Sunday, July 29, 2012

First Day Jitters Blog Hop

Fierce in Fourth is having a Blog Hop based on the book First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg. I love this book and will be reading it in only a matter of days to my new kiddos! I love this Blog Hop because I know everyone, including us teachers, gets jittery about the beginning of the year. I think it is important to support each other as we embark on a new year!

Three Things I am Jittery About:

1. Getting it all done! What I mean by that is the organizing, printing, creating, searching, and other to-do list items that never seem to end! I am kind of a perfectionist and enjoy when everything is done and in the right place.

2. Meet the Teacher day, dun dun duuuuuun! I am nervous and excited to meet the kiddos. Most importantly, I want them to feel comfortable and at home in our classroom. They are coming in from Kindergarten and I know this is a new world for them. I just want them and their parents to know how I feel blessed to be a teacher, excited to share this year with them, and dedicated to meet the needs of their child.

3. The new curriculum and making it work. This year first grade will be implementing the Common Core for Reading, Language Arts, and Math. I have been pulling from all my professional resources, scouring the internet, and finding ideas to combine the Common Core with the Daily 5 and Whole Brain Teaching. I am jittery about finding a balance that will work for the students, myself, and the curriculum. My poor printer has been spitting out posters, games, and lesson plans galore! In my heart, I know we will be able to do it! :)

Getting Pumped to Go Back! *gasp!*

    Whoa! I feel like it was just yesterday when I last posted. Time is flying by and I have to admit I am getting very excited to get back in the classroom * gasp*!  I have been planning with my neighboring teacher all summer on the Daily 5, Common Core, Whole Brain Teaching, and other teacher topics since the last day of school. Every time we talk I get pumped to set the classroom up, meet the kiddos, and get this party started. And yes, it is a party in my classroom. Who has a light up disco ball?? I do!! Who has mini dance parties to celebrate our classroom successes?? I do!! Learning is a celebration! 

   Back to getting ready... I was so lucky to be able to go back into my classroom last Thursday. It was such a relief to move all the furniture back into place (with the help of our school's amazing janitorial staff)! I had a plethora a of new teaching supplies to drop off. My car looked like Mary Poppins' never-ending purse! Bag after bag after bag.

 It doesn't help that I just made another trip to the Dollar Area of my Super Target. Can I get a whoop-whoop for the amazing stuff they have there? I swear they are in tune with my addiction for baskets and knick knacks. I have seen some amazing things you all are doing with your Target treasures. I need to pick up on some of that creativeness! :)

Anyways, I hope everyone enjoyed their summer! I know that time will fly even faster once school starts and it will be Winter Break before you know it!


1. Do you send out postcards to your students before Meet the Teacher? If so, what kind of information do you put on there?

2. What is your favorite way to incorporate your best Target treasures into your classroom?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Huge Giveaway!

Polka Dots & Pencils is having a huge giveaway! Check it out here to enter for your chance to win a ton of prizes. Twenty four bloggers are donating their products. You can earn up to 68 chances! Good luck! :)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Common Core, Daily 5, and Curriculum Mash Up!

 Here in Florida, we are just starting to implement Common Core- Math and Reading/Language Arts. Last school year kindergarten started using it and now it is first grade's turn.


 We already adopted a new math series last year so that won't be changing anytime soon. Luckily, we will be adopting a new reading/language arts series starting in 2013-2014. So my little issue is how do we fit all the pieces together and make it work for this year? Our current reading series has a rigorous fidelity check *shudder* but it doesn't coincide with Common Core. Rumor on the block is that they, the district, will not being holding us to the fidelity check but it has not been written in stone or paper for that matter

Update: Woo-hoo! Our county has formally announced that the fidelity checks of our McMillian series will not be used this year!!! Hooray! We will be using the Common Core standards in conjunction with our Danielson model for evaluations.

The good news is that I got the green light to implement the Daily 5! I dabbled in it a bit last year. From the small amount of time I used it I saw some amazing interactions between the students. I loved the "Coach or Time" strategy for Buddy Reading. I feel like the Daily 5 will work with the Common Core. I am not sure what I should do about the basal series.So that is were you, fellow blogging teacher, come in. Woo-hoo!

Tell me your experience and advice with Common Core and/or Daily 5. I would love to hear any suggestions on how to make it work! :)

Friday, July 6, 2012

Found a Giveaway!

    Oooh!! Who doesn't enjoy the allure of a giveaway? Well, I found a giveaway on Finally in First and it is a good one! ETA Hand2Mind is going to give away one set of their Reading/Language Arts VersaTiles. These nifty tiles help motivate and engage students in various activities. The best part is that if the student places all of the tiles in the correct place they will create a design when they flip them over! Engagement, check! Self-assessment, check! Tons of fun, check! I think this is one activity that does it all.

 The possibilities of integrating this manipulative in the classroom are endless. Centers, Daily 5, individual support are just a few way. Check them out here at their website! I can't help but think how so many of my students will be motivated to use them!

 So, go check out Finally in First to enter in the giveaway. Good luck! :)

Getting Started

Testing, testing, 1..2..3..testing! Is this thing on? Phew! Setting up this blog is an exciting yet tiring adventure. I definitely will be researching more on how-to tips in the blogging world. Until then here are my goals for the blog.

1.  To share creative ideas.
2. To stay current with the educational trends. 
3. To reflect on what is happening in the classroom. 
4. To keep my student's parents in the loop with all the great things our class will be doing!

I can't wait to see where this adventure will lead to, I know it is going to be awesome! :)