Thursday, May 30, 2013

A Pinterest Win & a Fail


Several months ago, a Facebook friend posted a link to blog called Pintester.  I can't remember the exact blog post, but it sounded pretty funny, and my friend had written something to the effect of "OMG, this is hilarious!"  So I clicked and and have been a faithful follower ever since.  I even signed up to follow by email so I wouldn't miss a single post. You should probably do that with my blog while I'm thinking about it. Just find the little box for your email subscription somewhere over on the right side of this post...
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That way, you won't miss a single post of mine!
So back to the Pintester. The brain behind the blog is Sonya Foust and she tests pins from Pinterest, documenting each hilarious step.  She. Is. Hilarious. The pins are usually an epic fail, which makes the post even funnier!  Recently, Sonya announced The Pintester Movement. A reason to try a pin and share our successes and failures. That's what I am doing today. I have one of each.
The first is baked strawberries that promised to be a delicious, healthy snack that taste like Twizzlers. I love strawberries and Twizzlers, so I was all for it. Here's the pin:




And here are shots of my berries a'baking.
photo of baked strawberries

photo of baked strawberries

They don't look so good, do they?  They were awful. They never completely dried out and just looked so weird. I couldn't even bring myself to try one!  Note to self-and all of you- do NOT try this pin hoping to get healthy Twizzlers. It won't happen.

My second pin was for school and it DID turn out well!  
Here is the pin from Pinterest:

Here is mine!
photo of First day of school frame for elementary school

So one fail and one win.  Not too bad!!
Thanks for visiting my blog and don't forget to go by The Pintester and check out more Pinterest tests!


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

New Teacher Blog Tuesday & Freebies


Welcome to New Teacher Blog Tuesday!  If this is your first time stopping by on a Tuesday, I feature new bloggers each week.  If you are a new blogger, I’d love to feature you!  Just email me at dml8609@gmail.com.  What do you think about my new button?! I just love it! Michelle, over at The 3am Teacher, made it for me.  If you aren't familiar with this talented girl, I suggest you check her out!

Our first feature teacher is Bec from
The Teacher Wife

1.      Name of blog and link: Books, Bugs & Boxes  
               

2.   Tell us about your blog and why you started it.
I have loved reading other people’s blogs for a few years and I finally decided to start my own during the summer holidays. The name for my blog was tricky to come up with. Last year I had a little boy who was crazy about building with boxes, I swear we went through a few hundred boxes that families kept bringing in, so the “Boxes” part comes from there. I love “Books” so that was easy and “Bugs” popped into my head with a vision of a bunch of boys I taught during the Locust plague a few years ago. They collected locusts every play time in their lunch boxes, we were finding them everywhere for months. Fun times :)

3.     Tell us a little about your teaching background.
This is my 7th year teaching and I am still at the same school. I am really lucky to be in such a wonderful place, we are a big family which has grown so much in 7 years. Although I’ve been in the same place I have done a lot! I was a year 3 and 4 teacher for three years, year 1 and 2 for one year and I’m now in my third year of teaching prep (Kindergarten). I am trained as a EMU Maths Intervention (Extending Mathematical Understanding) teacher which I taught for two years. We teach everything except for Music and Indonesian, which is great because I love teaching Art and Maths.
**We call Math ‘maths’ in Australia and I just couldn’t bring myself to write math- it didn’t sound right :)

4.     What songs are included on the soundtrack to your life?
This is tricky!! These songs have been played at different times throughout my life, not necessiarily say anything about my life because, reading the lyrics some of them are a bit depressing!
“Drive” by The Cars; “Smile” by Lily Allen; “Big Jet Plane” by Angus & Julia Stone; “Wish you well” by Bernard Fanning; and “Feels like home” by Chantal Kreviazuk which was our wedding song :)

5.    What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done?
This is tough to write about. A few years ago one of my student’s died extremely unexpectantly from an illness. It is the toughest thing I have ever had to go through both in dealing with her loss myself, telling my students and helping them cope with her death. She was the most beautiful girl and dealing with this was horrendous but nothing compared to what her family has, and will continue to, go through.

6.    What’s your favorite TV show?
Getting American TV shows in Australia is patchy at best so I watch a lot of tv on the internet. At the minute it’s Hart of Dixie or Once Upon a Time.

7.    What is your favorite item of clothing and why?
My grey University of Venize hoody which I bought in Venice from a street stall.

