Sunday, August 26, 2012

August and September Activity Pack and Congrats to a Friend!

I have finally finished my August and September Activity Pack!  I decided to combine both months since many don't start school until September.  

This is the pack I give my kiddos to work on when they finish their work early or when I need a few minutes to conference or progress monitor a kiddo.  My students always love their monthly packs. 

I've also included letter and number task cards for back to school practice.  Some of my kiddos need a little extra practice so we will be using them in small groups and I will be sending a few home to be practiced with their parents.  

Here is a look at what comes in my August and September Activity Pack:

I'll give away 2 packs for free to the first 2 people who comment and leave their email address!

I also wanted to say congrats to my friend Nicole who was mentioned in the TpT Newsletter this morning!  That is so exciting!  She's new to TpT and is our Speech Therapist at my school.  Go visit her blog and or TpT store for some great goodies.  She has great tools for regular education teachers too so go visit and say hi!  

I'm off to shop for new comfy shoes.  My feet were killing me after being on them last week.  Then, I need to work on some things before school tomorrow.  I got a full week this week so I need to rest up!  :)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Daily Schedule Linky Party

Well, I have now met my new class of first graders.  And I LOVE them!  :)

We started school on Tuesday so I've only had a few days with them, but I can already see their different personalities and how we are going to blend this year.  I know who's going to be teary eyed in the morning and who's going to get teary eyed in the afternoons.  I know who's gifted with the ability of nonstop chattering.  And, I know who is working REALLY hard to get their clip moved up past  green on my guitar color chart.  (I'll share pictures of this when I get them taken.  My kiddos love it!)

I think I have a great class.  First grade is such a wonderful grade to teach.  They are just so funny.  

One quick story before I link up.  I went to garage sales over the summer looking for Rock Star themed things to bring into my classroom.  I found these Christmas lights that dance to Christmas songs.  I thought they would be perfect to hang up and use occasionally.  The lights can just stay on like normal lights or they can dance to the music.  The music can be turned down so we don't hear it.  

Well, on Tuesday we were talking about things around the room and some of my kiddos wanted to see the dancing lights.  I told them if they were really good I would turn them on at the end of the day.  They were all standing around so excited to see my *dancing* lights.  I turn them on and turn up the music so that they start flashing to the tune.  My kiddos just kind of look at me and then back to the lights.  

Finally one of them says, "They're not moving!"  I laughed out loud because it finally hit me that they thought my lights were actually going to start dancing!!  I had to explain what I meant by dancing lights.  Now, they get excited to see them dance, but that first day I think they were kinda sad that my lights weren't actually dancing!  :)

Love my first graders!!  Here's my schedule for the year.  Thursday and Friday are on my second page so I can see the whole week when I have my plans in my binder.  Head over to Christina's blog to link up.  It's easy to do!  And it's fun to see what everyone else's schedule is like.  

Here is my schedule:

Grab this picture and link back to Christina's linky party!  

I need to go rest and relax so I'm ready for next week!  I'm exhausted after my first week with my first graders!  :)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Rock Star Freebie and Review

Today was our first day back to work.  We had a couple meetings this morning and then had our parent meet and greet.  I had most of my kiddos come in and they are soooo cute!  Oh my goodness!!  Several of them are just beyond adorable.  I can already see their different personalities and I think this year will be so much fun!  

They liked the Rock Star theme!  I made these little tags and attached them to glow in the dark bracelets.  I got 15 of them for $1 at the Dollar Store!  How perfect!! :)

Click on the picture to download it!  

One of my favorite bloggers, Christina Bainbridge, gave away her new It's a Partner Reading Party Pack last week and asked that I give it a review on my blog.  

Let me tell is amazing!!  She has thought of everything!  

In this pack you will receive signs to hang up in your partner reading area and a poster with directions of what your kiddos should be doing.  There are also 5 spinners for the kiddos to use while they read.  I know my kiddos love reading with a partner and now I have some accountability that they will enjoy!  They read, use the spinner, and then answer questions about what they just read.  There is a fiction spinner, non-fiction spinner, and 3 spinners to discuss reading, characters, and words.  

Christina has also included somebody, wanted, but, so cards to help your kiddos retell the story.  Then, she also has a couple of games and some dice for your kiddos to roll to read the stories in different ways.  How fun!  :)

This really is a great pack for your kiddos to use when reading with a partner!  I can't wait to use it.  I just have to start Daily Five with my class first!  :)

Click on the link above or the picture here to go purchase this wonderful pack for only $5.00!  Make sure you visit Christina too!  

