Friday, December 30, 2011

Good Grief Part 2

Lordy- Well, long story short I had to rebuild my computer. Erase everything and reinstall all of my software. In restoring my backed up files I discovered that one of the files is corrupted. But which one??? I may have to reinstall one at a time! Boooo. At least I have today to work on it.

Sorry all- I had a big weekend planned with creating new units and catching up on my blog stalking, but instead I'll be trying to put my computer back together.

Enjoy the weekend----and Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Good Grief

It's been like a whole week since I've blogged and now that things have settled down I was ready to blog and create and catch up on all my blog stalking. But then... My Safari browser kept shutting down. After running a disk repair now Firefox won't open! Waaaaaaaa! I guess I will have to take my computer in to get fixed. Gulp. I heart my computer. And trying to type on the iPad is all fine, but it's not the same. Think happy thoughts that my computer will be working perfectly soon!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

To all of my bloggy friends out there- MERRY CHRISTMAS! It has been wonderful learning from everyone and feeling like we are all part of the same team! Have a great holiday!

Much Love,

Holiday Math Freebie!


Here's freebie for the TBA 25 days of freebies! A holiday math work freebie! Click the picture to download!



Thursday, December 22, 2011

Holiday Recipe Linky Party

Hey y'all! If you're anything like me you are always looking for another good recipe to add to your collection. I pulled out my favorite holiday recipes today and thought I would pass one along to you. This is a recipe that my mother has had forever and she makes it Christmas morning. It smells so good and tastes delicious. Even kiddos like it! I make mine with granny smith apples and cranberries. Sometimes blueberries make their way in as well.You can also download my recipe by clicking on the recipe card.



I'm trying to be as cool as Farley at Oh Boy Fourth Grade! by including a recipe card template. No idea if it will actually work out! 

Now it's your turn to share your favorite holiday recipe!


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Ta-da!

A couple of weeks ago I stumbled upon a picture of gifts wrapped in brown craft paper on Oopsey Daisy's blog. Loved how simple the wrapping looked. Here is the picture:

Well, normally I go all out on my gift wrapping. I'm a bit OCD actually. I have a big bow that matches the wrapping paper and the tissue inside the box ALSO has to match the paper. Some people are assigned colors too. For example, my grandparents might have gifts that are wrapped with green and red paper. Or gifts for my mother will be wrapped with a blue bow. I'll admit it I'm very slightly competitive. There isn't an actual contest for the Best Wrapper, but if there were I would win every year hands down! HOWEVER, what about shipping gifts? I can't send a gift without a bow, but I also don't want someone to have a squished bow on a present underneath their tree. So I used the picture above for inspiration and did this:
 *Not a fabulous picture. Sorry!

I wrapped my gifts in kraft paper and secured ribbon around the center. Then I used my circle cutter to cut out circles from Christmas scrapbooking paper. I ran the paper through my Xyron sticker maker and popped it on the front.  I had some Christmas stickers that I put on the center of some gifts. I also used my Cricut to cut out vinyl letters for other people. They all turned out amazing and they'll ship really well! This would work well if you have to travel in the car with gifts too. I'm off to do my final stocking stuffer gift items! Wish me luck!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Currently and my Top Ten

So, whew, the weekend flew by! I managed to make my house messier than it was Friday morning, but I also finally put up the tree and got my Christmas cards out! For the very first time I'm linking up with Oh Boy 4th Grade! in her December Currently linky party.


Super cute ideas over at Ginger Snaps! Be sure to check her out!



