Saturday, July 30, 2011

I'm here finally!!

Wow, I can't believe what a busy bee my sister has been this summer on the web! What a beautiful blog she has created. Thank you Jackie! Here I am finally back from my summer adventure! My name is Danielle, and I'm am very much looking forward to exploring teacher blogs, and sharing my first blogging experience with you. There's nothing like teachers sharing ideas with other teachers!
While my sister has been busy on the web this summer, I on the on the hand, have been busy traveling along the east coast for the past 3 weeks, Virginia, New York,and the Florida panhandle! I really can appreciate the phrase "I needed a vacation from my vacation", because when I got back I slept in all week! I was go go go for three weeks, I guess my body was telling me to rest.
Another tidbit from my travels worth mentioning is that I didn't buy anything for my classroom. Unbelievable right?? Well actually the truth is I only bought one thing, a book called Have You Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud...Illustrated by David Messing I plan on using this book to introduce Bucket Filling as a behavioral system next year. I've only researched a little on the topic, but what I have found has been wonderful. I hope that Bucket Filling will enhance my classroom's environment and allow my students to feel loved and welcomed by everyone. Like the book says, "children must be loved, but must also be taught how to love others".
Well I'm off to find more about being a bucket filler! Feel free to add anything you know about bucket filling and how it has worked in your classroom.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Three things I'm thinking about...

It's almost August 1st!!!!!

1. I can go back into my room on Aug. 8th (for 2 days), I start pre-planning on the 15th and school starts on the 22nd... where did this summer go??? There is still SOOOOOO much I have to do before then!! Ahhhhh... Where do I begin??

2. Teacher's desk or no desk?? Do I need it? I've been thinking about this for a while. I don't know what I want to do...

3. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Pinterest!! It's so awesome! If you haven't discovered it yet, (I avoided getting hooked for 3 weeks until I couldn't resist it any longer!!)... I HIGHLY recommend it!!

Happy Blogging!!

Scrap*tacular Giveaway!!

Oh' Boy 4th Grade is having a HUGE "Scrap*tacular Giveaway"!! The contest ends in about an hour, so check it out ASAP!!

Happy Blogging!!
-Jackie and Danielle-

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Best Day!

My little girl turned 3 years old today! To celebrate, we took her to Disney's Blizzard beach. We all had an amazing day!! It's priceless to experience Disney World through the eyes of a little one. I am so blessed to be her Mommy!!

Happy Blogging!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Introducing Mrs. Foreman!!

Hi Blogland friends!! Our very good friend Mrs. Foreman has joined the world of blogging! She's an awesome 4th grade teacher, and has LOTS to share! Please check her out and show her some love!!

Thanks so much!!
Happy Blogging!!
-Jackie and Danielle-

Facebook Linky

Michelle at Kinder Fun is having a Facebook linky party! Link up to her blog and share your facebook pages! Please "like" our FB page too!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Do you Pinterest? Linky Party!!

Michelle's Math in the Middle is having a pinterest linky party! Click on the link and link up!! =)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Our Button Winners Are...

Congratulations to Lisa Richling and Sarah at Fantastic First Grade!!! They are the winners of our very first giveaway!! Ladies, please email us at in order to begin designing your new buttons!!

To show our continued appreciation, we'll have another giveaway at 150 followers!!

Thanks so much for being so supportive in our blogging journey!!
Happy Blogging!!
-Jackie and Danielle-

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

What are you in LOVE with? Linky Party

Ahhh... I'm back from my little "staycation" and ready to blog about what I LOVE!!My sister is still on her 3 week vacation and will be back and ready to blog by next week!! I can't wait, I miss her!!

Jennifer over at First Grade Blue Skies is hosting a "What are you in love with?" Linky Party! It's all about classroom decor themes and bulletin board borders etc... check it out and post about your classroom. Join in on the linky fun!!
First Grade Blue Skies

This year my theme is Zebra print with lime green and hot pink accents. I found this really awesome border at Lakeshore learning. I was soooo excited when I found it!! What a perfect fit! =)

Christie at "Teaching In Flip Flops" also made the most unbelievable resources with Zebra and hot pink!! I can't wait to print them out and laminate them!! She truly has a gift for design!! Check her out: Thanks for making such amazing things, Christie!! =)

I am also excited about my CAFE' conferring notebook!!

Of course, I still LOVE LOVE LOVE my Daily Five and CAFE' books, and I can't wait to start year #2 with these phenomenal programs!!

Happy Blogging!!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Writing Process Printable

Many of my writing mini-lessons are about the writing process. Here's a new sign I just made today. Enjoy!!
Happy Blogging!!!

