Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Resolutions-Linky and Giveaway

So here it is... the same resolution I have made for MOST of my adult (and childhood) life... 

"This year I will be more physically active."

It is just NOT in my DNA... All of my favorite things involve inactivity... Reading, computer stuff, watching movies, eating ... (notice you do not see rock climbing?)

So the question for me is really... How do I make it obtainable?

I set a goal:  Train for a 10k.

This little baby has me on my way.

This is a Couch-to-10k that I downloaded on my phone!  You can find a ton of FREE apps that will help prepare you for 5k's, 10k's, or half marathon's.
click on the picture to find this app

Santa brought me this accessory too!   This Nike Fuel band helps me track my daily activity and will remind me to keep moving even if I have had a day that was a little less active.

I am planning on also bringing more fitness into my classroom in 2013. According to the American Heart Association 1 in 3 children (ages 2-19) are overweight   AND  1 in 6 are considered obese.   This is 5 times higher than the obesity rates of 1974.   I realize this is a complicated issue, but I feel an obligation to address this issue in my own way... How about in a fun way???

Kathleen from Growing Kinders introduced me to this AMAZING free web site.  My kids BEG me to put it on at the end of the day! It seriously gets the blood moving!  Each segment is 30 minutes long.


If you only have a few minutes or your kiddos need a brain break...they might like these little You Tube videos.  A sweet teacher down the hall from me introduced me to Koo Koo Kanga Roo.  I'm not kidding, my kinders L-O-V-E these!   They have a bunch to pick from!


Ok... I HAD to add this link... THANK YOU Sarah!!!
We just did a little Kung Fu Fighting in my living room!



Now here is the giveaway... Enter in the Rafflecopter to win EVERY item in this catalog.  This giveaway will be over quick! So hop to it!


Open publication - Free publishing - More 1st grade


a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you like what you see above, check out the following blogs for more fabulous ideas!   

Erica: Erica Bohrer's First Grade
Lindsey: The Teacher Wife    
Michelle: Fab-u-lous in First
Amy: Step Into Second Grade 

Hope: Second Grade Shenanigans
Anna: Crazy for First Grade
Cheryl: Primary Graffiti 
Deanna: Mrs. Jump's Class

Natalie and Rachelle: What the Teacher Wants
Sarah: First Grader At Last
Kim: Kinder Gals
Kathleen: Growing Kinders
Cara: The First Grade Parade
Abby: The Inspired Apple 



Sunday, December 30, 2012

New Year's Resolutions: Downtime...WHAATTT?

So today's linky is about what I like to do in my spare time... spare time... um... let me think...

Darn it! I think my resolution MUST be to carve out spare time for myself and my loved ones!

Here is the deal... I REALLY, really do love creating things on the computer. This is my hobby! Unfortunately  this is a very fattening hobby as I do not spend many calories in the process.  Tomorrow I will be hosting fitness resolutions, so I will wait to expand upon THAT nightmare.

So I guess this is what I do  during my downtime. 
I love to spend time with my family (the 2 legged and 4 legged variety)



We work hard all year so we can play hard in the summer!
 This summer we went to Europe.



I also enjoy hanging out with some bloggy friends.
Thank you Amy for hosting today's linky AND giveaway!!!

Click on the image to jump to her blog!


Saturday, December 29, 2012

New Years Resolutions: Professional Growth

Thank you Amanda at One Extra Degree for hosting today's Linky!!!
Cute graphic courtesy of Miss Amy Lemons!

So...here is the confession! I am a teacher book junkie!   I always feel like I am one book away from having all the answers. Consequently... I have a ton!

This is a book I bought 5 or 6 years ago.  I used it as part of our school wide professional development training when I was our district's literacy coach.  This is one of those awesome resources that I return to again and again.  It keeps me grounded in what my small groups should look like AND it is so practical... Love! It!


I have become a little stalker when it comes to Matt Glover and Katie Wood Ray.   Seriously, I saw Matt (as I like to call him) at a conference a few months back and after talking to me, I am pretty sure he was looking for security.

