Thursday, January 31, 2013

Day 31 It's About Time Teachers

January is almost over so it's time to start thinking about all the fun that February brings.  One of my favorite days in February is the 100th day.  Not because that means that we are more than halfway finished with the year --which seems just crazy to me-- but because it is so fun to see the students so excited about a number!  Moving from 2 digits to 3 digits is the eyes of a 1st grader.  Perhaps that's why I have stuck with 1st grade all these years.

Today's blogger is Barb.  She has the blog called: It's About Time Teachers.

Now there are many meanings behind that title, but for Barb, she collects clocks and knows a lot about dusting and winding them I would assume.  She must have a big collection because she has had more than 30 years of teaching experience.  She has seen phonics come and go and come back again. She has taught with Dick and Jane, Dr. Seuss and everything in between.  I am sure she has seen more versions of the Standards than any teacher deserves to see in their lifetime and all her kids have learned regardless...because she teaches!

So like me, Barb's mind is thinking 100th day too.  She has a fun post with 100...yes, 100 ideas for what you can do on the 100th day of school.  Now nobody is going to get through all 100 things...but I'm sure you can find quite a few to help you through your 100th day of school.

And for those of you who have already had your 100th day because you must have year round school or something along those lines...just file this one away in your folder on your computer or pin it on Pinterest for next year!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Day 30 The Houndstooth Teacher

I guess it only seems fitting to follow yesterday's blogger with today's choice.  This is Amy Hope's 2nd grade blog.  She is the twin sister to yesterday's blogger Julie Lee.

Amy is newer to the blogging world...and she only just came back from a maternity leave...funny thing...her twin sister just came back from maternity leave as well.  So looking back at gets even more twinsy.  Apparently Amy has two boys and just had a baby girl while her sister Julie has two girls and just had a baby boy!

Amy has a lot of items in her TpT store.  Perfect for your 1st or 2nd grade classroom.  She seems to lean more toward literacy than her sister.  She has a freebie of a 3-2-1 book activity that I really like and will give a try with my 1st graders soon.
Students have to write 3 things they liked about the story.  2 things they didn't like and 1 character they liked and why they liked him/her.
Making those kids interact and think is what it is all about. Awesome!

She also did a fun crystal ball activity instead of the New Year's Resolution January writing idea.  Very cool idea!  It is actually from her sister's TpT Store...but since it's her twin, she should get half the credit, right?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Day 29 Mrs. Lee's Kindergarten

Whoa...put on the hopping brakes!  I was getting lost in today's blogger.  Julie's kindergarten blog is full of great ideas.  I got so into reading through her posts and ideas that I forgot what I was doing...posting about her blog!

Here is the first thing to distract me.  These are those jumbo lip smackers.  First I flashed back to junior high when the Bonnie Bell ones were so popular.  There were coupons in all the magazines for getting free ones.  They had quite the marketing strategy going because everybody had them.  Well, now here is a new use for all those lip smackers...

Use them to make smelly stickers!  
This is an awesome idea!  Thanks Julie!

Then with 100th day on the brain...I saw this cute idea she used on the 100th day of school.      They counted by 10's to 100.  But with first graders and counting dimes, I will make it 10 cents a scoop and a $1.00.  
Here is a subtraction center.  Awesome cute idea for finding the missing addend of 10.   I was trying to figure out where she got the link for the flowers/suns when I got further down her page...

And I realized it was part of her weather unit!  lol...I was thinking math and flowers....not weather and suns.  Here is her link to this unit:  What's the Weather?....perhaps it would be a great thing to look for during the big sale this weekend on TpT.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Day 28 Step Into 2nd Grade

Teachers have lives that extend past the walls of the classroom or the building it is housed inside. Students and their parents (and sometimes your administrators) forget that Teachers have families and friends and social lives.  Yes, there are some that can go home at the end of the day with only their purse on their arm.

But most of us leave with a full bag or two or three of things to do at home.  Of course this is on top of making dinner, doing the laundry, keeping the house clean, unplugging the toilet, feeding the chickens, going to the grocery store, watching your children's sporting events and helping them with THEIR homework, giving your husband some one-on-one time, calling your friend or mother (so they know you are still alive and well), paying the bills that are stacked in your inbox or on the desk....

