Get Organized!

26 February 2011
I have taught a course on Organizational Skills for Teachers and thought I would share my resources with you!  Here is the link for my top organizational tips!  This is a 15 page long packet, click and get organized.

Click {here} to view more photos of my classroom!

So Much to Do!

20 February 2011
Get ready because I am going to vent a bit.  I know all of my blogger friends can relate.  I love being part of a community of overachieving #1 Teachers.  I just don't know how some of you do it while looking great and having a family.  Are all teachers from the South skinny, happy, and beautiful?  LOL!
Here in NY we get a week off the week of President's Day.  Before I became a homeowner, I would be spending this week at some tropical locale.  Now, that I am married to this money pit, I have to work my behind off on freelance teacher stuff. 
I bought this house thinking I could do it all myself; I don't need any man to start my life.  Well, I have to say I am a tiny little thing and I cannot do it all.  Thank God my dad and my brothers live close by!  I cannot even carry the Costco cat litter into my basement with out dropping it down the stairs.  And with all that snow we had last month, my roof started leaking!  My brother had to come over and chip the ice off of it! 
I would love to be able to afford to fix all the broken things here, hence this vacation of work.  I do have to say though, that I love creating and coming up with new ideas. I am so happy to have this time off to work.  The problem is I have three projects going on at once and I am easily distracted!  My new book 20 Super Spelling Centers is due to Scholastic on March 1st, I am teaching a course on guided reading and working on TPT packet to give out to the participants, and I am trying to compile my Letter Writing Unit for TPT because I start that when we get back with my students. 
So stay with me this week and at the end I will hopefully be posting some great stuff.  Also, if you happen to know any smart, hunky, single men in their thirties send them my way!

I Love My New Blog Design!!!!

19 February 2011
Cara Carroll from Oh So Spoiled! and First Grade Parade designed my blog!  Isn't it just fabulous.  I love it.  Thank you, Cara!

Stylish Blogger Award

Brooke Perry from Primary Perspective, Amanda from One Extra Degree, and Katie from First is a Fairytale awarded me with the Stylish Blogger Award.  How sweet and exciting?
Here are the rules for receiving this award:

1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this 

2. Share 7 things about yourself.

3. Award 5 recently discovered great bloggers.

4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award.

7 things about myself:

1.  I am a single homeowner.  I mow the lawn and I know how to spackle.  I am not a fan of  doing these things and look forward to the day when I can pay someone to do them for me.

2. I love shoes and have a closet just for shoes.  The shoes are in plastic bins with photos on the outside.

4.  I go to the gym 4-5 times a week.

5.  I have two dogs, two cats, and a guinea pig.  I just love animals.

6. I teach and live in the Long Island town where I grew up.

7. I love the beach and boating.  I know how to drive a boat and have a boating license.  This summer, I have a Fire Island share (kinda like the Jersey Shore but classier...LOL).

I have selected the following amazing bloggers to receive this award:






Washington and Lincoln Craft

16 February 2011
One of my co-workers shared this craft with me years ago.  I am not sure where the original idea was from.  I am thinking a teacher magazine or book.   It is such a cute and easy craft that I thought I would post here for you with the tracers and the coins.  If you prefer, you can use real coins.

Story Unscramble Center

15 February 2011
This center idea was shown to me years ago by a consultant.  She had handwritten the words and hand drawn the lines.  I loved the idea and decided to create a template for it on my computer.  It took a while but with the help of a coworker, we were able to make one for each story in our reading series.  Yes, we still use a Basal Reading Series, just not the way it was intendend to be used.  We use it as more of a thematic umbrella and follow the Literacy Block Model of instruction. 
Anyway, I have uploaded directions, a center sign, the template, and two sample Story Unscrambles to Google Docs.  Click on the link below to save it to your computer so that you can edit and use it as you see fit.

Valentine's Day Card from the Teacher

13 February 2011

I just posted this free Valentine's Day Card on  Check it out if you are like me and wait until the last minute to do things!


Math Centers

11 February 2011
I love Math Centers!  I love creating them and I love doing them with my students.  Sometimes, I feel like it is the only way I can get away with "having fun" in school.  I do Math Centers in my classroom twice a week and have four centers and four groups of 5-6 students.  It takes me two weeks to get through a rotation.  The school Math Specialist pushes into my classroom and follows her homogeneous group of students to each center.  The rest of the class is grouped heterogeneously.  I usually have a "Guided Math Center" that I run or I float around and make sure students are on task.

This week my Guided Math Center is Adding Tens.  My students found this center fun and I thought it was a great way to introduce two digit addition while scaffolding on our past Place Value and 100 Chart Lessons.

The other three Math Centers this week tied in with Valentine's Day and the 100th Day of School.

100 Fruit Loops - This center and the mats are in my 100th Day of School Activities and Printables packet.

Both of these are sold in my Valentine's Day Writing, Math, and More

Writer's Workshop Resources

09 February 2011
I teach an inservice course on utilizing Mentor Texts during Writer's Workshop.  I finally compiled all my resources and created a Writer's Workshop Resources packet.  I am currently selling the packet at, click on the title above for the link. 
This packet includes four anchor charts and my labor of love: a 20 page bibliography with mentor texts listed by mini-lesson focus and/or writing trait. 
I hope you check it out.

Valentine's Day Writing, Math, and More!

