Monday, February 28, 2011

Dr. Seuss Prezi

There are a CRAZY number of ideas, and packets, and lessons, and activities on Dr. Seuss. I think I have more stuff for Dr. Seuss to last me at least a month and a half! I feel like I've seen more ideas for Dr. Seuss than I did for Christmas. Everyone in blog-universe is incredibly talented and full of amazing ideas. So, my little contribution to this mountain of Dr. Seuss mania is another Prezi. 
This Prezi is a simple timeline on the life of Theo.

My Favorite Things Linky Party!

Jodi, Fun in First Grade, is not only hosting a great giveaway, but she has also started a "Favorite Things" Linky Party.
Seriously, there are so many things I love...

1. Apple Products
I have no idea what I would do without my desktop, laptop, Apple TV, iPad, iPhone, & iPod. I don't think I could be without one of these devices for more than an hour!
What would I do?

2. Avelle
From the moment I heard Jennifer Hudson's character talk about this website to Carrie in the Sex in the City movie, I had to check it out. It's the most fun EVER! I love renting beautiful bags. When the UPS guy arrives with his brown box of magic, I get all happy inside. I can't wait to tear into the box. Low and behold, my eyes fall upon the bag. Yes, the cinch bag that houses whatever little luxury I will be toting around for the next month. I've rented purses from Kate Spade, Michael Kors, L.A.M.B, Tory Burch, Juicy, and FENDI! 
Love it!!!!

3. Target
So, is it totally lame to love Target? I do! I could spend hours (and thousands of $) in this store. My husband cringes when he hears I'm at Target. I'm the mayor of my Target on Foursquare. You have to go there a lot to be the mayor!

4. Running
It's the only exercise I enjoy. I have a bum knee, but I go anyway!

5. Tacos
Scott and I are ravenous for tacos! We have them at least once a week! Nom, nom, nom!

6. Cats
 There's Gus. He's my newest little baby. Scott and I have three cats, and I would get more if he'd let me. They are so smart and loving. The perfect snuggle bunny after a long day at school. Animal Planet has a new show called, Must Love Cats. It is so good! Kitties Galore :)

7. My Paper Cutter
It is the bomb! It works like a dream and holds up well. This paper cutter is a necessity for any first grade teacher!

8. J. Crew
I am such a preppy nerd and J. Crew is my Mecca!
If only I had more money....

8. Daddy Day Care
I love this movie. I watch it EVERY time it is on TV. It cracks me up! It was on last night, and I watched it again (like the 1,253 time.) It has everything I enjoy in a watchable movie- kids, humor, and hi-jinx!

9.Cougar Town
This show cracks me up. I heart Bobby, "Bitches Be Loco!"
But, I am more like Ellie in real life (sad, but true.)

10. DeeDee from Studio Gabriel
If it weren't for DeeDee, I would be a grey-haired mess. Oh genetics, how you keep me grounded! I started going grey when I was 26. I discovered DeeDee and she keeps me looking forever 31 with her color genius. I was getting high lights and low lights at first. Then, at 28, I had to go full color. It's bad (Thanks MOM!) Every 6 weeks, I visit my best friend, DeeDee, and feel like a princess!

11. The Daily 5
The Daily 5 has changed my life. My reading instruction has totally transformed due to this philosophy. The first six weeks are always a challenge, but the payoff is the rest of the year. My reading block runs like clockwork. The kids may fall out of practice from time-to-time, but that never lasts for very long. So worth it!

12. Diet Mountain Dew

Diet Mountain Dew is my life force. I cannot function without it. PERIOD!

There you go. I'm sure I could think of at least 50 other things I couldn't live without, but I'll keep it to 12. 

Now it's your turn!
Just post your favorite things on your blog and link up with Jodi at Fun in First Grade.


Another awesome giveaway from two fabulous teachers!
Head on over to The First Grade Parade and check it out!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Do you like giveaways?

If your answer is "YES!" then you will love this giveaway. Amanda at One Extra Degree is giving away TWO Deanna Jump units from her TPT store.
Click as fast as you can to Amanda's blog and get started!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Foot Book

The fabulous Cara at The First Grade Parade posted recently about using The Foot Book to teach her children antonyms. Her anchor chart and writing activity just seemed absolutely too cute to pass up. I had a some free time today since my student teacher was out for the day, so I took this opportunity to have fun with the kiddos.

We read the book together.
Then, we generated a list of antonyms. Everyone selected a pair from the list. I gave them some crisp, white paper and sent them off to trace their feet.

After their feet were cut out, they illustrated their antonym pair and added it to our huge foot.
This is a crazy lookin' foot! I'm not exactly the artsy type. At least the kids think it is awesome.

