Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Have to Laugh...

I have to laugh because I naively thought that I would have time to write on my blog, but the start of this year has been insane!  I love my new position of being a Kindergarten teacher, but I am overwhelmed with learning the Journys reading curriculum, preparing for observations using the Marzano model, organizing my room and materials, and on and on and on.  I know that it is not anymore than the average teacher, but seriously, how do we do this?!?

So, here is what I have been up to with my new 29 little Kinders:

  • Apple field trip
  • Daily 5 Launch
  • Lucky lessons with Lucky the dog
  • Procedures, procedures, procedures
  • Phonics/word work
  • HeidiSongs
  • iPads
  • NWEA standardized testing
  • Apple day with parent volunteers
  • And I ran a HALF MARATHON!!!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Huge Change

This week I had huge changes! I went from teaching 1st grade to NOW teaching Kindergarten.  I have so much to post, but that will happen when my head stops spinning!!  LOL!  I must say, I am very excited for this new adventure and I can't believe how much kindness and support has been shown to me over the last 3 days!!!  Stay tuned....

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Common Core Posters for Math

Wow!  Many teachers in my district just finished up an intense power collaboration session to help with all of the new expectations coming in the fall.  The biggest one that we are all concerned with is the evaluation process and collecting student data.  Displaying student growth and tracking is huge, too.  Our teachers developed some rubrics and data books.  It all got my brain and creative juices flowing and I came up with these posters for each Common Core Math Standard for 1st grade.  Click here or on the picture to visit my Teachers Pay Teachers store.  :)   

I hope you like them and that you can find them useful in your classroom.  I'll be using this bad boys to shine up on my projector as we work through their data folders. 

Here is the freebie student data book that our team developed.  I got the go ahead to share this freebie.  :)

Click on the picture or here.  Don't forget to grab the cover!  Click here for the super fun cover.  :)

And now it is seriously time for some non-school related time.  :) 


Saturday, June 15, 2013

Lessons Learned

Apparently I am getting to my little blog once a month...I have a feeling that I will be able to keep up with it better now that all of my stress is gone for the year. ;)  Right teachers?!  All I've been doing is sitting in the sun eating bon bons since my year ended.  Ummmmm, no.  While I have been in the sun a little, long enough to get a terrible uneven burn on my legs and one, yes one, arm, I have also been Pinterest'ing and "shopping" up a storm.  I am eager to start another year after this summer of projects and professional development workshops. 

This year I have learned so much, mostly about myself.  I could probably write a self help book.  I have been coaching myself and encouraging myself after some pretty heavy blows.  As curious as you all must be, I cannot disclose all that much simply because I want to remain in my family, workplace, church, and circle of friends.  So, with that said, I will tell you what I have learned (which is probably what every person learns, but we don't have Oprah to tell us these precious little nuggets  anymore so we must figure them out for ourselves-thanks Oprah, ugh!)  Here goes:
  • If you enjoy doing something and it isn't hurting others, then do it.  Especially if it is what God has gifted you to do.
  • When others are pointing out your flaws then they are intimidated by your success
  • Humble yourself at every opportunity and take credit for nothing, instead give it back to Pinterest, which is clearly where ALL ideas come from
  • SMILE every day as often as possible
  • Make learning fun.  Honestly, this is first grade in America-do a craft in every unit because these are 6 year olds and they need to be able to be 6!
  • Laugh with your students
  • Let your students see you upset, life is hard and if they see you process through and still come out smiling later in the day/week/year then that is healthy
  • Enjoy being you, God loves you so why can't you love you?!  Get a grip.
  • Sing because it is fun
  • Dance and be silly
  • Get organized at home and at school
  • Let the parents of your students help, they want to and you need as much help as you can get
  • Spend time with the Father and pray for your students & co-workers
  • It's OK to overdo things as long as you don't go crazy, and if you do then there are pills to help you out
  • Get a pedicure
  • Exercise then go order Dairy Queen, you deserve it.
  • Listen to your music loudly in your classroom: hip hop, worship, Adele, Bruno Mars, Jesus Culture, and the Civil Wars to name a few
  • DRINK Coffee a lot
I ended this year with a lot of emotions.  I decided to fill my life with positive influences and let go of the drama.  I learned to put up boundaries and not be so transparent.  This summer while I am looking for new ideas and "creating" some fun lessons with our new reading curriculum, I will be also working on ME so that I can be the best teacher for my precious little Firsties to be.  :o)

(Some AWESOME teachers with me in the middle wearing the ear wrap)

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Feeling Guilty

I'm feeling pretty bad that I haven't posted since April!  My world went from busy to chaotic...and that was AFTER I graduated with my Master's degree in education.  Yes, I am much smarter now than I was 22 months ago and in more debt.  :P  Seriously, I am really glad now that it's done that I completed it and I truly learned so much.  Now I am just wondering what to do next.  I know that sounds weird, but I am so used to be overwhelmed, I am actually feeling overwhelmed with not being overwhelmed!  I think I may be going crazy. 

