Wednesday, December 28, 2011

11 in 11 Linky Party

Kristin and Hadar are having a fun linky party to end the year.  You share your answers to 11 things. This should be fun! So here are mine.

Miss Kindergarten
11. Favorite movie you watched
Just went with my hubby yesterday and saw 'Warhorse'. VERY good!

War Horse.

10. Favorite TV series
I am a true blue 'SURVIVOR' fan!

9. Favorite restaurant
I eat there almost once a week. The BEST in Utah- 'Cafe Rio'.

8. Favorite new thing you tried.
That would have to be blogging. I started when school started in the fall. It is very addicting but VERY useful. I LOVE all the great ideas I've gotten from everyone. And I hope I've shared a few things with others along the way.

7. Favorite gift you received
I received not one but two new grandchildren this year. In March, we got a beautiful little girl named Tylie. Then in May, we got a handsome little boy named Keagan! It makes a total of 8 wonderful grandchildren! I also have the privilege of teaching one of them this year in my first grade class and love it!

6. Favorite thing you pinned
I absolutely LOVE Pinterest! It is a great place to get ideas. This is a hard one for me because I love everything I pin but I love this quote I found.

Pinned Image

5. Favorite blog post
Probably my Holiday Math Stations. I thought it had a lot of good freebies.

4. Favorite accomplishment
This wasn't my accomplishment totally but it sure made this momma proud! My son graduated with his Bachelors Degree in Business Management then he found a great job working for a super company. Isn't he a good-looking kid! Now I just need to get him married. (Don't tell him I said that)

3. Favorite picture
This was a hard one too. I LOVE to take pictures. I've already put some in of my family so here's one of my favorites from school. Yes, that is a live kangaroo in my classroom. Kangaroos are one of my favorite animals and a mother just brought him by to visit. Yes, he is wearing a diaper. The kids loved that. I think I was more excited than the kiddos!

2. Favorite memory
In February, we had to put our beloved Gracie (Mini Schnauzer) to sleep. She was just 1 month shy of her 3rd birthday. We had become very attached to her, to say the least. She developed liver disease and there was nothing they could do for her. We missed her so much that in May we had to get 2 puppies to replace her. We love our new dogs, Sammie and Bella, but Gracie will always hold a special place in my heart.

1. Goal for 2012
For school, it would have to be to survive this school year with 30 firsties. I'm positive that number will go up to 31 or 32 on Tuesday when I return to school. And who knows what I'll end the year with-34 or 35. Heaven help me! I've never taught this many kiddos before and it's killing me. I can't get to all of them or teach like I want to. So my goal is to survive and hopeful teach the best I can.

For home, it would be to keep loving life, enjoy every minute I have with my family, and make the most of every memory!

This has been fun. I hope you enjoyed learning more about me. Come join the party. I'd love to hear about you and your year!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Top Three Linking Party

Wow! What a wonderful Christmas we had! So nice to be with the family, relaxing, eating, laughing, and loving life. I hope everyone had a great holiday too.

Fern is having a linking party over on her blog Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas. I really debated about this one because I'm a new blogger and when I saw Kristin's numbers over on Teeny Tiny Teacher, I thought no way, my numbers are so small compared to hers in the thousands! But Holly on Crisscross Applesauce gave me courage. If she can do it so can I. Thanks Holly! The linking party is called Top Three. You check your blog stats and tell what your top three posts have been this year.
Here are mine:

1st: Grinch Day- 1,609

So if you haven't checked these out, click on the red words and do so! Also, click on my blogging friends above and check theirs out as well. Then, head over to Fern's blog and join the party!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Jolly Christmas to All!

Just want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas! I hope everyone is enjoying their time off. I know it's been wonderful to have a few days off before Christmas. I've been able to get a lot done plus relax with my hubby and family. But I've been working on some new things for January! Be sure to stop by after the holidays!
 From our house to yours- Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Giveaway WINNER!

It has been so fun having my first give away! I'm going to have to do this again. I love all the comments and new followers. Thanks everyone!

Mrs. D I'll be sending you an email!
I didn't know blogging could be so much fun and addicting. I love all the great ideas I've found. I love creating and sharing them with others. I think I'm a better teacher for blogging! (I keep telling my hubby that. I hope he believes it.) 
I only have one more day. I think I can... I think I can... I think I can... make it through the craziness tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Today was GRINCH DAY! And believe it or not it was a fun-filled day of learning. For the past several years, I've really felt like a 'grinch' because I quit doing Polar Express Day which I miss terribly. When I moved to my new school, the kindergarten started doing a really fancy one! It was hard to compete. Then our second grade does it too. I really felt like the kiddos were getting enough Polar Express. So I've searched for years trying to come up with something else. And BINGO! I found Deanna Jump's mini-unit on Mr. Grinch. You can check it out at TpT HERE. She teaches kindergarten so I had to bumped it up a bit.
My kids have been begging for a pajama day. So instead of dressing up in green, we did the whole pajama thing. That probably would have been enough because they were excited for that. We watched the cartoon version of the book and had caramel green apple suckers for a treat. Then we had a great discussion on Dr. Seuss' purpose for writing the story. [My district doesn't like a lot of fluff. So I had to tie everything into the curriculum of course.] After the movie and discussion we sang the cute little song from Deanna Jump's unit about Mr. Grinch.
Here's some pictures from today.

