Monday, September 1, 2014

Must-Haves for the First Grader!

Hey, hey!  Happy Monday!  And, an even happier Monday because NO SCHOOL.  Amen. 

So, today I thought I would share a little list of Must-Haves for the First Grader.  This is by no means a comprehensive list - just some of our favs!  Maybe you'll snag an idea or two or have a few of your own you'd add.  I'd love to know in the comments!


First up, is an all-inclusive caddy.  Full to the brim of things we use daily.


And, here are a few First Grade Goodies that we couldn't do without.


As clickerific as they can be, we LOVE clickers.  I used to use these all the time in the classroom for segmenting and syllabication.  However, you do have to set up some ground rules - because clickerific can be code word for ANNOYING.  

1) Get all your clicks out for one minute before activity.  Trust me, your kids will LOVE this part because, basically, they get to be clickerific without getting in trouble for one whole minute.  Set the timer and let them click away.  

2) Only click when the teacher says to click.  Anyone who abuses the clickers (i.e. clicks for the heck-of-it or out of turn) gets his clicker taken away and he has to segment/syllabicate with his boring old fingers.  This is a strong incentive to only click when allowed.  

Here's Becks segmenting with a clicker:

If you can tolerate the clicks, add a few to a spelling/segmenting/syllabication center for students to use independently.  By the way, I bought mine years ago at a teacher store.  You'll probably have to ask where they are! {PS.  I got this idea from a *fabulous* first grade teacher when I first started teaching - my Aunt Debbie!}

ETA: Find clickers >>HERE<<.

I've said it before, but we truly love Michelle's First Grade Helper!
Click >> HERE << to grab a copy.

There ya have it!  Some of our favs! 

What are your's?

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Peek at My Week: Week Three!

Um, tomorrow is September 1st.  In case you didn't know.  

Tomorrow, pumpkin everything will explode EVERYWHERE (love), and we'll all lurk in the shadows at Starbucks waiting for the roll-out of the FAMOUS RED SLEEVE indicating that the holidays are closer than further away (also love).  Don't worry, Instagram is sure to let you know when it's out if you miss it ;)  Also, I think pumpkin marshmallows and pumpkin Oreos are hideous.  Leave well enough alone, right?  I mean, they are flavors all by themselves.  I digress.  

So, September is here and that is shocking and relieving all at the same time.  Shocking because the events of the past year are crazy amazing and make me forget that life went on even when it seems like it didn't.  And, relieving because I there's just something comforting and wholesome about the fall months.  I'm ready to embrace that.  Whatever it might look like this year. 

Interestingly, here's a pic taken 52 weeks ago...

And, a pic from today, which I like much, much, MUCH better :)

As far as First Grade goes, here's what September looks like for us:


And, here's my Peek at the Week:

>>Click on Product Covers or Pictures to view activity. <<

I'm linking up with Deedee!  Click the pic below to visit Mrs. Wills' Kindergarten, link up, or scope out some amazing plans!


Happy Sunday, y'all!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Teacher Hack: Trouser Hangers

Poppin' in with a quick little teacher trick tonight!

Trouser Hangers!

Inexpensive, efficient, customizable, and pretty stylish, too :)


PS.  I found them cheapest at TJ Maxx - $5.99 for 5.

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 walk.out.of.the.room.  #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!