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Thursday, August 8, 2013

What did I learn?

So I attended a conference this week in the great state of Texas! I was excited because I have lived in Texas most of my life, but I have never seen the Alamo! So here I am being the nerd that I am.

Ok time for what I learned. It took me a few rounds to figure out where I wanted to go! On day two I literally sat in one room all day. It was the same presenter teaching different sessions. I loved that I learned something new in each session. If I share what I learned maybe I will retain it! 

First of all do you blog with your kids. I have not. I guess I was always a little scared. My presenter, Melissa Leach, gave me an option. Kidblog.org. It is a safe alternative where the teacher has total control over posts and comments. Parents can access their child's blog. They can comment on their posts as well. I started getting excited. My brain just went to clicking. My babies will write in the writing center. They then will rotate sometime that week to the computer station and choose a writing to publish on their blog. I also have writing examples and proof they did something in their station without having to go through their journal. I started playing with the site some already. It will take me a few days but I am excited about it! 

Ok are you an independent reader expert? I was not! I thought I was! Haha. Of course I gave my kids time for independent reading every day, but of course they never were on task. What if I give my kids a purpose for reading? I felt so silly after realizing it. The great, Melissa Leach, said teach a mini lesson, they practice that skill during their independent reading, then they share. So I could have had my kids read and try practicing inferencing. Then they would share some inferences they made. I also got some great ideas for anchor charts at the beginning of the year. I want to make a class list of our likes and dislikes so we can share books according to our likes and dislikes.

I also learned about writers notebooks. This is not for actual writing pieces this is where they write ideas. She gave us book ideas and great ideas to get them thinking of writing pieces. 

Literacy stations was also another great one. I got some new, fresh ideas for some of my stations.  This all came from the same presenter! Check the bottom of this post for all of the links to her awesomeness! I never thought about using travel brochures for a reading station. Another favorite was Reading with the Stars. First graders need to practice fluency daily! She had created file folders with stars inside. They read to the star. So your stars just depends what your kids like. I could see some girls reading to One Direction or Bieber. Boys reading to Kung Fu Panda or sports athletes or monster truck drivers. It can be whatever! So cool! Ok check out her blog! Click the pic to visit!
 Click the pic below to go to her business page and schedule her to come visit you!

Last thing! I saw this cool video on her blog. Ok if you teach social studies, I think your kids would love this kid! If you want to pump up your team show them this video! If you want to teach anyone about loving one another and making the world better, Kid President can help!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

My 2013-2014 1st Grade Classroom

It is DONE! Well pretty much done.  I have been working so hard for the past few days.  I am going to a huge state conference next week.  I am super excited about it.  So I worked hard to get this new, cute room done.  Check it out!
Walking into the door:
Front of the room
I love the numbers at the top of the board.  I found them on the wonderful Amy Lemons TPT store.  Click the link to check them out.
Math Board

I love this board!  It is one of my favorites because I made the posters.
Library Area:
Book Storage
I love these labels!
Supply Storage
Small Group Reading Instruction Area
The baskets hold their decodable readers.
Word Wall
Centers
I plan on adding Spelling two more centers.  I am still processing which ones I would like to add.
Finally my outside board: Our school's theme is camping.  I like to be creative with my outside bulletins.  I could not think of anything.  One day it just hit me: Yogi Bear.  I loved Yogi as a kid.  I am not quite finished with it.  I HATE tissue paper!  I ran out!
That wraps up the cuteness for now!  Thanks for checking it out.  Stay tuned for my stellar year!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Classroom Set Up #2

I am exhausted!  I have been working like a mad woman.  I am getting so close to being done! WOO HOO!  I plan on having a few more full days, and hopefully I will be finished.  I have stayed with birds this year.  I love them!  I also added a little chevron to the mix.  I love chevron!  Who doesn't? Speaking of Chevron, I gave my little cork board/dry erase board a face lift.  It was so boring.
So of course I added some chevron!  This was so easy!  I hot glued ribbon to the perimeter of the board.  I also tied a small bow and hot glued it as well.  I instantly loved it!
I have two small bulletin boards at the front of my room.  I decided to make one board my brag board.  We will put work up that they are proud of.
This is one small preview.  I will be posting a full tour soon!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

My New Classroom Post #1

Summer is coming to an end.  I was planning on coming to post some crafts over the summer, and then I decided laying around not being very productive sounded so much better.  I took some much need R&R.  I do believe that I am rested and ready to be productive again.  I moved into my room almost two weeks ago now.  WOW!  Moving is so overwhelming.  I found myself just staring at the boxes for a while.  I had no idea where to start.  I ended up taking so much stuff back home.  I realized that I am a classroom hoarder.  So sad I know!  So here is the mess.....  You have to see where I started so you will be really impressed with where I finish. (If I ever get there)

 Please ignore all of the hot wheels on the floor.  They belong to the toddler below.
 You are not imagining things.  There is a small child trying to cram himself into a cubby.  Do not worry, no toddlers were harmed during this set up.  