Then comes the grading papers, writing lesson plans, calling a few student parents, finishing your coaching duties for the extra stipend at the high school, and THEN if you have free time... you start creating some lesson plans to sell on TpT or TN or Etsy or surf the blogosphere for ideas to make you better at what already consumes most of your waking hours.

Oh my then it is midnight and there is sleep to be had...though occasionally I wonder if it would ever be worth it to stay up all night.  The house would be quiet. Nobody would be asking me to do something...I'm just slightly tempted...but then I remember that I have 1st graders waiting for me at school each morning and the lack of sleep will only give them the upper hand that they deep down have been waiting for -- kind of like when the substitute walks into the room -- they are poised to strike!

Mrs. Lemons at Step Into 2nd Grade reminds me of two things...that teachers do have lives outside of school and that sometimes that life can be tough!  But we still come to school every day with a smile on our face and excitement for teaching our charges what they need to know with creativity and enthusiasm.  Mrs. Lemons will inspire you with the struggles she has had the last few months but that with the Lords help, she and her husband continue to start each day with hope!

While you are being inspired by her personal inspired by her creative units she has created.  I like the freebie math center she has posted.  My 1st graders are getting close to being able to do this one.  This quarter we start to dive into strategies for adding double digit numbers.  If you do it right and you do it can end the year with many of your 1st graders being able to do double digit addition with regrouping.  It's all in the Number Sense...and making it fun of course.
Spending money?  They love this idea!  With supporting money posters on the wall, most of my 1st graders will be able to do this.

Candy, cookies, cupcakes?  Well that will get their attention for sure!

This center is a FREEBIE on her blog.  If you want more centers relating to money, she has a whole unit on her TpT store.  

Perhaps add it to your list of things to purchase this weekend at the big sale!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Day 27 Miss Kindergarten

Miss Kindergarten...sounds nothing like the Arnold Schwarzenegger character does it?

No...and she is much more creative and insightful too!  No whistle blowing and cadence calling I would think.

She has lots of creative ideas.  She says she is artsy, and her work shows that side of her well.  She has quite a few of her creations on her TpT store.  Which if you are reading this the first weekend in February...there is a big sale going on!  Great time to shop!

I scrolled through some of her posts and ended up going to TpT and adding some of her things to my wish's kind of like a hold list.  I put the things that catch my eye in there. Then when there is a great TpT sale --like this Sunday-- I go back and SHOP!  Does anyone else do that too?

So hopping around her site I came across this wondrous post!  On Fridays we do fun things like art and math games.  They think they are 'just' playing games.  But what they don't know is that they are simply reinforcing the skills that I have been teaching them all week!  Teachers are sneaky that way!

Miss Kindergarten has a math game unit all neatly tied up with Common Core math standards for Kindergarten and 1st grade!

These are two of the games included. I love the bright cheery game boards.  Makes me want to replace my shabby worn out game markers!

This unit isn't just in my wish list...I actually put it in my shopping cart!  I can't wait to buy it on Sunday! 

Here is a list of all the games included in the unit in her stores.   She sells it in both her TpT Store and TN Shop.  Having the list of common core that align with them is very handy.  If you are going to play games any need to show why so people know you are actually teaching :-) Because before quoting and posting standards everywhere...we weren't actually was all a sham...and nobody learned anything! LOL

I also found this cute game.  I am well past teaching short vowels to 99% of my students, but I bet I could use this same idea for my Bossy R words!  Now the wheels are turning!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Day 26 Swamp Frog First Grade

 Yep, I fell into the black hole for awhile...I finished my report cards and my last conference.  It was weird this year.  I actually thought I was ahead of the game, ready to have my report cards done well in advance of the conferences...but no it was not the case.  I was still getting a couple of the report cards printed just hours before the parents walked into the room!

It was a combination of troubles.  The first being sick kids.  It's really hard to assess kids when they aren't there...or when they are there and they still don't feel good :(

The second hurdle in my way was the huge Cheer and Dance Competition I was organizing at the high school.  I am so thankful that I had the parent volunteers to help me through that last couple weeks before the big day otherwise I would have really lost it I think.

