Friday, April 26, 2013

Five for Friday- April 26th

Five for Friday
     I am back with another Five for Friday!  Here are five random things from this past week. Click on the picture to head on over to Doodle Bugs Teaching to link up!

1.  Getting ahead! This week was my last week with "free" time due to my student teacher still teaching.  This week she taught for about 1 1/2 hours a day, so that gave me some time to still get things done.  My goal was to get as many things ready for the last month of school, as possible.  I am feeling pretty good about being ready to go for our last 29 days!

2.  My student teacher's official last day is Tuesday.  She has done a great job.  Today we presented her with a gift.  I purchased the Thirty-One bag and some books and the students sent in all of the rest of the goodies!  We also made a class book.  I found two different templates on TpT that were for free and I combined them to make a book that would work best for my kiddos.  The book is super cute!  She was so surprised!

3.  Plants!  If you have never heard of the Banana Slug String Band, you need to check them out!  They have the best songs for teaching about plants.  This week my kiddos have been singing Six Plant Parts and they LOVE it! 
Banana Slug String Band

4.  Fractions, Fractions, Fractions!  So, I started teaching math this week and I was thrilled that it lined up with me getting to start our fractions unit.  I found a song/rap a few years ago that I changed and made it fit for my students.  We have been "rapping" it every day this week!  The best part is that I have twins in my math class this year.  I taught their sister two years ago.  The first day we learned the fraction rap, one of the twins went home and had her older sister sing the fraction rap for her!  I was so excited to hear that her third grade sister still remembered the fraction rap!

5.  Drills- Yesterday we had an unannounced fire drill during recess and today we had an announced evacuation drill during reading! My kiddos did a great job with both drills and I am proud of them. 

I am exhausted and SO happy it is Friday!  Happy Weekend!


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Giveaway has a Winner!

      I am sorry I didn't get to post the winner yesterday!  I had some dental work done after school and needed a night away from my computer.  Congratulations to Kaylynn S.  She is the winner of these wonderful prizes!  Kaylynn, keep your eyes open for your prizes as they will be emailed to you!
Thanks again to those that donated items and to those who entered in the giveaway!
- Michelle

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Let's Get Acquainted and a Giveaway!

     I am linking up again with Latoya for her Let's Get Acquainted Party.  This week we are sharing three different parts of our classrooms that we love!  Make sure to click on the picture below and head on over to link up!

 1.  This is my reading area.  We do whole group reading on the rug.  It is also a space where students can read with partners, read to themselves, or work in small groups. 


 2.  This is a favorite space of mine because it is how I organize my reading groups.  These bins are where I keep books for each day of the week. I keep everything I need for the week in them and when students take chapter books home, they put them in the correct bin for the day when they bring it back.  In the little blue basket I keep reader response journal prompts, so they are always at a hands reach.

3.  This is part of my calendar.  This is an old picture, but I love the calendar.  First and foremost, I use it each day in teaching, but also I think it is bright and cheery and I like changing the poem and decorations for each month!

I can't wait to take a look into some of your classrooms and see what wonderful things you have in your rooms!  I always love finding new ideas! 

Don't forget that tonight my giveaway ends!  Click HERE to go to my post and enter to win 5 wonderful prizes! 

Have a great week!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Five for Friday...Giveaway Style!!!!

Five for Friday
     I am back with another Five for Friday, except this time it is also letting you know about my first ever giveaway, too!  Here are five random things from this past week. Click on the picture to head on over to Doodle Bugs Teaching to link up!

1.  Yesterday I posted my FIRST EVER GIVEAWAY!  This is so exciting for me.  I am not real tech savvy, so this is a huge step for me.  Make sure to enter!  The giveaway ends this Sunday at midnight.   Click on the picture above to head over and enter in the giveaway!

2.  Pure exhaustion!  This week was a CRAZY Week.  So number two isn't really one random thing from my week, but more like, multiple random things.  This week was our spirit week, which meant crazy hat day, crazy hair day, tacky wacky day, sports team day, and finally school spirit day.  To top it off, today was school spirit day and we had a pep rally.  Not to mention it was picture day!!!!  Could we squeeeeeze any thing more in?  Yes, Yes we could...check out number 3!

3.  Rock Day!  Rock Day is a day where we finalize our unit of Earth materials (pebbles, sand, silt, clay, etc.).  The students rotate today through a variety of stations.  They students make pet rocks, clay beads, go fossil finding, gem mining, they make fossils, they play with "boulders", they watch a movie about rocks, use the iPads to search on Google Earth, and MORE!  This a stressful day for those planning it, but it is so rewarding to see the smiles on the faces of our students. 

