Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Favorite Thanksgiving Book(s) Linky Party!

I have so many favorite Thanksgiving books that I love to read to my students! I am so excited to share them with each of you and with Teaching Blog Addict's Linky Party!

I LOVE Fancy Nancy. In the Spring, we do a whole unit on Jane O'Connor and the Fancy Nancy books. I cannot wait. I love the vocabulary, the interactions with Fancy Nancy's extended family, the teaching of the manners. I love it all.

The next is I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie. Hilarious. Not only because I love pumpkin pie, but because of what happens at the end. I'd hate to spoil it for you if you haven't read it, but all my kids then write about their favorite float the following Monday. I hope that wasn't too much information....

The Littlest Pilgrim is another favorite because the poor main character is too small to help on the plantation. It is great for little ones who always want to help, but are "too little". We brainstorm ways and write about how they can help at this years Thanksgiving feast at their house.

I just came across this next book at the Scholastic Book Fair this fall. I love the illustrations and the point of view from the mouse. After reading it, all my sweet little buzzers started writing stories, "If I were a mouse...". It was a great writing workshop mentor text!

And last but certainly not least, my favorite informational text. Pilgrims of Plymouth has real photographs from the National Geographic Society. It allows the kiddos to see exactly how the Pilgrims and Wampanoags dressed for that first feast and in their daily lives. We compare and contrast their lives with ours after reading this. My sweet little buzzers also love seeing how the kids dressed and played!

That's it for now! I hope you had a great Tuesday!!
If you do not have a blog yet, please share some of your favorite Thanksgiving books in the comments section! I LOVE comments!!!


Monday, November 14, 2011

What a weekend!

What a relaxing 3 1/2 day weekend I had! We were done with school on Wednesday and had a half day inservice on Thursday morning and I was done. It was GREAT. I didn't accomplish much of anything, other than spend that time with my family.

Thursday after inservice I stopped at Quiznos. Oh my, do I love Quiznos. Great sandwich shop, in case you've never heard of it. I got sandwiches and soup to take out to my dad for lunch. We spent the whole afternoon shootin' the breeze and watching tv. It was amazing time that I will never forget! That night, my sweet hubby, parents and I went to the local steakhouse for filet mignon. LOVED the margaritas, too!

Friday was spent back at my parents making apple pies. We made about 12 pies and it was so much fun! My mom makes THE BEST apple pies and she finally passed down the recipe!

Do you see a pattern? Not one thought about school.....

Saturday I went shopping and started laundry. My sweet hubby went hunting and then we stayed in for a date night at home! And yesterday we went to church, went out to eat again with my parents and then spent the remainder of the day at my sweet hubby's grandmas. She is hilarious!

So, no school anything on this little blog for awhile. I feel terrible. The nearest 2nd grade teacher to me made these way cute poppies and stories for Veterans Day. And she gave me permission to share with all of you. But did I? No...I am not beginning to do them justice with these pictures either. Thank you Cait for sharing!

Did I ever write about our 50th day of school that lasted for a week? No...it was a BLAST though, thanks to Cara over at The First Grade Parade!
Root Beer Floats!

Writing about the 1950s!
The Greasers!

The girls!

And my all-time favorite.

I cannot wait to celebrate 50s day every year! It was SO much fun! My new best friend at school and I are going to celebrate 80s day also!!! We are already planning. :)

See.....we have been doing a lot in this little classroom of mine! I just haven't had the time to post any of our wonderful activities! Thank you for stickin' it out with me! Have a GREAT full week!


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Math Space Shuttle Launch!

Have you guys seen THIS game??

Here's the story behind my math lesson today. I have been focusing on subtracting and my story problems are becoming a little bland. I started looking for this Monster Crossing game, but I couldn't find it during my planning time, of course. But I came across the Space Shuttle Launch game from our district first grade porta portal. LOVE that invention. Would one call that an invention? Oh well, I sure appreciate it!

Anyway, I had the kids fill out their math journal and we were on our way. I turned on the SmartBoard, another great invention, while the little buzzers were getting their whiteboards, markers, and erasers. We then reviewed using a number line to count backwards, like we had learned to do yesterday.

