Sunday, December 11, 2011

Fancy Nancy Splendiferous Christmas

Joyeux Noel!!
Wow...I can't believe it's here! The last week of school before Christmas Break. One of my favorite books to read this time of year is Fancy Nancy Splendiferous Christmas.  I'm Fancy Nancy obsessed anyhow so combine that with Christmas and end up with Fancy Friday!!! This is our second year to have Fancy Friday with our firsties and they just LOVE it.  We begin the week with your typical story elements, catch some amazing vocabulary along the way (aroma, improvise, heirloom), focus on the objective of sensory details in writing, and end the week with dressing "fancy" and writing a sensory poem about "fancy cocoa." It is simply SPLENDIFEROUS! Our students wear standardized dress every day so to be able to wear their Sunday best or blinged boa to school is an automatic hit. 

Here are my fancied firsties! Oooh La La!! You'll notice we are not lacking in the personality department! The instructions were actually to pose fancy or fabulous...apparently to some that means look tough...hence the crossed arms and intimidating faces!

These fancy firsties brought fancy cookies (oh my isn't he dapper!) and fabulous marshmallows (pinterest inspired of course)!

And on to the is our fancy chocolate, whipped cream, and peppermint! (glitter!)... and splendiferous cocoa graphic organizer.
Up next...Grinchmas at Walker! I hope that everyone has a fabulous last week.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Farm Fun and Freebie

Hello blogging friends! It's been a while! I've LOVED stalking all of the amazing Thanksgiving ideas and activities the last few weeks.  My firsties had their little hands in many of your wonderful ideas. Just before Thanksgiving we actually had a "farm week" this year.  Farm day is something that our campus typically does for the Kindergarten Cuties but for the first time, we were asked to participate as well! Then the challenge...ok farm theme and the objectives sequencing and retelling, writing effective leads, even/odd numbers, and soil. Alright I'll admit, the soil part wasn't that much of a stretch because it fit mud perfectly but I did have to flex my creativity muscles for the other objectives! Here's a bit of we what did...

We used Mud Walk by Joy Cowley for Shared Reading.
We sequenced the story.
We created characters to act out the retelling. (Thanks Pinterest!)

We also retold Mud Walk by using animal crackers as our characters and chocolate icing as our mud!

We used a barn graphic organizer to focus on writing leads and wrapping up our stories (endings). We used the story Giggle, Giggle, Quack for our writing.

 For Math I created an even and odd gameboard. My students rolled the dice, moved that number of spaces, stated the number, and identified the number as even or odd.  Click below for your copy of the game.  I actually created 2 versions of this game to has numbers...and the other is blank. Feel free to write in your own numbers, addition sentences, word wall words, etc...

                            Click here for Even/Odd Game.      Click here for the blank farm gameboard.
(Graphics by DJ Inkers. Fonts by Kevin and Amanda)

And lastly, a couple of pictures from the actual farm day! My firsties had a BuuLAST!

Wooo...that was on to Fancy Nancy Splendiforous Christmas and a Campus Wide Grinchmas!!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Gameboards Galore with a Freebie

This year we've introduced Daily 5 and I'm loving it.  It's not perfection but I really enjoy it more than creating stations every other week.  I was inspired to create a set of gameboards for my firsties to use during work on words.  The gameboards are blank and my kiddos use dice, game markers, and their individualized word rings to play. Y'all they have been RUNNING to grab a gameboard when it's time for work on words!! In my previous post I talked about doing Abby's Oz Oz board was the first gameboard that I introduced to them. They fell in love and so did I.  It was actually a word wall review week so I just plugged in our words for that six weeks and had an instant review game. Easy Peasy!! Just fabulous!!!

Gameboard themes include Wizard of Oz, Smurf themed, Wonka/candy, Peter Pan, Superhero, owl, Paris, cowboy, and pirate. So much fun!

Visit my TPT store to get your set! Even better, click HERE to get a free galaxy themed gameboard! Check it out!
I hope you get as much use out of these as I already have.  I even made an owl board for my kindergarten cutie to practice her word wall words and number recognition at home.  She is fired up to do homework! Oh my...giggles!!

(Graphics credit...digicute, springhill graphics, jd digi designs, peach pops clipart, pixel papers, kevin and amanda fonts)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

We're Off To See The Wizard...(plus freebie!)

Lions and tigers and bears...Oh my! We had such a fun week!! I fell in love with Abby at The Inspired Apple's Wizard of Oz Unit as soon as I saw it last school year.  I've been waiting and waiting for the perfect time to plan the activities with my firsties. And then it happened...our scope and sequence called for us to introduce inferencing. Apparently all the stars aligned (or shall I say rainbows) because we'd also just finished Fairy Tales. WooHooo!!! Perfection! Here are a few pics from the week.
I just had to!! I adore Wicked. I was lucky enough to see it in London this past summer. Uhhh-mazing!!

