Monday, November 25, 2013

Black Friday

Well Everyone,
Black Friday is upon us.  I rejoice for several reasons:
1. I haven't been out of this county since last Black Friday.
2. I get to spend 3 days with my BFF and her mom in a hotel!
3. I buy ALL, yes ALL of my Christmas gifts in one weekend and spend the rest of December relaxing and enjoying the holiday specials, concerts, etc.

Here is a photo of last year's trip. This is my friend's mom in the back seat of my SUV! I learned the hard way NOT to post pictures of gift buying on Facebook.  My friend's13 year old daughter is my friend on Facebook and she saw her gift in the photo.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Nouns, Verbs, Sentences and Wordpress!

Hi everyone! I wanted to share an activity that we did recently. We have been learning about complete sentences. This activity is about Nouns, Verbs and Adverbs. We worked on it as a class by reading words from each category and then deciding where it would make sense. The kids liked it a lot and have been enjoying referring to the poster.

Click here to download.
 I also wanted to mention that we have been doing some rearranging in blog world. My husband and I have decided to turn our Blogger Robin's Nest blog into a family blog so that we can keep extended family updated on kids, grand kids, travel and wedding plans. I have been working on a WORDPRESS.ORG blog for our crafts and projects blog. It has been interesting to work with a different platform, but I am liking it.
 If you were a follower at you will want to hop on over to and start following there! Even if you weren't a follower before, come on over!

                                 We have a lot of projects in the work that I will be blogging about over there!

Current thoughts on

Hi friends! Another week has come and gone. Is it me or is the month flying by? I mentioned recently that I have been trying out digital planning with So far I am liking it. Here is just one reason: This year due to a lot of scheduling changes we have had to make both school wide and as a grade level, I have had to redo my plan book 3, yes 3 times. I make mine in Publisher, print it and bind it. Well, this week brought yet another scheduling change we had to make in first grade. I simply logged into my online plan book and with 2 clicks changed the times around. Took about a minute. Yay! After what I have already been through with my plans this year that was nothing short of miraculous. :) I also like that I can type the instructions for a substitute once and it can carry over. I can also print the week out as a PDF for either myself or for a substitute. I also like that I can insert Standards if I desire to.

I can also make changes on my IPad which is super convenient when I don't feel like getting out of bed and getting my computer. LOL!

Here is a link to my plans for this week so far

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Making Ten

My class was having trouble with sums of ten so I made this dice game to practice them.  It was fun and they had a great time.
Get it here!

Engagement News, Singular and Plural and An Ornament Tree

Hello everyone! It is 6 am on a Saturday and I am up working instead,  of in bed! It is one of those nights where the sleep wasn't great and finally just got up! Bleh!

Oh well . . .

Before I get to my post I wanted to tell you that we had very exciting news this week! Our son and his  girlfriend got engaged! They are a delightful couple and we are thrilled for them!

After that, the rest of the week was pretty much a blur!

We did continue to have school however, I know, shocking in light of this monumental event . . .
One of the things we have been learning about lately is Singular and Plural. We worked on it over the course of a couple of days with the first day being an introduction to the concept by teaching the vocabulary followed by demonstration of singular and plural using examples in the classroom.
The second day we practiced identifying words and pictures as Singular or Plural and gluing them on the appropriate charts. Here is a picture of the charts. They did quite well at deciding which chart was the right one.

I am sharing my pictures and word lists. The box formatting isn't perfect on the word lists because I was making them for myself and knew I would be cutting them out.

Click here to download posters.

Click here to download cards

I also wanted to mention that  I am currently in love with PicMonkey! 
I took pictures of my class for Halloween and did some super cute special effects with PicMonkey and then put them on my classroom blog for parents.

Have a great Saturday! We are working on putting up Christmas decorations at our house . . .
This is a special kind of tree called an Ornament Tree which is meant to really put the focus on the ornaments. This will be our upstairs tree this year. We are going to put our regular Christmas tree downstairs.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Yummy Broccoli Cheese Soup and digital planning! Yikes!

Hello friends. Did you survive Halloween? It is kind of exhausting to me . . .and then we have the problem of the leftover candy which is a problem for my Weight Watchers Points!!! Speaking of points, we recently found a great recipe that is really low in points (only 2 per cup) but really tasty!! It is Broccoli Cheese Soup.
I made it for a school luncheon recently and lots of people want the recipe.

I started something new and daring this week. (daring for me anyway!) I started trying out digital lesson plans on the site. I have always been very traditional about a paper and pencil plan book, so we will see how this goes. I like the idea of being able to attach documents and links. Here is a screenshot of what I have done for next week so far,

I also love that there is a notes section for each subject/time so that I can type out details for a substitute one time and never have to again. I will give you a report next week and let you know how it is working out!

Can you believe Thanksgiving is right around the corner?

Click here to download.

