Monday, April 30, 2012

Career Day was a Success!!

Warning: I'm going to do some serious bragging about my kiddos!  :)  

After using my Careers and Economics Unit over the last couple of weeks, we ended it on Friday with Career Day!  

My kiddos were adorable!!  Some of them came dressed up as their future career or brought in some accessories that they would use for their career.  One little boy wore his new Easter outfit which was a suit with vest and tie.  ADORABLE!!!  :)  I would love to post their pictures, but I feel funny doing that on here so you'll just have to picture the cutest first graders you have ever seen and that would be my kiddos!  

My suit boy wants to be a librarian.  All I heard in the hallway before they came in was, What are you?!?!

Before Career Day, my kiddos had to research their future careers.  I found a great website and linked it to my school kiddos can navigate my school website really well.  They had to find 3 things they will do and 3 things they will need.  

My kiddos did such a wonderful job on this!  I gave them some time to search through the website first and find a career that they were interested in.  Then, they completed their research paper and later worked on their final career reports.  

They had so much fun sharing what they learned about their careers on Friday. Here are some pictures of their reports and the hats and badges we made:

This little girl wants to be a dancer.  She wrote, "Three important things I will do are express ideas, dance in ballet and work in musical shows.   Three important things I will need are a song to dance to, an outfit, and background dancers."  Background funny is that!  :)

She wants to be a teacher.  She was my Mini Me on Friday....even wearing the same shirt supporting our high school football team as I did!

This girl wants to be a doctor.  I loved her picture!

This little boy wants to be a reporter.  He wrote, "Reporters gather information and write news stories.  These stories appear in newspapers.  They also observe the scene and do interviews.  Three important things I will need are a college degree, school newspapers, and good experiences."  Isn't that great?!?!  

These are the hats and badges we made.  They loved them!  

Okay, enough bragging.....for now!  

Hope everyone has a great week.  Come back and visit on Wednesday for some BIG NEWS!!  :)

Thursday, April 26, 2012


I'm. so. tired.  

Grading, blogging, end of year activities, blogging, entertaining my wild and crazy kiddos, blogging, grad school homework, blogging, grade level and classroom ordering, list just goes on and on!  :)  

I've finally loaded the pics I've taken of my stars from my May Fun Pack.  Behind the big stars are little stars with activities or treats for my kiddos.  Those that get all of their work done and have good behavior get to participate.  

I started this yesterday and it's working like a charm so far.  It's great being able to remind them throughout the day that if they don't make good choices, they're not going to get to participate in our star surprise.  

Here are the stars:

I know the bulletin board paper doesn't match the stars, but it was the only open spot I had.  Next year, I'll plan ahead better!  :)

These two are back up on the board now.  After we turn them over, I just tape them back up so we can see what we have done so far.  

We also have a book that we write in before we see what's behind the star.  We have to write 2 math sentences for the number of days left....just to tie in a little math.  :)

And, just in case you were wondering...I've had kids miss the treat/surprise both days so far.  :(  Overall, my classroom behavior has been much better though so I'm happy!  And, my kiddos are loving it!  

If you do purchase my May Fun Pack and would like some other ideas/treats on the small stars, please email me and I can put whatever you would like on there!  

Monday, April 23, 2012

May Fun Pack and Countdown to Summer

I LOVE Pinterest!  I'm sure many of you do too!  I found an idea on there not too long ago about hanging balloons from the ceiling with little papers in them with activities for your kiddos to do at the end of the year.  I thought this was a GREAT idea!

However, I have a couple kiddos that I think would be stressed by the popping of the balloons every day so I decided to make stars to hang on my bulletin board instead.  I found some cute stars at Graphics From the Pond and I put numbers on the them starting at 36 and going down to 1.

Today I had them them cut out and laminated (by my awesome aide Mrs. J) and put up on my board to start using this week.  I've made smaller stars with activities on them to tape to the back of the bigger stars for my kiddos to do.  I explained to my very well behaved, especially for a Monday kids today how it would work.  (I took a picture of the stars, but I will have to post it later!  Then, I realized I left my camera at school so I will post pics tomorrow...promise!)

At the end of the day, we will get out our Countdown to Summer booklets (included with my pack) and find two ways to make the number of days left.  For example, on day 10 we might put 2 nickels, 10 tally marks, or addition and subtraction sentences, etc.

Then, we will turn the star over to find the surprise on the back!  I've told my kiddos no peeking or the stars come down.  I also told them we will only have fun with the stars if we can get all of our work done throughout the day and we continue to follow school rules.  Those kiddos who are beyond ready for summer don't make good choices will not get to participate in the activities!  I'm hoping this encourages some great end of the year behavior!!!!!  :)

I've included enough stars to count down from day 36 and I've also included a bunch of activities on smaller stars.  I did leave some blank ones for you to add your own ideas too.

