Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Classroom Volunteers with a Freebie!

Can I just say that I am exhausted!! I took a 2 and a half hour nap today. Yikes! The sad part is summer school is only half a day! I can't imagine how I'm going to feel next week once school actually begins!

Tomorrow I am meeting with some teachers at my school to put together our CAFE reading and conferring notebooks. I copied all the papers yesterday and our school even purchased our binders and student tabs for us! Yippee! So, I'm planning on doing a post about the notebooks and where to get some amazing resources!


What are your feelings on parent volunteers? How do you manage the volunteers? What do you do if you get an unreliable volunteer? What do you do if your volunteer hangs out after they're finished?

I'm having some anxiety about parent volunteers. I have never used them before, but I feel that they can help lessen the work load and work one-on-one with students that I can't seem to find time to work with.

One of the my lovely team members emailed me her classroom volunteers letter. Of course I revamped it to make it cute! (I think they are realizing that I like to cuten (yea, I don' think this is a real word, but I think it should be) things up. Which I am very thankful they are so open to me revamping some things.)

Here is my version of the letter. There are different categories that parents can volunteer for.

I included:
  • Parties and Donations
  • Mystery Readers
  • Student Helpers
  • Cut, Staple, Organize (at home)
  • End of Year Helper

Click here to get your free copy!

Leave me a comment if you have any suggestions on how to handle classroom volunteers. I asked tons of questions at the top!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Back to School Sale!

Everything in my store will be 20% off. Plus use the code to get an extra 10%. Who doesn't love a great sale!

Here is just one item in my TpT items that you can get for a total of 30% off!!
My Hunks and Chunks Word Wall or Sorting Activity Cards.

How Do You Plan? And Tons of Planning Freebies!

I'm Linking up with Mrs. Standford's Class for the How do you plan? linky party.


I was going to do a post about this anyways, so why not do it and enter an Erin Condren giveaway hosted by Miss Jessica!

How Do I Plan?

1. The first thing I created this summer was my lesson plan outline. This is what I use to plan my week.  Get your copy here. It's saved as a pdf so it is not editable. I'm working on how to do that still.

2. I also created a Weekly Class Schedule. This is what we turn into our principal and it also helped me to create my lesson plan template that is shown above.

3. The third thing that I use is my scope and sequence plans for math, word wall words, and phonics. This is just a general plan. I may or may not stick to them and I can easily change my order based on what skills my littles need.  I just highlight what I have completed so I know that I have introduced and covered that skill.

Get the Word Wall Word/Phonics Schedule here.
Get the Math Common Core Scope and Sequence here.
Get my Weekly Class Schedule here.

Once I finished putting together my Daily 5 and Cafe Reading and Conferring Notebook. I will share with you how I plan for my guided reading and strategy lessons.

Friday, August 10, 2012

I'm Alive and Classroom Overhaul Again

Where have I been all my life?!?!? Why, in my classroom of course. I apologize for being absent for the last week, but I have been extremely busy since summer school started on Monday. I feel tired exhausted when I get home. I'm hoping once school starts that it will be an easier transition. Doubtful but I'm hopeful!

Ok so I keep thinking I'm done setting up my room and then I get on pinterest and your wonderful blogs and I keep giving myself more and more to do. I have to stop! I. will. am. going. CRAZY!!!

Here are some updated pictures of my bright polka dot/owl themed first grade classroom. :) (P.S. - I am a horrible picture taker. Hopefully I get a nice camera for Christmas.)

Here is the view from the door. I scored the bins, to the left, at a garage sale and I spray painted them to match my room. I'm kinda loving that I am going to have tables now.

Thanks to an awesome second grade teacher at my school, she solved my dilemma that I was having with name tags. I bought the table organizers and I am just going to have my littles place their name tags in the organizer, and they can pull them out when they are at their seats. That way I can easily move seats if and when needed. Problem Solved!

Here is another view from the door. I'm loving that the cubbies are ready, minus my littles data folders. I am waiting dreading putting them together. I'm thinking that it will have to be my last thing to do.

