Sunday, October 5, 2014

It's Currently October!

I can't believe October is here already. This is my favorite time of the year and this weekend we actually had some fall like weather. Being pregnant has made me want the cooler weather to come even faster. I'm so tired of my summery maternity clothes and so tired of being hot. I live in the most beautiful place and am always happy to get to spend some time outside in it this time of year.
Blogging has definitely taken a backseat this year. I still don't feel like I have a good handle on the school year and we just finished our 7th week. It has been so strange. Because I loop usually first grade is a little easier but we have had a lot of things going on. With the implementation of RTI and then the changing of our implementation of RTI, I haven't gotten a firm grasp on my schedule. Then a few of my new students just haven't gotten with the program yet about what the expected behavior in my classroom is. Which of course, bleeds over to the kids that know what the expected behavior is. Not that any of this is new for anyone. But being pregnant and tired when I get home isn't conducive to get any blogging done. But my favorite linky party is up and I have to participate. I love Farley's monthly party. Be sure to check it out if you haven't.



We get our cable through our homeowners association at our condos so we recently had to upgrade to the cable box and I'm loving it. I have the Hallmark channel again and can watch I love Lucy one of my all time favorite shows. You can't be in a bad mood and watch this show. We also finally have On demand which made watching our favorite shows this week so much easier. 
Last week we had a doctor's appointment and I had to do the glucose test. Well, I failed the hour one so Monday I'm headed for a day at the doctor for the 3 hour test. I'm at a little higher risk for having gestational diabetes but hopefully everything will turn out. The worst part is going to be spending 3 hours at the doctor and that I had to take the day off work. We also have our first Childbirth Class Monday night. I'm a little excited about it. Yesterday, Chris and I got just about everything out of the baby room. It is no longer a guest room but it is definitely not a baby room yet. 
I shared this picture on Instagram  yesterday. 

Chris thought it looked pretty sad with the rocking chair facing the wall. The chair was sitting in the living room but we needed that space for our desk and the chair needs some work. We got a lot of work done yesterday and hopefully what is left is the fun stuff. Decorating and getting furniture. 
I still have 12 weeks until my due date but I'm starting to think about my maternity leave. I'm taking the whole Spring semester off. This past week I talked to my principal about what I needed to do. The time that I'm out and using sick time I have to leave lesson plans which is about a month. Right now I'm trying to plan a couple of weeks ahead. I was a week ahead but the goal is to be about 3 weeks ahead. I want to be prepared if I happen to have her early. But I also want to leave a notebook, that outlines how everything works in my classroom. So I need to get started on all that. Would love to hear if you have any suggestions or experience with making plans like this?

I'm sharing a treat with you. I made this techy bulletin board when school started and intended on sharing it then. But then school started and life got way too busy. So I'm sharing the file now. We haven't fully used it yet because we're just easing into AR but I'm hoping to have to some kids sign the charts in the next few weeks. Here's a picture of what it looks like. Sorry for the awful picture. I didn't have any of my pictures from room set up saved anymore. 
The letters and the borders are from Creative Teaching Press. They were some of the fun goodies I got for being an exclusive blogger for back to school. I hope you can use the treat. I am hoping to get a little activity posted on Teachers Pay Teachers this afternoon for the book The True Story of the Three Little Pigs. That's one of my favorite books to read with the kids. Here's a sneak peek.

So that's what I'm currently up to. Be sure to head over to Farley's and check out the party. I would love to hear what you are currently up to. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

What's happening in my classroom

It has been forever since I've blogged. I have had a hard time this year getting into a groove and remembering to take some pictures so I have something to blog about. I keep meaning to link up with Five for Friday but by the end of the week I only have a couple of pictures. So I'm going to share all the pictures I've taken and give you a little update about my class. I have 22 first graders which is more than I've ever had in first grade. There were rumors that we might get a co-teacher in first grade but our numbers didn't quite grow enough for that. So one day I got 3 new students. It was challenging to have that many new students at one time. I think we're finally getting into a groove. Of course last time I thought that, then we added our formal RTI and things had to start over again. We've had a hard time getting into an independent routine. I know that is normal for the beginning of the year but I loop with kids so 16 of my students were with me last year. But I think we're getting there.
We finally have read to self up and going. It took a while to figure out a good schedule. But we read at the end of the day and it is my favorite part of the day. I love seeing the kids engaged in reading.

