Hurry and head over to my bestest teacher buddies blog to enter her very first give away!!! She is giving away some Awesome prizes (of course they're awesome one is mine hee hee). Too bad I can't win. I'd have that gift card spent in an instant!
Only a few hours left....then it all blows away....
Good Luck!


A Quick Slice Before the Challenge!

I saw spring today.
I saw it in the crocuses peeking up to greet
And how the winter grass
seemed to be less drab beneath my feet.

I smelled spring today.
I smelled it in the heaviness of the air
It lingered there as I reverted inside
as I flipped and fingered my wind-blown hair.  

I felt spring today.
I felt it as dew drops against my skin
And on my lashes
as blinked and swallowed in the sun and wind.

I heard spring today.
I heard it as the birds woke me in the morn
Just a bit earlier, and happier
than the week before.

I tasted spring today.
I tasted it as I gathered in its heavy moistness
I treasured and savored it
like a lovers first kiss

I saw spring today.
I can feel it, hear it, smell it, taste it
I know it’s on the way
I saw spring today.
I hope it doesn’t change its mind
and decide not to stay.

Don't forget to join the Two WRITING Teacher's and the FIFTH annual Slice of Life Challenge!! You will be so glad you did. Your writing life (and life) will never be the same again! 

Also check out my bestest teaching bubby's blog First Grade Delight. She has over 200 followers!! wow O WoWWIe!!  We're celebrating with a give away! Hop over and send her some love she is THE best! 


Fabulous Blog, Giveaway, Thoughts and Freebies

Have you seen the GREAT give away Kelly is having at Buggy for Second Grade? If you have not you need to scurry on over there and check it out, she’s on her way to 300 followers and I’ll bet she gets there very soon.

Now that I have the cheery stuff out of the way maybe you can help me get in the mood for all this Seussy-Mania going on in blogger-sphere. Am I the only first grade teacher in the world that is not a HUGE Seuss-guy fan? The guy did acid for heaven’s sakes! Ok maybe notbut he was a little out there.
I am trying. There is some cute stuff out there. I have downloaded some freebies (thank you to all), I bought some of the cute graphics from The 3Am Teacher (she is quite talented). But a wHOLE week of the guy...really?  
In other news I’m thinking about changing the title of my blog a bit I think the big city paranoia has hit our small town and I’m afraid we may be looking at some changes in policy coming down that I may or may not have some very strong some definite some accurate opinions  some thoughts about. Any thoughts or ideas from my friends?
It kind of reminds me of that book”If I Ran the Circus,” bythat guyyou know what’s his name Dr??? Dr Deuss?? No.Dr. Seuss oh yeah that’s it. Well looky there I do! I do! have some of that Seussy Mania! Now if only I really did run the schools circus!
And just to stay in the theme of all the other great blogs out there I have some freebie writing stuff for you if you'd like it. Click here Don't forget to stop by Buggy for Second Grade to see what I'm going to you could win!


an oops, a freebie, and a funny

Well I don’t know how but I completely missed Wednesday. So of course I completely missed WWW. So sorry, but as promised I do have copies of the paper I use in Writing Workshop. I use the paper with just a few lines at the beginning of the year when the kiddos are doing more drawing than writing. I add lines and pages as the year progresses and so does their writing. Copy on both sides, add a cover, staple in the middle- and wha la a book with their authentic writing and illustrations.

The kids love making their own books, and sharing them with our class and others. You can get your copies at my TpT store here.
Every day at the end of my mini lesson I always ask the kids what they will be writing or working on before I send them off to write. Today we had read the book Diary of a Spider because we have been discussing point of view and voice in writing. The kids liked the story because it was written in the spider’s point of view.
As I sent the kids on their way today I asked one little girl what she would be writing and she proudly responded…”Diarrhea of a Butterfly.”
She was so proud of herself for standing on the shoulders of other great writers! Who knows she could be the next Doreen Cronin or Jeff Kinney.  


