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Monday, August 27, 2012

WHEW!!!!----Just hodgepodge!

I am such a bad blogger....I have neglected this little thing a lot during the summer.  I did have a great time with all of you on Facebook with the product giveaways!!  So, here's a quick rundown of what I've been up to the past few weeks.  

Some of you know that my daughter was in 4H.  She went to state with one of her projects.  We didn't place there, but being there in the first place was quite an honor. This was just her 2nd year in 4H, and look how awesome she was:
 This was her award for her state project.  She's the cutie in the purple, not the glare! ;)  
She's always shown receiving her award...looking all country bumpkinish! ;)
  She won 2nd with her coffee cake. (We told her there were only two entries--aren't we supportive parents?)  There were quite a few entries! ;)  Like momma--like daughter!
 This is her poster/project for her Pet Rabbit project.  We did Market Rabbits last year, and well, apparently that's just so sad....so we HAD to get her a pet rabbit.  YEAH? 
(Notice the hint of sarcasm? )  She did win Judge's choice on this as well!  WOOT WOOT!

Then we decided we HAD to have a camper....Darling Daughter has decide that since she had a good year at the fair this time----she needs to try to get back into market animals....SOOO

 And of course we had to try it out---so we went to one of our local state parks---and we LOVE hiking...so what a weekend we had!!  Notice the MASSIVE tree in the woods....I don't think I've ever found a tree so HUGE locally.  Pretty impressive.

 The view was AMAZING...so relaxing.  Definitely the best way to to say goodbye to summer.  OHH, and I always have a great time when I'm with hubby----he always makes me laugh..he keeps me calm (which is a good thing because I REALLY should've been in my classroom working--but family comes first ALWAYS)

So that takes me to our first week of school-----and just because I think they are adorable.....here are my kiddos on the first day of school! :)

Now back on track......where am I??? OHH yes.....HERE
Yep, that picture sums it up!!!  Today is only day four!  I'm going to need another vacation just to get rested up.  Thank goodness there's a long weekend coming our way. 

 This was me over the weekend.  Can I say that it was a jammies weekend...yes, I said weekend, don't judge me! I was feeling very blah.  Headaches, stiff neck, fatigue...I Web MD'ed myself.....not a good idea.  I'm always worst case scenario chic!  

Luckily for me (seeing how I WAS NOT getting out of my jammies) I can pull all of our curriculum up online so I could plan.  Not to mention all the teacher goodies I have from friends, and TpT.  Made planning a lot easier....OHHH and my little laminator....WHAT a lifesaver!

Look at that pile of papers----and no, I wasn't going to laminate it all, but I did print all of that yesterday (IN THE COMFORT OF MY JAMMIES!)  I took all my papers and sorted them like so:
Then I realized I had a LOT of stuff to laminate, but again, I was in my jammies, so whatevs! :)  (By the way, I don't laminate all my center pages.  I put the cover sheet and directions inside of a page protector.  After everything is laminated and cut apart, I put all the playing cards, pieces, whatever inside of a zip sandwich bag, and then drop them inside of the page protector as well.)  That little laminator is AWESOME!!  Honestly Peeps, if you are looking for a time saver...it was worth the $30.  It works GREAT!

It was a good day I spent the weekend resting up because today was the first day with KINDERS!!  OY!  Kindergarten teachers, GOD BLESS YOU!!!!  For some reason, every year (for AT LEAST the past FIVE), I get stuck on recess duty the first few weeks of school.  We are on a 3 week rotation.  That means I do recess duty for 3 weeks, then cafeteria duty for 3 weeks, and we rotate.  Fabulous people, let me tell you, RECESS DUTY STINKS!!  It's not so bad when the 2nd rotation comes around, but the first two-three weeks...OY!  I think I needed a lasso to round them all up.  Just when I thought I had them herded, low and behold there were MORE wondering off.  Here's a conversation I had with one:

ME:  Honey, it's time to line up.  
ME:  Because recess is over and it's time to go back in.
STUDENT:  I'm walking home!

(If only it were that easy! Believe me, I'd join him in the walking home part lol)
Then I heard another student say "I'm quitting this school!"  I was on a roll, dontcha think? 

It took FIFTEEN minutes to get them all lined up!! FIFTEEN minutes----here's hoping to a better tomorrow!! 

I did manage to get somethings done with my class today (Thankfully they do line up when it's time!)

We read the Little Engine that Could.   We tied it into our 7 Habits.   Students then wrote something they think they can do.  (Can you believe I had a bunch in my room that hadn't heard that story?  It was always one of my favorite bedtime stories before I started Kindergarten/1st Grade)

 We did a Making Words Activity.  This was difficult to get started with my group this year.  I just did a basic CvC page with short a.  (Look at my little cutie with her nails all polished!) ;)
 Our Splats took almost 2 days to complete.  We started it in the afternoon one day, and finished it the next.  We read the story, and discussed characters, setting, problem, and solution.  Love how the Splats turned out.  They definitely had their own unique characteristics! :)

 So far I have a sweet group of kids.....though they are VERY chatty!!   Here's hoping to a quick week, because again, I'm already in my jammies.  I think that they are becoming my BFF!!! 

