Monday, July 29, 2013

Monday Made It- Finally

Last summer I was all over this linky.
This summer I haven't really gotten anything done to share.
Until now:)

I feel like I accomplished sooooo much today.

Glue sponges

I read about these on Greg Smedley's blog, Smedley's Smorgasboard of Kindergarten.  Then I watched his YouTube video on how to make them and I just had to try.
They really are super easy to make.  I got my Rubbermaid containers and foam sponges from The Dollar Store.  I got my sponges wet and then squeezed out the water so they were damp.  Next add the glue and put the top on.    Voila your done.

Behavior Clip Chart
I remade my clip chart this year to match my bee theme.  I love it!!  I still have to make up the clips and put them on but I'm glad this is at least up and ready;)

Tissue pom poms

After seeing Jessica's classroom reveal over @ Second Grade Nest, I knew I had to make some of these.  I just hung them up here so they wouldn't get smashed before they made it to their home over my groups.  I have beehive table signs to go on them too.  I still need a purple one.  The tissue came with pink instead of purple so I am on the hunt for purple tissue now and my red pom is messed up.  I might have to remake that one:( 

I couldn't let the pink go to waste so I made mini poms to go on my bulletin board by my new alphabet. 

Alphabet bee theme

Here is a closer up look at the posters.  These 3 backgrounds repeat in pattern.  All my vowels are in red too.  I'm so proud of this!!!!

Teacher binder cover
I had started making up my own teacher planner/binder but I ended up getting some really great ones for free from some amazing bloggers/TpT sellers.  I'm using some pages from Surfin' Through Second.  I love the calendar.  It has so much room to write and plan on.  I'm also using pages from Tammy's planner @ Storybook Café. I'm loving the thematic and common core planning pages.  So it's really a hodge podge of all 3 of our planners.  I think it will really help me stay organized this year.  I hope!!

Well there you have it, my Monday Made It.  Have you made anything?  Please share it with us.  I love seeing what everyone else has made.


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Book Talk Thursday- I Spy

It's Thursday and it's time to review another book for the Book Talk Thursday linky.

At my school I am required to watch the kiddos in the morning before school starts a few times a year.  Each teacher takes a week at a time and we rotate through all of us.  I usually have to do this 4-5 times in one school year depending on if they start off with the special area teachers or the graded teachers (k-8). 

So your asking what does this have to do with a book review.  Well let me tell ya. 
As I sit there at 7 am watching all those little darlings I have to have something for them to do. 
This brings me to my book review. 
I Spy Books
They are a blessing in disguise.  The little kiddos love looking for the hidden pictures and it keeps them in their seat until the bell rings. 
I have several of these books.  Here are just a few.  There are lots, lots more. 

I usually bring them with the little kids in mind but some the middle school kids have actually looked through them too.  Especially if I'm looking through them and we all look like we are having a great time;)

One of the things I like about these books is that some do not require reading to play along.  this is awesome for the Pre-K and Kindergarten kids.  The differentiation of these books are great for the classroom too.  I am able to have all my kids reading {looking through} I Spy books at the same time but the book is at their level.  My kids loved these book last year and I'm sure they will love them this year too.

What books do you use in your classroom to motivate your readers?     

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Let's Get Acquainted- New Teacher Advice

I'm finally ready to get back to blogging.
I know I'm not a very constant blogger and I most likely never will be.
I'll have to explain that in another blog post but I'm ok with that and I do try.
This last week was really hard with losing Squeaky, getting new class rats, my son not listening in speech therapy (not sure we have a behavior problem or if he is just spoiled), and just not being motivated.
Wow that's a lot of excuses but they are all true.
I hate to say it but I won't lie.

So here I am and I think I'm ready to get back into blogging more and getting ready for school.
I have about 1 month before I go back with kids in the classroom.
I'm not ready so I'm going to fake it until I make it;)

Lets start off this week with Latoya Reed's linky.
This is my first time linking up and I'm pretty stoked about it.

Click on the button to link up!

This week the topic is- Advice for New Teachers.


Buy a great pencil sharpener!
This pencil sharpener has been one of the best investments I have made in my classroom.
I have had several pencil sharpeners of every type and variety and this one is the best by far.
I even plan on getting another one for my room this year.  Why?  because last year one of my cuties decided to put things in it that they shouldn't like crayons and the eraser end of the pencil.  A couple of times I thought this little guy was broke but it wasn't and it was very easy to take apart and fix so I want another one for the other side of the room.

Always ask questions!
This can be hard for teachers new and seasoned.  I know we like to think we know it all but we don't and it really is wise to ask those questions so we have the correct information. 
The only dumb questions are the ones not asked!  I really believe this.  How can I expect my students to ask questions if I'm not willing to ask some myself. 

