You Know You're a Teacher When...

30 March 2011

Abby is hosting a "You Know You're a Teacher When..." Link Party at The Inspired Apple.  Click to link up!

You Know You Teach First Grade When...

- "You are a great artist!" is the complement the students give you every time you draw something and it still boosts your ego.
- You must remind yourself and the six year olds, that YOU ARE THE BOSS.
- You instantly say "Wash" anytime someone sneezes.
-  You have the urge to discipline children in stores.  (So hard to turn it off!)
-  You don't curse at home.
-You know what a kid means when he/she tells you someone said the "i" bad word or the "s" bad word.  (Idiot and stupid)
-  All you have to do is say something with enthusiasm, in a high pitched voice and the kids will get excited. 
-  Hand sanitizer is referred to as "Hanisizer."
-  You love laminating.
- When you sing happy birthday to family members, you forget and sing the "Cha Cha Cha" part.

Y and ie as Long I

28 March 2011
This week, our phonic element is Y and ie as long vowel i.  I make posters or file folders, to help the students read words with the specific phonic element of the week.  During centers, the students read/write the room for words with that specific phonic element or those specific phonic elements.
Click {here} for the posters.

Click {here} for read/write the room sheets.

Spring File Folder Word Wall and Writing Prompts

27 March 2011
I have updated my Spring File Folder Word Wall and Writing Prompts for TpT.  Click {here} to download for only $1! 

Things Borrowed and Things Returned Binder

25 March 2011
In my 10 Things I Learned From Teaching post, I said that creating a "Sign-Out Binder" deters colleagues from interrupting your lesson to borrow items and helps you keep track of your things.  It is a Catch 22: These colleagues are your friend and you want to help them, but on the other hand these are your things that you bought with your hard earned money!  Why should you be punished for spending money on your classroom?  So one year, when there were two new teachers on the grade (not new to teaching, though) and the other two were still borrowing from me as usual, I came up with the "Sign-Out Binder."  I explained to them that it was too hard for me to go asking around four plus classrooms to find my materials when I needed them.  This binder allowed me to keep track of my items and only a teacher could sign them out.  If a teacher wanted to borrow something, she could not sent a student over to borrow the item.  This has worked well for me, I hope it helps you, too.  I know all my blogland friends are those type of teachers where everyone says "ask her, she has everything."

Jelly Bean Themed Math & Freebie

24 March 2011
Check out my 42 page Jelly Bean Themed Math Packet!
Included in this packet: Parent Donation Letter, List of Suggested Jelly Bean Themed Picture Books, Jelly Bean Sorting, Tallying, and Graphing Center, Jelly Bean Eggs Estimation and Graphing, Jelly Bean Guess and Count Center, Jelly Bean Estimation Jar Worksheets (two versions), Jelly Bean Addition and Subtraction Center, Jelly Bean Addition and Subtraction Flash Cards, Jelly Bean Counting by 10's Work-Mat, Jelly Bean Word Problems, Jelly Bean Patterns, and Jelly Bean Center Signs. 
 Here is a little freebie from the packet.

Ten Things I've Learned From Teaching

Jennifer at Rowdy in First is hosting a "Ten Things I've Learned from Teaching" link party. 

I have been teaching for 10 years and I think I have learned at least 10 things!
1.  Laminating is therapeutic and thrilling at the same time. 
2.  Laminate things yourself or pay to have it laminated.  The school laminating always peels and then you just have to re-do it anyway.  I own two laminators - one for school and one for home.  Yes, I really love laminating.
2.  When a kids starts crying and says "I don't feel well," get out of the way fast.  He/she is about to puke.  (One of my aides learned this the hard way this year!)
3.  The parents you need to read the classroom news or at home help letters never do. 
4.  Everyone thinks their child is perfect...choose your words wisely when discussing problems with parents.  Take time and jot stuff down and always start with a possitive.
5.  The more you give the more everyone takes!  Set boundaries with your colleagues, so that you don't get burnt out.  Or just make it harder for them to take!  I have a sign out binder for teachers to fill out when they borrow things from me.  It prevents them from sending kids over to interrupt my lesson.  Don't feel bad about it either, they are the ones asking you for a favor!
6.  Always put the runners/problem students in your group for field trips.
7.  You will never take a full lunch break.
8.  Kids tell it like it is.  So if one of them tells you that you look beautiful, it is the best complement in the world!
9.  Dollar tree pencils are crap and the points fall out.
10.  You have an extreme influence over the students in your care.  I notice my students mimicking my mannerisms and my germ-phobia (I always say "wash" after someone sneezes in their hands; now the kids just do it or will remind their friend to.)  This is an awesome power and responsibility.  It puts a lot of pressure on us to be perfect.  Being perfect is unrealistic; I tell my students nobody is perfect and even teachers make mistakes and have bad days. Still, I kill myself trying.

