I've Been Tagged

Cheryl at Crayons and Curls has tagged me! I love tag!

Here are the rules:
1) Post the rules
2) Post 12 fun facts about yourself
3) Answer the 12 questions the tagger set for you in their post, and create 12 questions for those who you tag.
4) Tag 12 people and link them on your post.

12 Facts About Me:
1. I met my husband in the Phoenix airport and neither of us was living in Arizona.
2. I have the cutest niece ever and she just learned to say my name! She learned my name before ANYone else's. That's probably because I'm awesome.
3. I love the Academy Awards and then I REALLY love buying In Style magazine for March. All those gorgeous dresses!
4. I'm pretty sure I will never own enough boots.
5. I'll see any movie with Mark Whalberg or George Clooney. Seriously. Marky Mark 4 EVA. (Fear anyone?)
6. Thursday nights are my favorite- I make something delicious for dinner and share a bottle of wine with my husband and we watch CW shows. Isn't he awesome? To be honest there's a little eye candy for us both and we finish the night by watching The Big Bang Theory. So hilarious.
7. I'm pretty sure I've seen every episode of Friends and Scrubs at least fifty times. "Steak Nii-ight!"
8. I hate the smell of tater tots. The smell makes me gag. I think I over did it with the tots when I was in elementary school.
9. I will never understand what Tilda Swinton wears to award shows....ever. Or why she doesn't ever seem to have any make up on or have eyebrows! What is up with that?!
10. I never leave the house without at least eye liner, mascara, and lip gloss. Ever.
11. My New Year resolution was to get my slacker butt in shape! The diet and exercise plan start after I get back from Seattle. I figured I'm going all out and eating at great restaurants while I'm there why get started on a plan before then....
12. I wish I was as funny as Melissa McCarthy!

1. What is your favorite color? Why- pink of course! I love how cheery it is! I even have pink Uggs.
2. What is another job you have done besides teaching? I was a barista at Starbucks while I was in college. Awesome job! And it fed my coffee addiction...which can be expensive.
3. Are you married and do you have children? I am married. I've been married since July. No kids yet, but we're certainly talking about it!
4. What is your favorite place to visit? Seattle! I love Seattle. We have a home there and hope to move back permanently in the next couple of years. I love cold rainy weather, wearing long sleeves, being close to the water and the mountains, I could go on forever! (Anyone out there living in Seattle?) We are actually going up there this coming weekend and I'm taking a few personal days!
5. What is your favorite website? Does blogger.com count? I swear I stalk all the live long day! But if it doesn't count then probably revolveclothing.com  I loooove shopping there!
6. Would you rather have an iPhone or a Blackberry? In this house my husband has a Blackberry. I cannot figure that thing out. I have an iPhone and I can't live without it. Everything about it is so easy to use!
7. What do you eat for lunch when you are at school? I try to never ever eat from the cafeteria. Sometimes I bring Lean Cuisines, but lately I've been on a soup kick. If you're in Texas check out the Cookwell soups at your grocery store. They are delicious!
8. What's your favorite present you ever received? The first gift my husband gave me when we were dating. I has a little something personal engraved on it and I wear it all the time. I did get a mug from a student this Christmas that she painted and it has become my favorite weekend mug.
9. What item do you wish your classroom had? It's a toss up between a Mimio Board or walls I could staple in. Ha!
10. What is your favorite movie of all time? Pride and Prejudice! The latest version with Keira Knightly. I read the book at least once every year. It's so romantic!
11. Would you rather sit on the beach or go to the mountains? Mountains!
12. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas!

12 Questions from Me: (Anyone please feel free to answer them! I love getting to know everyone)
1. Are you married and do you have kids?
2. What is your favorite children's book or series?
3. If you didn't live in your current city where would you like to live?
4. Do you have any fun vacations planned?
5. If you won a million dollars in the lottery today where would you shop first?
6. What was the last movie you saw?
7. What theme do you have in your classroom?
8. At the end of a long day what do you do to unwind?
9. What meal do you crave the most during a tough week?
10. What was your New Year resolution?
11. What's on your classroom wish list?
12. What candy would you like to secretly stash in your desk drawer?