A Good Yarn

Have you read Extra Yarn by Mac Burnett? 
I bought it from Amazon last week and read it to my class today for the first time. The illustrations are really unusual and good, but it’s the story that made us think, and did deeper.
It’s all about a little girl that finds a box of yarn. It is not just any old box of yarn. It’s what seems to be an endless box of yarn. It holds so much yarn the little girl; Annabell is able to knit an entire town sweaters- people, animals, houses, trees, everything! Then the mean archbishop tries to steal it to knit his own clothing I’ll leave you hanging there.  
My kids loved the story and the illustrations. I loved that it opened so many teaching opportunities. Today we inferred about the box and how it could hold so much yarn. Tomorrow we are going to read it again and create a different ending. The next day who knows.
The best part (or so the kids thought) was when I whipped out a skein of yarn and taught them how to “finger crochet.” Some of them caught on pretty quickly, some will be practicing a bit more tomorrow but they all loved it. I gave them each a small ball of yarn in a baggie so now when they have some free time they can “finger crochet.” After we have a few lengths of “finger chain” we will be using it in our measuring unit. Should be fun! I wonder how we can “tie” it into writing workshop.I’ll have to think on that one!
After school tonight we had a meeting on the common core. Oh my some of the negativity coming from that room was quite embarrassing comical. I haven’t heard that much whining questioning in about ten years, about the time the state told us all of our lessons had to be related to PASS (Oklahoma’s version of standards)  Oklahoma will be calling the Common Core standards “Oklahoma C3 Standards” catchy don’t you think? You have to say it with that All State guys voice you know the commercial ALL STATE INSURANCE.  That’s what I hear when I say Oklahoma C3 Standards I have no idea why we can’t just call it “Common Core” like everyone else. Then it could sound like the Aflac duck AaaFllackcoommmon core. Yep just sounds better.
Since the meeting was sooooo long my hubby took me and Hadley out to supper, and then to Hobby Lobby! Woo hoo to buy more YARN! Do you think “finger crocheting” is part of the “Oklahoma C3 Standards??” hmmm oh well I’m sure I can make it fit somewhere! 


I Am an Official Teacher pay Teacher-Teacher

Yipppeeee Look at me I opened a Teacher Pay Teacher store!!! I don’t have much on there yet, but I am working on it. I posted a free language paper today here is a sample:

I’ll be making more soon. Because Lordy I know my kiddos need the extra work in that area (and many others) before all that dreaded testing gets here. Whoever decided first graders should be testedshould be “TESTED” in the area of mental capacity

Anyway I now have a TpT store and you are all welcome to stop by to visit, browse, shop, whatever. Sorry I can’t offer you some refreshments, but do stay tuned for a B.I.G. open house celebration coming soon!!!
I have to say having the last two Monday’s off has been THE BEST! Kinda reminds me of my old haircutting days when I NEVER worked Mondaysit was the hardest thing to get used to in the land of teaching, the dreaded MONDAYS!
I hope you enjoyed yours and that your next few weeks until spring break go quicklybut not mine. I want ssssslllllllooooowwwww days and slower weeks. It is going WAY too fast. Daughter swam her very last swim meet at the state competition this weekend. Her team placed 11th for their relay in the state. Not too bad for our small town. But of course I missed most of it because of the tears clouding my vision. Good Gravy.  

WWW aka Writing Workshop Wednesday

So today is Writing Workshop Wednesday, although we didn’t have writing workshop today. It was one of those days. We have writing workshop right after lunch. It gives us some down time when the weather is so hot, and it is a nice chunk of uninterrupted time for us to write.  
But today was CrAzY after lunch. Someone was hurt, two someones were sick, and one little kindergartener (they were lined up in the hallway) fell in the potty so I had to watch the rest of them while his teacher escorted him to the office for a change in clothing. So a big chunk was taken from our writing workshop today, not to worry it’s the last few days of the reading challenge, so we read.

