Friday, August 23, 2013

Five for Friday { 1st week back}


TGIF! I'm so happy is it Friday and the weekend! This week was a super busy week. I'm glad to just put up my feet and relax! 
Although I can't for too long because I still have more work! It just never ends as a teacher.  


Little cuties doing read to self! We are up to 9 minutes of stamina now! My kids are loving this time. I only have one student who breaks stamina consistently he just stops reading and looks around. 

My kids playing freeze tag. Everyone is it and when you get lightly tapped on the shoulder you freeze and put your arms up. Then someone can un freeze you by going under your arms. The rules are you have to walk and you can't tag the person that just un tagged you. We played this game when it was raining outside! I think my kids are going to love silly games and sports! Only one kid didn't follow the rules and had to sit out.

These are beautiful little drawings the kids made and label of themselves. 

This guy cracks me up! I had his brother in my class two years ago.  He drew himself in a science lab and labeled the parts. He labeled "not tested potion." Just makes me smile. I love out of the box thinkers.


We started math journals this week. My kids did really well with doing math problems on their own. They answered the question with sentences and pictures. Then they had to turn to their shoulder partner and explain how they got the answer and what they did. I love hearing their responses. Most of them knew who had more books but it was harder for them to explain how they knew. I know this is really going to help my students dig deeper into math this year. Right now we are doing the problems whole group and then going over them together but I may turn math journals into a center later in the year.


 We took our spelling pre-test and I'm so happy with how my kids did! Five of my kids will be on the on grade level list this week. This is the list I tested them on for the pre-test. Most of my kids scored a 100% on the test though so they will be practicing the above grade level list this week. It is still short /a/ but with blends. I made lists for the whole year and have the resources on my TPT here.

It was a great first week back and I'm looking forward to more with this class! Hope everyone has a wonderful, relaxing weekend!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Chevron Shelf

I made an blah black shelf into a beautiful chevron shelf a few weeks back! I thought I would share with everyone so you could see how easy it is to use shelf liners! 

First I put the shelf liner on the top and cut it with regular scissors. You could use an exacto knife but their was a graph on the back of the shelf liner so it was easy to cut the exact length and width.

Then I covered down the sides and made sure the the chevron matched up on the sides.

I folded it back like this. It was a bit sloppy in the back but no one is seeing that part!

Now this is what the shelf looks like. It holds printer paper, card stock, pretty computer paper, and lots of stickers in the blue bin.

It's the perfect cute shelf for my printer! 

I used this shelf liner and had plenty! I would love to use it on other areas in my room! 

I got the shelf liner from Amazon

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

First few days back to school!

I started school on Monday and it has been a hectic start! We have some many new things that we're implanting this year. New reading and math curriculum, new lesson plan format from the county, new professional growth plan, new principal, and lots of new staff!

I've had an awesome start in my classroom though! My students are babies who need to be whipped into shape. I feel like I say this every year at the beginning! They are just so little and not independent at all! My feet hurt so bad from all the jumping up and walking around the room! I'm getting the kids comfortable with the routine, rules, and first grade work.

I've used Kagan structures this week for class building and team building. So far I've used Find Someone Who, Round Robin, and Timed Pair Share.  In Find Someone Who kids walk around when the music starts and when the music stops they pair up with the person who is closest to them. Then the students introduce each other. Then the person with the shorter hair (I just did because it was easy for the kids to determine) asks the other person if they can fill something out on their paper. I used Abby Mullins Find a Friend sheet from her Fun with Firsties back to school packet. It was perfect for first graders and easy for them to read. Then they switch and the other person fills out their paper. Then it starts all over again. The kids LOVED getting to know their classmates this way. They enjoyed moving around, meeting new people, and finding out new things about them.

Timed Pair Share is exactly how it sounds. In pairs, students share with a partner for about 30/45 seconds while the other listens and then they switch. This has been great for pair work and math talk!

I also used Round Robin for team building. the students shared what they did over the summer with their table. They just take turns talking about what they did to generate ideas for a writing activity. Everyone has a chance to talk and they keep talking about ideas until the time is up. We've done this with some other fun questions I just have a sleepy brain and can't remember right now!
Here is their writing from those wonderful summer activities: 

I'll have to take more pictures of my kids actually doing all this! I've been bad about taking pictures! I did take 1st day pictures of my cuties and I'll make a magnet for the parents of it for open house.

I'm loving the chalkboard stuff right now! I got this sign off Pinterest! 

I took some pictures of my kids doing read to self! How adorable! They read for 7 minutes! They were great at finding spots, staying in one spot, getting out and putting away their book boxes. We broke the stamina because one little guy was goofing off and "fake" reading which led to a whole new lesson.

I'm trying to stay organized but papers just keep piling up this week!

Thank goodness for cute binders and bins! 

I'll leave you with some school humor.

