Thursday, December 22, 2011

We are still alive!

Hello everyone!
Sorry its been so long but most of you know how hectic this time of the year has been and if you teach in Las Vegas you know how crazy this year has been with all of the changes being made to our standards and gradebooks that don't align and all kinds of craziness.
I wont get into that because that is a whole different post. (YES, I know that was a very long sentence but as frustrated as I am about things going on I will not fix it. Ha!)

I would also like to announce that I am now 4 months pregnant so posting and having morning sickness or more like all day sickness was not happening. I am finally over the sickness and starting to enjoy.

Well enough excuses and sorry this post has nothing to do with teaching but I am on vacation and so my brain has checked out of school mode. Ha! I have so many things to share with you about school since I haven't posted in like forever.

So Anywho! This year I got an elf on the shelf for my son thanks to so many of you posting about it. My son has loved it. Everyday he wakes up and cant wait to look for him. He named his elf Jack. Jack has gotten into all kind of mischief at home. He decorated our tree with my sons underwear. He made rice angels, he tp'd my sons room, he drew a funny face on his picture, and my son has gotten a kick out of all of them. Check out some of the pictures!

Well as Christmas is fast approaching my son has really started asking questions about where Jack will go and how much he will miss him. I was really stumped on what to do since this is my first year doing this tradition so I went to my trusty site PINTEREST for some ideas. I found this really cute letter that the elf leaves the night before he goes away. I thought it would be perfect for my son. Hope you can all use it as well. Just click on the picture and get your copy.
I hope you guys have a great Christmas and an even better New Year. Thank you so much for being faithful followers. My New Year resolution is to make more time to post.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pumpkins Pumpkins Everywhere!

Wow! These few weeks have been very hectic. We have been working on apples, plants, Columbus's day, pumpkins, and we had to get ready for open house on top of that. It has been really hectic and I feel like I have neglected our poor little blog.

Well I wanted to share these really cute pumpkins my students did for open house. One of my teamates found a cute unit online where the students chose a favorite character and they transform their pumpkin into it. I am not going to lie I was a little worried at first because it was our first year doing it and I didn't know how many families would really get creative. I guess I was worried because all the first grade team was doing it and I was worried that my class would be looking like a hot mess. HA!

Well let me tell you I was pleasantly surprised. The students and parents did an awesome job. The pumpkins came out super cute and the students were able to write about their character so it was perfect for Open House. The whole first grade team had the pumpkins lining the hallway for Open House. It was a big hit with everyone. I do not know how many compliments we received from different families and teachers.

Here are a few pictures so that you can judge for yourself.

Chicken Little
Fancy Nancy and Penguin (something? I forgot the title)
Thomas the Train, Oscar the Grouch and David

Saturday, October 1, 2011


Hello Friends!

Well my class is studying germs next week. So as I was researching (or blogstalking) to see all the fabulous ideas my fellow bloggers have come up with I ran into Saylor's Log.
She has the cutest blog. She also did a really cute unit on Germs. I got some wonderful ideas from her site so if you haven't checked her out it is a must.

Well as I continued my research I found some more cute ideas all over the place so I decided to put them all together for you in a quick Germ Mini-Unit. So just click on the link and head on over to our Teachers Notebook for your freebie.

Hope you enjoy and I always appreciate comments!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

September is Hispanic Heritage

Hispanic Heritage Teachers Notebook
Hispanic Heritage TPT

Ok so I know that September is almost over but if you are like me you are wondering where it went. Didn't it fly by so fast!!!! Well September is Hispanic Heritage Month and along with learning about apples, Johnny Appleseed, and testing I always try to fit it in.

