Friday, 30 November 2012

It's here! Winter holiday Teaching Tips and Freebies

Click on the picture to find the link

It's HERE!!!!!!!!
The Winter Holidays Teaching tips and freebies for 2012 compiled by Mrs. Miner, Rachel Lynette and Addie Williams is up on Teachers Pay Teachers.  This is a MUST download. There are all grade levels in the 4 different ebooks, PreK-K Grades 1-2, Grades 3-6 and Grades 7-12. It includes winter holiday teaching tips as well as links to freebies on various pages.

I am pleased to say that my page has been included, check it out!
Look in the Grade 1-2 booklet, on page 21 (I included the title page in the page count)

Happy Holidays, enjoy this AMAZING resource.

Mrs. Dunn

Friday, 23 November 2012

The Liebster Award

UPDATE: Looks like I have been nominated again!! Thanks to Officially a First Grader! See second answer to questions below.
So I was looking through my blog comments this morning, and realized that I have been nominated for a Liebster award from Jayme over at Trendy in Third!! This award is given to up and coming bloggers with 200 or less followers.  Thanks Jayme, how sweet are you. Be sure to check out her blog.

Here are the rules:
1. You must post 11 random things about yourself.
2. Answer the questions that the nominator set for you.
3. Create 11 questions for the people you nominate.
4. Choose 11 other blogs with fewer than 200 followers to nominate and link them in your post.
5. You cannot “tag back” the other blog, but leave a comment on this post with the URL of your Liebster post so I can learn more about you & see who you nominate.

11 Things about me
  1. I do AMAZING impressions of my students. Seriously. I can sound just like them. 
  2. I love to dance. I dance around the house, I dance in my car, I dance in my classroom, I have even danced down grocery store aisles. When no one is looking of course.
  3. I have the best hubby. That’s all there really is to say about that
  4. I love spending time with friends and family, they are so special and important to me.
  5. I went to Iceland and I think it was one of the coolest (figuratively and literally) places I’ve been.
  6. I love Italian food. Lasagna, pasta, really of any kind, and I’m in.
  7. I love my job. A lot. Well, most of the time anyways ;)
  8. In secret I wish I was a ballerina
  9. I play djembe (african) drum, although not very well, just for fun
  10. I have a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever and he is the most amazing snuggly dog ever.
  11. I invent words. Frequently. I think I may even have made a dictionary once that had all the words I’ve made up. Strangely, it seems to be missing...

1. What grade do you currently teach? Have you taught any other grades? I teach grade one. I have also taught a 2/1 and Kindergarten.

2. What is your favorite thing about teaching? Least favorite?
My favourite thing about teaching is the sweet little faces who seem to look at you with adoration no matter what you do and those wow they actually learned something moments. Least favourite is report cards and assessment and paperwork, mountains of paperwork.

3. If your school was donated $25,000, what would you want your principal to purchase?
A projector that attached to my SMARTboard, a HUGE carpet that would actually fit all those squirmy little bodies, and some storage space for the classroom. Principal, are you reading this ;)

4. What is your favorite TV show?
Hmmmm, I like Being Erica, How I Met Your Mother and SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE. (of course)

5. If you could go back in time, what era would you choose to visit?
1950s, hellooooo flapper costumes.

6. What is your school mascot?

7. How many kids are in your class?
23 beautiful little people, although that changes on a week by week basis.

8. What is your current obsession? 
It seems like blogging and creating things for TPT is what I do in my spare time. Oh and pinteresting. A lot.  

9. What is your idea of relaxing after a crazy day of teaching?
Having a bath, reading a book, blogging, cooking dinner with the hubby.

10. Do you have a favorite holiday treat or drink?
Well, I really like eggnog, and hot apple cider, and basically anything baking that my mom makes. Yum!

11. Heels or flats?
Flats for school, heels for fun times!!


1.  What do you think your main strength is as a teacher?
I am really energetic and innovative, I love to learn new things about how to do my job better
2.  What do you think your weakness is as a teacher?
Communication and dealing with parents.
3.  How do you balance work and family?
Always find time to go out on a date, do something fun with family. Trying to prioritize and not do everything.
4.  If you could have any talent (that you don't have), what would it be?
Singing, I wish I could sing really well
5.  How long have you been blogging?
I have been blogging since July 2012
6.  What made you decide to start blogging?
All of the other amazing blogs and being able to share with a wider community.
7.  How many hours, on average, do you spend each day devoted to your job?
Oh boy, that's tricky, depends on the time of year of course. Report card time way more. I put in a regular 9 hour day at school, and then often come home and work on something for at least an hour or two. Not always though.
8.  Do you have a hobby or what do you do to relax?
Dancing, reading a book, cooking
9.  What is your favorite word work activity?
Cookie sheet magnets
10.How do you use technology in the classroom?
I have a SMART board that I use everyday, all day. I also have a microphone and FM system that I use to talk during instruction time.
11.How often do you cook during the week?
My hubby and I cook together, and we usually make something different every second night, and then have the leftovers.

