Sunday, January 29, 2012

Coolest. Teacher. Ever.

OK...I am not the coolest....yet.

BUT I could be.

I picked this up today at the store and we are going to give it a whirl! If it works out, I could be in the running.....
Hopefully, we will not have a "Little Shop of Horrors" situation on our hands!

Bee the Change~

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

That Kind of Day

9:00 --missing 3 kids. Not surprising as there is a virus running crazy through the school.

9:30 --all kids in (dentist appointment, missed the bus and generally just slept in)

10:00 --sent one kid home sick. Fever. (Did I mention the virus?)

10:30 -- peanut scare and explanation that just smelling the peanuts would not hurt our friend, she has to eat them. There were NO peanuts in the snack to begin with.

10:45 --sent another kid home sick. Fever. yuk.

11:00-1:00 -- generally peaceful

1:00 --attempted to administer math test for the 2nd time this week. No go. One student finally pushed my last button and was encouraged to go visit the principal.

1:10 --returned without aforementioned student to administer the (&*&%&^ math test. No go. Student rolling on ground, holding stomach and moaning. I suggested he go sit in the bathroom and take care of business. I was informed that it was not a "pooping kind of tummy ache". Sent him to the nurse.

1:30 --3 problem test. after first problem, student needs to go to the bathroom. REALLY???? "Is it an emergency????" Yes. Go.

1:40 --on last problem. Crying student. "What's wrong?" "I have to go to the bathroom". GO!

1:45 --tummyache student back from the nurse. Apparently it actually WAS that kind of tummyache. A while in the bathroom and a little magic nurse's water and he was all ready to think mathematically.

2:10 --Principal's buddy returned. Al little better.

2:30 --Told my student teacher (on her 3rd day) "Some days are just like this. Welcome to teaching".

By the way....I did finish the test. Took all afternoon but it is done.....except for the 2 sick kids that went home earlier......oh well.

Hope that everyone else in bloggyland has a more peaceful day. Tomorrow will be better. It always is.

Bee the Change~

New Kid Post!

The post is new.......not the kid. Pop over and see the latest blog post written by my first graders about Pajama Day!

Bee the Change~

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Snowmen and Pajama Day

Don't those 2 things seem to go perfect together?

I was inspired by a post on Pinterest and knew that I had to do these snowmen. The kids had a great time putting them together! We talked about perspective and one of my girls suggested that I make the tree and the branch with the bird so it would look like the bird was looking down at the snowmen. Have I mentioned how smart these kids are???
We also had Pajama and slipper day this past Friday. The children were a little goofy all day but we were cozy at least! Here is our "silly" picture of them all pretending to be sleeping!
Bee the Change~

The Hat and Persuasion writing

Part of our writing curriculum in first grade (and in the Common Core) is opinion writing. This is a painful process for first graders. We have just finished our mandated writing task for the month of "Who is your favorite character and why" and I felt that I wanted to expose the children to a real persuasion writing experience. I was also very excited about this because in these days of blogs (which I LOVE) and Pinterest (which I also LOVE) I felt that I was not creating many original activities.

We started by reading Jan Brett's book The Hat. We read this 2 times so that the children were familiar with the story. The second time through, I started planing the idea that Hedgie was trying to convince the other animals that he had chosen the sock as a hat for many great reasons. So begins the discussion of persuasion.
I introduced the concept of persuasion and I posed the following question: What would make a good hat for Hedgie? They had a ton of ideas! The hard part was the second part of the assignment. They had to come up with 3 reasons WHY their item would make a good hat.
I designed an idea web for the kids to use to organize their ideas. See below!
The Hat Idea Web

We did a "sloppy copy" with some editing for spelling, capitals and punctuation and they copied their good copy onto the paper below.
The Hat Writing Paper

They did an EXCELLENT job on this writing piece. The fun part came at the end when they had to design their object into an actual hat for our hedgies. Below are a few of the great ideas!

A pot would make a good hat.
A raspberry would make a good hat.
An acorn top would make a good hat.
A rose would make a good hat.
A (you guessed it) popcorn bucket would make a good hat.
Sheep's wool would make a good hat.

I am so proud of this assignment!

The kids did a GREAT job and it went very smoothly. If you try it, PLEASE let me know how it goes!

Bee the Change~

Monday, January 16, 2012

Motivation - where can I find some?

Hello to all of my 74 followers!

I feel like I have not posted in ages. I have been enjoying some scrapbooking time and have been at the YMCA quite a bit. (Hard to blog on the treadmill)

I also feel like I am in a little slump. We have been doing a ton of assessments at school and I don't feel like I have had the chance to be creative. :( I am also getting ready to host a student teacher at the end of this month. I have never had a student teacher and am a bit nervous. It will be FINE. Megan is AWESOME and has been with us since September (once a week) so we ALL know each other.

One of the projects that we did this week that was a HUGE success (compared to the 4 other classes that I have done it with in past years) was a survey question project. We use the Pearson Math Investigations Program in our district.