I'm tagging these fellow bloggers:
1. Caitlin at Kindergarten Smiles
2. Crystal at Kreative in Kinder
3. Jennifer at First Grade Dream
4. Erika at The Honey Bunch
5. Linda at Down the Learning Road
6. Amanda at Learn Laugh Grow
7. Melissa at Life's a Teach
8. Julia at Loving and Learning in Pre-K
9. Erin at Creating and Teaching
10. Ms. Thomas at The First Grade Jungle
11. Kerri at Ms. Kerri and Her Crazy Kindergarten
12. Ms. M at Ms. M's Blog

Morning Work

Good morning! I had a couple of emails asking me about my morning work yesterday. I have a very cute section of my whiteboard with "Morning Work" and the days of the week with letters made from my Cricut. And I have a picture....on my camera....but I don't know where it is. I put it in a "safe place" when I was panicking and cleaning my house before the maid came so that she would not think we're hoarders or really messy people. The problem with the "safe place" is that I can never remember where it is! Ha!

I started this system the first week of school and it did take some time for the kids to really get in to the routine and stay focused. After a couple of weeks my students started to get into the routine. I like having some kind of morning work because it helps my kiddos get focused for the day. My morning work is also something that every student can be successful with.

Monday: Alphabetizing. At the beginning of the year I have words on index cards in my cute apple pocket chart. I start with just four words that are all three letter words. Students write the words in alphabetical order in their journals. I did a full week where that was their morning work every day. Then we walk through how to alphabetize EVERY day that week. And students check their answers. I do alphabetizing for two reasons 1) it's something that I have to teach them and I want them to have it mastered when they get to second grade (2) it's good practice for copying something from the board onto paper. That's a skill that's tough for a lot of first graders. At this point in the year I'm doing eight words. My kids were so excited that they now have eight words. I made a big deal, "Well y'all are just SO SMART I knew you could do eight words!"
Tuesday: Math Journal prompts. I usually have them do two journal prompts. I make mine numbered so on my white board it may say "Math Journal #12 and #13" They are simple and they review previous skills. I use the names of my teammates in the prompts too and they just love that. Our badges have our first names so all of our students know our first names and our last names. Ex: Amy had four apples. Jennifer ate one apple. How many apples does Amy have left? My students know I want them to write the number sentence and draw a picture because "that is a very good strategy." (I hear them say that! Have I scarred them?)
Wednesday: Cut and color. This year my group as a whole has terrible fine motor skills. TERRIBLE. We've been doing this all year so now they are all experts at cutting curved objects and they are great at coloring in the lines. Now they all show off their creativity. The pictures I use are from some kind of coloring or doodle book from, no joke, like 30 years ago. A teammate had them and she uses them for fine motor skills too.
Thursday: Math Journal Prompts again.
Friday: Word search. As I mentioned last week on Fridays we have ridiculous amazing and totally-not-a-waste-of-time-at-all morning assemblies. By the time we get back to the classroom the kids are all wound up and need to focus. It's Friday and I work my kids pretty hard all week so they deserve a little fun. I try to make themed word searches. Sometimes they have science terms or focus on something we've learned about like Martin Luther King Jr. (Click here for the link to that wordsearch) Sometimes I just don't have the energy to make one so I find them on the good ol' internet. And sometimes fellow bloggers have word searches. (*I don't know about y'all but whenever I have a game that I have bought or downloaded from TPT or Teachers Notebook or I found on a blog I tell my kiddos that my friend made it. They think I have the coolest friends. And they aren't wrong!)

I'm working on putting together my math journal prompts. I'll tell you it's hard because you have to make sure your low readers can read the words too. Now, my group is actually very good at math so when we are struggling with a concept in ELA I sometimes change my Tuesday, Thursday work to something that focuses on those skills. Does that make sense?

Hope everyone has a great weekend. I can't wait to go to the Everything's Kindergarten blog expo this morning. Also, I'm so ready to eat chips and salsa and watch the Winter X Games! Woohoo! I leave you with this video of Colten Moore....he went on to WIN THE GOLD!

