My First "Back to School" Purchases for My New First Graders!

About Me

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Welcome! I hope to use this blog to share some of the amazing things my class and school does to make learning fun! I have been teaching for 15 years already! I started teaching 3rd grade in a Parochial School, then I was hired to teach 1st grade for three years, was moved to 5th grade for 2 years, and then came back to 1st grade in the district where I attended school. I love that I'm able to give back the the school district that guided me to become the teacher I am today! I have a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, certified 1-8; a Master's Degree in Curriculum and Instruction; and my Administrator License Pre-K-12.

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Saturday, August 25, 2012

New Blog For My New Firsties!

Thanks for all of the kind comments on my classroom set-up!  I have loved looking at everyone else's classrooms here in blogland! It's like looking through magazines and picking out features for my dream house one day!  I love how we all try to make our classrooms look less like a classroom and more of a home away from home for ourselves and our kids.  I wish I could snap a few pictures of the classrooms at my school but it would be a huge post of pictures...we have some amazing classrooms in our school filled with some pretty clever ideas. There's a kindergarten class that has a camping theme this year and it's adorable!  Complete with a tent and campfire!  She's hung graham cracker boxes, marshmallow bags, and chocolate wrappers from her ceiling and her alphabet is actually made out of wood!  So stinkin' cute!  Several of the teachers in my building have a pirate flair in their classroom and it's so fun!  Our school mascot is a pirate and I think it's important for the kiddos to have pride in their school so I try to pull as much school pride into my classroom as I can...but when I see those other themes, I secretly wish I would change it up a bit....but then we're I stick with what I have!

On a serious note....especially to those teachers at my building who are secretly following need to blog!  You're so amazing and I know my bloggy friends will think you're pretty cool too!

I used to post all of my classroom information on a webpage using iWeb but since Mobile Me moved to iCloud, I dropped my webpage and started a new blog called, "Shiver Me Firsties".  I'm hoping that my families will subscribe to it so that they find it helpful and informative.  Right now it's pretty basic and has information about the beginning of the year but head on over and check it out if you want.  I'm hoping to have the kiddos be guest bloggers eventually.

No button or signature yet but I have a close friend who was in the mood for a challenge so she's working on it!

I really should head into school today but we have a family reunion to go to...needless to say, I'm packing my book bag...just in case.

Oh...did I tell you that this whole past week I've been battling a major cold/sinus thing/coughing sickness?  Yeah.  I sounded like a frog at my open house.  I think I'm definitely on the mend but geesh! It through me for a loop...I was miserable with so much to do!

Oh...and just one more Principal's License arrived this past week!  It's 100% totally official!  I can be a Principal if I want to!  I'm certified PK-6 and 5-12!  Keep your ears open!

Just kidding...

Kind of! :)
Who knows what my future holds!

Have a great Saturday!

Friday, August 24, 2012

What a Week and Classroom Pics!

This was our teacher week and let me tell was a bit of a blur!

Tuesday was our official first day back to school as a staff.  We start out our day at the high school for a welcome back breakfast and then district meetings.  Throw in a union meeting and the morning is filled!  During the afternoon we were trained on our online grade book called Power School.

Wednesday morning we were able to work in our classrooms and we had our staff meeting in the afternoon.  Ummm...any other Ohio teachers out there hearing about this Third Grade Guarantee?  Is this in other states too?  Yowzers!  Curious??  You can read about it here.  Click on "Guidance Document" for the details.  It gives me you may want to have your "kool-aid" nearby!  :)

Thursday was our day to spend in our classrooms to get ready for open house. are my pictures!  I have a few other things to add this weekend but for the most part, I was ready for open house!  I'm in a Pre-K to Second Grade building so our open houses start with Kindergarten from 3:30-4:30; First Grade from 4:45-5:45 and Second Grade from 6:00-7:00.  Open House went well!  All of my families came!

So here we go...This is my front door!  I put my calendar on my door this year because I won't be doing a calendar routine with my kiddos.  Since we're departmentalizing this year, my friend who is teaching math is going to do a little calendar work during her time with the kiddos.  Most of the new teachers have those "Daily News" posters that they leave messages for their kiddos each day.  All last year I watched how their cuties would stop and read their messages each day so I'm going to try it this year with my bunch!

