Thursday, July 6, 2017

Under Construction

I don't want to close my blog while I'm looking for a new design because it still receives  lot of Pinterest traffic.

I do however hate how it looks when you land here. :(

For now

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Silent Digraph Freebie

Hello all! I hope you've had a great holiday break. It's been quite a long time since I've posted but I've still been reading, IGing, and pinning away on Pinterest.

I have such a respect for those bloggers that continually bring us updates, products, life stories, ideas, and support. It takes a lot of your precious personal time.

Here is a freebie for you. We studied silent digraphs. I have an ancient (okay not ancient but definitely outdated by todays powerpoint standards and my capabilities....but if it's not broke ya know) powerpoint that uses a clipart finger to cover up the letter that is silent in a digraph. This is a followup worksheet that's kind of fun. The kids get a kick out of the giant finger on the screen and cutting out the fingers on the worksheet.
{click here}
Feel free to pin! I have some more freebies I've been working on and I'll be back to post them while I"m on break. Hopefully, haha.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Tens Frame Flashcards

I'll say it. Back to School is rough. I'm definitely earning my paycheck this year. I have some sweeties though, too. :)

We still use Math in Focus (mostly) to teach math. I've created math journals for the first few units and I still create things from time to time for it. The math program stays the same for a few years but the kids certainly do not! So sometimes we do in fact have to reinvent the wheel. (Or go to Pinterest)

Well, I went to Pinterest looking for number word flashcards. I found some. They were alright. I also wanted a visual to go with them...I found some subitizing flashcards which are neat but I wanted good 'ol tens frames because we often have a difficult time with those in the beginning. Well I thought number words and tens frames together on one card were a perfect way to practice. However....Pinterest let me down folks. Now, I'm not saying they're not out there but I am saying I didn't find what I was looking for. So, I did what any crafty teacher with a few extra minutes (yeah right) and some math clipart would do. I made them! I'm pretty happy with how they turned out.

I made numbers 0-20 with words. I made them with filled tens frames and with blank tens frames.

We cut them out (which took pretty much all of math time, btw) and put them in our baggies. Then when we had a chance we took them out and practiced number order, then we mixed them up and practiced reading number words (I did encourage the kiddos to count the circles when they got stuck) and then we did a lesson on comparing numbers with them. I used them for greater than/less than war.

I had them shuffle their cards and put them face down. Then flip one over and build a tower with linking cubes to match. The greater tower won. (Or conversely the lesser tower or tower with fewer cubes) It took them a while to get into the swing of it but they caught on and enjoyed themselves. I let them keep score. We played until the timer went off. (I used the handy dandy Dojo timer!)

If you'd like to check them out on TpT click here

I added this to the packet in case you don't have ideas for the blank tens frames:

Monday, August 3, 2015


I'm joining in on the TpT Back to School sale!!!

It's time for me to go leave all that feedback on the great products I've purchased and loved. THEN time to empty my TpT wish list and use a savings code. Ahh, I love a good sale. :D

Click here to check out my store

(Graphic from First Grade Fever)

Thursday, July 30, 2015

T-T-Teach Me How to Dojo

Okay, I'll say it...sometimes my blog titles make me giggle. I'm not sure any of you get a chuckle but I do. That one is a play on Teach Me How to Dougie...oh....the giggles.

Back to business ::puts on teacher face::

I go back to school in 8 days. Well officially back because I've been going in periodically anyway. But I'm back "on the clock" next Tuesday morning with meetings and what not.

This year my co-teacher and I want to do a new behavior management plan. The things I look for in a good behavior plan are

  • Consistency
  • Ease of use
  • Ease of understanding (for kiddos and parents)
  • Clearly defined
  • Works for me-works for that particular class
  • Practical
  • Inexpensive!
  • Unobtrusive (doesn't take away from classroom decor, teaching, learning, space, instructional time)
When I first started teaching I used good 'ol card flips. It's what my mentor teacher used during student teaching, it's what I saw work (very well). It was easy. I used it for a few years then I was itching for something new. I was introduced to the clip chart. I love it. I created several versions, it was super cute, had room for positives and negatives and gave an overall view of the day. I read many blogs about it and I found some articles. 

Well, I'm still happy with the clip chart. I like that the kindergarten teachers used it so they are already acclimated to it and adjust quickly to my personal variations. HOWEVER, I've been using it for a few years and I WANT A CHANGE. lol Sometimes you change adapt for the kiddos and sometimes you have to make it fresh for yourself. I mean you're the one stuck in {first grade} every year.

Last summer I was introduced to Class Dojo. It's an online behavior management system. You assign each kid an avatar. Then the kids can earn or lose points based onto choices that they make throughout the day. The neat thing is that you get to customize the categories to meet the needs of your specific group of kids and you get to set their point value. 

So if sharing happens to be a big problem in your room you can make it worth more points and that will help to encourage the kiddos to share. I'm still working on my categories and point values. I'm struggling with the part of knowing about how many points I expect them to earn daily so I've had to accept that I'l need to use it for a few weeks and tweak it. 

I've created some things to help make this transition go smoothly for me. I'm going to write their names on varied avatars and when they move to a new reward level I'm going to move their avatar along the way. This will be a cute visual for me.
customize your point levels and rewards
use mine or use them to help give you some ideas

I've also created some recording sheets to send home to the parents. Starting off I am not going to invite the parents. I just don't want midday emails asking why Susie lost 1pt for a bathroom break. I'm going to have them color how many points they have. I am still thinking of consequences or what to do if they are in the negative. Ideas?
class dojo will produce reports for this data but I wanted an easy to use recording page
click here or the image to get it for FREE on TpT
Oh and one of my favorite things is that you can use this on a standard PC, cell phone, or tablet. This way I can take my phone or iPad into the hallway, cafeteria, field trips, etc and effectively reinforce behavior. I can also give a code to specials teachers if they would like to use it when they have my kiddos. :D 

different point levels for their avatars to go through
write kiddo names on the blanks

Monday, July 20, 2015

Some of my must haves

I'm almost down to my last free Monday. Let's all take a moment of silence to really consider what this means. **sniffle**

No more late night Sundays in bed reading or watching Netflix
No more sleeping until my body wakes
No more laying in bed and checking every social media app and email half a dozen times before actually getting out of bed
No more leisurely mornings spent in my jammies
No more home cooked breakfasts (because who has time for that on a work day?!)
No more morning workouts when it's way less crowded
No more spur of the moment trips to the movies

Yes I'm excited to meet the kiddos. Yes there are times that I get a bit bored. Yes I miss seeing my coworkers regularly.

Well since I am gearing up back to school I've decided to join the Monday Must Haves.

When going back to school I have touch up my bulletin boards or create new ones. Last year I went with a Lego theme (I may reuse this one, it was too stinkin' cute!)
original post here
Well to get those bulletin boards up and running I love a good palm tacker. I ordered one a few years ago and I haven't looked back. I don't use it often but it's so handy when I'm putting up bulletin boards by myself.

Here is the one I have:

Organizational drawers/baskets/etc

Another must-have for me would be dice. I LOVE dice.
Regular dice, colorful dice, dice with number words, dice with letters, dice with large numbers. I just love dice in general. They're great for activities and the kiddos get a kick out of using them. My letter dice are foam so I don't even have to fret over the noise of 24 firsties rolling dice.

Those are just a few things that I love having. There are a ton more. These just make the beginning of the year a bit easier for me.