Sunday, April 29, 2012


This week, we were very excited for our extra fun thing.  At our school, we are so lucky to have a parent that loves to come in and do various activities with students at all grade levels.  So, this week we were fortunate to have her come in and make homemade butter with the kids.  The kids were put in groups and were told the directions on how to make the butter.  They used their big muscles to shake the cream and milk until it turned into some nice smooth butter.  You should have seen their eyes when they saw how it changed from a liquid to a solid.  They were very impressed with themselves LOL!  After making the butter, they were able to enjoy it on some homemade rolls!   We had a blast!  Check it out!

Hope all of you have had a restful weekend and are ready to start a new week tomorrow!  Have a great week!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Rudolph the Red Nosed...Teacher and Common Core Grade Cards

Okay, so I look like Rudolph! I am not kidding! I have a horrible cold that has caused me to blow my nose every 2 minutes (okay, it feels like it, maybe it is more like 5). I feel a bit better today so maybe I am on the mend. And no, I will not be posting a picture!

Anyway, yesterday we had district-wide grade level meetings so Kristi and I had subs for the afternoon and we went and met with the other first grade teachers in our district. Our main focus was grade cards for next year and how they will reflect the Common Core Standards. Ugh! Quite a project...and I still don't think we are finished.

So, I'm wondering, have you had a part in revising your grade cards to reflect Common Core? If so, how in the world did you condense it down to something a parent will be able to understand and want to know!!!?!?!?!?! Do you even do a standards-based grade card?

We'd love to hear from you about how your grade cards look (and if you've made changes because of Common Core).

And by the way, it has been an awful day here. Coming back to bad reports from my "spies" about my students' behavior while I was gone makes me upset - especially when they all said they did GREAT! The sub left a short and sweet, "Great class!" But I had others watching who knew I would not be pleased. Oh, how I wish I could teach them to show good character!


Friday, April 20, 2012

Olivia the Pig Bulletin Board and Earth Day Writing Fun

This week, we read the story "Olivia" in our Treasures Reading Series.  The kids just loved Olivia so we decided that for our Extra Fun Thing this week, we would make these adorable Olivia pigs that I found on Pinterest here. The kids had a great time making them and we were so proud because as you can see below, our kids followed directions so well! LOL!!

We also talked about Earth Day and things we could do to help keep our Earth clean.  The students then wrote about what they could do to keep the Earth clean and made the Earth guy that I found on Pinterest  here.  Crystal was not too thrilled with the shirt part of it and all the folding and directions to be followed that had to occur to get the final product.  But in the end, we made it through and they turned out very cute.   Check them out!

I hope all of you have a great and restful weekend!!! 


Thursday, April 19, 2012

New Student = I’m exhausted!!!

Okay, so I am still fairly new at teaching (2nd year) and I have never had a new student before, so forgive me if all you veteran teachers are saying, “Well, duh!” I mean, don’t get me wrong, I knew getting a new student would be a challenge – especially this time of year – but WOW! I am so tired! My class right now is was like a well-oiled machine in regards to routines and procedures. I was planning to happily coast through the next 22 days. But (big BUT) remembering how to explain all the little things about procedure, routine, schedule, etc. is just exhausting. I guess I feel much like I did at the beginning of the year! Whew!!!

My new student came on Tuesday which was a busy day for me anyway. My own children are in 4-H and sold Blue and Gold Sausage (very good, BTW, if you ever have a chance to get some of their products). The meat came in Tuesday so I had to “fly” to the town where I live on my plan time (25 miles away) and “fly” back to deliver meat to my coworkers because I do not have room to store it at my house. Fortunately, I can take a toll road to my town which allows me to drive 80 75 so I made it back just in time to dismiss my kids for the day so I could explain to my new student where she needed to go! Then I had to run around like a crazy person walk around and calmly deliver the meat before leaving quickly to go to my son’s track meet an hour away. I made it just in time to see him run his mile – his favorite race – and I’m glad I did! He ran it in 5 min. 57 sec., his fastest time ever, and he got first place!

My son is in 6th grade this year and because my kids go to a small school, 6th graders are allowed to do middle school sports so they have enough participants (even though they are not technically in middle school). This has made me feel really old, by the way…having a child in “middle school” sports. The sad part is next year when he is “officially” in “middle school” it will be my daughter (my youngest) in 6th grade. My years of being an elementary school mom are over I’m afraid…

Anyway, things went a little smoother with my new one today. She remembered our morning procedure without me saying a word! Yeah!!! Maybe that well-oiled machine is not far away…I HOPE!
Oh, and here is a funny video I thought I'd share about the 6 Phases of Teaching. Warning! My husband just informed me that one of these songs have a cuss word - I did not even notice! Too busy reading the funny sayings and watching the cats!

Have a great evening! This is my one free one for the week! Woohoo!