I think one of the most important parts of writing workshop is being willing to turn loose of the control. I know it was hard for me in the beginning. As teachers sometimes we’re more concerned with our kiddos “getting it right” or “making it look good,” than letting their personalities shine through.  
Writing workshop is some place you have to be willing to let all that go, and give it over to the creativity of the kids. It is through my language arts block that I can draw in all the conventions for writing the emphasis of neatness, correct spelling, and whatever else drives me crazy. 

What is the hardest part of writing workshop for you? Do you have trouble just letting the kids-write?

Next week I’ll tell you about the books we make, but tonight I am off to feed the kids on my daughter’s swim team that are going to state this weekend. YAY GO CATS!


It's A Valentine Slice!

It was the Valentine’s Day after our son was born. I had spent the day at home with him rocking and singing to him just enjoying our time together, mother and son. It was a beautiful day, and before this precious baby had been born I probably would have been out on my horse. But somehow I felt those days were gone for a while. I didn’t care as long as I had this baby. Before my days had revolved around horses, which pair of boots I’d wear, what jeans matched which boots, and my marriage.  They say a baby changes everything, and he did. I neglected my horse, traded my jeans for sweats, and my boots were a wee bit too tight those days to wear comfortably.    

I hadn’t expected a gift. Valentine’s Day was not a big holiday with us even though we’d been only been married five years; we really didn’t need outlandish gifts to show how we felt.  Like all other new parents we had a new baby and many new bills-funds were a little tight.
I saw him drive up through the window as I sat rocking our baby boy. He came in the backdoor which was unusual for him he usually entered through the front. I got up to put my tiny bundle in his crib. He’d been asleep for a while, but I was in no rush to let him go.
I walked into the bedroom as he walked in through the backdoor. I waited to see if he’d come in to peek at our baby boy. When he didn’t, I quietly walked back into the living room.
Sitting in my rocker was the only Valentine I can remember getting in my married years. It was a gift I will always compare other girls Valentine gifts too, and the one I secretly hope to receive again someday. It made me laugh, and cry, smile and love him even more. He had thought of the perfect gift, the gift he knew fit me, and knew I would always cherish.
There in my rocker was the deepest redsoftestmost aromatic
Pair Roper cowboy boots! A half size LARGER!!! I feel in love all over again.   


Time to Play

Ok time to play. I’ve been reading all the funny posts to Kindergarten Lifestyles LinkyParty about “you know you’re a teacher when…” and sadly I relate to so many. So I decided it was time to play along. So here goes…


Slice on Saturday? Just this Once...

Do you slice? I had never heard of “slicing” until a few years ago. I stumbled upon the Two Writing Teachers blog one day while I was looking for ideas to teach my students how to write. I stumbled upon it, and these two lovely ladies (and all the wonderful other “slicers”) changed my life forever.

