Needing a boost?

I don't know about y'all but it's been a little tough getting back to school after some wonderful days off gorging myself on great food and watching football! My children were TERRIBLE yesterday! Like, on-the-naughty-list terrible. Today they were back to being my lovely first graders! (Thank goodness!) We have just a few weeks left before our much needed vacation, so to help you along I'm participating in a giveaway with some of my bloggy BFF's! Head over to Teaching First to enter. You have the opportunity to win three winter units and a gift card. SWEET!

December Books!

TBA is doing linky parties all week to share what we all do in class. First up- what books do you use in your class in December?

1. Look Who's Knocking on Christmas Eve By Jan Brett. Every year a trolls knock on a little girls door and gobble up her Christmas feast, but not this year! This year a boy and his polar bear are in the house!

2. The Mitten by Jan Brett (of course!) I printed out the character masks from Jan Brett's site and allow my students to act out the story. So much fun! Even your students who struggle with reading comprehension will remember the steps in this story!

3. Snow by Uri Shulevitz. It's the story of a boy who just KNOWS it's going to snow. One snowflake falls and everyone says it's just one snowflake. Then another falls, and another. The illustrations are just beautiful too!

Be sure to link up with your favorite books! I'm always looking for new stories to add to my collection!

Christmas Week

Special Thanks for the Sunshine Award

I am so thankful for Holly at Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade for giving me the Sunshine Award! And over the holiday weekend Chrissy at First Grade Found Me, Barbara at The Corner on CharacterRebecca at Teaching First also gave me the award! Y'all rock!

  • Favorite color? PINK
  • Favorite animal?  Lion. Is that weird? 
  • Favorite number?  3
  • Favorite drink? When I see "favorite drink" I think cocktail so I'm going to say vodka martini with a twist.
  • Facebook or Twitter? I'm with Holly on this one-Facebook - blogging has sort of replaced that addiction though!
  • Your passion? Blogging! Shopping! Anything crafty!
  • Giving or getting presents? Both! I love finding the perfect gift for someone. I found this awesome present for my dad this weekend and I wasn't really even looking. But, of course, I LOVE getting presents too! Who doesn't?!
  • Favorite day? Day of the week- Thursday- the week is almost over and it's the one day of the week that I don't allow myself to grade. I made a nice dinner and my husband and I watch all our Thursday tv shows. Grey's Anatomy, Vampire Diaries, Secret Circle. Have I mentioned my husband is kind of awesome? What a good sport!
  • Favorite flowers? Gerbera daisies. There is just something about a huge bright flower that makes me happy!
Now to pass this on to ten other blogs. This is SO VERY TOUGH because I follow so many blogs and I stalk them ALL. I realize some of them have already received the award but TOO BAD!

Black Friday Sale!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I know y'all are just itching to go shopping, but why not just warm up by shopping in your pj's first?

I've teamed up with Rebecca from Teaching First, Caitlin from Ms. Preppy, and Kristen from  A Teeny Tiny Teacher  to throw a Black Friday Sale! I've put a bunch of my units on sale at Teachers Notebook! 

You Know You Need a Few Days Off When...

You go to school with your underwear on BACKWARDS. No, not inside out, BACKWARDS! All morning I kept thinking, "Something just isn't right." Took a good two hours for me to figure it out! How? How on Earth did I not realize I had my underwear on BACKWARDS?! Too much on my mind/ need a few days off! Hope y'all have a wonderful few days off and that everyone puts their panties on the RIGHT way! Ha!

What I'm Thankful For Linky Party!

What the Teacher Wants is hosting a wonderful linky party to post about what you are thankful for.

1. What are you thankful for in your classroom? I am thankful for my wonderful students and my projector! I use that bad boy every day!

2. What person are you most thankful for? My husband. He's pretty awesome and he's my very best friend. But I also have to say I am so thankful for my team. It's the dream team. The team that once someone moves away will never be the same. I will never find another group of ladies that are so caring, funny, supportive, and sweet. Love them!

3. What 3 blogs are you most thankful for? I am most thankful for my bloggy BFF's Rebecca from Teaching First and Caitlin from Ms. Preppy. I feel like I know them both even though we've never actually met in person. And I swear if we were on the same team at the same school we would have super powers....we might even wear capes and unitards. They are so dedicated to teaching and I love swapping stories with them! I'm also very thankful for Teaching Blog Addict. Being a part of TBA has been such a blessing and I've found so much inspiration from the teachers and blogs I've found through TBA.

Teaching First

4. What guilty pleasure are you most thankful for? I'm seriously going to say it- Twilight. I'm so excited to see the newest flick tomorrow with my girlfriends! I watched all three of the previous movies this weekend to get all refreshed! Love feeling like a teenager again!

5. What are you most thankful for? There are so many things I'm thankful for, but you would have to understand all the drama behind this statement. I am thankful that my cat is on Prozac. You just don't even want to know the details, but things were very bad and I told my cat many times "I think I hear Jesus calling!" Thankfully, with a bad tooth pulled, a food allergy figured out, and Prozac she is back to being the good kitty she was when I brought her home from the pound four years ago.

Be sure to link up- it's so much fun reading what everyone else has written!

