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


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,! 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.)

Friday, July 18, 2014

Gettin' my craft on!

Since I'm adding some color to my classroom, I thought I'd redo my rules using my new color scheme.  

 I found these little wooden numbers at Hobby Lobby. Picked out the numbers 1 - 5 and used acrylic paint to paint them pink, orange, and green.

These wooden frames are from Michael's. I spray painted them black.

I printed my rules and ran them through my little laminator since the frames didn't have any glass/plastic covering. Then glued them to the back of the frames, added the numbers to the corner, and BOOM!

Very simple and it looks pretty good if I say so myself! 

Monday, July 14, 2014

WHAT??? and a little shopping...

So today I was at Target and I see this...

All of these workers wearing red shirts were scrambling to put out the school supplies. I walked into a chaotic frenzy of "we need more crayons on this display" and "I think we can fit more folders here".  I LOVE Target, don't get me wrong, but there are 2 times a year when they really tick me off--1) when they put out bikinis and other swimsuits in December!! Brrr! and 2) when they put school supplies out near the beginning of July. Way to kill my summer vacation! Summer ends when I say it does...or when I'm told to report back to work, which is in 5 weeks.

On to the good stuff! Last year my classroom theme was owls. This year I'm not really going to have a "theme", more like a POP of color added to my room. I have a lot of black and white in my classroom already that I don't want to change. So I thought using some color could give me the change I was looking for, without committing to superheroes, birds, animals, etc.

The colors of this digital paper pack got me hooked! I love the patterns and the colors. So I'm using hot pink, lime green, and orange! I'm excited for the change because these colors make me HAPPY!

If you haven't checked out Erin Bradley Designs on ETSY, go do it! She has awesome stuff!

Target had these cute mini pails for $1 in their party section. I picked up 12! I might use them for pencil cups, supplies, or stick games.

OK, don't shoot me...I did look in the school supply section and found these pocket folders. They didn't have lime green but I snagged up enough of these for my new homework folders.

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this fabric from Hobby Lobby! I'll be using this to make a few chair covers for my student of the week.

Pom Poms!! I had some in my room last year and got so many compliments that I had to get them again. 

 So that's a little peek for now. I'll be sharing more with you as I buy and create! I've already made a few things with the digital paper pack I bought and I'm so happy with how it all turned out!

Enjoy your summer!!