Thursday, April 3, 2014

April Currently

It's April!  Thank goodness.  March seemed to last FOREVER.  Perhaps that was because it was still snowing like crazy.  Ugh.  

Finally spring has sprung in the northeast.  I can actually see grass and the remaining snow drifts are melting quickly!  A new month means it's time to link up with Farley at Oh Boy 4th Grade for this month's Currently.

Listening - Let Her Go by Passenger.  Not to be confused with Let It Go from Frozen.  I might be the last person on the face of this planet that hasn't seen that movie yet, haha! 

Loving - I cannot believe this is my "loving" for April.  Running is a new-found love for me, as I've only really been running for less than a year.  My running coach gathered a training group for an upcoming 10 mile hilly race called the Mountain Goat.  Let me be clear - I have no intention of actually running this race, haha!  I just like running with a group and my awesome coach.  We started a few weeks ago and have been adding a mile each week.  This is quite challenging for me.  When we started I had never run more than 3 miles.  Our first week we ran 4.7 miles, yikes.  Last weekend I went a whopping 7.5 miles.  WHAT?!!  Crazy.  And I love it.

Thinking - It's not even 10pm.  I'm exhausted.  My bed is calling... loudly.

Wanting - I am seriously wanting some more energy lately.  I'm not sure what my problem has been the last week or so, but I have been completely drained for no apparent reason.  Time to get more sleep perhaps.

Needing - I am in serious need of INSPIRATION!  I haven't blogged in a month.  I haven't created anything for my classroom.  I'm in a serious slump.  I'm blaming it on the March snow.  Hopefully the sun will bring me some new ideas!

Hours and Last Day - Our contract hours are from 8:20-3:45.  The kids arrive at 8:35 and leave at 3:25.  Not too shabby.  On the downside, our last day isn't until June 26th.  That seems like a century away.  This is the latest in the year that I've ever taught.  Good thing I love my job!!

What are you Currently up to?

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Sight Word Game {Flash Freebie} and Word Work Activities Update

Just a quick post tonight to announce a lil' FLASH FREEBIE!  

I love the sight word game BOOM and until now I had just been mixing in some BOOM cards with the sight word cards that I already had.  (Which were plain and boring and did NOT match my BOOM cards.  And of course, that just won't do!)

This game includes the Dolch Pre-Primer, Primer, First, and Second Grade lists.

So snag it while it's FREE!

And, if you already own my Word Work Activities, I have updated them to include this game!  If you don't already own it… now would be a good time to buy it!  With the addition of the Sight Word BOOM game the price will be going up tomorrow!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

March Currently and a Sunday Five for Friday

Ah, the weekend.  And a new month.  And more snow.  Well, two out of three isn't bad!!  Time to kick off the month with Farley at Oh Boy 4th Grade and share my week with a Sunday Five for Friday at Doodle Bugs Teaching.

Listening - It is snowing.  Again.  I'm beginning to think that the sound of the plow is NEVER going to go away.  I know I live in Syracuse, but this is getting ridiculous!  I'm very afraid that I will be blogging about snow in April's Currently, too.  EEK!

Loving - Well, I squeezed the February budget and scraped up the money to buy my new camera bag.  I am in LOVE.  It is beautiful… and roomy… and chevron of course!  So excited about this purchase!  It's a purse and camera bag all in one.  Want one?  Check out Darby Mack Designs.  They have a TON of styles and my bag came in less than two weeks, even though it was on back order!  I highly recommend them.

Thinking - Sun and spring will happen… right?!

Wanting - I bought a lifetime license for KG Fonts during the big TPT sale!  So psyched to start using all her fonts.  I had been scraping by a with one-font license here and there, but now I have carte blanche to use all her fonts, all the time.  I feel like a real big shot now.  Let the creative juices flow!!

Needing - I need nothing.  What a good feeling!

????? - 45 days.  I have been reading others' posts and this is a really tough one on most people's blogs!  I'll give you a hint…

Okay, now onto my week.  We returned after a nice, long week off for February break.  Everyone was grumpy on Monday morning, haha.  And I think this is the first week we have had school for five straight days, with no days off or snow days.  Wow.  Good thing we made it count!

This week we celebrated our 100th Day!  I kept it simple and we celebrated with a hat.  Love me some hats on first graders.  These 100th Day Ten Frame Party Hats came from Kelly Dolling at Teacher Idea Factory.

This week we worked on place value.  We use base-10 blocks to count the days we've been in school, so the kids have a lot of background knowledge by the time we get to place value in math.  Here we are playing Place Value Top-It.

