Sunday, June 30, 2013

Linky Party!

I am joining Flying into First Grade for a "Let's Get Acquainted Linky Party! I am new to blogging and this is my first linky party. I am so excited!

I attended college at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana. I majored in Elementary Education. I received a BA in Education with K-8 certification  in 1988. I will be attending Appalachian State University (Boone, North Carolina), in the fall. I am getting my masters degree in reading education. I am so excited to go back to school, even if it will be at night and during the summer. I have already started buying school supplies!

My first year of teaching was actually the last half of a school year. I graduated in December of 1988 and started teaching in January of 1989. My first day started with walking into my new classroom for the first time and meeting twenty-four 5th and 6th graders. Yes, it was a combination class! The sub met me at the door, handed me a teacher's guide, and wished me luck. Fortunately, this school was filled with amazing teachers and staff that encouraged and supported me through that wild and crazy half-year and the next five years as I began my teaching adventure.

I have taught 1st, 4th, 5th, and 6th grades during the last 24 years. I have taught first grade for the last seven years and have to say that it is my favorite! I love this time when they are learning so much and building a foundation for the years to come. Every day is a new adventure!


Saturday, June 29, 2013

What's the Password?

This will sit near my classroom door next school year. Use a dry erase marker to write a  sight word, vocabulary word, or math fact. Students must read the "password" in order to enter or leave the classroom. I used a dollar store frame and frog clip art to match my room. Easy peasy! I'm just saying...

Friday, June 28, 2013

First Grade Rocks!

What first grade classroom is complete without a special chair! My chair was painted by Sam, "The Dot Man" McMillan. He is a local folk artist here in Winston-Salem, NC.  He also painted a matching stool for my students! I love his work. I'm just saying...


Thursday, June 27, 2013

Loving Chevrons!

Okay, I know that school is over, and I am so loving summer. But...if you are like me, you know that it's never too early to start planning for next year! I discovered all these pretty "chevrony" (not really a word-I checked!--but it works!) things at Target. Most of them were in the dollar bins! 

I found these wooden letters on clearance at Michael's. They came home with me for a couple of coats of black spray paint. I covered the front of the letters with green and white chevron paper and a little Mod Podge. I'm not sure where they will live in my classroom, but I am sure I can find a good place. I'm just saying...

Make the Switch!

Most of you know that Google Reader is going to be shut down on July 1st. If this is how you keep up with your blogs you will need to find a new option! Bloglovin' is user friendly AND you don't have to go and find all of your blogs on there to follow. Sign up is easy and you can simply click on the "import blogs" button and it's done! Once you are a member click on the Bloglovin' button on my blog to follow me!

Monday, June 24, 2013


Just discovered Bloglovin! You can now follow "I'm Just Saying..." through Bloglovin. Just click on the button! What an easy way to follow all of your favorite blogs. See you there! I'm just saying... 

Fishes & Kisses

Well, school has been over for about a week now and I have been enjoying some serious sofa time! I did want to share an activity we did during the last week of school. We read, The Pout, Pout Fish, by Deborah L. Diesen, and discussed how the character changed and what caused the change.  We made our own "Pout Pout" fish with paper bags, old newspapers, pipe cleaners, and wiggly eyes.  We added the "pout" with a brad so that when we retold the story and discussed how the character changed we could change the "pout" to a "kiss/smile."  Click here to download the pout/smile page. We ended with a special snack of "fishes & kisses." (goldfish crackers and chocolate kisses) Any activity is better with a snack! I'm just saying...

Monday, June 10, 2013

Daily 5 Reading & Math Signs

Here are Daily 5 Reading signs to match the Daily 5 Math signs that I posted earlier. Click here to download the reading signs and here to download the math signs. I love it when things match! I'm just saying...Photobucket

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Paper Bag Royalty


We read, The Paperbag Princess, by Robert Munsch, and discussed character traits. Students then created their own Princess Elizabeth or Prince Ronald paperbag puppets. On the back of the bag, they wrote traits for that character.  I love this book! I'm just saying....

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

More Daily 5 Math ... and A Little Bit of Reading Too!

I have had several requests for my Daily 5 Math signs. Click here to download.

 The small pocket chart was purchased at Target-$1.00! (I bought a billion of them!) The insects represent student groups. These are from Trend Enterprises, Inc. I move the insects (student groups) to change stations. When a student is invited to meet with the teacher for small group instruction, enrichment, assessing, or a math chat, they do not go to their assigned station.

I also use the same groups for the classroom library. Each group returns/chooses 5 books from our class library each week on an assigned day. Four of the books must be "just right" books (We use the 5 finger rule.), and one book is "reader's choice." Students keep their books in a large zip-lock bag at their seat. They use these books during "Read to Self," DEAR (Drop Everything And Read), or when they have finished early. This system has worked very well this year and I will definitely be using it again in the fall. I would love to hear your ideas and suggestions for managing work stations. I'm just saying...