Friday, December 6, 2013

Five for Friday

1. Anyone else enjoying a snow day today?! I got to enjoy sleeping in, morning TV, and coffee in an actual coffee mug! I'm sure I'll be less than thrilled about this snow day come May, but right now, I'm ecstatic!

2. This has been my life for the past few days. Gingerbread houses for 90. 

3. In the end, it was all worth it! The students enjoyed decorating their houses with our high school baseball team earlier this week. They were in candy heaven!

4. What great buys did you find during the TpT cyber sale?! There were so many things that I wanted to buy! But with most of my money going to Christmas presents nowadays, I held back and just bought some new fonts! My obsession.

5. I'm spending the rest of the day getting this unit printed and ready for next week.
And wrapping 24 books in prep for our Christmas party. Only 9 school days left before our break!

Happy Friday and (for some) happy snow day!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Merry Measurement

Are everybody's TpT carts as full as mine? I have so many things that I want! I just finished up a new unit, just in time for the big sale!

This winter themed math unit is a great way to keep your kids having fun and getting some learning in during these rough few weeks before Christmas. Hop on over to TpT to see more!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Cyber Monday Sale

Don't you just love TpT sales?!  Another big one is just around the corner!

My store will be 20% off December 2 and 3! Add the TpT code and that 28% off!

Happy turkey day! And happy almost sale!

Friday, November 15, 2013

New Ideas

I'm sure for many out there, this is not a new idea. But it is new to me, and I'm glad that I finally heard about it!

This is by far my new favorite app. Confer allows you to take notes on your conferences with students, search notes, and sort by certain strengths and weaknesses. You can easily group students that need the same instruction, chart student growth, and send info to others. Gone are the days of taking notes on papers and sorting through them all later. Think of all the papers and hassle that will be gone!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Time Savers

Along with every other teacher out there, I am always looking for a way to save time. Whether it saves 5 minutes or an hour, I am all for it! There are 2 things that I have tried this year that have worked great and saved time!

Before, I have always used Excel for lesson planning. I like Planbook so much more! I can extend lessons that we do everyday, like our morning meeting. I can bump forward lessons that we didn't get to. I can view standards and how many times I have taught each standard. They even had an iPad app, so I can make quick changes anytime! 

2. Remind101
Anyone else tired of sending constant reminders home? I felt like I sent home a reminder note at least once a week last year, on top of my weekly newsletter. Now, I use Remind101. Parents sign up for text message or email reminders. I can send them from my phone or their website. I still send home a weekly newsletter, but no more wasting time to type up and copy any other reminders.

What are your favorite time saving tips?

So many great ideas at this linky! Check back all week for new ideas!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Renew Your iPad Love

I have a new obsession.
This is my new favorite book. I just finished reading it, and I am so excited and full of ideas! I love using my iPad during my small group lessons, but I was really looking for a way for it to be used by the students themselves. Since I only have one, I was having a hard time thinking of a good way to do that.

Enter this book. My new go-to.

It has great apps for students and teachers (all with multiple uses!), how to find the best apps, and management tips. It also goes through different ways to project from your iPad!
Now I just have to decide which apps I need now, and which ones can wait a bit!

What are your favorite go-to apps?

Monday, November 4, 2013

November Currently

Am I the most behind or what?! It's November 4 and I am just now getting around to currently. Story of my life right now.
I am a sucker for the housewives. So addictive.

I like to get to school early, so I can actually get some things accomplished before I start chatting. But lately it was been so dark on the way to school! As much as I hate it getting dark at 5:30, I love seeing some hints of the sun on the way to school!

Christmas is soooo soon! I really need to start at least thinking about gifts.

Last week was my first full week after 2 short weeks (thanks fall break!). After only one long/regular week, I am already wanting needing a long weekend.

My motivation to accomplish things after school has become nonexistent. It's really pretty sad. 

Now for my yummy pin!

Biscuit and gravy breakfast casserole. This looks so good! Our staff has a potluck breakfast every month on payday. Too bad my grade level hosted last month! This would be a nice change from the typical egg and sausage casserole.

Happy November!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

I Can Statements

In order to avoid report cards and laundry and dishes, I finished my latest product! A few weeks ago, I uploaded CCSS ELA I can statement posters, and I am finally done with math!