8.    Number of candles that appeared on your last birthday cake?
28

9.    What was the last book you read? What are you going to read next?
I just finished “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” and I’m currently reading “Shift” the 5th The Shifters book by Rachel Vincent. Next, I’ll read the 6th book and make another attempt to read The Great Gatsby.
10.  What was the last thing that you ate that you really shouldn’t of?
A hamburger with the lot! There is a Fish ’n Chip shop across from work and I didn’t have any lunch yesterday so one of my gorgeous co-workers ducked over and bought me a hamburger. It was amazing.

11.  Give us some links- Twitter, Pinterest, Teacher’s Pay Teachers, Facebook, a free teaching item etc.


Our next new blogger is Sue from

1. Name of blog and link: Science for Kids Blog               


2.Tell us about your blog and why you started it.
The only subject I teach is science. I see 200 students in grades PK 4 every week and we do tons of hands-on science activities. I started the blog with the hope that I could share science education ideas with other educators. I love to read teaching blogs, I learn so much from all the wonderful teachers out there!

3. Tell us a little about your teaching background.
I started off as a research scientist. I completed 3 years towards my Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics and Microbiology thinking I was always going to be a scientist. My grad school gave me a scholarship with the stipulation that I teach the undergrads. I absolutely loved teaching and thought maybe I should be a teacher. I kept the thought in the back of my mind & one day made the career change! So happy I did!

4. What songs are included on the soundtrack to your life?
That would have to be just one What A Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong- I am so appreciative of my family, friends & I’m a real nature girl.

5.What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done?
Ziplining in the rainforest canopy (Costa Rica) 200 feet above the ground. I hate heights but I didn’t want to be the only one in my family to sit out so I did it!

6.What’s your favorite TV show?
The Bachelor!

7.What is your favorite item of clothing and why?
Yoga pants & Uggs are soooooo comfy!!

8.Number of candles that appeared on your last birthday cake?
4! One from each member of my family :)

9.What was the last book you read? What are you going to read next?
I LOVE to read! Just finished Wonder by RJ Palacio which is actually a children’s book - it is excellent! Last adult book was Gone Girl that was really good. Now I’m reading Gulp by Mary Roach, she is a science writer very smart & very funny!

10.What was the last thing that you ate that you really shouldn’t of?
Homemade chocolate from our local chocolate shop I can’t resist homemade chocolate!!

11.Give us some links- Twitter, Pinterest, Teacher’s Pay Teachers, Facebook, a free teaching item etc.


Freebies:
Also, there is a “Freebie” category on my blog’s side bar more freebies there!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

Rainy days are such a bummer.  Especially when you don't have a hood on your raincoat.  I don't know why anyone would make a raincoat without a hood, but I have have two that don't!  My all time favorite raincoat cam in the mail a few days ago.  The Ash City Climate Core365 Jacket is from Shopletpromos.com and is fabulous!  Click the picture below to see it on their website.
It zips and snaps in all the right places and kept me completely dry during our last rainy Tennessee day.  The jacket is lightweight and not at all bulky.  It is by far my favorite raincoat.  You can choose from black, red, navy, blue, and white and comes in any size from small to 5x.  In my opinion, the jacket sizes run on the small side, so if you are on the fence about the size you need, go up, not down.  Want custom artwork on your jacket?  That can be done!   This is a promotional item, so a minimum of 12 jackets must be ordered.  Have your school or company's name, logo, or mascot embroidered on them.  What a great gift for employees or coworkers!   Shoplet also has every office supply you could need {HERE} all at great prices.  


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

New Teacher Blog Tuesday & Freebies!


Every Tuesday I introduce my readers to two new bloggers.  If you would like to be featured, email me at dml8609@gmail.com
Today’s first blogger is Colleen from
1.             Name of blog and link:

2.          Tell us about your blog and why you started it.
In the spring of last year I discovered the wonderful world of blogging and Teachers Pay Teachers.  I must have been living under a rock before then!  I found so many useful ideas and felt so connected to the blogs I was reading.  I begin implementing new ideas in my classroom and thinking about teaching in a whole new way.  Over the summer I decided to tackle the task of creating my own blog to share my teaching ideas and experiences.  My sister came up with the name Fun and Fearless in First.  It describes my classroom perfectly!

3.            Tell us a little about your teaching background.
I didn’t start out as a teacher.  I went to Syracuse University for my undergrad and got a degree in Communications.  I worked in advertising in Manhattan and Rochester, NY for four years before deciding to get my teaching degree.  It was the BEST decision I have ever made!  I have been teaching now for seven years.  I’ve taught in three districts and two states (Maryland and New York).  I have taught grades 1, 2, 3, and 4.  First grade is by far my favorite and where my heart is!

