Wood Backgrounds

Saturday, September 12, 2015

First Week Books & a few Classroom Updates!

Well I think it's about time to get back to this blogging thing. I started my fifth year of teaching a month ago and I'm blessed to still love my job everyday. I love the first few weeks of school and all the fun activities we get to do. Here are some of the books that I use. 
Mouse's first day of school and I went walking.  We use the later to take a tour of the school and then write about what we saw when we went walking. 

This one is my absolute favorite.  Max Lucado tells a wonderful story about how the more we trust in The Father's love the less we care about others thoughts of us. 
This rhyming book is one that discusses the excitement of school and making new friends. 
First Day Jitters is a classic and must be read while drinking Jitter Juice. 

I also make number posters with my group every year! They love making me draw funny pictures like 5 swirls, 7 helicopters, or 11 swords. 
This year brought a few changes to my class library.  I made some new labels for my leveled books and my genre boxes. 

My dad also helped me build this great window seat. I added some blue cushions to sit on top and the kiddos love getting to read in this reading corner!! 
I'll be back soon with another update! 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

A little DIY!

So I was thinking...craft projects are such a good way to de-stress, and I needed that break this summer! My classroom got new cabinets this summer so I wasn't allowed into my room until about a week or so before school started. So after I got back from the Philippines, I had some extra time on my hand and needed to focus on something other than school. I moved into an apartment when I got back and started the adventure of living by myself. I worked hard to make my apartment feel like home and wanted to share a few fun projects! 
I searched pinterest for a fun coffee table and came upon this pin.

Crate Coffee Table.   Love how versatile this coffee table is. It is easily moved due to the locking wheels, also it serves as a great little storage space. You can also change out the center piece, whether it be flowers, potpourri, or Holiday decorations.
 I loved the idea but decided I wanted mine to be a little bit bigger. So I headed to Michaels and bought six of these wooden crates. They are only about $14 and did you know Michaels honors Hobby Lobby's 40% off coupons. This thrifty crafter loved the good deal. ArtMinds Wood Crates Carry All
I took a couple of days to sand and stain these crates before combining them into a fabulous table. I used Miniwax Jacobean stain to give the perfect color. I used 1 inch screws to connect the 6 crates together into the design shown below. 

I added a rectangle frame to the bottom made out of 2x4 for durability, then added 4 furniture legs from Lowes. Ta Da, what do you think??

 My next project was a photo wall. I had frames from previous projects and display to use. They all started with a coat of spray paint primer. I matched the colors in my throw pillows to give the room more color. After painting the frames I laid out the frames in the design I found suitable. I placed them on a layer of newspaper and traced around each frame. 
 After measuring and marking the hanger of each frame I taped the paper to the wall making sure it was level and centered. Then I simply placed a nail in each marking. After removing the paper, I hung the frames on the wall. 
 I loved how it turned out! Now I just need to add the pictures of my precious Filipino kiddos. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A as in Apple! Anchor Poster Happy in Grade 1!

I hope everyone has gotten back into the routine of school. My kiddos are working hard each day to remember our expectations and daily routines, as well as learning lots of new skills. We started our phonics skills progression two weeks ago. We focused on short a the first week and then short a word families the next week. Each new vowel I am making an anchor poster to display in the room. The kiddos came up with all of the words and then I added the pictures. Anchor charts are such a great visual for our kiddos to remember all the skills they learn each year. 

Last week I let the firsties make their own anchor charts using our short a word families. They worked in groups to come up with words for their posters and then added pictures to match. They really enjoyed getting to learn these word families in a fun and interactive way! 
 Our next chart focused on text-to-self connections. I borrowed some ideas from my Pinterest board of anchor charts and helped the firsties learn how to connect what they are reading to themselves. My class is doing Whole Brain Teaching this year, so we "Mirrored and echoed" that a text to self connection is when I connect a text to something I've done, something I've felt or something that's happened." My kiddos love earning the points from the Whole Brain system. I would encourage all teachers to look into this fun way of learning. Look out for another post centered on WBT. 

I changed up our "Me on the Map" unit activity this year, and with the help of some examples from Pinterest I created this one page flip chart activity! My kiddos loved getting to find their place on the map and draw them holding the world! 

We also learned about the community we live in and who all helps out. I passed out these cute photos of community helpers and let my firsties discuss what each person did to help our community. We then recorded our thoughts and added some more helpers that were not pictured! 

Check back soon for our short i anchor chart and tips for Whole Brain Teaching! 
~Miss A