P.S. Our main story this week was Olivia so we are doing a cute and simple “extra fun thing” tomorrow. We’ll post pictures when it is all finished. J

Friday, April 13, 2012

"Whoo, hoooo" and a FREEBIE!

“Whoooo, hoooooo!”

Aren’t these owls cute??? I found the idea on Pinterest here.
Last week, we worked on the ou/ow sound so we decided to make these cute owls for our Extra Fun Thing today! The kids had a blast making them. We painted then took a short extra recess for them to dry before gluing the eyes, nose, and wings on to them. Everyone that saw them complimented on how cute they were.
If you have visited our TPT store, you know that we have made a lot of I Have, Who Has games. We started with just our reading series (Treasures) sight words and then branched off to make some with the sounds that we work on in first grade. We just finished Unit 5 in our reading series and I had the Unit 5 words handy for the last five weeks. When we had a few minutes before recess or specials, I would hand out the cards and we would play. The kids love playing and started to master the words early on in the unit. We even started timing ourselves to see if we could get faster and faster. That really made them pay attention!  I have been working on some of the games that I will use at the beginning of the year next year and just finished the short a game. You can grab it for FREE here. If you enjoy it, don't forget to leave us some feedback! ;-)
I don’t know about you all, but this week has been LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGG! Kristi says I shouldn’t complain because I was only here 2 ½ days (took off for my son's track meet and then a doctor's appointment) but it felt like so much more. The kids are really getting anxious for the end of school. We have 25 more days!
Have a blessed weekend! Rest up if you can!!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

We've been tagged!

Erin at First With Franklin tagged us! What fun!

Okay, so here are the rules:

Post these rules

Answer the 10 questions posted for you.

Create 10 questions that you want to ask people that you will be tagging.

Tag ten people and link them with your post. Don't forget to let them know that they've been tagged!

Here are her questions and our answers:

Kristi – purple (K-State)

Crystal blue (KU)

1.   Did you always want to become a teacher?


No! My first degree was in accounting.

2.   PC or Mac?



3.   What is your favorite TV show?

Criminal Minds

Person of Interest

4.   What is your favorite lesson/activity to do with your students?

Phonics lessons


5.   What color are your eyes?


Greenish Blue

6.   If you were given $10,000 for your classroom what would you do with it?

Build a safe room (don’t ask – LOL!)

Set of laptops for students to use

7.   How long have you been blogging?


8.   Where would you most like to vacation?


Caribbean Cruise

9.   Favorite guilty pleasure?


Lindt Lindor Extra Dark Chocolate Truffles

10.    What is the first thing you do when you get home from school?


Make dinner

Here’s our questions for those we tagged:

1.         How long have you taught?

2.         What state do you teach in?

3.         What are your contract hours at school?

4.         Lunch – duty? or duty free?

5.         What reading series do you use?

6.         What math series do you use?

7.         What is your favorite hobby?

8.         What is the last movie you watched?

9.         What is your favorite season and why?

10.     What is your favorite game to play with students?

Here is who we tagged:

Castles and Crayons
First Grade Lyon's Den
First Grade Magic
First Grade Schoolhouse
Fluttering Through First Grade
Funky First Grade Fun
Seusstastic Classroom Inspirations
Sweet P's Class Notes
Teachin' First
The Inspired Apple

Can't wait to see your answers. Hope you play!!!

Kristi and Crystal

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Mystery Student

A few years ago toward the end of the year when my class was ready for summer break, I counted up the days and realized that we had several days of learning left to go in the year.  I needed to do something!!  So, I developed what I called the "Mystery Student" to encourage good behavior.  I have decided that it is desperately needed again this year.  I informed the students that I had drawn 5 names from the sticks.  These students are not told who they are, but do know that I am watching for 5 different positive behaviors. 

They are:  
  1. Working hard and quietly
  2. Sitting Criss Cross Applesause
  3. Having good eyes and being a good listener
  4. Raising your hand
  5. Lining up with and walking in the hall with bubbles and ducktails
Throughout the day, I will make comments like:  I wonder if my mystery student is working hard? etc.
The next day, I will announce who the mystery student was if they followed the rule.  They then get a ticket, put their name on it, and put it in a container.  At the end of the week, we have a drawing and the name that gets pulled out will receive a positive written letter that goes home to their parents. 

I thought that since it is that time of year, this may help out.  My students love to find out if they are the mystery student and as soon as I say "I wonder if my mystery student is being a good listener" etc. they straighten up quickly. 

I hope you have a blessed Easter!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Crystal's Currently...

Okay, so I have always wanted to do one of these... Here goes!

So my Super Power is not the most creative, but I tried!

Rock Chalk Jayhawk!!! Go KU! I am a huge KU basketball fan so I've been excited for the game all day! :-)

Head over to Oh' Boy 4th Grade if you want to link up.

Have a blessed day!

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