Wood Backgrounds

Sunday, September 15, 2013

New City, New School...It's About Time for a Post!

Well, I'm behind on posting but better late than never. Tomorrow we will be starting week 5 in first grade! My goodness! It flies by doesn't it? Since my last post I have finished up my classroom and taught 5 weeks of school so here is a quick but long wrap up of the last month!.

Welcome to Miss Anderson's Acrobats
Classroom Reveal!
New Additions:
1. Juggling Jobs
2. Math Board and Focus Wall
3. Clownin' Around Board for "All About Me" and 
3 Rings of Writing Board

 1. Words an Elephant would Never Forget and Family "Trees"
2. I LOVE my new door hanger painted by a sweet friend!

1. I found this cute saying online for our outside bulletin board "No LION, this is great work!"
2. Very proud of my circus tent doorway
3. Classroom, libraries, desks ready for Meet the Teacher and our Class Seal of Approval (where we earn our compliments)

 Auburn Football has started and we are currently 3-0! I got to see a great friend at the first game and the sis at this past week.
Week 33 and she's looking gorgeous! I can't wait to start spoiling my sweet niece!

With the craziness of the beginning of school and the start of another graduate school term I've turned to crafting to relieve some stress. 
 of the "10,000 Reasons" is one of my favorite songs so I took the familiar verse of Psalm 103 and made a burlap canvas this past week. 
 Boosterthon (our school fundraiser) is back. 
Here we are having FUN in our FUN shirts!
We had our first birthday last week! Oh how I LOVE birthdays! The lucky boy got the whole first grade to sing to him!!

Hope you all have a great week!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

It's that time again!

Well, it's that time again! 
If you have been to any grocery store lately you know that school is about to start back! Notebooks, pens, pencils and folders in every color line the aisles beckoning me to pick them up! Is this every teacher's feelings or just mine?

As I mentioned earlier I am moving school districts and will be starting this year at a new school in a new city! After I returned from the Philippines I moved into a house with a great friend and jumped right into classroom mode. It was a major ordeal moving all of my school stuff into a new school but it is slowly coming together. I have spent the last two weeks getting a new room ready and organized and this week I am going through New Teacher Orientation Week since I am in a new district.

But anyway, I always love getting my classroom ready and this year I have a new theme! I LOVED my Hollywood theme but like I said I changed schools and found that someone already had the same theme. So I didn't have to change but my motors started turning and with the help of a few friends I decided to create a circus theme, so this year my class will be:
Miss A's Acrobats!

Here is a small preview of the circus act going on in my room right now!
 I moved everything in at the end of  May (with the help of the parentals, and literally  dropped everything in one spot. So I walked into a room looking like this, only the empty space was filled with desks, chairs and tables. 
These are going to be my new Birthday display. I saw the idea on Pinterest and thought that I would try it out. I found these cute bags at Michaels on sale!! I made the month signs and glued them on and will add tissue paper later.

I bought Thistlegirl designs adorable circus clipart and used them to model my posters that will hang around the room. There will soon be a lion, elephant, and seal to join the kiddos. 

I am going to keep my popcorn word wall but added a focus board! I'm going to call it "The Main Attraction"! I used painters tape to divide the board and will post standards and anchor charts here! (Ignore the desks note, that is for maintenance)

That was just a small tour of what's going on. I'm waiting on the color printer to work so I can print some great things I found this summer that I want to post! Check back soon for more!
Well I'm off to more Teacher Orientation sessions! 
Happy Wednesday!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Let Me See You Smile!-Philippines

May the Lord SMILE on you and be gracious unto you.
Numbers 6:25
New Living Translation

That is exactly what the Lord did for me on this trip to the Philippines. I was very blessed to be able to go back to Manila, Philippines for three weeks from June 5-28 to work with Kids International Ministries and the Lord smiled on me through every single one of these kids and the people we formed relationships with throughout our time there. Last year was our first trip and we knew we had to go back for longer after being so touched by these friends.
 (You can read about it here, here and here.)

My brother was there 2 weeks before my mom and I arrived and we all agreed that this trip was very relational. God revealed his plan for us through each story we heard and each smile we received. 
We were able to be a supportive audience to an amazing woman who shared her beautiful testimony for the first time and learn how God has brought her life full circle from loss  and shame to bringing life into this world by being a midwife.

We were able to love on the precious children in the children's home who have been abandoned by their birth families but who have been placed by their Heavenly Father into a larger (34 children) family who cares and supports them. 

We were able to hear another testimony of the woman who runs the home for unwed mothers. God brought her through this same event 20 years earlier and now has given her the blessing of being a sound voice in these women's lives. 

We were able to feed the hungry through the feeding ministries, encourage the teachers before beginning a new school year, and even help in the pregnancy clinic where woman got to hear their baby's heart beat for the first time. 

