Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Visual Plans, Pumpkins and Field Trip

I am a little late with my visual plans for this week, but they have changed a few times. This week we were focusing on pumpkins due to our field trip to Hartland Orchard (apples are becoming out of season so they also do pumpkins). Check out Mrs. Will's Visual Plans and link up!

And here are some photos from our field trip and our pumpkin activities...

Here is the summary of our Earth and Space Relationship experiment intro week...we basically talked about the difference between day and night and how the sun heats up the Earth. We never got a chance to do the flashlight activity, so we will be wrapping up that unit next week in our short 3 day week.

And I will leave you with a photo of Addy's preK homework...kind of crazy that this is something that they want her to do, along with 10 other worksheets...and sight words (yea, I said sight words)!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Peek at my Week and Last Week's Activities!

I can't believe that it is the start of the 8th week of school. Things are really starting to come together, especially since I have been creating visual plans (thanks to Mrs. Wills!) I enjoy making the visual plans, I love how colorful they are, I display them on my desk in case administration stops in, and they keep me organized!

So here is a peek at my week...which is starting off with a substitute teacher, because my little girl is home sick. 

If you have not been over to visit Mrs. Wills blog, you need! I have been struggling with my literacy centers since moving from 3rd grade to 1st, especially with organization of the rotations. This past week, she posted this: How Do You...Stations Questions Answered (I hope). I am going to give her workstations chart a try. It seems pretty simple, only moving the cards down once a day. This could be the final key to my guided reading/literacy centers block!

My first graders had a great time with our Friday FunDay centered around apples. Here are some photos:

Here is NOVA, we were lucky to spend the weekend with my parents, who came to visit from NY. My daughter is lucky to have two sets of amazing grandparents who do anything and everything for her and us. Here are a few pictures from our weekend...

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Family, Peek at My Week and a Tieks Update

First and most importantly, this is the first weekend in 6 weeks that my husband, daughter and I have all been home instead of traveling to weddings and back home for ill grandparents/a death in the family. My husband's grandmother passed away just over a week ago. She was a 6th grade teacher for more than 30 years. Three of her four children became teachers, and of all of the grandchildren 5 of them became teachers of which at least 4-5 of their spouses are also teachers...crazy! But this woman was a great inspiration. I was lucky enough to get a phone call from her a week before she passed wishing Ben and I a happy anniversary. She will be missed greatly! My husband's grandfather is suffering from cancer as well and we hope to have him in our lives as long as comfortably possible. A vet of WWII and a community staple from back where we grew up in NY.

Recently, I have been seeing a few of my favorite bloggers posting visual lesson plans. They were of great help to me in the first few week of teaching 1st grade! I decided that I would begin to partake in this great linky party thrown each week by Mrs. Wills Kindergarten

I think this is just another AMAZING blog world idea! I can't even imagine what teachers from 20-30 years ago would have thought about all these new ways to share ideas. My favorite part about the visual plans is that when I teach first grade again, I can look at my visual plans and remember where I got everything. Click on the plans above to be brought to the Google Doc where you can click on the TpT items. Next week my goal will be to include my guided reading plans and my literacy/math stations. 

***UPDATE on Tieks: I have had my tieks for a week now and I can say that they are stretching! I wore band aids on the backs of my heals for 3-4 days, and a band aid on the top of my foot near my big toe (which I am still wearing). Not sure if they are just not stretched enough or my feet just need to get used to them. Thank goodness they turned out to be a fit for me! Not sure what I would have done with a worn pair of to small Tieks... My best advice for anyone wanting to order this shoes....order two sizes and wear them around the house to see which pair fits best. 

Sunday, October 6, 2013


YAY!!! I just had to share that my Tieks came in the mail today! I am super excited to wear these babies tomorrow to school.

I wore them around the house for a little bit today and they seem super comfy. I'll update you later this week on how they were...

**UPDATE: So after day one, I have a few concerns and some advice...BUT I am hopeful!

#1...Do NOT wear them outside unless you are 100% sure that they are the right flat for you. I was so excited that I didn't even think to look at the return policy, which is in the FAQ on the site, and it says that an exchange or return can only be made with shoes not worn. :o(

#2 I think my shoes are a little snug...but I have read and the Tieks representative said that they will stretch. Well I hope so, because I just laid out $175 and being silly enough not to read the return policy, I am stuck with them now. The Tieks lady said to "wear them around the house with thick socks" to stretch them and that after the first few wears they will stretch. I ended the day with sore feet: tightness around the toes and the heel with visible rubbing, but no blisters.

#3 The Tieks lady said if all else fails to stretch these shoes, to bring them to a cobbler/shoe repair place and have them professionally stretched. So I will give them a couple more days (wearing knee highs I guess so that they do not rub too much!) before I decide to bring them to the shoe repair store down the road from me.

I'll update you along my journey that will hopefully end in...the best pair of shoes ever! I hope!!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

October Currently...and one month down...nine to go!

Bottom line...this has been a seriously stressful start to the year. I have not taught the same grade level more than one year consecutively...K, then 2, then 1...and if all goes as our school has in the past...2 again next year. I am looking forward to the day (hopefully within the next month) that I start to fall into a comfortable routine and can stop going to school at 7:30 (students arrive at 8:45) and leaving no earlier than 5 (students leave at 3:30). And as we all know, it doesn't stop there...because are usually bringing home papers, searching on Pinterest, etc.

General Hospital has been my vice for quite a few years. I remember watching it when I was younger with my mom when I came home from school and then back in my Junior year of college I picked it up over the summer. Now, I haven't missed more than a handful of episodes since then...M-F. 

Autumn is definitely my favorite time of year...the temperatures are cooling down, the humidity is basically gone and I am looking forward to the holidays. Not to mention Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte...well, only as a treat once in a while and nonfat!

Well...I did it! I put myself on the waiting list for my size about 3 months ago. I have received 3 e-mails saying they are back in stock. The first time we didn't have the extra money, the second time I hadn't checked my junk mail in a few days and by the time I went to order them, they were out of stock again. Third time is a charm, I suppose. I ordered them last night and within a couple of hours I received an e-mail saying they were shipped!

I know that the 4-day work week has been a debate for a while now...but I am totally for it. I would go to school year round as well...with nice little 2 week breaks every 10 weeks. I mean c'mon, nobody takes a vacation for more than 2 weeks at a time. Then maybe like a 4 week vacation in July or something.

I have 28 kiddos this year...and it is very stressful. Oh wouldn't I not give to have a full time TA or even a 1/2 time TA. On a good note, I have 7 parents that have signed up for volunteering. I have a group of moms coming during our guided reading time to either read or do word work individually or with small groups and then a couple of moms that said they would come in once a week and help me during my planning period. I think of how even just having someone tear out 28 math sheets from the workbooks and stuffing the mailboxes would really alleviate some of my stress!

Treat time! I was lucky to inherit a couple hundred old leveled reading books from my mother in law over the summer but I was really not looking forward to having to level them all (c'mon reading programs, start putting DRA levels inside the front or back cover). After hours of searching the web, I finally found a few resources that helped me level almost all of them! Hope they come in handy to you at some point! I downloaded them and then saved them to my hard drive. 

Hoping to get some time in the near future to sit down and start creating some 1st grade packets for science and social studies. But until are a few pictures of my LAST wedding of the season...finally!