Thursday, August 13, 2015

Clark the Shark and Back to School

Hi All!

  School is in FULL swing this week and I must say it's been an absolute joy to return to
a "normal" routine,
 first grade kiddos,
and early morning coffee.
Life can be so sweet.

Since my body hasn't completely adjusted to the early morning alarm and standing for the better part of the day, 
I'll be very brief this evening.
In fact, I just wanted to share two 
"back to school" 
kinds of things with you. 


First, I wanted to share with you my "Open House" classroom door.
I'm not required to decorate my door however, 
I like to just the same.




This year's door, though...
 did not materialize 
into the vision in my head.  
I was aiming for a soft, dream-like sequence. 
You know... kid friendly.

Instead, what I got was a flashback from Lemony Snicket's 
A Series of Unfortunate Events.
(Did you see the movie?)
It's quite dark.
Too dark for first grade.
But given that Open House was fast approaching,
I had to go with it.

Secondly...
we've been busy this week getting acquainted with one another.

While I was searching for activities to develop classroom culture,
I found THIS post by Wendy from

in which she described a back to school activity 
she did with Clark the Shark.

(For the freebie she offered, you can visit her TPT store HERE.)

Using her idea as a springboard, I ordered this book 


in which Clark learns what it means to share.
After reading, we discussed what it means to be a friend and we created this chart.


Then, we completed the writing prompt from Wendy's TPT store and finished it off with a shark craft I found at Almost Unschoolers.



If you'd like the Good Friend labels 
to make a chart of your own, 
you can access them HERE.

My own kiddos loved this project and 
I believe yours will, too!

When do you return to school?
Leave a comment if you have the time.
I'd love to hear from you!


Sunday, August 2, 2015

August Currently

It's August, folks
so it's time to link up with Farley from


for another Currently linky.
You're welcome to join the fun!


Listening: Folks, it's HOT in central Alabama. The ceiling fan and the a/c are both operating at maximum capacity today.

Loving:  I crave routine.  Yes, summer is lovely and I enjoy it.  However, I love the structure that a school routine brings and I honestly think I accomplish MORE during the day when I'm on a schedule.

Thinking: Although I've been working in my classroom for two weeks, you'd think I'm just about ready for Open House this next week. I'm not and I can't stop thinking about the list of things yet to do.

Wanting: The satisfaction of checking everything off of my "to do" list.  It seems as soon as I cross something off, more things appear at the end of the list.  It's maddening!

Needing: To complete the laundry.  I'm thinking it's not likely to get done, either.

B2SRAK: The lovely ladies with whom I'm blessed to share my day asked that I create a bulletin board on which they could post their kids' AR scores.  My own is done and I'll be sharing the others as quickly as they're completed.

Have you returned to work in your own classroom or do you have time yet to enjoy your summer?

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

TPT Seller Challenge

It's Wednesday, folks and today I'm participating in a
TPT Seller Challenge.  
This is week one of four and it's all about 


For this challenge, I selected Gregory the Terrible Eater as the product in most need of a face-lift.  

Let's see if you agree...


BEFORE:  Poor 'ole Gregory was tired 
and frankly, 
a tad bit embarrassed.
He lacked the self-confidence to even make eye-contact.  
So sad.

AFTER... BAM!
Gregory is now new and in my opinion... GREATLY improved!
I used different fonts, swapped frames, updated and added more clipart in addition to adding the background paper.

If you'd like to read 
more about this product, 
you can access it HERE.


So... can you tell I've learned a few new skills since I started this TPT journey?
I'd love to hear your thoughts!



Friday, June 12, 2015

Freebie Friday and a Dollar Store Goodie


It's Friday, folks!
This week I'm linking up with 
Teaching Blog Addict's


I have TWO freebies 
to share with you this week.  
Score!
Let's get started, shall we?

This next school year 
I'll be using these 
yes/no sticks 
during my whole group 
reading time. 
I think they turned out beautifully!


You can access a copy HERE.


Secondly,
on a recent trip to my local
Dollar Tree-licious store,
I found these cute cut-outs and
  

the idea for this graph 
began to take shape...


Please don't judge.
When this was completed, we had only a handful of school days remaining and
this poor teacher was exhausted.

Just in case you'd like to 
give this idea a try, 
you'll need to grab
the recording sheet, too.


You can access it HERE

Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Five for Friday

Hi, Everyone!