God blessed me tremendously this trip through the small everyday aspects of life. 

I smile when I think of the people who work at the Ministry Center and how many laughs we had and how full our bellies were after Malou's desserts.

I smile when I remember the sweet children who would climb up in your lap 
during nightly devotion.

I smile when I remember helping Jenny learn her multiplication facts and the joy and smile on her face when it finally clicked and she could do it by herself.

I smile remembering the songs the kids sang to us, the peoples' faces at every feeding and the laughter of 300 school kids as they began their first day back for a new school year. 

I have a lot to smile about, I've been blessed to grow up in the states with a loving family, a good job, and supportive people in my life, and the LORD continued to SMILE on ME through this trip. I was blessed by the smiles of people who I consider part of my Filipino family, the kids in the home, the workers, the community and the JAZ girls and my smile will be forever changed because of it. 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Five For Friday +1...May 17th

Happy Friday to everyone! This is my last Friday of the school year with my kiddos! Their last day is May 23 and then I get to do a little PD (professional development) on Friday. 

I am happy to be back after a short break away from blog world. 
I added six items to share just to catch you up!

1. I am done with grad school! Well... at least until the fall. As you can see my computer screen was packed with papers and unit plans and I was overwhelmed and exhausted, but keep telling myself how great it will be when I am done and what great things I will have learned. 

2. One of my high school friends got married last Saturday, so I drove home for the wedding and got to spend it with my friend MRN and my momma. I also got to try out my new curling iron (I got one without the clamp) and it was fabulous. 

3. While I was home, I got to enjoy some KRISPY KREME doughnuts! They're my favorite, my family knows me well.

4. I stopped by a thrift store the other day to see if they had any plastic tubs (P.S I'm moving in 12 days) and ran across this gem. I used to LOVE the movie My Girl, I cried like a baby every time. Best Part: 39 cents!

5. Someone asked me to paint a sign for them, and I couldn't resist getting a chance to pull out my sandpaper and paint brushes so I of course said yes! It was a great stress reliever during my grad school finals and I was happy to help her with her Mother's Day gift.

6. So, I have been teaching for two years in my college town and it has been a complete blessing and allowed me to grow so much as a teacher. I am excited to announce though that I have decided to move to Bham for my next step in life. God opened up the doors in Bham and provided a room in my friend's house to live in, and a first grade teaching job and I accepted. As excited as I am about moving, packing has been crazy. Here are some pics of my storage shed at home filling up with all my school stuff, and this is not even half of it!!

Happy Friday!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Why a Teacher? Linky

Thanks Mrs. Reed for this great linky party.

This week's questions:
1.  What made you decide to become a teacher?
I grew up in a family of teachers, professional development happened every night at my dinner table as we heard the latest development in my Momma's classroom. (FYI: Best teacher and Mom I know, Happy Mother's Day!) I always knew I wanted to be a teacher, just refer to my Kindergarten writing that said so; however, in high school I started to question it because when I told people I was going to be a teacher everyone would say "Oh because your mom and sister are" 
Now this is not a bad thing, my mom and sister are the best teachers I know, but I wanted to make sure that this was my choice. So after prayer and reflection I knew this was my path: to mold young minds everyday, teaching about Christ + some first grade standards. 

2. What has been your most rewarding experience as a teacher?
Getting to eat cupcakes on all the birthdays! (jk..well, I am a sweetaholic!)
Last year I had a little boy who came to me not knowing his sounds, needless to say being a first year teacher this made me extremely nervous but God led the way and my little L learned how to read and how to love school. This was a message he wrote me and our reading coach(Mrs. Planz). I still tear up every time I read it. This is why my (35 hour week) turns into 60, because being the best for each student and encouraging them is the reason God made me a teacher. 
3. If you were not a teacher, what would you be?
Not really sure, but here is a list of possibilities:
1. baker
2. missionary
3. interior design
4. children's book author/illustrator
5. stay at home mom (when I find prince charming ha)
6. photographer/crafter

Thanks for dropping in! 
9 more school days! 
24 days till I'm back to the Philippines!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Finally Friday


TGIF!!! It was a long one for this little ole teacher down in the South. Thanks to Kacey for hosting this week in review. 

 1. I got to spend a relaxing weekend at home with my best friend. We enjoyed the sun on a beautiful lake day, however, my skin was not a fan. Applying aloe 3x a day was a daily regimen this week.

2. The Loveliest Village of the Plains shed some tears this week as our beloved Toomer's Corner had to remove our famous Oak trees. Back story: 2 years ago a rival fan poisoned the trees. The university tried to keep them alive but despite their efforts they were removed Tuesday. I ran by before work to take one last picture of this sad event.