I like this program very much and have taught it since the district adopted it. In book 4 we look at data and representations of data. One of the projects is that they have to create their own survey question, survey the class and represent their data. I also have them make some kind of observation about their data.

Fun, right?

The first year we had this program I totally skipped this lesson. First graders? Seriously? Each year, I change something in order to make this a little more manageable/successful and I think that I got it right this year!

Here are some photos of our project.

Step #1-- was talking with their partner and deciding on the question that they were going to ask. (Actually the HARDEST part was that they had to agree)

Step #2-- was to "Make a plan". They had to record their question, decide who was going to be the "asker" and who was going to be the "recorder". They also had to decide how they would record their data (we all used a T-chart) and figure out how we were going to know how we asked everyone.
Above are pictures of the sheets provided by the math program. Below are the additional sheets that I created for the kids so that they could record their information and check off classmates names.
Step #3 -- Let the chaos begin! We were roaming surveyors. The HARDEST part was reminding them that they had to stick with their partners! This was a great proud of them!
Step #4-- The children regrouped and we caught the people that were missed during the roaming session.
When they were all done they had a sheet to complete where they had to write about something that they "noticed" when looking at their data. They also had to count the number of answers and compare it to the number of students. We brainstormed some ideas as to why the numbers would not match.

This unit carries across the grades and after talking to a 4th grade teacher in my building, I learned that they do the same type of project. My kids will be ready!

Thanks for taking the time to listen to me brag about my smarties! I feel my motivation returning! I am doing a fun persuasion writing activity this week so stay tuned!

Bee the Change~

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Normally this is what I would see when I looked out my window on January 11.
I live in Western NY.
It is January.
I choose to live here.
No problem.

THIS is what recess looked like today.

I live in Western NY.
It is January.
OK...just one problem......the sun was so bright that all the kids had their eyes closed in the above pictures so we had to shield our eyes from the blinding sun.
No problem.
To quote Pete the Cat....."It's all good"

Bee the Change~

Monday, January 9, 2012

Making Words and a New "Kidpost"

I was so happy that I got to introduce my "favorite-workstation-of-all-time" this week! Last year I started these and my kids absolutely loved them. This Making Words activity is with "Happy New Year" and I have a new word for every month from here on out! The children get very creative and really utilize the word wall during this activity. Last year my first graders made a poster about how many words they made using "Happy Groundhog Day". To see this post, click here.
The recording sheet was a great freebie from Cara over at The First Grade Parade. She also had super cute cards but they were a little too small for my pocket chart and I was too lazy (I mean BUSY, of course) to make new ones that were cute. Click the link to go directly to Cara's blog!

We are at it again!!!

I was unsure of what step to take next with my little bloggers so we decided on another small group. I decided on the topic for this post and (with the help of the amazing Mrs. Muir) the bloggers got right to it. Their photography skills are getting so much better! It is still a "shared pen" type of experience and I am typing the posts. That will possibly be our next step although it would be a real time commitment and I love getting the posts published quickly so they can see them!

You can see it too! Buzz on over to my Classroom blog Mrs. Faas' First Grade.

If you have blogged with your little ones, where did you go next?

Bee the Change~

Friday, January 6, 2012


What a tease I am!!!!


For some reason, the link did not work but the AWESOME blog that you should follow is

Bee the Change~

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Have you Heard?

I LOVE BOOKS! Ask my first graders what Mrs. Faas loves to do and they will tell you READ! In my house I have a library (yes, a library). NO TV. Just books and built in custom bookcases made by my Dad. (not the best picture but the best one I had without busting out the camera at 11:00 at night!)
I am in a book club. On the local library Friend's board. Ok you get the idea.

As a lover of books I have found a great blog to follow and YOU SHOULD TOO!

This blog has MANY contributers and has made my "To Read" list much, much longer. Head over and check it out!

Bee the Change~


I really do feel that blogging is a form of therapy for me. This blog makes me feel that I am connected to a large support group! I am such a blog stalker and LOVE to explore other blogs about teaching, crafts, books etc so I am always surprised when someone else shows appreciation for this little blog! Thank you so much to Elisabeth from Twins Teaching and Tacos for honoring my with the Liebster Blog Award.
The rules of this award are as follows:1. Show your appreciation to the blogger who nominated you by linking back to their blog. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Elisabeth! Head over and check her out!

Twins Teaching and Tacos

2. Nominate five happy little blogs (200 followers or less) by posting a comment on their blogs.

3. Post the award on your blog.

4. Check out what the other up-and-coming blogs have to offer.

Check these awesome blogs out!

I also want to thank Chelsearose over at Blooming into First Grade for awarding me the Versatile Blogger Award! Her blog is very cute! Go check her out!

Also...if you are out there and you can make me a blog button, please help. I have followed tutorials and it only makes me want to
Bee the Change~