Sunday, October 30, 2011

Boo.. it's almost November!

Where has the beginning of the school year gone!?

With a new adjustment to third grade, beginning graduate school, and a new HUBBY, life has been hectic (to say the least). I am going to try my very best to carve out some time for my blog and the bloggers I follow. I am always looking for new ideas and exciting ways to spice up my classroom!

Here are some Halloween ideas I have used in my classroom...

Persuasive Writing:
Students made haunted houses and wrote a persuasive story to get their reader to come inside their haunted house!

Exclamatory Sentences:
Students cut out a ghost and wrote an exclamatory sentence that a ghost would say or they would say if they saw a ghost.

RIP Overused Words:
We made a word graveyard for overused words. Each student got a tombstone and sent a word to the graveyard. On the tombstone, students wrote replacement words that could be used since their "favorite" word was now dead!

We carved a pumpkin and wrote a list of steps with transition words (first, next, last, etc.)

Compare & Contrast:
We compared and contrasted our house from a haunted house, apples from pumpkins, and fall to summer.

I am so SORRY I don't have any pictures. I just had to get back on my blog with or without all of the goodies! Stay tuned.. more to come!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Open House Treats

I have been searching around our blogging world and found some great ideas from SOMEONE but I cannot relocate the page.... if this item is yours please let me know so I can give the proper THANK YOU!

These labels are for open house bag of popcorn bags for the kiddos, shown on the other blog. I just made my own label to print and share!

Enjoy :)
Popping In

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Find a Friend

Who has a...?
Hello bloggers, I just created a cute twist to scavenger hunts, but with friends!!! I thought it would be a great way to begin talking before my students sit with a partner and interview each other! (I posted my interview in back to school). I hope someone can use it :)

Find a Friend

Monday, August 15, 2011

Bainbridge Giveaway!

Don't forget to head over to Christina's blog to enter to win her giveaway 'Check Please'! It's such a great thing to have for the WHOLE school year and it's super cute!!

Welcome Letter

Welcome Students!

In the beginning of August, my school sends each family their classroom teacher assignments for the fall. The packet includes a supply list and a welcome letter from the teacher. I wanted to share mine with you! I print it on cute decorated paper from the dollar tree! It always helps with a good first impression :)

On the first day of school, I send home a newsletter filled with another welcome letter, parent & student handbook, parent contact, parent survey, and permission slip to be on my classroom website. I am still working on putting it all together but check back soon!!!
Welcome Students

Here is my classroom supply list!

Supply List

Friday, August 12, 2011

Wedding Pictures :))

Da dum da dum.... hearing wedding bells?

Hey Bloggers! I just can't resist sharing a few pictures from my wedding in the Bahamas this past week! Of course, the day couldn't have been a better memory but Tropical Storm Emily didn't help! It was pouring rain when we woke up and by night fall it was HOT HOT HOT and full of bugs! Regardless of the weather, it was an amazing experience that I am so happy my husband and I shared together with our families!! There is no better way to have a wedding!

Here are some of the favorites from our wedding :)) Thanks for looking!

We were married right on a private beach in Eleuthera!

Here is one that I MUST FRAME!

Kipp Kash Management

On my honeymoon, yes it's scary, I created some rules for my Kipp Kash banking system. I tried to think of any potential difficulties we might run into and charted them as banking rules. Also, I listed any way a student can make a deposit or a withdrawal from their bank account. 

I just posted it up in my classroom today (sorry I didn't take a picture!) so it will help everyone have a clear idea of the rules for Kipp Kash management!!

Banking Rules

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Destination Wedding + Honeymoon = Weddingmoon!

Tonight my family, future in-laws, and fiance are heading to Eleuthera, Bahamas for a beautiful wedding on the beach!! Of course, I am a last minute packer and have a TON of things to prepare but my spray tan is looking GREAT! I'm sure I will over pack too many things for the wedding and, of course, beach wear, but it is all worth it! Here is a couple pictures from the first time we went to Pinepple Fields, Eleuthera!

This is the beach we will be married on :)

This is us on my 21st birthday! So young...

As you can see, I have been busy getting a few things prepared for back to school so I can truly relax and enjoy my weddingmoon! When I come back stay tuned for more goodies to prepare for my first year in third grade!

Interview a Partner!

And you are...?

I am still searching for great activities to start the school year off with a BANG! My goal, more than ever, is to get my students feeling comfortable, safe, and loved in their new third grade classroom. I am using this interview to help!

