Monday, May 28, 2012

Summer Reading List Linky Party

I’m linking up with some other sweet friends over at Clutter-Free Classroom for a Summer Reading List Linky Party!


Teacher books make me so happy.  I especially love books that are practical and that have ideas that I can use immediately. Two of my favorite teacher books (funny enough, they are sitting right next to me!) that I revisit time and time again are:

Comprehension Connections by Tanny McGregor


Literacy Work Stations by Debbie Diller

These two books have truly changed the way I teach my reading block. They are chock full of anchor charts, graphic organizers, and hands-on activities that will surely keep your students engaged and happy! I cannot wait to re-read these this summer. I am certain that (although I’ve read them before), I’ll discover another brilliant idea that I can use with my firsties next year.

I’d LOVE to find some mathematics texts that are worth reading, so I’m super excited to see what is on everyone else’s reading list.

What is on your summer reading list? Link up with Clutter-Free Classroom to share!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

TPT Memorial Day Sale

Happy Memorial Day weekend! Everything in my store is 20% today, tomorrow, and Monday. Woo hoo! Link up with Kindergarten Lifestyle and join in on the fun.

Click on the link above (or any of the links below) to go directly to my TPT store!

Here are some the products you’ll find at my store:





Wednesday, May 23, 2012

goodbye gift (for students)

Usually, as part of our goodbye gift to the students, my team and I write acrostic poems for each child using the letters in their name. They love hearing the words we come up with to describe them!

This year, I made these little goodbye gifts for my students to go along with their poems. I plan on giving these out on the last day of school.



And, I plan on using the tags you see below to hang around Ziploc baggies full of Starbursts. I will personalize each one by writing a little message on the back of the tag.


Very easy, simple, and sweet! You can download both of these goodbye gifts by clicking on either of the templates or by clicking here.

Do you all give out a special gift to your students on the last day of school?

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Lazy Day, Writer’s Workshop Pack

Today has been a L-A-Z-Y D-A-Y. I’ve moved from my bed to the couch, and then back to bed. You’d think I was sick, but I think I’m just recovering from cupcake overload. Yesterday, Michael (my sweet boyfriend) and I ventured to this new and ADORABLE cupcake shop, Flavor, to do a little taste-testing. It was DELISH! However, I  feel like a sluggish-sloth (if there was such a thing, it would look like me) today.
If you live in the Baltimore region, you should check them out. I tried a yummy red velvet cupcake. Yum-yum.  Michael suggests I tell parents about it so they’ll buy their children’s birthday cupcakes from there. I told him that was a HORRIBLE idea because you know I’d end up eating more than my fair share. It is tempting though!
In between napping, lounging, and napping some more…I’ve been trying to finish up my Writer’s Workshop: Mr. and Mrs. Fix It packet. I’m hoping to have it out by the end of this week. My plan was to have it out a LONG while ago, but you know how that goes sometimes.
Be on the lookout for this packet!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

My Summer Bucket List


Summer Bucket List

I’m linking up with some other teacher bloggers to tell you all what is on my summer bucket list. Link up here:

Here is my summer bucket list…

Eat less of this…

Do more of this…

to train for this (Baltimore Half Marathon in October)

See more of this…

Pinned Image

Spend more time with this face…abby

(my sweet niece, Abby)

and this face…


(my nephew, Topher, looking crazy-like)

Gather great ideas from this…

Pinned Image

to prepare for this…

Short and sweet (but totally doable!)

What is on your summer bucket list?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Keep On, Keepin’ On and Visualizing with Poetry

This time of year is hard for me. I know I may sound like a complete lunatic when I say this, but I could keep on keeping on… forever. My students and I have developed such a special connection, and it is hard to know that soon they will be gone. I just can’t believe it. So, for now, I’m going to pretend that it is not over quite yet (because really…it isn’t!)

Today, we began our unit on poetry by making visualizations as we read. We had all kinds of fun with this! We used a great $1.00 Scholastic Poetry packet I picked up yesterday (thanks to Mrs. Bainbridge for telling everyone about that great deal!) and Amanda Nickerson’s Music of Our Hearts poetry packet. LOVE HER! Plus, we were able to pull out some of the unused activities from my Common Core Aligned: Open Your Eyes and Visualize packet.

(Click on the image above to still grab that deal. The 187 online book is usually 19.99!)


