Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Chocolate Pointers and Candy Corns!

Look at the sweet pointers my daughter made for my owlets! I wish they could have lasted longer than 10 words! I asked them to read the room with their pointers and said they could eat them when they had read 10 words. One of my pumpkins was so proud of their self-control...They read 18 words before they HAD to eat it!

I wanted to turn my owlets into candy corns, but I wanted to make it not only cute, but also meaningful! I hope this poem brought meaning for my students and I hope that you find it meaningful, too!

Will you eat too much candy tonight? I usually get about three Trick-or Treaters in my neighborhood! I always buy way too much dark chocolate to pass out! I probably shouldn't have let that out of the bag...Now I'll probably have too many tricksters on my porch tonight. I'd gladly share with you...Stop by!!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Happy Birthday to me!

Today all my owlets ended the day on gold. Should they have? Probably not! Were they proud? Yes! Did they leave smiling and LOVING school? Yes! Did they leave excited to come back to school tomorrow? YES! I love my "job"! I believe that a big part of first grade is getting children to love learning. They have to love coming to school. They have to feel a part of a learning community. Today when I heard several children planning how they would get "held-back" it made me smile and feel really good! That good feeling spilled over and made me teach better. If you love your students you are going to teach better. If your students love you they are going to learn better.

Gold Students!

 My daughter is always trying to get me into a corner and claim I have a favorite student. She is an 8th grader in the school where I teach. It is a small school and we all know each other. We all look out for each other! She knows all of my students by name and when she walks into the room many of my students rush to give her a hug. She does have a couple of favorites! Anyway, the other day she said to me, "I give up, Mom! I think they are all your favorites!" Guess what! It is true. They are all my favorites. They are like my own children. I don't have a favorite. I love them for what they add to our classroom family. I love them because they are unique. I love them because they belong to me.

Gold Student!
Speaking of things I love...I love my birthday. Tomorrow is the day I love. October 26th I began my life. The last year of my life I think I have enjoyed more than any other! I have accepted who I am and who I will never be! I have been blessed with a wonderful family. I have a husband who strives to love me as Christ loved the Church. He would lay down his life for me. He is that wonderful. He has more "stamina" then a class full of first graders! I may not have a lot of "stuff" accumulated, but I have the right stuff!

 I would like to share my Stamina Awards with you, dear reader. You have made my life richer and fuller by listening to me! Thank you and Happy Birthday to me!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Next Day...

My first graders were so happy to be reunited with their leaves today! I had them draw a scene around their leaves to make up a new story with their leaf character. They loved the book that I had written for them and asked to read it again and again!

This leaf is on the Titanic...He likes it...It hasn't hit an iceberg, yet!
We have been talking a lot about main idea and details, so I was thrilled to hear them talking to each other about the details they were putting into their pictures. The book study on "In Pictures and In Words" really gave me a new perspective on the illustration process. I used to, and still sometimes do, insist on writing first then illustrating as a reward. Because writing's goal is to express your ideas starting by getting the picture down has helped many of my authors because they can get their ideas down on paper before they have to use mysterious symbols to do it!  They use their illustrations as a springboard for their writing.
This leaf got trapped in Pharaoh's pyramid!

This leaf is a princess and is going to rescue Rapunzel!

This leaf  has the right idea! Time for coffee!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Bring a Leaf to School Day! (Freebie!)

Leaf shown is larger than actual size!
I loved bring a leaf to school day! The first thing we had to do was give our leaves eyes so they could see what goes on during the day. 
Leaf shown is smaller than actual size!
Some leaves had only one eye...cyclops leaves were very popular!

Leaf shown is greener than actual leaf!
One leaf was lucky enough to have three eyes!

We read to our leaves and showed them what first graders do all day. We used our leaves to help us write detailed sentences about one topic. Every first grader wrote at least two sentences that gave details about their own leaf. No one was allowed to write, "I like my leaf." No one could write, "My leaf is cool!" They were so proud of their work. . . I was, too!

