Thursday, November 29, 2012

Teachable Thursdays

I have so many thoughts today that my brain is just spinning.  First of all, I missed everyone yesterday, but my eyes needed a break from the computer screen.  I'm surprised that when people look at my eyes that there isn't a reflection of a computer screen burned into them.  I work all day (which I love), leave school between 5:00-6:45 most days, then come home and try to create/blog and whatever else I may need to do.  That being said, last night I decided to take a night off. 

Today was a pretty interesting day.  My team and I had a 2 1/2 hour meeting with our principal.  Yes, I know, that sounds awful, but it wasn't at all.  One of my teammates grabbed breakfast from Panera for us (Pumpkin bagels are amazing!), donuts, and drinks (Including Coke).  Can you tell my teammate knows the way to my stomach?  Then, my principal started off by telling us this wasn't to add to our workload.  She just thought this program was pretty great and wanted to give us something extra to have in our toolbox.  She also wanted us to see how to do it and start to get a feel for what we may want ordered to use in our classrooms.  That seemed to immediately put all of us at ease.  I love it when our administrators manage to take stress off of us.  

While watching the DVD, we also had manipulatives to use , so that really helped.  We were able to do the activities with her as she did them, so we could see exactly how it worked.  It sounds crazy, but I'm really looking forward to using it next year.  Everything I saw made a lot of sense, and of course, now my mind is thinking of all sorts of things I want to get or make. Oh, I almost forgot our training was number line training.  I left my packet at school, but I will put the name of the lady tomorrow and I think I have a link to her site.  I promise you, I typically don't buy into a program without a lot of thought, but this one seems simple enough and honestly, it really does seem like something you would see on Pinterest or just something you would use to enhance your lesson.  

Now, onto what I know you really want to hear about - Disney the elf!  Well, yesterday went great.  The kids came in and I don't think I've ever heard them so excited and so inquisitive.  They were asking tons of questions - Where did he get the toilet paper?  How did he leave red footprints?  How did he get stuck?  They also were coming up with a lot of ideas on what he was doing.  I think at this point my entire class fully believes that elves can fly.  The worst part was when I accidentally dropped him.  I didn't actually touch him, but he fell.  I was quickly informed that he was going to tell Santa.  It took a few minutes, but I finally figured out how to get him up without touching him.

Then, today was even better.  Apparently, elves like to read because Disney grabbed all of his classroom friends and was reading a Christmas book to them.  The funniest part about this was it was REALLY evident where he was, but one of my little girls kept looking everywhere.  I kept thinking, "Doesn't a stool covered with animals stand out?"  Of course, this same kid is the one asking, "Did you put him there?"  "How did he get the book?"  I think tomorrow I will make a point of going in the classroom after my kids.  That way they realize I couldn't have done it.  Oh, the things we do to try to keep things fun.  

By the way, tomorrow is going to be pretty great!  Disney decided to turn the room into a putt putt course.  The biggest problem with that is Disney isn't good at putt putt and managed to spread 40 balls all around the room.  I can't wait to hear what my kids think about that.  Here are the pictures I took before I left this afternoon.  I will give you an update tomorrow on their reactions.

Last thing, if you've never put lights up in your room, you really should.  I finished putting lights up today and it looks great!  The kids love them and it just adds to my room.  I know most teachers think it's a distraction, but I've done it every year for 7 or 8 years and it's never been an issue with my kids.  

Alright, time to go watch my Atlanta Falcons and then get ready for a Fantabulous Friday!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Terrific Tuesdays

I'm almost afraid to make this comment, but we have had two amazing days in a row.  Honestly, the last two days have been the best days in my classroom all year.  There is nothing that feels better than working with kids on writing and everyone being on task to the point you can play Christmas music in the background.