Happy Teaching!


23 March 2011
I just checked out Sqworl thanks to Cheryl at Primary Graffiti and you should, too!  What a great way to organize your links!  I just made one for my graphics and font links, click {here} to check it out.  I  would love to make one with interactive math websites by math topic...I will add that to my "To Do List."  My students love playing Give a Dog a Bone and always ask me to give them the link.  How great would it be if the parents had a link with all the websites I use for math?

The Desk Fairy Was Here!

22 March 2011
Every once in a while, the Desk Fairy comes to visit room 115.  She comes when the students and I are at lunch or when they are at special.  We know that she has been in the classroom because she always leaves Fairy Dust and her calling card on the neat and tidy desks.  We never know when she will stop by again.  We always try and put things away in their proper places, so that we can have a neat and tidy desk!


21 March 2011

Wow!  I cannot believe I have reached 300 followers!!!  Technically one of them is my mother and the other my sister-in-law - but still 298 people that are not related to me! Wooohoooo!  I feel the love.
I would like to thank all of you who follow and have helped and inspired me along the way.  I started this blog in January of this year and it has become my favorite hobby.  I have to say, Deanna Jump was my inspiration.  I bought her penguin unit with a link to her blog.  I checked out Mrs. Jump's Class and a whole new world was opened for me.  From her blog, I found so many more great ones to follow.  How could I resist joining in the fun!

My next book for Scholastic (20 Super Spelling Centers) is due in a few weeks.  I am going to dedicate it to "All of my teacher friends in blog land."

Happy St. Patrick's Day

17 March 2011
I am going to re-share some of these adorable ideas for today. Go to The First Grade Parade for the tracers and more info on the adorable leprechaun faces, click {here}. Click {here} for my blog link to the "Be On the Lookout" printable.

St. Patrick's Day Math Centers!  This file is being revamped and is no longer for sale.

To top it all off, we had our Robot Sharing Party today.  Check out this cute St. Patrick's Day themed robot one of my students made!  Click {here} for my robot file on TPT.

Happy 9th Birthday Molly!

14 March 2011
In honor of Molly's 9th birthday, we had a fruit and veggie party.  As you can see from the photos, she really enjoyed herself!  She kept the hat I made her on for most of the long as she has food she doesn't care what I put on her.
*I am not sure exactly how old she is, I adopted her as an adult guinea pig eight years ago today.  I always assumed she was about one when I got her.  Guinea Pigs have an average life span of 5-8 years, so nine is definitely something to celebrate!

Touch Math - Touch Money

13 March 2011

I love Touch Math, but I have to say, Touch Money is amazing!  My first grade students are finally able to combine and count money.  My math specialist and the ABA teachers at my school introduced me to Touch Math last year.  We currently use Houghton Mifflin math.  I use Math Centers and the Touch Math program as a supplement to my math program.  It works well for addition and subtraction, but it is an excellent resource for teaching students about money!  Each coin is assigned a certain number of touch points, with each touch point equalling 5.  Pennies are not assigned a touch point, they have a line under them.  The students need to be able to count by 5's before they can master combining the coins. 
You don't need to buy the program to use touch points.  Simply, have the students draw touch points on the coins on their worksheets and then count by fives to find the total value.
I made these posters using poems I found on the web years ago.  Click (here) to get the plain white version of the posters  or click on the polka dot picture below to get the polka dot version.

Mini-Cards for Math Rings
Click on the picture to download!

As a center, I have them sort a bag of coins and record the value using the worksheet below. If you cannot figure out how to download it, see the end of this post.

Check out my other math packets:



If you cannot get the download to download, look at this:
If you are still not sure how to download from GoogleDrive, read this post (click here for post).

