About Me

Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday Made It

Hey there!!!

Well, I had a lot of response from last week's Monday Made It, so I'm linking up again...

I made two things for my classroom this week.  First of all, I finished the main bulletin board in my classroom. I LOVE the scrunchy paper border. I think it just looks so happy and it really pops in the classroom... here's my finished product...
Well, not finished, but the border is finished. Now I'm going to put a frog in the middle and let the kiddos make paper plate frogs the first week, since I'm going to have a frog theme in my room. I'm sure you all know how to do the scrunchy paper border, but if you don't, here are some directions...
1. Choose your paper color. I just use the bulletin board paper on the roll. I tear off two huge sheets, probably 5-6 feet long each, then cut them into strips. About 4-5 inches long, like this...
I usually start in the upper left corner. You simply scrunch the paper up, and staple it. Then, you move across or down, depending upon which way your going, scrunching and stapling, scrunching and stapling. Really you can't mess it up. If you can see the staple, just scrunch the paper and staple again.

After I finished with the white paper border, then I added my polka dot border inside to add a little pop of green to the board. Since I'm doing frogs in my room, I'll put the kiddos paper plate frogs up here the first week of school. Exciting!!!!

Next, this is really simple. I made some white board erasers, which I always need.  Walmart was having a sale on washcloths. I got these for $5.

I simply cut these into fourths.

And now I have a class set of erasers for the white boards!

I don't have anything I made for my home. Are you kidding?! I have a 5 year old and almost 2 year old twins. All boys! I'm lucky my house is somewhat clean. That's it! :)
I hope you're inspired and want to make some simple things for your classroom! It'll pay off in the end, I promise you!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Daily 5 Chapter 7! Woo hoo!!!

Okay y'all, this is it! I've finished the Daily 5! The D5. I can write that now since I've read the book now. Well, the D5 has taught me a lot and I must say I am so excited to get started with it!

You know, I remember the days before I had my own children when I just was so upset when the summer was over. No more time to stay up late, lay out at the pool or the lake, go out with friends...
Since none of that happens anymore (ok, I did out at the pool like 3 times this summer when my kids were at Mother's Day Out) for the most part, I'm not nearly as upset when summer is over. Don't get me wrong, it is so nice to have time in the mornings to do things without having to be out of the house so early and to be able to run errands as the need arises, but I won't be shedding the tears I used to shed.

Anywho....I digress... So this chapter kind of sums everything up and gives some troubleshooting ideas. Now that I know what each component is, I feel like I need to go back and read the book again. I do have a lot of questions. Maybe you all can help... And if these questions have been answered in previous posts, I'm sorry. Cut me some slack. I took my kids in the car today and when we got where we were going, I saw I hadn't put on their shoes. That's just a day in my life, people.

1. Will I have a workboard? What does it look like?

2. What about other centers/stations? I've heard of people adding a few. Should I do that and if so, THEN what does the workboard look like?

3. I'm planning my schedule and I was thinking of having a Comprehension focus less, then word work/vocabulary, then writing, then Accuracy...Is that okay? Or will the D5 Police come and arrest me?

Any other comments are soooo appreciated! I loved doing this book study! What're we doing next?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday Made It

Today, I'm linking up for

I have not joined this linky until now, so I'm so excited!!! Go to her site to join up here.

Well, you saw my post a couple of weeks ago about my No Sew Curtains that I made. No? Well, check it out, here. Anywho...I made those curtains before I found out I could PAINT MY CLASSROOM!!!! What?!?! We have never been allowed this luxury! We all had a kind of drab off white/pale yellow in our rooms. Here was my room before...please ignore all the cr-stuff that's everywhere...

Yes, I went ahead and hung my curtains because I was so excited about them!!! So, as I was saying, we got an email in the early summer saying if we wanted to paint our rooms we needed to get a color approved asap before our principal left for the summer. I was going on vacay in a matter of days at that point and I just knew I wouldn't have enough time to choose a color, get said color approved, etc. So I just said, Maybe next summer.

A couple of weeks ago I went up to school and went to see my friend's classroom because I knew she painted her room. Wowwie Wow Wow as Junie B would say! I fell in love with the lime green on her walls that was the EXACT same color as my curtains!!! I quickly texted my principal and did a tad bit of whining and pleading and she said, Sure you can paint it that same color....


Taaa daaa!!!!
I love it! You can see a little glimpse of the curtains in the corner. I will take a pic again as I get my other curtains up and stuff put away! I only painted the one wall you see in the pic. The other walls are cinder (sp?) blocks. Huh uh. I'm not touching those. I don't have that kind of time. I whipped this out in a couple of hours

You should see my school now! There are greens and blues and I'm even hearing of a lilac, yet I haven't seen it. It's like an ice cream truck crashed into our school!!! Lol! It's great!

