Meet the Teacher


More Penguin Research

We are loving the penguin unit.  My students are in love with penguins and are truly enjoying this unit.  Here is our schema chart and a penguin we made.

More Rubrics!

Can you tell I love rubrics?  I love to use these standard based rubrics to inform parent and students how they are doing.  We use them all year round.
Here are some for reading that are for sale on TPT.



I have been working all year with my first graders on how to make meaningful connections.  I think they are ready to record their thinking.  Here are some papers I made for them to do just that:

Children can draw their response on this sheet.

Children can write their response here.


Daily Five Word Work

I worked hard all summer getting the Working on Words area ready.  It has been the vain of my existence for a few years and this year I was going to get it right!

I created tic-tac-toe boards for the year. (They are on sale at TPT) 

I also made papers for each choice.  Here are some examples:

You may purchase these on Teachers Pay Teachers at:

 Finally, I organized the area.

It's almost the end of January and I have to say, it is going great!   Mission: Accomplished!

Small Moment Writing

I have been sitting at my kitchen table for most of the day going through my student's small moment writing. I was feeling pretty good about how their writing went.  I thought I did a good job of scaffolding how to "show, not tell".  I knew I did when I saw this little piece from one of my low-average performers!

Didn't this child zoom in and show how excited they were??  I love it!

And then, I found this one...

Wow!  She really ZOOMED in and S   T   R   E   T   C   H   E   D out that small moment.  


Story Elements Rubric

We have finished teaching about story elements in reading and writing and wanted to be able to have data on what students learned.  This is what I created:


How to take a Picture Walk

My students were having a hard time making predictions about the text.  When asked what they thought the book would be about, they regurgitated the title.  When I probed, I discovered they just were not thinking during a picture walk. 
There is a real purpose to a picture walk.  It helps organize the mind for reading, learning new information so you can synthesize what you know with what you learn, it helps with vocabulary and unknown words and gives a real purpose for reading.
Most of my students are reading texts that are DRA2 level 16 and up so they will need to make predictions at our year end testing. Around 8 of them will actually have to write their predictions on the DRA2.  I needed to get this problem solved...and fast!
When I broke down the steps, this is what we came up with:
You can download the original on Google docs here


Valentine's Day

I posted my Valentine's Unit on Teacher Pay Teachers. Here are two samples:

Link for TPT:


Non fiction writing

We are starting nonfiction writing next week.  We use Lucy Caulkins' Units of Study and Stephanie Parson's First Grade Writers.  I decided to make my own How-to and All About paper to scaffold children's learning.  I always start with how to writing and then finish with all abouts.  I make it a rule to include one how to in the all about book.

Here is the link



I just love penguins and so do our students.  They are fascinated with Antarctica and the fact that no one lives there. 
I just posted my Penguin Unit on TPT and it's on SALE!!!!!  Who doesn't love a sale?  The sale ends on Monday at 11:59 pm so get one now.  It is fabulous and full of cute little penguins.  It has a craft, bubble map,place value activities, concentration, doubles facts, an original story for Shared and Guided Reading, 5 poems/songs, a bookmark, a KWL and book suggestions!



Sample on Google docs

Martin Luther King, Jr. FAVORITES

Favorite Song:

Sing About Martin

My students LOVE this song and so do I

Listen to it!  You will love it, too.

Favorite Book:

Martin's Big Words

Favorite Movie

Martin's Big Words

Above is the link to Discovery Streaming where you can download it--IF you have an account.

Here is our bulletin board for Martin Luther King Jr.:




I read the poem Honey I Love by Eloise Greenfield.  Chrildren drw how their mental images changed.  Great detail!

No excuse words

Maybe it is because I had a student teacher from August until Winter Break or maybe it is this group but they just do not look at the word wall when writing.  The majority of my students can tell me the word is up there but won't resource it.  I put all of my words on magnets and hopefully they will go and take them down to use them.  Also, I have been playing games such as Mind Reader to get them to look at it. Have you played it?  It is great when you have a few extra minutes or intentionally when you want your kiddos to resource it.  You give 5 clues.  If they don't guess the word by the 5th clue, teacher wins.  If someone guesses the word, then they can have the other students read their mind.  Here is an example:
1.  It is on the word wall.  (This is ALWAYS my 1st clue) Let one child guess.
2. It have 2 vowels in it.    Let another child guess.
3.  It has one syllable.     And another
4. It is not a name (which I keep on yellow so kids can easily differentiate) One more
5.  It starts with an h.  Final guess


Here is our class igloo!

My students love to read to self in "The disco" as they call it.  I am thrilled it is finally done!!

Here is another Fabulous 1st grade blog!


Love this blog!


Recipe for a Good Story

Here is what we made to help remind us of all of the ingredients in a personal narrative.


Welcome! and I am so blessed

Bulletin board right outside our classroom. 
Welcome to my blog.  I am a wife, busy mom of 2 children age 10 and 11 as well as a full time teacher.  I feel so lucky to have a job a love.
I was out running errands today and listened to people complain about their job. I feel awful for these people who have to wake up and go to a job they do not like.
I love my job. I love my students. I have been blessed for 16 years to have the greatest job in the world and am so thankful.

This is our class quilt.  We made it the first day of school.