Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Courtney, at Swimming into Second, is hosting a 200 followers giveaway. She is giving away a $20 gift certificate to TPT! Doesn't that sound wonderful? Go check her out! You can click on the link here:

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Addition Puzzles

One of you lovely bloggers created a ten frame puzzle.

 It was cool and I instantly thought, "I could adapt that to extend the learning of my first graders!" So, I made extra game cards to go with the puzzle: They are addition problems that equal the ten frame. It just adds an extra component to an already fun activity. I'm sharing my cards today with you, in the hopes that you will find them useful. If you are the blogger that created the ten frame puzzle, please let me know, so I can give you credit for a wonderful idea! I searched all over and couldn't find them anywhere! Here are the cards:
10 Frame Puzzle Addition Cards PDF

Friday, August 26, 2011

Three For Thursday - a Day Late!

I'm Blog Hoppin' today - I'm just running a little late!

My favorite fonts are:

DJ Basic
LD Dabble
Pea Angedawn

It's so hard to choose favorite blogs (you're all wonderful!) but I always run to check
Finally in First
Finally in First
Ladybug Teacher Files
Ladybug's Teacher Files
Create, Teach, Share
Create Teach Share
My favorite online resources have to be
Reading A-Z

Have a wonderful Friday!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Let's Try it Again - Here Are the September Poems

Thank you all for letting me know that I forgot the link to my September poems! Here you go, with my deepest apologies - I hope you'll find them helpful NOW! :)
September Classroom Poems PDF


Learning With Mrs. Parker is hosting a back to school giveaway. You can win a copy of Mark D. Pencil's newest CD and an i-tunes gift card! Sounds terrific, right? Click on the link to enter!

Donations Ideas for the Classroom

Little Priorities has the cutest way to ask parents for donations. She creates a Donation Door (and she even is offering labels that you can modify for your own needs. However, I got to thinking. . .what do all of you ask your families for? I've always just gone out and purchased things that I need but I sure thought I'd give this a try! Let's start a list of items that we ask for and I'll compile them into a final list for everyone. I don't know how to make a linky party yet so just leave a comment or email me (see the side for my email address)! I can't wait to hear about your ideas!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

September Poems

Oh, my goodness! September will be here before we know it! Just before school started, I posted my August poems. Here is my collection of September poems. I send them to the district office reprographics and they print them in posters for me. There are a few cute apple poems, along with money poems (we introduce the penny and nickel in my state around this time of year). I hope, as always, that you find these useful.

I apologize for being an absentee blogger lately - as you know, school has started and even after teaching a trillion year, I still like to change themes and activities. I think it makes me a better teacher. Certainly all the great ideas that I get from the many blogs I stalk have made me a better teacher. I have a friend who teaches kindergarten at my school site. She and I are always sharing ideas that we saw on your blogs! I hope you're all settling in and that you're enjoying your class as much as I am enjoying my class. Good night, all!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Meet the Teacher Monday Blog Hop

Tell us a little something about you…
My name is Lisa and I’ve been married for 31 years (I just celebrated my anniversary last week, in fact!) I’m a quilter, a huge reader, I love to garden and work on the computer, and I’m a huge Nascar fan.

How long have you been teaching?
I’ve been teaching 25 years, mostly in first grade. I’ve done about 10 combination classes, including K-1’s and 1-2’s. Teaching is my passion and I just love it! My heart is really in first grade – I’m back to a straight first after a combination class last year, and I’m so thrilled!

You might not know…
My husband and I recently lost enough weight to equal a person. I have discovered walking late in life, and walk every single day at least two and a half miles.

What are you most looking forward to this school year?
I’m enjoying my class! They’re a very sweet little group and I think I’ll have a lot of parent support. In addition, I’m looking forward to trying new ideas that I’ve found on all the wonderful blogs that I read!

What do you need to improve?
Communication and organization! This year, I’m planning on communicating more with my families, both in class newsletters for everyone but also individually – through emails or notes. So far, I’ve done a better job and I think the parents appreciate it. Organization is another area that I’ve resolved to do better at: I tend to be a piler – and the piles get out of control sometimes! So now, before I leave school, everything gets picked up and put away.