I just finished this book. Super easy quick read that validated some of my own beliefs and stretched my thinking!


I have these two books. I have skimmed them before, but I want to sit down (highlighter and all) and dive in!



What do you have on your nightstand to read?... professional books I mean...Ha!

Make sure you hop over to Amanda's awesome site and enter our Blessings Giveaway! 
A winner is selected each DAY!!!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Quick Giveaway!!!!

Two posts in one day?  Sheesh!  

BUT...

Alessia is THE sweetest person and she is having a MASSIVE giveaway!

Click on the image to learn more!


Resolutions Linky: Organization

Thank you Hope from 2nd Grade Shenanigans for hosting today's Linky and Giveaway!
Cute image is from none other than Amy Lemons... Love it!

Boy Howdy!  This is not my strength!   I have to REALLY work to stay organized because I am a stacker by nature.

Here is a look back at some of the things that currently work for me. 

This is a post that talks about how I prepare and organize my stations for the week.

Click on the image to view this post.
Here is a post that shows how I organize for my small groups and interventions.

Click on the image to see this post

My resolutions?     Corral my technology cords!



Hiding those bins on top of my cubbies.

I love these from Leslie at Kindergarten Works!

What are your organizational plans?

Hop over to Hope's blog to get some inspiration  AND to win some great items!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

New Year's Resolutions-Technology and Me

I am linking up with THE Growing Kinders to talk about New Year's Resolutions. I always make a few (or more).   

Today we are talking about technology.  Just the word gives me a rash.  I REALLY want to be that person who embraces technology, but alas...I have to push myself to try new things.  You may have noticed that I have added a few catalogs using the FREE program called Issuu. (pronouced: Issue)

This program is SUPER easy to use.  You just upload your PDF and WA-LA you have stepped into the digital age.  You could make a virtual bookshelf for your entire class!   What a fun way to share your student writing with parents! By the way, parents can order prints of their books for around $5!

So my resolution? To add student writing books to my ISSUU bookshelf.  Check back and see how I do!

This is a writing sample from November.



Open publication - Free publishing - More kindergarten


Check out Kathleen's techie smarts!!!!  AND she is giving away some awesome prizes!!!!

Happy Holidays!!!!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! We slipped on down to Texas to visit my husband's family for Christmas last weekend.  When we returned to Missouri we took in this film.

Have you seen it? My boyfriend (shown above) was A-MAZING!  Seriously, I knew I was done for when the tears started with in the first few moments of the film.  MAG-NI-FI-CENT!

Goodness! If feels like forEVER since I have blogged! 

I wanted to drop a quick post off before I slipped into bed.

Here are a few things that have kept me up tonight!

I finished the January Poetry Unit... Finally! We added emergent readers for each poem.  So the unit is even bigger and you will be able to do even more with it.  The price will remain $6 until Saturday at midnight, so grab it soon to save a few dollars.

I finished my winter stations




And I am really excited to bring these to my class after the break...no more Rock, Paper, Scissors!
Now... I am off to bed!!!


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Pajama Day!

So here is a quick post!  Tomorrow is pajama day!

I ran out and bought "public appropriate" Jammies!   
I love this day, but I know it will be exhausting!


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Working it all in

You have seen my lesson plans and I have had questions about how I get it all in. Well, some days I don't.  Some days we have little interruptions that add up to big time losses. 

However, I do try my best to maximize my instructional time.  Here are a few things that help to keep the ball rolling. 

Hint #1:  Use a timer.
I have this mounted on my wall (by my instructional table) and I use it ALL. DAY. LONG. This is equivalent to a food diary for a dieter...it keeps everyone honest.
Click on the clock to find this on Amazon.

