Thursday, January 27, 2011

Gearing up for the 100th Day!!

Check out what gray wig.....squeal!  
I am BEYOND stoked!  I have encouraged my kiddos to dress as if they are 100 years old and I figured I better look the part, too.  ;-)  The 100th day is one of my favorite days of the school year.  I explain to my parents  the reasoning behind the celebration and how we teach the importance of place value during our morning routine by counting the days of school.  I have several activities planned and am anxious to see my students' expressions...not sure they'll recognize me.  I'll be sure to post pictures as our day unfolds on February 3rd.  What are some 100th day activities YOU would recommend? Please share.  ~Miss E

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Classroom Books

I just LOVEEEE making class books with my students.  I try to make at least ONE a week that typically corresponds with our theme.  I compile the pages, make a front/back cover, laminate, and bind them (aka "publish" the book).  Once it is completed, I'll share it with the class and place it in our library center.  Students can check out the book and keep it for a night to share with their family.  At the end of the year, every student may pick one book to keep and I'll store the rest to use as examples in upcoming years.  For more information on my classroom books and ideas, visit my website here:

Anyways...over the years, I have run out of cute ideas for covers and what not until I hit the mother load!  Check out heaven this place - Scrapbook Superstore.  My friend Kellie made the trek to Pigeon Forge 2 weeks ago and picked me up a bag full of goodies! :)  You can imagine my excitement. is what I've used some of the dicuts to create.

The question of the day is - - What do YOU use to make cute covers?  Share your classroom book ideas, pages, techniques, etc! :) Thanks, Miss E

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Caught in Action!

Shew...what a whirlwind it has been, especially getting back in the groove of things.  Thought I would share with you our Literacy Work Stations in ACTION!  I implemented one of my new stations (Roll a Word) and it has been a HIT! Here's what is going on...

Listening: This week, students are listening to the story There was a Cold Lady who Swallowed some Snow and filling out a story report.  Afterwards, students are using my "Old Lady" and various story elements to retell the events as they occurred in the book.
Poetry: Students are reciting the poem, I'm a Little Penguin.  (We have been studying arctic animals during our winter unit)  Afterwards, students must highlight the words they know, glue the poem in their poetry journal, and illustrate it.

Writing and Word Work: Students are at Roll a Word.  You can find more information about this work station here!

Punch Prints: Students have 9 high frequency words they are to say to a buddy at their table.  They trace the words with a marker and head to the carpet to punch them!  Our punch prints are made out of thumb tacks and pencil topper erasers-secured with hot glue. (The top of the tack fits snug in the eraser, leaving only the pointy tack exposed) After students have punched the words, they can hold them up to the light and see them sparkle.  Their most FAVORITE part! :)
Stamping: Students have 5 high frequency words they are to "read, stamp, and write." 
All of these stations are their "HAVE TO" stations....I failed to include their fun stations they can visit afterwards.  Those range from whiteboards and computers to alphabet puzzles and letter lego's and change, weekly.  I'm usually conducting small groups during this time.  I hope to have pictures of that soon.  Just a small glimpse into our classroom this week....Happy Hump Day! ~Miss E

Friday, January 14, 2011


I LOVE Debbie Diller.  :)  I was not introduced to her books until last year.  The county I am employed by offered a work study with other colleagues and we went through her entire Literacy Work Stations book.  During this time...we offered advice, collaborated, and came up with our stations.  These stations have been the most valuable thing I've implemented into my curriculum thus far and not to mention, my students love them! If you do not have the book, I highly recommend it! You can check out some pictures of my Literacy Work Stations here: Literacy Work Stations.
While these are going so wonderfully I couldn't help but think, "Wouldn't it be great if there was a Math Work Stations book?"  Well friends, have no is here!  If you've ever questioned how to make math stations work, you'll find this photo-filled, idea-packed resource invaluable.  This book details how to set up, manage, and keep math stations going throughout the year. There's even a chapter devoted solely to organizing and using math manipulatives.  Sounds like a teacher's dream!
Go ahead and pre order your book...they plan on shipping in February.  I cannot wait for mine to arrive.  Check out the online version of the book here and order your copy today: Stenhouse Publishing. This is certainly something I cannot live without....Have a great weekend! 
~Miss E

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Spring Cleaning! we are at snow day #13.  Don't get me wrong, I am certainly enjoying my time at home and appreciate that our school system takes into consideration the safety of our students.  However....I have had a touch of cabin fever here and there!  ha ha Thus...leading me to THIS post. 

