Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April Currently

Hello once again and Happy April Fools Day!

I am always in such a good mood the eve of April 2nd.  I love my first graders, but if I have to listen to my students tell me that I am the meanest teacher ever or that I am the worst teacher they ever had and then say, "APRIL FOOLS."  I guess it could be worse and they could tell me that I am their favorite teacher ever and then say, "April Fools!" :). 

I am linking up today with Farley over at Oh Boy Fourth Grade for the April version of Currently.  Here we go:

My son (almost 5) and youngest daughter (2 going on 11) are only two years apart and alike in many, many ways.  Tonight they are arguing about who wants what for their birthdays that are coming up.  Addalyn is teasing Easton about how toys he wanted are "girl" toys and Easton just is having one meltdown after another. 

I am officially signed up for the TpT sellers conference in Vegas this July.  I already know that Vegas in July is like Alaska in January, but so many successful sellers will be there,  Erica Bohrer, Deanna Jump, and Cara Carroll.  Early bird sign up ends Friday if you are interested. 

Being observed tomorrow as well as video taping my math lesson.  I love challenging myself when it comes to teaching and what better way than to have my principal observe me while I am being videotaped :).

We purchased this house in September last year, replaced everything, and now have it listed for rent.  We are in the process of scheduling showings and so far we have had 35 people showing interest.  We have it narrowed down to 3 people. 

The weather in Wisconsin has been rough this winter.  Cold, cold, and more cold.  Each day is the same.  We had two days of 50+ degrees and then today was 30 degrees and 20 miles an hour.  Depressing.........

I am contracted to be at school from 8:00-3:45 each day, but I like to get to school before 7am to make sure I have everything ready and there are not any lines at the copy machine or laminator!  After adding on two make up school days we will get out of school June 12 with students and June 13 for teachers. 

Well, that is all for today.  We have our 120 day of first grade celebration on Thursday and I will be back to post pictures later this week!


Sunday, March 2, 2014

March Currently

I would say that March is coming in like a lion here in Wisconsin.  I cannot remember when the temperature was above zero with the wind chill and when it is above zero we are getting dumped on with a snowstorm.  My children went to play outside today and the younger two got stuck in the snow because it is past their hips.....  I keep telling myself that it can only get warmer, I hope :).

I am a day late, but I am joining Farley over at Oh Boy 4th Grade with this month's currently post:

Duck Dynasty just cracks me up!  I love the humor on the show and how close the family is. 

I just finished up a math packet for TPT for the 120th day of first grade.  Our grade level chose to celebrate the 120th day of school.  This is going to work well for me since our 100th day of school always ended up w/in a day of Valentine's day.  One celebration a month is more than enough for me- Ha :). 
Find this on TPT
I am trying to create all of my Daily 5 centers for next month.  My students need more of a writing focus so I am trying to come up with fun writing activities.  I am also thinking of long vowel patterns, ABC order, noun v. verb v. adjective, and more of a sight word focus than I normally do.  Stay tuned......

We are going on a week of sickness in my household and my middle child still has not been sick yet.  I hope he is still healthy through tomorrow because he is getting tubes in his ears tomorrow morning.  He has had ear infection since December and antibiotics are not helping.  The poor kid cannot hear a thing with all that fluid in his ear.  I am praying this is the answer.
The sickness is 4 days worth of feeling miserable- fever, awful cough, and ear pain.  I am amazed at how little sleep I can actually function on :).

Spring Break is coming in a few weeks and I need that time to get my house in order.  We are close to finally getting a new bathroom!  I am also planning on organizing all the clothes and toys we are getting rid of this summer in a thrift sale. 

Have a great week! 

Friday, January 31, 2014

Five for Friday

I am going to sound like a broken record, but I am once again apologizing for not posting more this school year.  I have this obsession of creating every extension lesson I do and that has taken a lot of my extra time. 

Well, it is Friday and another cold one at that.  I am going to start with my 5 for Friday from Kasey over at  Doodle Bugs Teaching

1.  I cannot believe this weather here in Wisconsin!!  We have been freezing all month.  Only 3 days of school called off this month, but only because we need the wind chill temp to be below -30 before school is called off.  I can honestly tell you that we have had about 10 days where the temp at the start of the day was between -25 and -29.  The other day it got up to 18 above zero and it seriously felt like a beautiful day.  I can only hope that the groundhog does not see his shadow this weekend :). 

2.  I mentioned my obsession with creating products to fit the needs of my current students.  Most of my efforts are towards math since many of my students struggle to get excited about math at the beginning of the school year.  My goal is to make learning and understanding our first grade learning concepts both fun and interactive. 

