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

About Me

My photo
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.

Blogs I Love!

Monday, December 31, 2012

Resolution Activity and a Freebie

Hi Friends!
Hope everyone is ready to bring in 2013!

If you're looking for a fun and festive resolution activity to do with your kiddos when you return I wanted to remind you of this little diddy...

Last year we made 2012 Resolution flip books to help us bring in the new year!  This week (we go back on Wednesday) I'll be making our 2013 Resolution flip books with all three of my reading classes.  I found a writing activity by Ginny Dowd, aka The Phonics Dance Lady where she had the kids write a resolution for school, home, self...and I forget the other...but there was another!  Side note...I'm at the hospital with my family this week as my dad was admitted this past Saturday.  He is diabetic and his numbers got all out of whack which brought on some other we're going to be here for a bit until everything gets back to normal...if there's a normal for this kind of thing.  I packed a bag full of school stuff to keep me busy in the waiting room as I don't do well in about anxiety...geesh!  Anyway...the paper I have the kids use to write their resolutions is at home or school but when I find it, I'll share it...or you can just have your kids write any kind of resolution too!  :)

I also received a few positive comments about my Contraction Action at the North Pole worksheets I created this past December.  Since my children are still having a difficult time, I decided to make some with a wintery theme...

I've posted them for free in my TPT shop so you can just click above and the link should take you right where you need to be.  Apologies to all of my friends who don't get to experience a winter full of freezing temperatures and snow...but I'd love to be in your flip-flops...except on a snow day!  :)

Wishing you all the best for a Healthy, Safe, and Happy 2013!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Merry Christmas and a Little Catching Up!

Hi Friends!
Ahhh...Christmas break...finally!
There's a blizzard warning today in my neck of the woods...and plenty of Christmas cookies to survive on while I'm snowed in!
Too many cookies, to be honest.

Hope everyone had a great Christmas!

The school shooting threw me for a serious loop during our last week of school.  Beside the fact of just being completely sick to my stomach about it and the constant thoughts of "the how's" and "why's" of it all, I found myself becoming paranoid about everything around school and home.  I kind of felt like a lot of people at school were like, "It will never happen here" and were able to continue school life as it always was, while there were a few of us questioning our safety procedures...maybe a little more than what our administration expected, but I kind of feel that our concerns needed to be heard and validated.  E-mails were sent telling us that we were safe, etc. but I just needed a little more that week.  So, I taught more with my door closed and locked that week than I have in probably my whole teaching career.  I left school immediately and came home to do my work.  I was uneasy the whole week.  Then to top it all off, our district received a threat which was later reported as not credible on Thursday.  Apparently there were several schools that received threats in our area.  School went on as normal on Friday but several families kept their children at home and I don't blame them a bit.  There were a few teachers who were appalled that parents kept their children home, but how can you blame them?  Many of the classrooms were missing anywhere from 8-10 children because their families kept them home.  I was pretty much only there because I didn't want my kiddos with a substitute teacher who didn't know them or our classroom.  Some may say I'm over-reacting, but it's kind of a big deal and I was and probably still am in need of a little reassurance.  Our district had extra security in our buildings that day, although I didn't see any...probably because I was locked in my room with my kids.  One of our officers announced on our PA that Santa was in the heart sunk/sank(?)...was that a code for something?  Any other time, I would know that he was just trying to be silly with the kids on their last day of school before Christmas break...but it just didn't set well with me.

I knew I just needed to make it to the end of the day so we did a few "Polar Express" activities and then spent the rest of the morning having fun with our friends because Christmas is all about spending time with friends and family.  Yep...we turned on some Christmas music, read and played games with our friends, and just hung out structure, no expectations.  We spent the afternoon watching The Polar Express and I decided to take down our Christmas tree.  I have never taken down my Christmas tree with the kids in the room.  I usually spend a full day over Christmas break in my classroom getting things ready for the new year but this year is different. I feel like I need to spend time with my family this Christmas...and that's what I'm doing.

Well, except today because we're in the midst of a blizzard right now so it's just me and a few piles of work that need my attention...and I just don't feel like working on them today.  :)
My family has this weird habit of taking pictures of what our yards look like during snowstorms.  Especially during snow here's a view of our blizzard from my front door.
There's a highway behind those trees believe it or not!
This is the field in my front yard...brrr!
Onto some fun!  I'm helping a new friend celebrate her 1st year as a blogger!  Check out her blog and make sure you enter her give-away...I mean, give-aways!!  A bunch of bloggers have donated things to her's a biggie!

Click here to visit Sue's Blog!
Keep warm and take care!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Let it Snow and Some Contraction Fun!

