Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Hey, friends! Sorry the blog posts have been scarce! I've hardly even had time to breathe.  Teaching is.... a challenge.  I've been in school for 13 school days and it feels like I've been teaching for 13 weeks already!  Holy Moly is this a tough job!  I think I'm going through the normal first year teacher stuff -- being completely overwhelmed, beating myself up over things, having a million gabbilion fafillion things to do.  Thanks to some AMAZING teacher bloggers, I'm finding comfort and TONS of awesome strategies to use to help the year along.  More about that further down!  

I wanted to take a second and share with you the few things I've remembered to take pictures of so far this year! :)  The first two images are my student responses to the story A Bad Case of the Stripes by David Shannon.  Friends.  If you haven't read this book with your babies .. DO IT!  Mine stinkin' LOVED this book!  We talked about being proud of who we are and not changing for anyone!  They then filled in these blank portraits with things about themselves they are proud of and colored in their stripes! SO CUTE!

I also wanted to share with you our student generated word wall!  The first picture is terrible.. sorry.  But you get the idea.  In the first week, I had my babies each decorate one letter for the wall and draw a picture of something that begins with this letter.  I wanted my kiddos to feel ownership over their room, and by letting them create the word wall -- they felt involved in the decor of our space! :)

ALRIGHT, I told you earlier that I've been going through some normal first year teacher struggles.  And I think it's not just first year teachers who feel these apprehensions and that overall overwhelmed sense.  I'm so grateful to have received help from an AMAZING teacher blogger named Kathy Griffin.  Click her name to check out her blog.  If you're a new teacher or just looking for some new and wonderful classroom management techniques, read her entry titled Back to School Procedures and check out her Listening Strategies product by clicking the picture below! :) 

I want to leave you with a few things this evening as I know many of you are back to school and getting in the swing of things!! I've been busy planning centers! If you're looking for some literacy centers to practice long vowel sounds, check out this Long Vowel Pack at my TPT store.  Just click the picture below! :)

One of my favorite parts of the day is Math Centers! Pick up this freebie at my store by clicking the link below.  This fun safari themed game covers basic math facts! :)  You could use number dice/cards for math fact fluency and quick recall, or for struggling students or younger grade levels, use regular dice so they can practice adding up the dots! :) 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Whew! What a Week!

Well, friends... I did it! I survived my very first week of school as a teacher.  For those that don't know.. I teach second grade at an urban school in Indianapolis.  The first day was a doozy, that's for sure.  I left feeling more exhausted than ever before and wondering if I was really cut out for this. Then...

The second day was A-Ma-Zing!!!!! I had a chance to really get myself organized... I had a better feel for the schedule and school procedures.. and the kids were feeling a little more at home and calmed down after seeing their friends for the first time in so long.  The next three days were good.. nothing spectacular, but certainly good enough for me to feel like.. yes... this is where I belong.  PTL!  

Yesterday I celebrated my 23rd birthday with some wonderful Italian food from a little hole in the wall restaurant in the city.  I LOVE a good dive restaurant.. seriously.. I will take one over a fancy pants restaurant any day! 

Today I am excited to celebrate some awesome accomplishments of a few fellow bloggy friends!! I'm participating in two giveaways this week so head on over to these FABULOUS blogs and check them out! 

Tammy at 1,2,3 Teach With Me is celebrating 400 followers! Congrats, Tammy! :) 

and Patti at A Series of 3rd Grade Events is celebrating 300 followers.  Congrats, Patti! :) 

That's it for me today! I'm excited to relax while I can this weekend... Not going to let lesson planning get in the way of a little R and R! :)  For those of you who are back to school.. How have your first few weeks gone? For those of you who haven't returned... how much more do you have left to do in your room before you'll feel "ready"? 

Monday, August 13, 2012

First Day Fun

Hey friends... I just wanted to take a few seconds to share with you about my very first day teaching.  First off, someone, PLEASE... puh-LEAAASSSEEE.. make me feel better.  First days are always a little chaotic, right? *say yes, say yes, say yes!*  

I feel like between figuring out student lunch numbers and who was a car rider vs. who was a bus rider.. then what bus they RIDE .. I didn't get a chance to even take a deep breath! Good gravy! It was exhausting, but now that I've had a chance to get home and reflect... I think it's going to be a good year.  

I do believe these kids are going to challenge me and really push me to my limits.  I have a chatty bunch, that's for sure.  It's a large class of 28 in a pretty small room so the constant voices were a little overwhelming at first.  And can we just talk about how many stinkin' procedures there are to teach?!? ;)  It blows my mind, though, that I have just completed my first day teaching.  The day FLEW by and I have to admit, I've got some pretty sweet kids! I'm really excited to see what the future holds with this class. 

Don't forget - today is the last day to get 28% off in my TPT Store!! I went shopping yesterday and got some AWESOME stuff. 

Saturday, August 11, 2012


I'm so excited for two events that are officially upon us. 

1) The TpT Back to School Sale.  I have my cart loaded up with some amazing products to last me the whole year.  I'm so excited to SHOP!!! These sales only come around once in a while so I try to take full advantage! :) My whole store will be 20% off and with TPT's Coupon Code, you can save 28% off all my products!  Be sure to check out a lot of stores before you make your purchases -- there are SO many great products on TpT from new and old sellers alike! *COUPON CODE = BTS12*

2) My first day of teaching!!! I had new teacher orientation all last week and Meet the Teacher night on Thursday.  Both of which were AWESOME -- but oh my goodness am I feeling these early mornings!!! It's going to take my body a while to adjust.  Anyway... Monday will be my first day teaching my very own class of second graders.  I'm so excited I got to meet 21 out of 27 of them on Thursday.  I'm nervous but THRILLED to be able to spend a few days getting to know my kiddos! On my first day read-aloud roster: First Day Jitters and Wemberly Worried.  We will also be doing some awesome community building activities, coming up with some classroom rules, and OF COURSE --  Practicing Procedures! 

