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Monday, June 30, 2014

Made It Monday! Coffee, Freebie, and a New Job?

I am linking up with 4th Grade Frolics for a Monday Made It and I am sad that I have only made it to 1 out of 5 Monday Made It's.  Does that mean I am not being productive? Oh boy.  For me it has been a little difficult to start planning because I have been in limbo with jobs and not knowing what grade I will have plus we are moving sometime soon.  If you like coffee here is my Monday 
I made a cold coffee drink I actually like and it tastes oh-so-good!  I have been on the hunt for a cold coffee drink and every drink I have tried has just been - okay.  I do think the drink tastes much better without the protein scoop but hey, I am trying to lose a few pounds so I am using it as a meal supplement and because I do like coffee - I don't feel like I am dieting at all.  I would definitely try it without the protein first to see if you like the texture and taste before you go investing in protein.
1) I made the smallest cup of coffee that my Keurig would allow to make sure it was really concentrated (I used Starbucks coffee)
2) Here is my weakness, I used um, well, about 1/3 of creamer in the drink and I don't like the sugar free (tomorrow I will be trying artificial sweetener instead of creamer). 
3) So layered like this: creamer, 1 scoop protein drink, a handful and 1/2 of ice cubes, coffee.
4) Blend on Smoothie - it does make a difference.  It ends up being frothie which I like.

Note:  That is chocolate flavored protein which I probably would do vanilla instead but that's what I had on hand.  Overall it is pretty good and I stay full for about 4-5 hours.  
I really wanted to show other things and ideas I had for my upcoming students/class but since I didn't really know what grade or school I would be at I haven't been able to plan or prep so I have been revamping and adding to a few teaching units that I already have.  I recall Erica's post over at Erica's Ed-Ventures saying at some point (not in her own words I am translating here) you will look at some of your first products and think, "did I really put that out there?" I thought, "No, I won't think that." Well, hey, I opened up one of my units and I was 
so I redid.  I added 6 sheets of color word freebies in the preview too if you download that.  I feel so much better and the unit has doubled in size. So forgive me for it not being a DIY project but there is a good freebie for you.
Storytown high frequency words 1st gradeStory Town High Frequency Words 1st Grade Resource
Oh yea, I have been playing with this blog too. I  remade the header, button, and side-bars but they are a work in progress and I am learning as I go.  I love making them! It's relaxing to me.  

I know this isn't a tangible made it but I drove 2 1/2 hours away to an interview and I was offered a Kinder position.  I made it! I made it!  Okay, but now I am scared to death because I have taught 1st grade for 8 years and 2nd for 2.  I can't get into the room until August 1st, haven't seen the classroom, and have a zillion questions.  I will definitely be doing some KINDER BLOG STALKING.    I now have a direction - sort of (I don't know what the classroom looks like, resources, or furniture that I will have and won't until August 1st).  Talk about an emotional roller coaster. 

Happy Monday!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Two for Tuesday . . .50% off 2 Items O-YA!

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It's hard to believe Tuesday is here again? So here are the 2 items offered at 50% off for the 2 for TUESDAY linky with the Teaching Tribune
You can read more about this behavior system & how it is different HERE or click HERE to download the instructional pages and FREE Clip Chart or click on the picture to download the preview & go to the unit.
  $5.00    $2.50

I got behind toward the end of the year keeping up with the phonics pacing (or at least getting the units completed).  I just finished diphthongs oi & oy and here it is at 50% off.

$3.00   $1.50
Happy Tuesday!
Go check out the Teaching Tribune for more items at 50% off!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Monday Meet Up . . .Did you Know?

 Monday Meet Up Linky:
So this may seem a little random which I definitely could link up with the Randomness and I did make something on a Monday for the Monday Made It Linky going on but here are 3 things you probably don't know about me for the MEET UP Monday LINKY.  If you don't have a blog, leave 3 things about you in the comments section.  I'd love to hear from you!
Just to prove my point, I am in the process of redoing this blog in which I by NO means have experience in graphic design, web-site design, button design, etc. but I spent all morning reading articles on "HOW-To" make your own blog button and your own background.  Sorry about the background (eye-sore, ugh) has to wait until tomorrow.  It is temporary for now.  See - here is the new blog button and profile pic.

Link up with the Teaching Tribune and go meet some teachers like you . . . 
Happy Monday!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Two Items 50% Off With Two for Tuesday Linky

Two for Tuesday (& Wednesday since I was late getting it posted)!
I am on a posting roll.  Probably because I don't feel well so I can only just kind of sit here.  I am getting so informed.   I am Linking with  The Teaching Tribune for their 2 for Tuesday.  So here it is.  Click on the pictures to take you to the units.       
             These guys are fun, different and the kids love them.
$5.00   $2.50
50 % off today only
5 Units in 1 Bundle all the Long vowels with the bossy e and a review unit.  All the units follow the same format. 
 $8.00  $4.00 (5 Units for $4.00)?
Check out the linky for other sellers best selling units at 50% off. Click on the button below go and go see!

