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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Friday, September 21, 2012

It's a Fall Sale!

Hi Friends!
I hope everyone is doing well!  I've been trying so hard to juggle everything on top of this blog...and I'm exhausted!  I had huge intentions of blogging every night or so but that's just not happening yet!

A few weeks ago, Casey, of Second Grade Math Maniac asked if I would join her in a little TPT Fall Sale...and I said yes...even though I don't have a ton of stuff in there yet...I'm working on it though!  I promise!

Anyway...she was able to get 50 or so bloggers on board to throw a little fall sale this weekend!

Click here to visit my TPT shop!
Everything...even my literature circle sets are 20% off starting tonight at midnight!

Here's a link to Casey's blog...if you aren't following her be sure you do!  She posts some pretty cool stuff!  And I'm pretty sure she'll have all of those who are having a sale listed below her post!

Click here for Casey's blog post!
Go start to fill your carts...there are some pretty awesome bloggers joining in on this sale!  I'm heading to a football game tonight!  Hoping to stay dry...rain is on the way!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Whew! What a Week!

So, dear friends...I really have had every intent on blogging more during the week but it's been C.R.A.Z.Y.  That's really no excuse...many of you are able to juggle teaching, family, blogging and creating amazing products!  How do you do it?  Is there a secret that I haven't discovered?

This week we celebrated our district's Homecoming.  Each day had a theme and the kiddos were able to dress up to match the them of the day!
Monday was Dress to Impress Day and also our Picture everyone came to school picture ready.
Tuesday was 80s Day...There was a lot of hair!  Me?  I found a Pac Man shirt in the men's department at Target and sported it for the day!  I was going to feather my hair but after doing a little research I found out that the feathered look was more in the 90s.  :)
Wednesday was Olympic Day...We were able to show our pride in our country...or our favorite sport!  Again, Target saved me...I found a USA t-shirt on clearance!
Thursday was Disney Day...Tons of princesses and lots of Disney t-shirts!  I got to wear my Pirate themed mouse ears!
Friday was Black Out Day...Our school colors are red, black and white so everyone wore black.  Almost everyone headed to the Homecoming Parade and then to the football game after school.


So I don't know what dismissal looks like at your school, but ours is a little crazy and it always takes the first several weeks to get the kids in the groove.  Let me try to paint you a picture...everyone has been dismissed from their classrooms.  The cafeteria/gym is filled with kids sitting in their bus lines.  One hall is filled with our friends who are walking home and another hall is filled with those who are being picked up by their parents.  The back parking lot is filled with cars waiting (maybe 4 rows deep) and more cars are lining the streets waiting to enter the back parking lot.  Busses are lining up in the front parking lot.  The kids are a little more than's a Friday, the day is over, and the Homecoming Parade starts in about 2 hours.  Then it happens....the fire alarm.  It's totally unexpected and very this point I'm in the gym with all of the bus riders.  After the initial shock of "Is that the fire alarm?" "Is this a joke?"  and yes....embarassingly...."What do we do?" I looked around and said, "We need to evacuate."  Each teacher grabbed a bus line and we made our way to the nearest exit...which just happened to be down the back hall and into the parking lot where all of the parents were waiting in their cars.  Oh. My. Gosh.  Once we got the all clear, we went back in the building and it was dismissal as usual.  All of the teachers pitched in and stayed around until all of the kids were out the door and on their busses...the teachers at my building really put the kids first.  Love it! share your secrets on how you manage your blogging and creating on top of everything else! Maybe it's because I'm still getting my school groove on, but I really want to learn how to make time for everything...and do it well too!

Hope all is well with everyone!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

September's Currently...finally!

I think I'm a little late to the party...but it's still September so here's my "Currently" from Farley @ "Oh 'Boy Fourth Grade!"

Apparently I chose a font that is a little hard to read!  It was fine when I created it...but it looks like it lost some of it's sharpness so here are the details:

I'm currently listening to the's been so hot and muggy that I haven't dared open up my windows and turn off the air conditioner.  This weekend was cool...actually chilly with zero humidity.  It's my favorite type of weather!  I love having my windows open....except...wait a minute....ewwww!  There's a skunk!  (Of course!)

I'm loving that I get to see my niece in a whole new light at school everyday.  You kindergarten teachers are amazing!  I know there's only a year difference between us, but holy smokes...what you do everyday is awesome.

I'm thinking I need a better balance between school life and out-of-school life (whatever that is).  :)

I'm wanting a personal assistant who is also a maid....for many reasons.

I'm needing more time...for everything.

My three favorite things are Flair Pens, my laminator, and Daily 5.  Those bloggers didn't lie about how great those pens are!  My calendar has never been so colorful!  I think my laminator and Daily 5 will be my favorites forever and ever Amen!