I have started making a lot more progress here lately!  I have one bulletin board finished.  Three other boards are very close.  I hope to show you those very soon.
This is my large word wall.  This board took a whole roll of paper.  I love to double my boarder.  I used a pink and a Carson Delosa bird border.  The alphabet I bought off of Teacherspayteachers.  Click the link to get your own. I plan on posting a few more projects.  I hope to have a tour up before school starts.  I am currently working on a three year old Avenger birthday party.  Wish me luck!


Monday, July 1, 2013

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Something New

I finished up my last week of school on Friday.  It was bittersweet.  I am moving campuses and grade levels for the 2013-2014 school year.  I started at my school five years ago.  I started in the middle of the year.  It was one of the hardest things I have ever done.  I learned so much and grew so much in the time I was there.  I do not believe I would be the teacher I am today if I had not started at this school.  So Friday was hard.  I had to say goodbye to the only thing I have ever known.  I also had to say goodbye to some really great friends!  First I had to say goodbye to my best friend!  We have been working with each other for the past two years.  Without this special friend some days would have been really hard.  We also went to middle school and high school together.
I really am going to miss her!
Next was another really good friend.  She has really picked me up in some bad times.  I had two different surgeries this year and she brought me whatever I wanted!  Including my favorite Johnny Carinos Italian Nachos!  She teaches Kindergarten and is awesome!
I mentioned I am moving to a new campus.  I know I sound sad, but I am really excited.  It will be so very different than anything I am use to, but change is good.  I also am going back to my home grade and where this blog started. I will be teaching 1st grade next year!  I am joining a team that seems to be a really great team.  I am excited about being part of a genuine team!  
I hope you all are enjoying the first few weeks of summer!  I hope to be back next week with my first Monday Made It of summer.  This is what I have been dealing with over the past few days:

Wish me luck! hahaha

Monday, May 27, 2013

My Week in Review

Ok, It is Monday and I am just now completing my Five for Friday.  Slacker, I know!  We had a four day weekend due to a bad weather day we were able to use since we had not used it this year.  I really needed these four days.  I have spent it with my wonderful family.  We visited a small gator park that had other animals, I soaked up some sun and read, and I also worked on a flea market find.  It has been really wonderful.  Today will consist of swimming and grilling! Yea and Yum!  Getting on with it now!
This week was all about the genre fantasy.  I thought about doing some fairy tales, but I wanted to do something different.  The Wizard of Oz popped into my brain and I couldn't get it out.  I remember seeing some fun units on teachers pay teachers.  We started by reading the condensed version on Monday.  I found a chapter book that was an Ebook.  We read it using my Ipad and an Apple TV. (It was super cool)  The kids took many brain breaks during the reading and acted it out.  Monday also happened to be a day of tragedy with the Tornadoes in Oklahoma.  We came to school on Tuesday and some of my kids were talking about the tornadoes.  We also had a chance of tornadoes for the day.  We started the day with writing what they would do if they had ruby red slippers. (Did you know that Dorothy's slippers were actually silver?) They were very interesting, but one really touched my heart.

I know it is hard to read.  It says:  If I had ruby slippers I will go home with my family and hide from the tornado.  If I had ruby slippers I can tap them three times so I can fly to home.  I will close my eyes and say no place like home, no place like home. 
I told her we would be fine and try not to worry.  We did end up in the hallway that day, but thankfully nothing came our way.  I thought this was pretty deep.  Bless her heart!
We continued the week with plenty of Oz.  We compared Glenda and the Wicked Witch.  They surprised me with everything they remembered. 
We also wrote what we would do if we had a fairy godmother much like Glenda.  This one tickled me.
I had shared with them that there was many different versions of Oz.  They even have a play called Wicked based upon the characters from Oz.  I showed them a few clips on youtube.  I had shared it was my dream to one day see the show in person.  This sweet baby said she was going to take her family and me to see the show.  (Aww tear!) They loved seeing the clips from Wicked that we ended up listening to the soundtrack while we worked.  We had a great week.  Check out our cute board.
If you too would like to enjoy the fun of Oz check out some of the links below on where to purchase your Oz unit as well!  Some of it was FREE!
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Wizard-of-Oz-FREEBIE-590438
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/The-Wizard-of-Oz-Literacy-and-Math-Unit-119788

My heart is with all of the families of Oklahoma.