Never spread gossip!
I work in a very small private school where everyone knows everyone.  It is very hard to not listen but I try very hard not to repeat anything I hear.  I have lunch in my classroom to avoid some of it but it is hard. 

Find a partner!
Find someone that you can talk to and bounce ideas off.  My school only has one of each grade so I don't have another first grade teacher to go to so I go to our Kindergarten teacher.  We have been friends since my first day of work.  We bounce ideas off each other every day!  I wouldn't have made it without her;)

Make your classroom inviting!
If your classroom  is inviting it helps your students and you feel more at home.  Our classrooms are like our second home.  We spend so much time there that we need to make our mark on the place.  Choose a theme and decorate!  My room is decked out in black and yellow with pops of blue and green, and bees of course;)  The kids love the theme and everyone that walks into my room can see it is a happy place.  I smile every time I walk in because I feel welcomed.

Be yourself!
Take everyone's advice with an open-mind but make it your own.  You can't be someone your not so don't even try.  Take what works for you and use it.  Don't try to be someone else's copy.  You won't be happy and it will show.  You have important ideas so show them off.

Do you have any advice for new or even seasoned teachers?
Of course you do so link up and tell us.


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Good-bye sweet friend:(

Sometime Sunday night our dear sweet friend Squeaky passed away.

To say that my heart is broken is an understatement.
I feel heartsick as I think that this August as I prepare for a new school year I will not be doing that with my friend.

Squeaky started off as just a class pet.  Yes I liked him and all but he was a pet. 
Somewhere along the 3 years we spent together in first grade he became much more than just a class pet.  He became a friend, part of the family.

He has taught my family, class and me so much in those 3 years.  He was a playmate to my kids.  He was a reading partner to my class.  He was my loyal friend in my classroom.  He was always ready to listen.  He loved unconditionally. 
I have been preparing myself for this day since spring break.  Squeaky had started to show his age and I had decided that he might need to retire from the classroom.  So I kept him home to be with our family.  My youngest 2 kids played with him daily.  Squeaky started to look better as if he had turned around and was ready to maybe take on the classroom again.  I had begun to think about taking him back for the last couple of weeks so the kids could at least see him before summer break.  Unfortunately that never happened.  During one of his playtimes with my son he suffered an injury to his back that caused him to be paralyzed in one leg.  He still got around and played as usual but he would drag his hind leg. 

This last month his health has been going down and I knew the inevitable was going to happen.  I kept trying to prepare myself and my kids for his passing.  The kids are taking it much better than me.  Every time I think about him the tears start. 
We held a little funeral in the backyard and placed him under our Rose of Sharon bush. 

My husband’s way of trying to fix this was to have me rush out to get another rat.  There was no doubt that I wouldn’t get another rat for my class pet.  They are very affectionate animals and I believe make wonderful classroom pets.  But I wasn’t really ready to get one just yet.  However you don’t tell 4 and 7 year olds you’re getting new pets and then not do it.  We went one and got 2 baby rats that are very cute and do not look like Squeaky at all.  I need time to bond with them so they aren’t thrown into the classroom setting.  Once I feel up to it I will introduce them.  Maybe I’ll even have names picked out by then. 
So as this journey has come to an end, I will prepare myself for the new journey. 

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”  -Dr. Seuss

 Good-bye sweet friend.  We love you!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Book Talk Thursday: Favorite Read Aloud Series

First off Happy 4th of July!!!!
I hope everyone has a fun and safe day!
I have a huge love for books. 
All kinds and types of books.
I love them all.
My kindle fire is loaded down with every type of book imaginable.
That is why this linky is perfect for me.
Thanks Andrea:)
click to button to link up

The book I'm reviewing today is my all time favorite series to read to my first graders.
And it never fails but they usually end up loving this series too, Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park. 
I know some teachers don't like this series because of the grammar in the book.
That is one of the reasons I love this series. 
My first graders write and talk like Junie B.
It gives them something to connect too and something to strive to be able to read on their own.
I can't tell you how many of my firsties end up getting these books for Christmas.
I like to start off with the book Junie B. Jones First Grader at Last. 
And of course I have to read it in my best Junie B. voice. 
It's wonderful!!!!!

