Wednesday, October 22, 2014

WIWW & Bats!

Happy WIWW!

I'm playing catch-up here...I'm sharing what I wore both this week and last week. This post is linked up with The Pleated Poppy and these lovely bloggers:

Deena | Christy | Jordan | Carrie C. | Shaunacey | Danielle | Beth | Joy | Sarah | 
Leslie | Katie | Jennifer | Carrie M. | Lisa | Mary | Sheila | Lana | Lauren | Anna | Alison

I opted out of the military jacket :(  It looks adorable on so many of the fellow stylers, but not so much for me. I also took liberty when Alison suggested wearing jeans and substituted pants appropriate for my school. Here goes...

The above picture is my version of the dressy sweatshirt from the challenge list. It was on a major sale from Ann Taylor Loft. I also purchased the olive green dressy sweatshirt (the website was sold out of cream), but it fits so boxy. I need to get my courage up to step way out of my box!

This outfit was a little ho-hum for me in the looks department, but I was super comfy all day. 

This outfit was listed as a boyfriend cardigan, black & white striped top, grey jeans, and leopard flats. I wore charcoal skinnies from White House Black Market (♥), but since they are sooo dark charcoal, I think I would have been better off with black. Again, slightly ho-hum, but I loved mixing leopard and stripes. 

I adore plaid, but if you'd look in my closet may think I went a "little" overboard with it. This outfit kept me warm over the chilly weekend!

I pulled from the last challenge for yesterday's outfit. That was exactly why I wanted to do these discover a few new items to add to my wardrobe and learn how to mix & match my favorite pieces. Thanks Alison!

This week is all about BATS and we've been exploring both nonfiction and the most wonderful storybook: Stellaluna. Have you read this? It features the most beautiful text and illustrations. As a treat for your students, you can also listen to it read aloud here

You will love it as much as your students! The clip is about 11 minutes long, so we chunked it into 3 sections: beginning, middle, end. I used my freebie graphic organizer (you can see it & download it here) and included text-dependent questions in this week's sensory bin:

So much fun!

Here's the books we're using this week:


Warning: the National Geographic book has extremely detailed photographs of all types of bats. It's not for the faint of heart! I seriously break out in a cold sweat looking at them!

This post is also linked up with Mrs. Jump's Class:

Have a wonderful week!

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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sunday Funday

Happy Sunday!

I hope you're enjoying a wonderful weekend! 
It's a c-h-i-l-l-y 52 degrees here! Brrr! 

On Sunday, I try to wrap up all my chores and teaching work by 4:00 pm. This is when I move all the packed-up teaching materials towards the front door for early Monday morning. Next weekend, I'll be traveling (woohoo!) and NOT taking my laptop (at least that's the plan), so today I'm busy prepping for the following week, too!

So it was NOT the right weekend to give up my beloved coffee. 

But I did. 

Today is Day 2 and I think I might make it! I am allowing one green or one black tea for now. I swear they are decaf though, because I don't feel that lovely "boost" when I drink it :(

This was last cup of coffee - taken on Friday

I even splurged and put creamer in it (NOT Whole 30)

This is me on the couch yesterday. I do NOT take naps and have never felt the need before. This had me really concerned considering all the work I need to accomplish. But my health is worth it & coffee was no longer my friend :(

I did manage to get dressed yesterday and walk two blocks to my favorite neighborhood restaurant. I'm SO glad I did. Not only was my meal delicious, we got to enjoy the live performance:

That is a real bus stop on my street!
I'm not sure why there are dancers, but they were great!

Then we found out that the restaurant was hosting a Neighborhood Block Party featuring the screening of The Birds. I ♥ anything by Alfred Hitchcock! I strolled home, added UGG boots, my Under Armor cold-gear, and grabbed a blanket to watch the movie. 
It was so much fun!

Back to business: this week, I'll be exploring several different books with my 1st grade intervention, 1st grade Power Hour, and 3rd grade intervention groups. I made this Beginning-Middle-End organizer to use with ALL of them. I hope you can use them, too! Please click here to download. 

This post is linked up with:
Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

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Friday, October 17, 2014

5 for Friday: Creepy Counting

Happy Friday!

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching
to recap my busy teaching week!

