Thursday, June 28, 2012

My classroom mess and a Mega Giveaway!!

OK can you guess what my classroom theme is.... I don't know if you can.... it might be too hard to figure out.  Let me give you a hint, my blog name and blog background are my theme.  I love bees as if you didn't already know. 

Well a few years ago the teachers on the bottom floor decided to paint their rooms.  Ok so the new 2nd grade teacher decided and them we all jumped on the painting bandwagon.  I just happened to walk in to the school over summer vacation and saw what everyone was doing.  I would have been upset if I hadn't found out.  So I went home and cried,begged,and bribed asked my husband to paint my room.  He then called his cousions and asked them to paint my room and they did.  I still to this day LOVE my room.  I have neon bright yellow walls and a black stripe that goes around the top.  They school put in drop ceilings last summer and it came down just above my stripe.  It looks amazing {if I say so myself and I do}.  Anyway the pictures below are of my room at the end of the year.  So everything is pushed up against the wall and a mess.  I also plan on changing things around this year. 



 The small blackboard is going to be covered and turned into my calander/morning meeting area. 


 Yes that is my desk and the boxes on it are empty. I don't know why I kept them.
 

  This is my computer area.  The flat screen use to be my teacher computer until we got laptops now it is a student computer.  My new color printer is in the middle.


 This is the back of the room.  I had this as my guided reading area.  I will have a paraeducator next year so I will be letting her have the kidney table and part of the white bookshelf.


 This is the back of the room.  If you look real close you will see that there are 11 desk back there.  Yes I had the smallest class in the school.  Next year I will have the biggest class with 26 students.  Now you know why I have to rethink my room design.


  The long table was my pet/Science table last year.  I plan on leaving it here and having my word wall on the whiteboard.  Last year my calendar was here.  Never did like it there.

This was where my classroom libarary was but I am going to put it under the small blackboard.  I also plan on having my morning meeting area there too.


 You can see my flat screen tv attached to the wall here.  We came back from Christmas break and there it was.  We didn't even know we were getting it.


You can see my number bee hives over my whiteboard.  I made them to match.  They are really cute but I need to redo them.  The sun has bleached them.



Here is a picture of my mounted projector.  It hooks up to our laptops and we are able to show things to the students on the pull down screen.  I loved this thing last year.  I litterally used it everyday.

And now for a Mega GiveAway!!!!!!!


WOW!!  500 followers I wouldn't know what to think if I had that many.  I'm just tickled pink to have the followers I do have.  You should have heard me jumping up and down and doing a dance for reaching 20.  I {Puffy Heart} each and everyone too!  OK I can tell you that I can totally understand why everyone wants to follow is has some great ideas!  If you haven't checked out her blog now is the time to do it and join the Mega Giveaway.  She and some fellow bloggers are giving away a slue of GREAT stuff.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

TURN UP THE MUSIC LINKY PARTY!



 
 
Amanda over at Teaching Maddeness is having a music linky party and I Just couldn't resist any longer. I do have to admit that I don't use a lot of music in my classroom but the little that I do, I love. I am also hoping to find more music to use and incorportate into my classroom by joining this linky party.

Educational CDs
Ok so my school uses the ScottForsmen Reading Street and when we adopted the new edition a few years ago we received several CDs that went along with the books.  We have the books on CD and ALL the songs and poems that go along with the series.  I know, I know that isn't very exciting but I really do enjoy most of the songs on the CDs and my kiddos loved most of them too this past year.  The kiddos loved trying to guess the tune to the songs because they use tunes that the kids know with their songs.  My kiddos got smart and realized that at the bottom of the song chart the tune name was printed.  So I had to start covering it up so they couldn't read it before we heard the song.


We also loved Dr. Jean's songs Karate Writing, and Who Let the Letters Out.  They are on the Totally Reading CD and my kids were always asking to listen to them.  They especially liked Karate Writing. 

Totally Reading CD


Just for Fun CDs
This CD has a song for every holiday!  Big holidays and the small ones.  There is also a cute School Cheer chant that I use at the beginning of the year.












Songs I hope to Use This Year


I am totally getting some of these songs.  I heard about these songs from Kelley over at Teacher Idea Factory and guess what Ron Brown is her dad how AWESOME is that!!!!  If you haven't checked out her blog I highly recomend it.

