Spring Cupcakes!

I finally stopped being a slacker, and finished something I started a few weeks back!  I am so excited to share with you!  :-)

Spring cupcakes clip art!  There are 29 images in this zip file.  20 of them are color, and 9 of them are blackline.  Click on the images to visit them on Teachers Pay Teachers, or just click on this link.


Please take the time to check them out!  I have priced them at $5.00.  I hope this is a fair price- please let me know if you think they are too expensive!  (I am horrible at this pricing thing!)

I hope you all had a Happy Easter!  My family went out of town, so I spent mine alone at home cheering on the Louisville Cards.  I'm so glad they came back and won that game tonight! :-)  Makes me proud!

I'll be back tomorrow with Farley's Currently.  Can you believe it's almost April?  

Have a wonderful week, everybody!

Pre-Spring Break Fun!

This week was our last week before Spring Break.  It was a little earlier this year than usual, so I'm still kind of in shock that we're on Spring Break and I don't have to go to work tomorrow.  :-)  I'm going to share a few of the fun activities we did to celebrate Easter/Spring this week!

On Friday, we used SweetTarts jellybeans to complete this jelly bean graphing activity I whipped up the other night.  I gave them each one Easter egg full of jellybeans to graph with.  They were so excited when I told them they were allowed to keep the Easter eggs!  So silly!  I didn't get any pictures of them doing this activity, though.  Oops.

This freebie is available in my TPT store.  I hope you enjoy!  (I have posted about it 3 times now, sorry!)

Cheering on our friends!
We also had a fun Easter egg hunt.  This girl was freaking out trying to figure out how this whole thing was going to work!  We originally were going to have it in the gym, with each class having their own egg hunt, but  then the other 2 first grade teachers were both absent on our egg hunt day, and our first grade assistant went home early because her high school aged daughter was sick.  So I was the only actual first grade teacher in the building, and so I spent my planning running around figuring out how many eggs we had, and who would help hide them!  Luckily our Reading Recovery teacher was able to help out since one of her kids went home early.

The kids had a blast looking for eggs!  

Since we had 2 substitute teachers, our RR teacher was doing progress monitoring, and we wanted to eliminate the element of change for some of our students, the Reading Recovery teacher and I decided to not switch our kids for reading.  So I had to come up with something very quickly for my students to do!  We made these adorable "Crunching through Numbers" bunnies, except ours were crunching through "oo" words because it was reading time and I needed a reading related activity.  (This came from somewhere, but I don't remember... if you know, please let me know so I can update this!)

We also made some super cute Easter "baskets" out of 2-liter bottles.  These are totally a pre-Pinterest project.  I don't even remember where I came up with the idea.  I don't know if I found it on the internet or if I made it up.  But I made them one year, probably my first year of teaching, and I haven't made them since.  I decided this year to make them for Valentines Day, and then I made them again for Easter.  The kids apparently like making the baskets because I gave them the choice between the baskets and bags, and this is what they chose.  I found the cute Spring stickers at Walmart.  I have to go back tomorrow and stock up when they are on sale! :-)

On Wednesday, we made crayon-resist Easter eggs.  The kids thought it was so cool to see how the paint resisted the crayon marks they had drawn on their eggs.  I took these pictures before we cut out our eggs.  (Actually, we haven't yet, because we ran out of time on Thursday due to our field trip, and I forgot on Friday.)


We also made an Easter egg wreath. :-)  (Please excuse my Lorax trees underneath it- it may be time to take those down soon!)

On Wednesday, we also made these 'What's My Number?' Easter eggs.  The kids love this game during calendar, so I let them pick their own number and make their Easter egg with the clues.  You can lift up the Easter egg to find the number underneath. :-)  (I got this cute activity from someone too, Common Core Teachers Toolbox.