Now it's off to finish report cards!
The first two people to comment will get both sets FREE! Don't forget to include your email!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Professional Development

Today, our staff had a professional development day while our kids finished up their fall break. Thank goodness for fall breaks, right?!

Well. Am I the only one who feels like 90% of professional development days are a waste of time?! We have had 3 professional days this school year, and each one seems worse than the one before. All I could think about today was the 8 page long to-do list I could have been working on. And how much money was wasted on this day. Ok. Rant over.

Does anyone actually get something out of professional days? What do yours look like?

Sunday, October 13, 2013

TpT Sale

Did you hear? TpT hit 100,000 followers on Facebook! And to celebrate, they are offering 10% off through Oct. 13. Just enter the code FB100K at checkout. To make it even better, my store will be 20% off through Oct. 15!

Happy shopping!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

I Can Statements

Have I been the worst blooger this year or what?! I keep telling myself that it is just the craziness of the year starting, but shouldn't that be almost past?

Hopefully I will start remembering to take some pictures and actually post about things we do. Hopefully...

Until then, here is my newest TpT item! We are supposed to discuss our objectives with our students, so I decided to make some simple "I can..." posters for each standard. 

I only have ELA done at this point, but math is on the way!
I'm counting down the days until our fall break--only 3 school days! So ready!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

October Currently

October? This year is flying by already!

I am SO excited that The Voice is back on! I love when fall starts and new episodes of my favorite shows come back.

Fall is officially here! Well...fall weather has not quite hit Oklahoma yet, but I feel it coming soon!

I posted yesterday about how terrible our math centers went, and today was no better. Ugh...

With fall comes new clothes! Fall clothes are my favorite, and I am already struggling to not buy everything I see.

Who doesn't need more hours in the day?! There are always more things I want to get done.

And your treat! This week we are learning all about bats (more to come later!) so here is a little freebie for you! 

Happy fall y'all!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Math Centers

Another teacher and I were talking a few days ago about how we really were not happy with how our math was going. Our students did not seem as engaged and we just weren't able to get as much done in our scheduled time as we would have liked. Then I realized, if our literacy centers went so smoothly and we accomplished so many things, why not do the same thing with math?! It seemed like a simple idea. So simple I should have thought about it before!

Well my class tried it today. It was awful. Absolutely terrible.
I was actually expecting it to go fairly well. I structured our centers exactly like I structure our literacy centers. Same rules, same expectations. But still--absolutely awful. Worse than the first day of our literacy centers! It was like I had 1st day kinders!

We are going to try it again tomorrow. Many prayers are being said tonight that it goes better! Any suggestions? What works best for your class?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Here Comes Johnny Appleseed!

For the last 2 weeks, we have been learning all about apples and Johnny Appleseed!
Johnny Appleseed craft

Johnny Appleseed book (and mini books for the kiddos!)

Life cycle of an apple flip book
This was my example. I had the kids glue the pictures in and write a quick sentence.

Check out the whole unit on my TpT store!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Five for Friday

It's Friday!! It felt like the longest week ever. That's the downside to short weeks, the next week always seems so long!

1. This week we have been learning about apples! I was the worst at taking pictures though. I'm still doing good to just make it through the day, much less with pictures from the day! But...we investigated apples, labeled apples, and made applesauce! All of our activities can be found in my apple unit!

2. We also did our first shared writing about what we learned about apples! This one was their ideas, but my writing. Later I plan to have them do some of the writing, but I wanted them to see it first.

3. Our first grade team is trying something new this year. We leveled all of the first graders, then had them rotate between each teacher for 20 minutes for some more focused instruction. We tried it today for the first time, and it was great! They did really well and seemed to get a lot out of it! My focus was nonsense words, so we played Nonsense Word Tic Tac Toe!

4. My first evaluation of the year is on Monday! It's crazy to think about! I feel like it is still the first week of school. Hopefully my class will cooperate for a bit!

5. Have you ever heard of Sit Spots? I ordered some and am hoping they come in next week! I am so excited to use them! This group does not quite understand carpet time...

Happy weekend!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

My Obsession

I have talked before about my unhealthy love obsession with children's books. It is impossible for me to resist. I found one recently that I had not read before.
If you have never read this, you simply have to. It is adorable!

