June 2012 - Thank God It's First Grade!

Free Kite Craftivity!

Morning everybody!
I was busy last night making a cute little kite craftivity that I am going to use for a beginning of the year bulletin board! It started off as "Flying into First", but I also added "Kiting into Kinder" and "Soaring into Second" so others could use it too!

I'm no Teri, over at A Cupcake for the Teacher... but I think it came out pretty cute!
It also works for the end of the year & I added writing prompt ideas for both the beginning and the end of the year! It is in my TpT store for free, if you'd like your own copy!! Let me know what you think!

Have a great weekend :)

Susan
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Guest Bloggin' & Giveaway!!

TWO great things are happening this week!

First, The wonderful Stephanie, over at Falling into First, asked me to guest blog for the day!! Go on over and check it out - I shared my absolute favorite energizer to re-boot my kiddos during those sluggish times!


Anddd, the amazing Kelley Dolling, over at Teacher Idea Factory, asked me to be a part of her 500 followers giveaway!! Congrats Kelley on the big 5-oh-oh!!! She has so many great prizes lined up!


What are you waiting for?!!? Go check 'em out!!

Susan
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Make it - Bake it - Sew it - Grow it!

I am linking up with Run! Miss Nelson's Got the Camera because I made something (also you can win an awesome Erin Condren gift certificate)!
I made two things actually... but I'm not so sure the first one really counts because all I did was add delicious blueberries to a pre-made waffle mix... but oh well, that's why I added my second recipe too!
{#1}: Blueberry Belgian Waffles:

 

I happened to find an absurd amount of fresh blueberries at the grocery store and I thought I'd make some waffles for Sunday breakfast!

{#2}: Ground Turkey Stuffed Peppers

This is one of our favorite dinner meals! Even though the recipe makes 8, Parks favorite part is the meat stuffing so I only make 4 peppers and the rest of the stuffing goes in a big bowl ready for re-heatin' n eatin'


and of course... they go best with a delish Blue Moon!

Now go link up with Miss Nelson!

Susan

14

Building Stamina Posters! D5: Chapter 2



 I am linking up with Mrs. Saoud over at Primary Graffiti  and Teaching it with Style for Chapter 2 of our Daily 5 book study!!

Go on over and link up - she has some awesome freebies :)

Hands down, my favorite part of chapter 2 is the idea of building STAMINA!

By the end of the year I know my first graders as smart, independent, ready-for-2nd grade geniuses!! It is easy to forget how they came into first grade... wide-eyed, eager, impatient, antsy, can't do anything for more than a minute without losing focus...They need to build stamina!
Duh, Susan, duh!

I often fall into the category of the teacher who models something once or twice and then expects my students to do it perfectly from then on out. Helllooooo [I hear myself saying] didn't I show you how to do this already?!?!!? I am excited to teach building stamina to my students and I will certainly use the analogy of an athlete. 
My students will learn that they working on their "reading muscles" as they practice, practice, practice building their stamina.

I made these cute little poster fors next year:


Click on them to head over to TpT to download for free!

See ya next time!
Susan
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Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner!!

Thanks to everyone who entered my 100 followers giveaway!! I am now at 121!!
Without further adieu...
Congrats Rita!!!!!
I am e-mailing you right now :)

I also finished my Pumpkin Patch Kids fall activities over the weekend and they are up in my TpT store for only $3!

Check em out:

The first 3 people to comment on this blog post will get this packet AND my new Tricky Sticky Blends pack:

{Make sure you leave your email address in the comment!!!}

Have a great night!
Susan
6

Tricky & Sticky Blends!

Mornin' folks!

Yesterday I started tutoring one of my kids and I was so excited to see him! It's only been 2 weeks since we've been out of school, but with everything going on with my job, seeing his sweet little face was exactly what I needed!

I love tutoring my own kids because I already know exactly where they are and what they need to work on. This little guy is stuck on blends!

We will start next week with a smaller version of this adorable BLENDer that's been poppin' up all over pinterest.

And since my little tutoring session was just what I needed to get out of my summer-teacher slump, I created this little blends packet that we will do together:
 These are just some of the activities in the packet. For more info about it just click the picture below:

 Until next time!
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Facebook launch & GIVEAWAY!

Quick! Look right! I added a facebook button!
Check it out and help me make my page look... less lonely.