My students sit with a partner. They use that partner for many things throughout the day like math workshop, writing peer conference in writer's workshop, and much more! In order to help them get to know each other, I created an interview to help!!

Check it out!
First Day Interview

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Now Hiring!

Classroom Jobs!!
Since I am moving to third grade, classroom jobs are making a huge change too! In first grade, each day I had a boy and girl star helper. It was their job to be the line leaders, take attendance, lunch count, everything!

In third grade, I have created about 15 classroom jobs that will be rotated each week. I wrote the job and their description on a label so I can post it to the pockets I bought at dollar tree. I am using star sticks (like Popsicle sticks from reallygoodstuff) with each student's name on the star to assign. Hopefully, I can take a picture and attach it to the star!! 

Here are my jobs and descriptions! Enjoy :)


Here is a really great twist, I am so excited for! Each Friday, while the banker at Kipp Kash is working to see who can afford to pay their way to Fun Friday, students will complete a JOB APPLICATION! Students will want to be hired, because they get paid in Kipp Kash! They need their Kipp Kash to get our Fun Friday time and much more! 
Job Application

Hey Daily 5ers!!

Are you a Daily 5er?? I AM!

As I make the switch to third grade, I am changing the way I am holding my Daily 5 center chart. Last year I used a clip chart because my students knew that from centers, dare I say BEFORE the Daily 5 time! Here is my center chart from last year, but this year's will be a little different!

 This year, with older students, I am using a small pocket chart. Each student choose a card for each center, one MUST be read to self, and placed it inside the pocket chart next to their name for each round. I made these labels to print and stick on index cards and, of course, laminate! Help yourself!

Once my classroom is all set up, I'll upload more pictures of my new center chart!

Center Labels

Monday, August 1, 2011

What are you doing on the first day of school??

I am looking for some memorable and hands-on activities to try on the first day of school! Like all teachers, my dream is to have the students get off the bus screaming about what fun they had on the first day with their classmates!

What activities are you doing the first days of school!?

I have made 2 scavenger hunts around the classroom. The first is a bit easier, more obvious items to find in the classroom. They will complete this on their own.

Then, they will try the more detailed version with their partner!


Scavenger Hunt

Kipp Kash

What a summer! I am leaving in 3 days to get married in the Bahamas!!!! Of course, before we go I just need to make my lists and get some things prepared for my new third grade class in order to really relax!

I have decided that my third graders are going to use Kipp Kash as a behavior system! Here are some of the details...

Every student will receive $5 in Kipp Kash every week. You can earn Kipp Kash for raising your hand, showing model behavior, helping friends, following directions, etc. But, just like our bank accounts, you can loose Kipp Kash by being turned to yellow or red on the behavior chart and forgetting your homework!

I used a shoe hanging organizer (pictures to come later in the month because I can't get in my classroom till after my trip!) for each child's bank account. They will visit it at the end of each day to exchange their money. The banker is another classroom job to help refill weekly allowance and monitor bank accounts.

Students are working towards earning Kipp Kash for Fun Fridays. They must pay $5 to participate in Fun Friday because they will be earning it throughout the week.

I bought single dollar bills at a local teacher consignment store and printed labels to put on them and then laminate for long lasting Kipp Kash!

Kipp Kash Labels

Does anyone use anything like Kipp Kash? Leave your details, I would love to learn more!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

3rd Grade.. Here I Come!

Hello fellow bloggers! I just volunteered to move to THIRD grade next year!! I am VERY excited so I want to start searching for new third grade blogs and amazing teachers. 

I NEED YOUR HELP! Does anyone know any third grade blogs?!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

More Money!

My students are absolutely loving our money unit (who doesn't love money?) We have been playing some awesome games! Here are just a couple things that focus on counting coins and mixed coins. Next week we are turning our math lesson into a corner store! The students will all earn a budget throughout the week and be able to "purchase" things from our corner store with the money they earn. I am so excited!

Counting All

I have cut and laminated these boxes out. During our math money centers, students will match the value to the coins.

Counting Money

Please share any tricks and great activities you are doing for money!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Money Bingo

Tomorrow we are using these bingo boards to practice identifying coins and their values. I printed, laminated, and then cut the boards. My kiddos are playing with a partner!

I cut up a game board to have the exact names and picture of the student boards to pull from a hat as the bingo caller. 
Money Bingo

Monday, April 25, 2011

Money Honey!

Get your money honey!

We are starting our study of money. Our focus is to identify a penny, nickel, dime, and quarter by name and value of the coin. Then, students need to know how to count mixed coins up to 25 cents.