4.  Lesson Plans.  What are those?  I have really enjoyed NOT writing lesson plans for the last month.  I LOVE teaching, but I write lesson plans for my administration in case they need to see them, not for myself.  I prefer to write lists of what I need to teach and spreadsheets for my blocks of time.  This week I started teaching again and that means I am back at the lesson planning. 

5.  Planting Seeds.  This week we planted our seeds on Monday and they are already growing! Can you believe that?  I have never had seeds sprout that fast!  I am so excited and so are the kiddos!  We will observe our seeds as they continue to sprout and grow into plants.  I meant to take pictures today and I forgot with everything else going on.  I will take pictures next week!

- Michelle

Thursday, April 18, 2013

100+ Followers Giveaway!

     I finally made it to 100+ followers!  I can't tell you how exciting that day was for me!  I thank all of you for following my blog.  I am amazed!   I am even more pleased to be throwing my very FIRST GIVEAWAY as a thank you to my fabulous followers!!  WOO HOO! 
      Make sure to check out these awesome goodies from some amazing blogging friends.  Click on the pictures below to head to the Teachers Pay Teachers site and check out the items being given away.  Then scroll down below and enter into the Rafflecopter!  The giveaway will end Sunday, April 21, 2013!  The giveaway is short but of course, it is sweet!
From me, you will win three different Cam Jansen Novel Studies!

Monica over at The Schroeder Page has donated her Earth Day Unit!
Michelle over at Our Sweet Success Sweet Success has donated her Super Numbers Unit!

Sara over at Polka Dot Kinders has donated her Creepy Carrots Unit!
Sarah and Tamra over at First Grade Buddies have donated their Shapebot Shape Activities!

Good Luck!  This is my first ever giveaway, so if you see anything I should fix, don't hesitate to let me know!  I will do my best to figure it out.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Monday, April 15, 2013

Let's Get Acquainted Linky Party

I am linking up with Flying into First Grade for the Let's Get Acquainted Linky Party!  This is my first time linking up for this.  I have enjoyed reading every one's posts and decided that this time I was going to link up!
So, here is the game and the code:
TOPIC - Skittles Game
Here is the code:
Red- Favorite Ice Cream Flavor
Orange- Favorite Memory from College
Yellow- Favorite Sports Team
Green- Favorite Fast Food Place
Purple- Wild Card (Tell anything about yourself)
Hmm...Does this give you a hint?  I just happened to have this in my freezer right now!  Don't get me wrong, I love cookie dough, moose tracks, cookies and cream, but my all time favorite is by far mint chocolate chip! 
I don't think that I can pick just one memory from college.  I was just chatting today with a fellow teacher about our college. (We both went to Bowling Green in Ohio and are teachers in NC.)  My college years were some of my favorite years ever. I met some of my best friends in college.  We are still pretty close today!
Here is a picture from our trip to Myrtle Beach during college.
Here is a picture from this last summer of me and my friend Kelly.  She is in the picture from the beach as well!

I love watching sports. I don't really have one favorite sports team.  I am a fan of the Cincinnati Bengals and the Reds.  Those are probably my two favorite professional sports teams.  My brother played football at Northwestern so I still cheer for them in college football.
My favorite fast food restaurant in NC is probably Zaxby's. They have a really good grilled chicken salad served with Texas toast!  I also love a fast food restaurant from Cincinnati called Skyline.  This is my actual favorite, but I know less people will know what Skyline is!  It's Skyline time!
I love to read.  I wasn't really a big reader until I was in fifth grade and was given the opportunity to choose from a wide variety of genres and authors.  I now love to read and that is one reason I look forward to the summer.  During the summer I read anywhere from 1-3 books a week.  During the year I read some, just not as much.  I have not read much at all this school year and I am really looking forward to picking up some good books this summer! 
Thanks for getting acquainted!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Five for Friday...A Little Late!

Five for Friday
     I am back with another Five for Friday, except I am EXTRA late this week!  Sorry for the delay!  I had full intentions of posting this blog Friday evening, but it never happened.  So, better late than never.  Here are five random things from this past week. Click on the picture to head on over to Doodle Bugs Teaching.

       1.  I have mentioned a few times that I have a student teacher.  If you have had one before, you know how wonderful it can be to get some projects done with your extra time.  So, you can imagine the panic I felt when I realized my project list keeps growing, but she finished her full time this Tuesday!!!  AHH!  So, I got back on track with making sure my biggest projects get finished.  I spent a LOT of time this week purging my files and getting rid of multiple copies of certain items.  I also went through and took the files that were breaking and old and replaced them with new ones.  My files are all organized and ready for the end of the year and next school year!
       2.  This week my kiddos were reading a story about dinosaurs and we are also in the midst of our geometry unit, so they created a Shape-O-Saurus during centers.  They had to create their own dinosaur using a pattern block template and then label the shapes.  They turned out really cute!
      3.  Our county's Arts Council provides our schools with performances each year that our students can view for free.  We take a trip to one of the local high schools to see this performance.  Every other year we see Roger Day.  He is a musician and the kids LOVE him!  He sings funny songs that they think are hilarious.  Check out his website:
      4.  This is not school related, but Friday night we went to see our local Minor League baseball team play!  We were going to go on Thursday for the home opener, but there was a threat of storms so we held off until Friday.  It was a beautiful evening.  I have to say that ever since I was little, one reason I've loved baseball games has nothing to do with baseball.  I happen to be a big fan of ballpark food!  My mom and I would go get food and my brother would stay in our seats and keep score!

