Welcome to my blog!

In my first grade class we would call this page a "Work in Progress" I have recently discovered the world of blogs and I have found it very interesting. I can't believe I am starting my own blog. (I have no clue what I'm doing.") But, I'm very excited. So, for now this is a Work in Progress. Hopefully, you'll come back and check the ongoing progress.

Zero the Hero Day 40

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Need Help Getting Organized? Check out...

Have you been over to Primary Graffiti recently? Before adding the latest creation on TpT Mrs. Saoud has decided to give away 2 of her newly created data notebooks to some lucky bloggers! So, if this sounds interesting to you (and why wouldn't it?) get on over there to see how to enter! Good luck!

Another Giveaway...

Head over to A Teeny Tiny Teacher to enter her first giveaway. It's always fun to check out blogs and possibly win something!!  I enjoy reading her blog because she writes the way she is thinking. Lots of fun!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

B is for Books using the Alphabet

It's time to teach the alphabet! Alphabet activities can be used across the curriculum as well as grade levels. It's not just for PK-Kinders! Over at Mrs. Parker's there's an alphabet party taking place! Come have some fun and share ways to teach the alphabet! I arrived a little late for the party so I'll just share some ideas.
When I think of the alphabet I think about alphabet books. Not the traditional ones with A is for apple and Z is for zebra.  I love Jerry Pallotta alphabet books. They are filled with humor and researched facts about various topics like the ocean, reptiles, furry animals, birds, and flowers.
In my classroom we love to read all kinds of alphabet books. Often they are read when we are beginning a unit, such as plants, or at the end of the unit to help stimulate a culminating project.
We create class alphabet books as well as individual and small group alphabet books. Stayed tuned for some examples. (Most of my things are at school.)

Be sure to check out Mrs. Parker's blog as well as Jerry Pallotta's website.
Here are a couple of his books.


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Time for a Book Blog Hop!!

I love children's books so naturally I was thrilled to see that Mrs. Mccumbee was having a book blog hop!  In preparing for the upcoming school year she was thinking about books from her childhood that "spoke" to her. I have many. Make Way for Ducklings has always been an all time favorite. I remember my mother reading it and it was a book checked out at the library numerous times. It takes place in one of my favorite places, Boston. Another childhood favorite is Katy and the Big Snow. Growing up in the snowbelt I loved the way that Virginia Lee Burton took this snowplow through the town to help everybody dig out.


When I was in 3rd grade I remember Mrs. Mileham reading to us everyday from a chapter book. I loved this time of day. I will never forget two of the books she read to us. One was Charlotte's Web and the other one was A Cricket in Time's Square


These are just a few of my favorite books. Be sure to join the book blog hop. I'm anxious to see what you remember!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Check Out this Blog I Found...

Have you checked out First Grade Pandamonium yet? Well, if you haven't you should. Amy has developed a
First Grade Reading Packet for her students. I can't wait to see it all. Sounds like a great idea. 

Friday, July 22, 2011

Books, Books, Books...On Sale!!

Check out these books I found on sale yesterday!! While I was at Books-A-Million I found books that didn't cost me a million. In all, I got all of these books(18) for $61.00.
The hardbacks were drastically reduced and most of the paperbacks were "Buy 1, Get 1 Free".

                                              The hardbacks ranged between $4.97-$6.97. 

I purchased multiple copies of some books for small groups and a copy of titles to add to ones I already own. 

                       These were buy 1 book for $2.97 and get one for free.

Felt it was time to get a new copy of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (but for only $2.97!).  I did pay full price for one book- The Best Book to Read. 

        So, if you're near a Books-A-Million I would suggest you check it out to see if you can find some great deals like I did! Happy Reading!!

