Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Happy New Year Sale, plus a freebie!

Can you believe 2011 is just about gone.   That means almost half a school year has flown by and there is still so much to teach my little kiddos.  To help you when you return  to the hustle and bustle I have included a little freebie below. It is a sequencing activity for Squirrel's New Year's Resolution.  A sweet little book from Scholastic's December SeeSaw book club.  Just click on the picture below.

I am also running a sale on my Happy New Year Unit.  You can find it on TPT or on Teachers Notebook.  Don't miss out, it only runs through midnight tonight.  

Thank you to everyone for visiting my blog.  This is such a fun adventure and I love sharing ideas with all of my teaching friends out there.   To my new followers THANK YOU.  It is so exciting to know you are interested in my latest updates and activities.  I will try to keep up and bring you more fun things to do in your classrooms. 

Have a happy, healthy and safe New Year.  See ya in 2012. 


Saturday, December 17, 2011

My First Award

Thank you to Ms. Gruver over at First Graders and Cupcakes for giving me the Liebster Award

This award spotlights up and coming blogs with less than 200 followers.   Here's what cha do if you are given this sweet little award.
1.  Copy and paste the award on your blog.
2.  Thank the giver and link back to them.
3.  Choose your top five blogs and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.  Easy--peasy.

These are my favs

The Lemonade Stand Teachers
Love her number bond bracelets and other adorable math activities.

Jen's OT for Kids
Love, love, love.  Our little ones are asked to do so much writing, and many aren't developmentally ready.  This site gives great OT ideas for our sweet little ones.

Langston's Learners
A sweet festive blog with loads of classroom pics. 

Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade
First, love the name and how many times a day do we say crisscross applesauce.  Second the math games with playing cards freebie is awesome.  I too have the paper police at my school so I love the way she shortened this printable.

New blog by my sweet teammate and her artsy daughter.. Take a peek.

Enjoy Everybody!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Holiday Ornaments-Parent Gifts...Done!

We finished our holiday ornaments/magnets for our parents.  This is an easy project that I have done for years.  You will need mason jar lids.  I have used regular size or the large.  The large just takes more glue and glitter.  

First you will need to use a hole punch to punch a hole at the top of each lid.  I just purchased a hole punch with cushioned handles.  So much better.  After punching 20 holes your hand will be  TH. ROB. ING. 

Next I put on one of the sticker pictures given to us by our photographer who takes our school photos.

 Then the children paint White Elmers Glue all  over the lid.  REMEMBER do not put glue over the photo.  Where ever the glue goes so does the glitter. 

Shake, shake, shake the glitter all over the lid.
I purchased this parmesan cheese shaker from Walmart.

The tray is from Michaels.  A must for any glitter project.
Remind the kiddos...DO NOT remove the cap from the tray.  Glitter will spill all over the floor.  YES. This happened today.  My tile never looked so sparkly!

Remove the lid from the tray, let dry.  Add a ribbon and VOILA!  A beautiful ornament.  If you have children who do not have a tree just add a magnet to the back for their fridge.

Have a Wonderful Holiday Everybody!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Happy New Year...A Little Early

I know we are all in Christmas activity mode, but I wanted to be one step ahead.  Coming back from Winter Break is always a little crazy. I wanted to have a New Years Unit planned and ready to go, so that my life would be less crazy easier that first day back.  This unit includes

3 wishes at Midnight writing activity
Cinderella text to self and text to text writing activities
The clock strikes midnight math games
My New Year's Resolutions mini book
New Year's Baby Art Project
New Year's Eve Sight word game
Midnight is Here Poem
New Year Noun Sort
What's Your Word Worth ___ight word family cut and paste
Auld Lang Syne ABC Order
Midnight Madness Sentence Scramble
Tradition definition poster
Eatin Black Eyed Peas Class Graph
Traditions Bubble Map
Princess Addition Matching Game
Clock Strikes Midnight Headband/Hat

Baby New Year Art Activity

New Year's Eve Sight Word Game

  The Baby New Year project is so easy.  Just put the templates in the copy machine and copy on coordinating color construction paper.  Or you can use the templates as tracers which ever is easier for you.  Enjoy!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Give Thanks to Our Veterans

We have had a very different schedule this week.  A substitute on Monday (ESOL Class for me), Patriotic Sing A Long on Tuesday and No School on Friday.  I have to say this has been an amazing Friday, 65 degrees and gorgeous.  Not our typical fall day in Florida, it's usually a lot warmer.

We honored our Veterans this week with several great activities.  Our patriotic sing a long has to be one of the most loved assemblies at our school.  All Veterans, and serving military families join our entire school in a sing-a-long in our cafeteria.   The finale concludes with all veterans and active duty parents, grandparents and family members coming to the front of the stage to be honored.   We made these cute little hats to wear.  The upper grades wave flags and hold up signs.  Our encore singers wave larger flags and march around the cafeteria.  There isn't a dry eye in the house when we sing I'm Proud to be an American. 

Our fifth graders make this project to honor our military.  The display is placed at the front of our school.  Our little ones are so excited to do this project when they "get bigger" and become fifth graders. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Goodbye October...Hello November

We had a great time on the last day of October.  We enjoyed our annual Kindergarten Scarecrow Parade and made several yummy treats.  We began The Ugly Pumpkin Literacy and Math Unit which you can find here . A story about acceptance and the transition from Halloween into Thanksgiving.