Party Leaves are in the school tonight! I'm not sure what they are up to, but you can read the book  here! I can hardly wait to share this e-book with my students tomorrow and play this dice game....
Click the picture to grab your own copy! I love all of Digital Bakeshop's graphics, but these Thanksgiving Hoots and Tweets are among my favorite!
I'll leaf you alone now! Thanks for stopping by!  Congratulations to the winners of my Give Away....Cecilia, Laurie and Renonda....You are bosom friends! Thanks to all who entered!! Thank you Carson Dellosa for being a "Bosom Friend"!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

MANS Conference and the Doctor Will See You Now!

Tomorrow I'm going to the MANS conference  in Grand Rapids. I love learning new ways to make learning interesting and fresh for myself and my students. I'm also wondering if I might be sitting next to you at one of the conference break-out sessions. We could greet each other and then send notes back and forth while the presenter is speaking...Did I really just say that? YES!! We could even go somewhere for a cup of coffee and share ideas...Doesn't that sound like fun? Who's in?

I'm working on ways to help my owlets be able to decide which operation to use when they are doing math word problems. I think today may have helped! We wore "surgical" masks and gloves while performing operations on numbers. Each child had to read the story problem and choose the operation. Then they performed the operation on the recording sheet circling the right operation...I think they got it!! I just used the word problems from their math curriculum, so it wasn't very much work for me, but the impact was HUGE!!
I would trust my numbers with this doctor...He is that good!
Click on the picture below for this poem to help your students remember which operation to perform.

I recently won a great resource from Key Education Publishing. Each page of the book has wonderful activities to help my first graders learn about place value. Ten frames, 100s charts, games and worksheets combine to make this a book I will go to often! Key Education Publishing has give aways regularly on their Facebook page...Check them out. 
Thank you Key Education for this great resource. You can order this resources from Carson Dellosa and then a dollar will go to Breast Cancer Research Fund!!  Or you could win a gift certificate and order it!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Today Was Good!

We started our day the Oreo way! We are writing a book
using "Oreo Cookie" words.  I can't wait to share it with you!

"Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one" Dr. Seuss thank you for taking the words right out of my mouth! The excitement in my room this morning was electric. I scheduled a field-trip for the afternoon and the kids were so excited. I knew it would be a little crazy, so I just kept calm and carried on! I was pretty excited, too! I love going to visit my friend Farmer Nancy down on the farm. She is calm, patient, loving and understands six and seven year-olds. She didn't even seem to mind that the kids were more excited about her cat than her soybeans!

Our field trip took us past empty apple trees. and sparse pumpkin patches. Between the frost in the spring and the drought of the summer our apple and squash crops were not up to Common Core Standards. It was a bit of a disappointment to not be able to pick apples this year. The kids didn't mind at all...They got more time on the playground. 
I'm bringing my family back on Saturday to go through the
corn maze!
Thanks be to God for the wonderful weather we had today. It has rained for days! It stopped this morning and started up again tonight!

We got back to school just as the bell was ringing for everyone to go home. I think all my little owlets are snug in their nests sound asleep! 

Do you have a field-trip planned in the near future? I would love to hear about the places you go and the things you see outside your classroom! I love carrying learning outside and sharing it with parents.

It is not too late to enter the Give Away I'm hosting. Click below if you are interested in free products from Carson Dellosa!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Take Time to Play!

After voicing my feelings about play, you'll find some ways to have fun and learn with a Halloween theme! I'm linking up with Brian at Hopkins' Hoppin' Happenings to find more great ideas for fall! Thanks for hosting such a great party, Brian!

I remember when I first started teaching...Yes, I can remember that far back! Kindergarten was mostly play, half day and a nap was thrown in there, too! I'm not sure kids are better off today! All day kindergarten is now the norm and naps or even rest time is gone. Two out of three of my own children attended kindergarten for half the day and didn't ever have a pre-school class. They did have a play group that was quite structured by some amazing moms! My youngest did attend pre-school and all day kindergarten because I went back to work.

I wish I had had the time with my youngest that I had with my first two. I can't say I wish any of my children had more schooling. I can't say that more schooling would have made my first child more successful! She will be graduating this year from college with a double major in biology and chemistry. She has gotten all As and loves learning. I am proud of her accomplishments.
Future architects!

