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Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Back to the Blog

Well, here I am...back to my teacher blog.  It has been years and I do mean years...6 years to be exact since I sat down and typed one character in this space of mine.  So much time has passed that I couldn't even remember my password to login to this blog.  Oh, my gosh!  What am I even doing here?  That is the exact question I asked myself back in 2014 and if I'm being honest, that question still lingers in the back of my mind. I started this blog like many others and that is to share resources and to have a place to document my story in the teaching profession. I entered my last post on August 20th of 2014 and decided to walk away because I felt like I just wasn't enough.  There were many days in the past six years that I considered sharing my creations and posting my thoughts and reflections, however I always stopped myself.  Why?  Because I couldn't imagine people caring enough to read what I had to share especially when there are numerous stellar teaching blogs out there...I mean I am an advid audience member to many of those blogs.  I compared myself to others without considering what I truly had to offer.  

Fast forward six years and having more time than ever due to quarentine life...I  continued to ask myself "Are you going to sit down and do it?"  Each time I considered cleaning out the cobwebs on this bog and writing a post, I found something of greater importance that needed my attention...wiping walls down, organizing my spice cupboard, color coding my closet, the list goes on.  My house has never been cleaner these days.  Today is the day I decided to take another leap into my #sidehustle of blogging here and sharing my teaching resources in my TpT store.  I owe some of this new found determination to Kayse Morris...seriously the woman is a beast!  I am taking her quote of "there's room for everyone on the playground" and running with it!  Wish me luck! 

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. :)