Thursday, March 29, 2012

Music in my Classroom

I love playing music in the classroom!! When my students are working on their Weekend News, Doodle Writing, math games or practice pages, independent seat work, etc. I have my CD player or ipod playing. Music calms the kids, gets the creative juices flowing, and makes us happy!

Here are a few of my beloved favorites:

I absolutely, positively LOVE Jack Johnson and his music! You can't go wrong with any of these.

The Lilo & Stitch movie soundtrack is awesome!

The Rio soundtrack is a fun one that my kids instantly recognize when it comes on. :)

I'd love to hear what you play in your classroom and what your favorites are! Happy Friday everyone!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Whatcha Doin' Wednesday?!

I am one tired chick on this particular Wednesday. I didn't sleep too well last night, even though I was tired which makes for a draining day at school. Ugh! So here's how my Wednesday went:

*Began to rain on my way to work and then came down heavily until school started. Because of this, when school started at 8:10 a.m. I had only 12 students in my class! Over the next 30 minutes 15 trickled in 1 or 2 at a time...frustrating to say the least.

*The kids have been very excited about the science we've started. We're learning about weather; we talked about wind and made a wind vane; temperature and what a thermometer is used for (They love that I put a thermometer inside on our calendar wall and one outside our door. Someone is always letting me know the temp!) and we've talked about rain and put a rain guage outside to try and catch some of the rain we've had this week.

*Two of my struggling readers are starting to realize that they're reading! Yay! I love when things finally start to "click" for these guys. One of my boys asks me every chance he gets if he can read a book to me or practice words with him. I LOVE it! (I gave him a note written on the cute star notepad I bought last night and he was BEAMING!! See it WAS money well spent. haha!)

*Wednesdays are early dismissal for the kids, which means meeting days for us teachers. After meeting with my grade level I got to cleaning up my room and prepping a few things for my LONG Thursday and kept noticing that the parking lot was getting emptier and emptier as time went on. I only stayed til 4:30 but I was the absolute last person at work...bizarre since that's pretty early! Oh, well. I'm ready for tomorrow. :)

*Since my husband picked up our kids from school, I stopped off at Barnes and Noble and got these cute books. I know I'm a few days away from Pay Day but I had to get them. (Click on the books for a description.)

*I'm a sucker for infomercials! (Apparently, so is my husband...I'm just realizing this) This is our most recent purchase--for me, of course!! The Brazilian Butt Lift! Yep, I own it...the DVD, not the butt...YET!! ;) I did one of the workouts when I got home. This was my 3rd workout and I'm telling you it is a killer! Did you know in Brazil boom boom means butt? Well it does. And Leandro wants me to squeeze my boom boom!

*After my booty workout, I decided to walk on my treadmill for 30 min. (Guess I wasn't tired anymore.)

*The kids just went to bed, I have the living room to myself. :) As I type I'm listening to music, working on my computer, and icing my shins (bad case of shin splints from running).

After hearing about others who've had or are having their Spring Breaks, I'm looking forward to mine which begins next Thursday!! I can't wait!! Enjoy your Spring Breaks and just think, the end of the school year will be here before you know it. Happy Thursday everyone!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

a present for me

This is my brand new, wireless laser color printer bought for me by my husband. Awww, how sweet you say! Just wait. :)

My original printer hasn't worked in 3 months and I had borrowed an old printer from school to use at home until I was able to afford a new printer. Well, thanks to my husband, I got my new printer sooner than expected...paid for by him! Here's what happened...this weekend my husband was showing my son the proper swing for baseball...inside the house...with an object that was not a baseball bat (my borrowed printer was sitting on the floor in my living room near the fireplace)...the thing he was using (don't even know the name of it; he uses it in his chiropractic office for massaging sore muscles) flew out of his hands and broke into pieces MID-AIR, scattering off in all directions with a loud crash! My kids and I were absolutely SILENT looking at him and what he just did. After a minute, he smiles and says, "Did you see that?!" (Ummm, yeah we did.) He laughed as he picked up the pieces and then noticed something that was a different color from all the rest...broken pieces of the printer. The smile was quickly gone. My daughter was quick to break the ice with "Well, I guess mom just got her new printer!" and he responds quietly with, "yes, I guess she does." So, THANKS husband for my awesome new printer that I'm absolutely going to LOVE!!!