Then, to top it off, I feel like we are finally getting somewhere with CAFE/Daily 5.  I'm not kidding - at one point, I looked up, I had a kid working with me (with my green notebook open with the calendar and all the info), two kids working with my T.A., and all of the other kids spread out all over the room reading.  It's neat to watch because there were three reading together at the back door, one reading on a stool, one doing word work at a desk other than his own, one sitting behind my desk, several others sitting at desks or on the carpet, and three up in the media center exchanging books.  We had Christmas music playing and outside of one little friend, everyone was doing exactly what they should have been doing.  I even got to read with five individual students and adjust a few of them on our CAFE menu.  Those are the moments when everything is crazy you know you've done something right at least once.

Now, onto my favorite part of the day :)  We were sitting and having our CAFE/Daily 5 time and a box showed up.  It was freezing cold and I had the kids guessing what it could be.  They were so excited that several other classes were wondering what was going on in room 116.  I let each of them touch it and it was sweet to see how much the cold package amazed them.  They've been anticipating an elf eventually showing up, so most of them guessed that it must be our elf.  We opened the package and I've never seen kids more excited.  I told them we couldn't read the book or name the elf until they had the room cleaned and were packed up.  I'm not exaggerating - they had chairs stacked, floor cleaned, desk cleared, and book bags on their backs in less than 3 minutes.  I've never seen them move so fast!

We sat down, read the book, and started making a list of names.  There was Jack, Sparkles, Disney, Rudolph, Josh, Drake, Elfie, and many more.  Well, then I had them vote and I know this is awful, but they picked a name I didn't like, so I decided we should have a "run off".  Yes, you are right, but I'm the teacher... if I want to fix the votes that's my right :)  Well, unfortunately the name I didn't like won, so I told the kids we couldn't use that name because Elfie Elf doesn't sound right and I don't know anyone that has the same first name and last name (Of course, it occurs to me now Phillip Phillips does, but his name is cool sounding).  I was pretty convincing because in the end all of my students except one agreed with me.  I'm thankful that I didn't have to tell them that if they didn't agree with me, I still wouldn't name our elf Elfie Elf... I just couldn't do it.  Anyway, we now have an elf named Disney.  Oh, which I have now discovered is named after an elf already in that kid's home.  Next year, I'm going to make sure I have a list hidden in the book that magically falls out with a list of names.  Yes, I seriously would do that!  Just ask my teammates.

So, what's next?  Well, today I began the crazy adventures of Disney.  Today, he decided he wanted to climb and swing on vines.  Since he couldn't find any vines, he used a small roll of toilet paper and swung around the room.  He finally landed next to my Activboard so he would have a good view of carpet behavior tomorrow.

Anyway, my posts for the next few weeks should be quite entertaining :)  Stay tuned for more adventures of Disney.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Marvelous Manic Monday

So, I'm just curious, but am I the only exhausted teacher?  I feel like I went non-stop today.  My kids were great, but at this rate I will be in bed by 9:00.

Oh, and just curious, but do any of you have any good ideas for teaching long vowels and short vowels.  I gave my kids a worksheet this morning thinking that this skill is simple - oh, no!  It was not simple.  When my kids that get "everything" right didn't understand I realized that maybe I missed something.  They know the sounds, but somewhere along the lines they missed that half of those sounds are considered long and the other half are short.  I had an impromptu meeting on the rug to review for awhile today, but it is obviously going to take more than one meeting.  By the way, that meeting also caused us to be 5 minutes late to lunch.  I'm telling you, this huge discovery was quite unbelievable to me.  The joys of first grade!  So, when you read this paragraph first, leave me a comment on any ideas you may have and second, know that there will be some sort of freebie center, worksheet, activity (probably all three) coming soon to a blog near you - mine!!!