Next, we described the character MR. GRINCH on the sheet below. Click on the picture to grab a FREE copy.
After we had listed all the words that described him on the paper, we circled the bad things he STOPPED doing with red and the good things he STARTED doing with green.
Next, we played a math game with the GRINCH game board I frantically made last night. I needed something fast and easy. We used addition and subtraction flashcards with it but you could use spelling or vocabulary words too. Each player starts with 3 chips. The object of the game is to 'give back' your chips by landing on a heart, Max, or Cindy Lou. If you land on the Grinch, you have to take another chip. The winner is the person who gets rid of all his chips first. They had lots of fun playing the game and practiced math facts too. You can download a FREE copy of the game board by clicking on the picture.

Last, we made the cute little Grinch face from Deanna Jump's unit. On the mouth the firsties wrote and drew how they would get the Grinch to grin. They had some great ideas.
I was very pleased with how the day went and glad I finally found a fun, learning, Christmas activity to take the place of Polar Express. I'll be on the look out for ideas to add, so if any one has any PLEASE send them my way.
Oh, and just a reminder- My GIVE AWAY ENDS TOMORROW NIGHT (WEDNESDAY) AT MIDNIGHT UTAH TIME. So if you aren't already a follower and commented you need to do so HERE.
You can enter a second time by linking my give away on your blog and commenting that you did so. Here's all the information again.

I'm excited to see who WINS!
I hope you have found something you can use!
Only 3 more day for me and then Christmas Break here I come. WaHoo!

Saturday, December 10, 2011


I am so EXCITED! My dear friend Shelley just gave my blog a makeover. She is one talented lady! I used to teach with her but now she is an awesome stay at home mom, raising 2 super great boys. A BIG THANK YOU to Shelley!
I think this calls for a GIVE AWAY in honor of my new look. 

Please limit your entry to 2, one for each option. Thanks!
Winner will be decided by a random generator.
GOOD LUCK to all!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Adding -ing freebie

Hey all! I don't know about your class but my firsties are really getting hyper. Tuesday they were terrible! I had some of my perfect little angels even bouncing off the walls. Rudolph didn't get to move at all. (Check out Rudolph's Nose Behavior Activity HERE). So on Wednesday I challenged them. If they could work quietly for 7 minutes without me saying "Shhhhh!" 3 times, Rudolph would take a huge leap! I even set the timer. They were soooo good. After lunch we did it again for 8 minutes. (I really set the timer for 10 minutes this time. I needed the extra 2 minutes of quiet time) They did it again and Rudolph took his biggest leap ever. Just before they went home, we did it one more time. And Rudolph made it to his nose! They got the prize- candy canes and extra recess.
Well today, bribery, praise, stop and thinks, the lump of coal thing, threats that Santa was watching, Elf on the shelf was going to report them-nothing worked. Rudolph didn't move an inch. I hate to see what the next 6 days will be like. I hope I make it to Christmas break without going crazy!
Here's a little something I made to help me teach adding the -ing ending. I got my inspiration from Mrs. Pollard over on her blog Tales of a Teacheristatales. She did a darling freebie idea for silent e with the e on a stick. My kiddos loved it and it really helped them learn the concept. So I made the same type of thing for adding -ing to words. I put my kids in groups of 5 so I only have to make 5 sets but I make a -ing stick for everyone. Then they shared the cards as they worked through the activity. You could just make one set and put it in a center if that works better for you. The picture only shows the cards but there is a recording sheet as well.
I hope this is something you can use. If you download, how about leaving a comment. I love to know if any of my stuff is helpful.
I hope your kiddos are not go crazy. Good luck!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Santa's Suit & Grab and Graph

Most of our 'Santa's New Suits' are back! The kiddos did a great job. Here are some of my favorites. We read the rest of the story today and they loved it! If you don't know what I'm talking about, you can check out my earlier post HERE.

We were working on our shapes last week. So I made a fun little 'Grab and Graph Pattern Block' sheet. The kiddos thought it was fun. I printed it on both sides so they could do it more that once. Click on the picture for a FREE copy.
I hope you are having a fun week!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Oh' Boy 4th Grade Parteeee!

