Saturday, December 29, 2012

Best Books for Boys

One of my favorite bloggers, Courtney over at Swimming Into Second, is hosting a fantastic linky party. To participate, grab the button below, link up, and share some of the best books for boys in your classroom. I gotta tell ya, Courtney's idea for this link party came from a conference presentation that covered differences between boys and girls when it comes to reading levels and reading interests.

Below are some nonfiction books that my 1st grade boys tend to enjoy the most!

I teach bears during November in my Animals Get Ready for Winter unit. I believe there are more of these VS. books out there. I think I'll use some of my Scholastic coupons to purchase a few more.

*There are a series I believe of these nonfiction Dinosaurs books that are pop-outs! My boys love all of the books in my dinosaurs nonfiction book box more than the fiction book box, but the pop-outs are the most popular of all. I'm fairly sure these books are as old as I am, they came with the classroom. But they're definitely worth getting your hands on!

Onto most-loved fiction books....
Another pop-out that a student donated to my library my first year of teaching! Can't say most of my firsties really "read" this one, but it's a good one for reading the pictures (daily 5 strategy).

Another fun series!

Out of all the fiction books boys love, I'd say anything to do with pirates tends to be more popular. This book in particular is one that my boys have used year after year after year for their first book talk-they get to dress-up as a character from the story- can't blame 'em for wanting to be a pirate for the day!

Overall, I'd say that when my firsty boys visit my library or the school library, they tend to go for non-fiction books. Something to keep in mind as you begin/continue to build your classroom library. :)

Enjoy the last few days of 2012!!!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Snowflakes for Sandy Hook

Over the past couple of days, I've watched the rest of the world around me start to move on from the Sandy Hook tragedy with one thought on my mind: those students and that community will not be moving on as easily as we do. Instead of feeling merely blessed or thankful for all that my students and I share, I've felt some guilt. Guilt because well, I can't or couldn't find a way to make things better for these students, teachers, and community members.  Maybe I felt a bit helpless too...And then...I received an email from the mother of a former student of mine. I've copied it below. If you're like me and you want to do something, anything to support Sandy Hook Elementary and their local community in the smallest way you can KEEP READING & have fun making snowflakes!

Please note: The author of the following message happens to be friends with a teacher at the Middle School in Connecticut.

Please help the students of Sandy Hook have a winter wonderland at their new school! Our neighboring town of Monroe has generously donated a building that will be able to keep all our Sandy Hook students together. Crews are currently busy delivering equipment, desks, chairs, supplies; however, the halls are bare. We want to create a warm, happy and cheerful environment for the students as they enter the new building. Make and send snowflakes to:
Connecticut PTSA

60 Connolly Parkway 

Building 12 Suite 103

Hamden, CT 06514 

To reach anyone at Sandy Hook PTA, email at

C'mon bloggy friends, let's share a little love with those that need it the most right now.  WE have the opportunity to create a new, safe, warm, comfortable learning environment for boys and girls that deserve nothing but the the best. Carpe diem!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Thursday, December 13, 2012

12 in 12

So 2012 is winding down, and I gotta say that for me, it's flown by! Can't say it was the best year, but I suppose it wasn't the worst.

12 favorite things! 

12. Favorite movie you watched:
Not a movie-watcher at all. In fact, I shouldn't say this in public but...I fell ASLEEP in Avengers 3D and during part of the new Batman movie. I did like the Batman movie (well the ending I was awake for). Note to Self: Going out to later movies on a Friday night during the school year isn't a good idea. I stayed awake during the new Madea movie. Guess I'll pick that one!

11. Favorite TV series:
Revenge! Love me some Emily Thorne!

10. Favorite restaurant:
Olive Garden? Can't beat their lunch specials that I got to enjoy oh so frequently during my first summer off since I was 15!

9. Favorite new thing you tried:
RUNNING! The Color Run in Philly was my first 5k and it was AH-MAZ-ING! 20,000 runners getting colored. Definitely doing it again. :)

8. Favorite gift you got:
Real Uggs for my birthday! I have chronic cold feet, so these things are like miracles to me. I could live in em, in fact I've fallen asleep in them before!

7. Favorite thing you pinned:
This pin, inspired my Halloween costume "Little Miss Wonderful". I learned how to make my own tutu using tulle, so now I'm a pro. AND, I used the same tutu when we dressed up as book characters a few weeks ago at school. My tutu was pink, I was Angelina Ballerina. :)

6. Favorite blog post:
I love my 100 year old, 100th day of school post. Everytime I see my kiddos and I decked out like elderly folks, I get hysterical. I was super impressed with their creativity, attention to detail, and ability to get into character. I'll be giving that same assignment again soon as they 100th day draws near. 

5. Best accomplishment:
Getting tenure and my ESL Specialist all in ONE summer. No more New Teacher Induction Meetings, no more observing others during my prep time, no more quarterly observations that include mounds of paperwork. This is the first school year I've ever taught, in which I am not formally being observed and it's a nice change. 

4. Favorite picture:
*End of the Color Run! I'm all the way on the left!

3. Favorite memory:
Me and my girls at Young Alumni Reunion. Hadn't been back to college since I'd left almost 5 years ago! It was nice to be back on campus in all the familiar places. We even visited our freshmen dorms, and I saw my old, tiny, most favorite room/place to live everrrr. 

2. Goal for 2013:
"Work hard, play harder!" I need a little more me time, more opportunities to do and see and feel the things I've always dreamed of outside the world of teaching. I made the mistake of giving nearly every ounce of my being to my students my first couple years. I'm building in time for working out and eating breakfast, even if that means I'm leaving school on time some days. What doesn't get done today, WILL and CAN get done to tomorrow.

1. One Little Word:
Believe in yourself, Believe in your students, Believe in endless possibilities!