Wednesday, October 31, 2012

New Facebook Page!

I've been thinking of a way to get more followers for my blog and to my blog name "out there" and I decided that I need a Facebook page!  I would be SO grateful if you checked it out and EXTRA grateful if you "liked" it for me!  :)   Mrs. D's Firsties is on Facebook!

I want to keep finding ways of branching out in this vast Blogland.... so, I might try to do a linky party or something soon.  I'll definitely have to work up the courage to do it.  It took a lot out of me to start a Facebook page.  Baby steps... :)

I hope everyone is safe now that Sandy is winding down.  Here, in Northeast Ohio, we had some HORRIBLE winds and rain Monday and Tuesday (and it's still raining).  We didn't have school yesterday and, since the power is out there, we still don't have school today.  I'm wondering if the power will be back on for tomorrow.  I've heard that people are being told that they will have to wait until Friday for the power to come back on.  Yikes.  Thankfully, the power never went out at my home.  So, I've had 2 nice days of stalking blogs and the TpT forums.  :)  

I hope you're having a safe, dry, and warm Halloween!  Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Chatties and Landforms

This past week was CRAAAZY....

It was Red Ribbon Week.   We had a theme each day - which meant kids didn't have to wear their normal uniform all week.  One day was crazy socks, one day was a red shirt, and the other was dress down.  Is is possible that a pair of crazy socks can make the children extra chatty?!  I don't know what else to blame it on.  It's like they forgot the rules.  It must've been the socks. ;)  

It was probably the weather, too.  We had two absolutely beautiful days and then the others were chilly and rainy.  Rainy = indoor recess.  Yuck. 

Another thing that added to the craziness was our annual Family Fun Night. The teachers "host" an activity in the classroom and students come with their families to have some fun.  So, I was at school for 12 hours.   I taught my chatties all day and then plastered a smile on my face for the families and fun at night.  To be honest, it was really fun.  The first grade activity was to write about what you are thankful for.  The students and their families wrote it on a cute little leaf and then put it on our "Tree of Thanks" in the hallway. 

Yesterday was Records Day.  Thankfully, we only had to work for 6 hours (and there weren't any students!!).  We had time to work in our classrooms and finish our report cards.   I got SO much done.  I feel like I could use a Records Day every week.  :)

Anywho... we are learning about landforms in Social Studies so I whipped up this activity pack for my kiddos.  It has posters of different types of water and land on Earth.  It also has a matching game where the student can match the word to the picture.  And, lastly, it has 10 different pre-writing and writing activities where students can write about different types of land and water.  I'm really excited about the matching game and can't wait to print and laminate it up! Click on the picture if you are interested in checking it out! 

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Tell Me Something Good and Verbs!

I'm linking up with Jennifer at Rowdy in First Grade for her Tell Me Something Good linky.  Head on over to her blog to check it out!

Something Good at School:
I know I talk a lot about my newbie friend who struggles with learning and hearing.. but I just have to tell you something good about him!  He had two letters and three sight words to learn last week (we're starting him off slow..)... and he mastered the letter identification, letter sounds, and could read his 3 sight words!  This week, since he basically had all of that mastered on the 2nd day, we're giving him 3 letters and 5 words.  It might seem like a huge jump but I'm sure he can do it. :)

Something Good at Home:
There hasn't been anything super awesome happening around here lately.  I guess my "something good" is just that the house is clean, dinner is already cooked, and I'm able to sit and relax for the rest of the afternoon and evening.  That's something good, right?  :)

This week we're moving onto ACTION VERBS!  Yippeee!  I am going to be using my Action Verb activity to help my kiddos practice their verbs.  They'll be using the "It's a Verb/It's Not a Verb" activity first so we can really make sure we know what verbs are.  We'll eventually move on to finding verbs in sentences, writing our own verbs, and, of course, verb tenses.  If you are teaching about verbs and need some cute activities for your learners, check it out by clicking the picture below!

Now I'm off to lounge around on the couch with my handsome pup!  Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!  Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Oh... the ABC's!

