Presidents and Pop Rocks

Last week was a big week in first grade! We had a mock election, ate pop rocks, and celebrated Valentine’s Day.  I was exhausted on Friday!

Our next ELA unit is based on historical figures and we are going to be reading about several of our Presidents so I didn’t want to do too much information on our Presidents to prepare for President’s Day so instead we had our own election! We read 3 different books about a few candidates running for the job.  They loved it! Image

We discussed our three candidates and what qualities did they possess to make a good president.  I then broke students into groups to work on creating campaign posters.  I assigned each group a candidate to make sure we had a fair display.  



I loved that my students asked for the books to look back and find some good reasons they would make a great President.  It was a proud moment!  The next day students created their Voting Identification cards.  I let them look at my driver’s license to see what a real ID looked like.  I did have one student concerned that we were making “fake IDs”. I explained to him they were just pretend.  He felt a bit better. haha 🙂 I also told students it was their job to keep track of their ID so when voting day came they could vote. No ID, No vote! All of them had their ID! Amazing they kept track of this piece of paper for 4 days but pencils come and go so easily 🙂


On voting day, they showed their ID to me and then entered the voting booth.  


As I read and tallied the votes, students kept track on their own graph at their seat.  Unfortunately, there was a tie between myself and Duck.  I guess you win some, you lose some. 






In writing, we’ve been discussing using details and words to express emotions and senses.  On Monday, I had a surprise bag waiting on my desk.  ALL Morning students questioned the mystery bag and during writing we discussed words to describe the bag.  Students completed a graphic organizer and made a prediction of what could possibly be in the bag.  Many students guessed a puppy, they were a bit disappointed. 🙂


On Tuesday, the exciting part: opening the mystery bag to find…..POP ROCKS!!! They were so excited!! I discussed while we were eating the POP ROCKS we were going to talk about what we felt, heard, smelt, and tasted.  It was a bit crazy when they first put them in their mouth.  I’ve never heard more laughter in my classroom! It was perfect! We then began throwing out words to describe the experience.




After each day, we put our graphic organizer in our writing folder to use later. On Wednesday, we discussed smilies.  I introduced the word briefly but mainly talked about what the POP ROCKS reminded us of.  I was blown away by some of their ideas!


On Thursday, students used the previous days’ graphic organizers to fill out a template to describe the experience. We did one together and students had the option of using my words or looking at words from their papers to add.


On Friday, they were given a blank writing paper and I told them to write about the experience.  They did such a great job! I love seeing the progress in their writing since August! We also made cute little faces to add to the writing.  




Feelings and Senses

In first grade, we’ve been working on identifying and understanding how words in a story can tell about feelings and senses.  It’s been great that our reading unit ,Winds of Change,  has matched perfectly with our writing trait, Word Choice.  

This week we spent a few days on reading: When Sophie Gets Angry Really Really Angry by: Molly Bang.  My students loved the story! They so easily related it to their own lives.  While we read, we discussed different emotions we saw throughout the story and how the author conveyed the feelings.  

The students then were given a writing prompt to describe the main character, Sophie, in one word.  






The next day we brainstormed how we respond when we are angry.  We’ve been focusing on using ‘million dollar words’ in our writing so as we brainstormed we did our best to use those words.  I gave the students the opportunity to write about themselves and what happens when they get angry, really, really angry.  They loved it! 







We finished the week with a little Shaving Cream spelling.  They loved reviewing for their spelling test by spelling the words on their desk with shaving cream! 




I am so excited to start our Pop Rock unit this week! They are going to freak out! 🙂 Look for the post next weekend! 


Homemade Bread

My husband and I love bread.  We’ve experimented with a few different kinds of bread so today when he suggested making bread I was all for it.  I did the baking and he took the pictures for me.  We made a great team! 🙂

Homemade Bread:

1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 tablespoons butter 
1 package active dry yeast 
2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups unbleached flour
 nonstick cooking spray 


I used bleached flour and it worked out relatively fine. More details about that later.

1.  Warm up a bowl.  Fill with warm water and then pour out to help warm the bowl.  Prepare yeast according to the yeast packaging. 



