Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The One with the Year in Review

Okay, so my first attempt at a linky didn't go over as well as I'd hoped.  Guess what though?  I'm not giving in.  I hope you are looking for funny stories this week because round 2 will be this Friday.

Another year coming to an end, I started thinking about the last year.  A lot has happened over the past year.

My fiance and I bought a house!  It has almost been a year.  It was January 10th that we signed the papers.  Crazy!  We have made a ton of changes to it.
My school broke ground on our new school.
It has been so exciting watching the progress.  I taught summer school for the first time... ever!  Not sure if I would like to do that again.  LOL.  The money was nice but I did miss my summer.  However, doing summer school I got to watch the new school construction from the very beginning.

I also passed my Dossier.
I spent so much time working on that document.  It was insane the amount of time I spent on it.  It did get me a $10,000 raise though.  I was so happy to see all my hard work pay off.  I passed it like a rock star.

During this year I have seen many changes in New Mexico's education system.  New Mexico has adopted the A-F grading system for each school.  Our school has not done so well so we are basically under construction physically and mentally.  Our evaluation system has been changed, too.

To end off the year, New Mexico is the 17th state to legalize same-sex marriage.
My fiance and I have been busy trying to plan a wedding.  We went to the courthouse yesterday and picked up our marriage license.  So hopefully 2014 will be as good as 2013.

With that I am saying good-bye to 2013 and hello to 2014!!!

P.S. I also wanted to link up with Simply Kinder for her Teaching Blog Linky Party.  It's to help teachers find more resources and find new readers.   I needed both!

Friday, December 27, 2013

The One with the Friday Funnies Link-up - Round 1

Here it is!

I have always wanted to do a link-up.  I have decided to do the Friday Funnies weekly linky party that can be done on your blog, on Instagram OR both.  Here's how it will work!

Every Friday I will post the next round (first one starting today) and you post your funny picture or story that happened that week.  The funny stories and pictures do not always have to be teacher related.  

If you are doing it on Instagram:
1. Upload your photo to Instagram.
2. In the description post your story for the picture and include the round number (i.e. Today's Friday Funny -Round 1).  Also, include #TheFridayFunnies in the description.  

If you decide to do it on your blog:
1. Create a post with your friday funny.  
2. In your post please include a link back to here
3. Add a link to your post to the linky at the bottom of this page.  

It is a weekly linky party but you do not need to participate in every week's.

Please join in on Round 1 of The Friday Funnies!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The One with the Resolutions

It time for another year to come to an end.  I am linking up with A Peach for a Teach to join in on her Resolutions for 2014 linky.
A Peach for the Teach: Behavior Supports & Multi-Age

So, let's Link-up!
Personal: I need to exercise more.  I know I need to and I need to just find a way to squeeze it into my schedule.  No more excuses!

Professional:  My little owls this year are not very engaged, or they have a hard time staying engaged.  I have been scouring the web for ideas to help fix the problem.  When my owls took their last reading and math tests, they made very little progress.  I was disappointed because I know my little owls should be scoring higher.  

Classroom:  The owls are getting wild.  They are also being disrespectful to each other or others outside our class.  I want my respectful owls back!

Blog/TpT:  I've had this blog for 3 years now and am only at 81 followers.  I love blogging and I want to do more of it.  Speaking of which, I have a surprise to help me blog more starting tomorrow.  Don't forget to check back to find out what it is.  (FYI: It's NOT a giveaway or freebie).  I also want to start making more products to be featured on TpT.

Just-for-fun:  I want to enjoy my life more.  I want to get out and do more.

I would love to see your new year resolutions!  Link-up with A Peach for a Teach.

Auld Lang Syne!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The One with a Weekly Wrap-up

Merry Christmas!

I cannot believe that it is already Christmas.  Man, has the time flown by.  This past week has been a whirlwind, too.

We got to tour our new school last Wednesday.  Well, it is not close to being done but they let us walk around it.  It is like a maze!  One exciting thing about it was the chance I got to stand in my new classroom.  Here it is!
I'm totes in love with the windows.  You can see one in the back and there is another one on the other end of that wall.  The floors are polished red concrete.  Awesome!  I can't wait for it all to be done.  The man standing there in the hard hat is the main contractor.  He said they plan to have us be able to move our stuff in by May.  MAY!!!  That's cray-cray!

Thursday was the last day before winter break.  It was early release.  The kids were allowed to leave at 1:30.  I didn't get many gifts from the owls.  I don't do this job for the gifts, though. Hehe!  However, I did get a really cute owl candle holder (see photo below-top right frame).  After the kids were gone my first grade peeps and I decided to head over to Starbucks and exchange gifts.  They gave me some pretty awesome gifts.
 I got one tumbler with a snowglobe in the bottom (top left), another tumbler (top left), a plug-in wall scent warmer (bottom left), and owl measuring spoons (bottom right).

