Monday, August 27, 2012

Peek Inside my room

Today was my first day back at school with a new group of firsties.  I had 21 new little love bugs today and they were as sweet as could be!  I am soooo excited about this school year, although I feel like I could sleep for about 2 days straight I am so tired.  We had open house on Sunday afternoon, followed by night before first day jitters (that yes, the teacher still gets), and a whole day teaching rules and how we do EVERYTHING (along with some fun & games)!  I remembered my camera yesterday before open house and had a few minutes to snap a couple pictures of my room and the adorable bulletin boards on our first grade hall.  Now it is time to snuggle up and rest up for day 2!  Enjoy!  I'll post in detail about setup and my room in a future post :)

 My guided reading station...aka...the reading hub...aka....Mrs. Mabe's grand central station!  My mom is uh-mazing! She made table skirts for our first grade team (my curtains match it). 
 My back bulletin board that will be home to my firsties' writing very soon!
 Okay, so kindergarten at my school all has a specific jungle animal theme.  Since k/1 share a hall, I didn't want to have a jungle animal on my door and I was stumped as to what to put on my door.  Then I ran across this absolutely adorable, perfect idea for my room (from first grade fever's blog...check it out here) that combined two of my favorite things....animal print & Pete the Cat!  Pete may have to stay up for a while and just get decorated for fall because I love him so much!
 My writing table at the back of the room...missing two caddies on the Ikea hanging bar thing.  Ikea has great stuff & so cheap!  Hanging on the pocket chart are a few of my writing topics from my writing task cards
 We went over our behavior catalog today and all the rewards they could choose from.  The room was buzzing with which prize they would be 'shopping' for first!
 Computer area & math shelves.  The space between my windows will be home to math vocabulary words as we learn them. 
 Another view from the back of the room.  Again, I have an awesome my chair pockets she made!
 My BOGGLE board on an oil-drip pan on the back of my bookshelf.  The organizer has magnetic letters in it that will be used as a literacy station in the weeks to come.
 Alright, my mom sews & my wonderful hubby is handy with a saw & drill.  He made these shelves for my classroom library.  Low enough for kids to reach all the shelves and also for me to see into the library from my guided reading table.  A dear kindergarten friend shared the palm tree base with me that she had stored away from VBS years ago.  My mom and I whipped up a lovely little palm tree, following Deanna Jump's directions for the one she has in her room.
 Calendar are & math station board (currently empty). 
 Mr. Alligator moves around with a magnet for our class voice level chart. 
 Whole Brain Teaching...enough said!!  My scoreboard.  I'm using the tens frame (can't ever get enough practice) along with jewels from the craft store.  The line, seat, & carpet signs are to track how quickly & quietly we transition.  They love beating their time!
 My first grade next door neighbor, Sarah, has the cutest cooking theme in her room.  I'm going to have to get more pics.  Here's her adorable cupcake door!
 Another first grade neighbor & her tropical/beachy board! 
 Love the ladybugs from another first grade friend! 
 Zebra print pencils & monkeys outside my door.  Work to come soon under the pencils.

That's my home away from home in a nutshell.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Rewarding Awesome Behavior...The Easy Way (& some freebies)

Last summer after reading about some great ideas from other teachers, I created and shared my Behavior to Roar About Catalog.  It replaced my prize box this year *AMEN* and my firsties LOVED it.  I loved it too, but as with anything, it needed a little *tweeking* to make it just right for what I needed.  My problem this year was keeping up with who had earned their trip to the behavior catalog and when.  My firsties have a behavior calendar in their homework folder that is color coded based on the day they had.  BUT, it meant they or I had to count up their days.  To earn a trip to the behavior catalog they had to have 8 good days (not consecutive, but all together).  So.....this year after doing a little blog researching and my favorite Pinterest, I figured out what I am missing to make my life easier.   I am going to use a punch card system this year and when students earn 8 punches, they can go to the behavior catalog.  And let me say, the world stoppped in first grade when we went shopping in that catalog last year.  Even though they usually knew what they wanted (stinky feet was always a favorite), they had to browse the catalog just to make sure.  :-)  I will be posting pics later today of the punch cards and they can be downloaded FREE.  I also wanted to revamp some of my catalog, so it now has a new look with the adorable KPM Doodles clipart.

Above are some of the new images of my behavior catalog.  I also revamped some of my choices and am up to 27 choices for my firsties to choose from!  (And almost all free to me, no treasure box!!)  To further organize myself and my firsties in my never ending battle at organization, I have created reward coupons that match the behavior catalog choices.  See below.  After punch card is full, shopping in catalog is complete, they will receive a reward coupon for the prize they chose.  Two reasons for this - They can hang on to it and redeem it when they want.  Sometimes this year they wanted to do stinky feet, but wanted to do stinky feet with a friend who hadn't yet earned their trip to the catalog.  This way they can wait until they are absolutely ready to use it.  Second, I can put it in their homework folder to go home to show their parents the prize they earned.  They will be laminated.  Another idea is to use them in the clear name tag necklaces to wear when they use their coupon.

