Tuesday, December 27, 2011

11 in 11 Linky Party

I will probably be back to post again even though that might not be good blog etiquette. This is not a linky party I would normally do. I am a shy person who HATES talking about myself. Do you remember the Seinfeld episode about "The Vault"? That is me...I keep things about myself in a vault! I have also been called "The Secret Agent" by my family. So, here goes:

11. Favorite movie you watched
Soul Surfer: WOW!  What a wonderful movie to put things in perspective and humble you. A very inspiring movie to think about the ways God can use you in the lives of others.

10. Favorite TV series
I don't watch much tv but I do like The Biggest Loser when I do watch it!

9. Favorite restaurant
My favorite restaurant where we live is Auntie Pasta's. It is super yummy Italian food and delicious adult beverages! After a week with my kiddos, it is just what I need! The Italian Margarita and The Peach Bellini are the BEST!


8. Favorite new thing you tried
That is hard because I am like Kristin. I do NOT like new things or change. I am in love with pomegranate blueberry juice. Since I cannot drink an Italian Margarita at school, this is my new pick-me-up. I tried a Pomegranate Blueberry Sprite and Pomegranate Blueberry Lemonade from the Sonic. My buddy Carla found this at the store and I have been adding it to tea, water, or Sprite. Very yummy!

7. Favorite gift you received
One of my favorite gifts is my bunny Houdini also know as BB for Boing-Boing Bunny. I have wanted a brown bunny since I was little. I told a sweet friend this and BB was delivered to my school in an Easter basket. He is the softest thing in the world and gets along with my kitty Edison. They both like playing together and eating carrots and cilantro.

6. Favorite thing you pinned
I have tried to stay away from Pinterest because I tend to have an addictive personality and am afraid I would never leave my computer between that and all of the blogs I stalk. This is one of my favorites!

5. Favorite blog post
My favorite post is From the Heart...Building Your School Family. This captures so much what I believe as a teacher and what my blog is all about. I truly believe we must touch each kiddos heart before we ever reach their heads. Being a helpful heart is what Our School Family is all about. We fill each other's bucket and we add helpful hearts when we notice kind and helpful acts. We make a commitment to keep others safe and to be kind and helpful when we put our heart in the Safe Keeper's Box. We also use our heart words with each other.

4. Favorite accomplishment. 
The email I received asking me to be an author on TBA. I am still in awe and speechless over this one. Ikeep waiting for Tamara and Leslie to tell me they made a mistake and take back the invitation.

3. Favorite picture
I do not like having my picture taken at all! I avoid the camera as much as I can and even try and get out of having my picture taken for our school yearbook. I have 3 nieces I call My Chickadees. I love them more than anything and they mean the world to me. I tell my sister that I am her first child. I do almost everything with them and am blessed beyond words that I live in the same town as them and see them as much as I do. This is a picture from when we went to Florida 2 years ago.


My 2 oldest nieces are now both taller than me. They love the fact that they can pick me up and give me piggy-back rides and have been able to for a LONG time. I am their She She! =)

2. Favorite memory
I have so many. I think some of the best are just the time I spend with my sister and nieces. I love hanging out, playing games with them and watching movies. I love our She She dates!

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Potty Police

When I started teaching 12 years ago, I should have known I was in trouble the first time I heard these words: "I gotsta use it!". As soon as I heard those words, like nails on a chalkboard, I plummeted into the world of The Potty Police. I must have missed the class in college that teaches you how to take 17+ 1st graders to the bathroom in less than 15 minutes. (We can now achieve this milestone in about 4 minutes!)

"I gotsta use it teacher!" is still the cry I often still hear the first week of school and I reply sarcastically in my sweetest teacher voice "What do you need to use? A pencil? A crayon?" By the end of the 1st week if someone says that I ignore them and walk away. Some helpful little friend will always remind them that the proper way to ask is "May I please go to the bathroom?".

Yes, we have no bathroom in our classroom because my room is the size of a shoebox and I might be tempted to use it for storage instead.

The first day of school we head down to the bathroom. We learn the 1-2-3:
1 teeny, tiny squirt of soap
2 you only need to tap on the faucet 2 times
3 you only need 3 rolls of the paper towels

....and you only wash your hands...not your face, your hair or your shoes...and you are not a doctor so you do not need to wash all the way up to your elbows.

Then, we talk about the tee-tee on the floor and how gross it would be to put ANY part of our body on the floor and how SUPER DUPER gross it would be to crawl on the floor. Later we use the glitter bug lotion and the black light to see ALL of the GERMS ALL OVER OUR bodies and they hear the tee-tee lecture again.

I take the girls in and we learn how to flush the potty.

I take the boys in and we learn how to flush the urinal and the potty.