      5.  100 Followers!  This week I reached 100 followers!  Woo Hoo!  This was such an exciting week for me.  I would like to have a giveaway in honor of reaching this milestone.  If you are interested in donating an item to the giveaway, please let me know!  I would love your help!  You can comment in the post with your email at which I can contact you, or you can email me directly at  Thank you!!

I promise to not be SO late next week!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Let's Talk About Lunch!

Let's Talk About Lunch!
      Lunch- If you ask just about any middle or high school student he/she would probably tell you that lunch was his/her favorite part of the day! Right?  What about if you asked any elementary school teacher?  I grew up in Ohio and our elementary school teachers didn't eat lunch in the cafeteria.  They ate in the teacher's lounge and our PE teacher did lunch duty each day.  When I student taught, the teachers rotated so they took turns having lunch duty and even then we weren't there the entire time.  In fact we still had time to go to a teacher's lounge and eat lunch. 
    So, you can imagine my disbelief when I moved to NC, eight years ago, and was told we would eat in the cafeteria and have recess duty EVERY day!  WHAT??  I couldn't believe it.  Thankfully, the school I am at right now does allow us to have duty free lunch two days a week.  Unfortunately, we still have to scarf down our lunches and if you have duty free lunch you end up eating in your classroom!  My biggest complaint is that we don't have time to talk to the other teachers on our grade level. 
     Thankfully, our school does let us have working lunches once a month.  These are a time where we have parents and our assistants take the students to lunch and then read with them, before dropping them off at their special area class.  This gives us about an hour and a half to have our grade level PLC meeting, instead of our typical 45 minutes, and we can eat lunch together!  We usually order food to be delivered, which makes it even more exciting, since that is not something we can typically do! Yay for pizzas and salads!  Today was our working lunch for April.

So here is my question for you:  Do you eat lunch with your students in the cafeteria?  If so, how long is your lunch time?   Our lunch is only 20 minutes.  If you don't eat with your students, who monitors them in the cafeteria?  I would love to know how other schools manage lunchtime!


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Wowie, wow, wow!

      In the words of Junie B. Jones, “Wowie, wow, wow”!  That is what I thought when I saw this afternoon that my blog had reached 101 followers!  Being that I only had about 30 followers for the first year and a half (I wasn't very consistent in my blogging efforts), I am overly excited about the growth of my blog.  I never thought when I started blogging that I would feel as if I was part of a community.  The "blogging community" is one that has enriched my teaching in so many ways.  I know that all of the blogs I follow have helped me become a better teacher and continue to strive to use creative and engaging materials and lessons each day.  I thank all of you for following my blog and I look forward to having you along for the ride! 
     I am in the works of trying to figure out how to throw a giveaway.  I have never used Raflecopter and am in the process of setting things up.  Once I figure everything out, I will have a 100+ Followers Giveaway! 
Happy Wednesday!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Spring is Here and a Giveaway!

Spring is Here!
     Spring Break is officially over!  This was probably my first "break" from school where I did very little school work.  I have a slight problem of wanting to get ahead.  So, I am always working on something to get ready for what is coming up next at school. This Spring Break, I only worked for about 30 minutes TOTAL on school work!  Those who know me well, know this is very shocking!  Not working on school work helped me really relax and enjoy my break! 
     When I went to get in my car this morning, it was warm and outside it had that smell of spring.  You know that smell of the newly blossoming flowers and budding trees! It made me excited for the day!  Last week during my break it wasn't very spring like, however, this week it is going to be beautiful!  I can't wait to get outside and enjoy the sunshine!  I hope you have been able to enjoy some spring like weather, as well. 
     If the spring weather has put you in a good mood, I have another reason for you to smile!  The Frizz in First Grade is having a 100 Follower Giveaway!  She has teamed up with some wonderful bloggers to have a giveaway in honor of her milestone.  Her giveaway ends this Friday, April 12th.  Make sure to head over to her blog to see what you can win and to enter into the giveaway!  Click on the picture below to go to her giveaway!

