July 28, 2012

Somehow I didn't post the info about The Versatile Blogger I received from Melissa at Teacher Treasure Hunter.
Thanks so much, Melissa!
If I have passed the award along to you...
Here are the seven rules to follow when receiving this award:
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.

2. Include a link to their blog.

3. Include the award image in your post.
4. Give 7 random facts about yourself.

5. Nominate 15 other bloggers for the award.
6. When nominating, include a link to their blog.
7. Let other bloggers know they've been nominated.

My 7 Random Facts:
1. I just finished making a "Movie Room" out of my son's bedroom. He moved out last Summer. It's not a huge room, but I have my own place to get away and all my movies (and crafts and school stuff) are in there.
2. I live in Florida, but HATE the Summer weather. July is miserable outside with the high humidity.
3. My daughter just got married on July 7th. The wedding was beautiful, but the preparation was stressful.
4. I taught my first 6 years at a private Montessori School. I loved it! I got certified in teaching with the Montessori Method and taught a 1st & 2nd grade combined class. My kids went to school there through Middle School. (They didn't have High School.) Then I went to public school for more money and benefits.
5. I loooove the color blue- any shade. And I really don't like Pink! My best friend who teaches next door to me, loves pink as much as I love blue. It's kind of a joke between us how much I dislike pink.
6. (Same friend as in number 5) We are in the process of setting up a blog just for the families of the students in our two classes. I have been adding buttons for kid websites they can do at home. I'll begin adding our personal info this week.
7. I got married at 18! Husband was 19. We will be married 23 years this September. Now a sI look back I realize how lucky we were, but when you know it's right, you know.
I have found many wonderful "new" blogs through this Newbie Blog Hop:) Here are ones I am nominating for this award:
Summer and Charles (husband and wife) at Teacher's Land
Stephanie at Back in Fourth
(I will add more new ones as I find great ones that don't already have this award.)

Another Award!

Thanks so much to Patti at Primary Pizzazz for this new award! Be sure to check out her great blog.
These are the rules for the award:
1. Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them.
2. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
3. Present the award to 5 other bloggers who have less than 200 followers and leave them a comment on their blog.

I have been busy checking out some of the blogs I have discovered through the Newbie Blog Links. They have all been great! But...the ones I have looked at so far have this award. I will post the blogs as soon as I can.
Thanks to Kim at Lessons, Learning and Laughter for giving me this award! That was so nice!

The Guidelines for this award are:
1. Follow the person who nominated you.
2. Link back to the person who nominated you.
3. Pass the award onto 15 new bloggers and let them know you nominated them.

I am looking trough a lot of the new blogs I have discovered through the Newbie Link Up. There are so many teachers with blogs. I love all the great ideas. So far, I am nominating...
I will add more blogs to this award when I find great new blogs that don't already have the award:)

American Symbols

For many years now, I start the school year with American Symbols. I started that because we talk about rules, responsibilities and the Pledge of Allegiance. Last year, I bought a set of small books- each covers a different American Symbol. I bought them from Amazon. They are about $5 each. Here is a link to one:
Product Details
For this next school year, I have made a book for my class to read with me about the American Symbols. I also created picture cards and labels to match. There is also an assessment page. We work on American Symbols the first couple of weeks. It is a good time to incorporate some arts & crafts activities and writing with this unit.
Here is a link to my American Symbols items on TeachersNotebook ($4). My items inclue the symbols: American Flag, Liberty Bell, Statue of Liberty, Bald Eagle and the White House. The student book includes the Pledge of Allegiance, but the cards don't include the Pledge (but does have the flag).

American Symbols: Book, Webs, Fact Sheets and Matching
There are many ideas on the internet about activities to do with American Symbols. I have even downloaded a couple of Power Points to use this year about the Symbols. I think they were even free on TeachersPayTeachers. I know this is a unit that many teachers kind of gloss over and teach it quickly, but I have found that the kids are engaged in this topic and throughout the year, they have a good understanding when references are made to any of the symbols or the President. Last year, each child made a book with a page for eac h symbol- some type of picture/paper craft and facts for each symbol.
If you haven't spent much time on the Symbols in the past, you may want to try it this year and see how your kids enjoy learning about them.

July 27, 2012

New Blog List

Newbie Bloggers Blog Hop

Just joined this list! It looks great! I have already found several great blogs I will be following.
When you join, be sure to include the following:
1. State you teach in.
2. Current teaching position.
3. Teaching experience
4. When you started blogging
5. Share a blogging tip/blogging resource

For me...
1. I teach in Florida.
2. I teach 1st Grade.
3. I have taught 1st grade for 15 years. For the first 6 years, I had a combined 1st and 2nd grade class at a private Montessori School. I also taught only 2nd grade for one year.
4. I started blogging April.
5. Blogging Tip: Visit lots of other Teaching Blogs. I have picked up a lot of great tips from other teachers/bloggers, as well as, found great resources to help enhance my teaching.

Beginning of the Year Reading

I have been focused on planning for beginning of the year reading activities this week. I always start with Nursery Rhymes and Fairy Tales. I have discovered over the years that many children did not hear many of the rhymes and fairy tales that I heard growing up. They usually heard some in Kindergarten, but I like to start with them. They are a familiar review for some children and an enjoyable way to start the year for others.
I created some printable pages to go with Jack and the Beanstalk. I like to read multiple versions and have the children compare them. You can download my unit for free by clicking on the picture below. Enjoy!
Jack and the Beanstalk Literacy Activities

July 25, 2012

Reading Area

I have been back up at school this week starting to organize. My school will be implementing the suggestions Max Thompson gave us when he visited our school in the Spring. (If you haven't heard of him yet, look him up.) He said we have too many things up in the classrooms for the
types of children we have in our school. (I work at a Kindergarten-2nd Grade school.)
So, we had to remove EVERYTHING from the walls in June. They set up some "Model classrooms" and we are to make our rooms look similar to those.

I don't mind reducing the visual noise, but I must say, it is not as much fun getting ready for the new school year for me. I always enjoy decorating and coming up with a theme and colors to use. I am keeping some of the last theme- "Jungle-theme" and I am using color where I can.
Yesterday, I worked some on the Reading Area and where to keep the Book Baskets. For the last 2 years, the children used tote bags and kept them in
their cubbies. But, I have decided they won't have cubbies this year (due to a lot of stealing the last couple of years) and I will use the cubbies for storage. The kids will put their backpacks in 2 large tubs I will put in my office and lock. (I am one of the lucky ones that has an office:)
Here is a picture of my Reading Area.

This will also be where we do our group Reading lessons. Before, I had 2 separate areas.

I think I have decided to keep the book baskets on the back side of the book shelves. They are the colorful baskets. I had these from when I used them a few years ago. I went yesterday to the Dollar Tree and they still sell the same kind so I got more so I would have 20.
I found these adorable (free) numbers on Teachers Pay Teachers done by Michelle McIlhinny.

Since the kids will all be assigned a number, I thought this would be the easiest way to mark the Book Baskets. Here is where I think we will keep the Reading Baskets.
I have used Book Baskets before and they worked very well. We'll see how this set-up works.