All of my children learned a lot through play. If there is one thing I wish I could give my students more of, it would be play. Play is highly underrated! Children learn so much when they play together or even alone. When I watch my students play this year  I see future architects, engineers and writers. Last year I had a class full of teachers! We don't  have to fill every moment with Common Core! We can let children bloom and unfold in ways that aren't in a teachers manual. Let them eat cake play!
Future engineers!
Here is a little goody for you for taking the time to read my rant! This packet includes three games and a book! Enjoy playing with your students!

Have you entered?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

I've Been Boo-ed! Now Grab a Treat!

I've been boo-ed! It couldn't have come on a better day than today!  It was just a looong day that required lots of STAR(s) (That's Conscious Discipline language for Smile Take A deep breath and Relax!) I felt like Ms. FrAzzle all day long when I'd rather be Ms. Frizzle! Thank you for making my day, Barbara at Grade ONEderful! You are a wonderful friend and seemed to know I needed a bright spot today!!

Want to join in the fun? Well if your reading this and you wanted to be boo-ed and you haven't been..I'd be happy to add your name to my list! First read the rules:

1. I love all things pumpkin when it comes to things to eat. I shared this before, but I think it is worth sharing again! My famous chocolate chip pumpkin cookie recipe is awesome! It is such a nice treat with a cup of coffee for breakfast or fresh from the oven dipped in whipped creme!

2. Here is a peek at a Halloween subtraction worksheet you can use! Click on the picture to get your own!

3. Here is an activity for your Working With Words center to use during October. I hope you like these adorable graphics by Digital Bakeshop. I think Jaime is so talented. I love using her art work! I'm so thrilled that you can get downloads instantly, now! Sometimes I get an idea and I just can't wait to get going on it!! 

4. I recently bought a bunch of stickers from Carson Dellosa. I am tickled pink by there support of Breast Cancer Research. I'm so thrilled that I'm GIVING AWAY a gift certificate for $25.00 and a product worth $25.00 from their website. PLUS I'm throwing in a cup of coffee from Starbucks...cause I love coffee!! Don't forget to enter to win!

Now I get to boo some people! I love all these people and they have become my friends! Thank you for all the tricks and treats your blogs have given me! I can't wait to go knock on their doors and say, "BOO!"

Laurie @ Chickadee Jubilee

Sue @ SOS Supply

Dana @ Fun in First

Maggie @ First Grade and Fearless

Maria @

Chrissy @ Read Write Sing

Mrs. Leeby @  Learning With Mrs. Leeby

Please go check these blogs out they will leave you feeling treated and NOT tricked!

Monday, October 8, 2012


Don't you love that word? I fly through the classroom singing "STAMINA!" quite loudly! I leap to the top of tall buildings singing, "Stamina!" I'm saving the world with....You guessed it, "Stamina!"

That is my favorite word lately. I find I use it not only in reading, but in math, Circle Time, Handwriting, and Coffee Break  ( I don't really have one of those!) I'm encouraging my little owls to use STAMINA! They can't wait to find out at the end of the day who is "Stamina King" for the next day. They trust me enough now to know that one day they will be "Stamina King, or Queen" for the day! They know I will do whatever it takes to make them successful Staminators!
Is this owlet not the cutest? If you look closely you'll notice his
crown is on upside down!
What do you do to build stamina in your classroom? Do your children love to fly around the room looking for a place to read to self singing "STAMINA?" Do they attack their Word Work with STAMINA? Do they read with their partner with STAMINA? Do they work on writing with STAMINA?

My children are asking me if I could do some laundry with STAMINA! So, I have to fly up and down the stairs carrying loads of dirty  clothes  that weigh more than I to be rescued by the washing machine. First I have to give you some awards that I created just for you...with STAMINA! I hope you can use them!  

Thank you, Carson-Dellosa
for your contributions to 
Breast Cancer awareness! Please 
check out my Give-Away and help
support companies doing good works!