First Day of School

Today was the first day of school....(pause for effect). If you're a teacher you understand. I may stay awake long enough to finish this post.

Seventeen beautiful, energetic, smiling faces greeted me this morning. There was lots of nervous energy and excitement in the air. I promised myself to take LOTS of pictures. I did. For the first hour. Epic fail. 

I wanted to get our poetry notebooks ready first thing because I wanted Jitter Juice from Abby Mullins' Fun with Firsties resource to be the first poem we glued in there. So this morning the kids got busy right away coloring and cutting out labels for their composition books. 

Since we only add one poem per week in our notebooks, we dedicate the first part of a composition book to poetry and use rest as an interactive math notebook. Thus, one label on the front and one label on the back. 

This year I bought tons of stickers: Transformers, Skylanders, Hot Wheels, Disney Princesses, Bubble Guppies, Super Heroes, Sophia the First, and more to decorate our Poetry Notebook/Math Journals. 

This is mine. I keep one as an example and I add poems and other items along with the kids so I have a reference guide for what their notebooks should look like at any given time. Here is some of the kiddos' handywork. They were really excited about all thos stickers!

We read First Day Jitters and then Jitter Juice. I made a large anchor chart out of the poem and the kids highlighted sight words they knew and told me where they should go on our word wall (it goes under "I" on the word wall). Then, we added the poem to our poetry notebooks and the kids highlighted the words they knew. 

Then we had to have some Jitter Juice! Because of the Foods of Minimal Nutritional Value guidelines and food allergies I super simplified the recipe. I re-labeled some sparking water with a Jitter Juice label. Before my class returned from lunch I covertly squirted some blue raspberry flavoring (think MiO) into the bottom of some small clear cups. When the kids returned to the room I poured the clear liquid into the cups and they oooooohed and aaaaaaah-ed over the color change. 

 We went back into our poetry journal and wrote

I like jitter juice.
I do not like jitter juice.

underneath the poem. This gave me a quick glimpse of their handwriting, spacing, and letter positioning. Finally, we tallied who liked the juice and who did not. There were only two firsties that didn't like it. 

This is just about the only thing we got done today other than rules, expectation, procedures, more rules, more expectations, more procedures. You know the drill :-)

I'm going to TRY to make it back some time this week with a room tour and some pics of other classrooms on my campus that are super cute and functional at the same time! 'til then...

Classroom Organization: Toilet Paper Rolls Edition

Ya'll, summer is coming to an end much too soon! Thursday was the last day of summer school and Monday my campus opens for teachers to come and work in their classrooms. I know many of you are already back at work, but in the Houston area teachers are just getting back in gear with most districts starting school the week of August 25th.

To put a wet and splash-tastic end to summer school the local fire department came and MADE IT RAIN on the kiddos. It was a BLAST!

That's my daughter, Isa, in pink and black. The wonderful Kinder teachers on my campus were kind enough to let my four year old join their classes so she could get a taste of what school will be like when she goes to K in 2015. She has to wait one more year, but she "really, really, really" wants to go now. Isa declared that she never wants to go to daycare ever again, and that she wants to keep going to school with mommy, AND that she loves the two teachers she was with for the last 3 weeks.

Since I was on campus for summer school I've gotten some stuff done in my classroom already. These caddies are not filled with new supplies yet and right now they are simply functional (not pretty), but I love this idea so I want to share it with you. Last year I organized all of my teacher supplies by filling a shoe box with toilet paper rolls to hold pencils, pens, highlighter, rulers and more. It worked great, so this summer I saved up some more rolls for my table caddies. The rolls will hold crayons, scissors, and pencils.

For the crayons, I cut the rolls in half. Then I hot glued four rolls to a piece of card stock cut to fit in one of the small compartments in the caddy. For the scissors and pencils, I used the whole roll. First, I hot glued them to the sides of the caddy. Upon inspection I didn't think they would hold for too long, so I decided to duct tape them too! Looking at the pics now I think it would look nicer if I taped all the way around the inside of the large compartment in the caddy. It's a work in progress, for sure :-)

Moving case you don't follow me on Instagram...

This is my nephew Jack. Jack was born today. The doctor's told my sister that Jack had a hole in his heart that was too large to heal on it's own and that it would need to be corrected with open heart surgery after he was born. His heart rate was astronomical for unknown reasons. His upper chambers were beating at a higher rate than his lower chambers. My sister has been in the hospital on meds to lower his heart rate. When my sister went into the hospital, I posted a prayer request on my personal Facebook page. My friends all sent their best wishes and promised to pray. Well, yesterday, the meds finally started working. Then today, he was born. Guess what?! The doctors cannot find the hole. Right now he is believed to have been born perfectly healthy. His heart rate is normal.  It's just soooo awesome. 

