A Minute of Rest

This has been one crazy-busy fast week. No time to stalk, no time to hop, no time to slice, and no time to siton my patio. This was the first full week of school. I got to meet my new sweet student teacher. I started my graduate class. And we had our first grade parent meeting tonight.
I have to say tonight was one of my best parent meetings I’ve ever had. The parents are sociable, and fun to talk with. They seem very excited about their kiddos first grade year, and I can hardly wait to get to know them better and become partners in their child’s education and future. I am very excited about this year and my cute kiddos and their families.

Lindsay is my new student teacher. She started Monday and jumped right in helping and teaching. I was so blessed last year with Susan as a student teacher (who is teaching third grade in our school this year), and I am just as blessed this year with Lindsay. I do feel bad for her and every student teacher in EC at OSU they really pile on the workload for these poor girls. One thing is for sure they are well prepared for their first teaching job.

Tuesday night was my first night for my first class toward my masters. I must have had some funny looks on my face because after class the professor asked if I was ok. I laughed and said “oh yes it is just much different than First Grade!” Anybody know anything about curriculum and leadership?

Now on to hopping! I missed Tuesday and yesterday on Blog Hoppin’s Teacher week so I’ll start with today’s and try to catch up this weekend. Today we get to post our Three for Thursday. Pick your favorite font, blog and online resource and link them up to Blog Hoppin’s Three for Thursday to join in!

Favorite Font

Better Fonts is easy to find and has some cool fonts that are shown as you search which is very helpful. Find them here http://betterfonts.com/a.php?p=3&l=a to try them out.

Favorite Blog

Well that’s a tough one. I love them all and think I’ll probably overload my computer from all the great downloads, and joining as a follower. The first blog that I ever visited (I like to think as myself as a guest instead of a stalker Haha). I have made some AWESOME bloggy friends here, and it has been my inspiration for writing, blogging and summer professional development- The Two WritingTeachers. This amazing blog and Stacy and Ruth have given me so much in the writing/teaching/blogging world; they and their blog are amazing. I would also say they are one of my best and favorite Online Resources as well.

Online Resources

Pinterest is my newest obsession and place for great ideas, both professional and personal. I also like Sqworl and Teaching Blog Addict.

And there they are- my Three for Thursday done just in time for bed, another favorite place and yet missed this week!

Happy Hopping Y’all


This is Me This is Who I Am

Kanten, Hadley, Donnie-3 peas in a pod

Today is the first day of the Blog Hopper’s teacher week and we are supposed to introduce ourselves. I know most of you know me already but here’s the short version for all the rest.
My name is Tammy Klinger and I am first grade teacher in a small rural school in northern Oklahoma. This is my tenth year teaching and my eighth in first grade. My first year was spent teaching Pre K and 4th grade (yes in the same day), and I have done one year in second grade, but first grade is where my heart belongs.
Both of my children attended the school where I teach, and are now both seniors. Hadley my daughter is a senior in high school, and Kanten is a senior at OSU (go Pokes). I am very proud of these amazing people my babies have grown into. Donnie and I started dating when we were in high school and we have been married for over 26 years, and in love and best friends for over 30. There is nothing more important to me than my family. Most of my friends like to travel in the summer, and go out on the weekends. But for me the best part of my life is my home and having friends and family gathered there.
I started my first blog last year called “First Grade and Fence Posts” and soon fell into a blog stalker and avid blogger. I now have Klinger Café which is geared more toward my classroom life than First Grade and Fence Posts.

I am looking forward to returning to OSU this fall to begin my masters and I hope that blogging will be a big part of my degree. I am also looking forward to learning from my NEW student teacher, and working with my student teacher that was hired this year, who will be teaching next door.
I cannot live without Diet Pepsi in the AM (and PM), my reading table, rocking chair, new books, writing workshop, and chart paper at school; and writing on my patio at home.
I need to improve on conferring skills and organization-always, and not trying to impose my enthusiasm for new things and change on my fellow teachers.:)
Well I think I said this would be the short version so there it is-Me in a nutshell.
Happy Hopping

Hop on over and introduce yourself too! 


