My latest "Pinter-ations!"

Sunday, March 31, 2013

In the Home Stretch....

I am back! Spring Break is over and we are in the home stretch! This grading period is 55 days long with very little days off and FCAT (state exams) in 10 days!!! So the song I have in my head is:

I know that we can do this!!! As I head into this stretch I know that there are so many skills and standards that need to be focused on and taught and I feel the pressure!!!! It doesn't all wind down for me until the very end! So, what will we be working on? Well, lots of things! When we return tomorrow (Zoinks!) we will be doing my Wizard of Oz centers and working on Fairy Tales again as we focus on Key Ideas and Details. We will also be working on comparing/contrasting the experiences of the characters. If you haven't had a chance, please check out my packet on TPT... It is not very artsy oriented (meaning no craftivities as I did not want to infringe upon others creative ideas) but there are great literacy and Common Core based activities in there! 

In other news, my class has been doing Made for 1st Grade's Gumball Math Packet and it has been a HUGE hit! They love it! It is a fun way to practice math facts. Now in retrospect it is something I should have done all year but with adapting to full implementation of the Common Core this year I just couldn't do it! Better late than never! 

So in personal news,  I have to say that I enjoyed my Spring Break! I cannot say that every year... with DH as a pilot we do not always spend a lot of time together as a family. This year, we did take time to visit with his family in MN. It was cold, don't get me wrong.. I was COLD! My kids enjoyed the snow and playing in the snow: 

At first they didn't know what to make of it but they had a total blast!  Now compare that to what we came home to:

Yeah.... BIG difference!!!! 

Anyhow... so back to business... in the next weeks, we will be working on plants as well and here are some pictures of some projects we will be doing! Click on the pictures for more information. I am also working on a Going Buggy unit so stay tuned!!! 

Hope you all have a great week!!!! 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

I survived with a few minor bumps.....

I made it!!! I survived my observation today!!! I was a bit nervous.. being a 9 year veteran I still get nervous but I just kept telling myself...

I had a little bump in the road though... this week we are focusing on Cause and Effect relationships and I made Kagan cards for "I Have, Who Has" with cause and effect statements and I LOST THEM!!! I really tried not to panic and I looked everywhere and thankfully I had fan pick cards for the same skill that I could pull but I know the kids were looking forward to beating their time from the previous day (I time them each time we run through the cards to see how fast they can go through the skill because we know that this structure is an exercise in listening and paying attention!!!!) so I had to start my lesson telling them we couldn't do it because I lost the stinkin' cards!!!! Oh well!! That's real teaching isn't it? I always say, "Go with the flow!" I eventually did find the cards after the fact that my observation was over (figures...) so to soften the blow, I am offering them for FREE in my store... Click on the picture to go to my store and to download them for free! Also check out my newest Wizard of Oz center.. it's totally cute and colourful and full of great literacy centers! 

Tomorrow is Thursday and then Friday...... Then Spring Break!!!!! Just a few more days! My sweet little family will be traveling to Minnesota to see my husband's family and there will be SNOW!! I own like 3 winter things and my boys even less....

Not too cold but still cold....The good thing is we'll be back Wednesday when I can enjoy the sunshine for the latter half of our spring break. :-) 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Off to see the Wizard and the week before Spring Break!

What a busy day I have had and all in my PJs!!!! I have had Oz on the brain all day and have finally finished my mini-unit on The Wizard of Oz. I will be using it when I come back from Spring Break so I decided to go ahead and finish the files so they would be ready to use. Click on the picture to check it out! I would have loved to include some craftivites in it but there are already wonderful resources out there. There are LOTS of Common Core Standards being met in my packet such as The Wicked Character Compare:

The kiddos will spin 2 characters and then compare and contrast them! Wizardly syllables, a sentence scrambler, a text to self connection, etc.... Really love the activities I put in here and cannot wait to use them. I know that I really don't have a lot of activities posted on TPT yet but I am so careful as to what I put out there because I know what my students need and I try to create materials that meet their learning needs and ones that are fun!!! So if you are a new follower of mine, please be patient as I do have lots of resources but just don't have time to upload them. It really does take a long time! 

