Monday, August 27, 2012

All About Me & FREEBIES

Not bad for a Monday… FREEBIES

        I had another GREAT day with my firsties! We started our All about Me theme this week and some of the books featured are:

        Today we read I Like Myself! Then we made a chart titled ‘I like myself because…’ and students shared why they like themselves. (I meant to take a picture of our chart, but I forgot!)

        ‘Grown-up school’ started tonight, or grad class. I’m taking two classes this semester, which will be the first time I have two classes and ‘little people school’ for the whole semester. I am slightly worried, but I know it will be over in no time!

        I’m off to get a little grading done, and then to bed. First, I want to leave you with some FREEBIES!! I know it’s been forever since I’ve posted any, so here are the sight word packets that I put together this weekend for my first grade team. ENJOY!!

Friday, August 24, 2012

First Week of School

What a Wonderful Week!

       I had a LOVELY first week of first grade! Everything went as smooth as can be, which makes me VERY HAPPY!! My kids are really trying to do their best and it definitely shows. We were able to accomplish so much this week. :D

          When I posted on Monday I talked about the “mini-mes” that the kids made. On Tuesday they wrote about the first day of school and then glued the mini-mes to their writing. They turned out GREAT:

          On Tuesday I had a special package in the mail when I came home! My sister sent me an adorable pop-up book titled Arlo Needs Glasses. The book is so cute! I was so excited to take it to school the next day and share it with my kids. Here’s a picture of the book:

          Today I read The Teacher from the Black Lagoon. The students loved seeing what Mrs. Green did to each student. Then, students shared what they would do if they came to school and their teacher was a monster. Finally, they wrote about what they would do and illustrated pictures to go with their writing. I LOVED reading their responses:

If my teacher was a monster I would get a toilet plunger and plunge her down the toilet and flush it.

          We also wrote about something fun we did over summer break AND practiced writing our Cc’s and Dd’s. I don’t think I had ANY complaints either! They are an AWESOME group of kids!

          Before I left today I snapped a few pictures of the book aprons that I put together for my class this year, and of the 'transportation station' I made. Take a look:

The numbers correlate to the ‘teams’ that students sit at.

I had originally just clipped the clothespins to the word card, but I have so many walkers that I ended up putting magnets on the back of them. Now it’s super easy to move the kids to the correct label.

I'm off to get a little relaxation in before bed! 

Monday, August 20, 2012

First Day of School

And then the bell rang…

        Let me just say that TODAY WAS WONDERFUL!!! My kids were GREAT, I LOVED having a second set of hands this morning to help students and parents with supplies and getting settled, and EVERYTHING went fairly smooth. I feel like it gets a little easier each year; and I don’t know if it’s because each year I have more experiences to draw on, or if the kids are better… but I’ll take it. I was still very nervous this morning, right up until the bell rang. But then things got crazy with kids, parents, and supplies and my nervousness disappeared.

        An activity that I’ve had each of my firsties do each year on the first day is to make a mini-me. (I meant to take pictures, but totally forgot- so tomorrow.) Basically, the students trace a little person onto construction paper in a color they feel matches their skin. Then they add faces, clothes, and color. They turned out so cute!

        It’s a short post, but I’m tired and I have a few things to do for tomorrow. I’ll post more tomorrow with some pictures!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Lesson Plan Template: Take 2

New Lesson Plan Template
        Back in May I posted about the lesson plan template that I created. Over the last few weeks I have noticed a HUGE increase in the views that post has received, so I thought I would revisit it; mainly because I had to create a new template for the new school year since I had so many schedule changes. My new template was created in Excel- and it is so much easier to manipulate than the one I originally made in Word. I can also not take the credit for creating the template, because I am Excel inept! Thankfully my hubby is an Excel wiz and was able to help (well create) my new template. 

       Take a look:

        I highly recommend using Excel to create your own template if you just can’t find one that you like- or if you want a more personalized template. If you like my template, I've added it to my TpT store. It can easily be edited in the Excel document. 

Lesson Plan Template

Friday, August 17, 2012

Back to School

Cruising into the school year!

