Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

I’m linking up with the creative and sweet Miss DeCarbo from Sugar and Spice for my first ever Wordless Wednesday linky.
Check out my items that are now on sale at the TpT BOOST sale going on NOW.   In keeping with the Wordless Wednesday tradition by Miss more words will be typed... J

Happy Teaching! ~ Diary of a First Grade Teacher 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Accelerated Reader is Bubblicious and a FREEBIE

Does your school participate in Accelerated Reader?  Last year, was the first year that the AR program was extended to first kiddos absolutely LOVED participating and devoured our classroom library.  I {fingers crossed} really hope that my new group loves to read as much as my group last year.  Now that I have one year under my belt and understand the benefits to AR and how to use it effectively in my classroom, I decided that this year I wanted to have a classroom tracking systemjust a quick way for me to see where my kiddos are without having to login and check their points.  Also, to make sure that I don’t have any “pretend quiz takers.”  L  I absolutely love the Bubble Gum clipart that I purchased from Graphics from the Pond and thought it would be great to incorporate into an AR classroom display. Each grade level has a specific goal {points} to reach to be displayed in the “AR Hall of Fame.”  Our first grade students’ goal is 50 points.  I created point posters {1, 3, 5, 7, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, and 50} in two designs for the students to sign each time they reach a specific point goal.  The cool thing is the bubble gum machine fills up as the students reach a higher point goal.
Also, I created a banner sign that can either spell "AR is Bubblicious" or "Reading is Bubblicious" with these sweet bubble gum machines {4 per page} pick!
Click here or on any of the pictures to check out my AR is Bubblicious packet. 
Lastly, you can grab this mini pennant banner for free to decorate your "First Day of School" frame...this is the frame my kiddos will be vogue-ing with!  I included Kinder-Sixth grade in this free download.  Thanks to my own firstie for modeling momma's project.



Thursday, August 7, 2014

Old School Problems & A FREEBIE

Is there something in your classroom that drives you crazy, something that you just can't stand?  I do puffy heart love my home in room 103 and truly enjoy getting my classroom ready, however one thing I can't stomach is looking at the chalkboards in my classroom which are circa the heard me folks...I said "CHALKBOARDS"...yep, they still exist.  Don't be too jealous now, but my chalkboards are fashioning a baby poo green color.  I struggle every year with how do I cover them and what do I cover them with to last the whole year with the tempting hands of six and seven year olds?  I'm almost certain I'm not permitted to paint them.  I wish I could wave a magic wand and make white boards take their I resorted to covering them with black butcher paper until I can find a permit fix that administration will go for.  Any suggestions??

After {and still needing border}

Still covering... 
I'm super happy with the sweet love that I've been getting at my TpT store, so I created a little freebie as a thank you!  These tags will be added to a pack of sugarfree gum and placed on the desks for "Meet Your Teacher Night."  Click pictures to grab your freebie!
Happy Teaching! ~Diary of a First Grade Teacher

