Thursday, August 13, 2015

Fun With Social Studies

 Hello Bloggy Friends! 
We have been in school for 3 1/2 weeks now & we are finally easing in, following procedures, in the swing of routines, and just ready to rock & roll our way through first grade! 

One of my favorite Social Studies units to teach is neighborhoods, communities, & schools. We talk about what each one is & who the leaders are for each one. 
I start the unit with a little "All About Me" tie in. We make our self portraits to introduce ourselves as part of our classroom neighborhood. I looovvve the directed drawing portraits that are in the packet from First Grade Blue Skies. You can find it here.

 Aren't they just too cute! They always turn out awesome!! 

Then we make our classroom neighborhood. This is also a little geometry tie in because it uses so many different shapes. I just love the way that these turned out. They add so much color to the back of my classroom.

We have been working through this Authority Figures  packet from my friend Cassie at Adventures in Teaching. It is perfect for teaching them who the leaders are in the community, at home, & at school. It is packed with awesome activities! 

Authority Figures

Here is our bulletin board for leaders in our school & leaders at home. 

I hope you are having a great start, or are getting ready for a great start! 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

2015-2016 Classroom Picture OVERLOAD!!

Hello Bloggy Friends!
The 2015-2016 school year is off and running! My students scampered in bright & early on Thursday morning. 
Here is what they saw...
This is taken from the doorway looking in.
This was taken from the back of the room to the front. My door is just to the right out of the pic.
It all look a little naked right now until I get some student work up!
This is where the small group magic will be happening!
My window with the cutie pie curtains that my mom made for me! 
My writing & science boards that hang above the small group teacher table. You can't tell here, but they have polkadot border & solid colored border. I love the layered look! 
My math board...I LOVE the pennant banners! So much cuter than the boring old die cut letters!
I am a Conscious Discipline classroom so I have to have a "Safe Spot". This is where they come to chill out, calm down, & just collect themselves so that they can  focus on learning....
I had the art teacher paint this tree for me. I took pictures of all the families that came to Open House & I will add them to our class family tree. It hangs above our safe spot so that they can be comforted by seeing their families! <3
My naked word wall...
A closer shot....
The other side of my board...I know, boring! It will get filled up!! I promise!
My calendar board...again, LOVE the polkadot layered borders! 
Here is my cutie pie rocker that my mom painted & made a pillow for! Just love it!!
My counter/ sink area. Yep, my mom made these cutie curtains, too! I love them. They hide my construction paper & read alouds! I hate to see clutter!
I got these awesome pencil containers & inspirational sign from Target. They rocked the dollar spot this year!  

This is my door!
This is my job board that also doubles as a name chart. You can get the job cards here.
My reading board...excuse the nakedness!
Social Studies...
This hanging file will hold their personal data folders...they will be tracking their own data. I'll blog about that later! 
My class leveled library...The rainbow carts will hold unfinished work.
These signs hang over my table groups. They all have a different color & shape. I love to squeeze in learning whenever I can. I may call them by color, by shape, or by attributes of their shapes...oh, the possibilities....
My mini lesson area. The red step was made by my stepdad because my board doesn't go up & down and most of my littles couldn't reach the board! Problem solved! 
I put these on my mean, harsh flourescent lights...the lighting is so much softer now. It made a HUGE difference! 
This sign hangs outside of my door with my class list.
I got this banner from First Grade Blue Skies & it is SUPER cute!!
More banner...
The whole wall leading up to my door....excuse the trash can! 
This is leading up to my door from the other side of the hallway...

Well, that's it!
I'll post again when I get more stuff up & you can see the cuteness!!
Thanks for looking!! 

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Reflection Post #4~ Teacher Clothes!

Hello Bloggy Friends!! 

Well, it's that time in the program where I have to retire the yoga pants & t-shirts during the week and bring out the teacher clothes! 

Yes, I am officially back to school! Ahhhhh~ where did my summer go??

Today I am blogging about my favorite teacher clothes! 

