Friday, April 27, 2012

Pinterest Inspired Bloggy Gift

Yesterday, I received my gift in the mail and I loved it. It was from Michelle at Apples and ABC's: Adventures in Kindergarten. 

She sent me a beautiful letter B since I'm getting married in a little over a month and my new last name will be Buckner. She also made some really neat magnets for my classroom.

I loved my gifts. Thanks to Michelle and thanks to Ms. Preppy and Sarah for organizing the exchange. If you haven't partcipated in one of these. You should. They are so fun.

Start following the blog so you'll know about the next one. Tomorrow I'll be guest blogging over at Kindergarten Lifestyle. I'm so excited. Be sure to check me out there and here. I plan to have some rain forest freebies for you.

Kindergarten Lifestyle

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Good, The Bad the Ugly! and an update

Holly at Crisscross Applesauce is having a linky party to show the good, the bad and then ugly of our classrooms. Right now mine is just bad. It is a huge mess. I had intentions of cleaning up yesterday but I was mid project when I sliced my finger with some scissors. It gushed blood. Meanwhile, my class was lined up to go deliver a note of encouragement to some fourth graders. I thought I had stopped the bleeding only to have start back again several times. I thought I was going to have to go see Chris and let him stitch me up. (He's a vet.) Anyway, I came in this morning and saw the disaster of a room I had going on. I decided to snap a few pictures and share my mess. It's bad. I'm not sure I even see it getting much better til the end of the school year. I have too many ideas and too many things going on.

Since I took those yesterday, I spent some time yesterday straightening up a bit. But it's still pretty bad.
I wanted to share my new book bags. You can see them on the floor in the second picture. I was making duct tape labels for them when I sliced my finger open. But I got them finished and the kids were so excited about them today. We had been using ziplock baggies for book bags and it just wasn't working. I saw a pin on pinterest that had a coat rack and then cloth bags for book bags. I've been working on gathering bags to use when I found the Hawaiian ones at Dollar Tree. I might have to go back and get the rest of the class those. I think I like them better than the ones I got at the Dollar spot at Target.I still need a coat rack. I'm hoping to find one of those this summer pretty cheap.
I really don't know how people do all they do. I'm in desperate need of some tips for getting things done and organized. Since I've changed some of my instruction to small group rather than whole group, I feel like I have no down time in the classroom. I'm constantly on the move and making a mess in one area. Plus it takes more time to plan for the small groups. I have ideas in my head for units I want to make but they just don't get done. By the time I get home, I don't feel like doing anything for school. Here lately I haven't felt like exercising or cooking. I can usually muster up the energy for those two things but beyond that I'm wiped out. So, please share any great organization tip you have. I would love to get some new ideas for how to get things done.
Meanwhile, check out all the other Good, Bad and Ugly posts at Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade.

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Results of my Giveaway!

Thanks to everyone that entered and all the great bloggers that helped me out with this one. I'll be in touch soon Ms. Patterson with your goodies.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Loving small group instruction

