Friday, July 18, 2014

Five for Friday

Hey friends!
I'm linking up to Five for Friday.  Don't forget if you want to check out more blog posts, to click below and you can see what other bloggers have written.



 Where did summer go?  I love teaching, don't get me wrong, but I swear we just got out of school and we are gearing up to get rolling again.  I went to work on putting my room back together this week and had a fun little stack of treasures waiting for me.  There's nothing I love more than opening packages full of goodies.  So, what do you think I ordered?

I have created a new rule for me.  I have bought tons of books, but haven't spent a lot of time reading.  I decided if I'm going to make my kids work on their stamina, I need to work on mine a little.  So, for the next few weeks, I'm spending at least 45 minutes a day reading non-fiction school books.  Yes, I am a little crazy, but we all know once school starts that isn't happening.  If I'm going to try to be a better teacher, I better get on it and start reading all these books.  So far, I've finished Crash Course and now I'm onto Daily 5: Second Edition.  Friends, if you haven't read Daily 5: Second Edition, but you read the first one, definitely read this new one.  There are several changes and honestly, it aligns more with what I've been doing and my thought process than the first one.

This has no purpose.  It's my new "I'm working but need background noise" show.  Plus, if you are in your thirties (like me), you know this was one of your favorite shows.

Oh, boy!  So, not sure if you've heard my laptop story yet, but I had to get a new laptop thanks to an old injury a.k.a spill.  It took me days to add back software, fonts, and clip art.  Can you imagine if everything wasn't backed up to DropBox?  The good news is I'm starting to create again.  Here's an old freebie that I've updated a little.  Hope you like it.

Since I'm only off a few more weeks, my hubby and I went to breakfast this morning.  I love living in a town similar to the town where the Gilmore Girls lived.  There's something great about ordering breakfast, sitting in a window, and watching a small town.  I may just have to take my laptop up there one morning soon to work.  It's just a peaceful little place.

Hope y'all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

Alright, one of my favorite bloggers is Christina from Sugar and Spice.  I'm joining her Wordless Wednesday linky party.  If you want to go check out some other awesome bloggers, just click the button below.


Here's my picture.  This quote came out of Kim Bearden's new book "Crash Course".  I just love it!  What's your favorite quote from a book?  Leave it in the comments or feel free to post it on my Facebook fan page.


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Calendar Math

Alright, I feel like I need to introduce myself.  Seriously y'all!  I haven't blogged in several months.  So, here it goes.  Hi!  I'm Faith.  I have a blog.  If you are new to my blog, I love showing you fun ideas that you can use in your classroom.  Most of the time I try to be funny and keep things lighthearted.  Our jobs and lives are way too hectic to throw in any sort of drama, so my goal is for everyone to leave here with an idea and a smile.  I am so far from perfect and while hopefully my pictures look great, don't forget I've cut out the bag of garbage that needs to go out, the pile of clothes I haven't folded, and the stack of papers on the edge of my desk.

So, if you are new, that's me and if you've been around awhile, then I'm sure you are ready to roll.

If you've been keeping up with me on my Facebook page, you know I've been working on Calendar Math.  Friends, the cover stayed the same, but that's about it.  I updated almost every slide.  I also tried to add in several of the things that my fans asked for like money.  I'm going to be honest, I know weather was requested, but I didn't add it this time.  I may add it later, but by the time I finished dealing with my crazy computer issues, I was ready to be done.  Once I get a few other things finished up, I may go back and add it.  We'll see.

So, one of the questions I've been asked several times is how do I use this in my classroom.  Well, my typical morning routine is morning work and then calendar math.  We have Ladibugs in our classroom, so I use my Ladibug to go over morning work on our Activboard.  After that, I start calendar time.

Now, I'm sure when you see the size of this flip chart,  you will be thinking, "How does she do ALL of that in one day?"  Friends, I don't... at all!  I typically do the calendar slide and my number chart slide every day.  After that, I pick and choose based off what standards we are covering.  For example, if we are working on addition, then I'll usually hit on the the addition slides.

Then, I usually try to pick one or two slides that we have covered in the past.  Sometimes I base this off of something I notice my students struggling with that was on morning work.  Other times, I use it as a quick review or just to spot check.

Typically, when I finish I've covered around five to seven of the slides depending on how much time we spend on each one.  From the time I start until the time I end, I spend around 40 minutes, but keep in mind that includes reviewing our morning work, calendar, a few songs, and I usually go ahead and touch on our math lesson if I have time.  Sometimes, I even throw in a few extra sentences to correct (language arts) or a reading comprehension packet.

Hope this helps a little with understanding what we are doing.  Below are pictures of my Calendar Math packet.  If you are interested, you can click on any of the pictures and it will take you to store.

Have a great Tuesday!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Freebies and End of School Year Stuff

I know I haven't blogged in forever.  Honestly, I haven't created in a month, blogged in a month, or really done anything outside of my Facebook fan page in a month.  I haven't forgotten, but friends, I am just exhausted.

