December Currently

I've reached that point where I am blogging once a month, which makes me sad :( I had high hopes for October, and November and then it became December so fast lol. I wanted to recap all the cool things that happened in my classroom during those months, but by the time I get home from work every day I just end up crashing on my couch. So... here I am, linking up with Farley for the December Currently!

Watching: Don't you just love ABC Family during the holiday seasons? No matter how many times I've seen these Christmas movies I will still tune in.  I'm going to be a little disappointed though when ABC Family changes to "Freeform" in January. I get it - all the shows aren't geared towards a family audience, but I'm so used to the name lol. 

Loving: Christmas, duh! I love decorating my classroom, and doing Christmas/winter crafts. I haven't had any kids in any of my classes yet who can't celebrate holidays so I consider myself lucky in that area lol. IDK what I would do the whole month of December.

Thinking: Of how much stuff I have to do. Luckily grad school for this semester ends next week so that will be one thing off my plate. But interims are due next week, and I've got to get busy on my SLO, go Christmas shopping, clean/decorate the house, prepare for baby D (because for some reason my mind thinks this baby is coming next month), etc.

Wanting: Ice cream! I went to the grocery store and bought 3 different types of ice cream, chocolate syrup and whip cream (totally forgot sprinkles and cherries!) but I can't wait to eat it!

Needing: Motivation to write my paper, grade papers... just motivation period!

Real or Faux: Fake all the way! We save money and time from having to clean up. Plus I'm sure the dog would destroy it. 

Leave a comment and let me know what you've been up to! :) 


It's Currently November (Oh my!)

Where oh where did the time go?? Like seriously, it was just September where I felt I was staying afloat. October kind of went by in a blur and I'm so happy it's over because that means Thanksgiving is right around the corner! (My favorite holiday). 

I'm linking up with Oh Boy 4th Grade for the monthly linky party. 

You know how sometimes you have to have background noise so you don't feel alone lol... yeah that background noise happens to be the Simpsons. What is happening?? Lol. 

I am definitely loving leggings. It's all that fits me right now (In my Regina George voice) lol. They're so comfy, soft, and stretchy so is there any other reason not to love them? 

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and this year my house is hosting (pray for me y'all!). My MIL is coming in town from Hawaii and I'm excited about that. Thanksgiving also means a break! We don't have fall break here on the east coast so I am ready!

Someone else to clean my house. Is that too much to ask for? Lol. Idk about you but I am on lazy level 1,000 and I want no part of cleaning. I am proud of myself because I emptied the fridge and cleaned up the dining/living room. #progress #reallife 

Anyone else swimming in a sea of desperation when it comes to grad school, a full time job, and first trimester (yes, I'm pregnant hence the laziness lol)? Unfortunately grad school has become my last priority as I am getting paid to work, and I am tired all the time. One of these days I will open my school bag and stop goofing off - maybe this weekend lol. 

Everyone seems to be all over pumpkin pie, but you don't know love until you have eaten my wife's sweet potato pie. I am patiently waiting for her to say "okay, time to go get the pie crusts and ingredients" but I'm thinking I'll have to wait another week or two. #woeisme 

I hope to be posting some education related stuff before December so stay tuned! <3 

Parts of Speech!

Hello friends! If you are like me than you had a lot of free time over the summer and you were even able to create some awesome products for your room that you wanted to use. If you're even more like me, then you like to wait until you get it into your classroom to see how it looks before you post it for everyone. 

Well with school shenanigans going on I didn't have any time to actually finish my products (title and credit pages) and post them onto my TPT store. But I can finally say that one thing from the summer has made it into my store! WOOHOO!

This poster set includes 8 of the most common parts of speech that are learned in elementary schools. I also added 3 bonus ones. The little monkeys are too stinkin' cute and I just love them :) 

This product is new to my TPT store today and you can go snag them here

There are a number of ways you can use this set in your classroom:
Post around your room, place in your writing center, decorate a bulletin board, print 2/4 to a page and place on key rings for student use, or to glue into interactive notebooks, glue onto popsicle sticks and have students hold them up for quick assessments. I'm sure all of your creative minds can think of other ways to use them. If you can think of any other ways feel free to leave a comment so someone else can take your brilliant ideas.

