Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hello Friends!

Sorry it has been so long since our last post. We officially went back to work on Wednesday and had all our meetings and trainings. We had a whole half day of training for our new Common Core that we have to implement this year. Talk about stress.

I am also trying to implement Daily 5 in my classroom. I am a little scared just because its hard to change what you already know. So if you all have any tips on Daily 5 I will love to read them. I have read many of your posts on Daily 5 so thank you so much for sharing all of your knowledge and insights because it is what inspired me to begin. Keep on posting ladies!

I got to meet my new students on Friday and talk about cuteness. I cannot wait to start off the new year. I have so much fun things planned for them.

I promise I will get some more pics up of the final classroom. I will also post some new things that I have been working on but right now I am exhausted. Its been a long day of doing all the last minute prep, boy I tell you the work of a teacher is never done.


Friday, August 19, 2011

Back to School!

Hello everyone!

It has been a while since my last post but I have been sick. Yes, can you believe having a cold in the middle of summer! It was a not a pleasant time especially in Las Vegas since it it so HOT! Can you imagine having a fever and it being 110 degrees outside. YIKES!

Well anyways now its over and glad that its out of my system so that I can get back to my classroom. I have to report back to work on Wednesday and I am not ready. Its like the more I go to class the more unfinished projects I find or make up. LOL! I love looking through blog world but there are so many good ideas that I want to implement in my classroom that sometimes I feel like I'm going CRAZY!!!!

Well anywho! I met with my wonderful first grade team last week and discussed many of our Back to School routines. We always start off the year with a Gingerbread hunt around the school to show our students around the school by solving a series of clues. The students love this activity! Well this year we decided to change it up a little and since our school's mascot is a Superhero. We decided to to a Superhero Hunt.

I dont know if any of you can use a Superhero Hunt but I am offering free fro all of you. Just click on the link below and check it out. Isn't it darling!
Well I don't know how many of you can use the Superhero themed hunt but if you can't I have also made a mini Gingerbread Unit. I have it up for sale on out TPT and our Teachers Notebook. It includes 15 pages of Gingerbread themed activities. Go and check it out! Click on the image below to head on over to our Teachers Notebook. Click on our TPT to check it out there!
Well now I am off back to the classroom. Hope to get a lot done so I can have a relaxing weekend with my family. My brother is back from studying abroad in Japan. Yipee!


Thursday, August 11, 2011

VIP Student

So as I was reading the blog post by What the Teacher Wants the other day about her VIP procedures. I got to thinking or actually remembered that I have to redo my VIP. You can check her posts and her wonderful downloads by clicking on the link. Last year my theme was more of an ocean theme so I had The Whale of the Week and that special child got the whole week to themselves. Each day they would do something different.

Monday: They would bring in their Autobiography and baby pictures. I would hang this on a bulletin board I created especially for this. We would read the autobiography and ooh and ahh at all the adorable baby pictures. I also asked the parents to write a special letter to their child on why they are so special and put it in an envelope for us to share on Friday.

Tuesday: The students would write a note to The Whale of the Week telling them why they are special. The Whale of the Week would write about being the VIP and what they think they are really good at.

Wednesday: The students would bring in a "Show and Tell" item. (I had to be very specific to tell my parents no animals because my word these people want to bring everything in.)

Thursday: The student would bring in their favorite book and we would share it with the class.

Friday: The student was presented with a certificate for being the student of the week and a little book of all the letters their classmates wrote. I would also read the letter from the parent. After all this is done the VIP for the week would reach in a bag and choose the next VIP for the week.

This is when I would return all the baby pictures except for one. The student would chose their favorite one and they would go on our baby wall. It looks so cute when it is all filled with the students pictures and I even put my own baby picture. Of course I am the first VIP since I want them to get to know me first and learn the routine. I also hang onto the autobiography paper and bind them together to make a great book for our classroom library. The students love reading it.

Well this year I am doing more of a Beach theme than an Ocean theme so I decided to change things up a little and instead of Whale of the Week, I am doing Surfer of the Week. Yeah I know I am very creative. HA! I also changed some of the things I do during the week because sometimes we wouldn't have enough time for the students to write a letter to the VIP so I decided to skip that this year but I wanted to let you know about it in case you are interested. I loved the idea that Rachelle had from What the Teacher Wants of sending home a classroom mascot and having the student write about their adventure. So I am adding the mascot this year and since I was an Ocean theme last year and I had a dolphin in my classroom already "Flippy the Dolphin" was created.