I love all the great cute things I find on Tpt but sometimes simple things are the best. A few weeks ago we were working on nouns. I gave each kid a half a sheet of white paper cut longwise. I had them fold it twice so they had 4 sections in their paper. They had to draw and label a person, place, thing, and animal. 
This week I did the same thing but they had to pick four spelling words, write them and illustrate them.
There are so many ways you can use this simple idea. They could write first, next, then, and last for stories and books. You could gave them write four facts on the paper about a topic on science or social studies. The ideas are endless. 
Another simple idea but not cute we did this week was in math. We have been working on decomposing numbers and getting ready for addition. I used KinderKraze's decomposing pack the week before and it was great but I didn't have time this week to get it ready. So I took large copy paper and wrote blank addition sentences for the number 9. The kids worked with a partner and used two sided counters to come up with all the ways to make 9. I was proud of how well they worked together. 

Our unit in a Reading this past week was all about neighborhoods which tied in pretty well with our upcoming field trip to Cade's Cove to talk about communities in the past. The kids came up with a list of places in our community and then picked one to draw. I gave them a piece of white paper they had to fill up and use labels. Some of the kids worked on their own and some worked as partners. Two boys wanted to makes the streets. So they cut up white paper and glued it down on butcher paper. Overall they did a great job even though it wasn't to scale of our town. I meant to take a picture but forgot. Maybe I'll add a picture tomorrow. 
So that is a little peek into what we've been doing. Centers are finally starting to run fairly smoothly. I have to work with a group for RTI during this time and haven't been able to take pictures. Maybe this week I'll have a little time. I'm headed into week 26 of my pregnancy and things are going well. My legs and feet have been swelling and I'm exhausted. Here's my week 24 bump picture.

Today we bought this cute dress for my little one. She's not suppose to be here until after Christmas but you just never know. I found this perfect dress at Osh Kosh so of she comes early it is a little Christmassy but not too much.


I have posted a couple of things to my tpt store recently you might want to check out. One is Math task cards for comparing numbers with everyone's favorite groovey  cat.  Check it out here! 
The next is reading fluency homework for first grade that correlates with Journeys reading series. It practices spelling words, high frequency words, and fluency. It works on the first 15 lessons.Check it out here!
Check it out here!
It is what I use for homework and I think it helps a ton with their fluency. 
Until next time, whenever that might be! 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Currently

I'm finally finding time to link up with my favorite party of the month, Farley's Currently. I started a blog post on Sunday about my plans for the week but it never got finished. This week was crazy. Short weeks always are. So here's my currently!

Not only did I have the short week most of us did getting Monday off, I took today off too. My hubby had a continuing education conference this weekend so I am tagging along. One of my friends is calling it our Babymoon! The conference is in St. Simon's Island. So I'm planning on hanging out at the pool while he is in class. But the pool wasn't open yet and we couldn't check in so Starbucks it is. I'm pretty nosy and the chatter here is cracking me up. There are these older women who brought their own cake and they have been passing it to other people. 
Our state is mandating a RTI program this year and we are starting Monday. I don't feel like we're ready to start at all. We have done our universal screener but we really haven't been trained to do the scripted program we are required to do or how to analyze the data. I know who my group is and I'll meet with them Tuesday. And it will be ok! I loop with my kids so usually by now I am in a good routine. But this year has been full of changes. I have had 6 new kids added to my class and 3 of those came in one day on the 8th day of school. Then next week we are starting RTI. I've been working on the kids doing centers during this time and we are slowly getting there. It will come with some 5 day weeks.
Chris and I still have a lot of work to do on the nursery. Last weekend we hauled off a bunch of stuff to giveaway and books to sell so we're making small amounts of progress. We registered for stuff over the weekend and picked out our furniture. I am 24 weeks so we still have some time but it's getting closer.  Here's a recent bany bump picture Chris took.