And Reagan at Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits is linking up her Top 10 Reason's You Know Christmas is Near.
1. My house is a complete disaster. Wrapping paper, boxes, bits of tape- EVERYWHERE!
2. I've already spent like five hours at the post office and spent so much moo-la on stamps that I could have bought a new pair of jeans!
3. I've completely forgotten where all the gifts are hidden. I put them in a "safe place."
4. Everyone at the grocery store sings along to the carols playing on the loud speaker. (I just love that!)
5. The Rice Chex are on the top shelf at the grocery and apparently everyone is making muddie buddies because there is always just one or two boxes left. (Last weekend me and this other fellow needed the Chex and neither of us could reach it. So he held my cart while I climbed inside and grabbed the last two boxes!)
6. The sale section of boots at Nordstroms is calling to me in my dreams....."We're on saaaaaale!" "Give yourseeeeeeelf a gift!"
7. There is eggnog in my fridge....and rum on the counter!
8. We've watched National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation more than once already! ("25,000 imported Italian twinkle lights! Drum roll please....)
9. I've got all the ingredients to have an all out baking extravaganza this week
and the number one reason I know Christmas is near...
10. I'm actually going to Toys R Us... Today. Lord help me.
(I hate Toys R Us. A long long time ago I worked at a toy store in high school and it's scarred me. I only go when absolutely necessary!)

Now you go link up! Or at least read what some other people have written. You'll get some good laughs!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Snowman math races

A couple weeks back I saw Ginger Snaps post on multiplication wheels which I had COMPLETELY forgotten about. I did multiplication wheel races with my third graders back in the day and we had a blast. I made addition wheels today for my students. If you aren't familiar with them here's how they work: Draw a donut shape and place numbers around the inside. Then place another number in the center. Students line up and take turn adding the number inside the donut hole with the center number. They place their answer outside the circle.
 After a student writes down an answer they pass their expo marker to the person behind them and go to the end of the line. Now, if I have a student writes down an incorrect answer someone else in the line has to fix it. They simply cross of the wrong answer and write the correct answer next to it. When we race I usually have only three or four students in a line. Students are NOT allowed to whisper or call out an answer or let another student know their answer was wrong. As soon as all of the answers are written down and correct that group wins. I don't write the same numbers in each wheel when we race because I don't want anyone stealing answers. It's a great way to get students to practice addition facts.

I drew snowmen on my whiteboard today and made the bottom snowball the addition wheel. We had so much fun!

*notice the wrong answer!

*If you don't have a whiteboard you can laminate some butcher paper or poster paper and cut out your wheel and use dry erase markers to write. We are going to practice some more tomorrow and race with some of our neighbor first grade teachers on Friday after our 8 am party. (Yeah, pray for me!)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Quote of the Day

"_______'s balls keep coming out!"  Ha! What they meant was the tennis balls on the legs of my chair kept coming off of one of my kiddo's chairs, but I chuckled pretty hard!

I mentioned we've had a rough day or two at school so I had to throw in some humor to get us back on track. We made a Vincent Van Snow Gallery with pictures of things in the snow. Only it's mostly snowmen and polar bears doing something during a blizzard! I had the kids watch me draw a black nose on my white board and tell me what they thought it was. They thought it was hilarious that it was a polar bear in a snowstorm. We decided to make our own pictures and try to make them look like they were in frames just like in a gallery (that needed some explaining). I let kids give me ideas for what they wanted and we brainstormed what that might look like on our paper.  Here are some examples



I'm thinking next year I'll have all white papers with noses in the middle and every picture can be of a polar bear doing ______. I let the kids make their own frames since it was a last minute activity. I also have a black bulletin board and I placed a big red circle in the center and a card like the kids have underneath saying "Rudolph flying at night." The kids thought that was too funny! One of my good friends is in the room above me and she and her class pass our board several times each day so I'm excited to hear what they think about it!

I know some of you are doing Secret Santa at your schools like I am and I had an idea. It turned out just like I imagined!


I made Chex Muddie Buddies and put them into a glass jar. I used an elf stamp (from Purple Onion Designs) and some red and white scrapbooking paper as my label. I had some letter stickers on hand and used them to write "Elf Poop" at the top of the label. Then I tied it with fabulous Twinery bakers twine! Super cute---and tasty!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Is it just me?

Or does my header look blurry? I seem to remember this maybe happening to someone last week....help!

The Happy Elf

It feels like ages since I've blogged! I got swamped with work and I'm just waiting for the weekend so I can catch up on my blog stalking! Ha! Tomorrow I'm reading this adorable book written by Harry Connick, Jr. This little elf, Eubie, goes to a town where every single child is on the naughty list and tries to spread Christmas cheer. Our character trait this month is compassion so I created a little writing activity. I wrote two versions: 1) How do you spread holiday cheer? (2) What can you do or say to make someone smile? Click on the book cover to grab a copy!

