Wood Backgrounds

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 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Back to School I Go! A Look at my Room!

School's back and I am done with day 2. Only 178 more to go!! Just kidding, I am so excited about this upcoming year. I've already gotten some chances to share my faith through some great books and our All About Me time. The Lord has blessed me with a great job and a chance to mold young minds. I hope that I can share God's love to them daily and to the parents. 

I had a fantastic time in the Philippines this summer and was not ready to get back, but after meeting my new 15 kiddos I am reminded how much I love my job! I have some precious new friends, and was excited to show them my classroom over the past few days. This summer all the classes on my hallway got new cabinets. We had to take EVERYTHING out of our room, so when I came back in July I got to change up my classroom a little bit. See what you think! 

 I added my three metal shelves to my classroom library in order to make a more secluded reading area.
 New reading area, meant new book box labels. I made these with some fun, free fonts and graphics. I have my books divided by genres, characters, and guided reading levels. 

 Meet the teacher was on the Tuesday before school started and I was just "BUBBLING" to meet all my new friends! 

I found this great box rack at the local thrift store for $7!! I added it to my math section to hold all of the manipulatives! I am going to use the clear cart for Math games/centers and the three drawer cart for extra math storage.  

Making their debut are my new cabinets on top and cubbies on the bottom! I am also starting using book baskets this year. I'll store them all on this back counter! The cubbies hold all of my ELA and Math games as well as craft supplies.  

Calendar is not part of first grade Common Core, but I still enjoy doing it daily so I kept this board up and added my big bookshelf in front to display unit books. My favorites are ready to share this month: You are Special and Because I Love You by Max Lucado, First Day Jitters, The Giving Tree,  and Berenstain Bears Go To School! 

 This fun pinterest idea was made possible by my find at Tuesday Morning! Although I did find out that you can find them at Really Good Stuff!! They are dry erase marker ready and we will use them for making words as well as math problems. 

I moved my job chart closer to my table this year, so I would always know which helper I needed to call. I made the name tags out of paint chips. I cut them using the paper cutter and just wrote their names on top. They are hanging on 3M hooks. 

 Another Pinterest idea was this fun Birthday hanger. The one I saw was made of wood but I just used cardboard and foam! I think it will also be a fun way to talk about graphs too! 
Last, but certainly not least, I got RID of my FILING CABINET! I was really nervous at first, because of the amount that can be stored in these cabinets, but I love how the shelf turned out. I put everything in binders. For the items that wouldn't fit in a binder I put them in hanging files inside the plastic crates on the left wall. 

I hope everyone else has had a great start to school, I can't wait to share all the fun activities we are working on!! 

~Miss A 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Learning to Be Still and How to do School... PI pt One

So I was thinking...
preschoolers are exhausting. I've been in PI for nine full days and haven't had a chance to sit down and write because I couldn't keep my eyes open. KIM (Kids International Ministries) runs a Christian school that serves Kindergarten - Grade 9. They also run a pregnancy clinic that serves the local women with time in the word, vitamins and food to strengthen them during their 9 months. Last year, a group of us were talking with Jeff(the founder) about how was KIM serving the children in between ages 2-5. He challenged us to think of how to do this and we decided a preschool was needed to help the children and their parents in raising children in the Word and "breaking the cycle of poverty" through education. Jeff got started on his end and the building of the Early Learning Center began about a year ago. We arrived on June 12th and with the help of the director, a woman named Jenn, we started classes on the 15th. These classes bring together the community children and the children in the nursery of the Children's Home. The first two days were crazy, teaching the children routines and practically how to do school(sit in seats, line up, wait, share, etc.) It got better throughout the week and I'm excited to see how it grows over these next two weeks. Please pray for Eugene and Mary Cris, the PI teachers, that are on this adventure with us. 

Here is a video of the first few days

Our group also had the privilege of taking a group of PI teenagers from Journey of Hope to see HillSong United. It was such a fun experience to sing praise to Christ with 12,000 others. 

I've also been able to go to some local churches in downtown Manila the past few days and a community girls Bible Study. I've been very convicted to memorize more scripture and truly know God's Word in my heart. I'm working on being still and resting in the presence of the Lord in worship, in prayer, in preschool, in playing with the children at the Orphanage. I'll keep you posted:)

If you would like to join me in prayer, here is my current list:

- For God to open hearts to reveal His Powerful Love
- For the local people to rely truly on the sovereign Lord and not on idols
- For Baby Lexie, the newest child at the children's home(6 days old) to recover from pneumonia
- For the PI government to release the shipping container that holds tons of supplies
- For myself to be fully in the Word and memorizing scripture
- For safety for our team going down to Tacloban to build houses on Monday, that through their love for God people will God's Love


Monday, June 9, 2014

A Quick End of the Year Recap

So I was thinking, I'm so happy it's summer! I love my kiddos, but I was in need of a break! Here is a quick review of what we have done since early APRIL! Can you believe I've been away from the blogworld for that long! 