Friday Freebie

I posted a couple of weeks ago I treat my first graders with a word search on Fridays. I admit it, sometimes I just don't have the energy to create a word search. But the Winter X Games started yesterday people and I LOOOOOOVE the Winter X Games. I wish I lived closer to Aspen so I could be there, seriously! During commercial breaks last night I made a Winter X Games wordsearch. Believe it or not I do have kids that know EXACTLY what Winter X Games are.Click on the picture to grab your freebie. Happy Friday to all!

Hooray Kimberly!

My friend Kimberly at Funky First Grade Fun just reached 1000 followers. Woohoo! Congratulations Kimberly! I'm throwing in a $10 gift card to Teachers Notebook as part of her giveaway. Head over to her blog to enter the giveaway- who can resist a chance to win shopping money?!

Holy Cow!

First, Mrs. Patton at Patton's Patch just shared a technology tool she used and I'm already so PSYCHED about it! She used Xtranormal Video to create a recording of a word problem. The she saved them in QR codes and printed the codes onto folders as a math activity. Can you say BRILLIANT?! I love it! And my kids will love it too and then they are going to BEG to make their own. Which I'm ALL over! I created my own already.  I saved my url for my video at QR Code Kaywa (an easy QR code generator). I have a QR code scanner on my phone and one on my iPads too. Check out my word problem:
Or...if you don't have a QR code scanner app yet click here

How cool, right?! (By the way, my husband was not very amused that I used him in my word problem. But he really does eat lots of cookies....and I told my kids that too!)

And...I've just signed up for the next Virtual Teaching Expo- it's all about teaching kindergarten. I know, I know....I teach FABULOUS FIRST GRADERS! BUT- I think kinder teachers are all kinds of amazing and you just never know when you'll end up teaching another grade. I can't wait!

On an unrelated note- I keep seeing that Jack in the Box commercial and now I can't stop singing "Jumbaco, Jumbaco, Jumbaco!"

Hope everyone had a great Monday!

National Board Certification

Hey all....
I'm seriously considering starting the National Board Certification process. Are you going through the process? Or have you? I'd love to know what you think about it!


Holy cow! I have 600 followers?!   It's almost my blogiverssary and blogging has been so wonderful. I have found so many great ideas and learned so much from all of you out there. Thanks for following me!

And it just so happens that I created a new unit and posted it to Teachers Notebook and TPT just moments ago! It includes 6 literacy and 6 math activities. (Word family sort, synonym center, antonym center, writing activity, nouns and verbs activity, read the room, two graphing activities, three dice games, and an odd and even activity) I'll give away a free copy to the first 6 people to leave me a comment! *Be sure to leave your email address!

Great Giveaways!

There are two great giveaways you'll want to check out! First, I've thrown an item into Becca's giveaway at  Teaching First. You could win 9 different packets from four rockin' bloggers!

Teaching First

Second, Sara at Kindergarten is a Hoot is a hosting a giveaway too for a Target gift card. I love Target!

Kindergarten Is a Hoot

Be My Valentine

Caitlin and Sarah are hosting another exchange for Valentines Day. AND they are going to host a classroom Valentine exchange. I've already signed up for both. Click the button to find out more and join up!

Be My Valentine


Thank goodness it's almost Friday!
I have been so sick all week thanks to cedar pollen. All you Texas teachers know what I mean- CEDAR POLLEN IS THE DEVIL! Anyhoo... yesterday in my post-NyQuil/morning-Benadryl haze I suddenly smelled something burning! I melted the handle of my toothbrush with my blazingly hot hair straightener. At least it wasn't the brush end. Then this morning I woke up and my voice was completely gone. Oh well...power on. So I haven't had coffee all week because I thought tea would help me feel better. You should know I basically can't function without coffee. This morning I felt good, minus a voice, but SO ready for my coffee. I got to school on this very windy and very cold morning and put my coffee on the roof of my car so I could get my giant teacher cart out. I had just pulled the handle up when a HUGE gust of wind blew my coffee off the roof of my car! Picture me screaming, arms at my sides, in a whisper voice, "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" as my pink travel mug tumbled and my delicious coffee spilled all over my back windshield!

