Sunday, May 3, 2015

Teacher Appreciation Sale & Giveaway

To all the teachers I've gotten to know through blogging, all those who follow my blog and stores, and all those whose blogs and stores I follow, I can't tell you how much I appreciate you! You inspire me and I am a much better teacher for making those connections.
This week I'm throwing 20% off sales in both my Teacher's Notebook and Teachers Pay Teachers stores.
Thank you to The Daring English Teacher for this wonderful button!

To further show my appreciation, I'm having a Teacher Appreciation Giveaway! You can win one product from my TPT store
It's super-simple: check out my store, pick the item you would like to win, and leave your email and the name of the product in a comment below.
The giveaway is open until 8pm Tuesday evening Pacific Time. I'll then choose a winner at random and email you your product of choice.
Good luck!

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Monday, April 6, 2015

Whole Brain Teaching, Part 1- Getting Started

Today was a staff development day for my district. Our school was lucky enough to join 2 other schools for a day of Whole Brain Teaching. Our presenter was supposed to be Chris Biffle, but one of the co-founders of WBT came instead. He was awesome! I've done the class-yes part of WBT teaching for a few years and it's an amazing way to get kids' attention. I was always nervous about trying the rest of WBT even though there are plenty of videos out there to watch. But after today, I'm jumping in!
In case you don't already know, WBT has a techniques for getting attention called class-yes. However you say "class" the students respond with "yes" and are quiet with their eyes on you). For getting kids talking to one another they do teach-okay. The teacher says "teach", kids respond "okay", and turn to tell their neighbor about what you've just taught. Our presenter had us take turns practicing different ways to say "teach" and it wasn't easy to keep coming up with new ideas! I know that in front of the kids I won't feel so silly and it will probably be easier.
Tonight I found a great video that show how to get started with whole brain teaching. I love the way Nancy describes how to introduce the teach-okay part. After practicing today and watching this, incorporating teach-okay is my goal for this week. Tomorrow should be lots of fun. Wish me luck!
Hope you enjoy the video:

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Thursday, April 2, 2015

Currently in April

April, sunshine, and Spring Break. Life is good. I went in to school today to clean up a big mess I left behind last Friday afternoon. Brought home a little bit to do my planning for next week when we're back in school. We have a professional development day Monday and I'm so excited! No really, I am. It's not sarcasm this time. Chris Biffle is coming for a day on Whole Brain Teaching! Woohoo! I hear it's a pretty intense day but I'm sure it will be awesome. I'll let you know.
In the meantime here's a link to one of my favorite WBT videos you've likely already seen, but could you really get tired of watching this adorable little boy lead the class in the rules? I smile every time I watch it.

Since it's April (already) I'm linking up with Farley again for this month's Currently.
 Listening- It's terribly windy outside today and has been for the last couple days. I really want to work in the yard and get my flowers trimmed up. Maybe tomorrow will be nicer.

Loving- Oh yeah, Spring Break. What's not love? Sleeping in, staying up late, no worries about what to wear, or getting lunch ready the night before. I wish I could say I've been extremely productive, but... not so much. And I'm enjoying it.

Thinking- that pretty much explains itself. 

Wanting- my husband's first real estate sales are supposed to close in the next 2 weeks. I sure hope they go smoothly. One hit a major hiccup last weekend but he saved it. My husband was laid off a couple years ago so he got his real estate license and after lots of work getting his name out there the sales are here! It will be nice to do more than just pay bills. We're going to celebrate with a trip to Disneyland later this month or next month. He loves Disneyland! and we could use a fun trip.

Needing- Yippee I get my hair cut on Wednesday! I'm past due and it's driving me crazy.

My blog name- First Grade definitely found me! I didn't even want to be a teacher when I started college. I was a biology major and planned to become a zookeeper. But that first quarter chemistry kicked my you-know-what and my plans needed to change. I'd been very involved in 4-H and liked helping younger members in my project so I decided to become a teacher. But there was no way, no way! I could teach kinder or 1st grade. I was sure of it. How do you teach kids to cut with scissors, write their names, etc? Wouldn't you know it, my first job was a 1st/2nd combination and I loved it! Two years later we moved back closer to home and I decided I'd like whatever grade I got. That turned out to be kindergarten and no one was more surprised than me at how much fun I had. This year I moved up with my class from 1st to 2nd grade. It's been so much fun- this group is a dream! But one day after school it hit me, out of nowhere, that 1st grade really is what I love and that I wanted to go back. That surprised me too because I was all set to stay in 2nd for a while. I'm thrilled to be going back to
image from
and plan to stay there for a long time to come. So that's how First Grade Found Me- twice.

Thanks for popping by!

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Saturday, March 14, 2015

St. Paddy's Day Freebies!