We also had these visitors to our classroom. :-)

On Thursday, we went on a field trip to Gattiland!  I love going to Gattliand for field trips.  It's so fun and laid back.  For those of you who don't know what Gattiland is, it's like Chuck E Cheese, except without the little ball pit/play area.  There are games, and a buffet with pizza, pasta, and salad.  It's fun. :-)

We started out the field trip with a class about the Five Senses.  The teachers at Gattliand do a good job with the students teaching them about taste, touch, smell, hearing, and seeing.  The kids loved it.  They also ride the carousel.  Then they got to eat pizza, pasta, salad, and whatever else they wanted from the buffet.  This year, the favorite was "ice cream"- some sort of Oreo pudding thing on the salad bar.  It was pretty tasty- I tried a little bit.  But I was more worried about eating lots of pizza and mac and cheese! :-)  

Then the kids got to go play in the game room.  Gattiland has a game room with lots of games, bumper cars, and a carousel.  Each of the students brought in $5 for their game cards.  I wrote everybody's name on their card so we knew whose card was whose!  The kids got to go around and play the games until they ran out of money.

My only complaint with Gattiland has been the same complaint I've had the other 3 times I've gone on this field trip:  they mix up the grade levels, so there are high schoolers or middle schoolers playing in the game room along with kindergarteners or first graders.  This year, it was middle schoolers with my first graders.  In the past, there have been high schoolers running around cursing with 5 and 6 year olds around.  Not pleased.  But this year, one of my first graders was playing the game where you take the giant hammer and try to hit something as hard as you can.  There were 2 middle school girls standing behind him making fun of him.  I just happened to walk up behind them and hear them making fun of him.  I was MAD.  "Mama teacher", for lack of a better word (and my own children!  lol) came out.  I said something to them about how it wasn't very nice to make fun of a first grader.  I believe the word "REALLY?!" may have come out of my mouth.  They walked away, looking at me.  About an hour later, they came up to me and gave me a game card (a time card).  They said they wanted to give it to the kid they were making fun of.  I told them they didn't have to do that, and they said they wanted to and that they hadn't used it.  So I took the card and gave it to the student, and he and his friend went on the bumper cars.  I'm glad they thought about what they were doing and took the time to apologize.  The apology would have been enough-  I don't think my first grader even knew they were making fun of him- but they went the extra mile and I thought that was sweet.

We had a really fun time on our trip. :-)

And now I am on Spring Break!  I hope this week has some great weather and I get some stuff done!  I have a lot of things to do around the house this week, some blogs to write, some taggies to make, and some stuff to add to my TPT store!  I guess I better get to work! :-)

Have a great week!

Five for (Saturday?)

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Five for Friday!  

1.  We had our Easter/Spring celebration on Friday!  The kids and I had so much fun doing and making lots of bunny and spring-themed stuff!

2.  We took our students on a field trip to Gatliland on Thursday.  This is such a fun, carefree field trip!  Gattiland is sort of like a Chuck E Cheese- I don't know if they have them too many places besides Louisville.  They certainly don't have them where I grew up!  The kids had a blast and so did I!  Some of us had a little too much fun!

3.  We took some time this week to do a little artsy fun!  We made crayon resist Easter eggs!  Most of them turned out really cute!  I took this picture before we had a chance to cut our eggs out- they were still wet when we left Wednesday!

4.  I found where I bought the bobbins for my sewing machine.  Yes, this is a big enough deal that it requires its own number in my 5.  I have a Brother sewing machine, and it says to use Brother bobbins.  Now I realize that all sewing machines say this, as well as pretty much every other product, so that you'll buy their products instead of the cheaper knockoff.  However, I have also heard stories about people getting things jammed or not having things work correctly because their bobbin was a smidge off.  And I had some bobbins that were Brother brand, so I KNEW I had bought them somewhere.  I thought I got them at Jo Ann Fabrics, but after checking out 3 stores, I realized that maybe I didn't or maybe I'm crazy.  I stopped at Walmart the other day for something else, and I realized where I bought my bobbins!  Thank goodness!  I only had like 2 left and I was getting worried! :-)

