Friday, December 9, 2011

Daily 5

This book is an easy read, and cannot be more appropriate for a literacy workshop model. Daily 5 is my first graders' favorite time of the day! I've never been able to spend so much time working with my guided reading groups, and had such little maintenance for the workshop "station" or student choice activities. I cannot recommend this book enough!  Click here to go to "the sisters'" website to learn more about the Daily 5.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Friday, December 2, 2011

2 GREAT Websites 4 Learning!

I've been introduced to 2 FABULOUS websites that will be great for students to learn independently on.  Could be great for centers/stations/Daily 5/Tabor Math rotations, etc.  They can also access them at home.  

StudyLadder - You create a class, and then assign tasks.  Each student has their own account and login with an avatar they can edit to look like themselves.  They work to earn rewards and can able to spend them on things online. - The Dovewhisper Computer Centers were created as an effort to assist teachers in both incorporating technology and enriching their curricula. It is my hope that you and your students will find this site most beneficial and enriching.

Check them out!!! :)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Wikispaces Help

Wikispaces is a GREAT way to collaborate, and/or share information.  Wikispaces created this document to help people.  It is a "to the point" training for wikispaces.

Check out my class wiki for ideas about using Wikispaces with your class: 

Great ipad app!

I found a GREAT app if you are using ipads in the classroom!

Check out PaperDesk.  Click here: for the link to the itunes page.  You can take a picture of a student's writing, or work sample, and insert it into a page where you can type and take notes about what that child did.  You can then email yourself, or the parents the page to see.  Great for monitoring progress!  The free version/Lite, works the same, but it has a limit to how many pages you can keep at the same time.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Graphic Organizers Galore!

Follow the link to a collection of websites with TONS of graphic organizers for all ages.  Some are interactive to use online, and some are printable.  Enjoy!

Delicious Paragraphs

Interactive Burger Paragraph Writer
Follow the link above, and you and your students can type their sentences on the burger.  You can use it for paragraphs, or beginning, middle, and end with events in the middle, or an essay like the example shows.  The way to a kid's heart is sometimes through their stomach!... or is that men?!  Anh, one in the same.  :)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Monster Mania!

In case your school is like mine, and many children don't celebrate, or cannot be a part of Halloween celebrations, why not have fun using monsters as a theme for a unit of literacy.  Our grade level is reading the book, I Need My Monster by Amanda Noll.
We are planning to have students create their own monsters on this website called Monster Maker.
Then, the students will use their monsters to write descriptive stories.

Here is another lesson plan idea from...
Or, check out these sites for more ways to use the book I Need My Monster...
(Thank you to my teammate Donna, for finding these resources!)

The Whiteboard Blog

Great website with ideas for using your SMARTboard/interactive whiteboard!
Click here to go to The Whiteboard Blog.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Web 2.0 Tools

Awesome Wiki with examples and explanations of how to use different Web 2.0 tools.
Click here to go to Perk Up Projects wiki
Great resources for K-2, especially for literacy.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Online Conference Sign-up

Every year, after the first 9 weeks grading period, we schedule parent-teacher conferences with every child's parents to go over the first report card.  It's always somewhat of a paperwork mess sending notes back and forth between the parents to schedule these conferences. 

Click here to go to SignUp Genius's website

This year, I tried something new!  I LOVE it!  SignUp Genius is a way to create an online sign-up schedule.  You can email the parents in your class an invite to view your event. They click on the time they want to sign up for, and enter their email address.  It'll show up on the scheduling page for all parents to see which time slots are taken and which ones are still available.  Then, you can schedule the website to email the parents a reminder before the event.  All for my favorite price... FREE! :)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Learning for a good cause...

Answer vocabulary questions, and donate rice for people who need food at Free


PhotoPeach slideshow

First Grade on PhotoPeach

Make a free slide show with music at

Monday, September 19, 2011

Cutest Classroom Decor Ever!

It just doesn't get cuter than the classroom decorations shown on this blog...

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Great ideas for all kinds of things!


Great quote...

"If a child can't learn the way we teach,
maybe we should teach the way they learn." ~Ignacio Estrada

Bloomin' iPad by Kathy Schrock

On this site, you will find links to iPad applications that target the various levels of Bloom's Revised Taxonomy.  Created by a terrific techy trainer, Kathy Schrock.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Remembering 9-11 for them

My first grade students were not alive on 9-11-01.  How are they to understand what we witnessed that day, and the memories we carry as adults?  I pray that they never have to witness such a life altering and horrifying national tragedy as what happened on 9-11.  

Teach them patriotism and gratitude.

Consider writing letters or decorating cards to give to your local firefighters.

Send letters or a care package to a soldier currently fighting to protect our country and it's freedoms.

Read the book September 12, written by kid authors.

Send a free email to a soldier in combat...  

Friday, September 9, 2011

QR Codes

Q R Codes and Shapes and fractions!  Found at 1st Grade Learning Stars

Well a QR Code , which by the way stands for" Quick Response", is a square box that has all kinds of geometric shapes in it that when scanned by a QR reader has all kinds of information imbedded in it.  I first saw one in a magazine that had an advertisement for a movie.  There is a free download at that allows you to make the codes.  Then you can use an ipod that has a camera and also has an app on it (you can find it free to download, ask your IT person because I don't know what it is....but I do know that Apple has one for free) and then click away.  You can also use a Smart Phone that has the app downloaded on it.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Super Book of Web Tools for Teachers

The Super Book of Web Tools for Educators

Dolch Sight Word Games


Free Technology for Teachers blog

Website full of free tech. ideas for teachers: 

That's where I found this great idea:
Page Flip-Flap is a simple tool for turning your Word documents, PDFs, and images into an online book with page-turning effects. Page Flip-Flap is similar to tools like YouBlisher that I've previously highlighted. To use Page Flip-Flap you create your documents as you normally would. When you're ready to publish just upload your document to Page Flip-Flap and they will convert it into a document that you can display with page-turning effects. You can share your finished document via url or by embedding it into a webpage.

