Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween from my classroom to yours!!!

My sweet hubby helped me carve this beauty for our classroom this year!

Have a SAFE and FUN night! :)


Friday, October 28, 2011

Our Halloween Party

Today was a smashing success. I always worry about the Halloween Party because it is the first big party of the school year and sometimes the kids go WILD! I was hoping to prep them and talk about expectations of the party before hand, but it was such a busy day that I didn't even think about it. Although that was skipped, my little buzzers did amazingly well! There was only one out of 27 that was running around crazy. And only one more out of 27 was yelling! Not bad if you ask me!!! Our principal even came in and was impressed by the relaxed atmosphere!

Our principal really digs Halloween. I mean, REALLY digs it. She has our whole office staff dressed up in theme. This year, they were bees. Whoa. Copycats!! Haha...they were cute. Usually I am a bee since that is the theme of my classroom, DUH, but this year, one of my little one's personal assistant and I were Pooh and Tigger. It was hot. But cute. Too bad we don't have a picture of that yet. My camera battery conveniently is dying and I have NO idea where the charger is. That's a-whole-nother story that I might need Cara to help me with. ;)

The 1st and 2nd graders parade around the whole school while the Kindergarteners and 3rd-5th graders sit in the hallways and watch. It's so much fun.

As you recall, Wanda the Witch has been leaving us random notes and treats all month. She made her appearance today.

Well, it was really my sister-in-law who is the South Dakota State Director for March of Dimes. She comes in about once a month to read to my little darlings and does an AMAZING job with them.  Look how engaged they are (and the parents for that matter!):

She mixed all the ingredients together:

She even had two little Buzzer apprentices to help her:

They put a magic spell on it:

Double, Double, Toil and Trouble...Time to EAT!

All the kids LOVED it! I hope if you have a Halloween Party it went as well as ours!!!

Happy Halloween Weekend to you!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Hope this brightens your day...

I was telling my little buzzers that I was running a Trick-or-Treat Trail Run this weekend with my friend and instructional coach, Kersten. They started blurting out what they thought I was going to dress up as and I explained to them that Kersten and I need a pair, or couples, costume since we are running together. Well, all through writing time they were secretly writing what they thought we should dress up as. Most of them said things like witches, bees, baseball players, etc. One even said peanut butter and jelly OR eggs and bacon. But my personal favorite was this:

Can you tell I live in South Dakota???


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Jack-O-Lantern Math

I need to get better about finding time to post DAILY!

Here's what we did for math yesterday...
The sweet little buzzers got this sheet...

and this sheet...

Then, they had to come up with faces for the Jack-o-Lantern's that were different. All we tell them is that they have to use the eyes, nose, and mouth on the paper. They cannot come up with their own. They are also told they can mix and match to create the faces.

My sweet little buzzers were SILENT. The whole time. It was AMAZING. They were so engaged and wanted so badly to find each combination. It was adorable really. I'm starting to LOOOOOOVE this class. They are ca-ute.

Have an AWESOME day!

Friday, October 21, 2011


Wow! What a week! It went by so slow, until today. Today CRUISED by!

Today during Math Stations, we made spiders. They took way longer than I expected so it was mass chaos. Not gonna lie. I cannot claim this came from my new teaching bestie, who "lives" next door. She is awesome, to say the least.

We start with a big, black oval (or circle). The kids write their name on the back. Then, they come up with 8 equations that equal 8! They had so much fun doing this...

And the best part is that it is self-leveling!

When we have them all put together, they make a face on the front. Some are SCAAARY faces and some are CUTE faces! They will look so cute in the hallway for conferences!

Hope you had a great week! I'll be linking up here, at Clutter-Free Classroom's Weekly "A Peek in My Planbook" Linky Party!  :)


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Witches Brew

What's with the frigid cold temperatures? Last week it was in the 80's and today it's down to 32 degrees!!! My poor kiddos are FREEZING!!! And they still don't get it to bring hats and gloves yet. Poor dears.

Many of you have asked about my Wanda the Witch brew we have cookin' up over here. I do not actually have the letters in PDF or anything electronic. I received them from my former best friend at school who moved away.

Here are the ingredients I use:
Owl Eyes- skittles or m & ms
Rat Bones- cheetos
Slimy Earthworms- gummy worms
Chicken Toenails- candy corn
Yummy Ants- mini chocolate chips or raisins if you're healthy
Cat Eyes- lemon drops
Bat Bones- pretzels
Butterfly Wings- triscuits
Cat Claws- peanuts or sunflower seeds
Human Eyeballs- eyeball candy found during Halloween time
Blood Drops- red hots
Lizard Gizzards- Nibs
Snake Eyes- sixlets

This year I got smart and emailed the parents telling them it was a BIG secret and they all have joined in. They each brought in an ingredient to the office and put it in my mailbox so the kids didn't find out. GENIUS. And way less expensive for me this year.