5.  I was a lucky girl this week!  I won 2 blogger giveaways this week.  One from Lisa of Growing Firsties, and one from Rachelle of What the Teacher Wants.  I won Lisa's April Common Core Crunch, and Rachelle's Fancy Word Activities Pack!  So excited!  I also won a giveaway from one of my favorite fabric stores, JoAnn Fabrics.  I wasn't sure which item I had won in their giveaway, since they didn't tell me.  I was excited when I got a package, and really disappointed when I opened it to realize that I had won a box of fabric... that had been cut out of and large pieces of the fabric were missing!
 I was so disappointed-what do you do with fabric that has missing pieces?  I knew they hadn't sent it because it wasn't sent from Ohio, but somewhere else, and I think one of the bloggers who was connected with the giveaway sent it out.  So I reached out to JoAnns and expressed my concern/disappointment (in a nice way, I hope!).  One of the ladies from JoAnn wrote me back the next business day and said that she would take care of it by sending me a $50 gift card!  So not what I was expecting!  It came yesterday, and I'm so excited to use it to get some more fabulous fabric and ribbon to make more taggies.  I'm participating in a craft show event in a few weeks, so I better get crackin!  :-)

I am off to figure out what I'm going to do for the rest of my SPRING BREAK!!! :-)  So excited to have a week off- and so many things to do with it! :-)

Sweet Jellybean Graphing

I created this activity when I couldn't find a jellybean graphing activity I liked, and I lost the one I used last year.  (Gasp!)  I know it's kind of late, but I thought maybe somebody might be able to use it?   We're on Spring Break next week, so I'll be using it today!

There is a graphing page (I created it to use with SweetTarts jellybeans, so the colors match the colors in the package, a sorting page (which I actually will only make a few copies of them since my students this year don't use them!) and a math page that has questions about their jellybeans.

I hope you enjoy it!

If you download this Sweet Jellybean Graphing Freebie, please leave me feedback!  I would appreciate it!

Freebie Fridays

Have a great day!

High/Low Linky!

I'm linking up with Katie Knight's High/Low Linky party!  Her high/low is much more emotional than mine is this month, but I encourage you to read her post!  I teared up a little bit after reading.

So I have so many awesome things about March, it's going to be hard to choose just one! :-)  So I may just mention a few of my favorite things about March!

1.  My students took one of our district required Math Diagnostic Assessments (MDAs).  They take the Diagnostic assessments 3 times a year, and Math Proficiency Assessments (MPAs) 3 times a year as well.  The last MDA was given last week, and my students did pretty well on it!  Granted, this MDA was all Kindergarten standards, so they should have done well on it, but we all know this isn't always the case!  I had 11 100%, 2 got a 92% (which is one question wrong), 2 83% (2 questions wrong) and a few 75%.  Two of the students who missed 1 or 2 questions should have gotten 100% but the last 2 questions were kind of confusing in their wording and they decided to read ahead.  Only 2 students really bombed the test, and one of them is ECE and functions at basically a beginning of Kindergarten level (she still can't count 1-1... and we've been working on it all year).  The other... just doesn't want to.  I really don't want to get into that here!  But I was very proud of my students!  I told them this would be the easiest test ever, and obviously, they believed me! :-)

2.  My students completed their informational books, and they turned out AWESOME.  Then they made iMovie presentations of their books to share with their parents.  So cool!  


 I wrote about their awesome informational books here!  So proud of my smart students!

3.  I taught myself how to make something cute and fun!  I have been making these cute taggie blankets.  I started off making them for friends, but everybody suggested that I sell them, so I've been making more.  They're cute and its fun to pick out fun fabric, design the different animals, and have them "come to life" if you will.  Plus, I actually sold one to one of my friends from high school!  She bought one for her little girl!  She bought the grey elephant with the polka dots.  :-)  I was so excited!  I love being able to make something useful, bright and colorful, and unique!


My friend Leslie had her baby about 3 weeks ago.  She lives in Lexington (technically Nicholasville, which is south of Lexington), which is about an hour to an hour and a half away from me.  So two of my other friends from college were going down last weekend to see the baby.  Well, I apparently thought it would be more fun to be sick.  I had a sinus infection and bronchitis.  So I didn't go to see the baby because I didn't want Leslie, her husband, or the baby to get sick.  I was so disappointed to miss out on seeing the baby. :-(  Luckily, they'll be in town over my Spring Break, so I'll get to see the little baby then!  

