Science Week Day 4!

 Today we are sharing science experiments! Ok, this is why I REALLY need science week. I don't have any cool experiments up my sleeve. I told y'all- science is my strength. (But it may be after this week!) Head over to Learning with Mrs. Parker to link up your experiment!

Science Week Day 3- Freebies!

Science week rocks! I've added about a gazillion books to my Barnes and Noble wish list! And I've bookmarked about a million websites! Who knew there was so much out there!

Well today there is a freebie linky party on TBA. My students had a hard time learning the Scientific Method this year. So, being the clip art junkie that I am, I came home and created some cards to hang up in my class. (And if I can ACTUALLY get to Office Max and buy ink they'll be in my classroom by Friday!) I also included an experiment that I do for introducing the Scientific Method. (It's the kind of experiment that goes by so fast and leaves me laughing so hard. I tried like the dickens to get a bunch of pictures, but I couldn't stop laughing!) Just click the preview for the document. And then go join the linky party at the Teaching Blog Addicts site!

If you're just catching us during Science Week you can catch up with these links:

Favorite Science Videos and Websites

Favorite Science Books

Science Week Day Two!

Day two and we're supposed to share our favorite science videos or websites.

Well, it's more health than science, but if your science and health grades are combined then this might work for you. It's a Soft Soap music video Pump the Pump! Very catchy tune!

I recently stumbled on the Sunkist Science Experiments for Kids website. There are a few cute things there including an experiment on preventing apples from turning brown, which is great for this month!

Link up over at Teaching Blog Addict

My Favorite Science Book

Science Week

 One science book that I love, love, love is If You Decide to Go to the Moon by By Faith McNulty. It's the story of a little boy who is pretending to go to the moon. The book gives such great facts at the end of the story about the moon. Plus WONDERFUL illustrations by Steven Kellogg. And it can easily tie into a writing activity- "If I decided to go to the moon I would bring..."

Be sure to add you favorite science book to the linky party over at Teaching Blog Addicts!

And the winner is...

 Good morning everyone! I grabbed my cup of coffee and hit to find the winner. Thanks for all who participated!

Congratulations Madison! Shoot me an email with your address and I'll send your laminator out to you!


 I came home today and saw that I have reached 400 followers! Wow! I appreciate everyone following me, and I've learned so much from you all. But now to the good stuff!

I recently bought myself a Scotch Thermal Laminator and I am completely in love. I spend half the weekend laminating! So I would like to give a laminator and a pack of laminating pouches to one lucky follower!

Here are the rules- so simple:
1) Leave me a comment and let me know you are a follower 
2) Add me to your blog list or blog buttons and leave me a comment 
3) If you don't have a blog then let me know whether or not you think I should make a Facebook page for my blog. Would that be something you would like?


Wonderful Wednesday

Last week I tried to focus on the positive. (Still working on that!) Ms. Kerri at Ms. Kerri and Her Krazy Kindergarten is hosting a linky party for us to share our positives for the day! Today at our faculty meeting we talked budget for the year and that we will have more cuts next year. We're talkin' RIF's. I realize that is a long way off, but that's what I thought about on my drive home.  So talk about needing to put that out of my mind and focus on the positive! I'm in!


1. My math groups continue to go amazingly well.
2. My low group really seemed to get what addends were today.
3. I did Zumba with two of my teammates and it was a blast!


1. One of my dear friends is coming into Austin for her bachelorette par-tay!
2. My husband is coming home late from a business trip so I didn't have to make dinner. I get to have Cocoa Puffs! MY FAVE!

Pleases join in this linky party and have a great Thursday and Friday!

Wow y'all!

 So it's only Tuesday and my week is already hectic, but made so wonderful by two fellow bloggers!
Miss Bowers at First Grade Jabber AND Mrs. Magee from First Grade Brain have awarded me with the Versatile Blogger Award! Thanks y'all!

Here are the rules for receiving this award:
1) thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them in your post
2) share 7 things about yourself
3) pass this award along to 15 other blogs!


