August 31, 2013

I Survived + a Makeover = SALE!

To those of you who went back this past week, WE MADE IT...{P.T.L}!
Even thought this is only my 3rd year, it by far has been the roughest starting week to date.
So, in honor of trudging through and surviving, everything in my TpT store is 15% off this weekend!

 I am also LOVING my new blog makeover! It fits me just perfect. It's a complete reflection of myself, teaching style, and classroom. Shout out to Susan's hubby Parker for rockin'!
Before I recap our week, let me just start off by saying...I live in Texas, so no common core here. Our district was going to go with C-Scope but quickly axed that idea. Over the summer we had district admin write and align new curriculum for us.
Get this: they had us teaching Lucy Caulkins writing sessions 1 & 2, all letters and sounds, science safety, maps, and numbers to 99 the FIRST week people! Add on top of that rules, procedures, etc.
"Ain't nobody got time for that!' which we discovered shortly into Day 1.
Students were allowed into our rooms at 8:00 and they all didn't show up until 9:30. Talk about a mad house in the front office! After 1 1/2 hours of wasted time (grr) we finally started our day with calendar, good morning rituals, school tour and snack.  When we returned, we read The Kissing Hand and talked about our first day feelings.
We did a little follow up writing activity. In the madness, I didn't capture a picture but here is one from last year. We changed it up and wrote "I felt _____________."
The second day was bound to be better than the first. Since the students came in the door with a roar (literally NO honeymoon period) talking about behavior and expectations was a must! I love to read David Shannon's books just as much as the kids love listening to them. We discussed David's behavior and figured out if it was things we should "do" or "not do".
They had to choose one thing they could "do" and make the following craft below.
Wednesday & Thursday
We continued talking about rules and classroom procedures. After reading another story about David, we brainstormed rules that we thought would be important to follow at school. I put them into a 'Class Promise' where the students signed and promised to follow the things stated.
No promise is complete with our cute little faces framing it!

All of these activities are in my Becoming Peacemakers unit.
To end our week, we read Chrysanthemum. A great way to show how words can be hurtful is to take make a large heart. While reading the book, every time something hurtful is said to Chrysanthemum, let the students crumple the heart some. When the story is over talk about how words can be hurtful. Try to smooth out the heart. Does it go back to how it was before? Let them put Band-Aids on it to see if that does the trick.

I like to leave this hanging up all year so they refer back to it before speaking mean or hurtful words.
Throughout the week, we also used these beginning of year "I Can...." assessments. This helped me see who is struggling and where. You can snag them for FREE in my TpT store.
I'm so grateful for a long 3 day weekend. I hope you enjoy yours and take some time off before getting at it again!

August 25, 2013

A B2S Sweet Treat!

My poor sweet blog and followers,
I apologize for not making much of an appearance the past week. I'm sure you have felt a sense of "overwhelmingness" sometime in the past few days as you prepped for the new school year. Last week was full of meetings, planning, running copies, and prepping for meet the teacher and first week back....TOMORROW!

I met all 22 of my cute firsties Thursday! They seemed precious and eager to come back. Their faces filled me with excitement and had me working into the wee hours Friday night to make sure everything was perfectly in its place for tomorrow morning.

My team members worked extra hard and put in some late hours with me this past week so I decided to make a little something for them in  honor of our first day!

I was inspired by Rachelle from What the Teacher Wants and her cute (and delicious looking) cinnamon rolls.  

I had a few left over cupcakes from a baby shower this weekend and thought rather than eat them myself, which I would have most likely done, I would give them away to the "sweet" ladies on my team!  All that needed to be done was prep a cute label and viola!

I've uploaded the template to google docs for you if you would like to use it and surprise your team mats with a sweet snack this week or one your future first day back!

**Click on the picture below to download**

I hope your first day back is just as sweet my friends!

August 20, 2013

Who's That Blogger?? {A linky game with cash and prizes}

Welcome Everyone!!

         Are you ready to have some fun??
                                              ....Play a game?
                                                              .....Win  prizes and cash?

I have teamed up with 65 AMAZING blogger buddies to put together the ultimate Back to School Linky/Giveaway!!!

Each one of my blogger buddies submitted a cute childhood photo & generously donated something special from their online TpT shops for this occasion!! We have included a fun game for you to play for a chance to win over $300.00 in prizes and a BONUS  CASH-PRIZE raffle you can enter at the end of this post!! 


The game is easy to play....

 Your job will be to try and match each blogger with their childhood photo!!! With over 60 childhood photos and bloggers to match up, this might get tricky!! As I mentioned above, each blogger has generously donated one awesome prize from their TpT store. Successfully match a blogger and childhood photo, and you win the prize offered from that blogger!!! The more you matches you make, the more prizes you win!!! 

Check out some of the prizes you could win!!!

but Wait....
That's not all....

ONE lucky follower will win a $125 Amazon Gift Card!! Scroll to the bottom & follow the directions in the Rafflecopter for a chance to win $$$

The link below will open a form that will allow you to submit your answers for the match up. 

