Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Living the First Grade Dream =)

Hey ya'll!!!! I am so excited for the upcoming school year! I will be done with grad school and my motivation for blogging is back! I have been creating a few things for the upcoming school year. But first I wanted to share some exciting news! One of my FAVORITE 1st grade teachers (whom I just happen to work with) just started her own teaching blog! Her name is Katie and she is WONDERFUL! I am so excited and definitely recommend you check out her blog! She is just getting started so be sure to comment and follow her too! You can find her blog by clicking her button below:

Living the First Grade Dream

I promise you won't regret it! I spent my day updating some items on my TPT store. I also added some ADORABLE number posters I made for my classroom that match my ABC posters, my behavior chart, word attack strategy posters and daily objective posters. (Which are ALL on my store as well!)

Here are some pictures of how I displayed my ABC posters.... (above the bulletin boards and white board).

Here is my behavior chart and word attack strategy posters:
I use a dry erase marker to write our daily objectives on these $1 store picture frames. I hot glued a 3M hook to the wall.

I also have all of my items in chevron as well!

This post is all over the place! Some of you may remember I made this awhile back... (this is my favorite teacher quote!)

Well my sister saw this and thought of me... and I love it so much! How cute is that? She didn't even know I love that quote! So perfect!

SQUIRREL! Okay, now I managed to get a picture of one cute thing I did before the school year ended. If you follow me on instagram (link at the top right), you might remember this cutie:
I can't take credit for the bumble bee craft b/c it was inspired by one of my favorites! (Click on her link below)...
Some of these first grade blogs make me want to teach first grade...

Well, stay tuned for more this summer! I am so excited to be done with grad school in 3 weeks! =) Hope you're all enjoying your break!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Mitten Writing Freebie

Hey ya'll! I have had quite a few emails asking me for this mitten writing page! It's a quick and easy writing prompt I give my kids when we had too many snow days and not enough time to start a new writing one week. I've provided some pictures of examples from the past. We read The Mitten by Jann Brett, then brainstormed things/animals that too big to fit in a normal mitten, illustrate a detailed picture and finish the sentence. This could also be put into a writing center! Hope you enjoy! Click on the last picture to get the free download. =)

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Snowman Science Fun for kids! =) Guest blogger

Hey ya'll!

I've been so busy teaching my kids reading, writing and math, that science and social studies has been pushed to the side. I hate this because I remember LOVING science as a kid and I love teaching it. So I was looking up ideas online and was getting frustrated because I just couldn't find any cool science experiments for kindergarten! But I am so excited to share some news with you! One of my best friends from high school works at a science museum in Indiana and always posts the coolest stuff she does with kids there! So I told her she should make a blog for teachers to get science experiments from. Then she asked if she could just post her ideas on mine! Without hesitation I accepted and am so excited to bring you her first post! I can't wait to do this experiment with my own kindergarteners! I hope you enjoy!......

Since science standards haven't been created in Common core, I'm using the standards we have in my district in TN that you could use as your objective for this experiment:
CFU 7.9.1 Observe, identify, and compare the properties of various objects such as color, shape, and size. (BEFORE AND AFTER EXPERIMENT)
CFU 7.9.2 Observe, discuss, and compare characteristics of various solids and liquids. 
CFU 7.Inq.1 Use senses and simple tools to make observations. 
CFU 7.Inq.2 Communicate interest in simple phenomena and plan for simple investigations.
CFU 7.Inq.3 Communicate understanding of simple data using age-appropriate vocabulary.
CFU 7.Inq.4 Collect, discuss, and communicate findings from a variety of investigations. 
GLE 7.Inq.2 Ask questions, make logical predictions, plan investigations, and represent data.
GLE 7.Inq.3 Explain the data from an investigation.

Hey all you awesome teacher bloggers out there! I’m glad you’re all here reading Jessica’s blog. Isn’t she a fantastic teacher? I’ve known Jessica since she moved to Illinois in middle school. I was given the duty to show her and her sister around the school and we became immediate friends. She’s been one of my good friends for a looooong time and one of the most hilarious, caring, creative and sweetest people I know. I have to admit that I’m a little sad she lives in TN, but it’s a GREAT excuse for me to travel and get my “country” on. ☺

Anyway, here’s a little about me. I went to Indiana State University and have a Bachelor’s in Recreation and Sport Management with a focus in Youth Leadership. I worked at residential summer camps for 7 years prior to my college internship (man do I have stories). After two internships at the Terre Haute Children’s Museum I was hired on in 2010. People tell me I have the coolest job ever, and I rarely disagree. I’m currently the Program and Special Event Coordinator. Out museum is considered “small”, we only have 6 full-time staff members and operate with about 6-10 volunteers every day. This means I do A LOT of the hands-on science with kids of ALL ages, learning abilities and demographics. We’re also a non-profit in a small city... so basically we have no money. Ok, ok, we have SOME money; but I operate on a very small budget, so a lot of the experiments I do are CHEAP!

Jessica is always commenting on my social media pages about the cool experiments we do and mentioned I should start a blog.... WHOAH! Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. I mentioned doing some guest posts on her blog and she agreed! So here I am, to give awesome teachers cheap and easy experiments to do in your classroom!

 Since we’re in the middle of winter, here’s a “cold” experiment.