1) I am a newlywed- we just got married in July!
2) First grade is where I was meant to be
4) I belong in the Northwest! I love cold, rainy weather and coffee shops with fireplaces. I love long sleeve tees.....and yet I live in Texas where we've had more days over 100 degrees this summer than EVER before. (70+ people. Seriously?!)
5) I work in a small town.....there were roosters wandering around my car at the gas station.
6) I could watch "My Cousin Vinny" every single day and still laugh hysterically.
7) I admit it- when I watch "New Moon" I pause when Jacob takes his shirt off!

15 BLOGS you should check out! (Last time I tried to list a bunch of buttons I ran into some trouble, so I'll just link them this time!) I love all of these authors! Even though we've never met in person I feel like we are all on one big team! Through blogging I've found so many wonderful and talented people. There are so many new blogs that I have come across and I love y'all too! I'm spending every weekend stalking ALL of your blogs in between watching football. Have a great week!

Teaching Blog Addict - I'm an author on this site! This is a great resource for EVERY teacher and parent.

Me and My First Grade Gang - I just became an author and I'm loving sharing with other first grade teachers!

Teaching with TLC - Tamara started Teaching Blog Addicts! Selfless and sweet!

The Schroeder Page - started My Gang!

Mrs. McCumbee's Class - started My Gang!

Funky First Grade Fun - Kim- so amazing!

The First Grade Jungle - Ms. T- sweet and clever ideas!

Marvelous Multiagers - Can't imagine juggling two grades at once!

Little Miss Hypothesis - Love her, love her, love her! I'm so trying to like or almost love teaching science!

Faithful in First - Janine is wonderful! And she is hosting a book study of Ron Clark's new book "The End of Molasses Classes"

Swamp Frog First Graders - Such genius ideas!

Ladybug Teacher Files - AMAZING ideas for how to organize everything especially if you teach more than one grade level! Plus she is wicked good at technology stuff! Yeah, that's right. I just found my inner-Boston.

First Grade Factory- wonderful ideas here too!

MIss Kindergarten - I heart you!

Queen of the First Grade Jungle - I so wish Katie and I lived in the same city!

My Guided Math

Last year was the first year I used Guided Math in my classroom. We have only a 50 minute window to teach math so I had to do some tweaking from the schedule I had purchased from Lesson Plan SOS. I have my schedule listed below. I fly through calendar in the morning and find that sometime I can address calendar skills in small group- skip counting for example.
My low and on level groups both had six students this past year while my high group had 8 students. It was a little crowded around my horseshoe table, but we made it work.

I have students partnered for math stations. And I have assigned stations. I have 5 stations listed and students go to one each day. My stations are: Computer (students work on math games), iPad (we were lucky enough to receive a grant for iPads in the classroom), one dice game for number sense, one game that reviews previously learned materials, one game for practicing new skills.

This schedule made my life so easy! My kiddos loved that they knew EXACTLY what to expect every day. I love that I was able to see each group every day so I knew strengths and weaknesses of every student. Often while with my low group I doodle a name on a post it and call that student over during our RTI intervention time to work with them again.

Hope this helps! I'm all about working smarter not harder and this system works! I have several themed guided math cards available in my TPT and Teachers Notebook shops too.

Some Classroom Pics

 So I FINALLY have a couple classroom pics!  For those of you who have been following me for awhile you know I am kind of OCD about how my room looks. Well, this year with all the new things we've taken on at school and less prep time in our classroom I just haven't yet gotten my room to where I want it to be. But I thought I would share what I have so far. I promise to post the whole classroom in the next couple of weeks!
I have an owl theme again this year. And of course I HAD to use my Cricut to cut out the letters. Yes, that's an Exit sign in the middle of my bulletin board. I don't know why it's there! My bulletin board is like 9 feet long and I'm at the end of the hallway so I just placed my owls with student names all at one end of now.
My Daily 5 stations board with Owl Theme. I made cute owl themed daily 5 cards that you can purchase on Teachers Notebook or TPT. There are actually 6 stations. I'll post more about that later!
Man, I thought I showed all three stations in this pic. RATS! For the first time I'm using a Guided Math rotation system that I found on Lesson Plan SOS. Students see me, work independently, and go to math stations. It's going so well that I'm just kicking myself for not trying it with my group last year! The best part is I can have differentiated stations and I don't have to have ten stations ready of the week like I did last year. (I still need to put "Math Stations" above, but I need a new Cricut blade. You know I just have to have the lettering in my classroom the same all over.)  This is on one of my white boards, I just put some magnetic tape on the back of the each piece. 

