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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sight words

I've looked at so many blogs over the summer and downloaded so many good ideas that I have no idea where I got this reading log idea from. If it's your idea, please let me know so I can give you credit. ***Found the awesome person who I got this idea from. Amy Lemons from Step into 2nd grade with Mrs. Lemons.***

I showed it to my team and they loved it just as much as I did. So I used the original reading log to create our reading log/sight words review form for our homework packets. (I thought it was so cute I even kept the cute clip art and "reading log" font. Good thing I had the same font and clip art.)

We use our sight words as our spelling words. We do 5 a week and then a review week of the previous 10 words.

So, if you'd like a copy, click on the image to download. It's a 100 words, plus review weeks so there are 30 pages! :)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Open Court signs for 2nd grade

Well, I'm feeling a little better about the 1/2 combo class. I made some signs for the 2nd grade curriculum to share. Click here to download. :) After meeting with the wonderful 2nd grade team at my school, my principal and specialists, I may be even a little excited about this 1/2 combo class. Here's to a new challenge.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Hi everyone. I was just told today that I would be teaching a 1/2 combo class this year. That starting on Monday, I'll have 17 1st graders and 6 2nd graders. My brain is racing, thinking of ways to fit in two curriculums. Stress level is through the roof. :(

Monday, August 22, 2011

birthday sign

Here's the birthday sign I'm going to put up with my birthday display. :) Happy Monday!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Sorry @ Question Concept Board

I just looked at my google document for the QC board signs and the Homes and Things that go signs didn't transfer over correctly in the PDF file. I don't know why but google docs isn't transferring over the font. So if you'd like those signs, please email me and I'll email them to you.

My district also has adopted the Envision math program. I made these labels to go with the center games. I didn't create the icons/clipart. These were taken directly from the program. I wanted the clip art to match what was on the game cards, so the kids would be able to quickly see which game is in the basket. My team and I probably won't get to all of the games in each Topic, so that means I won't make labels for all of them. If you need one that I didn't make, just email me and I'll try my best to get one to you quickly. (These labels were made for the Avery, white shipping labels 5352. It's 2" x 4.25")

Question & Concept board

For those of you who teach Open Court, here are some signs I typed up to use for each unit. (If you teach Open Court, please let me know. I'd love to pick your brain for ideas. Especially how you teach the concept of this board to little first graders.)

Now, some of the letters are on a different page. I was trying to save paper. I don't know about you all, but our school's so limited on paper. We only get 5 reams per trimester. LUCKILY, my donor's choose project for paper and pencils have just been funded. :) So excited.

Anyway, here's a picture of what I did with all the signs. And yes, I colored all of them. :) Coloring is very soothing to me. I just sat with my 2 year old and we had a blast coloring together. She also LOVED all the signs. She kept asking me, "Mommy. You color letters?" How I've missed her this week.

Friday, August 19, 2011

More classroom photos

Here's my boggle wall. (I just realized that this picture isn't a recent one of my boggle wall. Because it now has the word Boggle in that empty spot right above the letters.)
(Remember to imagine polka dot trimmers. I'm still waiting for them to get here. :) ) I used clips to hold up the letters because I didn't want to fight with the stapler every week. And yes, I rigged the boggle wall so that my little kiddos would be able to find sight words. I wanted to use the boggle wall to review their weekly sight words. Another way to get the little ones to learn their words.

Here's the bucket filler display. The kids just need to finish coloring their little buckets and then I'll glue them onto library pockets to tape up on those two empty cupboard doors.
Lastly, here's my birthday chart. I still need to put up the "happy birthday to us" sign and put up the kids' pictures.
I hope everyone's enjoying their class. Happy Friday!

Birthday display and First Grade Fanatics

I absolutely love my new birthday display. (I'll have to post a picture of it later on today since I left my camera at work. But you can get a quick glimpse of what it looks like here.) I took pictures of the kids holding up the date of their birthday and then plan on hanging their picture under their birth month on the ribbon. If you would like a copy of the birthday icons and numbers I used, head over to First Grade Fanatics TODAY, where I'll be featured and you can get the downloads there. (You can also download the behavior chart my team and I use in our classrooms and a bi-weekly progress note as well. These are both in English and Spanish.)

