Monday, January 20, 2020

Martin Luther King Jr.

Hello Friends!
  Well, thanks to 3 fabulous snow days last week we are a little behind in our learning about Martin Luther King, Jr.  We got back to school on Thursday with a 2hr delay and then Friday was a regular day.
Here's a couple pics from those days... I can't resist.  It's so beautiful here when it snows!

Have you ever had something pop up on a Pinterest feed from a teacher friend of yours and you were like "Oh yeah!  Totally forgot that we used to do that!"  Let me explain...

Do you know about 2 literacy teachers?  If not, go check them out on TpT and on their blog now!  Lindsey and her mom are a powerful team.  Lindsey and I taught second grade together for 5 years.  Her blog post of Martin Luther King activities popped up on my Pinterest feed and that inspired my "oh yeah" moment.

We started with a GLAD pictoral input chart.

I didn't teach this all at once.  I broke it up over 2 days.  This next week I will remove the pictures and have the students practice putting the pictures in the correct places.  I have them work in partners or small groups.  They also say the text that goes with the pictures.

I also read Martin's Big Words by Doreen Rappaport.  If you don't know this book you can check it out here on amazon.  I like the simplicity, powerful pictures that promote discussion, and the "big words".  These words aren't too big for my first graders to understand.  We do several activities around this book.

We ended the short week with a directed drawing of Martin Luther King, Jr.  I use the directed drawings year long bundle by First and Kinder Blue Skies.  You can view the bundle here.  We kept our list of big words from the book Martin's Big Words.  After we finish the drawing my students chose several of Martin's big words that were important to them or "stuck" with them.  They write them around their drawing and outline their drawing and words in black crayon.

We finish by painting with watercolors to give it a watercolor washed look.  They look adorable when they are done.  They also make a fantastic and powerful bulletin board.

Thanks for stopping by!  Until next time friends!


Tuesday, December 31, 2019

December Gingerbread Unit

These last two weeks were gingerbread everything here in first grade.  We started with a GLAD style unit where we read a different gingerbread tale every day.  Then we wrote the story elements into a input chart.  We kept a whole chart as a class and each student had their own individual gingerbread folder where they did their own gingerbread input chart. 
Gingerbread Folder Covers

Gingerbread Input Chart

Gingerbread Input Chart

We were also immersed in our subtraction unit.  I used my gingerbread math subtraction stations.  I keep my stations pretty much the same in that there is always a teacher table station, dice station, spinner station, technology station (our students do iReady), and then either interactive notebooking, problem solving, or dominoes for an independent work station.  I am blessed to only have 20 students this year (I had 27 two years ago!) and so there are only 4 students at each station.  
Gingerbread Subtraction Math Stations

You can grab them here in my Teachers Pay Teachers store.

We celebrated the end of our gingerbread unit with a gingerbread house making party. I invite parents in and it’s a fun time for all.  Younger siblings are invited too!  I collect milk cartons, wash them out, then let them dry.  Then I hot glue them onto red plastic plates and hot glue them closed. Now it’s all up to the students to make it their own!  I do a sign-up genius and parents send in all the supplies.  We use what we get and they are always adorable!  Cries of ”This is the best day ever!” were heard again and again.  
Music to my ears.  J


Monday, December 2, 2019

Hello Friends!

Hi Friends!

I'm back!  It's been awhile... a couple of years it seems.  I've had my blog updated by the fabulous Alexis Porter from Laugh Eat Learn Designs to reflect my love of all coastal and beachy colors.

If you're new around here my family and I spent 2 years living in the Bahamas from 2013-2015.  That's where I fell in love with the beach.  My home here in the Seattle area even has a beach/coastal theme.  It brings some sunshine on our rainy winter days.  :)

Now I'm back in Washington and back in the classroom.  I'm teaching first grade and can't wait to share everything I'm loving, living, reading, and teaching.

A little about me... I'm married to my amazing husband and we just celebrated 15 years of marriage in September.  We have two kiddos adopted from foster care who are now 8 and 12.

