6 Random Things!

Whew!  I have not technically blogged in about a month.  Why not?!  I have been UNBELIEVABLY busy!! So I am going to break this down into 6 random parts?  Greatness has been happening in my classroom.  I am officially in <3 with 1st grade!!!  So here it goes....

1. "I love my costume.  I love my costume.  I love my costume.  I love my costume."  Why am I singing that?  Only because my firsties are!  They are in LOVE with one groovy blue cat with a name that rhymes with feet!  I honestly hear at least one version of the totally awesome books 5 times a day!  They said to me one day, "hey, why don't we write our own book!"  Ummmm are you kidding me?!  Did they just throw a golden opportunity into my lap!  Yes, they did!  I went home and got to work.  I purchased the Kitty Cat Line Art bundle from Melonheadz.  Have I mentioned how A-D-O-R-A-B-L-E it is?  I created a slew of writing papers and several different book covers to go with some of the different holidays.  Grab them HERE.  

My kiddos could NOT contain their excitement when I showed them what I did over the weekend.  So we started by reading 3 of the books and naming some of the similarities between the 3 books.  Can I just say why can't my principal walk in and do an evaluation on a day like this?!  I am not kidding you when I say they were 100% ENGAGED!  When does that happen?  I only read a few pages from each book.  When I started they were all sitting in their seats.  The next thing I know they are all surrounding me, reading along, and dancing to my singing howling.  (On second thought maybe it was a good idea he didn't pop in.)  We sat back down and they were all naming the common themes in the books. OMG!  I was in teacher heaven!  We later moved on to brainstorming what adventures Groovy Cat could go on during Halloween.  Then we started plotting out what could happen at the beginning, middle, and end.  I was typing everything, but they were doing all of the thinking.  Everyday they were so ecstatic to work on their stories. 

I am still dumbfounded by their engagement!  The end result was truly priceless.  They ask every person who walks in the room if they can share.  Even my strugglers are getting in on the action and reading fluently!  Best teaching moment ever!

2.  We have been busily packing at my school.  Our BRAND NEW SCHOOL will be completed in a few weeks.  We got a sneak peek of A classroom a few weeks ago.  

They honestly took us through the end wing doors, so we couldn't see anything else.  I am sure it is a safety thing, but I am sure I can dig up a hard hat somewhere.  Our movers are coming the first week of December.  EEKK!  I can NOT stop obsessing about how I am going to get it all done, where I am going to put things, or how I am going to decorate. I have been purging old things like a mad women.  Thank you TPT for making that an easy decision to make! Not a bad place to be, but it is just too much!  Stay tuned for updates on my progress.

3.  Yesterday I attended a Lucy Calkins Writing Workshop.  I am so happy that I went.  I am a pretty good writer (at least back in my elementary days I was), but I really have a hard time teaching my kids how to write.  I learned a lot of great skills that I was already able to implement into my day today.  It was pretty cool.  The teachers who went are going to pilot the program, so again stayed tuned for some more info.

4.  I hate rubber bands!  Do you?  I can remember being in middle school and one of the boys continuously snapping a rubber band against my cheek.  I can't look at a rubber band without flinching anymore.  

Well I finally found a use for them that doesn't make me flinch.  I was working on writing a sentence this morning with one of my bright boys, but he has some autistic tendencies.  He was fighting me about writing a sentence.  I told him we really needed to work on writing some good 1st grade sentences.  We needed to S-T-R-E-T-C-H them out like a rubber band.  He said, "maybe you should get a real rubber band."  You know what I did.  I marched straight over to my desk and grabbed one.  As he wrote a word I stretched the rubber band a little further.  He kept writing and I kept stretching.  I think he wanted to see it break!  Before we knew it he had a great sentence.  I am beginning to wonder if my students are smarter than me.  They sure have some great ideas!

5.  Have you heard of Whole Brain Teaching.  All I can say is I AM HOOKED!  I started the year by having them do the Class, Yes call and answer.  It worked ok.  Then I watched some of Farrah Shipley's videos on YouTube and I realized I was NOT giving it the good college go.  

So I recently tried again.  My dear firsties are turning into some little angels.  Today my homework assignment from Farrah was to create a scoreboard.  One side had a happy face and the other a sad face.  I gave them a point if I like what I saw.  
Picture Courtesy of Mrs. Shipley's Fabulous Firsties

I put a point on the sad face if I was not pleased.  I explained my expectations after a very curious boy asked what it was when I added a couple of points.  They worked so hard all day just to say they are smarter than second graders!  GENIUS!! I am going to be involved in a book study and I seriously can't wait to begin!

6.  Halloween was ages ago, but I thought I would share a picture of my family.  Funny story about my son's costume.  Months ago Gavin told us he was going to be a banana for Halloween.  I really have no clue where that came from.  Maybe because he eats a banana every morning?  Anyway, he did not budge from this at all.  He also told us Norah (his sister) was going to be a pickle.  This did not dawn on me then, but he HATES pickles with a passion.  We tease him all the time about it.  The other night I put one on top of his burger and he yelled out, EWWWW!  It was hysterical!  So it makes me wonder how he feels about his sister.  So we went shopping for the banana and the one we found just did not fit him right.  His head kept going down and all you could see was his hair.  It just wasn't happening.  We came across Darth Vader and it was like he never wanted to be a banana.  He was set!  There just happened to be a Yoda costume too.  My husband was in NERD heaven when he saw what we came home with.  My husband and I joined in on the action too. 

 It was a fabulous Halloween!  

We had a costume fashion show.
I think I was meant to work the runway!

Thank you for reading all the way to the end of this.  I will give away 2 copies of my Groovy Cat Writing Pack to the first 2 people to comment on this post!  (Please keep in mind in my photos I used the real name of groovy cat, but for copyright purposes I needed to change it to Groovy Cat.)



  1. Love the book! My firsties would love creating their own book!

  2. I love your Pete the Cat books! What a great idea.

  3. I know I'm #3, but wanted to thank you for some great ideas! A friend lent me her Lucy Calkins stuff when she moved to middle school and I've been too crazed (just moved to first grade after 18 years at 3/4) to tackle it. Now I'm inspired. ;). Just in case #2 doesn't come back-jenmilke@gmail.com

  4. Your books are so genius! I love them! I teach Kindergarten and my KInders would LOVE this!


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