I left out this How To Chart on the last post, so I thought I'd share.

And a few close-ups

From How to Make a House
This one says,
"Finally you cut red for the chimney and you cut black smoke that goes in the chimney."

From How to Make a Flower
Not a great pic but you get the idea!

A Game of Tag

Sweet Jessica at Apples and Papers and sweet Holly at Criss Cross Apple Sauce
have included me in A Game of Tag! I'm so excited! 
Okay here are the rules:
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 12 new questions for the people you tagged.
4. Tag 12 people and link them on your post.
5. Let them know you've tagged them!

First off, 12 things about me. Hmmm....really have to think here.
1. Like many of you, growing up, my dolls were the smartest dolls on the block. They had school pretty much everyday!

2. I'm laughing because Jessica said she hates proofreading. I'm a grammar freak. I don't know where this came from either. I only correct 6 year olds, though. I just inwardly cringe when adults abuse the language.

3. I'm single, as in not married, no children. I'm impressed with my teacher friends who are so committed to teaching yet take care of their own children. Don't they need medication for that?

4. I could write a book about all the blind dates I've had. One brought me a cactus. Another one sent me a thank you note! I don't go on blind dates anymore.

5. I love rainy days when I can stay in my pjs and watch movies on TCM.

6. I'm not a fan of reality tv. I know, most of your chins are dropping! I used to love it, but it's just too much for me now!  I like the Food Network and channels like that, but those wannabe celebrities who'll do anything for camera time-can't do it!

7. I can tie a cherry stem with my mouth. I know, real talent.

8. I remember exactly where I was when Elvis died. Yes, I am a child of the 70s.

9. I have worn Estee Lauder's Beautiful perfume for about 20 years, seriously!

10. I don't like diet drinks. It's real Coke all the way!

11. My best teacher friends and I take a beach trip the last weekend of school each year! We spend all our time in swimsuits or pajamas!

12. One of my favorite places to be is in a beach chair, umbrella up, magazine in hand, listening to the waves. No place like it!
Okay, here are Jessica's questions:
1.If you could meet anyone in the world, living or dead who would it be? Elvis
2. If you weren’t teaching what would you be doing? I would love to own my own bookstore or children's shop. Then I think about You've Got Mail and know that's a bad idea!
3.What was your favorite thing about school when you were a student? Well, I loved my metal lunch boxes! 70s remember?? I also loved going to the library!
4. What do you wish you were better at? paperwork-HATE it! Also, writing Thank You notes on time...I guess that's paperwork, too.
5. What is your favorite store to shop at? Like most teachers, I LOVE Target! 
6.What are two things you need for your dream classroom? class set of ipads and a furniture makeover
7.Where do you want to travel to? Italy or Greece, one of those places with buildings on the side of a hill.
8.Favorite TV show? Downton Abbey-I know, It's not reality tv. Makes me sound like a nerd, but I love!
9.What is your least favorite chore? I hate to dust! It makes me feel dirty.
10.Would you rather be an actor, singer, or athlete? A singer. A couple of years ago, I had a hearing impaired student and I had to wear a headset in class. Oh, would I break out in song! Felt just like Hannah Montana!!!
11.Who or what inspires you? My mother
12. What’s your favorite children’s book? Charlotte's Web, and I'm loving The Splat the Cat series

                 And Holly's questions:
1. What is your favorite kind of candy? Peanut m&m's
2.  What is something you are really uptight about? my kiddos being where they need to be
3.  Is your car clean right this very minute? thankfully, yes!
4.  What's your "favorite" household chore? laundry, HA!
5.  Do you miss Oprah? Didn't watch everyday, but yes
6.  Do you play an instrument? not well
7. What's your favorite piece of technology? my MAC laptop
8.  Do you have a social life? not the Saturday Night Fever kind, but yes with friends and family
9.  Are you a phone talker? with my mother, yes!
10. Do you text? I do
11. What's your favorite piece of furniture in your house? my sofa-so comfy
12.  Does anything make you squeamish? snakes
I'm tagging:
Sheree at Peterson's Pad
Kimberley at First in Maine
Miss Foote at Chickadee Jublilee
Jamie at 2nd Grade Stuff
Tricia at Queen with Class
Barbara at Grade Onederful

Your Questions:
1. What was your favorite childhood toy?
2. How old were you when you got your first cell phone?
3. Do you have a nickname? What is it?
4. Diet or fully leaded drinks?
5. What's your favorite way to exercise?
6. Night owl or early riser?
7. What's your favorite color combination?
8. Cold weather or warm weather?
9. Have you given up your home phone to go just cellular?
10. What's your favorite thing to do during the summer?
11. What's the best book you have read lately/last?
12. How early is your Spring Break if you have one?
Whew, that was one long post!!! Getting my new blog design this week! Can't wait!
Peace and love,

How To Make A...

 This week we worked on transition words and sequencing.
To introduce transition words, I like to use How To stories.
In true transition word fashion this is what we did:

First, we read several stories about snowmen.

Then, we brainstormed things we would need to build a snowman.

Like that LOOOONG arm?  Don't you just love First Grade art??

Next, We created a Transition Word Tree Map.

After that, we completed a How to Make a Snowman Flow Map. 
This was inspired by Deanna Jump's Snowman Unit
The snowman pattern is hers.