Do you have colorful classrooms?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Daily 5 Chapter 6-Stick with me to the End

Hello there!
So..... how do I look? Nice, huh?! Nice new blog name and design, thanks to Barbara at Grade ONEderful!
This is my first Daily 5 link up since I got the new look! I'm so excited to share with you! She did such a great job! Ok. Enough about me...
I'm happy to be linking up for the continued discussion about the Daily 5. I can't tell you how excited I am to implement this in my room and this chapter has gotten me even MORE excited!!!

Work on Writing
I must say, I've always loved my writing station. It's on a nice little round table and I had their supplies in a little bin and I even sometimes let the kiddos write with colored pencils or markers, just to be nice. And everyone did so well in that station....until about mid October, when they realized, I don't want to write, I've got these great markers here, so I'll just draw a great picture. And we would come back together at the end of stations and we would talk about what the writing station was and what we should do there. And the next day, I would have another mini lesson on what I Can do in the Writing Station. And the kids would start writing stories, etc. again, for about another week. Then, they were back to pictures again. By March, I'd given up and I would just listen to the details about the picture that was drawn, in the writing station.
I'm really hoping the Daily 5 lessons and introductions will really help me tackle this writing problem. The funny thing is, my kids usually like writing because I give them a choice in writer's workshop and they mostly enjoy writing and sharing their stories. But in the writing station, I wasn't carrying over what they were doing in writer's workshop. I hope to really improve this, this year.

Word Work
I am soooooooooooooooooooo happy I am finally going to have something to do with all these games I have stored away in my word work tubs.
I don't really know why they stay stored away. I guess the problem has always been that the children were not independent enough to be able to play the games successfully. I'm rereading my post and I'm really sounding like a sucky, controlling, type A kind of teacher. I am really not that way. I just have expected them to be able to do things independently when I haven't done enough scaffolding before I let them go. The funny thing is, I'm always the teacher that says, You have to have your stations up and running for 6 weeks before you can do guided reading successfully. I guess I'm going to have to walk the walk now, huh?!
Well, I am loving the great ideas I'm getting from you guys! This is definitely one of the best book studies I've gotten to be involved in. Thanks everyone!

If you have some suggestions for me on how to start these parts of Daily 5 or to build the student's Stamina (this is my word for the year) I would love it if you left a comment!!!

Oh, before I go, I do want to give you a link....my school district has done a great job on the resources they've given us on our website. They finally have even come up with a "Suggested Spelling Sequence" for the year that goes along with our Common Core Units and Standards. You can find the link for first grade here, and scroll down to Suggested Spelling Sequence and it's broken up into the 6 units we study in the year. If you teach another grade, start here, then find Elementary Curriculum and click, then click on Elementary Curriculum by Grade Level, then click on your grade level and look for Suggested Spelling Sequence. I think all the grades have them. Kindergarten's is listed as Suggested Phonological Awareness, etc...  There are a lot of other great resources on these pages. Our curriculum coaches have worked very hard!

Hope this gives you some ideas!!!!

Thursday, July 19, 2012


So, I told you earlier that to celebrate my 50 followers (now 60) I wanted to give you something to keep ya coming back!
So here are my first day of school lessons plans.

Really this is a checklist. I've done both-a detailed lesson plan with time assigned to each activity and just a checklist. If I've learned anything in my 15 years of teaching, I've learned that you can't expect anything to go as expected on the first day. And try as I might to follow a lesson plan, it just never goes as planned. So, I just opt for a checklist on the first day and I feel I've accomplished something if I get through most of the list. It always carries over to the second day though.

So you can get my freebie here. I hope it works!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

New Home, New Look and Versatile Blog Award

Hey you guys!!!
I am sooooo excited (tho exthited) to blog tonight so that I can just keep looking at my lovely new design that I got from Barbara over at

I am in love!!! I'll explain the name and give details when I share about myself for the Versatile Blog Award. She just really gave me the look I was hoping for!!! You can leave a comment to give a shout out to Barbara! Maybe you need a new look, too?!

So, my old name and home was Funtastic Fun in First Grade. So, please remember me over here! I hope I can really get this blog going! I'm really motivated now!!!
I have been honored with


Thanks so much, Kristen, from
A day in first grade

Go on over and check out her cute new blog!

The rules of the award go as follows:
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.
2. Include a link to their site.
3. Include the award image in your post.
4. Give 7 random facts about yourself.
5. Nominate 15 other bloggers for the award.
6. When nominating, include a link to their site
7. Let the other bloggers know they've been nominated.

