September 30, 2012


It's a miracle!  I actually finished a packet up on time ;)  Yup, folks . . . it's the one I have been talkin' bout forever now.  Bring on the Good Morning Work - MATH (October-style).  But, wait!!  More on that business down below.  First, I wanna change gears for a minute and chat up some serious COLUMBUS fun.  
As all teachers know, the key to classroom success is fostering relationships with both parents and kiddos.  With this said, one of the best ways to do this is via special events.  Well, my biggest pleaser all year is the Columbus Day Boat-Building Extravaganza.  The Friday before our Fall Break, I invite the parents in to help us transform appliance boxes into the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria.  It is truly the most magical day and I would urge you to try it out.  

All you have to do is send out a letter asking for material donations (fabric, tape, TP rolls, string, tin foil, etc.), beg your local appliance dealer to save you some big boxes, and make some serious space in your classroom . . . then you are ready to roll.  I have attached my letter below as well as a few pictures of past classes in action.  
CLICK HERE to take a closer look at my letter from this year.

Look at that little cutie looking through the porthole . . . snicker . . . snicker!
Yes, your room will get trashed.  Yes, it gets super loud.  Yes, the kids kinda make it more pirate than Columbus.  But, who cares??!!  They LOVE every single minute of it and so do the parents.  Case-n-point . . . I had a dad already ask me when we were doing it this year (he is so excited that he has another one of his kiddos in my class). 

If you have any specific questions about the Columbus Boat-Building Extravaganza, do not hesitate to email me at  

Now, on to my pride and joy at the moment.  For some reason this little packet took me nearly two weeks to complete.  I guess I was just overly picky about the concepts that I hit up this round.  So without further ado . . . 

My kids have been doing so well with the GMW Reading/Language review that I have been dishin' their way that I decided I wanted to hit 'em with some math too.  On that note, I compiled a collection of morning worksheets that target all sorts of beginning of the year common core standards in the mathematics department. I plan on providing my crew with both the reading and the math sheets come Monday.  I believe that my sweeties will definitely rise to the occasion and complete both before we begin groups each morning!

Here is a little peek at what these sheets are all about.  I have placed three up for FREE download today.  This way you can try 'em out before you click on over to snag the complete set.  
CLICK HERE to snag these "tester" pages!
This baby reviews all of those essential beginning of the year math concepts. We're talking number words, comparing numbers, ordering numbers, days of the week, patterning, addition, ten frames, subtraction, story problems, graphing, and more.  It's 25 jam-packed pages that really could prove to be just what the "teacher" ordered . . . bwahahahahahaha!!  

For more info on my Good Morning Work (October) Math Pack, click here.  Oh, and don't forget that my Good Morning Work - Reading/Language Skills sets are also up for grabby-grabs store too.  

Thanks oh-so much for taking the time to visit me today.  I will see you soon with more Columbus fun and and deets on my 1K Follower Giveaway!  Oh and one seriously awesome parting thought for you . . . move over NFL night game and bring on the DEXTER!

September 29, 2012


Okay, so I am actually alive.  This week was an absolute killer for little old me. These past five days were extra rough for some reason and sitting down at my computer just never seemed to happen.  But, after sleeping in a bit today and brewing up an XXL pot of coffee, I am back in biz.  

First things first, holy chips and guacamole peeps . . . I MADE IT TO 1,000 FOLLOWERS.  (Please excuse the "shouty capitals," but I am all kinds of excited!!!)  I have a mega giveaway in the works that will roll out next weekend.  I am still getting my ducks in a row, so check back in with me. However, to keep with the spirit of this celebratory moment, I figured I would offer you up a little fall freebie.  

We have been hitting nouns up in class like crazy as of late and this little ditty proved to be a real crowd pleaser in my room.  Just check out my babies in action . . . it was the perfect independent station last week.  

Wanna try this with your kiddos next week?  Click here or on the leaves below to download this packet!  

Two worksheet versions are included (different titles).
Thank you Scrappin' Doodles!

Here are a few notes and photos of some of the other things that have been going on in Room 13 as of late.  

The Bubbly Blonde's Johnny Appleseed Packets were fan-tab-u-lis!

Apple Addition Facts . . . I will re-make the worksheet one of these days and offer it up as a freebie.
It's old clip art from years ago that I don't have the rights to :(
They roll their facts, write the numbers in the apples, color the bigger number, and add.

I call this the "Handful of Apples" art project (oil pastels).  It is a mixture of different
art ditties I have seen over the years on Art Projects for Kids.  Students always love this art project and
 the parents can't wait until I send this one home (I hold it hostage on the wall for awhile).

