Sunday, August 10, 2014

Morning Message Freebie

Hi all!  Welcome to our PA blogger blog hop!  I still have quite a few weeks left till I meet my littles.  (and a few to meet my newest personal little--but I'll get into that later).

I wanted to share with you something I did last year, BEFORE you all end up starting your year!  I'm usually a few weeks behind on everything because of our late start----and our late end!

As you know, we have a LOT of fun in my classroom, BUT.  I.HATE.CHAOS.  I cannot stand a classroom full of kids who are just talking and not doing something meaningful---from the minute the bell rings.  YES-we have lots of down time throughout the day where kids can be kids and talk and have fun.  You can see that in my posts.  This leads me to my "tool" AND "tip" for you!

Morning work.  Some love it, some don't.  I combine morning work with a letter to my kids.  Why not have them read authentic writing right from the start of your day?!  My letter to the kids is typed and EACH student gets a copy.  A lot of copies, yes.  BUT-consider this.  They are manipulating the text every day AND it can serve as a newsletter to parents about something we did that day!  {confession-I haven't done a "real" newsletter in years because of this!}  At the bottom of my messages, I include some kind of practice in LA or Math.  I also have an analogy---GREAT for the common core!

I wish I had a few pics of this in action, but sadly I do not.  I never think of it because it's something I've done now for the past 11 years---only now I have it SO much more streamlined.  (I used to type the letter, cut and paste the analogy and cut and paste a bottom activity!  ugh... NOW, it's all in one powerpoint file!)

Click on the picture below to grab yourself a week's worth of messages to check it out.  I have an entire year (with first grade Common Core Standards addressed at the bottom---I'll have to make some new ones for my new position in second grade) uploaded in my TPT shop.  It's broken into 4 packets and they get progressively harder.  {The third or fourth pack could be something that would be useful in the beginning of second grade as review}

When you click the picture, it will take you to my 3rd packet on TPT.  Click the download preview button there to get your week's worth!

What I love most about this tool is that after a few weeks of "training" in first grade, at least, my classroom is a well oiled machine.  My classroom is all but silent at the beginning of the day---and I ALWAYS have my handful of movers, shakers and nonstop talkers!  They LOVE coming in and working on their message.  It tells them about their day----and what child doesn't want to know about what is going to happen?!  My own kidlets at home drive me bonkers sometimes with their questions of where are we going?  What are we doing...  Maybe I should make THEM messages each day!  HA!

The tip part of this wordy blog post is that when students come into your classroom, make sure they have something to do---that's routine and you do not have to explain 20 different times.  Make it meaningful and fun.  When you do, your day will start off fabulous---and not to mention, it has given me many chances to deal with issues you don't plan for at the start of the day... crying kiddlets, parent phone calls, etc.

Before I go, I wanted to share-if you haven't read it already--that I'm expecting my third little bundle of joy in about 5 weeks!  So I've been quite MIA this summer (and since I'm moving grades--since spring, really!)  I've been frantically moving a classroom, taking grad classes (just finished 60 credits this summer in 4 years!!), learning a new curriculum and trying to put stuff together for a sub---that could possibly start my year instead of me spending my 11 days there before I'm out--as well as spending time with my family of 4 with some beach time.  I'll be out till January, but have a TON of things I'm working on!  I can't wait to finish and share these.  They will blow you away! =)

Thanks for hopping by!  Click on the picture below to head to the next stop!

You'll be heading to Nick's blog at Sweet Rhyme & Pure Reason!  Make sure you also check out his exciting news about his little family!

Sweet Rhyme & Pure Reason

Friday, August 1, 2014

Currently-August! I'm back!

Boy, have I missed you all!  This has been quite the summer.  I'm linking up with Farley for her Currently in August to fill you in a bit.  I promise to be back more often.... soon!

Disclaimer: I'm SO sorry for lack of pictures...  Haven't been in school enough to take pics yet... (and it's a new room)

LISTENING: so, yeah, I got a lot going on with me and my life.  I have SOOOOO much to accomplish in the next 3 weeks, that I'm not quite sure how it's going to happen!  Tomorrow I leave for a week at the beach.  I want to desperately enjoy it, but I'm not quite sure it'll happen.  I'm moving to a new grade, after teaching 1st for 11 years (at my current school).  I had to move my classroom... that I couldn't get into very often, yet.  And, I'm about to have a baby!  So I've been going absolutely NUTS! 

LOVING:  So, I {heart} summertime.  I usually love the heat.  This summer has been uncharacteristically cool and I'm actually loving it, because the days it wasn't so cool....  this pregnant mama was NOT loving it!  My other 2 boys were spring babies, so I never experienced the lovely summer pregnancy!

THINKING: I have 6 weeks left till I meet my newest little guy.  I think that time is going to fly by--and as much as I would love it physically, I want to enjoy the last of the summer with my 2 little guys before we become a "party of 5!" 

NEEDING:  So, yeah--that one is self-explanatory.  Moving my classroom was quite daunting..  Add in that we were in school till the LAST week of June!  I don't feel like I left, yet my classroom is NO where near ready for a class---or a sub?!  I've also been dealing with transferring things to my personal computer from my school's... so a lot of my pictures are in limbo.  (which is code for I'm not sure where the heck they are right now---"old" computer or "new"!?!??!)

Our first day back is still a few weeks to go, but I know many of you are already headed back.  I'm moving up to second grade, so I'll know quite a few little kiddies, so I am looking forward to that.  BUT, I'm due on September 15th... so it will be short lived..... till the end of January!  I'm looking forward to spending time at home with my little guy, while the other 2 are off to school!  It will be strange to have just one at home.

Last, I wanted to put out there that I'll be participating in the big TPT sale next week!  All of my store will be 20% off on top of the 10% you'll get through TPT!  I'm not sure I'll have any of my projects complete that I've been working on, since I've been drowning in organizing for second grade and a sub...  I'll be back in the game shortly, promise!  With lots of second grade goodies!!! 

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