Oh' Boy 4th Grade is having a 12 Days of Christmas Parteeee! You will want to check this out! Sounds like fun and lots of prizes!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Freebie Making Words with Digraphs

Well, it's been one of those memorable teaching days. You know, the kind you won't ever forget but would like to. I had a kiddo throw up. Yeah, and it wasn't a good one either. Bless his poor little heart.
I was teaching my math lesson, using pattern blocks and all. I had them all sitting on the kiva, (2 leveled benches my husband made me) engross in my lesson, when the poor little thing just let it rip. Thank goodness he was on the front row and no one else got hit.
Yeah, that happened in my room 3 years ago, when a girl threw up while sitting on the top row of my kiva and got 7 other kids. It was the worst one I've ever had!! All 7 kids had to go home to change clothes, a few just stayed home for the rest of the day. Really couldn't blame them.
Glad this one wasn't as bad. I did have to wash and sterilize some of the pattern blocks and throw away the game board I was using. But it could have been worse. Isn't it part of our job?
I guess I should be used to anything by now looking back at what I did two weeks ago. While in an assembly, watching a very talented ballet company perform, we noticed the kids just all of a sudden part and move away from one of the kids. I saw mud on the floor. So I jump up, go grab some paper towels and my trusty spray bottle of disinfectant and start cleaning the mud. But it wasn't mud. Must be dog poop because of the smell and the firsties were just out at recess, right? One of the other teachers found the kiddo and took him out while I continued to clean up the mess. But I was having a hard time getting it off the tile and the paper towels were getting pretty wet. So one of my teammates runs and gets more paper towels for me. Meanwhile, I realized I hadn't 'gloved up'. Duh! So I started spraying my hands with the trusty spray bottle. Well, to make a long story short. The ballet assembly continues on around us, I clean up the 'poop' and all was well. No way. Come to find out it wasn't 'dog' poop! Yup, the little kiddo had had an accident! Believe me, I have never washed my hands so much in my entire life. And I used a whole bottle of hand sanitizer, EXTRA LARGE. It still gives me nightmare! So, like I said- it's part of the job and I still LOVE my little firsties! I realize they are only human too. However, I've learned my lesson-ALWAYS glove up even for mud, you never know!
Okay, now that I've grossed you out, let me give you a freebie I've been working on. We've been working hard on our digraphs and word families. My kiddos loved the blender activity I shared in an earlier post. You can check it out HERE. So I came up with one for making words with digraphs. I used it for a mini lesson during Daily 5. But you could also use it in a literacy center or a whole class lesson. The borders are a free download on TpT by Karen Cox. Click HERE for a link to the borders. And the graphics are Scrappin Doodle. There are 2 cards, so you could use it for 2 separate lessons and a recording sheet.
Click on the picture to grab a PDF.

I hope I didn't gross out too many of you. I'm sure you all have similar stories to tell. I'd love to hear them!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Santa's New Suit

I'm home sick today with a bad cold so I've got lots of time to blog! I hate being sick because I hate writing lesson plans. I'd rather go sick but when you can't breathe and can't talk, I guess it's time to give in and write those plans.
I want to share a great Christmas book. I got this from a dear friend years ago when I first moved down to first grade. Shelley helped me survive the move. I don't know what I would have done without her! She showed me this cute book and fun idea. The book is called 'Santa's New Suit' by Laura Rader. Santa is tired of his old santa suit and wants something new. He goes shopping and tries on all kinds of fun things from pajamas to cowboy duds. But nothing seems right until he finds the perfect new suit. I stop right there and ask the kiddos what they think his new suit could look like. They have all kinds of weird ideas. Then I send them home with a picture of Santa and ask them to create his new suit. They can use crayons, markers, fabric, food, whatever to decorate Santa's New Suit. They have a week to finish and bring it back. Then we display them in the hall for all to see. And then I finish reading the rest of the story to them. They love it and I love seeing the creativity! I'll have to post pictures later in the week when I get them all back. Click on the picture of the book for more info from
Click on the picture below to grab a copy of Santa for the firsties to decorate.
I love Laura Rader's books. She's written some more which my kids love hearing. After I read them it gives the kids lots of writing ideas.

Thanks Shelley for helping me get through my first years of first grade, introducing me to some great books and sharing wonderful ideas.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Rudolph's Nose

Rudolph's Nose
We all know the kiddos are going to be higher than kites for the next 3 weeks. Here is a holiday behavior management activity I do. I'm not big on mass reward or mass punishment but this seems to work at this time of year and the firsties love it.
I put a picture of the North Pole on one side of my room with a big red balloon taped to it. Inside the balloon is a slip of paper with a prize listed on it. Something like extra recess, a cane candy etc. (just little things the kids go crazy for). Then I tie a string from the North Pole and stretch it clear across the room to the opposite wall. I punch a hole in a picture of Rudolph and thread him on the string. He starts on the opposite wall. The object is to get Rudolph to his nose at the North Pole to pop the balloon and win the secret prize. Rudolph can only move when the kiddos are on their best behavior. Then he takes giant leaps in the air along the string. Sometimes he has to move backwards if the firsties are being naught. Rudolph generally makes it to his nose every 2-3 days. Then I replace the balloon with a new one and a new prize. This has really helped with behavior on those hard to handle days just before the holiday.
Math Station Find
I just found 2 great math activities to add to my math stations. They are from Heather over on her blog Differentiation Station. A cute one for practicing even and odd. Click on her name above to head over and pick up your copy!

And another one for subtraction fact practice. Thanks Heather for sharing freebies!
I hope you can use something you've found here today. I'd love to hear from you!