While I was out, I stopped at Office Depot because I'm a sucker for office supplies of any kind. I picked up a few things that I absolutely needed *wink*...who doesn't need purple rubber bands?!? The star notepad made me think of one of my struggling readers, who is starting to take off in reading. I thought he'd like to get a note from me on one of these. The Sharpie chart markers came highly recommended from another teacher in blog world...HAVE to try them out and see if I agree that they are the most wonderful markers ever! Post-its in pretty colors are a necessity...even though I have a huge drawer full of Post-its, I still needed these particular ones. Then there's the wall mounted Post-it dispenser...DUH!! It was only $2.00. And lastly, the binder clips...take a closer look below.

These will be soooo helpful when organizing my endless paper piles.

Are there any office supplies that you hoard or can't live without??? Please feel free to share them with me...for research purposes of course! Have a WONDERFUL Wednesday!!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

It's about time...

to hand out some blog awards! I've had some time to surf the blog world (LOVE doing that!) and have found some new blogs. Well, new to me, anyways! ;)

I'd like to give the Lovely Blog Award to the following wonderful blogs:

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

NEW blog design and March Reading Contest update

A HUGE thank you to Alicia at Dreamlike Magic for my super cute new blog design!! I LOVE it!!! If you're looking for a design or want to freshen up what you already have, go check her out. :)

So, my students have until next Friday to read, read, read those books! Our month-long reading contest will end and we'll see who gets a $25 gift card to Barnes & Noble. Since I didn't do the contest in February, like I usually do, I used shamrocks to keep track of the kids and all their books read.

Here's what the wall looks like where we're keeping track.

Each shamrock has a student's name on it. (28 in all!) As kids turn in their reading logs, I give points for each book read. Chapter books are worth 2 points. Since I'm in first grade this year, points can be earned by reading on your own OR being read to. (In 2nd grade, kids had to read the books.) Under each shamrock is a strip of paper with stamped shamrocks. Each strip has 10 shamrocks. In the picture below, you can see Connor has read 71 books and Medina has read 11. I can't wait to see how many books will be read as a class!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A quick post and a few THANK YOUS!!

My trip to Arizona was quick but well worth it. I went to see the 2 sisters and hear about the Daily 5. Those 2 ladies were hilarious!! Sitting through a conference that was interesting AND entertaining is always worth the time and money spent. The sisters shared some changes that they've made to the Daily 5 since their book has been out. It's all on their website which I got a FREE membership to for attending the conference! So excited about that. I will definitely be spending a lot of time on it this coming weekend. :)

Throughout the day the attendees were surprised with little gifts that we'd be taking home at the end of the day. It was like we were at Oprah's Greatest Things show. We teachers get excited over the littlest things! ha! Below is a picture of the bag and all the goodies that were inside it. The best thing is the mini Oscar trophy. We all were given the Oscar because "there are some days when you just don't want to be at school (whether it's a bad mood, bad kid, etc.) but you put a smile on your face and make it through the day." I will be putting my Oscar on my desk as a reminder. :)

I want to give a BIG thank you to Michelle at Our Sweet Success and Ashley at First Grade Smart Cookies for awarding me the "One Lovely Blog Award"!! Thanks so much ladies!! I will be passing on the award soon. I want some time to stalk, I mean check out, some more blogs! :)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Taking a trip to see...

...the Sisters!

I'm leaving tomorrow to go see "THE sisters" at their Daily 5 conference in Arizona. I'm excited to be going! I've read the book a few times and am so eager to try it out with my class. I've been hesitant to get it all going but think if I see it in action or hear more about it, I'll feel confident enough to put it into place. I already know that I want to "tweak" it a little to fit my needs and my class. Hoping to get some great information to share! I'm off to pack! :)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Teacher Tips Linky Party!

Michelle at Teach 123 is having a linky party! When you think about your first year of teaching or when you switched grade levels, what do you wish you would have known before you began? What advice can you give your fellow teachers?

(I'm technologically challenged today because I'm having a hard time to get the cute frame on my blog. ugh!)

So here's my tips, without the cuteness:
*Make friends with the secretary, custodian, and cafeteria workers AND treat them well. I know it's already been mentioned but this is a BIG one! They'll be glad to help you anytime you need it.