4.            What songs are included on the soundtrack to your life?
Fearless (Taylor Swift)
Don’t Stop Believing (Journey)
Semi-Charmed Life (Third Eye Blind)
Knee Deep (Zac Brown Band)

5.           What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done?
Ooh this is a tough one!  The hardest thing I’ve ever done was probably making the decision to change careers to teaching.  It was so scary to leave what I knew (advertising) for something completely different.  I was afraid that I would start teaching and perhaps not like it.  Of course, that did not happen at all.  As soon as I entered my first classroom I knew I was home.  J

6.           What’s your favorite TV show?
Scandal I cant get enough of that Olivia Pope!

7.           What is your favorite item of clothing and why?
My Victoria’s Secret PINK lounge pants.  I have about five pairs in various styles and colors.  I absolutely LOVE lounge pants of any kind, and they are the first thing I put on when I get home from school!
8.           Number of candles that appeared on your last birthday cake?
32

9.           What was the last book you read? What are you going to read next?
Look Again by Lisa Scottoline
I’d like to read Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks next.  

10.        What was the last thing that you ate that you really shouldn’t of?
Skittles today at work its not my fault, I was in the midst of report cards!  I NEEDED them, I truly did!!!

11.         Give us some links- Twitter, Pinterest, Teacher’s Pay Teachers, Facebook, a free teaching item etc.
Freebie Math Workshop Rotation Board:  http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Math-Workshop-Rotation-Board-Fun-and-Fearless-in-First

The next feature teacher is Jacque from
Prater's Practices
1.            Name of blog and link:

2.          Tell us about your blog and why you started it.
My blog is for any teacher and any grade level to share and collaborate with other teachers across the country. I love to share ideas and resources with other teachers. I was so inspired by all the wonderful blogs out there and wanted to join this community of teachers that are so great at sharing and supporting each other. I hope that my blog inspires someone else to try something new and step out of their comfort zone just like many of the blogs I read have inspired me.

3.            Tell us a little about your teaching background.
This is my 6th year teaching in the great state of Texas! My journey has not always been easy and sometimes I thought I wanted to give up but then one student tells me how much I mean to them or a parent thanks me for helping their child achieve success and I know that I am in the right place. I started my teaching career in a Title 1 school in Mineral Wells, TX teaching 3rd grade and then 2nd grade. I loved my kids there but wanted to be closer to my family so I moved back to my hometown of Wylie, TX. For the last 4 years I have been here teaching 2nd, 3rd, and now 1st for the last 2! I truly think I have found my niche and love teaching first grade!

4.            What songs are included on the soundtrack to your life?
“Home” By: Phillip Phillips-I chose this song because I finally feel like I am home. I have a wonderful husband and family to support me and we live in our hometown of Wylie. I also finally feel like I have found where I belong at the school I am at and the grade level.
“Ho Hey” By: The Lumineers- I chose this because my husband and I just got married January 4, 2013 and I truly believe that God brought us together and that I belong with him, and he belongs with me! He is my sweetheart
“Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” By: Cyndi Lauper- I picked this one because deep down whether in my personal or professional life I just wanted to have fun and enjoy life!
5.           What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done?
The hardest thing and most rewarding thing I have ever done was working in a Title 1 school. The majority of the kids in my class were considered poverty level. I learned so much those 2 years about how a child’s home life can effect their school life both in a positive and negative way. That is also when I learned that teaching is more than just teaching the content it truly is about meeting the needs of kids and touching their hearts. Sometimes you are the only person that tells them and shows that you care for them. Take the time to show your students you love them and encourage them even when it’s hard!

6.           What’s your favorite TV show?
The Voice- I love music and love watching peoples dreams come true

7.           What is your favorite item of clothing and why?
Shoes and Colored pants- I absolutely love shoes! I have since I was a little girl! I think that shoes are a way to show your personality and make an outfit. I also think that the colored pants that are in style right now are a way to brighten any outfit and show your personality too!

8.           Number of candles that appeared on your last birthday cake?
28- can’t believe I only have 2 more years till 30. Where has the tie gone?!

9.           What was the last book you read? What are you going to read next?
The last book I read was Teaching Comprehension in Reading K-2 By: Gay Su Pinnell & Patricia L. Scharer. The next book I am going to read is Math Workstations By: Debbie Diller. I very rarely get to read for fun. The books I read are usually professional.

10.        What was the last thing that you ate that you really shouldn’t of?
Haribo Cola Bottles: They are cola flavored gummies. They truly are my weakness!

11.         Give us some links- Twitter, Pinterest, Teacher’s Pay Teachers, Facebook, a free teaching item etc.
Freebie: Probability Task Cards: I used these in 2nd and 3rd grade. http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Probability-Task-Cards-for-1st-3rd

Monday, May 20, 2013

How to create an easy Countdown Clock for your blog or webpage!

