Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Reading Centers

I love using reading centers for guided reading group time and also when students have finished their other reading work.  I saw an idea for sight word bottles (with the sight words hidden in rice) on Pinterest from this blog.  She has so many fun activities that she does with her daughters.  What a rockin' mama she is!

I have dyed rice before with food coloring and rubbing alcohol but when I started to look up recipes I found one here that uses Kool Aid, some hot water, rice, and a little extra food coloring.  They also provided step by step directions (always a bonus :). I love how intense and bright the colors are.  The only thing is that the rice I used was stinky...it smelled like sulfur and whatever flavor of Kool Aid mixed. YUCK!  When the rice dries it just smells like the Kool Aid though.

1. Dissolve one packet of Kool Aid in a little hot water (less or about equal to 1/4 cup I would say)
2. Pour into a plastic bag with two cups of dry white rice
4. Lay the rice out on wax paper to dry

The rice is all dry now...it didn't take as long as I thought!  I have been saving water bottles to put the rice in with the sight words that we use.  I will attach a laminated list of the sight words to the water bottle somehow (haven't figured that one out yet) and the students will find the sight words in the rice and cross them out as they find them.

Another center that I made can be used for a variety of activities throughout the year.  Currently the monsters only like words with short vowels!  I created a monster face, laminated, and cut the mouths and then cut a hole in a regular brown lunch sack.  The students can chose to drop the cards in the monster mouth or in the top of the bag.  They really enjoy it!  I have put the monster faces in my TPT store for free!

Apple on!

Monday, August 20, 2012

First Grade Funnies and *sigh* Grading

 Oh the woes of being a first grader are many!!! I read this while I was grading homework today and laughed out loud...I also showed my husband who pointed out the adorable pictures which I hadn't looked at until after the fact...so hilarious!  Good parents!

About a week ago I read the book Miss Malarkey Doesn't Live in Room 10 to my class and had them make a text to self connection.  They were asked to think about what I do after school...after they go home.  I had some pretty standard answers and some that were weird and some that were just too darn adorable not to share!

 "I think Mrs. C goes to bed and watches TV and sleeps." In the picture the student drew me watching Sponge Bob Square Pants on TV and they insisted that I  knew that Patrick (Sponge Bob weird starfish friend was there as well.) 

And my favorite....

"I think Mrs. C cooks eggs for her husband." 
:) So cute!

*sigh* I despise grading papers...check out the pile I have already!  Anyone else have this problem?  How do you manage your grading?

 Happy grading and I hope you find some funnies in your grading like I did!  Apple on!

P.S. Remember to check out my TPT store...I don't have much in there yet but I promise you my products are neat!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


I saw this idea on Pinterest.  I tried to search for the original source but I couldn't find it!  I have been able to complete my  beginning of the year assessments in record time with minimal interruption (there are those few kiddos who will try to force their point across...no matter what :)

 When the light is on...no interrupting (reading groups or testing are usually happening)! When the light is off...feel free to ask questions!

I just wanted to share since it has been super effective for me!  Apple on!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

First Week Back

I had my first week back with my kiddos this last week....boy, am I tired!  Things have been moving slowly for my class and I know they will pick up soon but I always forget how much they don't know at the beginning of first grade.  They seem like a good group but they can sure run their mouths!  I think I'm going to make a rule that when I am talking...no one else is allowed to!  What do you do to ensure your students are listening to you?

I have a powerpoint/ worksheet math combo for sale in my Teachers Pay Teachers store. Go and check it out!

Here are some pictures of my classroom all ready for the kids...of course now it is being well used and it is a little more dirty...err...cluttered...umm...blessed with students stuff everywhere.

 Thanks for reading!  Apple on!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

My First Ever TPT Freebie and Classroom Management

I am happy to announce that I have finally posted a worksheet on Teachers Pay Teachers...what's that?  Oh yes...I said A worksheet as in only one.  I really should have started posting worksheets back in May when a fellow teacher told me about TPT  but summer came and I didn't...do...anything...work...related...at...all.  So now here I am scrambling to start a new school year and trying something new like TPT.  The good news is...it's FREE. :)  Check out my compound word sandwiches worksheet!

Our district back to school very long meeting celebration was yesterday.  I don't feel like my brain is out of summer mode quite yet.  Someone will ask me  a direct question and I have to think REALLY hard about what to say...it's bad.  Anyone else experiencing that?

I had a request about how my classroom management system works...here's the original source by Rick Morris.  We were encouraged as a school to use this system or something very similar to it.  As a grade level we knew we had to use the same system because of walk to read.  At first I was VERY reluctant to change...what I had worked.  I had the classic red, yellow, and green light system.  Kids NEVER got to move their clip back UP.  I was cruel and heartless and I was totally okay with that.  Anyway...I had to face reality.  So I made this chart...

It is similar to the original idea but as a grade level we chose to take out one level.  So here's how it works.  The kids each have a clip with their name on it and every day their clip is on the ready to learn section (that is very tough, heavy duty string on the chart).  The students can move up and down the chart all day long.  It was hard to keep track of, which is what I was scared of in the first place, but I really do love it now!  When my students reach outstanding they get to receive a ticket (I bought colored 3x5 cards at the Dollar Tree last year and cut them into fourths, actually my friend cut them all for me...thanks Bethany! I keep them handy.  Sometimes in my pocket or on the shelf close by.  The outstanding student then writes their name and puts the ticket in here. 

On Fridays I pull out two tickets and those two now famous kids get to choose something from the treasure box. Now you may ask, what about those kids that go above and beyond?  Well they get to move their clip to ME!  I wear their clip for as long as they continue that super outstanding behavior and they also get ANOTHER ticket!  They LOVE LOVE LOVE that I wear their clip and it really helped at the end of the year last year.  That is also another idea from the original source.

Thanks for reading!  Apple on!