Sunday, October 15, 2017

Extra Fun Thing!

My co-teacher and I have an extra fun thing that we do with the kids on the last day of the week.  The kids that finish all of their work for the week and haven't moved their clip down too many times, are the ones that get to participate.  I wanted to share the last 2 extra fun things that we had.  The kids loved them and I have kids telling me that they will work really hard to make sure they get to do the extra fun thing!!  YAY!!

1.  Water beads-who knew how much fun these little things would be for first graders.  I showed the kids in the morning what we would be doing for our extra fun thing.  I had them in a container and if you haven't seen them before, they are really tiny.  I put water in the container and we watched them grow all day and when extra fun thing was here, we put them in containers and they got to play with them.  They even got to take some home with them.  I think these kids could have played with them for hours and not got bored.  

2.  Painting with apples-we had tons of apples come in that the parents donated to us to do this extra fun thing.  We put paint (good thing it was washable paint, it was a little messier than what we had expected it to be) in a zip lock bag with an apple.  Then placed a piece of paper on a tray and the kids put the painted apple on the paper and picked up the tray with their partner and moved it around.  When they were finished, they got to take their painted picture home with them.

I wanted to share this last picture of a t-shirt that a kindergarten student was wearing the other day.
I had to take a second look at it because I couldn't believe that our kindergartners now will be graduating in the year 2030!!!  Seems like so long from now, but I'm sure it will be here before we know it!

Have a great week!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Wisdom for Wednesday - Be Kind and Respectful

Hey there! It's Wisdom for Wednesday! 

Can you sense my excitement? It is because tomorrow is our "Friday" because we have had parent teacher conferences the last two nights. So exhausting!

I keep thinking of Friday morning. No alarm. And this will be my first Saturday without a volleyball tournament in six weeks. That means Saturday is also a no alarm day. Woohoo!

I'm sending you over to my author page for this bit of wisdom--if you want the whole story. I posted it there first and wanted to share with you all as well. :-)

Here's hoping you have a great rest of the week!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Sight Words and Homework Club

We are getting close to the end of our first 9 weeks, so this last week we spent the week assessing skills that we have been working on.  Sight words are one of those skills that we grade so we did some extra practice with them.  

1.  Sight Word Bingo-I made some bingo cards up that had all of the sight words on them that we have been working on this 9 weeks.  This was a fun way for them to practice some more on the sight words.

2.  Sight Word Swat-I put some of our sight words on the board and gave 2 students a fly swatter.  When I called out a word, they had to turn around, find it and swat it.  The first one to swat it would stay in the game. 

3.  Sight Word Connect Four-I used the connect four games on TPT to practice our sight words.  

4.  Some of the students didn't remember all of the sight words when I first tested them on Monday.  I sent home flashcards with each one of them and they worked extra at home on them.  Those that could read all of their sight words by Friday received a free ice cream cone certificate from Braum's.  They were so proud to earn this certificate.

We finished our first month of homework.  If the students had completed 4 assignments each week for the month then they made the homework club for the month.  We got together with the other first grade class and ate lunch with them and enjoyed a special brownie treat!

I hope you had a great week!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Wisdom for Wednesday-Do not be afraid

Welcome to this week's:

I saw this and I never realized how much this quote is in the Bible.  The amazing thing is that I know that personally I spend a lot of time worrying and being afraid.  Maybe this is why God put it in the Bible so many times because as humans, I believe that we often worry and are fearful.  This is a great quote for me to remind myself of often!

Have a great day!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Settling In to my New Position

Hey there!

Have any of you missed me? I know I have popped in a couple times for Wisdom posts, but I haven't "just posted" in awhile. You might remember my new position, the Title I teacher, and honestly that has not been what has kept me away. This time of year volleyball consumes a large amount of my time--after school for practice, Tuesday (and sometimes Thursday) game nights, and all day tournaments on Saturday. This, along with the crazy notion I had to start working on my Masters Degree as a Reading Specialist has been...well...kicking my tail (you might say).

I've wanted to post about my new position for awhile and just hadn't found the time. Every spare moment has been used on homework (at which point I ask my hubby to remind me again what I was thinking...).

Anyway, I absolutely LOVE my new job. My schedule is jam packed meeting with kids one-on-one, two-by-two, and in small groups. Right now I'm working with K-2 students until 1:00 and then I head to the Intermediate building (20 minutes away) for the remainder of the day. That has been a bit of a challenge...many days I forget things at the other building or wish I had something that was at the other building. Even that is getting better...although on Tuesday I had a mini panic attack when I got to work without my computer and wondered what I had done with it. Thankfully, it was safe---in my other office!