But my day was made better my wonderful class. I was whispering directions and they whispered back. All day this happened! I whispered, and they whispered. Even in small group! My neighbor teacher came in and was in shock that even in stations they were whispering to each other! Ha ha! My class rocks!

Tomorrow is Friday- at last! On Fridays our morning work is a crossword. I made a MLK crossword. Click the pic to grab yours.

I also need to thank The Aggie Teacher at Flying High in First Grade and Kristy at Cozart's Class for giving me the Versatile Blogger Award!

I have received it before, but that was when I had my old blog design. So I'm excited to get it with my NEW design too! Here is my link to my seven things about me and who I had passed the award on to! Have a great Friday y'all!

Why does Swiss Cheese have Holes?

My nephew got a book at Christmas that I had to go out and buy for my class! It's Time for Kids Big Book of Why.
My nephew's favorite fact is why do we pass gas?
The facts are listed in paragraphs and while with it being nonfiction it can be a little tough for first graders my kids have started pairing up and helping each other. It's been a great motivator to get work done so that you can be the first one with the new book! It's only in hardcover, a little pricey, but it won't go out of style!

Check out some new to me blogs!

Over the last week I've stumbled onto some new blogs. Some are brand new to Blogland and some have been around a bit and I have just found them! You'll have to check them out!

Lessons Learned
First Grade Dream
Sweet Times in First
The Honey Bunch
Down the Learning Road
Learn, Laugh, Grow
Tales from a Traveling Teacher

M&M Graphing

This week we started working on graphing. We've graphed all year, but now we're hitting it hard. So today I decided we had to graph M&M's. Isn't that like a rite of passage? However, my teammate and I could not find our copies of our old (like 1984) graphing sheets. I made a new version and it's WAY cuter!

Click on the picture below to get your copy! 

And TGIF!!!!

First Grade Santa Fact

Oh. My. Word. I am so VERY tired. It's hard to believe after just a few days (ok, more than a few) you completely forget that talking ALL day and standing up ALL day is completely exhausting!
Even my kids were so tired I could only hear a faint whisper as kids talked about what they did over the break. It was like they were to tired to talk... and it was lovely!

Before the break one of my little girls had all kinds of Santa questions for me. 1) What did I ask Santa for? (I'm pretty sure she still pictured me sitting on Santa's lap.) When I told her I wanted a car she told me there was NO WAY Santa could fit that in his sleigh and that I should think of something else! (2) Did I know if Santa would deliver live animals? She really wanted a gerbil, but she wasn't sure if she should ask Santa for it if he couldn't deliver live animals. Well.....this morning she walked in proudly and said, "Hey Mrs. Tice- he does." "Who does what?" "SANTA delivers animals! I have a gerbil!" So there you have it folks....a little known Santa fact!

Hope everyone else who went back today has survived! And those of you who didn't have to go back enjoyed a cup of coffee in your pj's for the rest of us!

Woo Hoo! I'm Back!

Ok- Mostly back! My husband is still trying to fix my home computer, but thankfully I was able to bring my school computer home! No, Ms. Preppy, it's not an old zillion pound MAC-- it's a laptop! (Ha!) So I can finally see what everyone is up to! Also VERY THANKFULLY I have saved most of my school projects and items I have purchased from TPT and Teachers Notebook onto Dropbox. You've seen my posts about Dropbox before. I am devastated that I may not get back some of the projects that I had started, but at least I had my clip art and purchased items (as well as wedding and honeymoon photos) in Dropbox. If you don't have it already-YOU'VE GOT TO GET IT! It's free! And you never know when the computer will suddenly go all Chucky on you!

I have one cute thing to share- my niece made this at her daycare "learning center" and I thought it turned out so cute. I took a picture of the front and the back so we could all see how it's done! Looks like six handprints traced and cut out of green construction paper.

Way cute! I was at work today and my babies come back tomorrow! I have missed them, but I could really use a few more days off. I love this whole sleeping in past 5:30 and eating breakfast NOT in my car thing!