Wednesday, February 27, 2013

My First Grader Has a Boyfriend! Ah!

I promise I will be much better about blogging once these next two months are over. We had our school-wide oratorical event today which basically meant no real teaching happened today. Then report cards are due next week. The week after that is parent conference week. So...these next few weeks are going to busy. I hope to at least keep up with some linky parties though!

But! I am here because I'd like to get some ideas from my blogging friends for how to respond to this. I was speaking with a parent today and she mentioned to me that her daughter (one of my students) has been talking about having a boyfriend (another student in my class). It's nothing serious or anything but I suppose it's enough to raise their eyebrows (as she stated). She was wondering if there was any sort of script to use to discuss this topic with their kid. I couldn't really think of anything to say and I honestly think it is all harmless but maybe you veteran teachers out there have some advice as to how the parents can approach this with their daughter.

If you have some suggestions, please leave them in the comments! Thanks! :)

Friday, February 22, 2013

Five for Friday

Now that this crazy week has been over (school going through quality review, oratorical rehearsal, Lunar New Year celebration and parade) hopefully I can get back to my regular blogging schedule! Today's Friday so it's time for Five for Friday!

Unfortunately, I haven't remembered to take many pictures from this week besides today during our Lunar New Year lessons and celebrations. So most of the pictures will be from that.

1. My one and only non-Lunar New Year related picture. Monday was a holiday so no school! Which means vacation time! Went to the Charles Schulz museum in Santa Rosa with the boyfriend during our Valentine's weekend getaway. You can read more about it here.

2. We started making our snake crafts for our Lunar New Year parade last week by covering toilet paper tubes with tissue paper squares. We finished them this week by putting them together and adding the eyes and tongues. After school, I added the popsicles sticks in so that they became snake puppets. They were so cool looking!

3. Friday was all about Lunar New Year so I had a little fun and taught my kids how to write and count from 1 to 10 in Chinese. They were surprisingly fast at learning the pronunciation and did a very good job!

4. Another activity for Friday...chopstick math! Pick up as many items as you can using ONLY chopsticks in two minutes. Then, count the numbers, represent with tally marks, order them from least to greatest, and show place value. Some of the kids have never used chopsticks before so they came up with some creative ways to pick things up. :)

5. Ended the day and week with our school Lunar New Year parade. I was in charge of organizing the parade this year. I heard from the other parents that we used to have lion dancers come and perform at our parade (we didn't last year) so I went searching for lion dance groups. Contacted three in the local area and didn't get a response. Decided to try a group that's a little farther away and finally got a response! I'm glad we were able to make it work out. The kids LOVED the performance. Hopefully we can keep this going every year!

Okay...almost done with this month because the craziness is not over yet!!! What's happening next week: school oratorical event, math benchmark, Read Across America. The fun just never stops! Don't forget to link up Doodle Bugs Teaching for your Five for Friday post!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Oh No! Memory Slip!

For once it's actually a good thing I don't have many followers. I just found out that the recipe I wrote for the sticky cake is missing some major ingredients! Good thing I was following it to make some sticky cake for my kids tomorrow. Realized the mistake and called my mom for the recipe to fill in the blanks. Aaaah so embarassing! But it has now been fixed so all is good. And I now have some sticky cake to give the kids tomorrow during our Lunar New Year luncheon. :)

Here's a sneak peek of what's to come tomorrow!!!

For our Lunar New Year parade tomorrow! So excited! I was even able to get a professional lion dance team to come perform! Tomorrow is going to be a great day. :)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Oh no! I missed my Valentine's Day and Five for Friday post! I have an excuse though! Well, I was simply exhausted after Valentine's Day so didn't feel like blogging and thought I would wait until Friday. But then Friday, the boyfriend came over and my weekend vacation started so that blog post never happened. So here's a quick recap of what happened last week AND during the long weekend!

Valentine's Day overview:
Top Left: the goodies I gave my kiddos
Top Right: Valentine's Centers all morning
Bottom Left: Chocolates for the teacher!
Bottom Right: A rose from a student!
Love Butterfly!
We wrote about what love is. Thought this one was hilarious!
We also started creating our Lunar New Year art project to display at our school parade this week. Toilet paper tube snakes!

They turned out pretty cool huh! We will connect them this week!

And now...onto my weekend vacation! As a late Valentine celebration, we went on a short vacation to Santa Rosa, California, only a 1.5 hour drive away. A cute little place with a lot of things to do including...

Going on a Safari!!

A giraffe walked by us!

We got a close-up visit from some ostriches. 
Visiting the Charles Schulz Museum!!

This was created by a whole bunch of Peanuts comic strips!
Aaah!! So cute!!
Visiting the Pacific Coast Air Museum!!
This is one of the first responder jets when 9/11 happened.
One last place to mention is where we had breakfast...
Can you believe this food was cooked by teenage cooking apprentices?? Yep! We went to Worth Our Weight, a non-profit culinary apprentice program. They also don't charge you for the food, your payment is all donation based. A great cause that produces some delicious food! 

If you're ever in the Santa Rosa area, go check these places out! They are all worth it! :)

Okay, now that we're back on schedule I will hopefully be back on my regular blogging schedule too! What exactly is my regular blogging schedule?? Ha! :)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Love Notes Link Up!

