Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Back to School Brain

Why is July going by so fast?! I felt like June draggggged on (or is it drug on?)--but that was probably because I was in class everyday. Now July is half over, and I'll be back in the swing before I know it. 

I have been doing lots of thinking about my classroom, but not much doing. Lots of thinking about what worked well last year, and what I want to change for this year. Now it's about time to get my booty in gear and actually start doing things for my classroom.

One thing I loved about my class last year was the behavior management. It worked wonders with my kiddos! Who would have thought that pom-poms would make my kiddos actually listen?!

I give out "little warm fuzzies" to my kids for making good choices. I kind of went in waves last year. I would go through a week and realize I hadn't given out a single one! EEK! But then I would bring them back and they worked so well! After they earned 5 little warm fuzzies, they could trade them in for a big one. (I had my students keep them in plastic pencil boxes.) After a few weeks, (aka whenever I could find a few spare minutes or I started to run out of warm fuzzies to hand out) the kids could trade them in for prizes. Most of my prizes are coupons, but I do have a few toys--mostly party favor type. I love, love, love using these! It's super easy for me, and it works!

One thing that didn't work last year? Our math block. It was booooring. We attempted math centers early and they lasted about the 1st 9 weeks. They were never independent (like not even close to independent). It was a lot of prep for me. Basically it just didn't work. So we ended up just following our boring book. Ugh. I hate that.

So what's my plan for next year? Math Daily 5! And I am so excited about it! My kids have done great with Daily 5 in the past. They like the choice, and I love their independence. Hopefully, they will pick up Math Daily 5 just as easily as they do Literacy Daily 5!

Any tips from those of you that have done Math Daily 5?

Monday, July 7, 2014

Brain Breakfast

Is it just me or is summer flying by? I started grad classes this summer, and it took over my life. Sitting everyday from 9-4 is definitely something I have forgotten how to do. I feel like I have had almost no time to get anything done, much less relax! My summer to do list has almost nothing crossed off yet!

One thing I did finally get crossed off is my newest TpT product! This is the morning work I have been using for the last 2 years--and I love it! It is simple to prepare and predictable enough for my kiddos to be super independent (which I definitely need in the mornings)!

Right now, it is 135 pages of morning work, but I am already adding more! Pick it up from my TpT store now before it's updated!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Counting Down

Who else is counting down the days until school is out?! I only have 9 school days left! I can make it. I can make it. I think I can make it.

Since it is the end of the year, there is of course chaos, testing, and thinking of what I want to do differently next year!

I took this year to try to change up my reading block and guided reading time. There are still some things I want to change in that for next year, but I really want to focus on my math block for next year! I feel like math really gets the short end of the stick. There is so much emphasis put on literacy that math gets pushed to the back burner. At least I know it does at my school!

So next year, I am going to 100% revamp my math block! Out with the boring work, in with the fun, engaging work! I got to see the 2 Sisters speak at the  IRA Conference last weekend and let me just say...AMAZING. I'm planning on trying out their Math Daily 3. But I also want to work on their math fluency. I made up these math fluency cards to help us out! There are cards for ten frames, tally marks, numbers, math facts, and missing addends.

It's in my TpT store for only $6! Hurry up and grab it now! I already have some more that I am wanting to add to it!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Battle of the Books

My family went to the Women's Final Four when I was younger, so this time of year brings back so many memories of fun competition (and ridiculously obnoxious fans). So why not combine 2 of my favorite things--reading and competition!

Enter the Battle of the Books!

{Thank goodness for my wonderful sister who helped me get this done.}

I chose 16 books (most of them are books that my class has already read), paired them up, and my kiddos will get to vote until we are left with one book of the year! I am so excited for the competition to begin!

Who do you think the winner will be?!

Monday, March 3, 2014

No G's!

I went to a writing PD Friday with Matt Glover--and let me just say, it was great!! We started talking about students picking their own topics for writing. A teammate of mine asked how to let them choose, while still making sure they are picking appropriate topics. Another teacher there offered a fantastic idea! Enter the no g's rule!

I love this! They cannot write (or talk or draw) about guts, guns, girlfriends/boyfriends, anything gross, or gore! I am sad to say that some of our firsties have had some issues in the girlfriends/boyfriends area this year, so hopefully this will take care of some of that!

Our district had a snow day today and has another one tomorrow, so I have not actually been able to introduce this new rule to my kids, but I am so excited to use it! Click the picture to go to my TpT store and get it--for free!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

It's March?!?!

I cannot believe it is already March. I am definitely glad, because I am tired of the cold, but the year is flying!

Listening: I love the Olympics! But I am glad that my typical Thursday night full of great TV is back! Grey's. Scandal. Parenthood. I love Thursdays.

Loving: One of the reasons I am so glad it is March--SPRING BREAK! Only a few short weeks away!

Thinking: I have been out a lot lately for PD. All of the 1st grade teachers in our district our taking part in a 4 day training called LETRS, then a group from my school went to hear Matt Glover (loved him!) talk about writing workshop yesterday. My list of summer projects is getting longer and longer!

Wanting: A housekeeper. I always need to clean, but never want to.

Needing: To finish lesson plans! And sub plans! Another day out this week for PD.

????????: What could my secret question be?! The answer: Divergent, warmer weather, and summer!

Happy March!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentine's Sale

Happy Valentine's Day to all! Our class celebrated yesterday because we are off today! And thank goodness. This teacher is in desperate need of a long weekend. Especially after the chaos of Valentine's Day.

To celebrate Valentine's Day and my long weekend, I'm throwing a sale! Everything in my TpT store is 15% off! It's a perfect time to pick up my Olympics unit or my Draw the Room bundle (which is newly updated!!).

Head over to my store and take advantage of the sale!