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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Back-to-School Night

So tonight was my school's Back-to-School night, which is basically, open house.  Parents come in to learn about our classroom.  This year it's earlier than normal (usually it's the week of Labor Day), but I'm fine with that because then I can get it over with and parents can get the information earlier.  So my classroom was ready, I had put up our Who Am I? clue sheets/self portraits/pictures from the first day of school.  I had also put up our wishes for 2nd grade.  In their letter they got from me before school started I had them get an All About Me poster ready to get them ready for school and so we could learn about each other.  I had everyone's poster in the hallway that has brought one in.  Then today I had the students make the "folders" that I put all of the information I pass out in (just a folded large piece of construction paper they decorate), invitations to come tonight, and little people cut-outs made to look like themselves.  They also filled out the Parent Game (we've had it for a while, I have no idea where it came from) where they put in their favorite things and then on the other side are the same questions and the parents have to guess the answers.  Always good for while parents are waiting and the kids love their parents filling it out.  So we've been busy, busy, busy to get ready and it was only the 6th day of school lol.  Then today after school I put all of the information on the desks in their folders.  I taped their mini me to their chair, so it looked like they were sitting in it, and I added the apple and cute saying about how parents are teachers too idea from pinterest.  I also got my back table ready with conference sign-ups (they're the first week in October) as well as party volunteer sign-ups.  It was hectic!  I also got everything ready on my computer so I could easily pull it up on the projector when explaining things.  I had one parent show up 15 minutes early, but it was no big deal.  It was nice talking with her and she was great while I finished the last minute details.  Then everyone came and I had a long line out my door as they were waiting to pick a conference time.  Then after the principal and PTOs announcements on the tv, I started in on my shpeal (sp?).  I got it all in on time (usually I talk fast and end early, but I think I did really well this year!) with just a couple of minutes to share.  Talked to a few parents, everyone was super nice, and very appreciative of everything done so far, and everything I shared tonight.  Once my room was empty and I looked around at the desks, I noticed that everyone had come!!  Nothing was left on the desks except the note the parents left for their child (another fun thing the parents do and the kids love reading them the next morning, it's a nice surprise).  I couldn't believe it!  This is my 11th year teaching and I have NEVER had all the parents come.  It's fabulous because I have 22 conferences scheduled.  Normally, I'm hunting people down to get a time from them.    So super happy about tonight.  I'm also continuing to love my class, which is awesome since you would have thought this group (grade level) as a whole were horror children from the stories we heard last year.  I think I was lucky this year with the group I got.  Hopefully I continue feeling that way.  Hopefully things continue to go well with parents as well this year.  I'm also happy that I'm getting better with talking in front of the parents.  My family could never understand why I didn't like public speaking when I stand in front of 25 people (basically) every day and talk.  Talking to the children, as you all know, is a completely different ball game than talking to adults.  I'm getting better with that though too.  I only had tiny butterflies when they first started walking in, but then they went away and it was great.  So yay for getting it under my belt and now I won't need to worry, stress out, and get a million things ready until conferences.  lol
Let me tell you though, my legs are feeling being back in school.  After being lazy all summer long and siting/laying around, my legs are like what are you doing after standing all day.  I'm good all day long as I'm going, going, going, but once I get home and sit on the couch, boy do I feel how tired they are!
Well thanks for letting me share how my night went.  Success!  :)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Monday Made-it, First Full Week

Well I "made-it" through my first week back at school, made a couple of made-its to go along with the fantastic 4th Grade Frolics Monday Made-it, and I'm hoping to make-it through my first full week with students.  Hopefully they'll make it with me!  lol  So with getting back into the swing of things with my class and getting everything ready, don't have too many things to share today.
The first thing I'm going to share are the Teacher Survival Kits I made for my team.  I got the idea from here.
So I bought 3 small bait boxes from Wal-mart, picked up some travel sized items (tissues, lint roller, tide pen, hand lotioin, chapstick, gum, and candy), and covered the tops with a title I made.  I game them to my team at our first team meeting of the year (Oh, and I also attached hand sanitizer to them, it didn't fit inside) and they loved them.
My other made-it was inspired by Run! Miss Nelson has the camera, when she made her super cute bumblebee stick to hold as guide for students when going out for fire drills and other fun things.  You can see it here if you don't remember.  Well I LOVED the idea, so I made one for my room, but did it to match my rainforest theme.
Very excited about this one, thanks for the idea!  That's what's great about these Mondays!!!
Hope everyone has a great week!  :)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

