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.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

What I've been reading

It has been a couple of weeks since I've shared what I've been reading. Since I've been home from the beach I haven't read quite as much. But I still have a few books to share with you. I'm linking up with Deanna Jump's We love books linky party.

First up is the book The Life List. This book starts with the main character's mother passing away. Brett goes to the reading of her mother's will thinking she's going to be taking over the family business only to find out that she has to complete a life list she created in middle school.  I got it as a deal of the day on one of the kindle emails I get and it sounded a little cheesy but an easy read. But I was surprised to find that it was a heart warming story and I was very invested in the main character, Brett.

Next up is another Agatha Christie. I've talked before about how much I love mysteries. Agatha Christie's are by far the best. No gore but a good puzzle. I am trying to clean my bookshelf off and read books that I have on it. So I picked up the Body in the Library. It is a Miss Marple mystery. Her friend has a body found in the library and they don't know who the pretty girl is. So Miss Marple makes it her mission to solve the mystery. 

In an effort to clean off my shelf, I found the book The Last Original Wife by Dorthea Benton Frank. I love her books. They are all set in the Lowcountry of South Carolina. The main character, Leslie, is the last of her group of friends who is still married to her husband. This is the story of the end of the marriage really. It is told by both her perspective and her husband's perspective. I liked that. It made for a little different story. 

My current read is Voyager by Diana Gabaldon. It is the third book in the Outlander series. It continues the story of Jamie and Claire across different times. Claire and her daughter are trying to find out what happened to Jamie after the bloody battle of the Jacobite uprising. This is another story told by different perspectives. So far, I'm loving it. But I'm hooked on Claire and Jamie's love story.

So that's what I've been reading and am reading. What are you reading right now? I would love to hear about it and get some new books for my ongoing list. Be sure to check out the linky party for some good children's books. 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Monday Made it - Baby Bump Style

I am continuing my summer of not working on much for school. Although I'm not sure I've been working on anything really. So this is another post that has nothing to do with school.
Anyway, I am starting to show and have been since my 12th week. It seemed like once the 12th week got here, my baby bump just popped out. It was the weirdest thing.
So this is me at the end of my 11th week at the beach. My little baby bump.

This is my bump last week. 

I am full on wearing maternity clothes now. I tried the belly band to wear some of my regular clothes and it works ok but it's kind of uncomfortable. It's fine now for me to wear the same two pairs of shorts everyday since I'm not in school. I'm guessing once school starts all I'll be wearing is dresses. I can wear a lot of my non maternity ones still. 
Anyway, I want to document my bump each week. I looked on Etsy at some of the cute week by week stickers but I just didn't want to spend the money on them. So I decided to make some of my own. They aren't stickers but I can print them off and pin them to me.  So I thought I would share them with you for my Monday Made it. 
Here's an example of what they look like. I used aquas, blues, greens, and a little gray thrown in there. We're going to use a beachy, hawaiian, nautical theme for our nursery so I wanted to do the same kinds of colors for these tags. I started with week 12 -40. 

Hopefully someone else can use these. Here's mine for this week all cut out and ready for a picture. It would have looked better if I had used my circle cutter but I was too eager. I plan on having Chris take a picture tonight. I'm currently still in my pjs and I'm not all that good at selfies. 
If you grab this freebie, please leave me a little comment love. Even if you don't, I love to hear from you! Be sure to head over to Tara's blog for the rest of the party. 
Fourth Grade Frolics

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Sunday Smorgasbord plus a Journeys Freebie!

So I was going to link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching but I just didn't get my act together. I went to see Chris and the boy scouts on the fourth and then got back kind of late in the afternoon yesterday. So I thought I would like up with Fabulous in First for her Sunday Smorgasbord party.

So I really didn't get all the things I wanted to get done this past week done at all. I haven't even started on the nursery yet. But I did have a good week with my family and friends. So this week it is on. I have to get busy on the guest room or I won't get it done before school starts. And we all know once school starts it is going to be hard to do the clean out I want to do. My sister in law was talking about having a yard sale next weekend so I'm hoping that's the motivation I need. This is what I'm working with:
I need all this stuff cleaned out and whatever can go somewhere else or I can get rid of I need to do it. (I kind of can't believe I'm sharing this on my blog. So embarrassing how bad it is) Be sure to ask me how it is going. Maybe that will keep me motivated and accountable.
I did finally sit down and work on a couple of things for school. Nothing earth shattering but what I needed to get done before I could move on to my homework. I took all the teacher's editions of the first grade Journeys series and put together an outline for me and my team to help us with planning. I don't have that to share because there are similar things my blogging friends have come up with to sell. But I do have the sight word list for you. Last summer I made some sight word sheets for Journeys Kindergarten to help you with planning and assessment. I finished the one for first grade. I put this sheet in my students' notebooks at the beginning of the year and then parents had the sight words for the whole year. For kindergarten, I was able to fit all the words on one sheet. First grade, it takes two. These sight word list are for the Common Core aligned version of Journeys that was adopted in our county last school year. I think it is the 2014 version. So that is why it might seem like there are a lot more words in kindergarten. I promise I didn't add any words to the list!