I learned my 1st year of teaching you CANNOT assume a child knows how and WILL flush the potty. Yeppers, one little friend told me, "My mommy does it for me." Ummm, not happening with this maestra!

Life would be wonderful and easy if these steps solved everything And yes, I am a bit of a control freak but after popping my head around the corner I have learned that the bathroom to some little ones means F-R-E-E-D-O-M!

Here are some incidents the Potty Police can now report to you:

*1- A little one who has to take off EVERY single stitch of his clothing...yes, socks and shoes too...we he goes to the bathroom. I invision him in Middle School now doing this and thinking how bad it will be when someone steals his clothes off the bathroom floor!

*2- Boys making a touchdown: back to the urinal, bending over and making a shot between their legs...that is as far as I go in explaining the details but I am sure you can visualize.

*3-standing on the toilet to tee-tee because someone at home does this too...and yeppers, a phone call confirmed this.

*4-a child reported eating something brown off the floor...I took everything in my power to not throw up or wash that child's mouth out with soap.

I have lost count of all the pants I have buttoned and unbuttoned. When questioned who buttons your pants at home, they always say their momma. When I tell them their momma needs to teach them how you need to ask your momma to teach you, they reply "She said you would teach me". Hmmm, I don't think I can put that on my lesson plans.

The best is the little ones who have their pants held together by a safety pin. Yes, I understand buttons pop off but REALLY....a 1st grader and safety pins are not a good combo.

Here is my ultimate Potty Police Report:

While having an observation, one of my special sweet little kiddos asked, "May I please go to the bathroom?" and I replied, "Yes." and before I could get "Take a buddy with you" out of my mouth, she stood up in her chair and went.

So, my question of the day for you is:
Do you have a potty story?

On to the *freebie*....here is a blend sort I hope you can use with your kiddos. =)

graphics by DJ Inkers

Please leave me the gift of a heart note if you grab this *freebie*! I am so blessed by each one you leave and I get so obsessive excited about checking my email to see them!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Save the Snowman!

I am thinking it would be VERY, VERY, VERY nice if Santa and his elves brought me cardstock and ink for Christmas. I wonder how much I spend on those 2 things every year...or maybe I need to stay in denial about that. Before I share my *freebies* I would like to know:

1. Does your school/principal ever buy ink for the teachers?
2. Do you have a color printer at school you are able to use?
3. Do you go through ink and cardstock like a 1st grader goes through a box of Kleenex?
4. Do you have access to a laminator (Tara, I added this after seeing your heart note!)

Here is my first *freebie*. It is called Save the Snowman. Each kiddo has their own game board and 12 cubes or counters. Players take turns rolling the dice and either adding OR subtracting the numbers. The first player to cover all of their snowflakes saves their snowman from melting....yep, a mini science lesson too! Why does the snowman need the snowflakes? Hahahahaha....it always helps to pound it into their sweet little brains as much as possible because who knows if they are actually listening when they are supposed to. =)

graphics by DJ Inkers

The next *freebie* is just some tally mark practice for some little ones who need it pounded into their heads again! Bless my heart their hearts!
graphics by DJ Inkers

I hope all my sweet followers are enjoying their Christmas Break so far. If you are still going, BLESS YOU and I will pray for your sanity and for Santa to bring you either sweets or a large beverage! =)

Look for more about SAVE THE SNOWMAN...lots of ideas and goodies coming your way! This is what I call a brain pop! Usually they happen the night before but this one came early....can you believe it Carla??!!!???

Please leave me a heart note if you grab these *freebies*! Each one really touches my heart and encourages to create more and to continue to share!

I am also curious to find out about ink and printing at your school.....

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Christmas for Me...and a math *freebie*

I *LOVE* Christmas vacation. I love relaxing, cooking, eating, reading, eating, spending time with family, eating, relaxing, cuddling with my fur babies, and celebrating the birth of my Savior which made the cross and my salvation possible. But it is also a time that my heart is filled with worries for my kiddos.

I teach children of poverty. Until I started teaching 12 years ago I never knew there were homeless people where I lived (I knew in a big city-YES but in my little community-NO!). Most of my kiddos come from single parent families and many from abusive homes. Many, many, many of our kiddos get the only meals they eat at school and some go home to houses with no electricity and running water...and even in my part of Texas, it gets very cold at night.

We try and help families that we know about but there are always some you just don't know the whole situation or the family is too proud to accept any help. So, as I enjoy my holiday, I count my blessings and lift up the little hearts in my room and all the other kiddos out there. I pray God watches over ALL of them a little bit closer. Please read this poem and remember all kiddos may not be richly blessed this Christmas BUT they have received a great gift: the gift of your love.