I think I'll leave you with that :-)

Check Out What I Bought!

I'm linking up with Bloghoppin' to show you what I bought during the TpT B2S Sale! 

The days of summer are dwindling, but I want to get some stuff done BEFORE school starts that will set me up for the entire school year, so I bought Reagan's Big Bundle of Math Centers. I'll be printing, laminating, cutting, and prepping at least the first semester of centers prior to school starting. 

I bought Reagan's centers because I purchased her math journal resources a couple of weeks ago and REALLY LIKED them :-) I really want to step up my interactive math journal game this year. 

I went on a clip art spree. I got some stuff Educasong, Melonheadz, and Graphics from the Pond

I bought this from Jennifer Bates. I am going to make a reference guide for parents that goes in take-home book bags. 

Now I have to start "wish listing" for the next sale!!!!

28% off sale at TpT

It's almost time for the most popular sale of the year! Get 28% off eveything in my little store including my most popular items:

Pete the Cat Pattern Block Activity (perfect for back to school if you like to start off the year with Rockin' in My School Shoes or other Pete the Cat books)

I'm going to be buying the items I've saved on my wishlist!


I'm linking up with Farley for the August CURRENTLY. I hate that it is August already though!

Listening - The men and women on American Ninja Warrior are in the most amazing physical shape! It really is unbelievable that they can make it through an obstacle course that requires that much upper body and grip strength. You have to see it. Click here

Loving - Y'all, I resisted Instagram for a long time. I didn't think I could possibly keep up with ANOTHER social media outlet. But, it has quickly become my favorite! 

Thinking - My district uses Words Their Way for word study. I like lots of things about it, except the workbook pages. The pages are just another sort and we sort our words into word familes/spelling patterns every single day. So, I've been creating my own work sheets to supplement the program. According to my to-do list/timeline I'd be done by now. School starts on the 25th for crying out loud. I've gotten two sets completed so far. 

You can find them here and here.

Wanting & Needing- Do you use the My Fitness Pal app? Well, I got it a while back for personal use, but I did not add any friends or follow anyone and I quit using it. Now that I've added some friends and some fellow bloggers I feel so more accountable. I'm 15 calories over my limit right now. I'll get on the tradmill later!If you use it, please add me.

1st day - I'll be holding it. Yep, have to re-train that bladder for the school year. Right, ladies? Last year my kiddos loved Jitter Juice. Later in the year we made Pete the Cat using my pattern block activity template and it was a super big hit, so I may do it with Rockin' in My School Shoes. 

Or, maybe I'll make a shoe pattern...hmmm....

Are you back already? I go back on the 18th and the kiddies show up on the 25th. 

Five for Friday: Summer School Edition

Happy summer's end :-) OR :-( depending on how you look it.

Before I get to my five, can you see a title? My titles are not loading. For weeks now, I have not been able to figure out this problem!

I'm back at school already, not for the school year, but for K-2 Jump Start. It's like a half day summer school to get some kiddos pumped up for the upcoming school year. The fire department is coming this Thursday to spray their hoses in the parking lot so the kids can have a splash day. Fun!

Here are a few pics from our week:

We have been doing lots of word work. We've used magnetc letter to build words with short a and long a sounds, shaped words using pip cleaners, and decided to rainbow write in full effect, extra large, on chart paper. 

We reviewed how to write a summary and then summarized our big book. Check out the little cutie that draws better than I do! That's my comic strip summary on top and a the student's on the bottom. 

Of course we had to do a craftivity when we finished our summaries! Here's a page from our big book that we used as inspiration and the sample craft I made. 

One day we finished about 15 minutes early, so we did a guided drawing and then painted it - JUST FOR FUN! The class decided they wanted to learn to draw a zombie. Of course. Because I am clueless how to draw one, but I did the best I could. Mine did not include blood, but of course some red paint was added to a few drawings. Here is one firstie's drawing: 

Today I'm home, so I'm trying to do a little blogging and then finish up some stuff for the B2S on TpT.

Does your district use Words Their Way? Mine does. It comes with lots of resources: workbook, sorting cards, rhymes, games. I like everything, but the workbook pages, so I've been working this summer to create my own to supplement the curriculum. I'm hoping to get all the sets done in time for the sale. So far these two are in my store (and will be on sale 20% off)! Even though I created this resource to supplement WTW, you don't have to use the curriculum to use these worksheets. 

I can't wait until my room is finished and ready to share. I'm using pool noodles to create light pole and black rope as power lines to create my anchor chart wall. Birds on the wires will hold the charts. I hope it turns out like I visualize it in my head ;-)

Here's to the last few weeks of summer vacation!

Don't forget to link up.