The third hurdle I had was the 4 hours of sleep I was getting every night for a week.  Thankfully the 1st grade germs merely bounced off of me. Perhaps I was moving too fast for them to catch me :)

So something had to give for the week...and it had to be my computer time.  Not that I wasn't on the computer.  I did find some awesome ideas on some amazing blogs throughout the week.  Because of course in the middle of everything else we have to redo our math assessments to tie more closely to Common Core.  Not during the summer after spending a year teaching with the new standards....but WHILE we are teaching...because we are teachers and we have endless hours of free time :)

Sorry...still shaking off the report card grumpies for a moment there....

The big push in 1st grade is number sense.  We want our students to understand that the symbol 5 equals five of something.  And then further on we want them to understand that 35 represents 30 of something + 5 of something...and so on.

Playing with numbers can be fun.  Lots of little sparks are igniting in their heads as the connections are being made.  Some days my class is full of fireworks...while other days it's a bunch of misfires.  One of the struggles some of them have is equivalency. (1.OA.7  Understanding the Meaning of the Equal Sign)

They have trouble coming up with two ways to make 10 other than just flipping the two numbers. Which doesn't really show they understand equivalency between facts...just that one fact.  So I found this fun and creative way to get the right synapses firing.

Swamp Frog First Graders has a fun manipulative way for her students to learn equivalent equations. This week I gave it a try...and it helped many of my students.  We did it in class first and next week they will take it home and use it with their homework page to remind their parents what an equivalent equation is too :)

Here is a picture of the project/activity she did with her class.  You have them make the snowman first.  I love when they make their own manipulatives.  It makes the activity much more meaningful than just a photocopied sheet -- one of my biggest complaints of the Saxon math program.

She has the snowman template** on her blog post and she also has a recording sheet -- both of which are freebies!  

Thanks Swamp Frog!

**you will have to supply your own marshmallow counters though :-)

She has a beginning TpT store (like me) as well with more math freebies on it.  Check it out.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Day 25 Strings, Keys and Melodies

La, la, la, la....

Any music teachers out there?

Any teachers that have to teach music as part of their regular day...

because your district lost their music teacher due to budget cuts

or because you are a primary teacher and your district thinks primary means you can teach everything under the sun (I worked in a school district like that once)

Ms. Tonya and Miss Rachel are two talented teachers who have lots of tips and tricks and tools to help you teach something they know inside and out.  On their blog Strings, Keys and Melodies, they even include videos to help you out!  Way cool! (sorry, too much time with teenagers lately).

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Day 24 Simply Centers

They named their blog incorrectly...It should have been called Center Heaven! Because you will be in heaven when you start digging around on this blog.  Simply Centers has literally thousands of ideas for centers...just (simply) centers!  The best part is how it is all organized by subject and grade level!  Lots of different bloggers contribute links to their center activities.

There is not only math and reading, but science, social studies, technology and writing!  It has everything grouped in grade categories too.  K-2  3-5 and 6-8.  And if you are new to centers or if you have a group of students that need something different this year then they also have a category for "Organizing" centers!

You see, this is way cool!  Anyone can do centers now!  check it out!

My journey continues, one blog at a time :)  Come along with me!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Day 23 The 3 AM Teacher

The 3 AM Teacher is an amazingly talented artist as well as a teacher!

You can find some great clip art resources as well as her units on TpT and Teacher's Notebook and she has an Etsy shop too!  

Right now she has a special deal.  If you sponsor her son's efforts to raise money for Jump For Heart you can get either a really cool mega pack of background digital paper...or a mega bundle of math clip art. They are both awesome, but I am eyeing the math clip art myself.  You have until February 10th to sponsor him and get this great deal.

If you sign up to receive her posts, you won't miss my favorite thing...her Friday Five:

You can simply read and enjoy it...and maybe find some cool thing along the way...or you  can pretend it's the newspaper and just read the funny.  This was this week's funny, a definite teacher funny!

 I know a few kids this year that have already proven this one very accurate!

Maybe someday I will be one of the 3 AM Teacher's finds!  

If you have already started following me, thanks and welcome!  If not, then thanks for visiting.  Maybe come back again sometime and see who I have found next!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Day 22 Tonya's Treats for Teachers

 Tonya must think that all of us teachers like ice cream...ok, so maybe it's true....

But on her blog, Tonya's Treats for Teachers, she has treats that won't make you have to take an extra trip to the gym! She is from North Carolina...a state that did not have it's proverbial head in the sand and has been tackling the move to Common Core for much longer than the state of Idaho. When I need help with Common Core, I am always finding resources and references that link back to North Carolina.

