Friday, April 26, 2013

I've Got a Feeling...Oooo...

Yesterday I started a new behavior incentive.

You may have heard of it recently.  

(drum roll please)

*The Mystery Student*
*Secret Student*

   I first read about it last year on Teeny's blog here.  Which led me to the original source here.

But then I slept and switched schools and watched four seasons of Parenthood, and cried and cried and cried, and then I forgot all about it.

Until Mrs. Pauley reminded me about it here.

Here's the rundown:
1. Pick a random student. (The first day you might want to "rig" it and pick a well-behaved student.)
2. Write their name down somewhere but don't show your students who it is.
I wrote mine down on a laminated green crayon cut out because it was what I had lying around green is my favorite color.  My team teacher wrote hers down on a sticky note.  You could use a fancy-dancy award like this:

or just anything really.
3. At the beginning of the school day, make a really big deal about this Secret (Or Mysterious) name.  Get the kids really reved up and curious.  *And here's the kicker* if the student had a good day, they get XYorZ. 

I decided "good" meant green or higher on the behavior chart.  You can make it work for whatever system you have in place.  

My "prize" was that they could pick out of my Behavior Catalog.  These things are not prizes like a toy from McD's.  They are EASY items like 
-help a teacher
-cool cat in the hat (wear a hat to school the next day)
-swip swap a desk
-invite a stuffed animal to sit with you

By the time I got to step three, I had jaws dropping all over my classroom.  

4. When you noticed students are *ahem* not doing their best, mention the Mystery Student and VIOLA! everyone is suddenly doing their best.

The only thing I have a minor problem with is when we reveal who it is, some students get upset it wasn't their name on the crayon.  After day on of pouting our way to carpool, I reassured the class that everyone will get their name on it eventually.

I'm curious, have you tried this management technique? 

On Sunday night, Mr. Husband and I were roadies for our friends who are in a real band.  We kept up their merch table while they played and we got in for free! I also learned the difference between a roadie and a groupie.  
I am NOT a groupie, but am a roadie.  
Do you know the difference?

Every day, the first 30 minutes is spent during "Enrichment".  This is worth another blog post, so I won't spoil it today but will give you the short and sweet version.

I have eleven kinder and first graders and we have to work on Math during this time.  My students have a very big range of social and academic skills.  I dread planning for this time of the day.  Nothing I have tried works...and I have tried almost everything.

Today, I tried playing the game Scoot with math facts......AND IT WORKED!

Students worked in pairs to write down as many math facts with their number.  I timed them for one minute.  Then we "scoot"-ed to the next number.  

Everyone was happy. Including the teacher!

While we were eating lunch today, this happened to my team teacher:

She dropped her phone in her chili cheese dog! 

(And then she proceeded to ask me to take a photo of it!)

We laughed and laughed and laughed about it.  And then she picked it up and started panicking because it wasn't working right.  There was chili in all the cracks.
We stopped laughing a little until she cleaned it off.  

Turns out, everything is fine.
And then she enjoyed the rest of her chili cheese dog!

Today we ended the day by laying on the floor and singing songs (with the help of our projector)!  

This is one of my the student's new favorite songs. I have to admit.  I like this song (possibly more than my students do). It goes to the tune of I've Got A Feeling by the BEPs....and BOY is it catchy!
Type in "Gotta Keep Reading" on youtube.  

Happy Friday Friends!

-The Frizz

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Tell Me Something Good

Jennifer over at Rowdy in First Grade always know exactly when to host this wonderful linky.  After last week, we all need to think positively.  Click on the picture to link up with her!

At Home:

My husband and I are starting up a small group with our church.  Our first official meeting is tomorrow.  I am excited to create a space to talk and experience life with other people.  
I am also happy to be a part of a church community that is compassionate and willing to serve others.  After last week's tragedies in Boston and West, Sunday morning was helpful.

At School:

My first graders are progressing and maturing into little second graders.  
Just the other day, I overhead one of my students who was in a disagreement say "Okay…I'm going to act mature like a 2nd grader would do and go sit over here to do my work.  It'll be okay."  This was coming from a student who usually has a hard time "giving up" the battle.
I had just had a talk with my class about what mature meant to a first grader!  It makes me so proud when they are able to take what they learn and apply it to new situations.

Thank you, Jennifer, for the reminder to think positively.  This was definitely harder than I thought it would be tonight.  Tomorrow I will be looking for something good.

Well, what are you waiting for? 
Tell me something good that happened.
Leave me a comment below.

Happy Hump Day, blog friends!  

-The Frizz

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Teachers Helping Teachers in West, Texas

This week has been very tragic for central Texas.
There are so many families in need.
So much was lost on Wednesday night when a fertilizer plant exploded.

As the events unfolded this week, I couldn't help but think about the teachers who have been effected in the explosion.

One school was completely lost, and the others were also damaged.

As a teacher, my classroom is my second home.  I spend so much time, money, and energy into making it a special place.  I cannot imagine starting over again from nothing.


Krystal from Kreative in Kinder is hosting a fundraiser for the teachers of West whose schools were damaged in the fertilizer explosion.  

ALL of the money raised from this fundraiser will go towards teachers at West ISD to purchase classroom materials.  