I love surfing teacher blogs and finding fun linky parties to link up with. I stumbled upon this Love Notes Link Up linky party at Literacy and Laughter and am excited to be joining!
"Lovely List"
Name: Pam
Grade you Teach: First
State: California
Birthday: May 12th
Favorite Colors: Blue
Lucky Number: 12
Favorite Subject to Teach: Used to be Math, now I think I'm starting to really enjoy teaching phonics!
Go to Snack: 
TV Show: NCIS, Glee, Smash, Grey's Anatomy
Last Movie You Watched: Lincoln
Music You are Loving Right Now: All the songs we sing in class!
Always shopping at: Target
Word of the day: Great!

"Love Links"

a blog you are loving right now...
I only read teacher blogs. The first one that showed up on my reader feed!
The Teacher Wife

your Valentine or February pin board:

a product you adore:
My Purple Cow laminator!

"We'd all love to know..."

What are your favorite hobbies or what do you enjoy doing during your free time?
When there is ample time, I love to cook, even if it means throwing things into a slow cooker. But if there is time, I definitely love  

Your favorite vacation destination?
My home country...Taiwan!!

The best advice you've been given?
Don't take things personally. As a teacher who is told a lot of positive and negative things, it is definitely something I have to remind myself of once in a while. 

Most rewarding part of teaching?
Seeing the growth. First grade is definitely the year where you really see it, especially in reading and writing!! 

What are you known for?
At school, I am known to some colleagues as the "Snack Queen". I guess I have a lot of snacks or eat a lot of snacks? Not quite sure how that happened...

2 random facts:
I'm not a big chocolate fan. A couple bites of it and then I'm done. I got tons of chocolate from my students last year during the holidays which usually ended up back home with the parents. So this year I told my kids I like skittles. And now I have TONS of skittles. @@

I am the oldest of three. My youngest brother and I are 12 years apart. 

Happy reading! Tomorrow is Valentine's Day which means...another day of centers! I will end this post with a picture of the valentine we created with our 5th grade buddies today! (so cute!)

Monday, February 11, 2013

Lunar New Years Treat - Sticky Cake

So Chinese/Lunar New Years started yesterday. For those who don't know, Chinese New Years Eve is when the big feast normally happens. Traditionally, there are certain dishes you have to eat during the feast because they represent something like good fortune or luck for the new year.

One of the dishes that is traditionally eaten is this dessert dish known as sticky cake ("nian gao" in Chinese). Yesterday, I learned from my mother how to make it so I made it to share with the staff. The staff really enjoyed it so I think I will make it for my class when we have our Lunar New Year luncheon next Friday. It is very easy to make so I thought I'd share the recipe with everyone in case they want to make it to go with their Lunar New Year lessons. Warning: You will need to go to an Asian market for some of the ingredients (I've included pictures for your reference).

Red Bean Sticky Cake Recipe
1 stick of butter (8 oz) melted
2 tsps of baking powder
1/2 cup to 1 cup of sugar (brown sugar works too)
3 eggs
2 cups of milk
1 bag of rice flour (16 oz)
 1 bag of red bean paste (400g)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 
2. Mix the rice flour, sugar, and baking powder together.
3. Add the melted butter, eggs, and milk to the dry mixture.
4. Pour half of the mixture into a 9x13 inch pan for the bottom layer (make sure it is spread evenly). Put it in the oven and bake it for 20 minutes.
5. Take the pan out of the oven and spread the red bean paste evenly on the sticky cake. Pour the rest of the mixture on top of the red bean paste to create the top layer. Put the pan back into the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes. Poke a stick through to check if it's done. If the stick comes out clean it's done!
6. Take the pan out and it's all done! Serve warm. Serving size is around 26 pieces. 

Don't have a picture of the whole product because the staff devoured it before I  could remember to take one!
Just another thing to add to my Lunar New Years lesson plan. If you need more ideas, please check out my Lunar New Years Idea linky party for more ideas. If you have lessons to share, it's not too late to link up! :)

Last but not least...I have a new product! If you are currently teaching the addition strategy of making 10 to add and need something that goes along with Valentine's Day (which is exactly why I created this), this is the perfect product for you!
Click on the image above to see it at my TpT store!
Not sure how many people would want this but let's see! First three people to comment get this product for free! Please sure to leave your email address in your comment! :)

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Five for Friday

I already wrote a post on Friday for the 100th day of school so I had to postpone Five for Friday to a Saturday post.

1. Our terrariums are growing like crazy! Too bad all our living organisms are underground and can't be seen. At least none of the earthworms have died yet. Just about all of them died within a week last year. 

2. Dyeing pasta for for the 100th day of school!

3. We went on a field trip to the Oakland Museum of California on Wednesday. When we were there, we took a workshop and learned about ground painting. The kids got to create their own paint and everything!

4. Thursday's art lesson continued our unit on textures. Since Lunar New Year is coming up, the subject of our artwork is the dragon. After tracing the dragon template, the students used patterns to create textures. Some of them turned out really great!

5. Friday was the 100th day of school! Enough said. :)

Don't forget to link up too! :)

Friday, February 8, 2013

It's the 100th Day!

Today was the 100th day of school! Exciting day for the kids. Today is probably the only day they didn't mind counting the numbers of days of school multiple times different ways during calendar time. We counted by 10s, then 5s, and 1s!!!
Made on Vistaprint last year!
Gifts to the students
We started the day with 100 day project presentations. Some of the students came up with some really creative stuff!
100 goldfishes in the shape of a goldfish!
100 dogs (stenciled in)

100 pictures from first grade (I'm in there somewhere!)
 After the presentations, we went into centers!

I dyed the pasta at home!
100 day crowns!
The students had a blast! We went to the computer lab after and did some typing practice followed by some activities with a 100 chart on Then we ended the day with a video of Emily's First 100 Days of School.

Great way to end the week! :)

How did you or are going to celebrate the 100th day of school?