Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Something Old... Something New

In an effort to get another game posted on TpT I decided to search my files to see if there were any old games I had created that I could "JAZZ" up and make new.  I found this oldie but goodie, added some new graphics, and voila!... a game to share.  This is also my first paid product on TpT.  I will say it is a great way to practice fact fluency with the kiddies. Please click on the image below to visit my TpT store and enjoy Farm Facts!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Where in the world has Cristin been?

Hello again friends,
         It's me Cristin!  Boy has it been a while! Let me explain my absence. The past two months have been a whirlwind to say the least.  Oh yes, school began!  I am so happy to say I have a wonderful class of adorable first graders.  Each new year brings it's ups and downs. Presenting challenges of learning new resources, curriculum maps, and lesson plan templates.  My goal this year is to face these challenges head on.  I'm looking forward to a successful school year.
        On a personal note, my fiance and I successfully moved into a new home.   This is Chris' childhood home so it's been amazing to see him in his element re-living some childhood memories. It also happens to be in the most adorable beach town.  It's quiet right now as the Fall takes over the Summer crowd, but quiet is nice.
         Wedding season is also well underway, however I feel as if every season is wedding season for us!    I'm so happy to be witnessing many of my beautiful friends on their road to marriage.  As we celebrate other couples in the coming months, our wedding plans are well underway.  Just another reason why I've been lacking in posts and product sharing.
          My plate seems to constantly be full, but I am a teacher, that's how my plate will always be.  That being said, I'm jumping back into the blogging world full force.  I'm so excited to attend the BrainPop luncheon this Sunday.  I can't wait to meet fellow educational bloggers and  learn more about this awesome world of blogging that I've been eager to learn about!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Math Monday

Math is one of my favorite subjects to teach.  I find that a simple game can reinforce skills, introduce new topics, and allow for student collaboration.  I love beginning and ending my math lesson with games.
Visit my Teachers Pay Teachers store to download a Freebie Mini-lesson and Game that cover Common Core Standard 1.OA.6

Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Sunday News: Legos and Education

Lego Female Scientist Set

I have to thank Chris for finding this article.  It really got me thinking about the Next Generation Science Standards.  Chris' love for reading often benefits me, as he is like my own personal research team.  He often finds great articles about the changes in education.  His marketing background brought him to finding this article about the new  LEGO female scientist set.  Have a look!

After reading this article I became more interested in the Next Generation Science Standards.  The video below is just an Overview of the standards.  
 "In today's technologically advancing world, we are living at the speed of science."  -NGSS
I'd say this quote is accurate.  It's really amazing that our children's toys are even changing with today's advances in education!

After exploring the Next Generation Science website, I can say I'm even more inclined to step back as an educator and let my learners explore.   It's exciting to take risks, get a little messy, and let the children lead through their questioning and exploration.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Thoughtful Thursday

Tell me and I forget.  Teach me and I remember.
 Involve me and I learn.

-Benjamin Franklin

How will you engage your students in learning?

One of my goals for the upcoming school year is to develop questions as a part of my instruction that actively involves my young learners.  The article below provides a few good resources that I'm diving into in order to help me reach this goal.  

Blue Skies,
Miss Campo

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


The days of Summer are slowly winding down.  The commercials are telling us to get excited, it's BACK TO SCHOOL TIME!  Each year I find myself reflecting on what I did the year before.  This leads to new ideas and exciting changes.  Today, I spent some time looking at pictures of my classroom and deciding what I would keep and what I would change.  Here are a few pictures of my classroom from last year.  Visit my TpT Store to download a free copy the "Rock Star Behavior Board" and "The Management Team".  I was really into chevron last year!  Can you tell?

This was the first chart of the year.  The kids loved coming in and finding their names.  They also loved that they were known as ROCK STARS!

 Here is a picture of my behavior management system.  I'm a huge advocate for Positive Behavior Management.  I love to pick out the positive and reward students for good decision making.  My first vice principal always said.... "It takes three positive remarks to undo a negative remark."  Let's just fill them with positive so we don't have to keep count!
The management system was even Rock Star themed.  I put each child's name on a star and jobs were given weekly.  I'm planning on changing this for the upcoming school year but I figured I'd share the idea. 