Behavior Management & A Freebie for my Readers

First, let me say my 1st year of teaching I refer to as boot camp for teachers and I sure wish I knew what I know now! 

 I feel a lot of behavior systems don't address student behaviors but mask it.  I am constantly, 
every year, 
every year, 
every year, 
given the students who have issues, autistic, mainstreamed, need nurtured, because from what I understand . . . I am patient.  Patience alone is not a CURE ALL that's for sure.

I  tried the other clip chart, reward coupons, turn a card, prize drawer, group points and they all have their pro's and con's in my eyes.  So here is what I came up with and why.  At the bottom of this post I have included a free download with instructions and the hanging clip chart. If you click on the picture below it will take you to whole unit.

Classroom Management First Week of School

Reflection, reflection, reflection,

I only started thinking differently after completing 2

years of research in my master's program.  

Here it is in a "NUTSHELL."  Plus, if you ever need to do a 504 plan for behavior - BOOYA! DOCUMENTATION  and INFORMED parents is what this system helps with.

·        RESEARCH:  In my master's program I spent 2 years researching self-regulating students.  The research made me think and reflect on student behaviors.  I actually was not going to do a system at all last year but the parents are trained on these charts and rely on them for communication about their child.  There were 2 reasons I was not going to use a system:
1)   I read a quote from a leader in education (can’t recall where but I believe it was from Finland).  I just remember it stated, “when you add accountability, you take responsibility out.”  That statement resonated with me.  What I took from that statement was students need taught responsibility if they aren't doing it on their own.  Flipping a card and moving a clip doesn't teach responsibility nor does it teach being respectful or safe.
2)  Having students move a clip or card during instruction, carpet time, etc. was more of a disruption as all the students looked at them and the student left more instruction to go move their card or clip so I came up with a nameplate with individual clips. If you used the other clip chart, you could always add mini self-stick gems to the clips if they get on outstanding.

Behavior is one of the domains in self-regulating students.  If a child does not learn or is never taught how to be successful it is very unlikely they will self-regulate.  Worse – it follows them their whole life! 
 Like I said, it is only one aspect of self-regulating behaviors.  Nevertheless, I created this chart that is more specific to help students see and recognize the behavior that keeps causing them issues.  I created the tracker so I could see the pattern.  It is more work but then if the behavior isn’t remedied it allows me to see more clearly what behavior modifications are needed or a plan can be made with the student to help them be more successful.   I also feel that the younger the child the better the chance a teacher has at helping them be successful with the behavior they are having issues with.

If you are still with me after all that here is the download for the
hanging clip chart and instructions for how this system works.

Classroom Management 1st week of school

I linked up with Laura over at

for a CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT LINKY.  Check it out and be prepared my friends.  Lot's of freebies at the different blogs too!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Jerry Maguire and why I am Stripping my Classroom Walls

I bet you are wondering what Jerry Maguire and teaching have in common.  Inspired and laying it on the line.  I am giving it up (not totally but I am going to give it a shot).  Yep, I am feeling a bit like Jerry Maguire right about now.  Anyone coming with me?  1 hand? 2 hands?  Anyone?  Maybe I am by myself in this but here it goes just hang with me for a minute. . . 
Student Made Classroom Decor
Click on the picture above or below or HERE to read more about why I am stripping my walls.  The download has clickable links to where I found each picture/inspiration.  Later I will add clickable links to the HOW & Why and my Lesson Plans.  This is a working document and more pictures will be added as I go.

Student Made classroom Decor

Last year I was looking into a student made alphabet and calendar when I  stumbled across Sally at   I absolutely loved everything I saw and was instantly inspired.  Unfortunately, at the time, I really didn't know the direction I wanted to go  or how and my room did not include much of anything that was student made in regard to classroom decor.  While following links and getting lost in the great abyss of the internet, I fell in love with certain pictures.  Come to find out every picture I ran across was linked to Reggio Emilia which I new nothing about.  So throughout the year I followed links and absorbed everything I could about it.  So here I am and I am getting ready to transform my room.  I have to say, this past year I was feeling closed in(could have had something to do with the fact I ended up with 27 students in my 1st grade class).  At the close of the year, I started organizing and taking lots and lots of things down (partly because I may get a new job in another school and county).  As the walls came down and things were tossed and organized I felt liberated and invigorated.  It felt good not to have  SO M-U-C-H   S-T-U-F-F.   I don’t know where this journey will take me or how it will end up but I am putting it out there.  Will everything be student made?  Of course not.   I am changing the way I do things and with change we all know it takes time.  Here is a picture of my class at the end of the year and in JUNE.  It may not look overdecorated to you but there is just so much stuff. (It's dark because we were using the document camera). 