I also thought it was important to include a recording sheet of the surprises so you know exactly what's going to happen that day.  My kiddos will think I'm totally surprised, but always prepared!  :)  This will help in making sure you have enough time or if you need to switch an activity with another at the last minute.

I figure if I can get excellent behavior and lots of work completed throughout the day, I can give them the last 5-10 minutes!  Some of the activities I plan on doing are some science experiments (not included) that I have found.  The star just says experiment so I can choose which ones I want to do.  I also plan on using some of the activities more than once!

Here is a snapshot of the activity pages and the countdown stars and booklet:

I'm going out to dinner with my Hubby and his family, but I wanted to give away two May Fun Packs to the first two people who comment and leave me their email addresses!  I'll send them out when I get back home!

And, here's a freebie for all of my followers:

If you use the freebie, please leave me a comment letting me know how you handle classroom management at the end of the school year!  

I'm sure we could all use some tips!  :)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Lots of Winners!

I'm so excited to have over 100 followers!  I have 10 winners to announce and here they are:

I will be emailing you your choices from my store in just a few minutes!  Thank you everyone for participating in my giveaway!!  :)

And, now for the GRAND PRIZE WINNER: (drum roll please):

Karla, please let me know which item you would like from my store and from Christina's and I will send them to you!  

Thanks again everyone!  

I've created a new May Fun Pack with a Countdown to Summer book with lots of fun activities to do with your kiddos to help encourage great end of the school year behavior!  :)  It's for sale at my TpT store right now, but I will be posting a freebie tomorrow!  

I've been working on grad school homework for HOURS and I'm going to bed!!  I can't keep my eyes open any longer... 

Have a good week!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


I've got 100 followers!  Yay!!  :)

You know what that means.....giveaway time!  

I've been so busy at school with getting end of the year things done and ordering items for next I'm going to make this giveaway really easy!  

My wonderful friend Christina at Second Grade Sugar and Spice is going to donate a couple of items too so make sure you thank her by visiting her blog and following her!  
Second Grade Sugar and Spice
10 winners will get to choose any item from my store....I know there isn't much, but it's going to be free!  :)  I'm working on some more things to post...hopefully soon.  

1 grand prize winner will get to choose any item from my store and get Christina's new Let's Pack a Picnic pack and one item of your choice from her store!  
This integrated learning pack uses a picnic theme to add fun, motivation, and plenty of learning into your end-of-year lesson plans! There are over...

Here are your 5 chances to enter:
1. Follow my blog and leave me a comment (with your email address). 
2. Follow my TpT store and leave me a comment (with your email address). 
3. Blog about my giveaway and leave me a comment with the URL (and your email address). 
4. Let me know which item you would like to win from my store (with your email address). 
5. Let me know which item you would like to win from Christina's store (with your email address). 

That's 5 easy ways to enter and there will be a total of 11 winners!  Anyone can win so good luck!  I will choose the winners on Sunday, April 22.  

One more thing before I go....I have another friend who has created a blog.  Her name is Meghan and she is an Intervention Specialist at my school.  Here is her button.  Make sure you click it and go visit her cute, new blog!!  She's got a wonderful freebie too and we all love freebies!   

Mrs. Barnes

Good luck with the giveaway and THANK YOU to my 100 wonderful followers!  I'm so excited!!!  :)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Recess Centers, a Winner, and Tax Sale!

I know with the weather getting warmer everyone is having outside recess more often, but I wanted to share an idea that I've been using the last couple of years.  I'm a pretty organized person, at home and at school, so I couldn't stand the craziness of inside recess.  

My kiddos would come back to my room so loud and running around trying to find someone to play with and a game/activity to play.  So, since I was already doing centers for reading (this was before the awesomeness of Daily 5) I decided to create Recess Centers!  And, let me tell you....I think this might have been one of my best ideas ever!  :)  

I used a smaller pocket chart and printed all of my kiddos' names on labels so that I could easily move them around.  Then, I created 6 centers or activities they were allowed to play during inside recess and posted them at the front of each row on the chart.  Here is a picture of my Recess Center Chart:

The six recess centers I had this year were Lincoln Logs, Coloring, Games, Puzzles, Legos, and Computers.  Depending on how many kiddos I have, I put 3-4 kiddos in a group.  I try to change the groups around every nine weeks so that they have time to play with other friends.  