Blue Skies!
Miss Campo


Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Sunday News

Check out this great article from last September posted on the website "Edudemic".  
The 70 Best Apps for Teachers and Students
Two of my favorites include Reading Raven and Comic Life.  I'm hoping a new article is posted this September with new and exciting technology resources.  Happy Sunday!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Thoughtful Thursday

 "Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his needs, is good for him." - Maya Angelou

This quote sparked a thought about "Good Books", and how we consider the best books to share with our students during our precious read aloud time.  I refer to this time as precious because I find it is great time to model behaviors that we want our young readers to pick up on.  I often use a bank of my favorite books to teach targeted skills and to promote rich discussion.  Today, I share with you a list of my favorite "Start of School" books to use on the first days of the year.  

My Favorit
“Start of School”
1. First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg
2. Swimmy by Leo Lionni
3. Pete the Cat (Any and All of them!) by James Dean 
4. If you Take a Mouse to School by Laura Numeroff
5. Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen
6. Have You Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud
7. Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes
8. No David by David Shannon
9. The Recess Queen by Alexis O'Neil
10.  Lucy Walker, Nonstop Talker by Christianne Jones

Here are a few newbies that I'll be sharing lessons for as I develop them!
 *New* My New Friend is So Fun by Mo Williems 
*New* The Numberlys by WIlliam Joyce
*New*  The Best Story by Eileen Spinelli
*New*  First Grade Jitters by Robert Quackenbush

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

First 30 Days of School

Thank you Bosland's Learning Plus for hosting the "First 30 Days of School" Workshop with Donna Whyte.  In July, a group of colleagues and I attended this workshop and were introduced to a number of great ideas.  Donna Whyte, at The Smartie Zone, shared some of the best practices she uses in teaching.  Below I've listed a few of the highlights from the workshop that I plan on implementing in my school day this year.

Are you doing the right thing?
Donna Whyte expressed a need for clear and consistent vocabulary within a school.  She brought up the point of classroom expectations.  Donna shared her experiences of success with students using one cue, "Are you doing the right thing?"  At the start of the school year she spent ample time sharing with students what that looks like, feels like, and even sounds like.  This allowed students to take ownership of their actions to "Do the right thing" each and every day.  I agree that consistent expectations in a school provide clarity and pave greater avenues for student's to take stock in not only their learning, but their attitude and behavior.

Partner Sticks
I LOVE THIS IDEA!  I often find myself looking for ways to stay organized in order to keep a positive and nurturing learning environment.  Last year, one of my goals during Read Alouds was to give students ample time to "Turn and Talk" about what they were noticing in a text.  I loved listening to the little one's chatter about what they thought and felt during a read aloud.  However, I found a pattern of those who were consistently more engaged than others.  I resorted to giving students spots on the carpet as to have more control over who was partner talking.  This allowed me to partner model students with those who needed the modeling.  What it didn't allow was student choice, further eliminating student ownership of the activity.
This year I plan on using "Partner Sticks".  Donna Whyte explains them as an easy way to let students choose their partner with guidance in making the best choice.  She explained that students would come into her room and partner up their stick with a friend they wanted to "Turn and Talk" with that day. Donna would monitor this choice and step in as needed.  This way of partner choice allowed student buy-in and teacher discretion.
Stay tuned for a picture of the "Partner Stick Station" in my classroom.

I could go on for days about the great ideas Donna Whyte shared.  These were just two of my favorites.  I encourage you to visit her site to get more ideas for your classroom!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

My New Hobby

 As the beginning of the year approaches, I tend to replay year beginnings of the past in my mind.  Setting up my classroom, buying new supplies, and back to school workshops!  I know we've all attended a workshop that has started with the infamous icebreaker, "Share an interesting fact about yourself."  As soon as I hear these words my nerves build with anticipation as I  feel myself scrounging for something new to say. This year I already know what I'd like to say,
  "I've been inspired to blog!"  
  "Who inspired me?" you ask 
The hundreds of other elementary teachers who find small moments of time in their busy day to share their best ideas on a blog. I've admired these educators over the years and have made it a personal goal to join the community of educational bloggers.  A special thanks to Christina over at "School Daisies"  for pushing me to get started!  I invite you to follow me through my adventures as an educator as I add "chatter" to the world of educational blogs.