Thursday, June 25, 2015

The ABC's of Teaching - Linky Party

ABC - It's easy as 123

When it comes to teaching we all know nothing is easy... I've teamed up with Jordan from Ferrell in First to bring together so many of you fantastic teachers to share your biggest tips and tricks on the most important areas in education - The ABC's! 

Join in the FUN! Just copy and past our pictures to your blog and social media accounts (tag others and hear what they have to say!) to share your success stories for each of our topic areas. Each week we will be adding 3 new topics for you to share what works in your classroom.

Let's get this idea train rolling! I am SO excited.

A is for... Assessments in my classroom are SO important. Each Friday I carve out a large section of my day to do assessments. With moving classrooms this year this is one thing I am planning to keep. However, moving from First Grade to K-2 intervention I am going to change the way I do assessments. I have started working on binders for each student (much easier to do with a smaller number than it was with 56 children last year...yikes). Each binder is going to contain the individual students IEP goals and assessments they will need. These assessments will include sight word growth, fluency, comprehension and an assessment for their goals that the students will complete one on one with me each week! I have a fantastic classroom aide and plenty of iPads to ensure each assessment gets completed :) How exciting! 
Stay tuned for my student goal binders and created assessments!

B is for ... Behavior Management is one area that I LOVE. I don't think a classroom can run without a strong behavior management system. In the past years I've used a few different behavior management tools:

Clip Chart  - this was such a great tool for my students with strong family support and for students who are driven by doing good. My first graders LOVED to move their clips up and be able to earn shiny gems to put on their clips, I mean wouldn't you! Each day my kiddos record their color into a calendar and took it home for their parents to sign. Our school even hosted a party at the end of each month for all of the colors above yellow! 

Class Dojo - If you haven't heard of class dojo, look into it! It's a great way to provide students and parents with real time updates to their child's behavior and is fantastic for those tech savvy parents :) 
Interactive Journals - For my third graders I used interactive journals for my students to write about their days, have it commented on by their teacher, and then taken home for their parents to read and respond too! Great way to foster writing skills as well!!

C is for ... Character building with young children is so important. We are getting these kiddos in their first years of school. What happens in their K, 1, 2 classroom will set their ideas of school for the rest of their life (this is the exact reason I became an elementary teacher). I had one of the most fantastic first grade teachers, I remember exactly how she made me feel each day and want to provide that for my kiddos. Modeling how you want your students to treat each other is so important. I've had many parents text me saying their child was at home, playing school, and used EXACT quotes from me that day. If you're treating your students like people and giving them the respect they deserve, they'll do the same in and outside of the classroom. Look into bucket filling, talk to them as adults, reason with them and give them choices in each part of their day! 

We REALLY hope you'll link up with us and tell us about what works in your classroom. I can't wait to read each of your posts and share ideas! 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Tell All ... Today

Well Hello Monday! Yeah - I know it's tell all TUESDAY but when you're in the process of moving, living out in the middle of nowhere and are struggling to find someone to connect internet to your new house... your tell all tuesday becomes "tell all whenever you can!" 

But good news - the friendly internet man will be at our new house bright and early to get me up and running again, in the mean time this is one big blog post :) 

My family has always been one to vacation. Every year we take one or two vacations somewhere! Last year, adding a new family into the mix we actually went on three! It was GLORIOUS. If there is one thing I learned in life it's to save, experience and enjoy life! We are so fortunate to have these experiences and the most recent one I wanted to share was our December trip to St. Maarten. 

Since this summer is full of nothing but moving, working and getting ready for a new house, new school and new life we knew that a vacation probably wouldn't happen again until a *honeymoon* (cue the hopeful voice!) So, as our Christmas present this year we went to St. Maarten, one of our absolute favorite islands in the Caribbean! We'll call it an early summer vacation ;)

Now, it's off to find groceries for this new humble abode of ours :) Until tomorrow when the internet will finally be installed! 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Tell All Tuesday

Two Truths and A Lie
Linking up with some sweet bloggers (Teach Talk Inspire & My Day in K) for this really fun summer party! 
& possibly an announcement to go along with the linky on Friday.... EEEK!
Here goes my TWO truths and a LIE :)
Thanks to my adorable best friend Jordan for these number buttons!! How cute are they?
I have taught first grade for the past three years. Next year I'll not only be moving grade level and school...... but also home! 
 I have had a pretty wide range of pets! Currently, it's just me and the dog but growing up I had a horse, chickens and even a fox!
I was fortunate enough to do my student teaching in Australia! I taught kindergarten and lived with cooperating teacher and her family.

Can't wait to read all about your truths and lies!

Monday, May 4, 2015

I Appreciate Teachers - What Works!

First of all, can you believe it has been ONE MONTH since the last time I have posted? Can you say Master's Degree, softball coaching, and RESA anyone? I'm sure there are many of you who can relate to just that! Good note - I have completed my Master's degree in Elementary Education in Literacy, our softball season is coming to an end (we are currently 10-2 and headed into tournament time), and I have almost completed the last of my year 3 RESA tasks... WOW!!
Back to the blog, back to creating, and back to life outside of working! I could not be MORE excited to have teamed up with these beautiful gals to bring to you my first What Works teacher appreciation give away! This. Is. Huge. Take a look. Don't forget to follow me and all of the other ladies included in this giveaway! You won't be disappointed :) 
Make it CUTE! 
One of my most crucial! This comes from being in your classroom 8 hours a day at the least and loving to look at everything you do. If you're excited about it, your kiddos will be! I try to make all of my materials fun and engaging for my students. Even if it's a skill that's hard they can at least have fun with it! Learning how to write is much more fun when you're writing on your desk with a dry erase marker! Learning how to write a 'how to' writing is much more fun when you're making a root beer float and writing about it on an actual root beer float cup! 

