About Me

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Hi there! I'm a first grade teacher in the heart of Kansas. I'm a firm believer in loving a lot, living a full life and, of course, teaching! I enjoy cooking, Pinteresting, a great cup of coffee in the morning and a good glass of wine at night. I'd love to get to know others in the blogging world, so please leave a comment so I can get to know you too!
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Friday, May 24, 2013

Five for Friday and School's Out! (and, of course, a freebie to celebrate!)

Whoo- hoo!  Summer break, here I am!!  First of all, I have to give a true round of applause to all of you teacher folks who faithfully blogged during your last few weeks of school.  I feel like I have been going a zillion m.p.h. for the past two weeks trying to collect all of my final grades, final projects, celebrating with a few school assemblies, field trips and end-of-the-year fun things in the classroom.  By the time I would get home, I was zapped!  So if you're one of those dedicated bloggers during EOY activities, know you are admired!

That being said, we ended our school year in such fun ways and I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching to show my Top Five from this final week of school.  This group was pretty challenging, but I will definitely miss their distinct little personalities and all the major growth my babies made this year.  The last days of school this week I made sure to plan fun activities so we could enjoy our time together and end with great memories.  Here are some of the best from my highlight reel:

*Chalk pictures outside and bubbles outside:  The more outdoor activities, the better!  I picked up bubbles from the Dollar Tree and gave each of my students their own bottle.  After watching their reaction, I feel like I should inform their parents to forget the fancy iPods and Wii games...all you need is bubbles :)

*Last Day Flowers delivered from My Man.  Isn't he the sweetest? :)

(and would you look at that nearly-packed up room in the background?? I impressed myself yesterday with how quickly and efficiently I packed and cleaned!)

*Money Movie Party: The first grade team sets up a theater room and a concession room. We give all students an allowance of manipulative money that they get to put in their carefully decorated paper wallets.  Each student must purchase a movie ticket to see the movie, and then can purchase treats at the concession stand, such as popcorn, juice boxes, small cake treats, etc.  This is such a fun way to practice saving and spending money and the kiddos feel so grown up as they make their responsible choices!

*Construction Paper Sorting:  Ok, so you know how construction paper companies STILL don't understand how teachers want/need paper sorted by colors, not in a pretty rainbow pattern?  It's so frustrating trying to quickly go through packs of paper to pull out 23 sheets of red for a holiday craft, only to turn around and do it again for green.  So one of my teammates came up with a fun way to have the students help sort.  We place one sheet of paper on desks around the room, the more space between the desks, the better.  For each color represented, we have a student sit behind that paper to become the "Paper Manager".  The rest of the students are handed a random stack of assorted colors of construction paper and are released to sort each color at the correct desk.  The Paper Manager sits behind her color and carefully organizes the paper into a neat stack so that when we are all done, it's easy to store on my shelves.  In the end, I can collect a large stack of red, orange, yellow, etc., so that next year my paper is sorted and easy to grab!  It's so helpful to me and the students love having a job that truly requires little supervision and instruction from me.

*Classroom Awards:  At my school, we have an awards assembly near the end of the year.  It's special and fun, but it really only recognizes the older students in my building.  Because of that, I created my own classroom awards so that each one of my special students gets a unique award that we can celebrate in our classroom.  I had so much fun creating these!  There are 36 awards total, with one blank award included.  These are available for both First Grade and Second Grade!  Here are a few samples:

I have the First Grade Awards posted here and my Second Grade Awards posted here.  Both are free for you to have some fun in your classroom and celebrate a successful year with your little ones!

What are some of your favorite ways to celebrate the end of the school year?  I'd love to hear your ideas!  


Sunday, May 5, 2013

May Currently

Oh goodness me!  I went and took a week off from blogging without even realizing it!  I tell ya, time is a funny thing at this time of the school year.  On one hand, it goes by waaay too quickly and we have so much to do!  On the other hand, we still aren't to summer...yet.  Anyways, I'm welcoming myself back with the May Currently from Oh Boy 4th Grade.

Listening: I love feel-good movies and The Blind Side is definitely in that category.  I'm a total repeater when it comes to watching my favorite movies, so this is perfect to keep me company with the lovely stack of papers in front of me that need grading tonight.

Loving:  I seriously am such a happy girl!  The school year is almost over, I have some amazing summer travel plans laid out, and I had a fun day shopping with my mom today.  Other good news?  I can breathe again!  This past week I was hit hard with a nasty sinus infection and I think I can finally say I am on the mend.  

Thinking: Whoa, baby, is this a busy time in the school year or what?  I often tell my non-teacher friends that this is our "tax season" (I also say this at the beginning of the school year too. Hmm, maybe our whole career is a "tax season"...).  I have a gazillion things I need to do, both for school and my personal life, but they are all such fun and promising tasks that I can't help but feel happy as I move at the speed of light to try to get everything done. :)

Wanting: I've got some serious procrastination issues going on tonight.  I've done a wonderful job of cleaning the kitchen, folding laundry and now blogging...but not so much with the papers I need to grade. I have set a goal that as soon as I'm done with this post I'll grade for half an hour and then have a Pinterest and teacher blog break.  Must. Use. Self. Control. To. Stay. Focused.

Needing:  I need chocolate!  But then again, when don't I?

Summer Bucket List:  Ooooh goodness I have some FUN summer plans!  First of all, I started my TPT store just this past March and have had a blast creating products.  It's seriously a joy for me to create things that I know will be perfect for my classroom and see other teachers feel the same way.  I like to take my time and make 'em great though, and unfortunately time has not been on my side lately.  This summer will be a chance for me to get these ideas in my head onto my computer and into my store.

I also have amazing travel plans!  My Man and I are heading to the Dominican Republic at the end of this month for a wedding and I could not be happier!  Toes in the sand after a successful end to a school year?  I'll take it!  We also have a few other quick trips planned this summer and I'm excited for those as well.

Lastly, this summer I cannot wait to catch up on my reading!  I love books, but once again have had some time issues to get much reading done.  Do you have any great book suggestions?  I'm open to almost anything, so please share!  

Wanna join this linky and share about your May?  Join here and don't forget to comment and/or follow the last two bloggers to link up before you!