Saturday, December 27, 2014

Sub Tub Stress!

Luckily, in 9 years of teaching, I've never had an emergency sick day.  Oh, hold on, just gotta' knock on wood!  ;)  I've been sick and I have taken personal days but I've always been able to prepare for the sub the day before.

I've had 9 years of awesome {no-need-for-emergency-plans} luck....and I'm worried that day will come when I'll have nothing ready for the sub.

No more chancing it....I decided I HAD to make a Sub Tub during my Winter Break! :)

It's stressing me out though! Ugh, I hate seeming like that crazy classroom teacher with 10 pages of sub plans....and that's where I'm headed.  Honestly, I've gotten together some simple, straight forward lessons for each subject.  But, then I worry that I'm not giving enough direction or I'm giving too much direction.   Too much is better than not enough, right?

Also, I'm tempted to make this sub tub awesome enough to leave anytime I'm out - planned or unplanned.

I DESPISE typing up sub plans the day before I'm out. I've found that when I leave actual content for the sub to teach or work that should be used as a grade, I'm usually left reteaching and redoing.  I don't blame the subs though....I have a pretty crazy special class.  Like any other first grader, they like to have some fun while their teacher is out.  

So, I guess I've made up my mind.  The Sub Tub will be used for all of my days out.  Easy prep, easy for the sub, and then easy for the students! Whew, thanks for letting me talk that out! ;)

I'm not even close to being done but here's a little sneak peek at my schedule and some of the important information I'm going to be leaving in the tub.
P.S. I LOVE how Kimberly Geswein's fonts just make everything prettier! :) 

That's what I have so far.  I need to get the activities copied, get the read aloud books together, and I need to come up with a list of time fillers/extra activities for down time.  Oh!  I also need a pretty little Sub Tub label for the front! :)

Ahhh I feel pretty accomplished.  Check back soon for the finished product!

Monday, December 22, 2014

A Perfect Day Before Winter Break!

I had such a fun, happy day with my first graders last Friday!  :)  We had a Polar Express, Pajama, Pancake, Pizza, and Pop party!   Let me tell you....it was near impossible to calm them down.  But, it was so fun!

Not only did my little cuties dress up in their pjs, I did too!  Ahhhh...if only I could wear pjs to school every day.

They walked into the room and it was all decorated - red "tablecloths" (it was really red bulletin board paper), huge coloring pictures, and fun treat bags from me.  The ohh's and aww's just made my heart smile!  They were so excited and kept giving me hugs.  It made my morning perfect! :)

I forgot to take a picture of their tables, but here are the bags I gave them.


While they colored and played with their new things from their treat bags, I cooked pancakes for them - full of red and green sprinkles, red and green mini m&m's and chocolate chips.  SUGAR RUSH!


We read Polar Express later in the day and watched the movie at the end of the day.  While we were watching the movie, we had pizza, cookies, and pop.  Whew!  We were stuuuuffffed.

I really hope they had a memorable day because I sure did!  :)  :)

Monday, December 1, 2014

My Best Yet! :)

I am in LOVE with this new digital paper pack!  Christmas is coming and these pretty papers with red, green, and white just make me so merry and bright! (hey...that rhymed!)

Click the picture to check it out!

It's on sale for $2.00 for a very limited time!  Don't forget to get yourself an even better deal by entering this code at checkout!    TPTCYBER

23 digital papers for less than $2!  Merry Christmas!


What a DEAL!

Load up your carts!

I am having a SUPER sale!  :)  Everything single thing in my little store is 20% off....then, to make it even better, TpT will give you another deal if you enter the special code!  TPTCYBER

Go check it out! 

Sunday, November 30, 2014

FLUENCY FREAK!

That's me lately.... a fluency freak. :)  I can't help it... my little learners are just growing, learning, and getting so much better.  I feel this huge urge to always keep them excited about reading.  It probably helps that I've been tracking their progress A LOT lately.  Those are the big pushes this year - tracking data and fluency.

....and let me tell you, having the students track their own data is like MAGIC!

I was a little concerned because I thought it would make my "strugglers" upset when they weren't seeing as much growth... but that is not the case at all.  They want to be like the top reader.  It pushes them and motivates them!

I track their sight word progress using a basic sticker chart.  I have 19 lists.  When they pass the list, they get a sticker.  Well, I have a super smarty pants who is already on to 2nd grade words and FLEW through his 19 lists.  He is the one to beat...and all of the other students are trying to catch up!

