Sunday, March 31, 2013

Let's Get Acquainted {Favorites}

Here are a few of my favorite things...

(Imagine me singing "My Favorite Things" from the Sound of Music now)

Favorite Store: I love wearing J.Crew because they have professional and fun clothes. The clothes also are classy and comfortable. I can always find basic things and stuff in style. Most of the clothes are classic though and can be worn for many years. I just wore two of their dresses for my engagement photos on Friday. My bridesmaids will also be wearing coral dresses for the wedding from here.


Favorite TV: I love True Blood! Eric Northman is the hottest vampire ever! Yes, I know this make me sound like a huge nerd. I just love this show though. It always has me on the edge of my seat wanted to know what will happen next. The new season starts June 16th a day after I get married and I'm a little sad we'll be on our honeymoon and won't be watching the season premiere. 

Favorite sweet treat: Anything with chocolate and peanut butter! I love Reese's peanut butter cup cookies. They are so delicious and since they are mini I feel like I could eat many of them and not be bad. I think I'm just trying to justify my very sweet tooth.

                                                Peanut Butter Cup Cookies Recipe

Favorite Food: Pizza! I'm having some veggie pizza as I write this. Some of my favorite pizza places are Mellow Mushroom, Brick & Fire, Bonzo's and my loves homemade pizza. Amazing! I could have pizza every night. I love veggie, BBQ, and everything pizzas the most!

Favorite Restaurant: My favorite restaurant is a sushi place that is local called Sushi Lola and my favorite chain restaurant is Maggiano's Littly Italy.


Well now that you are really hungry and wanting to be stylish...join up so we can get to know you!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Tijuana Flats Love Teachers

Tijuana flats has got to be one my favorite place to chow down on some Mexican food! They are in a few states (North Carolina, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Virginia) but most of their stores are in Florida. Anyways they have this wonderful offer because they love teachers! 

All you have to do is take you school ID and a friend, hubby, child and go get some food! You have to buy one entree but you get the other free! I thought I would share for all you bloggers who love a deal and love to eat! This is not an advertisement for Tijuana Flats I just love their food and thought I'd share the promotion with you.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Let's Continue to Get Aquatinted!

Before I start this weeks new post my #3 was a lie! 

I do not love using twitter, Facebook, and Instagram! 
I know for a blogger this is shocking! I actually do use Facebook but I don't even have accounts for twitter or Instagram. I just don't want to be that socially connected and see no real use for them. I know people who love using it though and it is super hip with people my age I'm just not into it.

So now you know I've lived in 3 different states. Florida, Georgia, and New York! I've lived in Florida the longest. I was born in Florida and lived there until I was 9. My Dad's job moved us for a half of year to New York when I was in Kindergarten. I first went to Kindergarten in New York and it was only a half day. I went home and ate lunch with my parents and then napped until my brother got home from first grade. Then we moved back to Florida and I went to full day Kindergarten. I still got to take naps though and I always fell asleep. I only remember this because I really wanted to be the "wake up fairy" who got to wake everyone up with a wand except I never got to because I was always sound asleep.  I digress when I was 9 my Dad's job moved us again to Georgia where we lived until I graduated from high school. I was in a rush to get back to Florida for college and have stayed here every since.

Speaking of college...that is where I met my fiancé and it was at a frat party. It was during Greek Week and my roommate said she knew this guy would be perfect for me. Well he had a girlfriend at the time so we started out as just friends but 6 months later we started dating and as they say the rest is history. 

Now for this week!

We're playing the Noun Game! You just name your favorite person, place, thing, or animal.



This has to be my handsome fiancé! He is my best friend, true love, faithful partner who always encourages me, makes me laugh, and makes me the best most complete person I can be.


This is super easy the beach of course! I love the way the sand feels between my toes, the smell of salty air, the sound of the waves crashing in, the beautiful blues and greens of the ocean.


My iPhone is my favorite thing. I take it everywhere with me. It helps me stay connected to my loved ones. My family lives far away so it's important to me to keep in touch. I also like playing games on my phone while I'm waiting for something. I enjoy texting my friends to catch up with them.

This is a hard one because there are just so many animals I love. I need an animal category.
Safari animal: Giraffes
 I love the print and the long lean look of them. I think they're incredible creatures!
Arctic animal: Penguins
There are so many types of penguins to love! I love the way they waddle, slide on their bellies, and huddle together. 
Pet: Dogs
Although I've never had a dog I love them! My parents now how the cutest little dog name Lucy and I wish she were mine! I know I know they're a lot to take care of...that's why I don't have one yet.

Rainy Days and New Subtraction Games

It has been a rainy weekend here in Florida. We were supposed to take engagement pictures today on the beach but we have to reschedule due to 25 mph winds and overcast/drizzling weather. Now we are taking our pictures on Friday. Since it has been a rainy weekend I started working on some new subtraction games! Here is a little preview.