First Week

I hope everyone who started school had a great week.  Mine was wonderful, with Friday being the best day so far (I know it was only the 3rd day, but still, momentum! lol).  We had absolutely no issues on Friday.  Everyone was happy to be there all day long.  Next week we will start getting into curriculum with the Treasures Smart Start unit and the lessons in Everyday Math.  It will be good to start getting into more of what our day to day routine will be like.  I started Daily 5 on our first full day of school, so we'll continue on with that as well.  Luckily with this group, most of them did it in first grade, so they kind of know the drill already.  There are so many things I want to do with all of the great ideas I've gotten from pinterest and blogs, that I have to try and remember them all!
We also have Back-to-School Night (open house) Wednesday evening, so I can't wait to get that done with.  I never enjoy that night.  They sit there staring at me while I explain and show things and you know some of them are not taking in a thing I'm saying.  lol
Today my siblings and their families and myself are taking family pictures as a Christmas gift for my parents.  We haven't done this for 6 years and there have been 3 new members of our family since then.  So it should be fun.  However the plan (since there are so many of us) is to do it outside and there is an 80% chance of rain.  lol  The Plan B is to be in a gazebo in a park if it's raining.  So we'll see how all of that goes and how willing some of the little kids are with cooperating.  lol  It might be a long afternoon in the rain.  lol
I'm going to leave you with a freebie I use in my room every year.  The students have to think of a wish (goal) that they have for 2nd grade.  Maybe it's to make new friends or to practice their spelling or math facts or to learn how to tell time.  They write them down and draw a picture of themselves accomplishing that goal.  I display them for Back-to-School Night and then put them in their writing portfolio and talk about them at the first conference and see how it's going.  Click on the picture to get your free copy.
Happy Sunday everyone! :)
Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Thursday, August 23, 2012

And we're back...