OK so that's all I have for now.  It's suppose to be at least 100 degrees that rest of the week so I guess I'll be camping out in the backyard in the pool the next few days.  Maybe insperation in hit me and I'll start all those pintrest ideas that I want to get done.  Most likely that won't happen though, but it was a nice thought.  Don't ya think?

So link up at teachingmaddness.com and tell us what music you use in your classroom.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Amazing Professional Development!!

Wow it has been like forever since I last posted. Well to start off my excuses I was very busy last week. Tuesday was my 8th wedding anniversary. We have been together for about 20 years but took it real real slow getting married. Thursday I had 2 professional development classes to attend. They were both amazing classes that were presented by the same speaker. Saturday hubby and I went out to eat and to a movie for our anniversary. We saw Avengers and I loved it! He also surprised me Friday with the new iPhone 4s. This phone is so cool but of course I have no idea how to work it yet. And last but defiantly not least Sunday was my son's 3rd birthday. Isn't he a cutie?  I might be a little biased.   See I really was busy all week.


So back to the professional development classes. I have gone to several in the past and my favorites have been Dr. Jean, and Deb Diller and now Donna Whyte.  (If you click on their name it will take you to their blog.  They also have websites that you could check out.) What do they all have in common...they are WONDERFUL.  If you get the chance to go to any of their classes, I strongly encourage you to go. 

My district has free classes all summer long that we are encouraged to attend if we find something that we feel we would use or like to learn. I was really lucky that I truly didn't have to go to any this summer because our principal had us go to about 35 hours last summer. (Yeah it was a work filled summer but I learned a lot about our new computers.)  When we only have to have 12 hours each year. So I didn't have to go but these two classes just seemed to call my name to come. So I listened and I went and I am so glad that I did. The Presenter was Donna Whyte from thesmartiezone.com and she is amazing.  Her first class was Phonemic Awareness. She wasn't telling us to find an extra 30 minutes a day to use her ideas. She showed us how to use them in the normal everyday activities that I never would have thought of changing. One example was how we take attendance. When calling out the names mess one up like instead of saying Donna say Nonna. The kids will tell you immediately that you got it wrong and correct you with the right sound. She would mess up one name a day and have the kids correct her. Another idea was to have a magic spoon. It's just a wooden spoon from the Dollar tree with curling ribbon at the base with maybe some glitter glued into the spoon part. The teacher takes the spoon with them when they leave the room. Anything the teacher touches the magic spoon with changes it's beginning sound or ending sound whatever you are working on. So say the teacher touches a table it is not a table but a bable if the letter of the day is b. How cute is that? My class last year would have loved it and it's simple and cheep to make.

The other class Donna had was Centers in a snap! She had some of the best center ideas. Most of her center games were the same game with different clip art for the season. She had a game named bang where the kids would draw a card with a sight word on it and say the sight word if they knew it they kept if. If they didn't know it the group would say the word and then put it back into the middle. If they drew a bang card the group all said bang and then the person that drew it put it back and one other card they had back. She had the same game but with a popcorn on it so they said popcorn instead of bang. This way you only have to teach the rules once time and all the games that follow have the same rules. How time saving is that? I bought her CD on center task cards (it was only $15) but this is how amazing she is. She told everyone that if they thought that they could make the ideas she had that they should take a picture of the idea and then make it themselves. She didn't care if you took pictures of her entire center cards to make them later instead of buying them. How AMAZING is that! She was so willing to share all of her resources. I also bought her book You Can't Teach A Class You Can't Manage. I just got it in the mail yesterday and I am chomping at the bit to read it.

  (If you click on the image it will take you to Crystal Springs Books.  It is $20.50 + s&h.)
Well this turned into a long post but I just couldn't help it. It's not very often that these classes are so good.

Hope you have a Beautiful Day!!

    

Monday, June 18, 2012

Another Freebie!!!

I know most of us are out of school but I just couldn't help making this cute little end of the year memory book. There is a page for each month that includes a place for a picture and some lines to journal about that month's activities. I plan on starting this at the beginning of the year and completing a page each month with pictures and captions from the kids. Hope you enjoy!! Heather Year of Memories Book

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day and a Short a freebie!!

