Wednesday, May 29, 2013

What Will You Do Differently?

About half way through the year, I already had a million ideas of what I wanted to do to next year! I decided I definitely needed to narrow it down. Otherwise I would try to do them all, and none of them would actually get done. So I'm linking up with Finding Joy in 6th Grade to make an actual list of what I'm going to do! 
Maybe if I write it all down, it will actually happen! Maybe...

This year, we did Daily 5 with some guided reading mixed in. For most of the year, I really liked it. The kids were super independent and I had so many make major steps in reading. But part way through the year, I felt like we got stuck in a rut. I was having a hard time thinking of new, fun, engaging things for them do to, especially in Word Work. So next year, we are going to do Reader's Workshop! I am super excited about it!

At the beginning of last year, I thought I had a pretty good setup for everything. As the year went on, I collected more and more things, and just didn't have a place for them or make a place for them. I started organizing things at the end of the year, and I plan to finish up when I go back in August. Next year, I will stay on top of it. I will, I will, I will.

We adopted a new math series that "is aligned to Common Core." I think that must have been the only thing the curriculum people were looking for. It started day one with addition. Now, I don't know about your classes, but most of mine were not ready for this. The other thing I didn't like, they thought spending 2-3 days on one skill was enough. So funny! I always wonder who it is that actually writes these books. When was the last time they were actually in a classroom?! I am not really sure what our math will look like next year. I am spending some time this summer looking through blogs and TpT looking for some great resources--any suggestions?

Any big changes going on in your classroom?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

iPad Apps

With school over, I have found myself with extra time to go through some of the apps I have gotten. Every few days, I go here to check out free apps for the day. If any look decent, I download them, then go through them later. I have found some great apps from here! I have yet to pay any money for school apps.

Here are some of my recent great finds.
This is Word Wonderland. It is great for phonics! There are 3 levels, and it covers so many skills--short vowels, long vowels, blends, digraphs, etc. You can set up different levels for different kids, and they move up "worlds" as they improve. Super cute! It is normally $1.99.

Slate Math is great for K and 1st! It covers some of the very basic skills (counting and writing numbers) and goes up to addition. What I love about this app is that you can start from the very beginning and go through every skill, or you can choose to work on just one skill and do every game about that skill. Perfect for my kiddos who come in a little behind and need extra practice in one area. Right's still free!!! 

This one might be my favorite. It's called Make 10 Plus. You get a number tile at the top, then match it with one at the bottom to make 10. So simple and fun. I might have even gotten caught up playing this game for a little too long.
Another great thing, you can change what number you want to make, from 5 up to 100. A super easy way to differentiate. Right's FREE! Go pick it up!

What are some of your favorite apps?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

School's Out!

This is what is left of my classroom. I am excited for summer, but also really sad that my first year is over! It was such a great year!

I was the worst about taking pictures the last few days of school. All I managed to get pictures of were our class awards. And when I say I got pictures of them, I mean my sister did. Thanks Em!

I used Reagan Tunstall's Candy Awards--you can find them here. They are super cute and free! As I called them up to get their awards, they got to walk the "red carpet." They were precious!
Dancing his way down.

This boy was blowing kisses as he walked down the red carpet. Adorable.
I am really going to miss those little angels.

Another teacher made this for me to remember my first class! I turned out super cute once the kids added their finger prints!

A few days to relax and do nothing, then I'm getting started on my long summer to-do list! Happy summer!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Let's Get Acquainted Linky

It's time for another linky with Flying into First Grade!

This week's topic--meet my bloggy friends! I am so excited about this one! I love finding new blogs to read and get ideas from!

1.  Lisa at Growing Firsties
Growing Firsties
Lisa has so many creative ideas and it looks like her kids have a blast in her room! I have a few of her products from TpT--and they are great!! She is also super sweet and helpful to us new bloggers. She has a great Mystery Box giveaway going on right now so go check it out!

2. Cindy at Granny Goes to School
Cindy was one of the first bloggers that ever reached out to me when I first started blogging. I had commented on her blog about her new teacher spotlight, and she responded by sending me some of her TpT items to use! How sweet and totally unexpected!

This was so hard to narrow down to only 2! I have only been blogging since August, but I have met so many other teacher bloggers who are so enthusiastic about everything they do and this blogging community!

I'm off to watch the weather for the tornados coming through Oklahoma! 

My countdown is down to 3 days!!! This teacher is so ready!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Classroom Catch Up

Oh my goodness. Everything lately has been the definition of chaotic.

Last Friday, my mom came to visit our room. It was like having a celebrity in the building! My kids were so excited! I am so glad that she got a chance to put a face with the names she hears everyday.

Have I mentioned that 2 of the 3 first grade teachers I work with are retiring?! Not only does that up my stress level for next year (they are fantastic teachers), but it means lots of great resources for me! I might have gone a little crazy with the books...

Only 360. That's acceptable, right?

My name is Lindy Cranfill and I have an addiction to love children's books.

We have been playing lots of fun math review games this week! Are you kids as obsessed with bingo as mine are? I think almost every skill I taught this year was made into a bingo game. Whatever gets them excited, right?!

It was a few days late, but I finally got my sister's graduation present done! I am so happy with how it turned out! She will be a SLP at an early childhood center starting in August. I think that will look precious hanging in her room!

