Tuesday, August 25, 2015

It is back to school time...the end of August...the feeling of a late Sunday evening.  You're relaxed, more well rested than usual...but your mind cannot stop running through a litany of to-do lists.  Much like the kids the flurry of emotions from excitement and nervousness return (even many, many years into this!!).  This year's back to school routine has been more challenging with moving to a new classroom.  Everything was moved in June....but coming back to blank walls was a bit daunting (and exciting!).  Change is hard, but good.  I love my new room's soft blue walls and central location.  My classroom is bright, and after many, many days it's pretty much ready to go!!
It looks better than this today....more things filed away;)....though the walls now have two lovely (large) ceiling to floor drop lines.  Ah well.....progress.  I am eagerly awaiting my new students!!!!!!
I know I'll have lots of great stories to tell this year...as we got a new puppy this month!  She is ridiculously sweet and lots of laughs!!! 
Leaving this little face (though slightly larger this week) will pull on the heartstrings for sure!! 

Wishing everyone a great back to school!!!

Monday, September 30, 2013

The Empty Pot

At a time when the pace of life, and certainly teaching, seems to be moving at the speed of light I was SO glad to find a wonderful new book (to me).  My fabulous firsties were as still as statues while we read this book.  They understood it, they were able to discuss it and make predictions....and they could not wait to see what happened!  We are working on being able to discuss the characters that we are reading about.  I made a poster that shows HOW we discuss characters.  It will certainly be a work in progress....as all things are....but I was happy to find a great story to add to my collection!!

Friday, August 23, 2013


In a world that all too often goes all too fast and has a tendency to veer towards being less personal, I have GOT to share how very impressed I am with planbookedu.com!!!!  I ventured (albeit cautiously) into using this last year to test the waters and see what I thought.....no one was more surprised than me with how much I loved it!!  It's easy to use and very flexible to your needs.  That is GREAT as we know anything that helps with efficiency these days is golden ;)!!  However....what really sealed the deal for me this week was their customer service.  With switching my account to a different email things got a little sticky for a second, and (being the perpetual worrier) I was terrified I would lose everything!!  Mind you (being also the type A) it was saved on my computer.....but somehow I was SURE I needed things merged/saved just "so" to make sure I got off to a smooth start.  So....I emailed the support group assuming that maybe within the week things would be taken care of.  WOW.  Things were nearly immediately addressed with a very personal (non form letter) response explaining exactly what they did.  As I looked into my new merged accounts I noted one tiny snafu....emailed back, and again immediately taken care of with a thorough explanation.  I could NOT be more impressed with their genuine attentiveness and quick response.  SO SO happy!!!!

That being said....it's about that time here.  Starting to get the classroom ready, spending lots of time cutting out lamination and planning.

Hope that everyone has had a wonderful summer and is looking forward to another great school year!!!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Where does the time go??  I had a fabulous day with my first graders!!  Though the skies were REALLY ominous on my drive in to work this morning, the sun surprised us all and allowed us some wonderful outdoor time at our local nature facility that we visited for a field trip today.   It was bittersweet for me knowing this was our final field trip of the year....but watching them learn how to use binoculars was priceless!!  They were SO excited to watch for birds and to listen for birds to "talk" back to us after using an Identi-flier.  This group of kiddos gets along so well that I was smiling and beaming with pride the whole time.

Wishing ALL of my teacher friends out there a very HAPPY Teacher Appreciation Week!!!  I know I emailed teachers (in my home district) this week to let them know how much their time, effort, and energy is appreciated.  I was beaming when my eldest told me mid week that she had made cards for her teachers before school and handed them out for this week......you know you come from a family of educators when....... ;)!!!!  So proud!!!

So many emotions at this time of the year, and so much to do!!!  Hoping that everyone has a wonderful weekend and is able to enjoy a little balance (and family time for Mother's Day!!).  Lots of hugs and wishes for a great Friday!!!!!!!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Oh....my dear Miss Danielson

Well, double checking my address here to embed it correctly in my Domain 4.  I'd love to meet Charlotte Danielson.  Truly.  LOL, anyways.......the weather here this weekend was absolutely gorgeous!!!!!!  It was wonderful to get out with the kids, play outside, and read in the sun!!!  I know that at this time of the year it always feels like we're racing the clock.   So....even while we're running to take care of the myriads of details, I'm going to do my best to savor and enjoy every moment with my fabulous firsties!!!!   Wishing everyone a fantastic week!!!!!!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Main Idea!!

Hoping to get this unit up on TpT soon....but had to share some fun pix from my observation this week. I did a big focus on main idea this week....which in first grade can sometimes be a challenging skill. We did A LOT with this this week including: starting small with ~tri-bond games (thinking how 3 things go together), matching houses to "Main Idea Street" if the house's supporting details matched the street sign/main idea, and reading books (of course) to find and agree upon the MI and supporting details. Of course we threw in the BrainPopjr movie too because we LOVE Annie and Moby!! The books I used for the most part this week were both on trees -- one narrative, one expository. The kids LOVED both. The nonfiction book we did first. We talked about the book as we went along and I did a lot of think alouds. At the end they wrote on a post it what they thought the MI was, and we discussed our answers together (and of course WHERE the author put the MI). Thursday I began to read the narrative....but stopped at the cliffhanger moment of the story so they could make predictions....and to peak their interest for the observation Friday ;). On Friday we did the main idea bags....but with the props in each bag I also gave each group sentences to match up to the items and then to a poster in order to see if they could discrim. between the m.i. and the details. Each group presented to the class. I then finished the book...which they loved....and then gave them their own (indep. practice) page where they had to sort out sentences from the story and glue them in the lapbook/folder I created for them. It was a great day, and I think the kiddos have a much better hold on Main Idea and supporting details now. I was SUPER proud of them ♥!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am feeling much better now too...after ~12 hours of sleep last night ;)!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

What a whirlwind!!!  Report cards are done, literacy data is in, now to enjoy my fabulous firsties!!!  So much has changed this year (understatement of the century I know)...and I have been he** bent on keeping a balance between the demands and what I believe as a mom and teacher is developmentally appropriate for my students.  All in all, I can honestly say from where I stand today that I am happy with how things are going so far.  To be honest, it *is* one of those years where my class is an absolute gift.  They truly make me laugh and smile every day.  They are genuine, sweet, thoughtful and hard working.  They are really great kids.....I so wish I was looping this year!!!!!  What we have been doing for literacy centers and aiming to go more thematic with my instruction has not only motivated and engaged me.....they come in happy and engaged as well.  Priceless.  Tomorrow....dental visits (always fun!) to tie in/finish up our unit on health/wellness AND making paper mache easter baskets.  Thank goodness I have a great group of moms and dads willing to come in and help as this is one VERY hands on project;)!!!  My hands will be a total wreck tomorrow after all that time immersed in flour....but it's worth it.  LOVE my sweet hubby for blowing up 20+ balloons (a BIG no no for me with corn and latex sensitivity/intolerance).

I'm interested in reaching late June....not because I'm rushing the year.  Goodness knows I am not ready to say goodbye to this class, but because I am anxious to see how all of this "stuff" this year pans out.  Change is never easy, and certainly not always welcome......but it will be interesting once we've got the first full year behind us of APPR, CCLS, SLO's, etc. to see where we are.

For tonight though, I'm smiling looking forward to a fun day tomorrow with my students.  For tonight I am thankful for having a great year thus far.  Next on the agenda:  sight word sentence game for centers tomorrow, check long e sort, and then go to sleep ;)!!!!

Good night and wishing everyone a super fun and rewarding rest of the week!!!!!!!