Melting Snow Man Materials: 
  • Baking Soda- I used about 1 Cup-ish (exact amounts are not crucial) 
  • Shaving Cream- 3+ Cups. May need more or less depending on the consistency of the mixture. 
  • Foam Shapes (cut into carrot noses, coal eyes, buttons, etc...) 
  • Vinegar 
  • Spray Bottles 
  • Foil Cake Pans (Invest in these. I used them ALL the time for tons of experiments!) 
Before any science experiment I like to pass out safety goggles to kids and give them instructions on safe practices. I always make it a point to tell children to NOT EAT anything. The ingredients in this experiment are not harmful, but sometimes I use borax or other harmful chemicals that they should not ingest. So I’ve just made it a rule to not eat anything they experiment with. If we do use something that is edible (twizzlers for DNA models), I give them extras after the experiment.

Pass out a cake pan with some baking soda to each child. I let the kids touch it and tell me what it feels like. Does it smell like anything?

After that you can pass out the shaving cream. Depending on your class size you may want to prep containers with it beforehand. If you have a smaller class, you can go around and put the cream in their pans individually. (Exact amount varies. It’s best to do the experiment first and find what ratio works best for you. I ended up adding more shaving cream to the amount pictured below.)

Have them use their hands to mix the two ingredients together. Now what does it feel like? Does it smell differently? Is it warm or cold? (Yes, this is VERY messy!)

Encourage them to make a snow man with their mixture. They can use the foam pieces to personalize their snowman. Is your snowman tall and thin or short and squat?

Put the vinegar in spray bottles. We have one for each child, but one for each table is fine too. One per table will allow the children to witness the experiment several times. Have the children spray their snowman with the vinegar. What happened? What does it smell like? Is the snowman warm or cold now? What are some things you noticed when your snowman “melted”? Did it make a noise?

What is the science behind the experiment?
The vinegar is an acid and the baking soda is a base. When and acid and a base come in contact, they create a reaction. In this case, they react and create a gas, carbon dioxide. The reaction is an endothermic reaction which means all the “heat” is used to create the reaction leaving the product cold. The children should let you know that the melted snow man got colder.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


Hey ya'll! If you haven't noticed, I've taken a little hiatus from blogging. I honestly wasn't enjoying it as much as I used to, so I have been taking a break, while I'm finishing up grad school. I hope to return next school year (2014-15), but until then I'll try and post a few old freebies that I have had a few requests for!

Today I'm bringing back the hot chocolate ten frames that I made a year or two ago. I have uploaded it to my google drive for you to download for free.  Just click on any of the photos below and you will be directed to your free download! =)

This one I tweaked a little bit! I now have it so the kids write down the number words and color words (since those are the words my kids need extra practice with!) And now my kids only need to read number words to ten, but I still included the teen numbers for older grades or for students that may need enrichment. Again, click on the pictures below for the free download!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Getting ready for the kids!

So I accomplished a ton at school today! Now that my room is finished and I have all of our new reading series put away neatly, I got started on getting materials ready for the first week of school. In our district, we have the first 5 days to meet with the kinders in small groups instead of them all arriving at once. We take that week to assess the kids with Brigance and Dibels to see where they are developmentally and academically. This will help us group them at the beginning of the year for our guided reading and math groups.

During that first week, our kindergarten team prefers to meet with the kids TWICE before they arrive with the whole class so they can learn the rules and procedures as well. So the first 3 days we'll split our class up into 3rds and try to get all of our assessing done then and work on lots of rules and procedures, with lots of center (social play) time to help them adjust to being in school. Then the last 2 days we'll split our classes in half and really drill the rules and procedures into the kids so that on their first day they know what to expect and how to behave. We did this last year and it worked wonderfully!

So I've been getting ready for the testing week and our first full day with all the kids! I'll tell you first.... if you're a kindergarten teacher and haven't purchased the "Crazy for Kinders" Unit by Abby (from Inspired Apple)... I recommend it! I loved her activities to go with The First Day Jitters! Also, Julie Lee has a wonderful "All About Me" unit that has some great beginning of the year activities for the kids. I like to do a few cute craftivites with the kids that first week since I can have more attention to help them in a small group versus the whole class! I am in no way promoting for these ladies, as they do just fine on their own b/c they are so amazing! But in case your wondering where I got my ideas... that is where! =)

So here are some pictures of what I have been up to today!

Our first day of school graph. I'll take the kids picture and let them place it above how they feel on their 1st day! excited? happy? scared? or sad? (Abby's "Crazy for Kinders" unit has a recording sheet for the kids to use too!)

All the craft pieces for the boy/girl graph and our Chicka Chicka Boom Boom tree names are ready to go! From Julie Lee's "All About Me" unit.

Our hallway display. It currently is holding my kindergartners writing from last year with their "words of advice" for the new kinders! So funny! (inspired by one of my favorites: Life in 1st Grade)

I'm so excited about our new leveled readers that came with our new reading series! These ones are SOOOO much better than the old ones!
New reading series is nicely put away.

All my beginning of the year books ready to use!

Thanks to my awesome pal, Lisa for making these! Once they are laminated, I'll put the kids pictures on one when they can count to 100, another when they can name all the letters (lowercase and uppercase) and on the third when they can name all the letter sounds correctly!

Can't wait to make jitter juice for the kids this year! After reading "The First Day Jitters" we'll read the poem. The poem is about how the jitter juice helps us get rid of the "first day jitters" and settles the nerves in our tummies. Then we'll make tally marks and graph if they liked them or not. On the first day with ALL my kinders, we'll count them all and add them up to see how many kids are in our class. It's going to be so fun!
Tomorrow my plan is to get our "No, David" and "David Goes to School" charts ready! We're going to make the Peacemakers and Peace-breakers charts as seen HERE. The original idea came from Julie Lee and you can read about it HERE. I also need to get the craft pieces together so the kids can make their own "No, David!" We have lots of fun planned!