"I am sorry, Boy," said the tree," but I have nothing left to give you - 
"My branches are gone," said the tree. " I am sorry...." "I don't need very much now," said the boy."just a quiet place to sit and rest. 
"Well," said the tree, straightening herself up as much as she could,"well, an old stump is good for sitting and resting Come, Boy, sit down. Sit down and rest." And the boy did.And the tree was happy. -SS

3. We studied 3D shapes this week and tower building became our favorite activity. We also played a fun game (made up on the spot) where we would throw the shapes to someone in our circle and then that friend would describe them. Sides, name, vertices. They loved getting to throw the shapes around and now have a very 'solid' understanding of the 'solid' shapes!! Sorry, cheesy.

4. Grad school is NOT my favorite thing I have decided. I am currently blogging to put off writing my 7-10 page paper!

5. Headed home for the little bro's b'day tomorrow. It's hard to believe he is 20! I have talked about our trip to the Philippines multiply times but while we were there my sis and bro-in-law went to Uganda with a group called Sozo. Click the link below to see the great things they are doing below! 

~Peace out!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Let's Get Acquainted!

I found Mrs. Reed's great linky through a fellow blogger and knew I wanted to join this fun adventure. Today's topic is:
Topic: My Classroom
We spend so much time in our classrooms.  It can be like a second home.  We will get acquainted today by sharing three(3) of our favorite areas in our classrooms.
1. I love books! My book center is under my reading loft and this year it grew to another shelf on the side. I think it is pretty substantial for only two years or teaching. I started my collection my senior year of undergrad. I ventured and searched out every thrift store I drove by and stocked up on as many good, quality, books. I also reorganized them into book tubs at the beginning of the year. My book tub labels are in my TPT shop if you want to grab them!

2. I have quite the HOLLYWOOD theme going on in my classroom and it correlates with my behavior chart. I used the very popular Pinterest model of moving up and down a behavior chart. I love this part of my room because it has really challenged my kids to understand that we all can make mistakes but it is how we overcome them that really matters. Also, who doesn't want to make it to "Oscar worthy" performance. I borrowed the idea from Cara and made my own!
3. My word wall and student work board are some of my favorite sights to see during the day. I find that every time I look at it I see the growth my students are making. I have to give credit to the "Produced by" side to my sister who helped me with my theme. My word wall of fame grows throughout the year, although I have to admit that I did a more consistent job adding words last year. If you are a new follower and don't know, this has been a really tough year for me, but I can make it! 

Can't wait to see what next Sunday's topic will be!
~Rachel (Miss A)

Friday, April 19, 2013

Five for Friday 4.3


Good morning to all!
I am relaxing this morning from my lovely couch as our school is out today for our Weather Day! I skipped last week but I am back for a 2 week edition of FIVE FOR FRIDAY!! Thanks to Kacey for this great adventure.
 1. Last weekend my Sunday school class had a fun get together full of great food and fun games. While I stayed away from the ping pong tournament, we did end the night playing Apples to Apples and little ole me WON! It was a great way to end a long school week.

2 & 3. Last week was teacher appreciation week so I am loaded up on all of my favorite things. I will be eating candy for a while before this stash diminishes and my house now is home to about 4 bouquets of flowers. Seeing that I don't have a green thumb I am proud to announce that they are still blooming strong. Don't you wish every week was teacher appreciation week! It's like Christmas in the Spring.

4. Yesterday we took our first grade field trip. It was a beautiful day(unlike today's pouring rain) and we got to visit CiCi's pizza, the fire station, library and ended our day with lunch in the park. At Cici's we got to tour the restaurant and then make our own pizzas! It was a huge hit! The kids had a great time and I can't wait to see if they are still talking about it on Monday!

4.5 We ended our time unit and jumped right into graphing in math. We had a blast collecting data and then compiled it all into a big graphing poster. We used the long sheets of construction paper to display our data, tally charts, pictographs, and bar graphs. We called it 'bookless' math because we didn't open our book all week! In my opinion that is always the best math! 
We took our test this Monday and I loved seeing their Performance Task answers. They had to create 2 graphs and formulate a question. Who is your favorite singer was a popular one, which was surprising because we didn't use that one during the week! 'Talor' Swift was much more popular than Justin 'Beber' winning 9-1. My favorite was when I was a choice. I sing all the time in the classroom but I will be honest I am not good ha! However, to this precious one I could beat out Taylor Swift! Another one of mine listed 'uncle cracker' as an option. I really wanted to ask "How do you even know who he is??" 

5. I made a string art cross and few weeks back and decided to create some other fun things this past week. This time I made the state of Alabama with a heart over Auburn! War Eagle! The string is orange which is even more fitting. I can make any state with a heart over any place so check them out on my Etsy shop!

Happy Weekend!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Five for Friday 4.1

Happy Friday and Happy April!

Can you believe that we only have 33 days left of school?? It is crazy how the time flies!