So, with all that, I hope it makes sense!   If not, ask me a question!!  :-)  Click on any of the images to see the catalog & coupons in my TpT store.  They come together in a set.  Anyone else's head starting to spin with back to school stuff!?!?!  Now it's back to legos, Thomas the Train, & Hotwheels with a cute 2 year old!   Enjoy!

Click on the picture below to see the punch cards in my TpT store for free.  I would love your feedback if you're using them! :)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Mega Word Work

I ventured into my classroom today with my 2 year old.  I actually managed to get quite a bit unpacked and put away with him playing with his cars and trucks and wanting to take out magnadoodles, blocks, markers, books, everything!!!  I am excited beyond words to be moving into a bigger classroom.  My wheels were turning today as I pictured where I wanted everything to go.  Especially my word work center because I just finished wrapping up how it will be organized this year.

  I am going to print, laminate, and hole punch each task card.  They will be held together with a ring.  **Sorry, no pictures, haven't had time to put it together with a 2 year old running around**.  I will create a separate set of task cards for each of my reading groups, based on ability.  I plan on spending A LOT of time at the beginning introducing each task card along with expectations.  I created recording sheets for some of the task cards.  I actually think I will be using a word work journal this year to cut down on some copies.  You can check out the task cards and recording sheets, from my TpT store.  I would love to hear from you if you download them, along with any suggestions for more activities.  Follow my TpT store for more fun stuff to come.  What other awesome ideas to you have for word work??? Enjoy!


Now posted in my TpT store are Writing Center Task Cards.  I wanted the set to be versatile for throughout the year.  There are 132 task cards! WHOA!!!  Some cards have writing topics on them like a rainy day, a time I was excited, the beach, my family, etc.  There are topics for creating lists, recipes, newspapers, poems, and stories.  I figured I would just knock them all out at once so I can pick and choose throughout the year.  I think they will work great for an anchor chart bulletin board to give kiddos topics to write about, as well as being hole punched and on a ring in the writing center.  Check it out in my TpT store!   

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Math Vocabulary Cards....TaDa!!!

Whew.  Let me just say that these math vocabulary cards have been a labor of love!  I started creating/working on them LAST SUMMER (ha) and have just put the finishing touches on them.  I used a majority of these cards in my room this year on my math word wall.  My district has adopted Common Core standards, so I have been adding more words that align with Common Core.  My district provided picture cards for us to print and use, but can we say, colorless and b-o-r-i-n-g!  I wanted something very simple and clean, but jazzed up in fun colors and clipart.  Viola!  Below is a preview of the end result.  104 vocabulary cards for a quick reference in your room.  Click on the images to go check them out!  

Tomorrow, I am venturing back into my classroom and will start taking some pics.  I have moved to a nice, big room with lots of storage (YAY) and while I don't even want to think about summer ending, I do get excited thinking about decorating and setting up for a new year and new firsties!! 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Time Flies....and I'm having FUN!

Whew....I've been gone from the blogging world for quite a while!  My last post {circa last August} was made from the beach while I was kicking back, relaxing, and enjoying my last little bit of summer before heading back to school {with a classroom I had already set-up, decorated, and cleaned, keep in mind}.  That beach trip proved quite eventful, with me interviewing and taking a new position at a new school within a matter of days.  I packed up my classroom and moved across town a WEEK BEFORE STARTING SCHOOL!!   Needless to say, this year was a whirlwind with moving, settling, and adjusting, but I love my new school and teammates.  My commute has been cut in half, which I absolutely love.  I'm still in first grade.  So between the ten bajillion things we do as teachers on a regular basis, I have also been enjoying time with my one {almost 2 year old} and the hubster.  Life is good, God is great!  So....with all that being said, I'M BACK and ready to rock a new year. 

I'm working on a few things to share over the next few weeks, and of course finding great ideas on your blogs and my favorite, Pinterest!  My room is lots of green and animal prints.  I needed to update my number word posters, but didn't want anything too big.  Viola....below is what I came up with.  Set includes numbers 0-20, 30, 40, 50, 60 , 70, 80. 90 & 100.  Click on the picture to download for free from my TpT store.  Follow me on TpT for more fun stuff to come!  Enjoy!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Updated Behavior Incentive Catalog

Hi everyone!  Enjoying sunshine, waves, & a fabulous time with my family at the beach in Charleston!  I had a couple of requests for my behavior catalog to be adjusted to work for kindergarten and other grades.  I am posting a copy for kindergarten, second, and third for all!  Enjoy!  Last week of vacation for this little teacher!


Monday, August 1, 2011

Teaching Blog Addict....Are You?!?!

Summed up ~ Teaching Blog Addict is your one stop shop for all the fabulous blogs out there for teachers.  In one click I can so easily access so many fabulous ideas.  If you haven't checked it out, you definitely should and of course admit that you too are an addict!  My favorite part of TBA are the links to the specific blogs by grade level.  AWESOME!!