Writing Process

Out of the Mouths Of Babes Linky Party

I'm linking up with Mel D. at Oh The Places We'll Go Teacher Resources to share some funny "Out of the Mouth's of Babes" stories. Check it out and share your funny story too!!

My all time best story took place in my 3rd year of teaching. I was in Kindergarten at that time. It just so happened to be a day when I was being observed by my Assistant Principal. I was teaching the letter "N", and I was showing kids cards that begin with the letter "N". Pretty basic beginning of the year stuff. I held up a card of a walnut and said "N...nnnnnut", and then all of the sudden this very sweet, but very unfiltered little boy named Ralphie shouts out, "HAHAHA.... NUTS!!! Like the two that are attached to your wiener!!!!" I almost peed in my pants and died on the spot, but I kept my composure and gave Ralphie a gentle reminder of remembering to raise his hand, and to only talk about things that are appropriate. Fortunately, my A.P. had a great sense of humor, and thought that was one of the best things she had ever heard from a Kindergartner. Gotta love the little ones!!

Oh, the memories!!!
Happy Blogging!!

Testing this Scribd thing out...

Alright... I've been hard at work atempting to make cute printables. I want to use scribd to share them with you. So let's see if this works... fingers crossed!!! If it works, please enjoy this writing checklist!! =)
Happy Blogging!!

Writing Checklist

Thursday, July 14, 2011

We're having a 50 follower giveaway!!!!

We are absolutely amazed by how quickly we have gained 50 followers. We're so appreciative of your support!! THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!

In honor of our first 50 followers, we are giving away 2 custom buttons for your blog!!
If you'd like 4 chances to win, please do the following:
1. begin (or already are) following Sister Teachers
2. blog about the give-away on your blog
3. add our button to your blog
4. add our blog to your blog list/roll

Comment below with the link for each thing you do. We will end this giveaway on Thursday 7/22/11 at mid-night and pick 2 winners on Friday 7/23/11.

Good Luck!!!
Happy Blogging and THANKS SO MUCH FOR FOLLOWING US!!! xoxo
-Jackie and Danielle-

Our First Giveaway!!!

We will give away a custom designed button when we reach 50 followers. Only 10 more to go...start spreading the news!!

Happy Blogging!!
-Jackie and Danielle-

New Button!!

My graphic designer hubby took a little time out of his busy day to make us a new button! It's super cute! We're really excited about it!

Thanks honey!! :-)

Happy Blogging!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Blog Mixer Linky Party!

Denise at Yearn to Learn has started a Mixer Linky Party!To join this linky party, check out the "Yearn to Learn" blog and link up!

Here's my post about it:

1. A blogger who is a New Kid on the Block: My pick is "Buzzin' On Cupcakes in 1st grade. She's brand spanking new to the blog world. Check her out and show her some love. :-)

2. Post a blogger who is in the same grade level as you.
OK... since there are two of us and we're in different grade levels, we'll post about two blogs. :-) I (Jackie) am in 2nd grade, so my pick is: Step into 2nd grade with Mrs. Lemons! She's very creative and the resources she makes are adorable!! Check her out:

Danielle is in 3rd grade, so her pick is: The Third Wheel. She is also creative, and she makes fantastic resources for third grade. Check her out:

3. A blog from a different grade level: Melissa at "Life's a Teach" was really nice when she emailed me her fables unit. :-) Check her out:

4. Find a super cute button!!! Love it!
Castles and Crayons

Happy Blogging!!!

Birthday Giveaway!!!

Mrs. Tabb at "First Grade Awesomeness" is giving away her awesome new Birthday unit to three lucky bloggers! Check it out!!

Happy Blogging!!
-Jackie and Danielle-

CAFE' Conferring Notebook

I finally put my conferring notebook for the next school year together! My classroom design "theme" will be zebra print with lime green accents, so I wanted my new conferring notebook to match!
It's super easy to do. First, Go to a craft store, Walmart, or Target, and find some scrapbook paper that you LOVE. Next, find a binder with clear pockets. Measure the paper to fit inside your pockets and cut it out. Make a cute title and glue or tape it to the paper that will go in the front pocket.Finally, place the scrapbook paper inside the clear pockets. Voila! A customized conferring notebook just for you! :-)
I LOVE my new notebook! Here are some pictures of last year's notebook as well as my new one! Enjoy!

Happy Blogging!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

New Look!!!

As we said in our first post, our blog will probably be changed at least 100 times until we're happy. Well, here's another "new look" for us. We LOVE it!! Thanks to Templates by Tenille!! If you're in the mood for a "facelift" check her out!

Happy Blogging!!
-Jackie and Danielle-

Another Amazing Giveaway!!!

To celebrate 150 followers, Tammy from "Live Love Laugh Kindergarten" is teaming with Dreamlike Magic to give away a new blog design! The winner may choose a pre-made blog design from Dreamlike Magic's ETSY shop! Check it out!!!

