Monday, May 30, 2011

Make Your Parents Cry

Did you get to enjoy your holiday weekend or were you working on report cards like me {in between 2 play-off baseball games and finding my hot water heater leaking and spending $1000 to replace it!?}
Did I mention my husband is still out of work...yeah..the universe still hates me.

The good news is that I have 2 and a half days left!!!!
As much as I have really enjoyed my class this year I am ready for some ME time. 

I included this sweet letter last year with my report cards and I thought I would share it with you. I did not write it but I did make it pretty with a cute font and ladybugs (the theme in my room.)
I had parents tell me it made them cry. Yep... they love me.
Eoy Parent Letter


Thursday, May 26, 2011

"Classity, Class!"

Have you heard of Whole Brain Teaching? When I first started using it the name was Power Teaching. Other teachers and parents get a big kick out of my call-response style.
I asked someone to quickly video me today to give you an idea.
Forgive the quality, it was very spur of the moment.

This is called Class-Yes. I say, "Class, Class" and they respond "YES, YES!" copying whatever cadence, volume, etc I use. I make sure to mix it up to keep them on their toes.

 When they are frozen and looking at me they get a smiley. If not, they get a frowney. If the smileys are winning at the end of the day the class gets a reward. At the beginning of the year we danced to Dr. Jean's Tooty Ta. Now they enjoy playing Heads Up 7-Up.

Another Whole Brain Teaching technique is Teach-OK. Basically a turn and talk with hand-motions and call backs.

Here are our rules (again with hand-motions to get that TPI in!) In the beginning of the year we review them multiple times a day. We recite them in different voices to keep it interesting (robot, opera, slow-motion, etc.)

If you are interested in learning more you can go to the Whole Brain Teaching website or search youtube and teachertube for more video examples.

I hope you enjoyed a glimpse into my teaching style.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Graduation Art

I was going to have my class draw a self-portrait this week to compare to the one they made the first week of school. When I saw this cute graduation idea at peaceloveandkindergarten I just had to adapt it for my class. I made real tassels out of yarn which my kids just went crazy for!

 Tomorrow students will write about what they are proud of themselves for in first grade. It could be learning to read, mastering their math facts, or perhaps a social goal?
I am interested to see what they come up with. I am hoping for some real reflection. 
They will glue it to the front of their gown.

Graduation Writing
I have one giveaway prize unclaimed. 
Jamay, you have 24 more hours to contact me and then I will need to pick a new winner so I can get these prizes in the mail!
Set #1 Jamay said...
I love your blog! I checked out this website and love the bags!! What a great idea for a fundraiser. Thanks!!
5 1/2 days left!! 


Sunday, May 22, 2011


Congrats to the 5 winners of my Mixed Bag giveaway!
Email me your name and mailing address.
Set #1 Jamay said...
I love your blog! I checked out this website and love the bags!! What a great idea for a fundraiser. Thanks!!

Set #2 Katie said...
I am following your awesome blog! Set #2 is my favorite but they are all so cute. I am also trying to carry these bags to stores and the libraries.   

Set # 3 Beth said...
I follow your blog and love all of your hard work you share with teachers.

Set # 4 Mrs. Pollard said...
Your blog is on my sidebar... so I don't miss anything you post! :)  

Set # 5 absees123s said...
I will be showing my PTSO about their site..LOVE their "Peace, Love" tote bag sets! Thanks so much to everyone for playing!  A HUGE thanks to Mixed Bag Designs for sponsoring this giveaway! 


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Last chance to enter my GIVEAWAY!

Today is the last day to enter my bag GIVEAWAY! 5 terrific prizes up for grabs! 
I have my sons' baseball games to watch today so you have until 9 PM Pacific Time! 
Here is the link to my earlier post to enter!
Good Luck!


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Daily Editing Word Problems for the week of 5-23

My class is loving reading Frog and Toad so they will be starring in our morning work next week! :-)

Don't forget to enter my cute bag giveaway by Saturday! Click here to enter.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I finally won something!!!

I was the lucky winner of firstgradefanatics memory book giveaway! 

It is so cute I can't wait to use this with my kiddos! We have benchmarks this week so I will have to save it for next week but with only 12 days left it should be perfect!

Thanks SO much Erin and Leslie!

Don't forget to enter my reusable bag giveaway that ends on Saturday! 4 entries for 5 prizes!!!! Click here to see that post.


