Monday, April 30, 2012

Hip Hip Hooray! It's a Big May Day Giveaway!

Happy May Everybody!  I think the arrival of May calls for a celebration, don't you? I just feel "springy" and "happy" and think we ought to have a big, exciting giveaway just for fun! Let me tell you all about it. There will be 4 prizes, 4 winners! Yes you read that correctly, 4 winners!  You have the opportunity to win one of the following:


(15 dollar gift certificate to Melonheadz Illustrating)

or this


(10 dollar gift certificate to Scrappin Doodles)

or this


(15 dollar gift certificate to Amazon)

or this

(Any 3 sets of clip art of your choice from The 3AM Teacher)

How awesome is that?? 4 prizes in all
Here are the ways to enter so that you have lots of chances to win something!

1. Follow this blog and leave a comment. If you are already a follower just leave us a comment stating that you  are! :)

2. Sign up to follow our Facebook Fan Page called, Fun for First Grade and leave a comment here letting us know that you did.

3. Follow Lory's Teachers Pay Teachers Store and leave a comment here letting us know that you did.

4. Post the  May Day Giveaway graphic from the top of this post on your blog, with a link and give us a shout out to spread the word. :)

This fantabulous giveaway will end on Tuesday, May 8th at 3:00 pm Mountain time. Winners to be determined by Random Number Generator and will be announced on Tuesday or Wednesday at the latest. {Please remember to leave your email address in your comments}

Good Luck!

Floor Clock

This is a 16 page set that makes a big, colorful, hands on floor clock! The kids love it. :)
Click here to print . . .

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Set of 18 Doodle Frame, Lined Writing Papers for Writer's Workshop, Thanks and Fun Giveaway Coming Up!

Hi everyone,
Does anyone else watch sshhh (Celebrity Apprentice)? Kindof silly I know, but I like to watch it every Sunday evening.

We have 4 more weeks of school here? How about you? Time is flying by for sure.
I want to say a big "Thank You" to those who have been signing up to follow my brand spanking new Teachers pay Teachers store. I appreciate it sooo much. :) I am in the process of getting some things on there both paid and free.

Be on the lookout for a great GiVeAwaY for May. It's going to be awesome . . .

Here is the latest addition to my shop: It includes 18 different, doodle framed and lined writing papers to use for your Writer's Workshop . . .

Click here to check it out . . .

Have a wonderful week . . .

Desktop Nametag Issues

Isn't the beginning of the year just awesome? New crayons, pencils, and notebooks all where they are supposed to be. Everything is neat and organized, including your office! You just know it is going to be a great year.
Not my classroom, (I'm not that organized) I found the picture here.
Then the children arrive and take over. Crayons are misplaced (How does that happen? I give them a box to put them in!), pencils migrate to weird nooks and crannies, and the notebooks are never where they are supposed to be. Your office looks like a hurricane came through and the disaster clean up crew has yet to be called. What happened?

The thing that has been driving me crazy the most this year is this:

How does this happen? I don't remember it ever being this bad before. This class did start with a student teacher who struggled, but I had them by myself for a long time before my latest round of absences (another round of dr visits AND tonsilitis just this past week). I'm not sure, maybe the kids are sitting at their desks more than they have in the past because of our new technology. I am trying to do a better job of monitoring student engagement, I think it is helping.

What do you do to keep this from happening? Someone told me that a teacher (in our district I think) tells the kids at the beginning of the year that if they have a name tag that looks new at the end of the year they will get a full size candy bar. I don't normally bribe the kids with candy, but with about 30 students next year that could get to be a bit cost prohibitive. Then what do you do for the student who moves in during February? Only give them half a candy bar? I can see some problems.

I could use some help. I have thought about purchasing the heavier nametags, cost has always deterred me - it isn't going to help me be a better teacher, and I noticed that some of the corners of Chari's heavier name tags were curled up as well. The vinyl ones I have been getting clean up really well at the end of the year, but obviously they aren't lasting the school year.


Saturday, April 28, 2012

First Item at Teachers Pay Teachers!

Hi everyone! Happy Saturday to you all. :) Phew! It has been a busy week. Dibels, husband's retirement open house, son and 3 friends home from college visiting for a few days, chores, etc. etc.

Anyway, today I have had a chance to work on a little project: My very first item at Teachers Pay Teachers! So exciting. I feel kinda accomplished and nervous all at the same time. :) Here is a little preview: There are 12 Daily CAFE signs for the top of the bulletin board. Use a set or mix and match. I will add more as time goes by and I would love it if you would follow me on TpT. Right now my follower number is a great big 0!