It isn't much accomplished on my to do list but it's a start and it makes me feel better. This week I've got to tackle the homework pack. I want to have that ready before school starts too. Last summer, I did the first half of the year in the summer and the the second half when I needed it. This summer I really need to get them both done. Since I'll be on maternity leave the spring semester. So I might just have to hole myself up with the computer rather than having so much fun everyday. 

There is one thing I have to make time for and that's the reading program I'm part of with our local public library. We have partnered up with a local church and we bring the books to the church and the church runs a van to pick up kids. The kids are part of our ELL population in the county. We had 14 kids this past week and 6 volunteers. The volunteers read with the kids or listen to the kids read. Then those kids who have brought back the form, can check out books. We haven't had a ton of success with getting the forms back but we do have 3 kids checking out books. It is pretty exciting stuff. My partner in crime, Cassie and I are on the local library board so we're really representing the library but using our connections as teachers to make the program happen. All of our volunteers were either teachers or parents we know through our school. Our librarian suggested this week we submit this to a conference in the Fall which is kind of exciting. Here are the kids listening to a read aloud. We were trying to engage all the kids in it. 

It is so much fun to be a part of this program and to get to read with kids one on one. I love it!

So that's my randomness for the week! I have plans to be back tomorrow with a Monday Made it! I would love to hear about how your summer projects are going! I hope they are going better than mine! 
Be sure to head over to Fabulous in First and check out the rest of the party!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

It's Currently Time!

It's time for my favorite part of the month, Farley's Currently Party. I love reading these and seeing just a glimpse into everyone's lives. I think that probably means I'm nosy. Although to some extent I guess reading blogs feeds into nosiness.  I have set a goal for myself of blogging 3 times a week this summer but it hasn't happened yet. But it's a goal so I'm striving to meet it every week. I found this app, Weekly and it helps track goals. I'm loving it. I love marking when I meet a goal and it helps me know what I need to do everyday.
Here's a screenshot of mine:

Anyway, on to the party. Here's my currently.

Every morning (Well most mornings), I get up, read my Bible and then turn on the Today show. I actually kind of know what is going on in the world during the summer. Kind of.
I have just been loving summer and having time to cook, exercise, spend with my family and friends. It has been so nice. But I'm coming to realize that there is not a lot of summer left. The first of July means this is the last month. Once August starts, I'm back in school mode. I had a doctor's appointment yesterday. I had to have my glucose test early and it wasn't too bad. Of course, I haven't gotten my results yet. But my next appointment will be when we find out whether it is a boy or a girl. I can't wait to know! Chris and I had talked about doing some kind of gender reveal but I'm not sure what we'll do. Our appointment is a Monday and Monday isn't really a great day for a party. And I'm not sure I can wait until the weekend.
So with the realization that July is here comes all the realization that I need to get my rear in gear and get my projects done for the summer. I haven't gotten anything accomplished yet. The past 5 days have been a little off. Chris's uncle passed away unexpectedly on Thursday night so we had a lot of family time over the weekend and Monday. Which is what you need to do during this time. Chris is gone this week with the Boy scouts camping for scout camp. So I'm hoping to get a few things done while he's gone. I think I'm finally rested up from the long few days we've had. I could've gone camping with them but camping is just not all that fun when you're pregnant. Getting up multiple times in the middle of the night while camping just isn't fun. But I am going to go up on the Fourth and spend the night. They are only about an hour and half away but I don't want to drive over the big mountain late at night. So that's what I'm currently up to! Be sure to head over to Farley's and check out everyone else's currently. Be sure to leave some comment love!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Lovin Summer and Creative Teaching Press!

I am loving summer! This week is the first week that I've really felt like I was on Summer break. At least the day to day summer break where I'm home. We have been out of school for about 3 weeks and starting this past Saturday was the first time, I've really been home. Monday was such a great day. I had my quiet time in the morning, went for a bike ride, ran a few errands, cleaned my kitchen really good, had lunch with some friends, met a friend for coffee, and then even fixed dinner. It was wonderful. Who knew that things like cleaning something really well and fixing dinner would make me so happy. Part of it is that I'm actually feeling pretty good. The first trimester was pretty rough for me. I think I only cooked once or twice the whole time. So needless to say, Chris is pretty happy I'm feeling better. The rest of the week has been pretty great too. It is just nice to have time to do things.  I saw this pin on pinterest today and thought it was perfect for how I was feeling.
Someone happened to mention yesterday how many weeks were left of summer. I won't speak of it here because it was unwelcome conversation. I still have a lot I want to accomplish. Mainly I need to get everything out of our guest room so we can turn it into a nursery. It is no small job. But I want at least that much done before school starts because once school starts it is going to be hard to do it.
So my brain hasn't really been on school this summer but I got this amazing package from Creative Teaching Products on Tuesday. (It was my birthday and that was a great surprise.)
Here is a snapshot of what I was sent. It has got me thinking about what I want to do with it all.
I am pretty excited bout these library pockets in chevron. There are large and small ones. I am not sure what I'm going to do with the large ones. They are 6" by 9". But the small ones, I think I'm going to use them for the kids to pick their daily 5/literacy centers for the day. What I'm envision is putting the choices on the pocket and then they can use popsicle sticks to make their choice. I haven't quite figured out what choices I want the kids to have yet. I loop with my kids and last year we did literacy centers but usually in first grade, I do a little more Daily 5. I do know I want to give the kids some choice.

