Thursday, September 17, 2015

Apples! Oh my!

We have been knee deep in everything apples for the past 2 weeks. Apples are one of my favorite themes. It's our first theme of the school year, and I feel it just jump starts our year for learning and kind of sets the tone for what's to come. 

We started the unit off by writing down our schema- what we already knew about apples. 

"Apples can knock your teeth out!! Haha! Too funny! 

After we recorded what we already knew about apples we dove right in to learning new things. 
We have been talking about adjectives for a short time and describing apples are a great way to have them practice using adjective. I like to start their sentence by saying "apples ARE....." so that they are going to telling me about apples and not what they have. That's helps them say an adjective instead of a noun. 

After using our adjective words we came up with, I had the students make a directed drawing of an apple. Step by step with me, they drew an apple. I let them pick what color they wanted to color it (red, yellow or green) so we would have some variety. Then they wrote simple sentences describing their Apple. 

(Idea from @firstgradeparade) 

For a fun craft on a Friday we painted paper plate apples. 

We paint using cotton balls a lot. 1. Less mess and 2.  No brushes to wash. Win. Win. 

In the second week of our Apple into we started learning about the parts of an apple. 

And to wrap up our unit we of course had to make homemade applesauce. Which was a HIT!! 

They absolutely loved it! (Recipe from @firstgradeparade) 

We've had a fun filled 2 weeks! Now on to all things fall! Now, let just hope this east Texas weather would just cooperate. Hard to teach fall when it's almost 100 outside. 

Thursday, September 10, 2015


My title about sums it up. Tired. PTL tomorrow is Friday. We even had Monday off!! Always seems to me that the short weeks feel like the longest. Anyone with me on that??  This week marks the 3rd week of school for us. We are getting our procedures and routines down, diving into curriculum and starting daily 5 and guided math! 

I have done Daily 5 for several years. I left my centers behind and never looked back. I love the ease of daily 5 and its predictability. At the point I have only introduced read to self, work on Writing and read to self. 

After reading a couple of blog post this summer I knew I had to make a change in my math block. This year I started guided math. I have to say... It's wonderful!!! My stations are: teacher table, iPads, math journals and tubs. 

 Today was our first day of full rotations and I am so proud of them!! 

Next week I will introduce listening to reading and word work and we will press on with our guided math and math workshop, but for now it's rest and time to catch up on my recorded shows. �� 

Saturday, August 22, 2015

New school year is here!

Thursday afternoon was our annual Meet The Teacher. This is one of my favorite days. I love meeting all of my new firsties, and seeing their excitement about school starting makes me excited! The afternoon always goes by so fast and when it's over I always feel like I've been hit by a bus. A bus of 22 6 year olds. �� It was a great afternoon and my class is just the cutest! 

Friday morning all of the teachers had a work day. We got to work in our rooms, uninterrupted. ��  It was so nice because I was knee deep in school supplies and had so much to prep for the first day of school. 

I like to have all of their school supplies ready to go when they walk in on Monday. Just makes the morning go much smoother. 

This is my schedule for this year {as of now}. If I get going next week and notice I need to adjust, I'll do so. 

After organizing school supplies and mapping out my day, I needed to get started on procedures. I gotta let them know how we do things! �� 

Here are just s few of my anchor charts for the first day of school. 

I love to read the story "Listen Buddy" on the first day. It's about a rabbit who keeps making mistakes because he wasn't being a good listener. After the story we write down things that make a good listener. One of my favorites for sure! 

And we're starting Read to Self day 1!! 

I will be back later, hopefully the first day of school {if I'm not too tired to type and I survive} �� with our first day activities! 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

B2S Teacher Gifts {tickled pink}

WHOA!! Is it really the middle of August??? I really love this time of year, even though it is extremely crazy in my neck of the woods.  As many of you know, my husband is a high school football coach and with that brings a crazy fall schedule.  I'm one of those "I never miss a game" and I wouldn't have it any other way! It is so much fun! Last week my little family took football pictures... while waiting for our session I snapped this jewel! :) 

She is soooo ready for football season.  Her happy place is on the sidelines! 
Since the first day of school is a week from tomorrow (August 24th) for me, I thought I would go ahead a prep my back to school teacher gift for Aubree's preschool teacher.  We have been blessed for 3 years now with wonderful, sweet, generous teachers. We are so lucky! I saw this adorable idea on pinterest and decided it would be perfect for Aubree's new teacher! 
I found the cute pink bucket at Hobby Lobby in the summer section and then I just made my way through Walgreens picking up anything I could find that was pink that I thought her teacher would like.  
I placed it all in the bucket, added a tulle bow and a tag! Super simple and I know she'll love it.  As a teacher, I know how much thoughtful gifts are appreciated.  

You can grab your tag HERE! These are 2 to a page and are a PDF file {uneditable}. 

