Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Congrats to the Winner:


Lisa, I just sent you an email to congratulate you.

To all of the others who did not win, don't be sad!  Check out the Classroom Friendly Supplies website to order one today!  You will be so glad you did!

In other news....I have been working hard at cleaning, organizing, and packing things up making an even bigger mess.  

I am in the process of making labels for my binders because I noticed Sarah made cute binder labels in her classroom.  

I am also re-organizing my classroom library.  

Last summer the plan was:
1/3 of books leveled
2/3 of books grouped by genre and authors

I went all out and taped a label on the back of the books to match the label in the basket but it didn't work *gasp!*

My new plan of attack involves taking off the picture labels and adding a simple number to the top right corner.  This seemed to work for my leveled books just fine.  It's those darn genre labels that get all mixed up.  

I am also planning for second graders, so I need to regroup my library for higher readers.
(Insert nervous giggle)

I am off to make my EOY gift and work on my binder labels.

Tomorrow we have another field trip. 
Then it's a four day weekend.
Three more days of school.  
Parent conferences. 
Then you can find me at the pool.

I just finished reading this book:

It's a great read! 
It really took my mind off surviving school and kept things light hearted. 

What are you doing to stay calm at the end of the year?

Monday, May 20, 2013

Giveaway and The Frizz

Want to win THE best pencil sharpener?

Enter today!  

The giveaway ends tonight at Midnight!  


I am also linking up with Jess from I Heart Recess today!
I {Heart} Recess

Isn't her button so cute?
I love the chevron/polka dot combination.

Since my blog has 160 followers (which is phenomenal in my opinion!) I am considered a Buddy Blogger and can participate in her linky.

Here are the questions:

1. Why did you start blogging?

I started blogging in order to connect and collaborate with other teachers.  I blog stalked for a while before finally taking the plunge myself.  I have learned so much from other bloggers, and I hope that you can learn something from me along the way.

2. What is your favorite subject to teach and why?

This is a tough one.  I L-O-V-E writing time!  But I also love our reading time.  The Daily Five/Reader's Workshop is an area I want to improve on, which makes me love it even more. I guess I love a challenge.

3. Describe your teaching style.

Warm and Strict.

Calm and Cheery. 

4. Give three interesting facts about you.

One: I am not an animal person.  Growing up we all had animals. I'm talking dogs, cats, horses, sheep, chickens, rabbits, and fish galore.  When I go over to a friends house with a dog, they KNOW and rush to me wanting my attention.  I'm not sure how they KNOW, but they always do!

Two: I always wanted to be a teacher.  Even when I was little.  

I have two older sisters who never really knew what they wanted to be. 

We all graduated college the EXACT same semester (they couldn't let me beat them!) with ALL different degrees.   

I was the only one with an education degree.  

My oldest sister got alternative certified and started teaching the same year I did.  Next year she will be teaching in my school district! Yay!  

My middle sister is in the process of getting certified and will be teaching this Fall.  

I like to think they both followed in my footsteps. 

Three: When something doesn't feel right in the classroom, I research, read, and ask lots of other teachers how to get it right.  
I feel best about my teaching when I collaborate with others.
5. Do you have a TpT store? If yes, post the link

Yes.  It is still in its baby stages.  I wouldn't call it a as much as a store because I haven't ever sold anything.  

Click here to check it out.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Five for Friday Giveaway!

1. Today we went on a field trip to our local farm!  It was a blast we all learned a lot, and no one broke an egg!  Did you know that honey is bee throw-up?

2. I am hosting a giveaway this week for the quietest pencil sharpener in town!  Enter below:

3. I have been hard at work on re-organizing my teacher files.  I have pulled all of my 1st grade files and am now working to stay organized for 2nd grade.  I still need some cutsie labels that are edible.  Anyone have a link for me?

4. This past weekend was Mother's Day.  In honor of our mother, we traveled to see our grandmother and spent the day with family!  It was so great to all be together again. 