Pretzels used as sticks of ten and Fruit Loops used as ones to practice adding groups of ten and ones. 

My students loved this game working on a variety of different way to practice fluency in numbers to ten.  I saw this game in from Sandy Atkins and made my own dominos and recording sheets.  I am currently working on a new TpT product that has a variety of interactive games to practice this important concept.  I always send these activities home for parents to play with their child as well. 

3.  My daughter Madisyn has started competing in swim meets this season as a 7 year old.  I have to tell you that I think watching those 8 and under swimmers swim is one of the cutest things ever!  She has a great stroke for a first year swimmer, but will not listen to a word of coaching I have to say, despite the 15 years of coaching I have.......

Game Face!

So nervous for her first race!

Top swimmer

4.  I am piloting a new math program this school year before rolling out this program to the whole district next year.  Has anyone used the newest version of Math Expressions?  This math program is so impressive and best of all covers all the standards of the Common Core.  Our last math program lacked the fact fluency piece and Expressions hits it right where students need it. 

5.  I have posted two new products this past month.  The first product contains 11 ELA activities:

The second product contains 11 Math Centers/Activities all aligned to the common core. 
I am going to continue to post a free product I have created.  This product is a sample of my new Emergent reader product.  This product will help your students practice most of the pre-primer Dolch sight words in a fun and interactive way.  Click on the link below the picture for a sample of this product.   

Happy Friday and find time to enjoy the weekend :).

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Hello? Remember Me?? :)

Hello once again!  I cannot believe it has been 4 months since my last posting.  I have been coaching high school girls swimming and believe it or not, I was a bit busy.  Now that the season is over I am going to list my top five for this last week!

1.  I am going to list all the preps (as in lessons I prep) I do each week.  I am feeling a bit rushed and that there is even less time in a day than usual and cannot figure out why.  I know I have three small children, coach swimming, and my husband is now coaching hockey an hour away, but I have been busy for a while so I decided to list all the activities I prep for each week.  I need your help and feedback!!!  How do you do it all and am I doing too much?  Keep in mind this is only the number of preps and does not include the copying, cutting, or organizing supplies.  I have not added up the minutes I spend prepping activities.  To be honest, I am a bit afraid to see the total number of hours.

-Morning meeting activity (5 preps/week
Math (5 preps/week)
Guided Reading ( 15 preps/ week ; 3 groups each day)
Daily 5 word work (2 preps/week)
Daily 5 Work on Writing (2 preps/week)
Daily 5 Listening response sheet (1 prep/week)
Writing (5 preps/week)
Shared Reading (5 preps/week)
Words Their Way (5 preps/week)
Handwriting (5 preps/week??  Not a lot of prep, but.....)
Social Studies/Science (5 preps/week)
Target Time (intervention block) (4 preps plus 2 preps on Mondays for math intervention during that time)
Interactive Read aloud ( I wish I had time to formally prep every day, but usually I have to try to combine with Shared Reading time.

I total 59 preps/week.  How many preps do you have to get ready for your week?  I am in the school building at least an hour before I need to as well as come in for at least three hours on the weekend.  I am not even going to include the time spent creating activities that I feel my students need........

2.  My oldest daughter started swim team this week.  I have to admit, I am so proud of her and so excited she is loving swimming.  My husband has now given up on her playing hockey and has moved on to Easton. 

3.  My swim team girls qualified for the Wisconsin State Swimming Meet (WIAA) last weekend.  This season was my first season returning to coach girls after coaching boys for the past 9 years.  These girls have never been to state or even believed they were good enough to get there.  Well, they got there and they shocked so many people in our conference and sectional!  I feel like a proud mama!!

4.  Check out what my husband bought.  It is hard to see, but it is in the back part of the yard.

He asked me if I would mind if he set up a batting cage in the back yard.  I agreed, only to find out that the cage is 16' x 72' feet!!!  It is huge and the pitching machine that came with it weighs almost 500 lbs and holds hundreds of baseballs and softballs.   I now know to ask specific details before saying yes to anything :)  He better hope at least one of our three children will play baseball or softball!!

5.  I finally finished two new products for TpT!!  I have a few struggling students in my first grade classroom so I created an Early Emergent phonics-based packet and also an Early Emergent sight word mini book packet.  I used both of these products with my students and both products have progress monitoring tools included.  Click on the link under each title page to see a preview.

Early Emergent # 1
Early Emergent Program # 1

Early Emergent # 2 Sight Word Mini Books

Monday, July 15, 2013

Liebster Award Recipient!!

After checking my email the other day I found out I was nominated for the Liebster award by Sara from Polka Dot Kinders.  I actually had to look up the award to see how I was nominated! 

