Back To School Blog Hop With the Primary Pack

Our hop is a 3…2…1… BACK TO SCHOOL BASH because each member of The Primary Pack will be giving you 3 teacher tips, 2 giveaways (one on each of our blogs and one BIG one on the Primary Pack), and 1 freebie!

To enter our BIG giveaway, you need to head over to THE PRIMARY PACK first! As you "hop" through each of our blogs, you will collect a letter from each of us… 28 total. Those letters spell out a secret code that you need to enter our BIG giveaway! You will use the secret code to enter the rafflecoptor on The Primary Pack at the end of the hop.

You need to collect the letters from us IN ORDER, so please make sure that you start from the beginning of our hop. Click on the button below to head over to THE PRIMARY PACK and start our BACK TO SCHOOL BASH!!

Here are some things I wish I knew when I was first starting out...

Planning and prepping in advance is SO SUPER important.  I know how hard it is to stay ahead and up to date with all we are expected to do, but being ready for the lessons a few days ahead goes a long way - especially if things change or the unexpected comes up.  

Don't forget that you need time.  Yes, your classroom and all that comes with it is important, but it is NOT everything.  You have family and friends and as easy as it would be to become TOTALLY immersed in your teaching life, you MUST make time for all of the other things that make you YOU!

This is more of just one of my favorite beginning of the year products that I purchased a few years ago.  It's great to help kids remember what the directions are and what order they need to be done in.  

Find the full set HERE.  

As a group we are offering an AMAZING BTS prize for one lucky winner - a Silhouette Cameo!  Enter when you head over to the Primary Pack to begin or end the letter collecting!

I am also offering a $10 shopping spree to my store!  Enter using the Rafflecopter below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out this freebie to get you started getting to know your kiddos!

Find the Freebie HERE!!

And...Don't forget to grab the letter to add to you secret code!

Find the NEXT letter...

The First Week of School - Activities!

This week I will be chatting with you about the beginning of the year.  My first two weeks of school is all about getting to know each other and teaching routines.  I will share with you a product that I am working on (getting to know you activities for the whole year) and I have some favorites that are from some BIG TIME sellers. 

I always start off the year with some guided discoveries of pencils, markers, crayons, glue sticks, colored pencils, etc – basically everything the kids will be using all year.  Each material gets its own chunk of time. 

To start we talk about what the material is (pencil), where it lives (10 pencils per table bucket), how to take care of it(don’t put it in your mouth, don’t play with the erasers), and really anything else that I think they need to know (I sharpen pencils, not kiddos).  Then we talk about what we can do with it (write letters, draw pictures, scribble, shade).  Then I give the kids this paper and they try it out.

Finally, I use a getting to know you activity to have the kids practice using the material in a classroom sense.  This is the one we did together this year…

This is from one of my FAVORITE packs for back to school by Babbling Abby – check out the links below!

I also started using READY CONFETTI – which was some of my firsties FAVORITE thing about this year (and the parents LOVED it too!).  Read my blog post about it HERE!

Check out my favorite back-to-school packs:

Fun with Firsties by Babbling Abby

Back to School Math and Literacy Fun by Deanna Jump

Thanks for stopping by as always – I hope this has given you some great ideas of how you may want to start off your year.  Keep hopping through the other blogs up this week – There are so many great ideas in this week’s blogs.  

Building Mathematical Comprehension - Chapter #10

Hi Friends!

Welcome to our last weekly chat about Building Mathematical Comprehension.  This week we are all talking about how these strategies fit in to the Guided Math model - which if you read my posts often enough - you will know I love!

There are a few things you need to know about a Guided Math Classroom:  

First of all you need to believe in these tenets: (pages 276-278)
-  All children can learn mathematics.
-  A numerecy-rish environment promotes math learning by students.  
-  Learning at its best is a social process.
-  Learning mathematics is a constructive process.
-  An organized classroom environment supports the learning process. 
-  Modeling and think-alouds, combined with ample opportunities for guided and independent problems cooling and purposeful conversations, create a learning environment in which students' mathematical understanding grows.
-  Ultimately, children are responsible for their learning. 