This is the bulletin board outside my classroom.  I  hung my class roster, "Miss Long's Crew" and a few letters from last year's firsties that I retyped about how great first grade was for them.  Can't wait to add some "kid art" to my walls!

I found this quote on pinterest and as the reading teacher, I thought it was perfect.
 My "First Day of First Grade" frame...
The view from my door...
A peek around the room...

My Brag Tag "wall" (the back of the bookshelf my dad fixed for me)...

Classroom Library area...

Listen to Reading area, Crayon heaven and the bus tags my new families were supposed to complete and return...yeah...I kind of forgot about this...oops!

My little corner of the world...

I had some space to fill above my windows...
"We can do HARD things!"
"Proud to be PIRATES"
(Our mascot is a pirate.)
Just two more...Work on Writing and Word Work activities...

So there we go!  Ready for the kiddos on Monday morning!  Well...except for one small detail...LESSON PLANS!!!!

Spent tonight catching up on the 400+ posts on my Google Reader...Holy Smokes!  You've been busy!  
Talk soon!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Bookshelf Makeover and Crayon Heaven

Hi Friends!
Just touching base real's nap time!  :)
I've spent the week with my two nieces and have had so much fun!  I get to spend my first and last week of summer with them because my sister works in a different county as a Hearing Impaired Specialist and since she's in a supervisory position she has to go back to school earlier than everyone.  So Addison, Claire, and Aunt Jenn get to hang out.  This also means that the girls get to come to school with me during the day to get a few things done.  Thank God they're good girls and can find just about anything to keep them busy in my classroom without making a huge mess.  Thanks to my sister and brother-in-law for letting me turn their dining room into classroom central too!  Today the girls helped my dad with a little bookshelf project I needed finished...

Two years ago I purchased four black book shelves from Target for all of my books (I ignored the weight limit, of course) and they survived...a little wobbly...but they were still standing.  Okay, only 2 survived.  After the deep clean that occurred at school this summer they became super unstable so I had this idea (I probably saw it somewhere) to back the bookshelf with peg board.  I'm going to hang our Brag Tags on the back of the bookshelf as well as some word rings if I have room.  Speaking of Brag Tags...just spent a small fortune stocking up on what I need to start the year..yikes!  But the kiddos love collecting them through the year so it's worth it.

My dad brought black spray paint into my classroom for a little touch-up if we needed it.  Just thought you should know that I abstained and actually said, "I"m not allowed.  Spray paint and I don't get along."

Here's another something I'm pretty excited about...
  No more hovering over the big box of mixed-up crayons spending hours (okay lots of seconds) looking for a certain crayon only to forget the color you really needed!  Each box is filled with about 16 crayons of a specific color!  My colors are the same colors found in a Crayola box of 24 crayons.  Hip Hip Hooray!  I know I'm going to have some families at Open House looking at this amazing unit of organization and think I'm nuts...but you're a understand!  :)

Open week from today it will be over by this time!  
AHHH!  So much to do!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Sale Reminder...Like you need one! Ha! Ha!

My cart is getting quite full again and I'm heading to the check-out line first thing in the morning.  Thanks to all who have purchased a little something from my tiny shop this weekend! 

I also wanted to show you a few things I picked up in one of the shops this past weekend...

I used these Picture Frames last year for an art contest!  The kiddos loved using them to create beautiful art that was then judged by their peers.  The frames are so cool!  I just had to pick up another set!

Then I found these Complete the Picture "frames".  These are so fun!  The backgrounds are complete and the children will have to finish the picture.

I probably won't use them until later in the year but they were so cool, I just had to pick them up and share them with you!  They're made by Melissa & Doug so you can find them in a lot of different stores, including Amazon.

Oh...and look at the cute birds I bought at the Charlevoix Waterfront Art Fair!

They were designed by Corey Bechler of Bechler Pottery in Honor, Michigan.  They look a little bit like the Angry Birds but I didn't buy them for that reason.  I thought they were just stinkin' cute and couldn't just leave them there!  Check out those feet!  The rocks are from the beach near my hotel on Lake Petoskey stones though!  