Tomorrow is my first full day with my kiddos.  I can't wait to meet the rest of them!  

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Name Tags by Velcro

Tomorrow is my first official day back to school!  I have no idea where my summer went!!!  :)

We have meetings tomorrow and then our parent meet and greet.  I can't wait to see my new cuties.  I have some goodies for them on their desks ready to go!   

I've been so busy getting my room ready.  I was working on my name tags the other day and I thought I would share with you how I do them.  I started doing this several years ago and I love it.  

Instead of taping my name tags to my desks, I use Velcro.  I buy it in strips and cut it in little squares, a little less than an inch.  Then I put 2 of the soft sides on the back of the name tag and attach two of the rough pieces.  The back of the Velcro is sticky so once I have both pieces on the name tag I attach it to the desk where I want it.    
Here is a picture:
You can see the size Velcro pieces I use.  

The reason I do this is because I teach first grade and I move my kiddo's seats A LOT!  They tend to get too comfortable with their neighbor and get chatty or they don't get along with their neighbor, or they copy everything their neighbor writes.  Kiddos need to keep moving.  

By using Velcro it is *REALLY* easy for me to grab a couple name tags and move them.  I put their name tags on the desks where I want them to move and then they take everything out of their desks and go.  This is really two fold because it's easier for me and it forces my kiddos to clean their desks.  Yes we have desks for our first graders, not tables.  

This is what their name tags look like from the front.  I got them at Teacher's Clubhouse.  Aren't they cute?!

So, there's my back to school tip!  I replaced all of the Velcro on the desks this summer.  I've used the same Velcro for the last 3 years and I thought this year it needed replaced.  It easily comes off with a little Goo Gone.  

One more thing before I go- I have recently received 2 wonderful packs from a couple of my fellow TpT friends.  I'm going to be sharing them in the next couple of days so make sure to come back and visit!  You won't want to miss them!!  

I'm also getting *REALLY* close to having 300 know what that means!!!  A giveaway!!  :)  It's going to be a big, easy giveaway so you will definitely want to come back and check that out! :)  It will be great for back to school time.....hint, hint.  

Good luck to the rest of you that are heading back to school this week!  

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Back to School Purchases Linky

The *BIG* Back to School TpT sale was this past Sunday and Monday.  I hope you were able to buy lots of goodies for your kiddos!  

I joined this linky to share what great items I bought!  Click on the pictures to go to the TpT store or on the names to go to their blog.  Here are my great finds:

Rock -N- Roll Math Centers

This is one of Hope King's math center packs.  She has them for every month of the year with a different theme!  This is my class theme for the year so I'm super excited to start with this one.  I already have them cut, laminated, put in tubs, and on my bookshelf ready for my kiddos.  I also bought several others because a friend of mine LOVED hers so I had to have them too!  :)

Common Core MATH and ELA Galore {1st Grade Checklist}
I also had to buy Rachelle Smith's Common Core Checklist for First Grade!  I already have this printed, hole punched, and in my school notebook ready to go!  It has the Language Arts and Math Common Core listed so you can check them off throughout the year.  Love it! 

Rock stars theme decor set {papers, borders and clipart}
My kiddos are going to be Rock Stars this year so when I saw this clipart, I had to have it!  I've already used it on several things for my kiddos.  I LOVE the frames and borders that come with it!

End of the Year Craftivity {_____ Grade ROCKED!}
This also goes with my theme!  It's from Kimberly Santana and it's only $1.00 so you have to go buy it.  I can't wait for my kiddos to make this.  It's so cute!  

Join the linky party to share what goodies you bought.  Or at least go be nosy and see what everyone else bought!  I like to know what other teachers are doing in their classrooms so I'm off to check out what other goodies were found!  

Friday, August 10, 2012

First Grade Back to School *Freebie* and TpT Sale

I finally finished my *First Grade Back to School Pack*!!  Yay!!

I created this pack around Natasha Wing's book, The Night Before First Grade.  My kiddos love that book.  I read it every year.  

The Night Before First Grade
Click the picture to purchase the book at Amazon!  

Here is my *First Grade Back to School Activity Pack*.  Click on any of the pictures to go to my TpT store!

I create a Summer Vacation Alphabet Book every year with my kiddos.  They love reading the class books we make throughout the year.  I've included a Class Book bin in my class library for my kiddos to read during Daily Five this year.  