During lunch on Thursday, I got an email from the HRC with some really great news. New Mexico is the 17th state to allow same-sex marriages.
So exciting!  Now my fiance and I have been busy planning out our wedding.  We have decided to do the wedding ceremony at the courthouse then having a reception the following day.  We've been in discussion of doing a 20s theme for the reception.  We have also discussed having the reception in April.  That is as far as our discussion had gotten.

Friday was our Christmas.  He drives to Kansas to see his family and I stay in here with mine.  We've been doing it for the last 10 Christmases.  It has sort of become a tradition.  Are you ready for gifts from my man!?  Here goes!
He got me a teaching reference book (top left).  He knows I've been looking for ways to get my class more engaged.  He got me a sweater and a pair of Happy Socks (top right).  He bought me a new SiriusXM radio for my car.  I LOVE it!  He also got me a jet spa for our bath tub.  He got me a bunch of little things too.  A candle, Story Cubes, a few pairs of Andrew Christian underwear (OMG! TMI!), and a few things I can't remember at this time.

Saturday through Monday were pretty uneventful.  We worked on the laundry area in our house cleaning up the mess of laundry detergent that fell and spilled EVERYWHERE!  We removed the washer and dryer to clean up the mess under the machines.
The dryer didn't really fit in this area anyway so we decided to fix all the baseboards (or put in where they had to cut them out to fit the dryer).  After some discussion we decided to by a new dryer that will fit better in the space.  We ordered it online at Lowes and it will be here Friday!  Can't wait.  Plus, I really need to do laundry.  LOL

Tuesday I visited my parents.  We ate dinner and watched Christmas Vacation.  Then we unwrapped presents.
They bought me this cute framed artwork from Hobby Lobby and some body wash from Bath and Body Works.  I can't wait to hang the artwork up in our hall bath.  So cute!

That brings us to today.  I am sitting on the Christmas morning drinking my caramel latte and watching Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince.

I hope you all have a safe and merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The One with the Vocabulary Foldable Flipbook

Today was a crazy day.  I had to finish assessing students on their sight words.  So I did fun centers for the morning so I can finish.  I tried to do normal Daily 5 and math centers but they were fighting and being so loud it was too hard to test.

I mentioned in my last post that I was wanting to revamp my day in the classroom.  One idea that our reading coach did with my class was a vocabulary flipbook.  I loved it so much that I wanted to share it with you.
First you will need a bunch of paper.  I chose to use a different color for each word.  I'm using it for our sight words for the week after break.  We have 7 sight words that day so my flipbook will have 7 different color pages.
You will then cut each sheet in half so you end up with 2 half-sheets.  I have 21 students so I only needed 11 sheets of each color.
After all the pieces are cut in half (hamburger), fold each half-sheet in half (hot dog).
Then you will need to cut a slit on the front side (if you set it like a tent, the side facing you) about 1/2 inch from the left side.  Do not cut through both sides or it will fall off.
Do this with all sheets.
Then line them all up - cut sides all facing up and put two staples on the small side of your cut.
Then viola! you have a flip book.
The students write their word on the front on the page.  We talk about any known phonic rules or sounds we can add as clues to sound it out.  Then the students open it up by lifting up the page with their word on it.  We use their readers to locate the word in their story and they write the sentence the word was in on the bottom half.  They can use the top half to illustrate the sentence.

Hopefully, you found this helpful and that I explained it well.  My little owls loved doing it with our reading coach.  I'm excited to use it with them when we get back from break.  I'm planning on having the students write all their words during our whole group lesson.  Then have the students do the rest during Daily 5.  Doing it all at one time takes a long time and some students write faster than others.

If you have any further questions about my flipbooks, hit me up!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

The One with the Ridiculously Long Break

I don't know what to say.  I have no excuse for being gone so long. Things got so busy and the next thing I know, it's December.  That's  4 monthes since I posted last.  Or 13 days!  Holy cow that is a long time!

School has been super cray-cray!  Our state has been undergoing some major changes with education.  Some of which I am not too happy about.  I don't really want to get into it here.  One major change has been the way teacher's get evaluated.  We now have 3 observations from our principal.  Each one is supposed to last about 40 minutes to an hour.  I have no problem with getting observed.  The requirements and time needed for each observation is a bit much.  Since the start of school on August 12th, I have had 2 observations.  So crazy to think we have only been in school for 4 months and I've already had two observations.  Good news is I won't have another one until February or March.  Yay!!!

During my long absence I have created some games I have been using in my class.  They are based off of some games I got (for FREE!) from Mr. First Grade.    I have always had trouble with students mastering their digraphs.  So I decided more practice was needed.  These games are fun... my little owls love them!  One is to practice the ch sound and the other is for the sh sound.  If you are interested in them, click the pictures below.  BTW, they are free!!

I've been trying to work on new things for my classroom.  I have decided that pretty much everything done in my classroom needs to be revamped.  I feel like I'm losing my little owls and they are not staying engaged.  I have been trying to find new ways to keep my little owls engaged.  So I have decided to come out of my long break from the blogging world.  I have not been reading blogs... let alone posting on my own.  I do follow some blogs on Instragram and Facebook so I haven't cut myself out completely.  There are just some bloggers I just can't stay away from.  Hehe.  

Since I have decided to revamp my classroom, I thought to myself "Where else can I get help for this major problem in my classroom but from the amazing teachers around the world?" So I opened up my Bloglovin' app on my iPad and started reading.  I've also been hitting Pinterest.  There are so many great ideas out there, I'm not sure where to start.  :S   

So with that, look forward to more of me... I will try to keep this updated again as often as possible.  Things just keep getting cray-cray!  You can always follow me on Instagram and on Bloglovin'.  

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The One with August Currently

I cannot believe that August is already here.  It's only 11 days to my birthday too!  And the first day of school.  That's right, my birthday is on the first day of school.  Lucky me!

I'm linking up with Farley at Oh Boy, Fourth Grade for Currently August.

Listening:  There's a movie on Logo that was just on and I started watching it.  The movie is called "Dare".  

Loving:  Summer school finished last Thursday.  It is so nice to have a break.  It's a very short break.  Read Wanting to know why.

Thinking:  I have so many things I would like to complete before school starts up again.  Some I need to wait until I'm able to get into our online grade book.  Other things are stuff that I'm just procrastinating on doing.  I need to get me butt in gear!

Wanting:  I would like one extra week of a break.  We have meetings and building work days starting August 6th.

Needing:  I have been looking for baskets, tubs, or something to hold the students workbooks.  I have tables this year and I love them.  However, we have these huge reading workbooks that the district requires us to use for our reading curriculum.  I have no where to put them without cluttering up the student tables.  Any suggestions?!

B2s must haves: 
1.  Coffee.  I love coffee and need it every morning.
2. Energy.  The first day is always crazy and exhausting.  Get lots of sleep the night before to have the energy for the day.  #1 also helps with that too.  ;)
3. Organization.  Finding ways to stay organized starting with the first day makes the craziness of the beginning of the year much more manageable.  Anything to help make things run smoothly is always a must have in my book.

Thanks for stopping by.  Head on over the Farley's blog to participate.  I look forward to reading all your August Currently.

Reminder:  Please follow me on Bloglovin' and Instagram!  (Owl links on the right hand side)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The One With Line Numbers

I have posted last year about my line-up numbers.  Let me tell you, they are heaven.  It stops the fighting over who cut in front of whom.  It also stops the kids from running to be first in line.

I thought I would go into more detail about my line-up numbers and some of my trial and errors.

I learned a lot about how to apply them after trying a few things.  The first set I made I laminated then stuck them to the floor with packing tape.  It worked well for a while but eventually started to peel up.   I would then have to remove all the tape to put down a new number.  Laminating them was good because I was able to peel off the tape from the numbers to use again.  However, laminating them made them thicker and they would start to peel off around the edges of the numbers.

So I decided to not laminate the second set halfway through the year (I wanted to mix up the numbers because a student was having trouble with another student).  I discovered that the non-laminated set held up longer than the laminated ones.  At this time, I also wanted to try something else to stick down the numbers.  The tape was okay but it took forever to remove the tape and the adhesive that was left behind. 

That's when I decided to try clear contact paper.  I bought a huge roll from Walmart for $5.  I have used it several times for the numbers and still have over half the roll left.  The contact paper worked much better and when I needed to replace a number, it came off the floor easily.  Plus, it didn't leave the adhesive behind.

Now, to the process.  I first printed them.  I used two different colors for them so they altered colors.  After they were printed, I cut each one out.
After cutting them out, I planned out which order I wanted them in.  I thought about which students would work well together and which ones didn't.
I then cut the clear contact paper about 1 inch bigger than the number (on all sides).  I then took the contact paper rectangles I cut out and stuck the numbers to the floor.  There you go.  Plain and simple.

I did explain to the class about the numbers and how they are used.  I also went over how to take care of the numbers so they last a long time.  I asked them to not peel them up or to shuffle their feet on them.

Now, if you would like a copy of the set I made, head on over to my Tpt store to get you set.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The One About Nothing

I just wanted to post to remind you to follow me on Bloglovin.  Click the cute logo below to follow me.

I also wanted to remind you to check out my awesome teacher binder in my TPT store. 

I updated it to include a few more pages in the Student Information section.  I added a student information page (to be sent home for the parents to fill out), an allergy page and a  page to add your class roster.  Feel free to pin it on Pinterest too.  LOL.  