Questions for blogs I nominated from First Grade fun with Mrs. Dunn
  1. What is your favourite grade to teach and why?
  2. Are you a “wait in line for 6 hours for 50% off” or “pay full price and get in and out” kind of person?
  3. What is your favourite book to read?
  4. What is your favourite Holiday and what do you like most about it?
  5. What is your favourite meal? 
  6. What genre of TV or movie do you like the most?
  7. If you could be an animal, what would it be and why?
  8. What is your favourite subject to teach?
  9. Who is your role model?
  10. If you could have a superpower what would it be?
  11. What is the best date you have ever been on?
Blogs I nominated!
The Whole Wheat Class

Please check out these blogs, they are awesome! And thanks again to Jayme for nominating me!
Mrs. Dunn

Thursday, 22 November 2012


 I got this super cute idea from Mrs. Knights Smartest Artists. We sponge painted the background and then did some first, next last writing to go with our snowmen. They turned out super cute!

Mrs. Dunn

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Teaching tip linky

I am linking up with Miss Kindergarten for a teaching tip linky party. I wanted to share some classroom organization ideas, that I may have blogged about way back but I forget, so I am going to post them again. I organize all of the students things in bins at the front of their table, with labels and tags so they know where everything is supposed to go. 
For organizing handouts and whatnot, here is my system; each child has a job that they are assigned to for a couple of weeks. Each job has a magnet on it and sticks to their table.
Hands out papers to their group.

 Can read in the reading corner during silent reading time. 
Helps their group to walk quietly in the hallway with reminders.
Hands out glue sticks and scissors if the group needs them, and they are all in bins at the front of the table.

Mrs. Dunn

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Assessment, Report Cards and Mark books OH MY

With report cards coming up, I figured my next series of posts would be on assessment ideas that I use in my classroom.
We have changed reporting systems this year quite a lot so an update of my ever changing mark book was in order.
Today I am going to only write about work habits; how I keep track and what it looks like on the report card.
We have five work habit categories, and then students receive 4-1, 4 being the highest and 1 being the lowest. I know a lot of teachers say that they innately know where there students are and don't assess for this, but I just can't help myself, I have to have a mark for it.

I use a weekly assessment to tell parents how their children are doing in math, with sight words as well as work habits. You can find this how was my week document here. It's a freebie! This way there are no surprises with the report card as little "Jonnie boy" has had 2's the entire two months in works independently, so there are no questions about the report card

Then I record in my mark book by just putting a check mark in the correct column. When it comes time for report cards, I just go down the list and mark in the number that they have the most check marks in. Pretty simple!
Mrs. Dunn

Monday, 5 November 2012

Remembrance Day

For me Remembrance Day is so much more than "a day off work". My hubby went to Afghanistan in 2010 for 7 months and has been in the reserves for over 11 years.
It is so important that we take the time on November 11 to remember those who have died for our freedom and those who continue to serve today. Please remember to take a minute of silence at 11 o'clock on November 11.

My kiddos are doing the Remembrance Day celebration at school, and so we did some BEAUTIFUL artwork to decorate the front of the celebration inspired by the incredible Gail Bartel. She is just so amazing. Anyways, here is how ours turned out!
Mrs. Dunn

Saturday, 3 November 2012

November Currently

So I am linking up... for the first time.. with the crazy cool Farley at Oh' Boy Fourth Grade.. for a currently post. YAY!
Today was a dance around the house kind of day. As I was cleaning. Ok, maybe instead of cleaning, but I thought about cleaning while I was doing it, so that counts right?
Report cards are due in about two weeks. SERIOUSLY. I cannot believe how fast the year is going. So I guess I should be doing that, and not blogging. But I think I will just keep blogging.
I don't know if it is the all over the place weather or what, but I have been so sore lately. Nothing that some yoga couldn't fix though.
On our social studies CD, there is a song about garbage. When I turn it on, the kids perk up, and start cleaning up immediately. So that is one of my favourite songs in the classroom!
Mrs. Dunn