Saturday, December 31, 2011

Eleven "Thank You's" for 2011

     2011 was the year of blogging for me.  This was the year that I discovered blogs.  This was the year that I created my own blog.  This was the year that I discovered so many new blogging friends.  I don't think you realize the impact that you have made on me  and I just wanted to say Thank You.

     So I generated a list.  Here goes...

#1  Thank you Fran at Kindergarten Crayons.  Fran is the blogger that I aspire to be someday.  She has the cutest ideas and some of the best product at Teachers Pay Teachers.  I just loved her excitement this year during the Halloween season, when she planted seeds inside of an actual pumpkin. Then she kept posting pics of it growing.  She keeps me excited about what I am doing in the world of teaching.

#2  Thank you to Kristen at A Teeny Tiny Teacher.  Kristen's blog provides me with the laughter that I need on a daily basis because lord knows that teachers need a little laughter now and then.  Especially me...after all, I am working with a bunch of five year olds that haven't quite developed a sense of humor yet!  But I have to admit...I do laugh at their attempts at creating knock knock jokes.  Some day they will get it!

#3  Thank you to Marlena at Lil" Country Kindergarten.  Not only was Marlena MY VERY FIRST FOLLOWER but she also went out of the way to help me create my button for my blog and didn't even ask for anything in return!   I can tell she is a very sharing and caring person.  I am sure the two of us could be best friends!

#4  Thank you to Tammy at Live Love Laugh Everyday in Kindergarten.  Tammy always has wonderful ideas to share and lots of freebies.  She is also a very active mom but always find the time to add something to her blog.  I don't know where she finds the time to do all of this, but I am very grateful!

#5  Thank you to Pam at Can Do Kinders.  If Pam only knew how many of her freebies I have used in my classroom this year already!  She is so wonderful to share!  Oh...and she is one of my followers too!

#6  Thank you to Julie at Mrs. Lee's Kindergarten.  Mrs. Lee's blog is probably one of the most recent ones that I have been following.  A blogging friend at school introduced me to her blog and since then, I have found myself stalking her older posts to find cool ideas to use in my classroom.  I just love all the pics she posts showing her center ideas.  I am a visual learner and pics really help!

#7  Thank you to Krissy at Mrs. Miner's Monkey Business.  Krissy has an awesome, inspiring blog and is one of my followers as well.  She also sells some terrific product at  Also, I just love blogs with monkeys!  Monkeys make me laugh!

#8  Thank you to Shannon at Kindergarten Hoppenings.  Shannon has just been blessed with a beautiful baby boy and is on maternity leave.   I know she is going to LOVE being a mother.  Again, I think her and I could be best friends!  I have just about downloaded everything that she has posted on her website.  She is AWESOME to share so many freebies with the blogging world!

#9  Thank you to Deedee at Mrs. Will's Kindergarten.  Deedee is another blogger that I would love to be some day.  She has so many wonderful products at Teachers Pay Teachers.  I just love following her "Peek At My Week."  I don't think she realizes how much that "little peek" helps me with my lesson planning each week!

#10  Thank you to Deanna at Mrs. Jump's Class.  I can tell that Deanna is a very talented teacher who loves to share.  Again, she has incredible product at Teachers Pay Teachers.  I know it sounds silly, but I would love to be a fly on her classroom wall someday!

#11  And the final thank you goes to Charity at Kindergarten Klub.  Christy has created this wonderful blog that not only has an updated, rolling list of recent blog posts but you can even add your blog to her list!  The traffic on my blog has increased tremendously since I added it to her blog roll.  Another added benefit to following this blog is that you can find new blogs everyday!  It is so nice to know that there are highly creative and tech savvy people out there that can make blogging easier for us newbies.

     Well, thats it!  It was so difficult for me to narrow it down to just eleven blogs.  Each and every blog that I follow has inspired me in some way to be a better teacher and I thank you as well for doing what you do on your blog.  I hope that I have too inspired someone out there in the blogging world.  In our career, it is nice to know that our inspiration can reach beyond the walls of our classroom.

     I wish everyone a happy and healthy 2012.



Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Looking for some new blogs?

Merry Christmas blogging friends.  It has been a busy Christmas season for my family as I am sure it has been for yours as well.  However, I have found a little time here and there for some blog stalking and pinterest.  Boy have I found some wonderful ideas to use when  I get back to school.  Here is a sneak peak at one idea I found (Sorry, I didn't jot down where it come from...remember...I am learning at all this blogging stuff).

