542 Things.

Good morning, friends! I hope I can still call you all that... I haven't been a very good friend the past, oh, FIVE MONTHS or so! :/ I'm not gonna give excuses, though... just gonna do some quick updates and then hope to get back to my blogstalking that I enjoy oh-so-much! :-)

* This school year was TREMENDOUS. Seriously. For the first year in at least 5, my class never had to evacute our classroom due to an unsafe student situation. My kids were kind. They were incredibly smart. They had great senses of humor. It was such a fun year... but I was glad to see it end, naturally :-)

* I was happy to see it end b/c I get to spend all summer with this cute little man! Does life get any better?!?

Well, it'll be better now that we've gotten allergies, a hospital stay, a double ear infection, and Hand Foot Mouth out of the way. What a way to start off our summer

* It'll also be getting better... in September when Baby Boy #2 joins our family!! I can't wait to see if this little guy follows after his easy-going, sweet brother, or if we'll have a little spit fire on our hands ;)

* This school year will not only begin with maternity leave after only a couple weeks of school to get my routines established... but it'll also start at a NEW SCHOOL! My principal was asked to open up the new elementary in our district, and I was a lucky one to get my transfer approved to follow her there! The building I just spent 7+ years in is the oldest in the district with very outdated security, electrical problems, mold... you name it. It'll be SO NICE to get to start with a clean slate! Now we just need construction to finish so we can get in and get working....!!!

Ok... off I go now to check out the Monday Made-Its that I've missed out on. I have to see what the latest trends are so I can join in the fun during nap times!! :-)

It's nice to be back... however often that may be ;)



Help me with... Common Core WRITING!!

Ok... Eeek!!! We reported back today at school for a grades/teacher work day, and let's just say - knowing that I only have 5 more months to get my little ones where they need to be for 2nd grade kinda hit me H.A.R.D.!!

I was looking through my lack of plans for next week then the babies return, and realized... my writing time just isn't cutting it. No sirree. The writing basics taught in our basal series just aren't keeping up with the CCSS, so when we do our end of quarter writing pieces for their portfolios, I can totally see that these kids are lacking a lot of the skills they need to know!! :(

So, here's where your help will come in and be INVALUABLE :-)

The wonderful Deedee Wills and Deanna Jump have created some really great units (Writing Through the Year) for their lucky dog kinders. These units lay out daily lesson plans for writer's workshop, offer anchor charts, brainstorming pages... everything to make my lesson planning a cinch! Buuuut. They're really geared for kindergarten. Have any of you first grade teachers used these packs in your own classroom? Do they get "beefy" enough for our kids to be ready for 2nd grade writing?


Is there some genius first grade teacher/team that's put together something like these for us?!?! I have never taught writer's workshop before (I know, I know...), but seeing the success of D5, math workshop, intervention groups, etc, I think that's the direction I need to head for this semester with my class.

I'll gladly make my own plans and come up with something sort-of-fabulous for my kids. But, if it's already been done, I'd rather use a tried and true unit!! :-)

Leave me links to TpT/TN products that have been wonderful for your kids. Connect me with blog posts about how you run your writing time and give me some great pointers. I owe you. BIG TIME.

{Oh... and all of you still on Break... I'm.So.Jealous.}



My aching heart is sending up constant prayers tonight for the students, teachers, and families of those at Sandy Hook Elementary School. I cannot even imagine the bravery that was shown by the sweet little babies and their fabulous leaders.

Hug your little ones a little tighter tonight.



12 on 12-12-12!

What a F-U-N day!! I am linking up with Simpson's Superstars to document my day in pictures - 12 to be exact :-)  Click the button to join in the fun and check out what everyone else did today!

Here's my day! Enjoy!

My heart, my baby!

Does anyone else's teacher bag look like this EVERY morning?!? I mean... a lunch bag, a muffin snack, my Santa picture frame, my kiddos' Christmas gifts, and my breast pump. {Yeah, I said breast pump. It'll be okay. :)} I get quite the arm workout every day!

I am following Lesson Plan SOS' lead and we're starting Secret Santa in my classroom! Here are the slips with each kid's name on them... we drew names and started our acts of kindness this morning!

Morning Writing... Each day they pick a prompt and write/draw for about 20-25 minutes between the first bell, the tardy bell, announcements, and attendance. It's so great to see them working so hard!

EEKK reading at it's FINEST!! :-)

My lunch. Before the microwave. Oh... how I can't wait for Christmas Break {6 more teaching days!!} so I can have a "real" lunch for a change!

Yep... I paused my writing lesson just to take this screen shot of my phone! The kids got a kick out of it :-)

Christmas cards arrived today! I had them mailed to school in case the weather was icky and that way they didn't need to sit out on the porch until Hubby got home. Makes my heart SO SO SO happy to see my boy!

We traveled to Italy today for Christmas Around the World. Here they are turned "plane style" and their wings are out, ready to make the trek!

Ha!! We did many random sets of 12-12-12s today... 12 high kicks, 12 jumping jacks (seen above), 12 high knees, 12 sit ups (which ZERO of my kids knew how to do!!!), etc. I would randomly tell the kids to stand up and push in their chair... by the 3rd time, they knew what to expect. We did this 6 or 7 times throughout the day. It was a great way to get our blood moving!

My sweet girl... Lucy :) She currently has a hurt paw {by her own doing...}, so she's doing even more laying around than normal!

The gifts for my Angel Tree baby! I'll bring these to school tomorrow so they're ready to be delivered next week! :-)

I hope you had fun peeking into my day! It was nice to not be so serious with my kiddos today and enjoy a little bit of fun!



Skittle Math Fun!

I just wanted to stop by really quick to let y'all know about a great little freebie that I've found SUPER helpful in my classroom this week! You may already have it... but if not, you'll want it!

The wonderfully talented Erica Bohrer has created a Skittles graphing/sorting activity that is so kindly offered for free through her Teachers Pay Teachers store... click the top pic to get you there!

Seriously, this little packet is so perfect for getting first graders interested in math again - I mean, who doesn't love a lesson that involves eating CANDY when you've finished?!!? My kiddos soaked it up, and we had about 45 minutes of pure DE-LIGHT in my room... silent, hard-working little ones just make my heart smile :-)

If you're teaching graphing soon, I truly recommend this great file! It's just what my whole class (myself included) needed to get us through these last several days before Break ;-)

Up tomorrow... a great marshmallow graphing activity!
More sugar!
More sweets!
Hopefully more hard working kids!!



Currently December :-)

Here's a little quickie... I feel like something lighthearted tonight!

Link up with Farley and join in! I can't wait to get some great RAK ideas!