Friday, August 30, 2013

Five For Friday!

Happy Friday (and long weekend)!

I'm linking up, for the first time, with Doodle Bugs Teaching Five for Friday!

1. School started! We did lots of fun activities these last two days, but the favorite?
Saving Fred!

2. I had Math pilot training earlier this week-I'll be piloting Go Math!

Check out the swag I got from the workshop!

A tote bag, a pen, teacher's guides and 1 student set!

3. Check out my Mr. Sketch markers! I was able to find an 18 count! They look so pretty!!

4.  A new mattress (just delivered!). My old mattress was about 9 years old-and also served as my main seating for 5 years! Definitely time for a new one.
Old-has a HUGE indent in the middle

New-and a lot taller than the old one-but no jumping required :) (okay, maybe a little 'hop')
5. Today's Outfit!

It's a teensy bit big, but I got it on clearance and just couldn't resist!

Dress: JCP
Tank: Old Navy
Shoes: DSW

Have a happy weekend!!

Smiles and Sunshine,

Thursday, August 29, 2013

First Day of School!

Happy 1st Day of School!

I wasn't quite as excited this morning, but I was still excited!

We did a lot of fun stuff today.

When the kids came in I had their name posters on their desks all ready to color! (They loved this!)

We spent time going over procedures, Morning Meeting and learning about each other.

They played get to know you bingo.

We had a snowball fight (they wrote 3 things about themselves and then threw them in the middle-friends picked one up and read it out and had to guess who wrote it)

Then (right before special) I introduced them to one of my very favorite friends.

He has been my friend for quite a long time now.

He is very imaginative and I love having him in my class.

Do you know who he is?

It's SkippyJon Jones!

I read SkippyJon Jones: Class Action by Judy Schachner.

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They loved him! And many of them had met SkippyJon before, so I didn't have to start from the beginning.

If you haven't met my friend SkippyJon, you really should. He is very imaginative, and there is great vocab and spanish words woven throughout the book.

We Saved Fred (again! This worm will not put on his life preserver when he goes boating!)
This class Saved Fred a lot quicker than the class last year-most of them had some really great teamwork!

I had to use gummy lifesavers-I couldn't find the peach rings I used last year (despite going to 2 Market Baskets, 2 Walmarts (ick!!), Dollar Tree and Hannaford)

I finally found something that would work at the mecca of all things... Target!! (and since I was there...I picked up a few other things :).

After Fred (and lunch/recess!) we did our 1st day of school posters (from here)

This one says "How can your classmates help you achieve your goal?" I didn't realize how light the green was

We talked about their answers- and had the 'easy is a bad word' discussion-because what might me easy for you is not easy for me and vice versa. They seemed to do okay with that!

Then we read Matthew's Dream by Leo Lionni.

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This started our discussion about our hopes and dreams, and what they want to accomplish this school year.

They started writing and drawing their hopes and dreams on clouds-which will help us with our rules tomorrow.  They'll also have to finish their Hopes and Dreams tomorrow morning...we ran out of time!

After school (waaaaaay after) we had our Opening Day BBQ (inside-due to weather). I stayed at school and got some copying and file cleaning done :)

Today's Outfit

Some of you might be saying, Gee, Kaitlyn, that looks really familiar. Didn't you wear that to the last day of school?

To which I say- You are absolutely right! But after living in flip flops and bare feet all summer, it is all about the shoes.

This was also comfortable and casual enough to last me all day-to get me used to moving around after I spent so much time lazing around on the couch!

Top: Maurices
Tank: Target
Skirt: Old Navy
Shoes: Amazon

What will tomorrow bring?

Smiles and Sunshine,

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Teacher Jitters

Tomorrow is our first day of school.

This will be my first (second) first day at this school.

So even though I've had a first day at this school (and many others and many other different schools!), I'm still nervous jittery.

What if they don't like me?

What if they don't listen?

What is they don't think I'm funny? (I, on the other hand, think I'm hilarious-I crack myself up! ;)

What if they don't get along?

What if my behavior challenge challenges on the first day?

What if my new friend (new to the area/school) is still so nervous that my friend can't make other friends and gets sick from the nerves?

What if my principal hates the direction I'm trying to take my class with data and rating themselves (highly unlikely-but still-you never know)?

How am I going to fit in everything I want to do/cover?

So even though I have done this 6 times before...I still get nervous. (As, I'm sure, many of you!)

Tomorrow is our first day of school.

Tuesday's Outfit (Math Pilot Training)

Top Half: Target

Skirt: TJ Maxx
Shoes: Kohls

Today's Outfit (Meet & Greet- about half showed up)

Top: Maurices
Tank: Target
Skirt: TJ Maxx
Shoes: Zappos

Smiles and Sunshine,

Monday, August 26, 2013

A Peek At My Week

Happy Monday!

Sadly, my summer is now over, as I returned to work today (I'm sorry for those of you that have been back for a few weeks...think of me in June!)

I though I would link up with Jennifer at

Mrs. Laffin's Laughings
for her new Peek at My Week Linky (even though it has already started :P )



We had our district wide meeting this morning, and our staff meeting this afternoon (oh fun)

Although tomorrow should be more fun-we'll be trained in our new pilot math programs!

I will be piloting Go Math!
Go Math! is from Houghton-Mifflin Harcourt.

