Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A Whole Lotta Nothing!

So…it's been awhile.  I got shingles.  And I missed some school.  And I basically spent 5 days watching Grey's Anatomy, writing sub plans & praying-to-God that my kids wouldn't be setting my room ablaze.  When I finally got back to school, I was up to my elbows in papers and grades.  I spent the weekend getting caught up and I finally feel like I'm back to my usual prepared self.

So I have some random things for you.  A sort of update on my life:

First, here's a top/necklace shot:

Top: Express, Necklace: Francesca's (no longer available)

This was inspired by MK of Outfit Posts (she's fabulous - go stalk her immediately).  I loved how she played with a top and necklace of similar colors.  I own an obscene amount of cobalt blue so that was my go-to.

We also did a fun reading/writing activity two weeks ago.  And by we, I mean my students and the substitute teacher (bless her!).  We are focusing on characters in Reader's Workshop and opinion writing in Writer's Workshop right now so this was perfect!  I had all the kiddos pick their favorite character and then I made some outlines so all they would have to do was color them:

If you can't tell, these beauties are Pigeon, Moose (from Z is for Moose) and Froggy.  We had a wiiiiiide range of favorite characters also including Arthur, Skippyjon Jones, Pete the Cat, Junie B. Jones, etc.  NONE of my firsties picked Llama Llama (can you believe it?!) so I picked him and (luckily) created this model the day before I got sick.

I wish I had taken pictures of the kiddos' work - they are hanging on the bulletin board in our hallway!

We also celebrated the 100th day yesterday!  My team & I are very tight so we decided to have 4 different activities for the 100th day and have the students rotate by class to each room.  So I taught the same lesson 4 times to all the classes.  We did a writing activity about what we would be like when we're 100 years old.

They. Loved. It.  We had a nice talk about things that happen when you're 100 and they had some HILARIOUS ideas for what they would be like.  These included things like: being retired, having no teeth, sewing, gardening, being the head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs, having their own house and have a walker.  Soo precious!  I especially loved some of the details in their drawings.

What are YOU doing for the 100th day?

Friday, January 17, 2014

Schedule Linky Party!

YES!  I am so excited that Amelia from Where the Wild Things Learn is hosting a linky about schedules.  You can bet that I will be cyber stalking everyone participating.  I LOVE SCHEDULES.  I don't know why but they make me happy!  Click the button below and link up too.

Here's our daily lives in Room 102:

Morning Work: MWF will complete a math spiral review, Tuesday/Thursday we take a timed test of basic addition/subtraction facts.  We grade both the review and the timed tests as a class.  This is also when my students work on their morning jobs (sharpening pencils, preparing math games for math, logging into the class laptops, taking lunch count and attendance).

Reader's Workshop: We open with a morning message that the students help correct.  Then we have a mini lesson, the students read in their book boxes, I work with students one-on-one and then we share.  We are beginning spelling this week so this fits into the second half of our Reader's Workshop block.  Our spelling words are based on a certain patterns (this week is silent e) and each day we do something different: introducing the words Monday, doing activities/games Tuesday-Thursday and testing on Friday.

Math: My favorite part of the day!  We do EnVision math so we begin with students working with manipulatives.  Then we watch the learning video.  I have my students split up into math groups.  My 2 higher groups complete their math work without me.  Half is done with a partner and the other half is done independently and checked with a partner.  Then they go to either math computer programs or math games.  These alternate everyday.  While this happens, I meet with my 3rd group and we work through the math assignment together.  After completing the guided practice, independent practice and problem solving, they go to computers.  When I am done with them, the other 2 groups come to the carpet and I lead them through the problem solving part of the assignment.  Then I look at all of their papers.  I HIGHLY recommend math groups - I love it!

Recess & Lunch: This is my lunch break!  Noms :)

Daily 5: This is when some of my students work with our reading specialist or ELL teacher.  My students that stay with me are engaged in Daily 5 rotations.  I will have to do a separate post later to explain how I lay out my rotations because I don't fully follow Daily 5.  This is when I pull my small reading groups.

Writer's Workshop: This is our writing time.  It's my firsties favorite part of the day!  We do a typical workshop model with a mini-lesson, students working while I confer with students and sharing at the end.  We have a letter specials schedule and on C days we have computer lab at this time.  On those days we don't have writing, but my students work on it during their Daily 5 rotations.

Specials: As I mentioned above, we have a letter specials schedule and rotate between art, music, library and PE.  This is my plan time.  We have 1st grade collaboration on Tuesdays but my team is so tight, we usually meet twice a week.

Recess: More planning for me - yay!

Social Studies/Science: We alternate if we are doing science or social studies.  This is the toughest part of the day because my kiddos are still wound up from recess and tired from a long day of learning!  To try and resolve this, I have been reading a chapter from our class book to let them settle down before we start :)

After that, we pack & stack, gather our belongings and we're off to buses!

