Book Club

In order to get more of the class up to grade level, I've revamped my Workshop time. Now I have all the children split up into four ability groups. The high kids (the ones who are already past where they need to be by the end of first grade) are doing independent work, while the rest of the class rotates around three stations. Each station is run by a teacher or a parent helper. Every station is doing some sort of reading activity/game. I really like this change, because it is helping boost the lower children up to where they need to be. I have a ton of activities for the rotating groups, but struggled finding things for the higher kids. They can only do so much reading/taking AR tests. That being said, I was thrilled to find Mrs. Bates' idea for book club packets. I decided these would be fun for the high kids to do together. Our school didn't have any of the books she posted, so I made a packet for a Junie B. Jones book. Our library has a class set of these, so each child will be able to have their own copy to use. And of course, they all LOVE Junie B. Jones books! I can't wait to introduce it to them. Thanks for the great idea, Mrs. Bates!

Junie B. Jones Is Not A Crook


Printable Valentines

Naturally I forgot to add a few of our classroom helpers to the Valentine's Day note I sent home to parents. Along with that, the kiddos keep thinking of more people they want to send Valentines. So, I decided to make a few printable Valentines for them to make themselves in class. Parents, if you haven't already purchased Valentine's for your child, feel free to use these as a free option. :)


tweet friend
toadally terrific
honey bunny


Comparison Puppets

Last week we started learning about comparisons. We learned a song, made the puppets, and practiced writing the correct symbols on whiteboards.

We had a great time!
Gator Puppets


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We are starting a unit on comparison numbers in math tomorrow. I use the alligator technique to teach what symbol to use. The alligator always eats the largest number, or course! We will be using cubes and making puppets tomorrow to practice the symbols. I was inspired my Rachelle's Valentine Monster Math game to create a game for comparison equations. Thanks to having a student teacher, I was able to put together a game, song (sung to the tune of Frère Jacques), and a few worksheets available to download. I'm so excited to play them with my kiddo's!

Parents, feel free to print any of the worksheets available to provide additional practice with your child. :)


Alligator Song
Game Directions
Game Pieces
Mat 1
Mat 2


Meet the Teacher

Thanks to a day off from school (-21 F), I had the time to link up with Cara for the Meet the Teacher Party! If you want to join in, go to her amazing blog.

First off, here’s a little about myself. If you want to know anything else, just ask. ;)

I am 26 and from Alberta, Canada. I graduated BYU-I in August of 2005 and starting teaching right away. It was a CRAZY start! I’ve taught first grade for six years now, and couldn’t imagine teaching anything else. It is by far my favorite! I just finished my Master’s in Education/Literacy in November. That was an amazing experience, but I am so happy to be finished. I divorced a little over a year ago. Now, I’m looking forward to my next adventure... I’m thinking either Arizona (for the warmth) or Canada (for my family). Two extremes, but I’d love them both!

Q and A

Q: What would you be doing if you weren’t a teacher?
I would love to be a children’s author. I have always loved writing poems and stories. For a few classes in college, I wrote books for the final project. I’m working on getting one published right now!

Q: What are your hobbies?
Reading - I am so glad to have time to read for pleasure again. I just finished the Hunger Games series in less than a month! :)
Singing – I was in choir for 14 years growing up, 2 in college, and am currently looking for another one to join. I LOVE LOVE LOVE to sing! Perfect fit for first grade, right?? ;)
Shopping – I need to stop, but I may have a slight addiction.
Ice-Skating – While in Canada for Christmas, I bought some new skates and went every chance I got. So fun. One of the only things I like to do in the cold.

Q: When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I’ve always wanted to be a teacher and an author. We had a giant chalkboard, and I loved to play school with anyone who would join! My mom also told me that I used to tell her stories and she would “publish” them for me. Funny!

Q: What are your guilty pleasures?
Chocolate carmels, nibs, Glee, the Bachelor, nail polish, blogstalking

Q: What is your biggest fear?!
I am scared of so many things, it’s ridiculous. Most animals freak me out: creepy, crawling bugs, snakes, spiders, bears, cats, birds, people dressed up in costumes... you just can’t tell what they are all thinking/looking at. Too creepy.

