November 16, 2013

Here we go!

Our second Donors Choose project is completed!

We got these carpet squares from Lakeshore! How cute?! The kids love moving them around the room during Daily 5!  Also perfect for a little alphabet sorting!


November 03, 2013

Halloween freebies and lots of other updates!

I'm a little sad that Halloween is already over, but that's ok because Thanksgiving is right around the corner! I finally finished my huge Thanksgiving Literacy Pack that I have been working on for awhile.  My students always seem more engaged when my literacy centers and writing activities go with the theme of the month.  I'll be posting it later this week, once I get some classroom pics of it!

But before we get in to that..

Look at all of my new books!

Three boxes full!!  MY first grade teacher recently gave me all of her resource books and tons of awesome read aloud books!  How cool is it that I am reading the same books to my class that I was reading when I was in first grade.  Life is one big circle! :) 

We have been tracking our math assessment averages on the classroom wall.  You can already see what units will need more work (addition and subtraction strategies... those missing addends are so abstract for my little firsties).  But I am excited to see some growth over the next few units.

How do you track data in your classroom? I would love to hear about some other ways it can be done! 

Ok enough about the data... time to get to the fun stuff! Halloween is my favorite holiday and I am so sad the week is already over.

In math we measured ourselves in non-standard pumpkin units.  It's a freebie!!


October 26, 2013

Bats Week!


October 18, 2013

Little bit of this and that


October 17, 2013

Late night post & a pumpkin freebie!

Let me just start by saying how blessed I am to have such a supporting family.  My family has not only helped me fund my first Donors Choose project, but I am only $88 away from completing my second project!  I am so thankful to be able to give my students all these new things for our classroom.  My personal favorite- a classroom laminator! Woohoo! I can finally laminate 24/7! It feels like Christmas… Honestly, if you haven't tried Donors Choose yet, you need to sign up asap! It's free :)

Here is a pumpkin freebie for non-standard measuring and graphing!  We measured how tall we were with paper pumpkins.


October 12, 2013

Yay for accountable talk!

I have been working hard to create a strong math community in my classroom.  We practice using accountable talk, but some student either forget to use it or they just don't understand it.  To make it easier to remember what to say, I made these Accountable Talk Student Signs!


October 11, 2013

It's Friday already?!

Last year I would count down the minutes to Friday every week…. I can't believe how fast the weeks are going by now.  It really is true that time flies when you're having fun. ;)

Although, I must have been having too much fun because I am home sick today… I felt bad for leaving my kiddies- especially on treasure box day :-o.  I thought I could make it a half day, but when I got to school they took one look at me and sent me home.  Two weeks at the school and I am already sick!  Lots of OJ, soup, and cold medicine for me today.

I figured I could sneak in a little Five for Friday in between my naps today..

Well first off, this is what my desk looked like most of the week.  Does anyone else have this problem?  The candy corn is for our non-standard measuring we will be doing next week!  I'm sure their parents love me for sending them home all sugared up. ;)

I am part of a two year teacher induction program in my school district.  This is my second year in the program.  Each year, the district gives you a mentor who helps you with literally all of your teacher questions and problems.  I've lucked our both years and had amazing, helpful mentors.   My new mentor gave me this adorable frame for my desk.  I am in love!

This vocabulary flip book is the BEST part of my writing center.  My students are obsessed with these! I made two color copies for the writing center and had to make more copies for each of their table groups.  Anytime they are stuck thinking what to write about I put the book in front of them and problem solved!  This has also been a great way for them to add more details and vocabulary to their writing.  Get these writing flip books at my TpT store {here}!

We started our non-standard measuring unit this week.  I made this Halloween Measuring Activity to introduce the concept to my little firsties.  They had so much fun with the Halloween pictures.  We cut out the pictures and glued them on to black paper.  Afterwards, we measured them with paper pumpkins!  I included a cutout of small pumpkins in the activity, but using my school's die cut machine was SO much easier.  This thing is awesome and it is all electronic- all I had to press was the go button!

Of course this is the only picture I got of us doing the activity.  I will have to post an update of our finished ones next week!


October 04, 2013

Five for Friday!

Click the picture for the linky party!

October is my FAVORITE month! Here are five fun things we did this week!

We started our week off with a fun scarecrow glyph!  I got the scarecrow blackline from a page in The Mailbox.  

How did I end up with so many angry looking scarecrows??

We started a new math unit on measuring and comparing lengths.  We ordered these slithery snakes from longest to shortest and shortest to longest.  The kids thought this was so much fun!

Wouldn't his handwriting be the cutest font?!


September 29, 2013

Busy Weekend

I started my weekend off with a 6 hour PD training on lesson planning.  I'm usually ready to stab myself in the eye about 3 hours in to these, but I actually enjoyed this training.  I think it was easier to sit through this time because I know I will be able to apply this to my classroom.  Now if only I had the extra 10 hours a week to "thoroughly" plan each of my lessons….. Eh, I'll figure it out. 

This is how I am doing homework this year.  I decided to give students the weekend to complete homework incase some of them were too busy during the weeknight.  So they get their homework packet on Tuesdays and it is due on Mondays.  (This is also great because it gives me time to get homework ready on Mondays.)  I am going to keep this hard copy each week and hand write the worksheet or activity they have for homework each night.  Let's hope this works out!  If you would like a copy of this (without my name on it), you can click {here} and download it for free!


September 27, 2013

New TpT post + a freebie!

I made these beginning consonant blends and digraph cards to use as a small group intervention.  They would also be great for a word work activity because they can be laminated and written on with dry erase marker :)

Get all 30 of these cards {here}!

Also, here is a cute color by shapes activity for the little ones!  Click {here} to download this freebie!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!


September 25, 2013

Student Data Binders

I am so excited to share with everyone my student data binders that I have created! They can be downloaded from my TpT store {here}!

Each student has their own 1-inch binder where they will keep track of their assessments, goals, and progress.  Most of the progress monitoring is based on colored bar graphs so the students can easily read what level they're on and where they need to be.

I have also included two {freebie} cover pages which you can download for free in the TpT preview!

I can't wait to use these with my student led conferences later in the year!

September 24, 2013

Back for round two...

As you can see, I took a hiatus from my "confessions of a first year teacher" blog after about 3 months into the school year.  My first year experience was one of the most stressful and unpleasant years of my life.  I was at a very challenging school (low income) with the majority of my class having severe behavior disorders. (swearing, throwing chairs, screaming, running away, throwing scissors, throwing anything within reach- those kinds)  By the end of the year, I had sworn to myself that I was never going to put myself through that again and I was done with teaching.

All summer I searched for jobs in other fields, but could not commit to doing anything else.  So long story short, I waited until the last possible minute (no really, my bank account was drained and the new school year was 20 days in) and I finally got a job.  The school is fantastic!  I can't even put into words the difference between the two schools.  I feel like my hard work is actually going to pay off this time around.  I feel so blessed to have been supported by so many family members and friends throughout the past year and cannot wait to share my experiences with all of you!

For now, here are a couple pics of my room!


September 22, 2013

Writing Toolbox

"I don't know what to write about…."

I decided I never wanted to hear one of my students say that again! I made this vocabulary flip chart so students can get ideas of what to write about and so they can include more details in their writing.  And the kids LOVE them!  I have two copies in color at the writing center and one black and white copy on each table.  

Download this writing toolbox from my TpT store {here}!

I also made these posters to hang on the front board.  It tells students what voice level they should be using and where their classwork will go when they are finished. I have found these to be SO useful!  If a student asks me where something goes, I just point to the board!

You can download this {here}! 

Thanks for reading! Check back soon for my student data binders post and a freebie!

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