Since I started blogging back in July, I have been trying all kinds of new things. I'm sure I say this weekly on my blog. But it's true. I've been introduced to so many new ideas and been inspired to give things a try. I started the year by really working on my literacy centers. I got Debbie Diller's Literacy Work Station book. I adapted some of her ideas and started making it work for me. I also tried to do Guided Reading. I've been struggling with these concepts since I've started teaching. I've never been able to get either one to work for me. This year was the first year I had really gotten literacy work stations or centers to work for me. But Guided reading just wasn't happening. I was starting to work with my kids some one on one and I enjoy reading with them and working on what they needed. In January, I introduced Daily 5. Well actually I just introduced Read to Self. We built up our stamina. Now I was struggling with doing guided reading, literacy center and daily 5. Oh and by the way I wanted to introduce math work stations. I read a blog post from Mrs. Patton's Patch about how she wasn't doing guided reading anymore but reading conferences. This stuck with me and helped me to finally be able to let go of something. But I still was having trouble getting everything I wanted to do done. Before spring break, I really looked at my schedule and completely reworked it. I decided to do my phonics/word study lesson in groups rather than whole group. While I've only done this one week, I can say I love it. I feel like I'm slowly making things work for me. Here's my new schedule:
7:50-8:20 - Morning work and bathroom break. As I check their work, they start going to read to self.
8:20-8:35 - Read to self - During this time I meet with several of my kids. I also have a list for my assistant to read with too. I worked this into my lesson plans. I made a plan of what kids to meet with on each day. My goal is to have them read to someone every other day.
8:35-8:50 - Morning meeting and calendar
8:50-9:15 - Whole group reading and phonemic awareness. We practice a poem everyday and do some kind of activity with that.
9:15 - Snack and go over letters and sounds.
9:20-9:45 Literacy centers and small group work - During this time I am lucky because I only have 10 kids in my class. My ELL students are in their pull out class. I have 6 out of 16 students out. But next week I'll get to see how this works with a larger group. So my group is split into 2 groups. One is approaching and on level. I work on what is in the reading basal usually with this group for phonics. The other group is  my above level group.
Here's an example of what I did with each group on the day we introduced the letter v. My students for the most part know all their letters and sounds because we go over them all everyday. The first group we read a book about v, worked on a circle map of v and then did the workbook page together. The second group we added to the circle map of v and then they made a little book. On each page they wrote a sentence and used a v word.
On another day, we sorted different words and wrote sentences with them. This was great for differentiation because I used cvc words from on and approaching group and then some harder words for the other group. I was also able to use this time to work with them on writing.
 9:45-10:00 - We work on writing. I would like to meet with kids during this time but it's not happening right now.
10:00-10:15 - Sight word practice
10:15 -10:50 we do math. This is my next small group area to work on. I want to do a whole group lesson and then during their math station time meet with some students on specific skills. But I haven't gotten it together with that.
We're technically a half day kindergarten. So most of my instruction is done by this time. But I only have 3 kids that leave at 12:30. The rest of my class stays in the extended day program. I use the afternoon time to do a lesson with my ELL students. I usually do the phonics lesson I did with the on and approaching group but try to increase the vocabulary part of the instruction.
I am in love with this! I feel like I'm working really hard all day long but it's so rewarding. I am so glad that I'm laying the groundwork for this method for next year when I'm in first grade with these kids. I feel like I'm really meeting my kids where they are at.
I'm also so excited I finally found a way to make this all work for me. I think that's the biggest part of incorporating new ideas. There is no one way to do things. You have to take a little bit here and there and eventually it works for you and your class.
What is something that you've made work for you? How do you do small group instruction in your class?
Don't forget to enter my giveaway. It ends tomorrow night. Click here to go to the post.

Friday, April 20, 2012

200 follower Giveaway

This giveaway is now closed. 

So I had plans on posting yesterday about my new schedule and differentiated instruction in phonics and reading conferencing. But I was wiped out. I ended up taking a nap at about 6 pm last night and just couldn't get any energy up later in the evening. So that post will have to wait. Today I'm celebrating reaching 200 followers. I noticed over spring break I was really close and set the goal of reaching 200 by the end of spring break. I'm not really sure how I planned on reaching that goal but I did! So I'm super excited about this giveaway. I've teamed up with some great bloggers who are helping me out. This is what you could win:

A $15 dollar gift card for the Dollar Tree from me!
And you can pick 2 items from my TPT store.  Kindergarten, 1st, 3rd - Reading, Reading Strategies, Writing -

The 3AM teacher is offering her brand new alphabet set.
Miss T from

is offering her How many Coins set?

                                                                       Crystal from

Kreative in Kinder
is offering her brand new plant unit.

 Lacey from

Wild about Teaching!

is offering any item from her store.Click here to check out her store.
So those are all the goods that you can win. Here are the rules:
1. Follow my blog and TPT store.
2. Follow 3AM teacher blog and TPT store.
3. Follow Journey of a Substitute Teacher and TN store.
4. Follow Kreative in Kinder and TPT store.
5. Follow Wild about Teaching and her TPT store.