I'm happy to be back from a restful Spring Break linking up with Kacey from

1. Last week, I took the week off to truly focus on relaxing during Spring Break. My mom and I did visit the teacher store but it was a blast and I was able to pick some things up for our time unit and some great books so we can start our author series.
 2. I was home for Easter and it was a great day to celebrate our RISEN SAVIOR and spend time with family. Here is the brother and me. We were missing the sister and bro-in-law but happy they got to celebrate with their church in ATL.

3.We finished up our flower unit with a fun craftivity, that I am sure I found on Pinterest at some point last year. It is a great labeling activity. We used cupcake liners for the petals, pipe cleaners, sunflower seeds and then colored the rest.
 4. We started our time unit this week and fell in love with this HUMAN CLOCK! All I had to do was draw up some numbers and the kids did all the rest. By the end of the week, they were begging to play and could even set up the game without my help. I gave them 'time cards' (which were just index cards) and had them write down at least 5 times using phrasing like 'half past 4:00 and 2 o'clock" and then they got to create their time. Their hands were the hour hand and their legs were the minute hands! Even though it's not a first grade standard, by the end of the week we were making time to the 5 and 15 minute marks.

5. My week has been non-stop this week because last week I started my Masters program! I have spent most of my free time reading these fun books. Who knew going back to school would be so hard! Happy Friday!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Five for Friday 3.3

It's finally SPRING BREAK for this 1st grade teacher!

1. We are on chapter 9 of Go-Math which is all about Measurement and my kids have LOVED it. I made them each a measurement bag (10 cm cubes, 10 paperclips, 15 unifix cubes) that they use during the day and take home to complete homework. We measured everything in our room from the length of our desk to the height of our loft and the width of our room. Here are some friends using their tools. 
2. As mentioned last week, I went to Nashville over the weekend and had a great time with great friends celebrating St. Patty's day. 
 3. I LOVE 1st grade! I came back in on Tuesday only to find 20 amazing notes about how much I was missed. I felt like a celebrity when my kids came in as well because they acted like they had not seen me in years!
4. I forgot to mention this last week but if you remember my funny story about buying 6 boxes of Lucky Charms you will be happy to know that we used them! We graphed the marshmallows last Friday and then got to eat them during our Friday movie time! We loved "tasting the rainbow"

5. This week we studied flowers and so we watched how colored water moved through celery like it moves through flower stems and made these fun label projects. 
After Spring Break we are making "bunny contractions" and band-aids for our "ow" words. 

Well I am off to my long, much needed break! Happy Friday!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Five for Friday 3.2

Welcome to the Weekend! It's time to recap the week!

 1. We reviewed our vowel teams this week, adding on this week's skill of 'ie' and 'igh'. However, the next day some sneaky little leprechaun feet found their way onto our chart. Lucky the Leprechaun later poured green glitter all over our desks and turn all of our chairs upside down. My kids spent most of their early finisher time 'thinking they heard him knocking on the loft floor' and searching the room for our wee little friend.  They were precious!
 2. We reviewed how to write a friendly letter; I will be out on Monday and they will be writing one so we made this fun anchor chart. I drew it out in black and white and then let my friends color it as a prize for having good behavior! 
 3. We have fallen in LOVE with Jack and Annie from the Magic Tree House series. Last week we made this story plot chart and then this week we are comparing it to "Leprechaun in late Winter." 
4. I have a little boy who came up to me twice this week and just sat there. I asked him what was going on and LN said "Nothing is going on, I just like you" (How precious!) and then gave me flowers he had picked outside. The next time he said " I just like you Miss A, I want to be on your team." I kept talking and found out that he wanted to be on my team for earning points. 

We use the Whole Brain Teaching incentive system where my class earns points when they do great things and then I earn points if we are talking too loud or not following directions. The one at the end of the day with the most wins. The class normally chooses extra center time or a movie and then I normally choose a writing activity if I win. We have a big talk before where I explain them that my activity will always be something that helps us grow smarter but may not always be as fun as a movie. 

Later in the day LN went and added his name "N" to the Miss A column. #firstiefunnies

 5. So this whole year I have been struggling with one little girl who has some behavioral/emotional issues. I've gone through it all but I don't want to go into that. I was encouraged this week by her journal though! She is listening to me!!! I tell her every time she acts up, that I love her and that is the reason that I care about her making better choices. 

"My favorite peopel(person) is Miss A because she is nice. She is a good drawer. I love Miss A because she loves me too. She is 24. She is a good teacher." 

5.1 We started our chapter on measurement this week and started by comparing length and ordering it using the terms longest and shortest. I took this picture mid project. After they cut the string and put them in order they labeled the longest one and the shortest one. Then they had to write a sentence such as "The brown string is the longest. or The tan string is longer than the pink string." They did very well and loved getting to cut their own string and decide its length. 

Happy Weekend, I'm off to Nashville for a much needed weekend with some friends.