I pulled up the game and the kids were immediately engaged. Like the snap of a finger, no talking, eyes on the SmartBoard, they were ready to learn! (A-lle-lu-ia) They watched for the new equation, wrote it down, and started using whatever "manipulatives" of their choice to solve it.

Since we had been learning about using the number line, many of them chose that.

There were some that deviated and I am totally okay with that.

They had a BLAST, no pun intended. Okay, you're right. That was intended.

If you use this game in your classroom, let me know how it goes! I plan to use it for Math Stations next Friday since they already know it and LOVE it! A win-win!


P.S. Bad news about my dad. We meet with the oncologist NEXT Wednesday. I hate waiting games. But from what we know so far, things are NOT looking promising. I'm trying to keep hope but this next week will be a challenge. I'm not good at being patient when it comes to this kind of stuff. Any thoughts and prayers would be appreciated!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

On Fire!!!

Well we had our first night of conferences on Tuesday. We have three nights of conferences, yes, three. A whole day of teaching and then conferences from 3:30-7:00. It's tiring. I got home right at seven bells and immediately went to bed. My poor husband. Fortunately, his business is booming so he's been just as busy and went to bed immediately, too! Tonight and Monday night will be the same as well.

But, in the midst of all the craziness, we have celebrated the 50th day of school, in style, thanks to my good bloggy friend Cara over at The First Grade Parade. Cara, you and your 50th Day of School Fun Unit, have been my lifesaver for the past three days. My kids have LOVED every single minute of your fun activities and I have to say, I have to. THANK YOU. More on that to come after conferences. I might be MIA until then.

I just wanted to share the exciting news from Mrs. Moran over at First in Maine!!!! She graciously awarded me with the Blogs on Fire Award! Hot dog! I guess I'm supposed to share 7 things about myself and pass this little award along!! Here goes!

1. I was just diagnosed with patellofemoral pain syndrome. Yes, it hurts as bad as it sounds. It is also known as runner's knee. Just when I develop a passion for running, God steps in and says, "Slow down sister!" So, I will be seeing a personal trainer for the next two weeks for strength training and if that doesn't help the pain, I will be seeing one of the many physical therapists in this city! Sad day. No Disney Half Marathon for me in January. :(

2. I am a competitive cheerleading coach for Dakota Spirit. I coach middle school girls and couldn't love it more. :)

3. My husband and I are contemplating starting our own business. As if him owning his own business and my teaching/coaching career isn't busy enough! We want to start flipping houses. Darn you HGTV for putting crazy ideas into our heads!!!

4. In case you didn't notice from #3, I love HGTV.

5. I'm obsessed with Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory. If it wasn't for my sweet hubby that I am totally in love with, I would be off finding Sheldon.

6. I know this isn't really about me, but my dad is a 6 year pancreas cancer survivor! November is Pancreas Cancer Awareness Month and most states will be holding Purple Light Vigils on November 20 to promote awareness of this terrible disease. I will be speaking at South Dakota's Purple Light Vigil and I feel honored to spread hope to other families going through this struggle!

7. I love to travel. Although my husband does not enjoy flying, he is a trooper and supports my travel addiction.

There are TONS of blogs I could pass this along to. I am falling in love with more of your blogs each and every day!! If you haven't visited these four or First in Maine, GO check them out and give them some love! Don't forget to tell them Buzzin' sent you!!

Today in First

The Teachers' Cauldron

Miss Kincaid's First Grade

First Grade Jabber

Hope your day is GREAT!!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Hello teacher friends!!!

My teaching bestie and I have a HUGE favor! We are LOVING all the math station games we have been finding and purchasing. Our kids LOVE them, too! They are so engaged and are learning so much!

We are having difficulties brainstorming ways to store them and keep them organized so that we do not forget about them. How do you guys store all of your math and literacy station games? Any and ALL ideas would be appreciated! THANK YOU!!!!!!


Also, have you seen this? Rowdy in First Grade, Ms. Preppy, and Teaching First are having a FABULOUS giveaway!! Go check it out here!!!