I feel like I've become an ABC addict since I got my new little guy.   I don't remember ever having to do letter identification activities in first grade.  We do tons and tons of phonics and letter sound activities... but no identifying.

My new sweetie doesn't know his letters.  I go over the letters with him daily and he misses different ones each day.  I think he's just guessing,, and some days he's luckier than others   It's the same way with his numbers.  He has no clue.  :(

This is a whole new area for me - ABCs.  But, I have to tackle it!  So.. I made up some cute little letter identification activities for him to do.  Click the picture below if you're interested.

On a different note... I LOVE MY CLASS.  They are the sweetest class that I've ever had.  They are SO nice to each other.  If someone falls out of their chair (it happens all the time... does it happen a lot in your class?), so many of my students are genuinely concerned.

When someone holds the door, each and every single student in my class says "thank you" and the door holder responds with a "you're welcome" to ALL of them.  I stressed the "thank you" and "you're welcome" in the beginning of the year and they are still doing it.  I smile from ear to ear every time I hear it.

I just don't know how I was lucky enough to get 22 kind, happy kiddos.

I hope you're enjoying your weekend!  Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

I've Been Boo'ed! :)

Ah! Scary!  ;)

I got a sweet comment from Teach With Laughter and she boo'ed me!  Thank you!! How exciting! I feel like I've already reached my exclamation point limit and I'm only 4 sentence in to this post... yikes. Excitement overload! :)

So here are some October activities, books, and goodies that I love.. 

1.  I love Junie B.  I especially love reading to the kids.  I can remember when my teachers would read out loud (out loud...aloud...?) to the class and it was one of the most relaxing things.  So, I definitely like to do that with my kids.  For October, my must-read is Junie B. Jones, First Grader BOO... and I Mean It!  

2.  I love to squeeze in a craft whenever I can.  We are making tear art pumpkins to display in the hallway with our "Thankful Tree" (for Thanksgiving).  It's great because the pumpkins work for October and even November!  :-)  I wish I had a picture but the kiddos are still tearing and gluing... and I didn't think to snap a picture.  Sorry! 

3.  I'm really excited about my two products, too! I can't wait to try out all the fun things in my Halloween & Fall Activities pack.  My students have already worked with the Spooky Subtraction Sentences and they had a lot of fun (especially because we solved them with candy corn.. who doesn't love candy, right?!)! 

Now... time to pick some bloggers to be BOO-ED! 

Here are the rules for the other bloggers that got BOO-ED! 
1. Give a shout out to the blogger who booed you and link back to their site!

2. Share 3-5 October activities, books, products (yours or someone else),or freebie(s) that you love!

3. Share the Boo love with 5 bloggers- make sure you check this link to make sure you don't boo someone again:

And don't forget to tell them that they have been BOOED!

4. Link up {here} so that others can find you and read about your October ideas! And while you are there... check out the other great blogs!

Be sure to check out those amazing bloggers that have been BOO-ED!  :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Newbie Developments!

As I mentioned in my last post, I got a new student in my class.  He's a very "special" friend.  He came to our school with an IEP and, as previously mentioned, is super low.  I am so determined to help this little guy learn his letters, sounds, and words.  I would be so proud of him if he left first grade knowing just those three things.

Last week I was noticing that he wouldn't respond when I called his name.  I'd have to say it 4 or 5 times.  I'd make sure I was pronouncing it right.  I'd say it louder.  I even tried jumping up and down while saying it (just kidding).  I was pretty much shouting his name all day.  I sent him to the nurse to get his hearing checked because, ADHD or not, I've never met a student who never responded to his/her name being called.

The poor guy is deaf.  The nurse said that he couldn't hear any of the little beeps no matter how high it was turned up.  We ended up getting more paperwork from his previous school that mentioned something about hearing aids (say what?!)... and his disability was labeled as deaf (among other things) on his ETR.

What shocks me the most is that his mom never mentioned anything about any of this to the school.  We had to call her to get some more answers and she admitted that the hearing aids are crucial to his learning...but he didn't like to wear them so he never took them to school.