You should know that I do not dress super fancy at work & I NEVER wear heels!! I am waaaay too uncoordinated for that! 
I do try to dress professionally while still being as comfy as possible. There is never a time that you want to be up there teaching & have on that one pair of pants that give you a constant wedgie! 
Am I right???

So, here are some of my go to's for comfort...
Image result for chevron maxi skirt

I loooove a maxi skirt. They are the most comfortable things EVER. They look nice, can be dressed up or dressed down, and you can still sit on the floor with your kiddos- which I do a LOT. 

My sparkly Toms are some of my favorite shoes...they feel like you're wearing slippers. Although, my friends tell me that they are out and Tieks are in. So, I may need to snag a pair of those! 

Image result for first grade teacher shirts

On Fridays we get to wear jeans & teacher is AWESOME! 

Image result for cardigan womens

I wear tons of cardigans- I have them in just about every color! They are so versatile & look nice. Not to mention that my room is like an icebox & I am FREEZING without one! 

Image result for scarf

I also love to jazz things up with a cute little scarf. I don't usually end up with it on by the end of the day though because they always seem to get in the way when I am working with the kiddos! That's ok...they are still super cute & add a nice touch to the outfit. 
Image result for women's khaki pants
And who doesn't have their go-to pair of khakis. You know that pair that you put on when you have HAD it! You are bloated, you just want to be comfy all day, and know....
Throw these babies on with a polo & your Nike's & all is good! 

So, that's it! I'm all about being COMFORTABLE when I am teaching! 
What about you?? 
What's your teacher clothing must haves??

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Reflection #3 Now Hiring!

Hello Blog Friends!
Today I am blogging about classroom jobs.
Work it!! 

I have always had classroom jobs for my kiddos. They LOVE to have a job & contribute to our classroom community. To be honest, I LOVE to have the extra help with things around the room.

I don't usually have a job for every student...but, now that we are using Conscious Discipline, every student gets a job so that they will feel like they are a part of the school family. 
Now, managing 20 jobs can be a bit cuh-ray-zee overwhelming! So, I picked jobs that I genuinely need & that are VERY important to the functioning of my classroom.

Here's a rundown:
1. Line Leader- duh, someones gotta get us where we're going.

2. Door Holder- don't let the door hit ya....well, you know!

3. Trash Helper- This person helps with trash in the room & in the cafeteria.

4. Chair Stacker- stack those chairs at the end of the day!

5. Snack Helper- our school provides snack. This person goes to get it & passes it out.

6. Recess Bag- carries out the bag of balls, chalk, jump ropes, etc...we gotta play!

7. Lights- another fave...who knew flipping the light switch could be so exhilarating!?

8. Computer Kid- turn 'em on, sign 'em in, & at the end of the day shut 'em down!  This one takes a very responsible kiddo!

9. Teacher Helper- this kiddo is at my beck and call! There's no telling what this kiddo will have to do! I do make sure that this kiddo has stuff to do every day! 

10.Table Washer- washes those lunch tables...also wipes down class tables when we have spills & such.

11. Fork Collector- collects everyone's forks at lunch & gives them to the dishwasher...gross but they LOVE this one.

12. Sweeper- sweeps the cafeteria after lunch & sweeps the classroom at the end of the day. 

13. Paper Passer- another fave...passing out paper to everyone is AWESOME!

14. Mailbox Manager- this one gets everyone's agenda & homework folder out of the mailboxes & puts them on student desks so that I can fill them out before Operation Pack Up! 

15. Calendar- before the bell rings in the morning, this kiddo puts the new date on the calendar AND...wait for it...gets to write it ON. THE. BOARD!! WOWZA!!

16. Heart Helper- This one passes out the class hearts before morning meeting. Read about that HERE.

17. Cubby Kid- This kid takes care of one of my biggest pet peeves!! He makes sure that everyone's backpacks, jackets, etc are IN the cubbies...not on the floor, not on the counter, IN the cubbies! 

18. Sink Cleaner- We eat breakfast in the classroom so the sink gets GROSS! This person cleans it, strains all the cereal (gross, right?!), & makes sure that the soap & paper towels are stocked.

