Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Year's Activities for the Classroom

It's New Year's Eve and I am on the couch with my laptop, my husband and my beagle and the truth is...

I wouldn't have it any other way.

I won't even make it until midnight.  I'm old and boring.

I've taken a break from the Silhouette Cameo I got for Christmas because I'm about to throw it around the room I'm thinking about heading back to school next week and with that comes....

Oh my word...I actually have to write lessons and figure out what I'm going to do and....wear real clothes. 

Once I got over that whole shock, I started to think about how I will be incorporating the new year into my lessons.

A good way to ease back into the grind is with a meaningful craft.  I found lots of great ideas on Pinterest.

These idea from the blog Elemeno-P Kids are cute.  This one is my favorite:
 I'm thinking I will improvise this a bit by having my students write a goal that they have for themselves on each strip (link).
The blog Buggy and Buddy also has some great ideas for celebrating the new year.
Your students can also reflect on the page year with this freebie.
Students can also write about their goal's for the new year with this cute writing craftivity that makes a great hallway display.
I hope you have a happy and healthy New Year!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Top 3 Favorite Things

Hello everyone!!!

Favorite Things Graphic

Today we are throwing a big, humongous bash to celebrate YOU!
Last year we blogged about our favorite non-school related things, this year we have decided that we will share with you our favorite school things! So here we go:


My first grade students LOVE this app! It's called Sushi Monster. I am not a fan of the graphic but I do love how my students are really improving with their fact fluency! Since the app covers addition and multiplication it's great for K-3.

I have tables in my classroom instead of desks. Purchasing these large plastic bins has been the best purchase I have ever made for my classroom. 

Not only does it keep us neat and organized, it has saved us a ton on instructional time.  Students aren't walking all around gathering supplies and chatting.



I haven't been happy with my weight for a long time. 7 weeks ago I began a pretty intense diet called Ideal Protein.

I have lost 20 pounds so far and I swear by this diet.  I heard about it from a friend who has lost over 70 pounds.  I say it's intense because until I hit my goal weight it means no carbs, no sugars, no fruit, no dairy.  The diet is high in protein with lots of veggies.  4 cups a day, in fact. I like the food. Most of all, I like the results.'s definitely not for the faint of heart. It is expensive and has a lot of restrictions but I keep telling myself "nothing tastes as good as skinny feels."  So...I keep plugging away.

Once again we want to treat you all to our favorite things!!! Check out these great prizes!






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Come and visit my other teacher friends' blogs for their favorite websites, organization tips and much more!

Link to link up

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Tips and Tricks to Survive December in the Classroom

I love the holidays.

I do.

Except that it makes us all nuts.

Certifiably nuts.

The kids are no exception. In fact, they may be the most "nutso" out of all us due to the sheer excitement the month of December brings.

I do all I can not to even mention the "Ch" word in my classroom.

And as far as I'm concerned....what big fat jolly man?  I don't breath a word of him.

Now before you start to think that I'm some scrooge or the worst teacher ever, let me just say that this merely what saves my sanity in the classroom.  If you are allowed to talk about Santa and have a Christmas tree in your classroom than you are a braver person than I.

I believe the key to keeping kiddos on track is to keep them engaged.  I have found some great stuff on Teachers Pay Teachers, Pinterest, through blogging buddies and more and I'd like to share some of them with you so we can try and survive the insanity together.

 The way I see it...this is survival mode.  Not every craft needs a writing prompt.  There. I said it.

December is the perfect time for crafts.

This simple requires 5 materials.  Yup- 5 - and that includes scissors.  This is my kind of craft.  You can find it here.


Isn't this adorable? You can find the tutorial here.

And for those of you that just absolutely have to have a writing prompt these snowmen from The First Grade Parade will fit the bill.

When your head is ready to split open...

When you heard the 4,567th tattle....

This full movie of "The Snowman" has no talking. Just classical music.  Enough said.

This realistic fireplace keeps the kiddos mesmerized.  They LOVE it!

I have found some great resources that I can't wait to use this month.

Clutter-Free Classroom has this fantastic December freebie below filled with tips and tricks, resources, and freebies. 

 Inspired Owl's Corner has a super cute and motivational incentive that can really help you get through December. No More Classroom Reindeer Games is sure to get your students working hard to earn a turn with the classroom  stuffed reindeer through a sticker rewards incentive program.

Kids also love learning about reindeer. This differentiated close read on Reindeer is perfect for students at many different reading levels.

Need more freebies?  Check out Elementary Matters who has a great linky where many sellers/bloggers have linked up some of their free holiday resources. While you are there, enter to win a Teachers Pay Teachers gift card.

My favorite thing to teach is Holidays Around the World.  Students make suitcases, receive a passport, get boarding passes, and "travel" by airplane around the world to various countries. Included in the Holidays Around the World product, are virtual airplane rides/trips to various countries such as Mexico, Africa, and England to see how others celebrate the holidays. 
I always love to hear from you!  How do you get through December?


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Top 3 Pinterest Picks

I get so many ideas each month from this fabulous linky hosted on the 3rd of each month by Inspired Owl's Corner and Pawsitively Teaching.
click on the image to go to the original pin
I love this idea of having students brainstorm things they could pack to bring with them on the Mayflower if they were a Pilgrim.  This will be a great writing activity after reading If I Sailed on the Mayflower in 1620 by Ann McGovern.


Click on the image to go to the original pin.
Since we are working on story retell this month, this will be just perfect to make with my first graders.
Click on the image to go to the original pin

This site has fantastic videos has the Pilgrims and the Mayflower. I am fortunate enough to live a half hour away from Plymouth Planation. If you are ever in Massachusetts, it is an incredible thing to see.

If you would like to follow me on Pinterest, please click on the image below.
Join in on the fun and link up with your favorite Pinterest finds! 


Friday, October 23, 2015

Sticky notes and Pet Pests

Oh Friday, how I love thee!  Friday means...Five for Friday with Doodle Bugs Teaching.

You know when you stop at the grocery store after school and have to drag yourself there because you are SOOOOO tired but you are absolutely out of something you need? 

Yea. WELL.....I threw  the grocery bag on the counter when I got home and ran out to an appointment only to discover this when I got home.

This picture just about sums up the week. Bentley, our beagle decided he NEEDED the bread so he jumped up on the counter, threw the grocery bag on the floor and helped himself.

It's important to note here that Bentley didn't just eat the bread.  He ate a bite out of every piece in the loaf. I mean....REALLY?!! 

But...good news....he didn't eat the cabbage.

Yea. My thoughts exactly.

Apparently though, not everyone feels disdain for their pet. This kiddo is psyched to celebrate that her fish is one month old.

Given what we all know about the life expectancy of goldfish, I guess this is reason to celebrate.

We have been working on story retell this week.

We have really been focusing on the setting of stories as part of the retell process.

We LOVE Brainpop Jr!  We watched a video about setting,

and we learned that setting of a story does not just describe where the story took place, but also- when it took place.

We enjoyed using sticky notes to identify the setting in a story from our book box.

We also reviewed doubles facts this week as strategy for solving addition problems.

How has your week been? Link up with Doodle Bugs and let us know how your week was!