So I started school this week.  I had in-service Monday and Tuesday, then kids for a half-day Wednesday and first full day Thursday.  I always get nervous, just like the kids, for the first day, wondering how the group will be.  Then the day is upon me and the kids come in, most of them with their parents dropping them off and the day has begun.  Once all of the parents leave, it feels like old hat, even though it's a new bunch of kids.  All last year my team and I kept hearing, you're going to want to take next year off, do early retirement, switch grades, this group is a doozy!  I kept saying, don't worry, you'll whip them into shape before you give them to us, lol, but the group was higher needs.  I still really didn't sweat it all summer as I know that kids change and that the whole dynamic of the class can change with different students and a different teacher.  I also knew that I was getting the student who needed the most help and was going to be pulled a lot and that he didn't listen well to his resource teacher (which is why she was giving him to me, because not listening to me is not an option.  I'm firm and let them know that they need to do things just like everyone else).  Then as the summer went on I learned the other student who had a one-on-one aide was switched to my class as well.  Again fine, no biggie, I always get the special ed. cluster in my room.  Then finally my class list came out, a little over a week before school started.  I looked up their pictures (since their names meant nothing) and saw the one student who made me nervous for the start of the year.  lol  This student last year, in first grade, used to scream as if she was being stabbed or was watching her parents get stabbed, at the top of her lungs, for HOURS (I don't know how she could do it), and would have to be taken away by the social worker.  Little things would set her off apparently.  She got better as the year went on and by the end of the year at least, she wasn't screaming anymore, just crying.  So needless to say, I was not too excited about that.  Then school came and people asked who was in my class and I told them and they would say, you got all 3 of them?  In one class?  Again, there is no room that has an escape from high need kids.  I felt lucky that it looked like the rest of my kiddos were great and bright.  So after the parents left and we were settled in, things were good.  Then I asked the students who hadn't finished the scavenger hunt (a way to learn about our classroom, really those kids just didn't do the hunt) to come see me to get their first day prize anyway.  That's when the friend I was nervous about, came up to me crying because she had started coloring and had not done the scavenger hunt.  I told her it was okay, not a big deal, but to her it was a big deal.  I told her she shouldn't be upset, I wasn't upset with her, mistakes happen.  She replied that she does not like making mistakes.  I told her that everyone makes mistakes, even I make mistakes.  We will make mistakes every day, but that's okay, it happens to everyone.  She did not care because she does not like to make mistakes.  Then I told her, she had 2 options: 1, she could fix her mistake by doing the hunt and getting her prize, or 2 she could just go back and finish coloring her picture.  Either one was fine.  Then she just kept saying she didn't know.  I repeated my directions to her and she said she didn't know which one to choose.  I told her I was not making the choice for her, that she needed to make the choice.  She refused so I said okay, just stand there then, and I walked away and did everything else I needed to do and "ignored" her (although I was completely aware of her the whole time).  She then calmed down, caught my eye at one point and started up again.  I went back to "ignoring" her.  She calmed down, stayed that way and was fine the rest of the short day.  Today we had our first whole day, she was great all day.  No problems.  My other friend who does not like to listen to his resource teacher, did a fantastic job of listening to me all day.  The problem with that is that he needs a lot of one-on-one help, so him not listening to his resource teachers or assistants and swatting at them isn't an option.  Everything will fall into place and then things will be fine.  I know they will be!  I'm really happy with my class though.  They are a great bunch of kids and I'm excited to get to know them better.  It will be really fantastic once we have our routine up and running.  I'm so happy it's Friday already.  I give major props to you that have a full first day and full first week.  I like much better, our easing into it.  lol  Well I just thought I'd let you in on my first few days since I had the time.  I'll leave you with pictures of my classroom for the linky party by Teaching Blog Addict.  :)
A pic of the front of my room, with my reading chair, chart cart, calendar bulletin board, and bookshelf my brother-in-law made me.  
Moving to the right, we have my guided reading area and my desk.  
Continuing on clockwise, you can see my groups of desks and counter/cabinet area.  
That leads us into my book nook area.  
There is the view of the back of my room.  As you can see, those walls open up (we could have all of the walls open and pushed to the side, but we only open that section, the rest are locked into place).  My teammate on the other side and I do Daily 5 and guided reading together, indoor recess together, sometimes math, and other activities/celebrations.  I love that feature.  Not many teachers in our building do it.  They keep the whole thing locked tight.  
Then you come around and can kind of see my writing center, mailboxes, entrance, and lunch graph.  
That leads us to our final picture, as we complete the circle around the room, of our cubbies.  The picture frames on the bulletin boards hold photos of the students (currently last year's class) demonstrating one of the six character traits we talk about, as a reminder.  
Have a wonderful Friday!!!!  :)