Here is the beginning of our unit! We started with a coin poem I am sure everyone knows! We read it as a shared poem and highlighted the coin names and their value. Here it is...
Money Poem


These worksheets focus on identifying coins and their values. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

More Bucket Filling...

After starting bucket filling last week, I still had some questions... here are some of my tips that are helping to make bucket filling successful.

How do you manage bucket filling?

  • Only 1 students at the buckets at a time.
  • Buckets can only be filled when your "jobs" are done.
  • Find a "good time" (not in the middle of instruction)
Bucket Fillers?
  • I made a certificate to send home with the students to share our bucket filling with their families.
  • The certificate is in place of ALL rewards for full buckets or bucket filling.
Bucket Dippers?
  • If someone's bucket was dipped by disobeying our classroom rules (hands and feet to ourselves) then, I use our stoplight system behavior plan to address the incident.

Below are my writing piece I did with my students to kick off our bucket filling life, my home-to-school connection piece, and my title for our bucket center in my classroom! Enjoy!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Attention Bucket Fillers!

Have You Filled a Bucket Today?
Okay.... last week was a CRAZY CRAZY week in my first grade class. I feel like my students have really been struggling with peer interactions with kind words, helping each other, and controlling themselves. After a violent incident in the lunch room, I decided to take action. We are now BUCKET FILLERS! Check it out....

I grabbed this book and stopped my instruction for a bucket emergency! I began by reviewing our classroom rules (thanks for our fabulous PBIS program in my school). I pulled all of my materials out and my class worked together to make a section in our classroom for bucket filling. For each student, they traced their hand and we took an oath to follow the classroom rules. 

Then, I read this FANTASTIC book to my class. It's a MUST READ!

We acted out what it would look like to be a bucket filler and dipper. My students did VERY WELL with acting and identifying if it was bucket filling and dipping and why. So there is hope...

I used a hanging shoe organizer to hold everyone's bucket. Also, I found small children's cups in the dollar section of Target months ago and bought enough for my chart. To fill our buckets, we are using pom poms of all shapes and sizes!

I need your help too!!!
How do you manage bucket filling?
How do you celebrate when a child has a full bucket?
What happens to our consistent bucket dippers?
PLEASE share all and any of your great ideas!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Lucky Charm Data!

In math we are working on collecting, organizing, and reading data in lots of different ways! For St. Patrick's day we discovered the leprechaun left us some of his treasure! We gathered from our T-R-A-P-S and decided to graph it!

This was an easy way to practice some of our math vocabulary words like most and least! We also loved counting up all of the leprechaun marshmallows!

St. Patrick's Day

I hope everyone was lucky enough to have a visit from the leprechaun on St. Patrick's day this year!

We knew the leprechaun came because he left a HUGE mess, left gold coins, chocolate, footprints, peed in our toilet, and messed with all of our T-R-A-P-S. (We never said the word TRAP because we knew the sneaky leprechaun would be listening!)

They LOVED building, sharing, and setting up these T-R-A-P-S for the sneaky leprechaun that kept messing up our classroom!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Mama's Birthday Present

This week we are reading Mama's Birthday Present. Here is some word work that I am using in guided reading this week that helps practice the -ai and -ay vowel sounds! 

ai and ay

Sunday, March 6, 2011


Thanks to the help of my newest blogger, I learned how to use Scribd! Thanks Julie!

Anyways... here is a little St. Patrick's day fun with practicing synonyms. Just print, laminate, cut, and match the synonyms.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

PDF Posting Help!

Hi Everyone,

I have made a few cute word work activities to share but I am having trouble attaching them here. When I converted them into Googledocs, they were not in original format. So, I have them in a PDF file, but I don't know how to attached or share them on my blog!

Anyone have any suggestions how to share a PDF file??


Sunday, February 27, 2011

I'm a Caterpillar

We read I'm a Caterpillar last week from the Scott Foresman 2011 Edition. Here are some of the activities we did!

This is the butterfly life cycle. The students did so well with this!

To practice contractions, we used 2 caterpillars as our base words and a butterfly as our contraction! This was a simple way to assess the students working with contractions!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Stylish Blogger Award!

These fabulous bloggers have passed along to me the "Stylish Blogger Award":

Dana Baker at A Place to Share 
Jenn Bates at Finally in First
Heidi Samuelson at Swamp Frog First Graders
Amanda Thiessen at The First Grade Sweet Life

Thank you SO much!! 

Here are the rules for receiving this award:
1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this award.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Award 5 recently discovered great bloggers.
4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award.