In this packet there are 3 levels of subtracting games for the Common Core State Standard M.A. 1.0A. 1-2 and 5-6. This cover  There is a learning goal and scale that aligns with the CCSS. There is one on level game, one enrichment (advanced) game, and one intervention game ( for struggling students). I teach my students about subtracting multiples of ten from two-digit numbers using ten frames cubes, a hundreds chart, and a number model. Then I play the games with them in small group. After they understand the games I have them play them during math centers with a group of individually. The first two people to comment will get these subtraction games for free! When you comment just leave your e-mail address. Have a restful Sunday!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

5 for the Week

Yes, I know it's not Friday but I still want to show y'all what I was up to this week. I'm a little late on this because yesterday started my SPRING BREAK! I couldn't be happier! So here's my 5.

1. If you read last week's post I told you I was going to show you my learning scales on my students desks. This is a way they can monitor their learning of our goal for the week. The students just move the paper clip to where they feel they are based on the learning goal. I'll tell you what each number means:
 1. I don't get it and I need a lot of help.
2. I'm understanding with help.
3. I understand this.
4. I understanding this and can teach a friend.

That would be the generic scale but we have gold specific scales for each learning goal. Example:
Learning goal: We will be able to understand how to tell major differences between fiction and non-fiction.
1. I do not understand the major differences between fiction and non-fiction and need a lot of help.
2. I understand the major differences between fiction and non-fiction with help.
3. I understand the major differences between fiction and non-fiction.
4. I understand the major differences between fiction and non-fiction and could teach a friend.

2. Okay enough with this boring scale stuff. Here is all my testing data and data notebook that I lived with for 4 days this week. I tested my kids on their Houghton Mifflin leveled reading passage. This is just a running reading record. I'm happy to report that most of my class is ready for 2nd grade and all but 2 are on/above grade level in reading. I also STAR testing my kid which is a computer program that is linked to finding their just right level for Accelerated Reader. After collecting all this wonderful data I had to do report cards. I'm so happy I'll only have one more report card to do after this! EEK! Only 9 weeks left now to get these babies in gear for 2nd grade!

3. This week we read Flat Stanley and I gave my kids their Flat Stanley project for Spring Break. I know this sounds terrible mean to give homework over Spring Break and I thought this at first as well. It works at my school though because parents ask for homework and want their kids to continue working, they go on trips, and this is a two week long project so you don't actually have to do it over Spring Break. What they do is they take their cute laminated Stanley home with a notebook and write about their adventures with him. They have five pages to write on and they can draw the pictures or take photos and paste them in. The kids are actually really excited to take them on their family trips and around town. In the past Stanley has been to Sea World, Publix (grocery store), Chuck E Cheese, Disney, Universal Studios, the pool, the park, the get the idea you can pretty much have fun with him anywhere. This isn't due until April 2nd so they have two weeks to complete it. Many will take pictures on their vacation and the next week write about their adventures. 



4. We did some major spring cleaning! On Thursday the last day before my kids started Spring Break we did some major spring cleaning! My kids cheered when I told them we were cleaning. Obviously I've made them into organized and clean people this year. We empties out our material buckets, cleaned our desks, wiped down everything Lysol wipes, got new crayons and pencils, and organized the library. The room is now super clean and ready for our last 9 weeks. The kids felt a sense of pride after their hard work and were happy about their new materials.

5. We did some adorable chick writing curtsey of A Cupcake for the Teacher. I was going to use cute scrapbook paper like she did but thought I didn't have any. This is because my paper cabinet was a mess. The next day I found it. But I thought they came out super cute with their own designs for each egg. The kids loved doing this writing and of course making this craft. My kids know what in style to with those chevron stripes. 

Yesterday I worked a teacher workday and only had to be in for a half day because I had comp time. I got so much work done without the kids there it was amazing! In three hours I got the same amount of work in I would in 4 regular school days. I organized my cabinets, wrote lesson plans for April, got all my April centers for math and literacy ready to go,  reviewed my report card comments, got all copies made for April, homework packets, sight words, and reading logs ready for the return. It was a super productive day.
Here is one last picture of my room before I left for Spring Break. I have my laminator at school but I know I'll be needing it at home over the break. Buh bye class! See ya next week!


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

BIG News!!

I got an e-mail this morning with the subject line BIG News from our assistant principal today. I though oh this could be really good or really bad. Luckily it was good big news! 

First grade (all 11 of us) are getting Smart Boards in late April or early May!
Hopefully I can rock Smart Board lessons like this now!

I'm so unbelievably excited about getting a Smart Board! Eeek! I can't wait! I feel like it's a great time of the year to get one too. The kids  and I will be starting to thinking about summer and this will keep everyone engaged and excited for more learning!

 I had an Active Board a couple of years ago and it was pretty fantastic to use but our whole team didn't have them so it was hard to learn and collaborate. 

Our team is getting training in them as soon as they get installed. I can't wait to search around SmartExchange and TPT for awesome resources and lesson!