  Don't forget to enter by Friday!  Enjoy the beautiful week!
- Michelle  

Friday, April 5, 2013

Five for Friday...Spring Break Edition

Five for Friday
I am back with another Five for Friday...Spring Break Edition!  I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching.
As you know, this week I spent time in Cincinnati with family. Now I am back in Charlotte.  Here are five random things from my week:

1.  My mom was dog sitting for some family friends.  We took them for a few walks this week!  Arent' they cute?  They have a golden retriever and a black lab.  (Two of my favorite types of dogs!)

2.  I knew that I would have colder weather, being up north for my spring break, but REALLY?  SNOW!?  Yep!  I was driving back and was totally shocked when what I thought was supposed to be rain on my drive home, ended up being snow and lots of it!  I couldn't believe it!

3.  I don't know about you, but I am ready for spring and one way I am getting ready for spring is by creating items to use with my students.  This is my latest Cam Jansen Novel Study.  It goes along with the book: Cam Jansen and the Green School Mystery.  This book will be perfect to use in preparation for Earth Day! My students love Cam and her photographic memory!

4.  Today is my last week day of spring break!  I had planned on going to the beach today.  I LOVE the beach, but it is not as warm or sunny as I was hoping it would be!  I live about 2 1/2 hours away from Charleston, SC and I try to make it to the beach as often as I can, even if it is just for the day.  These aren't pictures from Charleston.  They are actually from last summer in Destin, Florida, but either way, I was dreaming of the beach today while I sat on my back patio!
5.  Earlier in the week, my cousin contacted my mom telling her she was in Charlotte.  I, however, was in Cincinnati.  I did however, get in contact with my cousin and was able to meet her out for dinner tonight!  I haven't seen her in almost three years.  She is a nursing student in Omaha, Nebraska (wheremost of my mom's family lives and where my mom is from) and she is here in Charlotte for a student nurse's conference.  It was nice seeing her and it was a nice way to finish out my spring break week!

Have a great weekend!  If you are at the end of your spring break, enjoy these last few days!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Currently April

      I am linking up with Farley for her April Currently.  I am a few days behind because I did NOT bring a computer with me on my Spring Break!  It has actually been a nice feeling, being away from my computer and my school work, etc. 

Listening...I'm not really listening to anything right now!  It is quiet here!    

Loving...I am LOVING spring break!  I am at home in Cincinnati and have spent some time with family and visited with friends.  I am leaving tomorrow and heading back down to North Carolina! 

Thinking...I am thinking about my running group and how they have kept me motivated over spring break.  One of our runners created a Facebook page for our running group and we have stayed in contact over break, encouraging each other to keep running!

Wanting...My mom is cooking ribs with Montgomery Inn BBQ sauce, so I am wanting to eat them!  They smell so good!  This is a special BBQ sauce from a restaurant at home. 

Needing...To head back to the gym when I get back to NC.  I have been running the past few days, but I have also been eating a LOT!  

Advice...Save time for yourself   This spring break I brought my school bag with me to OH and I haven't looked at it one time.  I am glad that I have just relaxed and enjoyed spending time with my Mom instead of working on things that can wait!

I only have a few more days of spring break!  I am going to enjoy them as much as I can!


Monday, April 1, 2013

Five for Friday!

      It is time for Five for Friday!  This Five for Friday is EXTRA special!  You might ask why and I will tell you!  Today is a training day and next week is spring break!  No, I am not heading on a fancy vacation, but I am heading to Ohio to visit family and friends! 

Monday is Opening Day for the Cincinnati Reds!  Unfortunately, the game is sold out and I didn't realize I would be home until it was too late to get tickets!  I am, however, having a SALE at my TpT site on Monday in honor of Opening Day!  Make sure to check it out! 

My kiddos this year are huge sports fans and they share a love of Amelia Bedelia, so I was inspired to get a set of activities ready for the book Play Ball, Amelia Bedelia.  I am planning on using this with them after spring break.  This packet includes five literacy response activities in color and black and white.  They ask the students to analyze the characters and their traits and understand and explain idioms.  If you love Amelia Bedelia, you will love this story and these activities!

3. So today's training was on standards based report cards. Our county attempted to move toward a standards based two years ago without a lot of planning or piloting it to see how parents would perceive it. They looked back and realized they made some mistakes. One, in particular. was that every CCSS for math in 1st grade is listed! The math report card alone is two pages! This year they took the time to create, tweak, and pilot a new one. Today we learned about that new report card. It looks MUCH better! What are your thoughts on standards based report cards? Do you have any suggestions?

4. This week I spent my last few dollars that the school gives us to spend on my classroom! Check out the goodies I bought! Aren't they cute?

5. This last one is for my southern friends! As I type, we are driving up to Ohio for spring break!

Don't forget to head over to Doodle Bugs to link up! Click on the picture below!

For those on spring break this coming week, enjoy the week! I know I will!

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