Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Holly Bloggy Christmas!

I FINALLY have a few minutes to get my post out about Holly Bloggy Christmas! This was a FUN FUN FUN activity hosted by Caitlin over at Ms. Preppy and Sarah over at Kindergarten Korner!

I received a fantastic gift from Madison over at Life with Mrs. L! She incorporated my new-found love of owls and created a great trio of owl gifts! The first picture is the one that SHE took and posted on her blog (I prefer to think of myself as "resourceful" rather than lazy). The second is a close-up of the meal planner/shopping list page. I think this is particularly cool because I am the person that plans the weekly menu and shops for the week off the menu! Cool!
The person that I got to "gift" was Jennifer over at Rowdy in First Grade. I sent her a name banner for her classroom, some M&M's and a bracelet that I made. This was a VERY fun endeavor!
Thanks so much to Caitlin and Sarah for managing this!

Bee the Change~

11 in '11

OK....Kristin over at A Teeny Tiny Teacher and Hadar at Miss Kindergarten are hosting a linky party and since I am a sucker for a list, here we go. The Linky Party is called ELEVEN in ELEVEN, as in 11 things from 2011.

#11. Favorite Movie You Watched
This was my absolute favorite. I actually saw it more than once in the theater and that is HUGE for me. I saw it both times with a group of girlfriends and laughed HARDER the second time I saw it. If you have not seen it, get a group of girlfriends together, kick the men and children out and grab a bottle of wine. Fun.

#10 Favorite TV Series
Who can pick????? Love so many. Could do a top 11 TV series of 2011. Maybe I will (in no particular order).
Covert Affairs
Warehouse 13
Rizzoli & Isles
Criminal Minds
Once Upon a Time
The Closer
(only room for one more??? Darn.....)
Harry's Law

#9 Favorite Restaurant
I so very rarely get to go out to dinner and we love to try different places to eat. The one placethat I will go if I am out and about is Panera. It is a great "meet for coffee" (or soup) or light dinner place. I have the rewards card and am so happy when there is a free pastry bonus on the card! Talking about it makes me want to go out and eat some right now!

#8 Favorite new thing you tried
I think that I am going to have to go with the flow and put "blogging" here. I was a blogger last year but this year I jumped into 2 new blogs. I started my classroom blog to help introduce my students to blogs and use it as a communication tool and started "Bee the Change" to help be better at reflecting on my teaching.

#7 Favorite Gift You Received

I just got this beauty for Christmas. I had never made pizzelles before and have always loved them so I borrowed the press from a friend. I was telling my Mom about it and so I found this under the tree. The tag said " To Lori from Mom and Dad (selfishly)". Yum!

#6 Favorite thing you pinned
I have a HUGE yellow wall in my dining room and cannot seem to commit to any type of plan. I pinned this because I think that it will work. Stay tuned. ((Special note. I wanted to post something else but it was not appropriate for my blog....some of the things that I see on Pinterest CRACK ME UP!))

#5 Favorite Blog Post
My favorite blog post is the one where I posted my whole class first blog lesson. It was titled "What is a Blog". Whenever I look at those pics and read that post, I remember how excited those little kids were!

#4 Favorite Accomplishment
Hmmmmm.......not sure here. I guess that I need to make a mental note of my accomplishments for next year's list! I am at a pretty great, calm, easy going place in my life where I don't have a ton of major things in the works. I did an extreme makeover of my craft room/office. Here is a before and after! (I wish that it was still as clean as it is in this pic!

#3 Favorite Picture
This was a picture that I took of my daughter Natalie while we were at a farm market this fall. It was a two ended giant kaleidoscope. I love it!

#2 Favorite Memory
Dave and I had the chance to go to his cousin's wedding on Long Island on the July 4th weekend. We went without kids! I have lived in NY most of my life and had never been to LI. The wedding did not start until 6pm on Saturday so Dave, myself and his Mom and Dad spent the late morning on Jones Beach. I love the ocean so I really did not want to leave. It was a beautiful day (as you can see) and I really enjoyed sticking my feet in the water.

#1 Goal for 2012
I am not a fan of New Year's Resolutions. I do have a personal goal but it is not a public one. I think that as far as teaching is concerned, my goal will have something to do with taking on a student teacher for the first time ever. I am excited to do this since Megan has been my student observer since September. I would also like to make more teaching materials of my own. I love what I see on TPT and think that I could do some of those things too!

WOW! This was a TOUGH post! Thanks for reading and Happy New Year to all of my bloggy friends!

Bee the Change~

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


1999 blog hits!!!!!

Bee the Change~

Needed a smile

This just made me, it was not Pippi Longstocking Day in our room.
Bee the Change~

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Blog Lesson #3 Small groups begin!

There has been quite a bit of excitement in our room this week! We are finally blogging!