This is what the VIP wall looks like. In the frame goes the students picture that I took at the beginning of the year and in all that blank space goes all the pictures that the parents send in. Some students have more than others but I have never had a student not bring any in but if I did then I would have to put my own pictures of the student, since I am always snapping pictures. This clip art is all included in the download as well as the things for the binder for Flippy the Dolphin. I don't know if you could use it but at least it might give you ideas so click on the link below and let me know what you think.

Ok seriously I have 13 days before I have to be at work, where did this summer go? Must find my inner peace. Ha!!!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Polka Dot Beanie Strategy Posters

Last year a friend shared her Beanie Baby Reading Strategy Posters with me. The posters feature a Beanie Baby animal and a decoding/comprehension strategy that they represent. It's a very cute and appealing visual for kiddos who might need some extra help when they read. The posters she sent me were super cute and I cut them down, mounted them on colored construction paper and laminated them, but they don't fit my polka dot theme for this year! (And I am very OCD about making everything match!)

I searched high and low on the Internet and couldn't find anything that would work. So I did the next best thing.... I made them myself!

If you have a polka dot classroom, then this is the product for you! It features 15 different posters with decoding/comprehension strategies on them as well as an ADORABLE clipart image (thanks to Scrappin Doodles!) to go along with the strategy. It looks a little something like this:

And this is just ONE of the posters! Head on over to our store at to snag your copy!

I'm back! Some polka dot sneak peeks!

Hi everyone, Angie here! It's been so long since I posted that I feel like I need to re-introduce myself! I can't believe how fast this summer has flown by. I've been so consumed with my two little guys at home these past few weeks and I just wasn't able to blog as much as I would like! I also found myself in a "creativity funk" for a few days, but I am glad to say that was just a phase because now I'm back! Huge thanks (and my apologies!) to Cindy for keeping this baby going!

I realized I hadn't posted any pictures of my classroom and although I've been going in to my room at least once a week, I didn't feel like I was getting anything done! With the help of a Starbucks coffee and my awesome friend Tracy, I can FINALLY say that my classroom is coming along nicely! Here are some sneak peeks into my room now. Obviously it's not done yet, but we're getting there. :-)

My Reading Spot... there are still a few things I need to put up here! (The posters underneath the title are from Teaching in Flip Flops' blog and they are Reading Genre posters!)

My Meeting Spot/Calendar Board!

My Word Wall

It's hard to see in this picture but I made clothespins with a little chalkboard on the front of them for the students to write their names on. This will be my "Spot-Tacular Work" board!

I had this little niche of a wall and couldn't decide on what to put on it, but my Reading Reminders worked perfectly here! It's right next to my Reading Table so it works great! The wall to the right will have my Reading Beanies on it!

My desk area. The blank blue boards will have all of my schedules/calendars/memos on them!

That's it for now...I'm going back in this week to hopefully finish more of it. I've learned that I'm more productive when I don't have my little guys in there with me, so that's the plan! Stay tuned for more updates!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Its a Giveaway!

First Grade Fanatics are having a great giveaway that you must check out. Just click on the link to head on over there.


Friday, August 5, 2011

Teachers Notebook

Hello everyone Cindy here! I have great news we just opened out Teachers Notebook shop. I am posting some of our things as I type this( Yes I am that talented, Ha!). You definitely have to check it out.

In other news Angie and I decided to take a break from the classroom and we got our boys together for a fun playdate. They will be going to the same preschool next year so we got to tour it today and my son was so happy. It is going to be his first time in school and I am super nervous! After our tour we went to Angie's house and the boys got to play in the pool, which was so nice with this heat we have been having in Vegas. As the boys were playing me and Angie noticed that we didn't have any pictures posted of ourselves on here. So drumroll please, here we are!
It was an impromptu picture so we didn't get our glamour shot on but hey it will do. I am the one wearing green and of course Angie is the other one.

Back to the classroom on Monday. I am setting a goal to have my classroom done and ready by next week. It is so hard with a 3 year old running around but it is my mission next week. I will be posting pictures of my room and I am going to sneak into Angie's and take pictures because it is adorable with all those polka dots.

Hope you have a great weekend!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Pinterest/ School update

Ok so I have read everyone's post about Pinterest and decided to start an account. I have found a new obsession, not that I needed another one =)
I love how easy it is to be able to keep everything in one place. If you have not gone on Pinterest you have to check it out. You can follow me by clicking on the little red button.

After looking at all the cute DIY items all of you are making I decided to try my luck and make one. I decided on those seats out of crates. It was my first project all by myself and I think they came out pretty cute. (That is my son in the picture laying on my treadmill waiting for me to go play in the pool with him.)
As for school I am getting really anxious as the beginning of the year is fast approaching. I spent most of the morning in my classroom trying to get things done but with a 3 year old running around their is only so much you can do. My classroom is coming along so I will post more pictures soon.