Blog Hoppin Celebration

Teacher Week 2011
 Blog Hoppin’ – a new teacher blog is  authored by some of your favorite teacher bloggers and is offering a buffet of ideas.  They are committed to providing posts about, links to, and recommendations for the best teaching resources out there.

To kick off their new blog they are having a celebration for US-teachers of every grade, and school size.

It all begins tomorrow the 22nd and runs through Friday the 26th so get ready to HOP on over with your posts and ideas.

Happy Hopping!

Below you will find a description of each day…

- Meet the Teacher Monday – Introductions, please! Tell us all about you!

- Teacher Talk Tuesday – A day dedicated to providing advice for new teachers :)

- Where it All Goes Down Wednesday – Pictures, please! Show us your classroom!

- Three for Thursday – Link to your favorite font, favorite blog, and favorite online resource.

- Free for All Friday – Everyone loves a freebie! Link up with a printable that you’ve created and would like to share out with the teaching community.


First day in First Grade

What a great and looooong first day in first grade. We started our first year going fifteen minutes longer each day. It really wasn’t so bad, especially since I got a planning period today. But tomorrow.no planning time means an extra 40 minutes with my new kiddosI think we will paint!

The day started with happy faces and only one or two tears. I only have one new kiddo to our school, and she was a bit overwhelmed, but as soon as I found her a recess partner she was all smiles.

Today we toured the school. We met new teachers and our new school nurse who is extra sweet. We read books and made class promises. We read two really cool new books; one was called the OK Book. The kids loved it. But they really liked The OOPS Book. It is a cute little book that shows how to take a mistake and turn it into something GREAT! We will definitely be reading it again. The REALLY great part was during writing workshop one little girl shared her story. She had bent a corner of her paper to make an OOPS, and then turned it into an awesome picture just like the book! I loved it! We did some celebrating with that one.

Only the first day of school but I think these kids are Brilliant!!! Ok talkative..but Brilliant!

We also wrote our ABC’s, and numbers as far as we could. Drew self-portraits and had a snowball fight!

The kiddos decided first grade is really different than Kindergarten. But I think they will be back tomorrow….

I wonder what we’ll do???


It's begining to look a lot like a school year.

Ahhhh and it is here.... the night before school eve.

The classroom is ready name tags all hung in a row.
A map of our school awaits so we’ll know just which way to go.
The children are home watching the sun set with dread.
And moms are dads everywhere are hollering “It’s time for a bath and bed.”

Ok I could go on, but I think it has already been done before. As you have probably guessed tomorrow is our first day of school. Am I ready? Ummmmm no probably not. I’ve checked and double check, but somehow there is always something I forget.
I've added a  few shots of my kitchen table. New lunch bag from 31 even though I just live around the corner-check. Math Journals- check. Work Activity folders- check. Writing folders- Check. Labels to stick on tomorrow- check. Our new “Dollop of Our Day” journals- check (I know much like slice of life). Lesson plan book-check. Filled with incredible lessons….uhhh sure check-check. Some REALLY great new books to read-check, check, check, check, cheeeeckkkkkkkk you get the picture. And a too cute not to snap photo of Kodi who’s going to miss me tomorrow-check
I am excited to see my new kiddos tomorrow, but I always have this feeling before the first day of school of “what if I don’t know what to do?” “What if I forget something?” “What if I can’t remember their names?” “What if I over sleep?”
There will be no sleep for me tonight, but I’ll bet there won’t be too many of those kiddos sleeping either.
Ahhhh it is the night before the first day of school.
And I think this year is going to be really cool!

On a side note. I hope all my blogging friends in Indiana are ok after the terrible storms you have been having. I hope none of your family or friends were caught in the tragedy at the state fair and Sugarland concert.


Grade Level Hook Up

Kim at http://theteacherslane.blogspot.com/p/grade-level-linky-party_28.html is having a grade level linky party to organize all the great blogs out there. Hop on over and paste yours in the appropriate grade level. While you're there visit Kim's and a few others. I know "a few" is IMPOSSIBLE to do! What ever will I do when school starts Wednesday??
Happy Linking and Thanks Kim!