Not only do they LOVE playing sight word games in class, they also are starting to study more at home (that's a huge problem....very little parent involvement...sad).  But, between flashcards, game, and studying at home, I'm seeing (and THEY are seeing) huge growth! Yay!

My struggling students have gotten really good at blending cvc words (I know, I know....it's a Kindergarten standard...I have some real low students).  I'm going to start introducing SENTENCES (like I said in my last post).  But, I don't only want them practicing during games....so, I also whipped up some Fluency Strips that have very basic sight words (the, I, will, we) and tons of cvc words.  Now they can practice during our Reading Block!

Here they are...:-)  I plan on putting them on binder rings and hanging them up so the students can just grab one.

I'm going to keep this fluency fun going!  Enjoy your Sunday!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Christmassy CVCs!

My creative juices are FLOWING today!

My students have inspired me to work so hard this year.  I have such a great group of little learners.  They make me WANT to make learning fun.  They make me stay up at night thinking of how I can make a lesson on boring irregular verbs engaging and exciting.   They'll also inspired me to delve into some great data tracking.  :) 

Speaking of data.....

We are VERY big on fluency this year.  With my initial fluency assessment, I found that some of my students were reading at 2 words per minute while reading a Kindergarten fluency passage.  No bueno!  So, we've hit reading HARD.   We've been stepping up game, for sure!  

A month after the initial fluency assessment, I did another and each and every one of my students had gains.  They are reading faster and more accurate.  I am so proud!  It just makes me feel like all of the hard work I'm putting into planning and teaching is really paying off.   One of my students is reading 30 words per minute faster!  WHAT!?  Crazy.

My students favorite LOVE to play BAM!  We call it Bam, but I've heard it called so many other things.  Basically, it is a stack of sight word flashcards and there are some cards that have the word BAM!  Students pick a card, read the word (keep the card if they are correct, discard if they are incorrect).  If they pick a card that says "BAM", then they have to discard all of their cards.  They are O-B-S-E-S-S-E-D. 

The game can be played with any words but we've been playing with CVC words.  I noticed that some most of my first graders came to first grade without any idea of HOW to sound out.  YIKES!  No worries - we are sounding out MASTERS now.  :)

To keep the game fun, I've been making holiday editions with new words.  Since my little learners are getting SO good at sounding out the words, I decided to introduce sentences!  AH!  

Here's my new Christmas edition of the games.  I made it all Christmassy and pretty for you.  Click the picture to check it out! 



Thanks for checking it out! :)  

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Bloglovin!

When I started my blog, I was overwhelmed with everything.  I got used to reading all of my faves right in blogger on the reading list.  But, then I heard about Bloglovin.  I didn't really know what it was (and still kind of don't) but I definitely set up an account.

Well...I decided to log on and see what it's about.  It's been over a year since I logged on last. Oops!

I updated my profile and I'd love for you to check it out and maybe follow me?! 

Just click this little cute picture!
Follow on Bloglovin

This post is short and sweet because I have a BUSY day ahead of me....at the water park! Yay!  :)

Happy Sunday, bloggy buddies!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Want to Make FaNcY letters?

Hey, bloggy buddies!  I took a couple days off from the blog world and I've been oh-so busy....because...GUESS WHAT...!

I sold my house!!!!  Well, I hope! :)  The inspection is in a couple days and, if all goes well, I will have to be out by August 13th.  Oh, you know why ELSE August 13th is important?  Not only will that be my official last day in my house, it is also the FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL. 

So, needless to say, I'm crazy busy. 

I went into my MESS of a classroom yesterday.   I tried to rearrange things, recover my boards (I have a TON of bulletin boards, but I'm not complaining!), and I hung some stuff up.  Then, I went home and got creating. 

I made new letters for my word wall.  These will be the letter headers (does that make sense?). 

I'm also making one of my 92038290 bulletin boards an I Can statement board.  It'll be where I have everything the students will be learning that day - split up by content area, of course.  

I've been thinking about this for a while.....I want my students to know exactly what it is we are learning in each lesson.  I also want them to be able to refer back to the I Can Statements throughout the day, so they need to have big enough writing to be able to see at all times. Also, I want to be able to change the wording at the last minute, if I need to.  So, my plan is to write them on dry erase boards each day.  

Sounds kinda weird, but I'll show you what it turns out like when I'm finished! 

