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!

I was recently fortunate enough to get a Donors Choose project funded.  This is the second project I have gotten funded this year.  Donors Choose is absolutely AH-mazing!  If you haven't already tried it, I highly suggest you check it out.

When I set the project up, Donors Choose was offering matching funds for the first week that my project was live.  I was able to take advantage of this and cut the cost of my project in HALF!  I started out by sending a letter home to families.  

I also posted my project on my Fun and Fearless in First Facebook page.

I got some immediate response from both of those actions.  

Then I utilized Remind 101 to continue to get the word out.  By sending out two texts through the app, I was able to update parents about exactly how much money remained to get the projected funded.  I included the link to the project, and again, there was immediate response.  My project was funded in LESS THAN A WEEK! 

I am so grateful for the generosity of my donors!  Their support and quick response was outstanding. And within two weeks of my project getting funded, I had my materials!

For this project, I got a class set of these fantastic whiteboard paddles from Learning Resources.  They will be so helpful when we are learning about number sense and math facts within 20.  They have a ten frame on one side, and a double ten frame on the other side.  They even come with magnetic red/yellow counters.  How cool is that?

I also received this primary easel.  These babies are EXPENSIVE!  I could never afford to buy one myself.  Even though I am lucky enough to have a Smart board, I still find that I need something to hold and create anchor charts on.  You should have seen the curious eyes in my classroom as the custodian wheeled this gem in!  They all want a chance to come up and play teacher to show what they know! 

Summer is a great time to develop your Donors Choose project ideas so you are ready for the next school year.  Sharing your project at your school's beginning of the year open house is a great way to get support.

Thank you Donors Choose and all my supportive families!!!

It's JUNE!!!

So excited that this month has arrived!  June is always a busy month, but all good stuff.  So many of you are already off on summer vacation, but I teach until the end of this month so there is still a lot to do.

First on the June to-do list... link up with Farley at Oh Boy 4th Grade for this month's Currently!

Listening - Nothing beats the quiet during nap time.  This has been a BUSY weekend!  And as soon as nap time is over, it's off to the pool, wahoo!

Loving - Any time I can get to Chicago I am happy.  This weekend we are celebrating my niece's 3rd birthday.  Yesterday we had her party at a bounce house place right here in the city.  It was so much fun - and the adults got their bounce on, too!

Thinking - We got a peek at our class lists for next year, so of course my mind is already gearing up for my next batch of firsties.  I always spend a good amount of time in the summer preparing for the next school year.  I'm hoping to streamline some of the to-do items and feel ready a little sooner this year.

Wanting - I'm so jealous of all the teacher bloggers on summer vacay already!  I know my time will come... and they will be jealous when I'm still sitting by the pool in August while they return to work, haha!

Needing - It's the end-of-the-year crunch time and it always seems as though there are a billion things to do before my class walks out the door on June 25th.  I always have a running to-do list, but this year shockingly seems less stressful, which is nice.  I've even started a few of the items on my list, like the end-of-year slideshow (go me!).  I know I'll get the rest done eventually, too.

Summer Bucket List - There are certainly more than three items on my agenda for summer, woot woot! One of my dearest friends from high school is having her second baby this summer.  I have yet to make it to her house in Atlanta, even though she's lived there for years.  This will be the summer I get there!  I also plan to enjoy the sun LOTS this summer... boating, golfing, pool days, and perhaps even a little camping.  I also want to maintain a good running schedule.  Training starts in August for the fall half-marathon, and I don't want to slack off prior!

What are you currently up to?
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