August 27, 2012

Survival of the Fittest {First Day}

Whew, let me just start out by saying...I am not "of the fittest". Are any of ya'll who went back for the first day of school today thinking this: my feet ache, back hurts, brain is dead, and I'm dog tired!   Who"s with me!?!? Well, besided all that, it was a GREAT first day! I'm thinking I have another great bunch of kiddos this year...they all arrived on time dressed in their best, no one cried, screamed, or fell asleep, and they all got home safely! PTL!

Here is a peak at what my "smart cookies" did on our first day in 1st Grade!

We started off the day reading First Day Jitters and talking about our first day feelings by filling out an anchor chart.

Next, we talked about rules and of course had to read a book all the kids love, David Goes to School. He is such a character and we refer back to him all year long! We made an anchor chart, courtesy of First Grade Wow, and listed things we can do and should not do. Then, we made a little David craft and the students wrote one rule that they thought was the most important.

We ended the day by reading The Kissing Hand.  By this time of the day, a few of them are asking if it's time to go home or mentioning they miss their mom. So I thought it was perfect timing! They traced their hand and I gave them a heart sticker for the middle. We talked about sentences earlier in the morning, so I had them write one sentence about something they wanted to learn this year.

This idea came from Always First Grade, thanks for sharing!

Here's to hoping mine (and your) rest of the week goes smoothly!

August 24, 2012

Therapudic Thursday & a Freebie Friday

It's that time of year again when we teachers rejoice as we wake up and realize...yes it's FRIDAY! And after a L_O_N_G week of meetings, taking notes, copying papers, lesson planning, more meetings, and completely frying my brain I am SOOOO glad it's Friday. Which makes me happy to talk about all the things that help to keep me sane during intense weeks like these!

So here goes Therapudic Thursday...on a Friday!

After rough days, I always like to start the morning of the next day off with Starbucks because they never seem to let me down. And with the new fall drinks creeping up...I just might be stopping a lot more often.


I am also a fan of all things T.V. especially reality T.V. You name it and I will comfortably watch it as I unwind at night. Here are a few of my favs:
And last but not least, you can never go wrong with a pedicure!

Onto freebie Friday! I feel like I learned so much my first year of teaching which, in turn, led to the re-organization of my classroom this summer.  I'm sure Pinterest also had quite an effect on my motivation to re-vamp my room.  I feel like I spent some a ton of time this summer creating new and cute ideas to decorate with.

I shared my chevron theme alphabet cards on my very first blog post and you can download them here if you missed that post.  I also made a set of number cards for my math word wall, math tub labels, and table numbers all with the same theme to match the alphabet cards!
Click on the pictures below to get your freebies!

Math tub labels for up to 5 math tubs.
Numeral cards with number words for #'s 1-20.
Table number cards for up to 4 tables.
Who doesn't LOVE free stuff...I know I do! Enjoy the freebies and the weekend (we head back to work with the kiddos Monday, so I know I will)!!! Crossing my fingers I will be sharing an awesome update on the first day next week : )
Thanks to Blog Hoppin' for a GREAT Teacher Week Linky Party just in time for the new school year!

August 22, 2012

Picture This: Where I Teach Wednesday

I don't know about you, but everyday I walk into my room I get a smile on my face!  I just adore the cuteness I created this year for my firsties and I.  There is just something about getting to decorate your own classroom that makes you happy! Enough of my random rambling and onto my classroom tour.  By the time you get through all the pictures you will probably notice 2 things: my favorite color is red and I am crazy about animal prints!

Here we go:
We'll start with my desk area, bookshelves, math manipulatives and awesome desk skirt my sweet mom made for me this summer!
Next up is my guided reading area where I meet with small groups. And I'm very lucky to have my window : )
Computer and Listen to Reading Centers.  New this year, I left a blank space on the wall to hang anchor charts for the kiddos to refer back to after new instruction is introduced.
On top is the Writer's Eye bulletin board with the writing process steps and punctuation station. 
On bottom is actually where the students will sit when they are working on their writing.  There are all different types of writing utensils (pens, markers, crayons, pencils, crazy scissors) and I will put out different paper once writing styles are introduced. Can't forget the crate seats I made with the help from my hubby!
My new and improved library for this year!
Daily 5 book boxes (giving credit to the hubs again for building me shelves to store them on--love him)!
This may just be my favorite part of the room, our meeting area/calendar which I call the "Information Hut".
 I've disguised my cabinets...on the left is where the kiddos will make their Daily 5 choices. On the right is where I display their good work, which I call the "Pride Board". I made their individual displays with scrapbook paper.
Word wall is a must.  We also make a class promise at the beginning of the year which I will write on the blank chart after we come up with it together.  I also have their cubbies as well as our specials schedule/school map/lunch menu right beside the door.