On Monday, I decided to Spring Clean and go through my closets, drawers, shelves, etc.  After cleaning out everything, I managed to fill 3 garbage bags full and gather a basket of books! Because obviously a yard sale is out of the question right now, I figured I could make a little money back somewhere.  I plan on taking my clothes to a consignment shop and selling them (after my sister picks out what she wants first) and made plans to sell my books to Mr. K's.  Mr. K's in a used book/CD/movie store in town and they do buy backs for either cash or store credit.  If you choose to accept the cash you receive 30% of what they'd sell the book for vs. earning 40% in store credit. Check it out - this store certainly played a huge role in building my classroom library!  Nothing wrong with gently used books. :)
You can check out their website and learn more about used book store policies, here: Mr. K's Online. Now, let's get down to business....this is what I was able to scrounge up during my cleaning rampage:
They wound up taking most!  I came home with approximately 7-10 books they chose NOT to purchase and earned $25.75 in store credit.  While I enjoy reading good books....unfortunately my schedule doesn't allow it.  Most of the books I read lately are associated with grad school! :(  So, I chose to use my store credit to buy some new books for my kiddos.  Here is what I bought!  Keep in mind I used only my store credit and paid NOTHING out of pocket!
Pretty exciting - huh?  I was thrilled...I'm not gonna lie.  ha ha It really is the simple things in life.  I'll have to put my name in them and file them into their appropriate bins when I return to school.  Can you see I have a slight obsession with children's books?  ;-) 
Well, that's all for today.  I'll leave you with this quote...A classroom without books is like a body without a soul.  Happy Thursday! ~Miss E

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

All this time off... marks day 12 we've been out for snow!  The Tri-Cities has been getting hit hard here lately.  Funny thing a child, (and growing up in JC School System) I can count on ONE hand the number of days we were out for snow from my 1st grade to senior year.  This week alone, JC has been out 3 days! My...times sure have changed or either our winters have!  Anyways.....I've been enjoying my snow days and playing catch up on yearbook and other things.  I am over yearbook again this year and have a 40 page deadline next week - yikes!  So....I am certainly thankful for all my snow days.  Otherwise, I'd be putting in some late nights. 

This whole blogging thing has become an addiction lately...I've been stalking following some great elementary sites and getting some wonderful ideas for my literacy workstations.  With that in mind, here is what I've put together.  This idea was adapted from the Growing Kinders blog.  You can find that link here: I just loved the idea of "Roll a Word."  I found the dice at our local teacher store and made a worksheet template in word.  Here is my finished product! :)
The students will roll the dice and record a word on their graph (per say) each time the dice lands on it.  Easy enough...and great high frequency word practice! I also have fallen in love with Mrs. Cooley's 1st grade blog.  She has some wonderful ideas.  I was inspired to create her Letter Shake Up! game and got the idea here:  I like how it can be adapted for any holiday workstation however, I wanted to create something more generic that I could use year round.  All you have to do is grab a milk carton, label each egg space with either letters or numbers (depending if you want to use it as a math or literacy workstation activity), and place something small inside for the students to shake.  I chose erasers.  I found these packs in the Dollar Bin at Target and got some for both boys and girls!
So as the students shake the erasers, they will land in an egg space.  They are to record the letters the erasers land on as a means for a letter review.  Here is my finished project!
The instructions for the student are pretty simple...."Today I went to the ABC center and shook an egg carton with letters in it.  I opened it up and said the letter the marker landed on.  These are the letters I practiced!" Well that's enough craftiness/creativity for me today.  Thank you ladies for the ideas...cannot wait to return to school and implement them.  I know my students will be excited!  Happy Snow day.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

I may have lost my mind....

Hello friends!  For those of you that know're wondering if I have lost it.  I am wondering if I have lost it.  I do not need another thing to do....between teaching, gradschool, yearbook, my small business, and TRYING to have a life....I certainly do not need to invest time in a blog.  BUT - I have become blog obsessed (recently) and have been inspired to create my own.  So, here it goes! ;-)  I am not sure how much time I will have to post, but my starting goal is atleast one post a day week.  I hope you enjoy and I am certainly excited to share with you what my kiddos are doing in the classroom. 
- Miss E