Saturday, January 14, 2012

My Go To Teacher Books

Stephanie from Teaching in Room 6 is hosting a Linky Party about your favorite "Go To" teacher book. It's hard for me to narrow it down to just one, so I thought I'd share a few!

The first is The Cornerstone for Teachers by Angela Powell. I first found Angela's website in college when I did a project on classroom management. Ever since then I've become a huge fan! I poured over her website before I became a teacher and then when I got my job, one of my first "classroom buys" was this book. Angela's writing and ideas make sense, and they truly work! My classroom runs the way it does (usually) because of what I learned from reading this book!

Another book that helped me my first year is The Morning Meeting Book by Roxann Kriete. One of my sweet coworker's loaned this to me the first year. I had been doing "Calendar" time in the morning and thought that was enough. She introduced me to Morning Meeting and I've been a firm follower ever since. I really can tell a difference in my kids based on if we start with Morning Meeting or not. It's a great way to greet each other, build social skills and friendships, do some learning and most of all have fun! Oh the stories I could tell you from "share time" during Morning Meeting. (Side note: I had a kiddo do a magic trick as his share the other week. It was awesome! When asked how he did it his answer simply was "A magician NEVER reveals his secrets." Precious!)

Last but not least, is 32 Third Graders and One Class Bunny by Phillip Done. I would never make it as a teacher if I took everything seriously. This book is a great reminder of that! Full of stories from his teaching career, Phillip Done will have you laughing, smiling, and maybe even shedding a tear or two. And if you love it as much as I did, you'll quickly read his second book, Close Encounters of the Third Grade Kind.

If you have a good teacher book or too, head on over to Teaching in Room 6 and Link Up!

Giveaway Winner!

Happy Saturday everyone! And happy long weekend to those like me who have Monday off! :)

So, time for the winner of the giveaway. I used this morning and these were the results:
So congratulations to Jennifer over at The First Grade Dream! You are the winner! I'll be contacting you via email so you can get the books!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

100 Followers Giveaway

Hi bloggy friends! I am SO SUPER excited to have reached 100 followers!!! When I started this blog it was more a way for me to document what I do in my classroom. I had no clue that other people would be interested too. Thank you to each and every one of you for reading, commenting, and sharing. I love it!

So to celebrate I'm hosting my first giveaway! As I've mentioned before, I'm a big fan of the Gilbert books by Diane DeGroat. I pretty much have one for each holiday/occasion through out the year. I think the Gilbert books are perfect for teaching author's message, character traits, and life skills.
Included in this giveaway are:
- Jingle Bells, Homework Smells by Diane DeGroat (save it for next year)
- Roses Are Pink, Your Feet Really Stink by Diane DeGroat (just in time for Valentine's day)
- Emily's First 100 Days of School by Rosemary Wells (another great author!) (Anyone else gearing up for their 100th day?)

To enter you must:
- Leave a comment telling me what holiday is your favorite to celebrate at school with your kiddos. (1 entry)

You may also:
1. Become a follower and leave a comment telling me you are now a follower OR leave me a comment telling me you are already a follower (1 entry)
2. Share this giveaway on twitter, facebook, your blog (1 entry for each)
Please leave separate comments for each.

The giveaway will be open until midnight Friday January 13th EST. I will announce the winner on Saturday. Happy entering!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


It's been award central lately. Amber over at Adventures of a Third Grade Teacher gave me the Versatile Blogger Award.

Adventures of a Third Grade Teacher

Then Sara at Smiling in Second, gave me the Versatile Blogger award as well.

And Amber gave me the Liebster award. Lastly, Amy gave me the Versatile Blogger award.

The rules for this award are:
1. Thank the person who presented the award to you and link back to them. Thanks so much ladies!

2. Tell 7 things about yourself. Oh dear, this could be fun. :)
1. I hold scissors the wrong way. I put my fingers in the thumb hole and my thumb in the fingers hole. Oh and I hold them upside down. But I have great cutting accuracy! (And yes, I do try to hold them the "right" way in front of the kids.)
2. I think Psych is one of the funniest TV shows ever.
3. When I was little my family lived in Germany for 3 1/2 years.
4. I can't go a day without chocolate. :)
5. I have a crafty room in my house. I love to spend as much time as possible there making things. Thanks to Pinterest, my craft room has been busy busy busy!
6. I rode on an elephant in India. Therefore I now love elephants. My 2 best friends each got me elephant related gifts for Christmas.
7. I think track out is amazing.

3. Pass the award onto 15 newly discovered bloggers and let them know they've received the award. There's been so much awarding and blog love lately that it was hard for me to find blogs that haven't already gotten the awards, so here's what I've got.

First Grade Fanatic!

2nd Grade Bliss

I never thought when I started blogging that I would feel so much love! The teaching blog community ROCKS! I love the sharing, camaraderie, encouragement and fun!

why I teach

Do you ever wonder some days why you became a teacher? I usually have these moments in the middle of the frantic days where nothing seems to go right, where the stress and paperwork have me bogged down. And then, right when I need it, encouragement comes.

Today wasn't even a bad day. But it became even better when I checked my box in the workroom after school. In it was an envelope with a return address and the name of one of my students from my first year who has since moved to another school. I immediately got excited!

How precious those words were to read. This child held a special place in my heart that year. He worked so hard to overcome some difficulties. I was so excited and proud of him the next year when he did great on his end of grade tests!

Getting this card made me stop and think. Made me remember. I love the story of the man and the beach full of starfish by Loren Eisely:

Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work.

One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up.

As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean.

He came closer still and called out "Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?"

The young man paused, looked up, and replied "Throwing starfish into the ocean."

"I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?" asked the somewhat startled wise man.

To this, the young man replied, "The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them in, they'll die."

Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, "But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can't possibly make a difference!"

At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said, "It made a difference for that one.
Lord, thank you for letting me make a difference for that one.