Not snow yet but my mom came to school today to change my tree!  Here are the before and after pictures:

My kiddos seem to be having a hard time with contractions...maybe it's because our reading series throws plural nouns (just _s and _es), possessive nouns and contractions at us within a few weeks of each other....who was that genius?  :)  Before I know it, I'm seeing apostrophes all over the place and none of them in the proper place!  So, while reading What Santa Can't Do by Douglas Wood and Doug Cushman, I was inspired to create some VERY basic worksheets that would help my kids.  
So...TA! DA!  
Click here to download!
I know...I actually made time to create something!  Each page focuses on only one contraction at a time.  The children are to circle the two words that make up the contraction in the sentence and then rewrite the sentence using the contraction that just happens to be found at the top of the's a peek:

I left the last sentence open ended on each page to allow my children to complete it on their we're still working on sentence structure too!  If we have an extra few minutes I'm going to have the children illustrate their sentence(s) on the back.  I'm thinking it will make great classwork, seat work or even morning work once they get the hang of it!

I included the following contractions in this packet:  can't, don't, isn't won't, didn't, let's, it's, she's, he's, they're, and we're.

Hope it's something you can use!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

10 Days and Counting!

That's 2 full weeks with children who are bursting with the excitement of Christmas...BURSTING!
I know you know how it is!
We are in full Christmas survival mode! :)

A few weeks ago I posted this picture...
That's me with Mo Willems!

My good friend and I spent the weekend at The Mazza Museum at The University of Findlay in Findlay, Ohio about a month ago!  I love attending this event!  Each November they gather several authors and illustrators together for a weekend of book signing and presentations.  It's so cool to listen to the authors and illustrators talk about their craft and their lives!  Oh...that's Erin and Philip Stead in the background!  I think they're my new favorites!  Their stories are just sweet and kind and their illustrations are just amazing.  A Sick Day for Amos McGee was actually illustrated using wooden blocks that she carved!  So amazing!


We also got to meet David Ezra Stein...

John Muth...

and David McCauley...

Such a great weekend!
Speaking about weekends...I think I only have 2 more shopping weekends until Christmas and I really haven't even started shopping!  It will get always does!

Hope everyone is getting their Christmas Cheer on!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Better Late Than Never!

So...I could apologize for not posting in awhile...but I've done that before in hopes that it would make me more accountable to all of you...but it hasn't happened.  I have big dreams...dreams of posting every evening, dreams of creating quality activities and projects, dreams of keeping everything together but I'm finding out that sometimes my dreams just aren't going to come true.  So I just want to tell you that I totally appreciate you checking in on me and leaving comments and I've decided that I'm just going to do the best that I can!  Thanks again for sticking with me!

Here's my November Currently from Farley...finally!

Not a lot to explain...
Conferences the past two weeks have been super beneficial but totally exhausting!  By the time I got home, I was done...the last thing I wanted to do was to stay awake waiting for the washer and dryer!  We departmentalize and decided it would be a great idea for the 3 of us to meet with each family...all 66 of them!  Our district mandates 2 evenings of conferences but we were approved to use an additional 2 full days as professional days too (which also meant we were planning for 2 full days for our subs) so that we could meet with everyone.  We only had 4 no-shows so we're hoping to schedule them next week!  I need to do more blogging on how we did our conferences because it was really great...I loved conferencing with my two teaching buddies!

I LOVE Thanksgiving...watching the parade on TV, wishing to see all of those Broadway shows, tearing up a little bit when Santa shows up at the end...every year.  Oh!  And then there's a whole day of family, food, and fun at my parent's house...the only place I will go for Thanksgiving EVER!  I'm a bit of a stickler on this holiday...we even have a "No Christmas before Thanksgiving" rule in our family...even though my sister put her reindeer up in her front yard already.  She doesn't have them lit she says that they're just deer...I think she's pushing it a bit!  :)

Even with our rule, I am thinking about everything that needs to happen before that next stuff, church stuff, home stuff!  I need to remember to take time to enjoy it!

My wants and needs are the same...this month has kicked my butt so I need to reset myself and be ready for the next few weeks!

As some of you know, I'm a sucker for music and since it's the season of excitement, we're listening to anything calm...George Winston, Chris Botti...and a lot of others are in my iTunes library.  Next week we can start listening to some soft, easy listening Christmas music...with a subtle hint of jingle bells.  :)

Look who I met a few weeks ago...
Can you guess?  Oh...and take a look in the you know who those two people are?
 I'll tell you in a future post...promise!  

And this just disturbed me to no end!

I had to buy a curling iron and found this tag on it.
Seriously!  Who tried to curl their eyelashes with a 3/4" curling iron!

Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Last Minute Fall Crafts

Well friends!  We're getting a little bit of Sandy in Northern Ohio today!  High winds, rain, and power outages are throughout the area which means school has been closed!  I haven't lost power yet, so I wanted to share a few quick and easy projects with you before Halloween!

Here's a Jack-o-Lantern we made a few weeks ago...super easy and very "telling".

