Monday, January 30, 2012

Tag! Get to Know You

Mary from Pitner's Potpourri tagged me in a "get to know your blogging friends" chain.  Meeting people has been one of the best parts of blogging.

1. You must post the rules. 
2. Post 12 fun facts about yourself on the blog post.
3. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post and then create twelve new questions for the people you tagged.
4. Tag 12 people and link them in your post.
5. Let them know you've tagged them.

12 Facts About Myself:
I am going to cheat a little here.  Check out my post "7 Things You Don't Need to Know About Me" for the first seven facts.  Here are the rest:
*This is my first year to work with preschool - 3rd grade students after working with middle school student for nine years.
*McDonald's french fries are my number one fast food weakness.
*I would rather read young adult fiction rather than adult fiction.
*I can't wait until the Hunger Games movie comes out in March.  I am on a countdown.  I will be there at midnight to see it.
*Teaching first grade has been a very reward experience.  They learn in leaps and bounds.

12 Questions from Mary:
1. What's your easiest thing about teaching this year?
Working with a fantastic group of teachers in my K-3 hallway.  Without them, I would not be making it through this year.

2. What's the hardest thing about teaching this year?
My administrative duties.

3. What is a professional book you recommend to everyone you work with?
Strategies that Work by Stephanie Harvey and Anne Goudvis
4. What is a new idea you have tried this year that has really worked?
4-Square Writing to help my students organize their writing and stay on topic.
5. What book character do you most want to be like?
This one is hard.  Katniss from Hunger Games.  She does everything she knows how to protect her family.
6.  What is your favorite book or author to read aloud to your class?
I love to read aloud Mo Willems books to my first graders.  When I taught middle school, my favorite was The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan.
7.  What treat or pick me up do you keep hidden in your desk at school?
Peppermint Patties
8.  What one new thing do you want to try on your blog?
guest blogging - I want to guest blog (and I am next month) and I would like others to guest blog here (just not sure how to go about doing it).
9.  What do you do on snow days?
My couch and I become best friends as I catch up on tv and travel through blogland.
10. What time do you get up on school days?
5:00 am
11. What is your favorite thing to Pin?
literacy ideas
12. What is the last movie you saw?
Rewatched Twilight this weekend

12 New Questions:
1.  Which do you prefer picture books or chapter books as read alouds?
2.  Why did you start blogging?
3.  What has been the best moment of this year (school or personal)?
4.  What do you do to unwind, take a breather, from school-related stuff?
5.  Class pet...yes or no? Why or why not?
6.  What advice would you give to a new blogger?

Here I go breaking the rules again.  :)   Supposed to be twelve questions, but I know we are all busy people.


Mrs. Bainbridge's Class

Beg, Borrow, Steal

Mysterious Gifted Society

Love Those Kinders!

Teacher Park

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Favorite Things Sunday

I thought Sunday would be a great day to share a few of my favorite things from the past week, so I am going to post great ideas, posts, products, etc. that I find every week.

Wise Guys wrote a post titled "Setting Ablaze Interest in the Classroom with the Kindle Fire."  He checked out a Kindle Fire from the library and his students loved it.  He had his kids create a pros and cons list about using the Fire.  The only con was "not enough devices for the whole to use in a week."  Do you know what he did?  He bought three Fires with his own money to use in the class!  Check out his blog post and leave a comment.  He is looking for ideas and thoughts about using the Kindle Fires in his classroom.  I would have loved to be in his class when I was in 5th grade.

Science Gal wrote about a fantastic grant opportunity:  Pets in the Classroom.  If you are looking to get a classroom pet, check out her post because she outlines how it works and what you need to do.  Her class received the grant and voted to a get a turtle (who they named Squirtle).  Then head to the post "Meet the Turtle" to see the guidelines she set up for her class and meet Squirtle.

