Valentine Journal Writing

I'm so excited that February is almost here! One, I finally get a payday again since December (whoop! whoop!). Two, my birthday is in February. And three, I love celebrating Valentine's Day at school. Plus, it's on a Friday this year, which means our Valentine's Day party will be the very last thing of the week. Sounds good to me! I'll have all weekend to recover!

Anyway, my firsties really love the work on writing area of Daily 5. They also love our daily Quick Writes that we have at the beginning of every writing session. I wouldn't say they are quick like the name says, but this is the one time during the day that they are quietly engaged in their own writing. This is also when I hold conferences with them, which they love as well.

So, I created a Valentine-themed journal. I can't decide which time I'll use it for- Daily 5 or Quick Writes? Either way, I know they'll love it. It has narrative writing, how-to writing, and opinion writing.

It includes 23 days worth of prompts. I know 23 is a weird number, but honestly... My brain got stuck! I could not think of a single other thing for them to write about. Who knows? Maybe something will come to me and I'll update it. It also includes 2 graphic organizers. 

I always fear no one reads this and I just am writing to myself... Any other bloggers feel that way? Anyway, if anyone happens to be reading... If you are one of the first TWO to comment with your email and just one reason why you love/don't love Valentine's Day, you can snag this journal for free!

Five For Friday!

I'm excited to have this Friday night in after this week. Even though it was a four day week, it still felt kind of long to me for some reason. Anyway, I have the opportunity to link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five For Friday! My very first time! Yay! 
Tuesday morning, my team and I met with another school's first grade team for some collaboration time. Therefore, my class had a sub that morning. I always always worry about leaving my class with a sub- not just this class, but any class. I have a great class so I really have no reason to worry. I worry I don't leave good plans, enough work. I worry that they won't behave and will make the sub never want to come back. I worry. So, I was very pleased when I walked in at noon to my extremely quiet class. The sub expressed how wonderful they were and most of the class had moved their clips up to the very top of our clip chart. Teacher heart happy over here! After she left, I began unpacking my school bag at my desk and saw the little note she left. 

Sweet, right? 


However, the next day was kind of a bummer. I came in Wednesday all proud of my class for the previous day and then boom, we had a sad day. We just needed a refresher on how to treat people kindly. We've been stepping on people's words, calling our friends names, etc. and so we spent some time reading How Full Is Your Bucket? For Kids. I had purchased this book at the beginning of the school year with my Scholastic points. I realized that I never had the opportunity to read the book and so it was the perfect time to pull it out.

 {If you click on the picture, it will take you to the Amazon link}

We then made this anchor chart on how to be a bucket filler and how to be a bucket dipper.

Afterwards, they wrote a journal entry about why they like the person that sits beside them. I wish I had taken pictures of some of the entries. They were so precious and sweet. One said, "I like ______ because he puts a smile on my face everyday." Precious! They have been much better about filling one another's buckets since then.

On Thursday, it was 0 degrees outside with a -20 windchill. Brrr! We still had school and I was extremely jealous of my pup who was curled up in a blanket like this when I left.

And, I'm pretty sure that's where he stayed until I came back home. I don't blame him. It looked so warm and cozy.

Today was the 100th day of school! To celebrate, we did 100 day activities all day long. It was such a fun day!

I got this idea for some Bubblegum Addition from First Grade Fairytales. I actually saw the idea on her instagram when she posted it earlier this week, but she posted about it today with her Five for Friday. I suggest you click on that link and check out hers to get some fabulous ideas! I changed ours up a little bit. She used paint and we definitely used markers. Not only because I didn't have any paint, but also because I'm not sure how brave I am to use paint in the classroom :) My kids were excited about the markers because I usually don't let them use them. Also, she did subtraction problems and we just did addition.

 They turned out soooo cute and I really wanted to hang them all up in the room, but most of my kids wanted to take them home. I don't blame them. They were super cute and they wanted to show their parents what they did today. 

 We got to start our new math journals this week! Our new math unit is all about place value. My kids have always been fond of math journals, but this one they seem to particularly like.

If you are interested in looking at the journal, just click the picture. It will take you to my TPT store :)

That's all, my friends! Have a lovely weekend!

Procrastination At Its Finest

My mantra.

That is me right now.