Applications for Education
If you're looking for a nice way to highlight your students' best writing try a service like Page Flip-Flap. You might consider combining all of the best writing for a marking period into one large ebook for parents and others to view on your classroom website or blog.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tabor Rotations

If you have not heard about Glenna Tabor's Math Rotations and Guided Math framework, you need to check it out!  It's the best math workshop model I have ever seen or used.  The students work in teams to do purposeful math station games and manipulatives, while the teacher works with a group of students.  The teacher can see at least 8 students a day!  Go to Glenna Tabor's website for much more info:

I have also made a Wiki for my staff to share ideas and to learn more about Tabor.  Check that out for more resources.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

My 3 Fav Sites for SMARTboad tools

Here are a few great sites to check out for SMARTboard tools.

This site has lots of templates you can tweak and make your own as well as ready made lessons.

There's also a blog for teachers with SMARTboards:

And lest we forget SMART Exchange:  

Please feel free to share your favorite SMARTboard sites!!!!

Online Stopwatch

I like to use Online Stopwatch to help me stay on schedule, and to give my kids a visual to know how much time they have left before we transition to the next part of our day. I use it on my SMART board, but even if you only had a computer screen, you can adjust the size to fill the screen, and adjust the volume to be loud enough for the class to hear.  It's also really handy for running records and DRA WPM tracking.

Daily 5 posters

Go here for Daily 5 posters that illustrate all 5 choices.

Daily 5 "I PICK" Poster

Found on a Pinterest and a fellow blogger's page...
I PICK poster

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

First Day Treat!

The first two days of this school year have come and gone.  All in all, it was a smooth success.  Here's a picture of the CUTE treats I sent home with each kid on the first day.  :)  You can download these notes from an earlier blog post.

Monday, August 15, 2011

iPads in Schools

We're getting iPads in our K-2 classrooms! One of my staff members shared this LiveBinder full of resources about integrating iPads in the classroom.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

ME box for Daily 5 book boxes

Create Your Own Book Box!
What You Need
Empty cereal box
Craft glue
Decorations: Wrapping paper, cloth, or kids school coloring or art projects (made from paper), pictures, etc.
What You Do
1. Cut off top of cereal box. Halfway across top of box, cut at a 45 degree angle down to front of your magazine or book holder, cut straight across then back up other side at the same angle.
2. Glue your decorations to the outside of the cereal box.
3. Label with your name and return it to school.

Simple Writer's Checklist

Found this from a fellow blogger's page.  It's a good simple one for the beginning of the year.

50 Ways to Go Green in the Classroom

50 Ways to Go Green in the Classroom

I believe that we need to teach our kids to care about the Earth so that future generations will make changes in how we use and care for our natural resources.  This the only planet we get. 

I made this video to show my school at our Earth Day assembly.  Check it out and feel free to share it!  I also encourage you to check out the Glog I made for our recycled art contest last year.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

QR Code Treasure Hunt

Make learning fun and engaging while incorporating technology tools!  Create a scavenger hunt around your room or your school.  Students will look for the QR codes to find the questions they need to answer.  Great collaborative group activity.

Friday, August 12, 2011

FREE brochures & business cards, etc.

If you haven't discovered Vistaprint and all they have to offer, you must!  The products are free and numerous.  You do have to pay for shipping, but that is usually around $7.  That's not bad for 250 free business cards, you can design and personalize!  I order my Christmas cards from here, and brochures for my class' parents at the beginning of the year.  They look very professional!

These are the brochures I ordered this year.  Super cute, and I got to choose the design and edit all the text.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Guided Reading Wiki

I created a Wiki about guided reading for teachers to share ideas. I first got the idea when a new teacher joined my team and wanted to know what different kinds of activities she could do in her small reading groups. There's just too much to tell someone in one meeting! A wiki allows myself and other teachers to contribute ideas
Check it out and pass it on. If you want to join, you can also add your ideas!

Monday, August 8, 2011

These are some of my favorite teaching resources.

Daily 5 CAFE posters

I found these on a teacher's blog to use with the Daily 5 CAFE.  I need to learn more about incorporating the CAFE, but I LOVE LOVE LOVE Daily 5 and highly recommend it!

S'MORE First Grade Fun

Check out this really cute idea for a send-home gift the first day of school.  I can picture passing out little baggies with one s'more and this cute little poem for kids to bring home.  No matter how bad their day might have been, they'll be more eager to come back! ;)

Sunday, August 7, 2011


How much do you love Pinterest?!  If you don't know about it yet, check it out!  So many great ideas; very addicting.


I have arrived in the blogging community.

So, with all the other social media, and sharing websites out there, I never understood why I needed a blog.  Then I spent all weekend searching from one awesome teacher's blog to another, and I got it!  There's so much teachers are sharing with each other, and I wanted to join the party!  Hope I can contribute some greatness.  ;)