Friday, August 24, 2012

I *LOVE* My Students! And Therapeutic Thursday {late}!

Holy moly!  My little first graders are AMAZING!.  They are (almost) all so sweet, so helpful, and so kind.  Only 16 of my 19 little babies have actually showed up but I'm sure the other three M.I.A students will be just as great.  We've been spending the last three days learning rules and routines.  Since they are SO well-behaved, I've had more than enough time to get in some cute back-to-school crafts.  Unfortunately, I didn't take pictures of them (...yet). :(

There's one not-so-good thing about the first few days of school though... MY PROMETHEAN BOARD PENS DON'T WORK!  Oh my!  I've been lost without them.  It's hard to make an interactive board super-interactive for the students without the stinkin' pens! The tech guy has been working on it for the past couple days but he hasn't been able to figure it out.  He got them working twice... but it only lasted for a couple minutes. There are lots of other teachers in my building that are in the same boat, too.  It stinks!  I should be happy to have the board because I still can do some cute things with it.. but, I feel so bad for the kiddos because they can't use it at all.  Any ideas of what it might be?

So... on to Therapeutic Thursday!  After a rough day at school, my FAVORITE thing to do is give my puppy a little attention!  He calms me down SO much.  When I'm crying, he literally will "kiss" my tears away... it's the cutest thing (it sounds a little creepy now that I've typed it out for Blogland to read..).. but, he just brightens my day.  Love, love, love him!

After some good puppy therapy, I like to change into my yoga pants and $8 Target v-neck tee. Some days, when it's super-duper hot (since my school isn't air conditioned), I jump in the shower for a quick wash.  Putting clothes on when you're clean just feels so much better, huh?  :)

When I come home angry about work, I usually just unload my whole day on my husband.  He says the perfect thing to make me laugh and to calm me down.

And, lastly, I like to catch up on my shows.  I could watch TV all the time.  I'm pretty obsessed with so many shows (So You Think You Can Dance, all of the Real Housewives, Real World, Big Brother, Restaurant Impossible, Teen Mom.... and who can pass up a little Judge Judy every now and then?).  TV helps me forget about the craziness of the day. :)

Well, that's all for tonight! Gotta catch up on my shows! ;)  Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Tech Tip Tuesday!

I loved day #1 of Blog Hoppin's Teacher Week so I'm pumped about doing another! I am a huge tech-fan!  Computers, programs, and technology "stuff" has always come pretty easy to me and I love using it in the classroom.  I'm going to share some of the tech stuff that I use in my classroom and hopefully at least one of these will be new to you! :)

My first and most-favorite tech item for the classroom is.... 

HAH!  Kidding! Mine is broken, the tape player drawer is hanging off and it's covered in a thick layer of dust.  I'm totally kidding about it being my favorite item.  But, it gets the job done, right?... ;)

Like I said in my last post, I absolutely LOVE my Promethean Board and sometimes wonder how I taught without it.  It allows the kids to get so involved.  Love, love, love!  I also enjoy browsing different flipcharts on Promethean Planet

Class Dojo is a pretty neat (free) website, too.  It allows you to record their behavior right there on the screen.  You can give your student a "positive" or a "negative" and it keeps track of their points and the reasons why the earned/lost a point.  Then, you can print out reports.  I just found out that you can use your smartphone as a remote, too!  Can't wait to do that! Super cute!

I found Pics4Learning over the summer and I'm so excited about using it!  I think it'll be a great way to show my kiddos what certain things really look like... rather than just using cutesy clipart.  Don't get me wrong, I ADORE clipart... but real pics are good, too!  On a sidenote, isn't it creepy how ads pop up on your sidebars for things that you've searched for recently?  I've been searching for a bigger cage for my Tobey.. and there's a sneaky little add! So weird! 

There are a ton of other websites and techy things I use in my classroom but those are the ones I'm most excited about!

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, August 20, 2012

My Must Haves!

I am joining my first linky party!  Yay! 

Here are my must-haves!!

I love, love, love a new, fresh set of Sharpie markers.  And, the InkJoy pens are pretty and colorful!


I use my Promethean board SO much throughout the day.  I'm really getting into making fancy flipcharts, too!  I can't wait to teach my new kiddos how to use the ActivExpressions.  We call them "responders" or "voters" though.  Either way, I love them and use them constantly in the classroom. 

I have tons and tons of fonts on my computer and my absolute favorites are from Kevin and Amanda.  So cute!  

I'm pretty obsessed with labels right now too.  I'm setting up my classroom and went crazy with the labels this year.  I like the neat, uniform look of them.  You can make them cute and fancy... and it's so easy! 

And my all-time favorite must-have... SELTZER WATER!  I'm not a big pop drinker (usually a Diet Coke or Diet Dr. Pepper when I need a pick-me-up).  You just can't beat the perfect carbonation in seltzer water.  I'm pretty much addicted to it.  Yummm!

That's all folks!  Thanks for stopping by! 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Busy Weeks!

I pushed this blog aside for a while to deal with lots of "stuff".  My father-in-law passed away about 2 weeks ago.  The next weekend, my husband and I were in a wedding.  And, on top of that, I've been back to school trying to set-up my classroom.  I'll say that this has definitely been one of the hardest and most emotional times of my life.  

