Monday, August 25, 2014

Peek at My Week: Week Two

So, our first week of home school has come and gone.  There were successes and challenges and many I-will-do-this-different-next-time moments.  Which seems pretty par for the course when it comes to first weeks.

My biggest struggle was a personal one: the realization that I am not in a classroom mandated by government laws and rules anymore.  Believe it or not, that's a hard mentality to shake.  After so many years of doing it this way or that way because someone said I had to, I am really having to rewire my brain to be like: Sister, you don't need any time fillers so that you can assess or collect data or DIBEL or whatever. You can, quite literally, TEACH.

Clouds parted, birds began to sing, and a rainbow arched clear across the home school room in that moment of clarity. That deep, cleansing breath didn't happen until Thursday, though, when I was trying to have Beckham do something that wasn't age-appropriate.  He was frustrated.  I was frustrated.  I had to call in reinforcements and  #teachermomfail  We both recovered and Friday went much better.  

So, this week, you're going to see some repeats from last week in my plans.  And, it's cool because y'all are the only ones who are going to see them :)

 >> To view the product or activity, simply click the picture or product cover <<

I'm linking up with Deedee at Mrs. Wills Kindergarten for her Peek at My Week linky!  Link up and/or go check out some other amazing plans!

Happy Monday!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Our Home School Classroom Reveal and a Frameable Art Freebie!

Hey, y'all!

I am so excited to share our home school classroom with you today!  It's been a lot of fun to rethink traditional classroom decor in exchange for a design that would work in our home, inspire learning, and be a place that we wanted to be in several hours five days a week.  I feel like I've accomplished just that, and - truth be told - it's now the place I want to drink my morning coffee, too!  

Without further ado...

Welcome to our Home School Room!
Curtain rods, curtains, striped rug, LOVE sign, and all pillows (except bus pillow) > Homegoods
Sisal rug > Rugs USA
Sofa > Joybird
Chalkboard > vintage farm find (a la American Pickers!  Seriously!)
Bankers lap > Target
Heart with wings mobile > Darlybird
Rainbow Striped Blanket > boutique in Leland, Michigan

Desk and ottoman > Target
Book holder > Homegoods (repainted and Cameo-ed by moi)
Wooden heart > Homegoods
Desk caddy > Scholastic or Highlights freebie with order! I don't remember!

8x8 Frames > Get Smart Products
Frameable Prints > by moi (read to the bottom for a *SURPRISE*!)
Oversized Pencil > Rakuten
Bulletin Board > yardsale
Small M > Hobby Lobby (painted gold by moi)
Middle-sized M > Hobby Lobby
Large M > Joann Fabric

Too much to list on these shelves!  If you want to know where something specific is from, leave me a comment!  

Now - just a moment to get all sap-happy.  I just wanted to say thank you, thank you, thank you SO much for your support over the past several years.  Whether you said a prayer for our family, reached out on social media, sent an encouraging note or email, left a comment, visited this blog, or purchased something from my shop, THANK YOU!  I owe an extreme debt of gratitude to my online community and am ever grateful for your support and kindness.  You don't even know how much I mean that.

Now, let's hug. 

>> squeeeeeeeeeeeze <<

As a small token of appreciation, I have listed all of the inspirational 8x8 quotes you see pictured in the frames above free in my TpT shop.  Zero dolla.  Until I can meet each one of you and make that hug thing happen in real life, this will have to suffice.  Please feel free to share with your coworkers and non-teacher friends :)

Click the pic below to snag a copy.  {Printing Tip: I printed mine in color on cardstock from Staples and they turned out amazing!  I think it was under $15 for all 20.}

I hope you enjoyed the tour!  I'll be back with my Peek at My Week tomorrow.  Late...per usual!

Happy Sunday!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Random Teacher Tips & Tricks!

This is a completely random post.  If you don't need random teacher tips and tricks, scroll to the bottom for cute baby picture ;)

Task cards found >>> HERE.  

 The Vowel Song found >> HERE.  

 Glue Vowels found >> HERE.  
Center in a Minute playing cards found >> HERE.  

Guiding Firsties Math Unit found >> HERE

And, your cute baby pic.  You're welcome.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Meet the Teacher | First Day of First Grade

First, here's 10 random facts you may or may not know about me.  I'm an open book, for the most part, so my list may or may not repeat itself in the archives from Meet the Teachers of the past.  {PS.  I'm linking up with Blog Hoppin' for Teacher Week!  Check it out!  And, yes, I am a day late on this particular linky.  Story of my life.}

And, now, onto our First Day of First Grade.  Which is officially over, and it went surprisingly well. I say that because I was anticipating the transition from mommy to teacher to not be the easiest on either of us.  However, he showed up dressed and ready at 7am, with plenty of time to wake up and watch an episode of Chima before the school bell rang.   We didn't finish everything in my plans, but that seems only natural on the first day of school.  I was always significantly over-planned for the first week of school when I was in the classroom, so I expected as much today.  Our Storybook Bible just arrived in the mail this afternoon, so I hope to begin that tomorrow.  