7 things about myself (in no particular order): 
  1. I am addicted to shopping, especially new shoes!
  2. My biggest fear is water, I basically panic if the water is not in a pool!
  3. I sleep with earplugs because even the fan wakes me up!
  4. I love ending the day with a bubble bath (and a glass of wine).
  5. Gilmore Girls is my ultimate favorite TV show!
  6. I'm recently obsessed with my new Iphone4 as my Valentines Day gift!
  7. I am learning how to cook more than pasta!

Dr. Seuss Writing

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

In writer's workshop next week, we are using Dr. Seuss' famous characters to practice our weekly skill of using comparative endings -er and -est. I have made a sample writing, which the students will model their work after. Each student will choose a character and use comparative endings to describe them! 

Here is my sample! I used a character from The Lorax because he is so cute!

I have printed and laminated these characters for my students to choose from. Here they are!

Keep watching for more ways to use Dr. Seuss with the Scott Foreman Reading Series!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Homophone Pairs!

I just found such a CUTE idea at First Grader... at Last! Sarah Cooley is one of my favorite first grade teachers with the greatest themes to help build a memorable lesson for her students.

Here are Sarah's pair of pears to practice homophones!


I made this worksheet to go with this idea so students can write the word, use it in a sentence, and then illustrate it! THANKS Sarah!

Daily 5

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Daily 5. Here is my story... I was using centers (and pulling my hair out everyday) then, I went to a conference by a literacy specialist in my school and never did a center again!

So here are the "Sisters" in my classroom. Read to Self, Read to Someone, Listen to Reading, Word Work, and Work on writing all have anchor charts created with the children and posted on our classroom walls.

This is my "center" chart. As part of their morning jobs, students come and select their rounds for the day. I place students on guided reading, book shop, and read to self (for conferences). Students move their clothespin on the round they choose. 

Like the "Sisters" suggest, I use my extensive collection of shoes to introduce choosing a good fit book. My students LOVED this idea. 

We even traded shoes to show that some books fit for our friends but not for us!

Here we are in action! We use bean bag chairs, carpet squares, rugs, stools, chairs, and even LAUNDRY baskets to cuddle up in and read!

This is what we use for book bins. I ordered these from really good stuff. 

We also use cereal boxes and even ziploc bags! Cheap and easy when you are just getting started!

Here is our station for word work. Students choose a drawer and complete the word work activity to record their words and sentences they create. Students also choose an activity to do before their drawer work, like contractions, compound words, etc. 

We use wiki sticks, magnetic letters, foam letters, building blocks, stencils, gel pens, chunking cards, even an old keyboard from a computer!

Here is our writing station. Each child has their writing folder, and a bin (picture below) with blue pens, red pens (revision), stapler, staple remover, and a date stamp!

Does anyone else use the daily 5?? I am going to post about my newly created CAFE board too! What works for everyone??

Valentines Day Love

We are celebrating Valentines Day on Monday, and it is one of my FAVORITE holidays to celebrate in first grade! I love hearing what these 6 year olds have to say to their valentines!

As a shopping pro, I have been stocking up from Target (favorite store) and Dollar Tree! Here are some of my collections!

Sweetheart candies for graphing and sorting, rose pedals for pictures for our parent's cards, decorations, pencils, bubbles, and slinkies for goodies bags!

I made these out of cookie cutters and string, we hung them all of the classroom and the dangling hearts are very decorative!

After an activity with candy hearts, my students will have these cute containers to put their goodies in. 

These bubbles have heart tops! SO CUTE!

I am trying to figure out how to upload the copies for our activities for Monday! Happy Valentines Day!

Happy Dental Health Month!

Here are a few of the things I have done so far in the dental health unit, but hang in there for more to come next week with the tooth fairy!!

We have a classroom graph of the students have lost teeth in first grade. We used this to begin talking about how old you are, how to lose teeth, what happens once it is lost, and compare which months have had more or less. Students love to put their name on the graph when they lose a tooth!

After studying our graph, we talked about who has lost how many teeth. Then, we made ourselves and our teeth with marshmallows!

We used yarn, egg cartons, and toothbrushes to practice brushing and flossing our teeth.

Then, to prove a point to my first graders that they did not want to believe, we used dark soda pop and hard boiled eggs to find how sweets and pop have an effect on our beautiful teeth! They LOVED this idea, but I doubt they aren't going to enjoy all of our sweets on Valentines days!! It was worth it!!

We are still learning about dental health, next week we will be writing about the tooth fairy and using some center activities to reinforce some word work!!

What do you think!?