Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Wordle in the Room

Teaching My Calling is hosting a Digital Learning Day Linky Party. I love using any kind of technology (like most of you!) One staple in my room is Wordle. This is a fab site where you can make word clouds. There is another one that is similar called Tagxedo. Tagxedo lets you pick a shape to put your word cloud in. It is pretty cool (especially if your making a cloud about a specific subject).
I use wordle a lot! I use it for a spelling center! I enter my spelling words on wordle, then it creates a cloud like this:
Wordle: spellingwords
My kids do ABC order by cutting the words out and pasting them on a different page. You can change the colors, style, and font.

In other news I had an epiphany today during math. I couldn't find our place value mats--- lost somewhere in the clutter! So, instead of freaking out I just thought why don't we just write on our desk! Hello!! Where has this idea been?? I write their names on their desks with sharpie and it seems to come off after a couple of months (no...I didn't give them a sharpie!!)
They used their dry erase markers to make their own place value mats... genius (if I do say so myself!)

(oh and by the way... we did clean our desks afterwards! But we will do this again tomorrow!)


Sunday, January 29, 2012

New TPT Store and Upcoming Giveaway!!!

I finally did it! I created a unit! Yes!! It took a while (I am a bit of a perfectionist!) So I have listed my unit on TPT. This is a BIG step for me and I am so excited!
I created a unit in anticipation of an upcoming field trip I am going to take with my firsties to the Tennessee Performing Arts Center. We are going to see "Treasured Stories" by Eric Carle. It is a play with puppets, dancing, and art that depicts 3 of Eric Carle's "treasured stories" ("Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see?", "The Very Hungry Caterpillar", and "Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me"). Check it out on the TPAC website for more info.
I have made a unit to go along with this play. My unit includes:

It is a 55 page unit and filled with math and literacy activities like:
- A glyph activity with graphing
- Sequencing activities
- Text-to-text and text-to-self activities
- Long I sorting
- Compound word creation
- Science connections with the ladybug life cycle
- Vocabulary word cards
- Fraction activity
- 12 math problem solving prompts
- Haiku and acrostic poetry prompts

I can't wait to complete this with my kiddos and hope you feel the same! If you want to check out this product at my store click here!

I am also excited when I open my blogger dashboard and see I am up to 85 followers! Woohoo! When I reach 100 followers I will be doing a giveaway of my new unit!

Thanks for all your support! In other news...
This week we studied polar bears and penguins. My kids LOVE learning about animals and finding out a fact that is little known. For example, did you know a male polar bear is called a boar and a female is a sow? [I didn't!] So I borrowed an idea from Courtney at Swimming into Second to make polar bears for my students to post their non-fiction writing. They loved it. I made another template for penguins so they could choose if they wanted to write about penguins or polar bears. I had a good mix!

They had so much fun making them and learned a lot about penguins and polar bears! Now, time to do some planning for the upcoming week! Have a great rest of the day!!


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Bossy R and YouTube

Hey ya'll! I can't believe it is already 9 o'clock. Wheew... I am ready for bed! I wanted to make a quick post about a couple of things first. So, remember that bossy r sort I posted the other day? Well, we are using it a couple different ways in our classroom. I printed out a second copy of words and gave each kiddo one. Then we practiced writing with them. Before they could write a sentence with their bossy r word they had to illustrate the word.

How cute is that tiger?? I love it when a student can pull the idea right out of my head!

Do you use You Tube? I know most districts have it blocked [mine does]. I know there is a lot of crap on there but there is also a lot of good stuff. Like this one:

I am planning an Eric Carle unit right now so that is why I have this one on my mind. But recently I have used videos off you tube for MLK, polar bears and penguins. So, wanna know how to watch a YouTube video at school?

It all starts at home!
1. Find the YouTube video you like.
2. In another tab or window open www.savevid.com
3. Copy and paste the url for that video from YouTube in the text box on SaveVid.
4. Click download.
5. Next, a small picture of the video you want will show up and then some options for the type of download you will choose.
6. I always choose mp4 then after the file downloads I save it into my iTunes.
7. Once you save it to your desktop you can email to yourself at school.
8. Now you can watch your video at school.

This is really helpful to me and hopefully to you too!! Think I am heading to bed EARLY! :)


Monday, January 23, 2012

Write Around the Room Freebie!

Hello again bloggy friends! Those of you out there teaching Scott Foresman Reading you may be in a similar spot as we are right now...the Bossy R! I put together a "Read, Write, and Sort" around the room activity for Bossy R. My kids love read and write around the room...it is something about carrying around a clip-board that gives a kid a sense of importance! LOL

If you would like this center just CLICK HERE!