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

GO Math

Its T-minus 19 days till the first official day with kiddos...and I feel like I need another 19 days to tackle my to-dos!  Boy, oh boy do I keep creating more work for would help if I didn't check out Pinterest and Instagram daily, but there are just too, too many cool tricks to add to my room this year.   My To-Do list is slightly out of control. 
My district is implementing the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt GO Math! series and I'm not sure how I feel about it just yet.  My colleagues and I had a box opening party a few weeks back and to our surprise we were given two HUGE bins of manipulatives.  I'm telling you I could supply a whole district with the amount of math manipulatives that I have in my classroom...I keep the old, the new, you name it and I have it.  I'm not complaining, I'm not, I just prefer hard, durable manipulatives and not the soft, foamy kind that are not going to last past two days in the hands of six year olds.  You know what I'm talking about?   On a plus note, I will say that I love the teacher manuals...there is one skinny manual for each chapter...that's a score to the teacher bag. :)  Upon digging deeper into the boxes of goodies, I found that there was not much for classroom displays.  OK there isn't anything...  No vocabulary cards, no focus posters, no posters of any sort to display what in the dickens I'm going to be teaching for each lesson.  So my "Math Wall" is a bit empty right now which is weird for me. 
Walk into my classroom on any given day and you'll have a hard time finding an open spot on the wall.  I was on a search for items that were aligned to both the series and Common Core, but I wanted to ensure that I was able to display exactly what my little nuggets would see, hear, and be doing during our math lessons.  SO, I decided to tackle making my own items.  Typically I purchase items from shame, don't have the time to recreate the wheel, BUT this time, I wanted to create what I felt was necessary for my room.  Let me tell you all, it is time consuming creating items for a classroom, BUT SO, SO gratifying.  I may have the beginning signs of carpal tunnel in my right wrist.
Click picture to go to my store.
Each chapter is designated with a color, a header for the Essential Question, the Essential Question poster, mini vocabulary term cards, and larger vocabulary cards that include the definition and picture example.
I have completed chapters 1-3 and will be starting chapters 4-6 in the next day.  I'm celebrating this little product I created.  I'm off to give my wrist a much needed break.

Friday, August 1, 2014

August Currently

I am linking up with the creative Farley at Oh' Boy Fourth Grade for my first ever Currently link up. 
Listening: I am enjoying the semi-peace of working on the computer while I hear my husband snoring in the other room...I may trick him into wearing a mouth guard.
Loving: I am loving my little ole Teachers Pay Teachers has been quite an adventure the last two weeks.  I am also loving that this blog is going to get a makeover.
Thinking: I am going to feel overwhelmed with the new "Go Math" series that my district is implementing this year, along with other new assessment tools being implemented, and teaching from a new reading series {Journeys} for only the second year.  I really hope the "Go Math" training is going to be VERY helpful.
Wanting: I am fortunate to be able to access my building and room any day of the week, however with that comes two nuggets in kids like to play with their neighborhood friends from the time they get up until its time for bed...we are blessed to live by family and awesome neighbors.  If it is nice out, they're not going to want to go to mom's room. 
Needing: I really need to buy groceries...enough said.
First Day: I have two in-service days and a "Meet Your Teacher" night scheduled.  My kids start back the same day I do and I am pretty excited that this will be the first time I get to put my kids on the bus every day since my kids' school went to a tier one bus system.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Breaking Up, Blessed, & Creating

I have been having an ongoing love/hate relationship with my current blog design and layout, SO I'm breaking up with it to begin a new relationship with a brand new blog design by  Blogs Fit for a Queen and I'm beyond excited...BUT it is going to be at least until September until I start my new relationship.  Eeekk! I'm certain that a makeover will want me to visit this little ole blog of mine more often and share all of the awesome things that go on in my classroom with the help of my awesome co-workers.

Like many of you, I too have officially began putting my classroom back into working order, which is a HUGE mission...especially since we are to take everything off of the walls, bulletin boards, shelves,...
Basically I pack everything up in June and begin unpacking it in July.  It certainly takes more than a few In-service days to get a classroom ready for a new school year.  Getting my classroom ready for a new group of nuggets makes my heart happy.  I love it!!   During this past school year {like many years}, my dear teaching partners and I would always talk about what we're going to do differently next year, how will we dive into our new math and reading series, how will we decorate our quad, what will we dress as for Halloween {that is important}, how will we work our math centers, how are we going to fit everything in...a teacher's brain never stops!  I'm SO very fortunate to have amazing co-works that are incredible to work with, collaborate with, and have on-going group texts {that contain no less than 30 Emoji icons} at all hours {except during school hours}.  Really, I have the best of both worlds…I enjoy these ladies so much in and out of school.  J 

And because I have been working in my classroom with my two trusty sidekicks…I have been keeping Dairy Queen in business.  That’s right, I pay my kids with some DQ to ensure that I have a few productive hours of work. 
Now that they are 9 and 6, I can give them small jobs to do.  My oldest wants to help so much and my youngest would much rather play at the LEGO table or watch a movie {as long as he is occupied, I'm a happy mom}.  I'm a bit OCD when it comes to my classroom, because its my home away from home and I like for everything to have a place.  I just wish I could get my kids on board with that at home.       

