Monday, October 26, 2015

Purple Power!

Hello Bloggy Friends!!
I want to show you the most awesome thing everrrr.

Look at her...
Isn't she a beauty?!

It is the new Popular Purple Pencil Sharpener from Classroom Friendly Supplies. I loooove the pencil sharpeners that they make! Just take a look at the power that this little purple princess produces- did you get all that alliteration? Ha!

It gets my pencils so sharp! I'm pretty sure pencils this sharp are  probably illegal in some states...not! But, seriously, they get REAllllly sharp! 
*Bonus- They don't have that dreaded- lopsided-half sharpened- make me crazy- why does this happen to me- issue! 
You know what I'm talking about...oh, the frustration!! 
Here is some interesting info that you may not know about this awesome little company:
  1. It is run by a teacher, just like us, that was fed up with all the pencil sharpeners on the market. So, he knows!! :)
  2. These sharpeners are super quiet & they have a 90 day money back guarantee....but, you will love it & won't need to use it! 
  3. They will ship this Perfect Purple Package of happiness to you for FREE! 

SO...what are you waiting for??
Go get your own Popular Purple Perfectly Perfect Pencil Sharpener- NOW!! 

Friday, October 2, 2015

Data, Data, & MORE Data!

Hello Bloggy Friends!!

I have officially made it to the end of the first quarter, finished report cards, and had conferences with all my parents! 
Whew...that was super quick!

In this post I want to show you something that made mid-terms, report cards, and conferences a lot less painful/stressful/grueling/etc.... 

Here goes nothing...

One of my MAJOR goals this year is for my kiddos to take accountability for their own learning & behavior. I wanted it to be something that would:
  1. Be extremely easy to manage. 
  2. Be kid friendly.
  3. Give me good data.

Enter the data folder...

 Each kiddo has one of these and having them on the file folder saves me a lot of paper clutter & paper shuffling when I need to find a certain page or student. Disclaimer: I am super OCD when it comes to clutter! 

 I just go here to my handy dandy hanging folder pocket thingy. Each kid's folder is bright & easy to find (and in ABC order...did I mention the OCD?). I just grab the folder & the kiddo & we get down to business.

So, do you wanna see inside the folder????
Heck yeah, you do!! 

Here is the front of the folder. It has the BIG skills that I will teach in math this 1st quarter. This is not all I will teach in 1st quarter, it's just the meat of the quarter that I think is the most important. I pre-assess them at the beginning of the quarter & I will assess again in the middle & at the end so that they can see the growth that they made! 
It's so cool! 
This sheet will change by the quarter. 

Inside the folder is literacy. Reading on the left & writing on the right. The reading sheet will stay in the folder the entire year. There is no need to change it. The writing sheet will change with each new writing unit. Right now we are doing personal narratives. At the bottom of the writing sheet we write in the goals that the student needs to work on. She decided on these goals by herself based on her own, that's what I'm talking about!! 
 The weekly behavior page is on the back. On Friday, each child comes to me really quick to look at their behavior for the week. The STUDENT decides which face he deserves. Then, we talk about ways to improve. That's what I write in the comments so we can remember from week to week. 

 Now, that's accountability for ya! 

The pictures are from the 1st 4 weeks of school. When I got to the end of the quarter I had all the data right there to make filling out my mid-terms & report cards a breeze. 
Mainly, I LOOOOVEEE the fact that the students are super involved in this process. Anyone can come to my room & ask one of my students about reading, writing, math, or behavior goals & the students can either tell them or they can show them the folder. It is awesome!! 

So here's the sweet friend Kim from Mrs. J's Jitterbugs created it! 
She said that I can give one away for FREEEEE!! could win this baby!!

1. Just follow her TpT Store 
2. Leave me a comment on this post to tell me that you followed         her.
3. You can win one of your very own!! 

There are pages for CCSS standards in math for the year. There are also pages for writing- narrative, opinion, & information. You saw the reading & high frequency words & behavior pages. Seriously check it will LOVE it just like me!! 

Show my friend some love!! 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Fall Break!