Snowflake Crayon Resist
(Isn't it beautiful?)

Anywho, here is my Christmas gift for you!  Two new blogs!  You might want to check them out.  Both sites have been created by co-workers at my school who are incredible first grade teachers.  I was so lucky to work with them last year when I taught my K-1 multi-age class.  They have some wonderful ideas to share.

First Grade Fun

Sunshine Sand and Scissors

Lastly, I will end with some photos from my Christmas cruise (just one of the events that kept me so busy this Christmas).

My kids at Blue Lagoon's Aqua Park.

My kids at Blue pretty!

My daughter loved the aqua trampoline.  Isn't she a cutie!

My husband and I drinking from a coconut in Freeport.

My beautiful children on formal night.

My family at the Southern Most Point in Key West.

Just one of the amazing pictures I took while visiting the Butterfly Conservatory in Key West.

My husband and I in front of our ship...
we just celebrated our 21st wedding anniversary while on the cruise.

Me RELAXING on the ship!

Anyone ready for a cruise now?  Just let me know!

Happy Blogging!


Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Favorites

     There are so many wonderful books to read aloud to your students at this time of year.  So many that it is sometimes hard to fit them all into our busy, fun-filled schedules.  However, every year I always find the time to read the following story to my class:

     This would have to be my all time favorite.  If you have not read this before, it is about a little boy named Edward who does not know how to read yet.  Everyone thinks that he should be tested to see if there is a problem, but his mother says to "just have patience."

     On Christmas Eve, Edward discovers that Santa has accidentally left his book of names in his house in front of the fireplace.  Edward races outside only to see Santa's sleigh pull away.  Edward knows that Santa will not be able to do his job without his book of names so, he has to help Santa.   Since he doesn't know how to read or spell yet, Edward decides to make a large B in the snow (since book starts with the letter b) in the hopes that Santa will return in search of his missing book.  It works!  Santa returns and asks Edward to help him on the rest of his journey.  Edward agrees after explaining to Santa that he can't read yet.   Santa tells Edward that he can hold the book of names and turn the pages for him.  All is well until a bird accidentally knocks Santa's glasses off his nose and they fall into the sea.  Oh Santa can't read his book.  Will Edward help save Christmas?

     Of course, I can't tell you how it ends; but I will tell you that it is one of those read alouds that make you feel all good inside when you are done.  Also, it is one of those books where not a single child makes a peep during the read.  They are always sitting on the edge of their seats waiting to hear the outcome.  I just love books like that!  Don't you?

     What is your favorite read aloud at Christmas time?  I would love to hear about the book or books that are must reads for you.

Happy Blogging!


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas Family Photos

     Yes, today was the day that I made my kiddos and hubby get all coordinated for our annual family Christmas card photo shoot.  Although there were lots of moans and groans, I think the final product turned out pretty good for an amateur.

     Amazing...even the dog cooperated!  I just love it when all goes as planned.

Oh....and check out the flip flops!  Yes, we live in Florida and, yes, it is December.  You gotta love it!

Happy Blogging!


Saturday, December 10, 2011

A New Blog!

I have a fellow teacher who has created a first grade blog.  Her name is Meredith and her blog is soooo cute and filled with some innovative ideas.  Please check her out @  First Grade Fun.

Happy Blogging!

Have you read this version?

     It was everything Gingerbread in my kinder classroom last week.  We had such a great time reading all kinds of versions of The Gingerbread Man and this was the newest version.  One of my teacher friends shared it with me when she heard of my literary focus of the week.  I just have to share!

     In this version it begins in a classroom with a some students mixing up the ingredients to make a Gingerbread Man; after they pull him out of the oven they decide that he needs to cool off so the students leave the room to go to recess.  The Gingerbread Man becomes extremely concerned and starts running around the school trying to find them and, of course, he is chanting all the while.  As he is chanting and searching he runs into several different school personnel (art teacher, coach, nurse, etc.) that give him clues as the where the kids may have gone.

     My favorite part would have to be when he is missing a piece of his toe due to an accident with a soccer ball.  The coach sends him to the nurse to get fixed.  As I was reading it for the first time, I couldn't help but remember the Esteban's finger Story that Kristen posted around Halloween at A Teeny Tiny Teacher.  If you haven't read her post is probably the funniest teaching story I have ever read.  You will understand why I had that text connection.  Click on the link if you want a good laugh.
     Anyway, back to the book, this was probably the cutest version that I have found in a long time.  It has a happy ending but I will let you read it for yourself.  I don't believe in ever giving away the ending of the book.

