Wednesday, February 20, 2013

100th Day of School (photos)

It took me nearly a week to recover and now I’m ready to share. 
After a few snow days, the 100th day of school ended up being Valentine’s Day at my school. 

We did have lots of fun and (minus several fevers and some vomiting) my students enjoyed a day filled with all kinds of special activities.

 I’m pretty sure their favorite activity for 100’s day was making a picture of what they think they will look like when they turn 100 years old. They turned out so darn cute and the giggles while they worked on this project make it a “for sure doing this again” activity.

 Here are a few samples. I just LOVE them!  


 We also did 100 exercises, 100 math problems, had a contest to see who could write their name the most times in 100 seconds (in their best 1st grade handwriting of course), made a 5 Things to Do Before I Turn 100 list and made 100 words together. We put our bucket list writing in a classbook. I'm still working on binding it. When I'm finished, I'll share about that and share the classbook page as a freebie for your files.

 Here is a picture of our words (before we were all the way finished in case you are counting the words).


 Then after a little bit more vomiting and a couple more fevers (I know!), the kids who were left clocked in at the mail delivery station and mailed their Valentine cards. When they were off duty, we served pink sherbert and juice for a special treat. I like sherbert because most brands are a safe “nut free” snack.

 I’m working on assessments this week. I’m proud of my students and the progress they have made. I’m also looking forward to being done with these two weeks of assessment.

 Time to relax (my OLW). Maybe a little knitting? Enjoy your evening!


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

1-800-Celebrate Giveaway!

It's time to celebrate!
 Brenda at Primary Inspired is having a giveaway to celebrate 800 followers!

She is giving away three prizes packs that include prizes from several different bloggers (including me).     
Stop by to visit Brenda and enter the giveaway in the next few days for a chance to win one of the prize packs! Congratulations, Brenda!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Currently mid-February

Well, I just couldn't seem to get to this before now. 
I'm linking up with Farley's (Oh Boy 4th Grade) 
February Currently linky party.

Now, I'm going to head over to Oh Boy 4th Grade
to see what I've been missing. 
 Then I need to attempt to recover from the fact that 
Valentine's Day and the 100th day of school fell on the same day today!  
It may take a while to get over the whole thing (more about that later).

Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Common Core - Informational Text (+ a freebie)

We had a snow day on Friday and another one today, which gave me time to finish up a few projects that I've been working on.  

We've been working on informational text features. I use my own unit to help my students explore important informational text features.

We practice the new skills we learned about informational text features while we do a little penguin research.  I just posted my Nonfiction Penguin Unit last night.  You can check it out by clicking on the image below.  One of my goals in creating this unit for my students, was to provide a little more depth of knowledge (the focus of the common core standards) before each student writes his/her own animal research report in April.

My students LOVE doing their own animal research reports each year!  They choose their own animal and then they use the animal research book below as a guide for writing their reports.

I've also been working on creating a "nonfiction nook" in my classroom.  Since the common core standards stress the importance of children reading more nonfiction texts, I decided the best way for me to make sure they are reading "more" nonfiction texts is to create a special place (and a special time of the day) for reading nonfiction texts.

My plan is a work in progress (and so is the space), but here is what I've decided so far...

My students choose books for quiet reading, independent reading and buddy reading from leveled bins.  They do not each have their own bin, but I have bins which are leveled for them to choose from.  My students take home 2 books to read each night (from those bins) in a book bag.  I still want my leveled bins to be full of both fiction and nonfiction choices.  

I did pull out lots of nonfiction titles from each bin, and from my cabinets and from my library at home to help create bins full of nonfiction titles.  I'm arranging those bins by category, not be level (although the books each have a leveled sticker on them).  My plan is to start having a 2nd quiet reading time each day when students choose books from the "nonfiction nook".

I purchased bins (because I didn't already have thousands of those, right?), separated books in to the bins by category and made labels.  My handy husband is working on painting a shelf for my bins.  While he is doing that, I'm working on the decor and design of the nonfiction nook.  When it's finished, I'll take pictures for a big reveal.