It's been forever since we've practiced sight words on our iPads.  This week we worked on the First Grade Dolch sight word list using the app Word Bingo.

Stop the presses.  I actually got a bulletin board prepped and ready in plenty of time for the upcoming holiday.  Gasp.  This NEVER happens.  Bulletin boards are not my thing!  I'm proud that on Friday I was able to put this up.  Aren't these leprechaun's adorable?  This Leapin' Leprechaun craftivity is a creation from Teri at A Cupcake for the Teacher.

If I were a leprechaun I would go to the other side of the rainbow to steal gold and go steal some diamonds.

This week I was a WINNER!  I won $30 to spend at Teachers Pay Teachers, just in time for the big sale.  Christy and Tammy at Fluttering Through First Grade rock!  Thanks a million ladies!  I snagged a ton of great items during the sale.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

BIG Sale and New Products

Just a quick post to let you know I'm participating in the big sale.  There's nothing I like better than a good TPT sale.  My own wish list is ready, baby!  How about yours?

{My Store} will be 20% off.  Be sure to use the code TPT3 when checking out for an extra 10% off!

March is just around the corner, so be sure to check out my St. Patrick's Day products…

Check out what's included in this pack…

I also recently finished my Holiday QR Code Bundle - Read the Room.  This bundle saves you money big time… especially if you get it on sale!  It includes Read the Room QR Codes for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine's Day, and St. Patrick's Day.

While you're in my store, check out a couple of my best selling products...

Happy Shopping!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Mystery Readers

How do you involved parents (and other family members) in the classroom?  In my classroom we have Mystery Readers!  I've been meaning to post about Mystery Readers forever (great intentions, right?)

In the beginning of the school year I invite parents to sign up to come in throughout the year and be a Mystery Reader in the classroom.  The expectations of parents are very simple.  I ask them to choose a date, send me some clues about themselves in advance, bring in a book to read to the class, and keep it all a secret from their first grader!

The great part for me is that I can set the schedule in advance, according to our school calendar.  I have Mystery Readers in about twice a month, at the end of the day on Fridays.  This takes only about 15 minutes of our classroom time, but it is worth SO much more to the kids when their family member walks in to read!  

Once the schedule is set, all I have to do is email the Mystery Reader about a week ahead of time, remind them of their scheduled date, and ask them to reply with five clues about themselves.

During the week I reveal one clue each day during Morning Meeting.  I ask parents to send me clues that start off generic, and get more specific.  By the end of the week my first graders can usually figure out who is going to walk through the door in the afternoon.  Clues might include things like:

I have one son and one daughter.
My favorite food is pizza.
We have two dogs and one cat.
I work as a nurse in a pediatrician's office.
My favorite family vacation is our annual camping trip to the Adirondack's.

My firsties LOVE having their family members in to read to the class!  Usually my Mystery Readers bring their child's favorite book to read, and their child just lights right up.

I also love that extended family gets involved too.  I've had parents, grandparents, and even aunts/uncles in to read to the class!

I try to make sure to take pictures of each Mystery Reader and I include these in our Video Yearbook at the end of the year.  It's such a special memory for those families.

Want to start having Mystery Readers in your classroom?  Just {Click HERE} for a FREE editable schedule!  You can insert a text box with your available dates, or just handwrite them in.  I know your class will love it just as much as mine!

Happy Reading!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Valentines Recap and a Giveaway Winner

Valentine's Day is over and I am officially on February break.  One glorious week off in the middle of this dreaded winter weather, wahoo!!!

Not only was this the week leading into break (and the kids knew it), but it was filled with Valentine's Day activities… AND a full moon.  Yikes.  We were all pretty ready for early dismissal yesterday by the time 12:15 rolled around.

Here are some of the fun activities we worked on this week to celebrate…

Of course we read my favorite Valentine's Day read aloud, Somebody Loves You Mr. Hatch.  This is such a touching story.  If you don't own it, I highly recommend you put it on your wish list!

We have been working on opinion writing this month.  This week, we decided whether we preferred Sweethearts or Sweet Tarts.    

This activity came from Susan Jones' Be Mine, Valentine pack.  I LOVE all her writing activities!

For word work, we worked on our Valentine's Day QR Code - Read the Room.  They especially loved the picture of Cupid and all week kept telling me they'd been hit by Cupid.

In reading group, we practiced Sweetheart Synonyms.

Of course, we passed out Valentines.  There was A LOT of loot!

My 200 Follower Giveaway has ended, and the winner is Lori R.  
Be sure to check your email Lori!
And thanks to all who participated.  I can't wait to get to the next blogging milestone!!!