One more great thing I started this year is only the first person is allowed to get the game/activity.  I have a specific place in the room where each center can happen.  The other kiddos go straight to that spot.  The first name is the one allowed to get the game out of the Recess Center cabinet.  This keeps everyone from pushing and shoving to get into the cabinet.  I change this responsibility too throughout the year.  Here is a picture of my labeled Recess Center cabinet:

I put labels where each center should go so they can easily find what they are looking for and so they keep my centers favorite word!  :)

This has worked extremely well for me.  My kiddos love it and are much more calm and responsible with my recess things.    

Now....for the winners of my What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up Pack!!  

The winners are....

True Random Number Generator  23Powered by RANDOM.ORG

Mrs. Richling 

True Random Number Generator  35Powered by RANDOM.ORG

Sandra at Sweet Times in First

True Random Number Generator  12Powered by RANDOM.ORG

Kelly B at Busy in Kindergarten

Congrats, ladies!  I'll be emailing those out to your shortly.  Hope your kiddos enjoy!  

This pack is also available on my TpT store so make sure and check it out!  :)

I've also jumped on the bandwagon....I'm having a sale today and tomorrow!  Click on the picture to visit my store:

Friday, April 13, 2012

Social Studies Pack is Finally Done....Giveaway Time!

This post is going to be short and sweet!  The good news is that I FINALLY finished my Social Studies Careers and Economics Pack!!  :)  I meant to have it done by Monday....but it was a busy week.  

I know careers aren't really in the first grade standards, but I've also included needs, wants, goods, services, producers, consumers, and trade.  When my kiddos are the "Star of the Week" they fill out this giant poster and one of the questions they answer is what they want to be when they grow up.  I know this changes quite a bit with kiddos this age, but I thought it would be a great way to tie in these important standards and get them thinking and researching what they really do want to be when they grow up!  

I have already posted this 31 page unit on my TpT store so go check it out if you're interested!  Here is a quick look:

Now.....time for a giveaway!!  I will give away 3 'What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up' Packs on Sunday, April 15!  

Here's how you can enter:

1. Follow my blog and leave a comment (with your email address).  
2. Follow my TpT store and leave me a comment letting me know (with your email address). 
3. Recommend my blog to a friend and if they follow me you can leave two comments telling me who your friend is and a little about their wonderful blog (with your email address).
4. Blog about my giveaway and leave a comment with your URL (and your email address). 

That's it!  :)

Hope you like it!  

I've had a GREAT week for it being the week after Spring Break.  Hope everyone else is having a great week too!  

I just LOVE my kiddos!  :)

Saturday, April 7, 2012

I've Been Tagged 3 Times and a FREEBIE!!

Oh, my goodness!  I was tagged 3 times yesterday!!  I REALLY don't think I'm that interesting or that anyone wants to read 30 things about me so I'll QUICKLY answer the questions from the first 2 that tagged me.  I think that will be enough info about me!  :)  

I'm also working on a new Social Studies Unit about careers, producers and consumers, and goods and services so I'll include a FREEBIE at the end just for hanging in there!  

I hope to have my new unit up on my TpT store by Monday so make sure and check it out!    

I've been tagged by Marissa at WILD About First Grade, Becky at 2nd Grade Rocks, and Mrs. Dwyer at Mrs. Dwyer's A+ Firsties!  Thanks ladies for tagging fun!  

Here are my interesting, funny, and exciting answers!  :) 

Here Are The Rules:
* Post these rules
* Answer the 10 questions that the tagger posted for you
* Create 10 questions of your own to ask the people that you're about to tag
* Tag 10 people and link them with your post (and let them know they've been tagged!)

Here's the questions I was asked by Marissa:

1. Are you a night owl or early bird??  A night owl for sure....I'm going to be exhausted next week after staying up so late during Spring Break!  :(
2. What was the last book you've read? (Not related to teaching)  Financial Peace Revisited by Dave Ramsey...trying the whole get out of debt (school loans) thing!  
3. What kind of movies do you prefer? Comedy, action, drama, love story???  I love a good comedy or action movie...but I also LOVE a good love story!  
4. What is your favorite grade to teach?  I've taught first grade for three years so first grade!! 
5. Coffee or tea? Neither...yuck!  Diet Coke all the way!  
6. Are you married or do you have kids?  I've been married to my wonderful hubby for almost 4 years and no kiddies of our own yet.
7. How long have you been teaching? What grades have you taught?  Already answered!  (3 years in first grade)
8. Did you always know you wanted to be a teacher?  Yes!  My mama is a teacher so it's in my blood!
9. What do you like to do when you're not teaching?  Read, travel, hang out with my hubby and family!
10. What is your favorite song that puts you in a good mood?  Anything upbeat....I do love my country music though!  :)