I can't wait to see what your schedule is like! :)

Please leave a comment with what you think of my schedule or questions you have.


Monday, January 13, 2014

That's That Stuff I Like

Happy Monday!

I'm dedicating a post to some of my favorite things - teacher clothes and anchor charts!

When I first started this blog, I had hoped to do some style posts.  Teacher clothes are a beautiful and complicated thing - trying to look fashionable yet accommodate standing up all day/bending down/sitting criss cross on the floor etc.

Here's what I wore + my style inspiration (J's Everyday Fashion):

Top: Express, Pants: Target (old), Flats: Steve Madden via DSW

I'm pretty proud of myself on matching this look.  Please ignore my shadowy background vs. this obviously professional blogger look.  I definitely could use more accessories, but that's my big goal for my next paycheck.  I'm lusting after tons of gorgeous jewels at Stella & Dot.  Their Spring 2014 line just came out today!

As far as this outfit for teacher wear, it was perfect!  I love Express portofinos for school because the v-neck feels feminine without being too revealing and the shirts are insanely comfortable.  They're a little pricey, but well worth the quality!  They're on sale right now for buy one, get one $29.90.  {Disclaimer: my blog has around 12 followers so no, I'm definitely not getting paid for saying any of this.  I just love a good deal.}  I love the colored pants with a print!  One of my students asked me if they were jeggings - HA!  Shoe-wise, flats were a MUST - it's still somewhat snowy in patches of the parking lot.

I do have to give a shoutout to my girl Darcy for inspiring me to link my outfit like a REAL fashion blogger.  If you are looking for fashion ideas, definitely check out Darcy's blog (linked above) - she's a good friend from college and now in the real world :)

Back to teaching.  I whipped up an anchor chart really quick today during my plan.  As I've mentioned before, we do EnVision Math (anyone else out there?!) and our topic right now is about number patterns to 120.  This will help us build some background before starting place value.  We worked exclusively with the 100s chart today to notice patterns in the rows and columns.  I think this will be a great thing for my firsties to refer back to :)

{those gorgeous letters for the board header are here}

Please ignore the really bad not straight line--actually please don't look.  My OCD is freaking out.  This was attempt 2 after I drew too many lines the first time (grr) and I refused to make a 3rd one.  Also sorry that my 1's look like lowercase l's.  Ha!  But I love this puppy and know my kiddos will get a lot of good use out of it :)  And it's another great thing in my room to point at when they ask questions.

What do you think of today's style?  Do you use EnVision Math?  Do you use a hundreds chart to help teach place value?

Can't wait to hear what you have to say!


Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Week That Was

Hope all of you teachers out there had a good first week back!  I am linking up with Doodle Bugs again this week to show you what we were up to in Room 102.


We started our character unit study in Reader's Workshop this week.  We created this anchor chart:

{of course all my little darlings had to worry about why the girl on the side doesn't have a face}

I added to it each day as we learned the ways we can learn more about characters: actions, likes/dislikes, dialogue.

I used several mentor texts as well.  We used a Froggy book (Froggy Goes To Hawaii) for actions because there are so many actions!!  We used Chrysanthemum for likes/dislikes - one of my absolute favorite books!  Dialogue was an easy choice - Junie B. Jones!  I have all of the Junie B books and she's easily my favorite book character.


We began our 3rd unit in Writer's Workshop as well.  SO excited for my kiddos to start persuasive writing.  I made this anchor chart yesterday; this was inspired by Spotted in First Grade.  

I cropped my kiddos names out but it says "Writing Goals" & after each goal are post-it flags with their names.  My firsties met with me one-on-one & we discussed which goal would be the best fit for them.  I  put their name by their choice for what to work on.


One of my newest students gave me this as a present yesterday:

It was so nice I didn't have the heart to tell her I'm a KU fan.  One of my little sweeties saw the whole thing & is a diehard Mizzou fan (and knows I hate them!) and I was SO PROUD of him for not spilling that I like KU to her.  Not sure what to do with this now - ha!


We started Class Dojo!  One of my good teacher friends at school uses it with her kindergarteners & loves it.  I really wanted to try something new with behavior management and this was perfect!  I felt really inspired to do it after reading this post from Erica Bohrer.  If you're thinking about using Class Dojo then this is a MUST READ for all the ins & outs.


This one is just about me - I did some shopping today and am super excited!  It's been awhile since I've shopped for myself and I love finding new things for my teacher wardrobe.  Here's some of the great things I got while I was out this morning.  Click the links to find them online :)

Sorry the picture quality isn't the best but I DID take it with my NEW iPHONE 5.  YAY!  I'm so happy to have upgraded to a faster phone!  I already love it, especially the fingerprint login.  So cool!