I recently wanted to add a countdown clock to a blog post of mine so I began the Google search.  Don't you just love Google?!  Anything you could possibly want to know, just a few clicks away.  Except for Chuck Norris.  Google can tell us everything except for where Chuck Norris is hiding.  Don't believe me? Try it.  Go to the Google homepage and ask "where is Chuck Norris".  Or save yourself some typing and click {HERE}.  Told ya so. :)

Back to the countdown clock...I found an VERY easy and free clock at Counting Down To...  There is the option to upgrade (pay) and change the color of your clock, but if you are fine with gray, don't bother.  You can choose to register or just start creating your clock.
1st- Name the event, enter the date, and choose your timezone.
2nd- Click embed
{The advanced options are for paying customers only.  You can change the text & background color, as well as the format.  Free clocks look like the one above.}

Copy the HTML code, go to your post draft, click HTML, and paste the code into your blog post. 
That's it!!  You have a countdown clock! Click {HERE} to see mine.  If you add a countdown clock in a blog post or webpage, I'd love to see it-leave a link to it in the comment section.

I created a quick math scavenger hunt today for my kids and I thought I would share it with you.  If you are anything like me, you are looking for fun review activities for the end of the year- check it out!  Click the image below to download.  There are 2 versions- 1 for indoors and 1 for out!

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Psssstt...I have exciting news!!!

Phew.  The year is slowly winding down.  I have 5 school days and 2 hours left with children, but who's counting...
I also have a new and exciting change happening next year.............  Are you ready for the news?
I am moving out of the classroom and into the library!!!  
This change has been quite the journey.  I have always loved reading and was a bit fascinated with books & the library as a child.  I had a wonderful reading teacher in middle school and I wanted to be just like her.    Fast forward a few years-I earned my BS in Early Childhood Education, taught kindergarten for 3 years, then went to 2nd grade.  I absolutely loved teaching 2nd graders.  They can work independently, read well, and are still sweet and love their teacher.  Most of them anyways...... 

So, about 5 years ago, I had that class.  You know the class.  The class you never forget.  The class that drove me to drink apply to grad school, in search of an escape.  As I looked through the list of degrees, Library Science jumped out at me.  Books, reading, and the library, everyday?!  A chance to instill a love of reading in lots of children?!  Teaching a new set of little faces every 30 minutes?!  YES PLEASE!  

Two long years later, I had my degree.  As luck would have it, my school librarian was planning on retiring after 2 more years.  I waited patiently, praying all things would work out.  Guess what?  They did!  She is retiring in 5 days and 2 hours, (but who's counting, right?) and I am anxiously waiting to move down the hall!  
I teach in a small, rural, Title 1 school and I love it.  We are a happy little family with a wonderful principal and great things happening everyday.  I wouldn't want to work anywhere else.

Now that you know what's going on in my world, I need your help.  What should I do with my blog? It's called Fun in 1st Grade.  I won't be 1st grade much longer... Obviously, I will not be writing about science experiments or math activities anymore.  I will, on the other hand, have lots to say about books, reading, and  Common Core.  (I'm a Common Core Coach for the state dept.)  Do I start a new blog and let this one drift off into cyberspace?  Change the name and the focus?  Write 2 blogs (that just might kill me!).  Please give me your input in the poll below and leave your suggestions in the comments!!  I am counting on you guys to help me!!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

New Teacher Blog Tuesday & Freebies!

Welcome to Fun in 1st Grade’s New Teacher Blog Tuesday!  If this is your first time, here’s what happens- Each Tuesday, I feature two bloggers who are new to the blogging world.  You get to learn a little about them and pick up a freebie or two! If you would like to be featured, email me at dml8609@gmail.com

Today’s first blogger is Ashley from

1.             Name of blog and link:

2.          Tell us about your blog and why you started it.
I started my blog to share my ideas and as a way to document the learning that was going on in my classroom year after year. I also wanted get ideas from other bloggers and meet teachers from all around!

3.            Tell us a little about your teaching background.
I have been teaching for five years.  I taught 4th for 2 years and then my principal surprised me and moved me to 1st for my 3rd year of teaching. At first I wasn’t very happy to find out about the move, but in the long run I am so glad I got moved! I love first grade.

4.            What songs are included on the soundtrack to your life?
One of my favorite groups is Hillsong. They are the best at worship songs! My all time favorite lately is “God is Able”. My husband and I are trying to have a baby and we have hit a few road bumps along the way. The road is going to be a bit longer than we had hoped, but “God is able, he is on your side”. We will soon have a baby of our own, one day!

