Tuesday, February 25, 2014


   We have been learning about adjectives this week.  After a group discussion on what an adjective is, students brainstormed adjectives wrote them on a sticky note, and added them to our anchor chart.  The kiddos also loved searching for adjectives while "reading to self" with the books in their book bins. Students wrote any adjectives they found in the text on a sticky note and added it to the anchor chart. Give these kids a sticky note and you think I gave them a new car! It seemed like every 5 minutes I was hearing "Woah! Look how many we have now!" each time a students added a new adjective to the chart. I just love that enthusiasm!

  We continued learning about adjectives with a really fun game from Lucky Little Learners. After assigning partners, students were given a numbered brown paper lunch bag that was filled with a little something.  Students worked collaboratively with their partner to list 10 adjectives to describe their hidden surprise.  Partners read aloud their adjective clues and the other classmates tried to guess the hidden surprise that was in the brown paper bag.  I love making learning fun and I love when my kiddos have fun learning!  You can find Lucky Little Learners Adjective Mystery Bags for FREE here .


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Tickled Pink

   At the beginning of the school year we formulate our classroom rules after discussing why we need rules and how they keep us safe and happy in our classroom and at school.  Student thoughts and responses are written down and recorded on an anchor chart and then we narrow those ideas down to about 4 or 5 basic and classroom rules.  Each student signs our classroom rules and they are posted in our classroom.

   I have been using the "tickled pink" behavior plan for years.  It has been a very effective form of bribery classroom management.  Each student has a library pocket filled with 4 cards:  pink, orange, yellow, and green.

      Everyone starts off on pink as we are "tickeled pink" with their behavior.  If a little lovey breaks a classroom rule, he/she turns their card to orange.  In the act of doing so, they tell me about their poor choice and how they can make a better choice the next time.  This is simply a warning. If another classroom rules is broken (yikes!) the card is turned to yellow and they take a 5 minute break.  Another turn of the card would result in a green card which means contact with home.  I conference with students briefly on their card with them at the end of the day.  When a card stays on pink for the day, they earn a hole punch on their pink card.  After 15 hole punches they earn a prize from the prize box. I buy prizes at The Dollar Tree, Target, party stores and I also use the toys that come in Happy Meals (not that I eat Happy Meals or anything...ahem). I may or may not smuggle into school little trinkets that my own kiddos at home have lost interest in. :-)  Shhh. Don't tell.

     "Tickled Pink" has worked so well for me because it provides the kiddos with a concrete visual that at their young age is something they really need as they learn to self regulate and monitor their behavior.  I send a note home to parents explaining the card system at the beginning of the year and I'm really fortunate to have met so much support.  I often hear a kiddo say that Mom/Dad are doing the card system at home. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Going for Gold

We had an all school assembly on the Olympics this past month and I tell ya....after seeing the video of what these amazing athletes endure, how hard they train, as well as all of their accomplishments and failures I was in tears.  What a wonderful message to send to youngsters that working hard at something is not always easy and yet the rewards are so sweet! I was so inspired that I tried to think of how I could incorporate the Olympics in my classroom. I found this adorableness from Kelley while scrolling through Instagram from her blog at Teacher Idea Factory .   I zipped on on over to Teachers Pay Teachers to snatch it up and let me tell ya'll.... it is amazing! 

    The kiddos wrote how they could be "gold medal students.  After talking about what a gold medal is and how atheletes can earn them, we brainstormed a list of some things we could do in our own classroom to be "gold medal students."  What acts of kindness could we perform?  How can we be the best person and student we can be?  What would that look like?  Sound like?  We wrote our ideas down on an anchor chart and then we used that anchor chart as a springboard to creating the writing craftivity which is currently displayed in our hall in which the kiddos wrote about ways in which each one of them could be a "gold medal student."   The kiddos had some great ideas!  This really tied in nicely with the "bucketfilling" program our school has adopted.  The firstie's became so interested and invested in being "gold medal students" that they started wanting to acknowledge these acts towards one another so all could see. Using Kelley's idea, we started writing down and recording any "gold medal student" acts using the mini forms included in the "Caught Going for Gold" packet.  The kiddos even included me in acts of kindness that they noticed.  How cute is that?!

 At the end of the day, we shared the acts we noticed and recorded and we added them to our classroom door display.  Now anyone in our school can see how we have been caught "Going for Gold."

 The kiddos have truly embraced this concept.  They are really eager to get their name on the door so  I ordered some plastic gold medal award necklaces from Oriental Trading to award to students when they earn their first "gold medal student" award.

I told you it was adorable!  You can find Kelley's "Caught Going for Gold"  here

Monday, February 17, 2014

100th day

Oh yeah....we did it! Myself and the fabulous group of gals that make up the first grade team at my school dressed up like we were 100 years old for the 100th day of school.  It was a riot!  Nothing was better than the tissues stuffed up the sleeves and in the pockets.  Since we greet students every morning in the hall I have never been greeted with more stares. Our principal couldn't  even look at us without laughing.  It was a hoot, I tell ya.

 In addition to dressing up like geriatric patients, the kiddos enjoyed the 100 piece puzzle challenge.  Groups of 4-5 students worked collaboratively to try to be the first group to put together a 100 piece puzzle.

We also wrote how we are "100 days smarter" to tell about something we have learned thus far this school year.  Recess did not count!  :-)

My classroom was filled with parent volunteers who helped us make 100 day hats.  We also estimated and measured how much of a cup 100 drops of water could fill,  and count by 10's to 100 to complete a 100 day ribbon strand.  The Solo cup structure challenge of using 100 cups to build a struture proved to be one of the favorite activities of the day so I brought them home to let my own boys argue over them. Needless to say, it took about an half hour until "Hey! I was using that one!"  "Stop it!"  "Moooom!  He just knocked down my whole thing!"  Why did I bring these home again?!!!

 Anywhoooose.....the cups were proving to be the favorite at school until.....

Zero the Hero.  The day would not have been complete without an annual visit from Zero the Hero (also known as my Dad.  Shhhhh. Don't tell my firstie's. )

Activity Days are a ton of fun but no lie I was in my jammies by 7PM and in bed before 10.  Of course, I saved some time to watch "The Bachelor" and then ask myself later......why?  Two hours of my life I'll never get back.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Welcome team!

This is my current classroom for the 2013-2014 school year. I try to stay in the same color scheme every year because I think it makes the classroom look neater and more well organized.  Schoolgirl Style has wonderful classroom themes!  This is the "Totally TEAMwork" collection.  My word wall, the "All Star" bulletin board, and my calendar are the only bulletin boards I have in my classroom and I am TOTALLY ok with that!  As it stands, the word wall is really a white board that I covered to brighten the room up a bit.   The table signs, nametags and book bin labels, as well as my calendar display are all from the Totally TEAMwork kit I purchased from schoolgirlstyle.com.  The only exception is the sports theme bulletin board background paper which I purchased from Amazon.  Overall, it was worth every penny of the $40 because I cannot stand shopping all over the earth for little tidbits here and there only to find our that they are a shade or two off. I'm sure my husband is grateful too as he tends to get dragged along on those type of adventures. Anywhoose.....I get a TON of compliments on my classroom decor and I love the simple color scheme.  It's going to be hard to top this but I'm sure I'll find something just as cute on the site for the next school year.  I also have an IKEA near me and that place could make me broke, I tell ya!