Background: JW Illustrations, Frame: Goodness & Fun

Ohmigoodness...
I am almost, almost, alllmmoosstttt at 100 followers - WAHOO!

Thank you so much my bloggy friends :) 
This has been such a fun adventure filled with many successes... and many mistakes!

To thank all y'all I asked some of my fave bloggers to help me with a giveaway and this is what I have for you:

From moi:
Any item from my TpT store!


From Lindsey over at The Teacher Wife:
Photobucket
Image from: http://theteacherwife.blogspot.com/


From Jennifer over at First Grade Blue Skies:
First Grade Blue Skies
Any item of choice from her TpT store!


andddd from Kelley over at Teacher Idea Factory:
Sour Apple Studio
Any item of choice from her TpT store!


Could this be real?!!?!??
Thanks everyone again and gooooooodluck!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
Susan
41

Daily 5 - Chapter 1!


For a little over a year now I have been reading about Daily 5 in the blogosphere and wondering if it would work in my classroom. Wellll.. I figured this summer would be the perfect time to read the book and get ready to implement it into my classroom!

After reading through the book (in one day!) I cannot wait to start my Daily 5 journey. I told one of my teammates about it and she just bought the book too!

This year will be my third year teaching so of course, there are so many things I learn and tweak every day, every week, and every year to better fine tune my craft. My literacy block has been a weak point in my self-reflection and my goal this year is to run my literacy groups smoothly while my other students are engaged in meaningful literacy activities.

The past two years I have tried using centers. They have worked... for the most part.. but I feel like I can do better. The other thing about centers is that I was doing sooooo much work everyday to get each center ready for the day or week. My centers the past two years have been the following:
- Read to Self
- Buddy read
- Word Wall activities
- Spelling
- Writing prompts
- Math games

I already had most of the Daily 5 choices, but now I can do these with more structure. I am currently on the lookout for some sort of listening center (Donorchoose?!?) and I am excited to hear how everyone else already implements or plans to implement Daily 5 next year.

I think it will take a lot of self-control on my part to implement it correctly and take the time to model, model, model, model, model and MODEL each part of Daily 5, but I think it will be so worth it!

Link up with Lory to let me know what you're doing with Daily 5!

Susan
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Tah Dah! & Sisterwives

After my sad news last week... I was ready for a little change!

My fiance is a hugggeee computer nerd genius and he designs websites all the time for other companies.

So why you ask, did I not ask him to design lil old blog?!? 

Mostly because I am stubborn.

When I started my blog he was willing to help me out with everything, but I wanted to venture out on this new journey by myself!

Well, as I was researching different blog designers to create my very own look, he happened to saunter over and he was not pleased that I was going to be spending money on something he could do for free!

So I caved... kinda...

He showed me some of the tips and tools he uses to design his websites and he certainly helped me with formatting this darn blog, but I finally created my own!! 

From top to bottom this new baby is mine!

I am pretty pleased with the results :)

So what do you think?!

You like my new blog design!?

The best part is... no one else can have it!

BTW... he had me use Serif Drawplus which is free... and took a long time to figure out... but it was worth it!

<3 Susan

Oh.. and I ran into these two awhile ago while shopping for furniture... Only in Vegas!
Me, Meri & Cody (from Sisterwives on TLC)
14

Sad news...

My dear bloggy friends,

I have some sad news.

Our district is having budget "issues" and to make a long, long, long story short, they have just implemented a RIF (reduction in force).

Here in Las Vegas the RIF is based solely on seniority and because I started in October 2010.... I was about #1,000 from the bottom.

On Monday, my first day of summer, we heard about 400 teachers would be receiving their pink slip. I went to the gym thinking I was A-okay... but when I returned an hour later (ok, really about 35 minutes later) I had a missed call and voice mail from my principal.

I received a pink slip :(

Not this cute kind either...
 
... oh no.... it was this kind...
 
I am pretty devastated because I love my school and my firsties, but I am hopeful! I have the best principal and she is doing everything in her power to keep me, but only time will tell!

On a different note, the ABC Action News from Las Vegas wanted to do a quick interview with me today and I was nerrrrrvous! The last time I as on TV was for Wheel of Fortune, but I was pretty darn good at that game. Talking to a news journalist with a microphone and a big camera in your face is pretty awkward.

