Friday, September 26, 2014

Five for Friday!

  Seeing as I didn't get around to blogging earlier this week, I thought I would link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching, and Five For Friday!
Where to start?  I guess Sunday is good.  It came too soon, but the weather was oh, so nice.  My girlie and I went and played some soccer - and by playing soccer I mean, kicking the ball around and resting for a bit.  It was fun.  In this photo, she thought she was being cute and tried to get me with the ball as I was taking the picture.  Ha!  Little did she know I have ninja reflexes - and that ball was sent flying (okay maybe not flying, but it didn't hit me).
 This week, I wanted to get something up on their writing wall.  So we wrote about the steps to make a PB&J sandwich.  My plan was to bring in the real items to make a sandwich in front of them, but I forgot - doh!  But thankfully WikiHow saved the day.  We were able to watch a video after we discussed what we needed, and then we wrote the steps together.  They are so yummy looking!
 This week, we also had BTS night.  It was late this year, but I had all but 3 parents show.  We had a lot to go over, and let me tell you, it was nice to only have one grade level to talk about!
 As I was walking out to recess, I saw my kiddos cubbies and I couldn't help but love the way they looked!  I have 2 very responsible 5th graders that come in during their recess and help me.  OH. MY. GOODNESS.  I am so thankful for them.  I can give them directions ONCE, and they go!  They help me so much!!
 And lastly, my kiddos have been loving their Language Notebooks.  They are loving making, sorting, gluing, etc. the different activities.  We even went over how we can use these when we are waiting for the next activity - they were floored!  "You mean, we can do the sorting over and over?" YES!  Nothing better!
I am so looking forward to the weekend and finally putting together some of the items that are on my TPT list.  Wishing you all a restful weekend!  And Happy Friday!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

What a week!

 Hello there!  I am writing this on Sunday night and I am just finishing up lessons for the upcoming week.  I don't know about you, but I am all kinds of shuffling things around to make it ALL fit.  Sigh.  We haven't even started out RTI or ELD pull-outs.  But, I have a new plan this week, and I hope that it works:)  Well, at least if it is better:)

  I am proud of my littles.  We made it to 8 minutes of stamina!  Wooohooo!  The problem is, fitting in the Daily 5, well, Daily! LOL!  We do it, but not in its formal setting, and the kids are asking for it, so I moved some things around that will hopefully help us.

I know, we've only written down 3 days, but that's my fault.  They are doing really well.
Since I had to change things up quite a bit, our time to choose books daily has gone out the door.  Insert this idea I got from Instagram.  I am not even sure whom it was, but I quickly took a photo of it and recreated it to fit my classroom.  We started our shopping days this past week, and it has worked so well.  The kiddos remember more than I do, so that is even better.
I have to tell you, this next thing, I have been meaning to put together since the start of school.  I really just never got around to it.  My kiddos needed somewhere to put their reading bags.  Their desks just weren't working.  So I headed to Wal*Mart and purchased these crates, I had wanted black, but there weren't 8 of them, so since pink matches, I went with it.  I bought the baskets at the Dollar Tree.  I put a label for each table and now their bags fit perfectly inside.  It is also much easier to have my 5th grade helpers change their books (with my guidance of course).  
Another big change was my direction board.  I had my purchased ones that I loved, but were just too small for my kiddos to see, and just didn't have the right photos for my class.  So I made my own.  Not sure if you can see (if you click on the photo you will be able to see better), Morning work has a girl with a sun behind her.  Then, I added a photo of myself for the kiddos to see me next.  I used photos that were similar to what we have in our class, and it has made all the difference, they know exactly what to do.  I even put a the work that they are supposed to be working on, for those that are not sure what activity they should be doing.  I have quite a few more to add, but so far, I love this change.
Our stamp center is working so much nicer since I bought these ice cube trays and placed the alphas inside.  I added the letters in sharpie at the botton of each cube, and that helps the kiddos know where they go.  I will be honest, this center is ALWAYS picked up, but the stamps are not always where they are supposed to go, and that's okay.  I have a helper put them back, or even my 5th grade helpers do it.  It works.