Live Love Laugh

Dreamlike Magic Designs

-Jackie and Danielle-

Another Giveaway!!

Life's a Teach is having an awesome 100 follower giveaway! Check it out!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Classroom Jobs Linky Party!

Ok... so we're slightly obsessed with linky parties. They're so much fun, and we are able to connect with other AMAZING teachers! Mrs. Dillard and her blog "Oh The Places We'll GO" is having a linky party about classroom jobs. Please check it out and "link up"!!

Classroom jobs are a big part of our classrooms. They teach responsibility, they build a classroom community/family, and it takes a LOT of extra stress off our plates!! Our wonderful custodian also LOVES our rooms because they're so well maintained.

Last year we made job cards and name cards with the student's picture. We had them laminated, and we use this space saving pocket chart to hold all of the cards.

Every Monday we rotate the name cards down and around at the same time keeping the jobs in place. If we forget to rotate our cards around, our students have NO problem reminding us to do it. :-) There are quite a few jobs that are doubles or even triples. We did that so one person is not always bogged down with an overwhelming job.

The jobs are:
Door Holder (lines up 1st in line)
Line Leader (lines up 2nd in line)
Light Helper (lines up last in line)
Library Helper (3 students are in charge of 10 baskets each)
Supplies Monitor (2 students are in charge of making sure our supplies are neat and orderly and that we have sharpened pencils)
Floor checker (at the end of the day, 2 students double check the floor and politely remind their classmates to clean up their personal areas and shared areas)
Technology Helper (2 students turn the computers on in the A.M. and off in the P.M.)
Calendar Helper (this student runs our calendar time)
Messenger (2 students bring the attendance and lunch count up to the office, and they also accompany students to the office that are signed in or out of school)
Clinic Helper (2 students accompany kids to clinic "nurse" when they're sick or hurt)

***there are some jobs we would like to add for next year**
Substitute (this student would take the job of another student if they're sick)
sanitizer helper (in both of our classes kids would RACE to get the sanitizer to pass it out to the line, we couldn't stand that, so this would remedy that situation)
Pillow Helper (this person will be in charge of making sure the pillows are put away.

We've got to figure out how to attach our documents. Once we do, we'll attach the job cards that we made.

We love classroom jobs!!

Happy Blogging!!
-Jackie and Danielle-

300 follower giveaway!

The queen of the first grade jungle is giving away 3 fantastic books!

Check out her blog and join! You have until 10:00PM tonight!

Happy Blogging!
-Jackie and Danielle-

Word Work

My kids last year absolutely LOVED word work! For my first year using Daily 5, I wanted to make word work easy, and simple to follow through with. The first thing I had to do was gather the materials that my students could choose from. Here are some pictures of the materials we used.

After I gathered the materials, I placed them in clear rubbermaid shoe boxes,labeled the boxes, and stored them on a shoe rack on my counter. The shoe boxes and 2 shoe racks also hold all of my classroom supplies (pencils, crayons, glue, markers, colored pencils) and math manipulatives.

Each week, I made a list of words for my kids to learn. I used my own spelling words (based on the phonics from Houghton Mifflin), the vocabulary words from Houghton Mifflin, and the High Frequency words from Houghton Mifflin. I would make 10-15 copies of this list and keep them in clear plastic protective sheets. I kept these words in a basket right next to all of my word work materials.

My students would make the words using ONE material of their choice. Once these words were made, then my students could make words that they already know, words from my word walls (or around my room), or words from their books.

While I felt like this was pretty effective, I still think there is more that I can incorporate into word work . I borrowed the book "Word Matters", by Fountas and Pinell from my reading coach at my school. I am hoping I can get some other ideas from this book in order to "spice up" my word work choices. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to suggest them!

Happy Blogging!

Daily 5 and Cafe' Linky Party

Kelli at pray teach love( ) is having a linky party about Daily 5 and Cafe'.

Last year was our first year implementing this glorious system.We wish we would have had these books when we first started teaching. Our lives would have been SOOOOOOO much easier, and our classes would have become even better readers.

In my class, I only have time for 3 rounds of Daily 5. Read to self is a NON-NEGOTIABLE, and it can be done during any round. The other two choices are their preference, however they have to complete word work at least 3 times per week, they have to read to someone at least 2 times per week they have to do computer reading(listen to reading) at least 2 times per week, and they have to do work on writing at least 2 times per week. See my schedule in the previous post to see how I fit in my 3 rounds of Daily 5 as well as my Cafe' and Houghton Mifflin mini lessons.

In order to seem not so long winded *smile*, I am going to write about Read to Self today, and other dailys in the next few days.

Read To Self- at the beginning of the year, I provided my students with cardboard book boxes from Ikea.

