Monday, 31 December 2012

Currently

2013! Where has the time gone?! Seriously my daughter was born 20 years ago this October and I remember it like it was yesterday. People tell me often that I have a memory like an elephant, but who doesn't remember when their child was born as if it were yesterday? Everyone, I'm sure.

Onto the Currently, I am linking up with Farley, who happens to be giving a PD on the 7th and I would Love to be there to hear her, it would be amazing I'm sure. For now, I'll have to settle for linking up with her once again.

2 Broke Girls - It's entertains me so easily cause I can just laugh and not have to think too much. Lazy I know!

I am loving these new shoes that I got for Christmas. Check. They are sooooo cute! I've been wanting them FOREVER and somebody who loves me remembered. He has a memory like an elephant too.
Snow - We have so much of it. It's really pretty, but seriously when I am shovelling I don't know where to put it anymore.

An i-phone, it's gotta happen, not sure when, but I really want one. Over Christmas, my sister-in-law had hers out all the time, taking great photos with it, sending me stuff on g-mail and we were in a restaurant and she downloaded an app to pay my parking meter cause it had just run out. So convenient.

My holidays are almost over and I find myself looking forward to my next break and I'm not even back yet. I have a really hard time waking up with an alarm. It's so wrong, you should be able to sleep until you're not tired anymore.

And the One Little Word - Hope. I try to have a lot of it and I carry it with me wherever I go. Sometimes I lose sight of it, but it always finds me again. Plus it's my second name. 

Link up with Farley when you get a chance.


Wherever you are, I wish you a happy 2013 with lots of Hope.

Sunday, 30 December 2012

New Year's Linky

Well, the countdown is on. Is it terrible that I am looking forward to Ryan Seacrest's cutiepie face?! Cause I am.

I am linking up with Jen from The Teacher's Cauldron for her New Year's Linky Party
Basically, you need to make just 2 resolutions, one personal and one blogging. So, here they are..

For my personal resolution - I noticed over Christmas that my dog is starting to look much rounder. Then, my friend gave me a little doggy jacket, for Christmas, you know the ones - dogs wear them for warmth and cuteness. Anyway it was the right size, but the velcro tabs keep popping open on her belly. I realized I needed to do us both a favor and get moving.  And since time is not something I have a lot of, I am planning to combine dog walking with me walking, sort of mesh the two together so that walking the dog actually becomes a bit of a work out. Let's face it, we both need to be walked. Here she is...
And yes, in case you noticed, she is going for her haircut tomorrow. It looks bad, but she can see, trust me. Well enough, at least, to always get into some sort of trouble.

For my blogging resolution - As much as I possibly can, I want to show how I use the units that I make in the classroom,  but I don't always get the timing right. I end up using a unit in my class, then forget to take pictures until after it's packed up and put away.  I am hoping to get better at this and blog about what I am up to while I am up to it. Make sense? Hold me to it, I'll try not to disappoint.

In the meantime, I wish you a Happy New Year and a great 2013! You can click on the Happy New Year for a 20% off sale.

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Merry Christmas with a Little Horse Power

We strayed a bit from Christmas tradition this year and went to the RCMP stables to bring the horses there a little apple treat. I LOVE horses! Here are a few pics. They are so gentle and sweet, it was hard to leave.








Have a Merry Christmas.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Tacky and a Little Snow

Well, I had every intention of going to school on Friday and taking pictures of all the Christmas things we've been working on in my class,  but alas.....it ended up being a SNOW DAY! Now, I need to show you why, with these photos of my street. There is so much snow!
That's a lot right? And this tree at the end of my street, I Love it so much. It is so tall and just full of beautiful red lights, really pretty. The pic doesn't do it justice, it is soooo nice, not Rockefeller nice, but still nice. It makes me smile each time I turn the corner.
So, no class pics, but I did just finish a Tacky the Penguin Mini Pack. I love Tacky. I feel the same way about Tacky as I do about Pete the Cat, I love to love him. I'm gonna start right off in January with Tacky. It's got some labelling, sequencing, sorting, poetry and a mini book plus a few other things.



If you wanna leave me a Tacky comment before midnight tonight (23-12-12), he's all yours. I'll send him to you. 

In the meantime, I wish you a great Holiday season. Eat, Drink and be Merry, January will be here before you know it and we're probably gonna wanna diet.


