August 31, 2013

I Survived + a Makeover = SALE!

To those of you who went back this past week, WE MADE IT...{P.T.L}!
Even thought this is only my 3rd year, it by far has been the roughest starting week to date.
So, in honor of trudging through and surviving, everything in my TpT store is 15% off this weekend!

 I am also LOVING my new blog makeover! It fits me just perfect. It's a complete reflection of myself, teaching style, and classroom. Shout out to Susan's hubby Parker for rockin'!
Before I recap our week, let me just start off by saying...I live in Texas, so no common core here. Our district was going to go with C-Scope but quickly axed that idea. Over the summer we had district admin write and align new curriculum for us.
Get this: they had us teaching Lucy Caulkins writing sessions 1 & 2, all letters and sounds, science safety, maps, and numbers to 99 the FIRST week people! Add on top of that rules, procedures, etc.
"Ain't nobody got time for that!' which we discovered shortly into Day 1.
Students were allowed into our rooms at 8:00 and they all didn't show up until 9:30. Talk about a mad house in the front office! After 1 1/2 hours of wasted time (grr) we finally started our day with calendar, good morning rituals, school tour and snack.  When we returned, we read The Kissing Hand and talked about our first day feelings.
We did a little follow up writing activity. In the madness, I didn't capture a picture but here is one from last year. We changed it up and wrote "I felt _____________."
The second day was bound to be better than the first. Since the students came in the door with a roar (literally NO honeymoon period) talking about behavior and expectations was a must! I love to read David Shannon's books just as much as the kids love listening to them. We discussed David's behavior and figured out if it was things we should "do" or "not do".
They had to choose one thing they could "do" and make the following craft below.
Wednesday & Thursday
We continued talking about rules and classroom procedures. After reading another story about David, we brainstormed rules that we thought would be important to follow at school. I put them into a 'Class Promise' where the students signed and promised to follow the things stated.
No promise is complete with our cute little faces framing it!

All of these activities are in my Becoming Peacemakers unit.
To end our week, we read Chrysanthemum. A great way to show how words can be hurtful is to take make a large heart. While reading the book, every time something hurtful is said to Chrysanthemum, let the students crumple the heart some. When the story is over talk about how words can be hurtful. Try to smooth out the heart. Does it go back to how it was before? Let them put Band-Aids on it to see if that does the trick.

I like to leave this hanging up all year so they refer back to it before speaking mean or hurtful words.
Throughout the week, we also used these beginning of year "I Can...." assessments. This helped me see who is struggling and where. You can snag them for FREE in my TpT store.
I'm so grateful for a long 3 day weekend. I hope you enjoy yours and take some time off before getting at it again!


  1. I didn't get a honeymoon period either! I mean c'mon firsties, lol.

    I love the first week ideas.

    You Might Be a First Grader….

  2. I love the new blog look! Sorry you had a rough doesn't look that way from your adorable lessons though! Umm...all that in one week, wait the FIRST WEEK??? I. DON"T. THINK. SO!!! Hope you got in a little relaxation over the weekend!
    Two Friends In First