They have a clip here:
http://www.ktnv.com/news/local/159121905.html

Side note: it is very strange to hear your voice on TV... I don't think I really sound like that!

How do they so layoffs in your neck of the woods?!?

Give me all your good thoughts this summer as I try to find a position for this upcoming Fall!!

Susan
21

My Summer Reads!

It is the first Monday since school has been out... so I consider this to be my FIRST day of summer! 

I cleaned the whole apartment (its not that big - so I shouldn't get that much praise for this)

Went to the gym (the first time I've seen it since April)

and cooked dinner for the fiance and I!

I was feeling like quite the lil Stepford wife!

Minus the blonde hair, rockin' bod, and overall good manners and submissiveness, but all is well!

Tomorrow I will be laying by the pool with a few good books!

I saw Christina Brainbridge's linky  about summer and I had to join! Reading by the pool, on the couch, and in bed is what I live for all summer long! 

Here is what I am currently reading:

 Product DetailsProduct DetailsThe Daily Five: Fostering Literacy Independence in the Elementary Grades Product DetailsProduct Details

and here are some of my past favorites:

Product DetailsProduct DetailsProduct DetailsProduct DetailsProduct DetailsProduct Details

So, now I wanna know: what are you reading?!?

Join Christina's Linky and let me know!

Now I must finish the next chapter of 50 shades before the Bachelorette starts...

P.S. I am Team Sean (from Dallas)!

I don't normally like blondes.. but he makes me swoon ;)

Susan
6

Ice Cream Social!

School is out for summer!!

My last day was Thursday and even though I sobbed for a good hour when my kids left, I am so excited to be on summer break!

I have NOTHING to do all summer which is an extremely relaxing thought.

I can laze by the pool...go to the gym...read all my books...

 are you jealous yet?!?

But really, I know my personality and I just cannot sit still for more than a hot minute.

So my teacher-brain has already been back to work and I just finished creating my fun back-to-school packet!

During the first week of school, when it is still HOT, and our brains are still in summer mode, I like to have a little ice cream social with my kids.

I bring in some ice cream and we enjoy it and complete some fun ice breakers. I made a bunch of literacy and math activities to go along with this little ice cream theme for the beginning of the year!

Here is a little preview of my packet:
 and it is currently for sale in my TpT store!

For everyone still in school - you can do it!!!
Now I am trying to get it in my little teacher brain that I can stay up late tonight!!

Wahoo!

Susan

9

3.5 more days!


Oh me, oh my!

Thursday is my last day and I will be equipped with sunglasses and tissues all day because I hate goodbyes and I turn into a blubbering fool when they give me hugs and tell me they're going to miss me :(

I am trying to mentally prepare myself and focus on all the things I have to look forward to this summer. Like flying home to Salem, MA to visit my family, going to a friend's wedding, and trying on my own wedding dresses for the first time!!! (Note-to-self: must lose 327819364 lbs before August)

Until then, this is what we've been up to:
This is the cover I made to a Father's day book I found from 1st Grade Hip Hip Hooray. It was free and really, really cute! These are some of the activities in it:
 
 So cute... for that first one #4 says "affectionate" and #5 is "angelic" - this lil lady is so smart!!
 
 
 This was my favorite part of this packet. The students made Do Not Disturb signs to hang on the door when their dads want to be alone. Then they said why their dad might not want to be disturbed. Hilarious!
 ^^That second one is supposed to be watching *inappropriate movies. Uh-oh!!

 ^^This one was funny.... and if you read my last post you know what this little girl means when she says her dad is busy doing "private work." Eeeek!!

 Tomorrow I am giving out Reagan's Candy Awards (seriously adorable!) and these little gifts:
I found some cute water bottles at the dollar store and I call my kids "smarty pants" all year long. After we gave out these little smartie gifts to our 5th grade buddies I thought my kiddos deserved some of their own.

You can click on the picture below to get the freebie labels! 
P.S. I need a color printer next year... I am sick of black and white!!

And one last thing... I hit the teacher jackpot!!!!!
I have won TWO giveaways in the past couple weeks... TWO!!

A big shout out and thank you to:
Kelley Dolling @ Teacher Idea Factory
and 
Jessica Stanford @ Mrs. Stanford's Class

These ladies are fantastic :) much love to both!

Have a great Sunday!!!

Susan

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