Mrs. Muir came in this week and worked with each table group to create a blog post. The first step that we took was to create a list of topics that we could blog about. I discussed "audience" with the kids and told them that there were many people that would read our blog and MOST of them will never be IN our room. We wanted to share some of the things that we do each day.

Below is the lis that we generated.
Since we made it, we have actually continued to add to it!

As Mrs. Muir (Linda) worked with each group, she guided the discussion around the chosen topic. The children tended to want to stray from the original topic. When they were writing about birthdays in our room, they wanted to talk about their own birthday parties!

Focus, focus,focus.

As Linda was guiding the discussion around the topic, SHE was the one that was doing the writing. Later in the blogging process, we hope that the children will be taking over the writing process.
The next step was to have the children learn how to use the digital camera and take pictures relating to their blog post. Linda was able to focus on holding the camera button down and waiting, holding the camera still and being close enough to get the best picture. Some of these children had never taken a picture before! What a great experience!
At this point, I am the one that is typing and uploading pictures for the post. I wanted the children to see a quicker result to keep the excitement level up!

I am not sure where to go from here. I feel like the kids are not quite independent enough to take over the writing. Maybe just keep up with small group blogging and continue to develop our list? HELP bloggy friends!

Follow these links to see the posts done by the children!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Blogging Lesson #2 Picking the best photo!

Our Lesson today was focused on what makes a good blog picture. We started by reviewing our Blog Words chart and adding the word "scroll". I was really impressed by how many kids already knew that term.
I then demonstrated the fine art of scrolling.
Then Colin showed us his scrolling technique!
While we were scrolling, Alex noticed that we had some comments on our post from last week so we used another word from the blog word list and clicked the comment LINK!
Onto our lesson of the day! The focus was to determine what makes a good photograph for a blog. We then looked at the following pair of pictures and talked about which one would be a better picture.
The kids thought that this was easy! The first one was blurry and did not show the whole door. The second photo showed the stocking, the gel clings and (of course) our Hello!

The second pair was a little more difficult to decide on. They liked that the picture showed our whole cubby area but one little smartie said "but you can't see what the decorations ARE!" this led to a discussion about WHO looks at our blog. We know what our room looks like so we know what the decorations are. They are getting very smart about blogging!
The text of the post was added.......
And Joseph saved and published! Go to our classroom blog, Mrs. Faas' First Grade! to see our finished post.
Where to next? I think that we are going to move into small group blogging next. I am going to have small groups of 5-6 pick a topic, learn to use the digital camera and make their own post about something at our school. I am thinking about putting up a piece of chart paper so that we can keep track of our great ideas!

What do you think?

Bee the Change~

Friday, December 2, 2011

Blogging Lesson #1 What is a blog?

Today was the first day of our "learning to blog" lessons. (Don't mind my was team shirt day and all the teachers wear this shirt!) We started by talking about where the word "blog" comes from. I had to back up and talk about what the "web" is and what a "log" is. We are keeping a list of all of our Blog Words. I am hoping that we will continue to add to this list throughout our lessons.
We used the smartboard and went to look at our classroom blog. I showed them what "comments" were and we read a few. It was interesting to the children to see that even people that do not know us were looking at our blog!
The next step in our lesson today was to look at a post that I started. I posted a picture of the food that we had collected in our classroom for our school food drive. I started with the title.

Me: What would be a good title for our post?
Them: We collected food.
Me: That sound more like the story! What would the title of that story be?

After a while, we got to "Cartons for Caring" as our title.
Then I worked on generating the information that we wanted to put into our post. We had a discussion about why we don't need to list all of the foods that we collected. The picture tells the reader that information! The children were excited and insightful. the last line of our post made me most proud.
Check out our finished post on my classroom blog Mrs. Faas' First Grade!
I was really happy with how this lesson went. It took about 20 minutes or so. I am hoping to add some words to our word list next time (scroll, upload). I think that I would like to spend the next lesson looking at a bunch of pictures (some good and some bad) and talk about what kind of picture makes a good blog picture.

If any of you out there have worked on teaching young ones to blog and have any suggestions for me, let me know!

Stay tuned!

Bee the Change~

Thursday, December 1, 2011


Hello to all my blog-world friends!

I am so excited!

The first reason that I am excited is that there is SO MUCH fun Bloggy stuff out there that generous, creative people are giving away! It is inspiring me to look in my stuff and see if there is anything worthy to share!

( I must be excited.....look at all those exclamation points!!!!!!!)

The second reason is that I am starting a project tomorrow that I have been planning for a while. I am teaching my first graders to blog. I am so excited! I am doing a gradual build-up starting with a whole group blog post. I also am going to be "double blogging" about this project. I will publish blog posts here that explain the process for doing this with the kids and will also link to my classroom blog Mrs. Faas' First Grade so that you can see our work!

I would LOVE your feedback on this project as we go along. Comments and suggestions are appreciated.

Wish me luck!

Bee the Change~