Addition Wheels

How fabulous was it to have a few days off for Thanksgiving?! I hope your Thanksgiving was a wonderful as ours. When we arrived at our home in Seattle our neighbors had done this to our door
The letters spell out WELCOME HOME

We spent time skiing and it's been forever since I've seen and felt snow!

The night before we left Timberline Lodge we got 11 inches of snow! 
This is our car!

It took my husband a long time to dig us out of the snow. (Meanwhile I was at the gift shop!) 
And I can't resist sharing these other photos because they are just too pretty! We don't have views like this in Texas!

Mountain lake in the distance.

Anyhoo....this whole work thing really gets in the way of my vacationing! Ha! 

In December my students use addition wheels to practice their facts. Once we're really good at our facts we start having snowman math races! I posted about our races here

I just finished a unit that will help introduce the addition wheels to my students. I can't wait to start using them! Once I start it's sort of an addiction for me and my students.  I'm a very competitive person so we race other classes. It's fun! Even more fun when teachers play against a group of students!

It's already uploaded in my TPT store
I'll send a copy to the first give people to leave me a comment- BE SURE TO LEAVE YOUR EMAIL!

Happy Thanksgiving

I have so much to be thankful for! Without blogging I wouldn't challenge myself as much as a teacher and wouldn't find so many other great ideas! I'm thankful to those who follow my blog and leave me encouraging notes. This school year has been a tough one and those notes mean a lot. Enjoy this day with your family and friends and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Get Ready to Shop!

I'm having a Cyber Monday and Tuesday sale! All of my holiday items (Halloween, Thankgiving, and Christmas) will be 20% off! I've got a wish list about a mile long so I can't wait to get shopping!

I'm Done

I wanted to share what I've done this year for my students who finish early. I don't know why I ever did things another way because this way is so easy! Who doesn't love easy?!

I created "I'm Done" bins and inside are either- math or reading stations I wasn't able to get to, or centers that we have already done and the kids just loved. I have five bins of activities. They are getting changed every two weeks.

I have asked the kids not to go to the same station two days in a row. My bunch is pretty honest about this. I did make one exception though. "I'm Done #3" has baggies with my students names on them and stickers inside for them to use in their writing journals. 

They can use their stickers to write every day if they want to. Last year I incorporated stickers into my writing center. This year having it as an incentive to finish their work has helped a lot. I have stickers from the current holiday, pet stickers, foam stickers from the craft store, etc. The kids see creating a story with the stickers a challenge. I was honest with them and told them I can't spend all night counting to make sure everyone has exactly the same number of stickers in their bag, but that I would try as hard as I could to keep them the same. They have been great about that! One of the best books for stickers is 

Animals, cards, buildings, etc. Students who normally HATE writing have suddenly found a passion for it! I've had to add stickers to EVERY bag almost every day this week. Student have about ten stickers in their bags.

What else can my kids do when they are done with work? They can practice sight words on flashcards. This idea is totally from Kimberly at Funky First Grade Fun. She allows kids to pick a scrapbook paper and uses it as the cover of their flashcards. *Lesson learned: find scrapbook paper that has a print on both sides. A 12x12 makes eight flashcards.*

One last item. You know how in your stations with dice your kids seems to totally on purpose accidentally throw the dice across the room? I've had large pieces of felt or carpet and the kids still just toss those little dice all over. Well I purchased glitter mats from Michaels. They are like $2 and the size of construction paper. IT WORKS! Because WHO DOESN'T LIKE GLITTER?! 
Dice remain on the mats. They are small enough to fit on desks for partner games too.

Oooh- so pretty!

Enjoy your weekend! I'm up in Seattle for Thanksgiving and loving the fact that I can wear sweaters and boots! 

Things I forgot

Is it just me or has mid-November come too quickly?! Usually I've been chugging along through November squeezing my Thanksgiving books in and crafty activities and teaching my kiddos some Thanksgiving songs. Today I looked at my bin of Thanksgiving books and activities and realized I had forgotten! And since Gina at Beach Sand and Lesson Plans is having a Let's Talk Turkey linky party to share favorite Thanksgiving activities.

1) To incorporate my Thanksgiving Read the Room activity into our stations! It's only $1 at my TPT store!

2) To read my two favorite Thanksgiving books! A Plump and Perky Turkey and Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving! A Plump an Perky Turkey is about a town that tries to trick a turkey into becoming their dinner! Two years ago we send turkeys home with all the kids and had them put them in disguise. It was way cute!

Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving is adorable too. A class goes on a field trip to Farmer McNugget's farm and when they realize what will happen to the turkeys they sneak them out of the farm! Years ago when I taught first grade we did a version of this as our first grade play. It's sweet and the kids love that it all rhymes.

3) I haven't done a single turkey craft yet! YIKES! I've been so behind this year and so worried about my evaluation that I didn't want to risk sneaking in something fun, even if I did add it into a lesson, because that's how nit-picky things are this year. {sigh} 

4) We haven't learned ANY Thanksgiving songs. I have a few in my Pumpkin Spice unit. They're goodies from back in the day! 

5) We haven't watched Charlie Brown Mayflower Voyagers. You can purchase the movie from Amazon but it's only in VHS and it's like $Ridiculous. OR you can purchase the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving DVD for less than $10 and it includes the Mayflower Voyagers. I usually watch it after I read nonfiction books about the pilgrims and their voyage and the first Thanksgiving. 

So I changed fonts on some of my units that were posted last year, but TPT is not loading thumbnails. BOOOO. 