My class fell in love with poetry this year, we made acrostics, lists, and diamante poems for days! These were my favorites. They wrote about a specific topic and then put on a shape that matched. 

 I am so happy to announce that our plants GREW! We sang "Let it Grow" to them from our favorite movie of the moment. We also studied seeds and freshwater plants with our snails and guppies. We made the large flowers using nouns and adjectives on the petals and then writing a sentence on the stem. 
At the end of the year we reviewed all writing types (narrative, informational, and opinion). The last week of school we wrote an opinion piece on our favorite candy. I told the kiddos that if their writing was out of this world I would get them their favorite candy. With the incentive of sugar, my kids got straight to work and did outstanding work! 

 Word Shout became one of our favorite small group games. We would take 3 of the dice and practice CVC words before testing and then write sentences with those words. 

I'm headed to the Philippines on Wednesday!! TCBY made this delicious mango ice cream that I enjoyed, but can't wait to go get some fresh mango from the mango trees! 

Check back soon with a blog about the Philippines, I promise to do better keeping people updated! 


Friday, April 4, 2014

Five for Friday...April 4

1. We preformed surgery today in Room 105. Contraction Surgery! Dr. Apostrophe came to visit and helped us combine two words to make a contraction. 

2. 67 days till the Philippines!

3. We are studying plants next week and we are going to try to recreate these fun Science Writing activities about the life cycle of plants. 
Life Cycle of Plants {20 Activities & Foldable Flower Proj

4. I'm headed to ATL tomorrow for the cutest little niece's baptism. 

5. We started playing domino train this week in math for extra practice seeing number patterns. My kids are loving this fun addition to our math rotations. 
Image:Play Mexican Train Domino Game Step 2.jpg

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Currently April

Hey! Happy April 1st/April Fools Day!
Luckily my kids were great today and no big pranks! I'm linking up with Oh' Boy 4th Grade for my first 'Currently'! 

Listening: I love NEEDTOBREATHE, they are on my running mix!

Loving: We are having great weather this week with the temp in the 70s everyday. Longer recess ahead!

Thinking: Currently trying to find a great price for my flight to the Philippines in June to work with Kids International Ministries!

Wanting: someone who will do my grad school work! Any takers.....

Needing: Writing is so subjective to grade. We are working with Lucy Calkins Units of Study on Opinions, any tips would be appreciated.

Last Day: May 23, only about 8 weeks left!
Hours: My kids come into my room at 7:40, when I taught in Auburn they came at 7:15! I like to get there at least 20-30 minutes early to reflect on the calm before the first grade storm!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Six for Saturday

Hello, Hello. I seem to be blogging monthly lately, so here we go! Grad school has been taking up most of my time as well as I am trying to create lots for my TPT store. Here is a quick Six for Saturday list, since I obviously missed Friday. I have a good excuse though, I have been on SPRING BREAK! That much needed week that all of us teachers secretly count down for! 

1. My mom, aunt, bro, sis & most adorable niece loaded up the car and headed to NC to see my amazing almost 84 year old grandmother. She is incredible and we all loved getting to see her for a couple of days. We also got to teach her how to use her new IPHONE 5C. Yes, I know, my grandmother is cooler than yours. She is learning how to Skype and FaceTime and loving every minute of getting to catch up with us. 

2. February - this month was full of fun activities but we saved the best for the 14th. My kids decorated cereal boxes at home for their treats, check out the Lego one, isn't it adorable. I handed out hand made "Valentine, I think you're a Star(burst)!" valentines and we made a pie graph using MnMs. We also wrote about someone/something we love.
- I LOVE GOD, because he gave me everything I needed. 
- I love Miss A because she is nice. 
- I love my FAMILY! I love my mom because she lets me help cleaning the house. I love my Dad because he's funny!

2. We had an E-day(students work online) on President's Day so we made these fun George Washington faces when we came back. Most of them have the fact about him glued to the back. We LOVED learning about his teeth since it was also Dental Health Month. By the way, did you know George was an AUBURN fan?? WAR EAGLE! (2nd pic)

3. We had a visit from our friend, LeRoy the Leprechaun this March. We spent the morning graphing the marshmallows out of Lucky Charms and then LeRoy left us a scavenger hunt in the afternoon! A lot of my kids were giving up candy for lent, so LeRoy was kind enough to leave us green bouncy balls for a treat! 

4. We studied US Symbols a few weeks back. My school's high school team was in the state championship game, so I had a day where about 5 of mine checked out. I decided to let them choose a symbol and make a poster about it.  The only direction they had was to name the symbol and put somewhere what it represented. I think they did a fabulous job, don't you?!

5. Like I mentioned earlier, I am working hard to get my TPT store going. I spent this winter creating long vowel worksheets for our interactive notebooks. We started these notebooks in January as a fun way to cover the skills we were working on in a fun way! My kids have loved the activities, maybe yours will too! 

6. We are headed back to the Philippines in 3 short months! I will be spending a month there and can not wait to see my sweet PI friends again! Please pray that God will open the hearts of the people we come into contact with this summer!