My First "Back to School" Purchases for My New First Graders!

About Me

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Welcome! I hope to use this blog to share some of the amazing things my class and school does to make learning fun! I have been teaching for 15 years already! I started teaching 3rd grade in a Parochial School, then I was hired to teach 1st grade for three years, was moved to 5th grade for 2 years, and then came back to 1st grade in the district where I attended school. I love that I'm able to give back the the school district that guided me to become the teacher I am today! I have a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, certified 1-8; a Master's Degree in Curriculum and Instruction; and my Administrator License Pre-K-12.

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Linky Party

So I'm breaking Blogging Rule more than one post per day...but I found this linky party and I wanted to join in on the fun!

          When I first started blogging this past summer, I joined a few linky parties and they were really kind of fun!  It was a great way to find and meet new teachers and share ideas.   I haven't had the courage to host one myself yet because I don't know all of the ins and outs of them and I had a really hard time this school year keeping up with my own blog but one of my resolutions is to blog and share more!  Anyway, I decided to link up with Kristin @ A Teeny Tiny Teacher and Hadar @ Miss Kindergarten in their "11 in 11" linky party!  (At least I think I linked up correctly...still learning...I only linked myself on Kristin's blog...hope that was right!)

11.  Favorite Movie You Watched 
          My favorite movie this year would have to be Tangled.I's a kid's movie but with three nieces and a nephew under 5 years old, my free time is pretty much spent with them whenever I can.  Tangled was such a great movie and the soundtrack is so much fun.  I have to admit that I'm a little bummed that it's rated PG and I can't show it in my classroom (although I think I could get parent permission...I have a pretty cool group of families this year).  I had big plans for a Rapunzel unit!  (And my nieces were so excited when they got to meet Rapunzel at Disney World this past spring.)  

10.  Favorite TV Series
          Modern Family cracks me up every week!  The dynamics of that family/ funny!

9.  Favorite Restaurant
          Our downtown area is starting to make a revitalization and offer more so that the residents of Sandusky can come downtown for dining, shopping, and entertainment.  There's a few new restaurants in Sandusky, Ohio but Water Street Bayfront Bar and Grille is one of my new favorites...especially in the summer.  They have a patio that offers a view of the bay and is located in a central part of our downtown area. They make the best fried pickles...definitely a guilty pleasure of mine! 
8.  Favorite New Thing You Tried
          My blog...even though it's no where near to where I want it to be it's a start.
7.  Favorite Gift You Received
          Oh my gosh...I'm totally in LOVE with my Keurig! 

          My sisters and their husbands got it for me for Christmas this year with a ton...I mean a ton of different coffees to try!  I'm set!  Bring on the snow days!

6.  Favorite Thing You Pinned
          I love everything I've pinned on Pinterest!  Great ideas for my classroom and holidays.  Yummy treats, dreams for the future, decorative stuff and fun crafts to attempt in all of my free time!  :)
5.  Favorite Blog Post
          I loved blogging about my classroom tree.  It was a huge project that started as a little idea in my head that actually came to be thanks to the help of my entire family and awesome art teacher.  I realized that I hadn't shown any pictures of my fall leaves and now my branches are bare and waiting for that first snowfall.  I'll post pictures...I promise.
4.  Favorite Accomplishment
          Finishing the classes required to receive my principalship license!  Yippee!
3.  Favorite Picture
          This is a hard one!  I love candid pictures of my nieces and nephew.  The posed ones just don't work well for them (as I said before they are all under the age of 5) and the candid ones just show so much more of their personality.  Here are a few from Christmas...

2.  Favorite Memory
          Hands down...our trip to Disney World.  My family and I never went to Disney when we were young but we did go with our high school band to perform over spring break.  I love watching the faces of not only my nieces and nephew but also those of complete strangers.  Magic Kingdom is such an amazing place and I think every child should experience it.  You can't help but turn into a child once you walk through those gates.  What am I talking about?  Even the drive into Disney World is full of anticipation!  I'm so grateful to my brother-in-law, who is also a "Dis-Dad" for all of his research and planning so that we can spend a full week in Disney for Spring Break 2012.  Never did I ever imagine I would be fortunate enough to visit more than once...let alone experience it with my nieces and nephew for the past 4 years.  Here's our most recent picture with Cinderella in her castle...we met her for lunch on the day of our visit.

