Sunday, February 22, 2015

Where I've Been & a Sub Binder {FREEBIE}

Well, for the past week, I've been snowed/iced in! My wish was granted and I finally got my snow day (x4!).  I wish I could say that I was productive with doodles and school resources, but that is the farthest from the truth!! And I'm okay with that!

In fact, I was productive in a very different, but oh-so-gratifying, way. Drumroll, please...The nursery is ready!! read that right! Nursery! I am almost 37 weeks pregnant and am anxiously awaiting the arrival of our Little Dude! The hubs and I are so excited for this new adventure!!

In school news - this means that I've been preparing for my long term sub. I've been doing less creating of "new" resources for my kiddos and more organizing of the classroom and my "stuff" for the sake of my sub.  I've also finished my Long Term Sub Binder! I put a lot of time into it and am excited to share to with you!!

I initially began scouring Pinterest and blogs for ideas.  There are SO many wonderful resources out there!  I realized, though, that there were some things missing from the templates that I found.  So, I started my own...I began inserting anything and everything that I thought my sub would find useful. Did I go overboard? Probably. But I feel better knowing that everything is in here...everything. These pictures just scratch the surface of what's in my binder...overboard.  

I then decided that maybe I could help a few people who are also in need of a sub binder. Although mine may won't be a perfect fit for everyone, I don't think there is a one-size-fits-all template that could work for every classroom.  Click on the image below to get to the editable version of this Long Term Sub Binder.  :)

Friday, November 28, 2014

TPT Cyber Savings Sale Dec. 1 & 2

Has anyone braved the Black Friday madness today??  I really can't think of anything I need or want badly enough to go out to any stores today (or last night).  Plus, that's what online shopping is for!!  Speaking of online shopping...TPT's Super Cyber Savings sale will be going on December 1 and 2!  My entire store will be 20% on the image to check it out!! 

Happy shopping...I'm already making my list and checking it twice...

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Fall Fun with VA Teacher Bloggers Blog Hop

Happy Fall, Ya'll! (I am not a "native" southerner, so even typing that feels odd to me, haha). With the leaves changing and air getting cooler, what better time to give away some freebies?! I was fortunate enough to meet some wonderful VA bloggers over the summer and am so thankful for the relationships - both professional and personal - that have been made.  We are teaming up this weekend for the Getting Festive for Fall with VA Bloggers Blog Hop.  Yay!
I've been loving the fall weather and fun festivities that are going on locally.  My husband and I went to our favorite pumpkin patch a few weekends ago (because I just couldn't wait!).  Aside from him getting pulled over on the way was a great day! We go to Ashland Berry Farms in Beaverdam, VA.  It's the cutest place ever. Once we got there, we were taken out to the massive pumpkin fields on a hayride and then were left out there to start "pickin."  The way it works at Ashland Berry Farms is the best part - you pay $20 for as many pumpkins as you can joke! There is one rule - you must be able to take 3 steps with the pumpkins in hand.  So, I loaded up the hubs with our colorful and diverse pumpkins.  He couldn't see, but he could walk...that's all that really matters!  
We came home with 9 pumpkins of all different colors and sizes (for 20 bucks!).  If you are somewhat local, you've got to check it out!

Onto some fall first grade "stuff!" I spend much of the beginning of the year working with shapes and patterns, but we are beginning to get into working with numbers - simple addition and subtraction strategies.  We will begin with Part-Part-Whole relationships and introduce strategies for solving equations.  One activity I like to use during my math rotations is my Sums to 10 - Turkey Talk Addition activity.  Here's a peek at what you'll on the image to grab your FREEBIE while the hop is "hoppening!"
It's been in my store for awhile (one of my "firsts", actually), but you can snag it for FREE this weekend! I can stretch this activity for several days by only putting out a few sums with the corresponding addends each day.  My kids can write their equations on the recording sheet for those sums, and by the end of the week...poof!  We've done them all! 

Head on over to Hanging Out in First to see what other amazing goodies my VA gals are sharing. :)

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Pattern {FREEBIE}

We just wrapped up our pattern unit in first grade with repeating and growing patterns last week.  My team does an awesome job pulling resources together to teach engaging, relevant, and appropriate activities for our children.  We teach in small, flex groups so that we can target specific skills while differentiating instruction. 