As a classroom teacher, there were days when I felt like a rock star teacher and days I wondered if I had successfully taught anything. 

I know you know what I mean! 

I've come to realize that as a Title teacher that feeling can change every 10-15 minutes when I grab a new kiddo for another lesson. ;-)
I do love that I am able to individualize instruction so much more than I could as a classroom teacher, and my students are becoming "my kiddos" just like before. That was something I was worried I would miss about not being in the classroom!

Now for a look at some of the things that have helped me jump right into teaching "my kiddos."

Six Minute Solutions - I have eSolutions for the older grades. You're also seeing a picture of one of my kiddos' data folders, something I was excited to continue from days in the classroom. The rings in the baggie are for sight words (I'll explain in another post).

This product has been a lifesaver for working with my K students. So easy to use. The hardest part was putting the pages in plastic sleeves so we could use dry erase markers on them. 
Pathways to Reading, of course. Absolutely love this program.

Now for a couple of things I have figured out on my own...

I needed a way to jot notes about each of my kiddos. This is what I came up with. So far I am liking it!

I also figured out right away that some of my students needed a little motivation either to follow my STAR rules or to work hard.

My second graders earn a star sticker for following these rules:
Sit up straight.
Take turns.
Attentive listening.
Respect others.

My Kinders earn a sticker for working hard and/or completing a "Be a STAR!" chart I make for them with the letters we are working on.

So far the kiddos I see form the other grades haven't needed a STAR chart. I'll just have to give them a "fun day" or something. I still don't know what we will do when the others get their charts filled of my 2nd graders is getting so close. He has been giving me some ideas. :-)

Hope you're having a great week!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Wisdom for Wednesday-Smile

Welcome to this week's:

Life will throw us lots of curve balls, but the one thing to remember is that we are in control of how we respond to these curve balls.  Trying to see the good aspects of every part of your life can be difficult, but if you can do this it may have a very positive impact on your life.  

Have a great day!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Making 10!!

We spent a lot of time this week on making 10 and by the end of the week, the kids were getting really good at it!  YAY!!

Throughout the week we used 10 frames that we got in our math kit (these come in handy).  

1.  One day we used our expo markers and practiced making dots on our desk with the tens frames.  I love that we can write on our desks and the kids love being able to write on their desks (they get excited every time we do it).  We used a cut and paste making 10 page from First Grade Salt Life.

2.  Another day, we used our ten frames and the counters that they actually come with.  It is so exciting to see the kids get excited about little things.  They were thrilled to use the counters.   We did a fun page with it from Bloomabilities

3.  We listened daily to this Jack Hartman song about making 10.  I love Jack Harman songs!

4.  Although the most favorite way of practicing of course was using our tens frame and skittles!  Of course, if they followed along and worked hard, they got to eat their skittles at the end.

Have a great rest of your weekend!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Wisdom for Wednesday - No Half Jobs

Good morning! I hope you are having a great week. Mine seems to be going very fast...that may be due to the fact that I will be at a training all day tomorrow and we have a staff development day on Friday. It just feels all wrong--Ha!
Sometimes short weeks feel longer to me...anyone else?

Anyway, in our P.O.P. group we share a verse of the week along with the names of the 6-8 staff members we are praying for. 

Years ago, this week's verse became inspiration for one of my core beliefs and I was surprised I hadn't shared it with you all in a Wisdom post. I did hint at it once, but never really featured it, so...

And whatsoever ye do,
do it heartily,
as to the Lord,
and not unto men.
Colossians 3:23

I can't say for sure exactly when this became my mantra, but I know it was when I was a stay-at-home mom with two little kiddos underfoot. Now those two little kiddos are a senior and junior in high school! Yikes!

There were days when I just didn't accomplish much. I had things I wanted to do and would often neglect the simple things that needed done around the house. Dusting? No thank you. And the laundry? Well, I would do it and then put the clean clothes on the couch to be folded later. Dishes? Well, I can't stand a dirty dish in the sink, but the clean ones would often sit in the dishwasher for some time before I got to them.

