Saturday, September 24, 2011

What's In My School Bag? Linky Party

Wow! I haven't had time to post in a REALLY long time! Between regular school stuff, meetings, and extra-curriculars for my kids, I barely have time to catch up on reading posts let alone type up my own! :)  But, when I saw this linky party that Abby at The Inspired Apple was having, it sounded like fun. I just happened to have my school bag sitting next to me on the couch as I am ready to work on some lesson plans and entering some scores, so I thought why not? lol.

First of all, let me say that I have only had this bag for about 2 weeks. A friend of mine had a 31 party and I had to have this organized tote for school. I also bought a lunch bag that I absolutely LOVE! So, in all fairness I usually have a lot more "crap" in my bag than what I found today. However, since this little baby is still new, she is pretty clean!

I really do LOVE polka dots! It is hilarious to see me walking into school with this bag, my new lunch bag in a different polka dot pattern, and my Kate Spade polka dot purse in yet a different pattern. It is like polka dots gone wild! lol.

The first things I found were: My gradebook so I can enter grades into the computer this weekend, my school calendar, my scholastic book club orders that I need to finalize this weekend, and my DIBELS progress monitoring booklets so I could enter those scores.

Next, I found some information on my new book circle group that I have to lead on the Nurtured Heart Approach, my Saxon Phonics Assessment that I need to grade this weekend, and my assessment of the students reading our sight words and story from Trophies for this week.

Finally, this is the random stuff in the outer pockets of the bag: pens, markers, pencils, binder clip, paper clip, calculator, hair tie, hair clip, and my phob/key/flash-drive for school.

Definitely nothing too exciting, but I imagine we all have some of the same things in our bag. It is a wonder all teachers don't have shoulder or back problems considering how much stuff we lug back and forth with us everyday! LOL. 

Well, I can't wait to see what you are carrying in your bag so link up right away!


Sunday, September 4, 2011

A is for Apples...

With September finally here, I know that we will have apples as one of our writing topics. And because there are so many fun things you can do with apples, I have been checking out blogs and Pinterest for some ideas. Obviously, one thing I definitely plan to do with my firsties that I did with my Kindergartners a couple of years ago is to have a taste test and graph which apple we like best...yellow, red, or green. It is always fun to have a tasty treat in class and it is a good math skill too! :)  Something else my partner always did in Kindergarten was read a story called The Little Red House with No Doors and No Windows and a Star Inside.  This is such a cute story and it is a good way to kick off the apple unit, because most of the kids have no idea that the mom is talking about an apple. After you finish the story you cut an apple in half across the width and inside you will see...

While searching on Pinterest, I came across this adorable picture and it led me to Apple Day!

These are so cute!!  I plan to put the following poem inside...

We of course will read apple stories, sing apple songs, and even talk about Johnny Appleseed. And then the kids will write about what they have learned. Can't wait to get started with our apple projects! I will share some pictures when we are all done. :)  Hope you are enjoying your excited we still have another day off!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Lunchroom Behavior Plan

Sorry for posting twice today, but I've had my creative juices flowing a little bit today and I wanted to share. :)  So, the lunch ladies at my school were looking for some type of incentive to motivate good behavior in the lunch room. My principal came to me and another teacher because we are co-chairs of our PBIS team. I told them I had found a golden spatula on pinterest that was used to reward good behavior for the week. My principal loved the idea! She plans to get a golden spatula for each grade level and the two classes in each grade level will battle against each other. The class with the best behavior for the day will earn a sticker on a reward chart. Then at the end of the week, the class with the most stickers will win the golden spatula to hang outside their classroom door. Once we return the spatula to the lunch room we will get a spatula sticker. At the end of the semester the classroom(s) with the most spatula stickers will get a special surprise treat from our principal. So, my principal set out to find gold spatulas (or ones that can be spray painted gold), she asked me to make the chart for the lunch ladies to use, and my friend Bobbie was sent on a mission to find spatula stickers (or something kitchen related lol).  I made a quick little slide show of my creation. I'm pretty excited about how it turned out...especially the glitter! :)  I love it when it's sparkly!!  Let me know what you think!

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Good start to the year...

Well, it is hard to believe that I have 10 days of first grade under my belt already! The days have been flying by so far, and we have had a lot of fun getting to know each other. I have a pretty good bunch of firsties....a couple of little stinkers that you have to keep your thumb on, but for the most part they are all really sweet! I do have a very lopsided class however, 14 boys and 6 girls!  And my partner has 13 boys and 6 girls....where are all the girls at?!?  It makes for a class with a very short attention span. I try to mix it up all day between carpet time and table time and throw in brain breaks with Dr. Jean songs or sight word chants with movements.

I guess my biggest struggle right now is all the training of new programs that I am trying to implement. It is hard enough at this time of year to train them on how we sit in a chair properly or on the carpet, how we walk in the hall, how we use the bathroom quickly and know what I'm talking about!  But, then throw on top of that launching Daily 5 (for my 1st time ever!), CAFE', and Reading and Math PALS.  Have any of you ever used PALS in 1st grade?  If you have, you know the training is grueling....let me know if you have any tips on that! :)  I just feel like I'm muddling through all this training looking for the light of the end of the tunnel where they will know the expectations and know how to do all these programs every day. I'm hoping for sooner rather than later. LOL

I mean seriously...I have only introduced Read to Self and we have built our stamina up to 9 min so far and it has been a challenge with some of these boys! I should have already introduced Work on Writing but after our model & practice of Read to Self they just don't have the attention span for it. We are pushing forward next Tuesday regardless of that, but I feel like I'm way behind! I know it will all come in time and I am just being impatient but it is hard sometimes to not feel like it would just be easier to abandon this and teach from my basal all the time. I hate that feeling!

Well, I don't want to feel like Debbie Downer...I love my job and I am still really excited to be in first! I truly love my little kiddos already and we do have a lot of fun together. So, really I'm not complaining...just venting! :)  Enjoy your 3 day weekend and get some rest like I plan to! I forgot to mention I'm losing my voice from talk, talk, talking....ALL the time!! :)