I knew there had to “more” and a better way to teach my kids to write than the way I had been taught. I knew there had to be a way to “teach” to “show” my kids how to love writing as much as I do. It began the summer I read Debbie Miller’s Teaching With Intention, and flowered from there. From Debbie I found Katie Wood Ray and all her wonderful writing tips and ideas, and from Katie I found Jennifer Jacobs, Ralf Fletcher, and Don Graves. It was from researching these people and the National Writing Project that I found Ruth, Stacey, and the amazing family of “Slicers” that they have enveloped through their blog and their weekly and yearly challenge.
I have to admit I spent the first year just reading and admiring from a far. I was a little intimidated by the wonderful writing, tips, intelligence, and passion of Ruth and Stacy. Oh but I wanted to belong. I wanted to SLICE. Finally at the end of the summer I jumped in with both hands and all my heart. I created FirstGrade and Fence Posts (my first love) just so I could SLICE. And I did once or twice. But I still felt a bit mediocre, a lesser version of my idols and the other lovely slicers.
Then came March of 2011, and the yearly “Slice Of Life Story Challenge.” I had changed my method of teaching writing. I had found other amazing blogs. I had been writing almost every day. Most importantly I remembered my favorite teachers/authors favorite words “are you up for the challenge?”  If I could ask my kids this and expect it, then I should expect it from myself.
I joined. I wrote. I sliced. I shared. I learned. I experienced. I made friends. I laughed. I cried. I changed. And I grew, as a person, as a writer, as a blogger. I was hooked and I was in love with writing once again, and the wonderful world of blogging. All because of the challenge of two writing teachers, and of course Debbie Miller.
It is extraordinary how life flows in circles and one tiny action can lead to the most amazing things in your life. I found Ruth and Stacey from reading Teaching With Intention by Debbie Miller, and it was through my slicing, Stacy, and Ruth that I found Debbie Miller and Katie Wood Ray. Ruth posted about a workshop she would be presenting at which also included Miller and Ray plus a list of other AMAZING authors. It was three states away. I begged my husband, my school and my daughter for permission to spend our vacation at this workshop. My school said yes and paid for it. My hubby and sweet girl said yes and occupied themselves while I was watching my idols. It was THE most amazing workshop I have EVER attended. You can read my reflections here.
My only regret was, because I was by myself I was too shy to introduce myself to these wonderful people. BUT I am hoping to go back this year, with my bestestteaching buddy. And from my first blog I found other bloggers such as TeachingBlog Addict, The First Grade Parade, The Inspired Apple, Deanna Jump and other wonderful “teaching” blogs which spurred this blog into conception.

Sorry for such a long post but I hope you will consider visiting the Two WritingTeachers and join in their challenge to take a moment and carve out a slice of your life on paper (virtual or real).  And become part of the wonderful family of slicers in the month of March (or sooner)!!!  

From now on, on Tuesday’s you will see this button on my blog and know that what is written is just a little ol’ slice of this teacher, mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend, blogger, slicer. 


Fun Dip Adjective Freeebie

Tomorrow we are practicing adjectives. Adjectives describe nouns. Tomorrow our noun is coming in the form of Fun Dips. Because today the kiddos were not hyper enough, and tomorrow is Jammie day. Here is the page I made to record our findings. You can have one too if you want. And this is the end of this post because Grey’s is on. Get it here. Good night! 


Writing Workshop Wednesday Link Up

I’m starting a new Weekly Link Up. It’s called “Writer’s Workshop Wednesday (WWW)” Original right? Whatever, it’s Wednesday my originality left this morning between inside recess, boy with his head under his desk, boy that tied his shirt sleeve in a knot (with his arm in it), “teacher my tummy hurts” (times four) and the flying pencil caper. No, that’s not the name of a new picture book, it’s a synopsis of my day, but hey it could be, this is “Writing Workshop Wednesday.”
I decided to start this weekly linky party 1 Because I truly LOVE   
Writing Workshop time, and 2 because the new common core are CENTERED on writing, writing, writing, and 3 I have had others ask me about my WW and what I do, so I thought I’d try and put it all down here, and hopefully you will too. But most importantly; I want to learn and grow from all of you great teachers.  Selfish I know, but I WAS the one with the flying pencil caper!
SO post #1 of Writing Workshop Wednesday Link Up
For the past few weeks our unit of study has been Informational Text-Nonfiction text that gives us information or teaches us something-“how to” stories.
I began by pulling some books from our nonfiction tub, I brought some from home such as cookbooks, how to manuals, and magazines. We looked through them, read them, “noticed” things about them, and recorded what we noticed. I showed them how many how-to books started with Firstthen progressed to next, then, and finally or last.
I had them brainstorm things they know a lot about and wrote them out on chart paper.
 After my mini-lessons I always have my kids tell me what they are going to write about before they leave the carpet area. We then get our supplies and go to our desks.
We then have quiet 10. That’s 10 minutes of WRITING ONLY. EVERY DAY.  No talking, no drawing, no getting up, no questions, no bathroom, just writing or thinking about what we’re writing. Quietly. I got this idea from this book
by Jennifer Jacobson’s and I love it. It sets in their mind something to write and gives those that like it quiet (like me) time to sort through their thoughts and ideas.
That’s the beginning of my WW next Wednesday we’ll chat about a bit more.
I hope you link up I’d really like to know what your WW looks like day to day.
Coming soona video of sharing.
Happy WWW y’all!  