Use the blogger links and numbered images to help you along the way!! Each childhood photo has been assigned a specific number. 

Once you open the form, use the drop-down menu beneath each blog button and select a number that corresponds to a childhood photo. 

The form results will be collected throughout the week. At the end of the week, each submission will be "graded" and you will receive a prize for each blogger and photo you successfully matched up!!

The game closes on Friday, August 23rd at midnight (Arizona Mountain Time). Answers will be announced on Saturday, August 24th. Winners will be notified through email throughout the week. 

Use the blog links below the photos to search for clues!!
Click HERE to Play the Matching Game!!


Follow the directions in the Rafflecopter for a chance to win a $125 Amazon gift card!! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you so much for participating!!! Good Luck!!!

If you would like to post about this linky/giveaway, grab the special image below to display in your post and link up below!!! Make sure to use the link to the actual post,,,

August 17, 2013

Are You Ready for the B2S Sale!?

Back to School is such a bittersweet time in the life of a teacher! It means late rising, beach days, and staying in your PJ's until noon is over. But it also brings a great *SALE* to help kick start your year and get you back in gear!
I'm celebrating going back to school with some of my fabulous Firstie Friends. If you haven't heard by now, TpT is having a HUGE B2S sale that starts tomorrow. If you use the code B2S13 you will automatically get 10% off your purchase along with the 20% my friends and I are offering off of our stores too!
Here are a few great product finds from myself and my Firstie Friends!
Check em' out!
Lisa has put together an absolutely amazing making words activity pack jam-filled with over 115 things to do with word families!
 Have you seen Lisa's Common Core Crunch packs? She has one for each month with various grammar, phonics, and writing activities. Her pack for the month of September will be perfect for your firsties!

Foxwell Forest

Creating a positive classroom community is huge! Becca has put together a fun way to recognize and give praise to your students in 24 different ways!
Haley has put together a great pack to help your students identify story elements. Her product contains anchor charts and printables to go with an story book!

I am also showcasing 3 of my products that I think would come in handy-dandy for the school year!
Becoming Peacemakers is a week long unit that makes teaching classroom rules fun! There are several printables, 2 crafts, poems, and a class book in this pack.

Every teacher needs a classroom management tool. This pack will help you keep track of individual student behavior. It includes a clip chart and a positive behavior ticket system your students will surely love!

I LOVE anchor charts and have turned 6 of my favorite grammar charts into printables ones for your classroom. This pack of anchor charts includes nouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, prepositions, and pronouns.

August 15, 2013

Teacher Week: Taming the WILD {Classroom Management}

Managing behavior in the classroom can be challenging at times. I like to cover ALL my bases from the very first week. I have several practices or systems in place I use to manage individual behavior, small group behavior, and our behavior as a class. I'll explain each below.
 For the past 2 years, I have used a clip chart in my classroom for managing individual student behavior. I implement it starting day 1.  I think it is SUPER important to explain and identify your classroom expectations and rules right away. This promotes consistency and lets the students know what they are held accountable for from the beginning.
This summer I revamped my clip chart. 
 Old to new!
 Each day, students begin on "Ready to Learn". Students move their clip down when a rule is broken. They receive a consequence depending on the rule broken. Behavior is communicated with the parent by a communication log that goes home in a daily folder for the parent to check and sign. Students will start over on "Ready to Learn" the next day. {If students continue to exhibit poor behavior, they may be asked to move their clip multiple times in one day}.
The same goes for positive behavior. If a student is seen doing something good in the classroom, they will be asked to move their clip up. Positive behavior is rewarded daily with a "ticket system". If you would like to read more about how this works, visit the post {HERE}.
I also have the system for sale in my TpT store in 2 different versions.
In my room, I group students in tables of 6-8 desks. Each table works together to earn "table points". I keep track of table points on the whiteboard. Students who are seated at the same table can earn points when transitioning to or from a task, working quietly, helping others at their table, etc. When a table earns 10 points, I reward them. Normally it is with candy from the candy jar but on occasions, they may receive a special snack during snack time. Some take this VERY serious (they must be of competitive nature) and others don't, hence why they have to work together!
 At times, it can be challenging to get 22 six and seven year olds to cooperate and ALL follow the rules at the SAME time. This seems to be most true when in hallways! I challenge my firsties to always do their best and when they do, they will be recognized. For example, if we receive a compliment from someone in the building when walking down the hall or when we are the quietest lining up in P.E. When this happens I give them a "brownie point".

Once they have filled up the cookie sheet with brownies (ironic, I know) we vote on a class reward. In the past my students have chosen extra recess, popcorn party, class PJ day, movie day, etc. When they have filled up the tray twice, their reward is to bring their electronics from home and they can be "techies" all afternoon.
It's great to see them encouraging their classmates and this is why I love having a class reward system!
Can't wait to hear some new and fresh management ideas over at Blog Hoppin'. Go link up with Teacher Week!