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Let's Get Acquainted Linky

I'm a little behind on this one, but better late than never!

This week is simple--answer 3 questions.

1. What made you decide to become a teacher?
This one is hard for me. I have always wanted to be a teacher. I remember playing house when I was younger, and I always wanted to be the teacher (or a banker, but only because that meant I got to play on the computer). I have always loved kids and wanted to work with them, and teaching just seemed to make sense to me!

2. What has been your most rewarding experience as a teacher?
I think the most rewarding, and my favorite part of teaching, is seeing the progress. Working with such a young age lends itself to lots of progress in one year! I have loved seeing all of their growth over the course of the year.

3. If you were not a teacher, what would you be?
This one is tough. I honestly have a hard time imagining myself being anything other than a teacher. My dream when I was younger was to own a bakery. I still love baking, but I have a hard enough time waking up early enough to be at school, much less early enough to own a bakery! Teaching is definitely where I am supposed to be.

I'm down to only 6 days!! How many do you have left?

Saturday, May 11, 2013

And the winner is...

The giveaway is finally over! And the winner is...
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Congratulations Crystal! Expect some emails full of great things soon!
Happy Saturday!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Five for Friday

It's Friday again, which means...
Five for Friday! It has been a super busy week. Take a look at what we did!

1. We finally let our butterflies go! I feel like we had them for forever. The kids loved letting them land on them!

2. A little bit ago, we "planted" seeds. We put them in ziploc bags with moist paper towels to see if they would grow without soil. The only problem...they wouldn't grow! I still have no idea what I did wrong! One finally had a tiny sprout the day we planted them in the soil, so I hope they weren't a complete fail.

 3. We got completely spoiled with Teacher Appreciation gifts this week! Our PTO gave each day a theme, so the kids had any idea of what to give us. So this week, I got flowers, baked goods, letters/pictures, recipes, and school supplies!

4. Mother's Day activities kept us super busy this week! We wrote All About Mom books, made a coupon book, and decorated mugs that I then baked for them (thanks Pinterest!).

It all turned out so cute! I know their mothers will love it!

5. Now it's time for a busy weekend! My sister's graduation--which means family's in town! I made her something pretty adorable for her graduation present, if I do say so myself. I'll be back with pictures later!

There's just a little time left before my giveaway is over! Don't forget to enter!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Teacher Appreciation Sale

I hit up the TpT Teacher Appreciation Sale yesterday (along with every other teacher out there) and I am so excited about what I bought!! I'm linking up with Blog Hoppin' to share what I bought. Head over and share your great buys!

I was really quite proud of myself! My wishlist is about 30 items long, but I only bought 2! I had to show some restraint...

There's so much clip art out there that I want to buy, but I have the hardest time making up my mind, so I just got a basic set!

I am planning to do Reader's Workshop in our room next year (I am so excited about it!!), so I bought Kim Adsit's Blasting Off With Reader's Workshop unit. It's AWESOME! So thorough. It has made me feel so much better about starting this--and I've only read through part of it.

What did you get during the sale?

Don't forget about my 100 follower giveaway! It ends on Friday!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Butterflies and Advice

We have butterflies!! Unfortunately, none of them "hatched" when the kids were there to see it. 3 were out when I got to school, and 1 more came out when they were at lunch. 
It was really pretty gross. Especially when the kids kept asking questions about the "blood" in their house, which is actually meconium. This might make me a terrible teacher, but I didn't seize the teaching moment and correct them and explain what meconium was. For now, there are 2 that are definitely alive, 2 that are a maybe, and 2 still in their chrysalis. Hopefully they will be out tomorrow! 

I feel like our class was full of deep conversations today. Lots about the butterflies--the whole death and food chain thing really effects a few of mine. Like to the point of tears. I hate when they cry. But later in the afternoon, I discovered that some of the stuffed animals that live in our library were missing. I saw that one was missing on Friday, then noticed two more missing today! What is happening to my class?! Any advice on how to actually get them back and fix our stealing problem?

I'm off to go work on my sister's graduation present! She is graduating with her Master's in Speech Language Pathology this weekend! Yay Emily!

Don't forget about my 100 follower giveaway! It goes until Friday!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, May 3, 2013

100 Follower Giveaway!

I just hit 100 followers! I am BEYOND excited! I never imagined that I would actually get here. So as a thank you to my followers for supporting me and giving me great ideas through their blogs, I'm hosting a little giveaway!

Check out the awesome bloggers helping me out! You can click on the pictures to visit their blogs.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, May 2, 2013

May Currently

May is here! That means is time for another currently with Farley!

Listening to rain is so peaceful. The bad thing--the rain has a chance of turning to snow tonight! Snow in May--definitely not for me!

We have been end-of-year assessing like crazy, and my kiddos are doing so good on them! I love being able to see how much they have learned and grown this year.

Yesterday, I went with 7 other teachers to a conference. The conference was just ok, but the company was great! I am so lucky to work with some fantastic teachers!

My building has 6 teachers retiring, 3 pregnant, and 1 getting married. All of that equals to lots of school parties! The calendar gets busier everyday!

I always need sleep. I plan to sleep for days after school gets out!

My #1 summer goal--start a TpT store! I am super excited about it (and would love any advice from TpT veterans)! Other than that, relax, relax, read some school books, relax, relax.

Happy May!