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First with Franklin

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Tomorrow is the Last Day!!! and a favor to ask...

Tomorrow is our last day of school.  I'm going to miss my cute, sweet little kiddos, but I am also so looking forward to this summer!  Our school's last day tradition is to have a picnic day.  Our PTO rents inflatables for the kids to jump on and play in and we always have something brought in for lunch (tomorrow is McDonald's).  There is also an awards ceremony for students.  It is a nice way to end the year.  

So, I told you about the grant I won last week from Peabody Energy.  Now, Peabody Energy is now going to name one individual from each region as Educator of the Year.  That person will win $5,000 from Peabody.  The number of votes in the Facebook poll will comprise one third of the decision.  I need your votes, please!


To vote:  *You must vote from a regular computer- they do not have a mobile site.
Go to
You must "Like" their Facebook page.  At the top of their page you will see a red box that says, "Vote here" and click on the vote button that says Illinois/Indiana Region under the photo.  Click on the button next to my name and then click VOTE at the bottom.  It may ask to you Login through Facebook to voting app.  Please click on the "Login through Facebook" button.  If you have successfully voted it will show you my ranking.  If you haven't voted the screen will still look the same and you should check the button by my name and hit VOTE again.  

As a thank you for voting, please visit my TpT account and download my Daily 5 Posters for FREE!  I will leave them as Free until June 1.  Thanks so much! :)

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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Bubble Gum Day and Double O Words

Our countdown to the end of the year is still going strong!  Friday was bubble gum day and it was so stinking cute.  
We used the printables from The Teacher Wife to make self-portraits and to write the steps needed to blow a bubble (which I somehow failed to get a picture of). 

Each student got piece of Double Bubble to learn or practice blowing a bubble.  Some students already knew how and they tried to help friends understand just how to hold their mouths to blow a great bubble. It was so cute to hear students yell, "Wow- look at that bubble!"  After about 20 minutes of attempting to blow bubbles, we graphed whether or not we were able to blow a bubble.  We ended up with 9 students that could blow a bubble and 6 that could not.  It was a really cute activity- thanks so much for sharing it, Lindsey!  
Some students trying a different technique.  ;)

We had a lot of fun- Monday is lunch in the classroom, so I am off to the store to get a few healthy items to add to our lunch! :)

Our reading curriculum is Scott Foresman Reading Street and this week our story was Dot and Jabber and the Great Acorn Mystery.  The spelling words that went along with our story this week featured words with /oo/ like in book and moon.  For our Thursday review, I gave each student a blank copy of our spelling test page and told them we were going to take a practice test.  I asked them to tell me what our regular words had in common this week. (oo)  We talked about the two sounds we learned and how all 10 words had an oo in them.  Then I held up a box of Cheerios.  I asked students what letter a Cheerio looks like and, of course, they said an o.  I told them that when they were taking their practice test they could use Cheerios instead of writing the letter o in words.  

They thought this was really cool- and all 15 students spelling every word CORRECTLY!  

Wow!  It was a great review!!!  I let students eat their oo's when we were all finished.  Since we had so many Cheerios left, I also let them have a handful the next while we took our spelling test.  What is your favorite way to review for a spelling test?

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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Exciting News!

Yesterday, we were informed that we would have an assembly at 9:30 this morning.  No big deal, I thought, we will just push back our center time a little and it will work out.  I asked what the assembly was about and my secretary told me it was on Summer Safety.  When we all got to the gym our Assistant Principal (and one of my BBFs) told us that the presenter was running late and we just needed to sit tight for a few minutes.  It felt a little like torture, but we managed to keep it together pretty well.  When the presenter finally arrived it was obvious that we weren't learning about Summer Safety because she was carrying a giant check!  We all knew that someone was winning something.  I haven't written any grants since mid-year, so I was excited to see who was winning something.  
When the presenter started talking she said her company made energy - and then said she was from Peabody Energy.  I then realized that I had been nominated for that grant by my superintendent earlier in the year.  I also knew that a friend of mine was also nominated, so I was really excited that one of us was going to be honored.  
When she said my name, I was sooooo excited and happy!  So, long story short, I was awarded $1000 for my classroom!  I am so pumped and trying to decide exactly how I want to spend it.  I think I'm going to purchase two more iPads for our classroom.  My students were so cute during the assembly.  They kept hugging each other and jumping up and down.  One students told me afterwards that I should buy a new house now! haha  Love my little ones so, so much. 
(Please ignore the unflattering picture- it's the only one there is!)

What would you do if you received $1,000 for your classroom????
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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Sad News about our Guinea Pig, Fritzy

Our class Guinea Pig, Fritzy, passed away today.  It was pretty sad and we had a rough afternoon.  He was fine this morning and when we came back to the room after lunch he couldn't move at all.  I immediately picked him and left the room with him (don't worry I had another adult cover the room) to assess his condition.  I couldn't get him to drink or even lift his head up.  After I composed myself for a couple of minutes, I held him in my arms and took him back to the classroom.  I gathered the students and told them that Fritzy was sick and I didn't think he was going to make it through the day.  Some students did start to cry a little and I gave them each a little time to pet him and say goodbye.  After all of the students had some time with him, I took him to an empty room and snuggled him in with some towels.  

