Friday, July 29, 2011

Estimation Station and Confessions

Estimation Station:

I just got my wonderful Estimation Station in the mail this week from Can Do Kinders. The Estimation Station is now going to be to be used as a take home bag. Each Friday a student will take the bag home and place items to estimate in the jar. On Monday the students will bring the bag back and the class will make estimations throughout the week. Then on Friday we will graph our estimations and count to find out how many items are in the jar. I made two sheets that will go in the Estimation Station bag and will also include the estimation book Betcha!
Betcha! Estimating (Mathstart, Level 3)

Click HERE to get your free estimation sheets!  

Hope you all like this and can use it!

Now my confessions:

EEK! I am going to meet my new team next week! I'm super excited but a little nervous. I mean I'm sure they have a well oiled plan working for them and boom I come in shaking things up. I don't want to be the annoying teacher that ask for help all the time but I am new to the school and don't know how things work there just yet. I hope my team is friendly, welcoming, understanding, helpful, professional, creative, sharers, and fun! I know it seems like I'm asking for everything under the sun! I just want to be liked, appreciated, and valued on my new team. Sometimes it can be hard to establish yourself when you are new at school. It's a whole new group to win over-don't even get me started on admin and parents! I'm pumped about our team meeting and want to know your recommendations. Should I bring a welcome/back to school gift? Is that too much since I don't even know them? I know I'll bring my own things I've created and done in the past as well as the fabulous things I've found on blogs to the table to share! I know I'll bring my planner. I know I'll bring lots of enthusiasm -I love back to school season!  Do you recommend bringing anything else? I'm not sure how other school's run their team meetings. I just need a little encouragement since I feel like I've always been the newbie and never on the other side.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Bucket Filler Queen

I just love the blog Oh the Places We'll Go! She is the Bucket Filler Queen in my opinion. She has everything you need to get your class thinking positive and acting kind. I have been admiring her classroom bucket for a long time now and was about to make one but then she posted an awesome giveaway. She is giving away an adorable classroom bucket and I can't miss out on this opportunity! Go check our her blog!

Cardinal Directions

I have created cardinal directions for my pirate theme and thought I would share. I think it is important for students to see the cardinal directions in the room as well as on a map. Click on the pictures to upload the documents.

I have been working hard in my classroom and hope to upload some pictures soon!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Pirate Poetry

One of my goals for this upcoming school year is to consistently do poetry every week in my class.
This is how I plan for poetry in my class:

Monday: Read the poem together with the teacher, enjoy the poetry and place poem in poetry folder
Tuesday: Student read the poem together, highlight any sight words in the poetry folder
Wednesday: Have a few volunteers read the poem
Thursday:  Have students buddy read the poem together
Friday: Have students read to a parent volunteer to earn a extra turn at homeworkoply

I also wanted to get excited about doing a poetry folder so I made this Pirate Poetry cover. Hopefully some of you can use this in your class. Click on the picture to get the cover in google docs.

I am also going to be compiling some poems to use in my poetry notebook. Look for back to school poetry for August and more themed poems for other months!


I finally won a giveaway! I could not be any more excited this has totally made my day!!!! I won a estimation jar from Can Do Kinders! I can't wait to use this for math! I just know it will be an instant favorite with my kids!

I love all the ideas that were posted with this giveaway as well. I think I will use a variety of these methods with my estimation jar. So far I am thinking that each week my Student (Pirate) of the Week can fill up the estimation jar with 100 items of less. Throughout the week students can write their estimations and place them in a can next to the jar. Then on Friday we will graph the estimations and then count the items to see what was a close or correct estimation. I think this will be a really fun way to get families involved with math and to get students engaged and excited about learning!

Does anyone out their in blog land have a cute graph counting by 10's to 100? If not I think I'll be making one in a few days!

Sunday, July 24, 2011


We have a winner! Thanks so much for being followers! I cannot believe I have over a 100 followers now!  Without further ado the winner is:

Mrs. I from Mrs. I's Class! Congrats! I will be e-mailing you tonight!

Back to School Bonanza

Are you ready to go Back to School?  Erica Bohrer is hosting a Back to School Bonanza Giveaway that should help you get in the mood!  Twelve fabulous bloggers have teamed up with her to give one lucky winner a huge back to school prize pack!The contest will run until midnight eastern time, on Thursday, July 28th. You have 4 chances to enter HERE!!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

New Year Resolution

I know what your year resolution are usually done in January. Teachers on the other hand think of the "New Year" as the new school year. There is nothing more exciting for teachers than the back to school time of the year when everything and everyone is fresh, ready to learn, and new!

Clutter-Free Classroom one of my favorite blogs is having a linky party set up to make resolutions for the upcoming school year. Here are my resolutions:

1. BE MORE ORGANIZED: Once I started blogging (March) I became much more organized in my classroom because of all the cute labels and ways to stay organized. I want to maintain very organized  throughout the year. This really includes my desk, papers, crafting supplies, and miscellaneous supplies that teachers gather. My first step to this is spending time right now carefully organizing everything in my classroom. I feel I'm off to a great start!

