Monday, June 8, 2015

Open House

My class decided they wanted to learn about the rain forest. We came back from Spring Break and the madness began. The kids were so excited and eager to learn all about this wonderful habitat. Each rain forest book I read, ended with applause by my class. Their excitement carried over into each activity we did. I got excited when they got excited, which made for an interesting 5 weeks. 

Here are some pictures from that night--

This pic of one of my students welcomed everyone to our room.


This was the view from the door of my room looking in.


Our silly sloth writing


Here's a close-up


Some of our rain forest explorers


The kids liked reading the riddle to their parents.


A little river cruise...watch out for the piranhas!


More explorers


The view from my backdoor.


The parents loved the paper version of their child sitting at the desks.


Student work



Some plants from the rain forest (a bromeliad on the left, can't remember the one on right). Lots of pics on table from my trip to Costa Rica with many animals we learned about.


We made 2 graphs: the yellow stickers represent my students and during Open House their families added pink stickers to show their favorites. We enjoyed comparing and seeing what the favorites were!


Each student did an animal research  report.


Making the animals was a favorite activity for all the kids!



This is what was on each student's desk.


The kids couldn't believe how much their writing improved over the school year!
August

May


The kids made up their own rain forest word problems using addition or subtraction.



So there's a peek into my classroom. Hope you enjoyed it! I was so proud of the kids and all the wonderful work they did! Their families LOVED everything we did too. 

Now it's time to enjoy Summer vacation!!



Monday, May 4, 2015

May Currently

It's always nice to link up with Farley for this month's Currently!


Listening--"Worth It" by Fifth Harmony...love it!! I love songs that get me moving and this one makes me want to WERK IT! (As long as no one is watching...LOL!)

Loving--only 21 more days left until summer! That number is so small and makes me happier each time I make it through another day. 

Thinking--about my summer plans! I have a busy and FUN summer planned. CAN'T WAIT! My husband and I are going to the Dominican Republic the week after school gets out. The beginning of July, my husband, son, and I will be going to New York City. The last part of July, my parents, my son, and I will be going on a weeklong baseball tour of 7 MLB stadiums (games and sightseeing included).

Wanting--to deep clean/organize my classroom. My room is in DIRE need of a cleaning! I have a huge walk-in storage closet that has been a catch-all during the year, piles everywhere when trying to walk inside. There are cupboards that have things in them that I haven't used in years! I need to start now with one cupboard/space at a time to finish by the end of the school year. When everything is in order, I feel so much happier!

Needing--to get ready for Open House. Our Open House is next Thursday night. I've started putting some things up on the walls but have  piles of work that still needs to be hung. I'm not in the mood after school, and I keep saying "I'll do it tomorrow". Get on it girl!!!

Summer--Yes: Getaway for 2! My husband and I are finally going on a vacation! We haven't done anything like this since our honeymoon 15 years ago. We'll be going to the Dominican Republic, staying at an all-inclusive resort, being lazy, relaxing, and having fun! Hope: to get crafty. I want to spend some time with my Cameo. I've had it for over 2 years and have used it about 3 times. I find it so intimidating! I also want to get back into my scrapbooking...it's been way too long for that! My son was looking at his albums and was wondering where the rest of his were...ummm...bad mommy. Dream:that everything in our house will be back to normal. During the beginning of my Spring Break, the valves in our shower leaked water inside the bathroom walls to my son's bedroom and the master bedroom...wet carpet, some mold, rotten pipes...yuck! Half of my son's bedroom has been sitting in our living room, since the plumbers had to go through his closet to fix the leak. The master bedroom is all out of sorts--our bed pushed to middle of room, corner of the rug pulled up and a small hole cut in wall to check for leak. NOT. FUN. Holes are being fixed tomorrow, rugs are next. Fingers crossed!



Friday, April 3, 2015

New Blog Design!

OMG! I am in LOVE with my new blog design! It's bright and cheery and makes me want to stare at it all day long. Gabby from Gabby's Classrooms did an amazing job! She is very helpful and easy to work with. If you're thinking of starting a blog or yours need an update, go check her out! You won't be disappointed! Thanks Gabby!!






Thursday, April 2, 2015

April Currently

What? I'm BLOGGING??? Yep, no need to get your eyes checked. I can hardly believe it too! I've been completely addicted to Instagram this school year that I've neglected my blog...again. I'm hoping to fix that...soon. 

So, what better way to get back into the blogging mood than hooking up with Farley and her April Currently!


Listening: My son LOVES, LOVES, LOVES hockey and is starting his Spring Break by playing a little hockey on the Wii. I'm sitting at the kitchen table listening to his "team" kick some butt on the ice.

Loving: Spring Break started at 2:30 p.m.!! I am so excited for this break...cuz I sure need it!! It's been a LONG stretch since coming back from Christmas Break. My students were driving each other crazy, which led to me going a bit crazy. Everyone needed this break!

Thinking: I need a nap! I'm exhausted from this week. I felt like I had to entertain the kids every second of the day to keep them on task and engaged. We struggled with behavior which took it all out of me. My bed is calling me...

Wanting: I'm getting a new blog design and am so excited to see the finished product! Gabby from Gabby's Classrooms is working on my new design as we speak. I'm hoping this new, fun, bright design will motivate me to blog more! Check back soon to see here awesome work!

