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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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!