Monday, December 3, 2012

Happy Holidays!

Hi friends!  We have been very busy in first grade through the Thanksgiving holiday, moving into Christmas!  Looking back a bit, the students did the famous "disguise a turkey" activity.  I have to say, this was the most creative year of projects I have ever had!  Some of my favorites were...
Darth Turkey

Roy Roundturkey - inspired by U of M football player Roy Roundtree

Dr. Gobble
Triple Crown Winner & MVP Miguel Cabrera

And the HILARIOUS Barack OTurkey
 Now that December has arrived, we are moving into one of my favorite units - gingerbread!  So far we have read the traditional story "The Gingerbread Man."  Throughout the month we'll read MANY versions of this story.  We also do an extremely unique and fun gingerbread man postcard project.  Early in November, I send a note home asking families to contact their relatives and friends who live out of state.  I put the same request on Facebook as well.  They send postcards from near where they live saying where they spotted the gingerbread man - for example "We saw the gingerbread man running across the Mackinac Bridge!"  So far we have received cards from across the country, Honduras, and even North Pole, Alaska!  I save the cards in a mailbox and each day we read one or two, and plot where they can be found on a world map.  The students love getting mail, and I can sneak a little geography in at the same time!  Here is a picture of our map - so far, we have only put one postcard up (from Wyoming!)
If any of you would like to send a postcard our way, we'd love to hear from you!  Postcards can be sent to:
Mrs. Plum's Class
Madison Elementary School
3498 Treat Hwy.
Adrian, MI 49221
I am going to check with my team members and see if they are ok with me sharing our note.  Since we created it together, I don't want to upset anyone :)  Check back soon for more gingerbread updates!
Happy Monday!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tuesday Update

Hi friends!  I hope your week is going well.  Things have been busy, busy, busy around here!  We are assessing for report cards (we are on trimesters), preparing for Thanksgiving, and still trying to get some work finished in between!
A few updates...
The highlighting idea that I posted about has worked BRILLIANTLY!  The students love highlighting their names (especially when I change the color from standard yellow to something jazzy like pink or orange).  I have not had even one nameless paper since I introduced this!  If you missed the freebie, you can find it here.  Simply print, adhere it to any container, and watch the magic happen.
Also, I have reached 200 followers!  That may not seem like a big number, but it is definitely exciting for me.  Thanks to my bloggy friend Jennifer at First Grade Blue Skies, for giving me a Facebook shout-out!  I have also sold my very first TPT product - my Thanksgiving unit! 
I am very proud of how it turned out, and all of the first grade teachers here at my school are using it - if you haven't already, check it out!
I will be back soon with some more freebies, products and ideas!  Thanks for reading :)

Friday, October 26, 2012

Thankful Turkeys

Hi friends!  I am SO excited to post my Thankful Turkeys Thanksgiving unit!  It has four language arts activities (a retelling map, long and short vowel sort, complete and incomplete sentence sort, and an opinion writing activity), and four math activities (addition and subtraction word problems, a correct and incorrect addition and subtraction equation sort, a graphing and tally activity, and missing number sequences).  They would be perfect for centers, workstations, or tubs, or to use on their own.  This is my first *big* unit and I'm very proud of it!
Click here to go to my TPT store!
It is priced very reasonably at $4.00 (only 50 cents per activity!), but I will give it away to the first person to leave me a comment with their email address!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

No Name??

Hi Readers!  Just a quick post today to share a freebie.  
Do you have the same problem we do in our classroom?  

We get stacks and stacks of papers turned in with NO NAME.  It's so discouraging - students spend time completing their work, and I spend time trying to track down who did the work.  On both ends, it is a total waste of time.
Pinterest to the rescue!
This is the pin from Pinterest; however, the link doesn't work!  If this is yours, let me know so I can give you credit!

While my student teacher was leading lessons, I quickly whipped this up to add to an empty frosting container using clear contact paper.  It's nothing fancy, but it works!  I'm hoping to see the amount of nameless papers dwindle down to one or two!