Alright folks, I am out of here.  I'm SO going to try and finish up that October Math Pack I have been blabbing about for what seems like ages.  My fingers are crossed that this puppy will roll out tomorrow.  Hugs sweet friends and thanks for the visit!!  Oh . . . and be sure to check out TBA's Freebie Friday for more "easy on the pocketbook" ideas.

September 23, 2012


I have officially gone off the deep end and I just might be in need of a serious intervention.  So, I went to bed at 1:05 am and I'm now up at 4:50 to write my post.  It must be all that excitement surging through my brain . . .  I finally finished my Good Morning Work October Pack (Reading + Language Skills).

As with the last packet, my goal with Good Morning Work (GMW) is to spiral review basic reading concepts, standards, and skills in a straightforward and non-threatening manner.  The September Set focused more on Kindergarten standards that should have been mastered (or at least introduced) last year. This set steps things up a bit with the introduction of nouns, proper nouns, compound words, and punctuation.  Just take a look-see at a few of the pages below.  And, oh yeah . . . these are free to take with you today.  Try 'em before you buy 'em is my motto.  If you like what you see, visit my TPT Shop to pick up the new pack before October hits!  How do ya like them pumpkins??
CLICK HERE download these "tester" pages.
Thanks so much to JW Illustrations - loved using your Halloween goodies!
Here's a peek at the whole collection . . . 25 pages in all.
Skills covered include: sight words, ABC order, nouns, proper nouns, beginning/ending sounds, digraphs,
detailed sentence writing, sentence editing, punctuation, and compound words.  

Personally, my own kidlets did a wonderful job with the September Pack.  As I stated in an earlier post, I was a little hesitant to start my spiral revew this early in the year.  However, my sweet crew was able to knock out the tasks much more independently than I expected.  And, even that collection of sweeties that struggles was able to step up to the plate and do most of it all by themselves.  I tried to use similar language (simple and as decodable as possible) when making this round too.  Hopefully, my ideas of what my kiddies can and can't do are pretty spot on again :)  

A huge thanks to all of my wonderful editors who gave it the once over yesterday - Teaching With Style, Queen of the First Grade Jungle, Tales from Outside the Classroom, and my teachin' bestie (Court . . . you always have my backy-back).  I value all of your opinions so much and you all mean the world to this little old California blogger!!

To learn more about my October Good Morning Work (Reading) Packet, click here.  My goal is to have a math set up shortly - either this afternoon or within the next couple of days.  I didn't quite make it yesterday . . . Oregon Football is SO distracting :)

Alright friends, I am going to try and go back to sleep for an hour or so, but something tells me I am going to be staring at the ceiling instead.  Thanks for visiting and I will see you all soon. 

September 22, 2012


Boy, oh boy . . . have I ever been on a writing kick lately :)  From the recent Write Stuff Giveaway (winner posted below) to various blog posts this month, I have been all about the mighty written word!  This crazy intense focus has proven to be rather helpful in Room 13 as of late.  My kiddos are REALLY taking off in the quality sentence writing department and I couldn't be more pleased with their progress.  ROCK ON kiddos . . . Mrs. D. is super proud :)

Stickin' to that writing theme, I tried a little something this week in class and it was super successful.  I was shocked at how independent they were with the whole thing and how much time they spent on it.  Kiddos never cease to amaze me.  Oh, and the best part about the whole thing is that I came up with it on a whim on Thursday.  I made this little book template at about six in the morning (between drying my hair and pickin' out a snappy outfit).  

Here's a little look-see at My Little Book of Seasons.  We have switched gears from football to seasons/fall and this proved to be the perfect transition.  We rolled with this as an independent reading center rotation and as a whole class afternoon activity on Friday.  It worked well both ways :)

Wanna try this in your class?  Just click on the image below to snag you FREE download.  Whoop . . . whoop . . . gotta heart keepin' that pocketbook closed up tiz-ight!!
Thank you Hello Literacy and Scrappin' Doodles (TPT52127)!
Switching gears a bit, congrats to Katie!  She was the BIG winner in the "Write Stuff" Giveaway!!  You have been emailed all of your goods, sweets!  A HUGE thank you to everyone who played along with us.  

Alright folks, I am off to finish up my latest installment of 1st Grade Good Morning Work. I think I can . . . I think I can :)

Look for this puppy tomorrow in my TPT and Intelli-Tunes Stores!!
It's ready to go . . . click here to check this one out!
Thanks so much for visiting me today.  I will see you tomorrow!!  Oh, and don't forget to check out TBA's Freebie Friday and All Students Can Shine (Valerie is hosting a fun Linky) for lots of other sweet fall goods!