Monday, August 20, 2012

Manic Monday and Back to School

     So today is my first official day back at school.  Starting today we have 2 days of inservice and then the kiddos start on Wed.  It was very sad to turn that alarm back on let me tell you.  I've been trying to do better with waking up earlier so the 6AM wake up wouldn't be a shock.  I'm linking up again with Monday Made it.  :)  (I'll let you in on a secret.  I always write these posts the night before and then schedule them to post when it's actually Monday.  Then whenever I wake up I link up.)
     So this past week I worked at school every day getting my room ready (don't have any pics yet, they'll be coming).  I did all sorts of little projects, but nothing I took pictures of.  Also, this week was my niece Josie's birthday.  She was having a Little Mermaid party Sunday.  So the first thing I did was make mermaid tails for the 3 4-year olds that would be at the party (Josie, my other niece Brynn, and another little girl).  I got the idea from pinterest of course.  It's a no-sew.  Click here to go to the link that gives directions on how to make them along with photos.  My niece Brynn was my model for sizing to make the 3 of them.  She helped me with that after she helped me in my classroom last Monday.  Here's how they turned out.
Brynn's, the first one I made.  
The girls modeling for me.  
I told them to look at the balloons so you could see the back.  
Brynn was very excited that I was making these, as she loves to dress-up and loves Disney princesses.  Josie loved it too, but ended up taking it off half-way through the party.  Brynn kept hers on the whole way home.  lol  
     Now I love to bake and always make the desserts for my family's parties.  The last few years I've gone all out with making the girls' cakes.  I made a Disney princess castle cake for Brynn's 3rd birthday, a Rapunzel tower cake for Josie's 3rd birthday, a Fancy Nancy cake for Brynn's 4th birthday, and Josie requested a Little Mermaid cake for this birthday (Brynn has already put in her request, 6 months early, for a Barbie cake for her 5th, lol).  So I looked for inspiration through google images and found one that I liked that I thought I could do something similar to.  Here's mine.  
The bottom layer is a dark chocolate cake (box mix) and the rock she's sitting "on" (in, lol) is cherry chip cake (again box mix).  I always get super nervous during transport time.  I really need an assistant like on the cake shows, to hold the cake steady for me while I'm driving.  Let me tell you I notice every bump when transporting cakes.  lol  Luckily this one and the Fancy Nancy cakes were no problem to transport, for the castle and tower cakes, they were leaning by the time I got to the party and had to have some fixing done.  This is why I always take a picture of the cake before I leave my house.  lol  So that's what the above picture is.
This picture was taken after we made it to the party and added the other little figurines that my brother had for it (fish, Ursula, Tritan, Flounder, and candle).  The snowflake tray is the only tray I own that would fit the cake.  lol  
     So those are my made-its for this week.  We'll see what (if anything) I get done this week (besides my classroom) with school starting.  
     I'm also linking up with I'm Blog Hoppin for Teacher Week.  Today is Must Have Monday.  
My must haves:
*computer & printer
*laminator
*my silhouette
*my iPod stereo & music
*crafting supplies
Also, since I'm typing this up early, I don't know if it's only supposed to be school related, since it's teacher week.  Non-school related must haves:
*family
*my tv & dvr
Hope everyone has a great day!  Thanks for stopping by!  :)  

Friday, August 17, 2012

Last Friday of break :(

So this week I've been pretty busy.  I've gone into my classroom to work and spent the day with family on Wednesday.  Monday my sister and niece helped me set up my room, Tuesday I went in by myself. This was the day that a lot of people came in so I ended up chatting more than working in my room.  lol  Then yesterday I went in because I was meeting with my 2 special ed. students I will be having in my room, so they could meet me and learn about the classroom before the year begins.  I also got a surprise when I came in, there were all of these boxes piled up at the front of my room.  I was confused because we had already gotten our math journals and handwriting books, so I didn't know what it could be.  I'm team leader, so I get the boxes.  My team mate who I team teach with during Daily 5/guided reading time, came over too.  Then it hit me what it must be.   At the end of last year we were asked to go through catalogs and make a wishlist of stuff we would like that would help us with teaching common core.  My team did this and picked a whole bunch of stuff, really going all out because we thought, there is no way we're getting this stuff, we have no money.  Well that was the only think I could think of what could be in those boxes, especially since it was from EAI.  So I started opening, and it was like Christmas!  It was a lot of the stuff from our wishlist!  We each (4 of us) got a huge tub filled with 3000 unifix cubes (so excited because those are expensive and I was borrowing some from other teachers as they really help the kids understand double-digit addition/subtraction), some I Have, Who Has games for time, money, and math facts, a big container of all different kinds of dice, money cubes, graphing chart book, a graphing resource book, a writing prompts resource book, and a 6 Traits writing mini-lessons cube.  We were very excited!  Then we talked to one of our old team members who helped with ordering stuff.  She moved to first grade for this year and she said that they hadn't done the wishlist!  We were so happy that we did!  So today I think I'm going to go in to send some things to the copy center we have in our building.  I'm torn though because it would also be nice to spend my last official day of summer break, not going in to school.  We'll see.  I'll probably go in just for a bit and then have the rest of my day.
I haven't linked up with Freebie Friday in a bit, so I think I'll do it today.  My freebie is paper bracelets that say Officially in 2nd Grade.  I usually get the stickers from Really Good Stuff, but I was trying to save some money this year.  I got the idea from Kindergarten Works teacher's notebook store freebie.  In her directions, she gives you a recipe for lickable glue that you can put on the end of the bracelet so you don't have to tape the bracelets together.  The students can lick and stick them on.