Kindergarten Scarecrow Parade

Chocolate Sandwich Cookie Spider----Yummy

The Ugly Pumpkin is a sweet rhyming story.  It correlates with The Ugly Duckling.  We read both books and did several activities.  First we started with the "best project ever" (out of the mouth of babes) by painting our Ugly Pumpkin...poor little squash!  Then we made text to text connections and text to self connections.   The Unit also includes, ABC Order for a center, Thanksgiving word search, text to text connection page, text to self connection page, How to make The Ugly Pumpkin, A Pumpkin/Squash Doubles matching math game and recording sheet, bulletin board ideas and more reading connection ideas.  Look for it on TPT for only $3.00.  I hope you enjoy this lil ol squash as much as I do. 
Happy Fall Everbody!

A text to self connection about feeling teased.

Fall ABC Order Included in The Ugly Pumpkin Unit

Bulletin Board of The Ugly Pumpkin

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Plants Science Journals

We recently finished our plants unit for science.  We just adopted the National Geographic Series.  Beautiful pictures.  We planted six different cups with seeds. 

Crowded, Not Crowded, Sunlight, No Sunlight, Water, No Water

Then we recorded the plant growth in our science journals.  Turning the notebooks horizontally helped the children draw their vertical lines.  I walked around with a ruler and made the horizontal lines.  We had to wait several days to see any growth, but when we did we had a great time recording what we saw.  We made predictions on the previous page of our journal.  These are some of the pages.

Have a great Halloween tomorrow.  We plan to eat and graph our pumpkin seeds.  We will be using the  pumpkin seed graphing pages from The Inspired Apple....Thanks so much Abby for the freebie!  We also used the Pumpkin Observation Book from Bainbridgeclass.blogspot.  It is an amazing book and it is free.  So well done.  Thank you Christina.  My little kiddos Loooooved it.  I will post pictures tomorrow of both activities.   

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Wow What A Weekend

I have attended Teacher Appreciation Days on a few occasions.  Most days they are on a Saturday which is my catch up on everything at home day.  However, this Saturday my daughter and I decided to go to the Barnes and Noble Educator Week Celebration.  They were having a drawing for a NOOK Simple Touch Reader.  After yummy coffee, cookies and picking up a few books in the children's section, I heard the announcement.... the drawing would take place.  Can you believe my name was called!!!!  AMAZING!  A huge thank you to Barnes and Noble.  We have been passing it around our house all weekend.  We love our new NOOK!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Our Amazing Motor Lab

We are so fortunate to have a new OT Motor Lab.  In our state children are unable to get Occupational Therapy unless they are in another program such as speech.  We now have a new lab where we can take our entire class for exercises that build their core strength which is so helpful in their gross and fine motor skills.  The little ones have so many writing activities and for those that have difficulty with trunk strength it can be extremely difficult.  They become tired and frustrated.  Our wonderful OT teacher walked us through each station.  We started with two important exercises.
Don't break the Egg!
The children hold this pose for a count of 20 then rest for 20.
The Superman Pose. 
As you can see these two little ones had some difficulty.  Legs are supposed to be straight out just inches off the ground and arms straight out in front of you like Superman flying.  We do these two exercises right after calendar time.  Takes just a few minutes. 
When we go to the lab we do the following stations:  Trampoline, balance beam, scooter boards,  hopscotch, drawing a rainbow between two parallel vertical lines (their eyes must follow the drawing without moving their head).  I am so excited to see the results!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

My First Linky Party

When I saw the Linky Party on The Inspired Apple I knew I had to post.  One of my favorite things is my teacher bag...well all bags.  Bags and shoes.   Do I need them? No. Do I buy anyway, of course.    Beach bags, backpacks, if it holds something, gotta have it.  But I must say I haven't shopped for a new teacher bag for a couple of years.  An intern walked into our school with the ultimate teacher bag..a Dooney and Bourke Handprint Tote (discontinued of course).  I searched and searched ebay to find it.  Found it , but could not bring myself to spend the money.  Then my sweet, wonderful husband surprises me with it on Mother's Day.  It's durable, cleans up well and did I mention huge.  

I finally cleaned it out so the items you see are the least I ever carry.  Usually a plan book and teacher's manual(s) are always inside, as well as lunch containers and an empty coffee thermos at the end of the day.  But these items are a must, sunglasses (for Florida recess), jump drives...yes there are 3 (8GB)'s, Diet Dr. Pepper, pencil bag filled with pens and highlighters, boxtops (need to leave those at school), camera for documentating those exciting teaching moments, Epic Phone, Kashi bar (afternoon pick me up since we have the second lunch of the day (10:43), JoAnns flier, kleenex, hanitizer (as my firsties call it), and the tennis-elbow band (spend way to much time on the computer.  Can't wait to see what everyone else carries!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering September 11th and All of the Heroes of that Day

I remember exactly where I was standing on that day.  I was in my classroom, pregnant with my daughter when my cell phone rang.  It was my husband asking if I had heard about a plane hitting the World Trade Center.  I went next door to tell my teammate.  Then what seemed like seconds later the phone rang again to say there was another plane crash.  With heavy hearts we tried to get through the day, making sure to keep the day as normal as possible for our little ones.  

Growing up with a father as a fireman I can only imagine what their families went through on that day.   My heart goes out to all of the families who were affected by this tragedy.  May god bless all of you.

Thank you to the men and women of our military who continue to fight everyday for our freedom and safety.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Welcome to Primary Paradise!

Welcome to my new blog Primary Paradise.  With the encouragement of my amazing family and the awesome group of teachers I work with I have finally started my blog.  I am so excited about this new adventure.  This is my 18th year of teaching.  Thirteen of those years in 1st, all others in 2nd and 3rd.   

I chose the name Primary Paradise for two reasons: 
1. I live in the beautiful sunny state of Florida (Paradise...never a snow day here). 
2. My years of experience are in the primary grades and I can't imagine teaching anything  else.