In other news... I had my eval today. We had some crazy weather last night (a tornado warning with sirens going off until 2 a.m.). Probably 3/4 of my kids were sitting in a basement or a hallway in the middle of the night last night so you can only imagine their enthusiasm today! I don't think I can count on one hand how many times I said (during my eval) "Please sit up." They all wanted to lay their heads down and look at me like they had never counted a group of ten before! I am not too worried about the actual eval, but now I have to literally re-teach everything we did today because they were soo out of it!! I guess it is not too bad though--I don't have to think too hard tomorrow!
Have a good one,

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Busy Week!!

This past week was nuts! My sweet baby girl has been sick since last Saturday with a croupy cough and fever! Luckily my mom could watch her all week. [Addie Mae pretty much has the best MiMi in the world!] I knew my kiddos at school would be so upset if we didn't celebrate the 100th day of school on time plus we still needed to learn about MLK! My babysitting luck finally ran out on Thursday. I couldn't find anybody to watch Addie Mae, so I had to stay home. This would have been fine but... that was the day I was suppose to be evaluated!! Bummer, right? (sarcasm!) Then, my evaluator said she would come the next morning and didn't show! I think I dodged a bullet...a Friday morning eval would have been a nightmare. We usually do math after lunch so asking my kids to do it during a normal testing time (for spelling and grammar tests) would have been so off schedule I couldn't see it going well! So, I will be having my eval this Monday at my normal math time. I am actually looking forward to it.

Even with me off on Thursday we got a lot accomplished this week. Tuesday we did some MLK art. I think everyone has done this project but I was super impressed with my kids. They don't really like being artsy (which is something I couldn't live without!) so when they got "into it" I was super excited. Usually when we do a project like this I have to make a template for every piece because their listening skills are not exactly there---if you know what I mean. With this project I only gave them the rectangle or square pieces and they had to do the cutting. They turned out adorable!

I couldn't help but crack up at the gotee (not sure how to spell that!). Too cute!

Wednesday was our 100th day of school. We had so much fun, I mean...well... they had so much fun! I have felt like a mad woman this week with Addie being sick and other hormonal issues--- this 100th day made me feel like I never want to celebrate the 100th day again!! Here are a couple activities we did:

We made crowns. I sent home 10 strips of construction paper and they had to decorate each strip with 10 things and bring them back to school. Here is mine:

They did turn out really cute!! But took a while to staple together!

Then, we drew what we would look like in 100 years. These turned out adorable! I got the template from another blog and I can't remember where! Sorry! If it's yours... please let me know!

Of course, Thursday I wasn't there but Friday was fun! We made snow from coffee filters (which they loved!).

Then, we did the questioning lesson from Babbling Abby. We did this with "Martin's Big Words". We came up with questions for and about MLK and then they completed the charts in their center groups. Most of their answers were similar but they really enjoyed this activity. I am going to have to pull it out again!

Procrastinating on my lessons for this week on polar bears and penguins! I have some ideas but kind of want them to just appear! Have a good week friends!
P.S. Don't forget to vote for my blog as the most Fascinating Teaching Blog of 2011! Thanks :)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Another Giveaway

Anna is hosting a great giveaway on her blog: Crazy for First Grade to celebrate the 100th day of school. Check it out!!



It is time to vote!! The polls for the most fascinating blog are open until Jan. 26. Please support my blog by clicking the button below. It will take you to the site to vote.

Online PhD Programs

Remember to click on www.tattlingtotheteacher.blogspot.com. I really appreciate all my new followers and am super excited to be nominated for such an award.

Also, check out Ms. T over at Journey of a Substitute Teacher. She is having a fabulous giveaway for making it to 100 followers.

Have a great Saturday!!


Tuesday, January 17, 2012


So today I got an email with a nomination for The Most Fascinating Blog of 2011. Say what?

Online PhD Programs

I am totally shocked and surprised and excited and.. well I could go on and on... I just wanted to share this exciting nomination. This weekend I will post a link so you (my sweet bloggy friends) can go vote for me!

Also, my firsties made MLK today and it is adorable... forgot to take pics but will post soon (probably not until I get through the 100th day and my eval.) I will let you know how it goes!!


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Place Value and a Freebie

I have been completely stressing this weekend about my next evaluation and I don't know why. If you talk to me any day of the week I would tell you (as cool as a cucumber) how much I don't care about these evaluations and how this is not a big deal. I keep saying it in the back of my head but I can't get the next one out of my head!! With this said, I spent all day Saturday thinking about what I was going to do during this math eval. We are studying place value right now so it wouldn't make much sense for me to do anything different but I want to make sure I hit all those "instructional" components. So, after spending all day yesterday racking my brain and writing a lesson plan which was pretty lame, I woke up this morning and knew exactly what to do.