Woo Hoo!!
 I am on a 2 week Fall Break!!
Clip art credit: Graphics From the Pond
I really needed this break. Keep in mind that I have been teaching for 9 weeks. We went back to school in mid-July. So, my kiddos were crawling the walls for a break, too! I've got some stuff in the works & I am hoping to use some of this time to get it ready for you! 
I am excited to rest & rejuvenate!
Happy Fall Y'all!!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Let's Talk Math

Hello bloggy friends!! 
Today I am talking math with ya! 
At my school the name of the game is NO WORKSHEETS! And, yes, recording sheets are considered work sheets! I don't even try to's not worth it! 
Really though it's not all that bad. I rarely used sheets in math anyway so there weren't many tears shed on this one! 
So, you ask...what DO you do for math centers??

Here are a few of my math centers (please ignore the fact that some are winter...I've been a slacker taking pics this year. You'll still get the idea...)
Let me start by saying that I do the SAME centers over & over...gasp!! 

No, really...I just change the difficulty, theme, standard, whatever to keep the centers feeling like they are fresh and new. This is a huge WIN for me because I never have to reteach how to do a center after they have learned the game. I do 4/5 centers a week & the kiddos know how to play 10 different centers. This is how I can keep things feeling new but the kiddos know how to play them! 
 This is a roll & ___ game. It may be roll & add 1, add 10, take away 1, take away 2...the list goes on. BUT, because they already know the premise of the game I can change it to whatever I see that they need & they automatically know how to play it.(I think that this game was actually a "Mittens PLUS 10" game...can you say typo?)
 I am a huge fan of getting the kiddos moving so I usually have a "____ the Room" center. It may be add the room, count the room, subtract the room, solve the room....again, the possibilities are endless. I can change it to whatever my kiddos need. Below you can see a "Measure the Room" center. I teach them how to record their work in their math journals so NO WORKSHEETS! Win!!

How easy is it to throw out some 10 frames, manips, & flash cards? Again, the possibilities...

Holy cow...domino centers can last forever! This time I had them doing commutative property of addition. You can do addition, subtraction, +10, -10, +1, -1, ...I could go on & on & on.... ha! Go to the dollar store & grab some cheapie dominoes & you will be set! 

Well, I hope that you found some of this to be helpful!
If you hung on this long I have a cutie freebie for ya! 
It one of my Roll & Add games with the apple theme. So fun for the fall! There are 2 versions so you can differentiate. 
PLEASE leave some comment love if you snag it! 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Family Project

Hello bloggy friends!!
I hope that everyone's school year is off to a smooth start!
We have been in school for 6 weeks now, so we are sailing right along.

One of my personal goals this year is to promote more parent involvement both in & out of the classroom. Let me remind you that I work in a high priority school where most of my students are on free lunch (not They are coming from sad & unfortunate home situations that you & I would probably not survive in....seriously. Many times the only meals that they get are the free breakfast, lunch, & snack that school provides to them. Sooooo, I want to get the parents involved as much as I can & show these kiddos that I care about their learning, but, more importantly, their parents care about their learning!
Here are some of the things that I already do to try to get the parents involved:

  1. I send "Good News" cards to the students in the mail. This way the parents can see some of the positive things that are going on with their kiddos.
  2. Anytime I send home something that needs to be signed, I offer a treat to those that bring it back to me. This ensures that at least one grown up has seen the info coming home and, hopefully, taken the time to look over it. I usually get 100% returned.
  3. I call the parents when something good happens with the kiddo. Although, many times the phones are out of service...I still give it a shot! 
  4. I send a bilingual newsletter so that they can be aware of what we are working on in class or other school info.
  5. There are other things that I do...but, let's get on with the program.
Well, this year I have decided to start the monthly family project. This way the families can work together to create a class project. I am hoping that this will give my kiddos a little special attention as the families work together being creative with the projects. I wanted something that would be simple & fun at the same time!
Enter these little cuties from my bestie Jen Ross:

Monthly Family Projects
click the pic to go get your very own!! 

Ya'll these are PERFECT-O!!

I sent home the apple for our September project & OH. MY. WORD....the cuteness that came back...well, see for yourself!
The "project" was to decorate your apple with things you like about school or things that you have learned so far in school! I was super impressed with their hard work! 

Y'all they were super excited to share their apples with the class! Everyone was on the edge of their seat as each person showed the apple!
Out of 17 kids- I got 15 apples back & I think the other 2 will bring their apples tomorrow because they saw how much fun it was! 


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!!