Instagram Fun {Teacher Talk Tuesday}

It'll be an Instagram party every Tuesday!

So here's what you'll do:
1. If you have a blog, share your instagram username on your blog and use this image to tell your followers about #teachertalktuesday {just right click on the instagram button and click "save as"}. We are hosting a linky party to kick off our "Teacher Talk Tuesday!"  Link up at the bottom: with a blog post, sharing this image,  your user name, and a couple of your favorite Instagram photos, if you want!
2. If you don't have a blog, PLEASE still join us on Instagram on Tuesday for #teachertalktuesday

Here is a little Instagram 101:
*It is like Facebook, but with only pictures (used mostly on smart phones)
*You can make your profile private if you want
*You can make write a caption under your picture and comment or like photos

Here is our home page:

Some favorite pictures:
My new office

Great ideas in my student's writing!

So join the party, and link up here or with Apples and ABC's, so we can easily search each other!  See you Tuesday on #teachertalktuesday!

Follow us on Instagram:
Follow Michelle on Instagram:

Reviewing the WHOLE Common Core Math!

YES! That is just what we will do the last 2-3 weeks of school (review the whole CCSS math)!  Because we don't have official standardized testing in 1st grade, I like to review the last 2 weeks of school to help my students remember what we learned and to get them ready for 2nd grade.

Here's what I've done (and it's taken me soooooooooo long to do- I even cried TWICE!!!!)... I have made a review center game for EVERY STANDARD in the 1st grade Common Core Math (some games cover multiple standards).  I know... I  am CRAZY! But, my students needed some fun ways to review and so I have been working on this for WEEKS.  This would also be a GREAT review for your 2nd graders at the beginning of next year.

There are 18 centers!
Included in this pack:
I Can Posters for each game
Common Core Alignment pages
Problem Solving Serenade {problem solving}
You’re a Star {missing addend}
Pop Star Properties {add/subtract properties}
Star-Worthy Spinners {add and subtract}
True of False {equal/not equal equations}
Pitch Perfect {missing addend}
Key Me In {counting within 120}
Number Playlists {place value}
Concert Compare {comparing numbers}
Rockin’ Mash Up {double-digit addition}
More and Less Jam Session {10 more/less}
Musical Add Up {double-digit addition with place value}
Play that Funky Music {Measuring}
Measuring Musicians {Measuring}
Time to Rock {Time}
Data, Drums, and More! {Data}
Singing and Spinning {2D and 3D}
Fraction Stage Action {fractions}

This will be on sale today and tomorrow only! Snag it while you can!
Click {here} to check it out

Leave me some love so that my tears are worthy of something. HAHA!  Who cries while making centers? I did! It was a long process, ok? Forgive me!

Mother's Day Writing Project {And Gift!}

Something about Mother's Day always seems to stress me out. As a teacher, I'm always searching for the perfect gift for my students to make for their own moms. This year I am super excited because I finally have a project that I think students and moms are going to love!

If you're looking for a fun and new Mother's Day gift idea, this heart-shaped book is a perfect option because it is a super cute and easy way to let your students' moms know how much they are loved. Also, this activity ties perfectly into the Common Core ELA writing standards for opinion writing!

There are 5 different cover choices. I included 2 different color combos, as well as 2 colored-ink saving options. The black and white outline can be printed onto scrapbook paper.

14 different writing prompts have been included, plus 2 blank heart templates. You can use all 14 choices, pick and choose which writing prompts you would like to print, or have your students pick the prompts they would like to use.

{Here's an example of what the pages look like.}

Would you like to win a copy?

 Leave a comment telling me what your mom's name is and one thing you love about her. First two people who have a mom with the same name as my mom will win! 
(Please leave your email!)

Congrats to Liz who won my Mother's Day Writing and Gift pack! Her mom and my mom share the same name... Sue! I'm also choosing Alison and Monica as winners since their moms have the same name as my mother-in-law... Linda. If you didn't leave your email, please contact me so I can send you your prize!

Also, you've got to check out this great giveaway from our sweet friend, Ashley's blog!  Go now because it ends on soon!!!


We had a super fun Saturday today!!

We met up with Lindsey {aka The Teacher Wife} and had a fabulous little lunch date at The Cheesecake Factory.

We also *had* to do some shopping while we were at the mall. 


We all had fun at the buy-one-get-one-half-off sale at Francesca's. 

And Natalie got some perfume and makeup at Sephora.

Overall, it was a great day! We loved chatting about all things blog related.

 We're glad we all live so close together. 
{We live within one hour of each other!}

Did you know...

We {Rachelle and Natalie} were sorority sisters in college!
We also did student government together!
We do not teach at the same school. 
We live and teach about 20 minutes away from each other.
We've been blogging together for two and a half years.
We either email, text, or message each other {almost} every night.
We love getting together as often as possible. 

Seeds and Plants GALORE!

This week was full of lots of science fun!!!  We integrated some writing into this week, while learning about seeds!  
This week we've watched lots of BrainPOP Jr. videos. Seriously.... if your school doesn't have a BrainPOP subscription, they totally should (It includes BrainPop, BrainPOP Jr. and BrainPOP ESL)! They are great to use to introduce or reinforce any topic. And the best part???? If you have a subscription, you can  view all the videos on your iPad and it has the subtitles. So, I can use it for Listen to Reading during Daily 5.

We talked about how seeds spread and we read this book. I laugh every time I read the title. It just sounds so SCANDALOUS!  :)

We then made these seed flip books:

Click {here} to download the flip book

We watched the BrainPOP Jr. on soil and then we made Soil Snacks!  
I use:
Pudding (mud-button layer)
Graham Crackers (sub soil- middle layer)
Oreo (top soil- top layer)
Gummy Worm (anywhere!)