Here is a little *freebie*. If you have been by my blog before, you may have grabbed this game before. You can play this game by rolling the dice, adding the 2 numbers, and covering the pictures with the sum. We are going to play by subtracting when my kiddos come back in January. They will cover all 50 pictures first. They will roll the 2 dice and subtract. They will remove the difference. The first player to either add and cover all or subtract and remove all is the winner.

As always, please leave me a heart note if you grab this *freebie* or the poem touches your heart.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Penguins and Pajamas

It is after 5:00 and I am still in my pajamas! Ahhhh, Christmas Break how do I love thee! I have spent the day reading one of my favorite books again (Hill Country by Janice Woods Windle), cleaning ( a bit), eating, making new activities, eating, enjoying my boys (fur babies), and eating. I will get dressed later so I can go to Chilly Fillmore's for dessert!

My kiddos love the addition and subtraction sorts I have made. In 1st grade we are not supposed to have children memorize facts, but we (meaning myself and my buddy Carla) probably do enough games and other activities that they begin to memorize them and gain an understanding by the different math strategies we teach them too (10 makers, doubles, plus 1, minus 1, etc).

We did many of the Color by Code that 1st Grade a la Carte had as part of her 12 Days of Christmas. My kiddos are addicted to color by code/number activities but some got tricked by the mixed addition and subtraction. So, I was inspired to trick them too! They love when I tell them I am going to try and trick their brains!

I hope you can use this sort too!

I would love for you to leave me the gift of a heart note!

I had so much fun with my first giveaway that I am planning on another one when I reach 500 followers. Please tell your friends to follow me or if you have been stalking and printing but NOT following then you need to! =)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Plenty Of Penguins

On Thursday I was given the coal in my stocking an early Christmas present. When I return from Christmas Break, the dreaded fun penguin unit is waiting for me. It has been placed by the trash can in a safe place. You say the "p word" to any 1st grade teacher in my district and it won't be pretty. I love penguins just not the unit that is supposed to teach math but really teaches....hmmmmm, after 12 years I have still not figured that one out. Fine motor cutting skills? Yes! We learn about different penguins and I like that but then our math assessments for this unit are based on reading and sorting penguin facts learned from a poem that is about 40 lines long and WAY to long for a 1st grader to read at this time of the year. Um, where are the assessments for place value, problem solving, graphing, and oh, any of the other TEKS I am supposedly teaching with this unit??!!!????

So to help my kiddos actually learn something, I throw away and recycle many activities send home with my kiddos many of the games that take about 3 hours to cut out per kiddo. Did I mention this unit is about 6 reams of paper tall??!!!???

Okay, I could rant and complain discuss more about the penguin unit but this is my break and I do want to relax and not think about those reams of paper already collecting dust in my room.

Here are some penguin math games I hope you can use! =)

Penguin Fact Families

Penguin Addition Cover-Up

Another Penguin Cover-Up

I hope these help you out with some math stations when you return from your Christmas Break. Heart notes make me smile so I would appreciate you leaving one if you grab these activities.

A Sunday night is so much sweeter knowing I can stay in my pajamas for a LONG time tomorrow. =)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Giveaway Winners

I am so excited to announce the winners of my first AWESOME giveaway! I never would have imagined 198 heart notes! I was thinking I wouldn't even get 100! Even though Sewing Sassy and I could only pick 3 winners, we are both so blessed by the time you took to comment on my blog, follow my TpT store, like Sewing Sassy's Facebook page and like Sewing Sassy's etsy page.

I could not get the Random generator box to show up the right way...I am VERY technology challenged!...so, this had to do! That is my goal before the next giveaway! Here are our 3 winners:

katieneu said... I tweeted the giveaway today!!! I see above my friends (I told them about your blog) wrote above! YAY!

New2thisteacher said... I follow your blog!

Holly said... I follow your sweet blog and find it to be so inspirational! :)
Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade

Please email me so I can get you the 3 items from my TpT store. Please contact Sewing Sassy either through her Facebook page or her etsy shop.

Thank you for all that entered and keep checking back for *freebies*, inspiration, and a new giveaway soon!

A HUGE thanks to Carla at Sewing Sassy for not only helping me in this giveaway but for encouraging me to start this blog and being my shipmate in the Back 40! I love you friend!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Guess Who? Christmas Riddle Fun

My kiddos love riddles and they are great for helping my ELL kiddos develop vocabulary by using descriptive language. We play this game with blends and compound words so I quickly made one with Christmas words...and my kiddos LOVED it! We played today and they were very excited to then write their own Christmas Riddle.

Here is a picture of the trail game.