So you have 5 opportunities to enter the giveaway. Winners will be announced Monday morning. So you better enter now.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Best thing since Sliced Bread!

So today was a day I've been waiting months for. Today was the day I was going to see Dr. Jean. It was everything I hoped for.  (Actually this was yesterday. I started writing my post but then realized I left my notes in the car.)She's so amazing and energetic and nice and funny. One of the things that impressed me the most is that she tries to do a free concert every week in Charleston where she lives. She still volunteers at schools as well.  She shared so much. I made sure to write down some quotes that struck me as important. Here are some of them:
"You shouldn't teach small children if you can't put a smile on your face."
"Children take it in, take it in, and then something comes out."
"You learn on your feet, not on your seat"
"We think we have to give children the state fair, but in reality less is more."
She also talked a lot about how one thing or another was the best thing since sliced bread. Hence the title of my post. If you haven't checked our her website or blog, you should. She has a ton of great ideas on there.
Her blog is Her website is
I was also really impressed that she had the research to back up what she was saying. She's big on brain research and what she does she can tie into the research and the common core. Here are the top 5 things I took away from this professional development and how I"m going to incorporate it in my class:
  1.  She sited some study that tracked kids who knew nursery rhymes. The statistic given was 4 year olds that could say 8 nursery rhymes were the best readers in 3rd grade. - I've been incorporating some nursery rhymes into oral language but I need to step it up a notch. I plan on devoting the last bit of school this year to nursery rhymes. I'm going to finish up the reading series the first week in May. I see a unit in my future. 
  2.  There are a ton of ways to make books in the classroom using things I already have. I'm limited on my copies this year and have to hoard copy paper sometimes. But I have a ton of brown paper bags. She showed us some cool books, backpacks and cameras to make from these bags. She also showed books made out of gift bags and napkins. This is exactly what I need for the rest of the year. If they write it, they'll read it.
  3. Story Sticks - Dr. Jean showed us a sock with tongue depressors inside the sock. On the sticks you write the different story elements. Students pass the sock around and pull out a stick. You can use character, setting, beginning, middle, end, problem, solution, who, what, when, where, why.
  4. Start everyday with song and a smile. I got some new cds that have some great movement songs on them. I try to do different songs everyday already with my kids but it's great to have some new songs. And to see Dr. Jean do some songs I already have and see the hand motions.
  5. Interest Boosters - This was  a list of a variety of ways to read things and repeat things out loud. You use different voices like the three bears, or read with different emotions, or with different motions. We read a poem everyday of the week to practice fluency. This is a great way to wake up the reading and engage the kids.
 I did get a picture with Dr. Jean. I have it on my camera but I can't currently locate my camera cord. I'll have to add the picture later. My favorite part of the day had to be when we sang the banana dance. This is my kids favorite song we sing. We even sang it in the talent show before Easter. I was sitting on the end of a row and Dr. Jean grabbed me to tango with. (I'm such a nerd for being so excited to tango with Dr. Jean) It was truly a worthwhile professional development. I was engaged the whole time and had a blast.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Spring break is over!

I'm riding in the car on my way back from Nashville and I'm so sad spring break is coming to an end. But I had a great week and a great get together with other TN bloggers. It was wonderful to meet fellow bloggers. I loved being able to talk about the bloggy exchange and the person I was talking to didn't think I was nut for sending someone I don't know a present. It was fun to talk about blogging stuff and others know what you were talking about. The underwear bandit in Jennifer from Herding Kats might have been discussed. This meet up only confirmed what I already knew. There are some wonderful, supportive and generous teachers out there. I plan to give a shout out to everyone and a couple of new bloggers on the block sometime this week. But I'm doing this post on my phone and I haven't finished my plans for next week and i'm going to be out Tuesday to see Dr. Jean so it might be a few days before I get all my pictures together.
I did reach my goal of 200 followers today. I'm hoping to do a good giveaway so if you would be interested in participating leave me a comment. Hopefully I can get it together before the weekend. Happy Sunday night!

Friday, April 13, 2012

TN bloggers Meet up Tommorrow!