One day as I was studying, the Lord showed me Colossians 3:17 and 23. He convicted me about my "housekeeping" habits and gave me a new perspective. I wasn't keeping house for my kids or even my husband. I was keeping house for Him!
And I was doing a half-job... :-(

It was then that "No Half Jobs!" became my mantra--and not just in housekeeping, but in everything I do. As a wife and a mom. As I went back to work, then school, and now as a teacher this has become one of my core beliefs. I don't do it for me. I don't do it for others. I do it all for the Lord and He deserves more than a half-job! 

My husband and kids have heard it over and over. You could say it is one of our family mottos now. We don't do half-jobs. And when someone is slipping, well, you can be sure that someone else is going to call them out on it (and yes, sometimes the one slipping is me). We're not perfect, but "No Half Jobs!" reminds us to think about why we do what we do and Who we are doing it for.

What do you think? Any half-jobs in your life right now? 

Believe me, I still have to evaluate areas of my life on a constant basis and ask if I'm giving my all. When I'm not, I remind myself that I'm doing it for the Lord and He deserves more than a half-job!

Have a blessed week!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Counting to 120!!

Last week, we worked a lot on counting, recognizing and writing our numbers to 120.  I'm hoping by the end of this next week, all of them will have it down.  

1.  We started by playing a little game of spot the number.  I used a number grid that went to 120 and called out a number and they had to color in the box.  Sorry, I didn't get any pictures of this one. 

2.  We practiced recognizing and finding numbers on a number grid by coloring a picture by numbers.  I found these neat color the number pages on TPT by First with Franklin.  The kids were so excited when they started to see the picture they were making (it was an apple tree).

3.  The next activity that we did, they kids were so amazed by it.  I copied a blank 120 chart from TPT by First with Franklin and had them write their numbers to 120 with white crayon and then use a marker to color over the numbers.  They couldn't see the numbers until they used their marker to color over it.  They thought this was of them told me that he wanted to do it every day.  :-)  
I did have them just do 1 row at a time and let me check it before they moved on to make sure they didn't get off on their numbers.  

4.  Another day we played race to 120 found at TPT from Stacy Romanjuk.  I partnered the kids up and they had to write a number and then pass it to their partner and they wrote the next number and passed it.  They did this until they got to 120.  

5.  Finally, we practiced the last day with ipads and used the game from ABCYA called Adventure Man and the Counting Quest.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Wisdom for Wednesday-Understanding

Welcome to this week's:

God has given us instructions to trust in him and not our own understanding.  This is really hard for me at times.  I try to figure things out that I can't understand.  I often find myself searching for understanding instead of spending my time seeking God.  Often, if I do ever feel like I understand something, it is short-lived because another challenge always comes up and then I find myself once again getting anxious and trying to understand the situation.  We all actually already have the peace that we need because we inherited it in his presence.  Therefore, instead of trying to rely on my own understanding, instead I need to trust in him.  

Have a great day!

Saturday, September 9, 2017

TEAM Homework, Scoot, Math Games, Vowel Town, and Extra Fun Thing!!

Another week has passed and we are starting to get a routine down.  I always forget how many things there are to teach at the beginning of the year on just the routines.  I wanted to share a few things that we worked on this week:

1.  TEAM Homework-We started homework this week and the kids were so excited.  I use the Team Homework approach that was found on TPT by Teacher's Clubhouse.  I love it!  The kids can play math games with a deck of cards, read, practice sight words and spelling words from a sight word/spelling menu and/or do writing from a writing menu.  When they do one of these they put a star by what they did.  At the end of the week, we add up how many stars the class gets.  The kids were so excited to tell me on Friday how many stars they had gotten.  We ended up having a total of 61 stars....YAY!!  That was a lot considering I have a low number of students in class this year.  We will try to beat that number next week.  Here is what their homework folders look like:

2.  I introduced the kids to scoot with tally mark scoot.  They loved it and the fact that they are up out of their seats and moving is even better.  I placed the cards around the room and they went around the room and wrote down the answers.  

3.  We are still working on how to be a good partner and using our spy voices (whisper voice).  We practiced with a math game.  

4.  Vowel Town-We use Pathways to reading, so I have the vowel town on the mimio and the kids had to race to put the vowels back where they belonged.  They had fun doing this and it was a great way to practice our vowel town.  

5.  Extra Fun Thing-the kids that have all their work done and haven't moved their clip down too many times get to participate in an extra fun thing at the end of the day on Friday.  This week, we made slime!  They thought this was so fun!

Have a great weekend!

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