Needing: I need to get my body moving again! I started off my school year eating right and exercising which helped me lose 35 pounds. Once December came, life and school got CRAZIER! I wasn't consistent with my workouts or my eating plan. I need to get back to that healthier way of living. I felt my BEST when I was "in the zone". It's time!

Blog Name: For a time I was heavily into animal prints, especially zebra. My classroom was all decked out and WILD for my students. It was a fun theme that we all loved. I no longer have the zebra fetish but I am "WILD" about teaching first graders!

Don't forget to link up with Farley and remember the Rule of 3! 


Thursday, November 6, 2014

Currently November

It seems I'm always late to the party! I need to break this habit. But I love linking up with Farley for her monthly CURRENTLY

by

Listening--to the kids watch the movie "Hook" on TV while I catch up with computer stuff. My daughter keeps saying, "I miss Robin Williams." So do I.

Loving--that I'm done with conferences!! Today was my last day...woohoo! 30 conferences scheduled over 3 days, with 4 no shows, and 2 rescheduled, tires.me.out! I dread this time and love this time of year. I dread having to do SO MANY conferences, but I enjoy talking with the parents about their kids. I've had some great conversations this week!

Thinking--I really should have worked out tonight but decided to make today my "rest" day. My daughter had a cross country meet after school and my son had baseball practice this evening. Seemed like a good time to just relax. My workout will be waiting for me tomorrow! :)

Wanting--to go shopping! I actually went last weekend after Pay Day...didn't get anything. GRRRR! Why is it that when I have money, I can NEVER find anything I want? And when I don't have money, there's so many things I want to buy!!

Needing--to get rid of all the Halloween candy in my house. It was really quiet in our neighborhood this year, not many kids out on Halloween. I think my neighbors must have dumped off all their candy onto my kids that night. We have piles and piles of candy on the kitchen counter and living room floor. I wish my kids went to a dentist that bought it from them by the pound.

Reading--Just finished the "Reasonable Doubt" series by Whitney Gracia Williams. (Noticed my typo above...jeesh!) Since my school days can be rather stressful, hectic, crazy, you name it; I like to escape with books. I'd rather not read something too serious when I'm away from work, which is why I enjoy some steamy reading. *wink*

Don't forget to link up with Farley and remember the Rule of 3!

Have a great Friday and an even better weekend!!



Monday, August 25, 2014

Reading App and a Giveaway

When I was little I LOVED listening to books on my little record player that played 45s. I could sit for hours listening to stories and looking at the pictures. I think this is when my love for reading began. I've tried to instill this love for reading in my own children and classroom students, as well. It's always fun to listen to stories and I enjoy watching the kids get wrapped up in a new adventure. 

Recently, I was given the chance to experience


The reading app FarFaria provides a wonderful story time experience. The app is offered for the iPad, iPhone, and Android devices which should make everyone happy. FarFaria offers more than 750 children's stories, with 5 new stories added each week. There is a variety of genres and reading levels to choose from, which would appeal to all kinds of readers.

I asked my 9 year old son to help me check out the FarFaria app. We started with the "explore" button which led us here.


Each island has a different theme with a catchy name. Though my son was instantly drawn to Adventure Island and Animal Kingdom, he made sure we checked them ALL out since he was "helping" me. 

There is great selection of books on each island to choose from, and all have a reading level badge on the cover. The reading levels are shown below:


The reading levels make it easy for teachers or parents to choose appropriate books for their students and children.

Once a book is chosen, you can decide from the 3 options of how it will be read.

When you find a book you really like, you can mark it as a "favorite" and have easy offline access to it, to read again and again.


My son and I had a great time "researching" this app. I can't wait to use it with my new class this school year. The more options they have to read and be read to, will help them grow as developing readers. 

My only complaint about this awesome app is that my son wouldn't put my iPad down. 




You can try FarFaria for FREE by downloading the app, which will let you read one story every day or you can have UNLIMITED access starting at $4.99 per month.

Now here's the BEST part...the good people at FarFaria are giving me a FREE 6-month membership to give to one of you lucky people! 

For your chance to win, enter below. Good luck!




Monday, August 4, 2014

Word Wall

Just a quick note about my word wall...I use Fry's 100 sight words for my word wall. I got my list from Fish for Words which introduces 5 words per week, going in order of frequency. 

I introduce the words on Mondays, and as a class we say them, spell them, chant them, you name it. Throughout the week we review the words with a variety of activities--games, writing them on our whiteboards, word wall detective (I choose a word, then give a few clues to the class to see if they can figure out my word), and writing sentences with them. I'm always having the kids refer to the word wall if needed when writing. I love overhearing someone ask, "How do I spell...?" and another student says, "Did you check on the word wall?" or "It's on the word wall. Let me show you."

One of the problems I've had with my word wall is being organized with my words, and getting them up each week. Some weeks I would already have the next 5 words written down and ready to go up. Other weeks I'd be scrambling at the bell to find my list, write the words, and put them up on the wall before the kids came in. This often led to me putting it off until the next day or the next week. 

But not this year! I've already written down all the sights words, on different colored paper, and cut them out by their shape.


I found this cute tin index card holder at Walmart.


I made dividers and numbered them by week.


I then used my list to sort the words, 5 per week, behind the correct divider.


And to finish it off, I FINALLY figured out how to use my Silhouette Cameo. ( I won't tell you how long it took or how many cuss words were shouted.)




LinkWithin