I am not going to go through my whole lesson plan that is jam-packed but I do want to share a couple things I will be doing and, of course, give you part of it :) To start my lesson (you know that ol' anticipatory set) we are going to play "I have, Who has? Place Value". I created some cards today. After I get them laminated I am going to make sure my kiddos are well-versed in the rules of this game. I am thinking they are going to love it! Click here to get your copy of the game!

I made some really cool "Place Value Pinch Cards" to use for a formative assessments (just one out of the five assessments they require--I mean if you want to be that star #5 teacher!). I am only assessing through the tens place but we will probably learn the hundreds place later on.

I made these from some paint chips from Home Depot- I am sure they thought I was crazy taking 24 random colors of Disney paint. If you are closer to Lowes I am sure they have a better selection of paint chips if you want to go above the tens place. Home Depot did not have a large selection. Then I printed out these strips and will laminate. I was super excited about how cute these were.

After we work on expanded form whole group, we will do some partner/small group practice with this partner activity. Students can use the picture, but will also have access to rods and units if they prefer. My last critique in an evaluation was that I needed to improve on grouping (I pulled names out of a bag to make groups last time); so, this time I want to make sure my evaluater sees that I am taking their critiques and trying to improve (I mean there isn't that much room for improvement!! lol--just joking). If you would like to use this partner activity click here.

If you have any other tips for me please share!

My evaluation isn't until Thursday so we will be busy this week getting the room ready with tons of student work and I will be posting all the fun things we are doing this week. We are studying MLK all week and the hundreth day of school is Wednesday. Hope ya'll have a great week and enjoy the one more day off this weekend! I am going to try!


Monday, January 9, 2012


I am loving this linky party on Ob' Boy 4th Grade! I can't say for sure that I filled this out correctly, and I am not gonna lie when I say it took me forever to figure out how to add my own words and then change this back into a jpeg. I am having a blonde night!

So here it is:

Heading to bed to satisfy my "need".

What are you "currently" doing? Join the party :)


Saturday, January 7, 2012

Really... an Award!!!

I am so excited to share this post tonight! One of my newest followers, Mrs. Smyth, at New Adventures in First Grade has awarded me with the Versatile Blogger Award. Thank you so much Mrs. Smyth! I am so excited to share this award with others!

Here are some criteria for this award:
1. Thank the person who presented the award to you and link back to them.
Not only am I excited to get the award from a follower, I have now become a follower of Mrs. Smyth! It is always exciting to find a new blog!

2. Tell seven things about yourself.

*This is my 3rd year teaching first grade and this has been my favorite year! My kids are so bright this year and thoroughly enjoy learning!

*I have a weakness for chocolate. It is bad! Even my students know and will bring me goodies :)

*I am in the middle of getting my masters in Math Education. All I have left are a few math classes and a few Praxis tests to pass. I am excited because I will be certified to teach K-12 (7-12 Math). Of course, 7-12 is a big jump from first but it might be something worth looking into later on in my career.

*I have a Kindergartener who is hilarious! We were cleaning out his backpack tonight and on Monday he is required to bring in something from home that starts with an "a". I asked him what he wanted to bring and he said, "Addison" (his little sister!). We had to settle on a picture but I thought that was so sweet!

*Over break I got to actually read a book for pleasure! It was amazing... I mean the book wasn't anything but fluff; but it was amazing to have time to "waste" on fluff! By the way, it was "I Don't Know How She Does It". It was cute for anyone looking for some fluff to read :)

*My New Year's Resolution is to make it to the gym a couple times a week (still haven't started that). This week I am going.. I swear! I am hoping my stars will align and the Y on the way home from school will conveniently have a Yoga class right at the time I pass it...We shall see!

*My long-term career goals include becoming some kind of academic coach outside the classroom, preferably a numeracy coach. I thoroughly enjoy teaching math and creating my lessons so I think this would be a perfect combination!

3. Pass this onto 15 newly discovered blogs and let them know they've received the award.

I am excited to complete this one, I love finding new blogs so here goes:


Workshop Classroom

First Grade Frenzy

Barrow's HodgePodge

Step Into 2nd Grade with Mrs. Lemons


Generation Next Teaching She is just now getting started but a good friend with lots of fab ideas!

Creating and Teaching

Teach Love

Adventures in Room 129

Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas

A Teeny Tiny Teacher

The Lesson Plan Diva


Just Add ClipArt

Thanks so much for the support! I am going to be more into my blog soon! Getting past one more evaluation in the next couple weeks and then I am all yours with a freebie and possibly starting my own store on Teachers Pay Teachers... I will keep you posted :)


P.S. and by the way... I have made it to 50 followers!! I am super excited about this!!!!