Tonya teaches 3rd grade and she has fun ideas on her blog.  She has a Teacher's Notebook store as well as a TpT store.  If you are looking for some great math resources...she has been making a lot of those lately.  She has a huge unit on fractions that she is almost finished with.  I saw some pieces of it and it's clean, organized, and beautifully done.

I also liked this multiplication freebie she has...very visual.  I could probably even use it for my 1st graders at the end of the year.  I linked the post...just make sure you go down a little ways into it to find it.  It looks like this:

Have you followed my blog yet?  Don't miss the next best blogger I find tomorrow!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Day 21 Wolfelicious

Today's blog should get an award for the most colorful header!  It's what caught my eye and drew me good choice there!  The name was the second hook -- Wolfelicious

April teaches Kindergarten in Florida.  She is full of energy...which is amazing considering she is a mom to an active 3 year old boy and getting ready to have her second child in about a month!  She is getting ready to go out on maternity leave and she is doing the most amazing thing...she is planning her whole 10 weeks off.  When I did that, my co-workers thought I was crazy.  It is so nice to see I'm not the only crazy one out there! lol

April teaches in Florida and down there they have already had their 100th day of school. They made the cutest hats...I'm thinking I might need to make these with my 1st graders cuz they are so stinkin' cute!

Click HERE for the actual post.  But here are the pictures of the clever hats they made.

Aren't they cute...the hats too? 

April has a TpT store and a store on Teacher's Notebook as well.  Visit them and see more of her great kindergarten ideas!  

Want to see what blogs I find next?
Make sure you follow my blog!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Day 20 The Happy Edugator

Here is a new area I haven't delved into yet....

Middle School!

I barely survived my own two daughters being in middle school...I just couldn't imagine teaching middle school.  I know middle school teachers though who say they don't know how I can teach 1st grade too, so I guess it's true...The Lord God Made Them All

Side note....James Herriot was one of my favorite authors when I was a middle school kid.

The Happy Edugator is Deborah (great name by the way) a 7th grade English teacher in Georgia.  She has a lot of out of the box (or rather, out of the boring text book) ideas to make learning fun for her students.  I wish my daughters could have had her for a teacher. I know they would have loved her!

She uses different books that I have never heard of and even an episode of the Twighlight Zone to teach those boring skills you need to know in 7th grade!  And if you are teacher looking for have got to visit her TpT store...she has almost 700 items in her store to liven up your lessons!

I had to chuckle...on her google+ profile she has a quote that should be posted in every classroom and household in which a teenager enters:

Think before you speak, and speak not all you think.

Follow me and see where I Hop to next!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Day 19 Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas

It has been a long two weeks.  It seems hard to believe that this was the same amount of time that we just had off for Christmas break.  These past two weeks seemed a whole lot longer.  Don't you think so?

But now it's Saturday morning! And to make this one even sweeter, it's a 3 day weekend!  So what fun plans do you have for your weekend?

To start my morning, I am on the search for more teacher blogs.  It's not hard to find's harder to keep track of them.  Pinterest is great for that.  I always tag my favorites that I want to go back to on my board. But I started my 365 Blog Hop Challenge to get to know more of my blog neighbors and to be able to find them again.

If two weeks flew by, then my three day weekend will be gone in a blink of an eye!  Especially with all that I have to do this weekend....

My weekend will include:

  • Sleeping in (I got up at 7:00 instead of 5:30 -- woohoo!)
  • Adding blogs to my 365 Blog Hop Challenge
  • Staying warm (it's 9 degrees outside right now at 8:30 in the morning)
  • Finish grading the assessments I gave last week
  • Start my report cards
  • Taking pictures at my friend's daughter's 18th birthday party
  • Adding more blogs to my 365 Blog Hop Challenge
  • Working on my report cards
  • Watching the 49ers game
  • Finish lesson plans for the next two weeks
  • Making the program for our Cheer Competition next weekend
  • Working on my report cards
  • Paying the bills :)
  • Turning the pictures I took at the birthday party into a photo book on Shutterfly
  • Working on my report cards
  • Catching up on the laudry folding
So now you see how a 3 day weekend can fly by?  Goodness....just looking at that list makes me feel like it's already Monday night!

I think I will get back to the fun part of my weekend...looking for blogs...