I also was crazy enough to go to work when I was sick.  Mostly because I had a meeting scheduled that the other party (who scheduled the meeting in the first place) didn't attend.  We rescheduled it for the next day, when I was still sick, and she still didn't attend.  Man, I was MAD.  Still am, really.  So instead of staying home and resting, I drug myself in to work and felt like garbage all day.  Awesome.  But even though I went to the doctor and got an antibiotic and stuff to not be sick, I am still having some sinus issues.  It won't go away!  I have a runny nose, some post nasal drip, and my ears hurt.  I thought that the purpose of antibiotics and medicine is to make your sickness go away.  But I haven't really shaken this sinus-y stuff since January, and I'm annoyed.  And that's been my low point- who likes having headaches, stuffy noses, and such?  NOT ME!

However, the best way to end March?  SPRING BREAK!  I am on Spring Break as of Friday at 3:45!!!  So excited!  Tomorrow, we have a field trip to a place called Gattiland which is kind of like Chuck E Cheese.  We'll do a class on the Five Senses, eat yummy pizza, and then the students will have time to go play games!  :-)   It's fun!  Friday is our Easter Egg hunt!  Can't wait for all this fun!

Let's Get Acquainted Linky!

I've been a slacker blogger lately, so I'm going to link up with Latoya Reed's "Let's Get Acquainted" linky party so that I have something to post!

This week's theme is "nouns":

I can't choose just one person!  That's not fair!  I don't have a significant other, and I have some really great friends, so I couldn't just choose one.  I'd choose my dog, but I also have to choose a favorite animal, and I didn't want to double dip!

I am probably happiest on my porch swing.  But that's only because the beach is so far away!  My dad and I built this pergola last summer, and though it's not completely finished yet, I love spending time on my back deck now!  We also built the little porch beside the kitchen.  I've also spent some time planting lots of beautiful flowers and plants to make my backyard much prettier than it was!  It's like my own little oasis, almost.

I appreciate it even more because of the HUGE difference between when I bought the house and now.  

(And this picture is even outdated now- I got a new roof, and the ugly pipe has been painted so it blends in with the house!)

Currently, it's my sewing machine.  We've spent a lot of time together lately.  I spent a large chunk of my weekend making this little cutie:

I am convinced she needs a name.  She seems to have a personality.  Yes, I'm weird.  

I've also been selling them in my Etsy shop.  No monkeys listed yet, but they're coming soon!

My favorite animal is my dog, Molly!  She's just so sweet and funny and cute, and she's my whole world!  I love that girl!  I live alone with just her, so we're pretty tight.  LOL.  She thinks she needs to be near me all the time.  If she's not begging my neighbor for treats.  She's got everybody wrapped around her little wagging tail!

So... I am at 90 followers, and I have a feeling I'll end up at 100 very soon, so I'd like to plan a giveaway!  If you would like to help me out, please let me know!  I'll probably be contacting a few people to possibly donate an item, but I'd love it if you'd contact me if you'd like to help out!  (I am always willing to help out if you need me too!)

Also, you can follow me at my Facebook page!  I'm a little better about updating there!

We're on a Roll!

Over the past several weeks, my students and I have been working on informational writing.  We made snow and wrote about how to make a snowman.  We made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and wrote about how to make PB&J.  We made informational posters about animals we researched.  And then we wrote informational books.  And if I say so myself, they are awesome!

I worked with my kids on their books, of course, and I have helped them through the whole process, but I actually sat down on Friday and looked at their completed books, and I am so proud of them!  I was just so impressed and blown away by what I saw, I actually had tears in my eyes.  Silly, I know, but we've spent so much time working on these, and they've worked sooooo hard, that I was so proud to see what they've accomplished.  I still have about 6 or 7 kids who have to finish up their books, but they'are all almost finished with them too.  I can't wait to see the completed product!  Or share them with their parents on Wednesday during our Writing Celebration!