I hope you clicked on Kacey's link above...
her post is FULL of terrific ideas :)

Here's my random "Top 5"

5. Splash Math

Have you seen this app
I am trying out new apps with one student who may qualify for Assistive Technology. I just discovered Splash Math and quickly decided to purchase a classroom copy. So far, so good! The addition practice seems to closely follow our first grade math (influenced by Engage NY and NWEA). I'll keep you posted!

4. Red Hands

Have you downloaded Kimberly Geswein's most recent font?
It may be my most favorite font EVER! As soon as I saw it this week, I downloaded it and switched up a reading response page for my Power Hour. I tried it out with my students and they were able to read it easily. Now that it's been student-approved, I'm moving forward and switching my "Penmanship" fonts to this gem.
Thanks Kimberly ♥

3. The Ghost-Eye Tree

Have you read this book? I had never heard of it until this week. The most wonderful general education teacher read it to her class and then showed us how to make spooky "Ghost Eye" Trees!
Here's some action shots :)

 I promise, the "tree" looks better in person :)

Here's the book - a true classic!


2. 3rd Grade Update

Last week, I dropped my big news...I'm pulling a 3rd grade reading intervention group! That's pretty big news because I've been in first grade for years and kindergarten before that.
Sooo, what have I learned about 3rd grade?

This week, I learned...

These 3rd graders are demonstrating a more extensive (non-academic) vocabulary...this is not necessarily a good thing :(

These 3rd graders decoding skills are waaayyyy above their comprehension.

They may act tough, but they still ♥ all my teaching tricks: stinky markers, GRIT Trackers, WBT rules, Halloween read-alouds... :)

We have four sessions under our belt and I've already seen drastic improvements in behavior. I can't wait to see what next week brings!

1. Creepy Counting On Freebie

I'm sharing a counting on visual chart that I use with my "Math Club" intervention group. I display the chart during our Fact Fluency. My students are really relying on the counting on addition strategy ("put the big number in your head and count on"). Previously I was using a "dot chart" we created together. This week, I brought out this creepy counting on chart:

Please click here to download your copy!

I'm so excited to link up with Teaching Blog Addicts

I'm the featured blogger this week - thank you!!!

Freebie Fridays

Have a fantastic Friday!

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

WIWW & Pumpkin Freebie!

It's finally here!

Deena | Christy | Jordan | Carrie C. | Shaunacey | Danielle | Beth | Joy | Sarah | 
Leslie | Katie | Jennifer | Carrie M. | Lisa |  | Sheila | Lana | Lauren | Anna | Alison

The Fall Style Me Pretty Challenge kicked off this week and the amazing Deena from Shoes to Shiraz helped us get ourselves together - thank you!

I'm not too proud of my lack of participation this week...I'm posting how I had to interpret the outfits while I patiently wait for my online shopping orders to arrive. 
Next week will be much better!

Here's Day 1...cute idea, a little ho-hum on me:

It's difficult to see, but the boatneck top is actually
black & white striped ♥

Here's what I wore for Day 2 - I went completely off was supposed to be a solid top, military jacket (not sure the jacket is going to happen for me), scarf, black skinnies, and boots. 
I swapped out the jacket for the vest:

It was "okay" - not sure if I'll be reaching for this outfit again.

More outfits to come...stay tuned!

This post is also linked up with 

We are off to the pumpkin patch today for a 1st grade field trip...or are we? It's supposed to be rainy all day :(

Here's a freebie writing prompt that will work with any pumpkin exploration. I'll be using it to capture our favorite moments using our five senses...what did we see, hear, smell, feel/touch, taste...?

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Book Linky: Young & Old

Happy Tuesday!

Lots of exciting things happening here!

First, our grade level team is hosting a huge "Data and Desserts" event tonight to share the first round of data with our parents. We will be focusing on the STEP testing we did in August/September. It's a big switch from using Fountas and Pinnel and we want to help parents learn about all the ins & outs. Next, we will be sharing some "make and take" ideas for supporting sight word practice at home. Our students are asked to master 200 words every school year - that's 400 by the end of 1st grade (!!!). 

My next BIG news...I'm now teaching (as of yesterday)....THIRD grade! Well, sort of...I'm working with a third grade reading intervention group for 45 minutes every day. After I wrapped my brain around the idea (I was told of this switch on Friday),
I got SUPER-psyched for the opportunity.
I will still have my firsties the rest of the school day.

