First Grade Common Core

I always seem to be a little slow on the draw, and this time I am down to the last minute. But thankfully I have made it just in time to receive my copy of the new First Grade Common Core Workbook. I have seen this posted of many blogs and have wanted to get my hands on my own copy. I even downloaded the free pages you can find here.
This book is FULL of awesomeness and I can see endless possibilities for extra activities and lessons to go with them. I can hardly wait to get my hands on it.
First Grade Common Core is at the heart of all my planning this year. Thankfully I think this book is going to make my planning MUCH easier.
Check out this great resource here, and good luck with your common core adventures!  


Fairy Tale Fun and Freebie

Last week we ended our fairytale unit. I LOVED teaching fairytales. I do not know why I have not done it more often. The kiddos loved it. I loved it. I loved the activities it led to, and the way they grasped the concepts and wanted MORE!
Friday was our BIG culminating day and it started with a bang. We all wore (well ok THEY all wore)jammies to school, and brought a teddy bear too! We started the morning rereading some favorites like Goldilocks and Jack and the Beanstalk, and then compared them and other fairytales with some newer versions. We had a vote on The Three Little Pigs, and The REAL Story of the Three Little Pigs. All but one kiddo thought the pigs were telling the truth. The one girl who did not, would not budge from her position either!
We then had a “beary breakfast” courtesy of packaged oatmeal, mini muffins, orange juice, and gummy bears (in our “porridge” of course). The kids LOVED it. One way to get to your kids to think you are AMAZING is to FEED them! Works every time.

We ended our day with a “fairytale scavenger hunt.” I asked a few teacher friends if my kiddos could come “search” their rooms for a few items. They were more than happy to let us in, and even made sure they had a few of the items on the list in plain sight.
It was THE cutest thing I have seen this year. They were so excited and serious about their task. One little guy that rarely talks stopped in the middle of the hallway arms outstretched and so excitedly told yelled to me “We’ve got them! We’re finding EVERYTHING!!” I was rolling as he hurried off with his group.
After about 15 minutes all the groups came back to the room and I quizzed them on what they had found. They needed to tell me what the item was, what story it was from, and who or how it was used in the story. They were spot on with all their answers. What a great comprehension tool!
I have to say I will be doing this activity again this year with other units and concepts. I hope we don’t drive our neighbors crazy!    
Here is the scavenger page I used,

 and you can find your copy for free here if you want fun filled day of fairytale learning. 
I am out of school today for professional development day, and have a personal day tomorrow for my birthday! Woo Hoo a three day week!  


Really Good Stuff

I am a guest blogger today over at the Really Good Stuff Teacher’s Lounge today. There is just something about seeing someone else write your name that warms a heart and makes you feel validated. So if you want to find out all about “The Wonder Wheel” stop in at the lounge and check out my post. Look around while you are there. There are some really great articles and ideas.
In other news I am getting another new kiddo tomorrow. That makes 20! Whew we are one packed little classroom. But we are having a great time. We just HAD to have a hug fest this morning before we could start our morning work. It was great! 


A Slice of Life in September

In September the morning chills, but the afternoon still scalds.

In September the arch of the morning sun moves away from my resting spot and onto the open edges of the patio.
In September county fairs gather the largest livestock, the moistest cakes, and homiest of quilts.  State fairs cook outrageous food and host the screamingist of rides.
In September high schools cheer, and colleges tailgate.   
In September summer bids us happy trails and autumn whispers hello.
In September green turns to golden and purples become amber.
In September school yards are bustling. I hear the shouts of happy children from my window.
In September squirrels scurry-hurry to gather acorns and hide them away for December.
In September the geese’s v’s have turned the other way as they fly away from the cooling days.
In September twilight dawns sooner than later and shadows become shorter.
In September my days slow, my evenings lengthen, the nights chill, and mornings nip.
In September I am happy for new beginnings, sad for days gone, and hopeful in the moment.


Paying it Forward Fun!

Whew. This had to be the longest short week in a long time. We have started testing, and stated settling in, and started figuring out this is not kindergarten Toto!