5. My parents collect lots of things.  
I mean, they're not going to go on the Hoarders show or anything, but it's a little cluttery in their house.  
This is usually not a good thing, but this time it has worked to the advantage for my classroom.  
They gave me a pot of gold for word work! My students type their spelling words into the phones and then record their work!

Do you remember the time when cell phones had antennas? 

Call me Maybe?

-The Frizz

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Pencil Management and a Giveaway!

First things first.

Today I had a heart to heart with my firsties.  If you are 10 days away from summer vacation (like me!!) you probably know all about our heart to heart.

Today, I experienced humanity at its finest.

You can't play with us!
We're in a secret club and you can't join!
Go play by yourself!
I AM NOT BEING MEAN! (yelling)

SHE DID TOO GET ON THE COMPUTER ALREADY! (ten students yelling this simultaneously)
The list could go on and on just based on today's events (inside recess and EOY testing to name a few).

At the end of the day, we all sat in a circle (much like we do at the start of the day for our family meeting).
I brought up the issue of being hurtful to others and put it out on the table on the caterpillar carpet.
I asked my students one simple question to get them started:
Do you want to spend the last nine days being hurtful or helpful?

They all answered helpful and we were on our way to recovery from the end of the year crazies.

By the end of our time together, I heard one student apologizing to the student that was left out in the above conversation.

In other news, if you have not entered the Classroom Friendly Supplies Pencil Sharpener Giveaway, join in today!

Since I wrote the pencil review and I asked giveaway entries to tell me how they manage and organize their classroom pencils, I realized I never really told you how I manage my pencils.

If you are a visual learner, you are in luck!  I remembered to take some pictures for you.

Let's get started, shall we?
I've got a husband waiting to watch a movie with me!

Each student has their own pencil box with school supplies.
I have used this since day one of teaching.
I am a true believer of teaching responsibility through a school supply box.

Inside the pencil box, students keep at least two sharp pencils.
I write their classroom number on their pencil with a sharpie.

We use classroom numbers for just about everything.  My students all know each others numbers by heart because we practiced this at the beginning of the year.

I write their number on their name tag for the beginning of the year.

Sorry its sideways!  You get the idea.

When their pencil breaks or becomes dull, students are allowed to put it in the RED cup to be sharpened at the end of the day.

The red cup is found in our table baskets, along with markers and scissors.

Pencil sharpener is one of our classroom jobs.  
When it is the end of the day, they walk to each of the tables, grabs the red cup, and heads to the sharpener.  

Once the pencils are sharp, they place them in the GREEN cup.  The green cup is the "delivery" cup.  The next morning, students check the green cup to get their numbered pencil and put it back in their box.

The BLUE cup pencils are "teacher" pencils.  We use these during enrichment (when I don't have my own students with their own pencil boxes).  
Students may borrow these pencils if they have no sharpened pencils in their box.  

This has cut down on ALL of the "I don't have a pencil" and "My pencil isn't sharp" and "Can I borrow a pencil?"  and "I'd rather crawl around on the floor searching for my pencil than do my work." talk.

Does this even make sense?

This management system has developed over the course of the last three years.  

My first year I had a "sharp" and "dull" cup.  
I couldn't keep track of students trading a dull for a sharp, and students didn't care less if they lost a pencil.  We were ALWAYS sharpening pencils and then loosing them.
I also noticed a pattern of faking a dull pencil in order to get up out of their seats and walk around the room to talk to my friends.

Problems solved. 

What do you do for pencil management?

Well, I'm off to watch that movie with the husband!  
Enjoy your hump day!  
It's all downhill from here :)

-The Frizz

PS I have 9 days of school left!  SINGLE DIGITS!!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A Giveaway: The Quietest Pencil Sharpener

(For your entertainment pleasure, read with your best talk show host voice, because that is how I am typing it.)

Boy is it your lucky day!

Tony from Classroom Friendly Supplies has graciously allowed me to host a giveaway.  

Tell 'em what they can win Johnny.

Well, Dave, one lucky winner will go home with their very own pencil sharpener.

Entering is easy.  
All you need to do is CLICK and the sharpener could be yours.

Who wouldn't want to enter with all the talk around town about this sharpener?