7 Random Facts?!?! Well....

1. If you've read my About Me, you know I have three boys and a step daughter. Here we are...
Awww... Yes, you may have noticed a couple of things about my picture, which leads me to a couple more random facts...

2. A year and a half ago, I gave birth to twin boys. We'd had my first son, decided to try for a girl and had twin boys. I'll never forget the laughter I heard from my husband and my doctor when my doctor said, Oh wait! I hear ANOTHER heartbeat! I was not laughing.

3. You might've noticed the red and white attire in our picture. My family and I are HUGE Arkansas Razorback fans!!!!

We watch football, basketball and baseball pretty religiously. We "Call Those Hogs" whether we're winnin' or losin'! I am born and raised here in Arkansas, so it makes sense, right?!
For those of you who don't know, Arkansas is just above Louisiana and next door to Oklahoma and Texas. Despite what many people think, we do have teeth, we don't wear overalls, and we don't marry our cousins. Well, most of us anyway. Now if there's a tornado, they will find all of our best representatives in the trailer parks to interview on national tv. That's just kind of an unwritten rule. No offense, of course!
4. I am a born again Presbyterian!!! ha! It's just kind of funny to me! We were what I call non-practicing Methodists. We had a home church, we just never went. It had just gotten huge and we didn't have much desire to be a part of it. Then, after my first son was born, I really wanted him to be raised in a church, but we still didn't get ourselves going. Then, when I got pregnant with the twins, they had a health scare. Up until I was around 20 weeks pregnant, they didn't know if my babies were in separate sacs. Not to get graphic here, but basically each baby needs their own sac so they don't have to share nutrients.  Even identical twins like mine, need their own sacs. If there's only one sac, both babies are at risk because neither one may get the nutrients they need to survive. Well, no doctor could see two sacs, so they just couldn't tell me if they were going to be ok. It was around this time that I knew I needed help in my life. This was too big for just me. We found our home in a small Presbyterian church and have loved it there ever since! The babies had their own sacs, by the way and were fine. As a matter of fact, when they were delivered when I was 37 weeks pregnant, they weight 6.4 and 6.6.  Hence the bedrest the last month.

5. I am addicted to reality tv. I know it's awful. I know it's probably not true and staged, but give me just about any reality tv show to watch and I'm usually hooked. Sad, I know, but it's true.

6. I have recently started running again. Up until about 3 years ago, I was one of those people who said, I CAN'T RUN. Sorry to say I can't, but...I just can't. Well, a friend started a running group, mainly for teachers and sent an email that said, Have you always thought you were a person who can't run? Well, I'm telling you, you CAN! So, I thought I'd give it a try and I became hooked. I was doing very well and then....pregnant with twins. No more running. So in the past 6 weeks, I've started up again and I must say...I LOVE it!!! It is unlike any other workout I've ever done. Believe me, if I can do it, you can too. If you've ever had one bit of wanting to try it, I highly recommend doing it. Most recently, I downloaded the Couch to 5K app for my phone and have been using it. It is a good guide if you need it, like me!

7. I'm now addicted to blogging!!! I love it! I love looking to see who's looking at my posts and I love checking blogger each day. I love when you guys comment and I love reading all your great ideas, so I hope this new passion continues.

Whew! This was a long one! Thanks for sticking with me!
Ok, 15 people for this award... here goes....

Traditions, Laughter and Happily Ever After
First Grade Fanatics
Just Wild About Teaching


That's 8...that's enough, right?! Ok, I've never been able to share the love with 15 other people. Someone tell me, is that really bad blogging etiquette? I have been working on this post for so long, though. Do you hear the whine in my voice? You can give it to me straight. Is it just plain rude?

Monday, July 16, 2012

50 Followers and An Award!

Wow! I've finally reached 50! Yeah!!! I know many people have giveaways when they reach a certain number of followers, but then, only 1 person wins, right?! If I give away a freebie, then everyone can have it! So, I was going to just give the freebie on this post but the TPT site is not being my friend, so I will work on it.  I owe everyone a freebie! It'll be my first day of school checklist/lesson plan. And I'll share as soon as TPT and I make up.

Now that I have 50 followers, it's time I do something drastic. I need a new look and thanks to Barbara at Grade ONEderful, I'll be getting one soon!!! I'm so excited! She does great work! Wanna see? Head on over to one of her blogs...

I have no idea why those blog buttons spaced themselves so far apart.  See? I need her!!! Anywho...I think I'm going to change the name of my blog. It'll be a suprise but I'll let you know as soon as I change. Do you have any advice? Have you ever done that? And what about removing blogspot from the url? I'm not sure what that means...

Well, I've gotten a couple of awards lately and I haven't been able to keep up! I'm so sorry girls, for taking so long to appreciate them!
Angi over at

gave me this award!