Lickable Glue Recipe
1 small pack of gelatin
10 oz. of white vinegar
an air-tight container
Supplies Needed:
Instructions:
1. Boil the vinegar.
2. Stir in the package of gelatin.
3. Stir until the gelatin is dissolved.
4. Cool down and pour into the container you’ll use for storing left over.
5. Use a brush to apply to the right hand column of bracelets. Paper will
crinkle slightly due to moisture.
6. Put aside papers to dry. Store the rest in an air-tight container.
So a huge thank you to Kindergarten Works for sharing that!  
Enjoy your Friday everyone!  :)

Freebie Fridays

Monday, August 13, 2012

1 week left

     In 1 week I will officially be back to my normal school routine, waking up early, no more being lazy and lounging around in PJ's on the computer and doing what I want.  I need to make the most of this week, but I have to finish setting up my classroom!  Today is the first official day we can go in to work on our rooms (I already went in last Monday and got a lot done).  My sister Jodie and 4 year old niece Brynn are going to be coming in to help me like they have the last couple of years.  Jodie always cleans out and organizes my desk after I've trashed it the previous year and with throwing things in it to clear off my desk for the summer.  lol  Now at least she'll have my teacher toolbox to use to help organize it some more.  Now let me get on to my Made-its with 4th Grade Frolics!
     So again I printed out a whole bunch of stuff and laminated it so it's ready for school.  I made my classroom job cards, which you can get for free here.  I couldn't find any cards that were in the rainforest theme and were jobs I use in my classroom.  I have board cleaners, mail helpers, lunch helper, librarians, clean-up crew, sub, supply managers (fix up supplies in writing center and community baskets), coin counter (counts to make sure a student has 10 caught being good coins to turn in for a prize), prize patrol (makes sure they don't take too long at the prizes and that they only take 1 prize), and cubby helpers (makes sure the cubbies look nice throughout the day, and especially at the end of the day).  I have a helper of the day who gets to be the line leader, paper passer outer, and anything else I need done during the day.
     I also made my birthday straws from Once Upon a First Grade.  I still need a container to put them in though because nothing I have is big enough.
     I also made the ruler holder that has popped up everywhere from a Pringles can (as I've been saving them for a while for various projects) and what I'm calling my Spelling Sticks.  They come from Growing Kinders and are called Sight Word Chants.  I'm going to put them in word work though and let the kids practice their spelling words with them as one of their choices.  I made the can out of a Pringles can again, just cut down to size.
     Another thing I made was a desktop blotter from Classroom DIY.  I used paper that matched my toolbox that will be on my desk and my leftover green duck tape from my boggle board.  I usually get a free desktop calendar from one of the teacher stores I go to, but I didn't end up needing to go there this year, so I thought, hey I'll make this and use it for the same thing, and it's also free (pretty much, I mean I had everything already).  The calendar I printed out to put on top is from Fun in First Grade.  I loved that I could personalize it and that it will be right there on my desk to easily see (hopefully, lol).  
     Saturday my friend Tina and I hit some teacher appreciation sales and then I helped her make one of those great first day of school frames that so many others have made.  It turned out really cute.  I don't want to post a picture without asking first (as she's in the picture), but she did a great job and it was fun crafting together!  
     Also, don't forget that today is the last day for the teacherspayteachers Back-to-School sale.  I still have to get the stuff I want!  All of the stuff in both of my stores is 20% off through today.  
     Now hopefully I'll have time to look at the rest of the made-its this week, as I didn't have a chance last week, no time!  
     Happy Monday!!  :)
Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Busy, Busy, Busy