2. POETRY JOURNALS: When I taught Kindergarten, I was so good about keeping up with poetry journals but now that I'm in first I feel like I've fallen behind. I really want to incorporate it into my morning meeting and Daily 5. I feel like in the past I've gone through spurts where I implemented poetry but I want this to be ongoing.

3. CALENDAR BOOKS: I confess sometimes calendar can get a little boring! I need to spruce this time up and make it more meaningful through using a calendar book. I just feel like making calendar books is a lot of copies to run off and it might make calendar last too long. I have been looking in Cara's calendar book over at The First Grade Parade and has me convinced I need to bite the bullet and do this!

These are my current resolutions that I'm going to try to stick to for this new school year! I know that it will be slightly overwhelming at times being in a new school. I know trying to learn everything the way my new school does things will be a lot to take in at first so I'm only setting a few goals right now.

What are your new resolutions for the school year? Link up through Clutter-Free Classroom!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Donors Choose Project & Randomness

I just posted a new Donors Choose project for non-fiction leveled readers. Right now when you choose your project through Lakeshore they fund some of your project! They have already funded $390.16 of my project. Please check out the link! Teacher Page: Ms. Jessica Bullen (teacher)

I get weekly e-mails from the 2 Sisters and this week they featured an amazing website: Oxford Owl. The website features a ton of e-reader books and is a lot like using Tumble Books. Great for listen to reading during Daily 5! The website is for students ages 3-7. Student can choose through a variety of books to read from with or without audio. There are also two activities after the reading. Best of all this website is free! Hope some of you can use this!

Check out my giveaway to Lakeshore for $25! It ends this Sunday! 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Everybody Wins! Giveaway

Faithful in First is having a 200 follower giveaway! All you have to do is be a follower and blog about it! Then she'll e-mail you these adorable homework coupons-12 pages for FREE!


CAFE Headers

I just looked through my pirate materials and ideas for bulletin boards only to realize I don't have any CAFE headers with a pirate theme. I looked through TPT, Proteacher, and some different blogs to find a pirate one.

I found a pirate theme CAFE headers after searching all morning! They are so adorable and will look great with my other pirate themed things. I just love thistlegirl designs!

Pirates Proteacher

While I was looking for the pirate headers I found some other pretty cute CAFE headings (that are FREE)  I thought some bloggers might like:

Cooking Theme at Mrs. Jones Creation Station

Stripes at Flying High in Fifth Grade

Stripes and Polka Dots at Wiggins World

There are a ton of other really cute CAFE headers out there! I just wanted to feature a few I thought bloggers might have seen yet! 

100 Followers Giveaway Time



AHH! I can't believe it 100 followers! I'm so excited! Thank you all for being readers!!! As a thank you I will be doing a giveaway. The giveaway is a $25 e-gift card to Lakeshore Learning! I will announce the winner on Sunday July, 24th at 11:00 p.m. using the random number generator.
e-gift card
There are 2 ways to enter:
1. Leave a comment saying you are a follower and include your e-mail address.
2. Repost the giveaway on your blog and leave a comment with a link.

Thank you for all your support! Remember please entry by Sunday, July 24! Good luck!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

What I'm in LOVE with!

First Grade Blue Skies is hosting a What are you in love with? Linky Party to show off bulletin boards and classroom decor.

My classroom theme this year is pirates arggh! What I'm loving right now is:

 * my color scheme of black, red, and some blue
 Teacher Created Resources TCR4665 Red Mini Polka Dots Border Trim
* my bulletin board "Our Treasured Work" which will feature student's work under their treasured chest from Oriental Trading with their pictures inside (I will post once I make it)

 24 Fabulous Foam Pirate Frames

* Denna Jump's pirate ship! I am going to try to recreate a version of this as a welcome sign.


* my word wall from Frogs in First...she has created a bunch of themed word walls that are cute :)

* I went into my class yesterday and here is the small progress that I have decoration just yet but hey it's coming along! Can't wait for the new school year!

I worked on organizing the cabinets and the junk you see at the doorway is being removed by the custodians. 

I have decided on my whole group meeting area and desk placement. 

I clean out all the cubbies you see and put the books in order. 

Back of my room-future home of my fabulous library! 

Organized closet full of curriculum! 

I love school! Join up with First Grade Blue Skies to share your classroom decor and bulletin boards! 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Target Finds

I have already confessed I'm a teacher shopaholic. So naturally when I was feeling a little down about the disaster that is currently my classroom, I decided to take a trip to target and see what the dollar spot had to offer! I was in luck of course! I think they make that section to draw in teachers!

1 basket for storing my reading buddies (stuffed animals), blankets, towels for comfortable reading
1 plastic pirate bag for my pirate theme
1 bucket of sidewalk chalk for recess
1 pack of push pins and paper clips
2 packets of stickers (birthday and ABCs) 
3 mini pointers for reading
3 buckets for my lunch count
3 bags sandwich baggies that have pirates (just too cute to pass up) 
7 books:  non-ficition and fiction level readers

It all adds up to a successful shopping trip and a happy teacher! I am going into my classroom this morning with an "I can" attitude and Debbie Diller's Spaces and Places book. Hopefully I will have something to show for it by the end of the day! 