     Here are a few other versions of the Gingerbread Man that I use during our unit:

What versions do you use when teaching about The Gingerbread Man?  I would love to hear from you.
Leave a comment.

Happy Blogging!


Thursday, December 8, 2011

It is the GIVING season!

Hey!  I just discovered a new blog who has a great giveaway going on....

Molly over at Classroom Confetti is offering two teachers a chance to win.  Please check out her blog before the end of the weekend.  I am sure you won't be disappointed.  If you want, you can tell her I sent you.  

Happy Blogging!


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Anyone else feeling a bit frazzled?

    Sorry it has been a few days since my last post!  I have had a busy past few days....daughter's dance recital, son's band concert, setting up the Christmas tree, a full day of Christmas shopping, faculty meetings, professional development day at school,  parent/teacher conferences, report card assessments and a teacher of the year reception.  I am feeling like this cute little kitty who is looking a bit overwhelmed and not sure how to get out of this unfortunate situation.  Maybe it's the holidays....maybe it is all the activities and all the responsibilities....I am not quite sure but I hope I look as half as cute as this kitty when I am frazzled!

But I do have some good news!  Marlana over at Lil' Country Kindergarten has offered to help me with creating my button.  Hopefully I will have that up and working here real soon.  It was so nice for her to offer to help little ole' me.  It is so nice knowing that there are wonderful people out there in the blogging community!  I feel like I am meeting new friends.

Also, I was so excited when I logged on and found out that I was up to 10 followers.  Wow!  I know that isn't much to many of you out there who have hundreds of followers, but that is AWESOME to me! After all, you have to start out small...

Anyway...I sure am having fun with this Elf on the Shelf dude, ours is referred to as Elfie.  He seems to be helping a bit with my little ones.  I just love when he leaves little notes on the tables of the "good ones" to let them know what Santa really likes!  The notes seem to be reinforcing those positive behaviors that we want to see happening in the classroom and, thankfully, for me I am seeing them happen more and more often each day.

Now I am just wishing that Elfie could stay a little while longer.  Why does he have to leave! brain is thinking of another character that could stay a stuffed animal that maybe Santa could bring to my class as a gift...also as a helper who could "report back to Santa " every so often and leave positive notes around to continue to reinforce the correct behavior.  

Let me know what you think?  Or...maybe you have a better idea!

Thanks for reading my blog and making me feel special!


Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Elf is on the Shelf

You know the little guy I am referring to:

This one!

Yes, he arrived this morning straight from the north pole!  At least that is what my kinders think!  

Each year I try to come up with a unique way for this little guy to arrive.  One year it was a package that I really sent to myself through the postal service with the return address as The North Pole.  Another year, the principal delivered it to my room covered in snow (which is amazing since I live in Florida).  I've even had "Santa Clause" call my room and send us on a scavenger hunt through the school to find the elf.  

This year, I guess I toned it down a little due to the wild overzealous interesting behaviors that I have in my classroom.  I know that you understand because I am sure you have students just like this in your class.  I am referring to those certain individuals who have a difficult time calming back down after an exciting event (Oh!  And I just have to mention that yesterday was our school's annual Walk-a-thon.  I discovered that listening to "Who Let The Dogs Out" for 30 minutes will drive any sane person to their brink!)  

So, back to the elf story...I simply had our head secretary call into my classroom stating that a Christmas gift had been delivered to the front office for me.   So I selected the two students who I knew wouldn't peek most responsible students to retrieve the gift bag. 

When the gift arrived...I really played it up.  It went something like this... "Wow!  A Christmas gift for me and it is not even Christmas yet!  I really must have been a good girl this year to receive a present from Santa so early!"  

Of course, when we opened it up...who was inside but The Elf On The Shelf!

You know the rest of the the book...discuss the the elf...put the elf up on a shelf...yada...yada...yada.

It went my only hope is that the Elf works it's magic on my few students who have wild overzealous interesting behaviors.

So I have heard that there are many others out there that use the Elf in their classroom and I have seen some wonderful ideas in the blogging community.  So I was wondering....How did you introduce your Elf On The Shelf?  Share your story with me...Maybe next year I will have a class without those wild overzealous interesting behaviors.  Maybe I will ask for that for Christmas!

Happy Blogging!


Oh...PS  I was successful in making a button for my blog but got extremely confused when it came to getting a text box to show below.  If anyone knows a simple way to do this...PLEASE SHARE!