Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Fantastic First Grade Linky Party Link Up

12.  Favorite movie you watched
I am sooo not a movie fan…I can’t sit still long enough to watch a movie.  A movie is a BIG commitment.  However, I am currently into the Lifetime and Hallmark holiday movies.  I LOVED the movie “Love at the Thanksgiving Day Parade”.  But…if I had to pick a favorite movie it would be an oldie. I love “Sweet Home Alabama” and it’s been on several times over the last few months.

11.  Favorite TV Series
I am still a Greys Anatomy fan, but I LOVE Hawaii Five-O! I mean Steve MacGarrett is HOT!! and it’s in Hawaii, need I say more?

10.  Favorite Restaurant
An Italian restaurant here in town called Mama Ricotta’s.  It’s heavenly. I have never gotten anything bad. I can’t get enough Italian.

9.  Favorite new thing you tried
Definitely TpT…this has been the most challenging new thing I have tried. It keeps me busy and inspired, both of which are good.

My first seller, “MY Summer Bucket List” was just a “hey let me try this…” and it SOLD! I was stunned.  And then I didn’t have summer work and I thought, “hey, I can make more TpT stuff…” and it has been amazing.  I have a special ringtone for the TpT emails so I know when I sell something.  When it goes off my husband says, “was it a sale, feedback, or new products?”.  It has become a family topic.  And I just used my first paper check to buy myself a Precor Elliptical so that I can spend less time driving to and from the gym everyday.  I definitely wouldn’t’ have been able to afford this without TpT! I'm still in awe with every sale I make.  I took a picture of my first paycheck because I was so proud of it.  
If you have ever purchased anything from me, I can't thank you enough.  Seriously.  It's amazing that you like what I've created and then you spend money on it.

8.  Favorite gift you received
IPAD!!!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE it!! It was a gift from the school…if they take it back I may die! Umm...how did I teach before Smartboards and ipads?

 7.  Favorite thing you pinned
Ummmm. that is way too hard to choose and changes every day!

6.  Favorite blog post
I love the one where I posted pictures of my students’ desks as Jeeps.  I love it because so many people were so responsive to it.  I have struggled with blogging because I don’t know how to get people to want to follow me, not to mention the lack of time I have.  This post seemed to get the most positive feedback and I loved it!

5.  Favorite accomplishment
Being nominated for Teacher of the Year at my school and then Winning it! I was stunned! I have only been teaching 5 years and I don’t feel worthy of the title.  I am still changing and learning every day…but it truly was an HONOR.

4.  Favorite picture
My Christmas card photo—it’s of me and the hubby in Colorado.  We got the urge to travel for Thanksgiving and it was amazing.  We went to Vail, Colorado and got to see the lighting of the Christmas tree in Beaver Creek, Colorado.  It was soooo cold and we were both absolutely freezing (our southern blood can’t handle the cold) but we look so happy in this picture!

3.  Favorite memory
Ummm….so hard to choose but so far it has to be the little girl in my class who wrote an informational book about Princesses.  I have never truly felt like I taught something and got the point completely across until I saw this.  She had gotten the point of the lesson!

2.  Goal for 2013
Spend more time with the hubby…less time working.

1.  One little word



All About Princesses? the holidays, skip counting, and money...man we're busy!

Well the holidays are in full force in our room.  We have talked about wants, needs, good, and servives.  We have started learning to identify money (which we need to get our wants and needs), even though this is not a common core standard for first graders I believe even first graders can learn the names and value of coins.  This will help them so much once they get to second grade, not to mention it is a LIFE skill.  We started our trip around the world today.  We made suitcases.  We received our passports and scrapbooks.  We filled out our boarding passes and we were off...plane noises and all! The kids loved it.  We went to Liberia today with an awesome powerpoint presentation and then had a mini craft.  I got the powerpoints from Ms. Bainbridge at http://www.bainbridgeclass.com/.  Her website is awesome and I LOVE these powerpoints.  I have been using them for 3 years.  My kids were psyched to find out where we go tomorrow.
As I mentioned, we are working on skip counting and money identification for the next two weeks.  One of the things we created the first day we started talking about this is a word problem Bag book.  My kids LOVED this.  It was simply some word problems and each word problem got bigger by 5.  Here is an example below.  They would read the word problem, use stickers to solve it, and their work would become a little pull-out answer for each  problem.  I'll post more later about how I made these...just know they are a HIT!
I know most people are counting down the days until the holiday break, but we get out so late this year I haven't thought twice about it.  We have been working so hard on Informational Text writing and let me be honest here, I had absolutely NO expectations for how my kids would do with this.  We spent the first week writing a class book "All About the Moon".  I walked them through each step and each child made their own version of our class book.  We all had the same title, table of contents, and pages, but each child's version of facts on the page was different. I really enjoyed this experience.  Even though I complained to colleagues I felt like this was wasting time I could really be focusing on the craft of writing, I failed to see how valuable this was.  We started our informational writing unit by "throwing our emotions and personal feelings out of the window".  We have HUGE windows in our room and threw the emotional opinions out of the window.  They loved doing this and it cracked them up.  Then we talked just about facts. The second week I let them choose their own topics to write an "All About" book about.  Again, no expectations that this would work...they did AMAZING!!! I had one child ask me, "Can I write about Princesses?" I hesitated but said, "Well, sweetheart, what would your table of contents say?" She said, " clothes, houses, colors".  I thought about it and said, "Well, those can definitely be factual things so go for it!" and boy did she "knock my socks off"! (That is my new saying around the classroom and the kids crack up every time I say it.)  I have pictures of my little girl's All About Princesses book below as well as other All About Books the students created.  Every single one of my kids did an "All About" book and everyone did a fantastic job...they literally knocked my socks off! I was bragging to our literacy facilitator because I was so stunned!!

Below are some more pictures of the centers and activities going on around our room.  We are having a blast.  Be sure to visit my teachers pay teachers and teachers notebook stores to get some awesome literacy centers for Penguins and Winter.  I am working on a center for the New Years theme. Hope to have it posted soon.  Happy Holidays!!