Sunday, August 25, 2013

TPT Purchases are fun!!

I very much enjoyed the TPT sale this year.  I was worried when school was getting close to starting, and then did start, that the sale was never going to happen.  I had made my wishlist early and was ready for it, hopeful it would arrive soon!  I went to town buying things.  But of course I then saw Farley's instagram where she had a thing called Big Border Mega Bundle and I was hooked.

I quickly looked it up and decided it was totally worth it!! I have been searching for borders and attempting (and failing) to create my own.  I LOVE this product.  There are so many items in the packet. If you want only a portion she has smaller packets too.  Here is the link to the Big Border MEGA Bundle.  Seriously. Do it!

Anyway, I got to creating this weekend.  At first I attempted to put like 5 of the cutest borders, headers, page dividers in my one document.... It didnt work.  So I simplified. One maybe two things per paper! ha.  I dont know how I am going to choose each time I need a border.  A much better issue than the one I was having before.  I made a couple things but decided I should at least share one!

Here is my handout to go in the students reader's notebooks for Read to Self and Read to Someone.  It might be a little not useful for every, what is the word I am looking for. I dont know, but it might not work for everyone, but if it works for you feel free!  Reading Handout Freebie

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

First week of school

I have a love hate relationship with the first week of school.  I love meeting new students and getting to know my new class. I love seeing what they know already and areas that we will see tremendous growth.  I love seeing (most of them) excited to come back to school.

I hate how slow things move. I hate dealing with supplies.  I hate practicing over and over again procedures!
BUT I am now finished with week one and couldn't be happier.  Week 2 is going much better.  For the most part my class is settling in nicely.  We are still working on our noise levels! ha, but things are going well.

I wanted to share a couple things I did for the first time during the first week that I really enjoyed and will do again. Before that though, I was able to participate in Laura Candler's Webinar about Sowing the Seeds of Classroom Success. It was very helpful for me and had lots of great ideas.  The livebinder where you can find all the information is here.

One of those ideas was by Christi Fultz, from Ms. Fultz's Corner, was about creating a class promise.  I LOVEd that idea.  So we did.  Almost every morning we read it together to remind ourselves of what our class should be like.  It is great.

The other thing we did was the "Me Bag", 5 things about you in a bag.  This really helped some of my students feel comfortable sharing in our class, since they started by sharing things about themselves. I hope to do a lot more sharing and speaking in front of the class this year, so this activity helped to set the tone for that!

The last thing I wanted to share was something I did do last year and did again with equal amounts of success.  I call it the Human Knot.  First I separate the boys and the girls and each gender makes a standing circle.  They put their hands in the center and find a different person's hand to hold, without it being the person beside them.  They then try to untangle the knot, without letting go.  They might have to turn, or crawl over or under another person.  This helps them get to know each other quickly on a personal level, having to be so close to each other.  As well as problem solve as a team to figure out how to untangle themselves. I love it.  Once they can do it in same gender groups and become more comfortable with each other, we do it in gender mixed groups. It is somehow more challenging for them :)

Anyway, I hope those of you just starting school have a great time! OH! Also, I saw this floating around and wanted to share it toooo!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Monday Made It classroom edition

I made so many fun things for my classroom this year.  Some from scratch and some 'made' as in put together.  My classroom makes me happy this year and I am so so SO pleased about that.  Last year I was unhappy about the room arrangement and decorations and everything!

Here are some of my favorite projects.

I made these adorable Tissue Paper pom poms. I know they have been the craze, but living in Thailand I did not think it was an option.  Then the other day I was shopping and realized we do have tissue paper.  So I loaded up and made them. SUPER easy and very cute.  Everyone that sees them loves them!

I finally printed out my word wall (I dont remember who I got this from, but it was a freebie!!) It is so cute. I used ribbon as stems sort of and will add words after we complete our first writing assignment.  I have a feeling I have some bad spellers this year!

Lastly, I made this objectives/homework board. I really wanted to have a space to place objectives this year and keep us all on track.  I used ribbon instead of tape on my white board.  The ribbon is just loose enough that erasing will not be a problem! I still need to make signs saying Homework and Objectives though.


Lets just pretend that I have been blogging for months.  I have been thinking of all the posts that I want to do but never got around to.

Lets also just say that last year, my first year as a teacher, was a little more overwhelming than I thought it was going to be.

Lets also say that this is a new year, a fresh start for everything.  Including my blog!! I hope to be much better at this thing this year than last. I am doing a blog for my class as well, so hopefully that will keep me motivated.

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