Sunday, October 9, 2016

Psalm 61:2

Interesting blog title, right?  

It is a great scripture.  Have you heard it?

Overwhelmed.  How many of us feel overwhelmed at the beginning of the year?
How many of us feel overwhelmed throughout the year?
How many of us feel that we just can't get it all done?

That's me.  I have a hard time staying afloat.  
I hate to admit it, but I think I get so consumed in feeling like I HAVE to do things, 
that all too often, I forget to do things that I enjoy.  
I believe that's important in life. 

I LOVE blogging and creating, so I'm trying to find a healthy balance.
I have to say though, I believe that it was much easier to blog
and create when I had a classroom.
Currently, as a Title teacher, I am working with 7 reading groups, 2 math groups, 
and another math group to begin in November.  I also am working with grades 1-3.  
It's a struggle to stay afloat some days.  
Let alone trying to plan lessons, create meaningful games/activities, or find time to go to the bathroom.  I jokingly put this, but we all know that in fact, that is sometimes reality.

You see....The past two weeks have been a whirlwind in my life.
I got my car back from a hit and run that I was not involved in--my car had been in the shop for 6 weeks!
We closed on our new house (We are building..a process that should be fun, but there are hangups)
My grandma passed away.  God blessed this woman and her 103.5 years of life! 
My kids lost one of their pet rabbits. (It was a hard loss on my son)
My kids are in sports--does baseball and softball ever end??!??
Some where among all of that, I still have to find gym time--I mean I have to take care of me!

Then--we worked on my son's Halloween costume.  
This was a pain in the patootie--but the things we do for our kids.
He won, he was happy..he was excited.  
It was a pretty cool costume!

So as I sit here and think about all the things
I THINK I have to do vs. What I Should/Need to do, 
it's no wonder blogging has been pushed to the side.
 I have to find time to take care of me. 
 I  have to take care of  family.
I'm amazed at those that can do it all:  cooking, cleaning, laundry, blog, create, teach, 
and still find time for family. 

So again, little by little, I'm going to find a way to bring back things that make me happy.
First and foremost, I have to go back to handling it all over to God.  He is my rock.
I found out that I have a hard time in just letting go and letting him...but praying about it sure has helped.  I have been a little calmer the past few days. As I put my trust in him, I have found little pockets of time to allow me to do things that I love to do (blogging now, for example).  I know it sounds so simple, but really, it is something hard to do--give it all over.  As much faith as I thought I had, I have struggled in allowing him to take care of it all for me.  

Now that I've poured myself out---let's talk school, shall we?

Since school has started, I've found myself feeling a bit "off" on planning.
So I went back to the tried and true Fluency Reads.
I have seen my students retaining their sight words.
Even more exciting, they LOVE reading them.
Fluency Reads
I posted this on FB earlier in the week:

Last year, I made these Fluency books to go with the Dolch sight words. I saw my kids soar, but I always wished I had started them sooner. This year, since we are using Fry words, I made new fluency readers AND I started most of my first grade kiddos on them. One little kiddo impressed me today. While waiting for the rest of the group, she started reading pages on her own...and did very well...she was reading pages that were past the pages we had been reading in class, but since they reads were designed to spiral previous reads, I witnessed her KNOWING her sight words we have been working on. I promise if these are used consistently, even as a warm up, your students will quickly gain confidence in reading, as well as, retain their sight words!
 
You can see more about the fluency reads by clicking the image above.
 
The kids have also loved our games from this Fall Packet:
Fall Activities
Click image to see on TpT
 
 Some of my groups still need help with CvC words, 
as well as one group needing review of finger tracking.  
Back to me saying feeling overwhelmed, I needed a product that was quick to prep, meaningful, and would be a good warm-up that would hold their attention. 
 (Mind you I also use the Fluency read for a warm up too)
Enter these CVC games.  I am so excited about these, and the students enjoy dice rolls.
I am simply putting the pages in a sheet protector and then into a binder/folder and leaving them at the table for a quick fluency activity. 
Read and Roll--Dice Games
Click image to read more about these games.

Two more activities that I have found meaningful to my groups are these.
Phoneme  Blending

Fun Phonics with Fry Words

You can click the cover pages above to read more about these products.

Finally, some days I just want to play and  have fun.
This is also a quick filler for a sub or aide for table time.  

It's a sight word game using the Fry First  Hundred.
It is also free.  Click below to check it out! :)
"Eye" Spy--A Sight Word Game
 
Thanks for listening to me ramble tonight.
Be sure to follow me on FB for giveaways and updates! :)
 

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