Sooooo many things to do and remember in first grade.
I got a new little sweetie this week and my teacher buddy got two. We are now up to 19 each which are pretty big classes for our small rural school. And our small rural rooms which are a wee bit packed now. But she is awfully cute and sweet, so we are happy to make room.
I have found two of the cutes unteachery blogs this week. They are both from the Midwest and are doing the cutest pay it forward type blogging. I thought it was so cute and sweet that I just knew my fun and sweet teacher/bloggy friends would enjoy it too.
Here are the details and the fine print so make sure you read allllllllll the way to the bottom.
So who doesn’t love a gift? Well I do! And I love giving them. I love finding just the right one to surprise my kids with, and I love surprising my teacher friends with little gifts on their desks every now and then. Christmas is my favorite time of year, and I ALWAYS go overboard on trying to find the just right fit for everyone (and some who aren’t) on my list. So when I read the posts on TheGunny Sack and  Love Like Johnny and June blogs ( don’t you just love those names Johnny and June is one of my favorite songs!) I knew I had to play along. I was like those kiddos of mine jumping up and down waving my arms shouting PICK ME! PICK ME!
So here I am joining in and adding my own pay it forward to three lucky people. Please make sure you leave your email!

The first three people to comment on this post will receive a gift from, moi. It may be something that I long for and wish to share with others, something to wear or maybe just something I love! Whatever it is, it will get special thought and care just for you!

The fine print:
Within a year (it'll be sooner than later), I’ll create something unique to share with the first three people to comment on this post. But, in order to receive your present you have to play along.  Spread the love on your own blog promising to send a little special something to the first three people who comment on your post.
You get 72 hours to re-post, or I’ll have to move on to the next person.
Ok. So these are the rules set forth by somebody somewhere back in the links of links of links.
Seems fun right??
Good luck!

Shape Cats Freebie and Slice

Have you read this book? I first saw it when Cara at The First Grade Parade wrote about it. I checked it out at Amazon and just knew I had to have it. It is the cutest book. 
Eula the square cat is so sad being square, but with a little help from her friends she finds out it is ok to be square! It’s ok to be different.
Cara does an adorable mystery message to go along with the story with a little help from Eula. I haven’t used it yet, but I am planning on it tomorrow. I think the kiddos will love it.
I came up with another idea my kiddos seemed to love to go along with the book. After discussing how we are all alike in some ways and different in others, I handed out different shapes. I explained that they would be making their own “Shape Cats.” 
They first colored their shapes then used the shapes to make their very own “Eula.” Not only did we get our imaginations roaring, we had some much needed motor skill practice, and color word review.
My kiddos were then asked to name their cats, write about their shape, color and what they liked to do. I had mine copy from the board and fill in the blanks, but I made a printable for you.

Here's an example of what the kiddos might have written.
                My cat is a triangle cat.
                My cat's name is Tres.
                My cat likes to balance things.
                Tres my triangle cat 
                 is good at checkers.
                I like my triangle cat! 
Here are a few pictures of our display in the hallway. They turned out super cute.

Today I introduced Writers Workshop. It went pretty well. Our first plan of action was to make “Schema Maps” so that we have something to draw on when our minds are blank and we can’t think of anything to write.  I don’t have pictures yet but I will soon.
If you want a copy of your own “shape cats” to make you can get them here. Enjoy!  


Currently September

I was going to go over to the school today and work on some things, take some pictures, and then come back here to blog about it. But I didn’t. I haven’t done ANYTHING today. So I was glad to find Farley's September Currently for some motivation.  
I had dinner with the kids, my mom, and my good friend yesterday, cleaned house Saturday, and redecorated my bathroom. It has been camo for years for my kids, but it is now black and gray, and a little girly. And did absolutely nothing today.
I just had the nicest surprise while writing this my son stopped by again before his trip back to Alva. I think he felt bad for his momma. I was a little teary eyed when my kiddos left yesterday. I. Don’t. Know. Why. I try not to be. It is hard. I will try harderJ.
I don’t really have any favorite things right now. I think I am in a new chapter of my life. I am looking for direction and inspiration. I have been writing againWe’ll see.  
My daughter absolutely loves her college life. I am so happy and proud of her.
So I guess my favorite things would be my kids and everything the future holds for them.
I am working on some new things for my school kiddos so stayed tuned they should be up soon.
Happy Labor Day weekend, I hope it was full of family, food, fun, along with a little relaxation. It’s back we go tomorrow with a week full of testing. L