You can see them hanging on my wall above my writing center below. 

Don't forget to leave a rating when you go pick up your set :) 
Thanks for stopping by!


What's been happening??

Hey guys! Idk about you but I am so incredibly tired (like every day!) I just finished up my 4th week of school and it's been a rocky start to the school year: I've got a new curriculum that I am having a difficult time adjusting to, a wide variety of learners and behaviors in my classroom from non-English speaking to a reading level M (F&P), and my grad classes just started! So yeah... 

Anyway, I wanted to share a bit of what's been going on in my classroom lately through some pictures. 

My district uses the Lucy Calkins Units of Study, but before we begin writer's workshop with our first graders, my team likes to review sentence structure. We realized that a lot of our students would be able to write these creative stories, but still had difficulty writing a complete sentence with capital letters. 

We spent about 2 weeks just going over capital letters at the beginning of a sentence, punctuation marks, and writing a "whole idea." Daily I would review the parts of a sentence and give them different writing prompts for their journal. I've seen a lot of improvements so far but we still need continued practice. 

I introduced literacy centers around the middle of the second week of school. Here is a picture of my kiddos working on their handwriting. I pulled back small groups to introduce the handwriting booklet they are working on. Now they complete it for morning work unless I have another activity for them.

The first unit in my new curriculum is our study on Monarch caterpillars and butterflies. We typically collect caterpillars from our courtyard but because of the construction and rough heat, we didn't have any. Instead, we had to have them shipped to us from the local environmental literacy center. The kids get to observe the caterpillars lifecycle and then release them as butterflies. 

At our exploration center there are a group of children observing the caterpillars and completing an activity called "I think, I see, I wonder..." It really gets their brains thinking and I had some great responses. 

After a majority of our caterpillars died (oops!) I had to think of ways to keep the kids engaged while still thinking about butterflies. So I gave them the challenge of creating a butterfly with only 3 pipe cleaners and it had to be better than mine. They were SO quiet for this activity and thoroughly engaged - it was awesome. And some of them turned out really good. I wish I would've taken pictures. 

Last little tidbit I've got for you is that my iPads from Donor's Choose arrived!! The iPads don't have access to the internet, which is okay because we have 3 computers in the room that do, but they have tons of educational apps as well as art inspired apps and "fun" apps that teach them how to use technology in a different way. The kids are really enjoying using them. 

So what's going on in your teaching world? :) 

September Currently

Hello guys! I'm a little late but I'm linking up with Farley for my first ever Currently! I'm excited for September because that means the state fair, the renaissance festival, cooler weather, and better clothes :) My favorite season is fall just because of my wardrobe and the awesome color tones.

Listening: My guilty pleasure reality show is Little Women: LA and Terra's Little Family. I don't typically watch reality TV but I'm addicted to these women. 

Loving: I am so grateful for this labor day weekend. I went to a musical playing at a local theatre on Friday and hung out at the Annapolis waterfront. Yesterday I went to an awkward high school reunion lol. Not mine so I couldn't just leave when I wanted. Today I'm going to watch some basketball at the neighborhood high school and the state fair this evening and tomorrow a cookout! Talk about a busy weekend!

Thinking: I am two weeks down into the school year and I am sooo tired! I know you all can understand! My classroom is so humid that by the time I get home I can fall asleep on the couch. It doesn't help that the top floor of my house is stuffy and humid as well lol.

Wanting: I am obsessed with love FROYO. It's kind of a problem!

Needing:  Okay now when I say meal prep I mean, figure out what I'm eating for the week and stop winging it lol. I need to get on my game by first going to the grocery store! Then I can figure out my menu for the week and get crockpot meals ready. 