One of the first class activities we did was our name activity.  They have been sitting in a nice neat pile waiting for me to put them up, and I finally did.  This is only one side of the class and they are back to back with more.  I have 29 kiddos, so space is limited.
Last weekend I put together a non-fiction newsletter/reading about 9/11.  My kiddos love the real photos of these newsletters and I thought we could use something that was appropriate for their age.  That is how this little product came about.  My kiddos had so many questions and we learned about Patriotism.  I think that even though it is a tragedy that happened, we need to inform our kiddos of how we coped, and what we are doing to keep them safe.  We made the Patriot Day watches and showed our USA pride.
If you would like to see the product, click on the photo and it will take you to my store.
 My daughter and I have a tradition of taking a photo every Friday before school. They can range from happy, exhausted, silly, to all at the same time.  We did this every Friday last year and I made a collage that I LOVE!  So here is our picture.
And I didn't get a great picture, like last year, but it was crazy sock day!  Wooohoo!  We ended the day with a sock hop and I was laughing so hard at these crazy socks!  Check out the toes!  It was our own personal, K & 1, GONoodle time:)
Whew!  What a week!  I am not sure I am ready for this one, but morning is coming up fast, so I am off to bed!  Have a great week!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Back to school!

  Hello there!  Happy almost first complete week of school.  I was talking to the secretary at my school and we were saying how nice that is was a 3-day weekend (last week).  And I said school should start gradually, one day a week, then two, three, and so on.  It would make the transition for the kiddos AND me that much easier.  Do you agree? LOL!  That being said, I must say that I love my new kiddos.  I am so happy to have an entire class that is first grade.  Don't get me wrong, the combo class last year was really a dream class and taught ME a lot.  But there is something to be said about an entire class that is in the same grade!

  Let's see, here are some things we did.  The basic back to school activities.  We started with my First Grade Smarty pack, which they loved! I thought I had taken a photo of them working on this, but I was obviously too busy teaching/modeling to do so;)

We also did some graphing of how we get to school, favorite colors, etc.(FYI, I just spent 20 minutes trying to look through my files looking for the back to school pack I got it from.  Turns out, I have like 25 BTS packs! Not really, but a lot and I couldn't find it).
Here are my two Melonhead kiddos gluing how they get to school.  They did pretty well.  I gave directions first, and they followed, who knew???

  Don't mind the poor cutting skills (mine, not the kiddos).  We counted and then recounted until it all made sense.  Our first graph of the year!

Ahhh...Journals.  My kiddos love them.  I mean so much that they came in the first day of school asking where they were (thank you kindergarten teachers).  I actually did not start on the first day (shocking, for me), but we just had too many procedures to go over.  So day 2, it was.  I created this set of journals last year, and I love them (if I do say so myself, LOL).  There is a topic every other day, with the second day always being free write.  We started with a topic (which I normally do not do (but somehow, the machine messed my journals up;))  So I went over the basics and we added the date together, underlined words in the topic, and talked about what a good journal entry looks like.  I then created my own as a model and they were off.  They were to write 3 or more sentences, and they did pretty well.  I could quickly see where they were with writing.
(click on the journal picture if you would like to take a look).  Now during journal time, I do something that many do not like to do.  I read EVERY.SINGLE.JOURNAL.  yep.  I do.  It is the only way I have found that I can keep up with how my kiddos are doing and what my focus needs to be.  I do not however, pick apart each entry.  I focus on differnt things.  It is a lengthy process that I should get down on this here blog...one day.

Before I go, I thought I would end it with an organizational tip that I picked up from The Clutter-Free Classroom.  She organized all those donated zip bags into a cardboard box and then stored it.  I loved the idea when I saw it, but then forgot about it.  I really don't need to find another place to store a box(I am out of space), but then I thought of something.  I have this 3 drawer cart by the sink in my room.  I decided to empty the middle drawer and use it to store my ziploc bags.  We only ask for 2 sizes, quart and gallon, so I divided it in half.  Not quite in half, but you know what I mean.  And they ALL fit!  Ahh, so much easier grabbing a bag for items.  And no hidden ziploc boxes around the room.

  Here is to hopping that this next week is a good one!!

Monday, September 1, 2014

September Currently

Ahhh..it's been a while since I linked up with Currently over at Oh Boy! I just finished a product and before I head to bed, I wanted to link up!