If you would like your own FREE copy of this printable in several different fonts (all by Kevin & Amanda), please click HERE.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Super Duper Adjectives

Hi!  I am SO excited to post my first mini-unit to TPT!  I have put a lot of time and work into it, and I hope you'll check it out.
Click the picture to go to my TPT store!
My students will be working on this unit in the upcoming weeks.  I will post pictures of the activities in action!  It contains several fun word work and writing activities, along with suggested read-alouds to make learning about adjectives fun.
The first three people to comment on this post with their email address will receive this unit for free!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Plumdoodles is Back!

After a LONG hiatus, and lots of thinking, I have decided to start blogging again.  I stopped last year because I was feeling overwhelmed and a little discouraged with it.  This year I have a fabulous student teacher, a little more time on my hands, and a lot of inspiration to create!
I have completely changed up my blog design, removed some old posts that didn't really apply to teaching, and I have even opened a TPT store!  I plan to share lots of freebies - like the awesome ABC activity that goes with this book:
Click the picture to go to my TPT store and download for free!

I am also working on an awesome adjective unit (Common Core aligned, of course), and some book-based substitute plans for those days when you just don't feel well enough to write out detailed plans for a sub.  Please check back often for updates, new products, freebies and more!  Thank you so much for reading!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

I'm Back...and an Award!

Wow - it's been a LONG time since I've posted!  Blogging has been on my to-do list for the past several weeks, but with school starting I have been busy and exhausted!  I have barely even had time to look at my favorite blogs, let alone post on my own!
Thankfully, we seem to be settling into somewhat of a routine now.  Getting up and out the door is getting a *little* easier (although mornings will never be my favorite time of day!).  My firsties are starting to get the hang of our procedures and are also settling into a routine.  We're working hard on the Daily 5, and we are loving our new SMART board!  I have never had students so engaged in math and calendar as I do when I am using the SMART board.
We have already had our first celebration in our classroom as well!  At Madison, the whole first grade celebrates Hershey Day - YUM!  On Milton Hershey's birthday (September 13), we learn about chocolate, measure and weigh with chocolate, make Hershey Kiss headbands, and even taste and graph our favorite chocolate!  It's so much fun, and the students just love it.  My Hershey resources are on my school computer, but if you are interested I will post some of the fun things we do!  Any excuse to eat chocolate AND learn works for me :)
Finally, I was surprised and honored to find that in my absence, I had received an award!  Mrs. D over at The Silver Lining awarded me with the Versatile Blogger Award!  Thank you so much!
My first award!  Woo hoo!
On to the rules of the award:
1 - Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them in your post.
Thank you again, Mrs. D!  Check out her blog here!

2 - Share seven things about yourself.
1.  I was shocked to see how similar my personality, likes, and dislikes were to Mrs. D, the person who nominated me for the award.  We both love to read, love our SMART board, are neat freaks, love fall, and are trying to eat healthy.  Scary!
2.  I recently started taking a tap dance class and LOVE it!  It is just myself and two other adults, along with our fabulous instructor.  I always wanted to take tap as a child, but never did.  I have learned 6-7 dances already and can't get enough  :)
3.  I am addicted to Diet Coke.  And ice cream.  I figure they balance each other out!  On a side note, our local Tim Horton's is getting a Cold Stone Creamery!  Yay!  I received 8 separate texts and Facebook notifications from friends as the sign went up.  I think I might have a problem :)
4.  My son and I love to go to the movies.  As soon as a movie is released that I think he'll enjoy, we pack my purse full of Twizzlers (our movie theater doesn't sell them!), order a jumbo popcorn, and enjoy!
5.  I have been teaching for 11 years - all of it in first grade.  I also student taught in first grade, did my practicum in first grade, long term subbed in first get the picture.  I think I am a first grade "lifer."
6.  I recycle crayons and sell them at craft shows and on my website, Plumdoodles.  It's a great way to use up old crayons, and because of working at a school I have an endless supply to recycle!
7.  I am a beginning couponer - I enjoy seeing the savings stack up when I shop!  I am finding that I don't have as much time to devote to couponing during the school year though.

3- Pass this award along to 15 other recently discovered blogs.
15?!?  That's a LOT!  I hate to be a rule breaker on my first award, but I truly can't think of 15 new blogs to pass the award on to!  Here are a few:

Thanks again Mrs. D!  I promise I will be back soon (and more regularly!) with fun resources and more posts.  


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