Off to make sure everything is in my cart that needs to be in my cart at Teachers Pay Teachers!

Sweet Dreams!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Weekend Fun and a Sale!

Hi Friends!

I tried to blog quick from Charlevoix, Michigan this morning and I did...but then when I tried to edit something it all disappeared.  So now that I'm back in Ohio, I figured I'd try it again.  First of all...Charlevoix is beautiful!  It was showcased in an issue of Midwest Living as one of the best places to visit.

The town is filled with the quaintest little shops ever!  Murdick's Fudge...YUM...and have you heard of The Taffy Barrel?  OH MY GOSH!  Here's a peek inside...
This was just one section...imagine like maybe 30 barrels filled with different flavors of taffy!  (I know the whole barrel isn't filled, but it sure looked like it might be!)  You just walk around with your little basket and fill it with whatever you want, take it to the register where it's weighed and then you pay for it!  So fun!
It's places like this that made me fall in love with cottages and harbor living.  Everything was in walking distance and it was just fun and relaxing and I got to hang with a few of my best friends!  I could totally see this being a yearly visit!  This is a picture I took with my iPhone.  That bridge rises and lowers on the hour and half hour to let boats travel out to Lake Michigan.  

On the way home we stopped at Tony's I 75 restaurant.  It's a diner that is famous for it's BLT...made with a pound of fried bacon...A POUND!  Oh my gosh...several people around us ordered it and totally cleaned their are a few pictures I found...

It was so much fun to watch the faces of people when their food was delivered!  Crazy huge portions!

I also wanted to let you know that even though I don't have a huge amount in my little TPT shop, I'm still joining in on the fun and putting all of my digital files on sale!  I just marked them down tonight and the sale will continue as the others will through August 13!  Have fun shopping! 

Click here to visit my shop!
Thanks to Michelle @ The 3am Teacher for designing that adorable graphic!

Time to go catch up on laundry and some blog stalking!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Just a quick question...

I'm heading to a wedding this weekend in Charlevoix, Michigan and my bag is filled with laminating to cut as well as a few other goodies to work on while I'm in the backseat for the trip...we're pretty much driving from the bottom to the top of Michigan today, I think...long drive!  (I haven't looked at a map since I'm not the one in charge of driving!)  :)

Anyway, I've been reading everyone's posts about what they create with their Cricut or Cameo machines and am super envious of all of the cuteness.  Now I need some advice...for someone who has neither...which one would be the best for me?  Is one better than the other?  I know I could probably do some research on my own but I want to hear from you!  What do you think?

I'll be on and off my computer this weekend but reading your suggestions during the drive today will help pass the time!


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A Roller Coaster of a Day!

I am so excited!  Christie of First Grade Fever had the spotlight on little old me today!

Check her out!

She has lined up tons of awesome bloggers to offer some freebies this week!  So fun!  Especially since I just dropped another pretty penny or two at Teachers Pay Teachers.  :)  I have to admit, when she first contacted me I was a little giddy about the whole thing...I mean it's Christie, for heaven's sake!  Her blog was one of the first ones I stalked on a regular basis.  I was so thrilled that she thought enough of me and my little corner in the blogosphere to include me in her frenzy!  Thanks Christie!

Today I had to attend a child abuse inservice.  I'm assuming that everyone has to go to these.  I have to go every 5 years.  Today's inservice was all morning...they let us out a little early, but it was not fun in anyway.  Even sitting next to my two buddies...still not fun.  I don't just dread going because it takes a full morning.  I dread going because it's just awful to hear and see the types of abuse that are happening in the area where I live.  I know it's everywhere...but to see pictures of it...just tore me up today.  I can't get those visuals out of my head.  The speakers did a lecture and then started showing us pictures of homes.  So although the pictures were gross, I could somehow handle them.  I just kept thinking, some teacher was responsible for the learning of the child living in that cockroach infested, dirty, disgusting "home."  Then they started showing pictures of children who were abused.  Close-up pictures...burns, stabs, fractures, bruises, name it, they showed pictures of it.  I had to stop watching at about the halfway point.  For someone to purposefully harm a child is completely unacceptable.  I don't care that social services sees it as their duty to help the family so it doesn't happen again.  It happened once...and the stories they shared proved that the adult intended to do harm,  therefore I don't think they should be able to be in the presence of children ever again.  Sorry if this isn't politically correct but it just made me sick.  I've been thinking about it all day...even during the retail therapy I signed myself up for this afternoon with my sister.  When it was over all I could say was, "Go home and love your babies, friends!"