SO, this is the week before Spring Break and I have a feeling it will go by sllooowwwwlllyyyy... Pray for me as this week is also my observation week! Yikes! I much prefer the old days when I just had a good old pop-in observation (of course my butt cheeks still puckered when they walked in with their clipboards but I calmed down and just went with it... As the saying goes... Keep calm and pretend it's on the lesson plan!!! Ha! That really doesn't apply to me because I am super anal about lesson plans! But then again there are THOSE days....) . None of this fill out a million questions before you teach... Just do it-- like Nike says! 

I wish you all a great week and I will let you know how my evaluation goes!  

For my parents who are new to my blog, the secret password is:

The Wizard of Oz

Parents: Be sure to have your student write the secret password on the paper provided, bring it to school and they will have earned a band!!! Thanks for supporting me in the classroom. Come back and look for class projects and events! 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Arrrr!!!! A Pirate freebie for you!!!!

Really quickly.... This week our phonics pattern (spelling test and spelling lists are bad words in our district) is AR so I created a read around the room or you can make it a simple sorting activity if you want.

Click on the picture for your free download. Also if you are reading this, please join my blog and be a follower! Let me know what you think of my blog and freebies so far as I am just starting out and would love your feedback! Thanks and enjoy your weekend!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Extraordinary Spuds and a Freebie!!!

Today was a crazy day! Friday.... is all I can say! The kiddos had a magical day! The hats were a hit this morning and I definitely had believers at the end of the day! The leprechauns wrote them a note explaining that they were too busy dancing a jig and that was why their hats had shrunk more than they should have-- it didn't matter to them as they just enjoyed the fact that their hats had shrunk and then towards the end of the day came the magic leprechaun pudding! Oh my!!!! You would have thought we were at a sporting event. I told them that they had to believe that a leprechaun was near or it wouldn't turn green. They took that to mean, the louder they chanted the greener it would become. I swear, the whole building heard us! They were just amazed! I wished I took pictures but I was too amused by them I forgot! But I did remember to put pictures of my spuds activity! So stinkin' cute! I don't remember where I saw the idea originally so I am sorry...
Army Spud

Super Spud

Surfer Spud

French Fry Spud (LOL!)

Gymnast Spud

Leprechaun Spud

Aren't they the cutest??? They are so creative!!!! 

Next week we will be working on more Key Ideas and Details in non-fiction as well as cause and effect (zoinks!!!) I will be posting some other ideas and centers to share with you. I am also working on abbreviations in grammar and to tie in the cause and effect we will be working with Laura Numeroff books and a spin on If You Give a Dog a Donut, I have created this little freebie for you on abbreviations! Just click on the picture to download the center. Hope you can use it!!! 

Click me for a freebie center!!

So, it's Friday and my sweetie husband is actually home and that is rare (he is a pilot) so I am actually going to talk to him for a bit! Ha! Plus my little boy Aidan is sick-- I think he got what I had so it will be a long night! Take care!!!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Magical Leprechaun Words!

So, I have managed almost a whole week with no voice! It has been quite difficult to teach with no voice but it is coming back.. slowly but surely! I hope to be back 100% next week and next week is of course, the week before Spring Break! I. AM. IN.NEED.OF.A.MENTAL.BREAK! Can I get an amen???? I don't know about you but this year has been tough... Common Core, new teacher evaluation system, a new professional development plan, a new grading system (don't get me started!), a new online gradebook, and just so much overtime-- it is all so overwhelming. Plus being gradechair has extra responsibilities. However, I have to remind myself that I went into teacher for the kids.. hence my excitement for them tomorrow! We have snuck in some St. Patrick's Day stuff. I read Jaimie O'Rourke and the Big Potato by Tomie dePaola and we made extraordinary potatoes! I will have to post some pics but they are hilarious! One sweetie made a "French Fries" potato! I have shark potatoes, army potatoes, princess potatoes, and so much more!

The other St. Patrick's Day thing we have been doing is the Incredible Shrinking St. Patrick's Day Leprechaun Hat! We decorated them today after we read, The Leprechaun's Gold by Pamela Duncan Edwards and I told my class that they would only shrink to leprechaun size if they believed. 

At first, they didn't shrink down enough but then I increased the heat to 400 and it only took one minute and then they really started to shrink. Check out Mrs. Miner's Kindergarten Monkey Business for this great idea!  Then to add to the craziness (didn't I say this is one of my favourite holidays??), I have made magical leprechaun pudding!!! 
If your students truly believe in leprechauns and they believe in their magic, then as you stir, this pudding will magically turn GREEN!!! Plus, it helps, if you have magic words (and green food coloring hidden in the middle-- tee hee!)!

