Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Read about the "d-u-m" thing I did today!

Today, I did the dumbest thing! The soap dispenser in my bathroom is attached to the mirror with two adhesive strips and when I got into school this morning, it had fallen into the sink. I tried to rehang it, but it fell again, with a loud crash. I took it out of the bathroom and put it on the counter so I could email the person in charge of getting our maintenance man to come to our classroom. Then, I let the children in for the morning. They asked me why the soap dispenser was on the counter and I told them what happened. Then, I went to move it out of their way, but, it was stuck to the counter. It would not budge! I tried with all my might to move it, but it was not going anywhere. The children just laughed and laughed. I laughed, too, and told them that I made a really silly mistake. Silly just didn't seem like the right word though, so I told them I made a mistake a little worse than silly, but I don't want to use that word in school. So one of my students came up to me and whispered, "you mean d-u-m!" We burst out laughing! A couple hours later, the maintenance man came in with a huge chisel and spray and worked at that thing forever. Pieces of the dispenser were flying everywhere, soap was flying everywhere, it was a mess! After what seemed like an eternity, he finally got it unstuck from the counter and then the poor man had to get all the adhesive off, too. It was a new dispenser and it had to be thrown away. Thankfully, he was amused by my stupidity, too! I told my students that I learned a big lesson today! I know that they all went home and told their families about the d-u-m thing their teacher did! Here are two of my students trying to get it unstuck... We tried to wedge a back scratcher under there, too, but the back scratcher broke in half. They told me to try a scissor and I asked them if they really think it's a good idea for their naturally clumsy teacher to be using such a sharp object in such a dangerous way. They all agreed that it was not a good idea!

The only good thing about this is in second grade, the children were writing narratives about a bad day. This incident made for a really great narrative, modeled by yours truly! I have 7 more days left of school. I'm going to try really hard to not do any more d-u-m things!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Please join me on Facebook!

I just started a facebook page today and I would love it if you would join me over there. I haven't quite figured out how I am going to manage a blog, facebook page, classroom homepage, teacher store, and Pinterest, but, we'll see what happens! Thanks for "like"ing me! 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Updated Freebie, Handwriting Packet, and Writing Program

Congratulations to all the wonderful bloggers who made the list of  the Top 50 Elementary Teacher Blogs. I was happy to see that I was #14. Considering I didn't try very hard to solicit votes, I'm pretty happy with this number. I figured since I loved all the blogs on the list, I'd just let fate decide who got the top prize. You can see a list of all the blogs by clicking the image below. My advice is to follow all of them because they are all worthy of the top prize.

Updated 8/10/12
The posters are back on TpT! 
DJ Inkers now allows freebies to be posted there! Yay!

A while ago, I posted a freebie on Teachers Pay Teachers. It was a Classroom Promise Poster. I had to remove it because I didn't realize that you cannot post freebies on TpT that use DJ Inkers clip art. It's now in the freebie section of my blog. I redid it and made it even cuter. Click the image below to download it. I'm trying out Dropbox because Google Docs made the activity look funky. Please let me know what you think of the "cutesified" version! Thanks!

I don't know about your students, but my students' handwriting is not that great. Between poor pencil grip, forming their letters from the bottom up, and/or tracing each letter over and over again, I am almost at my wits end. My school cannot afford to purchase a commercial handwriting program and I haven't really found anything I love on the internet. So, what's a teacher to do? 

How about create your own? I did just that and I am very pleased with how it came out. 

I actually combined handwriting practice with sight word practice. After I teach my students the correct way to form each letter and they practice writing each letter, they then trace high frequency words that begin with that letter. I know what you're thinking...that's a sneaky way to fit in sight word practice! And you are absolutely right! 

I am going to use these books for kindergarten, first, and second grade. 

You can find these handwriting booklets here in my store!

Click here to get a handwriting assessment sheet and a cute certificate to award your students when they have improved their handwriting!

As always, the first person to comment on this post can have the packet for free. All I ask is that you come back here and let everyone know how you like it. (But only if you like it!)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Would you think I'm crazy if I framed this?

I am so excited to be the featured teacher-author in this week's Teachers Pay Teachers newsletter! I may even print it and frame it! Never, in a million years, would I have thought that I would be selling my products. I've been quietly creating for almost 20 years and am so happy that I took the chance to open a store. Thank you so much, to all my dedicated followers. I have BIG plans for the summer, so stay tuned...

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Ocean Unit Activities, a Freebie, and a Giveaway!

My first graders have really been enjoying our under the sea adventures! There's so much to learn and so many exciting activities to do. What I love most about this topic is that the children can learn so much on their own, by reading nonfiction books and articles. I paired them up and gave each pair a nonfiction dolphin or shark book and they filled out their own tree maps.