Ok, so there are some rules to follow when you receive the Liebster award.  They are:

1. Link back to the blog that nominated me
2. Nominate 5-11 blogs with fewer than 200 followers
3. Answer the questions by the blogger that nominated you
4. Share 11 random facts about yourself
5. Create 11 questions for the bloggers whom you nominate
6. Contact the bloggers you nominate and let them know how to proceed

Here are 11 Random things about me.  I really am not that interesting so I hope I can come up with 11!!!! :).

1.  My husband and I were married in Vegas because I wanted to spend money on our mortgage rather than a wedding.
2.  I have three very active children, Madisyn-7 yrs., Easton- 4 yrs., and Addalyn- 2 yrs.
3.  I have been teaching for 13 years, 12 which have been in first grade. 
4.  I have been a high school swimming coach for 13+ years and after a year off I am going back to coach girl's high school this fall.
5.  I am a complete workaholic!  I get very little sleep and do not know how to relax!
6.  I have Celiac Disease and have been eating gluten free for almost 10 years now.  My oldest daughter is also gluten free.
7.  I am a very picky eater and could live on chicken and mashed potatoes. 
8.  I a state finalist for the Presidential Award of Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.  I should find out if I am a national recipient soon!  Winners get to meet the president in Washington, DC. 
9.  We got our first pet last night- A hedgehog!!  It was not my first choice, but I have to tell you it is pretty cute :). 
10.   I have only been on Facebook since April 2013.
11.  Even though I do not cook well, my favorite reality show is Top Chef! 

Now, I get to ask 11 questions:
1.  How long have you been teaching and what do you teach?
-This coming year will be my 14th teaching.  I teach first grade and could not see myself teaching any other grade!!

 2.  What is your favorite thing about teaching?
-I absolutely love seeing the growth students make from the beginning of first grade to the end of each school year.

 3.  What is your favorite dessert?
-I usually pass up desert due to my gluten free diet, but just a simple piece of dark chocolate is good enough for me.  I usually prefer salty snacks over sweet ones.

 4.  What technology do you use in your classroom?
-I have a personal ipad that I will bring in the classroom, but other than that we have a document camera and data projector in our classrooms.  NO smartboard :(

 5.  How long have you been blogging?
-I have been blogging for almost two years now. 

 6.  Do you have a classroom theme?  What is it?
-I have had bright primary colors the last few years, but this year I am going with neon checker patterns.  I created new calendar pieces, word wall set, and table decorations.  I am excited to start something new.

 7.  What is the last good non-kids book you read?
-I have read a lot of professional development books this summer, but I am sad to say I have not read anything else.

 8.  What is your favorite children's book?  Why?
-I love all the Jan Brett books.  Her illustrations are amazing and extension activities and very engaging for my students. 

 9.  What is your must-have school supply?  Why?
-Mr. Sketch markers!!  They just make me happy when making anchor charts :)

10.  If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
-I would love to see Europe, especially Paris.  I visited Switzerland when I was in high school, but did not get to see any other countries.

11.  Where is your favorite place to shop?
-TpT!!  Sad to say, but true.  Between products and clip art TpT is hands down my favorite place to shop. 

Here are my 11 questions for the bloggers I nominate:
1.  If you could teach any other grade what grade would you teach?
2.  If you could choose any other profession what would you choose?
3.  If you have a blog design who was the designer?
4.  Do you spend the most time blogging, on Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram?
5.  Do you think it is easier to have more boys in your classroom or more girls?
6.  What is your guilty pleasure?
7.  What is your favorite season and why?
8.  Has your district implemented The Common Core State Standards?
9.  Do you prefer to teach reading or mathematics?
10.  What is your favorite hobby?
11.  What TV show do you watch that you are a little embarrassed to admit?

And now to the blogs I am choosing to nominate!






Well that is all for today.  I will be back in a couple days to update all of you on my trip to Door County, WI and our new addition to our family :).

Sunday, June 30, 2013

July Currently Post and A NEW BLOG DESIGN!!!

I know I have been MIA for the last couple weeks, but today I am linking up for the first time with Farley over at Oh Boy Fourth Grade for the Currently linky.  A fun way to get to know more about me :).

LISTENING- My oldest child is 7 and can complain like a pro!!  She does not like anything she has in her closet, her dresser, or anything she has stuffed under her bed!!  Believe me,  her grandma buys her more clothes than any other child I know!

LOVING- I am overjoyed that I FINALLY have a colorful blog design.  The credit all goes to Christi Fultz from Designs by Christi.  Please let me know what you think!

THINKING- We have been working every night for the last two weeks on our rental house so it can be ready for our new tenant July 1st.  My poor kids have been great sports being stuck there with us each night so I thought we would take them to the park today.  We have a wonderful park/zoo about 15-20 minutes away and a great way to spend a Sunday!