Q: When you’re on vacation, where do you like to go?
Anywhere warm! I went on a cruise to Mexico, and that was AWESOME!

Q: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
It’s YOUR life. Do what YOU want.
I am too much of a people pleaser. I need to start thinking of myself for a change. And I am!

Q: What do you value most in others?
Compassion. I’ve had a few difficult experiences in the past, and have realized how important it is. I have learned that things aren’t always as they seem. You never know what is going on with someone. You never know what burdens they carry. We really have no right to judge anyone or think negatively of them. We need to make more efforts to help those around us. I am trying to find the positive in everyone and every situation. I am learning how to be more compassionate towards others.

Q: If you could choose one of your personality traits to pass down to your kids, what would it be?
My sense of humor. You gotta have that to teach silly six year olds.

Q: If you could have lunch with anyone in the world... living or dead... who would it be?
My entire family (mom, dad, three older brothers, three sister-in-laws, two nephews, two nieces, and one more on the way!). We haven’t all been together for a very long time.
I really couldn’t pick just ONE celebrity-type person. I’d want to have lunch with them all!!!

Now tell us one random thing about yourself:
I’ll tell you TWO things:

1. I am adopted. My birth mother was 15, so I was adopted as a little baby. I’m very grateful she gave me up. I have the most wonderful family!

2. I am very OCD in my classroom. I am trying really hard to let things go, but I will literally take down all the pictures and re-hang them if they don’t look right. I’ve even used a ruler to measure and plan ahead where to put things. When I hung up our frog life cycle scene (that post still to come!), There was about an inch of the wall showing. The old me would’ve taken it all down and started over. The new me left it up! Granted it drove me nuts everyday... baby steps, people... :)

Bonus: That's me in first grade!

Now it’s time for YOU to join the party!!!! Here’s what you need to do: Write a post titled “Meet The Teacher”. Start with a brief “biography” and then copy & paste the Q&A {using your answers, of course!} Copy the web address of your “Meet the Teacher” post and come back here & link up! It would be GREAT if you could visit at least 3 other teachers...get to know a little bit about your fellow bloggers...and leave a comment!!!! Don't forget to grab a button when you link up!!



We finished up our measurement unit by talking about weight. We had six containers filled with mystery items. The kids first predicted the correct order from lightest to heaviest. Several of them got to come up, examine two containers, and decide which one was heavier. Then we weighed each container and compared its weight to pennies. The lightest object weighed as much as five pennies, and the heaviest was about 49 pennies (I think). They actually predicted the order exactly right! Smarties! When the weighing was finished, they guess what was inside each container. They guessed some right, but most of them were too tricky!

It's finally February... bring on the hearts! :)

We've had two inside recess days this week so far. I (and most of the kids) strongly dislike these days... Usually the morning is calm and fine, but by the afternoon we all just have a serious case of cabin fever. Luckily, I happen to be best friends with our PE teacher, so she kindly played a few tag games with us in the gym during recess. They played "toilet tag" and "color tag". For toilet tag, there are three taggers. When you get tagged you sit down like a toilet with your arm out (see pictures below). To be freed, someone has to "flush" you by pushing your arm down. Sounds weird, but the kids LOVE it. For color tag, there are three taggers again that start in the middle of the room. The rest of the kids are on one wall. Then the teacher calls out a color. If you are wearing that color you try and run across the gym without being tagged.

Look at that pose... can you tell she's a cheerleader??? :)

Tomorrow will most likely be an inside recess day again. In order to keep my sanity, I'm going to have to incorporate more learning games/movement activities. What other fun ideas/activities do you teachers do on inside recess days?

Our school got a grant to serve a fruit/vegetable as an afternoon snack everyday. They have had a lot of unique foods this year. Today was by far the strangest. They served jicama. I'm not going to lie, I did not enjoy it. It was so weird. It tasted like a lot of different things. Not my favorite... but the kids love all these new foods. They absolutely love them.

We've had a few really weird things, or at least foods I wouldn't serve raw as a snack. In my opinion, the two yuckiest were raw potatoes and lemon wedges. The two yummiest were pears and blackberries!

Here's hoping tomorrow is either cold enough to stay home or warm enough to go outside for recess!!