I'm linking up with
Kacey from
for another

Let's get to it!
I'm a tad bit late 
but I wanted to share with you 
unique way in which 
Teacher Appreciation Week 
was celebrated at my school.

We are usually a very quiet, 
very rural school... 
however, when a local real-estate agency 
offered to bring this balloon 
to celebrate teachers...
We all said "Yeah, BABY!"
in our best Austin Powers' voice.

Teachers who wanted to participate 
were asked to sign a waiver 
and since there wasn't time 
for a lengthy question and answer session,  
I quickly scribbled my name at the bottom and 
prayed for the best.




Yes, it was tethered but great fun, nonetheless.
Our end of the year AR celebration involved some
serious
sumo-wrestling!
This lovely second grade teacher 
channeled
her inner beast 
and swore to defeat her opponent.
Even my assistant principal 
could not resist 
the challenge 
issued to him by our coach.

Both men hit the mats.
 Despite the smile,
I'm actually very disappointed 
that I allowed 
my own sumo-wrestling credentials 
to expire.

 I couldn't participate so
 I helped with crowd control 
with my new friend
Big Mo,
the Montgomery Biscuits mascot.
My kiddos recently completed 
the Alexander Graham Bell story 
in the Reading Street series.
We discussed how great ideas 
often lead to inventions 
so I naturally wanted to extend the conversation 
with this craft.
When asked to tell about one of his own great ideas,
I got this...
I totally agreed with the little fellow, however... no.
My lovely niece got married. 
Her wedding was absolutely perfect,
 even though it was a tad bit on the warm side. 
 I especially love that my dad
(her grandfather) 
was able to walk her down the aisle.

And finally...

School's OUT!
Are you approaching the finish line?

Friday, May 1, 2015

Five for Friday

Happy Friday, Folks!

I'm excited to link up with
Kacey
from Doodlebugs Teaching
for another


Here we go!

My Donor's Choose project 
was fully funded by
a sweet librarian 
who provided the funds 
for our new Poppleton books!
Seriously, who doesn't love 
the Poppleton series?






Aubie, 
Auburn University's mascot,
visited my school for a recent celebration and I was so, SO excited 
(and a tiny bit embarrassed) 
to have my picture made with him.

Auburn is my hometown 
and for those of you 
who've never visited, it's truly
the loveliest village on the plains.


WAR EAGLE!


This lovely librarian
 served doughnuts to my class when all of my kids met their reading goal for the quarter. 
We've now met her challenge 
for the entire year!


 Of course, I celebrated this achievement with my kids and I may or may not have but definitely did consume more than the
recommended daily allowance.   


I actually had to pause in my driveway this morning to allow this lovely goose to cross.


Strange, but true!

And finally...


Friday, April 24, 2015

Stop, Swap and Roll!

 Jungle Learners
is hosting another product swap and
I'm so pleased to participate.
 It's round TWO for me!
Thank you so much, Melissa!

For this event, I was partnered with 
Gina from
Miss Peluso’s Kindergarten

Gina is a chocolate lovin' 
kindergarten teacher 
from Connecticut 
who recently adopted 
a furry pup she calls Dexter. 
  Is he not the cutest 
bundle of furry goodness?



Oops, I digress...

 Shortly after 
Gina and I were introduced,
I was able to go shopping in her store
where this product caught my eye.




 My own classroom lacks the space necessary for the traditional writing center... 
you know, the one in the corner of your classroom stocked with several types of writing paper, access to the word wall, pencils, crayons, office supplies, etc...

 Gina's product eliminates the need for an "official" writing space by taking the
 writing center TO YOUR KIDS!

  They're customizable for grades K-2 and I especially liked being able to select the resources best suited for my kids.  
Score!

Need to see it in action?

 Gina's adorable office cover sets the stage for a serious writing time.  

My kids were so impressed with the 
April dictionary of words. 
  
Maybe you'd like even more options?
 Gina is so sweet to make a new monthly dictionary available for you to download at the beginning of each month.
How cool is that?!


Gina offers other resource options, too.
These include color words, prefixes, suffixes, blends, silent e, and many MORE!
Once again, you're free to select the resources that are 
best suited for your class.

It's just that simple!
  With 3 file folders and a bit of packing tape, my kids were highly motivated to write and I attribute it all to Gina's writing office.  

Want to win a copy of your very own?
You can enter to win down below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Don't forget to check out 
the product that Gina chose 
from my store.
You can find her review HERE.
  
And you'll also want to take a peek at the other product swaps and enter their give-aways, too!



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