Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Birthday Bags and ANOTHER Sale, Wahoo!

Back to School is closing in on me.  Must.  Get.  Ready.

I have been hammering away at my to-do list and I'm actually seeing some progress (wahoo!).

But before I share what I've been up to, you need to know that TPT is having ANOTHER back to school sale!  Can you believe it?!  This is perfect timing for teachers like me who are going back right after Labor Day and are really getting things ready right now.  Even though I scored big during this month's earlier sale, my wish list has magically grown again, haha!!  Be sure to check out my TPT Store for any items you may need to kick off the new year.  And of course, use the promo code BOOST during check out!  This sale is only one day - so don't miss it!!!

One of my summer prep projects that I've marked off my to-do list is making my Birthday Bags for the year.  I've seen a lot of other teachers make these and they are such a great idea!  I mean, what first grader wouldn't want a lil bag-o-fun from their teacher on their birthday?!

The best part is that they don't cost a lot of money (phew), they are easy to assemble (put mine together during an episode of Big Brother), and they are ready to go for the WHOLE YEAR!  So when one of my little darlings has a birthday, I just pull out a bag and a crown and we're ready to celebrate!

Finished product - so festive!

Assembly line - ready to go

Bags (from Party City) and labels to seal the deal

Birthday bookmarks (from School Speciality)

Bracelets - the BEST item in the bag, in my opinion!

Gotta have a pencil and a neon eraser!

Mini-notebooks (from Target's party section)

Mini-kaleidoscopes (from Target's party section)


How do you celebrate birthdays?

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Gearing Up for Back to School with a TPT Sale

It wouldn't be Back to School without a SALE, right?!  My wish list is primed and ready to go!  

My entire Teachers Pay Teachers Store will be on sale August 4th and 5th.  Be sure to use the code BTS14 when checking out for maximum savings!

Here are a few samples of what you'll find in my store...

Happy Shopping!

Friday, August 1, 2014

August Currently

August!  Some of you are back to school already.  I would feel sorry for you, but you've been out since May, haha.  I luckily have one full month of summer left - and I sure need it!

Time to link up with Farley at Oh Boy 4th Grade for this month's Currently...

Listening - I love me some real housewives.  And this season Tamra is really stirring the pot.  Naughty, naughty!

Loving - This past week I was in Chicago watching my nieces while my sister and brother-in-law took a much needed vacay to Mexico!  Luckily my best friend came along to help me.  I needed it!  My nieces are certainly a joy... and very, very busy so the extra hands were much appreciated.  I can't stop thinking about all the fun times we had over the past week.  Of course I took a million pics and video so I've been looking through those missing them already.  (But don't feel too sorry for me - I'll see them again in two weeks, haha!)

Watermelon cutie

Just chatting it up with princess Sofia

Aunt Colleen loves to buy the girls matching outfits!

Thinking - Bright and early tomorrow I start my training for the October half-marathon - eek!  I'm totally nervous and excited.  Though it won't be easy, I know I can rise to the challenge.

Wanting - It's August and I still don't have a tan.  Not cool.  (And yes, I know that the sun is very bad for me... but I just want a little glow!)  I think a few pool days are in order this coming week...

Needing - I'm pretty sure this was my same "needing" from July... clearly I haven't made much progress.  Seriously though, I need to get cracking!  There isn't much time left before I'll be in my classroom setting up.  Yikes!

1st Day - We go back on September 2nd and the kiddos come on September 3rd.  Not much time to prepare, so like many teachers, we do a lot on our time.  Good thing those firsties are worth it!

What are you Currently up to?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Cha Cha Changes... Math Modules

Well it wouldn't be a new school year without new curriculum.  Am I right?!

This year our district will be using the EngageNY Math Modules.  These were created by teachers to meet the Common Core Standards.  They have a very sequential scope and seem to focus more on the WHY than the HOW of math.  They challenge students to think deeply and {gasp} WRITE about math!  

I'm still not quite sure how I feel about using the modules, since I absolutely fell in LOVE with Math Workshop over the past two years.  You can read more about my math workshop {HERE}.

The NYS Math Modules are whole-group and rather lengthy.  They take a full 60 minutes... and then some!  That's a lot to ask of six year olds, especially in the beginning of the year.

Despite my reservations, I am embracing the change.  In fact, I tested out Module 5 with my class this past spring.  This unit focused on geometry, fractions, and time.

I found that my students did gain a deeper understanding of geometry than I have previously taught in the past.  They were making great connections and encouraged to really explain their thinking.  It was TOUGH, but they persevered!  

So in preparation of using the modules full-force this year, I created vocabulary cards that align with the modules for First Grade.  I'm sure many of the cards can be used in Kindergarten and Second Grade as well.  I plan to update these as I go this year, as I am sure I'll come across more terms I'd like my firsties to know!