2. Make sure you stir to remove all lumps.  Melt butter.  Add melted butter, sugar, milk, and salt to the yeast.  Add 2 cups of the flour and stir.  Begin stirring. Image

3. Add 1/4 cup flour at a time.  Make sure you stir in each 1/4 cup before adding another.  I added 3 of the 1/4 cups.  However, I did transfer my dough from the bowl to my KitchenAid mixer to help get the dough to stick together.  I think I added the flour to quickly. 

4. Knead the dough.  Use flour to spread over countertop and then place dough on top.  Beat and roll the dough for about 10 minutes.  I had my husband step in after 6 minutes because it is exhausting but very therapeutic. 🙂 sporting my Knights spirit-wear. Image

5. Roll dough in a ball.  Place in a bowl that is near a warm area.  Place a towel over the bowl and let it rise for a hour. It should double in size.  After the hour, remove dough and flatten.  Roll up the dough about the size of your bread pan.



After the hour:


Image6. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Enjoy! 🙂


We enjoyed our bread with a strawberry spinach salad and Garlic Butter Spaghetti. My husband gave it all 2 thumbs up and even mentioned it would be great for Flying Pig Week. Whoot!

Bible Bowl/ Super Bowl

Today is the big game! I am not a football fan but I always look forward to the Super Bowl for three reasons: food, commercials, and sweet fellowship with friends.  After this year though, I will need to add one more thing to my list: The Bible Bowl.

I teach a 9th and 10th grade girl Sunday School class with one of my best friends.  We’ve been teaching for a few years now and I really enjoy it.  She decided to have a Bible Bowl this year so we combined classes with the upperclass girls and had a partay!

We played Bible Trivia and the two teams could earn points for answering each question correctly.  I was impressed with some of their knowledge! The girls were also encouraged to bring their favorite breakfast food or treat to share with the group.  It was a great time! The winning team was awarded with their Bible Bowl rings. Image



You can see the love for Harry Potter.  Team Gryffindor won with 53 points.  Team Slytherin had 45 points.  It was a close game.


Tonight for the Super Bowl, I am making a pizza dip and S’mores dip.  Pretty pumped to eat the S’mores dip.  🙂

Breakfast Casserole

My mom has made breakfast casserole for years.  For a few years, I did not enjoy it but in the past four years I realized how crazy I was and now am a big fan!

Breakfast Casserole

1 pound ground sausage

2 cans of crescent rolls

1 block of cream cheese.


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Take one container of crescent rolls and roll it flat out on a pan. Make sure there are no holes between each individual triangle of dough.Image I used a 8×10 baking pan.  Place the pan in the oven to let the first layer start cooking.  You can keep it in the oven between 6-8 minutes.

2. Begin to cook your sausage. When the sausage is completely cooked, mix with block of cream cheese. Image

Image3. Spread sausage and cream cheese mixture over first layer of crescent rolls.  Cover mixture with the other container of crescent rolls. 


4. Bake for about 8-10 minutes until top layer is cooked through and brown. Image


One high school student was rather excited! 🙂Image

Weekly Menu

Every Saturday I search through my pinterest board to find our weekly menu.  My husband and I have recently sat down and seriously discussed our grocery budget.  My goal for this next grocery visit is to have everything I need to make 8 recipes and I plan on having leftovers from about 5 of them.  If all goes as planned (which sometimes it doesn’t), these 8 meals should last about a week and a half before we need to visit the store again and set another menu.

Weekly menu:

Mexican Pizza, rice

Garlic Herb Pasta, salad, bread

Chicken broccoli casserole (of course, its Casserole week on Racheal Ray)

Turkey stuffed Zucchini, veggies

Waffle pizza dippers

Lemon Angel Hair with Chicken and Spinach, salad, bread

Grilled cheese with mozzarella and tomatoes, soup

Autumn chopped salad with chicken

I hope to include some pictures of these delicious recipes! And of course with Super Bowl Sunday I am making s’mores dip and pizza dip. Yum!!


I’ve been wanting to be a “blogger” for awhile now but have never made a big commitment to it.  However, this time is different.  My love for cooking has grown rapidly since May 19, 2012.  I am blessed to have a husband that eats anything and everything so I get to explore different recipes and ethnicities of foods and rarely here a complaint. 


Professionally, I have been teaching for three years and finally feel that I am getting into the “swing of things.” I don’t feel so overwhelmed and have time to let creative ideas flow. 🙂


I use Pinterest to do both of these things successfully and plan to update all my adventures on this blog.