Ten picture books. Really? Just ten? I dont know if I can do just ten but heres my go at it. When I pick picture books for my kiddos in the beginning of the year I am looking for short, good illustrations, some rhyming, and repitition of words or phrases that the kids can connect with and read along with me. I also like books with some humor or fun ways text is used. I also pick ones that we can discuss friendship, class rules, being a good citizen, families with during and after I read it.
As the year progresses I tend to pick books that go with a theme or unit I am teaching, and those that I know my kiddos will want to get their hands on and read themselves. Books that teach and are good mentor text as well as entertaining.

Further into the year its much of the same, but with a few more complex stories that can be used for synthesis and teaching conventions in writing workshop.   

And of course I pick them just because I love the authors and have about every book they have written. Or because I just love the story and know my kids will too.
So here they are in no particular order:

   1. I love to read Barn Dance every fall the illustrations are great. It is written so it can be read in the beat of a square dance. The wording is fun and the kids enjoy the rhythm of the words.

2.   The Relatives Came is a must have for back to school, and the end of the yearand any time in between. It is great to get kids started talking about families, family traditions, and vacations.

3.How are You Peeling   is fun the first few days of school. After we read it the kids make their favorite veggie and put a face on it, then write about how they felt the first day of school.

4.  Chrysanthemum is of course perfect for the first days and talking about names and feelings.

5.   Love this one and the emotion it evokes. It is great for creating mental images. Night Tree is an old favorite.

6. Underwear is a fun book that keeps the kids giggling. After we read it every one gets a pair of underwear to design and write where they wear their underwear for a class book.

7.   This is a new book Im going to read this year, but I bet its one Ill have to read over and over. It has great use of text written in a different way, and repetition of a phrase that the kids will want to read with me.

8.   Love, Love, Love Silver Packages. I read it for the first time last year and I will read it every year from now on. I used it to connect with kids feelings of Christmas and giving of more than just gifts, and to make mental images. It was great!

9.   Ok seeing a trend? Cynthia Rylant is my very favorite author. I just dont think you can go wrong if you put one of her books in your hands, or the hands of a child no matter what age.

10.The Crayon Box That Talked is perfect for discussing getting along and how we are all different but have some of the same feelings.

Thats 10 and that is hard to do because I have soooooo many more that I would love to add.
If you want to see more teacher's top ten head on over to
http://reflectandrefine.blogspot.com/ or http://enjoy-embracelearning.blogspot.com/ to see or more post your own.


First Grade Connections

There is a great new blog out there for first grade teachers! You can find it at http://1stgrconnections.blogspot.com/ It is a collaboration of first grade teachers from all over. If you'd like to join in or just go visit, everyone would love to see you. Be sure and comment on what you think would make the best graphics for the best "connections."
I'm headed out to get my class list for the year. My daughter started her first day of her senior year today and it is way too quiet in this house...sniff, sniff.
Tomorrow is meet the teacher night at my school and we start school next Wednesday. I'll hopefully have some pictures of my room to post at TBA's classroom photo linky party!
I've seen some really awesome pictures linked up. OH MY the SIZE of some of the rooms...ahhh if only....

Happy Blogging Y'all!

Do you know?

I just learned about it from Michelle at the Literacy Learning Zone. Do you know Michelle and her awesome blog the Literacy Learning Zone? She sliced about the August 10 for 10 on her blog for her Tuesday Slice of Life.

Do you know Ruth and Stacy the Two Writing Teachers and their Tuesday and March Slice of Life Challenge, and their book Day By Day, AND their really informative and cool blog: Two Writing Teachers?

Well if you don’t know any of these people or these blogs let me be the first to introduce you.