What teaching supplies can you not live without?
Oh, post-it’s for sure, and the new Sharpie pens. If you haven’t tried them, you’re missing out! I also just LOVE my new Elmo and LCD projector. The tech guys just hooked it all up to also run my computer, so I’m able to show the kids new websites and concepts through the computer! 

Friday, August 19, 2011


I heard late yesterday that we're only having one combination: A K-1. There's good news and bad news: The good news is that they're keeping my sweet class together and I'm not losing anyone. The bad new is that I'm gaining two more students. I'm just relieved that they're not making several combinations or mixing the entire school up, so that we'd be back where we started from. Yay! Thanks, everyone, for listening the last couple of days when I worried. I appreciate you all! 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The First Full Week of School - and We May Have Changes...

So. . . yesterday my principal calls all the kindergarten and first grade teachers to a meeting. We were told that there's a possibility that we could end up dissolving the one-two combo that we have already, in favor of a k-1, 2-3, and 4-5. OY! I can NOT believe we're doing this! We won't lose a teacher, which is good, but we'll all have to play round robin with kids and classes, because the 4th grade has less students than they should and kindergarten is over by a couple of students. I could understand if we were told that the first grade-second grade teacher was now going to teach k-1, to help the kindergarten: I really could. However, what difference does it make if fourth grade has less students than they're supposed to (by 5 or so students per class). Could it mean (gasp!) that they'd have a year with less students so they could have more contact time with the students? I sincerely HOPE that this will not happen; that the district will decide to overflow these few kinders to another school temporarily -- and leave us alone. Any bets as to whether you think this will happen? Yeah, me either......sigh.................................

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Spending Money in the Classroom

A Pocket Full of Kindergarten is hosting a discussion about how much money she spends in her classroom every year. You have to check it out: She has a lively conversation going on AND the best link I have seen about teachers! Many of us spend money in our own classroom: To me, it's the price of "doing business" in my profession. Is it ridiculous that I'm shopping the sales to purchase pencils for my class? Sure - but I do it. Do I wonder why I'm donating my old computers to my classroom so we'll have a computer in the room? You betcha! But there are two of them (over 10 years old each) sitting in my room. If I didn't donate them, I wouldn't have a computer in my room. Does my husband give me "the look" when the latest box from Amazon shows up at the door - sure! I saw it this evening when Pete the Cat arrived - but he understands. Do I race through the grocery store purchasing supplies to make mud pudding for 26 first graders to help them understand a book better? Yup - and by the way, they loved making mud pudding - and everyone got the big idea of the book! It was worth it to see their chocolate-y faces!

I am proud to be a teacher. It is an honorable profession and I Make A Difference. WE make a difference, dear friends. So let's continue this great conversation: How much money do you spend in your classroom? What strange things do you find yourself buying for your class? 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Oh Lovely Mud!

Hello, dear friends! We had the most fun Monday and I couldn't wait to finish grading papers and preparing for tomorrow to run home and tell you all about it! We read the book, "Mrs. Wishy-Washy", which is the cutest book! The kids just love it and to make it even more fun, I bought a tub and a scrub brush from Home Depot and stuffed animals (a cow, a duck, and a pig). I popped in 4 copies of little personal sized books of Mrs. Wishy Washy - and wa la! An instant center, which FYI, the kids just adore! 

Today, at the end of the day, I gave everyone a cup of pudding, a chocolate Oreo to crumble up, and (of course!) a gummy worm - we made Mud Pudding! They had such a good time (and I was dubbed, "The Best Teacher Ever - wow!) and all the parent peeking in were snapping pictures and giggling at the chocolate mud faces. Guess who forgot her camera? Yup - me! Ah well! I sent them all sugar high, but it was such a good time. I had to share this with you all!

Friday, August 12, 2011

I Have the Most Adorable Class!

Hi all! I've completed my first week (well, three days) of school and my new class is just so sweet! We're all working hard and I'm enjoying getting to know them. My school had Open House on the first day of school, which was wonderful! I got to meet everyone and explain my program. Everyone was so supportive! I think I'm going to have some great parent volunteers this year, too!