We have been using this unit that I have in my Teachers Pay Teachers store.  We did a lot of the "research" on the different animals together, and read a whole lot of informational books at the same time!  The kids each had their own sheet that they used to take notes.  We made posters first, almost as a sort of concept map to help them, but not quite.  The posters were awesome!  Then we started working on the books.  Each student had a "sloppy copy" page that they did their writing on.  I gave them back their posters to help them figure out what to write.  They wrote their sloppy copies, and then we planned their Table of Contents, Dedication Page, About the Author Page, and Glossary pages.

  Once they finished their planning, then we worked on putting their books together by coping the sloppy copies onto the "clean" copies.  Once the kids copied their writing, they got to copy their Table of Contents, Dedication Page, About the Author, and Glossary pages.  

I used the half page books to conserve paper!  But I have whole page and half page books included in my unit pack.

And this is what they came up with!  These books are so amazing!  Some of the kids used labels and diagrams in their books, without being asked!  I would say this shows they really understand how text features work!  (Now if I could just get some of the kids to pay attention to their very existence, we'd be all set!  Ha!)

 Cover pages.  Love the cute pictures!

 Every informational book needs a Table of Contents!  (And this kid can't spell eat, lol)

Check out the diagram on this page!  I can't believe this kid used a diagram!  Holy cow!  We briefly discussed them, but we didn't go into great detail about them, so I'm amazed.
(The books aren't actually stapled yet, because I need to copy them for our Program Review, and it's easier to do so when they aren't stapled!)

Love their writing and I love the fact that several of them used labels on their pictures even though I didn't tell them they had to.  I don't even think I mentioned it!

These labels say "no fur" and "some fur".  So cute.  Notice the underlined word.  It's defined in his glossary. 

I love the bear cubs in the den! 

  Love the adorable picture of the mother polar bear and her cubs, and the fact that this little one knows what a mammal is!  I also love how the other student underlined 2 words on this page for his glossary!
From one of my strugglers... I love her penguin.
"What Penguins Like To Do"

 We also included About the Author pages.  I wanted my students to feel like real authors, so they got to make this page.  It's lined out on the book planning pages, so the kids just had to fill in the blanks and then copy the whole thing onto their clean copy.  I thought this was a good way to give them the opportunity to do this without getting 2 sentences about the kid.  I know how first graders are!

I love how this kid said he wanted to "help the Earth" and had a picture of himself throwing away recycling.  Adorable!  And this was before we read The Lorax this week and talked about helping the Earth!  

 They also put a glossary in their books!  We talked about how the reader might not know what the different words mean in their book, so they had to choose at least 2 words to underline in their book and put the definition in their glossary.  Their definitions aren't what you'd find in a dictionary or anything, but I think it's a good thing they got the experience!

They are going to share their books (and posters) with their parents on Wednesday during our "Writers on a Roll" celebration!  I can't wait for these parents to see how smart their kids are!  I haven't exactly decided how they are going to share their books on Wednesday, but I'm thinking they can read the actual writing in their book, and then they can show their parents their books afterwards.  I would love it if there was a way the parents could walk around and browse the books, but I don't know if we'll have enough time.  I am going to have the posters outside on our bulletin board, so the parents can check them out then.

Another teacher had the kids read their books and videotaped them, then played the video on her Smartboard the day of Writers on a Roll.  That might be a good idea, since most of my kids talk so silently that the parents can't hear them!  

After the students read their writing pieces, they get to go to the cafeteria and have cake and juice as a celebration of their progress in writing.  We'll have another celebration called Writing Stars at the end of the year where the kids have to actually meet the writing benchmark; right now, they just have to show that they've made progress.  We have already had one "Writers on a Roll" celebration back in the fall, so this is the second one this year.  It's always fun for the parents to come in for an academic celebration.  They all come in and take pictures of their kids reading.  It's so fun. :-)  In our school, we often have low parent turn out to events, but this is one that we always have lots of parents attend!

Does your school have any way to celebrate your students' accomplishments?