        This week was back to school for the teachers and staff at my school. I was very busy trying to get the room ready, get some planning done, and make the new first grade teachers feel as ready as possible for Monday. I have to say that I would not feel as prepared as I do if it weren’t for my AWESOME student teacher Rachel! I am already so glad that I decided to take an intern for the upcoming school year.

        My room came together quickly with an extra set of hands, and my determination to rise as the “first grade team leader.” I should explain that since my former teaching partner retired after last school year I am now working with a brand new teacher, as well as a teacher whom has previously taught 6th grade. I LOVE the first grade team and am excited to hear new ideas, and share my passion for the first grade with some ‘fresh meat.’ These statements also apply to my intern!

        As I was saying, our hard work has paid off and I am ready to share some pictures of my classroom:

View from my desk area

Carpet Area

Reading Table

WELCOME! And the centers display

Reading Corner- I LOVE IT!!!

Writing Center

        We had an Open House yesterday, so we were able to meet some of our firsties! We had 11 of our firsties and their families stop by, and I am SUPER EXCITED for the upcoming year! THEY’RE SO CUTE!!!!

        As for other things that I’m looking forward to this year, I am excited to implement some new ideas that I found on Pinterest this year, as well as incorporating Writer’s Workshop back into my routine.  

Monday is the first day of school, so I’m off to relax and get plenty of sleep!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Sight Word Pack FREEBIE

Last Friday of Summer… and Sight Word Pack FREEBIE

        I had full intentions of posting earlier this week, however I found myself trying to finish a few projects at home, as well as going into school to get a head start on setting up my classroom. I went to school twice this week, and actually accomplished quite a bit! I was reminded how quickly setting up is when you don’t change classrooms. There is still a lot to do, but I know that everything will be ready sometime on Tuesday.

        As promised in my last post, I finished putting together my bucket seats and snapped a few pictures:

        Last night I wrote out the name plates for the students’ desks, and the equity sticks. I also started to cut out the owls (in pieces) that I’m going to use for our welcome back board:

I got the template I'm using from for FREE!

        Today I’m planning to finish the two floor cushions I’m making for my reading center, cut out some more owls, and finish my book aprons (I’m going to put table numbers on them):

Soon to be floor cushions :)

Soon to be book aprons- saw this idea on Pinterest!

       I also finished my sight word pack, which I’ll be using in my room this year. The pack starts out in a logical, alphabetical order, but then I just added words as I thought of them. I hope you find it useful! 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Great Summer Finds

Busy as a Bee

        I have been extremely busy the past several days; between making new center activities and bucket seats, labeling my garage sale books, painting magazine holders, and figuring out a way to paint over the Home Depot label on the canvas aprons… I somehow had time to help my sister move. Although I should clarify that she stayed in her same apartment, but moved into a larger room within it. Since I am trying to tackle so many projects before I head back to Maryland, I extended my trip by a few days, in hopes to finish at least the bucket seats!

        Helping my sister move into her new room turned out to be quite an adventure. We walked by one of the dumpsters outside her building and I found an aquarium, upon closer inspection I found a hermit crab… ALIVE!! Someone (heartless if you ask me) threw away not only a great aquarium, but a poor, helpless hermit crab! Needless to say we rescued him, and my sister has a friend that is going to “adopt” him. I briefly considered taking him for a class pet, but I am still unsure about making such a big commitment. Here he is:

        Moving on to school matters, I have put the plastic Easter eggs that I bought on Friday to good use:

I made a small set with word families and another small set with compound words. I hope to add to both sets once my brain is 100% in back-to-school mode, probably later next week. 

I also bought clear and white plastic spoons to make alphabet matching center activities:

I color coded the sets so even my firsties will know which bag the spoons belong in.

Here are a few pictures of the books I scored at the garage sales I went to on Friday:

Some "almost new" Junie B. books

Here are two videos I picked up as well:

            I also have to say that I have the BEST sister in the world! This is why:

                      She lent me all of her Magic Tree House books!

            She also went dumpster diving for box tops! She found two!

That's it for today- hopefully I'll have pictures of the bucket seats and everything else I'm making posted by Monday!