Monday, February 28, 2011

My First Linky Party!

I'm sitting here crackin' up!  Although I've been reading blogs for several years, I just created my own blog a few days ago... and here I am trying to join a linky party!  This linky party was started by Fun in First. Here I go...

 A few of my favorite things...
 1. My family is my favorite thing in the whole world!

2.  Books, books and more books... I must confess I have a ridiculous amount of leveled readers in my room.  I am famous for dragging my family from sale to sale and buying huge lots of books on ebay.  I even have so many leveled books at home that I had to take over a few of the shelves behind our bar, which is slightly embarrassing for my husband when the guys come over to watch football. A girl can never have too many books!

3.  Mr. Sketch Markers - Oh how I love Mr. Sketch markers!

4. I really should never try to start a day without my Dt. Dew... ask my family.  It's ok because it is diet and I don't like coffee, right?

5. Goldendoodles - We have 2 (a cream goldendoodle - Daisy and a black goldendoodle - Kalli).  We just love our doodles!  They are fabulous family dogs.  And... they don't shed (at least ours don't)!

6.  Tulips are without a doubt my favorite flower!  I have hundreds of tulips in my yard.  Love em!
7.  I love Swedish Fish (but only the red ones)!  Yum! Yum! Yum!
8. My phone (a Droid Incredible)... how did I survive without a smart phone for so many years?

9. Bog boots - If you live in Michigan and you have recess duty (and daily dog walking duty)... you need Bog boots.  Very warm, waterproof and about as stylish as a clunky snow boot can get.

10. Sharpies, sharpies, sharpies... seriously love sharpie markers!
That's it for now.  Let's see if I can do this. :)  
Looking forward to reading about everyone's favorite things!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Hmm... I'm usually pretty good with technology...

This is driving me bonkers!  I just can't seem to figure out how to get the google docs I post to show on my blog as a cute little picture to click on - instead of all that html lingo.  So much to little patience. :)

Our CAFE Menu

I use lots of ideas in my classroom from The Daily Five and The Daily Cafe by Gail Boushey and Joan Moser. We have a CAFE menu in our room. Strategies are added to the menu each week. We refer to the menu (and review strategies) daily. I also expect my students to be able to tell me which strategies they used from the menu when they read independently. I think this picture is from December. We've added lots of strategies since this photo.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Book Box Drama

Over the years, I've admired teachers who could manage individual book boxes for each student. I'm really a simple girl (and I can never figure out how to manage all the book switching) in my room it goes like this.

1. help yourself
2. read it
3. put it back (nicely)

The bins I use are from Lakeshore. I've had them for 6 or 7 years and I've never had one break. I have 1 or 2 bins full of books at each level. There is a color coded sticker (to match the leveling system we use at my school) and a label on the front of each bin. Each of my students know which level they read at independently and they simply get their books from that community bin (until I reassess them and they move to a new level).


DEAR, SSR, independent reading... I call it quiet reading in my classroom. Don't let the name fool you though. It is never quiet in my room. It's always a challenge to make sure kids are really reading (not chatting, not messin' around or pretending to read) during this time. A few years ago, I decided to require my kids to use a reading ticket during quiet reading time. We don't use the ticket everyday, but it does hold them accountable. During quiet reading time, I want my students to practice at their "just right" level, touch the words, read out loud...and JUST READ so we don't waste any precious practice time.

I'm sharing one version of my reading ticket.

Here I go...

It's that time of the year when everyone at my school starts freakin' out about pink slips and job assignments for the next year... not to mention benefits and collective bargaining.  Of course those things are important to me.  But, I'm going to focus on what I love... teaching 1st grade!   In the next few months, I'm hoping to fancy up my blog a bit and share some of the things I love about first grade.  Happy blogging!

Friday, February 25, 2011


You can contact me at

Thank you for visiting!


Thank you for visiting Funky First Grade Fun!  My name is Kimberly.  I am proud to be a mother, wife, speech-language pathologist and a teacher.  This is my family (Jeff, Marissa and Donavon).  I am so proud of my husband and my amazing kids.  We are truly blessed!

I've been teaching for 16 years.  My teaching experience includes school based speech-language therapy, young 5s, kindergarten, 1st grade and working as a literacy intervention specialist.  First grade is by far my favorite thing to teach! I feel super lucky to spend my days working with children.  There is nothing more rewarding than knowing that you have the chance to make a difference in the life of a child. 

I'm pretty sure that most people who know me would agree on a few things...
I work hard.
I have lots of opinions (that I'm not shy about sharing).
I believe that it's important to advocate for every child.
And... I talk way too much.  Ha!

I hope you will find something useful while you are here and that you'll stop by again soon!