So this is going to be a random post. I am coming to the end of spring break and I'm not happy it's coming to an end. It has flown by. I didn't get all the things done that I had planned on doing. My house is not any cleaner or more organized like it needed to be. But I spent some wonderful time with my beautiful nieces.I did finish one activity I wanted to get done over the break. But I can't seem to load it to either one of my stores. Any suggestions on how to make a file smaller?
 I'm super excited about the Tennessee bloggers meet up tomorrow. I can't wait to meet everyone. I have some crafting I need to get finished before hand. But I did decide to partcipate in the Anti Tag party over at Dragonflies in First. I just can't resist a linky party. Even when I should be doing something else.
So here are my answers to the anti tag questions:
Check out Dragonflies in First and  join the party.
Ok Chris is going to be home soon and the house is still a disaster area from Kaley's visit earlier. I had to clear my coffee table off so she could walk around it. When I come back, I'll have pictures and stories about the bloggy meet up. Can't wait to meet all my new friends. Chris thinks I'm a little crazy that I'm so excited about meeting people I don't know. But I feel like I know all the people whose blogs I follow and follow mine. We're friends.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

12 on the 12th

Yay! I'm so excited for this linky party today. I'm on Spring break so my pictures have very little to do with school.
1. Getting the things together to send for Teachers Taking Care of Teachers. My sister, niece and I went to the used bookstore yesterday so I stocked up on some thing. I need a couple of more things to add but I'm not sure what.
2. I finished my new game Puppy Ten Frame Scoot. Tried to upload it to TPT and TN but it wouldn't cooperate.
3. I spent the day babysitting my other neice, Kaley. This is Chris's sister's daughter. We had a lot of fun so most of day was spent with her.
4. I had to cover the hearth of my fireplace so that Kaley wouldn't bump her head on the rock.
5. Sleeping beauty. She slept like this for a little while but then woke up and cried some so she slept for about 2 hours cuddled with me on the couch. It was so sweet.
6. This is a toy I got for Kaley at Target yesterday. It rolls around and makes noise.
7. I enjoyed playing around with my camera and taking some fun pictures of Kaley with other angles.
8. Love this sweet girl. Being an aunt is one of my favorite things in the world. I am so blessed to have to beautiful sweet nieces.
9. Trying to bust in my entertainment center. She kept me on my toes.
10. The snacks I bought for her at Target. Got to be a prepared Auntie. (Soph calls me KK. Maybe Kaley will too.)
11. Kaley's bucket of toys. Every time I would put them away she would dump them out again. We had fun with that game.
12. More fun with the camera and Kaley.

Speaking of pictures, you can check out a blog post about my engagement photo shoot. Our art teacher at school took our pictures. She's so good and it was so fun. I hate to have my picture taken but it made me a lot more comfortable to have someone I knew.
Link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching with your 12 on the 12th.

All the frames I used on the pictures are from the 3 AM Teacher. If you haven't checked out her graphics you should. They are fantastic!

Also, I'm only 6 followers away from 200. I would love to meet the goal of 200 before I go back to school on Monday. So please follow me if you don't already. I'm planning a giveaway for the goal.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Ok so I know I've already posted a long post today. But I just finished a new activity and I'm needing a couple of people to review my new game. It's puppy ten frame scoot. The graphics are from the wonderful Michelle at 3 AM teacher. If you are interested in helping me out with this, please leave me a comment with your email. Thanks.


So I've been tagged twice. Being tagged on Spring break is great. I actually have the time to answer questions and tag other people. Last time I didn't have a chance to tag anyone.
Here are the rules of tag. Ok while I was sleeping I got tagged two more times. Since I'm on spring break I'm going to answer all the questions. So be ready to learn way too much about me.
Here Are The Rules:
  • Post these rules
  • Answer the 10 questions that the tagger posted for you
  • Create 10 questions of your own to ask the people that you're about to tag
  • Tag 10 people and link them with your post (and let them know they've been tagged)

Heather from Mrs. Shelton's Kindergarten tagged me first.She's a fellow East Tennessean.