I Want One Too!

Gosh have you seen all the great bloggy meet ups?? I think it would be so much FUN! I’m known as the party planner around my school. Should I extend it into my wonderfully FUN blogging world??? I think the middle states need to have a super- duper bloggy meet up to blog about! 
Anyone else game? Oklahoma? Kansas? Arkansas? Missouri? Iowa? the Dakotas? Louisiana? Nebraska? Texas (I know you guys have already had the pleasure, but we’re a lot of fun!)?  I think Kansas City would be a nice middle spotor Joplinor Tulsaor am I just dreaming??? Well it does sound like funbut we have to wait until my bestest teacherbuddy’s foot heals up. Spring Break anyone?? 


Ahhhh to be 40 Again

Oh to be 40 again! Mrs. Solano is turning the big 4-0 this month and she is hosting a GRAND giveaway for this auspicious occasion! She is not giving away one Erin Condren Planners she is giving away TWO! Yep you read that right two of them. I hope my teaching buddy doesn’t find it because she wins EVERYTHING!!! Which reminds me I need to have her pick me some lottery numbersJ Hop on over to Mrs. Solano's Kindergarten and wish her a Happy 40th! Stop by First Grade Delight and give her some love too she has a really hurt foot, and it's been a loooooonnnggg week!  Then have a great weekend y’all!


A full week in four days

This week has been Busy with a capital B! Monday was very uplifting and reenergizing. We have had Allan Johnson at our school for the past week. If you don’t know who Mr. Johnson is you can check out his web site at His PD is centered on teambuilding, brain based learning, music in curriculum, and common core thrown in for good measure.
Music is instrumental in his presentation, his message and his teaching. Not only did we have the pleasure of having him for our PD day on Monday we (our students) had the pleasure of learning from him the week before. He taught ALL 240+ students how to play drums, use the drums and music for focus and self-discipline, engagement and learning essential skills.
THEN Tuesday night he put on a concert with the kids for our entire school and community. It was A*M*A*Z*I*N*G!!! 240+ kids 4 to 12 years old, playing and performing for their families after just 5 days of learning/practice AND 15 teachers who were the GRAND Finale!!!  We were the “big surprise” for the kids. We had practiced in secret to surprise them. They were amazed! We came in with glow wands, head bands, and attitude. We then did a little hand jive with the glow wands, and the grand finale of a drum song of our own. The crowd went WILDok the kids laughed and cheered.  It was so much fun, and so needed this time of year to revamp, refocus, reflect, and reenergize. If you need some refueling in your school you should check him out!

They are singing give me FIVE a little chant about the  five parts of a complete sentence. Too cool!

We have decided next year we want glow in the dark drum sticks!!

I got a new kiddo Wednesday. He’s cutie with big blue eyes and he can READ which is always a great thing this time of year, and then yippee faculty meeting after school.
Today was Groundhog Day check out one of my cuties in her Groundhog headband.

We made these courtesy of FirstGrade Blue Skies
Tomorrow is our 100th day of school, and our school wide “read and feed.” Kids get to bring snacks, pillows and blankets and spend the biggest part of the day reading. YAY!
Another great thing about my new kiddo his dad works for Hostess! We get 100 donettes (sp?) for our 100th Day Celebration! Woo Hoo!!
It’s been a CrAzY- busy week, but filled with great things. I hope the weekend is calmer! One week from today my bestest teaching buddy and I will be having supper with the ladies from Made for First Grade! I am SO excited and anxious!
Coming soon a peek into my writing workshop until then here is a copy of an editing list I made up for my kiddos. You can download it here

Hope you have a great Friday and lazy, relaxing weekend!