Saturday, August 31, 2013

First Week of School and a Whole Bunch of Randomness

First Week 

The first week of school went really well. I only have 13 students. I had 8 on Monday, 9 on Tuesday, 10 on Wednesday, 12 on Friday. Then I got one more little girl the following Monday. So hopefully, I will get a few more. The kids I have are a really good bunch. So far...  I always wait until after Halloween to make any final judgments on my class. Something about October 31st.. You think you have a bunch of sweeties and all of a sudden, here comes the fireworks. I can close my eyes right now and think of 5 kids who had complete meltdowns on November 1st. Some just cranked it up a notch from their usual behavior- but there have been a couple who NEVER gave me any trouble until Nov 1st.  I used to blame it on Halloween- maybe it was the full moon, the candy- but now I have a new theory- the time change (which is usually the same week). I think it messes up their sleep, plus there's less daylight which kids and adults need.. So if your class tends to go a little nuts that week, just give it a couple of weeks and it'll calm back down. Or do like I used to do (back when I had sick days)- take off the day after Halloween :) 

      Why I Teach
So the first week of school- introduced the WBT rules, the class-yes, hands and eyes, teach- ok, and the scoreboard. Kids picked up on it pretty quickly. Tuesday was an awesome day. I have these blend ladders I use to review the short vowel sounds. Well, I used the "teach-ok" method and they taught their partners. They were having so much fun and they were all doing it correctly! One little guy was having some trouble but his partner helped him out. She sounded just like a little teacher. I thought to myself- "this is it. This is why I do what I do. Moments like this when they get it and they're learning and having fun and their little faces are excited and bright and there's a light in their eyes."
So whenever I get discouraged or tired of all the "stuff" that goes on while teaching, hopefully I'll remember this moment. 

 I wish I could show their faces.

My sister sent me this book to read to my class along with a sweet card about teaching. Made my day:) 

Speaking of pirates, we finally got to our pirate craft. Here are a few- turned out pretty cute! Some of them looked like they had been in a sword fight :) arms coming out of heads and whatnot...but that's okay. We've got time to work on those fine motor skills! 

Cats Can, Have, Are
We also did a little shared writing the second week of school. 

Top Secret Worksheets
My sister-in-law, Sarah, has created a shop on TPT! It's called Top Secret Worksheets. She just started and has most things for FREE for right now. She's wonderfully creative so I know her products will be awesome. I'm downloading her hidden message addition sheets for my early finishers. Check her out! Top Secret Worksheets

One last thing.....
Oh my goodness, why didn't I think of this last year? I put my fry phrase cards on the Promethean board. I just pulled up the pdf file from TPT and we went through them as a whole group. I will eventually get around to printing and laminating the cards, but this was great practice. I made fry phrase cards for all of Unit 1 and most of Unit 2. 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Classroom Tour and Back to School Sale on TPT

I am joining the huge sale on TPT.  August 18-19th, my entire store will be 20% off plus when you use the promo code BTS13 you get an additional 8 % for a total of 28% off all items:) Pretty good deal. I know I've been wishlisting (is that a word?) a lot myself. Thanks to Zip-A-Dee Doo-Dah designs for the clip art. 

Now, on to my classroom pictures. I am probably going to have to redo this post, because a little person was with me (aka Joy) when I finally got around to taking pictures. I let her color their first day activity but I knew it wouldn't last long. So I was in a hurry. Then my phone was full so I had to delete a lot of pictures. Joy decided to get antsy about then, so suffice it to say these are not the best pictures in the world. I also forgot to take pics of my bulletin boards outside. 
I did a pirate theme this year. I've never really done a theme before. I think my classroom has never looked cleaner or better. I even got a teenage girl from our church to come in and help me and she did an awesome job. I am dead tired. My fabulous sister is babysitting today so I can have a much needed break. 


This is the "before" shot. They clean the floors during the summer so everything is moved around. 

There's Joy Joy's coloring:) She also colored all over the desk so that's waiting on me Monday morning. 

my little helper :)

"teacher's corner"

Going to have to update those pics.

View from when you walk in the door.

my focus wall- pirate style

math supplies- ran out of labels and the parent-teacher store was out. Argh. The punctuation cards were free on TPT. Love them.

This is how I decided to store all those anchor charts. I have tons of puppets and found this shoe carousal at Wal-Mart. There are puppets on the inside. It works perfectly! And has room to grow!

the reading nook

love this rug I found at Wal-Mart

My husband so patiently helped me set up this sailboat. I found the bamboo rods and basket at Hobby Lobby. We put expanding foam in it and covered it with rocks. I'm going to trim off the excess plastic. It was still drying when we left last night, so I hope it's okay!

Circo® Pirate/Octopus Pillow

I forgot to take a picture of the pirate octopus pillow I bought from Target so this is from their website. He's so adorable! He's sitting on the chair.

literacy station signs- sorry so fuzzy  These are in my store. 

                                                pirate word wall from TPT

This is my little station where I do my grading/ attendance/ Promethean board. I loved how the bulletin board turned out. The fabric is a sheet I got from the thrift store for 2 bucks! I haven't finished it yet. We just got our class rolls yesterday so I don't know anyone's birthdays.

These are my whole brain teaching rules I created. I drew the pirate kids. The rest of the clipart I bought from who is super cheap right now. Everything is $1.00. A couple of things are from scrappindoodles.

The blue chevron fabric was also from Hobby Lobby. We have a new first grade teacher and she covered her shelves with fabric and I loved how it looked so I got myself on down to Hobby Lobby. It hides all my junk plus it's so bright and colorful. The numbers and number words were from TPT. My laminating machine is probably tired. Best gift ever. 

homework basket and supplies 

cutest student ever!!!

small group reading area

listening station and word wall

Promethean board

The Parent Teacher Store has magnetic border now!!

                                                           Pirate Months of the Year

Whew! I think that's it. Kids come Monday! 

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