Friday, March 29, 2013

Magic Eggs

We had so much fun in First Grade last week!  We did a little "magic" which the kiddos found amazing!  I love doing this project with my class each year!  Like most great projects, we start with a wonderful book!

After reading about Babushka and her beautiful eggs, we made our own! 

We started with a plain circle and drew shapes and squiggles.  Then we colored each shape or space a different color.  We tried not to have two touching spaces be the same color. 

Then we carefully cut the circle into strips about the same width as our pinky fingers.  We made about 6 cuts, which gave us 7 strips!  We cut the strips over our background paper so they would fall in order on the paper.  Then we glued them down onto the background paper, leaving small spaces in between each strip!
Viola!  A circle becomes an magic!

These cuties wanted to make a second "magic egg" and work together!

This is not a jelly bean!  It's a _________.

We also did a little writing with Jelly Bean shapes!  I love this writing assignment and my firsties did, too.    We started with jelly bean shape tracers and a variety of color choices.  Each child chose a color for his or her jelly bean and traced and cut out the shape.

Then we had to decide what our jelly bean, wasn't!  Each child created a picture using the shape and completed the frame sentence:

This is not a jelly bean!  It's a _________.

This is not a jelly bean.  It's a shoe.

This is not a jelly bean.  It's a cat.

And, my personal favorite....
This is not a jelly bean.  This is Mario!
My kiddos had so much fun with this little writing assignment that I'm thinking about adding to independent literacy tubs for the remainder of the year.  I'll add different shapes each week and let their imaginations go wild!

Have a great Easter Weekend! 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Balancing Equations!

Spring Break was so relaxing and wonderful, but now we are "bunny" hopping back into things at school!  10 weeks of school left!  Can you believe it?  I always get that "oh my gosh, there's still so much to teach them" feeling about this time of the year!  

This week, I'm working with my little firsties to understand the meaning of the equal sign, and determine if equations are "balanced."  This is the balance I use to let the kids build equations.  They can see the results right in front of them.  It is very concrete and provides a great visual for students.

Students use flower manipulatives (Dollar Store!) and number cards to build the balanced equations 5+0=2+3.

This is part of my Bunny Balancing Math Unit. 

 (On Sale thru Friday)

This unit is aligned to the Common Core Standards.  It is 43 pages which includes directions and additional game similar to "Scoot", and lots of practice pages for building balanced equations.  Number cards are included.

California will not fully implement the CCSS until 2014, but my school is getting on board early.  I'm so thankful that we are!  These skills are so meaningful and my students are using higher level thinking to solve these equations!

On another note, I saw this cute little craftivity on Pinterest and thought I might give it a try with my kiddos  tomorrow!  Isn't it adorable!

Thanks for checking in!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Birthday Sale!

Hi Friends!  Well, as I've said, I like to celebrate my birthday all month long!  I just hosted a Birthday Giveaway and now I'm in the mood for a sale!  Please check out my TpT store and enjoy 15% off all of my items.  I've recently added two new items and freebie!  I love reading your feedback and comments.   Make it a great week! Leader Board Banner

Spring Freebie!

Happy Sunday!  I have a quick Freebie for you!  Please download and "wahlah" you have morning work or an independent literacy center!  All I ask is please leave feedback!  Thank you so much and have a great week!  I love Spring!

Giveaway Winners!

Congratulations to the winners!

Prize #1  Winner: Laura Cooney 

Prize #2 Winner: Shelley Clontz 

Prize #3 Winner: Jennifer Nicholson Agolino   

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Birthday Giveaways!

Birthday Giveaways!

It's my BIRTHDAY MONTH and you get the presents!  Three chances to win these fabulous prizes from lots of wonderful stores on TpT!

It's my Birthday Month!  So it's time for a Giveaway!  I'm very excited about all of the wonderful products that have been donated for this giveaway!  I think you will be excited too.  There were so many that I've divided them into 3 different bundled prizes!  So now you have 3 chances to win!  Yay!

Birthday Prize #1

Birthday Prize #2

Birthday Present #3

Relaxed and Ready!

I'm back from a great vacation with my daughters!  It was so much fun to have an all girls trip to Disneyland!  We missed my hubby, of course (he had to work :( ), but it was great fun to be on our own to shop and go at our pace!  We rode so many rides; I even did roller coasters, usually my husband's job, and saw princesses and characters galore!

Luckily, I laminated lots of station games before I left, so now I just need to cut and organize and I'll be somewhat ready for the week ahead!  I'm looking forward to seeing my little firsties.  I really miss them.  I missed a three days for the conference before spring break.  It's been awhile and I'm definitely rested and ready to return to the classroom.

My giveaway ends tomorrow! Be sure and enter, if you haven't already!  The winner will probably be set for literacy and math stations for the remainder of the school year!  :)

One of the prizes includes my game, Easter Egg Eggo, which is great for centers.  It has 4 games which reinforce "r" controlled vowels and -ed, -ing, and -s endings. I know my kiddos will need a review of these skills next week, so I'm putting these games in my literacy center tubs!  

Well, I'm off to catch up on blogs and hopefully finish one more game!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Tech Support!

