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Showing posts from 2012

100th Day Linky Party

I can't believe the year is officially half-way done!  My kiddos have come so far, but still have so much to learn! The 100th Day is quickly approaching for some districts!   Please link up with your favorite 100th day activity, craft, game, etc.  Grab the picture and link away!

Merry Christmas! Freebies!

Merry Christmas Everyone!
It has been an insane few weeks!  I am exhausted!  I didn't want to jinx myself by posting this last week, but my kiddos were AMAZING!  Of course it helped, that I had several darlings out each day, but they were still wonderful.  I was impressed.  

Two weeks ago the private high school adopted the first grade classes.  One dressed up as Santa and handed out presents to each child.  The rest of them made cards with our kiddos and passed out snack to each class.  It was so much fun!

We also had our music performance two weeks ago which was fun.

One little one was in the hospital because he was sick and not getting better, so I went to go see him.  Talk about hard!  He looked so tiny in that big hospital bed.  Hopefully, he will be back to school in January.
One of the highlights of my week:  A kiddo, who is normally a handful, was struggling to make a good choice.  All of the kiddos looked at each other and started chanting her name, she made the right ch…

Center Overhaul!

It was time for a center overhaul!  Our first grade team meets each week and discusses our concerns.  We were all complaining that our kids are messing around during centers.  Any work we give them turns into a game or a mess.  Nothing is being completed properly and we aren't able to meet with our groups because we are dealing with issues.  I thought it was because my kids get bored easily with the same old centers, but I didn't want to spend half of every center time on Monday explaining new centers.  I wanted to teach them once and then just change the design each month.  I want them to become experts at it.  My brain never shuts off and it was getting tired of thinking about centers.  I hated having to choose centers each week and trying to keep track of whether or not we had already done them.

My kiddos had center maps for literacy stations

However, I was making groups on the spot for math which was once again eating up time every day.
I broke down and made center maps …

Sticker Stories and Thank you!

Thank you to all of my followers and buyers!  Cyber Monday and Tuesday are wrapping up on TPT and I appreciate your support!

As for sticker stories...My teammate was out sick today and of course the sub didn't show up.  I agreed to take her kiddos with some help from our computer teacher.  Thank heavens she was available.  Nearly 40 kiddos in one very tiny room is enough to make anyone go crazy.  Adaptation and patience were the words of the day.  Centers were completely out of the question due to the number of kiddos, so I decided to try sticker stories.  Luckily, it was brand new to both classes and they loved it!  I grabbed my Dollar Tree sticker books and told them they could pick three stickers to add to their paper.  Then, they added details to their pictures and wrote a sentence or two.  Voila!  Perfect activity!  I got nervous when some of the stickers weren't sticky anymore, but I passed out a few glue sticks and the kiddos never flinched.  They had some really creati…

More New Products!

New Christmas Math Centers Perfect for First or Second Grade!!!

Cyber Monday & Tuesday Sale

New Products!

Classroom Job Cards Vertical and Horizontal! CVC, Silent E, Vowel Digraphs, and Consonant Digraphs for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas!!

CVC Activities

Just posted some CVC word games!  Check them out!  They are great for small groups and centers!

Literary Elements

Our unit on literary elements is coming to an end this week, so we made this cute project for The Art Lesson by Tomie dePaola.   I grabbed the crayon clipart from Google, so unfortunately I can't post it, but feel free to make something similar. 

I fell off the face of the Earth!

So sorry guys, I have been overwhelmed and under-energized this month!  Does anyone else wish they could just shut their classroom door and not let anyone in or out?  If I could just teach, my kids might learn something!  So far this month we have had:  picture day, early release day, fall break, Red Ribbon Week, report cards, conferences, and special meetings.  My little darlings also gave me bronchitis during all of this.  Then, two weeks ago, my mother in law had a massive stroke, ended up moving in with us and having Hospice help with care, then Friday she was rushed to the hospital and has been there all weekend because they can't figure out why she continues to have strokes.  Hubby has been at the hospital all weekend and will be going out of town the middle of this week.  Needless to say...I am exhausted!  I am sorry this little blog has been neglected, but so have the rest of the parts of my life!

Oh my word!  I can't believe I forgot to share my good the mi…

It's True...October is magical!

How is it possible that our district does not have any substitute teachers available? For three days this week, my teammate and I covered for our other teammate who was sick. (Legitimately sick, poor thing had no voice and we had to demand her to stay at home and rest.  I really do have the best team!  We do anything and everything we can for each other!) This meant bouncing her kids to and from each of our rooms for various activities. Our kiddos had no idea what was coming next because we just had to fit in whatever we could, whenever we could. Amazingly enough I think the only thing we missed out on was centers and guided reading! All other lessons were taught! Despite having an insane week I noticed some growth! Everyone said that a transformation happens to the kiddos in October and it's true! Suddenly they are a little more independent and helpful. This meant that I had some time this morning to whip up two ABC order centers! Check them out!

My First Linky Party

Hang in there!  I'm trying to start my first linky party!  As I stated in my previous post I plan my year with academic units.  My brain can't wrap around the idea of themes because "what do you include in a unit about apples?"  "How long do you do each theme?"  Think about these questions and post a list, chart, etc. that explains how you map out your year.  Don't forget to grab the picture below and link back to my blog!  Have fun!

Shhh...I really like my kiddos! And 2 Successful Reading Lessons!