After eating our delicious Soil Snacks, we surveyed our classmates and filled out the graph:

 Then, we wrote a how-to:

Click {here} to download the Soil Snack pages

Next up, this cute craftivity from Amy!!!  I've always called mine Soil Snack, but I love the sound of Dirt Puddin'! ;) I just wish I had a cute southern accent like Amy!

National Poetry Month

April might be halfway over already, but you still have time to celebrate National Poetry Month. My Poetry Pack is a perfect way to help you get started on teaching poetry! 

It will walk your students trough 11 different types of poetry showing descriptions and examples of each. 

At the end, students can collect all their poems in their own little poetry book. 

Here's a little preview of what's in the pack: 

And, before I go, I have a super sweet story to tell you all. My students have been working on their poems for a little while now and we've had many conversations about how poetry is great way to let your emotions out. 

Yesterday morning when my students came to class they were all telling me about the tragedy in Boston. One of my 5th graders raised her hand and said, "Remember how you said that poetry is a good way to let people know how you feel? Well, can we write poems about how we feel about Boston?"

Such a sweet thought and great way for students to express their feelings of grief and sadness towards all those affected in Monday's bombings. Just another reason why I love my 5th graders. :)

iPad Teacher Club: Management

I thought I'd share a little song I teach my students when we first get the ipads out at the beginning of the year!  Maybe you can use it.  I also use Heidisongs great rules poster that you can find {here}. 

Click {here} to download the song poster

If you have a student who is really struggling with following the expectations and NOTHING seems to work? What about a Technology Treat (aka... iPad time!)?
This behavior contract allows the student to earn stickers and once the chart is filled out, they can play the learning game on the ipad for 5-10 minutes.  It WORKS!  

Click {here} to download the song poster

My favorite app for them to play during this time is the Teach Me app. It is a paid app but it's SO worth it!  I bought the 1st grade version and it's a bit too easy for my kiddos, but is great for my kiddos that need a great deal of intervention.  Look into buying a grade above what you teach.

We are thrilled to share our *newish* blog design with you all. We wanted to keep our look the same, but add a few professional looking touches. 
We love Lindsay from Happy Potamus Designs and have been happy to have her do some work for us on more than one occasion. 

What do you think?
Like the new look?

New Blogging Friends

I got to travel to California for my spring break and had such a fabulous time taking my two little kids to Disneyland for the first time! It was an incredible trip and I'm so sad that it's already over. 

While in Anaheim, I got to meet up with one of our sweet blog followers, Stacey from Ray of Kindergarten Sunshine

Stacey lives in Anaheim and teaches kindergarten at one of the inner city schools in LA. When she heard I was visiting the area, she invited me out to get some ice cream. We went to Joe's Italian Ice and had a wonderful time and ate some yummy galati. We spent the night talking about teaching, blogging, and Teachers Pay Teachers. We also found out we have a lot in common and continued talking about babies, church, and even fun things like cute iPhone covers. 
(This cute girl let us try a bunch of the yummy flavors and then came out to take our picture.)

I just love the blogging world and love how it connects teachers from different parts of the country. Learning about different teaching styles, sharing curriculum ideas, and talking about student success is such a wonderful part of this teacher-blogging world and I'm so happy that I can be a part of it!! 

(This picture is just too cute for me not to share. This is my adorable, almost-3-year-old, Camden. He LOVED Disneyland... can you tell?!)

Now... where should I vacation next?

Writing Conferences

So, my sweet friend Carmen asked if I had blogged about my writing conferences and I realized that I NEEDED to do that! So, this one is for you, Carmen!

Because I do Daily 5, I like to check their writing folders once a week and have a writing conference with my students. You might do something like this for writer's workshop.  I'm doing guided reading during Daily 5, so I don't have writing conferences right then. I have writing conferences during their morning work (which is journals in my classroom), I meet with 5 students each day (2 minutes each).  I like to do it QUICK and make their writing conference more about celebrating their writing than telling them what to work on.

I use this form {click the picture to download}:

And I keep them in {this} binder:

Here's a pretend example of what the sheet looks like:

So.. basically my students write during work on writing and when they are finished, they put their finished page in the side of their 2-pocket folder that says "finished" (then they start a new one).  If the bell rings before they finish, they stick it in the side pocket that says "unfinished".  
Easy-Peasy-Lemon-Squeezy! When I'm ready to have a writing conference with them, I call them to my back table during morning work and I quickly read their pages.  I remind them what goal they should have been working on and I make a new goal with them. I ALWAYS celebrate lots and lots. I really want to build confident writers!

Field Trip {Writing}

Yep! This is happening.... tomorrow! We are going on a field trip to a children's museum here in Salt Lake.

Yep. That's our schedule tomorrow!  :)

My students are *BEYOND* excited. :)  I know that when we get back to school tomorrow afternoon, they will want to tell me all about their favorite part... so I made this little writing activity.

This writing activity will be in the shape of a bus when you're all done!
There are 6 different writing inserts and each come with primary (handwriting) lines and regular lines.

Head over to my TpT store and snag this up for your next field trip! :)

iPad Tip - Guided Access

One of my co-workers taught me an iPad trick that has been SUPER helpful! It's called 'Guided Access' and prevents your students from exiting the educational app you want them to work on and going into other non-education apps. 

Here's how it works:

This has been extreeeeemely helpful when letting my toddler play on my iPad and will also be very helpful for my students. My personal iPad is my classroom iPad, so I really don't want my students going into all my things or trying to buy something from my Amazon Wishlist (...or do I?!). 

Did you already know about Guided Access or is this new information for you too?

{Check out our other iPad posts: here and here.}

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