Thanks! That's so nice! I'm supposed to nominate 5 blogs with under 200 followers...



And that's all I could find who don't already have this award!!! I'll keep looking!

Daily 5 Chapter 5

Better late than never, right?

I sorta got lost... I couldn't find where you guys went (who was hosting the next chapter that is) and everytime I went to check, my computer would freeze on me. Then I'd get tired of restarting and I'd just have to go to bed. I can only blog when my children are asleep, so that means around lunchtime (and I'm eating then, duh) or after they go to bed at night.
So, here I am finally!!!

And I finally figured out our hosts...

Castles and Crayons


So, this chapter talks about Read to Someone and Listen to Reading. Since I've never done the Daily 5, I LOVE how there are step by step and day by day lessons to get started. I came across the appendix in the back and I love how the lessons are already in a handy chart for me! Very helpful!

What I'm really thinking about is how I'm going to incorporate this in many ways. I will use these both in the ways they are intended, but I also plan to expand these to work with our new "5th Grade Buddies." See, my BFF teaching partner and life coach and partner in crime and whatever else you want to call her has devastated me. She is moving...to 5th Grade!!!! And she's only taught K and 1!!!! Crazy, right?!?! Well, it's a long story, but basically, she was asked and she's too nice to say no to almost anyone, so she's moving. Far, far away. Down another hall. My life may be over.

But never fear! We've figured out that our classes will be buddies! And they can help each other out. The firsties will love having "Big Kids" in the room and the 5th graders will love being teachers. I really think it will be great for all the kids and I think the 5th graders could be really good models and good listeners.

What do you think? Have you done anything like this before? Do you have any advice?

Well, we're in the home stretch as far as the book goes! Almost done! I'm ready to finish it and get started! Without the summer being over. And without school starting.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

No Sew Curtains Part Two

Okay, so here's how you make some No Sew Curtains like these...

First of all, you need to measure your window so you make sure you get enough fabric. That may seem obvious to most of you, but sometimes I forget details. This detail is very important. And it's quite frustrating to pick out a cute fabric, take it up to the counter, only to have the nice lady ask you, "So how much do you need?" And you have no idea. Oh, by the way, when you pick a fabric, if this is your first attempt at making curtains, I would stick with a pretty forgiving pattern, maybe even a solid color. If you pick a chevron pattern or one with stripes, for example, you have to work extra hard to keep it straight. Just a little advice, but if you have you heart set on one, just go with it and keep checking it as you go. Also, if your fabric is really thin, you'll probably want to glue some sort of backing to the curtain so it won't be a sheer when it's not supposed to be. :) Just buy a cheapo fabric, white or whatever solid color that works with your curtain.

While you're at the fabric store, make sure to pick up a tape measure if you don't already have one and some fabric glue. The glue I used was called "Fabric Fusion."  You will also need your iron and ironing board. If you're like me, you'll need to find it in the closet.

Since you've already measured your window, you should know about how big your curtains need to be. Remember, if you want you curtains to be a straight panel, you'll need the curtain to be the same size as the window. But if you want it to bunch up and like kind of ruffly like mean, you'll need to add about another foot to the length of your window. So, since my window was 36 inches across, the panel I made was actually about 50 inches across.

Start with what will be the top of your fabric. Use the straightest edge for your top. Make sure as you go, to keep looking to make sure when your curtains hang, they look level and the pattern stays straight across, unless the pattern on the fabric doesn't matter or if you chose a solid color. Because the curtain rods I use go inside the curtain (is that a pocket rod? did I make that up?), I measure about 3 inches at the top. So I measure three inches of fabric, then fold it over, then iron the fold so that it stays. Keep doing that all along the edge until you come to the end, measuring and ironing all the way down. I went ahead and measured and ironed all four sides, then I went back and glued last.

On the sides, all you have to do is fold it over and measure about an inch. Same thing, measure and fold.

When you measure the bottom, you need to measure from what will be the top of your curtain so that the length will be the same all the way across.

Finally, it's time to glue! At the top, remember to not glue the whole cuff because you need room the stick the rod in. I put the glue on the bottom edge of the cuff. Just press with your fingers as you glue. You might want a rag to keep the glue off of your fingers.

Then, just glue the whole cuff on the sides and the bottom. And you're done! You need to let the glue dry for at least 2-4 hours. If you need to add another layer to make your curtain not see through, just measure the cheapo fabric to hang from the bottom of your cuff at the top of the curtain, down to about a half inch of the bottom. Then, just glue it to the back of your curtain.

Whew! I hope I made sense. If you plan on using these directions, please let me know! And let me know how it goes! If anything is not clear, please let me know that, too! I know what I mean in my own head, anyway! Thanks for visiting!