I started off by introducing this schedule to him.   If you don't post your daily schedule in your classroom for your students, I highly recommend it.  It was very helpful for him to know what to expect and to mentally prepare of whatever activity was coming next.  Kiddos appreciate the structure and sequence.  {Ignore the times.  I made this as a loose guide before finalizing my lesson plans yesterday.}

Next was morning work taken from my Handwriting Makes Me Happy sight word handwriting pack.  I introduced some of these over the summer, so they weren't entirely unfamiliar, but he was a little rusty.  No big deal.  Tomorrow, I will introduce him to three of the handwriting tasks associated with this activity.  We have all year to learn ;)

Since we didn't get a chance to do our Scripture Study, it was on to our first Brain Break!  HE. WAS. SO. EXCITED. about these! Again, knowing that Break Breaks were on the horizon after he completed something was very helpful in keeping him on task today.  Tomorrow could be a different story, but it worked today!  I introduced him to Go Noodle and he was hooked instantly.  In fact, he preferred to revisit the site for subsequent Brain Breaks, too!

Calendar Math was courtesy of Cara at The First Grade Parade.  We completed his Calendar Binder insert together and probably will do it hand-in-hand for the rest of the week.  I crossed the things out that we aren't ready to use yet (i.e. money, expanded notation, number sentence, etc.), and concentrated on being able to read the calendar to locate the date, month, day of the week, and year.  

This week, for spelling and phonics, we are concentrating on reviewing vowels.  If you don't own The Teacher Wife's cute little Glue Vowels resource, you *must* download it...FOR FREE!  We LOVE it.  Such an excellent visual for young learners and excellent way for the concept to stick.  Pun completely intended ;)

For word work, Beck sorted through our magnetic letters and separated consonants from vowels on our steel boards.  I love these things.  {They're also featured in Becks' bedroom >> here.} You could totally use them in your classroom by adhering them to the wall/door/wherever with 3M velcro strips, which is exactly what I did.  You can purchase them at Hobby Lobby or Michaels for around $8 a piece if you have a coupon.  

Another amazing freebie we used today is courtesy of Lisa at Growing Firsties!  Her Vowel Song is sung to the tune of Deck the Halls, and was the first addition to Becks' poetry journal.  He's busy decorating it below.  

Our math curriculum is courtesy of Deedee and Deanna, whom I love and adore for making this amazing resource.  Well, I love them anyway, but they really thought of everything when they developed Guiding Firsties.  Today, we found patterns in our subitizing cards.  Someone was a little too excited to use wax sticks that we had to spend a few minutes exploring them.  He is making a person below ;)

Well, more to come tomorrow!  Or the next day!  I'm exhausted.  This teaching stuff is H-A-R-D!  

But, it's good to be back.  With my favorite pupil ever :)

Monday, August 18, 2014

Why We Didn't Start School Today & My Weekly Plans :)

Now, more than ever, I really believe the good Lord is trying to teach me to live in the moment.  

Case in Point:

I had my whole weekend mapped out: planning, planning, planning!  I was so excited to sit down and sort through my material to plan for our upcoming first week of home schooling.  And then, lo and behold, Saturday morning happened.  

If you don't follow me on Instagram @babblingabby, here's the excerpt that accompanied the picture above:

This is Faith's central line. I tripped over her IV tubing yesterday morning and pulled it right out of her chest and dislodged its placement internally. We spent much of the day in the ER and then were admitted to the floor overnight. She'll have surgery today to remove what remains inside and to place a new one. I feel HORRIBLE. It didn't hurt her, but it's still another hospital stay and another surgery. B has been the best - calm when I was freaking out, trying to quickly clamp the line while she was bleeding, and so quick to offer me grace for my careless mistake. I don't write this for sympathy - I know that mistakes happen and that Faith is totally fine - but in case you, too, need a reminder tonight that His mercies are new every day. I've been playing this verse on repeat today because I needed it. Great is His faithfulness. #lamentations323 #newmercies #grace #stupidcentralline

So, yup, we spent all weekend at the hospital.  Faith had surgery yesterday and we're home now.  

So much for starting school today.  Gah.

But, I did finally get a chance to plan this morning!  A couple things to note:

A) It's amazing how one (i.e. ME) quickly forgets how intensive it is to plan!

B)  There are a bajillion and forty-seven amazing activities I want to cram into each and every day.  When I left the classroom, I still feel like TpT was in its infancy!  Now, I'd need about five additional days each week to do all the amazing activities there are out there.  

C) I am SUPER SCARED about home schooling!  Like, I could royally mess this all up!  

D)  It is 6:29pm and I haven't showered today.  Heaven help me.  ETA: It's now 10:35pm, and I have showered.  Amen.  

But, alas, here are my plans that I intend to start tomorrow.  Bedtime is scheduled for 8pm tonight and we are going to do the dang thang starting tomorrow.  My plans are COMPLETELY subject to change, but I needed something to go by.  And, I can already tell you I left a few things off.  Such is life.  

>> To view the product or activity, simply click the picture or product cover <<

We need a better name than Mullins' Academy.   Booooooooring.  If it were up to Becks, we'd be something like Lego-Ninjago-School-for-Ninja-Turtles-and-Avengers.  For real.

Oh, and if you want to check out some other amazing weekly plans, check out Mrs. Wills' Kindergarten and her Peek at My Week linky! 

Well, I guess I better get to bed.  First Day of First Grade is TOMORROW!  Aaaaaaaaaaah!

Night :)