FYI: I decided to have the kids hold up two number cards instead of just one if their birthdate has a double digit. That's why I only made numbers 0-9.

(By the way, Monday was our first official day back at work. So I've been busy with professional development, meetings, etc. And Wednesday was our first day of school. I must say that my batch of kiddos this year are extra cute! I already love them. And they LOVED the gingerbread man hunt and magic playdough.)

Click on First Grade Fanatics' button to go directly to their blog.

First Grade Fanatics

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Bucket Fillers

I made this sign to go with my bucket filler wall. If you haven't heard about being a bucket filler, go over to the First Grade Parade here or at Clutter-Free classroom here and read about it. LOVE the idea and I can't wait to use it this year with my kids.

I know the sign doesn't look like a sign. Just a bunch of letters. BUT I'm planning on cutting out the letters, gluing them on card stock, laminate and then putting them up on my cupboards. :) So, if you'd like to use it, feel free to download it here.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Revamping the birthday chart

I'm going to use this idea from the Clutter-Free Classroom and this idea from Step into 2nd Grade with Mrs. Lemons and revamp my birthday chart. :) So excited to share the end result. Come back and see next week!

Here's what it looks like now!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Classroom Photos

So I don't have any before pictures because I started this blog AFTER I had already begun working in the classroom. I'm almost done but there's still so much to do. I'm adding polka dot trimmings on the bulletin boards. But the borders won't get here until next week. So I'm leaving my old trimmings up just in case the polka dot trimmings don't get here on time. So imagine my bulletin boards with black and white polka dot borders. :)

Here's a view of the front of my room.
Up close of the calendar.
Over there under the flag to your left (where that purple birthday sign is at) will be where I'll put my boggle wall. I got this idea from Create.Teach.Share. She even has the letters all ready for you to download. :) I'll also put up the self portraits up on those cupboard doors. They're so empty without the portraits.
Here's a view of the back of the room from my desk. The heart that we're going to do that I discussed about here, will be put in that empty spot to the left of the TV. Now I just need to figure out where to put my box of crayons that I'll make with the students. And a close up of the work wall where I can put up the kids' work. I LOVE the clips because it makes it so much easier to add/change up the work. I got that idea from my resident teacher.
Lastly, I wanted to share this.
I got this idea from, Clutter-Free Classroom. This is such a great idea to organize the week's lesson plans and materials. (I got the cute magazine storage boxes from Target. They were only $1. :))

Will post more as soon as the kids come and put their marks on the classroom!

Go check other teachers' classrooms at TBA's classroom photos linky party! Click on the icon below to go directly to that page.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Activities for the first couple of days

I love all these teaching blogs. So many great ideas and they've all truly been an inspiration to me. After "stalking" MANY, MANY, MANY blogs, here are activities I will be doing the first few days of school. (Which starts next Wednesday!!!)

I will be reading the Gingerbread Man and doing the Gingerbread Man hunt from Mrs. Southard at Fun in first. I thought this was such a great idea to tour the school and have a little fun as well. It's been hard finding those little Debbie's gingerbread cookies that Mrs. Southard uses. I even considered baking the cookies myself. But didn't want to spend my night before the first day of school baking 25+cookies (25+ so I'd have extras, just in case some break or I eat a few. :) )So I researched and found this at walmart.com and bought it. I can bake a huge gingerbread CAKE or brownie or even a huge sugar cookie! I'd prefer those much more than gingerbread. It would be much easier to bake one huge one, and I can use it during Christmas. My daughters would love it!)
I'll also have Magic playdough for the kids. I first read about it at the Clutter-Free classroom, and then Fun in first posted about her first two days of school and included this awfully cute poem to go with the magic playdough. (Click here to go to her site and download it for yourself. )