And it really hasn't even begun yet!  lol  I don't officially start school until the 20th (with students starting on the 22nd).  We also don't do any Meet the Teacher type event anymore either, so I definitely have time.  We can start officially working in our rooms starting the 13th, but I went in on Monday as my 15 year old niece Lizzie was available to come help me.  This was her 3rd year in a row coming to help and she is a big help.  We were told that air conditioning would only be on in our building until noon, so I wanted to get as much done as we could in the time we were there (so I didn't stop to take any before pictures, sorry!).  First up we loaded up my car and brought almost everything I brought home for the summer and the recent stuff I've purchased into my classroom (having the extra set of hands, VERY nice).  Then since I was changing some stuff around, she helped me to move around some of my furniture and figure out how I wanted it (most of our stuff is built in; cabinets, cubbies, my desk, so there is only so much you can do).  She also helped me take everything down from the top of the cabinets and shelves and put it where it needed to go.  We were there from 10-1 and I was super happy with all that we accomplished!  So much so that I don't think I'm going to go in anymore this week, I'll just wait until next week when the air will be on all day.  lol  Then today I went to the dollar store so I could get the silly straws for the birthday balloon gift idea that's floating around (now I just have to figure out what container to use because none that I already have at home were big enough for all of those straws).  I also found things for my calming caddy I'm going to make (gotta love the dollar store!).  Then I went to Michaels to get stuff to make a glitter bottle for the calming caddy, glue and magnets for my marble magnets, and stuff to make a desk blotter (plus of course other fun things).  Then when I got home, I got crafting.  I have been saving Pringles cans since March when I saw a cute gift idea with them (I decorated one in a baseball theme and put my dad's favorite kind of cookies in it as one of his gifts), so I used one to make a cute container for my spelling sticks (just had to cut it down).  I'm also going to use one to make the ruler holder that's out there, but I realized I haven't washed most of them (crumbs were rumbling around inside) so I have to do that and let them air dry for  a day or so before I can do any other projects with them.  Then I made my desk blotter (but it's not 100% done, about 75%).  Last of all I made my magnets.  I'm using them for my behavior "clip" chart.  I keep mine on my white board, and I like using magnets.  I was going to do my kids' names, but decided to go with their numbers instead.  For 1 because I was getting antsy with wanting to make them and we STILL haven't gotten our class lists yet, 2 this way I don't have to make new ones every year, and 3 because this way it's not glaringly obvious to every person who walks in the room who has been having a hard day (which was something my co-teacher said to me when I told her I was doing this system this year).  I used my silhouette sd (it's like the cameo that everyone seems to be using right now, but it's an older model.  It only fits up to 9 inches across and doesn't have all of the features the cameo has.  I'd REALLY like a cameo so I could use whole 12 x 12 sheets, instead of always having to cut the paper, but I just can't see shelling out more money for a cameo when there is nothing wrong with my machine).  I made 30 1.25 in. circles and had the machine cut them out, then I typed up numbers that I made sure would fit in the circles and the machine cut those out, then I used my xyron sticker maker to turn the numbers into stickers and stuck them on the circles.  Then I used clear packing tape to kind of laminate the circles before adding the glue, plant marbles, and magnets.  I'm very happy with them (I realized only 27 plant marbles were in the bag I got and I made 30 circles, but hopefully I won't have 27 students anyway! Although we're at 25 and registration is going on now.).  So that's what's been going on with me, what's been going on with you?  :)

Monday, August 6, 2012

I Made-it! again :)

