Monday, September 26, 2011

Poems for every month!

My second year of teaching, a very good friend of mine shared these awesome poems with me. I’ve used them ever since. Not only are they cute as can be, but they also help my kiddos learn how to spell the names of every month. Can’t get much better than that! We recite our poems every day during Calendar time.

I’ve put all of the poems together to share with all of ya’ll. Just click on the picture below. I hope you enjoy!!!

Slide1  Slide2Slide3 Slide4Slide5

Slide6 Slide7 Slide8

Slide9 Slide10 Slide11


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Let’s get movin’!

Music always makes everything fun! It’s a great way to get your kiddos up and moving, and a fun way for them to remember things! I like to use music to teach  skills, build our community, transition between activities, and sometimes just to be silly and have fun! At the beginning of each day, during Calendar time,  I use Jack Hartmann’s Movin to Math.

Website CD IMG

This cd is so much fun! Not only does it get your kiddos moving and exercising, but they learn many different number skills while their doing it! All of the tracks are great, but I’ll list off a few of my favorites.


3. Let’s Get Fit (counting to 100 by 1’s)  (Your kiddos will be exercising as they count by 1’s, so much fun!)

6. Dancin’ 2’s (This song has your class doing some dance moves while they count by 2’s)

7. Exercise and Count by 5’s ( Great exercise song for counting by 5’s)

21. Mr. Alligator Can Chomp* (This song teaches greater and less than. What’s awesome about this song is that the music pauses so that you can go over new numbers every day! My kiddos always have the easiest time learning the concept with this song!)

22. Hip-Hop Around the Clock* (I love this song b/c I can show different times on my large Judy clock, and they can figure each time out using this song!)


These are just a few of the wonderful songs on this cd. My kiddos love singing every track, and Jack Hartmann has many more cds that you should check out!

There was a time when I didn’t use music during my calendar time, and I don’t know how I survived now! The kids are so much more engaged, and we have a lot more fun too!

If you have any music that you use to teach, I would love to hear about it!


Monday, September 12, 2011

My new Blog Design !!!

First Grade Wizards finally has a new look! Thank you so much to Jenn and her husband over at Dream Team Designs for my fabulous blog design! My custom design is definitely more than I could have asked for!


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

LOving my Firsties!

OMGoodness! I have been MIA for over two weeks now! Its been a busy few weeks of school, and I’ve been absolutely exhausted. The first day of school was SO stressful. My baby boy Landon had a fever the night before school started, so I didn’t get a whole lot of sleep. Plus, I spent most of the morning trying to figure out who would keep him since I couldn’t take him to daycare. Talk about crazy!

The first day at school went great though. I have an awesome class this year. They are so sweet and lots of fun! We had a great time making Jitter Juice from the Fun with Firsties packet by Abby! This was such a fun activity and my kiddos loved drinking their jitters away!

We also had fun using the  Marshmallow Toes activity by Kelli from Castles and Crayons. Such a cute poem, and a great way to practice walking in the hallway!

I have to say that the rest of the day is kind of a blur. We discussed rules and procedures and we practiced, practiced, practiced!

I also wanted to share this idea for keeping track of your reading observations. A co-worker of mine had bought one of those spirals with index cards to keep track of running records and observations. Such a great idea, so I tweeked it a bit to fit my needs! I don’t have a lot of time to run to the store, so I took some index cards, punched some holes, tabbed them with my kiddos names, and put them on a ring. Works just as well, but it’s a lot cheaper! Plus, when you use a ring, you can always add cards as needed. 


Just a simple, cheap idea if you’re needing something quick. It’s worked really well too! Oh, and I put a colored index card at the front of each student’s file, and then put regular white ones behind it. It just made it a little more separated.

Well, I’m off for now! Time to get ready for tomorrow!


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Bubbles and Butterflies

Tomorrow is the first day of school and my stomach is bubbling with excitement and nervous  with butterflies! I can’t wait to see the new faces of my kiddos. I don’t know why I always feel so nervous on the first day of school!

I’ve worked all weekend trying to get everything accomplished, but I still don’t feel like I’ve done all that I needed to do. I know that it’ll all be great in the end. I’ve found some really great ideas on TpT that I can’t wait to try. Love that I can use such great ideas from other teachers!

I’ll let ya’ll know how everything went. Good luck to all you teachers who are starting tomorrow!