What is your favorite feature on the Smart Board? What are some good beginner tips?

A HUGE thank you to our PTA who paid for all of this with funds raised this school year!! They have now funded 1st-5th grade with Smart Boards! 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Let's Get Acquainted Linky {Week 2}

I've recently started to blog more than I have this whole year so blogging friends let's get acquainted. I missed last weeks theme but this week's is 2 truths and a lie! This is obviously just for fun for you to get to know me a bit more and know other bloggers. If you want join on in!

You have to guess which out of the 3 is a lie. I'm terrible at lying so this should be pretty easy but we'll see.

1. I met my fiancé at a fraternity party in college.
2. I've lived in 3 different states.
3. I love using twitter, Facebook, and instagram.

Alright well one of these is a lie...try to guess. Go link up so I can know more about you!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Five for Friday


Yeah for Five for Friday! Really because I just LOVE Friday so darn much! I haven't done this link party yet but it just seem so great I couldn't resist. I love posting lists so here are my 5!

1.  My wedding invitation went out this Monday! I'm super excited about this because I absolutely love my invitations and I can't wait for everyone to get them. I also wanted to send them out earlier because I  would like to know my numbers soon so I can plan details.  This is the sample of what invitations look like but we didn't go with a ribbon. 

2.  Our fabulous PTA made us these adorable St. Patrick's Day snacks. They have M & M's and Rollos in them. I love a good treat! They say you are my pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. How cute! They always spoil us!

3. I changed the front of my board to look like this: 

This is a teacher friends classroom. She has an adorable black, white, ladybug theme going on. Mine does not actually look as cute as this but it's the same concept. This is for our learning goal of the week and there is a scale under it that is specific to each goal. The B, M, E stands for beginning, middle, and end. We track their progress over the week during the beginning, middle, and end of the learning goal.
More pictures from my actually room to come next week! Hey give me a break it's my first 5 for Friday!

4. Yesterday I made my annual pilgrimage to Gatorland our first grade field trip! It was a beautiful sunny day to go since the temperature was in the 60's. The kids had a blast looking at all the alligators, snakes, reptiles, and birds. They are still talking about how awesome it was today. I wish you could see the excitement on their faces in this picture but I love my kids too much to expose their preciousness on the web. You can see some of them fist pumping with glee. I love taking this picture in the gators jaw every year with my students.

5.  Today I'm going out to sushi with friends. I'm going to get my favorite roll the Playboy roll: shrimp tempura, cream cheese, crab, avocado, tun, scallion, eel sauce, and spicy mayo. YUM! Yeah for the weekend!

Hope you had an awesome week! Can't wait to read all the about it!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Textbook Adoption for Reading

Our district wants to adopt new textbooks for the switch to Common Core Standards. We (first grade and kindergarten) have already started teaching the CCSS but our district wants to implement new curriculum for math and reading. 

Right now I want to focus on the textbook adoption for reading. So tonight I did a little research on the programs that have bids for our districts core reading program. I got some information but it is hard to really tell how it would be to teach the material just based on a small sample of the materials on their website. Our district gave us usernames and passwords to explore a little more than you can see on their site but it wasn't the full access that you get once you have the curriculum. 

Then I thought to myself who would know these programs better than the teachers out their actually teaching these programs?! 

Sooo please let me know teacher bloggers what are some pros and cons about these reading programs. I know there are pros and cons to every program. I want to know are you generally happy with the reading selections (trade books, interesting, on grade level) , leveled readers, and information taught. Do you feel their is enough support/materials for ELL learners and children with special needs? Is there one thing you LOVE about the program and use all the time? Do you hate the program and want to change?

I know the programs will be slightly different from the ones you are using now since they will be aligned to the CCSS and also geared towards the state Florida. 

Here are the programs our district is considering:

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt- Florida Journeys 
Reading & Language Arts

We currently use Houghton Mifflin and it's okay. I would change a lot of the reading selections and make the advanced leveled readers harder. We just got Houghton Mifflin's new science series this year though and I love using their interactive  website. If the reading series were more up to date I might enjoy  teaching it more.


McGraw-Hill Education-Reading Wonders 
This is a new program aligned to CCSS but how do y'all like other McGraw Hill programs?
This one looks pretty neat. It comes with big books and anchor texts that look like literature I would actually choose.

Mondo Publishing
Mondo Publishing-Bookshop
Not sure why our district is considering this program since it doesn't look linked to the Common Core. Any one every use the curriculum before though?

Reading Street Common Core 2013

Pearson Education, Inc.- Reading Street

(I know bloggers out there use this I've seen it on your blogs! Let me know your thoughts!)

Explore On the Road to Writing and Reading
Zaner-Bloser-Strategies for Writers
I'm not sure how this fits in the with the reading core program or if this is a readers/writers workshop model. The district wasn't very clear on this since it's listed with the other reading programs.

If you use one of these please provide some helpful feedback!
Thanks fellow bloggers!