I am very pleased with how it turned out. The kids were so thrilled to see their work on the giant Sasquatch foot. Hoorah for fun days!!
Thank you, Cara!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

My First Prezi

Brooke from Primary Perspective created this great mini unit on African-American Inventors. I LOVE it! It is so much more interesting than anything I have done before. In addition to Brooke's project, I've made a Prezi to go with this activity. I have the biographies about each inventor that I will teach while the Prezi is showing. It's my first attempt at a Prezi, so it probably isn't the greatest. But I'm working on it!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

All Hands on Deck!

I love Sea World. I live in south Florida and Sea World is hands down my favorite theme park. Most people would say a Disney park or a Universal park, but not me. Sea World has the best of everything. Rides, aquariums, elaborate shows, and the best part is you get to feed the dolphins, stingrays, and seal lions. In December, a bunch of us went on our annual visit to Sea World. Last year, we met Jack Hannah. Super cool!

Here's my nephew and husband playing a game at the Mid-Way. Isn't he adorable? We had so much fun.
     As we were walking around, we noticed this super-cute kiosk with the following pieces of art work:

   My sister, Jill (K Teacher), and I thought this would be great to make in our classrooms. We have used kids' handprints before for Thanksgiving and Christmas. But, I love these designs for Mother's Day or an End of the Year gift.
How would you use them?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

To be Comfy or Not To be Comfy

     I didn't ask any of my students to bring in slippers and yet these little beauties have found a new home in  my classroom.  I remember it clearly, Andy asked me if he could wear his slippers ONE DAY because his feet were hurting him. I said, okay. Who cares, right? I didn't expect him to change into his slippers every time he enters the classroom. I feel like I have a mini Mr. Rogers!
     Since, Andy changes into the slippers every day, you'd expect the other children to ask to wear slippers. I'm still waiting. So far, no one has asked. Odd?!
    Pretty soon, he'll show up with a robe to add to his Comfort Collection. As long as he's reading...

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Blogging in 1st Grade

So, I'm pretty new to the blogging scene, but I am hooked already. I have spent countless hours this past month visiting blogs. Everyone is so talented and unique. For about two years, I've been bombarded with various media outlets shouting about all of the terrible, ineffective teachers. Then, I see your blogs and I feel camaraderie and hope.
 Anyway, I've had such fun blogging and visiting blogs that I thought, "Why not the kids?" So, on my teacher website I have added a page for blogging. I taught my students how to find my website, add it to their favorites, and locate the blog page. 

I read the kiddos the first blog post and showed them how to add a comment. It was about Valentine's Day. They went to their stations and added their responses and waited for my approval.

After I approved their comments, we all gathered together and read each other's comments. It was so cute. I've started a new post for tomorrow, and I can't wait for them to blog again!

Awesome Opportunity

Can you believe that someone is willing to give away everything in their Teachers Pay Teachers store? I mean EVERYTHING!! Well, color me happy, because Michelle at Fabulous in First is giving away everything in her TPT store.

Check out her contest at:

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

iPod Smilebox

Check out my Smilebox on the many uses of an iPod Touch in the classroom. We love them!!

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Monday, February 14, 2011

iPod Touch Part 2

    Another thing I have done with my iPods is to load every single book I have on CD into iTunes. Now, the kids can use the iPods during their Listening time. 
     This works out great because the kids keep breaking my CD players! I've gone through three of them in five years!! They cost more then the stinkin' pencil sharpener that I have to replace every year.

Friday, February 11, 2011

I LOVE my iTouch!

Hi everybody!
     This year I am very lucky to have been awarded a class set of iPod iTouches. I have to admit I was extremely nervous about allowing my firsties to handle these $300 devices. However, I have seen what my 2 year old niece and nephew can do with their parents' iPhones, so I knew anything was possible.
     Our district wanted us to find as many free apps as possible, but I wasn't having much luck in that department.  I decided to buy myself an iTunes gift card and buy the apps I really wanted.

App #1: Big Words

This app rocks! It is a very simple concept. Black background and you can type words to display on your iPod. 
We use this app all the time. It is great to use during word building lessons. No more pain in the butt plastic letters or letter cards to mess with. It's easy to use during small group guided reading lessons and again as response clickers for whole group lessons for math, science, etc.  The best thing about this app is that all of my children have a voice. They get to respond and not sit back in the shadows. Everyone gets to be a part of the lessons.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Meet the Teacher

Hi everybody!
     Cara over at First Grade Parade has started an awesome Linky Party!  It's a 'Meet the Teacher' Linky Party. Now we can spend even more time learning about our favorite teacher friends and meet some new ones just like me!

   Here's a little about me ... (Although I didn't think I had much of a life!)
 I love living in Florida. Just can't get enough of the sunny days. When the sun isn't out, I am sad! I've been a teacher for 11 years. 4 years teaching 4th grade and 7 years in first. I LOVE first grade! What an amazing year for child development!!