This game has no beginning or ending starting point. The player (or team) that has the most pairs at the end is the winner. A player draws a card and reads the word and moves to that picture or the player draws a riddle card and reads the riddle THEN moves to that picture. The players are trying to match the word card to the riddle card that describes that word. There are also special cards to take another player's card or one to trade a card. This really brings in the problem solving in deciding which card they should trade or take.

After we played, they wrote there own Christmas riddles. Here are a picture of 2 of them. We were still working when it was time to go so I was only able to get a few pictures. They are turning out really CUTE!

Click on the picture to grab your copy!

Please let me know if you have any questions about how to play. I would also love to know if you would like me to share my compound word riddle game and the one for blends. You know how much I LOVE your heart notes!

Remember, my awesome giveaway ends this Friday. If you want to read more about it click here.

You could win one of these ADORABLE shirts!

Remember if you blog about my giveaway leave me a heart note and let me know you did. That will be one more chance for you to win! =)

You bring a smile to my face and my heart with each heart note you leave me...THANK YOU for blessing me. =)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Gift...who are YOU? a little inspiration

I love teaching and I love my kiddos ....but lately even some of my calm kiddos have been invaded by the body snatchers and my kiddos who are usually wild and out of control so pumped and excited to learn and see me each day are overcome with Christmas cheer!

The kiddos I teach are not ones who are going to bring me gift certificates to Bath and Body Works or my favorite place to eat because some of them don't have food to eat for dinner or cars to get them to school much less the mall. Yes, those gifts would be nice but I am used to very loved stuffed animals, half filled bottles of perfume, or just a hug and an "I love you, Ms. Price!" Those gifts touch my heart because I know they are given with love even though some might be my White Elephant gift at the next Christmas Party.

I realize I have the chance to give each of my kiddos a gift that will last all year and for some, maybe a gift they will carry with them forever. Each kiddo in our rooms is carrying a gift for us to open. We often do not see it as a gift though. We see it as a burden or sometimes a behavior that drives us up the WALL!!! (and I forget many times to look with Eyes of the Heart!) How we treat them and that gift they bring us may forever change them. How we react to the bully, the child who argues, the quiet child who never says anything, or the wild and out of control child can be a GIFT to them because we could be the one to forever touch their heart.

I hope you read this poem as you try and survive end this time before your holiday break and I hope you read it before you come back to start the new year with your kiddos. Remember, YOU might be one of the greatest gifts your kiddos ever receive because a gift that touches the heart will last forever!

Remember, my AWESOME giveaway ends this Friday. I would love for you to blog about it and encourage others to follow my blog so they may find some inspiration here too! Click here to read more about it!

As always, I would love a heart note about this poem.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Reading with Rudolph

My kiddos have gone nuts over this game! We have been playing it during reading groups and my kiddos have been asking to go to reading groups twice. Today they even wanted to stay inside and play instead of playing on the playground! And that was fine with me since the playground is still muddy and it is cold out there! =)

This has been a great activity because I can easily modify it by what each group needs. AND Rudolph did send us the game along with some spare noses (red M&M's!).

Here is Rudolph!

Hop on over to my TpT store to grab this adorable game! This game focuses on word endings: -s, magic e and -s, -ing, and -ed. There are over 150 words to read. Just be sure to not get the Grinch because then the game is over! Check it out!

Remember my AWESOME giveaway! Click here to read more about it!


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Crazy for Critters- a subtraction sort

A sweet blogger asked me about a subtraction sort and I was already in the process of making one! This one I made so you can use it any time of the year depending on the skills you need to focus on and what your kiddos need! I have another one I'll share closer to January with snowmen. I hope you can use that one too! =)

graphics by DJ Inkers

If you haven't heard about my AWESOME giveaway, click here! You might win one of these shirts PLUS 3 items from my TpT store!

Aren't these too ADORABLE??!!!???

I have been so blessed by each of you that stops by my blog. Your heart notes encourage me and make me smile! I am so excited each time I open my emails. I am honored you would use my activities to teach your kiddos. I hope you leave my blog with some encouragement.

I truly believe God has sent each of you to my blog and I pray you realize what a hero and guardian angel you are to each of your kiddos. Remember, for some kiddos you might be the only one to love them each day. You are leaving your heartprints on each one of the children in your class just like you are leaving heartprints on me!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Christmas Addition Fun

My kiddos loved the Turkey Addition sort we did at Thanksgiving. Here is one for Christmas that is just TOO, TOO cute!

graphics by Scrappin Doodles

Please remember to check out my AWESOME giveaway! Click here to learn more about winning one of these ADORABLE shirts!

This post is short and sweet! We had our staff Christmas Party tonight and the food was DE-LISH! There were homemade sopapillas that were so yummy! I ate 8 of them and they are now expanding in my tummy...I think I am too full to go to work in the morning! =)

I would LOVE a heart note for this little Christmas math *freebie*.