Here is why I like it.
1.  It keeps me on track.  My mini-lessons do not turn into maxi-lessons.  NOTE:  Lessons that drag on invite behavior issues... another time sucker.
2.   My kiddos know how much longer they have.  There is a sense of urgency to their work.
3.  It is large enough for everyone to see.  If I see someone off task I can just point to the clock and they can see how much longer they have.
4.  It is sort of fun.  We play "minute to win it."  I tell my kiddos... "You have 2 minutes to put your calendars away and get your book bags out and meet me on the carpet."  or "You have 3 minutes to clean up your station neatly and completely and meet me on the carpet."   Their reward?  A single Smartie... they love it.  The bulk of lost instructional time can take place during transitions.  Incidentally, this is also one of the hardest times for your behavior kiddos.   Keep them moving and your monkey business will be reduced.

Your challenge:  Break out your timer and use it faithfully for a few days.  You will be surprised at how much time you will save.

Hint #2:  Say it once and mean it.

At this point of the year, every one of my students know the expectations for their station work.   They know they need to stay at their station the whole time.  They know they can ask 3 before me if they get stuck.   So... why would accept off task behavior at their station... I don't.

In all fairness, I restate the expectations and the consequences at the beginning of EVERY station period.  If they are off task, they I simply ask them to clean up and I give them a VERY boring page to complete.  Right now, my literacy station offenders write word wall words... like a bunch!  They can return to stations once this is done. I do not accept slop and I will make them do it over again.

My math stations offenders write their numbers to 100.  I give them a 100 charts to look at.

NOTE:   After 2 days of using these, I did not need to use them any more.

I call the papers "So Sad".  They are not fancy or cute... But they are free!


We have all seen parents who repeat directions with their child over and over. Then,  it is only when the parent has completely lost it and is red faced and screaming that the child complies.  
This is not how you want your classroom to feel.

Your challenge:  Say it once and mean it.  When there is an offense,  you don't need to give a lecture, just simply hand them their paper to do.  Don't discuss. Don't negotiate. Stay calm.  Once the paper is done,  reteach the appropriate behavior and move on.

Finally celebrate and love your students every day! Know and trust that they can!   Resist that inner voice that says, "My class can't do that."  Set the expectation, stay positive, and it will happen.

If you try any of these, will you let me know how they work?

Peek at my Week-Christmas Take 2!

This will a photographic post!  (Those are best anyhow... right?)

We are looking at Christmas traditions from around the world. 



 Since I was out in the hall with my Nikon... I grabbed a photo of our gingerbread glyphs... courtesy of Deanna Jump's unit!

I have our poem ready for next week.  My kids LOVE these!  It makes my heart glow!

I plan on adding a book version of each of these poems.  If I don't add them for December, I will definitely add them for the subsequent units... Overtime, I will go back and add them for the previous months.

Here are my lesson plans.  You will see that I did not change my stations.  I had to do a little reteaching and we had a few other distractions last week.  

Click on the image to download my plans with embedded hyperlinks.


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Peek at my Week-Christmas!!!

I have been asked to share a little about the poetry units. Here are some photos. These poems are from our December Poetry Unit, but you can do the same thing with your own poems.  Students should be very familiar with the items you place in your stations.  Reading this poem every day helps to build fluency, plus it is fun.  My kiddos loved taking turns holding the gingy while we sang along.

 Here is the poem we wrote for next week.
Because my kids were familiar with the Sequence game, we were able to quickly adapt to the letter/sound version.
Click on the picture to grab this fromTpT
 We love using the Promethean Board for handwriting timing!  It is amazing how motivating a $5 timer can be!
Click on the picture to grab this from TpT
 Here are some of the amazing items I got my hands on. The links to these products can be found in my peek of the week!

Deanna Jump's Elf Capades
Kim Adsit's Shapes Galore
Rachelle Smith's Holidays Around the World

You can see some of the other things I got by reading this post!!

Here is a Freebie I loaded last week!


Here are my plans for next week.  You can download the plans with the resource links by clicking on any of the photos below.
UPDATE:  Sheesh!  So sorry... operator error on my part!  I fixed the settings... sorry!!! You should now be able to get the plans.




Have a great week!

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