Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Best thing about school so far...Freebie ALert

What is the best thing about school so far? kids are funny and  sweet. (simple enough, right?)
I am getting in the routine of things again.  Life is good. (well, there is that new math series for which we have no materials except the pesky kid handouts ...not book- HANDOUTS. 
But that's a different post! lol)

Anyway, let's ask the students....
Click the picture to get your copy!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Banger TWO! Second Set Finished! And a Voc. Freebie!!

Happy Sunday everybody!!

I finished my Banger Two Set...if you need your students to practice phrasing, then this is a simple and functional set for you!  All you have to do is print them out on Avery Labels...stick them on large craft in center and voila! You are done! The first Banger set is listed along with this newest set- each have 150 of Fry Phrases. 

Find it here:


Oh, and I worked out a new version of an old vocabulary page we used to use.  On it, you have the kids list the vocabulary word and then draw a picture in each box of what it is and what it is not....and then use the word in a sentence.  Hope you can use it!! (click on the picture to snag it!)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Watermelon Day

Wow, two weeks of school and I am exhausted!  18 new first graders will wear you out in a heartbeat.
This week we had our annual Watermelon Day...and it was a blast!
We made watermelon glyphs, read poems, made necklaces, created graphs, made a watermelon book, measured our watermelon, and of course went outside to eat watermelon and have a 
watermelon seed spitting contest!!
Here are a few pictures:

If you are interested in my Watermelon Day Packet, you can find it here-

it is full of Watermelon Themed activities...enough for an entire week!!

and a link to a Watermelon Day gone by:

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Blog Hoppin' Thursday

Linky Party at 

Three for Thursday:

Favorite font?
Favorite Blog?

 That is difficult.  seriously.  
I guess I will take it back to the first blog I found and fell in love with..which sort of helped create my addiction.
Favorite online resource?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Blog Hoppin' Tuesday

Joining the fun at I'm Blog Hoppin' with advice to New Teachers
I had a really difficult first year...I *loved* my kids and my job, but ended up being let go in the end.  I look back on that year (painfully) and think I made a mistake of going into the year without a mentor (wasn't done back then as much as now) and not realizing that I probably didn't fit in as much as I had hoped with the other teachers..and probably came off as a "know it all".  It was a very hard thing to leave the school.  I felt like a failure.  But after healing, and reflecting upon the experience...I started over at a new school and have been there ever since =)

My advice for new teachers would be to ask for a mentor, make friends, but stay away from your kids, stay organized and make lists (accept that you will forget something important at some point! =) 
and shine!

Here I am my first day of student teaching (1995)...where I met Mrs Katie Perkins (my cooperating teacher) who taught me how to teach more than anyone else ever has!
Oh, and I woke up today with my throat swollen (uvula currently laying on my tongue)...
I can't get sick.  I can't get sick. I can't get sick.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Letter Winner!

Thank you to all the folks that entered my Little Letter giveaway!!
...and the winner of the red and white polka dot letters is:
 Sooo...angelajw777 email me! ( and give me your address so I can mail you your super cute letters!

On a personal note, can I just say how tiring Mondays are???  
And this is only my second week back!!!

Blog Hoppin' Monday!

I'm joining in the fun over at I'm Blog Hoppin' for their Teacher Week!
Monday is Meet the Teacher!
Me in First Grade

My name is Jennifer and I am from Alabama, haven't escaped...yet. (lol)  This is my 15th year teaching (eek!)...I've taught K, 3rd, and have been in first for 5 years =)  You might not know....
I love murder mysteries and my and shopping.
  I am married to a great guy, Shawn.
Here we are in New Orleans after getting married in Jackson Square:

and we have three awesome kids. 
Emma is 10, Jack is 4, and Maggie is 2 1/2

This year I am looking forward to getting into Daily 5 and using all the great resources blogging teachers have shared!!

I need to keeping a positive attitude, not sweating the small stuff, and keeping up with everything!

I cannot live without Sharpies..chart paper...and my books (you know the ones I don't let the kids have!lol)

Join the fun and link up, too!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

~Banger~ Fry Phrase Sticks

DO you have your students practice phrasing? Fry's Phrases are some of the most commonly encountered words in elementary school reading.  Practice reading these short sentences and phrases to improve your speed and accuracy in reading fluency.  Remember, being a more fluent reader typically means you comprehend more of what you read Most of my kids aren't ready right at this moment, but soon I will be adding phrasing to my lessons and stations.  I just finished this awesome...and super easy station!  

