Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Alexander Graham Bell and a Freebie

Hi All!

This post will be super fast.
 I promise.
With 5.5 days remaining in this school year, 
I still have several unfinished projects yet to complete and 
there's no time to be long-winded.

In any case...
my Scott Foresman friends will understand when I say
it's Alexander Graham Bell week.
It's certainly not my favorite story
but we're too close to the end 
to worry about it now.

This week is all about the aw / au vowel digraph 
and I'm using these mini-books 
to hammer that pattern home.

I use them at the beginnning 
of my small groups 
and my kids practice reading 
while they wait a moment for me 
to join them at the table.

Once I sit down, 
a friend is seated beside me 
and I listen to him/her practice reading 
the aw/au words in context.  

Each page in the booklet 
features a word or two with the given vowel pattern 
and the cute graphics lend support 
for those kiddos who need it.

Some of my booklets hold as few as 12 sentences.
Others hold more.
It's all based on my kids' needs.
You can read more about it HERE.

Other Alexander activities we've enjoyed this week include
this short and sweet video

my kids enjoyed this one as well.

After viewing the two videos,
we completed this pocket chart 
fact and fiction

My kiddos thoroughly enjoyed it, 
especially when I added the element 
of earning points for correct responses.
Oh, my goodness!
They were off.the.chain. in an effort to participate.

Would you like a copy?
It's available HERE.

And finally,
is your countdown in the single digits?

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Five for Friday

Hi All!
It's time for some Five for Friday fun.

Here are a few random things that 
happened in my corner of the world this week.

Some of the most imaginative ladies 
 work at my school.  
Specifically, the lunchroom staff.
Seriously, these ladies decorate the lunchroom 
(and themselves!) 
around a specific theme about three times a year.  

Recently it was the 
1950's Rock and Roll era.

With Elvis singing Blue Suede Shoes, 
our lunch period was especially festive.

Reps from our local zoo 
came to visit 
our first grade kids this week. 

They brought an assortment of 
reptiles, birds, and mammals.
Here are a few pics of our favorites.

Three Banded Armadillo

Barred Owl

 White's Tree Frog... 
named for the man who discovered him
(obviously not for his color).

My precious pup has had serious dental issues since 
we rescued her several years ago.  
At a recent vet visit 
it was determined she needed 
to have all of her teeth pulled.  
I tell you she was so pitiful for a day or two. 

Like, who wouldn't be?!

   Thankfully she has completely recovered and is now
thoroughly enjoying her new diet of soft food.

Shopping with box-top funds is pure joy.
Can you relate?

And finally...

Enjoy your weekend, friends!

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.

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.

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.  
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.

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
This lovely second grade teacher 
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?
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