Check out my Math Vocabulary Cards.  They will be on SALE through Friday!!!

I'm sure I'll be posting more about the modules throughout the year.  And who knows... maybe I can even combine the modules AND my beloved math workshop!!!

Are any of you using the Math Modules in your district?  I would love to hear your ideas!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

You Oughta Know About... Labeling with Puffy Paint

Summer is in full swing and I am LOVING it!
My routine is non-existent and my calendar is packed with F.U.N!

This morning I'm joining Buzzing with Mrs. McClain for her You Oughta Know Blog Hop.

I think you oughta know about the fabulousness of labeling with puffy paint!
I hated labeling my cubbies each year with my class names.  The labels always peeled off and it was such a pain.  Then I got the idea to use puffy paint and stencils to permanently label my cubbies!

I put these numbers on my student cubbies FOUR years ago.
Not a scratch or peel anywhere to be found!

First I Scotch taped my stencil in place.  Then I painted a thick coat of puffy paint on with a sponge brush.  I left the stencil in place until the paint dried and then slowly peeled off the stencil.  I had to do my numbers in stages once I got to the teen numbers and beyond.  
So be sure to have other projects to do in your classroom so you aren't waiting around for paint to dry!  Also, if you try this on a very hot summer day, the results will not come out so well.  I had a teammate try this in the dead heat of summer and the paint didn't adhere to the wooden cubbies.

The finished product - and no more labeling cubbies every year!

And be sure to check out what else you oughta know about!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

July Currently

July has arrived!  And it's one of my favorite months!!!

Time to link up with Farley at Oh Boy Fourth Grade...

Listening - Who doesn't love a little Full House?  And I'm sure I'm not the only one who wanted to be DJ Tanner in my youth.  Just sayin'.

Loving - Summer is here for good people.  And it sure took long enough!  School is OVER and I can sleep in, get in some good long runs, and swim to my heart's content.  I LOVE SUMMER!!!

Thinking - In two weeks I am presenting Singapore Math Strategies for the K-2 teachers in my district.  Luckily I have two amazing co-presenters!  We worked all day on our presentation, and we'll be back at it tomorrow.  It's tough to anticipate the timing and make sure we are engaging our learners.  Keeping my fingers crossed that the workshop goes smoothly!  

Wanting - I have been taking some golf lessons recently, and remembering how much I love this game.  My birthday is next week and I'm hoping for a new golf bag.  I really need something more girly than what I've got.  Do they make pink chevron golf bags?!

Needing - I need to get packing!  I'm heading home tomorrow for a week and a half.  My sister, brother-in-law, and my favorite nieces are flying in from Chicago.  I cannot WAIT to see them!  There is some serious snuggle time in my future.  And my sis and her hubby are headed out-of-town and leaving the girls with my parents and I.  As if we don't spoil them enough already?  It's PAR-TAY time!!!  But first, I need to pack my bags.  Packing is such a chore!

4th Plans - Nothing too crazy this 4th of July - just a picnic at my parents' house.

What are you Currently up to?

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Gone Campin'

We are STILL in school.  Can you believe it?!  I cannot.  But don't worry, summer is just around the corner.  Tomorrow is our last day with the kiddos, and Thursday is our last day for teachers.  Wahoo!!!

Last week we went camping... kind of!  Every year our first graders go to Camp Skeeter - a day of camping activities in school.  This is by far one of my favorite days of the year!  Our stations are run by our awesome parent volunteers and our classes rotate through the five different activities throughout the morning.  We enjoy a picnic lunch and read letters "mailed" to camp from our families.  We finish off the day with a camp-out in our classrooms and watch Parent Trap.  So much fun!

First, we visited the Snack Station.  We made S'Mores on a Stick.

This lil' guy was pretty excited to eat all this sugar at 9am!

Next, we visited the Nature Station.  We have a very talented grandparent volunteer who teaches us about life at the pond.  He even brings some special "friends" with him.  I'm rather squeamish around frogs, so it's ironic that this station is always set up in my room, haha!

After that, we visited the Face Painting Station.  We leave some easy-to-paint designs for our parent volunteers.

This year we had quite a treat - a photo booth!  One of our families owns a photography studio, and they generously donated their time and props to create a photo booth for us.

After our faces were decked out, we went to our Sing-Along Station.  One of our 2nd grade teachers has a very talented son that has come the past two years.  He played some camp favorites and also took a few requests.  We love Mr. Matt!!!

Finally, we visited the Craft Station to make our campfire hats.  I absolutely love hats!  They are so stinkin' cute and so much fun to make.

Another successful year at Camp Skeeter!