I have just uploaded my Valentine's Day Writing, Math, and More! to TeachersPayTeachers.  It includes a Candy Heart Addition and Subtraction Center and Candy Heart Sorting and Graphing Center.  It also includes a writing response to The Day it Rained Hearts by Felicia Bond.  The packet is 38 pages long and includes a lot of cute stuff.  Check it out and let me know what you think!

January Scrapbook Pages

08 February 2011
I do a scrapbook type activity with the students each month.  I utilize the teacher resource book Making Memories.  Each month the students listen to and color in a poem, color in a heading, and complete a small writing prompt.  I then take their photograph and complete a hand print activity. 

For January, I decided not to follow the book's hand print activity, but instead to make a penguin to go with our penguin theme unit.  This month's photograph was taken of each student with his/her head through a snowman cutout.  The snowman scene was made by a very talented classroom aide.

I house the pages of the scrapbook in plastic page protectors in a small three ring binders.  At the end of the year, I send the scrapbooks home.  The parents treasure the scrapbooks and love to see both the physical and academic growth their child has made in a school year.

Penguin Alliteration

03 February 2011

First off, I would like to thank Sarah Cooley from First Grader At Last for introducing me to the book Pink! by Lynne Richards.  The book is adorable.  It is about Patrick the penguin, who wakes up one day to find himself pink.  He feels that he does not fit in with the other penguins and goes off to live with flamingos.  That does not work out for him and he ends up back home, where everyone missed him.  The story works well for character education and as a fictional penguin themed book. 

Upon, reading the book, I noticed the authors use of alliteration Patrick, penguin, pink, perhaps, etc.  I decided the book would work for a Writer's Workshop mini-lesson on alliteration, while fitting in with our penguin thematic unit.

First, I gathered up my scrapbook paper and let the students choose one of four colors.  The students either made a pink, purple, blue, or green penguin.  After, they created their penguins, they named them using real or made-up names that began with the same letter as the color word.  For example, Poppy the Pink Penguin or Blaze the Blue Penguin.  Once names were picked, the students worked on creating stories based around their penguins.  The top writers were able to incorporate alliteration and have a story with a problem and solution.  The middle to bottom writers tended to focus on describing their penguin using alliteration.  The end result was an eye-catching hallway display.

Meet the Teacher

02 February 2011

Cara Carroll from The First Grade Parade started a "Meet the Teacher Link Party" and all my favorite teacher bloggers have joined in.
Here is my bio:  My name is Erica Bohrer and I am 32 years old and still single!  Ugh, the bad date stories I could tell!  I have taught first grade for the past eight years and before that second grade for one and kindergarten for half a year.  I own my own very small home on Long Island, NY.  I live less than five minutes away from my parents, who have a beautiful house on the water.  I honestly never should have left; I hate mowing the lawn and dealing with all this SNOW!

My wonderful family at my brother Kurt's wedding
I have a bachelor's degree in Literature and Rhetoric from Binghamton University and a Master's in Elementary Education from Dowling College.  I loved Bing and all my roomies.
I love animals and have two small dogs: Sophie and Niles.  I also have two cats: Ella and Greta.  I have a guinea pig named Molly that is my class pet. 

I just started blogging and I love all the resources on here.  I am learning and will make my blog fancy one day, I promise!  Right now, I have another teacher resource book manuscript due and I need to get that done.  The new book is about spelling centers.  I am sure Scholastic will come up with a super long jazzy title for it.  Check out my first book on the right :) 
Another, FYI, I was the teacher featured in the NY Times article on TeachersPayTeachers.  The editors changed the whole direction of the story after it was written and edited the heck out of what I said :(
Now for the Q & A

Q: What would you be doing if you weren’t a teacher?                                             
A:  I would be a Veterinarian or something with animals.

Q: What are your hobbies?                                                                                    
A:  I go to the gym and I like taking boot camp and Zumba classes.  I love to shop and find bargains.  I think Marshall's and TJMaxx are great stores.  I like going out for drinks.  I love boating, the beach, and summer.  This summer I will be getting a quarter share of Fire Island Beach house. 
Me, Mr. Moo, and my nephew, Dylan

That's me in the black bikini on my brother's boat at Hemlock Cove (my favorite boat hang out)

Q: When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?                     
A:  I always wanted to be a veterinarian.  I was a very shy kid and was made fun of for my bucked teeth.  Animals never judged me and were always drawn to me.

Q: What are your guilty pleasures?                                                            
 A: Nutterbutters, US magazine, Jersey Shore, and Bridalplasty

Q: What is your biggest fear?!                                                                 
 A: Germs!  Check out my Germ Unit on Teacherspayteachers!  I am also afraid that I will never meet the man of my dreams. 
Q: When you’re on vacation, where do you like to go?                             
 A: Anywhere warm and with a beach.
Q: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?                                                   
A:  Think before you speak...I always say whatever is on my mind and sometimes I unintentionally insult people.  Oops

Q: What do you value most in others?                                                                   
A:  Work ethics - I work my behind off and expect the same from others.

Q: If you could choose one of your personality traits to pass down to your kids, what would it be?                                                                                                        
A: My compassion for animals and the underdogs

Q: If you could have lunch with anyone in the world….living or dead…who would it be?                                                                                                         
A:  I would love to meet the ladies whose blogs I follow.  I love that there are other overachieving teachers in the world.

Now tell us one random thing about yourself:
My cousin just got married and his wedding will be on the Four Weddings Show.  Look for me in the background. 
I live not that far from NYC and have friends in the entertainment industry.  I have gotten to meet Kelly Rippa and watch her tape the show Hope and Faith.  She is so tiny and covered with freckles in person!
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