My Year Wrap Up:
  • Master's Degree Completed
  • Girls on the Run Club completed and 5K ran
  • Talent Show Night done
  • mClass assessments (almost) done
  • Visit to Riley Children's Hospital North campus
  • Presentation to the High School Students
  • Birthday Parties
It's amazing to look back on the school year and see how much has really happened.  This "check list" is just from this spring!  Nutty, but I love it.  I included some pictures of the recent happenings.  :)
Me and my amazing sister! (My brother-in-law photo bombed us)

Hobart Girls on the Run Coaches (I'm in the middle of these great ladies)

My awesome boy with his new stuffed animal and some candy for being a great little patient.  He was diagnosed with HSP (autoimmune disease) last year. 
I will post some of the great things that my little Firsties are doing next time.  Just needed to have some "personal" time on my little blog.  :)

Friday, April 5, 2013

Adaptive Classroom

In a perfect world, we would teach students that are emotionally stable, cope with many challenges in a socially acceptable way, have control over their words and bodies, cognitively equal in all subjects, and essentially boring.  However, we do not teach in a perfect world, surprise (*sarcasm implied, heavily).  Our classrooms are becoming more and more diverse and it is up to us to keep up with all of the changes.  I could totally get up on a stack of soap boxes right now about diet, technology, chemicals, early identification, more education among the professionals, and so on.  But instead of proving my side of a very complex argument with as many sides as there are opinions, I will show you how I am meeting the needs of students. 

The following cards were made for a child with high functioning autism, asperger's syndrome.  This child struggles with high levels of anxiety.  Please know that the social stories were not made for a first grader, but could easily be adapted for one of my kiddos.  I have learned that more often than not, anxiety plays a huge part in the thought processes of our students.  Social stories and The Incredible 5 Point Scale check in are methods for reducing anxiety and stating expectations in a given situation. I laminated and put them on a key chain for this child.  

This one actually has the black squares attached under the black and white squares.  (Sorry I don't have the finished product pictured)  With each breath, the child places the removable square on to the black square.  By the time the last (white) square is place, the pending meltdown should be reduced significantly.  Counting, deep breaths, and the physical movement of the squares helps to take the child's mind off of the trigger to the meltdown.

I am very intrigued by the adaptive classroom and I am wondering where God will take this desire of mine professionally.  I really enjoyed creating these and I would love to hear if you have had experience teaching children with autism. 

Long Lost Blogger

Wow, I have been gone for a very long time.  So much has happened in my life, both personally and professionally.  Exciting news-I graduated with my master's degree!  Whoo-hooo!!!  Unfortunately, there were many sad things that have happened which I will keep private, but I will share some pictures of the fun things that we have been up to in my classroom. 

One my my favorite things is to "look" into other teacher's classrooms via pictures to help inspire my own lessons.  So turn about is fair play.  I must brag a little, my Firsties are all reading at bench level (except 2 already identified).  This is the highest class of readers that I have ever had!  They are hard little workers.  :) 

Compound Words 

Dr. Seuss Day
(The First Grade Team knows how to have fun and be silly!)
 wAcKy Dress Day & Green Eggs n' Ham

Writing with a rubric

Thanks for checking in.  I am eager to get back to blogging!  I've really missed this and you all. 


Saturday, February 2, 2013

Snowmen at Night

I have a sick obsession love Pinterest! Thankfully I found this fun little craft just in time for January.  We have had the craziest weather lately and our kiddos have not been able to play outside for a few weeks now.  It was time to break up the rigor with a fun craft.  We have been working on descriptive words and this activity helped us to think of how we would describe our actions if we were snowmen.  I'll have to post the final products next week....I forgot to take pictures of the hallway display.  Trust me, they are adorable!

Thanks for checking this out!

Post-it Note Reading

This year has been like no other.  I am trying to navigate through all of the common core standards and welcome a new evaluation process from Marzano while completing my masters degree, teach, volunteer, raise a family, loving my husband, and not going crazy.  So unfortunately I took the month off from my blog.

Classroom stuff: 
Post-it Note lesson- This was a lesson that I did to help students remember to be thinking as they are reading.  We did our post-its during independent reading and then shared our thoughts during the Partner reading.  
I'm going to redo this chart to make it cute...already have it started.  I'll pin it when I do.

This was one of those lessons that made my day.  My Firsties did a great job with this and I love to hear them talk all about it!