Click here to see on Teachers pay Teachers

Friday, April 27, 2012

Sun an Moon Fun
We have been combining science with writing and have had a lot of fun!  The students completed a Venn diagram comparing the sun and the moon.  Then they wrote compare/contrast stories.  Here are some examples:

This project sparked a few other stories like "Comparing My Mom and Dad" and "Comparing Apes to Chimps!"  I love the first grade imagination!  Next, students completed a Moon-"Can, Has, Is" click here to download, and a Sun-"Can, Has, Is" click here to download.  Then, using words from the "Can, Has, Is" charts, the students wrote cinquain poems about the sun and the moon download flow chart here.  After the students filled out their flow charts, I typed the poems for them.  See the project below~

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Spelling City

My sister-in-law, who teaches first grade in Kane County, shared this site with me a few years ago.

Visit Spelling City
Spelling City is a free site where your students can practice their spelling words online. Teachers (or parents) can create an account and enter the spelling words they would like their students to practice. You can even save the lists and only allow the students to work on the list you would like. For example, one fall I sat down and entered our entire year's worth of spelling lists. Then, when it is a new week I simply log on to my account and "open" the list I would like the kids to work on.

There is a pay portion of the site, but because we don't have any student computers in our classrooms yet I haven't looked into it very much. From what I have noticed the kids can even take their tests on the computer and it is scored for you. Pretty cool.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

How fun are these from Nikki?

Yay! Now all four of us have a doodle from Nikki .

Such great personality in each one. Love . .

Ladybug Fun!

On Monday we had a great time examining LaDybUgs and learning some fun facts. We also filled in a ladybug fact map and did a cute art project that a great friend of mine  made.

Click here to print

Monday, April 23, 2012

Write Start by Crayola

Have you ever seen these in the crayon aisle?
I happened upon them the spring of my first year teaching. I was looking for some thank you gifts for helping moms, and thought these would be pretty cute. How could I resist? They were helping me (not to mention their children) off to the "write start" in my career as an educator (the children as students).

I don't see them every year, but they were hanging there calling my name. I bought every box.

I normally make a cute tag and write a thank you note, but at the rate I am going this year I will be lucky to just get the note written. If I happen to get one made I will share it (cross your fingers), I can't promise it will be as cute as some of the other tags that are out there. Maybe someone will take pity on me and create one, then share it with me! (Hint, Hint!)

For the moment I am feeling lucky to somewhat know what I am doing tomorrow, AND I know what my sub is going to do on Wednesday while my husband and I sit in a couple of doctor's offices. That is doing good at the Esplin household these days. Maybe I can use the time to plan what is going to happen on Thursday!

Printable for PixyStix Balloons

This is an idea that we saw on What the Teacher Wants last summer. It has been so much fun for birthdays this year and I decided to do it again next year but with a new design for the balloon. In keeping with the theme I seem to be developing for next year, I used the Froggy inspired clip art set from Nikki at Melonheadz Illustrating . . .I drew my balloon shape on my master and then copied onto various colors of cardstock. After that I cut them out and stapled to the giant Pixy. You can find GiAnT PixyStix at Amazon . . .

Click here if you would like to print it for yourself

Free Moon Fact and Opinion

We are just finishing up our study on the moon.  Here is a Fact and Opinion activity for the moon.  It has been a lot of fun.  Can I tell you how much I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, my smart board.  It has made our moon unit so interactive.  I can't imagine how I ever taught without it. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Furry Friends Linky Party and Reminder

Hi everyone! I was so worried that I had missed out on this linky party . . .so glad I didn't. I am joining Sandy from Soaring Through Second for this:

I love this idea! Here is a picture of our baby . . .

Her name is Lucy and she is a West Highland White Terrier. She is 6 years old today. Happy Birthday Lucy. {heart heart} I will admit she is very spoiled. She has a huge personality even though she is only 17 pounds. She thinks she is on charge of the whole house street, entire block. She is very sweet, lovey and a great companion. She loves following us around and also pretty much thinks the king sized bed is really hers!

I also wanted to say it's not too late to join our Summer Project/Summer Fun Linky Party and share what you have planned this summer. :) Please come on and join up here:

Lastly, my class absolutely loves the Community Helpers video that Becca posted below. They beg to watch it and sing along. Thanks for finding it Becca. :)

Pete the Cat Activity Packet Freebie

This is a re-post of a Pete the Cat Activity Packet that is originally from a month ago. I am participating in Manic Mondays Link Up at Classroom Freebies. Lots of resources for free!

Click here to download

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday
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