Happy Saturday everyone! I'm so glad the weekend is here so I can recharge a bit. We had parent conferences last week and I was gone all day Tuesday to a textbook evaluation meeting. We're getting new math textbooks next year and are trying to decide between Go Math!, Math Expressions Common Core (we've been using the old version for a couple of years now), and Singapore Math. If you use any of those or have any opinions, I'd love to hear from you!
This week we'll do some fun activities for St. Patrick's Day, continue to work on writing opinions, and begin to wrap-up our biographies unit. It should be fun!
My friend Barbara from Barbara Leyne Designs and GradeOnederful created some monster-themed St. Paddy's Day clipart that inspired a couple of coloring sheets and word searches I'll give my kiddos Monday and Tuesday. If you need a little something for the holiday, grab this freebie! Just click on any image.
There are 2 word searches- one easier, one harder. I'm teaching 2nd grade this year, but a few of my kiddos will feel overloaded if I give them the harder word search. I think I'll just copy enough of each and let them choose.

Barbara Leyne Designs

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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Currently in March!

It's March already? Oh my gosh! I missed last month's Currently, so I wanted to be sure to do this one. Here it goes:

LISTENING: Coast Guard Alaska is so interesting! That surprises me. I didn't expect to enjoy it so much. What those men and women do is just remarkable. Recently I found out that one of my kindergarten students who was also in my class in first grade is going into the Navy this summer and wants to be a rescue swimmer. He's grown into such a wonderful young man and I'm so proud to know him. It's so much fun to know some of my students as adults.

LOVING: My students are having so much fun with our latest writing unit! I'm having fun seeing them produce quality writing and enjoying it at the same time. If you're looking for an opinion writing unit for your kiddos, I recommend Share Your Opinion from Tania over at My Second Sense. The way she laid out the format for writing is working really well in my room. Thank you, Tania!

THINKING: Ugh, report cards. I brought home lots of paperwork to sort through, but tomorrow's a minimum day meant for report card prep. So I think my bag will stay right by the door where I put when I walked in. I'll search the web for fun art projects instead :)

WANTING: Ha! Ha! I always want warm, gooey brownies.

NEEDING: a few days off just to recharge a bit. There are several books on the shelf just waiting for me! Any recommendations? Especially mysteries.

SPRING BREAK PLANS: relaxing, reading, cleaning, and maybe enjoying one of those warm, gooey brownies!

Hope you have a spectacular week! I'm off to check out other Currently's. Thanks for popping by!

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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Valentine's Day Bookmark Freebie

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! This is a quick post tonight. I just finished making some valentine bookmarks to give my class tomorrow. They're a freebie in my TPT store. Just click {here} and they're yours. Comments and pinning are greatly appreciated if you download them. Thanks so much!!

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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Currently for 2015

2015. Remember when Y2K was a big deal? Recently I saw an add for Skype where it will translate what's being said to allow anyone to speak to anybody else regardless of their language. The person talking about it referred to some kind of automatic translator from the Star Trek shows (I've never watched then so I don't know exactly what it is...). It just made me think of how much that used to be science fiction is reality in 2014, almost 2015. Just amazing, isn't it?

Yesterday my husband and I took a drive to get out of the house, go out to lunch, and shop. We stopped at a barbecue restaurant we'd never tried before and it was fabulous! We were in the mood for hamburgers and they didn't disappoint. I had a Barnes & Noble gift certificate to spend so we went there and I got this
Thank you for the gc, Sherri! I'm about halfway through it and can't wait to get it implemented in my classroom! After that we stopped at a local farm that sells all kinds of fruits, veggies, and wonderful jams, pies, and fresh apple cider. In the fall they have huge piles of pumpkins outside, in December they're replaced by Christmas trees. But after Christmas apparently this is what's left

Today we're at home taking it easy. I just discovered that Farley has her Currently up today and thought I'd join in quickly since I missed it in December.
Listening- Recently on my way home from school I turned on the radio and heard an amazing song! I grabbed my iPad (luckily I was stopped at a light) opened the Shazam app and discovered I was listening to Stevie Ray Vaughn's Pride and Joy. How I've missed out on his music all these years is beyond me!
Loving- This relaxing time off is just what I needed. It's also the first time this fall / winter that it's been cold enough (50 degrees today) to wear some of my warm sweaters. I was actually tired of t-shirt weather.
Thinking- about things I should do, and that Wanting to stay right here on the couch and read is going to win out for now.
Needing- I don't know. For now I'm pretty content.
Yes- I really want to get to southern California to see a good friend and her sweet kids, and to northern California to see another friend. We've been friends since college and don't get to see each very often. She's a flight attendant and I'd love to take a trip with her sometime this year.
Maybe and My Wish go together- my husband started a new career in real estate. He's got a few listings and has come very close to selling 2 or 3 properties but things have fallen through due to circumstances out of his control. One person was ready to buy a property- all cash- and the day they were to write up the deal (they even had a scheduled appointment), the man had to cancel because his wife got laid off. It's been things like that that have kept much from going through for him in the last couple months. His reward for both of us when he sells his first house is a trip to Disneyland. Here's hoping it happens soon.

Thanks for sticking with me through all that! I'm going to recharge my computer then check out the other Currently's. Have a wonderful, safe, fun New Year's Eve!

Until 2015... when I'll be back with Technology Tuesday and some freebies for ya!

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