September 18, 2012


Word up peeps.  Get out the record books, I am bloggin' two nights in a row during the school week.  Whoop . . de whoop!!!  I wanted to quickly share a little something awesome with you tonight.

Have you all heard of Kim Sutton??  Well, she is the coolest math guru around. And, if you haven't checked out her stuff, you really should!  Her games and ideas keep kiddos engaged, working hard, and learning for extended periods of time.  It's magical I tell ya.  

Although I use tons of her books, this early in the year, I like to bring out her Math Drills to Thrill Book.  This ditty provides countless activities that not only target common core standards, but also work on listening skills! 

My crew is as sweet as all get out this year, but so many of them have trouble opening those ears.  Sound familiar??  Well, this has been my afternoon math warm up answer.  It's engaging, fun, and it helps me see who is ready to listen and learn. 

Here's how this rolls.  The kids get a game sheet that targets a specific standard.  Then, I slap on the random numbers CD (it's included folks) and watch my kiddos go to town.  As numbers are called out, the kiddos perform certain tasks (find the number that comes after, add one, double it, etc.).  It's DINO-MITE!!!!!!!

The write up for this handy dandy book reads:  This book is filled with practice ideas through the important teaching of computational strategies and is designed to be used K-5.  K-1 teachers will be thrilled by the "Getting Acquainted with Numbers" section.  All of the addition and muliplication strategies are included with appropriate practice pages.  There are also ideas for practicing number vocabulary.  Watch your elementary students improve their listening skills as an added benefit.  

Now that I have used this booky-book for the past couple of weeks, I am a true believer.  My kids love these activities and I LOVE using them.  So far I have used the color the number pages as well as the "what comes before" and "what comes after" sheets.  Next week we will be moving into the addition pages. Check out my kids in action on the "Number Identification" pages.

Be sure to check out Kim Sutton's web page when you have a moment (simply click on the image below).  If you haven't used her stuff before, you are in for a REAL treat.  She is delightful and her ideas are amazing.  

Alright folks, I am out of here.  Have a wonderful evening and I will see you soon.  Don't forget that you have less than 24 hours to enter our "Write" Stuff Giveaway.  We're talkin' 5 fantastic writing packets from . . . First Grade Blue Skies, TGIF, Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade and little old me!  Click on the image below to find out more and to get yo-self entered!

September 17, 2012


Howdy friends.  I am burnt after day one of parent conferences and there is some football to watch tonight, so this is going to be short and sweet.  I am joining up with Rowdy in First Grade's Tell Me Something Good Linky Party.  I think it's going to be just the pick me up I am lookin' for tonight.  

I know this sounds rather simple, but it means the world to this little old teacher.  My kids have finally found that "stride" in the daily routine.  My new crew knows what I expect, we are workin' hard, and they are having fun.  Life is oh so good in Room 13 these days.  

It's football season and the new LEATHER sectional (so fancy) will be ready for pickup at good old Macy's on Saturday.  I cannot wait to test drive this baby with a full day of Red Zone pigskin action next weekend.  Oh, and when the weather turns a little cooler and I get to snuggle up to the hubster under a blanket . . . the good will quickly turn to great.  It sounds stupid, but it's this one day ritual (every Sunday) that keeps me tickin' through the week with those crazy kiddos.  See you soon permanent butt dent :)  

Now it's your turn.  Link up with Rowdy in First Grade and tell us something good.  Life is CRAY-ZEE this time of year and it helps to reflect on those little things that bring smiles to our faces.  

Kickoff just went down . . . and I have Manning, Tamme, and Decker rollin' tonight in my fantasy leagues (blogger and non-blogger).  I am going head to head with Michelle Lundy (Making It As A middle School Teacher) in our Top Teacher Fantasy Football Team and she is creaming me!  I blame it on all the injuries that already plague my team.  Well, that's my story anyway . . .  

Check out Lundy's new blog design.
It's to die for!
On a related bloggy-note, I am participating in  Polka Dots & Pencils' 20,000 Page Views Giveaway.  Be sure to check this puppy out . . . there are lots of great goodies up for grabs.

Before I jet, you have less than two days to enter our "Write" Stuff Giveaway. Here's the recap in case you missed it this weekend.  Thanks so much for taking the time to visit sweet friends.  


To read the oh so engaging write up and the "why" behind this rockin' writing giveaway, click here.  Otherwise . . . just take my word for it (you don't want to miss this) and ENTER NOW :)

Thanks to Miss Tiina, Lettering Delights, KPM Doodles and JW Illustrations
for the giveaway button design support!


Check out the Rafflecopter below and get in on the action!  Giveaway ends on Wednesday at midnight!  May the odds be forever in your favor :)

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