If you look back a few posts you'll see we got a puppy in 2013.  This June we added another golden doodle to our family.  Hundley is now 3 and Exuma is 8mo.  Life is busy!

My daughter started competitive cheer with Hero Athletics here in Woodinville last Fall.  In May she tried out for an elite team and made it onto the team.  We are ramping up for competition season.  Our first competition is this weekend.  Go Valor!
My son started ninja classes at a gym right around the corner from where my daughter cheers...super convenient!  He loves it and wishes he could do it every day!  We've found his thing.

I love to read.  When I'm not teaching or driving my daughter to cheer practice you'll find me reading.  I'm an avid follower of the podcast What Should I Read Next and the blog The Modern Mrs. Darcy.  I'll share what I'm reading and would love to hear recommendations and what you're reading.  I'm currently reading a couple books and have 2 more standing by.  I may have a few on my Amazon wishlist for Christmas too.  :)

Thanks for stopping by and I'm excited to restart my blogging journey with you!  I hope you'll follow along. :)


Friday, July 1, 2016

Five for Friday ~ July 1

How is it that it's July first already??  I feel like all of a sudden the holiday weekend is upon us and I didn't see it coming.  Do you have plans?  We are glad to be home and resuming a tradition we started with friends.  On that note...

What do you do for the 4th?  Growing up, my town had an amazing celebration with a parade, followed by a picnic at the park, followed by fireworks at night.  Like straight out of a Hollywood movie!  That's what friends said when I brought them home with me from college or they came to spend the 4th with us.  They couldn't get over it.  So now we are home in the PNW and are excited to resume our tradition.  We always go over to our friends' house to go see the fireworks with them.  They have 5 boys and our kids have grown up together.  This year we are headed over to their house for dinner.  We are going to put on a movie to let the kids relax after dinner.  Fireworks don't start till 10 or 10:15 out here so it's a late night.  From their house we can walk to a park and watch the fireworks.  What are your plans??

We had some gorgeous weather this week.  My husband was off the first couple days after returning from a work trip so we took the opportunity to enjoy some family time.  We had a blast at Denny Park.  There's a playground and it's right on the lake.  I thought the kids would run screaming from the cold water but actually they said it wasn't too bad.  It's definitely not the Bahamas... but it's still water.

Tuesday was haircut day.  Suri got a bang trim, not wanting to be left out.  Levi wanted a little more length on top so he can do "spikes".  We celebrated summer with some Menchies ice cream after.

Tuesday was also the last day of spring semester gymnastics.  The kids all get a ribbon for their participation.  Suri was happy to pose with hers.  So proud of her for everything she has learned!

Today is Friday and that means it's another #Freshsqueezedfriday brought to you my my friends from the Primary Punchbowl.  This week I've marked down my back to school theme math task cards to $1.  These are normally $7.50 so this is a great deal!  Last week I grabbed a classroom decor and labels set for $1.  There are some GREAT deals.  Just search #freshsqueezedfriday on TpT and you can shop some awesome dollar deals.

Happy 4th of July and enjoy the long weekend!


Thursday, June 23, 2016

Five for Friday ~ June 24

Happy first Friday of Summer!  At least it is for me and most teachers here in the PNW.  To those of you well entrenched in summer... hope you are enjoying every minute of it.

I confess I haven't been as good about taking pictures this week.  Not really sure what got into me... oh yeah... summer.  ;)  But I'll still share a look back at my week.  Here's what we've been up to...

My husband has been in Charleston all week for work.  He rarely gets to travel for work and this was an opportunity to take a class he was really interested in.  I'm just glad it was during summer break so I didn't have to reconfigure everyone's daycare arrangements.  He comes back tomorrow.  We have survived the week and the kids have been great but we miss daddy and are ready for him to come home.

I have an interview!  I'm so excited!  A neighboring school district called this week and I am scheduled to interview for their hiring pool Tuesday morning at 10:30am.  I'll interview first and then do the writing assessment... a parent newsletter.  Easy peasy!  So what to wear???
I'm thinking this dress with my red flats and a long navy dressy cardigan over it.  Or should I go for the classic suit?

