Saturday, August 31, 2013

BIG news and classroom pics

My BIG news is .......I changed schools at the last minute!

A week and half before school started I was offered a teaching job I couldn't pass up. The K-12  private school I started my career at was in need of a 1st and 2nd grade Language Arts teacher (they departmentalize.) My husband recently went back to work there in June (we met there and he even proposed on campus, but that's another story.) He is the Technology Curriculum Director and we were able to get our two boys to attend as well. I am so excited that they will receive such a stellar education and get to experience the small, family atmosphere that we LOVED when we taught there 13 years ago!

It was a crazy whirlwind to pack up one room, move in to another 25 minutes away (without traffic), be trained in a very specific program (Spalding) and get my boys registered, uniforms, etc. It was pretty stressful, I will admit.

We just finished our 2nd week and Back to School Night so I finally feel like I can breathe! The new staff is really nice and my teammates are so sweet they have been doing the copying for me with sticky notes to indicate which is homework and which is classwork (pretty set curriculum.)

I am really enjoying just teaching Language Arts. Even though I miss the other subjects, it is such a relief to be able to solely focus on one subject! The best part class has only 14 students, the other 16. That is HALF as many kids as I am used to teaching!!! And I have no behavior problems. Don't get me wrong, I have some blurters and some chatters, but no REAL behavior problems. The biggest issue I deal with is the students with a lack of focus. I know, you are crying for me. :-) It is such a relief after the stressful last few years I've had. I noticed I have not been nearly as tired in the evenings. I remember I usually feel completely wrung out the first week but I didn't this year.

The funniest thing is some of my former students are now parents at the school. (No, I am not that old! I used to teach 7-9th grades and I was just starting out, remember?!) I have one girl in my class whose mother I taught. CRAZY!

Ready for some pics?
My campus is just K-2 and tiny. I love it! 
My 6th grade son attends the Middle Campus (3-6) just down the street. My husband and 8th grade son are at Upper Campus (7-12) 5 minutes away.

Parents drive in two lanes and students are loaded in/out of cars for efficiency.

Kinder wing


My wing. I am on the first floor thank goodness.

Building on the left is the office, staff room, etc.

View from my door. David's are from Fall Into First

The mishmash of colored bins were already here. I'm sure my OCD will compel me to do something about it when I have more time...
Those old laptops were being used to Star Test until I told them we could use the 10 ipads in my closet it we just downloaded the free app!
Yippee!!!! I finally have a Smartboard! Now I just need to figure out how to use it well.

I haven't had desks in rows in soooo long!  ;-) 
Walk-in closet and more storage here!
The Spalding beige posters are drab but part of the program.
It is amazing that 1st and 2nd graders switch classes like High School! They come in,  grab their supply tray and slide it into their desk. That way the same desks can be used for different classes. These trays were all different with orange, purple, and red but the rainbow was too distracting for me so I was able to switch them out to just 3 colors for a more calming effect.
Maybe something like this? Pic from U Name It!
I want to get a painted teacher chair for this reading corner.  

This would match my current theme!  No link :(
If you have any links to cute chairs please send them my way. They don't have to be red and black, that was just a coincidence. 

I hope you are all having a TERRIFIC return to school!


Saturday, August 17, 2013

Winner and THE Sale

And the winner of my new Friends of Ten product is......... Karen Prince Rowland! I emailed you.

The big TpT sale is finally here! So get your shop on and start filling up your cart. My entire store will be 20% off and TpT offers an addition 10% if you enter the promo code BTS13.

Had your eye on one of my newer products?
How about one of my best sellers?

Need some items to start the year off right?

Perhaps some Common Core goodies?

I also have a ton of math games

 and book club packets.
Writing craftivities, centers, there really is something for everyone! 
Time to go browse to add more to my growing wish list. See you at the two-day sale starting this Sunday!


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Last hour of Giveaway

Quick, you have one more hour to enter my Friends of Ten Giveaway! Scroll down to the rafflecopter box to enter and read about this new item if you missed my previous post.


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Friends of Ten Giveaway!

I am so excited to show you what I've been busy working on. It is called Friends of Ten and I made it with my friend Lindsay! We were working on math curriculum this summer and commenting that learning the parts of ten is a core math skill that needs more attention. We wanted to make sure the partners to ten were really cemented into their young minds so we wrote an original rhyming story with our own creative number characters!
1. We will read this book to the class. We are going to print, laminate and bind into a book that can be reread later but you could also project it if you prefer.

2. We also made half sheet flashcards with just the character. We will start by randomly putting the cards up with magnets and asking volunteers to come partner up the characters to make ten. The next day we will flash the cards and ask the students to call out who the friend of ten is.
3. The students love mini-books so we created one they could reread. Coloring the characters will help ingrain the partners, plus the last page asks them to match the friends up.

4. How about a fun game to continue the practice? In Birthday Bash the students pick a birthday hat to wear and become that character. The object of the game is for students to find their friend of ten. When they find their partner,  they both check in with the teacher. If correct, the students receive a small prize (candy, sticker) and then pick new birthday hats to continue playing.  When time is called, students will be excited to share how many "friendships" they were able to make. The labels are included in the download so all you have to buy is the birthday hats at the dollar store!
5. Finally, there is a cut and glue worksheet that can be used for assessment or simply more practice.

Didn't Lindsay do a great job on the illustrations? I bet she'd get the warm fuzzies if you left her a comment.

As always, I am giving a copy away to a lucky follower. Enter below and good luck! If you have to have it NOW, click {HERE} to go to my store.
a Rafflecopter giveaway