I usually reserve Fridays in the month of September and highlight a different country. I have the students fill out their passports and I even stamp them. Then we buckle up and get ready for our travels. Sometimes if I have enough donations we even have an in flight snack while we go on a tour of the country courtesy of my smartboard. After we have toured the country we talk about the language and some of the music. I always try to download some traditional music on my ipod so that we can listen to it while we color in our flag and find our capital on our map. After we have done that we either have a craft or enjoy some traditional games. I love to show the students some pictures of the children in the different cultures so that they know that they are not much different than them. As September comes to an end we have to finish up our Hispanic Heritage Month and I usually finish it off by eating some traditional foods. I usually have parents donate money so that I can cook some things up. Now that Rio is out on dvd we will enjoy the movie while finishing off our fiesta.

I have uploaded my mini unit on TeachersNotebook and TPT if you are interested. My students really enjoy this unit so I hope you will too. Just click on the link and it will take to our store.

Now I am off to enjoy the last few hours before my weekend ends.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Versatile Blogger

OMG! When I got this nomination from Abby over at The Third Grade Bookworm. I was so happy but I have to admit a little surprised. Sometimes it feels like nobody reads my posts since there aren't many comments left but I keep chugging a long hoping I am helping or inspiring someone as many of you have done for me. Thank you so much Abby you made my week and with my birthday being on Saturday you gave me a nice early birthday present.

So according to the rules I have to tell you 7 juicy details about me that you might not know. So here I go:

1. I love to run. I wish I had more time to devote to it =(
I have run a few half marathons and would love to run a full. Its on my bucket list.

2. I hate to cook. Hahaha! I am just not that creative in the kitchen. This is the reason I love pinterest. The ladies I follow over there always have easy and yummy recipes.

3. I was headed to Med School before I decided to become a teacher. I think I made the right decision for my family and I can honestly say I love my job everyday! Even the bad days! Ha!

4. I went to the military right after high school. At the ripe old age of 17. YIKES! I was in the US Navy and I was a gunners mate. Yes, I shot, assembled, and maintained all kind of guns. I know what a 360 turn from that to being a first grade teacher.

5. I love to be crafty. I am not always very good at it but I love to attempt all of the projects I see on Pinterest. I think I fine my inner Chi when I am working in my office/craft room.

6. I secretly desire to be a couple of inches taller. Ha! I am only 5' tall and clothes just don't fit right sometimes and the worst part is that the fifth graders are almost always taller than me. Good thing I teach first grade.

7.My favorite thing to do on a Saturday morning is to wake up early before the hubby and my son and make a good cup of coffee and snuggle on the couch and watch my I Love Lucy dvd's. I love that show she was hilarious and it always starts my weekend off right.

Now I thought that was hard. I have to now choose blogs that I think are worthy of The Versatile Award.

There is plenty more that I would like to nominate because I am inspired by so many but I have to be honest and I am getting a cramp. HA!

Thank you!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

poetry journal take 2

Hey friends,
So I was in such a rush to post the Poetry Journal that I didn't catch some typos on it. Some lovely ladies let me know and I have since fixed the problem. So if you would like to download it again then just head on over to our Teachers Notebook. Sorry for the typos but you know how hectic life can be sometimes. Thanks for all of the wonderful messages. I will post again later some of the activities we have been doing this week and I have a plant unit that I have been working on that I wanted to share with you.

Right now my son is calling me from the backyard to help him with his soccer kicks. Mind you he is 3 but already so focused. So mommy duty is calling me but I will catch up with you later.
Love ya!

Monday, September 5, 2011

What A Week!

Hello everyone!

Well its been one heck of a week. We started school last Monday here in Las Vegas and it was a doozie. I forget how much repetition and hands on teaching is needed at the beginning of the year and boy was I exhausted at the end of the week. Thank goodness for Labor Day!

My new first graders are great! We always have a few that we need to whip into shape! HaHaHa that sounds horrible. This is why it is so important to have great procedures and classroom management. By the end of the week they seem to be getting the hang of the rules and the classroom procedures. I have so many sweethearts that are ready and eager to learn. I really love my class this year!

Well like I promised before I wanted to show you my finished classroom and here it is!

This is my student work board. Underneath I have all of their book boxes they use during Daily 5.