Have a great night!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Clip Chart

     I've changed how I do my classroom clip chart this year and I really like it!  I start the day with the clips(clothespins with student names on them) in a basket.  When the bell rings to begin the day, I start pulling the clips out of the basket.  I call a name and that student stands up and says, "Ready to learn!"  Then they put their clip on the green space on the clip chart.  If the student is tardy or forgot to do or bring their homework, he/she is NOT ready to learn so he/she says, "Think about it."  I ask them what they are thinking, sometimes I can help them solve the problem.  Then he/she puts his clip on the yellow space on the clip chart.
     Each day I record the students who don't end the day on green, blue or purple.  If they have more than two days of red, yellow, or orange, they can't participate in Fun Friday activities!  If the student ends the day on blue, purple, or pink, I give them a sparkle(sparkly pom pom).  They put in in their bucket because if they end the day on blue, purple, or pink, they are filling MY bucket.  On Friday, they trade their sparkles for Mustang Money(to buy stuff in the Mustang Market).
     I like this method because, students can move up or down on the chart during the day.  They know they have to do something really great to move up so they're always thinking of ideas.  The students that clip down have to really work to move back up so they try really hard to impress me!  Fun Friday is so fun that they would do just about anything to get to participate!  I also LOVE the beginning of the day when I hear "Ready to learn" over and over.  It makes me smile!

Clip Chart



Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Reading Strategy Freebie!

Hi everyone! Can you believe Halloween is next week? I can't believe how fast the month is flying by. I am really excited for November for two reasons. 1. My hubby and I are going to a Michael Buble Concert and 2. My college boy will be home for Thanksgiving break. Yay!

Does your school allow Halloween costumes at school? Our school does as long as there are no masks or fake weapons. This year we are planning a First Grade costume parade.

We are hoping for nice weather. Where we live in Southern Utah we have very unpredictable weather. We sometimes have pretty nice weather for Halloween but have also had years where there was a good amount of snow on the ground. Crossing fingers for the former rather than the latter!

Here is a picture of the trees in our front yard:

I also have a freebie to share. 

Click here to download and print.

Have a great night!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Calendar Math

Don't you just love Teachers Pay Teachers!  It wasn't that long ago that you had to buy/order teacher books to get ideas.  Now you have dozens of books that you have to store somewhere and don't know what to do with! On TpT you can just find anything you want that other teachers have made. One of my favorite finds is the Smart Calendar Math by Mrs Magee!  Her clip art is so cute and the activities are editable for your math program.  I start off the year with just a few pages and add to them each month.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Do you ever take pictures of your class on your phone because a camera wasn't handy only to have them languish on your phone because there are too many to email them to yourself and you are too lazy to actually hook up your phone to your computer?

You are looking at the worst offender in the history of all cell phone camera users. In fact, when I couldn't find my phone at school a couple of weeks ago (and yes, I freaked out. A LOT.) the first thought that came to my mind was all of the pictures I had on it including the ones I took of the kids on the first day of school. (Well, I was a bit worried about my personal pictures as well.)

Let me introduce you to:

Bump is an app that allows you to transfer selected pictures from your phone to your computer without connecting a cord to it. It is internet based so you can do it on any computer. Pretty slick, huh?

I just used it to download the 26 pictures that I took of my students on the first day of school so I could email them from my desktop computer (saving my phone data) to our reading specialist so she could use them for a computer reading program we will be starting next week. Needless to say I was IMPRESSED. Try it, you may like it!

Saturday, September 21, 2013


We are getting ready for Fall SEP's here.  I like to have a check-off sheet so I can remember what to tell parents.  I also make notes on it of things we discuss with parents.  I keep mine and refer to them when I check up with parents.  They also help me remember what we talked about.

click here to download

Halloween Freebie

I don't know about you but I love FaLL! It is my favorite season of all. It makes me start to think of Halloween.
 I also love this clip art set from Melonheadz Illustrating! 
It is so cute! Here is a little freebie just for fun (and because I couldn't wait to do a little something with this set).

Click here to download.

Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Name Activity

 Don't you love this book?

It has always been one of my favorites. I try to read it every year to my students (I have been even known to read it to "big" kids).

When I was thinking of activities to get the school year started off, I got thinking about this book. I love how it emphasizes how your name is unique to you and it is special because you are special. I have some students with some unique names this year, and my personal children also have unique names (they will never get a pencil with their names on it unless I order them, what a bad mom I am!). I wanted to have a chance to spend some time with the students talking about how everyone's name was unique and special because they are special.

But just reading the book and talking about it didn't sound like too much fun for the students, I mean they get talked at enough on the first day of school so I thought of an activity that they would be able to easily complete on the first day of school that wouldn't cause me to pull my hair out.

I printed each of their names as large as I could with a font that outlined the letter and let each student color them as uniquely as they were. They did a great job. Then I realized I could actually use their artwork to help me out. I laminated them then hung them next to a clothespin in the hall where I hang their work. It looks pretty neat if I do say so myself.

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