     Woohoo!  It's time to post another entry for Monday Made-it with 4th Grade Frolics.  :)  I haven't been on my blog posting that much this week because I've been doing things to enjoy my summer before it's gone and working on school stuff too.  Last Monday I went into school to drop off my welcome letter and while I was there I picked up some things from my classroom that I needed to finish up some projects.  I didn't take pictures of them, but I got my 2 containers for the prize coupons that I will be doing this year instead of actual toy like prizes.  I got all the coupons printed, laminated, cut, sorted, and put into their section of the tackle box like container.  Previously the containers had been used to store my fun foam alphabet letters so I could easily grab the letters I needed, but last year I made letter bags for my word work station so those containers were sitting in my cabinet empty.  Yay for not having to buy something new!  I also brought home my craft sticks so I could make my brain break sticks to go in the container I had previously shown you guys.  So those were printed and taped and are now in the container as well.  
     I bought a basket for all of my stuffed animals for the kids to use as book buddies and I made a sign for it.  
Most of my stuffed animals are at school already (as I brought them back when I went in last Monday), so there were just a couple to put in the basket.  Here's my sign if you'd like.  I just used DJ Inkers clipart and the Howser font.  Last year if a kiddo picked Read to Someone and they couldn't find a buddy I used to give them a big Mickey to read to.  Then near the end I was thinking about all of the stuffed animals I have and I thought I could make the basket for them to choose from (it also works for one of my prize coupons "keep a stuffed animal on your desk for the day").  I know I have seen others of you who are doing the same thing as well.  
     Then for my other made it, I was inspired by Erica Bohrer and her Mr. Moo mascot pack.  Now since my classroom theme is the rainforest, the cow really wouldn't work for me, so I went to Build-A-Bear and got a monkey.  Then I used a canvas bag (from Michaels) and an iron on transfer and a binder to make the rest.  
I'm excited to try this this year.  The last 2 years I did themed family literacy bags, where I put in 4 or 5 books of a certain theme and games, activities, and other things to go with it in a canvas bag and families could check it out for some fun family literacy time.  However, this year I'm not doing it because I've had problems with them not coming back on time and then things being missing or damaged.  I just didn't want to deal with that this year, even though the kids loved them.  I thought this might be better to try.  You can go here to get the iron on transfer for the bag and here to get all of the items for the binder.  I left them in Word so you could edit them to fit you if you wanted them.  So just like Erica suggested, the students get to take Morty home for the weekend, they can read the 2 books I will put in there to him and do other fun things with him and write about it in the binder.  
     I also got another packet done for my tpt and teacher's notebook stores.  Click on the picture to go to my tpt store.  If you click on "download preview" you get a free uno type game for the spelling pattern ai/ay.  
     So today my lovely niece Lizzie will be coming with me to my classroom today to start getting it ready.  It will be more of a mess when we leave, but I'm using her to help me bring everything back to school and to get everything down from the top of the shelves and move furniture.  lol  She's a tall 15 year old girl and she likes to help me.  I'll treat her to a movie and feed her.  lol  I'm also hoping to get my class list today so I can see who I have in my class and start working on name stuff for that.  Happy Monday!  Can't wait to look at everyone's awesome made-its!  
Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

More Awards :)

Ever since getting my first award, I have been awarded 2 more.  It's so sweet of you!  I love that you think my little blog is good enough to get an award!  The problem I've been having is finding the time to look for other blogs that don't have these awards.  I have nothing major planned today except for grocery shopping, so today is the day!  lol  :)
Thank you to Jeannine at Classroom Couture for nominating my blog for the Liebster Award.
Classroom Couture

Here are the guidelines:
1. Link back to the person who gave it to you…they deserve the love!
2. Post the award on your blog for all to see!
3. Give the award to 5 of your favorite bloggers … ideally with approximately 200 followers or less.
4. Leave a comment on your chosen {5} blogs to let them know that they have been given the Liebster award.
So here are the 5 blogs I'm nominating:
Crayons and Lesson Plans

Sweet Life of Second Grade

Our Future Is Bright

My Silly Firsties


I also was nominated for another award The Versatile Blogger Award by Noelle from The Friz in First Grade.  
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you (and follow their blog)
2. Link back to the person who nominated you
3. Include the award image in your post
4. Give 7 random facts about yourself
5. Nominate 15 other bloggers for the award 
(Like I said for The Lovely Blog Award, I would just do 5.  15 is hard.  You can send the award police after me if you need to.  lol)  
6. When nominating, include a link to their blog
7. Let other bloggers know they've been nominated
Now this one is a little harder for me because it's hard to find 15 blogs that don't already have this award.  I had a hard time finding ones for The Lovely Blog Award.

7 Random Facts about me
1.  I am the 4th out of 5 children in my family.  
2.  I currently have 7 nieces and nephews. 
3.  The oldest of the above is my nephew who turns 18 (18!!!) this year.
4.  I was 11 when my eldest sister got married (she's 11 years older than me).  
5.  My favorite book series are the Anne of Green Gables series and the Harry Potter series.  I re-read them almost every summer and love the movies.  
6.  My favorite children's book is I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie.  I just love the illustrations and the end!
7.  My favorite color is red, but the deep royal looking red (not orangey red).  

Now here are the blogs I'm nominating:

That's So Second Grade (I couldn't get her blog button to work)


Photobucket

The First Grade Jungle Room


Okay, I'm taking my own advice and stopping at 5.  lol  There are a TON of blogs out there that deserve this award, but you all thought so too, because you've given it to them!  lol  So now that I've been on the computer for 3 hours, I'm going to get out of bed and get going for the day.  lol  Happy Wednesday everyone!  And again a HUGE thank you for the awards!  They make my day and make me feel loved. :)