Ruth Ayers and Stacy Shubitz have a professional book they published about a year ago called Day by Day.  It is a great asset for any teacher who teaches writing.  They wrote their book after starting their blog; which is where I first heard of them and became inspired to start my own blog called “First Grade and Fence Posts.” Since then I have joined in their weekly writing challenge called “Slice of Life.” This is a place and day for all teachers and writers to come together and WRITE! I am in love with it! I also participated in their month long slice of life challenge last spring. And boy was I inspired again! I was inspired to write, to teach differently and to “put myself out there.” THEN through them I learned about this awesome professional Development in Indiana this summer (Ruth’s home state). AND I begged my husband to take me, and asked my school to pay for the workshop….AND THEY DID! It was THE most amazing PD I have EVER attended. I got to hear and see Debbie Miller, Katie Wood Ray, Georgia Heard, Ann Marie Corgill, Lester Laminack, Ruth Ayers, and there were many more I didn’t get to see. It was the single best use of my professional/vacation time I have ever spent, and it all stemmed from joining the Slice of Life Challenge last summer. I’m already begging my hubby to take me back next year. It is called the “All Write Consortium” and will be in northern Indiana next June. Donalyn Miller is going to be there!!

Which brings me to Michelle at theLiteracy Learning Zone…I met Michelle (as well as many other AMAZING bloggers, teachers, writers) through the SOL challenge. She too has a really cool blog that is always full of good ideas and information. She has adorable twin baby girls and still has time to write, teach, and inspire. She was one of the first “bloggers” to comment on my posts, which encouraged me to keep plugging along.


And today is when she introduced the August 10 for 10 the second annual picture book event hosted by Reflect andRefine and Enjoy and Embrace Learning. Last year they had over 400 picture books listed. I do not know these two ladies yet, but I have a sneaky feeling I’ll be spending a lot of money because of them!

I can hardly wait!

So if you don’t know any of these ladies or blogs yet go on over and introduce yourself, tell them tjkfirst sent you and told you what inspirations they have been to me in my teaching/writing/blogging life.

You’ll be glad you did!


Be gentle with me it's my first time....

So here it is my first one. My very first Linky Party. I’ve worried and stewed, wondered and planned, and have finally  decided “just do it.” So you are all cordially invited to my “Recipe for a Great Year” Linky Party.

Barbara at http://corneroncharacter.blogspot.com/ helped me out with the idea from one of her comments. I thought “well duh, what a great idea!” So thanks to Barbara’s help I am hosting my first ever Linky Party. I hope everyone has a good time!

Like my parties at home (I do LOVE to host parties) I’d like everyone to bring their favorite dish, relax sit back and have a good time.

The recipes I’m looking for are recipes you may use in your classroom every year. Recipes that bring back old familiar childhood memories, or recipes that your own friends and family RAVE about and ask you to bring to every party.

I’ll start by sharing a family and party favorite of my friends and family. I found it on the web a few years ago I don’t remember from what site. It is super easy and super yummy!

Crock Pot Cake

1 box of Devil’s Food cake mix

1 small box of instant chocolate pudding

1 small bag of chocolate chips

1 cup of water

1 cup of oil

1 cup of sour cream

4 eggs

Mix everything well. Spray your crockpot with nonstick spray. Pour mixture in crockpot. Set on low for 6 hours or until the cake is not gooey in the middle depending on crockpot (try not to lift the lid too often…it is hard I know). Serve warm with vanilla ice cream. It doesn’t last long at our house.

Now one for my kiddos at school. At the beginning of our school year I do a friendship unit (like so many of you do). At the end of the unit we make “Friendship Muddle.” Each child is asked to bring 1 item to contribute to the mix (I always bring extra). We have read books, talked about being a good friend, and had over a week learning about friends and friendship.

Each child brings their item and we “muddle” it together in a large trash bag, which they get a kick out of. I then put the mixture in gallon size zip bags. I leave one at school and put the others in my freezer to keep fresh until we run out.

The kids enjoy the snack that day and every day until it runs out (it makes a lot)!

This year we will be making “Friendship Bread” too, but it takes a while before we can enjoy it.