Okay...sorry about my roller coaster of a post (High Point-Christie's Frenzy/Low Point-my inservice)...but it just sucks...(Yeah.  I said it) what some of our kiddos have to deal with...  and then we expect them to learn everything they need to learn so that they do well on "the test".

Hoping to be in a better "place" tomorrow!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Stop It! Seriously!!

Oh sweet, dear, clever, creative, fun friends...I am catching up on all of your posts from the weekend in the presence of my two adorable nieces.  I have to confess, I had to give them the iPads so that I could do a little stalking this morning.  You are all super talented and I've been adding some pretty cool stuff to my "To Do List" and my Teachers Pay Teachers cart. HOLY MOSES is about all I can say!  And I haven't even sorted through my boards on pinterest yet!

3 things need to happen...
1. School needs to start soon so that I stop spending all of this money on my classroom.
2. The credit cards must go into a deep freeze soon.
3. I need to consolidate my lists (Claire just added more to my list but she said, "It's not hard.")

Here's a few of my finds today...
That sweet know the one...The Inspired Apple...well she's having a flash sale and added a few things to her Teachers Pay Teachers shop recently that will totally work with all of the reading and language arts that I'll be teaching this year!
Click here to visit her blog...she writes about her
Flash Sale after sharing the cool shelves she found!
Then...that Jen from The Teachers Cauldron posted a cute Movie Release Form that she sends home...just to cover herself on those kid movies that may not be rated G.  We have a policy about only showing G rated movies so I need to share this idea with my principal first but maybe it could work for us!
Click here to check out her Movie Release Form!
The Teacher Wife posted her Word Family Book today...ummm...yes, please!
Click here to see her post!
Lisa at Super Pig and Tyrant King shared some really cool writing ideas today that I must have!
Must Have Writing Activities!
And then that super cool Jennifer created an awesome Opinion Packet....cha! ching!  In the cart it goes!
So cool!
Oh my gosh...and to check out everyone's classroom is so much fun!  We should have a Tour of Classrooms just like those Tour of Homes thingies!  I get so many great ideas from peeking at all of your fabulous rooms!

Off to Soak City!
Have a great day!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

A Sneak Peek and Farley's Currently!

Happy Weekend Friends!
I think I have only 3 more summer weekends left...and each one is filled!

I ventured into Target today to pick up some writing 60 of them to use as our writing journals.  This is Claire sitting on whole cart was full.  
 Thank you Target for not having a limit on how many I could purchase.  They were 50 cents each and sure, I could have put them on my supply lists for the parents to purchase, but how could I color coordinate all of them if I did that?!?  My journals are all red and black...our school colors!

Then I headed into the oven...aka my classroom.  It was a sauna!  Here's a sneak peek...but no more pictures until I'm "Open House Ready."

So...I'm missing 5 of my bins from Really Good Stuff.  They were in a stack on a very high shelf and now they've disappeared.  I sent out an SOS but haven't heard anything yet (it's still early so not everyone is back in their rooms yet).  A little bummed...just saying.

I always put my furniture and bins on the carpet and work around them...that way I'm not tripping on them while I'm trying to organize everything.

 Plenty of touches to add yet, but it's getting there!
It was miserably hot (I tried to imagine all of you in your air conditioned classrooms...LUCKY!)  So then I packed up everything and sorted it out at home...where it was cooler!

So overwhelming!  But at least we're all in the same boat, right??

Onto Farley's Currently for this month!

Those are so much fun!
Oh my gosh...look at #3 on my B2S Must Haves...therapy isn't one of my must haves.  That came across wrong! mom cuts my laminating for me because she likes it and she calls it therapy (I don't know why...cutting laminating is overwhelming for me.)  If I need help in my room, it's my family who pitches in...thankfully!

I sold one of my literature sets last week!  YEAH!  So I'll be adding a few more titles to my TPT Store soon!

Have a great weekend!