One of my kiddos had a birthday this week and her mom was so gracious to stay with the theme. Fabulous!

Our ruby slipper/sneaker writing and craftivity focused on staying on topic and details. (Glitter!!)

I highly recommend checking out this math/literacy unit. We did adapt the math a tad because our math objective called for creating patterns.  Soooo...we just used the graphing characters in the unit to make character patterns.  Way fun!

And lastly...the freebie...I wanted to make a framed printable to fit along with our theme. I hope you enjoy! (Shout out to JW Illustrations for the graphics!)

Click Here!!! for your own copy of the printable.  Have a great week friends. On to Where The Wild Things Are for us...

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Classroom Management...

This is one of my FAVORITE classroom management tools!! It can be soooo time consuming to answer the questions...Can we use markers?, Do we turn this in?, Is this a talking activity? I love using these assignment choice signs to answer those questions without me doing the work.  Once I give directions for an activity, I quickly place checks and X's by the cards and my students know exactly where to look for the answer.

If you'd like a set of these cards, just click below for your own copy. 
Here is the link for the blue dot cards shown above.  I also created a Pink Set and Zebra Set for some of my first grade teammates.  I hope that you get as much use out of them as I do!!

Graphics & Font Credit :
Teacher Karma, The Hazel Owl Graphics, Honeydew Digital Graphics, Scrappin Doodles, KPM Doodles, Kevin & Amanda Fonts

Have a fabulous week filled with glitter and giggles!!!

Saturday, September 17, 2011


Thank goodness for the amazing blogspiration out there! Our district implements a program called Capturing Kid's Hearts. With this program, every classroom Pre-K through 12th grade runs on a class created social contract.  We have been using this for the past 2 years and it really works well.  We spend the first week creating our social contract with the kids.  In previous years, this has taken the place of classroom rules.  However, we were notified last week that we also need to have a separate set of class rules.  Thank goodness for blogspiration!! Right about the time we were trying to figure out how to back track and also create rules without our students being burnt out on the idea, I saw Cara @ The First Grade Parade's No David! Peacemaker Lesson! Voila...instant lesson plan! We adapted the lesson from the peacemaker idea to "Rule Breaker" and "Rule Follower" headings.  The kids adored the David books, of course (tons of giggles!), and had a blast with the craftivity.  Most importantly, we made our classroom rules with David's influence!!! Look how adorable they turned out to be!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Few Things...

Just dropping by for a quick post about a few assorted items! Wow, what a busy year we are already off to. My class has done a nice job at getting their first grade year started and my new team is learnin' the ropes. Hopefully, we are almost to a point where I can give this blog a little bit of TLC. (Just need to get passed my formal observation tomorrow!)

There are a few items that I'd like to take the time to touch on today.

Thank you so much to my BFF Misty at 3rd Grade's a Hoot for honoring my glittery little blog with a Top 10 Blog Award.  I jumped into the game a bit late and many of my faves, well deservedly so, have already been awarded. There are so many wonderful blogs out there and multiple that I "borrow" ideas from. I am so grateful to you all.

I've also added a couple of new items to my TPT store that I'd like to share.  Several have asked about the book bin labels shown in my classroom library on my "Where It All Goes Down" post.  Take a look!

And for all of you Owl Lovers out there...check out my Owl Focus Wall Headers!!

I'm really trying to pace my time between lesson plans, creating for my kiddos, pinning, blogging, and making sure that my little kinder princess and her teacher have everything that they need. It's all SOOO MUCH FUN! Let me know if there is any glitter or giggles that I can send your way.  Enjoy the rest of your week!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Where It All Goes Down Wednesday

Ok, this will be my favorite part of teacher week!! Not so much to show my room, but to see all of the super cute classrooms out there! Head on over to Blog Hoppin' and check out all of the fabulous linkys!

So here's just a few pics from my Work Sweet Home!!...
I've actually posted a picture of my meeting board before, but I was able to snag this fabulous rug at a yard sale this year just before school started.  I'm lovin it!

Student cubbies. 
Leveled library and student book boxes.

Reading corner.
Math manipulatives, read alouds, puzzles, and files.

Word Wall (This was actually taken at the end of last year when ALL of our first grade words were up on the board!) I also now have a separate book shelf for the books that were on the ledge.

My workspace.

Guided reading and small group area.

Well that's about it! Right now it's actually a mess from surving the first 3 days of school. Soooo glad that you stopped by my room! (giggles)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Teacher Week Day One: Meet The Teacher!

I'm so excited to link up for Teacher Week!

It's so amazing to find out about the wonderful teachers that make my blog stalking and hopping so much fun.  Here goes...