I'm also loving these welcome postcards. I plan on writing notes to my students and either mailing them or leaving them on their desks when we have registration day. The nameplates are pretty self explanatory. We can't get in our classrooms until the first Monday in August and school starts on the 15th so I'm a little nervous about that. This is the first year I won't be able to start working in my room in July. So I'm glad to have this great chevron computer paper to work on welcome letters and other aspects of our notebooks so I can get some things done at home.

These 2 inch and 1 inch chevron stickers are amazing. I will definitely do some crafting with these this summer. I can combine these with the cool chevron posters they sent me. So be looking for a Monday Made it using all these materials. Another task I can do at home while watching Netflix or whatever Chris has picked, is to get all these letters punched out. I'm so excited. They sent my 4 packs of these chevron letters so I can redo all my headers for bulletin boards and update them with chevron. (Four Inch Chevron Letters)
This is the item I think I'm the most excited about. Book Buddy Bags. I am so excited to try these out with my kids. They seem to be made of really heavy plastic and I think they'll be perfect for the kids to keep their Read to Self books in. I think I'll probably make a label with the kids' names on them so I can use them for kids as they come and go. (As we know they will)
They sent me some other great stuff that I'll be using the decoration of my room.
Birthday Crowns

Jack O' Lantern Jumbo Stencil border

Birthday Mini Bulletin Board Set

Poppin Patterns Pennant Border
Mini Hexagon Border

I'm really excited to update my birthday board. I've had the same one up for the past 3 years and it's fine but not as cute as I would like. Updating the borders on my bulletin boards will be fun too. I love all the bright colors.
I might be a little biased because I've really enjoyed being an exclusive blogger for Creative Teaching Press and they are great to work with. But check out their stuff for back to school! I would love to hear what you would do with some of the products that I received. Like the letter stickers, large library pockets and borders. I'm starting to think a little bit about school. Although, I don't know what I'm going to do with all this stuff until I can bring it to school. My usual dumping ground is the guest room I need to clean out. I better get off this computer and get my bike ride in. Today my friend Cassie and I start our library/reading program. I'm so excited about it. What do you love most about summer?

Monday, June 23, 2014

Monday Made it - Sunday School Style

I said last week that my blog might take a turn towards the more personal and not as much school related material since it was summer and my brain was elsewhere. During the summer, I also find myself more involved with church and the activities we have going on there.  My husband and I are very involved at our church. It was definitely one of the things that drew us to each other when we first started dating. I was involved with the youth and had a girls ministry at the church I attended and he was involved in the youth and so much more at his church. God really works in amazing ways. When I met Chris, I was in need of a change and started going to his church. I loved the youth that I worked with at my church but they were graduating when I made the change. I feel so honored to get to see the things that God can do in the lives of the youth at both churches. I have been lucky enough to work with some fantastic kids and God continually challenges me to do more. One of the areas that he has been challenging me in is writing my own curriculum for our children's church. I have been helping once every other month with children's church. Our Children's church is during the regular service and for grades K-2. The curriculum we use is not bad but the teacher in me sees where it could be improved. I would love for our kids to get a firm foundation in the stories of the Bible and then move on to some of the deeper things. I'm not sure that what we use now builds on each week. Well, I was presented with the opportunity to create some activities to go with the lessons. So I thought I might share them once a week on my blog. I created another blog last summer to write about my faith but it just too hard to keep up with it. I am sure that I'm not the only teacher out there who finds themselves teaching in their church as well. So hopefully, you will find these posts helpful. I feel like it is something I'm being nudged to do.
So a couple of weeks ago, the focus of the lesson was about the Holy Spirit. The passage to focus on was from John chapter 14. In this passage, Jesus talks with the disciples about how he is leaving but the Father is sending  a gift. The gift is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is there to guide us and to teach us. In this passage, Jesus also talks about how he lives in the Father and the Father lives in him. This passage helps give us the Holy Trinity. So I created a craft to go with the idea of the Trinity.
There are three hearts and each heart represents a different part of the Trinity. Have the students write or draw a picture of each part. Then they cut out the hearts and put them together to make a clover. There are direction included in the file. Check it out here.  Here's a screenshot of the file.

So I'm linking up with Tara at Fourth Grade Frolics for Monday Made it. Hopefully I'll be back next Monday with a craft I've completed. Since I've only been home for about 2 days, I haven't gotten any crafts completed yet. Be sure to head over to Tara's blog and check out the other what everyone else has going on this Monday.

Fourth Grade Frolics
I would love to hear if this kind of post is something you might be interested in and if you use it. I guess if you aren't interested, you could leave a comment but I'm pregnant and it doesn't take much to make me start crying.