Tuesday, July 25, 2017

AARGH you ready for a new school year? Pirate Unit and Updated Writer's Workshop,

 Hello Everyone!!!
How's summer going for you? Mine has been busy with cleaning closets, writing, reading, and ... wait for it...Family time!!!! Finally!!! Hooray for having the opportunity to see both my boys this summer! And at the beach!!! What???? All my favorite things are in this picture! I am one happy and blessed momma! 
Being their first teacher, I am so happy to see them growing in positive influence and grace. They are truly my greatest treasure! 
Image may contain: 4 people, people smiling, people sitting, ocean, child, sky, outdoor, nature and water

And speaking of treasures, I have some to share with you today.  Our team is going to enjoy a pirate theme this year in first grade. By theme, I mean we will have pirate stuff in the hallways, decorating our binders, our incentives, our class shirts, brag tags, etc. I don't change up my whole "western" themed classroom, rather add some fun whimsy to go along with our theme.  We will make connections wherever we can. I created a little unit which will help guide our theme and give us some fun interactive "get to know you" activities for the beginning of the year. Here are a few pics from the unit!

I am very excited about this unit and I think the kids are going to love it!!!
If you are struggling with how you want to open your year with your littles, simply click the link below! AAAARGH! It's over 110 pages! 

I also had some time this summer to enjoy some book studies.  One of my new favorite books for teaching writing is The Writing Strategies Book by Jennifer Serravallo.  She includes a very comprehensive guide to working on writing with elementary kids.  She embraces Lucy Calkins and adds her own spin on some of Lucy's lessons.  I have gleaned so much from her book, I had to
update my writer's workshop unit.   Here are some quick pics.

It's over 100 pages now!!  Free for you! :)

I can't wait to set up Workshop with my new firsties!!! Thank you Jennifer Serravallo! You are a treasure!

I'll be back soon to share some more treasures! Thank you for your continued support of this little blog.  I consider it and you another treasure in my life. Please stop by again as you continue on your  journey. 
If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to leave a comment or email.
Now, off to get ready for our team meeting tomorrow!! Can't wait to get together!!!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Thank You, Teacher!

Hello Everyone!
Wow!!  Summer is here for most of us. We made it! It was a school year filled with a lot of everything... ups, downs, laughs, tears, hoorays, and "I'm sorrys." A lot of learning and growing for all of us. 
I want to thank all teachers everywhere for your heart, your dedication, your willingness to give of yourselves, and for being there for your kids. Whether you are a public school teacher, a private school teacher, a home-school teacher, a brand new teacher, a veteran teacher, a teacher abroad, or any other teacher out there, you have made a difference, and I thank you! 
In reflection, I took some time to re-internalize (is that a word?) the pure reasons for why I teach. I came up with this little poster as I thought about my students from this past year and what we worked on.  

I will use this as an incentive for this coming year.  I will refer to it daily, and let my kids refer to it as well. Yes, I may only teach first grade, but even our littles deserve this. If you are a teacher of older kids, this is for you and your kids as well. 
And now that summer is upon us, take time to reflect, rejuvenate, relax, and reaffirm your reasons for teaching.  Thank you!!

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Expository Writing and a Little Pigeon

Hello Everyone!!!
Thank you so much for all the sweet messages concerning our sweet little Lola.  You all are the best!
We all continue to grow stronger. Continued thoughts and prayers are appreciated!
In class we have been so busy writing expository text during workshop. We started our unit with writing about what we know best...ourselves. My little writers had so much fun brainstorming, organizing their thoughts, editing, rewriting, and finally publishing!

From there we went on to "How To..." writing. We started that off with  Oreo eating  fun. How do you eat your OREO? We brought these little ideas to publication as well.  Here are a few pics!

These little writers love sharing their work!!

Munch! Munch!!

Kids are experts at so many things!!!

Now on to some other First Grade Fun!  We are finishing up our measurement unit in math, and we are studying the work of Mo Willems, so I decided to integrate the two and have the kids create Pigeon and use him to practice nonstandard units of measurement. I did a kind of directed creating for the pigeon just giving the kids some sized construction paper and telling them what shapes needed to be cut from them. They all turned out so cute. Then they got busy measuring and writing results on speech bubbles!  I love how they turned out!!

Thanks for letting me share these!!! 
Stay tunes for another peek through our "Window on Wonder!"

See you soon!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

A Treasured Life...and Comparing and Ordering Numbers

Hello Everyone!
My sincere apologies for not posting lately...
 I had to take a little time off as our family has experienced a very sad loss. My nephew's little baby girl, Lola, has passed away from Krabbe disease. She was only 13 months old, but brought such joy and light to all who knew her. We have all learned so much about life and love through her.  Krabbe disease (also called globoid cell leukodystrophy) is a degenerative disorder that affects the nervous system. It is caused by the shortage (deficiency) of an enzyme called galactosylceramidase. This enzyme deficiency impairs the growth and maintenance of myelin, the protective covering around certain nerve cells that ensures the rapid transmission of nerve impulses in the brain.  Krabbe disease is part of a group of disorders known as leukodystrophies, which result from the loss of myelin (demyelination). 
Both my nephew and his sweet wife are so devastated, but at the same time are so strong knowing that their little lamb is at rest, and out of pain.  They are also fighting hard to get laws passed in Florida to have screenings done on newborns to detect this disease. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers as they try to pass Lola's Law. Let me know if you want more information, and I will e-mail links to their efforts.
Our Sweet Lola
Life is precious and every moment spent with family is oh so special... Treasure every one of those moments.

Now, taking a big breath, let's move on to some school stuff. When I got back from Florida, we started a unit in math about comparing and ordering numbers up to 120.  Along with using a 120 board and all that we know about place value, we also continued work using number lines including open number lines. I put together a little unit that I added to my already hefty study on ordering and comparing to 120. I am sharing that tonight. This entire 104 page unit is a print and go unit with a spring theme. There are some whole group lessons and some math tub games. Here are a few pics.
Open Number Line Fun!

A fun High Lo game is included in the unit! A favorite of the kids!!

A fun  Number Line Scoot game is included
 in the unit!

These are just a few pics of the over 100 page doc. If any of it looks interesting or helpful to you, you can get it...HERE! JUST CLICK, DOWNLOAD AND GO! FREE!

Well, I have to run.  I'm working on a strip diagram unit that I am very excited about.  Even First graders can understand numbers through strip diagrams!! Til then, I hope you have a wonderful week.  Hug those close to you. Live every day with joy.