I pulled my first group yesterday and WOW. These are tough little people - more developed vocabulary (not the academic kind!) and little 'tudes. I've got my work cut out for me! I'll be reaching out to all the 3rd grade experts out there very soon :)

This school year has proven to be like no other and I'll admit I'm struggling just a tad

I've been pulling out some of my tried and true motivational teaching books and also researching some new ideas. I just received an order (thanks to Amazon Prime, my new BFF)
and found these two gems:

  Teaching with Intention


So, I actually teared up reading the introduction
(note: that's how tough my year has been so far!)

and Manage Your Day-to-Day:
 Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, 
and Sharpen Your Creative Mind 
(The 99U Book Series)

This is a fantastic & QUICK read!
I read it all the way through over the weekend & now going back and highlighting. Please let me know if you've also read this book - I'd love to hear your thoughts!

And I've also busted out the Halloween favorites.

Yesterday, we read halfway through:

  Click, Clack, Boo!: A Tricky Treat

Cutest. Book. EVER!

It lends itself to the BEST students were knee-deep into finding text evidence and making predictions. I can't wait to read more today!

This week's sensory bin also supports our theme ♥

What's inside? Just a hodge-podge of everything Halloween...pumpkins, ghosts, acorns, eyeballs, etc. I also add themed task cards for my students to "search and solve." Once these activities are teacher and student-tested and approved, 
I'll share the results!

This Book Linky post is linked up with Mrs. Jump's Class

Have a wonderful week!

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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Everyday Motivation (Happy Freebie)

Happy Sunday!

I'm up early to get a head start on my day. It's going to be busy because 1) I had an extremely non-productive Saturday and 
2) I'll be out and about being social today :)

I'll be out today for two extremely different celebratory is for celebrating new life (baby shower) and the other is for celebrating life (and fighting to keep it). The second isn't actually a "celebration" and I just received an "invite" that may be understandably be reneged on.

Both social events are a reminder of what's important 
(and often forgotten, at least by me).

As I tackle a few lesson plans and to-do's this morning, 
I wanted to offer this thought...

It's a quote from Gretchen Rubin:

It's pretty simple, and possibly off-centered, 
but it's all yours if you want it (please click here)!

This post is linked up with:
Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Have a wonderful Sunday!

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Friday, October 10, 2014

5 for Friday & Fall Poetry Freebie

We made it! - TGIF!!!

It's been a busy week!

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching
for a "quiet" and very random

5,  We just wrapped up our first week of Power Hour!

Monday was a bit rough...we practiced just MOVING from one station to another. We could have renamed our time "Power (struggle) Hour" as my little strugglers had to get to know their new reading peers. But each day improved and this happened Thursday:

4. This also happened Thursday:

Noooooo :(  
When I was young, it felt like full moons were a rare occurrence. Now that I'm a teacher, they seem to happen every other day!

3. Number lines paths made their Common Core appearance this week!

I always get mixed results using number paths. For some students, it's the lightbulb moment. For other students...not so much! This week, one of my sweet students was secretly using her fingers to solve the problem (hiding them under the table) and then fake-using the number path to display her answer. How do your students do with them? Do they love them or leave them?

2. Water Beads are the BOMB!

This week's sensory bin was such a HIT! We keep each box for one week and then switch it out for our new theme. By Wednesday, this magical box had become a behavior management tool with students begging to earn "one minute with the eyeballs!" A few teachers even stopped by and tried it :)

1. Yesterday was a bit of a sad day: 

This little friend was waiting for me at my table after recess. 
I couldn't get the whole story, but our friend may have had some fun during recess and then traveled in a student's pocket and "landed" here. I wasn't super excited considering I'm deathly allergic to bees. I scooped it up to place him where he belongs (trash can) and my student got SO upset - "Don't take my friend! Don't take my best friend!" It took some pats on the back and a little water break to settle ourselves down. I wonder what will be waiting for me next time!

Thank you for reading about our week!
This post is also linked up with The Daily Alphabet for:

Here's a fall freebie I used with my small intervention group. 
I adore using poetry, especially with seasonal themes:

We explored this poem using "fall" colored pencils 
(red, yellow, orange, and brown). 

This post is also linked with Teaching Blog Addicts:

Freebie Fridays

Have a fantastic Friday!

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