So, for that board, I made the content area headers.  Here they are! :)

I had a friend ask how I did the chevron pattern on the letters.  This is something I learned from another blogger a long time ago (I don't know who! Sorry!).  So, I'll let you know how to do it... just in case you ever want to!

First, open up PowerPoint and create some text. 


Next, change the size and font.  I like a nice thick bubble letter-ish text for doing something like this.  I chose KG Second Chances Solid (check out Kimberly Geswein's store...amaaazing fonts).  

Then, highlight the words and right click.  
Select Format Text Effects.  
Once there, select Text Fill
Solid fill will be selected...but, you need to click on Picture or texture fill


Next, click on File and select an image from your computer.  I use my digital papers to fill in my text. :) With these words, I'm going to use a paper from my Boys Will Be Boys pack.  So fun (and my best seller!).  Select an image/paper and click Insert. 

You'll notice the words have a fun pattern BUT, your pattern might be all misshapen and odd looking.  Ew.  We don't like that.  To fix it, click Tile picture as texture.  You can play with the Scale X and Scale Y percentages to make the pattern look perfect.  For this one, I just kept them both 100%.

Ok, the pattern is looking better, huh?  But, the words could use something else.  YES!  A thicker outline, of course! While you're still in the Format Text Effects box, click Text Outline from the list on the left side.  Choose Solid line and choose a color.  I like black for these words. 

Eh, the outline looks better....but I think it needs to be a little (or A LOT) thicker.  So, to do that, click on Outline Style from the list on the left side.  Change the width.  I picked 3.00 pt but you can do whatever you want! 

Ah!  Click Close and look at your magnificent letters!  

Oh wait!  You want to add more text with the same pattern but don't want to do all of those steps?  

Just click in your text box and type away!  Your letters will show up all patterned, pretty, and perfect!

Well, there ya' have it!  Beautiful letters.  You could use these letters in your classroom (just print and cut out!) or in your products! :) 

Enjoy your Saturday!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Aligned and Mapped!

SAD FACE.  I'm back at work today....

At the beginning of my summer, I had a goal of aligning the Language Arts, Spelling, Social Studies, and Science programs with our Reading program (Lead 21).  It was  HUGE task...but, I just finished it!  Lead 21 has so many components.  Last year, with it being the first year we used it, I just didn't take advantage of everything it has to offer. 

This school year will be so different!  Everything is aligned and mapped out.  I know exactly what I'm teaching each week for the entire year!  The best part, it's all aligned with Lead 21 - lessons will flow and students will be making SO many connections.  I hope it helps my first graders make sense of everything they're learning.  It'll be more of a "theme" each week, rather than random choppy lessons here and there. 

Here's what one month of my little calendar looks like :) 

I think I might go back and color code the different content areas so it's easier to find each.  But, for now, it'll do.  

It has Reading, ELA, Social Studies/Science, Writing, and Phonics/Spelling.  I left out our Math program (My Math) because I like how it flows and it seems to make sense how it is. 

This map will help me pick out the perfect morning work, independent activities, read alouds, and will be the BEST THING for when I'm planning my lessons.  I can look ahead and be so organized!  :)  I love NEW... and organization! 

Enjoy the rest of your summer while I'm sitting through PDs.  I'm jealous!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

NEW! I love NEW!

Who dreads the school supply sale ads coming out?  NOT this girl!  I LOVE new school supplies.  I love new things in general.  When school supplies come out, I can't wait to get to the store and snatch some good deals up.

The best thing to get new?  Mr. Sketch smelly markers.  They are a MUST HAVE.  I have tons and tons.  And, although I love new and fresh, I can't seem to throw them away when they run out of yummy, smelly ink.  Hm, weird.  

Of course, I picked up a new pack of the normal pack of Mr. Sketch smelly markers. BUT...look what I found!!

Mr. Sketch MOVIE PACK! Ah! 


Let me tell you...the buttery popcorn was SPOT on.  It was almost like chewing on one of those buttered popcorn Jelly Belly jellybeans (GAG!).  To be honest, the nacho cheese made me want to puke a little. It's just not right to be smelling nacho cheese from a marker.  The others were great though! :)  So worth the $5.47 or whatever it was.  Oh, I got them at Walmart.  :)

While I was at Walmart, I picked up 30 boxes of crayons, 30 notebooks, and 30 folders for my class.  Most of my students come to school with NOTHING, so I like to hit up the sales and stock up. 

Oh, and I'm neurotic and like my students to have a nice, already labeled, green go-home folder (all the same green/all the same folder), a nice, fresh (NEW!) pack of crayons, and an already labeled journal. :)  Call it what you want - OCD, neurotic, control freak....