1. What grade do you teach now? 
I teach Kindergarten. Next year I'll teach first grade. I loop with my kids.

2. What grade would you teach if you couldn't teach where you are now?
I like first but I taught 3rd and loved it.

3. What is your favorite TV show?
Friends or How I met your mother or The big bang theory. I know that Friends doesn't come on anymore but it's a classic.

4. What is your favorite book?
I don't know that I have a favorite book. I love so many books. I loved the Harry Potter books and have read them more than once. I loved Anne of Green Gables as a kid and loved those. I like series.

5. What is your favorite physical activity to personally do?
I like to run. I enjoy hiking and biking and just started Zumba.

6. What is a food you would NEVER eat?
Turnip Greens

7. What is your favorite drink?
Coffee or diet coke

8. Football, Basketball, or Baseball?
Football. Go Vols!

9. What is your reason for blogging?
To stay excited about teaching. To share what is going on in my classroom with others. It gives me a creative outlet.

10. If you could change one thing about teaching what would it be?
That people don't understand what we do. We aren't valued as a profession as much anymore and I think if people could spend a day in our shoes they would change their minds about some of the laws that being passed.

Jen at Jen's KinderKids tagged me as well. Here are her questions. 
1. How long have you been blogging? I started another blog about 2 years ago and kind of abandoned it last summer when I started my teacher blog. 

2. What is your favorite book?
I don't know that I have a favorite book. I love so many books. I loved the Harry Potter books and have read them more than once. I loved Anne of Green Gables as a kid and loved those. I like series.
3.Who is your favorite children's author?
Oh my gosh. I have too many to choose. Currently we're a huge fan of Mo Willems in my room. 

4. Mountains or Beach? I live in the mountains and love the mountains. But I enjoy the beach too. My dream place to live would be where I could be in the Mountains and the beach. 

5. What is your favorite number? 
The number nine
6. Who is one of your favorite teacher bloggers?
I love Dee Dee Wills. I follow over 300 blogs and have learned a lot from all of them. 

7. What is you favorite subject to teach?
8. How many kids are in your class?

9. Do you have a teacher assistant? Yes part time. She's in my room for 2 hours in the morning.
10. What is your favorite drink?
Coffee and diet coke. 

Here are the questions from EnRiching Kinders. (I'm excited to find her blog. She's a new blogger on the block.)
1. How many years have you worked at your current school?
This is my fifth year at my school. I can't believe I've been here this long.

2. Do you sell units on Teachers Pay Teachers?
Yes, I do. Here's a link to my store if you are interested in checking me out. I stink at promoting myself . I currently have a buggy for words unit that would be great for right now.

3. What is your favorite blog?
Oh my goodness how to choose. I follow over 300 blogs and love reading them all. I've learned so much from all the great bloggers out there. One of the bloggers that I really look up to is Dee Dee Wills. 

4. Do your friends and co-workers know that you blog ? Yes but I'm not sure many of them pay much attention to it. My sister reads it consistently and Chris checks it out. 

5. How many students do you have in your class? 16. 

6. Does your school have open classrooms? No 

7. Have you noticed a change in behavior over the past few years?
I'm not sure I'm the best to answer that. I taught ELL for the first 3 years I taught and I had great kids. I still have pretty good kids. I think as a society we don't have respect for people anymore and too many people think that rules and structure are a bad thing.
8. What is your favorite computer website/program that your students use?
My kids love Starfall, I use United Streaming a lot as well. 
Here lately my kids have enjoyed watching the penguins on planet. 

9. Do you plan on being in the classroom until retirement?
Probably not. I'm not sure what changes I'll make. I'd love to stay at home with kids when I have them and I'd also love to go back to school and get a doctorate one day. I just can't imagine doing anything until retirement.

10. What is your classroom management plan?
 I use the clip system that is all over pinterest and blog world. They can clip up or down. 