My husband and I booked our first trip away without our kids!  We are so excited!  We are going to Vegas at the end of July for 2 nights.  We'll be staying at Cesar's Palace... so a fun change from The Venetian from the TpT conference the past two years.  Can't wait!  We plan on lots of pool time and walks along the strip in the evenings and a show as well.

Well I finished Bel Canto and I have to admit... It wasn't my favorite.  I kept with it because I wanted to find out what happened.  I was pretty disappointed in the ending.  Anyone else read it yet?  What did you think?  I'm on to my next book and so far it's way more promising... I'm starting Still Life by Louise Penny.  It's the first book in her Inspector Gamache series.  So far it's way better than Bel Canto.  And since it's a series there's lots more to enjoy!

Lastly, it's Fresh Squeezed Friday!  All summer long my fellow teachers from The Primary Punchbowl and I are marking down one product in our stores to $1.  You are welcome to join in if you'd like.  Send me an email and I can get you the image.  Search #freshsqueezedfriday on TpT and on Instagram to find great products for only $1.

Today only you can grab my sub plans pack for only $1.  All you need is the book The Pigeon Needs a Bath by Mo Willems and my unit and you're ready to go for 1 to 3 days!

Happy Summer!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Five for Friday ~ June 17

Happy Friday Everyone!  Guess what today is???  THE LAST DAY OF SCHOOL!!!  YAHOO!!!  So excited for summer.  And our weather is set to become summer-like starting on Sunday.   I'm linking up for 5 for Friday to share 5 happenings this week.  Thanks to Kacey from Doodlebugs Teaching for hosting!

My little man graduated from Pre-K on Saturday.  He started the school year in the Bahamas in a fabulous Montessori class.  Here he is this past September...  Note the tan and blond hair.

Here he is on Saturday.  First pic is him with his two teachers.  Two very patient women who integrated a little boy in January from a Montessori environment to a preschool environment and from a different country back into his home country.

Here's the happy graduate...

His sister was a little jealous that he got to graduate on a big stage and wear a graduation cap.  I told her that her time is coming...  :)

Don't you love Facebook memories?  This one popped up this past week.  A year ago my husband and I pulled off an epic surprise.  We picked Suri up from school and Levi from a playdate and took them to the airport under the premise that daddy forgot something at work.  They figured out they were going somewhere once we pulled the suitcases out of the back of the truck.  We didn't tell them where til after we checked in for our flight.  We surprised them with a trip to Clearwater Aquarium in Florida to visit Winter and Hope from the Dolphin Tale movies.  We had such a great time.  Look at my island babies in this picture!

Thanks for all the pup advice!  Pup is headed to puppy kindergarten as soon as I call to sign him up!  I think that will help a lot.  He's such a sweetheart and is learning to enjoy morning walks with me.
Did I mention that today is the last day of school??

Remember last week when I told you about my favorite reading blog The Modern Mrs. Darcy?  Then I mentioned that she has a podcast called "What Should I Read Next?"  I started listening to the podcast in the car on the way to school and on the way home from school.  I even make my kids listen to it.  I just LOVE the format.  She talks with guests and each guest has to share 3 books they love, one they hate, and what they are currently reading.  Based on their reading lives she then recommends 3 books and asks them what are they going to read next.  My list of holds at the library grew exponentially this week!!!  So what am I reading right now?  Two books... one parenting/professional and one fun one...

My parenting/professional book:  No Drama Discipline by Daniel Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson

I can't say enough good things about this book.  This book has dramatically changed the way I interact with my kids at home and at school.  I'm excited to put it into practice in a classroom in the Fall.  

And for my fun read:  Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

Basically there's a birthday party being held somewhere in South America for a Japanese businessman.  He didn't want to come.  They lured him there by inviting his favorite soprano.  The party is being held at the Vice President's house.  The President was supposed to attend but decided not to at the last moment.  He stays home to watch his beloved soap opera.  The guests at the party are taken hostage and as you can imagine, things get interesting from there.  That's all I'm going to say at the moment.  I'm only about 25% of the way into the book and I am hooked!  

What are you reading right now??  Hope it's something great!

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