Saturday, June 29, 2013

Five for Friday...Saturday Morning and a Freebie!

Five for Friday

   I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday Linky.  This week I was super busy.  I had to nanny on Tuesday and Friday and Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday I was in all day workshops that I will explain in a minute!  So, I am just getting to my Five for Friday!  Here are five events from my week:

1.  Made it Monday-  Monday was my FIRST time linking up for Made it Monday!  Last weekend I worked on rehabbing this old file cabinet and I finished it on Monday!  I can't wait to have it in my classroom next year!  I am looking forward to linking up again.

2.  Curriculum Planning and a Freebie-  I spent three days this week working with other teachers from my county on Curriculum Mapping and Planning of Instruction.  Last year our county pulled together teams to begin planning Unit by Design Units (UBd) for math and looking at curriculum mapping for the Common Core.  
      I was on that team last year.  This year, they pulled together teachers for all subject areas to do the same thing.  We spent a LOT of time revising our map from last year, looking at new materials that we will have from Investigations (our newly adopted math resources), and revising and editing old units.  This was a HUGE undertaking.  We had about 8 teachers working on the mapping and units for first grade last year.  This year it was only me and one other person!  We still managed to accomplish a great deal and I feel like we are on the right track for next year.  
     I created some checklists to go along with our first unit, which focuses on Numbers through 120.  Head over to my TpT store and grab them for free.  Leave me some feedback.   Do you like the format, etc.  What would make them even better?

3.  The White Water Center-  I LOVE the National White Water Center.  It is just outside Charlotte and only takes about 15-20 minutes for me to get there from my house.  There are trails for hiking, biking, and running.  There is a water center for white water rafting and white water kayaking.  You can also go out to the river and go flat water kayaking or paddle boarding.  There is a zipline and so much more.  This is by far one of my favorite places in Charlotte.  I went this past week and ran on the trails!

4.  Bloglovin-  In two days Google Reader is going away!  Make sure to click on the right side of my blog to follow me on Bloglovin!  I do have one MAJOR question.  I am hoping that someone a little more techie can let me know the answer to this.  Will I still be able to use my blogger dashboard for creating blog posts?  Will everything that I have saved via blogger dashboard still be there?  If you know, I would LOVE to know!  Thanks!

5.  Happy Birthday-  Today would have been my Grandpa's 84th birthday!  This is a picture of me and one of my cousins with my Grandpa on the day of his 80th birthday party!  

This week has been a very humid, wet week down south.  I am hoping for some sunshine and a little time at the pool today!  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Beat the Heat...Throwback Thursday!

Throwback Thursday Linky

   I am linking up with Cara Carroll at The First Grade Parade for her Throwback Thursday Linky.  I really enjoyed it last week and was looking forward to joining in again.  

I decided on this throwback post because it has finally gotten hot and humid in NC!  You may want to think about something cool, like a snowy day!  


Originally posted on January 9, 2013

 Snowy Day Adventures

     Last week we came back from Winter Break only to realize that in NC it didn't really feel like wintertime.  (Today it was 66 degrees, when we were outside at recess!) I talked to my kiddos about their winter breaks and only two or three had seen snow over break.  I, of course, shared with my students about the beautiful snow that I saw at home.  I showed them my pictures and they were SO excited! 
      This gave me an idea!  I wanted to let the students use these snowy pictures to write about their own "snowy day" adventures.  I have seen a ton of cute ideas with snow globes and black and white pics with students inserted. I made my own variation of what I have seen out there!
     I decided to combine our newest grammar topic (verbs) with the black and white snow pictures.  I took three of my pictures from my trip to Ohio and used these as our backgrounds.  We started by asking the students to create lists of things that can be done in the snow.  We remembered that verbs are things that you can do!  After the students created verb lists, I took a picture of each student acting out one of the verbs on that student's list.  Next, we glued the action shots on top of the black and white backgrounds.  Last, we wrote a story about playing in the snow.  The students were allowed to write a make believe story or a real story about their adventures in the snow.

Here are the final projects!  They had a blast making these! The student on the left is "rolling" in the snow and the student on the right is of course, making a snow angel!  The black sheet has one of my student's verb list. 

This is one of the pictures we used for our snowy day writing project.  For those of you who life in sunny warm places and may need a snowy picture, you can download this for free!   Just click on the picture and you can grab a copy from Google Docs. 

