Saturday, August 31, 2013

Week 3 in the Books!

I don't know where this week went! That was quick! I was at school on Monday, but Tuesday and Wednesday I was at a training all day, so when I went back on Thursday, it felt like Monday! It was like the shortest week ever. :) I even get a 3 day weekend!

The kids did great for the sub. I knew they would, but I still hate it. My sub was awesome. She left me whole page notes everyday, brought the kids a treat, and even wrote me a personalized card thanking me for letting her "walk in my shoes.". Woohoo for great subs!

So since I wasn't really there, I didn't have much to say all week. I do want to show you something cute we did last week though. I got the idea from Green Bean Kindergarten and it went right along with our Jack and the Beanstalk Unit. Plus, we had been doing odd and even quite a bit during calendar, so I thought it fit perfectly.

 I just drew numbered leaves and boots on white paper, then made copies on colored construction paper. Then I typed out the title. I gave each sheet to the kids, along with blue paper, and let them go at it. It took them about an hour, but they loved it. It was a great time for me to get testing done, they were still learning, and having to think, it was cute, and they had fun. Win, win!

You could make this easier by putting the numbers in order on the printed sheet, only going to 10, or even just do consecutive numbers, instead of odd and even. This was was a bit more challenging because the numbers were all mixed up. I didn't do this step by step with them. I just gave it to them and let them go. I loved that it was student led, so they all looked different. They did a great job. I heard lots of singing of our odd and even song, and most of them got all of the numbers in the correct order. A few mixed up the teen numbers, but that was an easy fix.

Next week, we have a short week. We are out on Monday for Labor Day and then have an early dismissal day on Wednesday. It should be easy, but I get to be observed at 8:00 Tuesday morning, so that definitely won't be fun. Yuck. We also start our Reading series, and get right in our typical schedule. I am glad for that, but it's a lot to have happen in a little tiny week.

Anyway, once I get in a routine, I hope to be able to blog more frequently. I also have lots of TpT stuff going on in my head. Hopefully, I can get that going pretty soon. Have a happy Labor Day!

Be fun and fabulous!

~Mrs. Sweeney

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Beginning of the Year Sub

Yuck! I hate having a sub any time, but I especially hate it at the start of the year! I am NEVER out. I don't think I missed one day last year. In the past, I've only taken days when I go on field trips with my own children. I really hate it. My very first Interim position, I was supposed to start on a Wednesday, and I ended up getting the FLU the day before! So yeah, I was out that week. It drove me insane. I felt so terrible that I was feeling too terrible to come to school and meet my kiddos. Pretty much, I haven't missed for being sick since then. Thank goodness. Even when I know the sub, and know it will be fine, I still hate it.

Well, guess what. I have to be out TWO days next week. Two days in the 3rd week of school! I am NOT happy about it, but I have a two day training I am required to go to, so I have no choice. I would rather stay after school, than miss a day. Yes, I know I'm weird. I'm like that with everything though. I don't miss ANYTHING unless there is no way around it. When I say I am going to do something, I do it! :)

Anyway, I have been stressing about it, and planning for it for 3 weeks now. It's not getting any better. I still worry. Thankfully, my sub is a friend of a friend, who is a certified teacher, but I still don't like it. How about you? Does it bother you to get a sub or are you fine with it? I am sure it is my control freak nature that makes me hate it so much. I just want everything to go exactly as I plan it, exactly how I want to do it. I'm trying to become a recovering control freak, but I doubt some things ever change. :)

Anyway, I have my sub notebook all done and ready. I even have 3 days of emergency plans in there, just in case. But I never, ever want to use them.

I also hate planning for my week, and then having to do sub plans on top of that. I'm efficient, and that's not efficient.

Wow, this is a whiny post, sorry! Let's be positive! :) While planning for the sub, I made a Write the Room freebie that I thought I'd share. It's all about names. Since it is the beginning of the year, I thought that would be the perfect thing to practice, and easy for the sub, since we already know how to "write the room". It's just the student recording sheet, so nothing big, but I bet you can use it, too. I just typed out their names in a kid-friendly large font, and plan to tape them around the room. Then they will go around and write their classmates names as they fine them. Our names are also several other places in the room, as I am sure yours are, so you don't even have to type out the names if you don't want to. I just wanted to make it as easy as possible for the sub. Click the picture below to get your freebie now.

Be fun and fabulous!

~Mrs. Sweeney

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Testing or Teaching?

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh! I'm drowning in a sea of tests. I totally get that testing is part of the process, and I want to know exactly where my little kiddos are at, etc, but goodness! I feel like I should really be testing, testing, testing instead of teaching. I'm never gonna get all of these done. Whew! K, just had to get that off my chest.  Testing is the pits.