Hang in there folks! My last day before Thanksgiving break is Friday! Woop woop! And if I EVER find my cord to my camera again I have a few pics to upload!


This week we are working on synonyms. I created a set of task cards for synonyms too! My first graders are loving these!

We'll start with a couple of books if I can get my hands on them! Both are out of stock at my local B&N. Waaa!

We'll be making this anchor chart! (click the pic to go to the original link) We may change up some of the words. I had a hard time turning 32 this year so I'm not really liking the old and ancient pairing! HA!

We'll be making those cute synonym rolls that I saw on Pinterest. The fab fab Cara at The First Grade Parade made chef hats for her kiddos last year and has a cute recording sheet freebie. Click here to see her cute synonym ideas! 

I'll send a copy of my Synonym Task Cards to the first five people to leave a comment! Leave your email address!

Aaaaaah Spider!

Thank goodness my evaluation was on Tuesday instead of yesterday because right in the middle of small group I saw something move out of the corner of my eye. "AAAAH SPIDER!"  But I was sitting at my horseshoe table and I stood up and the chair had me trapped and in a panic I jumped over my table and RAN to the other side of my classroom shouting "Somebody get it! Somebody get it!" Thankfully one of my first grader friends took of his shoe and shouted "I'll get it Mrs. Tice!" WHAM! And smooshed that sucker!

We recycled the paper that the evil spider was smooshed on. And then we continued like nothing at all had happened.....except I had goosebumps and kept looking out the corner of my eye for more spiders.

What would my evaluation have looked like? I had student engagement. Ha!

They seek me out.
And some are poisonous here in Texas. Like the brown recluse whose bite will eat away at your skin.
They show up in horrible places- like the shower, or my car, or the lid to the recycle bin and then they taunt me.
And I think some of them carry weapons- I'm just sayin.

Luckily just before Halloween I read  "Aaaaargh Spider" by Lydia Monks and we graphed whether or not we liked spiders so my kids know how I feel about them. Plus, it was mentioned on the first day of school right after my "Please don't show me wiggly teeth" speech.

It's absolutely adorable with super cute illustrations. The spider (who has a heart for lips) wants to be a family pet. 
It's not really a Halloween book so you could read it any time. 

I'm working on synonym task cards and hope they will be done today or tomorrow so look for a post tomorrow! Have a great Saturday!

PS: Watch out for spiders


I am in love with Instagram! I know, I know, it's been around for ages. I just didn't "get" it. Now I do! I started an Instagram for my blog! Now I can post pictures of things that don't necessarily warrant a full blog post. And I'm obsessed! If I stand on one leg, and face the East, and lean WAY over by my window I can get signal on my break. Then, as though stalking blogs wasn't enough, I now pour over Instagram!

I'm listed under Rowdyinfirstgrade 

If you're on Instagram I would love to follow you! Just leave me your Instagram name!

Tomorrow will be better

Really- today was great! Tuesdays are a bit hectic. We have runners club during our track time. (Track time is right in the middle of reading) Library time right in the middle of our reading stations too. So we skip any kind of calendar activities and jump right into math so we can finish math early, start reading, have snack, and get at least three rotations of reading stations in before we go to the library. It's nuts. But we are FLEXIBLE. Do y'all teach your kids this word? I have talked about that word quite a bit. It seems to be sinking in! We are FLEXIBLE on Tuesdays.

Yesterday I posted about how my kiddos were not themselves. I'm not saying they are perfect all the time, but yesterday was crazy!

Last Friday one of my friends in class had a difficult day. It was terrible. It happens. She even said "This is a bad day!" more than once.

The first time one of my students has a really terrible day I break out my copy of Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes.

If you aren't familiar with the story Lilly doesn't have the greatest day at school. When she leaves her teacher tells her that "Today was difficult, tomorrow will be better." It's great! I say it to students t dismissal whenever they have a bad day and it really helps!

***Back to yesterday***
Well yesterday was not a great day for me and the class was acting like the full moon was actually housed in our room- my friend who had a bad day on Friday told me as she left, "Today was difficult, tomorrow will be better." I just love her!

Today really WAS better! My friend was right! I told her so! My kids were back to being the first graders I know and were sweet and kind and great listeners! I even had my evaluation today and was so thankful that my kids were on their game!

If you don't have Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse in your class library it's a MUST!

November nerves

PDAS evaluations begin this week and we don't get a window of when our admin will appear. Thank you Lord that it didn't happen today because my kids were WILD! Was it the time change? Anyway, I'm hoping to just get it over with!

In the meantime I introduced my new Thanksgiving math centers to my kids this morning and they were so excited to use them! I also added my November vocabulary boards to their writing center. They love these and my struggling readers and writers feel very successful at the writing station with a vocabulary board by their sid. I just posted it last night to TPT!

Tomorrow we're all about the election and antonyms again.  November sure is flying by!

I wanted to mention that Erica Bohrer is hosting a fundraiser for Sandy victims. All proceeds from her Hurricane unit will go to relief efforts in her home town. I bought my copy!

Have a good night and send some good joo-joo my way in case I get evaluated tomorrow!


This week we'll be working on antonyms. We created our anchor chart last week so we could jump right in and get to the fun stuff. I wanted to create some task cards for my early finishers and if it goes well I hope to eventually have students using task cards weekly! I just posted it to TPT

Of course, I will also be reading Dr. Seuss's The Foot Book and creating the poster that I saw on Ms. M's Blog last year!

I'll give a copy to the first five people to comment! Be sure to include your email address!