Let's see..

Listening...
   My daughter is enjoying her last night of staying up late and she is watching youtube videos on playing Minecraft - I, KNOW!  I am familiar with the accents and lingo at this point!  LOL!  It is a great way to make me sleepy!
Loving...
 Enjoying the facts that I have one more day to devote to just getting things done around the house.  Is it just me, or do some of you find that you have the urge to clean more when you have limited time? No.  Okay...well.
Thinking...
 About all I need to do this week.  Back to school nights, homework, the list goes on and on.
Wanting...
 To go to bed.  But I fight it (like my daughter).  I try to make the most of the weekend:)  But I am off to bed after this.
Needing...
 To look through that bag that comes home with me everyday and I somehow forget about as soon as I walk in the door.  Do you have one?  It's called my teacher bag?!  I have a lot to look through so that is on my to do list in the AM.
3 Trips...
I love new places and have been to Hawaii, Mexico, Vegas, etc.  But I really do not like flying.. there in lies the problem.  HA!  But I would like to go back to Hawaii, Europe and really anywhere beachy.

That is it!!  Thanks for stopping in!

Monday, August 25, 2014

A new look...

I have been waiting all summer for this new look!  Ahh, I am pretty good with code, but honestly, I didn't want to spend the time designing.  So this look makes me oh so happy!  Part of having this little blog re-done is actually using it!  Imagine that!  I sit here on Sunday night procrastinating lesson planning (already, I know) and looking forward to a day of PD;)

  Since I have been in my classroom this past week, it is about 95% complete!  I don't put too much on the walls, as I wait for the kiddos to fill those up.  But what I could fill up, I did.  Here are a few things that I did as I was working, you can see more pictures on my IG feed.

One HUGE task that I wanted to tackle this year, was my library.  I have so many books and they are pretty organized, but honestly, last year, I realized I needed a better system.  So I sorted them, two days people!  And then I labeled like crazy!
I bought a set by Molly Maloy.  I loved that they were editable!  They did the trick.  I can't just label a basket, I need to label the books if I want them to be returned back to their proper home.  I need to take photos to show what they look like now:)

This year, I decided to dedicate a writing area.  It was hard being I have so many desks in my class, but I made it work.  Here it is in progress.  And what I ended up doing with it.
Love it!  I know I will change things up, but it is perfect for the start of the year!
And my center tubs.  Had them in different colors last year, but I am loving these so much better (they "go" with my class).  I have had the rainbow cart on the right for over 10 years, and honestly, it's not my favorite.  The drawers go off track easily and since the back has open spots, dust gets in there so easily.  But I think it will be perfect for my math centers this year.
  And do you see those tubs on the top left?  Those my friends, are tidy tubs.  I saw it on IG and knew I needed it in my classroom life!  Eaach table gets one when we are doing our cutting and pasting and then all trash goes in there, then one person is in charge of throwing out the trash.  This will prevent the kiddos from getting up after each piece they cut.  I can't wait to use it!
I changed up my focus board.  I have class rules there, as well as spots for my standards, essential questions, etc.  I can't wait to use them.  Looks so much better.  I did put it in my TPT store if you want to see.  And everything on the right, is what I've had up, but a bit more organized.  I am loving the black!

And folks, that is all!  I have to get to bed!  I need to get up before the freaking birds, so pray for me, LOL!

Have a wonderful Monday!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Meet the Teacher..

I couldn't help but link up with this linky after I saw it!  So 2 posts in one day people!  A miracle I tell ya! So here I am linking up with Stephanie over at Falling into First!
I hope to meet some new teachers in this linky!  But first, here's a little about me.
I am a 30-somthing(cough-cough) teacher that has been teaching going on 15 years.  Yikes!  My first 5 years I taught second, and thought no other grade could be better, until I moved to first.  I LOOOOOVE firsties.  Nothing like laying down the basics to get those kiddos up a soaring for  second grade.  I taught a combo of 1st/2nd graders this past year and WOW, one of the best classes I've had in a long time.  I have to admit, I am ready to have a class full of only firsties this year.

I am a mama to this cutie pie.  This is an old pic - because she just turned 10 and boy has her face changed!  Okay, here is a better one - taken before school got - how do I know?  I have make-up on, LOL!
See what I mean?  She's my pretty girl:)
And these two...my two other kids that still get me up at 5:30 every morning.