Now, outside of all this craziness, I did accomplish one thing today.  I dug up a freebie that I created a lloonngg time ago during a faculty meeting.  I know that's bad to admit, but I did hear everything.  I just hear much more if I can draw while I listen.  You should see my church journal :)  It is loaded with drawings and notes :)  Oops! Okay, I'm back on topic.  These are two of my favorite morning work sheets every year and my kids seem to enjoy them.  I have a few more, so I will hopefully grab those tomorrow.  I also can't wait to show you my newest writing project.  We started today and it is going great!  Hopefully, I will have it ready to go tomorrow :)

Anyway, here are the worksheets.  If you like them, click HERE to get them.

Hope you had a great day and don't forget to go to TPT and check out the sales!  Click HERE to go to my store.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Super Sunday!!!!!!!!!!

Oh, my goodness!  I didn't think I was ever going to finish my Language Arts & Math Christmas Printables, but it is officially finished!  I didn't cover every standard, but I think I only left out a handful.  It is also finished right in time for a huge TPT sale.  See my button below.  It's by Ashley Hughes who I think may be one of the most creative people I know.  My sale actually started today, but to save more you are definitely going to want to check this sale out on Monday and Tuesday.  Click HERE to go to my store.

I don't know about all of you, but I think I'm more excited about loading up than I am about what I may sell.  I've been looking forward to getting several items, especially clip art and some of the cute things I've seen on Pinterest.  Just this morning, I saw a set to use with Elf on the Shelf.  I can't wait for my elf to "reappear".  Last year, it made Christmas a little more fun for me and it definitely helped with behaviors.  I think I'm going to have him make a pretty loud, obnoxious entrance ;)  I am not ready to quit sleeping in, but I'm definitely looking forward to the next few weeks.

Also, I mentioned that I had finished my Christmas Printables packet.  Well, here's a preview of some of the pages in the packet.  Really, it's more than "Some", but like I've said 100 times before, I like getting to see what I'm getting if I'm buying something.  This is a little under half of the packet.  Everything in the packet covers a standard, but it also has either Christmas pictures, Christmas words, or Christmas sentences.  If you like what you see, click HERE and it will take you straight to this packet.  Don't forget that I also have 4 new language arts Christmas centers.  Hopefully, later this week (probably next weekend) I will have 4 new math Christmas centers.  It mostly depends on how crazy this week gets.  
Now, I'm off to watch more Hallmark movies.  I know it's sad, but last Christmas I read 1 to 2 books a day for each day I was off :)  I'm making up for it this year by watching every good Christmas movie I can find.  If my hubby hadn't gotten every cable channel known to man, this wouldn't be an issue :)

Have a Super Sunday night and remember, check out my worksheets below :)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Super Saturday

Wow!  I don't even know what to say!  I got nominated for a blog award called a Liebster Award.  How cool is that?  So, thanks to my newest friend Kelly at Thirsty Firsties I don't have to think about my Super Saturday blog.

Here is how the Liebster Award works.  It is given to bloggers that are up and coming and have less than 200 followers.  It is to show new bloggers that they are appreciated and to help spread the word about new blogs.

 The rules:- You must post 11 random things about yourself.- Answer the questions that the nominator set for you.- Create 11 questions for the people you nominate.- Choose 11 blogs you love (with less than 200 followers) and link them in your post.- No tag back (but please leave me a comment on this post with the URL to your Liebster post so I can learn more about you)!

11 things about me:
1. I have a little sister named Hope.
2. I have 6 nieces and nephews (1 set of twin girls and 1 set of twin boys)
3. I live in a small town where Drop Dead Diva and The Walking Dead have been filmed.
4. I went to a Christian school K-college and decided I wanted to teach at a public school.
5. I have taught my entire career in the same classroom.
6. My favorite fast food is ChickfilA.
7. I choose to go to sleep to Sports Center most nights :) 
8. I like eating mango and peach gummy bears (Especially if there's a little sour sugar on them).
9. I like drinking Coke in the morning instead of coffee.
10. My favorite t.v. show growing up was The Cosby Show.
11. I met my hubby through my mother-in-law (She was our ESL teacher).  She told me when I was ready to get married to let her know because I was going to marry her son.  I ignored her for a year.  A year later I was dating him and a year after that we were married.