In the meantime, I want to share the labels that I made.  Perhaps they will be helpful to some of you.  You can download them by clicking on the image below.

Praying for those of you in areas with severe weather!  Back to planning I go...

Monday, February 4, 2013

Love Notes Linky

I'm linking up with Amy from Literacy and Laughter for her Love Note linky party!
“Lovely List” 
Name: Kimberly 
Grade you Teach: 1st 
State: Michigan 
Birthday: November 9th 
Favorite Colors: purple and black 
Lucky Number: 3 
Favorite Subject to Teach: literacy (reading groups, reader's workshop, writer's workshop)
Go to Snack: Dt. Dew and chocolate chip cookies 
TV Show: Hoarders, Grey's Anatomy 
Last Movie You Watched: really can't remember - not really a movie watcher 
Music You are Loving Right Now: I love all kinds of music... but I don't know the names of any songs (ever)! 
Always shopping at: Target, Title 9, local thrift stores 
Word of the day: relax (it's my OLW for 2013)

“Love Links”

share link to…

a blog I am loving right now:
I'm lovin' Teri's blog ...

A Cupcake for the Teacher

Her blog design is adorable and I just love her posts! 
Stop over to visit her.  You won't be disappointed! 
I could spend hours there.

My Valentine (well Holiday Decoration) pinboard:

a product I adore:

I have this necklace from The Vintage Pearl 
(but with the names of my own kids).
I LOVE their jewelry!

“We’d all love to know…”

My favorite hobbies 
or what do I enjoy doing during my free time? 

I'm trying not to laugh about the words "free time".  Do people who work full time and have two little kids have free time?  When I find free time, I like to spend time with my kids and my husband. I also enjoy crafting, reading, go camping , knitting and exercising.  I've been working on trying to find ways to relax during my free time, but I'm finding that a bit tricky when the "free time" is so limited. :)

my kiddos and me!

My favorite vacation destination
We've been fortunate enough to be able to take our kids on some memorable vacations
to places that were everything from tropical to historical.
But...our favorite vacation destination is easy (and right here in our home state)...
Petoskey, Michigan.
We go there for two or three weeks every summer.
We camp at the beach.
We treasure our time and the memories we've made there.
During our stay in Petoskey, we always visit Mackinac Island each year.
The picture below is our family on our favorite rock on Mackinac Island.
Yep - we have a favorite rock there.
 Every year, we ride our bikes half way around the island
and sit on our favorite rock to take a family photo
(with the camera's timer setting).

Then we ride the rest of the way around the island (8ish miles).
It's been fun to see how the kids have changed each year
and funny to watch my husband scale the rocks to get in the picture on time.

The best advice I've been given?
Less is more and long as you do quality teaching.  I think we often try to do too much as teachers.  Doing less, and taking the time to do it well, deepens understanding and helps our students make meaningful connections to what they are learning.

Most rewarding part of teaching?
Without a doubt, it is watching children learn to read!  It amazes me every year how much they grow and how proud they are of their progress.

What am I known for?
Talking too much and saying what I'm sure others must wish they were brave enough to say. :)

2 random facts:

I am obsessed with Windex.  
I use it on tables, chairs, bookshelves 
and lockers at school.  
I seriously feel so much better when every surface gets a windex shower!

I'm scared of most animals.  
I LOVE my two goldendoodles.
But, I have nightmares about getting attacked by a dog on a regular basis.
Yes, I pretend that I love animals at school. 

The Loves of My Life:

My family - good golly Miss Molly...LOVE them!

Now, it's your turn to link up!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Sales are Super - Don't Miss It!

It's time for a Super Sale!

I'm pretty sure this is a TOUCHDOWN for teachers all around
(some are selling products
 and some are buying
 and we all SCORE)!

I hope you'll stop by to visit one of my sales!

Here are a few of my items that were best sellers last month.

A unit to teach nonfiction (informational) text features...

An animal research book...

Common core math skill practice...

Sight word stories for repeated practice...

My own shopping cart is filling up with things created by other teachers.  I am still looking for  literacy center activities for contractions and compound words.  If any of you have either of those available or know of any to recommend...
I'd love to check them out!