5.           What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done?
The year my husband and I got married he decided to train for a half marathon. I decided that the next year I was going to train with him. We started in July and I was on the verge of tears after every run for the first month. I was so slow and felt like I was dying! Even after just a mile or two. I kept with it and it got easier and easier and I ran my first half marathon in December of 2010. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done! It took me a LONG time to finish, but I did it! And then I ran another in March 2012 and cut 20 minutes off my previous time. I am not a runner and still don’t consider myself a runner even after 2 half marathons, but for all those out there that think they’d never be able to do it, you can! I’m a living testimony that you can!

6.           What’s your favorite TV show?
This is the hardest question! I have lots of favs, but my NEW fav is “The Following” on FOX with Kevin Bacon. It’s about a serial killer who escaped from jail and he has a following of crazies that do his bidding! i.e. killing people! My husband and I are hooked!

7.           What is your favorite item of clothing and why?
My favorite piece of clothing is my denim chambray shirt. I can wear it with pretty much anything! It’s my go to for most outfits.

8.           Number of candles that appeared on your last birthday cake?
My last birthday was in March and I had 27 candles on it.

9.           What was the last book you read? What are you going to read next?
I can’t believe I’m even admitting this, but this book that I last read was about the color grey. I’m sure you now know what book it is J My next book on the list is the 2nd in that series. Haven’t had a lot of time to read, but hopefully this summer I will!

10.        What was the last thing that you ate that you really shouldn’t of?
I love eating what I’m not supposed to! I am a sucker for cream cheese and I actually just finished off a whole block of it covered in raspberry chipotle sauce with wheat thins. Don’t worry, I had someone helping me eat it J But still, I probably should haven’t eaten it at all.

11.         Give us some links- Twitter, Pinterest, Teacher’s Pay Teachers, Facebook, a free teaching item etc.

Sara is our next blogger and she is from

1.             Name of blog and link:  First GradeFuntastic

2.          Tell us about your blog and why you started it.
I started a personal blog about my family life.  It was fun to do and kept people up to date on my babies at the time.  Last year I stumbled upon some teacher blogs and found so many awesome ideas.  I thought that it would be fun to have a teaching blog to share my ideas and link up with other teachers who had so many wonderful ideas.

3.            Tell us a little about your teaching background.
I was a lead teacher in an infant room right out of college.  I then made the shift to teaching in a classroom.  I was a kindergarten teacher my first year of teaching.  I then looped with my first class to 1st grade.  I was given the opportunity to pilot all day kindergarten so went back to kindergarten.  I loved it so much! BUT first grade is where I have landed.  I have been teaching for the past 10 years in first grade.  I love all the learning that takes place in first grade.


1.             What songs are included on the soundtrack to your life?
You Make Me Smile: Uncle Kracker (In my job, I have so many kids and people that make me smile daily).
I Won’t Give Up On You: Jason Mraz (I use this song on parent information nightjust letting them know I will give 100% and wont give up on their children)
We Are Young:  Fun. 
One Day At a Time: Jeannie Seely
These are the four songs I teach all my classesthey are upbeat and teach so much about having dreams and about life.  J
Rainbow Connection: Kermit (Love this song about dreaming)
I Love: Tom T. Hall (Favorite Childhood song)
What A Wonderful World: Louis Armstrong
Somewhere Over the Rainbow:  Israel Kamakawiwo’ole


2.          What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done?
My cousin gave my mom a kidney last summer.  It was so hard giving them hugs as they were going to the operating room.  I was so scared that I would NEVER see my mom again and I was scared that something would go wrong with my cousin who did the most selfless thing that one could do.  It was a risky surgery and they are BOTH doing well today. 

3.           What’s your favorite TV show?
Right nowDuck Dynasty.  It is the one show that my WHOLE family loves.  We all sit and watch it together and laugh until our stomachs’ hurt. 

4.           What is your favorite item of clothing and why?
I’m not going to liemy Forever Lazy.  It has been a cold winter and I looked forward to coming home and putting it on!  It was perfect for staying warm and snuggling up with my boys.

5.           Number of candles that appeared on your last birthday cake?
40!!!!  Yikes!

6.           What was the last book you read? What are you going to read next?
I want to read: Six Years by Harlan Coben
My Last Book Read:  Dream Class by Michael Linsen

7.           What was the last thing that you ate that you really shouldn’t of?
Plain M&M’s that I melted in the microwave.

8.           Give us some links- Twitter, Pinterest, Teacher’s Pay Teachers, Facebook, a free teaching item etc.
Twitter (I just got started with this):  https://twitter.com/sconnell72
Free Resource: 

Thanks for stopping by!! 
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