Meet Jax and Princess.  Oh these two.  I have a 10 year old that sleeps in, but these cats don't seem to understand it is summer(well for another week)!!
THESE ARE A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS...
*Coffee *Make-Up *Photography(used to take family pics on the side) *coffee *shopping *crafting(of any kind) *Scrapbooking(used to work for many scrapbook companies) *reading, but lately I am obsessed with listening to books while I work *coffee *girl time with my favorite girl *beach time *Disneyland I know there are more......

 IF YOU WEREN'T A TEACHER, WHAT WOULD YOU WANT TO BE?
Definitely something crafty.  Making things, photographing them, sewing...all up my alley!

THREE LITTLE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE YOU.
*Creative*Reliable*Dedicated

FINISH THE SENTENCE, "________,  SAID NO TEACHER EVER!!"
I really love doing report cards, said no teacher ever!  Ha!  Isn't that the truth!

Q: IT'S YOUR BIRTHDAY AND YOU CAN INVITE ANYONE {DEAD OR ALIVE} TO THE PARTY. WHO ARE YOU INVITING?
Hmmmm...famous?  JT(hello:), Oprah(can you say gifts for everyone?), Ellen(we need a dance leader), Farmer Chris from the Bachelor (eye candy), LOL! I love this list.

Q: IF SOMEONE WROTE A BOOK ABOUT YOUR LIFE, WHAT WOULD BE THE TITLE?
How to do 5,432 things at one time!

Q:YOU GET TO PICK ONE SUPERPOWER. WHAT IS IT?
The ability to freeze time, so I can sleep in, finish work, take a potty break at work, oh the list goes on...

Q: WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE OR SAYING?
It is what it is

Q: IF YOU HAD TO SING ONE SONG ON AMERICAN IDOL, WHAT WOULD IT BE? 
I wouldn't, LOL!  I can't sing.  Ask any of my former students:)

Q: ARE YOU A MORNING PERSON OR A NIGHT OWL?
Both!  But if I had to choose, it would be Night owl.  I get most my work done late at night.

Q: WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE RESOURCE THAT YOU'VE CREATED IN YOUR TPT SHOP?
All of them, duh:)  Kidding.  There are a few favorites that I just coldn't live without...

I made these last year when I had my combo(so there is one for 2nd grade too).  I am going to use them again this year.  It is a pack of enrichment activities that kiddos can do when they finish their work.  It is super easy to put together(just print and go), and the kiddos love them!




Q: SHARE SOMETHING WE MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU!
hmmm...let's see I danced from the age of 4 to 18.  I've been published in many scrapbook magazines.  Not a huge fan of chocolate.

Yay!!  I can't wait to see what other teacher bloggers are out there and I have not met!

Monday Made It!

Hello!  August is already just flying by - can you believe it?  School starts for me very soon and I know it has started for others already, which is CRAZY!  I am happy to write that I did some actual crafty things besides creating school things, LOL!  So I am happy to link up again with Tara over at 4th Grade Frolics!
 First, while I was at Michael's I found this...
I knew what I wanted to make a teacher bunting sign and got to work as soon as I got home.
First, I cut out the bottom.
Then with the back of my sponge brush, I made it all polka dot cute!
I used black to write my name and added a black border because it needed a bit more
punch".
I simply used some twine I had and hot glued each letter.  I can't wait to put it up in my room!  What do you think?
Now this, this has been in the making for three years, LOL!  I bought this side table at the goodwill 3 years ago.  And it took me that long to get my act together and paint it.  I used some heavy duty primer/paint spray paint.  And I love the way it turned out.  Looks profesh - right?  Just tell me it does, even if it doesn't!
I've made quite a few new teacher items, but I think my latest is my most fun.  I have seen out in teacher blogland many teachers using an interactive Word Wall and  I knew it was something that was right up my alley.  So...I put this together.
I had to make it Melonheadz cute.  It is already printed, laminated and cut ready to put in my room next week!  Click on the picture or here if you want to check it out!  It's on sale for $2 right now.

That's it!  I can't wait to see what you all have been up to...have a great one!