When I heard that Crystal was having this fundraiser, I knew I had to share it with my fellow bloggers.  This is a great way to directly help the teachers provide consistency to their students who are grieving. 

Here's how you can help:

By donating $25 (or more) to this cause, you will get over $150 worth of TPT products.

Click on the picture to see the original blog post from Crystal, which has all of the products and the form to donate.

Grace and Peace to you friends.

-The Frizz

Friday, April 19, 2013

FREEBIE Five for Friday Flashback: 4.19

It's Friday!

(Whoot! Whoot!)

I took the day off!

(WHOOT! WHOOT! Holla!)

I'm linking up with these fabulous bloggers for the Five for Friday Flashback!

(Holla back!)

Okay, can you tell that I caught up on my sleep last night and got to enjoy my full cup of coffee in the daylight this morning?  

I slept for AT LEAST ten hours last night.  Woke up after the sun and my husband!    I am feeling refreshed, blessed, and rested.  

I have big plans today.  

I just might change out of my pjs long enough to get a back massage and another latte! 
This break couldn't have come at a better time!  
I'm calling it a "Mental Health Day" but my boss would call it a "Personal Day" and my students might call it a "skip day".
Any way you look at it, I am at home in my pjs and my students are working hard-learning at school.  

Okay, enough about my break to make you jealous and not read the rest of this blog post.

I've got a freebie for you today!

Upward and onward.....

This week we started our big Space Unit.  

I am using Sarah Cooley's Adventures In Space Unit as a Supplement to our Core Knowledge Curriculum.  
Her graphics are so cute. 
She has included some great anchor chart type displays.
Click on the picture to check it out! 

So far we have learned all about the Sun, Moon, Stars, and Constellations.  
Next week is all about the planets! 


Yesterday I used food (gasp!) to help my students learn about the phases of the moon.
I gave them each an oreo, a spoon, and a napkin.  
We carefully twisted it open.  
And then the eating learning started!

We had prepared our foldable the day before.  We started from a blank white sheet of paper.  
Looking back, I wished I would have made an easy template in order to save time and maximize learning!

Here's a little freebie for you: 

All they need to do is fold and cut!

Crescent Moon

Finished and ready to eat!
My students loved this activity and were begging to do it again 
because they wanted to engaged in the learning process again for another oreo..of course!

Next week, our third graders will be taking our State Assessment.

The third graders classroom is in the cafeteria.  Which means this space is off limits to the rest of the school.  We are expected to eat lunch in our classrooms, with our students for those testing days.

I will be missing my 30 minute, duty-free lunch break next week.  

I recieved a projector through donorschoose a few weeks ago.  I finally found the perfect place to display it.  My classroom has four windows which makes it difficult to actually see the projector sometimes.  (Hey! I'm not complaining! I love the natural lighting!)

Now I am needing to take pictures of our classroom using it in order to post on their website for our donors to see.  

So far, I can't seem to capture anything worthy of an upload.
I might need to take a course in smart phone photography.

This is the best photo I have so far.  I hate that the projector is displaying a we're in prek learning our basic shapes.  
I promise this shapes video covers more challenging shapes!  
I promise.


Grace and peace.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

And the Winner Is....

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Congrats Lori!
Expect an email soon!

To all of my fabulous bloggers who donated an item from their TPT store:


Without you, this giveaway would not have happened


 And to all of my followers:


Without you, I would be talking to myself on the internet.

If you are bummed out about not winning, head on over to my original blog post about the giveaway and take a look at that TPT pack you were most excited about!  Chances are, if you treat yourself to buying it, you will be feeling a whole lot better.
Shopping usually does that to a person.

Click HERE to see all those fabulous packs!


Now that I have checked "Blog Giveaway" off my bucket list, what should I move on to do?

Friday, April 12, 2013

Five for Friday Flashback Giveaway!

This is the LAST DAY to enter my fabulous 100+ Follower Giveaway!
Click the picture to see all the wonderful prizes!

Enter Below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I cannot wait to make one lucky follower HAP-PY!
I will post the winner tomorrow!

I finally figured out (fingers crossed) a good combination of Reading Centers and the Daily Five.  Click the picture to read more about it!

In Writer's Workshop, I introduced EDITING with our writing partners!  

It was a hit.

We put a reference sheet inside our Writer's Notebook to help us know the right words to say.

We also began our How To unit.  
My students wrote a mini "How To Eat an Oreo Cookie" book!
How do you eat an oreo cookie?
Twist it? Bite it? Scrape it? Dip it? Lick it? 

In Social Studies we have been learning about Mexico.  
On Wednesday, we learned all about sombreros.  We got to decorate one with sequins *SEQUINS!!!* (cue every six year old to scream with's the little things in life.).  Then we wrote what we learned and described our own.

After we were finished with this project, our classroom looked like Hobby Lobby vomited inside it. There were sequins everywhere! ("Sequins! HOW SHINY! I am beyond excited because I am gluing a tiny piece of plastic onto construction paper!")

Today I wore my favorite Blue Corduroy Skinny Jeans and I had a twinkie! 

One of my students wore the exact.same.pants. (only a few sizes smaller and he found his in the little boys department!)
I managed to snap a picture with him on this special occasion! 

Doesn't he have the best style in town? 
(just look at those little six year old Tom's!)

Happy Friday ya'll!