We have done lots of learning though, which is why I'm drowning in testing. Haha! I keep teaching instead. Silly me. ;)

Part of it is that I am out 2 days next week for training, and I NEED to get the kids in some sort of structured schedule. Oh well, my job is to TEACH, right?! :) I'll get done with them eventually. Someday. Right??!!

Anyway, since I am still teaching, I made some cute writing paper that I am going to share with you. :)

Our new Reading Series, Wonders, has Jack and the Beanstalk as part of the Smart Start program. I decided to do some writing that goes along with it. These firsties need some guidance, so I've included a Jack tree map and the writing page to go along with it. Nothing fancy, but it gets the job done.

Click on the pic to take you to the writing pages. Enjoy!

Be fun and fabulous!

~Mrs. Sweeney

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Sale, Sale, Sale!

It's my first sale!! Go check it out. EVERYTHING is 20% off, plus use the code BTS13 and get another 8% from TpT. Awesomeness!

My Accountable Talk Posters, Eric Carle Unit, and Jungle Book Binder are my most wishlisted item. Now's the time to get them!

Be fun and Fabulous!
~Mrs. Sweeney

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Music Makes the Classroom Fonder

My desk is covered in labels, pictures, wall stuff, substitute folder stuff, and more! What about you? What's filling your desk space at the moment?

Whew! It's only Wednesday. It seems like we've been in school for weeks, while at the same time it feels like 3 days. Haha! Yep, we started Monday. It's just amazing what they forget between Kindergarten and 1st grade. One of mine couldn't even remember how to open and use a glue stick! :) We've hardly done anything on my lesson plans, but gosh darn it, they WILL have these procedures down perfectly. :)

I've really incorporated music and sounds into my classroom this year. I've used music in the past, but not nearly like I am this year, and I love it! We have a song or sound for everything we do pretty much. At the moment, I've only introduced "come to the carpet", "go to your seat", " "line up", "recess time", "work time", and come get your paper". Oh my goodness. It works like a charm. They've got them down pat, and I can't wait to introduce more next week.

Here's what's funny. We've only been using the music for 3 days. Well, today when I went to use them, something was messed up on my speakers and you could barely hear the sounds. So, I just called them to do what they were supposed to do. Wellll, that didn't work! I only had like 3 people come when I said to! They just couldn't do things without the music. It through off their whole day! I called my husband to come at lunch to fix my speakers! Hahaha! They were perfect after that! :) Music is amazing. They also work so much better with it. This morning when I couldn't use it, they were so chatty and weren't getting finished. This afternoon when I was able to use it, they worked quietly and for extra long. I love music! Now I've got to make a cd for a sub to use or they will never listen. ;)

It's been a good week. I've got some sweet, cute kiddos. First grade is the best! I can't wait until next week when we can do our real schedule and get on track.

Be fun and fabulous!

~Mrs. Sweeney

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Last Bit of Freedom

This is my last weekend before school is in full swing. Yes, we went last week, but we only had kids for 2 hours, so it doesn't count. :)

My kiddos are sweet. I think it will be a good class. I did have 4 not show up, but I think they will all make it on Monday. I did get a new one yesterday, so I am now up to 19. I did not get to meet her, but Monday will come soon enough. I have several good parents who want to be involved so that will be nice. I can't wait to get started.

I have no plans for next week though, so that is freaking me out a bit. We still haven't really gotten a schedule, so it is hard for me to plan, when I don't really have a plan! I'm going to buckle down and figure out something after this post though. Instead of working on lesson plans like I should have, I worked on stuff for you.

Our school wants to really focus on Accountable Talk and student learning this year. Pretty much what Common Core is all about. We got to tour some of the upper grade classrooms and the buzz was about some Accountable Talk posters they had in their rooms. I liked them, but didn't think they would work quite right in my classroom. Several other teachers mentioned that they would put up the posters for THEM to use to guide student talk. That's all well and good, but I want the kiddos to be able to use them on their own. So, I decided to make my own. I changed the wording a little bit  and added pictures to help the kiddos understand them more so they can actually use them. Plus, I have a mostly ELL class and they would definitely need help. Pictures are worth a thousand words, right?! Anyway, I think they turned out great and I have already printed them out to put in my classroom.

I put them on Teachers Pay Teachers for you. Just click the picture below to take you to them. I hope they work in your classrooms, too.

I really think they will help my kiddos use them more easily without me having to feed them the words. Woohoo for growing in-depth thinkers! I can just imagine all the conversations that can happen with these little gems. 