 Ever since my discovery of Pinterest, it seems as though I am always working on some sort of new project for my classroom.  This summer I made both of these: Our Classroom Rules/Expectations and part of my behavior management system (clip chart).
This is where I have the students turn in their work.  This year, to start off I am going to have them highlight their name because what 1st grader always remembers to put their name?  I also put a little reminder for them to check their work for capitals, periods, and finger spaces.
Last but not least, is my happy birthday bulletin board and a space for the safari super star of the week!
I hope my classroom tour has given you some ideas for the future! Feel free to ask any questions you may have.  And don't forget to head over to Blog Hoppin' to link up!

August 21, 2012

Technology Tip Tuesday

Let me start off by saying...oh my word, I have been back for 2 days and I am one e.x.h.a.u.s.t.e.d teacher!  Yesterday we had meetings, more today, and meet the teacher this evening, whew! But I do think I am going to have another GREAT group of kiddos this year!

Nowadays, technology plays such a H-U-G-E part in our little ones lives (and ours) that it would be hard to live without it. I find myself using it in some way, shape, or form daily.  Here are a few sites I depend on all the time.

First up is BrainPOP Jr.  If you haven't heard of it you need to must check it out.  I am lucky enough that our school subscribes to it each year.  They have great introduction videos for all subjects that the kiddos love.  They do have some video that are free if your school doesn't subscribe! Check it out!

This year I am starting the Daily 5 for the first time.  I stumbled across this website on another blog while looking for online websites to use for 'Listen to Reading'.  It is called Sqworl.  It is free to sign-up and when you do, you can use it kind of like you would a home page on your Internet browser.  What I did was find all the links to sites I was going to let the kids use for Listen to Reading and compiled them onto one page so that all they have to do is pull up the Sqworl page and click the link.

Hopefully you found one of these 2 sites useful.  Check back tomorrow for 'Where I Teach Wednesday' won't want to miss the BIG reveal of my classroom!!!

August 20, 2012

Must-Have Monday!

I'm celebrating the last week of being kid free by linking up with Blog Hoppin' for Teacher Week!

Today is 'Must-haves Monday' and even after teaching for only one year, I definitely can think of a few things I need to survive!

The first is my ELMO, or document camera. I use this thing for just about everything. I would absolutely be lost without it.  I LOVE how easy it is to use and the kiddos think it is the coolest thing to come up and work (mainly because they can see their hand on a big cute it that!?)

Oddly enough, I love writing (I'm always our team 'scribe' at meetings) and I love it even more when I have my Pilot G-2 Gel Pens!! Greatest. pens. on. Earth!

It seems like I make an anchor chart every day of the school year.  What makes me excited to make so many anchor charts, is getting to use my Mr. Sketch smelly markers!  I think the kids love using them as much as I do....they like to guess the smell, HA!
I am the queen of color coordination organization thanks to Lakeshore.  I use these magnetic pockets to display what my student's will be working on each day and then I have them turn their work in to the corresponding color tray. Works like magic!!!

For my sanity, if all my materials are organized for the week, all is good in the world. I use this little gem to get that accomplished.

And if all else fails.....grab a Sonic Diet DP with vanilla. Cheers!

Stop back by tomorrow for technology tip Tuesday!

August 18, 2012

Ready Confetti

Our district's first day back for the teachers was yesterday (insert long sigh) and we kicked off the day with the BEST motivational speaker I have ever heard! Riney Jordan's stories had 800+ teachers, administrators, and staff wiping tears from our eyes one minute and rolling in laughter the next. I would highly recommend visiting his website and taking a look at some of his stories. I promise, you won't regret it!

Monday we will be back on campus preparing for our meet the teacher which is Tuesday! I can't wait to meet my group new firsties and see the kiddos I sent on to 2nd grade from last year. This year our team decided that we weren't going to spend a lot of money putting together a meet the teacher gift. Praise the Lord that one of my team member's came across the idea of 'Ready Confetti!' This idea was cheap and easy! It took me less than an hour to put together AND cost less than $5.00....are you convinced yet??
Here's what you need:
1. Plastic baggies (can be found in the jewelry section at WalMart--$1.00/100)
2. Confetti (I used some found in the birthday section)
3. Ribbon
4. Sweet Dreams Printable  {Find the printable here at Sunny Days in Second Grade}

 I bought 3 different colors of confetti stars and mixed them together in a bowl.  I grabbed a few pinches and zipped it up in the baggie.

Tape the baggie to the blank side on the inside of the printable.

Fold in half, hole punch, and tie with a small piece of ribbon to keep out the peekers!

Each student will get to take this home with them that night.  We start school on a Monday, so Sunday night they will get to open the card and read it together with their parents.  Inside they will find the 'ready confetti' and will sprinkle it under their pillow so they wake up ready for their first day of 1st grade! The poem inside is absolutely adorable!!

Thanks again to Sunny Days in Second Grade for originally sharing this idea!
Sunny Days in Second