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Good, the Bad, and the UGLY!


My classroom is finally clean and ready for me to start setting up! I moved some more boxes in today and should only have one more trip back to school with my school stuff! I unpacked a lot of boxes and organized things in my cabinets. I am really excited to get started but now here comes the bad and the ugly part....

The BAD:

I'm still not sure where everything should go! I've made a plan several times, I've changed the layout around, I've measured, I've taken pictures but there is no sudden stroke of genius coming to me. There are a lot of things in my room that are fixed to the wall or cannot be moved. So it makes setting up a little be more challenging. While I was sitting in my room I kept wishing Jodi from Clutter-Free Classroom just sweep in like my fairy godmother and help me out! It didn't happen sooo I ended up still having


This is my classroom right now! Disaster -I know!

I started organizing some of this cabinet today and some of the sink area. Sorry for the desks in the way. I'm hoping I can get rid of all of them and get tables but if I can't I'm at least getting rid of four of them. The class came with 20 desks and in Florida because of the class size reduction law we usually only have 16 students. (The maximum is 18.) 
This is the front wall of the classroom. I am loving that I have a rug for a meeting area this year. I am envisioning mini lessons, morning messages, calendar, and learning going on here so it has to be perfect. I'm not sold on this spot but I feel like it needs to be where the whiteboard/projector is. To my knowledge I do not have a teaching easel so I'm not sure where to hang pocket charts. Notice my has to stay there because the technology person hooked up all the phone, computer, printer stuff there. I do not like the location but I'm going to have to make it work. I think I'll use that bulletin board for my Student of the Week since it will be hard for kids to reach over my desk but will still be easy to see. 
This is the back wall of my room. Notice the large cabinet...not sure where to move this or really what to put in it. I was thinking perhaps math materials but I'm not sure if that would be easily accessible to kids. Then I have a file cabinet which is leaving my room asap. I have two bookshelves, two trapezoid tables,  a "u" shaped which I'm thrilled about! All the stuff on this back wall can be moved. The door leads to the bathroom. 

Everything you see on this wall is permanent. The cubbies and tables the computers are on are all built into the classroom. Now I love the cubbies but I'm not loving all the curriculum that is all over the place. I need to organize all the curriculum so the students can utilize the cubbies for their books, lunch, and underneath they hand their backpacks. 

The classroom is pretty straightforward design--4 walls-maybe I'm over thinking this! I need to spend some more time and get creative in there. I know my classroom design will come together but right now I feel overwhelmed. I will be moving/organizing/agonizing over my classroom for the next three days at least. Any advice?

How I Spent My Summer

I am getting my party on again....linky party that is! Clutter-Free Classroom one of my favorite blogs is having a week long party a day linky party with prompts for writing each day. Today's writing assignment is " How I Spent My Summer Vacation." 


I love the month of June! Let me count the ways:
1. I said goodbye to my first graders and hello to summer!
2. My brother got married to his beautiful wife and I was in their wedding.
3. I caught up with some college friends.
4. I went to see my parents in Myrtle Beach.
5. True Blood came back on TV.
6. I celebrated my birthday!


1. 4th of July parties :) Friday-Monday
2. Vacation to Costa Rica for 10 days (rainforest hikes, zip lining through the jungle, white water rafting,  relaxing on the beach or in the hot springs, seeing waterfalls and a volcano) 
3. Harry Potter 7 the ending of a era
4. Moving and starting to organize my new classroom

This has been one of the best summer vacations ever! I love to travel to new countries and now have a wealth of new information about the rainforest for my first graders. I also love seeing family and friends which is hard to do during the hustle and bustle of the school year. I know August will bring new adventures with teaching at a new school but during those tough times I'll look back on my glorious summer. 

Friday, July 15, 2011


One of my favorite bloggers Ladybug Teacher Files has reached 1000 bloggers and is having a huge giveaway! If you don't already follow this is a must! She has amazing resources to keep an organized fun creative classroom and great technology tips!

Yearn to Learn and find some great blogs!

Yearn to Learn  is hosting a fuunuuunnnn Mixer Linky Party. It's like a scavenger hunt on the web!

To link up,you have to find a:
*New Kid On the Block Blogger (newbie bloggers)
* Find a blogger in your grade level
*Find one in a different grade level
* And find a cute button and post it.
Here I go!

1. My NKOTB blog is The Silver Lining! Go check her blog out now! 

2. My grade level. First. I'll pick First Grade Awesomeness! She comes up with great unique ideas! 

3. Different grade level- 2nd grade blog Primary Graffiti

4. Buttons...there are so many to choose from but I love Castles and Crayons button! 

Castles and Crayons

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Going on Vacation

Hello all my bloggers! Thanks for all your support! Sorry I have been a little MIA on my blog but summer can be so fun! :) This past weekend I went to the beach, lake, and hung out at the pool with friends. Tomorrow I'm going to Costa Rica for 10 days and won't be blogging until July 15th or 16th. Look for some exciting things to come at the end of July for the beginning of the school year and my classroom makeover. I am still checking my e-mail so feel free to contact me!