My list of trips I want to go on are pretty self explanatory. I think I've wanted to go to Greece since watching The a sisterhood of the traveling pants. I love Greek food and it looks so beautiful. I want to go to Scotland because of all the books I ve read set there. I'm still working my way through The Outlander Series. Last I want to take a cross country road trip with Chris. About 5 years ago I drove to California with my bestie Katie to help her move. We had a blast and there is so much more I want to see. Plus I just love taking trips with Chris.
So that's my currently. Hopefully I can get into a groove soon and get back to blogging and creating. I  need this outlet. Be sure to head over to Farley's and check out the party.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Meet the Teacher Linky

I am joining the party over at Falling into First for a little Meet the teacher. Today is my last day before school officially starts and I'm waiting on the Air conditioner people to come fix our AC so I thought why not get a few things done on the computer.
I know I shared this picture on Friday, but it's my current favorite picture of me and my hubby.
I'm Kerri and I'm 33. I've been married for 2 years to Chris and we're expecting our first child in December. A little girl. I've entering my 11th year teaching, which I just can't believe. I taught 3 years as a 3rd grade self contained ELL teacher and loved every minute of it. But I missed my family and moved back to the mountains of East Tennessee. I've been at the same school I went to 7th and 8th grade for the past 7 years looping with kindergarten and first. I love my school I teach at. It is unique in so many ways. We're right downtown in a tourist town and we have a wide variety of students. My class the past few years has been over 1/3 ELL students and we have a variety of socioeconomic status. We also have a unique relationship with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and my kids get to go on a park field trip 3 times a year.

A few of my favorite things . . .
God, church, family especially my nieces, friends, reading, books, my local library, coffee, teaching, walking in the woods, the beach

 If you weren't a teacher, what would you be . . .
a librarian (although that might be the same)

3 little words that describe you . . .
driven, loving, loyal

Finish this sentence "_________ said no teacher ever!!"
Sure, I'd love to give a test the first week of school.

It's your birthday and you can invite anyone dead or alive. Who would it be?
Chris's mom. She passed away before his senior year and I never knew her. I wish I did. My famous person I would invite is Agatha Christie. Love her writing!

If someone wrote a book about your live, what would the title be?
Life at Full Circle - I feel like my life has come full circle to some extent. I live in the town I went to high school in and am married to a friend from high school. I teach at the school I went to.

You get to pick a Superpower, what is it?
You think I would have this figured out. My hubby is a Geek and we have lots of superhero discussions. I sometimes feel like Penny, from Big Bang Theory. In fact, I found myself explaining something about Marvel, X-men, and Spiderman and their movies to these college kids in front of us in the movie theater. It was definitely a moment. I think I would like to be able to transport myself other places. I'm kind of borrowing from Harry Potter here. I have always wished I could apparate.

Favorite Quote or Saying:
I used to collect quotes in a journal which I'm sure I have somewhere. But now I collect quotes on Pinterest. So here a few of my faves. 



If you had to sing one song on American Idol, what would it be?
No one would want me to sing on American Idol. I sing terrible. It would probably be something like "The Wheels on the Bus" or something like that. 

Morning Person or Night Owl . . .
Morning person - I get tired in the afternoon and evening. Especially since I've been pregnant. I just can't do much in the evening

Favorite Resource on TPT . . . 
It would have to be my Weekly Fluency Homework. This was a labor of love and I firmly believe in fluency practice for homework.  


Something that you might not know about me . . . 
I have no idea what to share here. I think a lot about starting my own school or mother's day out program. It is a thought I have that I continue to do what I love and have flexibility to be with my kiddo. I love teaching but it isn't something that lends itself that well to part time. 

So that's all about me. Be sure to head over to Falling into First and check the party out.



Friday, August 8, 2014

Five for Friday

I have been meaning to blog all week but it just hasn't happened. It has been a busy busy week. I have some things to share that are school related!

1. I have been back at work this week. Monday was the first day I could work in my room. I'm kind of limited in what I can do. No heavy lifting and no climbing. So I have been doing some decorating. I was finally able to use some of goodies from creative teaching press. The focus wall labels are from my Rainbow Bright Classroom Signs and Labels Pack.

2. Monday was a big day for Chris and I. We had a big doctor's appointment where we got to see all of the baby. We found out we are having a girl! Monday night we had a dinner with our families and revealed it to them. I had crocheted sashes for either boy or girl.