Have you read Pete the Cat to your class yet? My friend, who blog stalks you all, bought the book on your advice and lent it to me. She told me that her kinders just LOVED the book and told me to try it and the song with my firsties. Oh My Word! They were crazy for the book! We had to read it twice. We sang the song twice. We read the book again and sang the song again. I honestly think they'd have done it again if it hadn't been lunch time! When I first skimmed the book, I honestly didn't think it was that super of a book - but after seeing their reaction, I'm running right out to Barnes and Noble to buy a copy or two!

I've seen all these cute activities for the book out there in BlogLand, but didn't download them. Anybody know of some cute first grade activities for this book?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Oh, My!

Thank you ALL for joining this blog! We are now 150 strong, and I'm grateful for you all.  School starts tomorrow, with Open House tomorrow night!  I start the year with 25 kids this year, which I'm grateful for. We were originally told it would be a "soft 28". Kindergarten is already up to 33. When I first started teaching (I'm dating myself here!), I had 32 kids in a classroom. I honestly can't believe we're back to this time. Yikes!

Anyways, think of me tomorrow, as I'll think of all of you who are also starting school tomorrow! Here's a couple of freebie printables to help you start your school year! One is a set of labels to put in folders so that the children can learn the basics of organizing their work. I collect the folders daily. The other is a Classroom Jobs header for a pocket chart. Both a pirate themed. As always, I hope you find these useful.
Done Not Done Labels Pirates PDF

Class Jobs Header PDF

14 Days of Summer and a Giveaway

First Grade Fanatics
Hi all! First Grade Fanatics is hosting a 14 Days of Summer party - every day they'll give away a little something to count down the end of summer. ALSO, they're having a giveaway! The winner can win all their Back to School items in their TPT store! Sounds good, right? Click on over and enter!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Back to School

Tomorrow officially starts our Back to School week - I can't believe it's already here! I went up school all last week and volunteered my time to prepare my room. Tomorrow we have all day meetings (blah) and then Tuesday, we get a day to work in our room. Wednesday is the start of school but it's a minimum day, with Open House that evening. Wow! It's going to be a crazy week, I'm thinking! When do you go back to school? Let's open up a conversation about this! :) 

Friday, August 5, 2011


Kleinspiration is hosting a giveaway in honor of 500 followers! You can win a Target gift card - which is everyone's favorite place! Congratulations to Erin; that's a big accomplishment! Click on the button to enter.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

More Math Posters

Here are two more mini posters, that I'm going to use on my Math Focus Wall, along with the Days of the Week poster that I just uploaded for you. These will also get a little bit of cute scrapbook paper to brighten them up. They're on a pirate theme, no big surprise there, right? :)

On another note, I just read that won the Post-it Party that Create, Teach, Share was having! What a great way to end a frustrating day! Thank you, Rebecca!
Create Teach Share

A Frustrating Morning. . .

I went up to school today, fully prepared to create my math bulletin board - and I couldn't find my math posters! ARG! (Which, I guess, is appropriate, since I"m having a pirate theme this year!) Rather than running off to Lakeshore, I went home and made some. I'll back it with some cute scrapbook paper, and wa-la! A math poster! Here's the Days of the Week poster that I made. As I complete the others, I'll post them as well. They're made, but terribly plain - I need to add graphics! I hope, as always, that you'll find these useful! (And I hope that your day was not as frustrating as mine! :) )
Days of the Week PDF

The Cutest Stickers Ever

Doodle Bug teaching is having a giveaway for the cutest personalized stickers! I can see a lot of uses for these cuties, can't you? Click on the button below for your chance at them!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Thinking About School. . .

After a lovely weekend holiday (we went to Laughlin, Nevada for a few days. It was 118 degrees, with 100% humidity - but we still had a great time!), I had to continue my school planning. I went up to school today and started bulletin boards. I made my word wall but wanted a pirate themed title so, I came home and made one! I think if I print it on card stock and laminate it, it will work just fine! I didn't make cards with the letters of the alphabet with a pirate graphic yet - if I do, I'll post them. Enjoy!

Word Wall Sign PDF