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.

Must Read Monday: Modern Fairy Tales


Happy Monday! Only two more Must Read Monday's till school starts! This week's focus: Modern Fairy Tales.

One of my FAVORITE modern fairy tales is Bubba the Cowboy Prince. This is a HILARIOUS version of Cinderella. Bubba is cowboy who gets picked on by his "wicked step-daddy" and step-brothers. When Miz Lurleen plans a ball to find herself a prince, the Fairy Godcow takes care of Bubba, making sure he can attend. But poor Bubba looses his boot at the ball and Miz Lurleen seeks out to find her man. Disclaimer: This book is a thousand times better when you read it with twang! (Every year I get, "Ms. Coe, why do you sound like that?" when I read this.) I read this every year during our Texas/rodeo unit and we compare and contrast it when we get to fairy tales. 

Another beauty is The Three Ninja Pigs. We read this during our ABC countdown at the end of last year on N day (for Ninjas—we wore ninja masks too!). The kids were rolling with laughter! It's told just like the Three Little Pigs, but in rhyme and with ninja moves. What could be better? 

If you like this one, you'll love Ninja Red Riding Hood. After the three ninja pigs start teaching everyone ninja skills, the Big Bad Wolf starts taking some classes of his own. He thinks he Little Red and her Grandma will be easy to get now, but Wolf is in for a big surprise!

If you are looking to quickly add to your collection of fairy tales, I found this A-MAZ-ING set of books on Scholastic.  It includes The Boy Who Cried Ninja, Cinderelephant, Goldi Rocks and the Three Bears, Little Red Hot, and Goatilocks and the Three Bears. All five books are only $12! (No, I do not work for or represent Scholastic, I just really like this set.) All five books are modern, funny versions of classic fairy tales.

The Boy Who Cried Ninja: No one believes Tim when he says strange things are happening at his house, so Tim goes on a mission to find out what's going on. 

Cinderelephant: The elephant version of Cinderella. My daughter used to call her "Ele-rina" (like ballerina). 

Goldi Rocks and the Three Bears: The bears are holding singing auditions for their band. Could Goldi be just what they're looking for?

Little Red Hot: The cowboy version of Little Red Riding Hood, and another book begging to be read with twang!

Goatilocks and the Three Bears: Goatilocks doesn't just try the porridge, he eats the bowl and spoon too! And the chair, and the bed. Oh no! What will happen when the bears get home?!  

For more modern fairy tales, swing by Kindergarten Planet or the Kindergarten Connection. Next week's Must Read must-haves: back to school books.

Five for Friday (8/7/15)


Yes, yes it is. 

This summer, I've actually had time to spend on Pinterest (yea!) which gave me all kinds of ideas on how to waste time productively. If you read my blog regularly, you'll know how much I love to organize things. This week, I found a pin that shows you how to change the colors of your folders on your computer. I know this is not "new" but I hadn't taken the time before to play with it. But this week…I DID! And it was AWESOME!

Check out this organized madness! The folders are from Glitter Meets Glue and the tabs sparkle! :) I grabbed them during the TpT sale. There's so many colors to chose from, my little mini-me and I spent forever deciding what colors to use. You can watch the tutorial here.
GoNoodle sent an email out last week announcing new videos for the upcoming school year. One of those videos is the Llama Song. My weird son (he IS weird and he's proud of it, I'm not picking on him) went berserk. If you haven't watched the new GoNoodle videos (specifically MooseTube) you need to. Like now. So stinkin' cute!

My shirt from Tanga came in this week! If you haven't checked them out yet, go! They have all kinds of deep discounts on all kinds of stuff—including teacher shirts! I was tempted to buy much more when I placed this order, but I didn't. (I may go back and order more! Ha!) I think this is going to be a regular outfit in my class this year.

We had our last Tell all Tuesday for the summer this week. This week's focus was on goals and dreams for the new school year. You can read my original post here.

And our second ever What Worked Well Wednesday happened on the Kinder Tribe blog. It's full of tips and tricks to make your life easier. If you haven't checked it out yet, what are you waiting for?!

The Mr. and I went and saw Vacation today. He and I haven't been to a movie just the two of us in forever. It was HILARIOUS! So inappropriate, but SO funny! If you've seen the original Griswald movie (who hasn't?!), you'll get a kick out of this. 

No go swing by Doodle Bugs Teaching for more Five for Friday fun!

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