You have just entered the Way-Back Machine. Can you guess which one is me? Aright, alright! I'm sitting in the front row fourth from the left. Don't you just LOVE my Esprit outfit and saddle shoes? Yep, I'm a product of the 80's. This is a picture of my fourth grade class. Fourth grade was the year that I realized I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up. Mrs. Chuddy was our teacher and I loved her. She was the first teacher to think of us as individuals and differentiated her instruction to fit our needs. I could care less about school until I had her as a teacher. She made me want to be a better student. She made me want to grow up to be just like her!

Here I am now. Although I think I was way cuter at 9 years old. I'm terribly short so my poor husband has to bend down low to get to my level. Scotty and I have been married since 2005, but we've been back together since 2001. Did you notice I said "back?" Scott and I first met in high school. We met in (Wait For It ...) Band.  We dated for a while before and during college. We broke up for a few years and found each other again when I was soooo lost in Orlando. I'm so lucky to have him in my life. He's the best.
I'm the third of four children. My sister is the oldest and she always acted like she was an only child. She is a teacher, too. A KINDERGARTEN teacher (brave soul!) But for the record, I wanted to be a teacher first. Jill went to college for architecture and changed her major her second year. I love being a part of a semi-big family. I can't imagine not having my brothers and sister. They are all grown up and have children of their own. I'm the only one without kids. :( You'd think with seven grandchildren my mom would stop bugging me about kids, but that is not so.
Here's some of my nieces during a sleep over. Aren't they adorable? I love them so much. I'm a lucky Aunty. My nieces and nephews are a huge part of my life. If I'm not at school or with Scotty, you can find me with them.

Now for the Q & A

Q: What would you be doing if you weren’t a teacher?                                              
A:  I would be hanging out with my mom taking care of my nieces and nephews. Hopefully, if I'm not teaching it's because I won the lottery. Then, I'd be flossing in my mansion with my love and my babies. 

Q: What are your hobbies?                                                                                     
A:  I don't know if this counts as a hobby, but I love to go the movies.  Summertime is the best because I have time to go to the theater. My husband and I have over 300 movies downloaded on our Apple TV and I love them all.                                                                

Q: When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?                      
A:  Before I was 9, I was sure I was going to be an actress. Then, I met my 4th grade teacher who changed my mind.
Q: What are your guilty pleasures?                                                                   
 A: Crappy reality television, Swedish Fish, Sour Patch Kids, and Daddy Day Care.

Q: What is your biggest fear?!                                                                        
 A: This is my absolute biggest fear: Losing my husband. His father passed at the age of 31, so I'm always a nervous wreck about his health. After that, I'm afraid of life. I'm a big wuss. Although, insects don't bug me at all.

Q: When you’re on vacation, where do you like to go?                                    
 A: The Keys.  I'm a Florida girl (southern Florida on the east coast) and yet I love to go visit the Keys as much as I can.
Q: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?                                                   
A:  Stop eating anything containing Gluten! Saved my life, I tell ya.

Q: What do you value most in others?                                                                    
A:  Honesty. Don't lie to me, I can tell. I'm a first grade teacher. I can spot BS a mile away!
Also, I value the power of Love. Loving others, loving what you do, loving your country.
Q: If you could choose one of your personality traits to pass down to your kids, what would it be?                                                                                                         
A: My work ethic. Man, do I have to deal with too many lazy, apathetic people. It drives me nuts. They can get the great personality from my better half!      

Q: If you could have lunch with anyone in the world….living or dead…who would it be?                                                                                                                
A:  Let's see.... This is a tricky one. A round table with Prince, Jimmy Fallon, Tina Fey, Benjamin Franklin, Madeleine Albright, and Sandra Bullock.  That sounds like a good time, right?

Now tell us one random thing about yourself:
I was a in the Color Guard. I twirled a Flag with the band. I NEVER wanted to join the guard, but some of my girl friends were going to the try-outs so I decided to join them. I can toss a flag like its nobodies business. Who knew I'd spend the majority of my time in high school in the Band Room? Also, I am a huge Florida Gators fan, but I HATED going to school there. I dropped out my first year. Miserable. I was totally miserable. I went to the '96 Olympics in Atlanta and it was one of the best experiences ever. If you have the means and the time, go to an Olympics. It is magical!!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Mystery Box Activity #1

Holy moly! Whatever you do, go to Teachers Pay Teachers and snatch up Babbling Abby's Mystery Box activity. Oh, what fun we had today! We've discussed making inferences before, but I've never created such a great activity to really send the message home. Plus, it was so easy to put together. I'm sure it wasn't that easy for Babbling Abby, but that is why we pay her the big bucks $$! Watch my Smilebox Slideshow to see how our lesson went. LOVE IT!!!!

Mystery Box Activity

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