Happy Father's Day!!! I have an amazing father who if not for him I would not be a teacher. I have a huge fear of driving on expressways and of course that is how I had to go to get to my college classes to become a teacher. My dad would drive me to my night classes and then wait in the car until it was time to go home. What a great dad!!! He should have graduated with me because he sent as much time at school as I did lol! I love you dad!! And now for a freebie. I finally played around with PowerPoint and google doc and created this little Reading Street short a sorting game for Sam, Come Back!.  It's the first one I have ever made!!  I'm excited! It's plain compared to everyones amazing units and games but hey I have to start somewhere.  So here it is.  Let me know what you think and always thanks for stopping by and I'm glad you came!!!!!!

Sam, Come Back! Short a word sort game.
Sam, Come Back! Short a Game

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Poppin' Hot AR Readers





As I looked around my house and tried to magically summon my fairy cleaning lady with the magic word of abracadabra, I realized it wasn’t going to work and I would have to clean my house myself.  So I decided to blog instead.  Please, tell me I’m not the only one that does this!  Any whoo, I was thinking about a supplement reading program that I have at my school and decided to post about it.  At my school we have a program called Accelerated Reader {aka AR}.  I have to say that I am a huge fan of this program and my firsties love it too and last year I changed out all of my classroom library books to AR books.  Anyway, if you are not familiar with AR it is basically where the kids choose a book within their reading ability to read.  Once they have read the story they then take a comprehension quiz on the computer.  Their parents get an e-mail letting them know that their child has taken a quiz and the score they received.   The child gets instant feedback on how many questions they got right, wrong and then they are able to see which questions they got wrong, the answer they chose and the correct answer.  It also tells them how many points they earn for that book.  Most of the stories that my firsties read like Biscuit have 5 questions and are worth .5 of a point.  Some stories like Junie B. Jones have 10 questions and are worth 1 point.  I always use percentages on my bulletin boards because I don’t usually program all the students the same point amount to reach.  My high readers might have a point amount of 10-12 and my lower readers might have a point amount of 5-8 to read.  To get the students reading the teachers are encouraged to have an AR bulletin board for the kids to see and help motivate them.  I had mine right outside the classroom this year.  We have trimesters at my school so I only had to change the bulletin board 3 times last year.  Unfortunately I only took pictures of my last bulletin board, Poppin’ Hot AR Readers.  Each student had a popcorn bag and every time they read to a milestone like 10%, 20%, 30%.... they received a popcorn cutout of that percentage.  Once they reached 100% they received an admit one ticket on their bag and was invited to our AR party at the end of the trimester.  This time they were reading for an ice cream sundae and movie party.  My students were so cute this year they kept asking me who had not reached their 100% so they could go read with that student to help them reach their goal.  I was so proud of them and I am happy to say everyone made it to the 100% and was invited to the party.   Some of my firsties went way beyond their goal and so I had to give smelly stickers for every 10% after reaching their 100%. 

Do you have AR at your school?  What do you do to motivate your students to read?  Well I'm off to clean house or maybe I should go lay in the pool for awhile.  It's not like the housework is going anywhere right?

Thanks for stopping by!  If your a follower thanks, if not I would love to have you!

Heather

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Summer To Do List


Miss Cosby over at You Might Be a First Grader... has started a linky party and I couldn't wait to join.



You Might be a First Grader...










So here it goes with my To Do List this summer.

1.  Blog
I'm new to the blogging world and I'm learning as I'm going.  I have a lot of ideas that I did with my kiddos last year and I hope to blog about some of those ideas and add pictures.  I am not a techie person so I have be doing alot of trial and error in my blog post as I scream, yell and pull my hair out drink my coffee in the mornings.  I don't have an iPhone so uploading pictures from my phone to my blog as be hard.  I really need to take the time and upload all my pictures to photobucket and then work from there to my blog.  That might be too smart for me:)

2. Pinterest Ideas
I have been pinning like crazy over the school year with hopes of actually making all those great ideas during the summer.  I have now realised that I would need my summer to last as long as the school year to get everything done.  I hope I'm not only one in this situation.  So I plan on looking over some of my must have ideas and doing those first.  I really want to redo/make my calendar/morning meeting board. 
morning meetingmorning math meeting
         

