TPT Sale Linky!

Terry at Terri’s Teaching Treasures is having a linky party for sellers who are throwing a sale on Cyber Monday.  Check it out!  The items in my Teacher’s Pay Teachers store are discounted by 20% on Monday & Tuesday.  Don’t forget to enter the code CMT12 at checkout to get the additional discount by TPT.  This will give you a total of 28% off the items in my store.  Happy shopping everyone!

Giveaway at Diving into Learning! 39 Products

Diving into Learning is having a HUGE winter giveaway!  There are over 39 teaching packs/units to be won!  She has divided it into categories so that you can enter just K-2 (for example) or you can enter all 8 prize packages.  Don’t miss out on this opportunity to win some great new items for your classroom!  Click on the link (text under the picture) to enter the contest.  Good luck!

If you were a Pilgrim…

We have had so much fun the last few weeks with our Pilgrim studies!  We started out with everyone getting a “Pilgrim” name.  Technically, these are just names of those who were on the Mayflower and they might have been separatist, “stranger”, servant or crew, but we don’t get that detailed in 1st grade!  I’ve posted a link to the google doc that lists the passenger names.  The names can be cut out and students can draw a boy or girl name.  I like to use the names on the 1st page.  The ones on the 2nd page are more complicated —like naming your son Love!  We only have a few more school days before Thanksgiving, but your students would think it was fun to have a “Pilgrim” name.  I let them write that name on all their class work during this time and try to remember (that’s one of the Pilgrim names this year!) to call them by that name in class.  One of my girls this year chose the name Humility and wasn’t very happy about it.  I explained what it meant and I think she liked it even less!  She wanted to change names with someone else, but I didn’t want to do that — can you imagine the chaos that would follow!  Everyone would need a different name and of course 5 of them would want the same name!  So, one day we were doing a worksheet (Scholastic?) about the Pilgrim names and what they meant and it had little drawing of Pilgrim kids to go with the names.  Someone at her table said, “Oh, look at Humility!  She is so pretty!”  Now, the name isn’t a problem.  Thank goodness for worksheets with cute artwork!

Freebie: Mayflower Passenger List

We take a pretend journey on the Mayflower and learn about how difficult the journey was.  This is at the start of our unit since the rest of it will deal with what life was like once they arrived.  The 2nd graders learn about Native Americans and so we get together with them a few afternoons to learn about the Pilgrims and Indians. 

On Friday, we had our Thanksgiving feast.  The 1st and 2nd graders both participate and the parents supply the food.  The food is supposed to be as close as we can get to food during that time (jerky, dried fruit, popcorn, cornbread, apple slices, etc.).  They get to dress like Pilgrims or Native Americans.  The parents are so creative and come up with some cute ideas.  I’ve posted a picture of us in our “costumes.”

It’s been a busy, but fun time!  I didn’t even do the turkey in disguise this year.  It just seemed like it would be too much.  What are your favorite classroom traditions/lessons during this time?  

Teachers Helping Teachers

Thanks to Pinterest I discovered this wonderful blog that has set-up a way for teachers to help teachers who were affected by hurricane Sandy.  The one requesting help fills out a form with information about where they teach and  how Sandy affected them.  The teachers who want to help fill out a form (love those forms!) giving information about products they will donate and the grade level.  I’ve joined this worthy project.  If you want to join, please click on the link above for more information.

Digital Student Portfolios

I just disovered an interesting (and easy!) way to create digital student portfolios. is an application that allows you to capture student work (audio, picture or video) with your mobile device and save it to your threering account.  They support droid and apple mobile devices.  I have only used it a few times and it was super easy to setup and use.  I was able to cut and paste a student list to setup the roster.  I added a few of the subjects that are frequently assessed for the category tags by typing in the name of the subject.  All of this was done through my desktop computer.  I then took a picture of a student’s work with an ipad.  I went back to the desktop application later that day and added in notes which are only visible to me.  I still need to figure out how I could show the work (the image, etc.) without showing the notes.   Parents and students can create accounts and you can choose to have the work (without notes) visible to them, so I may need to create a sample student or parent account so that I can show parents.  Another user talked about taking a picture of student’s work and projecting it so that they could peer edit.  This is a new product with even more features coming in the near future.  It looks like a promising addition to the classroom and did I mention it’s FREE!   You can check out a video about it at YouTube or sign-up for a free account at
BTW, don’t worry about the name on this paper – that is her “Pilgrim” name!  I’ll tell you more about our Pilgrim and Thanksgiving studies soon!  Enjoy your long week-end!

Look Who’s Been Spotted in 1st Grade!

I hope you had a great week!  We just finished Spirit Week and I must say I’m glad I have another year before I have to get to go through that torture fun-filled week again!  It is too exhausting!  It’s one thing to plan for my outfits, but then I’m also preparing outfits for my 2 boys.  The most difficult day was decade day.  One of my boy went as a paperboy (Newsies style) and looked really cute.  The other one went as someone from the future.  He had fun putting together his outfit.  I decide to go as Ms. Frizzle – I figured that would work for the 90’s.  I have a stuffed animal lizard somewhere, but couldn’t find it!  One of my boys helped me out that morning by finding a tiny plastic lizard – not quite as effective, but at least an attempt!  Of course, I could have used Lizzie, our class gecko, but she would only stay in one place for about 2 seconds!
Here’s a photo – ignore the neighborhood stray cat which has adopted us!

I thought I’d share a little display I made for back to school.  I’m sure you can come up with lots of uses for it!  It has a boy and girl dalmatian dog with a place to write the student’s name.  Click on the link below the picture to download this freebie!  Enjoy!

Look Who’s Been Spotted in 1st Grade!