I would also like to thank all of you who read my blog and don't forget to click on the logo above to follow me on Bloglovin.  

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The One with Lesson Planning Sunday!

I started my day with no air conditioning.  That's right, our air conditioner went out... again!  We have to call into our home warranty company but it's Sunday!  We took an early morning trip to Wal-Mart to pick up a window air unit for the bedroom.  I cannot sleep when it's hot.  Hopefully, they can get it fixed quickly because the temperature is supposed to be 106 degrees on Wednesday.  106! Crazy!

Anyway, I have to get lesson plans finished and other things done for summer school.  We had our first two days on Thursday and Friday.  I have 15 kids in my class.  I was supposed to have 21 but 6 dropped.  I have a pretty great class.  They are sweet and a bunch of smarties.  I do have two little stinkers but you always get a one or two in each class.  They are not huge behavior problems but they do like to push my buttons.  Compared to the class I had this last year, these kids have been a dream thus far.

We had a garage sale on Saturday to help get rid of all the clutter in our house.  It was hot!  We did not make a lot of money but we did sell a lot of our crap.  It is now someone else's crap!

Last night we sat out on our patio with a fire in the fire pit.  I worked on lesson plans a little and looked for a good beginning of the year assessment.  I found two great assessments from Fun in First Grade and JoellW on TeachersPayTeachers. Plus, they were free!  I will probably use a mixture of the two to assess my kids. 

I spent some time today finishing up lesson plans, my weekly newsletter and homework chart.  This week the class will be reviewing some kindergarten concepts.  We will review letter sounds for m, s, t, and a.  We will be identifying nouns for people, animals, or things in sentences.  For math, we will be finding number patterns for numbers 0-5.  We will also be identifying the attributes for shapes of triangle, rectangle, square, and pentagon. 

For our centers and interventions we will be practicing stamina for Daily 5.  I'm putting out "fun centers" for the kids to get used to working together and for me to assess them.  That's where the two assessment packets come in.  I tested all but 3 kids on kindergarten sight words on Friday. They did great.

Now, time for me to try to find a cool place to be in the house.   

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The One with Summer School Prep

Went into my classroom today and rushed like a manic to get everything set up for tomorrow.  I feel like I am so unprepared for the first day of summer school.  Wish me luck!

I thought I would post some pics of my day...

This is what my room pretty much looked like when I walked in.  I had already started working on the mess when I took these pictures.
 This is a picture of what used to be the staff parking lot.  The construction company broke ground on our new school over the break.  It looks so crazy!
 After a lot of work, here is my new word wall.  I kept the same design but changed up the colors.  It looks so bright and fun! 

 I posted before (I don't exactly remember when) that I decided to change my behavior chart.  Well here it is.  The idea came from 3rd Grade's a Hoot and First Grade Glitter and Giggles.  I love it!
 Next to the behavior chart is my classroom rules.  They are rules from Whole Brain Teaching.
 As I was getting some bulletin board border out of my storage area, I dropped this bin of clothes pins.  Can we say "classroom foul"?  This pretty much sums up my whole day.  Chaos!

I will let you know how my first day goes tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The One with the Teacher Binder

I have finally finished my Dossier.  I am so excited!  Just in time for summer school to start.  This month off has gone by so quickly.  Tomorrow we have to sign our contracts for teaching during the summer, then a staff meeting, and then I have to work in my room.  (Sorry for that run on sentence.)  I have one day (if that) to set-up my classroom for summer school that starts on Thursday.  I'm telling you right now it's not going to get done.  It's going to be insane.

Since I'm teaching summer school I needed to redo my teacher binder.  I changed my theme in my classroom so that helped with the overhaul of my teacher binder.

The binder includes a cover page for the front of the binder.
Dividers for each section.  The sections are: calendar, to do lists, meeting notes and student information.

I have it at my TEACHERSpayTEACHERS store if you are interested in buying it (and I know you are!)   Please, feel free to pin it on Pinterest too!  

Since summer school is starting Thursday and I'm getting tables in my room I needed containers for student supplies.  So I hit up the Target Dollar Spot for some bins and buckets. 
The little buckets will hold each table's pencils and the bins will hold their crayons.  Glue sticks and scissors are community items and I store them in bins on my shelf.  We don't use them often enough for me to justify keeps them at their tables.  Plus, they seems to always cause a distraction.  Pencils I keep as a community item too.  They get one pencil to keep at their desks.  I have a cup with sharped pencils just in case theirs breaks and they need a new one.  It limits sharping pencils all day.  Their dull/broken pencil goes in another cup for me to sharpen when I have time.

I will keep you posted on how summer school is going.  Don't forget to head on over to my TpT store to get your copy of my fabulous teacher binder.  You won't be sorry!