Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Top 10 Tuesday Linky Party


         Well, I just got back from working in my classroom.  My BFF (that just sounded really high school.....whatever :)) and fellow blogger Katie came down today to help me set things up.  After 4 days of staring around the room wondering where to start, I figured in needed to call in back up!  And Katie is the ONLY person I could have who wouldn't get totally aggravated with how long it takes me to do stuff because she's just as OCD as I am.  I heart you Katie!!  Thank you for all your help today! 
     Anyway, I got home from school and saw Courtney over at Swimming in 2nd's Top 10 Linky Party and decided I had to join since I'm new to the 2nd grade family, so here goes!!  By the way...these are in no particular order!

1) My Silhouette Cameo

  My fab husband got me this for Christmas, and I LOVE IT!  It was a little pricey, but totally worth it.  I have made all kinds of cute things for my classroom, and my hands don't have carpel tunnel from cutting things out with scissors all the time!! :)  It is so much better than the Cricut, because you don't have to buy cartridges! It's all digital...

2) My Digital Clipart

   I LOVE making new resources for my classroom, so having great digital clip art, borders, fonts, etc is a MUST!  Some of my favorite digital clipart designers are MareeTrueLove, Print Candee, and KPM Doodles (all of their stores are on Etsy.)

                                       (Click this picture to go to Print Candee's Etsy Store.)

3) My Scotch Thermal Laminator
      Sometimes I just don't have time to wait for my stuff to get laminated at school (we aren't allowed to laminate our own stuff), so this is a LIFE SAVER!

4) My IKEA Shelves (no particular one...I have like 10)

    My classroom would be one sad place if it weren't for my FABULOUS IKEA shelves.  If I were to purchase stock in an product, it would be IKEA shelves.  I heart them!  Here are my two favorites... my classroom library shelves and my math manipulative organizers.

5) My Math Game Board Organizer (courtesy of The Container Store)

   This picture below only shows it with a few insets, but if you look carefully at the sides you can see the tiny slits for LOTS of inserts. I have about 15 different drawers in this thing that hold my math game boards for our Everyday Math Games.  It is the perfect solution because the space between each insert is really small so it holds a ton of different categories of stuff and doesn't take up a lot of space...
  6)  My Rotating Desk Organizre

      I have reserve supplies of lots of stuff like paperclips, rubber bands, staples, etc.  but when I just need one or two of something this is perfect!  It holds just a small amount of everything...pens, pencils, scissors, white out, rubber bands, staples, sticky notes, my calculator, a ruler, and MUCH MORE!  I just refill it every now and again.

7) My Hanging Reading Assessment Organizer
    This thing is large and in charge...but it works so well! After I finish a Dominie Reading Assesment with a child, I file it in the child's pocket, so I can easily see what level I did with them previously and if I have a RTI or IEP meeting on a child I can just grab their reading assessments and go.  Because it hangs on the wall, this works so much better than filing them in a file cabinet, because they are visible and accessible.

( I cannot find a picture of this to save my life and I don't have a picture of it in my classroom..oh well!)

8) My Lesson/Paper/Printables Organizer (Black Storage Cubes)

   I have all my printables that I need for each subject organized into these spacious black storage cubes with drawers!  It got them at Office Depot a couple of years ago.  I also keep Box Tops, Reading Awards, Weekly Readers/Time for Kids, etc. in them.  It keeps stuff organized and not visible to reduce clutter!


9) My Dymo Label Maker

    I makes labels....'nuff said.

10) My Hallway Chalkboard

    One of the teacher tasks I LOATHE ENTIRELY (anybody catch the Grinch reference here??) is cutting out letters with the di-cut machine in order to give my bulletin boards and/or student work displays a title.  It takes entirely too long, and it's a waste of time because right after you put it up you practically have to take it down a few weeks later.  I solved this problem this past school year by putting up my hallway chalkboard.  I just erase it and write a title for my next hallway display.  1 minute tops!! :) I LOVE it!!


What are your Top 10 Teaching Must Haves??

Have a blessed day!!   Love, Beth

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Consonant Blends Word Work Game....and Some News!

So....the past few days have been a little bit of an emotional roller coaster for me.  I just found out that I am changing grade levels this coming school year.  I am going to be in 2nd grade now.  I was a little shocked at first and a little sad, because I love my team and I love first grade...and I've worked SO hard to get really good at teaching 1st Grade Common Core.  But, on the flipside, I've started to think of lots of benefits of moving to 2nd too, and I'm trying to focus on all of those!! :)  I think I'm just a planner to a fault, and I feel behind already since this is something all new.  But here are the PROS I've come up with about teaching 2nd grade as opposed to 1st:

       1) They will already know HOW TO READ....since I did such a FAB job last year and all,
           you know?!!!   Haha. Yay!  (This may be my favorite reason!)

       2) I will get my kiddos at the beginning of the year where my firsties were at the END  
          of the, what a difference that is going to be!

       3) I might have some of the same cuties I taught last year!
       4) I will know exactly what my kids learned last year in 1st grade, so they can't ever say,
          "Mrs. So-and-So didn't teach us that last year!"  haha.

If any of you teach 2nd grade, I'd love to hear all your favorite things about it!!

   But, anyway, now that I'm moving to 2nd, I'm trying to finish up all my teaching resources that were more 1st grade oriented and get them posted on TPT so I can start making some 2nd grade things!!  So, I had been working on a Consonant Blends Game (they were one of my favorite things to teach in 1st), and it is finally done!  The game is in a puzzle format and is a lot of fun, so I hope your kiddos enjoy it!  Just click the picture to download at my TPT Store.  

   AND...for the first 3 friends that comment on this post and leave me your email, I will send it to you for free!!   Have a wonderful week!!

          Love, Beth

Monday, July 8, 2013

Fairy Tale vs. Fractured Fairy Tale Unit & FREEBIE

Once Upon a Time....
     Whew!!  My how this summer is flying by...and my how long it has been since I posted anything to this blog!  Sorry, friends... :)  Anyway, I have been working on this fairy tale unit FOREVER (meaning I started this TWO SCHOOL YEARS in 2011-2012), and I am just now finishing it up.  Sad, I know..  But all I can say is, perfection takes time.  I kind of like to start something, then teach the unit, then see what worked and what didn't...and then make changes as necessary.  It's a process... :)  But alas, it is done and I'm finally sharing it with you!!  This sounds weird, but I love this unit because it is NOT interdisciplinary!  So many fairy tale units I've seen have math activities where the kids measure beanstalks, or random science experiments, and they try to integrate other subject areas..which is fine.  But our math curriculum is really strict and we can't just not teach the curriculum and do "fairy tale" themed math activities instead.  So I like units that just focus on one subject at a time.  My fairy tale unit is an ELA fairy tale unit, meaning it has multiple reading response activities and writing activities, but NO math, social studies, or science. You're welcome. :)  Click the picture above to go to my TPT store.  Click the picture on the below for a Fairy Tale Story Map FREEBIE!!
      THE END...