While working in my classroom, I got inspired to create a few goodies to add to my classroom walls and I have a few more in the works.  First up, I created sight word cards that go with the 2014 Houghton Mifflin Journeys reading series.  I intended to use the cards for games and activities, but then decided to add them to my word wall.
You can grab your copy here.
I love using poems, chants, and songs to get skills and concepts into little minds.  Even and odd numbers go to the farm and meet Old McDonald.
You can grab your copy here.

I'll be back soon with a great freebie and some random ramblings of my life. :)

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Do you Scoot?

Do you Scoot?  Scoot activities make my teacher heart happy.  It is very rare for me to ever be sitting at my desk during the school day.  I remember my last student teacher saying, "You never sit down!  I absolutely love giving my kiddos lots of opportunities to get their shakes out.  Let's be honest if I give them the opportunity to get up and move around, then chances are they won't feel so inclined to leave the carpet for a random tissue.  I use Scoot activities across all content areas and my first graders love it.  I created three Math Scoots with a twist...these Math Scoots aren't just find a scoot card around the room and write the answer on your response sheet.  I added some scootin' exercises that are to be completed before leaving the card and moving onto the next.  Go Noodle meets Scoot!  Here's a preview...
Missing Numbers
 Greater Than, Less Than, Equal to
1 and 10 More/Less Than
I hope you SCOOT on over and visit my TpT shop to grab a copy.  Happy Teaching! 

Monday, July 14, 2014

The WRITE Stuff

I am always wanting to make everything I pin on Pinterest, I mean seriously don't you wish you could complete just ten or so projects on your boards??  My new hashtag should be #suckedinbypinterest  When I came across this sweet burlap banner...

I knew I either had to get to the craft store ASAP and make it for my classroom {in my free time} or I could make a cardstock version.  Well, turns out that the cardstock version is going to have to do...for now.  Feel free to go grab "The Write Stuff" pencil banner in my TpT store...its a freebie.  I'm going to add my banner to my writing wall.

So, with my comeback to the blogging world, I decided to open up my own TpT shop.  A few of my dear teaching partners have told me that I should open up a store and after much thought, I decided to go for it!  I'm certainly no where and I mean NO WHERE in the realm of the "BIG Names", but I'm just being me and hoping along the way I can help other teachers the way that I have been helped by visiting TpT.  I'm not going to be fearful of not feeling like I'm good enough to do this, again I'm just being me and not trying to replicate others.  I'll e-mail a copy of my "Pop the Balloon" addition game free to the first person to tell me the name of the movie this quote is from.  Be sure to leave your e-mail in the comments.

"All right, now listen up because I'm only going to say this once. Fear is a four-letter word ladies. You want to go pee pee in your big boy slacks, keep it to yourself. It's make your mama proud time."

Happy Teaching! ~Diary of a First Grade Teacher

Saturday, July 12, 2014

I'm making a comeback...

It has been well over two years since I blogged last and after too long of a hiatus, I'm going to make a comeback on this little blog of mine.  Why haven't I blogged in over two years???  Well, you all know that life happens and priorities change.  One of the last posts I wrote back in 2011 questioned how you {bloggers} do it and by do it, I mean how do you find the time to balance being the best at being a parent, partner, teacher, sister, aunt, and friend to all of those that mean the most to you AND find time to inspire through blogging?  Well, I still haven't found the exact answer to that one.  When I first began my journey into the blogging world, I certainly had no idea how inspired I would become by my frequent visits to other teaching blogs.  I hope that I am able to inspire and help others the way that many of you have helped me.  This blog will be undergoing a much needed makeover.  I hope you stop back and join me on my comeback.