After Spring Break, we hit the ground running with reviewing, benchmarks, Field Day (which I plan), Relay for Life, and all the other little things you are trying to fit in at the end of the year.

With all the craziness, I always end up feeling a little sad this time of year.  There's something about realizing your year is coming to an end that makes you want to hold on while at the same time you are counting down.  I'm realizing that my sweet little rascals aren't so little anymore.  They are ready to go which is great, but at the same time hard because I know some will move.

That sad moment only lasts for a second as I realize I have awards to get done, Dollar Tree superlatives to finish, parent gifts, teacher gifts (for the people that work with my kids), and lots of little memories to try to give my little munchkins.

Anyway, here are a few pictures from the last few weeks.  By the way, I mentioned Field Day.  Did I mention that Field Day and Relay for Life were on the same day this year!  Let's just say, I got in 20,000 steps that day.  It was a crazy fun day and we definitely made some memories.
Also, below are a few more pictures of the things coming up that you may want to use for your Awards Day, end of year gifts, or to send home to prevent your kiddos from forgetting all that you taught them.  The book reports and labels are free.



The last few years, I have done summer buckets for my class.  I know it looks like a lot, but when you get parents to help out, it's a lot of fun and it doesn't cost quite as much as you think it may.  I usually find the buckets at Michaels.  Below is the list of items I send home to my parents.  I try to put things that the kids can use during the summer, but also things that they need for their summer packets like pencils, little pencil sharpeners (I found them at the Dollar Tree in packets of 8 to 12), erasers, crayons, and even flashcard packs for some of my kids that are still working on learning their math facts.

If you want to use the tags that I put on the buckets or the list I sent home to my parents, just click on one of the images.  It will take you to the file so you can download it.

I created these last year to prevent a summer slide for my kiddos.  Since I finished first grade pretty quickly, I went ahead and created a kindergarten packet and a second grade packet.  If you are curious about how they are set up, click on the grade level you are interested in and download the preview on TPT.  It will show you how it is set up.  Each packet also has a parent letter and reading log.  All you have to do is print the packet front and back and it's ready to go.  With it being the end of the school year, if you are like me, you don't have time for much more than that.  There's too many memories to fit into your day.  If you are tutoring this summer, you may also want to check out the packets.  I know several people have commented that they are perfect to use when tutoring.


Alright y'all!  Hope you have a great week!  Thanks for being the best fans ever!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Dealing with Testing Stress

We have testing at my school next week.  I have to say friends, I hate tests.  I wasn't a good test taker growing up, so that has carried over to testing my little guys.  If it was a project or homework, I made a 100 every time, but actual tests stressed me out.  Not to mention, you knew they were timed, so it never failed that I was the kid finishing with one minute left.  So now when I have to test my kids, I feel that same anxiety, except now it is for them.  I know I taught everything, but there are so many unknowns like "How was their weekend?" or "Did they eat leftover Easter candy for breakfast?"  The hardest part is you truly can't test everything.  For example, determination, manners, and character don't show up on a test.

Anyway, I hate tests, I do, but I am trying to do everything I can not to let my kiddos feel the same stress I feel and that I felt when I was a kid.  I want them to be confident and sure of themselves.  Last week I blogged, a little about testing treats, but this week I'm going to fill in a few more gaps and teach you a few tricks I've learned the last few years.
If you take tests in the morning, which at my school we do, then breakfast has to be your number one priority.  I have always done breakfast for my kids the morning of tests, but a few years ago, I learned that there are actually foods that can give them a little bit more of an edge.  Below is a list of those foods.  Oh, and I'm not a dietician, so there could very possibly be a few things on this list that are wrong, but I have read multiple articles and these are the things listed by the majority of them.  The biggest thing is to eat protein.
The other thing I read in multiple places is to stay away from muffins (lots of carbs), turkey (makes you sleepy), and sugary drinks (can cause you to be jittery).
Some of these testing treats can double as breakfast for your kids, but most of them are for snacks later in the day or something fun for your kids to do after tests.  I had a lot of requests for the forms, so, I've included the file here.  Just click on any of the images and it will take you to the file to download.


Now, I mentioned fun.  It sounds funny, but I tell my kids multiple times that if they give their best I will make it worth their while and promise I will line up some fun activities.  Since today is Easter and we were prepping for tests last week, I didn't get a chance to do Easter stuff, so one of the things we will be doing are Easter centers.  We finish testing on Wednesday, so Thursday and Friday we will end up doing a lot of center activities.

Another thing we are going to do are some of the awesome Pinterest experiments I have found recently.  Below are a few of my favorites.  To read more about them, you can click on the images.  These images came from the original site which is Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas.  Friends, I stumbled onto her site and whether you are a teacher or mom, her stuff is great.  She also includes TONS of pictures, so it makes it easier to know what you are getting yourself into. Once I get around to doing them, I promise to update you on how they went.

We will also be doing brain breaks.  I have ALL the CDs from The Learning Station, but just in case you don't, you can search for them on YouTube and do them with your kiddos.  Below are two of our favorites.



Happy testing and I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter!