Friday, March 30, 2012

Make Yourself at Home-Guest Blogger Tammy

Hi.  My name is Tammy.  I'm in charge of a little blog called Forever in First, and I'm thoroughly honored to fill in for Natalie while she's having the time of her life in Japan.  I've never been a guest blogger, so I really do think this is about the coolest thing ever.  Here goes...

I suppose this is an odd time of year to share this post, but as they say, better late than never.  Last August was forever ago, but I remember how I spent a few days of it - on a hunt for 20-something cheap garage sale frames.  Those few days were also spent with a can of black spray paint in hand as well.  Why the frames and paint?  Look below.   

Sprinkled throughout my room are pictures of my kids - on countertops, on tables, on walls, and on shelves.  I hope it sends the message, "This is your place as well as mine. We're one big happy family, so make yourself at home."  

At the beginning of the year I sent home a letter asking parents for help.

Although I love a nice pat on the back every so often, this one belongs to The Sisters.  I'm fairly confident they'd love that I'm passing it along to you though.  

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Bags are Packed, People!!!

Hey yall! Is it Thursday at 1:45 yet? No?

Shoot....only 14 hours until I am boarding the plane, yall!

I am beyond excited. I mean, you have no idea.

I have been running around like a mad person today, trying to get everything together for the sub for the 3 days I will be missing school. I'm telling you, it's almost not worth all the hassle.....nah, it's totally gonna be worth it!!!

I told my littles that I was going to Japan tomorrow, and they all were totally amazed! I also told them that if the sub said they were well behaved, I would bring them some sort of Japanese treat! Then one little sweetie asked for ice cream. Hmmm....not sure that will last the 14 hour trip!

While I'm gone, I have an awesome group of amazing bloggers lined up for yall, so don't forget about this lil ol' blog! Check back often :)

Now, let me leave you with some pictures to make you even more jealous than you already are :)

Behold, the beautiful little island of Okinawa, Japan...

Oooooh, and guess what else? Amanda from One Extra Degree just emailed me and told me that I won her Carson Dellosa giveaway! Whoo-hoo! Look at all the goodies I won :)

I know, I know, you can hardly contain your jealousy. I'll leave you be now.

Talk to you guys in about 12 days!!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Looky in My Lunchbox Linky Party!

Hey yall!

2 more days!!!!!!!!!!!!

Just thought I would go ahead and get that out of the way.... :)

Today, I am joining in on a super fun little linky party over at 4th Grade Frolics.

Sounds like fun, right?

Okay, so here is my trusty lunchbox.


Cute, huh? Of course, it's Thirty One.

The bad thing about this lunchbox? It usually is filled with very blah, non-exciting food. True story. I am trying to live a healthier lifestyle and lose weight, so my lunches are very basic.

Turkey sandwich.

Light potato chips.

Chobani Blueberry Greek Yogurt.

Laughing Cow cheese wedge and crackers {for a snack later}.

That's it. Pretty boring, right?

Every once in awhile, I will have leftovers from dinner the night before, and that is always an exciting day at lunch. Especially when it's leftover turkey tacos...yum.

We get 30 minutes for lunch and, thankfully, don't have to eat lunch with our kiddos. My two other first grade teamies and I usually sit in my room and gossip chat about things. Every once in awhile, one of us will have lunch dates, so you can also expect to see a few random littles in there on any given day.

We eat very early at 10:45, but I honestly don't think I could wait much longer. School starts at 7:20 for us, so my littles are usually asking how much longer til lunch around 10 or so.

So, that's it! Now I get to go stalk see what all of yall's lunchboxes look like :)

Gotta go pack!!!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Bunnies Galore!

Hey yall! Happy Monday!

Remember this door?

I loved it, and it was an award winning door. But I was getting sick of it. Like, if-I-see-it-one-more-day-I-might-just-die sick of it. So, today I just started taking it down, without even a plan as to what would take it's place.

And then....I remembered!

We had gotten this cute little bunny craftivity from Teri...perfect!

So, I whipped out the paper and tracers, and we got busy. We modified ours a little, because I was running low on white contruction paper. So, I talked half of my kiddos into having brown bunnies :)

We also had just learned about using commas in a series. I wanted to incorporate this new skill into our writing, so I asked them to write 3 things that they would do if they were bunnies, put them in a series, and use the commas correctly. Most did great...but some will definitely need lots more practice.

I would give Easter eggs, let people hold me, and let people play with me.

I would jump, eat, and have big, soft, hairy ears.

I would have an adventure, travel, and throw eggs!

Aren't they presh? I think they turned out super cute!

I found some old spring border from last year, my little spring sign, and put these cute bunnies up.
So now, my door looks like this...

 I love it! Perfect way to welcome spring into our lives :) and I really didn't want to come back from Japan and see more Dr. Seuss stuff.

See how I managed to mention my trip in there? Yeah, the countdown is still on, people.
3 more days!!!

I'm thinking I should really get started on packing....

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sunday night blues? Not this girl! And a *freebie*!!!

Hey yall! Can you believe how fast this weekend went by? And I don't even care....wanna know why???

Because I am going to Japan in t-minus 4 days!!!

Just a little forewarning, the countdown is on, so expect to hear that every day for the next four days :)

Some of you were asking me why I was going to Japan, so I thought I would answer your questions.

This is my older sis (one of them) and I.

 Please ignore the sweaty. This was at Tybee Island and it was hot.