Actually it wasn't me this morning. I love having the extra day off. I always manage to wake up early, immediately start laundry, and just start cleaning. I get so much done before noon and I always think to myself, "Wow! I'm awesome!" And, that all really happened today. Then, I sat down to work on my graduate school work. 

Then, it happened. What happened, you ask? My BFF called, my dog begged for attention, Family Feud came on TV, more laundry needed folded, etc. You get the drill. And then I remembered I needed to get our math journal done for this next unit. It's all about place value and I am pumped about this journal. It has some cut/paste options- kind of like the interactive type, but this is a "Print and Go" type journal. Just print and staple and boom, ready. I think my firsties will really enjoy this one. If you like, click on the pictures and it will take you to my TPT store.
So, there's my productivity for the day. Time to get back to that homework!

In My Opinion {Let the Opinion Writing Begin!}

In a nutshell, here was my day:

I don't think I need to elaborate. I think you all probably know how I'm feeling, but I'll tell you with one little word: exhausted.

Anyway, back to the real point of the blog post, right? Because we are all tired and no one needs to hear my whining. 

We've started opinion writing in the first grade! Woo! I'm kind of excited because I love giving my own opinion about many things in life. It's been cold and very wintery lately so our first opinion piece is about whether winter is the best season or the worst season. I had the idea in my head already, but then I kept seeing it pop up on instagram from some great teachers and so that solidified it right there. 

First, I taught them what an opinion actually is with this little anchor chart. I got the idea from Teaching In High Heels. Unfortunately, that's not the direct link to the post. I saw the anchor chart on pinterest and when I clicked on the picture, it just took me to her fabulous blog, not the actual post. She's great though, so I definitely suggest clicking the link and looking at her fabulous blog :)

After introducing fact and opinion, we started a little fact and opinion sorting activity. Each kiddo got a card that had a fact or opinion. We sorted them on this chart:

By the way, they all kept saying my curly q's on my letters were hair. The imagination of firsties :)

Today, we got the chance to begin the actual writing part. We first wrote a "draft" on our anchor chart. We chose to write our opinion of why it's the best season for our example.

We began our graphic organizers, but not very far. That's the plan tomorrow! This is my first time teaching opinion writing so I'm definitely no expert. How does everyone else teach opinion writing?

Finding Math Partners & Valentine's Day

In first grade, the big push is teaching them to become fluent in their math problems. Our district is using Math Expressions for the first time this year. It's really nice to have a math curriculum where you can follow along through the book with lessons that make sense! At the beginning of the year, I create a "Roll the Dice" game called Math Mountains. I decided to revamp it and you can pick it up for free by clicking on the picture.

It includes numbers 4-10. In partners, students roll a die (or dice- your preference depending on the number). The first number they roll, if it works, they write down. So, for example, if they were trying to reach the total number 4, then rolling a 3, 2, or 1 would work. Then the partner goes. Partners also record one another's numbers. They continue to roll until they find the other partner.

When we play this game in class, I usually staple all numbers 4-10 together so that each student has a booklet and the partners can roll through each page at their own pace. Obviously, some groups are quicker than others. My class really enjoys anything to do with dice so they love this activity. I'm currently in the process of making one for higher numbers. :)

Also, I'm apparently completely ready for Valentine's Day because I have made something else that I am ready to use. My All About My Winter Break pack was such a success in my classroom and with my TPT friends that I decided to make one for Valentine's Day too. Click on the picture to find this goodie!

It includes collage pages, writing pages, and two Find A Friend activity pages. I can't wait to use it the day after Valentine's Day. It'll be perfect for all those sugar-high firsties. 

Hope you all are enjoying your Sunday!

Ready for Valentine's Day... A little early?

Yesterday when I got the call that school would be canceled today due to extreme cold weather, I got a whoosh of productivity. It was well needed considering I sat around on the couch all morning watching Bride Wars and 13 Going On 30. I call that time well spent, but I'm sure there's people out there who don't. Crazy people. 

Here's how I dressed my dog for the weather. He was thrilled people. In -29 degree windchill though, he needs some coverage.

So, I got some Valentine's Day literacy activities done and posted on TPT. I'm quite pleased with how stinkin' cute they are and I wish I could use them tomorrow, but I guess that's probably frowned upon considering Valentine's Day is over a month away. 

