Thursday, July 30, 2015

I Can Statement Posters - Giveaway!

I just made a brand new set of I Can Statements for my classroom!  So far I only have ELA standards done, but I'll be making a matching Math set soon.

The posters are 11 x 8.5 (landscape).  The standard number is in the bottom left corner.  Each standard is written in a "kid-friendly" I can statement. All of the posters have black & bright colors with an cute, colorful image to add some fun!

I'm giving a set away!  To enter, head to my facebook page and like the post, comment on the post, or tag a friend!  The giveaway ends August 1st at 1 pm!

Thanks for checking them out!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Assess Me!

I'm joining The Tattooed Teacher for a fun get to know me linky!  This is gonna be short and sweet! :)

1.  Yes, I talk to myself.... I have been non-stop talking to myself as I've been getting my classroom ready.  People probably think I'm crazy.
2.  Yes and no!
3.  Yes, I crack my knuckles... especially when I'm nervous.
4.  I am always hungry.  I can always eat.  I eat when I'm happy, sad, mad,, yes, I'm hungry.  :)
5. Yep!  My TV is on but I'm not really watching it.
6.  No, I don't have my wisdom teeth.  I had them all removed when I was younger.  I just remember crying when I woke up from the anesthesia... and drooling a huge puddle of blood on my Adidas coat on the way home.
7.  Yep, I'm clean!
8.  Yes, I've been to Disney World and Disneyland!
9.  Yes, I wear glasses.  I wear contacts most of the time, but change into glasses at night.
10.  Yep!  Born in Ohio and I still live in Ohio!

Thanks for reading! Go take the assessment and link up!  :)

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Sunday Scoop & B2S Sale!

I'm joining The Teaching Trio for their fun 3-2-1 Sunday Scoop linky!  :)

I feel like I am always cleaning!  But, today that bathroom needs a real good scrub.  That bathroom is the worst! I also HAVE to do some lesson planning.  I've been really into reading books by Ron Clark this summer and he has motivated me to bring some fun, memorable lessons into my year.  My goal is to do one out-of-this-world, outside of the box, crazy fun lesson every month.

Who doesn't love relaxing, right?  I also hope to set aside some time this evening to finish up paining my sucker flower pot.  I use it as a part of my behavior management system.  I'll blog all about that in the next couple of days!

I really just want to get my work done, sit back, and enjoy my last FREE Sunday.  I don't know about you, but I never really enjoy Sundays during the school year.  I'm usually too busy planning, laminating, cutting, and preparing for the week ahead.  I go back next Monday, so this is my last official Sunday with no Sunday blues!

Before you go link up with The Teaching Trio, check out my store and grab some things for 20% off! The sale will be going on today and tomorrow! :)  Click the pic below to head to my store!

Don't forget to join this fun weekly linky!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Making Reading Fun!

Hey everyone!  I finished up 4 weeks of summer school not too long ago.  I had a lot of fun because I really stepped up my teaching game.  I wanted to make it as fun as I could for the students.  They just finished a long year in Kindergarten and still needed to do lots of learning.  So, instead of the same old things we do during the school year, I made things super hands-on, fun, engaging, and exciting!

Below I talk about some of the activities we did to work on letters, sight words, reading in general, and writing.  I hope you can take some of these ideas and use them with your summer school students or even with your students during the school year!

First, get organized!  Pre-assess your kiddos so you know exactly what kind of lessons (or remediation) they need.   I keep everything I need for RTI/one-on-one Reading remediation (flashcards, books, assessment data, etc).  That way, their time with me is all focused on learning

It is always more fun when you're most boring of things (i.e: flashcards) go along with your theme. Make a theme for the week or the month!  It'll excite the students and make those boring things more fun!

Let's be honest......flashcards can be boring.  BUT, repetition is a must (especially for your lowbies!) I fancied my flashcards up by adding fun little themed clip art.  Each week, I introduce new themed flashcards.

Have your students practice their words/letters DAILY!  But, make it fun!  Have them trace words/letters in sand (see pic below)!

Gotta' keep it FUN, right? What is more fun than playing with food?  Each day, I have one of my activities include food.  On this day, we used letter cookies to help identify letter names.  Let me tell ya, they work harder when food is involved!

During sports week, I used foam baseball stickers (found at my local craft store) and a baseball mitt (cut out of construction paper) to practice addition and number identification.  You could use the materials for reading/letter id too!  Just get the baseball foam stickers - write letters or words on them.  Call out the letter, sound, or word and have students find the correct sticker.  When my students were done collecting all of the baseballs, they peeled off the back of the sticker and stuck them on their mitts!

Simple can be fun, too!  I took a long piece of bulletin board paper, wrote letters on it, and attached it to the wall.  I called out letters or sounds and my students slapped them with their "magic wands" (fly swatters). 

We busted out the Lakeshore Learning Easy-Grip Sponge Painters for some hands-on letter practice.  I let them pick any letter and stamp away!  While they were stamping, I was asking them questions like "what letter is that?", "what sound does it make?", and "what word starts with that letter?".  They were playing AND learning. :)  
When my students walk in and out of the room, they slap the hands.  I have hands with sight words and hands with letters.  It seems like a TON of words...but, this is what the board looks like after 3 weeks.  I introduced/reviewed 2 pre-primer words each day.  

We also practice our sight words with my Sight Word Sentences.  It is a page of sentences that all start with the same 2-4 words (Dolch pre-primer sight words).  The repetition is AMAZING for struggling students.  By the last sentence, they've started to remember the word and are reading the sentences.  *This picture shows one of my incoming first graders helping an incoming Kindergartner. So sweet!