I also got tagged by Miss Squirrels. She's another fellow Tennessee blogger who I get to meet on Saturday. Woo Hoo!
1. How many times have you been tagged? 4
2. How many months have you been blogging? Almost 10 months

3. How many years have you been teaching? 8

4. How many years have you been married? If not married, you get  a freebie and don't have to answer. I'm getting married on June 16, 2012. So I'm changing this question to how long before I get married? 2 months

5. How many children do you have? If no children, see above.
6. How many years did you go to college? 5
7. How many diets have you tried? Just one Weight Watchers. But a variety of times. 

8. How many times have you said THIS IS THE LAST TIME I'M GOING TO TELL YOU...and then told them again? I don't even know. 

9. How times do you post a week (on average)? 4

10. How many of my buttons do you have in your sidebar? or How many times am I in your blog roll? (Everyone should have answered that one "1"!)
I've been trying to edit my blog roll for a while and blogger won't let me. I need to try again. 

So now that I've answered all these questions, I'm not sure I have the energy to tag anyone else. I think I'm just going to ask 10 questions. If you find one you want to answer, leave me some comment love.

Here are my questions:
1. Do you do any digital scrapbooking? (I'm looking for a way to document my wedding festivities)
2. What do you use to create materials for your class? (like what program)
3. What time do you get up to go to school?
4. Do you use Daily 5? If so what is your favorite thing about it?
5. Have jumped on the Hunger Games bandwagon? (I did)
6. What's your favorite pizza topping?
7. Who is your blogging inspiration?
8. Do you have any crafting hobbies?
9. What is your favorite read aloud?
10. What is your favorite vacation spot?

So answer one of my questions, so I can learn more about you. 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Make it Monday

Yay! My first official day of spring break. It's been busy so far. I had a dentist appointment today and then had lunch with Chris. Then I had to run a couple of errands to get my hostess gifts together for my shower tonight. I have my first wedding shower tonight. My future sister in law and grandmother in law (I'm not sure that's a word) are throwing it for me. So my make it Monday post is going to be about my hostess gifts I got/made for them. I went to the Dollar Tree in search of vases to make the candy filled ones I've seen on pinterest. But no luck finding the right sizes. I did find a lot of bright colored containers that my brain is already working overtime to figure out how to use them. I got one for my gift for the SIL. I'm getting her some Bath and Body Work stuff but I wanted a cute container to put them in. Then I got a vase and some stones to put in the flowers. So here they are all jazzed up a bit.

Now I'm ready for my shower tonight. The wedding excitement begins. I've been tagged by Heather at Mrs. Shelton's Kindergarten. I'll be back tomorrow with that post. Last time I didn't play by the rules. I think I will this time. Side note: I'm like a 11 follower away from 200. I would love to reach 200 by the end of my spring break and have a giveaway. So if you don't follow me, I'd love it if you would or send some followers my way. Thanks.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Spring Break Finally!

So as of 11:15 today I was suppose to be on Spring break. But it was more like 11:40 before all the buses (well all but one and my assistant principal sent us back inside) were gone. But thank goodness I was so ready for it. I hate half days. They seem like such a waste of a day. We started our day with a talent show. My cuties sang and performed Dr. Jean's Banana Dance. It was so cute. We were first up and they did great. We were suppose to have an egg hunt to take up a good chunk of the morning. But the weather was not cooperating. Luckily I have a great room mom and assistant who hid the eggs in the classroom. The kids did great and it wasn't too crazy. The first half day of spring break I had lunch with Chris, read some Mockingjay, and then went to supervise some scouts doing some fund raising at our local grocery store. Chris is a boy scout troop leader so I'm now a boy scout leader as well. It was a good way to start my week.
My biggest task to complete over spring break is getting some things cleaned out and organized to make room for Chris. He's slowly starting to bring his stuff over. Combing stuff is going to be interesting. I have a list of packets I want to make as well. A ten frame scoot game with some awesome clip art I won from the 3 AM teacher, a star wars packet, and something else that I've now forgotten about. I also have some exciting wedding stuff coming up. I have my first shower on Monday. It's a personal shower that Chris's sister and grandmother are having for me. Then on Tuesday we're getting our engagement pictures. I can't wait. There's also this little get together of the Tennessee Bloggers. I'm pretty excited about this too.
I'll be back with more school related posts this weekend. Here's my question for you: Have you heard of a personal shower? Have you been to one or did someone have one for you? I'm a little nervous about this.