Tell us a little something about you...
Well I'm sort of new to the blogging world, just beginning my blog in June. However, I've been stalking for longer. I'm married to a high school basketball coach and calculus teacher. I have a daughter that I just love to dress up and have a slight obsession with hairbow buying. I'm a teacher nerd and a children's book junkie. I have so many favorites that I couldn't even begin to list them. Let's just say all things yummy, bright, funny, crafty, organizational, fabulous, chic, sparkly, and Hollywood.

How long have you been teaching...
I am beginning my 6th year as a first grade teacher. I have been in the same district since my first year of teaching and I just think there's no better place.  It is also the same school district that I grew up in! I can't imagine teaching any other age than first graders.

You might not know...
I thought that I wanted to be a high school drill team director! I actually was for a few years! Don't get me wrong, I loved working with the girls, but I had them decorating Christmas cards with glitter, pom poms, and construction paper for the cafeteria staff one year when the principal mentioned that I might love elementary! She was right.

What are you looking most forward to this school year...
Definitely implementing the Daily 5. I'm sold on the idea of my students building stamina with the added bonus of less literacy station preparation. I'm also excited to get to know my new teaching team and see what the year ahead has in store for us.

What do you need to improve...
I am so passionate about teaching literacy. I get so excited with every new lesson, strategy, book, and story. I need to improve my passion for math.  I don't mind teaching math, and I feel like my kiddos do pretty well, I'd just like to make it more fun and exciting! Thank goodness for the blogging world. I've already seen some fresh ideas.

What teaching supplies can you *not* live without...
Well this one is a pretty long list to, but I'll try to cut it down!
1. 3 Drawer Plastic Shelves
2. Filetastic Organizer
3. Cutesy File Folders
4. Sorts of All Sorts (The Mailbox)
5. Teachers Pay Teachers!!!
6. Frogstreet Decoratives
7. Sweet Tea in the teacher's lounge
8. Thirty-One totes
9. My team (ok, clearly this is not in order of value!)
10. Really Good Stuff Plastic Containers

Ok, I'd like to share so much more but today was our first day of school and my Thirty-One large utility tote is jam packed with home to-do's to prep for tomorrow! Toodles everyone, and I'm so anxious to meet you too!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

A Year of Change & Birthday Cute!!

Well here we are, 2 days before the first day of school! It's such a year of change for me. I've mentioned in previous posts that this year we are diving in to the Daily 5. I'm also welcoming an all new team of teachers to my grade level this year. I am the only returning veteran. Although I will miss my previous team dearly, I have already fallen in love with my new girls! They are so much fun and such go getters! We are going to have a blast. And my final big change...I say this baby girl will begin Kindergarten on Monday!!! I thought I would be ok with this since we will be on the same hallway and closer than we've ever been, but apparently I'm going to be an emotional mess on Monday. You see as I walked out of my classroom late Friday after preparing my room for my firsties, I walked passed my daughter's kinder classroom.  They had a letter posted on the door to kinder parents about kissing them goodbye on the first day and it was signed Love, Your Big Kindergartener! Oh my, my eyes filled with tears immediately. Apparently, I'm not as strong as I thought!!

Now back to business!!! I want to share this super cute way that one of my teammates is displaying birthdays in her classroom.  I think that it is just adorable!!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Magnetic Letter Organization!

Well I'm ALMOST ready to post the before and after pictures of my classroom, but not quite.  Until then, here's a little organization project that I worked on today.

I have had the same organizer for my magnetic letters since my first year of teaching and even then it was a hand-me-down.  It just wasn't cutting it for me anymore! Not cute (no glitter!) and not very practical. So my letters got a re-vamp this summer. Check it out!

This is what I was using for the magnetic letters in my guided reading/small group area.Great organization, but I had to pull open a drawer for each letter every time I wanted to build a new word.
Here are the supplies I used for this project. The divider system is from The Container Store.
I am loving the result and I cant wait to try it out when I start working with my new firsties! I have to admit, it's definitely cuter (glitter!) than my previous letter system. Tadaaaa!!!

The container only had 24 letter spots so I did have to compromise just a bit with the last few letters. The alternative was a container much larger than I wanted to use. I also added stickers to the inside just to speed up the letter hunting process and to limit the singing of my ABC's just to find a specific letter (giggles!)

I will also be able to make my letters mobile with this handy little container in the event of a training or modeling in another classroom. SO MUCH BETTER!

I know everyone is busy perfecting their own rooms as I am thoroughly enjoying the photos on everyone's blog. I hope to post my own classroom photos in the next day or two as well as a few photos from the Wonka room my teammate is preparing. So cute! For me, next week begins inservice and things will be kicked into turbo gear. It's such a fun but fierce time of year. I hope you all are doing well and finding time for pinning, creating, and a little blog stalking of your own. Giggles!!!