Questions from Kelly a.k.a. Thirsty Firsties:
1. What's your favorite thing about blogging?
Getting to read the comments from other bloggers
2. What's your favorite blog?
That's a hard one because it varies depending on my mood.  I really like Amy Lemon's blogs.  She teaches 2nd grade.  I think it is so cool that she's using her TPT money to adopt a child.  I just think she has an amazing heart.
3. How long have you been teaching?
11 years :)  All in 1st grade :)
4. What is your favorite vacation spot?
A cabin at the top of a mountain
5. What is your favorite thing to cook?
I love salmon with roasted red, yellow, and orange peppers with rice.
6. What is your favorite store?
I love Talbots for clothes, Publix for food, and Target for everything else
7. What has been your best TPT purchase?
I love The Lesson Plan Diva's Math & Language Arts packets.  Plus, I LOVE her "How to" packet.
8. Coke or Pepsi?
I'm a Georgia girl - Coke
9. What's your favorite Christmas movie?
A Christmas Story and ALL Hallmark movies
10. What's your favorite TV show?
Reality - Duck Dynasty  Fiction - Grey's Anatomy
11. What's been the hardest thing about blogging?
Keeping up... It's easy when I have time, but when I hit Wednesday and Thursday I'm wiped.  It also takes a lot more time than I ever imagined.  Between links, pictures, creating freebies, visiting other pages, pinning, and trying to be witty, it is something you have to want to do.

Questions I am asking my nominees:
1. What made you decide to start blogging?
2. What is your favorite holiday?  Why?
3. How long have you been teaching?
4. If you could take three items to an island, what would you take?
5. What is your favorite snack?
6. Where is your favorite safe spot (Place where you can be you)?
7. What was been your best TPT purchase?
8. What is your favorite thing to do on Saturday?
9. What's your favorite movie?
10. If you could eat dinner with 3 people (alive or dead) who would you choose to eat with?
11. What's your favorite online website to visit?

Blogs I am nominating:
1. Blooming in First

Friday, November 23, 2012

Fantabulous Freebie Friday

Good Morning Everyone!

That is such a rare thing for me to say because 99% of the time I'm a night owl blogger.  I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving yesterday.  I know I've never been to anyone else's Thanksgiving, but I am certain that we had the best food at mine.  We ate ham, fried turkey, sweet potato casserole, squash casserole, deviled eggs, butter beans, cornbread, and my favorite - chicken and dumplings.  There was even more food than that, but I left out the things that make me gag!

One of my favorite parts of yesterday was discovering there is a S'more maker.  Did any of you know that there is actually a S'more maker?  I had no idea!  I heard my Mom tell my sister not to forget to take it with her and I jumped and begged to borrow it until January.  You may not remember, but awhile back I found a "How to" writing packet by The Lesson Plan Diva.  Each item in the packet teaches students to write using the words first, next, then, last.   Well, one of her writing activities is How to Make a S'more.  Now, I cannot wait to use this little toy.  Before I borrowed it, we were going to be running to the nurse's station to make our S'mores.   This may be the best writing activity ever!  If you don't have the packet from The Lesson Plan Diva, you can click HERE to go look at it and get it.  I can honestly say it is one of my favorite TPT purchases and I don't think I could have made it any better if I tried.

If for some reason you are as crazy as me, I looked up the S'more Maker.  I love lessons that are hands on because they seem to stick a little better.  The one in the picture is close to $100, so now I feel even more spoiled.  Here's a link to one that's just as cute, but it's around $30.

S'more Maker Kit link

Anyway, in a few hours my Mimi, Mom, and my sister are going to come meet me and we are going to shop!  We started this shopping trip 11 years ago and it's always fun.  We mostly shop for each other on this trip and we get a few other gifts knocked out.  I actually meet them a little bit later because honestly, spending 2 hours in Charming Charlies (a color-coded jewelry store) is not my idea of fun.  It's a great store and I love going there for a few minutes here and there, but 2 hours... that's torture for someone that wears the same silver hoop earrings and cross necklace every day.

