love to see teachers using my products. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

That's It, I'm Done. GOODBYE!!!!

Give me a "Holla" if you are as ready to be done with the school year as I am? Don't get me wrong, I love my kiddos this year, but goodness it's been a stressful year. We are implementing Literacy First for the first time, and although I will swear by it, it's a LOT of work, and a good topic for a WHOLE other post.


Our last day is Marvelous May 23. I think my kids already think it's summer break though. It's time to tighten the belt, put on the gloves and battle it out! Since we are so close, and ready to be done, I wanted to created some fun activities for them to do the last week of school. I created an activity pack called "That's It I'm Done. Goodbye!" It's based on the hilarious poem that I created of the same title.


Click the picture to view it in my TpT store. It is available to purchase for $4.

Here's what is included in the pack:

1- "That's It I'm Done- Goodbye" Poetry Pack- Use the poem with your students. Have them read the poem and discuss what it means. Included is a fill-in-the-blank recording sheet, an illustration page and a bulletin board page.

2- The Best Days- Have your students create this cute mini-book about their school year.

3- Super Summer Survey- Students will interview a classmate about their plans for the summer!

4- Sizzlin' Summer- This is a write the wall activity. Use the vocabulary cards and hang them throughout your classroom. Students will use the recording page to write down the words they find on the wall.

5- HOT Graphic Organizers- These are great summer themed fiction and non-fiction organizers. Included is a summer book list of books that can be used that are "summer" themed.

6- Rock Star Autograph Book- Have students use this book and have their friends autograph it and leave nice messages. There is a color and black and white version of this.

7- Summer Word Sort- Have students sort the words into summer and non-summer groups. This is great to review vocabulary and for ELL students!

8- You Mean the World- Use this poem and letter to send with your students on the last day of school!

Since I've just started my blog, I'm going to do a giveaway!

Just make sure I have an e-mail address to send it to!

The Beginning of a Beautiful Friendship......

So I have decided to join the world of blogging. I have sat in the background for 1 WHOLE school year drooling over the extreme talent of Rachelle Smith, Erica Bohrer, Anna Brantley, Michelle Oakes, Cara Carroll and the list goes on and on.....

I decided that they are having too much fun. I MUST join! Besides, I haven't seen many bloggers from Oklahoma.

I'll start out by telling a little about myself.

I am an Okie bred and born. I was born in Oklahoma City and have lived in the OKC vacinity all of my life. I graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma in 2004 with my bachelors in early childhood education. I have been teaching first grade for the last 7 years. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE First grade. These kids are so hilarious! Not every day is a walk in the park, as a matter of fact, I think first grade is the HARDEST grade to teach, but that doesn't keep me from doing my best to educate these kids amongst their troubled lives. It definitely takes a compassionate person to be a teacher, because the things some of these kids can say will break your heart!

I am married to a wonderful man who was my high school junior high sweetheart. YES jr. high! We met when I was in 7th grade and he was in 8th grade. We went our separate ways, but ended up finding each other again. We have been married for 2 years. I also have an amazing daughter who is 12 and in 6th grade, and a stepson who is 11 and in 5th grade. We also have 2 dogs. I am a miniature schnauzer fanatic, so we have 2 schnauzers, Ginny and Cooper. So with two pre-teens and two young dogs, our lives are never dull!

The purpose of this blog is for me to communicate with teachers around the world. I love sharing ideas, units, printables, etc. I have opened a store at Teachers Pay Teachers, but I will post more about that later.

If you've just stumbled across my blog, I hope you'll bookmark me and return now and again. I want to meet as many teachers, parents, etc. as I can!