I also got some NEW fun crayons/markers and stuff for my SUPER SUPPLIES in my BEST BEHAVIOR BINDER (read a little about it here) and some glue, for when we run out mid-year.  :) 

I bought lots of BRAND NEW packs of markers for myself because I love grading in markers (especially the fine tip ones).  

Did I mention that I love new school supplies?  :) :) :) 

I go back to work tomorrow.................. :(

.......Happy Tuesday!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Monday Made-Its!

This will be my first time joining Tara at 4th Grade Frolics for her Monday Made-Its linky!  :)  So excited!


Fourth Grade Frolics

Here we go!



I like new things at the start of a new school year - new smelly markers (WAIT UNTIL YOU SEE WHAT I FOUND.....read all about it tomorrow!), new crayons, freshly covered bulletin boards with new borders, you know...new, neat, organized, fresh.  Ah.  Happiness. 

So, I decided to make a NEW behavior chart.  I love, love, love the clip chart.  It just works for me.  

I wrote all about how my behavior management system here.  And, here's a little pic of my old one. :)  I used to think it was SO cute...but, now that I look at it, eh.  I could do better....


And, I feel like I did better! HERE'S MY NEW ONE!


I made it prettier and I changed it up a little bit.  I always noticed that my students/parents would get mixed up with Great Job and Good Day.  They were too similar.  So, I made the top levels different and hope that they are better understood.  

Instead of Outstanding, I made it Super Student.   Instead of Great Job, I put Excellent Choices. Then,  I kept it the same for the other levels. 


I had tons of left over scrapbook paper, so I threw some of them together and made these Positive Reinforcement Clips!  I'm not exactly sure how I'm going to use them - but, I'm thinking I could choose one student per day to earn the clip.  When will they wear it?  Eh, the next day?  The end of the same day?  I'm not sure...still gotta think that out.  

They have a tiny clothespin glued to the back...so the student can clip it onto their shirts when they earn it. 


Sure, I could've printed the words in a fun font, but I didn't think about that... so, my handwriting will have to do. ;)

I LOVE my sucker flower....and so do my students!  :)  Here's my old one.  I only have a picture on instagram and I just can't figure out how to download the pic (is that even possible?)

Here's my new flower pot!  I haven't loaded it with the suckers yet...come on, it's only July 14th! ;) 


The paint was supposed to be NEON green....but, it took me like 9402 coats to cover up the clay pot.  So, it's more of a green green.  Oh well. :) 

Well, that's it for now!  Make sure you link up!


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Pinterest MAKEOVER!

I have been wanting to fix up my Pinterest boards for a long time now.  Something about them - the crazy, scattered ideas - bothered me A LOT.  I like things uniform and organized...and although you'd think Pinterest boards do that, it's just not enough.

I was reading up on the Monday Made-Its on 4th Grade Frolics and stumbled upon the directions to create uniform, neat, amazing Pinterest board covers.  Kristen from Ladybug's Teacher Files explained it so clearly - it was a piece of cake (a time-consuming piece of cake though...haha). I've spent the last 3 hours re-vamping mine and I'm SO happy with the results!

Here's a screen shot of what my page looks like....ahhhhh... Neat.  Organized. Happy!


Check out my Pinterest page HERE!

I have ANOTHER showing for my house (along with a fun open house!) so I have to cut this blog post short.  I've had 7 showings in the last 7 days and it's driving me bonkers!  I'm so excited because people are interested in my house but I'm so sick of grabbing my doggy and trying to find somewhere for us to go for an hour or two.  But, ya gotta do what ya gotta do!  :)

Here's a pic of my little guy - who has been SO "go with the flow" lately....letting me drag him places at the most random times... he's the best!

Check back tomorrow because I'll be joining the Monday Made-It linky... I made some super cute things! :)

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

20% OFF SALE!

Happy Wednesday!

I've been super busy making new digital papers to put in my TpT store! I've decided to put ALL of my 51 digital paper packs on sale...you can read all about the BIG SALE below! :) :)

Here are some of the ways I use the digital papers:

Parent Communication: 
I use the digital papers as backgrounds to reminder notes or notes home to parents.  Here's an example of one of the reminders I've sent home.


I also use the digital papers as backgrounds for our report cover pages. :)

This one was used on one of my newsletters!

In The Classroom:
I also use my digital papers in my flipcharts on my Promethean board! :)

Here's a screenshot of what is on my Promethean board when my first graders walk in each morning.