I always read David Goes to School by David Shannon and we discuss what David does and what we should do in first grade. The kids LOVE hearing about all the wrong things David does and will come up with what David should have done. I take this opportunity to review my rules and consequences in my classroom as well. I'll also read Chrysanthemum and discuss about how mean words can hurt our hearts and do the heart activity as explained by Cara at The First Grade Parade.
I'm also reading The crayon box that talked.
After reading this book, I will take pictures of the children to make our own crayon box. I printed these crayons onto colored construction paper and will put the kids' pictures at the tip of the crayon with their names. I'll put the kids' crayons into a big crayon box that I will make with the saying "Although we're all different, we all belong together" or something similar. I can't decide which saying yet. I will post a picture of the final product next week. Click on the image to download the crayons.
I'm torn between these two books!
They both discuss about being nervous about going to school. Decisions! Decisions! Decisions! After I read one of them (maybe both :) because I love them both!) I'll have the students write about how they felt the night before school. (This will also show me where each student is at with their writing. Click on the image to download.)
Every year I have the kids draw self portraits. (I have them do one at the end of the year too. I display these two portraits on the child's desk during open house. The parents, kids and I love seeing the difference between the two. :)

I believe that's it. WHEW! That was a long post. :) I am absolutely excited about school starting! I can't wait to meet all my little ones.

Go check out Fun 2B in first's linky party for beginning of the year/fall activities!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

First Grade Fanatics!

At First Grade Fanatics they are having this HUGE give away! Go check them out! While you're there become a follower because they are also giving away freebies as part of their 14 days of summer event! How awesome is that! A give away AND freebies! I LOVE it!

First Grade Fanatics

Linky Party!

How exciting! My first linky party. Head on over to Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits blog to join in on the fun. :)

Here's my top 10 reasons why I know it's back to school time.

10. I can no longer walk into Target or Walmart without cruising through their school aisles.

9. I HAVE to go through Target's dollar bins and search for any goodies to use in the classroom (even thought I've just been there the day before. You never know what you might have missed.)

8. I'm having dreams about school. (Some are more like nightmares. The not-having-anything-prepared,-everything-in-boxes-still-and-school's-about-to-start-in-15-mins kind of dreams. :( )

7. My time that would usually be spent perusing Facebook is now used for researching ideas to implement into my classroom.

6. I get a little giddy seeing all the school materials (especially new crayons. :) School just isn't the same without a new box of crayons.)

5. I've spent way too much money on school supplies.

4. My right palm's bruised from putting up new bulletin boards.

3. Instead of just watching TV, I now sit on my sofa with a long roll of laminated materials to cut out.

2. How the month of July just came and gone. (I'm still wondering if July happened this year.)

1. Lastly, my to-do list just keeps getting longer and longer. No matter how much I've already crossed off.


Monday, August 8, 2011

Behavior/homework Calendar

I used this calendar in 4th grade (click on the picture to download.) I laminated those yellow 9 x 12 envelopes for each child and attached this calendar on top each month. They had weekly homework packets but were assigned certain pages each night (as seen in the previous post about homework logs here. With fourth graders you get the luxury of having them help correct the homework.) So for about 10 mins before class started, the kids took out their homework, passed it to another person at their table and we corrected the few pages quickly together. Then they passed it back to the owner while I walked around and quickly wrote "C" for complete or "I" for incomplete on the calendar.

I used the card system in my class so whatever color they were on at the end of the day, they were responsible to mark their calendar accordingly to the behavior chart. I then only walked around to check the students who were not on green for the day.
I also have the calendar in Spanish that you can get here.

Again, I will post what I use in first grade soon since those files are at school.

Homework log

I used this when I taught 4th grade. I loved that it had a weekly report of how the student was doing in class. I've attached a blank version that you can edit yourself and an example of what I did.

Most of my files are at work, so I'll have to post more later. :)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A new year!

Welcome! I'm excited to return to work. There's so many ideas I want to incorporate into my classroom. Although I'll miss my babies, I've truly missed teaching.

I'll post up pictures of my classroom soon. I wish I took pictures of my classroom before I started working on it. I've kept some old ideas, put up alot of new ones and there's still so much to do.

I'll also post up some freebies too. (As soon as I figure out how to post them so you'll be able to download them.) So come back and check!
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