My two other teamies will be piloting:


(she already has her materials...the lucky duck!!)

and Math In Focus

(which is the administrators favorite...we'll see if we can't change their mind ;)

Wednesday we'll do some grade level meetings before the Meet and Greet in the afternoon.

Thursday is the first day of school!

We'll be Saving Fred, working on our Hopes and Dreams, doing Heart Maps and Math about Me, and more fun things! (and procedures, procedures, procedures!!)

Friday will be a continuation of everything we did on Thursday-with a teensy bit more academic stuff thrown in. :)

Now that the school year has restarted, I will be adding my outfits to the bottom of my posts again. I really enjoyed doing it last school year-and it forced me to be creative sometimes!

However, there is not a picture for today-it did not turn out well this morning! Instead, you'll see a picture of what I wore for my cousin's fiance's bridal shower this weekend.

 Dress: Target (I know! It's so cute and comfy (cotton!) plus it has pockets!!) 
Shoes: Nude Cutout Wedges from Burlington Coat Factory (which you can't really see in this picture-but it was the best one :)

How is your week going to go?

Smiles and Sunshine,

Thursday, August 22, 2013

A View for You!

Happy Thursday!

I officially start back on Monday, with the kids coming on Thursday (1 week!!!), but my classroom is ready now :)

(For the most part-I still have to do a few things, but I'll have time Tuesday & Wednesday Morning).

Ready to see?

Starting from the door...
View from the door

Attendance and Lunch on the left
Closets on the right-fishbowls are their jobs...they are the fish!

And going to the left...
Whole group are by whiteboard-Reading Anchor Charts on the light blue
Small group area-Writing Anchor Charts on the light blue
The library and Word Wall- near the small group table

Round to my desk...
No close-ups of this...I need to organize the top still!! :)
View from my desk

Onto the SMART Board whole group area:
Student Supplies:
The box and the bag are mine...
Then turn to the shelves!

Then we are back where we started!!

I hope you enjoyed your peek at my room!

Smiles and Sunshine,

Friday, August 16, 2013

Tips for a Happy School Year

It's Teacher Week 2013!

Today is Teacher Tips Friday!
I'm sharing some tips for a happier you.
#1 Must Do Always and Forever as long as you live....

Find/Make a teacher friend at or near your grade level. This will be a person that will become a pseudo-mentor, is someone you can talk to, bounce ideas off of, vent to and ask those 'stupid' questions.

I cannot tell you how many times this has saved my sanity-especially since I've been in a new school almost every year! This also works well when your district gives you a 5th grade mentor when you teach Kindergarten :P

#2 Try to stay out of staff drama...'nuff said!
     Although this does not necessarily mean to stay out of the staff/lunch room. I am a big believer that we need to take our 23 minutes for ourselves and get out of our classroom and talk to grown-up peoples (or at least be in their presence!) I know there is a compulsion to stay in your room and grade those papers-but they will still be there tomorrow morning and the kids will not care if they are a day late.

For me, it helps rejuvenate me halfway through the day, and it helps me shake things off that happen in the classroom and gives be a fresh start for the afternoon. 

#3 Ask questions and ask for help.
    No one (should) look down at you for asking for help or asking questions...they may actually be impressed that you did! If you don't know or understand something, please ask.

You may even look good to people because you have the courage to ask/look for help!

# 4 Come into work with a smile and be friendly!
     This will totally impress people, help you make friends and put you in a good frame of mind!

I couldn't resist...he was too cute!
This also works especially well when you are told you can't return and you lost your position....totally impresses the higher-ups and other colleagues-helps get good recommendations! (speaking from personal experience...)

Use any and all of the above for a happy school year!

Smiles and Sunshine,

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Taming those Wild Things

It's Teacher Week 2013!

Today is Classroom Management Thursday!

I've used various methods throughout my years, and seen even more (I subbed for a year-was that an eye-opener!), and I've discovered...

It always depends on the class.

Last year I was uber lucky and did not have to really manage their behavior...they were amazing! However, the year before that, I had some issues (darn girl drama!) and I know I'll have some 'challenges' this upcoming year.

The year before last and this upcoming year, I have/will be using a clip chart:

Redone this year to match my sea theme!
I like this because I can focus on mostly positive behavior-and the kids can move up and down throughout the gives them a lot of chances.

I also have some coming in with pre-set behavior plans...but I haven't been informed yet as to what they are.

The one thing that has stayed consistent throughout all my years is how I set up the expectations and the rules.

First, we start talking about what we each want to accomplish this school year-our Hopes and Dreams.

This is individualized to each student-they set what they want to learn/do (a little like goal setting-but I don't expect them to meet it...i.e One friend last year wanted to go on a nature walk and discover dinosaur bones....sorry kid but that will probably not happen!)

After we have written down/drawn out our Hopes and Dreams (we do them on clouds!), we sit down and talk about what kind of rules they'll need to help them accomplish their Hopes and Dreams.

They tell me what rules they thing they need and I'll write them allllllllllllll down

After I write them down (colors not specific!), we will sort them into three categories (Somehow, they always fit into one of the three...amazing, right?! ;)
Me, Others and Supplies/School.

We then come up with a positively stated rule that covers everything in that category.

And add one more for keep me happy and have fun learning! (That way, if they do something that they say doesn't fit into one of the categories, I can always ask if they made me happy. :)

We also talk a lot about making good choices-and how Miss M will still like you, but may not like the choice you are making-and how to change your choice. Lots of role-playing and modeling!!

Smiles and Sunshine,