I like this one a lot because they really have to explain why they answered a certain way. They have to really think about it to explain it. Who am I kidding? I really like all of them. :)

Monday begins the start of an awesome year! I hope yours starts off great as well!

Be fun and Fabulous!

~Mrs. Sweeney

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Tomorrow's the Big Day!

Yippee! Tomorrow I get to meet my new kiddos. I've kept pretty much the same list of kids this whole month. We got the final list today and it is still the same, so I am hoping my class won't change too much. I'm ready to go. I think. :)

This week has been great, but busy. Meeting after meeting after meeting. Then we had our big Back to School picnic last night. It was a great turn out, and everyone loved it. Yea for the Celebration Committee! My team was awesome and we worked well together. It was a great start to the year.

All day it looked like it was going to rain. My principal came to me in the morning and asked what the plan was if it rained. I said, "It is NOT going to rain." He said, "Ok, positive thinking then," and laughed. All day people kept asking him what we were going to do, and he kept telling them, "She said it wasn't going to rain." Well, guess what! It did not rain! It did sprinkle a TINY bit for a minute, but that doesn't count.  The weather was cool and nice. Perfect for a picnic. Thanks for listening, rain! :) You made me look good. Haha!
Now, it's on to our next event in September.

I also heard ALL NIGHT LONG about my awesome brochures. Apparently, one of one of my parents (a 4th grade teacher) took my registration folder and passed it around for all to see. Haha! All I kept hearing was that they couldn't believe I made all that and I must have spent so much money. I had to explain over and over that it was all free on Vistaprint. Then I got made fun of for doing all of that. Then they started talking about how my room was all ready and I had nothing to do. I told everyone they are not allowed in my room any more. It freaks them all out. Haha. I can't help it. I can't stand letting things wait. I am SOOO glad I had most everything done before now. If I didn't I would be so stressed. In fact, just seeing some of the rooms that aren't ready, stress me out. :) I am a planner and I don't know how to procrastinate. Thank goodness!

Tomorrow the kids come for just 2 hours. They fill out all the paperwork and meet me, then go home. Monday will be our first full day. This will be a tough week. Usually, we start in the middle of the week, so it's just a couple of days and then a break. It's good for all of us, but not this year. A whole week the first week of school will be HARD. Oh well, they'll really have things down by the end of the week. :)

So, I should probably go to bed sometime soon. I probably won't sleep much tonight. I will probably think of a million things I didn't do, but that's ok. School's back!

Be fun and Fabulous!

~Mrs. Sweeney

Monday, August 5, 2013

Starting the New Year Off Right

So, this morning we got to start off our first teacher work day by watching this cutie pie. Watcha think? I agree. :)


Sunday, August 4, 2013

It's Time!

Tomorrow is back to school for me! No kiddos until Thursday, but my alarm is going to go off mighty early in the morning. It's going to be lots and lots of meetings, but I know I will be drained by the end of this week. Excited to meet my new kiddos though!

Here are the special treats I made for them for Registration Day.

Woohoo for the Dollar Tree. They had the perfect monkey bags, jungle erasers, jungle pencils, etc. Then I did Ready Confetti that they will open on Sunday before their first full day of school.

Not much to post about. It really needs to be bedtime. I have to finish my teacher binder first though. Why did I wait until now to get this done? Kids come first, I guess. :)

Night night! Hope all of you that go back this week have an awesome first week!

Be fun and fabulous!

~Mrs. Sweeney

Friday, August 2, 2013

Classroom Reveal

I'm linking up with Mrs. Sanderson at Flying High in First Grade to do our classroom tours. Fun, fun! I am as finished as I can be right now, except for my center areas. I go back on Monday, so I better be. No kids until Thursday though, but I'm sure I'll think of lots of last minute stuff between now and then. I feel good about where I am right now though. I really love my classroom. It is so cute and calm. It makes me happy and I hope it makes my little kiddos happy, too. Come join up on the linky with pictures of your room! Just grab this button and check out other classrooms as well.

Classroom revealed. :)

Are you ready?

View from the doorway

Carpet area

More carpet

Cute wish list items

Question of the day. I love this and will use it so much in Morning meeting/ speaking and listening.

What to do when finished board


Deasks with everything ready to go. Parent registration folders and their Jungle Books.

Writing Area

Reading Center

Math Center

Front Board

There you have it. I guess I didn't really take a picture of my area, but I did in this previous post. It is mostly the same. :)

Go link up! I'd love to see your classroom! When do you go back?

Be fun and fabulous!

~Mrs. Sweeney