September 18, 2013

Why, Hello! Remember Me?

What a busy couple of weeks! Between getting accustomed to being back to work and getting my own little ones into a regular routine, I have barely had time to come up for air! I'm sure you can all relate.

I am really enjoying my new class of firsties.  I'll admit, though, that I had forgotten how much modeling and remediation is necessary at the beginning of a new school year. I've been coming home exhausted; in fact, KShaf and I have been in bed by 8:30 the past two nights!

We started our homogenous Language Arts instruction last Monday (after spending the first week of school using Babbling Abby's Fun With Firsties cute!). We ironed out a lot of the kinks that we encountered last year, including buying these amazing bins to help the children transition from classroom to classroom:

They are a little cumbersome, but I would rather deal with unwieldy bins than listen to the sound of a thousand dropped pencil boxes hitting the linoleum any day!

I have introduced Read to Self, Read to Someone, and Listen to Reading...only two more of the Daily Five to go! My little ones have done an amazing job with each of the Daily Five; they have taken to them like ducks to water!

One of my little guys, reading to himself.

These three munchkins look pretty comfy in my "reading nook," don't they? What you can't see in this picture is that they were all wearing sunglasses with the lenses removed as "reading glasses."

I love that this little cutie is using his "slide" to segment and blend unfamiliar words during Read to Someone.

I had to get crafty with the area that I use for Listen to Reading. There is only room for two adult-sized chair, and the counter is too high to use little chairs. Thankfully, my students don't mind sharing an adult chair with another child!

We did some really fun activities to practice what we know about words with short a. I gave the students letter tiles for the consonants m, s, c, and t (our consonants of the week) and the vowel a, and they had to make as many short a words as they could. Some of them got really creative!

I'm ready for a cup of tea (or glass of wine...I haven't made up my mind yet), but before I go, I have to recommend the book My Great-Aunt Arizona, by Gloria Houston (you've probably heard of it before). Princess A nabbed it from my book closet at school the other day and brought it home, and tonight, we read it before bed. I don't usually get choked up (unless I'm hormonal or getting sick), but this book brought tears to my eyes. It's such an inspiring story about the last impact that teachers have on their students.

Enjoy what's left of your "hump day!"

September 8, 2013

Sunday Recap

What a busy and fun week!

Tuesday was Deedle's first day of Pre-K. If I'm being honest here, I was a little concerned about how he would do in school without his sister there to watch out for him. But he was a total pro!

Protective big sister.

Boarding the bus by himself? No problem!

On Thursday evening, we had Back to School Night (which always makes for a long day). But the day was made better when I found out that my good friend, Kelly, had her little boy! 

SpurDog and I couldn't wait to hold sweet Emmett, so we raced to town to visit before heading back to work for Back to School Night. He is perfect in every way!

Back to School Night was very successful. I wasn't inundated with parents, like I was last year, but the parents who were able to attend seemed very supportive and involved. I'm feeling very optimistic about this school year!

I was really flattered to receive a comment a few weeks ago from a teacher on TPT who was hoping to share my 6+1 Writing Traits lesson plans with her district (say what????). Thankfully, I was able to grab a few spare minutes today to finish up my Conventions lesson plan bundle. I just uploaded it to TPT...hope you can use it!
I have dinner to get started and laundry to finish folding. Have a great week!

P.S. Happy birthday to my teaching bestie, SpurDog! I hope it's the best one yet!

September 2, 2013

First Week of School and September Currently

What a week! Between getting my own kiddos ready to start school and getting myself prepped for the first days of school, life has been crazy!

Princess A started Kindergarten on Tuesday (WHAT???), and she officially loves it! It doesn't hurt that she is completely smitten with her teacher.

Love, love, love!

So proud of her. I almost can't stand it.

My new little firsties are stinkin' adorable. They are very different from last year's class, but that's part of what makes teaching so fun (and challenging!). I have been modeling everything (as a result, I've come home pooped the past few days), but I know it will pay off. They are slowly learning my rules and expectations, and there have only been a few minor meltdowns.

My work biffle, SpurDog, planned some adorable activities for the first few days of school, using Babbling Abby's Fun With Firsties pack.We read First Day Jitters and made Jitter Juice (yum!).

We also spent some time, making new friends and writing about them, too.

They loved having the chance to get up and move around the classroom. Adorable!

One of my cuties writing about a new friend.

Look! This little one's dress matches my classroom decor!

We completed a simple writing activity on Friday, using The Kissing Hand (I don't care how many times I read that book: it still gets to me every time). I was in a crazy rush on Friday afternoon, and I didn't have time to take pics of the finished product, but I did upload the lesson to TPT.

These turned out really cute, and I'm planning to display them around the classroom for Back to School Night this Thursday.

I've tried to squeeze in some quality time with each of my own kiddos this weekend, so on Saturday (while Princess A was at her riding lesson with KShaf), Deedle and I had a date at Starbucks.

Don't worry: it's hot chocolate, not coffee.

This morning, we got up early and went fishing. It was a huge success!

 This girl is not squeamish. She baited her own hook and caught lots of fish!
Clearly, I was really excited about catching a (teeny tiny) fish (with Deedle's Spiderman fishing rod).

So, onto September's Currently. I love linking up with Farley!

Listening: My kids outgrew naps a long time ago, but KShaf and I insist that they have a quiet time for an hour on the weekends. They are very rarely quiet.

Loving: Why can't every weekend have three days? Two days just aren't enough.

Thinking: I have to make these for breakfast tomorrow.

Wanting: I always fall for trends. These are all over the place right now on the Eastern Shore. Gotta get one.

Needing: I've been awful about running this summer. I'd love to blame it on the Maryland heat, but really, I've just been lazy. I need to get back into a routine because I'd love to run a 10K this fall.

Love Myself: I am going to try my darndest to leave work at work. No checking email, no marking papers, no lesson planning. We'll see how that goes. Ha! Since I'm planning to bring less work home, I should have gobs of extra time to read on my Kindle. I just finished Sarah's Key (I may need therapy after reading that's a tear jerker!), and now I'm working on a few Diane Chamberlain books. I am also going to try to take things less personally, particularly when working with the parents of my students. I really try to understand and sympathize with the parents of my little guys, especially since becoming a parent myself. But I can't please everyone, no matter how hard I work or how much of myself I put into my job. So, I am going to do my best to let hurtful words roll off my back, and I'm not going to let aggressive and disrespectful people get under my skin. So there. 

Enjoy the rest of your long deserve it!