I'm linking up with Cindy to share about my new book find!
I originally got this book to use it to teach story structure. It is super simple for the kids to follow, and perfect for introducing plot! Of course, after that, I found that it was good for so many other things! We have been learning about bringing our characters to life in Writer's Workshop, and this is a great example of making characters move and talk! It also lead into a great conversation about what we are at school to do. This year, I have one student who is mute and one 5th grader who just moved here from Mexico that visits our class to learn some basic skills. All of the kids have tons of questions about each other, and this book helped them to see that everyone has a place. Just like the boy in the book is meant to be a child instead of a pet, we are not meant to all be the same. We are all treated differently because we are different. Hopefully this will sink in soon!

On another note, we have been learning about apples all week and having so much fun! Hopefully I will be back later this week with what we did!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Making Progress!

Since my kids have been really struggling on vowel sounds, I have been searching and searching for fun and different things to help! Thank goodness I found this great song!

You have to watch it! My kids love it and sing it all the time!

Beyond just teaching them vowel sounds, I think it really helped one of my students take a huge step. This year, I have a student who is a selective mute. He has been at this school for 3 years and has not spoken a word to anyone at school. Not one word. He is also extremely reserved and does not react to anything. I have been trying to make him feel super comfortable and hoping that we can make some progress. Well...this song worked magic. As soon as I put it on, he got up and started dancing like crazy! I was so excited! Maybe a sign of more good things to come?!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Short Vowel Pack

We are 15 days into school and most days I still feel like it is the first day. My group this year is just a difficult group. We are still working on where we stand in line! And for some, we are still working on writing our name. 
But tomorrow is a brand new day. And things can only get better...right?

Besides all of that, so many of my kids this year are struggling with vowel sounds. I mean really struggling. Some didn't know any when they were tested. So we have been working really hard on them, and I wanted to have some fun games to help them!

Right now, there are 4 games included, but I got a few more ideas I am trying to tweak before I add those in. Grab it now before it's updated!

Happy (almost) Friday!

Monday, September 2, 2013

September Currently

I'm sorry...what? It's September?! Did August even happen? 

It has been deathly hot outside lately. Highs of near 100. Gross. So I am taking my relaxing, no-schedule morning to enjoy some sun and outside time that doesn't end in needing multiple showers.

How much do you love 3 day weekends?! I can get so much done! And an extra day to sleep later than the sun is always nice too!

I did actually go up to school yesterday and got a ton of things done--things that I never want to do during school hours or after school when I'm just ready to put my feet up. 
I ordered more book boxes like these so all of mine would match, and they finally came in! Now our class library is beautiful, organized, and matches! I was also able to organize a ton of files and activities that I had been putting off since last year! Now if only I could do some of that organizing at my own house...

Who doesn't want 3 day weekends every weekend? I know they make me a much happier teacher come Tuesday morning!

Our district opted to not purchase Accelerated Reader this year. Not a big deal at all, but you would think they had decided to stop paying us by some reactions. So, we have been brainstorming something to do school-wide to encourage reading. Any suggestions?

Love Yourself Spot
1. Read a book. Not school related! I never seem to find time to do this during the school year.
2. Pamper myself! Massage? Mani/pedi? I actually got a manicure yesterday. But that was before I decided on this goal, so I'm not going to count it! :)
3. Join a gym! This has been on my list for a while, and I just haven't done it. I will this month!

Happy Labor Day!

Monday, August 26, 2013

No, David!

Well, I have one full week plus a few extra days under my belt. And at some point everyday, I still feel like it is day 1. My group this year is not quite as good as listening as my class was last year. Say a prayer that they get better soon! 

Because of this, I have had to spend soooo much more time on practicing walking in the halls, practicing walking into our room, and practicing sitting in groups. This class just isn't quite there yet. I tried out a new activity that I am hoping will do some good! After reading some David books, we discussed being "peacemakers" and "peacebreakers." Then we made this ADORABLE craft from Mrs. Lee's Kindergarten. I love how they turned out!
One put his David in sunglasses "because he's famous."
Another made her David a girl!

This week, we are doing some fun alphabet book activities from my ABC book unit!
Hopefully I will be back with pictures from it later this week!