Also - I do realize all of these clothes are from Express.  I used to work there.  I have a problem.

Hope you have a great weekend,

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Things That Make Me Happy

Something you should know about me is that I love to smile.  Here's some things that I am loving lately:

1. THE BACHELOR.  Let's be honest, I've been watching this since I was about 12 years old (or whenever the 2nd season came on).  I actually almost applied for it this season (shh!).  I love the start of a fresh season, the predictions, the extravagant dates, the amazing clothes all the girls wear & whoever the current Bachelor is (except Brad.  I banned his 2nd season because I loathed him).

2. Being back at school.  I loved break, but it's definitely nice to be back in a routine.  I love to accomplish things/complete tasks so having a daily to-do list makes me feel so much more productive :)

3.  THIS. DOG.  I don't know why I'm so random & weird, but his face just cracks me up every time.

4. The fact that my new phone case came in the mail today!!  Which means I can feel safe upgrading to an iPhone 5.  Click the photo for the link to the site - it comes in 3 different patterns and is a STEAL.

5. This freebie from one of my favorites Cara Carroll:

I basically love everything she does & who can pass up FREE?!

6. This video:

Anyone who knows me knows that I have a super huge heart for special needs.  This story is incredible and makes my heart happy :)

Here's to a great rest of the week - full of smiles!


Thursday, January 2, 2014

Memories & Resolutions.

Hi there bloggy friends.  While I am excited for 2014, it is slowly but surely reminding me how few days are left of winter break :(

This post is slightly delayed (which may or may not have something to do with the fact that I've been reading the Divergent series nonstop since the 31st) but I'm finally sitting down to write it.  2013 was an incredible year.  I am a little sad to let it go, honestly.

I'm linking this loooong puppy up with the girls at Blog Hoppin'.  I'm a day late, but this post is about my family & friends.  I might be cheating (SORRY!) but I wanted to first focus on the wonderful memories with my friends and family in 2013.

JANUARY began with student teaching in 2nd grade and my best friend's 21st birthday.  My other best friend & I made this beauty for her to celebrate some of our favorite memories in our decade long friendship.  Perhaps you've seen it on Pinterest ;)

FEBRUARY was my first experience with a holiday party in school (terrifying) & my other best friend's 21st celebrated with an out of town trip.  Here's the 3 of us celebrating:

MARCH was leaving 2nd grade & moving to 1st grade to finish student teaching, spending QT with my mom & my best friends' moms at sorority Mom's Day & celebrating my pup's 8th birthday.  Look at this angel face:

APRIL was celebrating autism awareness, becoming an alum of my sorority and spray tans galore (my guiltiest pleasure).  Can you even recognize this bronzed beaut?

(several seniors at our last Sigma Kappa meeting)

MAY was hard.  It was a lot of goodbyes: my first graders, my incredible cooperating teacher, my roommates, my house in Maryville, my sorority sisters, my best friends, my college.  It was my graduation, my brother's high school graduation, moving back to Kansas City, getting TWO jobs (Express! and a REAL LIFE TEACHING JOB) and subbing everyday.

JUNE was working two jobs, working retail at Express, working as a TA with some incredibly special kiddos and finding out I was teaching FIRST. GRADE.  Getting the dream.

(just some of the obscene amount of clothes from Express I now own)

JULY was working with NEW special kiddos, buying a whooooole lotta stuff for my classroom, crafting a whoooole lotta stuff for my classroom and setting everything up for the first day of the real world:

AUGUST was adulthood, the first day of school, saying goodbye to my baby bro as he left for Wyoming and countless nights working late at school.

SEPTEMBER was my birthday, BUYING A CAR, and still trying to figure out what it meant to be an adult.

OCTOBER was visiting Wyoming (it snowed), finally checking off my dream of seeing Wicked, celebrating Halloween first grade style & visiting Northwest for Homecoming with my best friends.

NOVEMBER was simple.  Not letting myself get overly stressed, enjoying quality time with friends & family and a whoooole lotta food:

DECEMBER was watching my kiddos perform at their holiday show, Christmas with my family and lots of ugly sweaters.

(I really have the most incredible teammates in 1st grade!)

(I actually do have other family besides my dog)

A great year that ended with a great night.  I spent it with some of my favorite people:

As far as resolutions go, I'm not sure I have one.  Maybe just to keep on keepin' on.  I want to keep staying close with my friends from college.  It may not be the same as when we all lived in the same small town (or even the same building!), but I think we can do it.  I want to keep staying less stressed; keep remembering that no matter what things will get done.  I want to keep trying harder everyday to be the best teacher I can be.  I want to have a great year.  Instead of a resolution, I guess I can leave you with this.  My reminder for 2014.

Happy New Year, friends.