Hang in there teachers we're half way through the week! 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Night Before First Grade

Twas' the night before school started,
When all through the town,
The parents were cheering...
It was a riotous sound. 

By eight the kids were washed,
And tucked into bed,
When memories of homework,
Filled them with dread.

New pencils, new folders,
New notebooks, too,
New teachers, new friends
Their anxiety grew.

The parents just giggled,
When they learned of this fright,
And should, "Upstairs!
Unknown author

I'm sure parents all over my county are feeling this back to school glee. I'm also anxious for the school year to begin. I have everything all set up and ready to go for tomorrow and yet I'm still nervous. It is my sixth year of teaching and I don't think this feeling will ever change. You never know what the first day will bring. My best advice is over planning and including lots of fun activities and breaks. A positive and flexible attitude will get to you a long way. Just remember to fake it till you make it and get them home the right way! 

Here's to wishing everyone a fabulous first day back that is starting tomorrow. Can't wait to tell you all about my first day and week! I just hope I remember to take pictures to share with you all! 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Five for Friday {Back to School}


Pre-planning is down and now I'm just trying to mentally prepare myself for Monday the first day of school! 

1. My Meet the Teacher was this Thursday. I had 17 out of 18 students show up. I have some seriously cute little ones this year and I'm very excited to get started.
One mom is a whack job and is seriously certifiable nutty and she was the only one who signed up to be a room mom. It's okay though PTA found me someone from my class who will be the room mom. Thanks PTA!

Look at all the notebooks that need to be labeled!
I have a lot of supplies that need to be put away!

2. Check out these adorable bags I made for my kiddos. The bags had a pencil, eraser, smarties, gold coin, poem, mint, and bookmark. Our team also got the students cookies. Mine were green apple cookies to match my room. The kids loved them!

3. I added some new decor for the grand reveal of my room on Thursday. My beautiful new writing table. It has a chalkboard top.

I also have new pillows for my reading area which match my owl.

4. Many of my former students came to see me and one brought me these beautiful flowers. She congratulated me on getting married over the summer! She is so sweet and thoughtful!

5. I'm set up for the first day of school! Hope everything goes smooth!

Copies are made! I'm ready for team building, class building, and plenty of brain breaks!

Monday, August 19, 2013 1st day of school! 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Classroom Digs {Classroom Tour}

Come check out my classroom digs! This is a "soft opening" and a totally work in progress. It will all be done on Thursday morning for Meet the Teacher but is not done just yet. Take a little peek inside my classroom.

My home away from home my school.

Enter into my classroom.

Take a look to the left and you'll see my guided reading/math area.

My transportation and clip chart on my teacher cabinet. 

My new "Hall of Fame" ribbon, guided reading books, beanie baby strategy board, and printer cart.

Another view of my beanie baby strategy board. The other board is my word wall and below is my listening center.

A different view of the area and the door.

My welcome board with my little birdies! I can't wait to get my class list! This is my word work cart and math center games cart. I put the math games I want them to play in the green basket.

This just shows part of our schedule...the most important parts lunch and specials.

The door leads into our one stall bathroom. On the door I have  birthday chart and tooth chart. On the back cabinet I have my lunch count, reading log chart, homework club, and job chart. This is also my unfinished writing area. I'm waiting on my table to get finished painting. My friend was super sweet to paint it for me.

To the right of the front door. These cabinets hold many classroom supplies like tissues, soap, paper, math materials, markers, ziploc baggies, etc. I brighten the top cabinets with some green poms and polka dots.
This is a close up of my crate seats and my guided reading/math table that is also my teacher desk.

View from my front door looking in.

View of my Smart Board and front area.

Beautiful frames that hold my students work and my turn in baskets. I have one for reading and math homework, work for today, and a general turn in work basket.

Up close of the cabinets.

My class library. The books are labeled my genre and by level.

Our cozy little area to read. 

Our cubby area where students hang their backpacks and put their lunch boxes away. The red book boxes are all nonfiction leveled readers. The blue are my students book boxes.

Close up of my numbered cubbies. They put their backpack on their number hook and their lunch box in that cubby. They share cubbies because two lunch boxes easily fit.

Our table baskets and table supplies. I have their books on their desks so they can browse through them at Meet the Teacher. The bags are their treats to get them excited about school.

This board has our sight words, Daily 5 rotation board, rug rules, and daily schedule.

Our reading easel and rocking chair. Another favorite spot in our room to read.

Our little math area. The pocket chart is the our math rotations board. Then the calendar is underneath. The large red thing is something that came with our math series. It's called a grab and go math center. It holds books and games that go with each unit.

This is my area for organization. I have some of my personal things and gifts from over the year. This is right next to my computer.

This is my teacher computer, phone, and personal little space.

These are student computers located right next to mine.

Hope you've enjoyed the tour! Check back for updates and the grand opening of my classroom!