     From my snowy day activity, I created this grammar and writing packet.  The packet includes the directions for our snow verb writing activity, handwriting paper, a few comprehension questions, a verb search sheet to be completed after reading the book, and a noun and verb sort. My students have been doing the verb search this week and loving it!  
     They are reading the story online at  It is a great site that I found via Pinterest.  It does not read the story to the students, but it allows you to display it on a Smartboard or read it on multiple computers. 
     You can get your copy just by clicking on the picture above and heading over to my TpT site!  While you are there, go ahead and check out my new set of questions for the book Nate the Great and the Snowy Trail!  Who doesn't LOVE Nate and his silly friends?!  My favorite is always Rosamond and in this story she is as crazy as ever!  Go get yourself a copy and have some snowy fun with Nate the Great!          

I hope the snowy day can help you cool down a bit!  Enjoy the rest of your week.  

Monday, June 24, 2013

Monday Made It and Bloglovin!

     Monday Made It and Bloglovin!

     Hey friends! This is going to be short and sweet because today I was in a professional development workshop all day working on curriculum development for first grade math!  My head is spinning a bit!
   I did, however, want to share something for Fourth Grade Frolics: Monday Made It!  I have never linked up before and thought it looked like fun.  
     This weekend I just happened to stop into a local thrift store, I am always looking for a project for my classroom, and I found a file cabinet!  It was painted green and looked sort of retro! It originally cost $5.15 and all furniture was half off!  How could I pass this up?!  Here is what I did:
  • Gave it a quick sanding, just enough to rough it up slightly.
  • Spray painted two coats. 
  • Took the drawers completely out.  
  • Took the handles off.
  • Used spray adhesive to adhere the fabric to the drawers and around the edges of the drawers.
  • I then put the handles back on!  
  • I used an outdoor fabric and cut pieces of the chevron out and put them around the top and sides as a border.  I used the spray adhesive for this, too!
Here are some before and after pics.  

     Also, I wanted to say a special thank you for EVERYONE who posted about Google Reader and Bloglovin.  I have to tell you I had no idea that I was even using Google Reader! I have officially signed up for Bloglovin.  I was SO excited that I was on my way to 200 followers!  OH, well.  
     I have the  option to now follow me on Bloglovin over on the side of my blog.  Please make sure to click on the link to follow me through Bloglovin!  I was a little bummed to hear that my follower numbers will change!  I was SO excited that I was on my way to 200 followers!  OH, well.  

Have a great week!

Sunday, June 23, 2013


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Mentor Text Linky- Social Studies

     I am linking up again with the Collaboration Cuties for their Social Studies Mentor Text Linky.  This was hard for me to choose just ONE mentor text for social studies.  I really LOVE teaching Social Studies through literature.  In fact it is how I generally introduce basic concepts such as elections, map skills, national symbols, diversity, cultural awareness, and more.  

     One of my favorite books about map skills and The United States is called The Scrambled States of America by Laurie Keller.  
     This books is fantastic.  In this book, the states decide to have a party to get to know one another and at the party they start talking about switching places with one another.  This way they can have a chance to live somewhere new and meet new friends.  When they switch places, they realize they were actually happier where they were to begin with.  It has a theme about being happy the way you are and where you are! 
     This book teaches geography in a fun and cute way. My students love learning all of the slogans that go along with the different states as well as little tidbits of information about the states.  Two years ago I had a first grade who knew every state and capital!  Can you believe it!?  She LOVED this book, as you can only imagine!  
     This book also is a great example text for writing.  It has a TON of dialogue.  My first graders try so hard to use dialogue but it is a tricky concept to grasp for them.  

Grab a copy, open it up and find out for yourself what a great book this is!! 


Saturday, June 22, 2013

Winner! Extraordinary Educator's Conference in Chicago...Here I Come!

I am a WINNER!!!  
     YAY!  Everyone likes winning prizes, right?!  I haven't won anything recently, so I was EXTRA excited to find out that I recently won a giveaway!  Woo Hoo!  
    A few weeks ago, I entered in a giveaway on Lori's latests Links for a chance to win a ticket/tuition for the Extraordinary Educator's Conference in Chicago.  Lori was giving away 10 free tuitions to the conference.  She is presenting there this summer and was able to do this giveaway.  I am super excited to attend this conference with so many amazing educators that will be presenting.  I can't wait!  Not to mention that the conferences is being held on Michigan Avenue!  I may need to save up a little so I can do some shopping! :)
     Any blogger friends heading to this conference in Chicago this summer?!  I wonder how many people will be there that I "know", but don't really know!?!  

- Michelle
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