3. My carpet from last year was destroyed by the kids. It was a cheap rug and it unraveled easily. So I was going to piece together some smaller rugs. When I showed Chris the picture, and was looking at buying a smaller rug, he vetoed that idea and just told me to pick out a rug at target. He's a keeper that one! The bottom one looked way better.

4. It is no secret that I love Pete the Cat. I call my kiddos my Cool Cats. So When I saw this poster on Amazon, I had to have it.

5. I saw this pin on Pinterest today. I thought it was the perfect verse for starting the school year. I am officially back to work Wednesday and the kids come Friday. This is how I want to look at my work.

So that is my week. I have a couple more things to share but I'm waiting for Monday Made it. Be sure to head over to Kacey's blog and check out the party. 


Saturday, August 2, 2014

Currently

It's my favorite linky party of the month. Farley's currently. I'm currently in Charleston with my family. 
 
My parents, sister, brother in law and two nieces and Chris and I have been spending the last half of the week and weekend in Isle of a Palms which is near Charleston. This is our second year to take this trip. It is not as much as a beach trip as it is hanging out with family. My brother in law's middle brother and his family live here so we spend time with them and their son too. It has been a great trip and when we take it next year it is going to be even wilder. We'll have added two more kids to the mix. 
For the first time on a long time, I haven't been able to get in my room yet. It is killing me! I need that time to get mentally prepared and excited for school. Monday is the day I can get in and the day we find out what we're having. I'm ready for Monday to get here! Anyway, back to the Incredibles. Be sure to head over to Farley's and check the party out.
Be sure to head over to Farley's and check the party out.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Five For Friday

Well I set a goal for myself to blog three times a week and this week I just haven't done well with that goal. I'm not even sure what I've been doing this week. Oh yeah! Getting ready for VBS.
I can always count on the Five for Friday linky party at Doodle Bugs Teaching to get a blog post in.
So here's what I've been up to this week.

1. My sister has been working part time since she had my youngest niece, so this summer I've been taking advantage of that and spending Tuesday with my sis and my girls. These two are a mess. Soph is pretty interested in my belly and what is growing in it. She is convinced it is a girl and wants to name her Flower or Rose. Ck has been growing so much this summer. She's five months old and is trying so hard to crawl but instead looks like she's swimming.

2. Vacation Bible School starts on Sunday at my church. We don't do things like other churches and buy a kit for VBS. My pastor and hubby work together to come up with a theme and then Chris writes skits for each night. This year it is all about Sci-Fi with a Doctor Who flair. Monday and Tuesday we worked on decorating our Sunday School room to do some taping for the skits. This is my handiwork, covering the robot in aluminum foil. Chris is trying the costume on. VBS should be a lot of fun. I'm working with crafts so I've been busy with the other group members to get all our crafts together. All I can say is thank goodness for Pinterest. 


3. Our reading outreach program with our public library is going really well this summer. We started with 10 kids the first week and this past week which was our fourth week, we had 20 kids. It has been amazing. I'm am so proud that our local library lets us take books out in the community and allows kids to check them out. I'm also so proud of how the teachers I work with are willing to give up time in their summer to read with the kids.  This little girl is 3 or 4 years old and she has been so interesting to watch. 


 4. I finally finished a Teachers Pay Teacher project for the summer.  If you've been following my blog for a while, you know that I loop. Last year I was in kindergarten and we adopted the Journeys reading series. I created materials to use with it for homework and word work. So this summer the plan was to create what I needed for First grade. So far, I've been slow going. But I did get this big project done. It has activities for each lesson and every sight word in the series. You can check it out on TPT here. 


5. I finally finished a project I brought home over Thanksgiving break. Organizing my Kindergarten Journeys materials and my letter work into notebooks. But it didn't happen. I just kept adding to the crate until it was a crazy mess. I finally started the project this past week. I organized all the papers and then this week I put all my Journeys Kindergarten stuff in a notebook. It is organized by lessons with homework and sight word work. I don't have a cute cover for it or anything but I need to!
So that's what I've been up to this week. I've got to get my rear in gear and get some things done today. Like starting on my homework pack for next year and finishing up the bookshelves I was organizing in the soon to be nursery. Be sure to head over to Doodle Bugs Teaching and check out the rest of the party.