But, I'm back!  I went to a 3-day Capturing Kid's Hearts training last week.  It was like therapy for all of us teachers.  It just reminded me how important affirmations are and how you really need to "grow"  your classroom.  I think I forget how hard it was starting a new year as a child... especially for all of the new kiddos!  I'm going to make an effort to really build my class into a little family this year.  I feel like everything is going to be a million times easier with 18 little firsties (wayyyy better than 30!).  I'm ready to pump these kids up and make them the most confident kiddos ever! What kinds of activities do you do to build relationships and "grow" your classroom? 

I was stalking my usual blogs and happened to find this video (from Inspired By Kindergarten) that got me thinking.  Watch it if you're in need of a powerful message! 

It really helped me realize that I need to put my "golf balls" at the top of my list.  I'm always stressed about the little things and they will always be there. 

I'm so sorry this was a random, short post.  Hopefully I'll be back with some cute items or ideas for all of you!  

Thanks for stopping by! 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


I'm sorry that I've been missing lately.  There was a death in my family.  It definitely flipped my little world upside down and I'm still in shock.

On a happier note, it was the first day back for teachers and, I must say, I got a lot accomplished in my room.  I'm hoping to get pictures up when it's finished.  :)

My school has a class size limit of 30.  It never fails, first grade always fills up.  We start the year out with 30, lose some students, and it fills right back up.  Our families are verrrrry "transient"... I'll lose and gain kids all year long if it was allowed.  Of course, they're allowed to leave whenever they want but we stop enrolling new students in October.  We started that two years ago and it just makes so much sense and helps the teachers a ton.

Anywho... I got my class list today.  I only have 17 KIDS!!!!  What!!! 17!  I've never had 17!  I was lucky if I had 27.  17!  I'm not going to know what to do with myself!  I'm sure that I will get a few more kids in the next couple of weeks... but 17, that's AMAZING.  I'm just shocked (and excited)!

I don't really have much else to write about... but, I promise to come back soon with some pictures or some cute classroom ideas. :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Thank You, My 9 Lovely Followers!

I'm already starting to sweat a little thinking about figuring out how to put these freebies on my blog.  I'm pretty tech-savvy... but, we will see if I can get this!

I noticed that I had 9 followers and was THRILLED!  So, I wanted to say 'thank you' to you all for following me.  I hope that you can find someway to use the FREE task cards below!

My class is usually filled with every level of learner there could be.  So, I'm worrying that it just won't be enough in my center activities for those high-learning, early-finishers.  So, I decided that I'd have some task cards for them to pick an activity from.  I'm just going to use them as an extra activity for when the kiddos say "I'm done!!" when half the class is still hard-at-work (ugh..).

One of the task cards in the "Word Work Task Cards" set is to pick a Boggle board and find words.  So, I've also included a set of Boggle board cards.

I hope I'm making a little bit of sense with these task card freebies. :)

I just uploaded them and tried the links and THEY WORKED!  So, hopefully they work for you, too!  

Have a great Saturday night!  :)

Friday, August 3, 2012

What's With the Bikes?

I don't even like to ride bikes... so, what's with the bikes on my blog?  You probably thought I was an avid rider.. but nope, I think I've been on a bike once in the last year.  It was just part of the free blog template that I got from Cutest Blog on the Block. :)

I've been super busy in the last few days and obviously neglected my blog.  But,  I was SO excited to see 6 followers :)  Thank you all for following me!!

Lakeshore was a success!  I ended up not going overboard (although it was hard to control myself).  I did some laminating, too.  It felt good to get it out of the way before heading back to school.  I could always laminate for free at school... but, that's if we have any lamination left (and we usually don't).

When I got back, I made these cute little ABC foam cubes.  The foam cubes were from Dollar Tree and the ABC stickers were from Target.  $2?! Can't beat it!  I just stickered the cubes up and slapped on some Mod Podge. 

Sorry the picture isn't the greatest.  The Mod Podge and sparkly stickers just wouldn't give up the shine - flash or no flash!

I also went to my classroom to get some stuff done... just to calm my anxiety.  We go back next week (the 8th... TOO early).  The students have an extra 2 weeks off.  We use those 2 weeks to get our rooms ready and attend A TON of professional developments and trainings.  We have a 3-day training: Capturing Kids' Hearts.  Anyone else ever go to this?  Anywho.. I found out that 5 teachers left!  We usually have a couple leave.. but, not this year!  5!  (It must not be their first-pick of places to teach either!) Yikes.  So, needless to say, they are scrambling trying to replace those teachers.

On a different note, I've decided to attempt centers.  I'll have the students complete them while I'm teaching reading groups.  I'm so sick of copying worksheet after worksheet for students that need some good hands-on learning.  But...I'm SCARED of centers.  I'm afraid I don't have enough ideas, the students won't remember what to do, or that it'll just be too much to organize and keep up with.  Any tips, ideas, or suggestions?  Please? :)

Thanks for stopping by!  Come back soon!