One of the hearing aids is broken but he was sent with the working one today.  He just played and played with it all day - took it out, put it in, covered his ears, and cried because everything was too loud.  He basically spent the whole afternoon hearing aid-less with his hands over his ears (...which I think was more of a defiant behavior than anything else...).

I really feel like I have my work cut out with him this year.  It's a whole different disability that I've never had to accommodate.  Have you ever had a child with hearing loss in your classroom?

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Currently, Itches, and a Freebie!

I'm linking up with Farley from Oh' Boy Fourth Grade to let you know what I'm currently up to!  Head on over to her blog to see what everyone else is up to, too! 

Let's talk a little about this amazing comfortable pullover sweatshirt.  I don't ever want to take it off....

It's so comfy.  I got the purple color but it's definitely not this bright... it's more of a plum.  I would definitely recommend it for someone who is looking for a comfortable yet nice-looking sweatshirt for the cooler months.  It's nice and fitted (like a sweater) but made in a soft sweatshirt material.  LOVE.

I'm really wanting more followers on my blog.  I keep looking back at the stats of my posts and I'm seeing that sometimes when I write a post, there isn't even 1 page view.  It's so sad... and a little discouraging.  Oh well.... if you're reading this, please follow me!  As for the bribery to get followers freebie.... keep reading!  It''s at the end of this MILE LONG post! :)

Lice... lice...lice.  We've been having a lice battle in my classroom.  One of my students has been sent home 3 times with the icky bugs.  When will it stop?!  She gets treated, has a good head check, and then BAM!  She has it again.  I know that it's because the rest of her house and things are probably loaded.  The poor girl.  :(   Whenever I hear the word lice, I start itching up a storm!  So... needless to say, I've been pretty neurotic about it the last couple of weeks.  What's worse than lice?  BED BUGS.  I'm just holding my breath waiting to hear that one of my student has bed bugs.  Yuckkkkk!

I got a new student last week!  Woooooo hooooo.  Our beautiful, quick transitions and routines are now time-consuming.  This poor little boy is very, very low.  He is on an IEP and one of his goals is to read and write the letters of the alphabet! I have more assessing to do but I can tell you that the poor guy has no idea what sound any of the letters make.  Yikes.  I looked at his file and read that he was "asked to leave" the school he attended in Kindergarten.  That can't be good, right?  He's already shown a little defiance (in his first two days...).  I'm very determined to teach this little guy as much as I possibly can though.

My newbie will be working with some Dolch pre-primer sight words.  Last year I had a student who suffered from memory loss and the school psychologist said that when things are colorful (not just the plain old while/black flashcard), it triggers different parts of the brain.  Those different parts of the brain (couldn't tell you which parts they are) help the child remember the word.  So, in an effort to help my newbie remember his words, I created this...

They are flashcards that the student can decorate and color!  Hopefully those "remembering" parts of his brain will be triggered and he can start learning some words!  Click the picture to grab your copy... and pretty please will you follow my blog (if you aren't already!)?

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Four Blocks, Anyone?

Well, we've been back at school for a little over a solid month now... and, we just got told that we're going to maybe try Four Blocks!  We were doing Direct Instruction Reading (snoooooore!!!) and then were told at the beginning of the year that we could stick with the DI or switch to something we want.  Except, the "something we want" was just that.... anything.  We weren't going to be given anything.  This was about 2 days before school started.  As much as I don't like DI, I feel like it does an okay job with teaching phonics to the kids.  It's there.  We have the materials.  And, it's not that horrible.  So, first grade decided to stick with the DI for at least the beginning of the year.  Now, we were given some books about Four Blocks and asked what we thought about trying it out.  How can we say no?  "Nah, I'll stick with a program that I don't 100% believe in because I'm too lazy to switch to a whole new program and learn a new way of teaching Reading and Writing!"... I can't say that!  ;-)

So, here I am.  I understand that basics of Four Blocks.  I'm worried about tossing my super low readers into a new program.  But, I also feel like Direct Instruction isn't the way to go.

Any tips on starting Four Blocks in first grade?  I'd love to hear what you have to say!

Thanks for stopping by!