I still need to post an AFTER video or pictures on my classroom.  I'm hoping to do that soon---there are days we have no breaks (specials) and it makes for a LONG day.  So on those days, I"m doing good to know my own name when my day is over!! 

I hope you are all having a great year so far....and hopefully you made it through my big long post!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

*Back to School Blues*

This picture pretty much sums it up.

I was so ready to go back to school.  I was SOOO excited to go.  I love my job.  I love first grade.  I love that I'm going to have my own little guy in my room (I had his sister in my room when I taught 2nd), but now that I HAVE to go back.  I don't wanna!!  Funny how that works isn't it?

There's something about summer vacation.  It is a nice long break.  I'm good the first two weeks we're out, then I'm all about getting ready to go back.  Then, the weekend before, BAM!  I realize my summer's gone and I have the back to school blues!  *SIGH*  

Remember my video, of my room.  The one where I walked in, walked around in circles, and left?  Well, that's how my classroom still looks...sorta.  I put a few things away, but I have piles all over my room.  I worked off and on in my room last week.  Then I stopped long enough to get in one last trip with my kiddos.  We went camping for the weekend.  Look at how peaceful this view is.

 Makes it hard to have to come back to reality. 

At least Monday-Tuesday are talk work days.  I can hopefully get something accomplished.  We do have meetings tomorrow, but have some time to be in our room.  Open House is Tuesday night, so I HAVE to be ready (or at least put on a good show!)

Hmm.....funny how we work hard on our own time with little to no recognition.  I don't expect it of course.  I do it because 1) it makes my life easier if I go in and prepare/set-up and 2) an organized teacher is hopefully a less stressed teacher! :)

I hope to post pictures soon of my room.  Though honestly, I didn't change much.  I just reorganized a few things here and there--like my tables--because I keep getting MORE students.  If I get any more kids in my room, they are going to be sitting in the hallway for instruction because I will have NO place to put them.   I say put a cap on my room! ;)  Apparently I'm not allowed to make such decisions....if only I ruled the world! ;)

Anyhoo....I've been thinking of my first day of school with kiddos.  I know I made the coloring sheets a couple weeks ago, but I needed MORE.  I don't think I have any "specials" the first day of school, and I wanted something that would get them using their school supplies, checking fine motor skills, and assessing prior knowledge.  I made a simple pattern page if you would like to click on the picture to grab you a copy.

 Happy back to school everyone!!  Now that summer is over *sigh*  I hope to be blogging and sharing more.  I wish you all a great school year!!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Back To School

Ohh my!!  It's that time again!!!  The plus side, I love getting me, no, the kids, no me----ohh whatever, I love getting back to school clothes!!  I do love buying for my kids too.  I think I'm a shopaholic sometimes, but it's also such great therapy! ;)

I don't mind buying clothes, but have y'all noticed there haven't been any great back to school sales for supplies???  I keep waiting and waiting, but I guess I will just have to suck it up and get some things for Madi and Connor.  See how cute they are?

Ahh, the beach.  In just a week, I will be wishing I was there so I could relax--I will need it all over again! :)

Speaking of Back to School----have you heard?  There's a sale going on at TeacherspayTeachers August 12-13.  My store will be 20% off.  Then if you enter the code--BTS12, you will get another 10% off.  Awesome right?

You can click HERE, if you want to browse my store. I've worked hard adding some new products to get me started for this school year.  Here's the one I just added.

It is designed to Common Core and to help differentiate your instruction. I will be using mine as "Now what?" for my fast finishers.  I'm excited to incorporate this into my classroom.

You can also find this activity and many more on Teacher's Notebook, where I will also be running a sale during the same time for 20% off.  You can click HERE to head over there. 

I have my wish list already started for TpT, I have a list of school supplies I need to get, and I am ready to do some clothes shopping.  The plus side of all of that, I can do it in my jammies! :)

Happy Shopping peeps!!  Don't forget:

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

OH BOY---Here I go!

So, I've been in and out of my classroom a couple times this summer to drop stuff off.  But Friday was a different.  I had plans to put stuff away, organize a little bit, and just get myself a LITTLE more prepared for back to school. Sooo....I go in, walk around my room, walk around my room again...and continue walking around in circles.  I was a little overwhelmed.  I did video my room (first video I've done on an IPAD---so motion sickness warning)