(click on the link above  to take you to Amanda’s store…you’ll love this packet!)


(click on the link above to take to to my store!)

To introduce the lesson, I had everyone sit in a circle with the lights off. I made them close their eyes and visualize what they were hearing as I read the first poem. Then, we shared our visualizations with each other. I loved how they all used such descriptive language!

Then, I gave them three different poems to read. They paired up with a buddy, found a quiet spot in the classroom, and began visualizing. I allowed them to take turns closing their eyes as their buddy read the poem. IT WAS AWESOME. They were totally into it. Afterwards, they drew their visualizations on an organizer from Amanda’s packet. I loved walking around hearing their discussions. PRICELESS!


(yes, that is one of my students visualizing while resting his head on his beanbag!)




Who wouldn’t want to keep on, keepin’ on with a class like this?

Monday, May 14, 2012

All-Time Favorite Read Aloud Linky Party!

I’m linking up today with the sweet Miss Nelson from Run! Miss Nelson’s Got the Camera! (LOVE HER!) to tell you about my favorite read alouds.

My favorite children’s author is Kevin Henkes, so you might guess what some of my favorite read alouds are!

I get so super excited when reading these books:

(Isn’t he adorable? And you can’t help but love Mrs. Tweezers!)

(Oh Chrysanthemum…how I love you so! I love using this book when discussing our differences)

(And, of course, we cannot forget Lilly! Lilly is a hoot. All of my students just adore her.)

I enjoy reading all of these stories, especially at the beginning of the school year. Each story teaches a different lesson. I often use his stories to teach character traits. My love for these little pink-nosed characters is well-known around my classroom. They are just so darn cute.

What are your favorite read alouds? Link up and share. Thanks, Miss Nelson!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

teacher appreciation gifts, sweet times in 2nd (end of year packet)

I hope everyone is feeling very appreciated this week. I know I certainly am!

On Monday, I came into my classroom to find an empty vase on my desk that said, “Thank you for helping us grow in first grade.” As the students came in, each one of them gave me a flower (and a hug) to fill the vase. TOO FREAKING CUTE!


Then, yesterday, each teacher received a scrapbook with a page from each student. I cried my eyes out reading it! It was so special.

Here are a few of the pages:




PRECIOUS? I think so! You can tell they put a lot of hard work and effort into their page. Some students from last year wrote one for me too. It made my heart so happy!

Tomorrow, teachers are being given 20 extra minutes of lunch (yipee!) and they are providing it! I am very excited and so, so thankful. Wow!

In other news, I received a few e-mails asking if I’d be willing to adapt my first grade end of the year packet for second grade. You can find the adapted copy of it by clicking HERE:



Just two more days…we can do it!

Monday, May 7, 2012

butterflies, homophones, and an end of the year packet

Happy Monday!
To follow-up our Amazing Animal research reports, we kicked off the week with a study on butterflies. The kindergartners down the hall have been observing the different stages of a butterfly’s life, so this morning I snatched them to conduct our own observations.         
After we did a little observing, we did a little buddy reading on butterflies.
While reading, we completed a CAN/HAVE/ARE graphic organizer and a Main Idea and Supporting Details organizer. You can grab both of them here:
Tomorrow we’ll be learning all about homophones with the help of this little anchor chart I created AND Cara Carroll’s homophones activities (found in her Camping Capers pack). Love.her!
I’m also SUPER excited to show you all the newest packet I’ve been working on.
Familiar title, huh? I can’t wait to start this with my students!
This is a 40 page packet that includes:
26 page End-of-the-Year Celebration Book (for students to make) and an End of the Year Craftivity
Here’s a description of each page of the book:
- First Grade Celebration Book Cover
- Draw a Picture of Yourself
- First Grade Stats
- My School Rocks
- My First Grade Teacher
- My First Grade Favorites
- Interview a Friend
- Friends in 1st
- Fantastic Field Trip
- Yay for Play
- A Look Inside My Favorite Book
- Munch and Crunch
- I’m a Caring Kid
- Be Responsible!
- A “First” in First Grade
- A Goal I Still Have for Myself
- My Favorite Subject
- My Favorite Special
- A Note From the Teacher
- A Note to the Future Me
- A Look Into the Future
- That was Funny!
- Autographs (Last Page of Book)
Sample pages:
I’ve also included a little craftivity that goes along with the book:
Grab it all at my TPT store….ENJOY!
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