Friday, July 24, 2015

Five for Friday...Summer is Almost Gone

       How is it possible that another week has gone by? I seriously don't know where my time has gone this summer.  I feel like I have things I work on everyday, but this summer feels as it slipped by without having much to show for it!  Oops!  Don't get me wrong, I've taken some nice little trips, but I didn't accomplish as much on my summer to do list as I had hoped, in terms of TpT and prepping things for school. Anyone else feeling like this?!?!
     Needless to say, that after today, I only have 2 more FREE Fridays before heading back to school.  I figured I better link up for Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday!

Disclaimer about this week's post: 
I TYPICALLY have a daily routine.  I get up, do a little blogging/TpT work, go to the gym, swim laps, come home and have a light lunch while I do a little work, head to the pool, run in the evening... you get the picture.  So, my typical day does NOT include eating out so much, but this week I had a few special treats!

1. I had been wanting to go out for brunch for a while, so this past Sunday, my boyfriend took me to brunch.  We ate at a restaurant called Matt the Millers. It was delicious! We will be going back again!

2. Monday I went to lunch with some local teacher bloggers/TpT sellers!  It was so nice to talk to other teachers who have similar interests!  I am here with Bethany from Project Hallway, Sarah from Permanently Primary, and Natalie from The Neat and Tidy Classroom.

3. My district is moving towards Powerschool for our grade book.  In the past we only used it for lunch count, attendance, and storing testing data, etc. I am still planning on having my paper grade book, though.  I like having all of the sections prepped and ready before school starts.  I have my class list, too, but I generally wait to fill in the names until we get a finalized class list.  Does your school use a electronic grading system?

4. At the beginning of the year, I always have students fill out sticky notes and add them to anchor charts.  This week, I bought new chart paper and last night I prepped about 20 charts.  They will guide us through Meet the Teacher Night, the first few days of school, and then the First 20 Days of Independent Reading.  This is a HUGE weight off my shoulders.  Typically, I am working on these in the morning before school starts each day.  I am set for a good while once we start back! 

5. My teammates and I met for lunch yesterday at BIBIBOP and then went back to one of our teammate's houses to work on some back to school prep.  We did a lot of talking and got a little bit of our scope and sequence for the year, finished, but we will be meeting again! haha  That's what happens when you haven't seen each other all summer!

Now I better get to the gym because I have one last lunch date for the week! Happy Friday!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Throwback Thursday

         Since school is just around the corner, I am linking up with Throwback Thursday for Freebielicious, to share about my classroom set up from last year.  I haven't been able to get back in my classroom yet, but for those of you already setting up, maybe this will give you a few ideas!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Five for Saturday...Room Reveal, Back to School and more!

1. Since Monday we had Meet the Teacher Night, I decided to start with some pictures of my classroom.  If you follow my Facebook page, you have already had a sneak peak!

2. This is my first year ever starting the year with a critter in my room.  One of our new teachers was able to get free caterpillars and eggs, so we are starting our nonfiction/life cycles integrated unit super soon.

3. How cute are these kiddos?!  Loved having the first day of school frame!

4. When I was in school, we learned cursive in second grade.  Our kiddos learn it in third grade.  They are SUPER excited to get started and then after a while the interest fades!  Do you have to teach cursive?  Our ultimate goal is that they can sign their name, however, I still feel that teaching typing would be even a greater benefit with today's technology.

5. I had to close the blinds to because it was so sunny, but I LOVE our little banner.  We did this last year for the first time.  The kids complete, for homework, an all about me banner after the first day of school.  I found this on TpT last year, so if it is yours, let me know and I will give you credit!! :)

Have you started school yet?  If not, enjoy those last few days!  Those that already started, I hope you are already having a great year!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Monday Made It- Back to School Prep

      I am so thankful for Monday Made It for keeping me motivated on my to do lists.  This past week I finally printed my back to school to do list and realized that I have a lot to do and not a lot of time!  So, needles to say, I have gotten in gear this weekend and I am linking up with Fourth Grade Frolics for Monday Made It to share my most recent projects!

     Last summer I downloaded a set of bookmarks from The Brown Bag Teacher and created them for my kiddos.  Last summer I made one per student.  They lasted ALL year and the kiddos LOVED them!  So, this year, I thought I would make them each two.  I finished them up the other day.  They are super easy to make and well worth the time!

     I may still have three weeks before school starts, but I went ahead and prepped a couple of things for Meet the Teacher Night.  I love having the extra little things ready before the craziness starts, or I won't end up doing them!  So, here are my little treats I put on the desks on Meet the Teacher Night.  I downloaded them last summer from Sliding Into Second Grade, printed them in black and white (to save a little on ink), and then I colored them.

       I also updated my Meet the Teacher Night PowerPoint presentation.  I downloaded this last year.  I updated it slightly because I am planning on using the Remind App this year.  I also added a few pictures from last year, to show some fun things that we do in third grade.  I play this presentation repeatedly, while parents and students come in, meet me, unpack supplies, fill out forms, etc.  You can also download this PowerPoint, HERE.

   Last, but definitely not least, is my novel study for The One and Only Ivan.  I L-O-V-E this book! I started this project early on this summer, but worked on it super slowly.  I am so happy to say that it is finished and ready to use with your kiddos this fall!  It is set up to be used as a guided reading novel study or as a read aloud, providing teachers with questions/prompts to use along the way.  Click on the picture to head to my store and grab a copy.  Your kiddos will love this sweet story.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Five for Friday- July 17th

       It is Friday and so it is time for another Five for Friday.  I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching to share what I have been up to this week.  