It's a fabulous product sure to drop the jaws of your first graders and principals. 

If you missed my review, check it out to see how it changed my classroom pencil management for the better.

If you are reading this and already own one, enter again!
If you win it, you can give it to a teacher friend or have two all to yourself!  I won't tell :)

The giveaway ends in one week!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

-The Frizz

Sunday, May 12, 2013

The Pencil Sharpener: A Review for You!

Hello Readers!

I am here today to tell you about the greatest thing since sliced bread.  

It is known around the blogging world as the quietest pencil sharpener, but around my classroom, it is known as the BEST thing EVER!  

Here is my review (or more of a life-changing classroom story):

At my school, the district gives every teacher one pencil sharpener for the entire year.  After about two months of using the sharpener (no brand names to be mentioned)  it broke.  I, being the responsible first year teacher, kept the warranty,  contacted the company through endless emails and phones calls and (finally!) waited a month to get a new one in the mail.  After about two months, the new one broke.  After more emails and phone calls they sent another one.  The process continued over the course of my first two teaching careers. 

Because the electric sharpeners are so loud and noisy, my students were only allowed to sharpen at the very end of the day during carpool.  

If a student ever snuck a pencil in the sharpener during any other time of day, I would give them a mean look kindly remind them to wait until the end of the day.  
I am embarrassed to admit once, my teaching assistant sharpened a pencil during Math Center time and I actually asked her to stop because the noise drove me CRAZY!

This past year, the school bought a different brand.  Everything was fine and dandy until after about 4 months, the lead of the pencils began to literally fall out after being sharpened.  None of my students ever had a pencil to use.  
Another broken pencil sharpener.  
Another broke teacher.

I am telling you all of this because like many of you, I was tired of the electric pencil sharpeners always giving me a head ache and found a better solution!

After hearing about the quietest pencil sharpener from a teacher across the hall, I decided to try it out for myself.

The small package came in the mail.

I immediately ripped it open like Christmas morning carefully opened the box.

I found another box.

Inside that box was this.

The actual pencil sharpener and the clamp that fits on a table or ledge.

After assembling it (I literally put two pieces together! Super Easy!) I had to sharpen something right.this.second.  I couldn't wait until I got into my classroom to try it!

I found the nearest dull pencil.

Don't you love how my fingernail polish matches?  That was totally unplanned!

Tray that opens to release the pencil shavings. 

Clamp down, push pencil in and sharpen.

This is what the pencil will look like before you have started sharpening.

THIS is what the pencil will look like after you are finished! 

Holy Guacamole! 

Isn't that pencil sharp?

I mean, it will take days before my first graders will need to sharpen again.  There is so much lead to be used!    

The next day I brought it into the classroom and taught my pencil sharpener (classroom job) student how to use it.  She picked it up in no time at all and was finished in no time at all.  
A win-win for everyone.

Since then, I have taught several other students to sharpen pencils.  They LOVE to have this special job because of the amazing new sharpener.  They are memorized by it.  They think it is the neatest thing and so does their teacher.

Now, I even let my students sharpen during the school day.  "Have you lost your mind?" You might be thinking.  But "no.  I haven't."
The sharpener is not as quiet as say a tiny handheld sharpener (you know the one....that gets tiny pencil shavings all over your newly swept floor?), but it is 100% quieter than any electric sharpener.  On Friday, one of my students sharpened pencils during our morning work time and no one even noticed!

Overall Review:  

The sharpener sharpens pencils better than any electric pencil sharpener I have seen.

The sharpener's easy-to-install clamp allows students to sharpen independently. (Although my students have sharpened without the clamp, no problem.  They just place one hand on top while the other one turns the handle.  The pencil is held in place by itself!)

I would recommend this sharpener to ANY classroom teacher!

Click here to find out more!

Thank you, Classroom Friendly Supplies, for making a difference in our classroom!

-The Frizz 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

I Teach Firsties and an Instagram Challenge!

First Grade Blogger

I teach first grade (for 18 more days! Yikes!)