On My Products:
Check out all of the products in my TpT store!  Almost all of the cover pages are digital papers that I've created.  :)  The colors and fun patterns make products POP!

I have so many fun packs of digital papers in my store and THEY ARE ALL ON SALE!  :)

Here are some of my best sellers (and my faves)...!






I have 51 packs of digital papers - all on sale - 20% off!  That makes some of them just $1.60 for 15+ digital papers! Go on, check 'em out...it's a short sale! 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

One More FULL Week....

One more full week of summer for this teacher here....yep, I'm going back for some FUN PDs on the 16th. CAN'T WAIT.  

Let's talk about something more fun....

I did my nails on the 4th and I think they were pretty cute.  Here they are! :)


I had my first showing for my house yesterday!  I cleaned and cleaned and cleaned until the house was SPARKLING!   I have another showing today, too!  :)  Wish me luck!

Here's my AWESOME wet bar that my dad helped me finish.  The plan was always to have this done 4 years ago...but, that obviously didn't happen.  It's so beautiful and I'm just so excited to enjoy it until my house sells.  :) 


Oh.....and I made a super fun, colorful pack last tonight.  Check it out by clicking on the picture!

Friday, July 4, 2014

My Summer is Nearing An END?

Say what?!  Summer just began!  Sadly, I have to report back to school on July 16th.  Thankfully, I'll only have professional developments and trainings on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.  But, it sure does cut into my summer vacation.  :(  Boo hoo...

On a different, happier note, my Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy nail polish is still on and not chipped! It has lasted through some tough work too - house cleaning, toilet scrubbing, gathering branches, splitting logs, mowing the lawn, PiYo workouts... it's some tough stuff, I tell ya!

My PiYo and my Shakeology has shipped and I should be receiving it sooo soooo sooooon!!  I'm very excited!  I got such a great deal on both because I ordered them as a Challenge Pack.  And, guess what?  The deal is still going on!  Interested? 

I have to admit something....

I'm cheap.  Frugal.   A penny pincher. Whatever you want to call it... I don't like to spend lots of money.  I always thought about buying some Beachbody products...but, I always said they were too expensive. I have a different mindset now.

The money I spent  is an investment.   I'm investing in my fitness and my health.  I've spent so many years dieting, going up and down in weight, and I've noticed that I'm happier when I'm healthier.  So, I'm not only investing in my health and fitness, but I'm increasing my happiness. :)


Are you interested in investing in yourself?  Email me at janet.riegelmayer@gmail.com or leave a comment below if you're interested in doing something your future self will thank you for! :)

Oh, surprise!  Because you've gotta be a loyal reader (since you made it all the way to the bottom of my post), here's a little deal for you!

Click the picture to grab your freebie!  Thank you for being a loyal follower and reader!  :)


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

4th of July Finds!

Who doesn't love 4th of July?  It's the perfect holiday - fun, fireworks, food, friends, family, FREEDOM!  My family is having a big 4th of July party and I'm really excited for it!  While searching for a good 4th of July Jello shot recipe (yummm), I came across lots of cute red, white, and blue ideas that I thought I'd share with you all...just in case you have a little shindig to get ready for.

Oh, and in the mean time, don't forget to follow my Pinterest boards for great teaching, fitness, and everyday ideas, quotes, and finds!

4th of July Decor Ideas
How cute!  4th of July mason jars!


Of course, the pinned picture didn't have a good link.  Ugh, don't you hate when that happens?  Have no fear, I googled it and found a great website with directions!

I use that colored rice for things in my classroom too! I colored a bunch and put in blocks with sight words.  It's like a "find it" game for my students!  :)....just make sure you hot glue the cap nice and tight so they don't open it and make a mess of rice in your classroom!


4th of July Nails
OMG!  I love these nails and I NEED them now!  I bet Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy has the perfect red and blue! ;)

4th of July Food/Drink
Fun!  A layered red, white, and blue drink!  With my luck, the drink would turn out purple though.  :(  Haha!

This was an awesome compilation of so many red, white, and blue goodies! Yum! I'm hungry!

I have a cute little freebie of 3 red, white, and blue digital papers in my TpT store.  Don't forget to grab them!  The whole pack of 14 papers is in my store, too! 

Click the pic to head to the freebie!

OMG!  Look what came yesterday! :)  I started PiYo RIGHT away and let me tell you, some of those moves are NO JOKE! :)