                                               Here's a list of the books I bought: 
                         The Best Book to Read  by Debbie Bertram & Susan Bloom
               Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day  by Judith Viorst
                          Animals should definitely not wear clothing by Judi Barrett
                          Sun and Moon  Become a Space Explorer by Rosalind Mist
                           Annie and Snowball and the Cozy Nest by Cynthia Rylant
                         Henry and Mudge Under the Yellow Moon by Cynthia Rylant
                             Henry and Mudge in the Sparkle Days by Cynthia Rylant
                    I really wonder WHAT I'm growing (Charlie & Lola series) by lauren child
                                   Say Cheese! (Charlie & Lola series) by lauren child
                                                          Oliva  by Ian Falconer
                                          Miss Smith Reads Again!  by Michael Garland
                                       Big Chickens Fly the Coop  by Leslie Helakoski 
                                        Carmine- A Little More Red  by Melissa Sweet

An Oldie But a Goodie

I love celebrating the 100th day of school with my students. One of the great things I found was an old School House Rock video. This past year it was no longer available on Youtube. But, yea...I found it again.
Zero the Hero...Zero the Hero

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Birthdays, Birthdays, Birthdays...yea!!

I don't know about you, but I love birthdays! After looking at so many blogs I feel like I am one of the oldest blogging. Guess what? Age doesn't matter!! I LOVE BIRTHDAYS (just ask my family and friends). Well, over at Mrs. Tabb's Just Another Day in First Grade she is having a birthday celebration with some great birthday giveaways! The deadline is today, so get over there and check out her blog and the cool birthday treats! Happy Birthday to everybody! (It's somebody's birthday somewhere...)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Pary, Party, Party!

Who doesn't like to celebrate a party?  That's what I would like to know. This comment sounds like something one of my favorite characters would say. That's right...Junie B.Jones! Well, I just discovered a great blog over at Peace, Love and Learning where Donna is celebrating birthdays in a big way. She's giving away freebies and inviting you to come over and visit! So...if you like birthdays as much as I do go on over and check out Donna's blog. Happy Birthday!!

My Favorite Books...So many, so hard to choose...

Wow! Another linky party and it's about my favorite things...books! I love to read all kinds of books, especially childrens' books. Be sure to go to Runde's Room linky party so you can share you favorite books as well.
Some of my Favorite Books
Favorite Books Growing Up would include:
Make Way for Ducklings
Katy and the Big Snow
Green Eggs and Ham
Nancy Drew
Harry the Dirty Dog
Winnie the Pooh
Francis (series)

Favorite Authors
Bill Peet
Kevin Henkes
Robert McCloskey
Virginia Lee Brown
Helen Lester
Robert Munsch
Tomie dePaola
Eric Carle
Leo Lionni

Favorite Books
Junie B. Jones series
The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree
My Great Aunt Arizonia
Wooray for Wodney
Tops and Bottoms
Fancy Nancy
The Jolly Postman                                                           

(Note: I'm currently on vacation. Can't wait to get home and find the titles of books I know should be on my list. Therefore, this is a "Work in Progress")

Friday, July 8, 2011

Top Ten Things to Know About Me

Mrs. Owens' linky party is about us! Getting to know each other has been really interesting plus it's a great opportunity to check out new websites. So here it goes...