My students always have a writing activity.  Yes! Writing and reading go hand-in-hand!!!  Although I help my students spell the words, they come up with the answers AND must read back their sentences to me.  Sure, we took some time to paint fish and make baseballs.  But the activity also involved writing and reading!

Students wrote rhyming words on baseballs, cut them out, and glued them on their mitts.

The students made a baseball with red paint (for the stitching) and then wrote if they liked baseball or not.

So, the key to helping your students with reading in the summer months (and all year long) is TO MAKE IT FUN - get organized, use themes, be repetitive, use food, make lessons hands-on, and have your students use writing to help their reading!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

One Day Only! Freebie!

Hey!  This is going to be short and sweet!  I have been on social media like CRAZY lately and I'm so grateful for the followers I've gained!

I joined Periscope!  I LOVE watching the videos that have been posted so far!  I'm a little nervous to video myself still...but hopefully I'll be brave enough someday! Find me! @MrsDsFirsties

AND......... I finally joined Twitter!  I'm still getting the hang of it.  I'm clicking the little star like crazy and finding so many other teachers to stalk follow!  @mrsdsfirsties

I am offering a One Day Only Freebie today to say thank you to all of the wonderful people that I've been connecting with lately!  Click the pic to grab yourself a copy! 

There are 40 pre-primer sight word flashcards and 10 sight word sentence pages!  These flashcards and sentence pages are perfect for RTI, small Reading Groups, center work, or can even be sent home for extra practice! 

Thanks for stopping by!  Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015


I, sadly, am not in Vegas right now.  I can't stop myself from looking on Instagram and seeing all the fun everyone is having.  Not only that, I feel like I am missing out on an AMAZING learning opportunity.

I told myself NO LOOKING AT INSTAGRAM.  I didn't want to see all the fun going on....but, I have a serious case of FOMO.  I feel like, by just looking at the pics, I'm able to be part of the fun.  :)  I'm a weirdo.  It all makes me want to be in Vegas!!!!

......maybe next year!

Today I did some serious back-to-school shopping.  I'm not one of the usual teachers who hate seeing back-to-school things come out.  It makes me excited!  I mayyyyyy have gone a little overboard shopping today though. :)

I like to buy certain supplies for my students for the beginning of the year.  You might call it OCD or neurotic, but I like everything to be uniform and match. :)  I always buy them one notebook (this year I'll use them for Reading), a box of crayons, and a green go-home folder.  I usually buy tons of other supplies for my students who come without anything.

I'm pretty sure I became a teacher for the school supplies (just kidding!)....but, I love getting new supplies at the beginning of the year.  I bought myself some new crates, new notebooks, new binders (I use them or sight word assessment data, fluency data, and grades), and a new STOOL.  I am SO excited for that stool.   I also LOVE new markers.  So, I got about 10 boxes of those.  HAHA!

On to some other news.....

Tobey and I have been going to the park just about every day.  He loves it.  It's his happy place. :)

I found out that I'm going to be an auntie to a little baby BOY in November!  I couldn't be happier for my sister and her husband.  I can't wait to hold, hug, love, kiss, snuggle, and spoil that little guy!

I made myself an intense list of books I'd like to read this summer.  I'd say I'm a fairly quick reader....but, my list of about 20 books might be pushing it.   I'm going to really make sure I get in my top summer reads though.  I ordered Move Your Bus by Ron Clark.  While I'm waiting for it to get shipped, I picked up The End of Molasses Classes and The Essential 55.  I'm only about 50 pages into The End of Molasses Classes and I cannot put it down.  It makes me want to be a better teacher.  I wish all teachers would read the book and follow through with what Ron Clark suggests in the book.   It is definitely a worthwhile read!

Oh, and visiting RCA is now officially on my bucket list!!

Time for more reading!  I hope you are enjoying your summer so far!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015


It's been a while.... (I am totally singing the song).  But, for's been a long time since I've linked up with Farley for the ultimate of linky parties - CURRENTLY!

Let's get right to it, folks!

Listening:  I hate chirping birds.  It's like nails on a chalkboard to me.  But, the front door is open, so I'm dealing with the annoying chirps.  The sound of the cars going by drowns the chirps out a little bit. 

Loving:  Rain, rain, go away!  .....It finally went away today.  We've had daaaays of rain here in Northeast Ohio and I'm sick of it!  The sun came out for a little today.  It was nice to soak it  up while we have it!

Thinking:  I am not good at being home during the summer.  I have spent the last 4 weeks teaching summer school, which has kept me pretty busy.  But, tomorrow is the last day.  I'll have LOTS of time shop. That's what I do when I'm not working...... it's dangerous!  I need a hobby (other than shopping, haha!)!!!

Wanting:  I'm SO jealous of everyone getting ready to go to Vegas for the conference.  So, so, so jealous.  Maybe next year? 

Needing:  I need to get away.  It is summer VACATION, right???  I need a little change of scenery.  I should've thought about this months ago though.   :)  I'd love to be laying by the ocean with my toes in the sand.  :)  Again....maybe next year? 

All STAR:  I'm really good at figuring stuff out on my own....computers, other technology, work related things, anything really.  I hate, hate, hate asking people for advice or help BUT I love when people ask me for advice or help.  I also love figuring out emotional problems.... (hard to explain)....but, when there is a problem/something is bothering me, I like to figure it out myself.  When someone has a problem, I immediately want to solve it! I'm a fixer and a problem solver by nature.  :) 

Okay, your turn! Go LINK UP!