Monday, August 29, 2011

Apples for the Parents

I'm kinda jealous that most of you have started teaching already! For the most part, my room is ready (I'll get some updated pics later tonight)...My district doesn't start until after Labor Day! The more time I have 'til school starts, the more stuff I find myself printing off, laminating, cutting...

I few years ago I purchased apples for my parents, placed them in a small brown lunch bag, and attached this poem to the outside for Open House. Thinking I am going to do it this year! 

(I got this from a colleague of mine during my first year of teaching...So I can't take credit for writing the poem!) 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sight Word Game

We've added a new FREE Tic-Tac-Toe Game to! Be sure to check it out! 
Click Here To Get It!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Star Scientist: Miss A

Each week, one student from my room will be the "Star Scientist" and will get to do a variety of special things.

Monday: Share Photo Album
Tuesday: Lunch with Team Schappelkins
Wednesday: Read Aloud to the Class
Thursday: Share Science Experiment
Friday: Lead "Brain Boost" with Miss A

At the end of the week the Star Scientist will be responsible for sharing pictures and videos that will be posted on this blog.  I have posted the Start Scientist Schedule for 2011-2012 below so that you may get started planning in advance!  If you have any questions or need some help, don't hesitate to ask me! 

Miss A in First Grade

This is me when I was in first grade.  I went to Longfellow Magnet School in Westerville, Ohio.  My teacher's name was Mrs. Fedderson and she always read us stories with really good expression.  (I'll teach you how to do that too!)  

My friends really didn't ever call me Katie.  I was always referred to as "Little Apple".  My older brother's friends started that!  I was really upset with my mom on picture day because she wouldn't let me crimp my hair and she made me wear this ugly, itchy dress!  Typically, you'd see me wearing my New Kids on the Block t-shirt, hot pink shorts, and indoor soccer shoes.

Growing up, I was very close to my brother, Mark.  We were best friends and did everything together.  Each year we would plan our Halloween costumes together.  In first grade, I was a cowgirl...Even our Cabbage Patch Kids (on our backs) had costumes!  My mom made them and unlike my dress, it wasn't itchy!  (Please notice my purple suede boots...They were pretty fantastic!)

I got my red bike when I was in first grade.  It had been passed down from my older cousins.  It took me a while to learn how to ride it without training wheels, but once I learned, I never wanted to get off of it!  Mark and I would have races in our driveway to see who was the fastest...I always won!  Mark and I also had a Dukes of Hazzard car (on the left) that we still have to this day...Problem is that I don't fit in it anymore!

This is a picture of my family at our cottage at Christmas.  I think we can all agree that I was the cutest!  

That's all for Miss Appel...I can't wait to learn about you and your families this year.  Have fun being Star Scientist and be creative with it!    

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Bus Tags

I always dread the end of the first day of school, trying to get my first graders where they need to be! (How kids get home the first day is always different than how they get home on regular school days!) So at our Open House, which is before school officially starts, I'm going to pass these bus tags out to parents. If they fill them out, clip them on their child's book bag...I should have no problems, right? We'll see! Click on the link below to download my template.
First Day Transportation Download

Monday, August 15, 2011


Want a fun game to help students with multi-syllabic words to use in the small group setting or with your whole class? We've got it..and we want to share it with you! We'll send you our 30+ page PDF, FREE for becoming a follower. Here's how:

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E-mail Katie & Steve at and tell us you are a follower...and we'll send you our game! 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

My Book Nook

Moving to a new room & building has given me the chance to purge lots of stuff...But it's also given me the chance to find things I forgot I had! I got this poem a few years ago from one of my mom's teacher friends and this year since I am back in first grade...I'm going to use it!

Download a Copy Here!
I just print and cut out each of the poems, glue onto a paper bag, add some ribbon...And pass them out to my kids on the first day of school! A cute way for kids to carry their favorite books! Here's what mine look like this year:

The picture isn't the greatest, but you get the idea!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Making Progress!

I forgot how tiring it was to completely unpack all of your school stuff! (You'd think I'd be a pro at it considering this is my 6th room in 8 years!) I've gotten quite a bit done in the past few days...but no where near being finished. This is actually the most challenging room because there really is NO STORAGE! It's really giving my organizational skills a test! Plus, there is still quite a bit of furniture that hasn't arrived yet... 

This is a little glimpse of my reading nook.
See the three cabinets on the left? That's all the built-ins that are in this room! Pretty sure this room was designed by a man...who's NOT an educator!
One of the coolest features about my room is that it has a Nano Wall. I can open it up and my kids can wheel stuff out into the hallway to work!
Thankfully 3 of my wheely carts fit under the sink! (They need new labels though!) I purchased the shelf so I could have a place for all of my other stuff. I am planning on connecting a chain from one corner to the other so that my kids can clip posters (that are in the white container) to read!
I do a lot of my teaching from my easel. I have about four boxes full of stuff in the middle of it...I purchased some cheap containers from Ikea (hanging on the front) that I'm excited about. 
I'm pretty pumped about my new black cubes from Target. They interlock together and are sturdy enough to hold some of my book bins & down below will be were my kiddos keep their own book boxes!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Odd & Even Numbers

When it comes to teaching math and reading, I like to have a lot of visuals in the classroom...I tell myself that it's for the kids, but really it's for me! When I teach odd and even numbers, one of the strategies I teach is to look at the number in the ones. 0, 2, 4, 6, and 8 are even and 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9 are odd. 
Odd & Even

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Rounding to the Nearest 10

One of my teaching colleagues made this for me a couple years ago when he came into my class to do a lesson on rounding. At the time, I wanted to pull my hair out! But this roller coaster template really helped my kids (and me!)...{Thanks, Chris!}

Rounding to the Nearest 10

Say you are rounding the number "26" to the nearest ten. Using the roller coaster determine the two numbers that are at the bottom of the roller coaster. On the left-hand corner, you'd write "20" and on the right-hand corner, you'd write "30". (Figuring out these two numbers is sometimes tricky for kids so having a hundreds chart available really helps!) The number at the top of the roller coaster is the number between 20 and 30, which is "25".  Kids need to determine if the "26" is between 20-24 or 25-30. If the number does not reach the number 25 at the top of the roller coaster, the person is going to "roll back down" to the 20. If the number reaches the 25 or goes past it, it's going to roll to the "30". In this case, the 26 goes past the 25 and rolls to the number "30".  

Once kids get the hang of it...It's pretty simple! Hope this helps.  

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Marshmallow Toes

I've had this rhyme for so long...I'm not really sure where I found it! When teaching my kiddos how to walk quietly in the hallway at the beginning of the year, I give them each a large marshmallow to keep in their mouth. We talk about how our mouths can eat them quietly (so that we don't disrupt the learning of other students) and we can teach our feet how do the same. We say this chant once we are lined up and ready to leave the room.
Marshmallow Toes

Poetry Anthologies

Each year students are given a Poetry Anthology to keep all of their poems, songs, chants, and rhymes that are learned in the classroom. Each week I pick 1-2 poems to have them keep in their notebooks. I've always used a spiral notebook for these and have my kids cut, glue, and illustrate. (Another teacher I work with has her students keep their poems in a binder). Poetry Anthologies are sent home every Thursday night for students to practice at home with their families and are returned to school on Friday.  (They are also really great for students to read during centers!)

Poetry Anthology

As the year progresses, I will upload the poems that my kids are using to share with you! Below you will find the template for the note that goes inside of the notebook (for parents) and a cover sheet if you choose to use a binder! Enjoy.