This is my job chart. I have added all the boats and have all the students names on stars. All those baskets on the shelf are for homework, money and notes, spelling lists and the one closes to the door is for classwork. I don't use the hooks for their backpacks instead I have the students put them on their chair and use this to hang their coats during winter and hang my classroom mascot bag and the lost tooth bag that they get to take home.

This is my reading strategies above my reading group table. I cannot remember where I got the cards but I know I got them from some fabulous blogger.
This is my calendar area and where my group rug is.
I have 3 wonderful windows in my classroom which provide wonderful light but I run out of wall space fast. So I decided to put my birthday beach on my wardrobe and the one of the left is where I post all of my Daily 5 charts. It seems to be working for now since the students can refer to them when we are at the rug.
This is my word wall and my math wall. We didn't have any words up when this was taken but now I put all of the students names and the first 5 words on our list. The table is our writing center.

This is the view of my room from the door. All the rooms in our school are the same size so I have a pretty good size room with lots of windows so I am truly blessed.

This was my welcome board which I was inspired from one of my favorite sites. You guessed it Pinterest. The students loved finding their names on the surfboards during Meet the Teacher.

Well friends this is my classroom I hope you enjoy and it sparks some creativity like many of your rooms have inspired me. I am now off to enjoy what's left of my Labor Day weekend.


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hello Friends!

Sorry it has been so long since our last post. We officially went back to work on Wednesday and had all our meetings and trainings. We had a whole half day of training for our new Common Core that we have to implement this year. Talk about stress.

I am also trying to implement Daily 5 in my classroom. I am a little scared just because its hard to change what you already know. So if you all have any tips on Daily 5 I will love to read them. I have read many of your posts on Daily 5 so thank you so much for sharing all of your knowledge and insights because it is what inspired me to begin. Keep on posting ladies!

I got to meet my new students on Friday and talk about cuteness. I cannot wait to start off the new year. I have so much fun things planned for them.

I promise I will get some more pics up of the final classroom. I will also post some new things that I have been working on but right now I am exhausted. Its been a long day of doing all the last minute prep, boy I tell you the work of a teacher is never done.


Friday, August 19, 2011

Back to School!

Hello everyone!

It has been a while since my last post but I have been sick. Yes, can you believe having a cold in the middle of summer! It was a not a pleasant time especially in Las Vegas since it it so HOT! Can you imagine having a fever and it being 110 degrees outside. YIKES!

Well anyways now its over and glad that its out of my system so that I can get back to my classroom. I have to report back to work on Wednesday and I am not ready. Its like the more I go to class the more unfinished projects I find or make up. LOL! I love looking through blog world but there are so many good ideas that I want to implement in my classroom that sometimes I feel like I'm going CRAZY!!!!

Well anywho! I met with my wonderful first grade team last week and discussed many of our Back to School routines. We always start off the year with a Gingerbread hunt around the school to show our students around the school by solving a series of clues. The students love this activity! Well this year we decided to change it up a little and since our school's mascot is a Superhero. We decided to to a Superhero Hunt.

I dont know if any of you can use a Superhero Hunt but I am offering free fro all of you. Just click on the link below and check it out. Isn't it darling!
Well I don't know how many of you can use the Superhero themed hunt but if you can't I have also made a mini Gingerbread Unit. I have it up for sale on out TPT and our Teachers Notebook. It includes 15 pages of Gingerbread themed activities. Go and check it out! Click on the image below to head on over to our Teachers Notebook. Click on our TPT to check it out there!
Well now I am off back to the classroom. Hope to get a lot done so I can have a relaxing weekend with my family. My brother is back from studying abroad in Japan. Yipee!


Thursday, August 11, 2011

VIP Student

So as I was reading the blog post by What the Teacher Wants the other day about her VIP procedures. I got to thinking or actually remembered that I have to redo my VIP. You can check her posts and her wonderful downloads by clicking on the link. Last year my theme was more of an ocean theme so I had The Whale of the Week and that special child got the whole week to themselves. Each day they would do something different.

