Sunday, December 23, 2012


Hi Everyone! 

Wow.  What a busy time of year!  I have no idea what my husband and I were thinking when we decided to buy our first house in the middle of all this craziness!  But we did---and we are so thankful and excited to finally have a place of our own to call home.  We are also thrilled for the opportunity to have all of our family over for the holidays! 

My students and I had lots of fun this month!  We started by exploring how many other countries celebrate the holidays.  We read a book, viewed a PowerPoint, filled out a fact page  and a craft for their suitcase, and had traditional food from each country.  It was great! 

(Love these packs! I can't remember who I bought it from, but I will look at the copyright when I get back to school and let you know!)
The kids also helped decorate the classroom with these beautiful snowflakes!  They did such a great job that no one believes me when I say that the kids made them!
Another very exciting event was the visit of Tinsel, our elf on the shelf!  Tinsel was a very sweet and funny elf.  He kept us all entertained with his silly antics!  He also left very tiny letters for the kids each day.  :)


To end the fun we had a huge party.  The kids all wore their P.J's and we had a huge cookie decorating party!  :)
 18 dozen cookies! 
Each kid decorated 12 cookies to bring home for their family and Santa! :)
They also made food for the reindeer!!
The kids brought everything home in these cute reindeer bags

Sandy Hook

Hi Everyone!

I'm back!  I'm sorry for being MIA the last two months!  Between moving to our first home and all the fun Thanksgiving/Christmas activities, time completely got away from me! 

On another note:

My heart and prayers go out to everyone at Sandy Hook.  The events are so unthinkable.  It leaves me sad, angry, scared, and speechless.  I can't imagine how scary it must have been, but those teachers not only kept the kids calm, they also did everything in their power to keep them safe.  They put their lives on the line and their students safety above their own.  Those teachers are heroes and protected so many kids.  It breaks my heart that so many families won't have their kids home for the holidays, they won't see them graduate, get married, or have kids of their own, all because of one persons need for attention.  I hope our media will stop giving criminals the attention they desire and instead focus on the innocent lives lost, as well as the amazing heroes that kept that number from being much greater. 



Monday, November 26, 2012

Cyber Monday/Tuesday!

Hi everyone!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  As a "thank you" for all of your support, I am participating in the cyber Monday/Tuesday sale on TpT!  Everything in my store will be 28% off with the promo code "CMT12."


Sunday, November 4, 2012

50's Day!

Hi Everyone!

Last week I caught strep throat.  I've had it several times before, but the pain I experienced due to this strain of the illness was unlike anything I have ever felt!   I was completely miserable for 4 days with a 102 temp!  I actually missed 3 full days of school (which I've never done before) was not fun!  

Thankfully I was there to celebrate the 50th day of school, which was a real blast from the past! 

I started that morning decorating the classroom with lots of 1950's inspired decorations.  It really helped set the tone for the day and it was so fun watching the kids faces light up when they walked in that morning!

Each set of tables had a center piece.
During the summer I made poodle skirts for every girl in first grade!  They put their skirts on, I put on my "pink lady" jacket and we were ready to party!
The boy's were a little more simple, they just wore jeans and a white shirt.  I bought inflatable instruments for them so that they would have a special "prop" as well!
We had lots of fun comparing the 1950's to today, counting to 50 in lots of fun ways, and exploring toys used in the 1950's. 
They loved listening to books on "record" 
and we had a hula hoop contest to see who could beat me! 
A couple girls were really good competition. 

For snack we made root beer floats using birthday cake ice cream (since 50's day was also one of my kids birthdays!)

We used Cara Carroll's mini-unit for the float craft 

During writing they wrote about the fabulous fifties and published them on these cute 50's kids!
This can be purchased here!

We ended 50's day with a huge "sock hop" in the cafĂ©!  All of K-2 came to celebrate! 

We had a fabulous day!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Bats: Creatures of the Night

Hi Everyone!

The kids and I had a wonderful time last week "going batty."  I must say, it is one of my favorite units to teach because all of the kids LOVE learning about bats!

We started our unit by reading "Bats Creatures of the Night" and other non-fiction books on bats.   Here is my collection of bat books incase you would like to expand your own collection!

During and after reading, the kids recorded new bat facts on stars.  Also, during the week we added to our bat as they learned new things.

Once they learned lots of new facts, they used their stars to create their own
"Can, Have, Are" graphic organizer on bats.  They look adorable hanging
from the ceiling!