Soon I will be changing this banner to 2nd grade blogger....but I couldn't take the plunge just yet.

I am excited, nervous, and sad.  I'm not quite ready to deal with all of those emotions....I'll wait till summer when things aren't so fast and furious.

First will always be my first love.


What grade do you teach?

Link up with your grade level here.

Also, here's the challenge:

When I first saw the buzz about instagram, I said nothankyou.
I have a personal account but didn't want to jump on the bandwagon just because everyone was jumping.  I mean, if everyone jumped off a bridge, would you do it?  Or if every googlereader app was shut down would you switch to bloglovin...wait.....  You know what I mean.

I was hesitant to jump on the instagram bandwagon because my district frowns upon social networking.

There's nothing worse than your superintendent finding out you were uploading photos onto facebook during recess.
#justsaying #notme #nowayjose

But if I'm honest, I am a visual learner.  I learn so much better when I can see a picture of something.  There are a lot of visual teachers out there who want to make the most of their teaching.  I believe that this blog journey is all about learning from each other.  That's why I started this in the first place.  I learn so much from all of you, and I can only hope that I inspire a few along the way.

I hope that my time spent grammin will allow other bloggers to learn from me.

That being said, I am going to start the May 2013 Photo Challenge from the Clutter-Free Classroom.

Who's with me?

Find our what's happenin' here:  @thefrizzinfirst

Friday, May 3, 2013

5 for Friday Flashback: The Winter in May Edition

 Seriously.  I was so excited about summer.  Right up until today at recess when I went outside without my coat and realized it was FUH-reezing outside! 

Hello?  Texas?  Yes.  December called. It wants its' temperature back!

(I will be kicking myself come August when I can't see the computer screen to blog stalk you all what with all the sweat in my eyes from the scorching heat.)

I'm not asking for much.  I'm just asking that Texas turn into Hawaii.  

Here are my wonderful five from this past week.

This week we started our 20 day countdown to summer!

I put a star with each countdown day on the board.

Each star has a "prize" on the back.  At the end of the day, we reveal the countdown.  Any student who's behavior clip is above green (that's a good thing) gets to earn the surprise.  

Today was puzzles.  

I had four students who were not above green when it was time to earn the prize.  

Two of my students earned their clip up and were able to participate in the puzzles.

This is a great way to hold a reward above their heads motivate students who have summeritis. 

I originally heard about it from Teeny. #oneofmyfavorites

I got this box in the mail yesterday.

Yesterday I lost my voice and gained a sinus infection. Yesterday was not a good day.  I wanted to crawl into my bed and never go back to school.  
Instead, I checked the mail.
When I opened up the box, all I wanted to do was wake up in the morning and get back into the classroom to try out my new gadget!
Here's a hint.....
Any guesses on what I got?
More to come in a later post....

My team teacher had a brilliant idea for word work this week.

Spelling Chains!

My students write each word as many times as they can on a strip of paper. 
Then they glue it into a circle and keep going.
The great thing about this center is they are ENGAGED over and over again.  Even when they finished all of their spelling words, they were begging to write more words.  

I even had a student ask if she could work on her spelling chain instead of have the countdown puzzle prize.  I was one proud teacher.

We had a wedding shower for a teacher who will be married this summer.  Her wedding color is lavender.  I signed up to make cupcakes....lavender cupcakes.

The official title was "Lavender Cupcakes with Earl Grey Icing"


Saw this on a friend's blog and couldn't resist claiming it!

I took this picture on Sunday when the Mr. and I were hanging out at the pool after a hot run/soccer game.  I can't believe just a few days ahead I was sweating when today I am shivering!
My poor allergies cannot keep up.

When I lost my voice this week my first thought was: I haven't taught my students enough sign language to make it through an entire day!

I'm just crossing my fingers that I get some rest this weekend so that my voice is back by Monday. Between a "good-bye you are graduating" friend get together and a lingerie/bachelorette shower, I might need to cross my arms, legs, and eyes that I get some rest.

I have 18 more days till summer.

How many days do you have?

What's the first thing you will do when summer comes?

-The Frizz in First Second Grade