Foldables Linky Party

Thinking of Teaching is hosting a linky party every day this week for different types of foldables. I'm bringing my camera to school tomorrow to snap some shots of my two foldables. Love me some foldables, don't you? Head over and link up!


I just saw a spelling error on the November Read the Room I shared with y'all (for one night!) So sorry! I'm going to channel Milli Vanilli and blame it on the rain...or lack there of. If you downloaded it be sure to re-download on Google Docs. I've got it all fixed up now! Almost halfway through the week!

I've got a new look! Let's celebrate!

Woohoo! I have a new look thanks to Jumping Jax Designs and I LOOOOOOVE it! It's so very me!
Don't forget to grab my new button too!


 I LOVED the Virtual Teaching Expo this weekend. I watched the presentations this morning and I'm feeling revived and excited about this week instead of exhausted and micro-managed. There are so many new things I want to try to implement in my classroom!

Did y'all read the TPT newsletter this morning? It featured Denise from Sunny Days in Second Grade and she talked about her Brain Builders Board. O.M.G. I love that idea! She has some task cards on sale at her TPT store. They aren't quite what I need for my first grade class so I'll have to make some of my own task cards for first grade. This is my new mission! Although I would love to get this going before winter break I'm going to start it in January. LOVE IT!

On another note: My husband messed with my computer. Why would he do that? Now it's all weird. He said he was cleaning it up to make it more efficient or some such nonsense. "Helping or hurting, JD? Helping or hurting?" (If you are a Scrubs fan like we are then you're familiar with that line.) AND he erased my whole history. WHAT?!  Doesn't he know I sit at my computer and look for that great idea that I saw Thursday on a blog, but I can't remember which blog?????

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Virtual Teaching Expo Question and Answer

 Good morning and welcome to all of the VTE participants! I hope you are enjoying the Virtual Teaching Expo as much as I am! Feel free to leave me questions and I'll answer them as soon as I can.

As promised I have created an RTI Shopping List for you as well as some cute RTI Binder Covers.

I also have the RTI tiers video below and a few links that you may find helpful.
NCLD Talks
National Center on Response to Intervention
Chart of Progress Monitoring Tools

Updated Pumpkin Spice Unit

 Hey everyone,
I made some changes to the fact family section of my pumpkin spice unit. If you purchased it from TPT or Teachers Notebook be sure to upload the latest version!

Text to Self Connection

 Have you seen the book "Children Make Terrible Pets" from Peter Brown? It's so stinkin' cute and funny! It's about a little girl bear, Lucy, who finds a little boy in the woods and want to keep him as a pet. I decided this would be the PERFECT book for teaching text to self connections. Anyone could easily make a connection about having a pet or wanting a pet.

First, I read the story. Then we created an anchor chart and discussed some of our own connections. My favorite was that the story reminded one little girl about how her little brother asked their parents if he could have a raccoon for a pet.

I decided we just HAD to create our own Lucy bears. In the story everything Lucy says is in a speaking bubble. So I thought I would have my student write their connections down inside their own speaking bubble and we would place them above their bears. Some of the boys didn't want to have a girl bear so they left off the eyelashes and pink bow.

Click on the picture to download instructions for making your own Lucy bears!

The sounds of silence/early Christmas miracle?

 This past week my lovely first graders weren't exactly lovely. They weren't following directions, they weren't working quietly, some students were being really mean, and I even had a student cheat! WHAT?! So by Friday I had had it. I remembered a post I had seen on Mrs. Bainbridge's Class about Class Dojo. It's a free online classroom management system. Over my conference period I took the tour and signed up my whole class. Then I put the app on my phone. Each student is given a cute monster avatar with their name underneath. You can give out points to students for positive behaviors, or take points away for negative behaviors. One great feature is you can choose all your own positives and negatives based on your class needs.

When you give students points or take points away students see who got the points and why. I had this projected as my students worked on their social studies and I was conferencing with students. BEST PART: You can use your smartphone as a remote! I had my phone at my small group table and would assign points to students or take points away. On the app there is a "Select Random" too. My kids would hear a "DING" and look up at the screen and whisper, "Sarah got a point for working quietly!" And then half the class was working while holding up our quiet sign. Then "HONK" and someone whispered, "Oh! Morgan got a point taken away because she's not following directions!"


The teacher next door came in to ask a question. She said it was creepy-quiet in class and what was I doing to make that happen? After our crazy week the silence was just wonderful- a miracle even!

I loved it! And we're going to use it all week. I'm still using my classroom behavior management system for the moment, but I can see this being a great tool when I'm working with small group and my kids are going to work stations. You can send home a behavior report for each student so that may come in handy too! Click on the logo to sign up your class.

New Word Work Center

We've been working really hard on capitalizing our sentences and adding correct punctuation at the end. Many of my students still seem to be having a tough time applying that to their writing. So I created a unit of sentence practice for my kiddos to use. It's working out so well! My high readers who aren't strong writers are finding that they CAN be successful. And my students who aren't strong readers get some practice reading their sight words. One of my little sweeties ran over to me while I was working in small group and said, "Mrs. Tice! I can read this!" I also included a few self-check boxes at the bottom so that my students will start to remember to capitalize and add punctuation. I just posted the unit to TPT and Teachers Notebook. Click on the image below for a freebie sample!