If you click on the picture at the top, it will take you to a document with clickable links to the place I found the pictures/inspiration and later I will add the how and why of each picture as well as lesson plans or just click HERE

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Mrs. Jump's Summer Linky 10 Things for Summer!

I am linking up with Mrs. Jump's linky to share 10 things I WANT TO DO THIS SUMMER.   If you want to link up just click on the picture above and it will take you to her blog.

I can't believe summer is already here - That was the FASTEST year ever! I really enjoyed my kids this year.  They were super sweet and very funny.  I have so much I want to do this summer but so much I HAVE to do.  This is a year of transition for me (I think/hope).  So I am going to give a mix of have to's and want to's.  So here is my first one:

#1 We are suppose to be moving this summer to another county.  Here is our destination. So, #1 . . . .I want to move.   

# 2  I want to/have to sell our house - it is about ready to fall out of escrow but we have back-up buyers (I hope).  Someone is coming this morning and I am supposed to by cleaning instead of typing. DONE!

#3  DONE.  I have to secure a job.  I won't be resigning until I find one of course.  I have been looking in San Diego County since we put our house up for sale and do you know there are pretty much NO jobs available and come to find out the ones that are have so many applicants.  Needless to say, I have never had to write a cover letter or resume for any had jobs so far (learning curve for sure).   I think this is going to be harder than I originally though. YIKES! Sell house - NO JOB . . . SCARY!  Update: I was offered a job in VISTA California at a quaint little school tucked in the mountain.  It is beautiful where it is located.  It is a KINDER position and I am scared to death! I have taught 1st grade for 8 YEARS. I love 1st grade

#4  I want to attend the TPT conference in July therefore I need to go sign up right now.  I am so lucky to have family there and I have already booked a 4 night stay at our timeshare.   I am a little nervous though.  Now I know how the students feel when they are NEW and don't know anyone. 
#5  I want to visit my family when I am in Vegas.  I miss them and as close as they are - I rarely see them.  They are busy too.

#6  I want to spend time with my youngest son going into 6th grade.  He needs some intervention in math so I have been scouring TPT for the stuff he needs.  He is a total visual kid and I saw 1st hand what happens when you don't give those kids manipulative (even in the upper grades).  Bless his little heart.  This kid has hung with me the last 5 years (going to school early & staying late but he he did have after school friends).

#7 I don't want to say HURRY (1) T-I-M-E this summer.
#9 I want to finish organizing my classroom (haven't checked out yet) so if we do move I am ready to go.  Lordy, moving my classroom will be worse than moving my house. 
#10 I want to spend more time with my husband this summer.  He is so patient during the school year. 

What are you doing this summer?  I am off to clean my house and I have 1 hour.  I will not say HURRY.  My list looks like a lot of work.   

Sunday, June 8, 2014

End of Year Student Books

We worked on these at the end of the year. I wanted something simple for the covers. The covers took all but 15 minutes with the exception of hunting down black sharpies from various teachers. Toward the end of the school year we wrote letters each day to 1 student (sometimes 3) when we got behind. Then I laminated and bound the books. They really are so cute and the letters were just hilarious. I got the idea from this personal blog by Brooke Reynolds.  I just used her pictures as a guide and "winged" it.  Ijust love the black and white contrast and ink drawings.

Student Art Writing Cover
Student Book

If you click on the picture it will take you to my facebook page where I plan to give away freebie units and such.  I am NEW to the whole Facebook thing so it will be a learning curve.  I have to like my own page just to find it.  What the heck.   I never had a personal one to learn the ends and outs so be patient this summer since it it a . . . WORK IN PROGRESS.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Summer Reading Seed Poem and Promise

I know, I know, I am late on this.  I don't actually sit down and plan what I am going to make - it just kind of happens and evolves based on what's going on in my classroom.  We just got out on the 6th and what a whirlwind.  I know some schools are still in for another week or two so maybe you can use this.  It was a relatively inexpensive project.  I just didn't want to go out and spend a ton of money.  Even at $1.00 per kid that was another $27.00 so that's how this project evolved.  I did something similar to this several years back but it just wasn't put neatly into a little file. I did write the poem so please do respect the copyright on that.    Happy Summer and check back for end of the year pictures and updates.  Did I mention my school has WATER DAY with slip and slides, flip flops, and lots of water along with a BBQ?  It is CRAZY.  Especially when you have the kiddos an additional 1 1/2 hours after the  Water Day rotations!
Summer Reading Incentive Motivation 1st Grade
You can click on the picture or HERE to go to get the 

Summer Reading 1st Grade


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