Monday, November 3, 2014

It's been...FOREVER! (freebie included)

August. That is the last time I blogged. Oh my goodness. The truth has been a very difficult school year thus far. I spend all energy I have on my dear first graders; there's 25 of them. When I do get home and have some free time, I just haven't felt up to blogging. However, this weekend I decided I was ready to spend some time blogging. 

So...if any of you are still even following this little blog of mine, I have something to share that my kiddos LOVED.

Since the beginning of first grade, we have been working hard on writing sentences and using punctuation. My class also has a LOVE for Mo Williams' Pigeon books. I mean, who doesn't love them?!

I found this idea at First Grade Fairytales and tweaked it a bit to fit my students. 

We had been talking about Asking, Telling, and Exciting sentences. Yes, I know that's not the technical terms for them, but at this point in the year that's what my little know them as. 

I read three of the Pigeon books to my students and we made certain hand signals when we saw a certain punctuation.

Then each student got to choose a speech bubble; either for a asking, telling, or exciting sentence. Then during Daily Five writing they got to look through a pigeon book and choose a sentence that matched their punctuation and write it on their speech bubble.

Then came the fun part. My kids love to draw so, I decided to do a directed drawing with them of the pigeon. I didn't tell them what we were drawing so when they figured out it was the pigeon they were so excited!!

Here are a few examples...

Now, I have kids drawing pigeon's all the time! :)

If you would like to do this activity, you can get the speech bubbles by clicking here.

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Teacher Week: Why

Being organized is something I have to have. Most people would probably say I am an extremely organized school, at church, at home. You name it; I try to organize it. ;)

Here are some things in my classroom that I have done to help me stay organized and why they work.

These drawers are one way I stay organized. Why? Well, the large set kind of takes places of having a desk and desk drawers. I keep all my supplies in it, along with all my teaching materials I need throughout the day. The labels make it super easy for anyone else coming into my room, like an assistant or substitute, to find things.  The small set is where I put daily work, materials, etc.; labeled by date. I also have a draw for things to copy, things to grade, sub plans, paper, and band-aids (cause we know in first grade you go through hardly any a ton of band-aids). 

My classroom library is something I strive to keep very organized and try to make it easy for my kids to help. My first year teaching, my books were organized by level. Now, that I do Daily Five, I decided to change to organizing books by topic. That way kids can use the I-Pick method for choosing books. Each book topic has a box that is numbered. Then the books have a corresponding number written on them. 

For example, my Franklin and Bernstein Bear books are basket 4. So, all those books have a 4 in the corner so when a kiddo is done with that book, they know to match it to box 4. This works great with my first graders and is something they can actually do and help keep organized.

My final organization tip is my student mailboxes. My first year teaching I purchased some cardboard mailboxes, but they didn't hold up well. After that I thought about buying the nice wooden ones, but a. they cost a lot and b. they take up a lot of room. So, this is my solution. I have a file box with a hanging folder for each student. That is where there graded papers go (they take them home on Fridays). For notes, etc. I put them in the black basket on top of the file box and just place them in each folder, which are kept in the white container. 

Each student in my class has a number, so their folder has a number (so I can reuse them each year without renumbering them). 

I hope you can use some of these organization tips in your classroom. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Teacher Week: Where

Today, for Teacher Week, we are sharing where we teach.

This is my fourth year teaching...for the first three years, I had a Dr. Seuss theme in my classroom. I loved it, but after three years was ready for a change. Rather than choosing a specific theme i.e. beach, jungle, Dr. Seuss. I decided to just do a "colorful" theme.

Here's the final product... (sorry the pictures aren't the best quality...taken with an iPhone).

This is the view you see when you walk into my classroom.

This view is from the front of my classroom; right in front of my Smart board.

This is where I meet with students for Guided Reading, Math, Writing Conferences, etc. It's also my teacher area instead of a desk. 

My classroom library. 