I'm linking up with Fern Smith's blog to share some technology tips from the classroom!  I'm lucky enough to have 2 student computers and 3 iPads in my classroom this year.  I integrate this technology into my daily station rotation.  Every day, students rotate through the technology center and either alternate days using the computer or iPad.  The iPads are loaded with educational apps and the students choose what they want to work on.  The computers are set up with Lexia Learning!  I monitor all of my student's progress throughout the week and they are so excited to share their successes when they pass a level.

Well, using technology is great...until....the server is down, the mouse breaks, the battery dies, the headphone jack breaks, hmmm, there are so many other scenarios, but back to my point!  Since I am teaching reading groups at the same time students are at technology, I don't want the kiddos to interrupt my group.  Therefore, I have one child assigned too be "Tech Support!"  This is a classroom job, just like my"messenger".  It makes sense, the students know more about technology than I do anyway! Ha!

Don't forget to check out Fern's blog for more technology tips!  Have a great weekend!

Saturday, March 16, 2013


I just returned from 4 beautiful days in San Diego attending the California Charter Schools Conference.  It was an amazing trip with my wonderful colleagues.  I love professional conferences; especially that feeling of being reenergized and full of new and improved ideas and strategies!  I think it is a perfect time to go to a conference since I now have a week off for spring break and can process much of what I learned at the conference.  When I return to school, I should be rested and ready to finish the year with lots of excitement and energy.  (One can hope!)

This next week is Spring Break!  I'm taking my kids to Disneyland for a few days...really, I think it's secretly my birthday present to myself, but I'll let them think it's for them!  :)  I love Disneyland and always have.  It really is the Happiest Place on Earth!  We are combining the drive down with a short college tour and visit to an institution my oldest daughter is considering for next year.  That should be fun too.  I can't believe she will be in college next year!  Another reason to take a trip with my girls, while I still have them all in one place!

When is your spring break?

Don't forget to enter my Birthday Giveaway!  There are so many wonderful prizes, you won't be disappointed!


Saturday, March 9, 2013

I'm a California Blogger

I just linked up with Diane at Fifth in the Middle for her "Blogs by State" Linky Party! This is so fun!  I've already discovered so many other Northern California Bloggers!  I am originally from Texas, so it does sting a little that I'm not able to add the Texas Blogger button...maybe I can add a smaller Texas one...hmmm...I'll think on that.  But for the present, I am a California Blogger living in Northern California.  I like to think of my town as a "small town," when in reality it is more like a "small city".  I grew up in Houston, so any place feels smaller.  I've lived here for 19 years and I absolutely love the small feel to our town.  Whenever I go out shopping, I see someone I know! It really is "home" and I love that!

Busy, busy weekend!

I just finished my 2nd trimester report cards!  Whew!  Report cards always take so much time, I dread them, and then I have such a feeling of accomplishment when I am finished!  I really enjoy taking my time with each student's report card and thinking about each student's individual progress.  I know that sounds fairly obvious, but it is really easy to get caught up in planning, prepping, teaching, repeat...and not focusing on individuals.

So here is Project #2 for the Pinspired Linky :

Isn't this the cutest?!
  I absolutely want my firsties to make this, but I'm waiting until around Earth Day to let the Lorax out of the bag!  There is just so much to do with Dr. Seuss that I have to spread it throughout March and then we'll get to have more fun in April!  If you click on the link above, it will take you Danielle's Place, and she has so many cute Dr. Seuss crafts for young children!    So remember Earth Day, April 22!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Pinspired Linky!

I've linked up with Mrs. Sheehan at Learning in Wonderland, for a Pinterest Inspired Linky!  Sounds fun, right?  I can't wait to share my favorite pins with y'all and see what other pinners share.  Please join by visiting her blog and linking up with us!

In addition to linking up, I'm making a commitment to actually try one of my many "Pinned" ideas each week!  I feel like all I do is "Pin"great ideas, and now I'm going to use them!  Don't get me wrong. I do refer to my boards on Pinterest, but I don't use the ideas like I'd like to.  I really want to stretch my creativity in the classroom.  So there you go!  It's out there!  I've publicly committed to being more creative of a copycat!  HA!

To get started, here is Pinterest Project #1DSCN1509

I would really like to try this for Mother's Day!  I have the best group of parents this year and I think they would get a real kick out of this!  It's so cute!  

Monday, March 4, 2013

Hopping into Spring!

So it's not really Spring yet, but I'm really ready for it!  I just realized that daylight savings time is next weekend!  Holy Cow!  It seems early!  I'm certainly not complaining!

This weekend I worked on an Easter Egg game for my students.  I can't wait to  introduce it next week.  Check it out and see what you think!

What do you think of the name?  It makes me think of waffles!  

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Read Across America

I love March!  First it's my birthday month!  Woohoo!  And it's Dr. Seuss' birthday!  I like to celebrate RAA all month long (along with my birthday) so he'll be our featured author this month, of course! Friday, we celebrated as a school and class.  The middle school students dressed as Thing 1 and 2 and The Cat in the Hat.  The firsties loved it!  Here we are after listening to and eating Green Eggs and Ham!  It seems silly to even include a picture since I have to cover up all of their cute faces!  But you get the idea...right?  

My students love math and we had a really good time with our balanced equations!
Click the picture to go to my TpT store!

I used a balance to demonstrate this concrete in a much for concrete way!  Each child came up and "built an equation".  We then practiced at our seats.  Some of the kiddos got it super fast and I worked with those that needed a little extra help.  

We read with our big buddies too!

I'll post more of our cute projects as the month goes on!