Monday: They would bring in their Autobiography and baby pictures. I would hang this on a bulletin board I created especially for this. We would read the autobiography and ooh and ahh at all the adorable baby pictures. I also asked the parents to write a special letter to their child on why they are so special and put it in an envelope for us to share on Friday.

Tuesday: The students would write a note to The Whale of the Week telling them why they are special. The Whale of the Week would write about being the VIP and what they think they are really good at.

Wednesday: The students would bring in a "Show and Tell" item. (I had to be very specific to tell my parents no animals because my word these people want to bring everything in.)

Thursday: The student would bring in their favorite book and we would share it with the class.

Friday: The student was presented with a certificate for being the student of the week and a little book of all the letters their classmates wrote. I would also read the letter from the parent. After all this is done the VIP for the week would reach in a bag and choose the next VIP for the week.

This is when I would return all the baby pictures except for one. The student would chose their favorite one and they would go on our baby wall. It looks so cute when it is all filled with the students pictures and I even put my own baby picture. Of course I am the first VIP since I want them to get to know me first and learn the routine. I also hang onto the autobiography paper and bind them together to make a great book for our classroom library. The students love reading it.

Well this year I am doing more of a Beach theme than an Ocean theme so I decided to change things up a little and instead of Whale of the Week, I am doing Surfer of the Week. Yeah I know I am very creative. HA! I also changed some of the things I do during the week because sometimes we wouldn't have enough time for the students to write a letter to the VIP so I decided to skip that this year but I wanted to let you know about it in case you are interested. I loved the idea that Rachelle had from What the Teacher Wants of sending home a classroom mascot and having the student write about their adventure. So I am adding the mascot this year and since I was an Ocean theme last year and I had a dolphin in my classroom already "Flippy the Dolphin" was created.

This is what the VIP wall looks like. In the frame goes the students picture that I took at the beginning of the year and in all that blank space goes all the pictures that the parents send in. Some students have more than others but I have never had a student not bring any in but if I did then I would have to put my own pictures of the student, since I am always snapping pictures. This clip art is all included in the download as well as the things for the binder for Flippy the Dolphin. I don't know if you could use it but at least it might give you ideas so click on the link below and let me know what you think.

Ok seriously I have 13 days before I have to be at work, where did this summer go? Must find my inner peace. Ha!!!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Polka Dot Beanie Strategy Posters

Last year a friend shared her Beanie Baby Reading Strategy Posters with me. The posters feature a Beanie Baby animal and a decoding/comprehension strategy that they represent. It's a very cute and appealing visual for kiddos who might need some extra help when they read. The posters she sent me were super cute and I cut them down, mounted them on colored construction paper and laminated them, but they don't fit my polka dot theme for this year! (And I am very OCD about making everything match!)

I searched high and low on the Internet and couldn't find anything that would work. So I did the next best thing.... I made them myself!

If you have a polka dot classroom, then this is the product for you! It features 15 different posters with decoding/comprehension strategies on them as well as an ADORABLE clipart image (thanks to Scrappin Doodles!) to go along with the strategy. It looks a little something like this:

And this is just ONE of the posters! Head on over to our store at to snag your copy!

I'm back! Some polka dot sneak peeks!

Hi everyone, Angie here! It's been so long since I posted that I feel like I need to re-introduce myself! I can't believe how fast this summer has flown by. I've been so consumed with my two little guys at home these past few weeks and I just wasn't able to blog as much as I would like! I also found myself in a "creativity funk" for a few days, but I am glad to say that was just a phase because now I'm back! Huge thanks (and my apologies!) to Cindy for keeping this baby going!

I realized I hadn't posted any pictures of my classroom and although I've been going in to my room at least once a week, I didn't feel like I was getting anything done! With the help of a Starbucks coffee and my awesome friend Tracy, I can FINALLY say that my classroom is coming along nicely! Here are some sneak peeks into my room now. Obviously it's not done yet, but we're getting there. :-)

My Reading Spot... there are still a few things I need to put up here! (The posters underneath the title are from Teaching in Flip Flops' blog and they are Reading Genre posters!)