3 Goals: Next Tuesday is back to school night, and Wednesday starts my first grad class of the semester (3 more classes left!) so my goal is to decrease the stress! I also need to have a set bedtime, that I stick to, during the week so I can get more sleep. I'm sure exercise is one of everyone's goals. I need to get into the gym more! It will definitely give me more energy and make me feel better about myself!

So what are you up to? How's the start of September? 


Classroom Tour!! (2015)

Hey everyone! I'm back with Blog Hoppin to share my classroom this year! I so wanted to join in yesterday's posts but I received a new (non-English speaking) student and between trying to help that cutie out and still in the groove of back to school, I was pooped!

Anyway, I am so excited to share the massive amount of pictures I have of my classroom. I have a new, large classroom this year an the amount of space excites me every time I walk into it. Disclaimer: I am not a photographer so my pictures may range between dark and light and horrible and great lol. You may also notice that some things are different in one shot than another and that's because some pictures were taken at different parts of the day. 

I promise to edit this post and include links to where certain products are from, but for now, just pictures and quick descriptions. So here goes:

This is the what you see when you first enter my room. I took a picture of my door and my wreath which was Pinterest inspired but can't even find the picture. The schedule cards are in my store and you can find them here.

This is my birthday board where I put kids pictures up under each month. You can find it here

Bathroom and Classroom Jobs.

Kids can grab activities out of the drawers or take the whole drawer to a desk around the room for their word work center. The labels can be found here. You can see some teacher resources on the floor for small group. I also lost my y from the glue bottles lol. It fell one day and disappeared.  

Small Group Table

Next to that is my Wonder Wall - during different lessons the kids write down things they wonder, questions they have, or predictions they have made. 

A closer look at my rotation chart. My district doesn't do Daily 5 anymore so it took a little while to figure out how I wanted to set up rotations with all the different centers we have now. You can see I forgot to print out a label lol. Had to be a "problem solver" as I tell my kids. 

Here is a closer look at how I plan to switch out the centers daily. 

Here I put math centers & manipulative. The rolly cart holds games that I will switch out into the tubs. The kids are only allowed to touch the first drawer and the cookie sheets when it is time for place value.  

Next up is my Book Nook. The top shelf holds read aloud books that I will use for my curriculum and/or when a substitute is in. I got the READ letters from Michaels, painted them pastel colors, then used a stencil with white paint to add some flair. 

Labels are from here. I separated some of the book boxes to decrease the traffic jams during centers. 

This is the view from the Book Nook. 

Next to the Book Nook is the technology center and Literacy bulletin board. I hang anchor charts, posters, and other related materials on this board. 

The technology center in my room includes the listening center. You can see that below with my iPads I received from Donors Choose

The rainbow basket is where students turn in classwork. The brown basket holds reading buddies of read aloud or in the Book Nook. I still haven't found a spot I really like for it so it's there for now. You can also see my fan in the background lol. My room is very humid. 

Here is my teacher desk. Everything is built into the room so there's no removing it for me. My calendar is also behind my desk. I have assigned a student who is in charge of keeping it updated and the whole class does calendar on the smart board. My guided reading books are on top of my desk - I plan to reorganize & move them soon and then put them in my cupboards .. but I'm super lazy.

You can find my tool box labels in my other post here. My iPod dock has all my Kidz Bop songs on it. 

Here are my front boards. Yes, I have to write all of these I can statements lol. 

I track the noise level in the classroom with those letters. This board also holds our exploration question for the day - which is pretty much the focus point of all our lessons. 

Classroom rules and Brag Tags. So far the kids really like them. Only one kid has snuck hers home and not brought it back. I told her she wouldn't be getting a replacement so we will see if she returns it. The name labels for the brag tags are from here

Next up is my math talk board and my word wall. 

The word wall letters are from here. The banner on the wall is from here

This counter holds my brag tag storage container, tidy tubs, pencils, my buckets that organize the classwork/assignments for the week. 

And last but not least is my writing center. In the blank spaces I will be posting anchor charts and student work. 

Here are just some different views of my room. 

Thanks for sticking around! I hope you enjoy my room as much as I do :)