I got a little work done yesterday on my Christmas printables set.  Honestly, I REALLY want it to be a packet with 30 to 40 sheets that cover the majority of the standards.  Needless to say, today is an exciting day, so I'm already up and ready to go with a freebie from my new packet.  The packet isn't available quite yet, but when it is I will definitely be linking it to my TPT store.  Until then, here are two pictures to give you an idea of what I'm creating.  If you like them, then click HERE to get them.

These are linked up to Freebie Fridays over on the Teaching Blog Addict.  Click below to go check it out.  There are tons of freebies each week and I'm so excited that I managed to join it for the first time today :)

Freebie Fridays

If you are spending your day at home today watch a Hallmark movie and enjoy a nap for me.  If you are shopping, hope you find some great deals!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wacky Wednesdays

I have to say today was a pretty peaceful day.  Most of it was spent watching Hallmark Christmas movies while snuggled under a blanket with Bella and creating a new packet.  It feels odd to think that tomorrow is already Thanksgiving.  So many times this year it feels like the days are dragging by and now it feels like time is flying.

I'm still working on moving on from last Friday.  I'm getting there, but I honestly never realized just how depressing it is to lose your pet.  Fortunately for me, I have this little Chihuahua that refuses to leave my side, kisses me all day, and curls up next to me at night.  Even right now, she's trying to crawl into my lap and roll over to have her belly rubbed.  To top it off, she deals with me waking her up nonstop to make sure she's breathing.  The poor dog is definitely getting the side affects from my nightmare a few nights ago.

Anyway, onto happier thoughts - thanks to the Hallmark movie channel and a little bit of Christmas music, I knocked out my first Christmas set.  Hopefully, a math one will follow closely behind it, along with a Christmas printables set.  I have all of it laid out in my mind.  It's just a matter of getting it created now :)

 As always, if you follow my blog, you get to see extra sheets that aren't on TPT.  Oh, and before I forget, click HERE to download my freebie from this packet.  

Okay, I know I gave you a lot of the pages, but I know the more pages I see from my favorite people, the more I am convinced that I have to have it!  If this is a "Have to have" for you, then click HERE to go get it.  Also, in case you haven't heard yet, TPT is throwing a sale next week on Monday and Tuesday.  My sale actually starts on Sunday and goes through Tuesday.  So, if you are like me, I have a cart full waiting until Monday to load up.  By the way, that's a secret!  I swear if I buy anymore clip art my husband is going to have a heart attack.  I just can't help myself.  It's all so cute and cute makes me want to create.

Anyway, I hope everyone has a Fantabulous Thanksgiving!  If you are out shopping tomorrow night!  Enjoy!  I plan on being in bed or watching a movie.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Post II - Tuesday

As promised I am back and I am bearing a pre-Thanksgiving Christmas freebie.  I went ahead and created the book reports for December.  This time, I included three different ones.  If you like them, click HERE to get them.  I keep a HUGE stack of them for my kids.  Whenever they finish reading a book from their book bin, they grab one, fill it out, and stick it in their book bin.

I also traced one of the turkeys that my grandfather made for my kids.  It may be late to use it this year, but save it for next year and you will be ready to go.  Make sure you click on both links to get both portions of the turkey.  Click HERE for the first picture and click HERE for the second picture.

Now, back to work.  I'm trying to get a chunk of Christmas creations knocked out tonight and tomorrow.  TPT is throwing a sale on Monday and Tuesday next week.  My sale starts Sunday and runs through Tuesday.  So, save the items you want to buy from other TPT sellers and me and load up on Cyber Monday.

Hopefully, I will have some more stuff for you tomorrow!  Have a Terrific Tuesday!