My Meeting Spot/Calendar Board!

My Word Wall

It's hard to see in this picture but I made clothespins with a little chalkboard on the front of them for the students to write their names on. This will be my "Spot-Tacular Work" board!

I had this little niche of a wall and couldn't decide on what to put on it, but my Reading Reminders worked perfectly here! It's right next to my Reading Table so it works great! The wall to the right will have my Reading Beanies on it!

My desk area. The blank blue boards will have all of my schedules/calendars/memos on them!

That's it for now...I'm going back in this week to hopefully finish more of it. I've learned that I'm more productive when I don't have my little guys in there with me, so that's the plan! Stay tuned for more updates!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Its a Giveaway!

First Grade Fanatics are having a great giveaway that you must check out. Just click on the link to head on over there.


Friday, August 5, 2011

Teachers Notebook

Hello everyone Cindy here! I have great news we just opened out Teachers Notebook shop. I am posting some of our things as I type this( Yes I am that talented, Ha!). You definitely have to check it out.

In other news Angie and I decided to take a break from the classroom and we got our boys together for a fun playdate. They will be going to the same preschool next year so we got to tour it today and my son was so happy. It is going to be his first time in school and I am super nervous! After our tour we went to Angie's house and the boys got to play in the pool, which was so nice with this heat we have been having in Vegas. As the boys were playing me and Angie noticed that we didn't have any pictures posted of ourselves on here. So drumroll please, here we are!
It was an impromptu picture so we didn't get our glamour shot on but hey it will do. I am the one wearing green and of course Angie is the other one.

Back to the classroom on Monday. I am setting a goal to have my classroom done and ready by next week. It is so hard with a 3 year old running around but it is my mission next week. I will be posting pictures of my room and I am going to sneak into Angie's and take pictures because it is adorable with all those polka dots.

Hope you have a great weekend!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Pinterest/ School update

Ok so I have read everyone's post about Pinterest and decided to start an account. I have found a new obsession, not that I needed another one =)
I love how easy it is to be able to keep everything in one place. If you have not gone on Pinterest you have to check it out. You can follow me by clicking on the little red button.

After looking at all the cute DIY items all of you are making I decided to try my luck and make one. I decided on those seats out of crates. It was my first project all by myself and I think they came out pretty cute. (That is my son in the picture laying on my treadmill waiting for me to go play in the pool with him.)
As for school I am getting really anxious as the beginning of the year is fast approaching. I spent most of the morning in my classroom trying to get things done but with a 3 year old running around their is only so much you can do. My classroom is coming along so I will post more pictures soon.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Story Map Poster

I came across this amazing blog, Mrs. Gilchrists class. Many of you may have already heard of it but I just happened to stumble across it today. Well my word she has some really good resources that you have to check out.

I really loved her story map poster and wanted it for my classroom. I am not doing a pirate theme or I would have used hers since it was free. I am telling you she is very generous so if you are doing a pirate theme just head on over to her site and you can find it. I decided to make one that would fit my classroom and here it is. It is exactly the same as the one she did but with little hula dancers. You can turn it into a poster like she did and either laminate it so you can write with a dry erase marker or you can use sticky notes. I just thought it was a great visual to use when you are doing reading groups or whole group reading.

Hope you enjoy friends.


Monday, July 25, 2011

Reading Log

Hello everyone!

I was looking at my reading log from last year and it was very basic. (Code word for BOOORING!) I decided to spruce it up a little and share with you if you would like. Comments would be greatly appreciated.Just click on the picture!

Back to School Bonanza

Erica Bohrer's First Grade is having an amazing giveaway. You have to check it out!
12 ladies have teamed up and are giving away everything you will need for back to school.
I hope I win


P.S. I was one of the winners of the Oceans of First Grade Fun giveaway. Yay!

Friday, July 22, 2011

A Camping We Will Go!!!