Shhh....I don't want to jinx myself I know it's still early and we are probably still in the "honeymoon" phase, but I really like my kiddos!  They are genuinely good!  I know I said that last week, but you have no idea what life in my classroom was like last year.  You also don't understand how much this year is already making me smile. (Someone please remind me of this around December when the little darlings are antsy for Christmas and driving me crazy!)  My kiddos came into my room today and didn't make a peep (except one little darling that had to "try again" and was successful).  They grabbed their handwriting books and got right to work.  I stopped what I was doing not once but twice and just stared at them.  I couldn't believe it!  I can do read aloud on my carpet!  I did a math lesson on the carpet!  And a reading lesson!  The carpet was a war zone last year!  Everyone stayed on green today, no one moved their clip!  I love being able to…

Trims are over and I'm safe!

"Trims" is what happens between the 5th and 10th day of school...the district looks at the numbers and decides if each building has too many teachers or needs more.  Well, long story short, I was the last one hired, so there was a lot of nail biting going on for these last 7 days.  After a very intense emergency staff meeting, all is well and I still keep my kiddos!  Hopefully they hire some new teachers next year so I'm not on the chopping block again.  It's wishful thinking, I know.

Knock on wood, my kids are pretty good!  It's all relative, but I haven't had a chair thrown in my room or one hide under furniture (unlike last year).  So I'm really excited!  The majority of them are still scared of the clothespin chart (unlike last year).  It's so funny, because they do slip up, and I correct them, but then laugh at myself because last year I would have been thrilled for someone to "only" do what they just did.

I started reading groups toda…

Survival of the Fittest!

Whew!  I survived the first week!  I have to say this is my least favorite week of teaching.  I hate teaching procedures and doing mushy gushy get to know you activities.  I realize it's important, but I want to teach the meat of it!  Thank heavens Monday we will begin our "real" units!

I ended up not getting a class list until the day school started and then three kiddos never showed up so I have 18!  That is so much nicer than the 25+ we were originally expecting based on last year's kindergartners!  Everyone kept saying how hectic the first day was.  I was convinced that it was only as hectic as you make it.  Sure enough I was right.  The first 15 minutes of hugs, kisses, and goodbye tears to mommies and daddies were the worst.  After that, I shut my door and conducted business as usual.  No chaos, no confusion, and no more tears.

I have to admit though, by Wednesday night I was beat!  I fell asleep before 8:00!  This 5:00a.m. wake up call is rough!

I have two s…

Last Day of Summer Vacay, TPT Blues, and First Grade Fairytales Giveaway!

OMG Summer is over!!!!!!  I can't believe my alarm will be going off at 5a.m. tomorrow!  My plan for today is to get the house under control.  It needs to a good scrub, I have ironing to do, and about a million little things around the house that aren't in the right place.

Does anyone else do a final push to get their house in order before school starts?

Does anyone else get the post TPT sales blues?  This was my first sale and don't get me wrong I am happy with my sales, but I still didn't sell the products that I am most excited about.  For all of you expert sellers out there...what do you do when your cutest products don't sell?  Over the last few months, I tried selling my math centers separately for $!  I tried raising the price to $!  I tried combining them and selling them as a whole set for a deeply discounted!  I haven't sold any of them!  Any suggestions?

Ok, enough grumbling....on to the super exciting news!  Just in ca…

My First Donors Choose Project!

I am so excited!  I finally had the nerve to submit a project to Donors Choose!  For some reason it seemed very intimidating.  I created my account back in the spring, but never did anything with it.  It turns out the process is super easy.  The hardest part was deciding what I wanted.  I saw the word building puzzles at Lakeshore a few weeks ago when I went to OKC, but they were not on sale.  I had money on my PayPal account from Teachers' Notebook and thought I might scoop them up that way.  The only problem was that when I got home and tried to order them, I realized that Lakeshore doesn't accept PayPal.  I was bummed because I really wanted these puzzles and they were definitely not in the budget.  So tonight I went shopping and picked out all of the games and puzzles I wanted for my classroom as if money was not an issue.  I submitted my project and now it's time to hurry up and wait.  I am not planning on including a link to my project because I don't want you to…

Back To School Sale Linky Party!

I am linking up with Blog Hoppin' for their Back To School Sale Linky Party.  Click on the link above to see dozens of other stores that are offering great deals!

Centers with a Freebie!

Everyone has their own management style for centers.   You have to figure out what works best for you and your kiddos.  A lot of people use pocket charts, but I do not have a lot of room to hang yet another chart.  I also don't want to have to switch cards around everyday so that everyone gets to go to a different center.  My co-op used a center map and I grew fond of this technique.  The kiddo follows the pictures in order going down each column depending on the day of the week.  I like my centers very orderly so we will all be cleaning up and moving at the same time.

Typically you would have a kiddo's name at the top.  I chose to come up with a numbering system instead.  This way when I have kiddos move or get a new student I don't have to print a new map.  The numbering system works like this:  The number represents what group they are in and the letter designates who it is.  I only wanted 5 kiddos in a group and I only wanted to see 5 groups in a day.  My maps are labe…

ABC Matching and Back To School Sale!

I am holding a Back To School Sale August 12-13th!  This is my first sale, so hopefully it goes well.  I am offering 10% off in conjunction with TPT offering an addition 10% off.  Don't forget to use the promo code BTS12 to take advantage of both discounts!  Tell your friends!!!!

I have been locked to my computer for the last two days creating ABC Matching Games!  It doesn't seem like there are a lot of materials for Pre K and Kindergarten so I thought I would give it a try.  Each set of ABC cards can be used for matching upper lowercase letters.  I have included directions for three ways to play:

  *Pull and Say:Place the cards in a container and students will pull a card out one at a time and identify the letter.If they identify it correctly, they can keep the card.If they don’t identify it correctly, they place it back in the container.If a player draws the keyword card all of their cards must go back in the container.

*Memory:Use the word cards to play memory. Simply eliminat…