Thursday, 20 December 2012

The Night Tree Connecting

Today, I am linking up with DeAnne from First Grade and Fabulous to share with you my favorite December holiday story.
I should say Tonight cause I just got home from our evening Christmas Concert and I want to sleep, but I'm so revved up, you know the feeling. Oh and yes I have school tomorrow, bright and early. Trying to wind down, but it isn't happening and I know when I hear the alarm in the morning I WILL want to cry. Anyway, I digress...
This is my all time favorite Christmas story
It is such a sweet tale. Honestly, my kids were as quiet as mice while I read. I think it was partly due to my love for the book. When I love a book I am reading to my kids, it always shines through and I'm convinced they feel it too. The Grade 3 teacher came into my room while I was reading to drop something off and she ended up staying cause she fell in love with the story and wanted to see how it ended. Basically, it is the story of a family who visit this beautiful tree in the forest every year at Christmas time. They bring food to put on the tree for the animals to eat and it is heart warming, especially the closeness you feel from the family. It is a fairly easy connect book. Connections are just starting to take hold in my class, especially when it comes to the writing, so I needed to keep it simple. We worked on a text to self connection for Night Tree and I narrowed it down to just picture or character. When they are ready, I'll expand on the connecting. 

Since I do have school tomorrow, we'll finish working on these. If Night Tree connecting is something you can use, just click on the pic above. If you're already on vacation, I wish you a great one. If you're not quite there yet, we'll celebrate together tomorrow.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Polar Fun Math and Literacy Centers

It is a total winter wonderland where I live. Today we got about 15 inches of snow. And it's not over yet. Plus it is snowman snow, so you can imagine what my kids are doing with it - everything that can get built out of snow will get built this week, forts, snowmen, snow dogs, you name it. One year, my kids made a snow couch and then they sat on it at recess. It was great!

On the subject of snow, I just finished a Math and Literacy Center Pack on the Poles - North and South, Antarctica and the Arctic, you get the picture. It's got some odd/even sorting, adding, graphing, measuring, reading for information, punctuation practice, ABC order, all that good stuff. You can check it out here


And since I've got 3 days of school left until my break, I will give it to the first 3 people who leave a comment. Hope it's something you can use. 

I have been playing the Santa card hard and heavy in my class for the last week. "Oh, I don't think Santa would like that now would he!?" I say that sooooo much. Tomorrow, Santa is dropping a letter off to my class just to let them know he's checking them twice. I try to make the envelope look all worn, like it really came all the way from the North Pole, drip some water on it, an elf footprint here and there. We'll see how it goes....

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Couch Time and Guess My Number

This past week, I came down with some sort of scaredy pants flu, like it was BAD. I felt kinda funny on Wednesday, got home from school and hit the couch. I couldn't move from there after that. My head was pounding so hard, it was painful just to turn it. And sleep. I slept for 3 days straight, day and night! Finally, the couch and I broke up this morning. He'll get over it. I feel so much better. But, one of the best things that happened during my couch hiatus was my sub. She is a great friend of mine and she retired from teaching 1st grade, 2 years ago. So, she called me the first night I was couch bound and uttered the 5 words that teachers everywhere dream of hearing, but rarely ever do. Are you ready for this? She said to me - I DON'T NEED LESSON PLANS. I know right.  Despite the pounding in my brain, I could still hear the angels singing. So, she winged it - beautifully I might add. I cannot even begin to think about what to get her for Christmas, trust me, it'll be good.

Even though Christmas is in full swing in my class and I'm sure yours too, I thought I would share something I use year round cause it just works so well. I call it Guess My Number, it's a Math game. Basically, in 1st grade we play it as a whole class activity. So, one child chooses a number from 1 to 120 and keeps it a secret. I have that person come in front, just makes it easier. The rest of us can ask 10 and only 10 questions to the child in front in order to be able to guess the number. The trick is that the questions have to be asked so that only a YES or NO answer is given. For example, the child in front chooses 77 as their number and the first question is  - is it greater that 50? Answer - YES. And we continue like that, trying to ask questions that narrow the field. My kids are so good at it now, they can get it in 7 questions or less. I keep track of how many questions have been asked and usually I don't allow them to guess the number until it has been fairly well narrowed down. And guesses count as questions.

It will bring out the best in your kids, truly. They will be using their Math vocabulary without even really knowing it. Typical questions are - Is it even? Is it a 1 digit number? Does it have a 5 in the ones place? Is it less than 50? If they are able to guess in 10 or less, it becomes the next child's turn, usually whoever had the correct guess. If not, the child in front has another turn. Here is the number chart I use. I put it up on my smart board and that way I can cross out rows of numbers that have been eliminated as the questions are asked. Try it, you'll love it! Just click on the chart.

Have a great weekend.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Sunday Shout Outs


It's that time again- Sunday shout outs! Here they are...

Check out these hard working first graders! Wanna know what is keeping them so focussed? Yeah, me too! It is my favourite Mississippi girl Laura at Peace Love and First Grade. She has this fantastic short vowel pack and I love it! They are literally on a mission to find those short e's.

