Teacher Week 15: Monday Fun Facts


Happy Monday! I'm linking up with Blog Hoppin' for the Teacher Week linky! Each day this week, there will be another topic to link up about. Don't have a blog? Instagram it or Facebook it using the hashtag #teacherweek15. Today's topic: 5 Fun Facts! Here goes:

This school, I have made a TON of changes. I moved school districts (so totally different!) and grade levels. I moved from kinder to first and it has been quite a ride! This school is completely different than my old school, not bad, just different. I am excited for these new changes and eager to get into a routine with my new little lovelies.

Our family is a Brady Bunch. We have 5 kids between the 2 of us and this is the first year none of our kids are at the same school as me. Check out these guys all reading at the airport a few years ago. This was before they all had phones/screens to look at.

I went to Stephen F. Austin University in Nacogdoches. It's the oldest town in Texas and it's absolutely beautiful. Hopefully, I can get up there for a game this season. Axe 'em Jacks!

I am a Dr. Pepper addict. I have been trying to wean myself from all the carbonated beverages, but old habits die hard. There's a Dr. Pepper Museum in Waco I've been wanting to take the kids to for awhile now. It's going on the bucket list for this fall. Doesn't this place look cool? I have't been in YEARS!

I absolutely LOVE fall! I love the pumpkins, the apples, the colors, the cooler weather, football season (even though I really don't care much about football, I love how excited everyone else is about it), the holidays, the food…everything! My birthday is at the end of August, so as soon as that's over, the fall decor comes out. I love decorating my home and classroom for the fall and bringing all the excitement with me! And I LOVE fall clothing. It's hot here in Texas until the end of October, but I wear the good stuff anyway even though I'm dying from heat because it's so stinking cute. (I know there are other southerners that do the same thing, because I see them standing in front of air conditioners and fans with me! Ha!)

Our town has an annual Chili Fest in the fall and our crew made it on the website a few years ago. It was October and 100 degrees that day. We were melting, but they loved the chili. Every one of those kids are a foot taller now. My how time flies. 

Anyway, that's me. Stop by tomorrow for more blog hoppin' fun and be sure to check out the Blog Hoppin' blog to see everyone's 5 Fun Facts!

Five for Friday (8/28/15)


Happy Friday, y'all! I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for the weekly Five for Friday linky. This was our first week of school. I think my feet and legs are going to fall off. I'm doing good to stay up till 9:00. Anyone else with me?

Obviously, most of the week was devoted to procedures. We took time to practice EVERYTHING: walking, sitting, taking turns talking (thank you talking sticks!), using glue sticks, holding scissors…We even started going over center expectations and choices.

We practiced three math partner games: roll and cover, bump, and war. They did great! As squirrelly as they were, they picked up directions right away and helped each other when they got stuck. I introduced roll and cover on Wednesday, bump on Thursday, and War on Friday. Then, after they got the hang of War, they were able to begin choosing partner games for the rest of math time. I loved it because it was so easy to see where my students are academically and what we need to work on right away.

For reading centers, I introduced ball words, writing center, and word work. They LOVE ball words and the writing centers from Seusstastic was a HUGE hit!

We even did our first science experiment today. (Sorry, I forgot to get a picture!) We talked all week about what a scientist is and does, and tools scientists use. We also set up our science notebooks.

And…today we did our first directed drawing. We needed practice following directions and it made for a perfect fun Friday activity. We did the directed drawing first, then we wrote about our robot.

One of my guys has struggled to stay focused on anything work related for the last two years, BUT he was able to focus on this, AND he did it with flying colors! Thank you First Grade Blue Skies!

Classroom Reveal 2015!


It's that time again! Time to set up classrooms, set expectations, and prepare for a wonderful first week back at school! (Anyone else as exhausted as I am from all this prep and planning?)

I got to meet a few of my new firsties last night at meet the teacher and they were just as pumped about coming back to school as I was. I love the excitement of back to school, new beginnings, and fresh starts. It's refreshing and much needed.

So lets talk room environment. (You know you love a cute, well organized room as much as I do!) This is what I started with:

Can you say, "Holy hot mess?" I sure did. I felt a little ADD in here as I jumped from one thing that needed to be "fixed" to another. 

So I started with the word wall. I already knew what I wanted it to look like and jumped right in. (Sorry, I could NOT get a good angle.)

I feel having pictures of the class and our adventures posted in the room is an important way to build community and a sense of belonging. I saw other teachers making Instagram boards in their classrooms and I just had to jump on that!

I LOVE this little corner of our room. Each tub has a different level of Ball Words. The boys that I met last night were over the moon for these! I'll have numbers or labels on the tubs and shelves here soon. 

I started using Pride Tags (brag tags) last year with my kinders and they were a huge hit! I had lots of questions from my new teammates about them when set this up this week. If you're not familiar with Pride Tags, kids earn a business card sized, laminated tag with the accomplishment they earned printed on it. So, the ones on there now say, "Awesome first day of school!" Other tags can be earned for showing respect, being a super scientist, meeting milestones, etc. In our class, we wear them each Friday and I try to encourage other staff members to ask my kids about their accomplishments so they can show them off. 

Student work is displayed on the WOW Work board. It's hard to see in the picture but the clothespins have glitter washi tape on them!

Our writing center is near the word wall for easy spell checking. I still need to make copies, but you get the idea. 

Math stuff will go in these. I tried to have uniform looking boxes last year but not everything fit right. So, change is good, right? Those will get labels on boxes and shelves, too. 

I just realized I didn't take a picture of the class library! I'll add that this week. (I hope…if I can still see straight…that first week is exhausting isn't it?!)

I set all this up in two half days. It was CRAY-ZEE! No time to waste around here!

Let me know what you think in the comments. I am super excited to start this new journey: new to 1st grade, new to the district, new to this school. Lots of big, exciting changes! I can't wait!

Five for Friday


Sunday, I was offered a position in a new district. I've spent the last week frantically setting up the classroom, learning new systems, and preparing lesson plans. I am excited and exhausted at the same time. But isn't that always the case at the beginning of the school year? 

My son will be at a different school than me this year. This will the first time NONE of my kids have been on my campus. It's a little sad, but I know his new school will be perfect for him. He's in great hands!

So my new school is over 60 years old. It definitely has some quirks. My classroom is in the "new" wing. Here's the "before" picture."

I'll post more pictures tomorrow of the classroom reveal, but here's a little sneak peak:

And the biggest news of all:

Lots of big changes this year! What about you? What changes are you making this year?

Stop by Doodle Bugs Teaching for some more Five for Friday fun.

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