Monday, August 25, 2014

Spin a Word

I am always looking for easy, fun, no-prep centers for my kiddos. At the beginning of the year, I like to think that I will have centers prepped weeks in advance...but, of course, that never happens. It turns out to be more of a morning-of, oh-crap-I-have-5-minutes-before-the-kids-come-and-I-am-now-super-rushed situation.

One of my go-to centers is Spin a Word.
It is super easy for the kids to pick up on, and almost zero prep for me! I did actually remember to take a picture (miracle!) of my kiddos doing this the other day while we practiced Word Work procedures, but it turned out super blurry. Ugh. 

Right now, this packet includes 12 pairs of word families for the kiddos to practice with, but there's more to come soon! Pick it up now in my TpT store!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Turn and Talk

Turn and talk is one of my favorite things to do during read alouds! You know firsties--one kid gets to share what they think, they all want to share what they think. Twice. And let's be real, I don't have time for allllll of my kiddos to share their thoughts with everyone. One read aloud would turn into an hour long event! So, we all just tell our neighbor what our thoughts are.

Another teacher introduced me to my new favorite book for practicing turn and talk procedures!
As the {precious} hamster picks out the details of his hot rod, it asks what you would choose. Perfect for telling your partner and practicing turn and talk procedures. Love it!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Daily 5

Well the first full week of school is officially done! I would love to say that it went well...but so far my kiddos are a tough group! Hopefully I'll have them in shape soon!

We have been practicing our Daily 5 since that very first day of school (got to start building their stamina!) and they're doing fairly well with it! I am hoping to try it full out this week. 
Check out these cuties reading!

I have always done an adapted version of Daily 5 and told my kiddos which centers they were going to go to each day. This year I am actually going to try out letting them choose! Eek! I'm so nervous about it! I'm sure they will do fine, but it is not the easiest for me to give up that control...
Fingers crossed!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Back to School Sale

What a better way to celebrate a new school year than with a sale?! Head over to my TpT store to get 28% off all items!

Happy shopping!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Monday, August 11, 2014

Monday Made It

Let me preface by saying that this Monday Made It has very little to do with school, and has everything to do with my latest obsession.

Not chalk paint as in chalkboard paint. It's called chalk paint because of its texture when it's dried. The best thing about this paint is that it requires no prep work! No sanding. No priming. Nothing at all!

{It sounds like I'm a spokesperson for Annie Sloan, but I just love this paint!}

Check out everything I have painted so far!

 New bookshelf for my classroom

Hexagonal table that belonged to my grandmother

Even my boring refrigerator!
{I apologize for my terrible-quality pictures. Maybe I should start using something other than my iPhone to take pictures?}

I think it's safe to say that I have become addicted to painting!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

New Year Prep

School is soooooo soon! (Thursday is our 1st day back!) I have, of course, been working very hard preparing my room for a group of new kiddos. Which actually means I'm taking everything out of my closets to look at it and then putting it back in the exact same spot, while wasting time talking with the teachers across the hall. And then rushing to get things done in the last few days that I have.

Does anyone else tend to just throw things into random places at the end of the school year? I always find myself stashing things in filing cabinets and lockers and boxes that don't actually belong there. At the time, I tell myself that I will remember exactly where I put everything, buuuuttttttttt, that's not true. Which is why I am reprinting, laminating, and cutting out my math vocab posters.

I have looked everywhere and they are nowhere to be found! I'm sure I will find them (in May) in a student's desk or closet or in the teacher's lounge where I tend to put things down and forget them. 

Maybe this year I will be a little less scatterbrained and a little more organized!
(But let's be real, I've said that every year!)

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Word Wall Makeover

I loved my old word wall. It is definitely one of my favorite bulletin boards in my classroom, and it is the only board that I had not made changes to at the end of every year! 

{This is a picture from an old post. The butterfly and lizard aren't normally there! :)}

But last spring, I went to a professional development that made me think a little deeper about my word wall. I (like most other teachers) had divided my words up based on the first letter in the word. What other way was there to do it?!  

And then the clouds parted and angels sang and I realized...that way made no sense! 

The words I had posted didn't necessarily start with the same sound. Under "a", you could find as and about. Under "t", you could find take and think. Of course, they visually start the same, but for the kiddo who can't spell the word they are looking for, how would they know where to look?!

Thank goodness I had this life-changing, earth-shattering ah-ha moment.

So now, my word wall looks a little different. Not all the sounds are there. (I mean who actually has words under /v/ and /x/?!) You get the idea!

I'm sure that all of my firsties will thank me on the first day of school for having this realization that will drastically change their lives forever. Or maybe they will just hide their excitement with a breakdown or two :)

Monday, August 4, 2014

Back to School Sale

It's Back to School Sale time! I know that I look forward to this sale all year, and my cart is already loaded up and ready to go! 
My whole store is 20% off today and tomorrow! Add that with the promo code, and you will get 28% off! 

Happy shopping!
And happy back to school!