Sunday, November 30, 2014

December Currently

Holy cow!!!  How is it December already???

I'm linking up with Farley over at Oh' Boy 4th Grade for December's Currently.

Listening:  I seriously LOVE some Christmas music.  I also discovered last year that I loved Pentatonix, so I was super excited to snatch up their latest Christmas album on iTunes during the Black Friday sale! 

Loving:  Our new principal is SERIOUS about giving teachers the freedom they need to teach!  As long as I am covering the standards/pacing guide, I can use whatever to accomplish that.  Can I get an , "Amen!"?  Planning is much more exciting.

Thinking:  The only gifts I have are for my niece, nephew, and half of my class gifts...time to get busy!

Wanting:  I'm sure you know about the HUGE TPT Cyber Sale...oh my goodness is my cart bursting with teaching goodness!  I need to narrow things down a bit, but wow, there are so many amazing teachers creating amazing things!  I'm a newbie in the TPT world, but I'd love for you to check out my store.

Needing:  I moved from North Carolina to Alabama in July.  With the busyness of school starting, not to mention living only an hour away from my family (weekend trips home!), I still haven't really found a new church home yet.  I miss my sweet little NC church and have GOT to get busy about finding a new one here.

Giving:  I haven't been in this TPT/Teacher-blogger world long, but I'm so thankful for the awesome people I've met and the wonderful support of those purchasing items from my store.  HERE is a little Christmas handwriting freebie that I hope you can use in your class.  

 Click Here to Download the FREEBIE!

Please leave me a comment if you download it and let me know what you think.  You can see more of my Handwriting sets HERE!

Ya'll...15 more school days until Christmas Break!  We can do this!!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

sELFless Challenge #1

If you look through the things I create, it comes as no surprise that I adore Krista Wallden's work at Creative Clips.  

She has always been so generous with her amazing work, and this holiday season is no different.  Along with sharing some awesome freebies, she is challenging each of us to the Selfless Challenge!

I plan on tackling several of the items on the list this week, however, HERE is the first one...a freebie for you!  I hope you can use this Penguin Pocket Change Mini-Scoot with your little friends!

Week of Thanks: H is for...

I am linking up over at Blog Hoppin' for Week of Thanks.

I spent the last two years teaching at a primary school in North Carolina.  Over the summer, I began the process of applying and interviewing for jobs back in my home state of Alabama.  I was THRILLED when I was offered a job in June that was only an hour away from the rest of my family. So today, I am thankful to be back "home".  It is pretty great to be an hour away from family instead of 8 hours away!

What are your thankful for today?

Monday, November 24, 2014

Giveaway Time

I FINALLY finished all 6 units of my Roll & Read sets! Woo-hoo!!!  They are bundled together in my store...


You can hop over to my Facebook page and enter a giveaway to win the entire set.  I will pick a winner on Wednesday (11/25) morning!

Week of Thanks: T is for...

I am linking up over at Blog Hoppin' for Week of Thanks!

Teaching is a second career for me, and I couldn't be more thankful that at 29, I went back to school.  I feel like my new career is more than is a calling.  Don't get me wrong, there are horribly difficult moments and days, and I always look forward to breaks, but each day, I feel so fortunate to have a job that I love and feel so passionately about.

What are you thankful for?  Link up with Blog Hoppin'!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Sunday Scoop Link Up

I am once again linking up with the fantastic Teaching Trio for their Sunday Scoop Link Up!

3 Things I Have to Do:

1.  It is a review week in our reading series this week (HALLELUJAH!!)  which is awesome...more time to do Thanksgiving activities!  However, I have got to narrow down my lesson plans.  I am the queen of WAY over-planning.  Right now, my lesson plans include enough activities for at least three weeks of Thanksgiving learning!

2.  I had a reminder go off on my phone this morning that I need to pick up more brown construction paper.  Why did I set the reminder to go off on Sunday and not Saturday when teacher supply type stores are actually open???  I will never know!  So, it will be off to Big Box Store to buy a multi-pack of construction paper and have some of my fast finishers on their Morning Work sort through it tomorrow morning!

3.  Grocery Store Run...this one will be quick.  It is just for essentials, like coffee!  We get the week of Thanksgiving off (another HALLELUJAH!), so I will be heading home to my parents house next weekend.  

2 Things I Hope To Do:

1.  I have got to finish up my Wonders Unit 3 Roll & Read...I will need to use that myself as soon as we get back from Thanksgiving Break!

Coming Soon!!  Unit 2 can be found in my TPT store.
I also HAVE to finish and upload my Racing Through Number Bonds set.  Let me tell you, this one has been giving me fits!  I am down to the last page in this set.  It is a page for a data notebook (or wall display, or whatever you like!) where students chart their progress in mastering number bonds 5-20.  I've been trying to make a cutesy page for it, but I just don't think it's going to happen...I keep coming back to a grid!  Oh well!

2.  I LOVE teaching through the winter holidays!!!  The problem is, again, I over plan!  There are SO many things I want to fit in, but I need to narrow it down.  Anyone else have this problem?

1 Thing I'm Happy To Do:

1.  It is a special reading week at our school, which means every day this week is a dress up day!  WOO-HOO!!!!!  Comfortable clothes every day this week...I'm so excited.  Tomorrow is Warm-Up to Reading Day, which equals SWEATS!!!  Yes, please and thank you!

What are you happy to do this week?