Side note: Come check out this great new blog. She's only 6 followers away from 50. I love Mrs. Castro's great ideas for working with ELL students. So check her out and help her reach 50 or more.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Is it spring break yet?

Yesterday I was so cranky. I just wanted spring break to be here. I'm exhausted and my kids are exhausted. We haven't had a day off since February and they are tired of each other. Which is in turn making me cranky. I can not handle the fighting anymore. Monday and Tuesday were great days. But Wednesday they just couldn't hold it together. It could be because we spent about an hour and half at a play yesterday morning. It was an awesome play put on by the middle school kids at my school of Alice and Wonderland. But it was not their usual routine and they had to sit for a long time. And be quiet for a long time. So they took all this out of me and I was cranky by the end of the day. Luckily I had a date with my cutie pie niece, Sophie after school. That instantly brightened my day.

So I haven't gotten all the egg activities and insect activities finished that I wanted to this week. I think I'm going to continue some of the egg activities the week after we get back from Spring break. I think they'll make good Math centers. Is that awful of me? Will the kids be over Easter eggs when it's a week past Easter? I have such a hard time getting everything in. I plan stuff and then other things take too long.
We're still going to be working on ladybugs a bit since we're "raising" some. I'm hoping that they won't turn into full adult ladybugs until after we get back from Spring break. According to a book we read, we should be ok. We stared a life cycle picture. All we've done so far is the eggs and the larva stage. I wanted them to use the ladybugs we have to draw their pictures from.
Meanwhile, we're going to keep a ladybug journal. I've made a template to share with you. My new favorite way to share documents is scribd. I like that I can see how many times it's downloaded. The clipart is from Graphics from the pond and the 3 AM teacher.

Ladybug Journal It's amazing how many people download things and don't leave any comments. I use to be guilty of that. I'll admit it. When I first started blog stalking, I would download tons of free resources and never leave any love for the blogger. But I've turned over a new leaf. I try really hard to comment on all blogs I get things from. I know how happy it makes me to hear someone has used something I worked hard on. I say this not to toot my horn or beg for comments. But just to make you think. I really make a concious effort to comment on blogs I read and leave a word of encouragement. Of course I'm no where as viligant about it as Jennifer from First Grade Blue Skies. She's so awesome and always leaving a word of encouragement on my blog and others. So you should check her out and leave her some love if you haven't yet.

First Grade Blue Skies
Please leave me some comment love if you download the ladybug journal or even if you don't. I love comments. They brighten my day. They make this last day and half before spring break bearable. If you don't leave me a comment, you should at least check Jennifer out and leave here some love.

Freebie Fridays

April Currently

So I filled this out on Sunday night but then scheduled it to post today. I love Farley and her currently parties. You need to link up and check out everyone else's currently post. They are so fun to read. I'm loving the superhero question. It's a lot of fun to think about.


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Easter Egg Freebies

I had my currently scheduled to post today but I finished up some Easter egg activities and thought I'd share them before it got too late. I have seen tons of great ideas of how to use the plastic eggs so I was inspired to make some ways myself.
Here's how I'm using them:
I put sentences I found on someone's blog (I don't remember who and I feel really bad about that.) in one set o eggs. Tomorrow they are going to pass the Easter bucket around and then draw out an egg.
I made sight word strips and then  cut them apart. I put the pieces in a set of eggs. They are going to draw out eggs and then put the word together. They are going to use the sight word they got in a sentence in their journal. And then swap with a neighbor.
I also made some addition and subtraction sentences 0-5 to work on. I think I'm going to make that a math center later this week. They can use jellybeans and ten frames to solve the problems.
We're also working on even and odd numbers. So I'm going to put an even or odd number of jellybeans in the eggs and they kids have to use a ten frame to tell if they are even or odd. They will swap. I'm going to number the eggs and they will record it on a sheet.
So I have a few freebies to share with you.