3.  Read
I have not gotten to read a lot for entertainment and now it is time.  I really want to read the Hunger Games, Fifty Shades of Grey and the newest from JR Ward and the Black Dagger Brotherhood.  The last 2 are defiantly adult content books.  Unlike so many other bloggers I do not own a kindle or nook so it will be the old-fashion paperback for me.


books-aj.svg aj ashton 01
4.Walk
I started Weight Watchers in January 3,  2010 and reached lifetime on April 21, 2012 have lost 37 pounds to date.  I have to keep walking to help keep it off and lets be real ladies losing 37 pounds does not equal tone and fit.  So that is what I am working on and if I lose some more well I wouldn't complain.  I would actually like to lose about 13 more pounds.


5.Prepare for next year's first grade class mentally
When I think about this I want to cry.  OK so don't get jealous but last year I had 11 kids in my first grade and it was the most amazing year.  Now for the tear-jerker...next year's first grade already has 26-27 kids and get this one of those little darlings is my very own daughter.  So I will be needing all the moral support I can get.  O'well I will have a pareducator next year and she is wonderful.  I am looking forward to having her in my room most of the day.

classroom
So there is my summer to do list and I'm sure it will grow as the summer goes on but I think that is enough for now don't you?  What will you be doing this summer? Please share!




Monday, June 11, 2012

I Saw it on Pinterest Linky Party!!!







Whoo Hoo! My first linky party hook-up!  Amber over at Adventures of a Third Grade Teacher started this linky party and  I absolutely LOVE Pinterest so this is perfect for me.  I am always pinning ideas and now I really need to start making those great ideas that snagged my attention.  So here it goes.....

No more using all the Kleenex as erasers lol.  Kids don't really do that do they?
Why didn't I think of this? Glue a pom pom ball to the top of students' dry erase markers for an instant eraser! So easy and smart!Source From eberhartsexplorers.blogspot.ca


DIY Duct Tape Baggie Quilt for displaying student work                                       
Pinned Image
Source classroomdiy.com 

Building Words folders... so cute for word work!

Source teacherbitsandbobs.blogspot.com


Milk crates zip-tied together on their sides so that a bench seat fits on top.  This is a must do this summer. I am so looking forward to making these.

Source grade2happenings.blogspot.com

What kid wouldn't love to scratch off a reward!
Pinned Image
Source artmind-etcetera.blogspot.com

What exciting cool ideas have you found on Pinterest?  Please share your finds because I will definitely share my finds.

Follow my blog to see all the neat ideas that I discover and make this summer!

Happy Pinning!!!!

New to Blogging Again lol

Well I started this blog at the beginning of last year and then never got around to actually blogging.  I was too busy stalking checking out other blogs and trying out their GREAT ideas.  Now I feel so much better about actually posting and sharing what I have been doing in my classroom that I have started putting my blog out there for others to see.  I welcome any and all tips on how to make my blog better and I'm still learning all the techie things that make other blogs so cute.  Thanks so much for stopping by and I hope you come back!

Heather

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Here Chick Chick!!

On May 13 our first baby chick started its journey of beginning to hatch.  It didn't hatch fully until Monday and it was out before we got to school.  The kids were so excited to see the little red chick when they came in to the classroom.  We noticed a very small hole on another egg and hoped that we would be able to see a chick hatch before for the end of the day.  I kept telling the kids that it would probably take all day for the chick to hatch and that if we were lucky it would be hatched before school was out.  Well that little chick wasted no time we watched the very small hole go from small crack to fully hatched chick within 10 min.  I was so amazed along with my kiddos when it hatched before our snack break was over.  It was the cutes thing.  My kiddos kept cheering the little guy on and he must of heard them because he was not shy in coming into the world before our very excited eyes.  He was the cutes little thing! We now have one red chick and one black chick.  Unfortunately the other 5 eggs did not hatch.  Four were never even close and one the chick passed before it was able to hatch.  Poor little guy:(  Our 2 babies were taken by a local pet store where the lady has a chicken farm:)  The great news is that she is willing to give me eggs next year to hatch and willing to take our babies back again!!!  I am so happy about this for next year, I was kind of worried I wouldn't be able to do it again.
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