Sunday, September 15, 2013

Back to School Craziness!

Phew! I definitely didn't post as much as I would have liked this year! (Try not at all!!)  I promise this year will be different!

As some of you may know, I am now a Kindergarten-First Grade English Teacher.  My school is slowly moving towards being a Dual Immersion school, and the program is now offered through 1st grade. My team teacher, Srta. L, is the K-1 Spanish Teacher.  So this year is going to be a completely different format, and I'm both nervous and excited about the change.

Instead of having my little class of 16 students like last year, I get to have 30 (!) students in two different grades.  I spend half my day teaching Reading, Writing, Math, and Religion to 1st grade, and then my other half of the day is spent teaching those same subjects to Kindergarten.  It's tough with the two grade levels and a different curriculum for each grade in every subject, but since I get to work with some amazing kiddos, it's totally worth it! :)

Anyway, just wanted to share a couple pictures...

I was sooo excited to be one of the first 10 people in Staples on their Teacher Appreciation day, because they awarded us personalized planners!  They initially wanted me to use their planner format, but with a little eyelash batting and sweet-talking, I was able to convince the copy manager to allow me to print my lesson plan format!  I think many of the teachers out there will agree with me; we like to use a certain lesson plan format and layout, and anything else simply won't work! :)

Now to put this baby to use and plan, plan, plan!! 

I'm off to get my Parent Handbook ready for our Parent Orientation night this Thursday, as well as update my Curriculum Map! Goodnight!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Life is Sweet in 1st Grade!

Hello blogging world!  I'm excited to share with everyone my stories, tools, and tips that I learn along the way through my teaching career.  This is my first year teaching, and I have been lucky enough to teach my favorite grade, First Grade!  I work at a Catholic school in the Seattle area, and I love every minute of it!  Sure, there are struggles and hard times, but aren't there always on the way to achieving one's dreams?

I've been thinking about starting a teaching blog for some time now, not because I'm full of teaching wisdom or anything useful like that, but because I want to tell my hilarious kids stories, share fascinating tools that I've found, and "show off" all the amazing things my class and school has done!  (Self-centered, right?)  Don't worry, it'll be worth it when you learn from my mistakes and maybe even my triumphs! 

So to start.... here's my classroom!
This was the bulletin board I had to welcome my students outside of the classroom.  The "sprinkles" were my students' names. :)

This is the view from my door into my classroom! (When it was was perfectly clean....)
To the left you can see my Behavior Clip Chart.

Another view from my classroom door.  The poms were made by my younger sister, Vero. She's an amazing Project Manager in Seattle.  Without her, I wouldn't have survived the move to Seattle!

This is my schedule pocket chart - I bought about 6 or 7 of the purple pocket charts from Target's Dollar Section.  The schedule cards are from the amazing Cara Carroll at The First Grade Parade 

My Student of the Week spot. :) (Also known as the back of my classroom door.)

My main classroom bulletin board.  I bought the Mary Engelbreit calendar before I even graduated in 2009, and now I finally have a classroom to put it in!  I got the weather poster idea/freebie from Rowdy in Room 300. She has AMAZING ideas and tips!

I decided to design my own classroom rules, because I'm so picky about wording and their design!

With First Grade, you of course have to have a "You get what you get and you don't throw a fit!" poster!  And I also have my "Fairness" (from and "Tattling vs Telling" (from posters - always important additions in an elementary classroom!

These wonderful, creative clock numbers are from Step Into Second Grade with Mrs. Lemons!  She also has AMAZING ideas regarding classroom organization and setup! 

My desk area.... I love love LOVE the Dollar Tree Pink & Green bins for organizing everything from sight words cards to pencil-top erasers.  Mind you, my desk is no longer this clean and organized, because as many of you teachers out there know, with the addition of student notes, drawings, homework, copies, forms, etc. my desk has now become a miniature version of Everest.  Heaven forbid I move anything now, because I actually know where everything is! 

My reading corner. The easel is now in the front of my classroom, but everything else is sort of the same.  I did add some more bins from the Dollar Tree that hold my Leveled Readers.

NOTE: Those computers are now in Computer Heaven, as they were literally a bajillion years old.  They even required CD-ROM's! Still!   That area is becoming my "Religion Corner," but it's still a work in process.

View from the back to the front of my room. Love it! :)

Final picture for this post!

Well, off to bed I go!  I hope you enjoyed my first post! More to come soon!