Math Practice for Easter Eggs

I'm also sharing a recording sheet for the jellybean activity. Hopefully you can use some of these before Easter. The frame in the document came from The 3 AM teacher. If you haven't checked her clipart out, you need to. She's awesome.
Even and Odd Jellybeans

If you download any of these activities, please leave me some comment love. I'm always looking for some feedback on the things I create.
Been meaning to blog about the fact that I've won two giveaways lately. I won second prize in Ms. Patterson's giveaway. I got some good loot. Including some new graphics from the 3 AM teacher that I have a ton of ideas for using. I also won a giveaway of some books from the Waddlee-ah-chee blog. So exciting. I only have 3 and a half more days of school before spring break. Woo Hoo!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Make it Monday!

I'm so excited to share my newest project with you. It is my first attempt at embroidery and I definitely need some practice. But this was a fun and easy project. It was a good way to get my feet wet.

I was inspired by the blog Little Lovelies. You can check out here post here to see the directions for making it. I'm really sad my pictures didn't download correctly. They were right when I saved them. One of my biggest mistakes was using too many threads. I used the whole thing instead of breaking it up into 2 or 3 strands of the thread. I also need a little more practice making my stitches the same size. But I will be trying a new embroidery project soon. By the way, if you are interesting in trying out this craft you need to check out Little Lovelies. She has some great ideas and tutorials. What are you crafting this week?

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Spring has sprung

This is the lady bug home with a few larvae crawling around.
Spring has definitely sprung in my room. We finished up our plant unit this week on Monday by planting our seeds. I used Abby's Mystery box activity to add some mystery to the seed planting project. I wish I had taken a picture of my box. It's super cute. I used the box my Blogging Exchange Friend, Amy, sent me during the valentine's day exchange. It was perfect. I'll have to take a picture this week. I'm using it again on Monday to introduce my kids to our new friends, the ladybugs. This week we started our unit on insects. Our reading series had us read a book about Beetles and then we read The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle. I had other books I wanted to read but we just didn't seem to get to them. So I decided to extend insects into another week. This week is our last week before Spring break so I thought it would be ok to take a break from our usual reading series. I figured it out and we finish up our reading series by the first of May so an extra week won't be a big deal. I ordered the ladybug larvae from Insectlore and it came on Friday. I was expecting eggs but instead go a few baby ladybugs. I really hope they haven't transform med into the ladybugs over the weekend. I haven't introduced them to the kids yet.
We made some ladybugs and incorporated a little math into it. They had to make an addition sentence out of the number of dots they put on the bug. I've been so inspired by several blogs to incorporate more art into my day. But I'm a firm believer that it needs to be student created. I don't do patterns but have the students follow directions to create things. This is my way of incorporating some common core into the art projects. The listening standards apply well here. I also don't have a lot of copies to use on creating patterns for the students.

This coming week I plan to do a little more with The Grouchy Ladybug and hopefully a nonfiction book about ladybugs. I guess I need to hope they have one in the library. We're also going to read The Hungry Caterpillar and The Lonely Firefly. I also have some fun Easter activities planned with the plastic Easter eggs from the dollar tree. I hoped to have made the activities and post them today. But those freebies will have to come later. I do want to tell you about my newest item in Teacher's Notebook and Teachers Pay Teachers. It's Buggy for Words. Included in this packet are a game with Fry's phrases on it, some letter cards for word building and a some word cards for sentence building. They all have a bug themed. I made something similar for Valentine's day and used it with my kids I tutor. This time around I included a star e for a little magic e work for some of my higher kids. I busted the letter cards out last week and you would have thought it was something so cool just because I changed the clipart. Here are a couple of pictures of what is included and the item in action:

If you are interested in purchasing these items, click here for Teacher's Notebook and here for Teachers Pay Teachers. ** Update ** I added a free preview you can download of one of the games. So check it out!
I would love to get some feedback on my items. So the first 3 people to check out one of my stores and leave a comment with one of my items you would like, I'll send it to you for free. But you are committing to giving me some feedback on my items. I probably won't get anything out to you until tomorrow morning. How has spring sprung in your room?