Leprechauns, Leprechauns!
Shamrocks seen! 
Magic Powder,

They go wild and are believers! This is why I love first graders and I love the look on their faces! Forget that I am supposed to be writing up my pre-observation form for my evaluation (it's like I am a 1st  year teacher when I am a 9 year veteran!!!) I would rather blog and share my excitement for my kiddos with you because this is what teaching is about. Creating a memory with them that will last. They will not remember the countless formative and summative assessments you give them, the retelling of events of every story you tell, the timed math fact quizzes you give each week to improve their math fact fluency.... So with that, I will take myself to my observation form so I can be fabulous once more! Wish me luck as I am not always sure what they are asking of me on these forms! Happy (early) St. Patrick's Day!  

Monday, March 11, 2013

Gettin' Froggy With It!!

You know that you're singing it! I am going to keep this post short as my poor teacher head is tired as I just posted a new unit on TPT-- Gettin' Froggy With It! This week we will be reading Frog and Toad (one of my favourite stories) and learning about frogs. We might sneak in some St. Patrick's day stuff, too as it is one of my favourite holidays!

Here is a picture of one of my favourite centres from that unit: "Would You Like Flies with That?" (Actually there is a funny Asian person story behind that but that will be saved for another day...) Students will have to swat "i" words like mind, light, and try and place them in "french fly" boxes. How fun times is that?? LOVE IT!!!

Today we had a teacher duty day which was nice as I had a chance to do grades and such but alas, my filing was still undone!!!! It is such a burden to walk by it each day *le-sigh..... What can you do? Only so many hours in a day... So, my question to you is.. what is one thing you know you always need to do but always seem to always run out of time to do?

Have a good night!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A new blog look!

How exciting is this??? A new design for my blog!!! So thankful to Dreamlike Magic Designs for their fabulous work! Now if I could only get over this flu... Yes, I have had the flu since last Friday.... I took off of school Monday, went back today and it was a huge mistake! I was dying all day. I have a great class but still when you are not 100% it is not fun! And the worse part is that I was supposed to have my formal observation tomorrow but when you come home with a 100.6 fever from school and you vomit= not a good situation for a good evaluation and a good day at school. So I must put my big girl pants on and stay home. I partly went to school today out of pure stubbornness and as I am sure most teachers will agree, it is difficult for us to stay home because staying home means at least 3 days or more of catch up work and this being the last week of the grading period and I have DRA's to finish, well I am really feeling the pressure but I cannot forage ahead if I am sick so I will keep this post short other than to say I am tickled with the new design! Let me know what you think!

Friday, March 1, 2013

My first post!

Hi everyone and welcome to my blog! I am new to the blogging world and am just starting out so please be patient with me as I venture to this new adventure! I have always wanted to start a blog and start a TPT shop so now I am doing that! A little bit about me: I am a 1st grade teacher in sunny FL hence the name.. First Grade and Flip Flops! I swear that I could wear flip flops ALL. DAY! We wear them even in winter here if its not too cold! I love teaching 1st grade and cannot imagine teaching another grade level. I am a mom to 2 of the cutest boys ever, Gabriel and Aidan. I am married to my sweet husband, Brian, who is a a lot of the time I spend as a single married mother (makes sense right?). As you will see from my blog I have a great sense of humour and it comes out in everything I do because life is just way too short to be uptight all the time (although I DO have those days!!!). I love the Golden Girls, to clean, shop, read, and cook! I am a bit of a nerd but I think that's inherent in being an Asian person since I love to watch science documentaries, animal planet (I love Dr. Pol-- who's with me??), and ocean exploration. I also have a side of me that is TOTALLY 80's!!! I love the 80's-- music, manners, lingo, some fashion... I am always listening to 80's music and go crazy when I hear a favourite song (admit it, you do, too!). Anyway, that is me in a nutshell.I hope to learn more about you and all the wonderful things you do in your classrooms as my blog is a way of showing you the great things in my classroom. Be sure to check out my units on TPT (one I figure that out) as I have already created so many things-- just have to post them. Thanks for reading (if you made it this far)! Drop me a line and say Hi! xx