5 Fun Facts!!

Hey guys! I'm linking up with Blog Hoppin' for day 1 of Teacher Week 2015! Today is 5 facts about me and since I have yet to update my About Me section, now is a good time :) 

1. I have been married to this gem for 2 years now. We have been together for 6 years and got married 8/2/2013. Which is conveniently my younger sister's birthday - but everyone who's been married knows that Friday weddings are cheaper lol.

2. I HATE strongly dislike school! Isn't that ironic? Lol. In high school I was kind of a floater  - I floated on by through my classes haha. In college I didn't enjoy classes until they were directly related to education and although I like what I'm studying in grad school, I just don't want to be there haha. Luckily I have 3 classes until I graduate and am a certified reading teacher. 

3. I'm born and raised in Maryland where the seasons are intense and the crabs are delicious! I love Maryland with all of it's annoying weather/humidity. It's such a diverse place and you can drive 30 minutes in any direction and see something new. 


4. I was on Fear Factor earlier this year!! 

Okay, granted it was Fear Factor at Universal Studios, but it was still scary just the same! See I like to try new things so I signed up BUT I definitely did not think I was going to be chosen haha. I was out in the first round because it consisted of hanging 20+ feet in the sky holding on to an angled type pull up bar. You can say your not afraid of heights all you want to, but once you get up there and don't see the ground and your hands start sweating, it's terrifying!

5. I love all things Harry Potter :) I read the series annually and binge watch the movies. I wanted to go to Universal Studies JUST to visit Harry Potter World. You can see Kreacher up there in the window. If you know what I'm standing in front of then you're awesome!

Alright, that's 5 fun facts about me! Thanks for reading :) 

First Week is Over! ((FREEBIE))

Okay before I get into my first week, can we all just take a minute to check out my new blog design?! *Moment of silence to look around and click things* It's beautiful and I love it! It's so me: colorful and pretty, yet simple. The wonderful Yukari designed my blog and she was fabulous to work with. Her pricing is amazing and she was even able to start my design a week early. You should definitely check out her blog if your looking for a new design. 

Now to talk about my first week. I promise will try to make this short and sweet! 

I have 22 little first graders and I completely forgot just how small they would be! Seeing them so tiny and fresh faced brought me back to reality that summer is over lol. 

This week we spent a lot of time going over routines and procedures, getting to know each other and trying to introduce the new curriculum (which I will need to dedicate a whole post for). For some reason I like to take most of my pictures during math so you'll see a few pictures of math last week. 

I introduced a few games the kids will be playing during math centers and during Structure Discourse & Play. They learned to play "Domino Addition War" - you know, I Declare War with addition. As well as the traditional I Declare War. And let me tell you, they love this simple game. 

I also introduced a simple partner game to review number sequencing called Start & Stop. The kids work with a partner, pick a card, write the number on the card in the left box and write down the next 5 numbers. Then their partner checks their work using a 120 chart. 

Book Nook was introduced to my class on Wednesday. We have a lot of work ahead of us but I'm confident my littles will get there. I mean, it was only the 1st week of school. 

During social studies we held a lot of discussions on how they have grown and changed since kindergarten. We ended the week talking about classroom/school responsibilities. We came up with this list of things the students are responsible for when they are at school (love that one kid said keep your mouth to yourself!) and everyone signed their name. This is like their "responsibility contract" and they will be held accountable for them. 

The whole week we reviewed writing complete sentences. Our curriculum wants us to jump straight into Lucy Calkins, BUT let's be real, first graders need a review on sentence structure...and Lucy doesn't really cover that.

Other random parts of the week that I didn't get pictures of include teaching my students how to play Jenga & Connect 4 for Structured Discourse & Play, as well as a lot of counting games and read alouds.

Okay so maybe this wasn't short and sweet like I said but I appreciate you sticking around to read about my first week. And for that, I am going to provide you with a totally random, unrelated to this post, FREEBIE. 

I have black chevron set of storage box labels in my TPT store that you can find here. I wanted to make a polka dot set to match the other decor in my room so I quickly made these one week. You can click here to grab this freebie. 