Monday, December 5, 2011

"I'm telling Santa!"

Finally, finally, FINALLY we are having cold weather here in Texas. I'm originally an Oregonian so I'm all about long sleeves, sweaters, and boots. This weather makes me feel right at home. I found the cutest striped long cardigan jacket to wear with jeans and boots (of course) before Thanksgiving and I've been waiting patiently to wear it. After hearing the forecast last night I made up my mind that I would NOT hit snooze 1,000 times and would instead get up early, wear my super cute new outfit, and stop at Starbucks to get a gingerbread latte. Could my Monday start out any better?! Long sleeves, cute outfit, boots, latte, seat heater on in the car.....

Well my children were terrible with a capital T. TERRIBLE. So very terrible that I shouted, "I'm telling Santa!" Ok, I wanted to say that, but I didn't. Instead I gave them a stern lecture about how we still have things to learn, and we've been in school for X weeks and they know my expectations, and I have fun things planned next week for those who are following directions, and that NOW they are making me the cranky teacher which is ruining my super cute outfit! Yes, I really did say that. And yes, their actions really were ruining my outfit. You know when you wear something new and you feel all good and gingerbread latte-ish then you will clearly have a great day! Well, my kids were ruining that.

On a positive note- I love first grade because kids still believe in Santa. One of my little girls came to me this morning and told me that she really did know that, "The Santa at the mall is not exactly the real Santa." And did I know that? And also, did I know that she would be seeing the REAL Santa this Saturday? (NOT at the mall of course)

With the cold and windy weather we had inside recess, which I used to dread, but a couple of months ago I read a post on A Teeny Tiny Teacher about Adventure to Fitness. Mr. Marc takes the kids on a 30 minute adventure through time or to different places. The kids are moving and exercising the whole time. It's funny and educational and Mr. Marc often talks about making good choices with food and excercise. (Health grade...check!) You owe it to yourself to sign up for it and just check it out. I've got my whole team using it now!

Have a great evening and remember.....Santa is watching you!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

And a partridge in a pear tree....

Hey all! This week was tough! I was so busy that I barely blogged. I think I had withdrawl. Did anyone else find it REALLY hard to go back to work after a few fabulous days of relaxing and eating scrumptious foods? I know this is a long post, but it will be so worth it if you read the whole shebang!

I have listed a few new items at my Teachers Notebook store as well as my Teachers Pay Teachers store.
First, I made a winter words vocabulary board for my writing stations. My students are so hooked on these things. I have one boy in particular who really hated the writing center until I added the Halloween board that I made. Now he's writing every chance he gets. I also made a Christmas words vocabulary board.
I'm only $1!

I'm only $1!
I also created a Winter Packet full of literacy activities including a read the room activity. This packet includes the winter words vocabulary board.
That last week before winter break we'll be reading winter and Christmas books and making crafts...you know, all that fun stuff that we're not supposed to teach. I've also made a Christmas Read the Room packet. All of my children celebrate Christmas and I won't be taking this for a grade, but I love that they want to read and write with this type of activity! This packet includes the Christmas words vocabulary board.
Tomorrow is the last day to enter for the super-fab giveaway at Teaching First. Several of us blogs are putting our newest winter units up for a giveaway and one blogger offered up a gift card. You won't want to miss out!

And speaking of giveaways- I'm a bit of a crafty nerd lately and I know I'm not alone! We teachers love crafty anything! My Grafico is having an awesome giveaway! You could win a Silhouette Cameo machine and lots of goodies that go with it. How sweet would that be?! 

And last but NOT LEAST I came home from work yesterday to find that I have 500 followers! WOW! I cannot tell you how excited that made me! I love blogging (and using exclamation points apparently) and love sharing what I do. I love that blogging gives us all a chance to share our ideas and be better teachers. On that note, I have some math freebies for you that I hope you will be able to use in class over the next couple of weeks!

Frosty Math Code

A cute math station dice game

And a fact family math center game


Please leave a comment if you think these will be helpful for you! Have a great weekend!


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