You can check it out below, just click on the pic.

If you need a Christmas themed pack right about now, then check out my friend Lisa at Learning is Something to Treasure. She has an amazing Mooseltoe Unit and Craftivity. It has everything - reading, writing, vocabulary, information, art and so much more. Click on Lisa's unit below and drop by her blog for a fantastic 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway!
If you love polar bears as much as I do, you will love Kaci's All About Polar Bears Unit. There are games, math centers and anchor chart activities. 

And if you want  to practice skills with a gingerbread twist, then Jennifer's Gingerbread Skills Pack can help you out, 5 literacy activities and 5 Math activities for Kindergarten. Just a whole lot of gingerbread fun packed into one great unit.

I love Fairy Tales and I love for my kids to practice their blends. With this Fairy Tale Fun pack, they can practice their skills with their favourite fairy tales. This is from Mary at Mrs. Lirette's Learning Detectives. You can check it out with one click on the pic.


Hope you found something you liked.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

December Currently and a Few Giveaways

For starters, here is my Currently - Farley's amazing creative idea at Oh Boy Fourth Grade.

I read so many other blogs and one of the comments I hear over and over again is how warm it still is where people live. WELL...I am freezing!! Seriously. Here is what I wore to walk the dog today. Leggings/jeans over them/t-shirt with sweater over it/ 2 pairs of socks/hiking boots/North Face coat/ mitts/hat/scarf. And I was cold. I refuse to complain about winter though. I have decided to just buy new boots and embrace it. Newness is the only way to cope with this.
As for my random act of kindness - the night janitor is so good to me. He vacuums my class every single night. And we kind of have this secret code between us. I just have to put a few things up on tables when I leave at the end of the day and he knows that I want that particular area cleaned more thoroughly than everywhere else. I come in the next day and it's done. So, I'm getting him a gift card from a store I know he likes.
If you haven't linked up yet, head over to Farley's blog

Onto the Giveaways. My friend Marie at The Hands On Teacher in First is having a 500 follower giveaway with lots of great products. You can check it out by clicking below.

 Lisa from Learning is Something to Treasure is having the 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway - something new to win each day, all 12 days long. You can check her giveaway out below.

I hope that wherever you are, you are warm. If you are really warm, even when you go outside, then I am totally envious. If you haven't already guessed, winter is my least favorite season. I am, however, still going to embrace it, no matter what.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

It's My Birthday and I'll Cry If I Want To

It's my birthday tomorrow. Back in my younger days, age never bothered me. I remember my best friend and I were both turning 24, within 2 weeks of each other, and we would always say - Oh, 16 years to 40!! And we would laugh hysterically, knowing that milestone was so far off. Let me tell ya - I passed that milestone a while ago and now there is a new one looming in the distance. Anyway, I am trying not to dwell on it too much. I plan to just focus on the fact that, even though I have to go get my hair colored once a month to cover all the grey feel better about myself, I am lucky to be surrounded everyday by little people with so much energy and enthusiasm for learning. Honestly, it makes me feel younger. And as I get older, the kids in my class get cuter and cuter. Have you noticed this too?

So, in honor of my birthday, I wanted to share a little Christmas freebie with you. I hope you can use it. There's a little bit of addition, a little bit of subtraction and a little bit of Santa. Just give it a click and you're on your way.

As I celebrate my birthday this year, I am so grateful to have met so many amazing teachers through this blog. I thank you all for your kindness and I feel truly blessed to know you.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Christmas Writing Pack and Cyber Monday Sale

I just finished a Christmas Writing Pack. Like honestly, minutes ago. I really wanted to make a packet with a Christmas story in it, but there are so many rules now about copyright, that I was afraid if I used one of my favourite Christmas stories in my packet, I might break a copyright rule. So, I wrote a story myself, which means I can do anything I want with it. And so I did. Do anything I want with it, I mean. In the pack, there is story sequencing and writing and creative writing and reindeer riddles. My kids need story sequencing practice, especially when it comes to the writing end of it. They are okay with the actual telling part of the re-tell, but as soon as I say - write that down, they panic. So, we're working on it.
If it's something you think you can use, I'll give it away to the first 4 people who leave a comment.



If you're looking for Christmas Centers, my friend Corinna at Teaching Fabulous Firsties has a great pack she just finished also. It is amazing!  Just click on the Santa to have a peek at it.

As for the sale, it starts on Monday. Remember to use code CMT12. I am loving this graphic for the sale! It's thanks to Ashley Hughes, you can check her out here and in her TPT store here
Happy Shopping!