Wednesday, December 26, 2012

"Let it snow, man!"

Hi Friends,
Today I'd like to share the snowmen my students made before our winter break.
The inspiration for the snowmen came from Nancy Nolan's Kindergarten blog at
Before making the snowmen with my class, I read two of my favorite books All You Need for a Snowman by Alice Schertle and Snowballs by Lois Ehlert.

"Let it snow, man!"

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Saturday, December 8, 2012

Writing: Making Lists

Hi Friends,

Are you someone who makes lots of lists?  I make lists for everything!  I suppose it has something to do with my age, but I've always been a list maker.  As a teacher, I make to-do lists all the time.  If I didn't, I think I would go INSANE!! 

One of my shorter units of study in writing is Making Lists.  This is the perfect time of the year to do it because many kids are making their lists for Santa.  I begin my unit with a story called Grandma's Lists by Rozanne Lanczak Williams.  This book is part of the Learn to Write series from Creative Teaching Press. 

After reading the book aloud to my class, we discuss types of lists we have seen people write.  Most students say they've seen their mom write a grocery list.  So, we usually begin there.  I show the kids one of my grocery lists and then we write one together.  They really enjoy this!  (It's funny to see what they want me to put on our list...candy, ice cream, pizza, cookies, and hot dogs!)
Another list the kids enjoy making is their list to Santa.  The list is actually part of a letter to Santa, but nevertheless a list.  Here's a couple of samples.
motorcycle, baseball, iPod, computer & markers

We work on a variety of lists in this unit and add them to our "Types of Lists" chart. 

Learning how to make a list is a skill that students will use for the rest of their lives.  It's an important and fun skill to teach!

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Monday, December 3, 2012

The Teaching Channel Videos

Hi Friends!
Have you checked out  There are lots of great videos
to watch as well as other resources for teachers.  Here are a couple of my favorites.

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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Linky Party: Then & Now

Hi Friends!
Kate over at Second Grade Sparkle is hosting a fun linky party!  You have to post a picture of yourself when you were in the grade you now teach (or close to it) and a picture of how you look today. I don't have a picture of me in first grade which is the grade I teach, but I did find one of me in fourth grade.  Join in on the fun!!
1969 Fourth Grade-9 years old
40 years later...2009 
Join in on the fun!!
Post a picture or two of yourself when you were in the grade you currently teach or close to it.
Share a current picture of yourself.
Check out the other teachers who have linked up.
Second Grade Sparkle

Friday, November 16, 2012

This Will Make You Smile!

I recently saw this video on Faceboook and promise it will make you smile.
Happy Weekend!!

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Monday, November 12, 2012

Pinterest Pins at my Fingertips

Hi Friends!
Don't you just LOVE Pinterest!!!  I know I do.  I've spent my fair share of time pinning all
kinds of school related things.  I've pinned so many that sometimes I forget what I've pinned even though I really wanted to make or use something I'd pinned.  Do you know what I mean?
So, I decided to print things that I really want to make or do.  After printing,  I put the
 pictures into a binder which I've organzied by subject area.  Now I have these
 pins right at my fingertips when I need them.  I keep the binder at school for inspiration
when I am planning.  Here's a look at my binder.


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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Word Banks

Hi Friends!
Do you make seasonal, holiday or thematic word banks?  I have been making them with my
students for years.  I've made the word banks in a variety of ways.  Sometimes I use a large piece
of butcher paper that I cut into a shape related to the topic.  After recording the
words the kids dictate to me, I ask them to illustrate each of the words.  I glue each picture next to
the corresponding word on our chart.  Other times, I have the kids dictate words related to our topic and I write the words on 3x5 index cards.  They illustrate the words and put them in a pocket chart.
The kids have access to these words when they are writing.  They can go to the pocket chart, take
a word they need to their desk, and then return it when they are done.  I really like using index
cards because when I am done with a particular theme, I can take the words out of the pocket chart,  put them on a metal ring, and keep them in the writing center all year. 
Here are some photos showing how I used index cards for our Halloween word bank.

I use metal shower curtain rings to hold the cards.


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Sunday, November 4, 2012

Leaf Collection

Hi Friends!
The trees here in the midwest are so beautiful in the fall. 
Every year I ask my students to find as many different leaves as they can and bring them to school.
I tape the leaves to large poster paper and have the kids try to identify them using a couple
of resources I have just for this project.  The kids love doing this!  They are always so engaged and
serious about correctly identifying each leaf.  Here are some pictures of the kids hard at work and
two resources I use for this project.

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Sunday, October 28, 2012

I've Been BOOED!

Hi Friends!
I've been BOOED by my sweet friend, Tammy, over at Forever in First.  She
was one of my first followers and I just love her blog.  Please take the time to visit
her and I PROMISE you that you won't be disappointed.
Here are some wonderful books and activities for October.
If you don't have this book, you are missing out!  It's a great read aloud for all
grades.  My student teacher read this to my first graders and then had them predict how many seeds
were in our pumpkin.  Next, she carved the pumpkin and had the kids put the seeds in groups of ten.
The kids counted 491 seeds in all! 
Finally, she roasted the pumpkin seeds and we ate them for our snack!

The kids made groups of ten seeds and put them on paper plates to
make them easier to count.

This is my favorite book for teaching kids how to use speech bubbles.
After reading the book, the kids shared what they are going to be for Halloween.
Then, each of the kids made a page for a class big book called  What Will You Be for Halloween?
Here's a couple of pages from our book.

I just bought this book called Little Goblins Ten by Pamela Jane.
  It can be read to the tune of Over in the Meadow. There's some great vocabulary in this book!
The pictures are fabulous, too!!  The illustrator is Jane Manning. 


This is another new book I just purchased.  It's a National Geographic Kids book 
 by Jill Esbaum.  It's filled with fun facts and beautiful photographs. 
THANKS to Tammy for the BOO!

If you've been booed, copy and paste the pic above and these rules into your post.
1.  Give a shout out to the blogger who booed you and a link back to their site.
2.  Share 3-5 October activities, books, products (yours or someone else), or freebie(s) that you love!
3.  Share the Boo love with 5 bloggers - make sure you check this link to make sure you don't book someone again. LINK...
4.  Link up  so that others can find you and read your October ideas.  And while you are there, check out the other great blogs!

Watch out...YOU have been officially BOO-ED!!
Jaymee @
Rebecca @

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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Desk Clutter, Oh My!

Hi Friends!
Does the clutter in some of your students' desks make it difficult for them to find things in a hurry?
If so, here's a couple of ideas I got from a friend that teaches first grade.  Her name is
Amanda and she was nice enough to let me take some pictures to share with you.
Take a look!
The cloth desk pocket is held in place with plastic gutter hooks that are normally used for holiday lights.
The blue plastic cup has a lip that holds it securely in place.  She bought the cups at IKEA.
Amanda has the kids put their math crayons, scissors, glue, highlighter and pencil inside the cup so
there's no searching through their desks for these often used items.


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