Our meeting area and word wall. This is probably my favorite area in my classroom. I am also in LOVE with my carpet from Kid Carpet. It is the first year I have been allowed to have a carpet in my room. Above the word wall is another bulletin board that has my alphabet, number words and color words.

This is one of my favorite things in my classroom this year. I wanted to add pictures of my kids and this was the perfect solution. I plan to change it once a month. My littles loves seeing pictures of themselves hanging up. :)

That is all the pictures I have tonight. 
There is lots of white space and empty boards, but that is reserved for student work and anchor charts. The other thing I really wish I could have in my classroom is things hanging from the ceiling. The fire marshal won't allow us do all my blogger friends out there get by with it?? I'm super jealous!

Have a good evening!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Teacher Week: Who

I am so excited to be linking up with Blog Hoppin' for Teacher Week! Today started my second week with kids at school (third week for teachers). So, today is a great day to kick-off Teacher Week.

Today is all about Who...

This picture was taken this summer when I was at the beach for a family vacation; two of my favorite things the beach and family.

Here is my family and I at the beach. Love them all. 

My sweet niece and I. I get to keep her 3 days a week after school until my sister and brother-in-law get off work. I have another niece on the way. 

Another HUGE part of my life is my church and church family. I work with the kids and youth each week at church. This is when we took our youth to the beach for a retreat this summer...I told you I LOVE the beach :)

I went to college at Carson-Newman. Go EAGLES!! These girls made my college days AMAZING and are still dear friends; even though we all live in separate places now. 

When I am not teaching, spending time with my family or church family, I am often cooking and party planning. I LOVE to plan fun parties for people and LOVE to try new recipes.

This is from my sister's Baby Sprinkle I threw her this weekend.

Other random facts about me...
*I am not married; still praying for my Mr. Right.
*This is my fourth year teaching. 
*I took the place of my 1st grade teacher (she was retiring the year I graduated from college).

Can't wait to meet many new bloggers this week. Be sure to link-up.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Currently August

It has been several weeks since I blogged and a few months since I participated in Farley's currently.

I am excited to be linking up for August's currently. Now, that my brain is in full school-mode, I hope to get back to blogging regularly. 

Here's my currently...

Have a great weekend!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Is this thing on?!?!

I'm not so sure any of you are still out there. Since I disappeared for nearly four months, I would imagine you all did too. If not...hello! I don't have much excuse for my absence except I just busy and couldn't get in the blogging groove. 

To catch up, here's a few pictures...

This is a picture of our first graders the last week on school. It was fun to teach them how to take a "jumping" picture. We used this for the last picture of our slide show with the caption "Way to go, you did it!" This was a great group of kiddos and I will certainly miss them. With that being said, I was also VERY excited to welcome summer break on May 23rd.

Then that Sunday, I headed to the beach with the youth a my church. I co-lead them and they are a great group of teens. We had an awesome beach retreat! (That's me in the middle in the green shirt)

Elevator selfie :)

I them came home for a week, then headed back to the beach (different beach) with my family.

Sweet niece :)

This week I have been going to Summer Training. Which is...boring tons of fun.

That's a peak into my life recently. I have been working on a new TPT product and just finished today. It is the Journeys Reading basal word lists for all 6 units. It includes a student sheet with the weekly Spelling words & high frequency words and word cards. I am offering it $2.00 off until Monday. Click on the picture to see the product. 

Sorry for a very non-school related post. Check back soon for school related stuff. 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Donors Choose Winner form Website Wednesday

What a beautiful weekend we are having in East Tennessee! I am so thankful to see the sunshine and Spring-like temperatures.

This Wednesday my website to share about was Donors Choose.

If you have never given Donors Choose a try, click on the picture below for some advice on using it.

Along with my post, Donors Choose allowed me to give away a $50 gift card to one lucky reader. 

20 people commented, so I used the number generator.

The eighth person to comment was MJ from Kindergarten Rocks. Congratulations, MJ.

Thanks to everyone who entered. Have a great weekend!