I know its the beginning but as I have been blog stalking I noticed that a lot of people were doing a camp theme in their classroom. So I wanted to share our camp activities we did with our class last year. We did "Camp Learned-A-Lot" at the end of the year last year. It was so much fun!!! We set up tents in our classroom and made fire pits out of butcher paper and some big roll my husband brought from work. It was a week long camp and we did everything you would do at camp. Including friendship bracelets, singing camp songs, making popsicle stick frames, and even eating s'mores. I realize that we did our camp unit at the end of the year but I do not see why you could use it if you had a camp themed room. I have just uploaded the entire unit on TPT so go check it out. (I am in the process of setting up a teacher notebook account so you can find our products there too but for now just use TPT.)

Camp Unit

You wouldn't think I would give our lovely followers a freebie! What! I love freebies so here you go friends. Just click on the picture.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Classroom Pics! (Work In Progress)

I am going to my classroom today and get some work done! OK so that was my mind set when I woke up, I was determined to start putting things up on the wall and get my desks set up. So I packed up my son and drove down to my school and was overwhelmed by how much needs to be done. YIKES!!!

As many of you know I am doing a Beach theme in my room so I decided to take some pics so that I can share my classroom with you. Of course my camera was out of battery when I got there so I had to use my phone so excuse the quality.

TIKI Library

This is my classroom library. I had my wonderful husband hang my tiki roof from my ceiling. I have had him move it twice now because it was way too high and I know he is going to kill me but I think it is too low now. I still haven't put out the cute mat and the chairs but there will be more pictures since it is still a work in progress.


OK so don't mind all of the stacked books in the picture but here is my helper board. I made the boats using my Cricut machine and just cut up some water background you find at party city. I still have to put up a cute border and the title.

This is one of my bulletin boards that usually holds the thematic project we are doing. The shelves are just those storage things for the garage sitting side by side. I hot glued a grass skirt on the edge to hide any centers we are not using. The numbers cards above my bulletin board are from Oceans of First Grade Fun. She is truly amazing and she just made a second set of number cards 11-20 so I have to print those of too. My desk is on the left but it is a mess right now because one of my fellow teachers retired and blessed me with a lot of her teaching materials.

The last picture I have is my Birthday wall. I got this from Miss Kindergarten. It is a BIRTHDAY BEACH. The months are on sandcastles and you write the students names on red pennants. It was just too cute so I had to do it in my classroom.

This is just the beginning of my classroom. I still have a lot to do but I think I got a pretty good start. My son was actually a great help this time around. Usually there are toys and manipulatives all over the floor but this time he was busy writing on my white boards and dancing to the wiggles courtesy of my smart board and the cable in the classroom. Oh yes, I am blessed in my classroom. So stay tuned because I brought a lot to do at home and will be making another trip to my classroom next week.


Friday, July 15, 2011

Oceans of First Grade Fun is having a giveaway!

One of my favorite blogs is having a giveaway. She has finally reached 1000 followers and is celebrating with a giveaway. She always has great resources so go check out her blog and enter her giveaway.


I am SO indecisive... and another freebie!

I am so indecisive! After getting ready to laminate my behavior chart so it's ready to go in a few weeks, I decided that it was too plain looking. So I've re-vamped it and now I am finally satisfied! I cannot even begin to tell you how much time I spend making something and then re-making it again! Oh well, such is the mind of a teacher, right? :-) I hope you enjoy this one as much as I do!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Grade Level Linky Party

Kim over at The Teachers Lane is having a grade level linky party. It is a great way to find other blogs by grade levels. We are on the 1st and 2nd grade because we teach both. Ha!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Calendar Kit! (Beach theme)

As you can see we are focusing (as most of you are) on getting our classrooms ready for the upcoming school year. It's 19 pages and includes the months of the year in a beautiful Hawaiian print and the calendar numbers in fun flip-flop numbers. It also includes "Today is, Tomorrow will be, and Yesterday was..." wall signs with the days of the week. Here is a little sneak peak but if you want the whole kit just head on over to our TPT.