Well because my kiddos are first graders at last too!
This book tells about the woes of Junie B making new friends, new classroom, new teacher and not being able to see the chalkboard.   She might even have to end up wearing glasses too.
After we have read this book my kiddos are always asking to read another of Junie B.'s stories. 
I like reading my chapter books either right before lunch or right after recess.  It is a great transition time and they are usually very quite and ready once we have finished one or two chapters. 
It's one of my favorite times of the day. 
What's one of your favorite read alouds?
I'm always looking for new one to add to my collection.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Currently a little late

Yep it's me again:)
I'm on a row with these awesome linkies.
Today I'm finally linking up with Farley for her Fab-u-lous currently linky.
I'm a little late on posting but better late than never:)


Most of mine is pretty much what it says.
The kids are up so naturally cartoons of some kind are on TV.
Right now they are actually watching Casper the friendly ghost.
I am loving this time off with my family.
We really haven't done anything but its nice to be able to go to the library or swim in the pool with them.
Slow Down!!!!! This summer seems to be flying by.  It's July seriously:(  I'm not ready for school to start back.  I still have a little over a month but I know it will be here before I know it.
I really want one of these.
I've started walking again and I would love to listen to songza as I walk but I NEED this;)  I think I'll buy one today.

It will be time for school to start before I know it and I really need to start my long range planning.
I want to do some different things this year but I'm not really sure what I want to do differently.
I have done pretty much the same things for the last 8 years and I think it's time for a change.
Any suggestions????  I'd love to hear what you have planned.

My tips, tricks, or hints are as follows: {TpT and Blogging tips}
  1. Be yourself- You are awesome just they way you are.  Don't try to become something your not.  People will know.
  2. Find your niche- What are you good at?  Start off with that and run with it. 
  3. Always use editors/reviewers for your products!!!!  I have a bad habit of thinking I've caught all my mistakes and that my item is perfect.  Guess what???  It usually has several silly mistakes that I miss.  I now have my fabulous facebook followers review and edit my items before posting them.  They get a copy of my item and I get valuable feedback on it.  They have been wonderful and I can't thank them enough.  Thank you, thank you!!
 Well that's all folk. 
Have a great Wednesday and I'll see you tomorrow for Book Talk Thursday.


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Goin' on a Blog Hunt

I know I'm breaking the unspoken rule of not posting twice in the same day but I really wanted to share this with you all.
As we all know Google Reader is no more.
I have already hopped on the band wagon of BlogLovin' and it has been great. 
All my blogs were uploaded super fast and super easy. 
I HIGHLY recommend it to those of you still debating on what to do now.
You can follow me there too:)

Follow on Bloglovin

This leads me into why I'm posting twice today. 
I'm linking up with Laura Candler @ Corkboard Connections for the Goin' on a Blog Hunt linky.
I love finding new blogs to follow and this seemed like the perfect chance.
So check out  all the cool blogs and find a few new ones to follow.
You can link your blog up too!!


Tried It Tuesday Facebook style

I know what your thinking WHAAAAAAT she's blogging 2 days in a row.
Has someone taken over this blog. 
Nope it's me and yep I'm blogging another day.
Let's see how long I can go with this.  Maybe I'll make it all week. 
Yea we'll see;)

Anyway today I'm linking up with Holly @ Fourth Grade Flipper for her Tried it Tuesday.
OK apparently I'm behind on everything going on in bloggy world. 
I just realized that a couple of the linky parties I like to sometimes participate in have taken some time off. 
I can completely understand that. 
I'm mean I've taken just about all of June off. 
That could be the reason I'm behind on all the news.  
Oh 'well I'm posting this anyway because I did try it and it worked out pretty good. 

I have been looking into working on my Facebook page and came across Ms. Fultz's Corner: Work Your Blog Wednesday.  She has been giving tutorial tips on how to work your FB page.  The tutorial I came across and tried was making a Facebook Fan Gate for Fan Only Freebies {click here to read her post}.  So I tired it and guess what?  It worked!!!

So would you like to grab my July Facebook Freebie.  All you have to do is like my facebook page and then click on the fan freebie tab at the top.  It's a Fourth of July fact vs. opinion game.  This is the only place you can get it and its FREE.  Sounds like a deal to me:)

Click on the pic to go to my FB page.
Do you have a FB page? 
 Leave me the link in a comment. 
I'm always looking for new pages to follow.

Happy Tuesday and Enjoy:)

Monday, July 1, 2013

Monday Made it

I'm linking up today with Tara @ Fourth Grade Frolics for this week's Monday Made it.

I updated and made 4 new theme Fact VS. Opinion games. 
The new themes go along with the beginning of the school year.
These are the new themes...
Back to School
Johnny Appleseed/Apples
These were added to the first set of 4 games. 
So currently this file has 8 fact vs. opinion games and I have several more themes in mind.
You can click here to check them out better.

New Set

Original Set

I made these this summer so I haven't been able to try them out in my classroom yet but I'm so excited to try them this year.  I plan on making lots more to go along with the different holidays and other themes and then add them to the file.  I haven't changed the price either this time so that makes each game around $.50 each. 

Check back tomorrow for my Tried It Tuesday, there's a freebie involved;)


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