You can also see my pocket chart. I'm going to have my littles rearrange our poetry. It will be one of the read to self options that they can choose. Behind the pocket chart is my table for the word work station.

Look at my amazing new bookshelf that my DAD made for me! :) I am one happy girl. I love that there is a shelf on the bottom and three more shelves on the back. Yay for more storage!

Behind the shelf is my listening center BTW!

Here is a picture of what the insides of the cubbies look like and my word work and math center organizers. I'm loving the owl name tags and the book bins. I made the bright polka dot number labels for the book bins. You can get your free copy here.

I will do a post soon about how I organize my word work. Promise!

Ok, so it's a bad, bad picture. I warned you. Here are my rules. This was definitely pinterest inspired.

I spent 6 hours, yes 6, at school today organizing. Here is a section next to my teacher area. I created tubs for guided math and guided reading supplies. That way I can just grab any manipulative I have to help instruct my littles. In between the green tubs is my task cards. I usually use these for when I have a spare minute or two. Which hardly ever happens. On the bottom shelf are my birthday supplies, thank you cards, reading logs, AIMS Web papers, hunks and chunks cards, and some extra supplies.

This tub is located behind my kidney table. The top four drawers are labeled with color groups. I am going to store my guided reading supplies in them. The bottom shelf is labeled CAFE Strategies. That is where I house my strategy cards and any other items I might use to introduce or provided extra instruction on specific strategies.

Lastly, I bought these tubs at Big Lots to store those ugly and awkward  clip boards in. I just put them on top of the cubbies for now.

And as an extra added bonus....

My beautiful bean, Olive! I call her Bean even though her name is Olive. I saw these adorable froggy baby jammies and I couldn't resist. I put them on my bean and they fit perfectly. Isn't she just the cutest thing you have ever saw!?!? P.S. She's 2 years old and weighs 4 pounds, so she is not a puppy. She's just little (like a bean). :)

P.S. Check out my latest TpT Product. Hunks and Chunks Word Wall Cards or Sorting Activity. I will do a write up in a few days or when school starts.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Magical Product Swap Linky Party

Today is the day I get to share with you about one of Tanya Dwyer's TpT Products from Mrs. Dwyer's At Firsties.

I have linked up in the Magical Product Swap. Check out Mrs. Dwyer's A+ Firsties for a review of one of my products as well.


I was so excited to see how simple this was to create and how great of a review it will be for my littles the first couple of weeks.

There are a couple of different activities included in this packet.

Here are pictures and descriptions of each individual activity.

The first activity is a Alphabet Sort. Your littles will sort all the letters by uppercase and lowercase. The directions are right on the rainbow chart and it is great to put in a center of your Daily 5 Word Work Stations.

 The second activity is an ABC Order Sort. Not with words but just the regular old ABC's. Your littles can use the lowercase or the uppercase letters to put the ABC's in order. This is definitely a great review for the beginning of the year. Especially with your littles that are struggling just a tad.

The third activity is called Name It. The instructions are easily displayed on the top card and you again will use the alphabet cards that were used in the first two activities. Your littles will place the cards upside down and draw a letter. Once the letter is drawn and identified, they will have to come up with an item that begins with that same letter. It's easy as that!!!

First, sorry that this picture is lopsided. I can't seem to fix it.

Anyways, this is the final activity included in the pack. It is called In the Beginning. Your littles will sort the picture cards to the word cards. The word card and the picture card should match. Every letter of the alphabet is included in the activity. Along with easy directions for your littles.

This packet was very easy to print on cardstock, laminate, and cut out. It took very little preparation and it is definitely worth getting for Kindergarten and First Grade!!!

Check out out Tanya Dwyer's blog as well. She has been blogging for about 7 months now. She links up in all kinds of linky parties and has very detailed posts. Check it out and become her latest follower. Tell her who sent you!!
Also, you can check out her blog for a post on one of my TpT items!!