For those of you that have started school already I hope it went great {and you were showered with gifts ;) and to those who start on the 24th like me, Good Luck! Hope it goes great! 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Meet the Teacher Ideas

I just wanted to stop by and share with you some things I do for "Meet the Teacher" night at my school. We have an afternoon the week before school starts that parents and students may come up to tour the school, bring up their school supplies and meet their child's teacher.  It is a fun afternoon! I'm always so excited to meet my new students and parents.  It is also so nice to get their school supplies unpacked and organized and ready to go on the first day of school.  

I use signs to make sure they hit all of the "stations" or important areas before they leave. 
First, they sign in and come in.
Next, they find their desk.
On their desk is a folder with information papers.  A few things about myself, my classroom and some getting to know you forms. Some of the forms came from HERE.  I have them take it home and send it back the first week of school.


Also inside the folder I place an "All About Me Bag" inside for the students to share the first week of school.  You can grab yours HERE
I give each parent a checklist and it is projected on the board to help keep things flowing and organized.  I want to make sure that they and myself don't forget anything because the afternoon is such a whirlwind.  

I put signs up at the front of the room for the large supplies that I have to store and specific directions for the small supplies.  This just saves me a ton of time and the kids LOVE to help.  Plus they learn where thing go. WIN, WIN! 

The small supplies goes in a shoe box size tub, labeled with each child's name.
I have found great success with keeping it separate from each others. I store these in a cabinet and when they are in need of another glue stick, etc. I just have them grab one from their tub.
 While each kid also has their own pencil box in their desk with only crayons, a pencil, big pink eraser and twistables, I also keep caddies on the desk where they keep their scissor, markers and glue.  

After they put their supplies away and I know the way they get home each day I want them to take a tour of our classroom and the campus.  Just to get a feel of it and put them at ease for the first day of school.  

I also post "helping hands".  They are supplies that are not on the supply list, but we use all the time in our room.  Mainly craft supplies. Paints, googly eyes, cardstock, etc.  I am so grateful for all of my giving parents in the past who have helped!!
{just noticed typo! �� will fix!}
And lastly, they grab their gift! I want them to know how excited I am to have them in my class and really welcome them with excitement!! 


Grab your tag HERE
You can grab your numbered "Meet the Teacher" signs HERE!

I hope you had a restful summer! Enjoy the back to school craziness!!



Thursday, July 30, 2015

Bulletin Boards {ready for the new year}

Now that everyone is thinking Back to School, I thought I would share my bulletin boards that I am prepping for the new year.  I keep them up during the summer! So glad my school lets us do that.  It saves so much time when we head back to school.  I haven't changed the board itself, just got it ready for my new class. 

On the outside of my room is one of the boards that I hang student work.  I used fabric for the back and scrapbook paper and clothes pins to hang the work on.  

Click HERE to see my tutorial on how to make tulle poms.

This is just a fun board that I have right when you walk into my room.  I hang pictures of my class that I take throughout the year.  The pictures on there now are from last year. I didn't want to have it completely blank, but after I get a few pictures of my new class I will change out the pictures. 

This is where I put my students library cards.  I give each of my students a number at the beginning of the year.  That is how they determine which pocket is for their card.  My school has open library time everyday where they can go the library by themselves so I wanted them to be able to just grab their card and go.

With the phonics program we use at my school there are rule cards, sound cards, picture cards, etc.  My phonics wall is where I post those after they are taught.  

I use this space for my guided math rotations.  I use THESE printables.  I simply glue their picture on the circles so they know what group they are in and use a powerpoint to rotate the stations.

I use this space for my daily 5 rotations. I simply glue their picture to a jumbo Popsicle stick and place one in each pocket. The station cards are on velcro so I can easily rotate them.  And if I need to change a group up, I simply just move their Popsicle stick.

This is my reading wall. 
{Have no clue where the letter G went.}

This is just a resource for my students while they are working.  If they are spelling and need help with something that has already been taught.  The cards came from HERE

One of my favorite things to put up is student work.  I put work and themed boards up here.  It will be  blank until the first week and my new firsties are here to start creating! 

Below the green board is my writer's workshop board.  You can read more about that HERE!

My word wall is kept across my cabinets.  The only words that I have on the beginning of the year are color words.  The first week we will add our names and then move to sight words as they are introduced. 

I use this space for my weekly objectives.  You can read more about that HERE!
This is where I post my students birthdays.  The first week I will get their picture and post it by the month of which they celebrate their birthday.  They love looking at it and get so excited when a friends birthday is coming up! 

Don't forget at TPT's big BACK TO SCHOOL sale going on August 3rd and 4th! My entire {growing} store is 20% off!!! Click HERE to visit my store! 

Here are just a few items I have in my SHOP!