Sharing Kindergarten

Sharing Kindergarten has a fabulous new product out in her Teachers Pay Teachers store.  Teaching science sometimes gets put on the back burner with all the math and literacy that must be taught in kindergarten.  Also, creating an engaging science lesson takes a lot of work.  In her new "Lights and Shadows, Kindergarten Science Discovery" she introduces the science behind the groundhog seeing his shadow in a fun and engaging way.  Let her do some of your lesson planning, go check out her lesson plans (just click her button above).  Four dollars is definitely worth spending less time creating engaging plans.

Love this blog title!  Mrs. Lirette shares ways that she turns her students into learning detectives.  On Monday she shared a marvelous hall display that allowed her students to share good books.  She called it "Marshmallow Writing."  She created a huge cup of hot chocolate with the title "chill out with a cup of hot chocolate and a good book" and had her students write their book recommendations on a marshmallow.   She shared the FREE template for the marshmallow.  She also has created a new product line on Teachers Pay Teachers called Rock, Paper, Scissors.  There is an addition, subtraction, and multiplication game.  Each game is only $2.50!  Kids love playing rock, papers, scissors.  Here is your chance to make that educational.

I hope you have enjoyed "A Few of My Favorite Things" and come back each Sunday to see what other fabulous finds I have gathered for your enjoyment and to add to your resources.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Ten is the Magic Number

I have posted my first item for sale on Teachers Pay Teachers, so I am feeling pretty excited.  I hope everyone checks it out and let's me know what you think.  The packet contains three activities and three word problems all revolving around the different combinations of ten.  Each activity comes with directions and a recording sheet.  The Numbers, Objects, and Bags OH MY! activity has two different versions to allow for scaffolding and differentiation.  The word problems come in two versions also.  The first version has a variety of number choices while the second version has no number choices, which allows you to choose your own numbers.  I am open to any advice on how to make this product better and what to do to make future products more successful.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Teaching First Celebration

Teaching First

Teacher First is celebrating reaching over 200 followers.  CONGRATULATIONS!  She has gotten together with a super group to host a give-away of 9 packets to THREE lucky winners.  Entry is easy and there are bonus entries available also.  Click on her blog button (isn't it cute?!) above and be taken straight to the post to enter.

These are great people(along with herself) who are donating the 9 packets:


Sunday, January 15, 2012

A Few of My Favorite Things...

Lots of great things going on in blogland this weekend, so I am going to share a few of my favorites.

I had my first giveaway for reaching 50 followers end on Friday and Amy from the Resource(ful) Room won a $25 gift certificate to Amazon.  Check out her great blog:

I was awarded the Versatile blogger award by Tales From a 4th Grade Teacher.  Thank you so much!  It is wonderful when you realize that someone likes what you write (or sometimes ramble as I feel I do).

Caitlin at Ms. Preppy is hosting a Valentine's Exchange.  The Holly Bloggy Christmas Exchange was so much fun! I can't wait to find out who my partner is for this exchange.  Go check her out and sign up.  There is a personal exchange and a class exchange.  How fun would it be to make valentines and exchange with a class someplace else?

Be My Valentine

Jeannie at Kindergarten Lifestyle has a super fabulous FREEBIE called Fish Munch.  Fish Munch is a game that involves learning word wall (sight words) and goldfish crackers.  Love it!  Check it out here:

Kindergarten Lifestyle

Tammy at Forever in First has a great idea for using One Little Word with her students to make a book.  Check her out here:

Mrs. Miner's Kindergarten Monkey Business and Kreative in Kinder are having giveaways for the Everything Kindergarten Expo.  Each one is giving away THREE tickets.  Both end on Sunday night, so HURRY!

Mrs. Miner's Kindergarten Monkey Business

Kreative in Kinder

Saturday, January 14, 2012

And the winner is...

Thanks to all who entered my giveaway.  I can't wait for the next one (at 100 followers).

The winner is....(drum rolllllllll):

Which is...