I was wanting a little more traffic on my classroom blog, Shiver Me Firsties so I did a give-away this weekend for my students.  It kind of worked...and I have a few more ideas up my sleeve so we'll see.  You can check out my give-away post by clicking here if you're interested!

Okey dokey!  Off to post the winner of my give-away on my other blog and then follow Farley's rule of 3!

Chat soon!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Happy Labor Day Weekend!

Hi Friends!
Hope everyone has enjoyed their long weekend!
So I was working on my classroom blog, Shiver Me Firsties tonight...adding a few pages and playing with the layout.  I wanted to add one of those globe thingies to show who has visited but then I decided on using "feedjit" know...the one that lists who has visited!  So I figured out how to add the widget and it looked good!  Until I scrolled down to the bottom of the widget and saw the advertisement for another blog.  Now, I'm all about sharing the love in our little blogging community!  People have helped me and I've actually become friends with people that I haven't even met face to face!  Well...this advertisement was for a blogger that personally, I'd be interested in...but I don't think it's educationally appropriate or professional to have on my school blog.  Are you ready?
Here it is:
Curious??  Click here to visit!
See?!?  On a personal level...I'm interested...but I can not have this kind of stuff showing up on my school blog!  I thought it was funny...and considered it a sign that I needed deserved a little night cap before turning in for the night!  Ha! Ha!

I added a few more book sets on my Teachers Pay Teachers store this morning and adjusted the prices a bit too to include shipping.  Go ahead and spread the word to your friends who teach upper grade levels.

Thinking 3-day weekends suit us quite well!  Maybe we could have 3-day weekends through the month of September so that we could transition into school mode in a gentler manner!  :)

Have a great week!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Week 1...We Made It!

Oh my goodness!  Why is it that I can't remember that the first week is so exhausting?!?  Our first day was this past Monday and it rained all day.  All.  Day.  And not the sprinkling kind of rain that I can sneak the kids out for a quick bit of fresh air.  Buckets of rain.  Which we all know meant indoor recess.  Indoor recess on the first day of school with new kiddos.  I know, I know.  I'm grateful for the rain...I mean, we have brown grass in our area so I get it.  We needed it.  Then...while driving home super late after school I couldn't help but notice the very full moon.  Now what kind of God would give us down pouring rain on our first day of school, hot and humid weather, and a full moon during the first week of school??!!?  Oh...yeah...the same God who blessed me with another great group of kiddos to spend my year with!  Thank you!!!

I have one who tells me, "I'm going to make you proud today, Miss Long."
Another one who says, "I love you."
One who misses his mom and sometimes cries but will then reassure me by saying, "I'll be okay, Miss Long.  I just need a minute."
One who has a lot of anxiety and needs reassurance throughout the whole day.
One who is already reading 105 words per minute...fluently....and comprehends what he reads.
And the others are pretty great too!  A few are testing the waters and are in search of the boundaries but they'll get there!

I quick whipped up one of those "First Day of First Grade" frames to use on our first day and everyone on my team used it to take their kiddo's pictures.

Looks like we might have a first grade tradition!  As I'm typing this I just remembered that I forgot to take a whole group shot...duh!  Better make a note for Tuesday!

We started switching classes (we're trying out departmentalizing this year) on the first day of school on a shortened schedule.  I saw each class for 30 minutes and the time flew!  It's so different from being self-contained.  I think I'm going to need a few weeks before I decide if I love it or not.  I just felt so rushed this week and as much as I want to keep each class doing the exact same thing, I think I need to accept that that may not be the case.  I really don't want to write 3 different lesson plans but I also don't want to be a cookie cutter teacher where everything is the same.  I still believe it's going to be great for the kids and that's the most important thing for me.  If I was pressed to share how I feel about it, I'd have to be honest and say that I'm not digging it....yet.  I know it will get better each week especially once the kiddos get the routines down.  This week we're going to be on our normal schedule, so I'll get each group for 80 will be better.  :)

We started The Daily 5 this week by learning the 3 ways to read a book (which surprisingly enough, the kids knew on their own) and choosing our good fit books.  We are also busy building stamina by practicing Read to Self.  We're going to continue building stamina and also learn Read to Someone this next week.  I'm also attempting to use CAFE....attempting.

My niece, Addison started kindergarten at the same school I teach at this week.
She loves it.  I have to admit...part of me wished she would need me for something and I would need to save the day.  But it didn't happen...she loved every moment and I'm truly grateful that she's having a blast.  She has a great teacher who genuinely loves her so all is well in the world.

As I was catching up on my blog stalking this morning, another blogger shared this post by Kylene Beers, "Why I Hated Meredith's First Grade Teacher: An Open Letter to America's Teachers"  It was very touching and totally worth the read.

I'm hoping to use this 3 day weekend to catch up and rest up for the upcoming 4 day week!
Hope your year is off to a great start!