Sunday, January 17, 2016

A new chapter….

I absolutely love creating things for my classroom! I enjoy being able to put my spin on things for my kiddoes. I have never used Journeys as curriculum before, but I love it! The best part is that I get to make the homework, word wall words, and sight word tests! It is a blast to create these items because I am able to put my own twist on everything. I don't have to get anything that I am not completely happy with. I am so excited that now I can share all of my creations with fellow teachers!

I have finally launched my teachers pay teachers store. I will be adding products hopefully every few weeks. For now I have things for Journeys Unit 4, which have worked amazingly in my classroom. I hope other enjoy using these things in their classrooms as well.

This is just an example of one of the sight word tests for Unit 4. Having two tests per page is super helpful when it comes to the copier! Because let's be honest, who likes to spend forever at the copier!

So far in my store I have homework passages, sight word tests, and word wall words. I am currently working on homework extension packet that will be up by next Saturday!

Keep On Teachin' and have and amazing Martin Luther King Jr. Day!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Newsletter Time!

Creating classroom newsletters was always something I knew I wanted to be a part of my classroom communication. Well… let's just say I finally created my very first newsletter to send home. On the upside it is January, so I'm starting the year off right! Knowing what to include in a newsletter was much trickier than I originally thought. The best way to make a newsletter that will actually be looked at, let alone read first of all is to make it cute! Also, if you over think it, you'll add way more information that really isn't necessary. If you add too much information parents will not read it, and in the future they will barely peruse what you took the time to type.

So instead of wasting time, keep it simple! Not every little detail needs to be in your newsletter. You also need to find a maintainable newsletter for your classroom. I know that if I had to make a weekly newsletter it would never happen. Instead I have decided to do monthly newsletters that are a snapshot of the month for the parents.

In order to keep the newsletter short and to the point, I only had two sections. I will still send home notes and dojo messages for other information that comes up throughout the month. The two sections I have are Reminders and What We're Learning. I feel like this will help the parents to be more in the loop of their child's learning. Also, it never hurts to add cute fonts and clip art.

I feel like keeping it simple is the best way to go, as far as the information. I love adding cute clip art and borders Creative Clips on teachers pay teachers. All of her clip art is amazing!
January Newsletter!

For the What We're Learning section, I did not add every topic we are covering throughout the month. This is most of it, but I did not want to overwhelm the parents.
I hope this was helpful!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Christmas break taught me a lot!

Wheww!! I made it to Christmas break! I won't say it didn't have its difficulties, but I have had SO much fun being a first grade teacher this year! It is the most challenging thing I have ever done! It is also the most rewarding and fulfilling thing I could be doing. I feel blessed that I have a career that I am passionate about. I mean really, who else gets to play games, look crazy doing Kidz Bop dances, Kids Zumba, and learn from the most interesting firsties in the world?

Tomorrow, the kiddoes return from break, and I couldn't be more excited to see each and every one of them! I have missed them so much!! I agree that we all needed the break, but its time to get back to work now!

The most important things I realized during Christmas break….

  • Let yourself rest! This was the most difficult for me. I felt so guilty that I was sleeping in almost every day (I'm talking close to noon), but I really needed it. I feel so much more ready to get back to work after having this time to rest, relax, and clean some house.
  • Prepare yourself to go back… I took the time over the break to knock out the things that usually take up the most time and cause me a lot of stress. I love doing centers in my classroom, but its difficult to prep all of that and have the copies that go with them! Over Christmas break I have made, laminated, cut, and copies 40 centers! I am still in shock that I go that many done! I try to do about 5 a week in my classroom so hopefully I am covered until Spring Break! YAY!! I also gathered everything I needed to make copies of and organized it. I kept a folder just for things I wanted to copy. Having one copier for the whole school is stressful! So I got up extra early, and got to school to start a super productive work day. I now have all of my copies for a month. Knowing myself I will want to add a few things here and there, but for the most part I DO NOT HAVE TO WAIT FOR THE COPIER! YAYYYYY!!!
  • Spend time with your family. During the race of the school week, there really doesn't seem to be time to actually spend quality time with your family. Movie days over this break have been some of the most meaningful and well spend times! Your family needs you, and they really want to spend time with you without stretching you to the limit.
  • ORGANIZE! This has been the thing that I cannot get off my mind. I try to be an organized person, but in the rush of things everything gets jumbled! Since I have spent time making everything ahead of time, and taking the plunge to make copies so far in advance I had to find a way to keep them all organized. I have milk crates in my classroom to try to organize games, but I never thought to organize papers with them! I got hanging file folders and regular file folders to organize everything. As of right now there 6 hanging folders in there, 5 are for the future 5 weeks, and one is for papers to add to my writing center. Each week has its own hanging folder with 5 file folders in it, one for each day of the week. I put all of the copies I need for each day in the file folder with a few extra activities to pull each week. The extras I put in the very back of the folder. I am so excited to finally organize all of my copies in one central place that I won't lose every time I turn around. 
I was ready for Christmas break, but I am even more ready to have my firsties back! I am ready, and will stay organized this time!

Keep On Teachin'