Here's what you'll need:
Construction Paper:
9x12-inch black rectangle for the background
1x2-inch brown rectangle for the stem
a ton of 1/2x12-inch orange strips for the pumpkin
Scraps of yellow construction paper for the face

We started this project together by gluing an orange strip vertically and horizontally in the center of the black construction paper.  We then glued strips to form an X on top of the vertical and horizontal pieces.  The children were then told to continue gluing orange strips by overlapping them, leaving a black space between each strip (see picture above).  Some of the orange pieces will hang off of the edge of the black paper.  These can be trimmed off once the children are finished gluing all of the orange pieces.  We then glued our stem to the top of our pumpkin and used yellow construction paper from our scrap paper box to design our faces however we wanted them to look.

We also made some fall trees!

Here's what you'll need:
Construction Paper
9x12-inch blue rectangle for the background
9x12-inch brown rectangle for the tree
tons of fall colored 1-inch squares for the children to use as leaves

I whipped up a very simple tree pattern and had the children trace it onto the brown construction paper and cut it out.  We then glued the tree onto our blue background.  Each child was given a pile of squares and told to glue their leaves onto their paper.  I told them that they could glue their leaves however they wanted, but I wanted it to look "real".  Some glued them onto the branches, some made it look like the leaves were falling from the tree, and some even made leaf piles.

I like this project because even if I'm short on time, or a child doesn't completely finish their tree, it still looks good whether the tree is full of leaves or it has very few leaves on it.

I don't think I can take full credit for these projects...I think I found them in an issue of Mailbox several years ago but they work...and once you get your kiddos started on them, they can complete them on their own which gives you a second to breathe.

Miss V's Busy Bees is celebrating 500 followers...make sure you follow her blog so you can join in on her give-away!

 Miss V’s Busy Bees

With this unexpected day off, I have big plans for getting caught up on all of my blog stalking and if I lose power, I have a few books left over from my summer reading list that I can read!
Keep safe!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Boo! Boo! Boo!

Yes, sweet friends!  I've been boo-ed...not once, not twice...but three times!  Holy cow!  Now here's the part I feel totally guilty about...
I was Boo-ed at least a week ago and I am just now having time to sit down and pass on the spookiness!  At least we're still in the month of October, right?

Here are the rules...
If you've been boo-ed, copy and paste the above pic and these "rules" into your post.
1. Give a shout out to the blogger who booed you and link back to their site!
2. Share 3-5 October activities, books, products (yours or someone else),
or freebie(s) that you love!
3. Share the Boo love with 5 bloggers- make sure you check this link to make sure you don't boo someone again:
And don't forget to tell them that they have been BOOED!
4. Link up {here} so that others can find you and read about your October ideas! And while you are there... check out the other great blogs!

So here's a shout out to some of my blogger friends who Boo-ed me!
Thanks Maria, Jennifer, and Crystal!
It was so kind of you to include me in on the fun!
If you haven't checked out their blogs, you really must!  I'm a little behind on reading their posts at the moment but they always give me great ideas and definitely something to think about!

My favorite October books and activities...

Anything with spiders!  I love reading 
It's a fabulous read aloud!  It's one of those books on my pile to create something fun for you and your kiddos!

We had a few minutes to spare at the end of the day yesterday, so we read
My kiddos loved it...another book I have ideas for!

(I really need a personal assistant.)

Halloween joke books are great too!  This week, I'm going to put a joke on my Smart Board each day, but scramble the answer.  The kiddos will have to unscramble the answer which will also form a complete sentence.  We're working on sentence structure, so I thought this would be a fun idea for this spooky week!

Hat Day!
We're not allowed to dress up at school on Halloween so for the past 3 years or so I've organized a building wide hat day that allows the children to design a hat at home with their families and wear it to school.  We are a Pre-K to 2nd grade building so our words range from color words for our Pre-K cuties (in English and Spanish), letters of the alphabet with our kindergarten friends and sight words from our reading series for our first and second graders.  Each teacher assigns a word or letter to each of their students.  A note goes home explaining the project to our families.  All hats are due back to school a day or two before our actual Hat Day so that those who didn't make a hat can make one quickly with their teacher.  We realize families are busy and we don't want anyone left out of the fun!  On Hat Day, my class starts a "parade" and we travel through each classroom to show off our hats.  As we go through each classroom, the class lines up behind us and we continue to the next class until the whole school is is parading through the school.  The hats that come to school are amazing!  Each year, they get better and better!  Here's a few from this year...

So that was more than "a few"!  I had a hard time picking some pictures to share.  I'm always amazed at the hats that we get!  Our families are awesome...and my teacher friends are pretty cool too...they let this little bit of fun interrupt their normal routines for our kids!  Thanks secret followers of my blog who teach at my school!  :)

I think October should be a longer month!  There are so many fabulous ideas for Halloween fun on TPT, Teachers Notebook, and Pinterest...and of course all of your wonderful blogs!

I now have to Boo 5 other bloggers but since I'm a little behind the Boo-ing...please help me out!  If you haven't been Boo-ed yet...consider yourself Boo-ed by me!  (I feel like such a's so unlike me!)  Just leave me a comment so I can give some blogger love to you in a future post! 

Have a great Saturday!