Then, I transferred all their information to a giant sized tree map that I hung in a pocket chart. (This activity is part of my Dolphins and Sharks Activity Pack. You can click the picture for more information.)

We also completed a 3-2-1 Nonfiction Reading Strategy Graphic Organizer. First, I modeled how to complete the graphic organizer.  Then, the children completed one at a station. Being able to read informational texts effectively is a fundamental quality of successful readers. After reading nonfiction books or articles, this graphic organizer helps the children summarize what they have learned. You can click either image to get a copy for yourself. If you download it, please leave me some feedback at my store. Thanks so very much!

Here is a picture of one of my ocean display tables (before the children had at it!) It doesn't stay so neat looking for very long!

I  hope that you all enjoy your week!

Monday, May 14, 2012

2012 Fascination Award

There are so many talented and dedicated teachers whose blogs have been nominated for the 2012 Fascination Award. The Fascination Awards are an annual collection of the web’s most inspirational and thought-provoking blogs. All participants are nominated by the editorial team at Accelerated Degree and voted on by our readers. I am proud to be one of the nominees for this award and would like to ask you to vote for me if you think I go above and beyond, providing you with truly engaging content. Do you think my blog:

Inspires you

Encourages discussion through comment posting

Contains genuinely fascinating content

If so, please click the image below to cast your vote. The blog with the most votes by May 21 at 11:59 PM (EST) will win the grand prize, a $100 restaurant gift card. I'm not quite sure how you are all going to choose one person to vote for, because there are so many amazing blogs. I would know...I happily follow most of them! 

 Thank you so much for your vote.

Accelerated Degree Programs

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Character Education and can you say awwwwwww...?

Promoting good character in my students is so important to me. My school teaches character education and all the teachers choose one student each month to be the Kid of Character winner. They are honored with a certificate at a monthly assembly. My students in grades K-2 complete a monthly writing assignment, telling me what each trait means to them and how they demonstrate the character trait for that month. Then, the winner each month completes another writing activity, telling everyone why they think they were chosen. I hang those in the hallway, along with their pictures. Now that the school year is almost over, my bulletin board is complete. 

The children love looking at this board every time we walk by it. I actually see them smile at their picture every time! It's so cute! I made posters for inside my classroom to remind the children of the character traits and what they mean. 

If you want a display like this in your classroom, you can click here or on the image below to see these posters in my store.

Now, on to some non-school business...

Look what came in the mail today?

I ordered this canvas from Easy Canvas Prints and couldn't be happier with the final product. If you would like to order one, too, click on the image below:

Originally, I ordered it to give as a gift, but, I changed my mind. It's too cute and I love it too much to give away! The website is so user friendly and the service is excellent. If you're looking to give someone a unique gift, I highly recommend checking it out. Or, if you're like me, just get one for yourself! You won't be sorry!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Mother's Day Writing and Two Freebies!

Today, all of my classes finished their Mother's Day writing activities. I would like to share with you some of the activities they completed.

In kindergarten, we brainstormed some adjectives to describe our moms. 

Then, we filled out a tree map.

I had the children highlight their favorite idea from each column. Then, they used each one in a sentence and illustrated each sentence.

My mom is happy.
My mom has lots of clothes.
My mom can juggle.

Here is a more advanced writer, who added details to his sentences.

In first and second grade, they did the same thing. First, they started with the tree map to help organize their ideas. Then, they picked their favorite from each column.

Gotta love the "smoke!"

In first grade, I had the children fold a piece of notebook paper in half and write their three main ideas in each fold. Then, they added a supporting detail and, in some cases, a one time when. In second grade, they used this planning sheet to help them organize their main ideas, supporting details, and one time whens.

After they were done organizing their thoughts, they wrote their rough drafts. I conferenced with each child while they were at stations completing other activities. Then, they wrote their published essay on pretty paper. Here are some first grade essays:

Here is a second grade essay:

You may have to right click and enlarge the essay to read it. She colored it in before I made the "don't color over your words" announcement!

My first and second graders also completed a My Mom book. They came out so cute. Here are some pictures of the first grade books:

Sorry some are blurry!

The last activity I would like to share with you are the letters my first and second graders wrote to their moms. Here are some first grade letters:

"...even when you're mean." Gotta love the honesty of kids!

All in all, it's been fun completing these activities. If you like them, you can check out my Mother's Day Activity Packet by clicking the image below.

I apologize that this post is so l-o-n-g! As a thank you for reading my post, here are two freebies for you. Just click on the images to retrieve them.

If you download my freebies, please let me know by leaving me a comment. Thanks so much!

I hope you all have a great Teacher Appreciation Week. 

Scholastic Teacher Book Wizard