My sweet older sis and her family currently live in Okinawa, Japan. My brother-in-law is in the Army, and they have been stationed there for the last three years. We have missed them like crazy!!!

But they are moving back to the states this summer....yay!!! The problem is, the airline won't fly dogs during the summer months for such a long trip, and they need to get their black lab Holly back to the states.

Sooooo....cue moi!

I am flying over there during my Spring Break to visit for 12 whole days, and then I will be bringing Holly back with me!

This is Holly, and my sweet niece Morgan.
We are going to be adding Holly to our brood for the next month or two, until they move back to the states.

Hope these 2 don't give Holly too much hassle :)
We can't wait to take her to our favorite dog park! We went today, and look at how many people were enjoying it!

Okay, onto teachery things!

I finished my Spring Buddies Math Activities unit, and it is up for sale!

Pick this 33 page unit up at my TPT store here for $6.00
save a little money and get it from my TN store here for only $5.00!

I am lazy and did not feel like making a collage, so here is the breakdown and a few pics from the unit. This unit includes:

*Buzzing Fact Families: 8 cards, recording sheet, and answer sheet

*Spring Stories: 6 different word problems, corresponding counters, recording sheet, and answer sheet

*Puzzles for Ewe: 12 number cards, 120s chart, recording sheet, and answer sheet

*Bunny Bump: game card and corresponding game pieces

*Snail Time: 9 time cards, recording sheet, and answer sheet

I started adding answer sheets to my units, because I thought it might make checking their work a little faster. Is this something that you guys like? Just want to make sure I'm not wasting my time!
I love how this unit turned out! These little spring graphics are too cute! I really had a hard time deciding what to share with you guys as a freebie...but I think the snails are just adorable, so I went with those :)
Click here to get your free copy of the Snail Time math center.
Hope you guys aren't suffering from a case of the Sunday night blues!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Hunger Games and a Freebie!

Hey yall! Happy Friday!

This is just going to be a quick post, because I am b.e.a.t!

Today after work, my teamie and I went to the 4:50 showing of The Hunger Games. It was awesome! Definitely lived up to my expectations, if not exceeded them! If you read the books, you have to go see this movie!!! I am curious to know if people that haven't read the books will love it as much. I can see such significance in certain things, and I'm just not sure that you would get it if you haven't read the book, ya know?

I just wanted to share this quick little freebie for yall. I just could not get my act together with copies this week, so I had to throw this together on the fly to have something for reading centers on Monday. We are going to be working on inflectional endings -s, -ed, and -ing. Hope you can use!

Click on the picture to download :)

That's it for me! Pretty sure that's a record for shortest post ever for me!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Do You Brain Pop?

Hey yall! Friday is so close I can smell it....almost there. I think I can, I think I can...

Do you know who these little characters are?
If you don't know who they are, you are living in the dark ages, my friend.

But if you are, in fact, living in the dark ages, then let me introduce you to Annie and her robot friend Moby.

These are the awesome little characters from Brain Pop Jr., my most favorite online resource.

We seriously watch a Brain Pop video 2-3 times a week...sometimes in a day! 

Take today for example. 

We had a little health lesson on sugar. First, we watched a Brain Pop video on how to eat healthy, and not eat or drink things with too much sugar. Then we completed a little activity that showed us how much sugar are in sodas, chocolate milk, and fruit punch.

This is how much sugar is in one can of Coke. Umm....does not that gross you out? Yuck. 

Then during English, we started learning about homophones. So how did I introduce my littles to homophones? Why, with Annie and Moby, of course! We watched a funny video that taught us all about the different types of homonyms.

Then we read the book "Dear Deer" by Gene Baretta and brainstormed our own list of homophones.

My littles LOVED this book. Except for one. He kept saying, "I just don't get it. I wish I did....but I don't." 
I tried to explain each page to him, but he just kept shaking his head..ha!

We also started our plant study this week, and guess how many videos Brain Pop has on plants....4! Well, 5 if you count the video about George Washington Carver...which I don't. Because, of course, we watched that video when we were completing his biography earlier this year :)

I really love to use Brain Pop videos to introduce a new concept. It's a great way to catch their attention and hook them from the get go. It doesn't hurt that the videos are funny, either.

I really hope that your school or district has a subscription to this awesome resource, because it really is amazing. Every video has an activity that goes along with it, as well as a coordinating word wall, online game, two types of quizzes, and some funny little cartoons! There are even lesson plans that coordinate with the videos! Seriously, if you don't have a subscription, I think it is totally worth it to pay out of your own pocket. Yes, it's a little expensive at $135 a year for up to three classrooms, but it is honestly worth every penny.

Brain Pop Jr. is geared towards K-3rd and Brain Pop is geared towards the older grades. But honestly? I think the older grades would enjoy the Jr. videos as well, and we have definitely watched some of the older videos. If you don't have a subscription, there are also a ton of free videos! 
I'm a BrainPOP Educator Badge
Real quick before I go, I just wanted to share a sweet little acrostic poem one of my students gave me today.


Melt my heart :) Seriously, it's the little things.

Any crazies going to see the midnight showing of The Hunger Games tonight? More power to you...I just could not do it. But my BFF and I are planning to go see it tomorrow, right after work. Can't wait!

Night yall!

Oh, p.s. I leave for Japan in t-minus one week!!! Soooooooo excited!!!!