As a review before our summative assessment, I developed this Pattern Scoot activity. It includes both repeating and growing patterns while asking children to either A) name the pattern, B) draw what comes next, C) identify if it is repeating or growing, or D) draw the pattern. I modeled those 4 basic directions before we got started so my kiddos knew what to do - and they did awesome.  This was our first Scoot game of the year and my students loved it (and so did I)!  It was a great way to get in some pattern review, while also letting them move around the classroom.
Grab the Pattern Scoot game by clicking the image below. :)  Enjoy!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Reading Rotations Schedule

I mentioned that my students participate in 'reading rotations' during my guided reading instruction in my last post (here).  A few details needed to be revised with my schedule, but I wanted to share what it looks like in my room.  I keep this schedule (which is a Power Point file) on my projection screen the entire duration of my reading block. My students refer to it often, and each day of the week shows the different activities for word work and spelling - I have found this super helpful and it cuts down on any interruptions about what the job is while I'm with other kiddos at the reading table. I have other options for word work and spelling prepped on an extra slide for use later in the year, as well. I'm sure I'll be glad I did that now and not frantically working on it when I decide to introduce a new activity!

Here's what I use...

This works for me and I hope you found this helpful when setting up your independent jobs during reading! 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

What I've been up to...

What have I been up to lately!? Surviving. Just simply trying to survive September! Although I love watching/helping my kids grow (and, oh, how they have) as we set up our classroom routines and expectations, there's no getting around the fact that the first month of school is exhausting! I've been meaning to blog - I really have.  So, several weeks later, here I am!  One part of our day that requires a lot of "training" and practice is my reading block, which is why I chose to share some aspects of it with you.  There's a lot going on simultaneously and there is an expectation of independence during our rotations.

I will be starting reading groups next week - yay! So it is essential that my kids are comfortable with the routines of our reading block. My reading block is about 1 hour and 45 minutes - mini lesson, FIVE reading groups (whoa!), and a closing/sharing time. If I had to describe my reading instruction, I would say it's reading workshop with my own take on Daily 5. I have found that my kids work best when we rotate through jobs as a class, so we have a schedule that includes 1) read to self, 2) word work, 3) listen to reading, 4) spelling word practice, and 5) read with teacher. (I'm tweaking my schedule this weekend, but will post what it looks like when it's complete). "Spelling word practice" includes activities from my pack here that I choose to use for our weekly spelling words. During "word work," students are doing activities with their weekly Words Their Way sort. The rest is pretty self explanatory. 

I've been introducing the routines with the word sorts at the table with me for about the last week and half as we've been establishing out reading rotations routines.  Hopefully they'll be ready to handle it independently next week!  Here's what our "word work" routines have been so far...
Literacy instruction is my passion and I'm so excited that we are getting  into our groove and ready to get rolling with reading groups! What have you been up to?

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Classroom Reveal

Finally! Better late than never, right!? I really love the way it is coming together - there are still some things on my to-do list, but I finally had to convince myself to stop and that all things will eventually get done. Plus, I'm probably the only one who notices those little things. I'm linking up with Alexis at Laugh, Eat, Learn for this classroom reveal! 

So...I showed my husband these pictures and, after telling me that he thought it looked great, he quickly called me out and said, "This is the cleanest your room -- and teacher desk -- will ever be!" So true. But I'm going to try really hard to keep my desk area clean and organized (this happens to be the same goal I set every year...still working on it).
Immediately inside the classroom door. To the left are student cubbies and built-in shelves where I store my read alouds and professional books (covered with polka dot curtains, of course).
The view from right inside the doorway. My mat takes a lot of abuse over the year. We are on it A LOT. I love that each child has a clearly defined spot when we sit as a whole group at the mat. I also do y math groups there rather than at a table. My small group can spread out with whiteboards, manipulatives, etc. and not have to worry about limited desk space. 

My somewhat organized desk. I never sit's just a place to accumulate piles of papers!

"Reading table." I've made this arrangement of desks work for years for reading groups, but a REAL kidney table is arriving next week!! 

One side of my classroom library...

...and the other side! I like having it split so that the kids are spread out while in the library.

This is what I walked into 2 weeks ago. I was so thankful that at least my furniture was not stacked in the center of my room! Notice the kidney table - that has since been taken to another room and I am waiting my new one!

Well, there she is, my room in a nutshell! Enjoy your Labor Day weekend and happy Back 2 School!