WANTING- I seriously need a day to just pamper myself!!!  I know it sounds selfish, but I have not had a day to myself in over seven years!!  I am not even kidding :).  Between three kids ages 7, 4, and 2, coaching, teaching, and trying to keep my house clean there is little time in the day to take for myself.  Don't I sound like a complete blast! :).

NEEDING- We are going on our first family vacation tomorrow.....  We are going to Door County, Wisconsin for the first time.  I have heard from others it is beautiful there and the kids are excited to be watching the fireworks there on Thursday.  Since the rental has been taking so much of our time I have not had time to pack yet. 

TIP- My word of advice is to always believe in yourself!  I struggle with this myself since there are so many other strong opinions out there.  Once we start second guessing our own beliefs and decisions is when we steer away from who we really are. 

Now it is time for my freebie.  I posted my Calendar All Year packet to TpT a month or so ago so this week's freebie is a sample of that packet.  I made two different calendar piece designs for each month.  Get your sample of this packet HERE!!!!

Well of to the park for me and the kids!

Friday, June 7, 2013

My LAST Friday Until Summer!

Hello Everyone! 
My Friday ends once again with the Five for Friday Linky with Kacey over at Doodle Bugs Teaching!

First of all I am anxiously awaiting my new blog by Christi Fultz of Design by Christi. I have always been a primary color kind of gal, but since I have grown so much this last school year I feel I just need a change.  If you are interested (although I think I am the last person to actually get a professional blog makeover).  Ms. Fultz's Corner is where you can find more information.
 I am going with a polka dot theme that has neon blue, pink, and a bit of black and white.  I am also planning on having these colors as my classroom colors next school year.  The only problem is that our district has a VERY strict fire code policy so I am so jealous of all of your unbelievably cute classrooms and what you can put in there!!  I have some fire code creative ideas that go along with my classroom theme that I am going to try out.  Stay tuned for pictures in August.  Anyone else have fire code rules?  I would love to hear how you decorate and still follow the rules.

   I am also using Christi's red polka dot numbers.  You really have to check out her creations! 

I am having mixed feelings as my last full week of school comes to a close.  I know I have said this before in earlier postings, but even though this was my most challenging teaching years in so many ways with this group of students, but I will tell you that they made me a much better teacher!  I had to change things up in my classroom just to get all the academics in so many times, but they prepared me for ANYTHING!!  I will miss all of them as they move upstairs to second grade.  I think I am more emotional with this group since my own daughter is a first grader and a few of my students have gone to school with her in preschool and 4K.  Two more days of school........
Can you say Giveaways!!  I am currently involved in three different giveaways!  I cannot believe all the wonderful products that each host got together!  The first giveaway will be ending on Sunday and it is from Kelsea over at Teacher Gems.  She is celebrating her 30th birthday and will be announcing the winner on Monday.  My product I donated is a winner's choice.  This means you can choose ANY one product in my TpT store here. 

The second giveaway is hosted by Christina from A Tale of Two K Teachers.  She is celebrating her 200 followers.  I know this thumbnail is not too clear, I chose the Kindergarten-Common-Core-Learning-Targets-for-Mathematics for my product donation.  This giveaway starts June 9 so head on over!!

My third giveaway I am involved with is from Nick over at Sweet Rhyme - Pure Reason.   The number of products K-12 is truly unbelievable!!  You will definitely be missing out if you do not enter this one!  The product I chose to donate is my Math Intervention Activities and Lesson Plans.  This product is one of my newest and what I created for my math intervention (Target Time) block this past school year.  After going through these FUN and ENGAGING lessons our struggling first graders ALL improved on their AIMS web testing.  Nick's giveaway will be end June 11 so click on his blog name to enter!

ALL OF MY TPT PRODUCTS ARE ON SALE JUNE 8-11!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  CHECK IT OUT!
I got some wonderful news!  I entered my Adding 9 Bump FREEBIE in Martha's Top 5 Freebies of the week from Primary Paradise.  I got the notice today, but it will not be posted until tomorrow (June 8). 
Tonight was my son's preschool graduation.  My mamma's boy is really growing up!  He has come such a long way in his first four years of life!  As you can see the playground before the ceremony was a big hit : )

Finally I wanted to post this absolutely wonderful freebie, but this week has been so busy with report cards that I did not have time to put one together.  I do have a Freebie created by Megan over at Mrs. Wheeler's First Grade .  She created a wonderful Mustachy Measurement from her TpT store.  My students absolutely loved this quick and easy measurement activity! 

Have a great weekend!

Tina Parker