I'm EXHAUSTED.  Stayed up tonight to watch an awesome meteor shower.  So cool! I'm headed to bed so I can get up bright and early to SHOP!!!!!!!! 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

People! Get pumped up!

The way I figure, whether you're pumped up for the beginning of the school year or not, there is something to be MAJORLY pumped up for!! Since I'm suuuuper nice, I'm gonna tell you.... Ready? 

If I've learned anything while trying to prepare my first year classroom for kiddies, it's that teachers LOOOOOVE LOVE LOVE a good bargain! So get PUMPED UP for this amazing, two day, back to school sale that Teachers Pay Teachers is having!  Some awesome sellers will be putting their stores on sale during this time AND TpT will honor an additional 10% off .. totaling a savings of up to 28%  You're gonna want to stock up, people! The sale will be on Sunday, August 12th and Monday, August 13th. 

I'm so excited to announce that my store will be 28% off.  Teachers work so hard and they spend so much of their money on their classrooms so that their students may succeed.  I'm thrilled to be able to offer all my items at this discounted rate! :) You can check out my store by clicking on the TPT picture above.  Take special note of the coupon code -- you'll want to use that during the sale! :)  

I'm totally not alone in this two day sale extravaganza! Click the picture below to check out a list of some amazing teachers who will also be participating in the sale! 

I seriously can't wait! I've got so much on my wish list!!! Not only will I be gearing up for the beginning of the year, but I will be buying some seasonal products as well! I know I'll need them down the line and you can't beat a 28% savings! 

Speaking of seasonal.. though it may seem early to share this, I'm SOOO SO excited about it.  I just finished an adorable Halloween unit.  I wish it was October already! 

I had a blast making this unit! I don't typically get into Halloween, but scrappin' doodles had some ADORABLE clip art and I couldn't wait to use it!  Check it out at my store! 

Okay... can we get personal for a second? Friends, I just can NOT believe that I'm a teacher.  Like OFFICIALLY a teacher.  You work so hard throughout high school and college... and then you land here, and it's so surreal!  Tonight was Meet the Teacher night.  I met 21 families of my 27 second graders! As of tonight, they know me.. ME!.. as their teacher! I just can't believe it! I'm so grateful to all those people who supported me along the way and I'm sending all the glory to God for leading me down this path! I'M SO NERVOUS  EXCITED FOR MONDAY!

As you all continue to prepare for your sweet kids to enter your room (or maybe the already have!) .. I wanted to share a document that you might be able to use!  Click the picture to download some free polka dot word wall headers! 

Alright, that's it for me tonight.  Don't forget....
See you guys Novemeber 12th and 13th.  I'll be the crazy one buying a million gabillion things! ;) 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Linky Lollapalooza! Currently and a Classroom Tour!

I just got home from a long day in my classroom. Now I'm comfortable at home, snuggled up with my puppies and ready to link up with some fabulous bloggers! :) 

First up -- I'm sure you've been wondering what all my current thoughts, dreams, needs, and whatnot are.  Well, rest assured -- you shall wait no longer!  I'm linking up with Farley from Oh Boy 4th Grade so you can know everything I'm currently up to! 

Don't forget to head over to Farley's blog to join in and share what you're currently up to!

AND NOW FOR THE BIG REVEAL!! I've been working pretty hard the last few weeks to take an empty classroom and turn it into a less empty, slightly more beautiful classroom.  Our school has some pretty serious rules regarding classroom decor.  They prefer us not to use much commercial education stuff, we can't hang things from ceilings, no couches or the like, and as many "natural" colors and materials as possible.  That being said .. I couldn't stand the idea of only natural colors so I managed to mix in some pops of color while still maintaining a pretty good balance.  I'm pretty proud of the results and can't wait to continue filling my room and eventually IN 10 DAYS, fill it with wild and crazy sweetie pea children! Take a look! :) 

View from the Door

View from the Guided Reading Table... I can see eeeevvvverrrything! :) 

Guided Reading Organization.  There is a basket for each group that I will keep everything we'll need for that week in! 

My b-e-a-utiful library.. complete with lots of BOOKS! :) The two small rugs I got with Target gift cards and I got the big rug for 18 dollars from Big Lots! :)  See my "natural" book bins sprinkled in there?! ;)

Calendar and the edge of my library!

*MY* very own Teacher Desk! See the hanging file organizer behind it? LOVE! 

On my desk... soon to be filled with sweet, sweet candy!  Starbursts for when I catch someone being a good citizen (helping others, etc).. and Hershey's Kisses for my super smart second graders! Couldn't pass these jars up at Hobby Lobby!

Organization behind my desk!  Bins to keep everything I will need for each day, a box to keep books I want to stay nice, my toolkit full of amazing office supplies, and the beginning of my organizational binders!

*LOVE* my new mailboxes! My momma bought them for me as a Classroom-warming gift!  Underneath you'll see clipboards and whiteboards.  I will house the items for my literacy centers in those green caddies!

Last but not least... my classroom jobs pocket chart!! To the right, you'll see my behavior bingo -- this is a classwide positive behavior reinforcer that also includes practice with some of our math standards.  You'll also see my boggle board that I use for early finishers!! You can pick up both of these items at my TPT Store!

Sorry, no cute bulletin board pics for you!  I will be filling up my walls with tons of student created stuff!!! My kids will be making the letters for our word wall on the first day and I can't wait to hang up some of their work all around the room! 

Alright, that's it for my humble abode! Be sure to head on over Brigid's Daily Lesson Log and join in on this FUN linky! I can't WAIT to see what you all have done with your classrooms! :)