Friendship Muddle

1 box of Honey Nut Cheerios

1 box of Cheerios

1 box of Chex cinnamon cereal

1 box of Chex multigrain cereal

1 box each Teddy Graham flavors

2 bags of white chocolate chips

2 bags of milk chocolate chips

2 bags of peanut butter chips

2 bags of dried cranberries

1 large bag of plain M&M’s

1 large bag of Peanut M&M’s

1 can of peanuts

1 box of pretzel Goldfish

1 box of tiny Ritz crackers

I always check for food allergies first, and use substitutions if I need to. It makes a HUGE amount and keeping the extra in the freezer keeps it fresh until the next bag is needed.

So there you have it. My very first Linky Party. I can hardly wait to see who all attends!

OH Wait!! It wouldn’t be a party without party favors! Since I don’t know how many will be “linking up” I guess I’ll just have to have one BIG favor to give one lucky attendee.

Since Ree Drummond and I are such CLOSE neighbors, and friends…ok she still doesn’t know I exist….and we really only live in the same county….ANYWAY I’m going to give her new AWESOME children’s book to one lucky party attendee.  “Charlie the Ranch Dog” it is a cute story about her dog Charlie and his life on their ranch. 
Good luck! And thanks for linking up y’all!

Don't forget TBA is having an Ultimate Linky Party hop on over there and and check out ALL cool parties out there.

Gotta Glyph

Do you use glyphs in your classroom? I have used them some in the past and usually do one the first day of school. They hold a lot of information and are fun to hang outside the classroom door with the key for everyone to try and decode.

Since I’m doing the whole cooking/café thing this year I thought it would be fun to make one up with a chef. I couldn’t find a chef that I liked to work for both boys and girls (and I am not a great artist) so I found one for each at Scrappin’ Doodles. I tried to keep my questions generic enough to work for both, but still give me some insight into my new kiddos.  

From these glyphs I’ll be able to tell if they know vowels from consonants. If they know the month their birthday falls. If they know their left from their right, and if they like/can read, write and know their colors. I will know who brings their lunch and who eats a hot lunch, and much more. But most importantly I will see who can follow directions the very first day of school!

Do you use glyphs in your classrooms? If so what kind and how do you use them? I’d love to see and learn about yours.



Linky Party!

Oh Boy 4th grade is hosting a fun linky party. While I'm still trying to come up with a fun and clever idea for one... all these other great teachers are HAVING fun and clever ones.So I guess I'll join in and maybe one day an idea will come to me! Here are the details, but hurry there's only two days left to link!
THINK WRITE SHARE linky party.

So here is what you do...

Write down what you are currently







stalking (include 3 Blogs one has to be non teacher)

so here is mine...
THINK WRITE SHARE linky party.
Listening- to my eleven year old dog snore louder than my hubby. And Jason Aldean singing about dirt roads on the iKick.
Loving-finally having a semi-cool morning after a small shower last night and time to write on my patio before the sun gets too high
Thinking-I really need to be working on school things instead of blog stalking, and trying not to think about my daughter starting her senior year in four days L
Wanting-time to slow down and the days to remain sunny but not scorching
Needing-to get busy: laundry, school, dusting, groceries, the usual
Stalking-Primary Connections, Lory's Page, and The PioneerWoman (since she just lives down the road from meok its actually miles down a highway but we are PRACTICALLY neighbors) 

Happy Linking Y'all!                    

First Grade Collaboration Blog!

Beth at Primary Connections is trying to put together a first grade collaborative Blog. What a tremendous opportunity for first grade teachers every where! And what fun! If you are interested in being part of this collaborative blog either comment here or head over to Primary Connections and leave a message with Beth. It's been crazy busy and hot here in OK, but my room is almost ready to go and I'm almost   I am ready to meet my new kiddos. I'll have pictures and thoughts up soon.
PhotobucketHave a great weekend!


If you've never been to the TBA blog drop everything you're stalking and head there now! It is the most amazing blog that helps connect teachers, thoughts, and ideas. It's where I found McKenna who made me this cute blog design! First I went to TBA, then I found http://schroederpage.blogspot.com/ at TBA. She introduced us to McKenna at http://project3designs.blogspot.com/  and she made me this cute new blog! So you see it is worth your time to check out TBA. You never know what it may lead to!