       Why yes...those are matching green t-shirts that were all personalized and created by my brother-in-law (on the left-side of the picture)!  At the time...I was like...OMG...matching shirts...matching lime green t-shirts...that's so not me! is the way to do it.  When Mary Poppins addressed my niece by her first name...her face was priceless!  And I kind of dug it too when The Fairy Godmother said, "It was nice to meet you, Aunt Jenn."  :) 
1.  Goal for 2012
          Geesh!  There are so many...hmmm...I think I need to work on a healthy balance between school, family, friends, and personal life.  The past few years have been crazy busy with just about everything imaginable...I'd like to slow down and appreciate the little things a bit more.  
          I really need to do a better job of teaching Science to my first graders.  It should be such an easy thing to do with my inquisitive friends but I have a hard time squeezing it in between everything else.  Plus...we have new standards...and I'm just going to be's not interesting for kids.  They want to learn about space, dinosaurs, and how to make gooey stuff...not: 
Sunlight warms Earth’s land, air and water. The amount of exposure to sunlight affects the amount of warming or cooling of air, water and land. 

That's just one of them...needless to say, I'm on the hunt for some amazing bloggers at the primary level who will inspire my scientific side.  If anyone knows of any, please share!  

Oh!  And I want to be a better blogger!
Happy New Year!


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I hope everyone in blog-land and beyond are having a wonderful break from school and enjoying time with their family and friends.  I kind of left my classroom on our last day of school in a bit of mess and also hauled a bunch of things home to work on.  I've been pretty good about working on a little bit of school work each day and I spent last night in my classroom organizing and getting ready to welcome my kiddos back to a "new" year.  I'm thinking I should probably go back one more full day to make sure everything is ready for a fresh start.

One of the stacks of books I brought home is from my Ginny Dowd collection.  She is the creator of "The Phonics Dance" and guru of phonics instruction and just all around awesome teacher.  My partner in crime and I discovered her at SDE's Conference for Ohio First Grade Teachers a few years ago.  We did a little healthy stalking...and were invited to see her in action in her own classroom...totally amazing teacher and great person!  If you haven't seen her in action, you really should take a peek.  She totally changed the way I teach my children and run my classroom.  I wish she had an interactive blog for all of us, but I don't think she's made that step yet.  I don't know her totally as a person, but from what I saw...she's one busy lady!  Here's the link to her website:
One of the millions of ideas I received from Ginny Dowd was from her "Language Arts and the Creative Arts Connection" book that offers the children the opportunity to write their own New Year's Resolutions.  I just jazzed it up a little to make it work for one of my most favorite Happy New Year activities we do when we return to school.  I start off by initiating a conversation about what resolutions are and I then model how I think and decide on my resolutions for 2012.  We'll use the following worksheet to draft our resolutions together.
We'll edit them with a peer and then I'll look through them too.
Then comes the fun part!  We'll use a 12"x18" piece of construction paper to make a 4 Fold Foldable.  I let the children choose from any color of construction paper they want.  I always pre-fold the paper and then depending on my group, I either show them where to cut or I do it myself for them.
Ignore the property labels...we'll put one digit on each section so that it shows 2012.
I then provide the children with cut-out patterns of 2012 so that they can trace and cut out the numbers on the colors they choose.  We then glue the numbers onto the foldable (in the correct order) and embellish each digit with sequins so that it looks like a party on a paper!  :)  (While the children are working on the embellishing, I quickly look through their resolutions and pull them back for some one-on-one editing.)
As they complete their embellishing, I'll provide them with their resolutions and the following paper so that they can rewrite their resolutions.
2012 Resolutions
We then cut out the boxes and lift each 2012 flap so that we can glue our resolutions onto our project.  It's pretty simple and the kiddos have fun with it every year!  I'm sorry I don't have a final example to show you but I will in less that a week as we go back to school on Tuesday, January 3.
Have a great day!

Monday, December 12, 2011

First Monday!

Well, it's my first Monday without classes!  Yep!  My classes are finally done and I'm just waiting to get my grades and then take the PRAXIS (and pass it) so that I can start thinking about whether or not I'm ready to get out of the classroom and become an administrator.  If I had to make a decision today, the answer would be NO!  I'm having too much fun with my kiddos!  It's going to be a tough decision whenever the time comes.  :)

Anyway, I totally apologize for not blogging the past two months but my classes and internship as well as my firsties consumed every minute and I had to put something on the back burner and unfortunately it had to be my blog.  I even grounded myself from blog stalking...ahhhh!  I feel like I'm so out of the loop!

8 days of school left until Christmas Break!  Woot! Woot!