Since I don't have the letters electronically, I did find this post from What the Teacher Wants. Rachelle's witches brew is VERY similar to mine! Go check it out and DON'T forget to tell her who sent ya! ;)

If you REALLY can't live without our Wanda the Witch letters, email me and I'll see what I can do. :)
busybeesandcupcakes at gmail dot com

P.S. My kids cannot stop writing about Wanda the Witch OR ghost stories. There was about 5 minutes before we went to recess the other day and the lights were off. Luckily, there is a flashlight by the door so I grabbed it and started telling a ghost story. Oh my word, they took off with that! Now, they are writing their own ghost stories and they are HILARIOUS! I LOVE IT!!!!


Monday, October 17, 2011

Monday, Monday...

If I received a nickel for every time I had to say, "Hands to yourself", this girl would be RICH!!! Wowsas...this just days after our counselor came in to do the ol' hands and feet to yourself lesson.

I was SO busy last week. A meeting every day after school, not to mention I was out of the classroom Tuesday and Wednesday for project-based learning training. The long leisurely lunches were FABULOUS. I could totally get used to that!!! A lot of learning took place on my end and I am so excited to implement more project-based learning in the future! I can't wait to share them with you!

Today, we worked on visualizing. I love teaching this during Halloween season because there are so many great graphics in books for Halloween. Today we listened to one of my favorites:

I played it on c.d. and the kids first closed their eyes and visualized in their heads. They like to call visualizing, "making movies in my brain". Whatever. It makes sense to them, right? Then, they go back to their desk and fill out the top part of their form (Before seeing the actual illustrations) while they listen to the story again.


Then, they come back after about five minutes and we listen to the story again BUT this time they get to see the illustrations. They go back to their desk and illustrate the real Goodnight Goon illustration. The form isn't all fancy shmancy. Definitely not TPT material. If you have commercialized fonts and want to make it fabulous, email me a copy. :)

The little buzzers were SO engaged in this lesson. It took about a half hour and they were so enthralled. I was hoping the assistant superintendent that was visiting our school would stop in, but no such luck.

How do you teach visualizing???

Hope your week is starting off great!


Friday, October 7, 2011

Wanda the WITCH!

For our October Project-Based Learning unit, I was going to do spiders. With all of the cute things on Teachers Pay Teachers, I thought that would be SO much fun! But then I remembered my former best friend at school Katie used to do Wanda the Witch and I couldn't resist bringing it out....

We had a visit today from Wanda the Witch!!! YIKES!

The kids are LOVING it!
She first left this before school...

with a letter inside that said this...

And then she returned after lunch with a letter that said this...

I wonder when she'll make her next appearance...

Have a GREAT weekend!
I'm off to our Autumn Festival Craft Show!!!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


I am estatic today! It's only lunch time, (yes, we go to lunch at 10:55) but I am so happy already! My kids are working so hard and quiet today! I couldn't be more happy!!

We started the day practicing for our first spelling test on Friday. Let's just say I hope the real test on Friday goes better than the practice one today! ;)

After recess, we came back and did poetry, finished up our bee project-based learning unit, and then went into the bulk of this post!

I read Leaves by David Ezra Stein. LOVE the illustrations in this book.

We talked about how author's don't need to use a ton of words to get their story out there. And then we reviewed the CAFE strategy "Retell the Story" by writing about the beginning, middle, and end in their cute little reading journals. I sent my little buzzers back to their desks and this is just a sampling of their reading journals:



When they were all settled and working, I started pulling some little ones to work with at the table. Then, all of a sudden I hear one of my little darlings say, "Hey, I just forgot the periods!". My class is terrible at remembering punctuation, but I keep telling myself, "It's only the first quarter of first grade!" Even though it was a disruption to my high attention kiddos, it was adorable. When they say cute things that relate to what I have been hounding, I make a BIIIIG deal of it. That student gets to draw their school picture, just like they did here, expect on LARGE paper and then we write in a speech balloon what they said. We hang it up so all can see and remember for next time. They LOVE this. All of them. It really gets each child to strive to get their picture up with something brilliant they said. Here's his:

GREAT day here so far! I hope you are having an AWESOME day, too!!!


Monday, October 3, 2011


Today was a great day! I hope it was for you and your little ones, also!
We caught up on a lot of read alouds today. I was reminded at inservice on Friday that I am not doing enough plain ol' reading aloud. It was an AWESOME reminder! So I got out all the Autumn books that I haven't read yet, and we did LOTS of reading! Since we were on a fall kick in this classroom, I also found in the cluttered cabinet, the Summer to Fall Scholastic News! I love that there is a little video to go along with it every time. Anyone else use Scholastic News? LOOOOOVE it!
We've been talking a lot about cooperation in our classroom, because he have a student that is high functioning autistic and needs a lot little more patience from everyone. Well, the cooperation discussion paid off! Today was the first time I have let my little first grade buzzers work in partners and they did an awesome job! No one was yelling, arguing, talking loud, hitting, etc! They were all whispering and doing a FANTASTIC job! I couldn't have been more proud! So, they each got out their yellow marker and highlighted the words in the word search on the back of the Scholastic News. We never do word searches in our school, we were once told that was busy work. But, since it was on the back of the Scholastic News, I thought I could get away with it! :)
Here's a few pictures from their first ever school word search with "highlighters"...

As you can tell, they LOVED it! :)

Happy Monday to y'all!