On the first day of school, the students decorated them, and they were REALLY cute, but they fell apart relatively quickly. I sent a letter home with the students in hopes of them bringing in their own book boxes. 16/18 students actually did, so it worked out well.
Inside the book boxes, my students keep 4-5 good fit books from my classroom library, 1-2 good fit books from the school library, the text book from Hougton Mifflin, and 3-4 guided reading books on their correct DRA level.
I taught this daily first, and we practiced it for a while before we brought other dailys into the mix. I wanted to make sure they understood the urgency of why we read to self. They got it, and by the time October came, their stamina was up to 25-30 minutes.
Since I am looping with 15 out of 18 kids , I hope to just pick up where we left off this past year. I will probably gain 3 new students so I will rely on my old students to be mentors to those new students. I will still take it slow in the beginning, and I will make sure any bad habits that they had from last year are squashed.

Check back for more Daily 5 and Cafe' postings! I am working on editing my pictures so I can post them.

Happy Blogging!!

Our first linky party!

Becca over at Simply 2nd Resources is hosting a linky party dedicated to classroom daily schedules.

Since I am looping to 2nd grade next year, I am not quite sure what our schedule will be like. I'm also used to our school master schedule changing yearly, so I won't even work on my schedule for next year until I am 100% sure what the master schedule will be. But, I can blog about my 1st grade schedule from last year. :-)

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday
8:35-9:00- students come in, unpack, get ready for the day, and begin journal writing.
8:50-8:55- School wide announcements
8:55-9:05- complete journal
9:05-9:25- Mini-lesson 1 (phonics, sight words, vocabulary)
9:25-9:55- Daily 5 round 1
9:55-10:20- Mini-lesson 2 (reading skills/strategies)
10:20-10:45- Daily 5 round 2
10:45- clean up and get ready for specials
10:50-11:25- Specials (we do a 6 day rotation)
11:30-11:45- Mini-lesson 3 (writing)
11:45-12:05- Daily 5 round 3
12:05-12:09- clean up and go to lunch
12:09-12:34- lunch
12:34-12:54- recess
12:55-2:00- Envision Math
2:00-2:35- Science/Social studies
2:35-2:45- clean up/pack up/stack up
2:45-3:00 dismissal

8:35-9:00- students come in, unpack, get ready for the day, and begin journal writing.
8:50-8:55- School wide announcements
8:55-9:05- complete journal
9:05-9:25- Mini-lesson 1 (phonics, sight words, vocabulary)
9:25-9:55- Daily 5 round 1
9:55-10:20- Mini-lesson 2 (reading skills/strategies)
10:20- clean up and get ready for specials
10:25-10:50- Specials (we do a 6 day rotation)
10:55-11:30- Daily 5 round 2
11:30-11:45- Mini-lesson 3 (writing)
11:45-12:05- Daily 5 round 3
12:05-12:09- clean up and go to lunch
12:09-12:34- lunch
12:35-1:35- Envision Math
1:35-1:45- clean up/pack up/stack up
1:45-2:00 dismissal
**2:00-3:30- staff meetings/staff development/teacher planning

Happy Blogging!!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

$150 Giveaway!

$150 GIVEAWAY- Touchpoint Math Products

There's a big giveaway going on over at Teaching Happily Ever After!

Go and enter for your chance to win $150 of amazing Touchpoint Math products!


Happy Blogging!!!
-Jackie and Danielle-

My Husband is the Bomb!

My husband's gift for everything photoshop and graphic design is coming in handy! Props to him for designing my button, and all the headings on the side of this blog! I love it! I'll start blogging about Daily 5, Cafe', and everything else tomorrow.
Happy Blogging!!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

How To Really Love a Child

One of my friends posted this on facebook, and it really spoke to me. I know we want this to be a "teacher blog", but my most important job is being a Mommy to Makenzie (almost 3 years old). She is amazing. I can't believe God blessed me with the most wonderful little girl in the whole entire world. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in the day to day hustle and bustle of life that I don't always show her how much I love her. I tell her very frequently, but I need to make a better effort by showing her. I hope this touches your heart like it's touched mine.

Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3...

Wow... this is new. We've always talked about starting our own website, but I think this is better! It's so interactive and we can learn so much from all of you! Move over facebook... I think I've found my new technological addiction!
So as you can tell from our page, we're new to this. It may take a few weeks for us to get the kinks out of our site. We'll  probably change the layout at least 100 times before we're happy with it. If you can give us any advice on how to center the title, we would greatly appreciate it!
We can't wait to share our successes and learning experiences with you. :-) Happy blogging!!

P.S. if anyone knows how to get those really cute signatures that I keep seeing, please let us know!!!

-Jackie and Danielle-
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