10 more questions from Becky:

1. What is the last movie/tv show/book that made you cry? The sweet!
2. What is the oldest item you own? Some jewelry that my grandma has given me.
3. What one food do you never get tired of?
Sweets....I crave sweet things always. 
4. If you had to pick 1 place in your town to bring a tourist, where would you take them? Several places come to mind....I guess it would depend on the tourist. Bad answer, I know. When my friends visit we usually go shopping!!
5. What one food do you never get tired of? Oops, see answer to #3.
6. What is your favorite book? I have so many!! I LOVE to read!
7. What is your favorite season? Fall...I love the colors, cool air, carving pumpkins, and the smell of bonfires. 
 8. What is your favorite beverage? Diet Coke!
9. When is the last day of school for you? June 1st!
10. If you could live anywhere at all where would it be? In the mountains....I love the west! 

Whew!  That took awhile!  Thanks for hanging in there!   

Here are 10 questions for those I tagged:

1. What is your favorite subject to teach?
2. What is your most embarrassing moment as a teacher?
3. What is the most exciting thing you will do this summer?
4. What is your favorite holiday?
5. What is the most important item you use in your classroom?
6. What item would you love to have in your classroom?
7. What tip would you give to a new teacher?
8. How long have you been a teacher?
9. If you weren't a teacher, what would you be doing?
10. How do you celebrate the end of the school year with your kiddos?

Here are 10 of  my (some old, some NEW) bloggie friends that I'm tagging: 

Delighted at First Grade Delight

Okay, after ALL of that, I'm giving away a FREEBIE!!  

This is from my new Social Studies Unit that I hope to have in my TpT store by Monday...we'll see if I can finish it today or tomorrow (although tomorrow is Easter so we'll see!)....

That was a LONG post!  Hope you enjoy the freebie!  If you use it, please leave me a comment!  :)

Hope everyone has a GREAT Easter tomorrow!  :)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Check Out These Great Giveaways!!

I'm totally enjoying my Spring Break!  I'm looking forward to working on school projects tomorrow though....I miss my kiddos!  

Since I'm not working with my kiddos this week I thought I would post about all of these great giveaways I keep finding!  Take a look at all of these blogs below and try to win!!  

Click on their buttons to visit their blogs!

Don't forget about the Spring Break Giveaway I'm part of too.  

It ends Sunday night!  Go to Cynthia's blog to check it out!!


Amy is celebrating all kinds of good news at The Resource(ful) Room so check it out!  She's giving away a $50 gift card to the place of your choice!!  :) 


Teaching Blog Addict is having a HUGE giveaway for their 'first birthday' and they are also hosting an Easter Egg Hunt with LOTS of Freebies!!  Make sure to visit!

Katie is giving away 3 of her new Math Work Stations.  They are so cute!  Make sure you visit her blog by Friday night!

Miss Kindergarten

I was Miss Kindergarten's 2000th follower!!!  She's having a very short 3 hour sale...everything in her TPT store is only $1 but you have to go there NOW!!  :)  I got some really cute goodies!

Kreative in Kinder

Crystal at Kreative in Kinder is giving away a Time Tracker!  You have until Sunday night to enter!  

Teri has reached 1,000 followers and is having a HUGE giveaway with 10 ways to enter!  Go on over to her blog and check out all the great prizes!!  :)

Check out these great blogs and good luck with their giveaways!!  :) 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

50 Follower Giveaway and Spring Break Giveaway!

Yay!  I have over 50 followers now!  I know that isn't really very many, but I'm so excited!  :)  For my 50 follower giveaway, I'm giving away my new "Springing into Number Sense" Pack that I created to help my struggling kiddos with number sense.  Thank you to all of my followers and especially those who left comments!  

Here are the lucky winners:
*I promise I put in 37 as the max number, but for some reason it changed to 100 when I put it on here....sorry!  

True Random Number Generator  23Powered by RANDOM.ORG

Jen at Hello Mrs. Sykes

True Random Number Generator  11Powered by RANDOM.ORG

Angela at The Daily Alphabet

True Random Number Generator  5Powered by RANDOM.ORG

Marissa at Wild About First Grade

Congrats ladies!  I will be emailing these out right away!  

If anyone else is interested, I will be putting this new "Springing into Number Sense" Pack on my Teachers Pay Teachers store tonight so check it out!  :)  

Here is a 'thank you' freebie for everyone...just because I'm so excited to have over 50 followers!  

Also, don't forget about the Spring Break Giveaway at Cynthia's 2nd Grade Pad.  Check out my previous post to see all the goodies you could win!  Good luck!  :)