Amy, CONGRATULATIONS.  I will be emailing you later today with your gift certificate from Amazon.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

First Freebie & Giveaway

As I was blogstalking last night I get an email alerting me that a comment was left on my blog.  Randi from Teach It With Class said, "I'm your 50th follower! I feel like a bell should ring for the big numbers!"  In my head bells were ringing and a smile spread across my face. I know that is a small number for many of you out there in blogland, but for me it is big.

In celebration I am having my first giveaway.  The winner of this giveaway will have the choice of a $25 gift certificate to Teachers Pay Teachers or a $25 gift certificate to

How do you enter?  Simple!
1.  Follow my blog and leave a comment.
2.  Follow me on Pinterest and leave a comment.
3.  Follow my TpT store and leave a comment.
4.  In a comment, answer the question:  What would you buy with your gift certificate?
Four easy ways to enter.  Make sure to leave a separate comment for each step and include your email address in each comment.  Contest ends on Friday, January 13 at 7 pm central when I will use random number generator to pick the winner.

Not only have I reached 50 followers but I am also sharing my first freebie tonight.  The freebie is called "Friends and Chocolate" and is a join start unknown problem type.  The problem has a variety of number choices so it can be used in multiple grades.  Also the number choices allow for differentiated assignments within a classroom.  Check it out and tell me what you think.  You can get a fifth entry in the giveaway by downloading this freebie from my TpT store and leaving me feedback.

 THANK YOU to all my followers!

Monday, January 9, 2012


Farley at Oh' Boy Fourth Grade is have a giveaway to celebrating reaching over 1000 followers.  Congratulations Farley!  She has a fantastic blog and is a joy to read.  Click her button above to check her out and link up with a Currently.


Sunday, January 8, 2012

Made My Day


Amy over at The Land of 2nd Grade (love her blog title!) has honored me with the Versatile Blogger Award.  WOW!  Thanks Amy!
Check her blog out:

Seven Things About Myself:
1.  I love teaching first graders.  For the last nine years I have taught or been an Academic Coach for grades 4-8.  My favorite grades were 7th and 8th grades.  Middle school students are so much fun!  This year I am coaching preschool-3rd grades.  I am in a different world.  I didn't think that I would like "little" people as I call them.  However, they are so entertaining and loving.  The first graders that work with on weekly basis hug me when they see me.  They smile and wave in the hallway.  That kind of enthusiasm is missing in middle school because it just isn't cool to hug the teacher in front of everyone else.
2.  I would love to go to Disney World again even though I don't have any children.  The first time I went I was 28 years old and I had a blast.  My husband and I went with his sister and her family.  We stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge.  I woke up every morning to a safari right outside my window.  It truly was a wonderful week.
3.  I don't think I could go a day with a Dr. Pepper to get me through.  Most people have coffee, but I have Dr. Pepper.
4.  I work in a very small school and love it.  There are only 500 students PK-12th grade.  In my elementary school there is not a class over 23 students.  Most teachers have around 15-20 students.
5.  I drive an hour and a half one way to get to work.  I have been doing this drive for ten years so it doesn't phase me most days.  Some days it is a killer though.  I wish I could wiggle my nose and be at home.
6.  My husband and I recently became members of a shooting range and I am really enjoying going on the weekends to learn to shoot my gun.
7.  Even though I have had my blog for almost three years, I have just recently began to be a "serious" blogger.  Charity Preston's Teaching Blog Traffic School is really helping out.

Nominate blogs for this award:

Love Those Kinders!

Cindy has just begun her blogging life but her blog looks great and her first post is fantastic.  She also talks about this great penguin word family sort that I can't wait to try with my firsties.

Learning with Mrs Parker

Mrs. Parker has a great blog and is currently having a January book linky party that I can't wait to join.

A Teeny Tiny Teacher

Kristin has recently share a hilarious poem about snowballs that I plan to use with my firsties also.  I think the boys will get a kick out of it.

Beg, Borrow, Steal

Mrs. McHaffie has a great title for a blog.  She shares fantastic freebies and gives us a great insight in her classroom.  Currently she is offering a penguin fact and opinion freebie.


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