Once we read lots of non-fiction books on bats, we read "Stellaluna"
and compared bats to birds with a venn diagram and cut and past worksheet. 
They also wrote incredible bat reports and published them.
All of these activities can be found on my TpT "Bats - Creatures of the Night"
The unit aligns with the common core exemplar "Creatures of the Night" by Joyce Milton.
Next we read "There was an old lady who swallowed a bat"
I fed my "big" old lady, while the kids each had smaller ones that they made. 
The kids loved feeding their old ladies, but I think they liked feeding mine more! :)
Also available on my TPT  "Swallowed a Bat"
 We also did a few things found on Pinterest and TpT that the kids really loved!
During our study we learned that bats can eat 600 mosquitoes in 1 hour. 
To visually demonstrate just how many that is, we used an idea I found
on Jodi Southard's  "Fun in First Grade" blog! 
While we watched the Magic School bus on bats, the kids
glued 600 tiny mosquitoes to plates.  They loved it!
Finally, we wrapped up our bat week by writing "bat diaries."
To begin with we read "The Diary of a Spider" and watched
the Scholastic video "Diary of a Worm," then it was their turn to
write "The Diary of a Bat."  It was great seeing them use everything
they learned to explain what a day in the life of a bat might be like!

What a busy and batty week it has been!  Next week---we tackle pumpkins!  :)


Friday, October 19, 2012

Out of the Mouth of Babes!

Hi everyone!

We all know kids say the darnedest things!  Well, my classroom is definitely no exception!  Hopefully these adorable little moments will put a smile on your face!  :)

This week has been all about bats (more about this later).  Well today the kids and I were brainstorming for our bats "can, have, are" chart.  We got to "are" and one of the kids announced that bats are mammals (My thought, she's right--- yay!).

Child 1 chimed in with:  "What's a mammal?"
Child 2 replied:  "It means they give birth to live babies and the mommy feeds the baby her milk (Right again, yay!)."
Child 3 gets this look of total confusion and says: "But how does the baby come out of the tummy?"
Child 4 (his mom had a baby a week ago) says:  "AWK....WARD!"  
Child 5 then announced:  "the bat has a c-rection and gets baby is cut out of its stomach."
Child 4:  Slaps his forehead and shakes his head.

I quickly asked "What else are bats" and the subjects is changed for good (thank goodness)!  It was all I could do to keep from laughing though!  I quickly grabed my notebook and recorded this cute moment!  :-)

Cute moment number 2:

Boy 1: Mrs. Cason---he is going to tattle on me!

Boy 2: “Mrs. Cason, he said he didn’t like me!"

Boy 1: I told you he was going to tattle!

Me: “Did you say you didn't like him?"

Boy 1: “Yes, but I told him it was opposite day!"

Me: “Did he tell you it was opposite day?"

Boy 1: “Yes."

Me: “Do you know what opposite day is?"

Boy 1:  “No."

Me: “Ok, I want you to go back to your seats, and he can explain what opposite day is to you."

::boys walk off::

Once they left a sweet girl chimes in: “That’s why you can’t trust boys, they never just say what they mean!!!"

I hope my kiddos insane cuteness put a little smile on your face!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Hectic Happenings and Huge Hugs!

Hi Everyone!

One question: Does this sound familiar?!

I can definitely say school is now in full swing.  The kids are expected to know their routines and procedures and they are learning lots of new skills!   Report cards are about to go home, so grades are due in the grade book and in our reading database, and pacing calendars for the next 9 weeks will soon be due.  The evidence from my current reading goal needs to be gathered and my new reading goals need to be written.  Students need to be assessed and I have loads of conferences that have already begun.  Also, because I teach the lowest quartile of first graders in our school for reading, I need to begin tutoring and get kids started on the RTI process.

It seems like this time of year we have meeting after meeting.  There are the data meetings, RTI meetings, reading goal meetings, grade-level meetings, faculty meetings, literacy committee meetings, technology meetings, team meetings, IEP meetings, vertical team meetings, PMP just goes on and on and on.   Then there are the weekly lesson plans to write (and submit to administration), the weekly newsletter, field trips to plan, parties to organize, and oh so much more.  Just reading that list makes me tired....but the crazy thing is that all of that happens *behind the scenes!*

Before, during, and after all of that stuff, my main, most important job, is meeting the needs of my kids INSIDE the classroom.  It is making sure I cover every standards and differentiate my instruction as needed.  It is keeping my kids engaged, making learning fun, and providing a safe learning environment where kids are free to speak their mind and make mistakes.  It is creating a "caring community of learners dedicated to making the world a better place" <---part of our mission statement.  It is my job to TEACH these kids.  Yes I can assess them, I can chart them, I can analyze them, I can plan for them, but at the end of the day---my real job is to teach them.  And THAT is the part of my job that I LOVE

What other job can you get paid to receive sincere hugs all day?  (I counted today---out of curiosity---I received 84 unsolicited "just because" hugs in one day.

What other job will kids tell you that you are the BEST teacher they've ever had, that they love you so much,  or scream "This is the best day EVER!" with a huge smile on their face---every day?  What other job will someone daily tell you that you have the prettiest hair, eyes, clothes, and maybe even feet they've ever seen?!  How many other jobs will someone compliment your art and singing abilities regaurdless how average they may be?! 

I mean really.  How lucky are we?! 

Also, please check out this great giveaway opportunity!  :-)