More pics to come! Have a great weekend!

Spread a little Sunshine Linky Party

Yesterday I blogged about how I have been focusing on negative things instead of focusing on the positives. Well, I woke up early, went to Starbucks (unfortunately my Starbucks boyfriend wasn't there. But I did get a "have a great day, honey!") and came to school ready to look for the positive thing I would post about.  I have three positives to share! **I think I'm going to use exclamation points to show how positively excited I am!!**

my SCHOOL positives:
1) My guided math groups went AMAZINGLY well today! The kids seem to finally "get it"
2) For the second time we were able to get through ALL of our reading work stations!!!!!!! It wasn't perfect, but we're getting there.

my AT HOME positive:
1) My marriage certificate FINALLY arrived so now I can officially be Mrs. Tice!
Now it's your turn to link up and share some of your positives for the day!!

Post something positive

 Ok, I admit it. The beginning of school has been a little rough. On my way home last Friday I was so frustrated: my class is the only class with no math books or math workbooks (I'll work around it, but STILL), wildfires, the AC is being turned off at night to save $- so any posters I had hung with blue sticky have fallen off, we were told we can't drink coffee during our morning duty (you fellow coffee drinkers know how I feel about that one!), damn fire ants have bitten me twice at recess, I'm exhausted, etc...blah, blah, blah.

Well, I'm reading "The Energy Bus"which is all about trying to stay positive and be positive. I was not being so positive Friday. And if I'm being really honest, I was dwelling on all the negative all weekend.  Now I've decided to focus on the positives. So here is my challenge to us all! Post something positive on your blog tomorrow about something you've done in your class, at home, anything! **I'll start up a linky party!** If you don't have a blog then post your positive comment here! We could all use a little boost!

I'm hoping I can make it to Starbucks tomorrow and that my favorite guy is working. He always starts my day off with "Hey girl! You look beautiful!" or something like that. How can you NOT have a good day when someone says that to you?!

What was going on today?!

 Ridiculous. I don't know what was going on today, but the class I had today was not MY classroom of first graders. It took us AN HOUR to do a simple cut and paste activity. I walked through each step, used the doc camera, they repeated instructions, I walked around and showed an example, and I monitored. I had five students complete this simple cut and paste incorrectly. Not like one minor mistake- it was like- WHAT?! I don't even know what went on with their work.  Seriously folks, an hour for cut and paste?! So then I went through the other reasons- full moon? Nope, we're studying the moon and it's not a full moon until the 12th. (Next Monday! YIKES) Weather change? Maybe we'd be getting rain in Austin- we sure need the help putting out the wildfires. NOPE. Sunny and 90 something tomorrow. The silver lining: tomorrow is Friday and I can wear jeans! Anyone else have a day like mine?

What Teachers REALLY want to tell parents

 I know we've all had many wonderful parents throughout our years teaching. But you never forget those special parents who seemed to make it their personal mission to make your life miserable. And remember those couple of parent conferences where you didn't want to be polite and have to listen to insults? This will make you feel better! I'm passing it on to my fellow teachers and to all of my friends who are parents. (Although, y'all know, friends of teachers see how hard we work and they know better!) It's a must-read article by Ron Clark. Access the article HERE

Great surprise!

 I've been busily running all over town doing my usual weekend errands and I just got back to check my email and found that Nicole from First Grade Owls has named me as one of her top 10 blogs! Wow! Thanks Nicole!

Top 10 TBA

To all of you bloggers- you inspire me every day to be a better teacher and be excited about my day! It was incredibly hard for me to figure out my top 10 because I seriously have SO many blogs that I stalk! BUT these are a ten that I visit over and over:

Beg, Borrow, Steal

Castles and Crayons

Curls and a Smile

And although it isn't a teaching blog- she has THE cutest ideas for teacher gifts and cute projects that you can incorporate into your classroom!