Later, we broke into groups and chose a How To topic. 
Some groups did this better than others...

Finally, we created How To charts.
Each group crafted how to make a certain item out of construction paper
and then wrote sentences to match their artwork.
They loved this because even the pumpkins who don't consider themselves
artists were able to make big contributions!

BTW: I did not give them patterns for this activity,
and these kiddos know their teacher loves borders! HA!

How to Make a Butterfly

How to Make a Robot

 How to Make a Flower

 How to Make a Tree

Close up-"Then you make two black lines and two red circles for the antennae."
Somehow one group was left off...and need to post more close ups!

We presented our charts to our classmates and our sweet Kindergarten classes!
They were super proud of their final products! I am super proud of them!

Next step: Individual How To Writing

Check out these giveaways:
 Funky First Grade Fun has a great giveaway with a little help from her friends!
The girls at Made in the Shade in Second Grade are giving away two $25 gift cards!
 Mrs. Bainbridge is giving away a very cool cup!
Swinging Through Second is giving away a $10 gift certificate to TPT!
Sheree at Peterson's Pad is having a 100 Follower giveaway!

Have a relaxing weekend!

Peace and Love,

Learning Those Math Facts

We've spent the majority of the year learning and practicing
the process of addition and now subtraction.
A lot of people say if you just keep playing games, etc, the kiddos will learn their Math Facts.
Then why do we hear upper grade teachers say, "They don't know their facts!"??  Hmmm...
After the process is learned there comes a time when 
you just have to MEMORIZE them.  

Well, we have started working really hard on retaining our addition facts.
Some of my sweeties are doing a great job, others need a little push! we made this incentive board.
One little friend has been out this week. We saved him a spot!

The idea came from Made for First Grade's  Gumball Math packet.
I decided to let my kids make their own gumball machines.
(just because I love their sweet art work, and this was a quick one)
They wrote their names on blank labels. Little bit of a glare on this one.

We will add gumballs as they master their facts.
Some of them are still wondering how the gumballs are going to precious!
I'm looking for a real gumball machine in the meantime! 

We are having a great time with winter activities,
although it sure doesn't feel like winter here!
Next week we start a Polar Animal unit-one of my favorites!

Mrs. Mc  at Buzz, Buzz, Buzz is giving away her two latest packets! They look great!
How about this awesome Lemon Chiffon giveaway at Schoolgirl Style??

Peace and Love,


Happy New Year!!

We've been back in school a few weeks now, but this is something
we did our first day back! We read this fun book.

We then talked about our goals for the New Year.
We used The Glyph Girls cute art activity.
This was my first Glyph Girl project, but I know we'll do more!
 This is what we came up with:

Love those pants in the corner!
While they were working on these,

I heard the words - tights, leggings, jeggings, and pajama jeans!!
So funny!

If you knew my kiddos, you'd know they truly look like their "New Year's People."
That's what they call them.
They love how tall their people are!

The kiddos used patterns for the head, hat, hands, and feet but cut the legs, streamers, and dots themselves. At the beginning of the year, we taught our students how to cut shapes using TLC , and now they are really good at it.
The kids usually cut out heads, but these had necks attached.
A little bit more complicated...

Hope your week is great!

Mission Organization

Better late than never!
 I could not decide if I wanted to show the world my clutter or not!
But putting it out there sort of makes me accountable, right??
I have to clean this  20+ years worth of mess! 

This is my room from the door. I love the colors but not the mess!

 The next pic is the left wall from the door. You see my Daily 5 table, clipbards in the red bin, a pocket chart, and my homemade bulletin board. More about that later...

Here's the Daily 5 table! Needs new labels. By the way, all the words you see hanging around are from Anna's Winter Wonderland Read the Room. My kids love those!

Same wall from the other side of the room. I had to move my Word Wall from the magnetic board when they installed my Smartboard. Not crazy about the Word Wall on the door.
I want the kiddos to be able to take the words off  to use.

Reading Center on a Friday afternoon-enough said!
Yes, that animal is hanging on the lamp!

Computer in the corner. Guess I could have pushed the chair under...
All those cords get moved back and forth from my MAC to my PC. Yes, they do!

Guided Reading Table-first graders are supposed to work with me here. Hmmmm...

I am fortunate to have a HUGE closet/cubby room!
Thank goodness we can just shut the door!
And, yes, those cubbies are about 6 inches wide.
NOT designed by teachers... 

A few things I've accomplished:
1) Behind the door: I moved their Daily 5 board back here. Seriously, we don't need that out in the open all day. We aren't truly using CAFE yet, just the wording, so this is a good place for the chart. I also keep the brooms and dustpans back here on 3M hooks. Perfect. They may be the only things in the room that are always in place!! And sidewalk chalk is there for now!

2) I also love my homemade bulletin boards. Our school is only 8 years old, and this was just one huge off-white wall to start. We are not supposed to put tape on the wall which poses a problem for Deep South humidity.  So...this past summer, I stapled (yes, I did) some black paper on the wall and bordered it with two different colors. My sweet principal said as long as we can't see the staples, we're good! The borders are just rolled up long strips of butcher paper. Love the way the black pops!

            I have a lot of work to do to get this room where I want it.
Hopefully, getting there will be half the fun!!

Peace and Love,