Thanks for stopping by!

My Classroom! (Alright, alright, from last year!)

Hey friends!

So today was my first day of school with students and the official start of my fourth year! I felt wonderful waking up and beginning my day. I didn't have that nervous, worried, anxious, un-prepared feeling like previous years going into the first day (you guys know what I'm talking about!). Instead, I felt confident and excited! :) Idk... maybe it's the realization that after 3 years I must know something about what I'm doing lol. Anyway, it was a great day and I can tell that it's going to be an awesome year!

Now for my classroom: my plan was to take pictures of my classroom right before Meet the Teacher last Thursday - you know... when it's super cute and organized before new students and their siblings come in and destroy pick through things. However, a few tables in my classroom were taken out so that Kindergarten could borrow them. See, we got a new addition built on to our school and unfortunately the furniture for that wing hasn't come in yet. So the custodians had to go around collecting tables from all the rooms to furnish the K hallway. Which means, my room is not completely the way I want it and I don't want to take pics yet. 

INSTEAD.. I thought it would be nice to share pictures from my classroom last year (maybe it's not... idk lol). I'm in a new room this year, however, most of the decorations and bulletin boards are the same.

So this was my door back in August last year and my schedule board. The whole school is required to have their schedule displayed on this bulletin board. It's kind of a relief because it's one less bulletin board I have to plan for. My theme last year/this year is owls but I also have a lot of bright colors and polka dot patterns around the room.

Here is my teacher desk and a small view from behind it. The storage at my school is built into the room so there is no getting rid of my desks. I created the crayon name canvas one summer and the drawer labels for my teacher toolbox are a freebie in my TPT store and can be found here

I kept all of my leveled books for guided reading in the bookshelf above. Right next to the books shelf was my Owlstar bulletin board where I displayed student work. Below the board I stored any papers for the days lesson in the red file crate and student mailboxes were in the pink file crate. 

Outcome board and whole group meeting area.

This was my calendar board and Math Talk board. The NOISE letters were a classroom management tool used to control voice levels in my classroom. I forgot where I got the original idea from (somewhere on Pinterest) but it has been awesome! 

In front of that board was my listening center. Originally the table had all of the computers lined up horizontally but that was really difficult to squeeze 3 computers and 3 kids on. So this table was turned and so were the computers and it was very helpful in making sure everyone had their own personal space and wasn't distracted. Here is a view of my classroom library. I spent the summer prior to the start of that school year getting all of my books organized. It was dreadful but definitely worth it. 

Then came my listening center and my sink. As I told you, all the storage in my classroom is built in which I LOVE. I would keep sandwich/gallon bags, clorox/baby wipes, trash bags, hand sanitizer, tissues & arts and crafts supplies in these cabinets. 

And here is my bathroom and small group area. My school is lucky enough to have a bathroom in every. 

Oops! I almost forgot my writing center and word wall. Included is a horrible panoramic shot from my iPhone lol. 

Alright, enough of me being a Chatty Cathy. I hope to be able to have a post within the next week of my current classroom. Although the AC doesn't really work, it's much bigger and I love it! Time to get ready for the second day of school tomorrow :)  

Finally joining the teacher blogging world

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Hello everyone!

I just wanted to introduce myself into the blogging world. My name is Ophelia and I am a first grade teacher in Maryland. I've had this blog for quite some time but I haven't posted anything because... well... I didn't want to put my blog out there and it wasn't "pretty". There are so many awesome teacher blogs that are ridiculously interesting as well as eye-catching, and mine is (currently) just blah lol. And let's be real, we teachers enjoy things even more when they are pretty. The good thing though is that I am on the wait list for a fabulous blog design and it should be done by early September. 

I am so excited to start this blogging journey and open the door into my classroom and life. Be sure to follow my blog to stay up to date on all the wonderful things going on in my classroom. You can also find me on Teachers Pay Teachers, Instagram, Periscope: FirstWithMrsB, Bloglovin, and Pinterest.