If you want to see how my room is now, just turn your volume down and watch it again!  Yep, I walked in, walked around,  walked back out. I do this a few times before things get put away.  It's my process, it works for me----Don't  Judge ;) I did make a list of things I needed to get or do while I was in there.  I make lists for EVERYTHING.  It helps not feel as overwhelmed and calms my stress level. At the end of the year, I took down my labels on filing cabinets.   They were getting all wrinkled and worn.  I thought I'd redo those, as well as the labels around my room. Why do I label my filing cabinets and classroom cabinets?  Well, I've had two babies, and took a few weeks leave when my mom was terminally ill.   Having my room labeled has made it much easier for long term subs to find my materials.  I'm also like to share.  So labeling has made it easier for my coworkers to find things.  Not to mention, the kids can find those labels to read and use in writing if needed.  I made these labels for my room.  I'm not sure that they will help any of you, but I'm sticking them on here as a freebie, just in case. :)  You can click the picture if you need them/want them.
 I am ADDICTED to zebra print, hot pink and turquoise as many of you already know. Look at my blog background lol.... But my son (who will be in my room this year) said NO to the hot pink.  The first four labels are for my filing cabinet that no one hardly ever sees the front of (but me),  The other labels will be throughout the room.  That's the reasoning in the color differences. I also was thinking of the things I want to accomplish on the first day of school.  I think that My Back to School, Splat makes the top of my list.  Have you seen him?  I'm proud of him.  I am NOT a crafty person, but I'm happy with the way he turned out. 
I thought he was kinda cute, so I found these cute little cats and added a center to go with him.  You can click the picture below to find it in my TpT store.

If you've made it through this post (without me boring you), tell me....do you also go into your room and walk around in circles???? 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Teacher Hoarder---

Yes, they need a show for teacher hoarders.  I think that's me!! Believe me, my house, not so much---well, don't look in my storage closet right now.  All that stuff has to go with me to school---SOON, so I can buy more!!  Okay, so it's not just purchases.....ever since the invention of Pinterest (YES, there I go again with that SILLY site!) I think I can be all cute and crafty!!  I think I NEED to save all those cans, containers, etc.  Why???? I will just add them to a bazillion other baskets and container that I have from previous years!!  I guess a girl can't have too many baskets....but toilet paper tubes, paper towel tubes, baby wipe containers, baby food jars (okay, I LOVE using the baby food jars for my Christmas around the world unit so we won't go there on that one).  Thank goodness my classroom is FULL of cabinets!!  I can shove LOTS of stuff behind those doors and no one is ever the wiser! ;)

That's just my junk I collect, but do any of you collect papers too???  I'm old school ya know.  Things were supposed to be kept in FOLDERS not on these little flash drives the size of my thumb!  EGADS!!  How is all my crap going to fit inside that little thing????  Technology will never seize to amaze me. 

Today I decided to go through my back to school folder.....*gulp*  It was MASSIVE.  It should have been 4 or 5 folders, but I'm too cheap so it was just one little folder so full that you couldn't even see the tab on it labeled "back to school."  I had hand written plans from the first few days in 2007 in that folder!  HAHAH!!   I must have used them last year, surely I'm not that bad of a hoarder....and in all fairness they were just general notes for routines.  But still.....wow!!

As I was going through my folder, (some stuff circa 1976-and NO, I wasn't teaching then, but I have lovely coworkers who like to share..and I hate to be rude...now you see how I'm a hoarder, huh), I completely forget what I do from year to year!!

I thought I'd snap a couple pictures of crafts we've done.  These are not new ideas (and I'm not sure where they originated), but thought I'd share in case some of you haven't seen them before.

First up----a flower craft.  This is so much fun and has a lot of skills involved.  I use it after reading Chrysanthemum. 

Now mind you this flower has been folded up for a few years in that lovely folder of mine....but you can get the idea of what it's too look like.
1) I have them write their name in the middle of the flower with their favorite color crayon.
2) The red petals represent the number of letters in the name.
3) The craft stick stem is to represent the number of syllables in the name.  When I first started this project EONS ago I would already have the craft sticks hot glued together ahead of time, then ask students to tell me the number of syllables in their name, and hand them a stem.  I have found through the years that it doesn't matter if they are hot glued or not, regardless they still need taped to paper if that's the route you take.
4) The leaves at the bottom are for the number of vowels in your name.
We glue ours to blue construction paper and hang out in the hallway.  The students sometimes add a sun, grass, clouds, etc. to their picture before we hang it up.  But it makes a great Back to School activity and looks really cute hanging in the hallway.

Another activity I found in that massive pile of junk was a Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Tree. Again, ignore the creases....I'm just glad it survived being in that folder, because it is kinda cute! :)
This is so simple to make.  Students trace their hands onto green construction paper, and are given a brown rectangle base.  We glued brown the brown construction paper base to the bottom of white construction paper. Then they glued the hands to the trunk to make a tree as shown.  I gave them colorful dots to put the letters of their name on, and they decorated their tree with their name.  These also looked cute hanging up on the door/hallway.

Finally, I found some coloring sheets I made last year.  I love the smell of new crayons on the first day of school.  I love using activities that get them to use their school supplies.  I remember being one of the students in the classroom all giddy about using my crayons, glue, scissors....I was/am such a dork!  I do think that firsties are also excited about their new supplies....and it's a great way for me to monitor them holding crayons, using glue, using scissors.  It's a fun thing for them, but a fine motors check for me. 

Here are a few coloring sheets made with DJ Inkers graphics.  Hopefully you can use them, or save them for another day......even great for inside recess (as our gym isn't big enough for all of our classes at lunch time). 

You can click the top picture for access to all the coloring sheets!!  

But, before you leave me----please tell me I'm not the only teacher hoarder! :)

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