19. Librarian- I am super picky about this job! This kiddo makes sure that the leveled library is on point! She has to re-file all the books that are re-shopped everyday back into their proper place. 

20. Caboose- Someone's gotta close the door when we leave the room, right! :)

So, that's a run down of my jobs...

I rotate the jobs each Monday so that everyone gets a new job each week. It's really simple, works really well for me, & it is STRESS free! Before ANY jobs are assigned I make sure that I have REALLLLY taught the expectations & procedures for each job. If I see that a job is not being done to my liking I stop the presses & reteach it right then & there! 

So, that's it!! 
If you've hung around this long you will be glad to know that there is a FREEBIE in it for you!! 
Woo Hoo!!

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE leave feedback & click the " FB Share" button or "Pin it" button in my TpT store! :)

Monday, June 29, 2015

Just Breathe!!

Hello bloggy friends!
Yesterday I blogged about items that I use to help the kiddos refocus & calm themselves down.
You can read about that here.

I thought I would piggyback off of that post & talk about breathing for a bit.

So, with Conscious Discipline we do a LOT of deep breathing activities to refocus & calm ourselves down. We also do the breathing activities when we are stressed or overwhelmed or just need to give ourselves a little break. I find it to be helpful to the kids that will actually do it. I still have a few hold outs that aren't crazy about stopping to take the time to breathe deeply 3 times to calm down...I'm gonna keep working on them though! 

I love to find fun breathing techniques that my kiddos love & will engage in...
One of our class favorites is "Pizza Breathing".

Here is a quick explanation of how to pizza breathe~
1. Hold palms facing up in front of your chin as if you are holding a slice of pizza.
2. Take a deep breath in through your nose as if you are smelling the pizza. Make sure you are breathing in for 3 seconds.
3. Exhale as if you are blowing the pizza to cool it down. This is also calming in that you can feel the breath going across your palms.
**Make sure to repeat these steps 3 times.

What about you?

Have you tried breathing techniques in your class
to help the kiddos refocus?

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Calm Down!!

Hello blog friends!

Many of you know that my school switched to Conscious Discipline last school year. One of the big components is teaching students how to calm themselves down so that they can think before they react & do something that may not be the best choice.

One of the things that I do is to use calming items.

 I have made plenty of these...
 (this is a 12 oz water bottle)
    This is before shaking.         

This is after shaking.
Glitter storm!! 

While I was at the beach I found these fun little calming toys~

This is before the flip...

This is after the flip!

I also found these...
This is before the flip...

This is after the flip! 
This is one of my faves because you have to try to get all the sand down to the bottom! 
I think it will be super calming! 

All of these items settle after about a minute to a minute & a half. 

**REMEMBER... if you are using things like this in your class you will have to teach the procedure for each one! 

I will not put any item out until my students know exactly how to use them & what my expectation is for the item!! 

What about you? 
Do you use calming aids with your students??

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Target Got Me Again!!

Hellloooooo bloggy friends!!
I am back from the beach feeling recharged & rejuvenated...ahhhh!

I have 3 weeks until I am back in the teacher routine! Yikes!! 

Of course, when I got home I see all of the Target posts with the awesome teacher finds & just couldn't resist heading over there to see what the fuss was all about. 
Big Mistake!
I ended up with all this...

Here are my thoughts...

1. I am digging the sentence games. I got the K-1 set & the 1-2 set. I know I will need them for differentiation this year. 

2. How awesome are the orange pocket charts? I LOVE the color orange so I had to get them. I have NO IDEA how I will use them, but I'll figure something out! 

3. I couldn't resist the rainbow colored paper trays...I was a little bummed that they didn't have purple though. Oh well...

4. Who couldn't use the rainbow colored post its & notepad? I am forever needing these little gems!

5. My calendar desperately needed an update so I snagged the cute monthly headers for it. 

All in all, I am pretty pleased with my Target finds. They had sooooo much more, but I just didn't need it...imagine that!!

How about you? 
Have you had any great teacher finds this summer?? 
Please share!! :)