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Our Morning Routine

I suppose teachers are all different in how they like to start their morning.  Some like high energy music playing to start the day.  I am NOT that teacher.  I need to ease into the morning, so I have built in some routines to help my class's day start in a more low key way.

At my school, teachers pick up their classes from the gym at 7:50.  Before I leave the room to pick up my friends, I either turn on classical music from my iPod or tune in to Pandora on the computer.  I like to use soft music to set the Morning Mood in the room.  Then it is off to the gym!

We have a program at our school that provides free breakfast to all students and staff.  I have two children whose job is to walk ahead of the class and pick up our breakfast bags.  They know how to get everything unzipped and the breakfast trash bag set up.  My classroom jobs rotate every month.  During the first week of the new month, the helpers from the previous month provide "on-the-job" training to the new breakfast helpers.  I have not had to train ANYONE on their classroom job since AUGUST!!!  Can I get an amen??!?

My students line up outside my door, this way I can give any quick announcements and it insures that I can personally greet each child on his/her way in the door.  This also helps set the tone for the morning/day.

We use agendas that the school purchases, so my students unpack their book bags, stow those away in the "Book bag Boxes" (2 big Rubbermaid containers), and sit with their agendas open so that I can quickly walk around and check.  After I check a student's agenda, she can then go and pick up her breakfast and Morning Work.

I have always had Morning Work in various forms over the years, however, this year I decided to finally start making my own that aligns with our reading curriculum.  Each half-sheet covers the phonics, grammar, and vocabulary skills for the week.  They also spiral back to skills from previous units.  One problem that I tried to eliminate from other types of morning work I had used in the past, was the issue of new material on day 1.  I like Morning Work to be something that most students can complete independently.  Each week in my Morning Work set, day 1 is a review of skills from the week prior!  I will eventually have all 6 units posted (sooner rather than later, I hope!).

Since I am celebrating a huge win for the Alabama Crimson Tide, this new set is on sale for the next 24 hours!

Paper is a precious commodity at my school, so I love anything that fits on a half sheet of paper!  I have to give another product shout-out.  I run the fabulously awesome Shelly Sitz's Daily Math Spiral Review on the back.  Check out the first week for free here.  Please be kind and leave feedback!

While my students work on Morning Work and eat breakfast, I am able to post attendance, do the lunch count, and all those other little things that need to be taken care of quickly and in peace and quiet!

I then call my RTI groups.  Other students know that if they finish their Morning Work before I am ready to check, they can get their Just Right Book Box and read quietly.

This routine has kept the first 30 minutes of our day nice and mellow...just the way I like it!  I would love to hear from you!  How do you start your day in the classroom?

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Sunday Scoop Link-Up

I am linking up with The Teaching Trio for The Sunday Scoop!  

Is it just me or did this weekend absolutely fly by??  I'm SO glad that it is only 9 more school days until a week of Thanksgiving Break!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Falling for Main Idea

We have been hard at work for the past two weeks learning all about Main Idea and Details.  This is a tough one for my friends so I decided to create something to help them get in a little more practice.

My kids love anything that I can turn into Scoot or a Roam the Room activity.  This set contains a mini-Scoot set to practice identifying main idea.  I hung them up around the room with these adorable little scarecrows that my aunt sent to me (I think you can find them at any craft store this time of year).

After that, we read the non-fiction text about scarecrows (included in the set), and identified the main idea and key details.  Then we made our Main Idea Scarecrows!

These look great hanging in the hallway outside our room!

I hope you will check out my Fall Themed Main Idea Pack!  Here is an extra freebie for you to help your friends with main idea!  Click on the picture below to download.

Monday, November 3, 2014

November Currently

I am linking up with Farley over at Oh' Boy 4th Grade for the November Currently.

Listening:  Criminal Minds reruns are my background noise when I need to work on something, but don't want it completely quiet.  I guess because it seems like one channel or another is always playing old episodes!

Loving:  I LOVE coffee!  I also really love a cinnamon dolce latte from Starbucks.  I recently bought the Walmart brand of cinnamon vanilla creamer and was so excited to discover that it makes my coffee taste pretty darn close to my beloved CDLatte!

Thinking:  So we have a lot of freedom at my new school...just make sure the standards/scope and sequence are covered.  But this week...MY GOODNESS!  It just seems like there is an unusually large amount of different skills to cover--particularly in grammar and vocabulary; several different prefixes and suffixes, singular and plural nouns, irregular plural nouns, abbreviations, and something that I know I am forgetting right now!  I literally taught right up to the dismissal today and had the kids packing as we were going out the door.  Can anyone relate??

Wanting:  Cool weather is here which means that I am ready for my fall wardrobe staples of boots and tights.  However, why can I not find any cute, patterned, brown tights???  I ran by the store today (to buy printer ink) and checked again....every color, size, and style of black or grey.  One pack of plain brown!  This is not what I need!  Where do you find cute, reasonably priced tights?

Needing:  My huge-mongeous pile of laundry is mocking my from it's overflowing basket...and yet here I sit - still ignoring it.  Tomorrow is another day, right?

Reading:  I love, love, LOVE the Anne of Green Gables series and started re-reading them about a month ago.  I am now on Anne's House of Dreams which is one of my favorites....Anne and Gilbert finally their little house by the sea...Captain Jim...Miss Cornelia Bryant, I just love this one in the series!

Ok...maybe I should tackle that laundry now.......or maybe not!