Monday, August 15, 2011

Chunk Wall

This year I’ve started a Chunk Wall in my room as part of our Balanced Literacy program. Teaching children to read and spell using chunks is wonderful! I usually give my firsties two chunks for the week that they work on in class and at home. This means no more spelling lists and no more memorizing words just for a test! It’s so much easier to see if your kiddos are really able to read and spell words when you teach using chunks. After all, if they know the chunk, they should be able to use it with multiple letters and sounds.

I don’t know about you, but we have a LOT of chunks that we teach throughout the year, and my wall space is a little limited. One of the wonderful teachers on my campus came up with the idea to put all of the chunks for each letter on a ring. This makes the Chunk Wall more interactive, and your firsties can take it to their seat as a resource.

Here’s a picture of what my Chunk Wall looks like in my classroom!

chunk wall

Creating your Chunk Wall is SO easy ya’'ll! Just type out all of your chunk words for the year (or you can do it as you go if that’s easier), add a picture for the chunk and put them on a ring. It doesn’t take up a lot of space, and you can have them all right there!

One very talented teacher on my team suggested having the kids write letters on post its to place stapled or taped at the beginning of the chunk. I love that idea, and I’ll let you know how it goes!


Friday, August 12, 2011

Calendar Time!

Okay ya’ll, so I’ve finally gotten around to working on my walls! I was able to get several things accomplished in my classroom today! I was so proud of me! It’s so easy to waste time catching up with everyone and lose track of time! I L.O.V.E to visit, so I have to really watch myself!

Anyway, I got my interactive word wall, my chunk wall, and name chart all completed. I also put together my packets for Meet the Teacher. Lots of stuff marked off of my To Do list.  Next up is my Calendar! I haven’t really had a weather chart, and I’ve been needing one BADLY! I found a cute one on Pinterest, and I adjusted it a bit for what I needed.

Here’s the adorable one on Pinterest.


And here is my version! If you think you could use this in your classroom, just click on the link below to download. Enjoy!

weather chart


Thursday, August 11, 2011

ABC Order Freebie!

Here’s a little ABC order center that I made for my Fantastic Farm Unit. Since I’ve been so busy, and I haven’t gotten that posted yet, I thought I’d go ahead and share one of the activities. I hope you all enjoy and I hope you are having a great time getting your classrooms all ready!

Work days officially start for me tomorrow! Can’t believe it’s already here!

Click on the pic below to dowload!

abc order activity


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

It’s that time!

OMGoodness! I’ve had the craziest week! Packing, moving, unpacking, trying to set up my classroom, sending my baby boy to daycare… wow. School is definitely in the air, and life has become busy, busy, busy!

This year, our school theme is Hollywood! I’m so excited because there are so many cute things that you can do with that theme. Today I tackled my bulletin boards. I have two bulletin boards outside my classroom. This is my first one, that I’ll put all of my kiddos names on.



Our next bulletin board needed to be used to put our kiddos published writing, so I did a movie theme for that one.



I’m so relieved that I at least got that accomplished. My classroom was an absolute wreck. It always is after summer break. Here’s my room looking not so great! It’s starting to look better though, so I’ll post some updated pics soon!




Pretty bad huh? Can’t wait to get it looking all great!


Sunday, July 31, 2011

Back to School Freebies!

Ahh! I can NOT believe that tomorrow is the first day of August! Summer is slipping away, and school will be here before you know it! I’ve been making a few things for my kiddos to do on the first day. Every child loves to get out those new crayolas, so I made a few drawing activities. I have a few more that I need to make, and I’ll hopefully get those posted soon! Feel free to download what I’ve made so far. They’re one document, so click on either picture below! Smile




Friday, July 29, 2011

Just a few to add to your collection

I know most of us have files and files of data sheets and other things for our centers. I needed a few more for my Library station, so I thought I’d share them with you. There’s not much to them, but feel free to download them if you think you could use them! Just click on the pics below.  Smile




Thursday, July 28, 2011

Sneak Peak :)

Summer is seriously flying by! I can hardly believe that August is right around the corner. Ya’ll, my life is about to get seriously crazy! We just got a contract on our house, and are set to close on August 18th. So I’ll be packing, moving, trying to get my classroom all ready, AND sending my little one to daycare for the first time. Makes me EXHAUSTED just thinking about it!

In the mist of it all, I’ve been trying to complete my first Fantastic Farm Unit! It’s a little hard to get things done with a six-month old, but I’m getting close to finishing! I thought I’d give my wonderful followers a little sneak peak of what’s to come. AND I’ll also be posting some freebies very soon!



Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Pinterest Linky Party! Woohoo!


Okay, so by now you probably all know my obsession with Pinterest. Well, what could be better than a Pinterest linky party! Well, Michelle's Math in the Middle is hosting one!!

So if you’re like me, and you pin all day long, join in on the party! Smile


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Chunk Journals

With the school year starting soon, I figured I better get some things marked off of my Back to School checklist! Every week, my kiddos learn several new chunks for the week! One thing that I wish I had done last year, was create a “Chunk” journal for all of our words. So I decided to make one!

I’ll probably use a folder or binder to put it in, and we’ll use it to record our new chunk words for the week. I also made a section for “Make-Believe” words. My firsties usually get so excited when they make a word for the chunk, even if it’s not a real word. This way they can still record their make-believe words!

Click on the picture if you’d like to download this Chunk Journal for your classroom!

My Chunk Journal picture


Sunday, July 17, 2011

New spin on behavior charts!

Lately I’ve been looking for some new ideas for discipline in my class. For the past five years, I have been using the classic stoplight system… green, yellow, and red. The kids start on green and then move to yellow and red when they misbehave.


To tell you the truth, this system was just not cutting it in my classroom. I found myself not putting kids on yellow because it wasn’t “bad” enough. And once they moved their clip to red, it just seemed so final! Once a child was on red by 8:00 (and yes, that has happened), there was no incentive to change the behavior. Not to mention, my firsties who had super behavior for the day didn’t get any type of recognition. Talk about negative reinforcement!

So I decided that something had to change. I started looking at some ideas on my fave site that I’ve told you about before, Pinterest, and found the perfect solution!!!

So I went to work last night, creating my new, portable behavior chart. After a little modge podging (that stuff is amazing!), this is what it looks like!


Here are some up close pics.

SAM_0788      SAM_0789


What I love about this portable chart (other than the fun colors and cute scrapbook paper!!!), is that I can positively reinforce the super behavior that I see, and everyone else gets to see it too! It also gives several different options if they have to move their clip for sad behavior.

It’s really simple to make! I got a $0.75 yard stick from Lowe’s, some half off scrapbook paper from Hobby Lobby, some sticker letters, and some Modge Podge. I cut the paper the lengths that I needed and just modge podged them on with a sponge brush. SUPER easy! After it was dry, I stuck the letters on, and then applied another coat of MP. I’m going to hot glue ribbon on the back so that I can hang it in my classroom. My yard stick didn’t have a hole at the top like most of them do. Super easy, and super cute!

I also made a chart and a note to send home to parents so that they would know what each color means.  You can download the chart by clicking on the picture below!

Discipline Freebiejpeg

Can’t wait to see how this works with my firsties this school year!


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I heart Pinterest!

I have to say that I am absolutely OBSESSED with this site! It’s so much fun, and its amazing how time passes when your browsing and pinning all kinds of cool ideas!

Here are a few of the awesome things that I’ve found there!

eggs  storymap

       symbol icons              weatherchart


So much fun! You can see why I’m a little obsessed!

The other day I found a really great data sheet for word wall words from Jennifer Jones! If you’ve never been to Mrs. Jones’ site, you should. She’s got all kinds of incredible ideas that I use all the time. Here is the picture of the data sheet that she made here. Since it was such a great idea, I made my own to use in my classroom. Feel free to download it {here}!


Monday, July 11, 2011

Welcome to my little blog!

I've decided to start a new first grade blog. I did have my blog  Fabulous n First  , but I noticed that there was another Fabulous in First blog, and I thought it was way too confusing! So I took one of my favorite themes, and decided to start a new one! YAY! I very pumped about this blog, and posting tons of fun stuff this upcoming school year! I've even been working on some projects and centers to post for everyone. One of the things that I'm going to be doing with my kiddos is differentiated centers! I think that this will be great! Most of my centers will have 3 different levels of differentiated data sheets that go along with them. I have a lot that I'm working on, so hopefully I'll get those posted soon!  I'm hoping to eventually work on this blog background also! It's a little blah at the moment. Be sure to check back soon! I'll be posting lots of fun stuff!

Here are my differentiated data sheets for Making Words with Appletree :)

Click here to download my Making Words differentiated data sheets! Hope you enjoy!
Making Words Data Sheets    and the cards Appletree cards