1. Sunday I went Kayaking along the Licking River, just west of Columbus.  It was beautiful. I hadn't ever kayaked on that river, but it was definitely a great place and I would go again.  

2. I posted this week about tips for creating a classroom that has a culture in which reading is popular and the most exciting thing to do!  If you didn't get a chance, click HERE and check out my post from Sunday.  

3. About 5 years ago, I wised up when it came to back to school prep.  Prior to that, I would create a to do list at the beginning of each year.  Then finally, I wised up!  I created my to do list on my computer and saved it.  It makes it SO much easier because I was always trying to remember what I had needed to do the previous year.  Now, I can adjust it in the fall, so it is ready for the following year, if there is anything that needed to be added.  The only problem with this year's to do list is that I haven't accomplished much and we have three weeks left!  EEEEK!  So, I will need to get busy asap!

4. DISCLAIMER- I do not mean to offend anyone, I am simply a primary teacher at heart.       If you know my story, you know that this coming fall will be my 11th year teaching and my third year that has been in third grade.  Prior to that I taught first grade.  I LOVED first grade.  When I came to third grade, one of the things I wasn't crazy about was how much more content was taught.  I loved teaching Social Studies and Science on a first grade level and when it wasn't taught every single day.  I am not as crazy about teaching Social Studies and Science at the upper elementary level.  The topics are just not my "thing".  
      Last summer I created a product to help me do quick checks for Science and Social Studies standards with Ohio's Model Curriculum.  I found them to be extremely helpful this past year, especially with gauging where my students still needed support. I have had a few requests for other grade levels.  So, I am currently in the process of making a set for the fourth grade curriculum.  I have spent a TON of time looking at vertical alignment of the Common Core Standards in Math, Reading, and Writing, but I haven't really spent much time looking at the vertical alignment of Ohio's Learning Standards for S.S. and Science, until now.   Let's just say, this process has been another reassurance that I am NOT meant to teach any grade higher than third.  I am AMAZED at the difference between third and fourth, when it comes to content.  I will stay where I am or go lower and that is it!!
5. FINALLY!  The sun FINALLY decided to show itself on Thursday and a little bit today.  I was missing the sunshine, so much! I had a little pool time today before more storms came through.  

So that's a little snapshot of my week.  Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Wordless Wednesday- SLOW DOWN SUMMER!

      It has been a while since I have linked up with Miss DeCarbo for Wordless Wednesday, but I am back!  

       I recently realized that my summer is almost gone!  In exactly 4 weeks, the kiddos will be walking through the door and in less than 4 weeks, I will be back at work.  Don't get me wrong, I LOVE heading back to school, but this summer has been oddly cold and dreary.  I NEED it to SLOW DOWN and I want a little more sunshine before it is all over! 

When is your first day for teachers?  When do your kiddos start?

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

A Slice of Life- Free Lunch, Life Experiences, and Smiles :)

       I really enjoyed linking up last week for Two Writing Teacher's A Slice of Life, Tuesday linky.  I am amazed by the wonderful writing community they have created and how welcoming everyone was.  So, I am back for another week.  
     While I teach in a fairly affluent school district, I actually work at a school within the district, that does not reflect the population of the rest of the district.  There are 16 elementary schools in my district.  There are only two or three that have high enough numbers of students who are free/reduced lunch to qualify for Title One funding.  My building is one of the few.  I LOVE my building and the population in my school.  We are extremely diverse in all ways, socio-economic status, racially, religiously, etc. 
      Today I participated in a summer program that my school has,for some of our students.  We have a program that provides students with free lunches 3 days a week during the summer.  I know that 3 days doesn't allow students to eat everyday, but I am so thankful that these kiddos can come to the building and eat a healthy lunch at least three days a week.  After lunch, they partake in activities that are life experiences they normally don't get to have, such as going to the zoo, Columbus Crew Professional Soccer game, playing Putt-Putt, going fishing, taking pottery classes, horseback riding, and more.  
       Today we were supposed to go to the Columbus Zoo.  Unfortunately, Ohio has had TERRIBLE weather this summer.  While it was super sunny at 12, there was a threat for terrible weather this afternoon, so we decided to cancel the zoo trip.  It ended up storming right at 2 pm, which would have been in the middle of our afternoon at the zoo.  So, instead of going to the zoo, we had an open gym for those same kiddos.  
      I arrived at my school today, expecting to see disappointed faces.  I mean, we cancelled their trip to the zoo and probably their only trip to the zoo this summer.  Instead, I was greeted with HUGE smiles!  I had kids running up to me to say hello and tell me about what they had done so far this summer.  I, of course, asked if they were having fun and if they were reading.  A little boy, who is coming into third grade next year and will be in my class, although I can't tell him that yet, came up to me and said, with a shy smile, "Miss King, I hope I'm in your class this year.  I mean I really hope I'm in your class this year."  I taught his older brother reading a couple years ago.  I was also REALLY hoping to have him, too!  When I told him that I was hoping to have him this coming year, he lit up!  Looking around the entire gym, all you could see were smiles!  We played random games and organized games for 2 straight hours.  They played their hearts out the entire time. 
      It is days like today that truly make me happy to teach these kiddos.  They are the kids that are happy to have a healthy meal and friends to play with, in a safe place.  I have heard of other summer lunch programs, but I wish that there were more schools that could provide these type of opportunities for low-income families.  It was a reminder to me to be thankful for all that I have and for the little things in life! 

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