 Studying Dr. Seuss and writing our dreams for "Oh The Places You'll Go" on a balloon! 

Every holiday or season I will change my writing center for the students to have new and engaging materials to write about.

It's amazing the authentic and engaging writing that you'll get when you give your students the opprotunity to write in the shape of an actual root beer float ;) 

Have engaging classroom reading and writing (even math) days.
My next secret comes from the heart. I was so blessed to have been paired up with an amazing teacher my first few years of teaching who helped me in so many ways to be engaging, be creative, and be FUN! No matter how much we may want to pull our hair out when spending hundreds of dollars on snacks and materials, constantly creating resources to use those days, or spending hours setting up our classrooms just to tear it down 8 hours later ... these creative days are the days our students remember for the rest of their years.
This doll, now a third grader, still comes to my room every day when we have our "fun days" and tells me about how much she misses these and what she wrote about. Smile, teacher heart!
Drinking and writing about hot chocolate! On these days we wear pajamas, drink hot chocolate, and share stories that we will write in our notebooks about times that we drink hot chocolate! 
Disclaimer - you might get answers like "I like to drink hot chocolate in my underwear with my dad!"

Let them teach!
Every once in a while when someone is really taking off with a lesson, I let them teach! The rest of the class learns so much more from their peers and are way more excited doing it! 

Drink Coffee ... Have a Dog! 

Alright, so maybe all of our coffee mornings can't be on the balcony of an amazing St. Maarten villa, but it's whatever will get a teacher through their day, right! 
(This is my picture from our amazing Christmas vacation to the Caribbean island of St. Maarten)

And REALLY... how could you not walk in the door every day and have an instant smile on your face when this is what greets you from the other side!!

Introduce giveaway here.  Remind your readers that the more entries they have on the rafflecopter the more chances they have to win.
Just take a look at everything you could win...One lucky reader will win this entire prize package!!!
Prize Bundle #1 Includes
PLUS....$140 Gift Box of Fabulous Teacher Supplies sent to you from Amazon
We aren't finished yet....take a look at everything a second lucky winner will win!!!
Prize Bundle #2 Includes
PLUS....$140 Gift Box of Fabulous Teacher Supplies sent to you from Amazon
Be sure to enter both rafflecopters for a better chance at winning one of these amazing prize bundles!

Enter to Win Prize Bundle #1 Here

Enter to Win Prize Bundle #2 Here

You won't want to miss out on all the other great secrets being shared by successful teachers!  Be sure to check out all the other great posts below.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

We won't focus on it being 8:00 on a Sunday night and my being ready for bed *already*... I have to say that the weekend was totally worth the exhaustion. I am so fortunate to not only spend time with my other half and his family, but both of our families together. One of the major benefits of growing up and falling in love in a small town is the close relationship that everyone really does have with each other, getting both families together for dinner on a Saturday night is definitely one of those benefits.
Then, I wake up to many inches of snow on top of my car and a 2 hour drive back home and it makes me wonder! Yes, still worth it :) 
Reminding this guy of that however, not as easy. (He is begging me to go to bed!)

Back to School…

Tomorrow is one of the most FUN days in an elementary school and I can't wait to celebrate with my kiddos! 
Throughout the week we will enjoy many stories, activities, and lots of learning! To go along with the week I just uploaded one of my favorite activities to my store, the Dr. Seuss Flip Book.

Each day we will read one of our favorite Dr. Seuss stories and fill out the corresponding page in our flip book. (There may also be a snack or two involved!) 

I would love to know what you do in your classroom to celebrate Dr. Seuss

Friday, February 20, 2015

Lucky Little Leprechaun - St. Patrick's Day FUN!

I LOVE Holidays, really…((all of them))…I love the craziness, the changing of the classroom decorations, and every other part of it! Therefore, I can't help myself but to create fun and exciting holiday themed activities for my kiddos to practice the skills we are working on.

In March, we will be focusing on vowel teams, so naturally I had to come up with something to get my little learners engaged and give them those collaborative, fun activities to practice what they’ve learned.

Here it is…

I love this pack! I can't wait to share it with my kiddos next week. 
Check back for the photos and in the mean time, check it out in my store! 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

My Classroom

I wanted my first post to be about my classroom. It’s the place I spend most of my hours, even more of my days, and most (sometimes all) of my hardest work!

With that being said my classroom is my home away from home. I’m showcasing my beginning of the year photos ((if you’re a teacher then you understand why!))

My classroom this year was inspired by Maria from Kinder Craze and her incredible classroom design by Melanie from Schoolgirl Style’s rainbow classroom theme.

Oh.. My.. Word..
 Reading corner area with Kinder Craze Classroom Library Labels and books from Scholastic Book Clubs (most of which were **free** with my amazing student orders).

Writing center and small group table

I love welcoming my students at the beginning of each year. They LOVE finding their names all around the classroom (and of course they get to take their balloons home with them!) Throughout the year I change this board to display student work.

First Day of School activities for my littles and their favorite - Jitter Juice from the amazing Cara Carroll! Seriously, they (drink) this up! 

Focus & whole group gathering area with a look at my daily 5 sign up board.

Really!! I have had SO many compliments on my classroom this year. I hope to always be able to refer back to Schoolgirl Style when creating a classroom. The talent is incredible! 
((I may just already have next year’s classroom planned out…)