Top Ten Things to Know About Me

  • I can hardly believe it but I just completed my 26th year of teaching!! (I tell people I started when I was 5). Most of these years have been in first grade which is my passion.  I love teaching first grade. I have wanted to be a teacher for as long as I can remember.
  • I love water of any kind and one of my favorities is the beach. I am so lucky to live right by the beach.
  • My family is very special to me. Although I am single and have no children of my own I am very close to my brother and his family. I consider myself to be very lucky.
  • My favorite sports' teams are St. Louis Cardinals (where I was born), Buffalo Sabres and Buffalo Bills (where I grew up nearby), and Mount Union Purple Raiders (where I went to school.) I love watching sports.
  • One of my passions is reading. I tend to read fictional books that take place on the coast and of course I love childrens' books. I love to read them and share them.
  • I enjoy going to the movies and watching movies whether it's by myself or with family and friends. I love classics, dramas, romantic comedies, westerns. (Be sure to check out my web for movies about teachers. I wanted to do a linky party but I am still new to this. Would love to get your input.)
  • Traveling is something I have done my entire life. Camping, conferences, visiting friends, discovering new places. I have been lucky to have visited Europe, Canada, and a large part of the US, as well as the Bahamas. I love riding trains, flying, and driving my own car. (I do not like to ask for directions)
  • I enjoy pretending and acting with my students. Well, I'll just say it...I like to act and perform in silly skits. I enjoy having fun with my kids.
  • I love to play games. In fact I just spent the last 2 days with my brother playing silly board games at our family cabin. No internet, no phone (except the cell), and no t.v. Just silliness, talking, and playing!
  • The last thing you should know about me is my name. Most people misspell my last name, my nickname is the name of a bird! When I was growing up some friends came up with Bigbird because I am very tall.
Hope you've enjoy getting to know me a little bit better. Be sure to go to Mrs. Owen's site to link up.
If you time stick around to check out movies and books right here.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Lights, Camera, and.....Action!!! Time to get the popcorn out!

While driving in the car yesterday for 11 hours I was thinking of many things. I started thinking about movies (which I love) and more especially movies about or centered around teachers. I was thinking of "Good Teacher" movies, whereby the teachers portrayed went outside the box and/or influenced their students. Here are some of my favorite teacher  movies. What movies have you seen with teachers?

#1  Dead Poet's Society
       Love this movie! Robin Williams' character is so inspiring!

#2   Conrack
         This movie takes place across the water from me. It comes from the book How Wide is the Water? by Pat Conroy. Amazing how one teacher can influence so many. (Note: If you've never read the book put it on your list!)
#3 Mona Lisa Smiles
      Julia Roberts portrays a woman ahead of her time. She displays passion for her students and her teaching.  
#4  Mr. Holland's Opus
       This is an incredible moving about teaching, love, and dreams. It gets me everytime I watch it!
#5 To Sir, With Love
      An incredible movie about a teacher (portrayed by Sidney Poitier) who tries to make a difference in the lives of students. Great story, acting, and music!!    
#6  The Miracle Worker
       The inspirational story of Helen Keller and her teacher Annie Sullivan. Incredible performances and a classic among movies. Makes you appreciate those teachers who came before us and made such a difference for so many!


I know I'm going to think of some more movies as soon as I post this. Looking forward to seeing movies that you enjoy involving teachers. 

#7   Good-bye Mr. Chips
      A classic tale of teaching. A great story.      


Monday, July 4, 2011

Response to Comments

Thanks for your comments! You are my first comments on my blog! Very exciting! I think I'm going to like this blogging. My passion is childrens' books. I was actually thinking about having a "Top Ten" list dedicated to childrens' books based on theme or genre. Hope you come back to visit. I will continues to visit you both as well. Thanks again. Happy 4th!!  Bigbird (Robin)      
Note: Haven't figured out how to respond to comments on my own blog. Again, this is a "Work in Progress"

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Party Time for Books (Always!)

I recently went to a wonderful local children's bookstore, which is always a dangerous place for myself and my wallet. After seeing lots of new books my eye caught this book. Now, the real reason my eye caught this particular book was the name of the owl. My last name is Berkeley. Most of the time people spell the name wrong. Well, as it turns out the book is a gem!! After taking a picture walk I caught the line, "Berkeley Barn Owl was a hoot!" My friend shopping with me looked at me and I said, "I have to get this!!"
I have read the book and I LOVE IT!!! It's a great story for the beginning of the school year or for sharing with children the fear of facing new situations. I am looking forward to sharing this with my students!!

If you enjoyed this preview of books to share with children in the beginning of the year you should head over to Mrs.Parker's Read Aloud Books for Fall Linky Party.
I am looking forward to sharing lots of other fantastic books for the fall!

Zero the Hero Returns! Day 20