Lovestruck with Literacy

I just love that little penguin, Gertie from Scrappin' Doodles. Anyway, this includes activities for nouns, verbs, abc order, rhyming, and sentence work. Just click the picture and it will take you to my store :)

Anyway, completely unrelated to teaching, but I was just chatting with my best friend today and my blog and TPT store got brought up. And, I found out my BFF reads my blog. And here I felt like no one read my blog! She's so sweet- that's why she's my BFF. So, I know she's going to read this... So I have to give her a shoutout. 

Hey, Brooke :)

 Seriously, what would life be like without a best friend?


New Year's Resolution: Crafting and Creating

Hello all! This is my fourth day in a row blogging. I really must say I'm pretty proud of myself. I can't stay away from a blog post about crafting and creating though because I absolutely love to create. Maybe it's something about me being a pisces. I think pisces people are supposed to be creative people. So, I'm linking up again with the ladies from Blog Hoppin'.

Most of my creating happens in the summer since that is when I have time. I love to draw and design so some of the stuff in my classroom is done by hand. I know that seems kind of silly and kiddish considering I could make it on the computer, but like I said... I love to draw. I love to color. 

I'm like a child.
For example, I chose to draw out this poster. Before I was transferred, my school was a Leader In Me school. So, I wanted a Leader board that matched my sweets theme. Those letters have little sweets in them. Heh.

 Here is a little touch that I added to my firsties' book baskets. Just scrapbook paper, friends!
 This past summer, I made a banner out of these cutesy fabrics. Once I saw these adorable fabrics, I knew what I needed my classroom theme to be. Can't say that I've ever been happier with a theme! Sweet treats are adorable, people. Adorable.

 This picture has been on the blog a thousand times I think, but here's more creation!
 Lastly... Finally something not related to creating for my classroom. One of my good friends had a Christmas Pinterest Party early this December. We made glittered-out wine glasses, glittered out ornaments, and wood signs. Unfortunately, I didn't take a picture of the wine glasses or ornaments, but here is a picture of my sign. Love it!
My goal for this year is to do more crafty things, not just for the classroom. When I was in high school, I scrapbooked and I loved it. I would really like to get back into scrapbooking again this year. Hopefully something will inspire me to start up again!

Well, tomorrow is back to school for me. Well, it's a professional development day. Kids come back on Monday. Can't say that I'm ready. I've been loving these hours I've been logging on the couch.

Today, I did create something to use throughout the first week back. It's a booklet for each student to draw and write about their favorite moments of winter break, Christmas, and New Year's. It will give my students a chance to share their favorites because I know right when they walk through that door, their talking a mile a minute about everything they did, their favorite gift, etc. and boyohboyohboy, it gets crazy. We will definitely share about our break though and share our writing. If you click the picture, it'll take you straight to it!


Happy New Year!

First off, happy 2014 everyone! I wish you all the best for this brand new even numbered year. Yes, I'm feeling a lot better about this year now that we are on an even number. Am I weird? Yes, a tad. 
Second off, I realized I did something very stupid. Back when I started this blog a few years ago (and didn't keep up with it), it had a different web address. So, when I started it again this school year, I linked up my bloglovin' follow me button to the wrong address. So, the people that were following me on bloglovin' were following the wrong thing. Wah. I fixed it though, but now I have ZERO followers on bloglovin'... Except for myself. So sad. :(
Anyway, I've been linking up like crazy over this winter break. I guess I'm taking advantage of the fact that I can and once school starts again, I won't be able to link up or post as much as I have been. It has definitely been nice having the extra time. Sure will miss it when Friday comes... Sad face. Today, I'm linking up with Blog Hoppin'. 
Today is all about family. 
1. My main goal with my family this year is to be more present. Because although I am there spending time with my family, my mind or brain is not all there. My mind might be wandering off thinking about school or bills or blahblahblah. Anyway, I want to be more present and in the moment.
2. Another goal is that the mister and I want to add a little addition to our little family. Nope, not a baby. That's far off, but we want another dog for this little guy:
3. And maybe hopefully look for a house. I'll cross my fingers, but not hold my breath about that one. I am just sick of apartment life!
I also am linking up with Simply Kinder to meet some other fun bloggers! Happy New Year, everyone!
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