Saturday, May 14, 2011


Every year, tens of thousands of whales, birds, seals, and turtles die from contact with ocean-borne plastic bags. The animals may mistake the bags for food, such as jellyfish, or simply become entangled. Plastic bags can take up to 1,000 years to break down, so even when an animal dies and decays after ingesting a bag, the plastic re-enters the environment, posing a continuing threat to wildlife.

Be honest, are you as good as you could be about not using plastic bags? Might it help if you kept bags in your car that were super cute?
One of my personal goals is to get better about bringing a bag in to EVERY store I go in. We have improved with the grocery store but I still forget when I go to CVS or Macy's.

I recently found a way to help my school while helping the environment.
I found this company named Mixed Bag Designs. Not only are their products terrific and affordable but they will do a fundraiser for your school and give back 50%! Let your PTA know about this opportunity. My school is signed up to do one next year and I am confident it will be a big money-maker.

I contacted Mixed Bag Designs and they were nice enough to send me some bags to giveaway to my loyal followers!! first giveaway!
Set #1:Grocery, drug store, 2 zippered pouches

Set #2: department store, insulated lunch bag, make-up

Set # 3: department store, grocery store, insulated lunch bag

Set #4: grocery, department store, drug store

Set # 5: grocery, department store, drug store

Check out their website to see the amazing assortment of products and designs they carry. Need a new laptop, ipad, or iphone case? Have a thing for camo, leopard, zebra, damask, floral? There is something for everyone!

I will pick 5 lucky winners next Saturday, 5/21.

Earn 4 entries!
1. Become a follower of my blog.
2. Blog about this giveaway.
3. Add my blog to your sidebar.
4. Comment on your favorite design or product by visiting  Mixed Bag Designs


Friday, May 13, 2011

Daily Editing Word Problems for the week of 5-16

You know you are addicted when Blogger is down and you check no less than 20 times to see if it is working again!
Here is the daily editing that I have been wanting to post but unable to because of blogger's issues.
Sorry it is late for those of you who use it weekly.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Bombs and Bugs!

Today one of my parents came to school because he is a police officer and he brought his partner...a bomb-sniffing dog named Red. 
 Red gave us a demonstration (the kids were concerned at first when he said he hid 3 bombs) of how she sniffs the chemicals out and then sits very still and looks right at her handler.
Here is my sweetie who was so proud of her daddy (and her doggy)!

We are studying insects right now.
Fireflies (notice the eyelashes that one of my girls added!)
Praying Mantises
Just have to get those eyelashes in somehow!

All of those art projects were from the fabulous Deanna Jump. 
We made insect fact books too but I wanted more space than Deanna's so I adapted them. I have to admit that insects are really interesting. My students impressed their parents at Open House with all their knowledge!

We also read
and then wrote about what makes us grouchy. 

I put them in our tinted windows and I will have to rethink that for next year. It just didn't POP like a bulletin board would have. Oh well!
With Open House done I can really start to count down the days!


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all my bloggie friends! 
I am still full from the fantastic homemade brunch of fruit crepes that my husband and two boys made for me!

I wanted to share a few pics of our Mother's Day project. The students really got into it and did a terrific job. 
I added a little binding to make it look a little more like a book.
 We went page by page to discuss ideas for drawing. I also drew some simple examples for the less confident but I was pleased how many students really used their own creativity.
I took a picture of each student about to eat the muffin for page 9 but this guy cracked me up by making this face instead!
Then we made the bags and I let them decide if they wanted googly eyes or not. This girl purposely made her mom's hair messy since she was in bed. :-)
I bought a variety of Costco muffins and let the students choose. One girl told me she picked a chocolate muffin because she knew her mom would split it with her. Now that is planning ahead!
The kids were so excited to bring them home on Friday. One sweetie confided that he just didn't know if he was going to be able to wait until Sunday to give it to his Mom!

In other news, I pick up my fixed computer tomorrow but alas, they were not able to get any data off. Thank you to all of you who offered to send me things. It turns out my blogging obsession has helped because l have copies in my Google Docs and Scribd accounts (at least the pdf.)

My job today is to try and make a movie for Open House on Tuesday. My husband thinks he can get the images off of blogger that I thought were lost so we'll see how that goes.

I am getting lots of hugs from my kids and I hope you are, too!


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Daily Editing Word Problems 5-09

Working from my home computer since my laptop is still dead. :-(
Here are the Daily Editing Word Problems for next week.
5 9morning Warm Ups