Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Back to School

The beginning of the school year is so much fun but also so draining...I have spent so much time working on classroom stuff that I don't even feel like I am enjoying my last days of summer...But I love it! I will share some more pictures of my classroom shortly but I wanted to share this great idea I had at the end of last year! I was at a wedding where they had all of their guest put a finger print and their name on a tree that they would hand in their house to remember all the people who had been a part of one of the most special days of their lives....SO..

I took the idea and applied it to my classroom! 

I will have each class I teach add their fingerprints in a new color each year! How awesome will this be when I have been teaching for a long time... : ) On the back I will put my fingerprint in each color and write the school year next to it so I have a reference guide!

This is a quick way to remember all the lives I have been apart of and have had the chance to teach! The kids loved it and I bet my kids this year will be so excited to have the chance to be apart of this! And my old students can always come back and see that a part of them will always be in my classroom! They can always come back to see me! 

I can't wait! : )

By request, here are the materials and directions!


-1 Canvas 
-Acrylic Paint (green, turquoise and brown)
-Cute Ribbon
-Hot Glue


1. Using the turquoise and white acrylic paint, create the sky on the canvas.

2. After drying, I traced the tree onto the canvas. You can paint by hand too if you choose. I found clip-art of a tree using Google, and then used our Promethean board at school to trace the tree onto the canvas. After tracing the tree, I used a brown paint pen to paint the tree. This can also be done with acrylic paint and a paint brush.

3.When the paint has dried, use green (I used a variety of different shades) to paint the grass at the bottom.

4. Afterwards, I used hot glue to glue a thick ribbon from Hobby Lobby to the back of the canvas to hang it from in my classroom.

5. Each year, I have the students add their thumbprints to the tree and then, when it is dry, I have them write their first name next to the print with a thin black sharpie marker. 

Very easy!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Teacher's Pay Teachers

So....I couldn't resist...I already started to upload some of the materials I have made. I downloaded some earlier this year but I am going to start hopefully charging for some of them within the next couple weeks!  Right now everything is free since I want to figure out how all of this works! There are some amazing stories of what people have been able to do based off of this website! Hopefully I can be successful! : )

Weekly Lesson Plan Template on TPT

Portable Word Wall Cards on TPT

Leprechaun Hunt Writing on TPT

Oh, Sweet Summer!

So far this summer I have managed to relax for the most part! At the beginning of the summer we moved into a new apartment which took A LOT of energy...Now we have just returned from a vacation in Savannah, GA and I am starting to think about the upcoming school year! Luckily, I have found out that I will not only have a job next year, since those are hard to come by now, but I will also be staying in first grade! I am so excited! Last year was such a learning curve, especially since it was a completely new place and a new set of standards. Now, if all continues as expected, I will finally have a year of school where I know what is going on which will give me more time to apply what I have learned over the last year of school and make the changes necessary! I cannot tell you how excited I am! I will, however, be changing classrooms. I am happy about this because our grade-level will be together and I like to have change (at least in a classroom)! :) This will give me the opportunity to get organized! I will post pictures once I get started! I will hopefully have more time this year to keep up with a blog as I hope to start creating and selling items on Teachers Pay Teachers. It looks like so much fun! And why not share the materials I create with other teachers! We will see how it goes!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Dollar Tree Treasures

I went by a Dollar Tree today and found some really great stuff!

I found these "Glitter Girl" nails in the toy section. These could be used as individual student pointers as they learn to follow along when reading text. They come in blue, pink and purple. This might not be the best thing for the boys but I have also seen where people use green martian fingers as pointers. 

You can purchase these in many different places and especially during Halloween at various stores like Party City.  You can also find them at Oriental Trading-Martian Fingers or at Really Good Stuff- Martian Fingers.

These are stickers that I plan on using in my writing center for "Sticker Story". The students are able to pick one sticker. Once they have picked one sticker they place it on their paper and they draw a picture with it, then they write about what is happening in the picture. This not only helps them gain experience with writing but it teaches them to think about what they are wanting to write about. Dollar Tree always has a great selection of stickers! 

I found dice! They come in packs of 10 which is a really good deal! I also found packs of playing cards both regular and large print. There are two full packs of cards in the package for $1.

I use this for sorting sounds or letters. I place the objects I want sorted in the middle and then labels the outside compartments with either letters or pictures that begin with a certain sound. Then they children sort them in centers as a beginning activity. You could make this harder by having them sort word families or ending sounds. 

Here is a pack of snakes found in the toy section. You can take one of the snakes and use it to help your students speed themselves up during reading or when preparing them for DIBELS (letter naming, etc). You introduce the snake to the child and how he is going to chase their fingers. If they stop of too long he will bite them. Now, DISCLAIMER, he does NOT really bite and I show them it doesn't hurt by doing it on me and then trying it out on them before starting. It really is just a FUN way to get them to speed up when all else fails.  I just follow their finger with it and if they stop for too long I'll touch it to their finger and make a noise. They think it is HILARIOUS!

Hope you enjoy!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Simply First Grade

The year is about to begin and my classroom is finally coming together! I have moved my classroom things almost 5 times now during our move to Georgia but it has all finally found a home and it has definitely been worth it. It is hard to spend a lot of time at the school getting things ready since the air hasn't been turned on yet but I have been doing my best. I can't wait to get everything in order and meet my new students! I am hoping to use this blog in order to keep up with any teaching ideas or changes I make during the upcoming school year. Yay!