*Act like you know what you're doing...even if you don't. haha! There were many times my first few weeks of school when I thought "What the heck am I doing?" but the smiling 5 and 6 year-olds didn't know that I did the wrong workbook page or made a mistake, so I didn't let it get to me. I just kept on doing my thing.

*Communication is KEY! You need to keep your student's parents involved and up to date with what's going on in your classroom, whether it's by a newsletter, class website, or notes sent home. They are more willing to support you and be a part of their child's education if they know what's going on.

*Don't be afraid to ask for help. My co-workers were always willing to help me out, I just needed to ask. They gave me space at the beginning because they didn't want to overwhelm me but I wanted some reassurance to see if I was doing things right. So I went to them when I had questions or needed something.

*Take time to recognize ALL your students throughout the day. Some kids these days have it tougher than I'd like to imagine. A smile, kind words, greeting them in the morning, asking how their day is going, etc. can make a HUGE impression on these little ones.

*Remember to have FUN! If you're having fun, doing what you love, then your students will as well.

To share your tips or find some new ones, click on the picture below.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Teachers Taking Care of Teachers

Crystal over at Kreative in Kinder is hosting a link-up for anyone willing to help the teachers who have lost everything in the recent tornadoes. Teachers are an amazing group of people and this just shows how much we care about others. What can you do to help? Click the heart below to link up and pitch in!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Kinder-2nd Linky Party!

I have linked up with Jeannie at Kindergarten Lifestyle to share my First Grade blog for the Kindergarten through Second Grade Linky Party! Go check it out to see some wonderful blogs by some talented teachers!

Jeannie is also going to make a pinboard on Pinterest of all the blogs that join.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Top 10 Award!

I want to thank Kaleigh from Kaleigh's Klassroom for the Top 10 Blog Award! I'm a little biased of Kaleigh because my daughter shares her name. :) Kaleigh has a wonderful blog and great ideas to share. Check her out and become a follower like me!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Whatcha Doin' Wednesday?!

What a week it has been so far! This is parent/teacher conference week, which is a "love/hate" thing for me. I hate taking time to do report cards but I enjoy getting to talk with the parents about their kids. I have 28 kids which means 28 conferences...yikes!

*I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE short days!! We get out of school at 11:50 a.m. the whole week. The day FLIES by!

*I had thirteen (13) conferences today; all back to back with no breaks starting right when school got out with the last one ending at 2:15. All but 1 showed and it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I have never done this many conferences in one day but I let my parents choose their day and time for the conference. Most chose today...go figure!

*Once conferences were over and I finally got to eat lunch, I spent some time getting things ready for tomorrow. Since I finish up my conferences tomorrow, I'm planning to clean my storage closet (a huge task that I keep putting off) which got messier since my husband made me take my school boxes out of our garage and bring them to school. :(

*I didn't bring any work home with me (yay!!) but I did bring some books home to start planning my Open House which is in May. I'm going to do a weather/4 seasons theme for the classroom. I'm excited to put my ideas that are running around in my head onto paper!

*Right now I'm watching "Puss in Boots" with my kids. I made their day when I bought the movie at Target today. We're enjoying the laughs and watching together.

Enjoy the rest of your week! I'm looking forward to the beautiful sunny weather that is expected for the next few days. No more wind! :)

Monday, March 5, 2012

WILD about reading!

Room 5 is WILD about reading! For the month of March, my class is having a reading contest. Kids are encouraged to read, read, read! Each child will keep track of the books he/she reads each day on the special reading log. An adult has to initial that the book has been read to/by the child. Each book read is worth 1 point. Each chapter book read is worth 2 points! When a student has filled up the reading log, it is turned in and a new one is given out. At the end of the month, I total up all the points for each student. The student who has the most points wins a $25 gift card to Barnes & Noble. The top 5 students are invited to a pizza party held in our classroom. This is a fun way to promote reading which both parents and students enjoy.

This is the note that tells the parents about the contest.

Here's the reading log that is for recording the books read.

I have a bulletin board that has all the kids' names on it and will show the amount of books read next to their names. This will show the kids' progress as the month goes on. They like to check it each day to see the changes. I usually do this in the month of February (We LOVE Reading!) which is why there's hearts in the pictures below. This year, February snuck up on me and I decided to move the contest to March for kicking off Read Across America and Dr. Seuss' birthday; so I won't be using hearts.

I'll keep you posted as the month goes on with pictures and contest updates.