This is the one I was hanging out on this morning.  Her blog is called Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas!  Fern is from Florida and teaches 3rd grade. She was even chosen as teacher of the year at her her co-workers know what a treasure she is. She has lots of fun ideas and freebies and items on her blog and in her TpT and Teacher's Notebook stores that you and your students will just love!

I have to admit, one of her posts just stopped me in my tracks...
Read what it says under the picture!

Yes, this is the top of her desk when she leaves school everyday.  This is what I have always wanted to achieve, but have never been able to accomplish!  I just love the 3 hole punch next to it all.  Maybe if I had that on my desk it would help me stay

Nope, organization is just something I have to keep striving for...I don't think it is what I will ever attain 100%.  I just have little windows of hope!  But Fern, you are amazing!!  Not only do you create awesome units and activities...but you probably know where they all are! lol

Friday, January 18, 2013

Day 18 Wild About Fifth Grade

I teach 1st grade. I don't know about the other 1st grade teachers out there...but I get the funniest responses when I mention that I teach 1st graders.

"Wow, how can you do that?"

"I sure couldn't do that!"

"Better you than me!"

"Isn't that exhausting?"

"I'm glad you teach my 6 year old, cuz I sure couldn't do that all day!"

There are a few things that make it tough...For instance,  I don't particularly care for the untied shoelaces (especially the little boys who walk in and out of the bathrooms with them untied -- ick!).  I could totally do without the nose picking --  really I have like 8 boxes of tissues around the room!  Then there are the occasional potty accidents.  And this time of the year, it is just amazing the amount of time it takes them to put on and take off their snow suits before and after every recess...

But I love teaching 1st graders. I can't imagine teaching any other grade.  I almost had to do just that this year....I almost had to teach 4th grade...or even worse, 6th grade!  I say that in good humor because I have taught both grades...they aren't all that bad...but I really like teaching the little ones in 1st grade.  Everything is new and exciting.  And when they learn how to do something, they think they are so proud of themselves!

But I will be honest...the main reason I love 1st graders is that...they are still shorter than me!! :)

In my inbox today I got an email from Melissa in Michigan.  She is a 5th grade teacher (more power to you!) -- and hopefully taller than most of her students!  She wanted to be included in my blog hop I visited her blog.
Melissa is Wild About Fifth Grade!  Her blog was started last fall and she is doing really well already.  She has hooked and linked and pinned and TpT'ed a number of useful tools and units already!  Now I don't teach the advanced math that a 5th grader will need to know but I sure could have used some of her units to help my two girls when they were in 5th grade struggling to visualize those abstract math concepts.

Welcome to my 365 Blog Hop Challenge are my first upper grade blog!

Keep up the good work!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Day 17 3rd Grade Gridiron

Here is the perfect blog for the big game this weekend...The 3rd Grade Gridiron.
I'm a 49ers fan...have been since moving to California from Florida as a kid.  (Before that I was a true blue Dolphins parents were even lucky enough to have Miami Dolphin season tickets during their "Perfect Season" -- I got to watch the game at home with my little sister and a babysitter -- oh well)

Now I live in North Idaho...and until this season, the Seahawks, being the closest team, have not been worth watching....we thought we were on track this year...but they lost last now it's back to the Niners for us.

Now sitting down watching a football game doesn't happen for me.  I am not a good sitter.  I am a good stander and do-er.  I don't know if it's why I am a teacher or if it is from being a teacher, but I have the need to multi-task.  So I will probably be on my laptop looking for new blogs and ideas to pin and post.  But if you ask my boss...I'm working on my report cards...really....I am!

Dana's blog is from Atlanta.  A place I have been to one time...and that one time it snowed while I was there!  This week Dana has some great freebies for Martin Luther King case you are like me and haven't done that lesson yet, head over and get her free banner and puzzle pages to go with your lesson.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Day 16 Teacher Treasure Hunter

Day 16...The Teacher Treasure Hunter is Melissa.  She is from just down the road from me, in Pasco, Washington.  I promise not to get into a hockey debate with her.  Though, I do know who has the better hockey team.  Go Chiefs team does have pretty colored jerseys though....tee hee.

Melissa sure has found a lot of treasures...just visit her blog.  She has all sorts of links, contests, prizes, pins, and other finds that she posts regularly.  She also has a monthly giveaway for her her blog would be a very good one to go follow....if you like winning things that is!