Secondly, you need to become familiar with the components of Guided Math:
-  A classroom environment of numeracy
-  Math stretches and calendar board activities
-  Whole-class instruction
-  Guided Math instruction with small groups of students
-  Math workshop
-  Individual conferences
-  An ongoing system of assessment

Now that you have all of the pieces of Guided Math and you know how to use the comprehension strategies in math - all we need to do now is put it all together to help make meaning for our students!

Thanks for joining me on this journey - I would love to hear how you are implementing all of this in your room!

My Guilty Pleasure....

Happy Monday Friends!

This week we are sharing all about our guilty pleasures!  

I couldn't decide whether to share one from my personal life or my teacher life, so I decided to share both!

Teacher Life:

I saw this over the weekend - and what can I say -this is me!  I'm not even going back to work until December and I have still been buying, creating, and preparing for the new school year - This LTS has it made!

Do you love school supplies as much as me??

Personal Life:

Much to my husband's dismay - I have been addicted to Big Brother ever since season 2 - even before I started dating him.  

I'm not sure if it's because I have extra time in the summer or if it's just something fun (and mindless) to watch, but every summer it grips me.  

Though I will say this summer has NOT been my favorite!  Anyone else watch?  What are you thinking about this season??

Oh Snap! It's September - Product Preview!

Good Morning!

I am super excited to share with you some goodies from my store for September - including one that is BRAND spankin new!

My team and I started using a Guided Math model last year and LOVED it, but we felt like we needed to check in with kids in a meaningful way - so exit slips are the perfect solution!

The exit slips are organized by month.  I have a Aug/Sept pack and October pack ready to go!  I also decided to make a Growing Bundle, so if you like what you see you can get a whole year for a HUGE discount - especially if you buy now!

I also have this awesome updated word wall for grade 1 in my store.  I love the new digital papers and navy/teal/pink color theme!

Finally, I have been in make over mode with my store.  My grade 2 phonics packs have been the first on the list.  This one would be great for review at the beginning of the year - bonus letters (hall, fluff, etc) and glued sounds (-ang, -unk, etc.)

I have placed all of these items on sale for 20% for today and tomorrow only!!

Find more HERE!

Building Blocks of Back-To-School - Building Relationships

Last week we talked all about getting to know you as the teacher.  This week it is time for us to think about how we can get to know these little ones that we will be seeing everyday for the next 180 school days!  And don't forget getting to know their moms and dads is important too!

Getting to know the kiddos may be the MOST important thing that you can do during the first few days of school!  Of course you need to learn names and faces, but we all know being a teacher is way more than that.   You need to find out what makes each kiddo tick.  What do they like?  What do they HATE?  What motivates them to do better?  Who is their family and what does it look like?  Are they worrying about things at home?  

Now remember Rome wasn't built in a day nor will you get all of your answers day #1 (in fact you may not get many!), but the routine building and getting to know you activities you complete during the first week lay the ground work for building those relationships.  

Here are two popular back-to-school sets that I use in my room.  They have fun getting to know you games and activities for the K-2 set!

Check them out:

Fun with Firsties by Babbling Abby

Back to School Math and Literacy Fun by Deanna Jump

Sometimes getting to know families can be intimidating - it's one thing for me to build a relationship with my firsties, but sometimes their moms and dads make me nervous!  Now that my oldest is headed into Kindergarten I get it!  It's tough on both sides!

My best advise is to communicate!  We always used to make a first week phone call to all families to welcome them and to let them know that their first grader was having a great week (always nice to have a  positive first interaction!).  We found though that since so many of our families worked we were talking a lot more to their voice mail!  Now we send a check in email - works the same way - and we get more interaction back from families.  Bonus is that now your email is in their system, so if they need to get in touch they have no excuses! :)

Good luck with your relationship building - I wish you all of the success in the world!  Please feel free to share some other ideas in the comments!  I am always searching for even better ways to start of the year!

And don't forget to check out what some of my friends have to say about this week's topic...