Another (wonderful) teacher stayed with him while I went back to the room to talk to my kids.  I told them it was okay to be sad or even cry, but I wanted us to tell some funny or cute stories about Fritzy.  Many of my students had taken him home during extended weekends or breaks so they had some good Fritzy stories.  We talked about him squeaking during our quietest moments, snagging carrots from our hands, nibbling on little fingers, and even hiding under a student's bed!  It was good therapy for all us.  Some of my students wanted to know what would happen to Fritzy now and I let them talk to each other about it.  I wish I could have recorded their conversations because they were so touching.  They comforted each other more than I could have and they even kept telling me that it would be okay.  Even though it was a terrible experience, I was able to really see the empathy and love that my students have for each other.  

Thanks for hanging with me during that post.  I hope I wasn't rambling too much- I just need to get it out.  

We'll miss you, Fritzy!

Having a class pet has been a great experience and I plan to do it again in the future.  I hope that my students are able to learn and grow from this experience. I am a huge animal lover and I hope that I can pass on that compassion to my students.  I encourage any teacher that is interested to check out Pets in the Classroom.  We received a classroom pet grant this year which provided me with a cage and some other freebies for Fritzy.  (It also includes a coupon for a 1/2 price pet, but we chose to adopt one instead.)  We loved our time with Fritzy and I hope you will consider a pet for your classroom.  

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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

10 Day Countdown, Baby!

I.  Am.  So.  Excited!  We are down to our last few days of school and I'm pumped!  I blogged about such a fun idea to countdown the end of the year and we are finally ready to get it started.  My fellow first grade teacher and I decided on the list of ideas we wanted to use and I typed up a list of them.  Then we cut them apart, rolled them up and stuffed them inside of balloons.  We wrote the countdown number on each balloon and hung them along the top of our white boards.   I hope the kids totally freak out (in a good way) when they walk in and see this:

You can get them here if you are interested.  

Here is what we have planned:

10- Ink pen day.  *We purchased some super cool ink pens for students to use all day long.

9- 1st graders are so bright, we have to wear shades!  *We purchased some cute sunglasses for each student from the party favor aisle at Walmart.  We are taking a field trip this day, so students will get to wear them.  :)

8- Rearrange our room *Students will get to move their desks in any arrangement they want to.  This is going to be hard for me to give up control, so I hope they like it!

7- Mystery Reader *We have a local author who has agreed to come and visit our class.

6- Kickball Day  *Our classes will play a game of kickball against each other.

5- Nature Walk *We will arm students with baggies, magnifying glasses, clipboards, pencils, and iPods (for cameras) and let them explore.  It's always exciting to see things from their perspectives.

4-   Bubble Gum Day *Students will get to chew gum and blow bubbles.  We are using The Teacher Wife's super cute printables and having the students write the steps to blowing a bubble.  I'm really excited about these!  Click here to check out her cute downloads. 

3- Lunch in the classroom *Students will get to come to the classroom to enjoy extra snacks and a relaxing environment during lunch.  (This is a much sought after reward during the year.)

2-  Beach Day *We borrowed a bunch of beach towels for kids to sit on during the day and bought leis for each child.  We plan on rocking out to some Beach Boys music, too.

1- Extra recess day *This is the day when we have to clear out and clean up our classrooms.  So, we decided we would let students have two recesses and we would each monitor one.  That way, we each get 30 minutes in our classroom to work uninterrupted.  Yeah!

Last Day!  *Our school has a picnic day each year and students get to play on inflatables and hang out.  This year our students play in the morning and we have to fill up the afternoon with something... so movie day!

What are your final countdown plans???

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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

MIA, Real foods, and Butterflies

I have been totally MIA lately.  We have been really busy around the house and at school.  I am so looking forward to summer vaca!  

We have also completely changed our eating habits and it seems like I spend a lot more time cooking and prepping.  I'm loving all of our changes though, and I'm even down 7 pounds.  My husband and I made the decision to cut highly processed foods (more than 5 ingredients or ingredients we can't pronounce.)  It has been a wonderful change and we are loving it!  We both have more energy and just feel better all around.  I'm not saying we're perfect- we try to do our best at home and work, but we do occasionally go out to eat.  My biggest source of information and encouragement is 100 Days of Real Food.  Lisa and her family did 100 days of nothing but whole "real" foods.  It's great and everyone should check it out.  

Our class also received our caterpillars and they are now in the chrysalis stage.  I need to get my new pictures uploaded.  We made some super cool hallway art that I want to share with everyone.  

My fellow teacher and I also planned out a rocking 10 day countdown- more on it later.  I'm super excited about it.  Hope everyone is having fun counting down the days until summer!Pin It