Banger is a game we play (other folks call it other things =) where the kids pull out a stick and if they can read the word or phrase, they get to keep it...until someone pulls out the "Banger!" stick, and then all the sticks go back in the container and they start over.  Well, I have seen some super cute packs by other bloggers that use sight words, but I decided to use Fry phrases with the game...and to make it super easy, all you have to do with this unit is print them out on Avery labels ...stick them on large craft sticks and voila, you are done (in the past I have written them on the sticks- takes forever!!).  
The unit includes full color directions and pictures to help you create your station!  The pack includes 150 phrases...there are only 30, that's a lot of phrases to get you going!
(sorry for the yellowish picture!!)
Find it on:

and TPT

Friday, August 19, 2011

Don't forget to enter my tiny giveaway!

Don't forget to enter my giveaway for these super cute letters:

All you have to do is go to my post here

and add my shop to your favs on Teacher's Notebook so that you can enter!
You have until Sunday night (August 21st)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Come one, Come ALL First Grade Teachers!

Me and My Gang have added some awesome features to the first grade lounge, including the ability to follow it individually...that way, whenever a first grade author posts, you'll see it in your feed- if you are a member of just the 'Me and My Gang' main site, you won't get the grade level specific posts, unless you follow them! 
So click over right now and JOIN!!!  I did! =)

Click the picture to visit the super cool first grade lounge and join!! =)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Quick Assessment Freebie and Giveaway!

Hi everyone! A couple of quick things.... 
this won't be a super long post (I'm pooped) but I wanted to say hello and....
I have a little giveaway to share!  ALL you have to do is go to my Teacher's Notebook store and add me to one of your fav. shops (link is right under my store banner). That's it! Eazy Peazy, huh?  You probably want to know what freebie is that I have to offer.  
How about some of the cutest red and white polka dot punch out letters ever
-perfect for all your back to school bulletin boards!  
Click the picture to visit my store and add me to your favs!!!
Then make one comment below saying you have done it...and you are finished!  
Giveaway will end Sunday night. And I will mail the winner their letters asap!

OH...and also wanted to share a quick assessment I created.  Hope you can use it! =)
 Just click the picture to snag your copy!!
 It has the cards included that the kids use for the assessment.

Check out the assessment linky party over at A Crucial Week!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Me and My Gang!

Have you heard of the fab website, Me and my Gang?  Although it has been primarily a second grade collaborative blog, they have now added lounges for other grade levels.  
I am happy to announce I am now an author in the First Grade Lounge!!

The site began with two great teamies:

It is an awesome one stop shop for ideas and fellow grade level idea exchanges!
If you are a k-3 teacher and are interested in joining the fun...
first of all, join and FOLLOW the blog by clicking the Me and My Gang button above... but they
are also looking for additional teachers to author creative and unique ideas. So...if you are a k-3 teacher and are interested in participating as an author, check out their blogs and join in on 
this exciting venture!!

In celebration of this exciting news, I am posting a freebie over Click On the link below and get the freebie!  Oh, and while you're there, why not  become a follower of Me and My Gang?!

This was my first day back at school with  But we had a great day and here is a peek at one of the things we did with the book, I'm the Biggest Thing in the Ocean:
Here I am with my new class!
 It's going to be a great year!!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

A Bad Case of the Stripes Freebie at First Grade Fanatics 14 Day Giveaway!

First Grade Fanatics is having a 14 Day Giveaway! If you don't already follow them, go now and follow!  They are awesome!!  Today they are offering a class book made by go along with the children's favorite, A Bad Case of the Stripes.  

Visit the link above to get your copy!

Friday, August 12, 2011

I am alive...and more class pics!

Did you hear me? MONDAY!!!
I'm linking up with Curls a a Smile, Empowering Little Learners,  & Pocket Full of Kinders
to show my room!
We had "Meet the Teacher" last night...I got to meet all of my parents.  So far, I have 18.  I have been working in my room, sitting through meetings, and doing all the millions of things a teacher has to do to get ready for a new year.  I snapped some (awful) pics with my camera phone before I left  (at 7pm) today...hope you enjoy them!
View from my desk...
 My loft area and carpet meeting area
The above is as you come in my door, my letters and sound station...and the below pic is:
  My small group area and station board...idea from Deanna Jump 
(check out my last classroom pics post for details) Notice the mismatched fabric I used to cover the nasty pink chair! lol
 My Squid...that matches the bulletin board, and book, Biggest thing in the the pattern from: LittleLucyLu  Isn't he cute??
 The above board goes along with my "Question of the Day" listing on TPT and TN

 *MY* books are on the red shelf...
 My listening station
 and on the other side, my writing station...
 My desk..that until the last few days was clean!
 Our pet snake!
 The following two pictures are my "word ceiling"...not wall, because there is no more bare walls space to have one.  So instead, I use push pins to put my word wall words up there...each letter has a ceiling tile.  I've only put one up there to start the year...I need to put the kids' names...great, another thing to add to my list before Monday. =)
 My 5 Bees Promise...stolen from the great blog (and one of my favs)