This is a great way to review all of our letters, see how well they can write, and it gives them an opportunity to share about their summer while still learning.  So sneaky!!  :)

I've also included a word search and coloring page for those first couple of days when you might need a couple of minutes to get their school supplies organized.  I always forget how dependent on me the kiddos are at the beginning of the year.  By the end of first grade they are much more independent and can work on their own.  At the beginning of the year, that it not the case.  

Here is my freebie I am going to share with all of you!  

Most kiddos are a little nervous about the new school year. This activity will give us a chance to discuss what they were nervous about and how new things don't always have to be scary!  

The BIGGEST NEWS OF ALL though is the TPT SALE that is going to happen on Sunday and Monday, August 12-13!!  I know teachers have been waiting all summer for this.  

Just click on the picture below to head to my store.  It will be on sale Sunday and Monday.  I will give everyone 20% off and TpT is adding another 10% for a total of 28% off!!  
BTS 12 250x125
Have lots of fun shopping!  I know I will!  :)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Cheap and Easy to Make Erasers

 When I moved into my classroom a few years ago I found erasers for my dry erase markers.  However, they were quite a few years old and didn't work the best.  Some of them had fallen apart and my kiddos just didn't have much patience for them....and neither did I to be honest. 

That led to using tissues.  Now, if you don’t already know let me tell you how many tissues a first grade classroom goes through in a year…..A LOT!!!!  J

So, the tissue erasers didn't really work either.  It was quite a waste, and it also took quite a bit of time to get them passed out. 

This led to my next idea which is what I want to share with you.  I found a pack of washcloths at Walmart for $4.00.  When I saw them it occurred to me immediately that they would make great erasers. 

I bought a package last year and took them to school.  Since I had more than 18 kids, I knew I would have to cut them up.  Each kid did not need an entire washcloth for an eraser. 
So, I cut them up into fours. This gave me plenty of extra in case they got lost, ruined, lost, new students moved in, or lost….get my point?!

I don't know why these are upside down.  I guess it doesn't really matter.  
They look the same, but it still bugs me!! 

These worked wonderfully for me last year. In fact, I gave each kiddo two erasers. They put one in their supply pouch in their desk to use with their blank dry erase board and they put the other one in their Fundations bag. We use Wilson’s Fundations Phonics program and with that each kid gets another dry erase board with lines. We keep these pouches in their cubbies so instead of having to dig out the supply pouch each time we used the Fundations board I just decided to give them two erasers.

Now, I will tell you that they do fray on the ends that are cut. So they’re not perfect. But the important thing is they work and they are cheap and they lasted all year. These important things won me over.

These pictures are from the package I have bought for this year. I still have some left over from last year, but I always make extra.

Just thought I would share this little tip with you in case you need erasers. I wish I had thought of it 3 years ago and saved lots of tissues. :)

I spent 13 hours working in my classroom today so I am exhausted!! My mom came and helped me and then my hubby came. It was wonderful! And my room is starting to look soooo cute!!

Tomorrow is my *birthday* so I'm going to go shopping and then out to dinner to one of my favorite restaurants...birthday girl gets to pick!! :)

Monday, August 6, 2012

My First Currently and HoF Game Pics

I linked up with Oh' Boy Fourth Grade for my first Currently!

*postcards to mail my kiddos- I always mail postcards to my kiddos a few days before school starts.  In an effort to help them not be nervous or scared, I send them a postcard promising a gift on their desk on the first day of school!  

*ink cartridges- I ALWAYS need ink at the beginning of the school year.  I go through so much of it at home!!  

*Velcro for name tags- I decided a few years ago to try this and I LOVE it!  I switch my kiddos' seats quite often so it's easy for me to just grab a name tag and place it on a new desk.  Then, I tell the kids to take everything out of their desks and move.  I get tired of moving desks, so this works very well for me.  I rearrange my room every few weeks, but sometimes first graders become too friendly with their neighbors and need to  move more often than that!  :)

This is not school related at all, but I went to the Hall of Fame football game on Sunday between the Saints and Cardinals!  My parents have had tickets since before I was born.  I haven't gone in a few years, but I went this year because my high school Alma Mater played during the half time show.  I know...I'm a dork, but I was still kinda excited!  :)

Here's a couple pics:

Half-Time Show with Fireworks

Sorry they're blurry.  They're from my iPhone.  That's another thing I am completely in love with.  I really LOVE my iPhone!!  :)

I'm off to read more Currentlys!!