Be On the Lookout!

09 March 2011
I'm not a bit Irish (I'm actually of Italian and German decent) but everyone is Irish on St. Patrick's day.  This "Wanted Poster" is a cute way to turn all of your students into Irish leprechauns.  Just have them put an "O'" or a "Mc" in front of their last name when completing the poster; unless of course they already have one! I do this activity after reading Looking for Leprechauns by Sheila Keenan.
Click on the picture above to download and click {here} for more St. Patrick's Day themed posts!

If you like this activity, be sure to check out my Common Core Aligned St. Patrick's Day Packet.  Click the image below to check it out on TpT.

More Guided Reading Planning Sheets!

08 March 2011
I had previously uploaded some guided reading planning sheets to google docs.  I thought of two more planning sheets and added a sample.  Check out the sheets by clicking {here}.  The graphics are by Scrappin' Doodles.

These sheets are included in my Guided Reading Resources packet.  Click {here} to check it out this packet.
Check out the some of the awesome feedback I have received on this product by clicking the feedback picture below!

Guided Reading Planning Sheets

07 March 2011
I am teaching a course on Guided Reading and tomorrow we will be working on planning guided reading lessons.  So, I created a cute graphic organizer to for planning the guided reading lesson. Click {here} to download. 

The teachers in my class range from teachers of grade K to grade 5 and there are a few ESL teachers.  Please, let me know if any of you have great blog links for guided reading, guided reading in the upper grades, or teaching reading to ESL students.

Post Your Pets Linky Party!

06 March 2011
My pets are my babies!  If I were not a teacher, I would have been a vet.  I fundraise for local animal rescue groups and I do a whole Go Orange for Animals Day in April with my class to support Humane Education.  This adorable Link Party was started by Ladybug's Teacher Files, click to link up!
My Crew:
Niles is my 11 1/2 year old Long Haired Chihuahua.  I got him my senior year of college in Binghamton, NY.  He is just the sweetest Chihuahua I know.  He has inspired many friends and my dog groomer to get Chihuahuas, but none are quite as good natured as Niles.  I call him my "Little Man."

Sophie is my almost 5 year old Havanese.  She is mine and my mothers.  I am very lucky to live close to my parents.  My mom is also a teacher in my district and if I have to teach a course after school, she will swing by and take the dogs to her house.  Sophie is very shy around strangers but loves her family and she is very smart.  She rings a bell to go out.  Both my dogs love to go boating with me and my family.  They are great swimmers but would rather not get wet if they did not have to.

Ella is a 4 year old, long-haired black cat that I adopted a few years ago. She is very mellow and cannot meow, yet she is a high maintance kitty.  She only drinks cold water from the fridge, gets her hair shaved in a lion cut every summer, and recently had to have very expensive surgery to remove a bladder stone.
Greta is the baby, she is three and is a very small tabby cat.  I adopted her from the shelter because they said she was a special needs kitten and had brain damage.  No one wanted to adopt her and the shelter refused to take her to a vet.  So, I adopted her and found out she did not have any brain damage.  She is a sweety.  She is always on my lap while I work at the computer.

Molly is my almost 9 year old class pet.  She is a guinea pig.  She was left in front of Petco in a box, so I adopted her and brought her to school with me.  I am the only teacher in the school with a class pet.  The principal makes sure I don't get students with animal allergies.  We have four classes on the grade so it has not been a problem.  Molly comes home with me every weekend and holiday.  When she was younger, I would let students take her home.  Now, that she is so old, I am so afraid that she might die on a student and scar them for life.  I have had Molly my whole time teaching first grade.  The staff and students at my school all know her and love her.  She leads the Halloween Parade with me every year People always stop in to drop off veggies for her.  Guinea Pigs normally live 5-8 years!  I tell the students that Molly is about 100 in people years.

Blog help from Ladybug Teacher Files

05 March 2011
When I first started blogging in January, Ladybug Teacher Files was one of my first followers.  So naturally, I checked her out and found her amazing blog.  If you have not added her to your blog list, I suggest you do so now.  I have learned so much about blogging from her blog tutorials.  Today, I asked her a question about listing topics on your blog and she responded with a post. 
Check her post here: Organizing Your Blog Topics
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