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!