Monday, July 18, 2011

Daily 5 Pictures

Here are the Daily 5 Pictures as promised. These were taken sometime in February when I had a student teacher and had a minute of time to snap these shots. Make a note- these were taken in a kindergarten classroom. Yes, I know my blog is about first grade, but I don't officially start teaching first until August. I will post new pictures as I get my room back in order.

Okay, so not the best picture- this really makes my room look cluttered. If you look closely in the back you will see it says Work on Writing. That's where I kept the materials for writing. You can also sneak a peak at the Read to Someone I-Chart.

Part of Work on Words- I converted a plastic shoe organizer into a word ring organizer.

My favorite part of Daily 5- Work on Words

Class Library- to the right you will see some fabulous Target $1 pocket charts they used for word sorts.

So this is my Cafe and Daily 5 board. To the right you can see their book boxes and my DRA kit.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Winning Word Roll

Here is a spelling game my kids love. It's called Winning Word Roll. I kept this in the Work on Words station all year. It's automatically differentiated because my kids had their own words on their word rings.

Materials: game board, word ring, dry erase marker, cube

Directions. Students pick six words from their word ring, write the words on the faces of the cube, record the same words again on first column of the game board, then they were ready to play.

I found some really great dry erase cubes here, but you can find them in several different places just google "dry erase dice."

I'm still having some issues attaching google docs- ugh! If you want your own copy of this don't hesitate to email me at Hopefully I can

Friday, July 15, 2011

VistaPrint, Oh how I love you!

Yes, It's about that time to start thinking about the new school year. There are few things I need to have prepared waaaaaay ahead of time. VistaPrint is one such thing. If you haven't ever used them you gotta check them out at The trick to Vistaprint is planning far enough ahead that you can wait two weeks for production and shipping. If you can do this, you will have some fabulous postcards, behavior certificates, homework passes, business cards, etc.

*Side note, you can get these printed and delivered in less that two weeks. It's just a matter of how much you want to pay for shipping. Also, I only purchase my products when they are free. Usually they are about 50% off or more, but once you make an account they will email you regularly with specials. About once a week, for a day or two, you can stock up on items for FREE and just pay shipping. I do the two week production and shipping which is about $3-5 for postcards. Summary: go ahead and make your stuff, save it in your portfolio, when you find out it's free place your order.*

You may have read my previous post about "Fabulous Days" which is a behavior incentive. Last year I printed the cards below on vistaprint. At the end of the day I would write the student's name on the card and send it home. The kids LOVED it, parents gave me positive feedback, and best of all it was way more economical and personalized than what I would buy at the teacher store. Check it out!

Okay, so the possibilities are endless. There are TONS of backgrounds and fonts at VistaPrint you can make it your own. The fabulous day cards I had printed on regular postcard size. Below is a picture of the cards I passed out on Curriculum Night. I had these printed on the OVERSIZED postcard because there is A LOT of information! Put a little magnet on the back and the parents can stick it on the fridge. Everyone is happy!

Lastly, you can use the business cards for homework passes, class tickets, punch cards, etc. Unfortunately I wasn't able to track down my Monkey Bucks business cards from second grade, but here is a card I created just a few weeks ago. (Somewhat of a shameless plug for adoption, but at least you get the idea of the different options and formats.)

Finally, since it's our last morning in Connecticut, I wanted to show you a little picture of our super fun banquet last night. It had a Seussical theme. Don't we look cute?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Daily 5

So, to say I LOVE Daily 5 would truly be an understatement. I have shared many of my files and documents with Crandall and Coppell friends but wanted to make this available for the lovely bloggers out there that are curious about The Daily 5. Besides, the files you see below are NOT my ideas, I simply read the book, implemented in my classroom, and made them look cute for my kids. Please use these resources, let me know what you think, and don't be afraid to email me if you have any lingering questions. (

Yay, I figured out how to attach Daily 5 Docs! Just click on the title and it will open google docs

To find out more about The Daily 5 and the 2 Sisters click here.

P.S. Classroom pictures and virtual tour coming soon! By soon, I mean as soon as I get back to Texas.:)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Classroom Ideas

Hello K3 Parents and friends! Can you believe that it's July?! Where did the summer go?

I'm at Confratute- a conference in Connecticut- soaking up some amazing ideas for our classroom. I'm so very excited about the upcoming school year and getting to see your sweet smiling faces again. Speaking of new school year....

I really wanted to change things up a little bit in our classroom. Hopefully you are all still excited about looping! So, I've been brainstorming some new ideas. Take a gander at these ideas and let me know what you think.

Behavior Management- Although I LOVE our star chart and your kids were amazing with it, I definitely want to tweak it a bit now that we are FIRSTIES. :) So, I was thinking about doing a Hollywood theme. Yes, it's been done and I've perused several super teachers that have rocked this in their classrooms. (To see more click here.) Instead of "Fabulous Day" we will need a new catchy phrase. Hmmmm....let me think about this one. Here are some of the ideas for the first grade equivalent of fabulous day: shoes off, iTouch time, first in the lunch line, game time with Miss Amanda*, picnic lunch, smelly marker day, and teacher assistant for the day. At the end of kinder we had a fabulous box and the kids would pull a card out with their surprise incentive on the back. They LOVED this because they were always surprised with their fabulous reward. Please, please, please let me know ANY ideas you have for the incentives. PRICELESS (free) rewards are my favorite!

Star Student- Okay, this is definitely NOT my idea. To see where it sparked for me click here. Love this, it goes along with the Hollywood theme, and let's face it- it's stinkin' cute!

iPad Grant- We were so lucky to receive the iTouch, I Read, I Learn Grant last year. What a difference this has made with our Daily 5! As the kids say, "SWEET!" I am currently working on a grant for iPads. I know, at times I think I'm a bit much, but really the iPads have some incredible apps. Talk about motivation and differentiation! More to come on this...

Home Fun- This is a topic I ponder each summer before school starts. I definitely want to keep in touch with you guys and make sure you know exactly what's going on in class. Last year the kiddos took their folders home on Monday and you returned them on Friday. How did that work for you? Do you need more activities and suggestions in there? Do you despise the homefun folder? C'mon, be honest! I have some wonderful ideas for UPGRADING our home fun folders- but I'm going to need parent help. If you are interested in doing some cutting, pasting, and construction at home please contact me.

Writing Celebrations- In kindergarten we had a terrific writing celebration in the library. Oh, the memories! I really had the best intentions of having more, it just didn't happen. In fact, all your kids have two published pieces in their writing portfolio just waiting to be celebrated! So, I want you to know this is on my list of things to do. I had such positive feedback from our first event that I knew it had to continue. If you would be willing to form and/or help a parent committee for writing celebrations please email me!

Wow, that's a lot to digest at once I'm sure. Gotta get it out while I'm thinking it or I just might forget!

Hope you all are having a terrific summer! Please hug your children for me and let them know I miss them terribly!


*Sadly, Miss Amanda is headed off to UT but I'm certain we will have another amazing CHS student!