Saturday, September 15, 2012

Sleep-in Saturday (Freebies) Surprise!

Hello Blog Friends!  Sorry for the brief blogging hiatus, but for some reason, I've been extremely busy at school!  Go figure!  ;)  Am I the only teacher who forgets just how much STUFF you have to do for the first few weeks of school?  It has only been 8 days and I'm always at school for 2-3 hours after the kids leave!    When I work late, it is very quiet and I tend to get more "me time" to get things done without other distractions.  Though, our piece of junk lovely copy machine and I got into a fight and I had to go through a 10 step process to get all of the bits and pieces of jammed paper out of it.  Just in case I hadn't realized what kind of mess I'd  it made, it beeped at me and flashed its evil red eyes red light at me!  I know, rude, right?  Darned copy machine!  Luckily, I LOVE teaching my Firsties, so it is worth it!

So, here are some things that I had forgotten about teaching first grade:
  1. Firsties need to take a lot of bathroom breaks!  I mean A LOT!  Since I am not too keen on having pee in my classroom, I have to just assume that they really need to go...10 times a day...during my soon as we're outside for recess and far from a bathroom...after they already have their lunch second before boarding the buses.  Does anyone else experience this?
  2. When you tell kids to put their names on papers, not all of the kids know HOW to write their names!  I really don't remember that happening, ever!  But, it does now and it makes me sad.  Isn't that one of the first things eager parents do once they can get their child to hold a crayon?  So, I will be making handwriting/learn to spell your own name sheets, pronto!  I always have a list of my kids in a Word document table, so I can make "mail merge" items (checklists, labels, etc...).  My favorite thing to merge are student names in ruled handwriting fonts.  I print names out with a ruled style, trace the dots style, then blank ruled lines for practice.  We did D'Nealian handwriting up until a year ago.  Now, we're doing ball and stick handwriting.  I still haven't found the perfect font.  I didn't really want to pay for the Zaner-Blozer font, but the "ABC Print Lined" font isn't quite perfect, nor is "Penmanship Print."  Does anyone have a great ruled/lined font that they use?  Please share!
  3. Firsties will cry over school supplies.  They can go from smiling and laughing to full blown hysterics when they drop their perfect big-kid box of crayons on the floor.  This is usually followed by an "I want my mommy!" or "I want to go home!"  They will also cry over misplacing their Hello Kitty, Darth Vader, or Monster High lunchboxes.  Logic doesn't work in this case.  Even though the lunchbox was used just a half-hour ago, Firsties tend to panic that the missing lunchbox is gone forever!  Firsties will pull out the "I have to go potty" excuse just to wander down the hall looking for their lunchbox in the lost and found.  Firsties may also repeat this process every day like it had never happened before.  Panic-cry-search-relief!  New day-panic-cry-search-relief.
  4. Firsties say the cutest/funniest things!  After our back-to-school assembly, one of my little boys told me "I'm calming myself by being a whale," in all seriousness.  The next day, he asked me what he was (as he made crab pincher motions).  I guessed, a crab?  He doesn't tell me I'm correct, but he starts making really fast crab pincher motions along with clicking sounds for some crab applause.  Ya gotta love it!  Another little guy told me he wanted to sleep in dad's room (though this took about 2 minutes to explain).  I asked if Dad snored.  He said he didn't know because he was "too busy sleeping and having happy dreams."  What dreams?  "Really happy dreams about Legos.  It was really good."
  5. Nothing is better than a tiny little hand that reaches out to hold your hand when walking down the hall.  Or a tiny little hug.  Or tiny little bodies that scoot closer and closer to you during a story.  Or tiny little people who think you are the funniest teacher ever when you use expression while reading stories.  Or tiny little kids who totally believe that you really will find Pete the Cat while searching through the school on Pete's School Tour.  Ahhhhh...First Grade.  My heart is happy!
To make up for the (gasp!) no Freebie Friday, I'll post something after my breakfast nap breakfast.  Well, my breakfast may take an hour or two, so I'll go ahead and post it now.  The first freebie is a September Writing Sample that I have my kids do during the first week of school.  This gives me a quick idea of who will need what support once we start Writer's Workshop.  The second freebie is a handwriting assessment.  It lets me know who is going to need some serious help with their handwriting automaticity so that they will be able to get their ideas on paper.  I also watch as the kids write to see who has to really look at the sample to make the letters match or who has to look at his/her name tag to see how to spell their name.

My bloggy buddy, LaToya is having a 100 Follower Giveaway with 14 donations from other bloggers (myself included)!   Head on over to her blog, Flying into First Grade and check her out!  You'll want to send your friends over, too!  Rafflecopter is waiting for you!  Click on the picture below to visit.

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Ready or Not, Here They Come!!!

Wow!  What a week!  You can tell that I was not able to do back-to-school things AND blog this past week.  Fail!  I'm still getting used to the whole not sleeping until noon waking-up-with-an-alarm-clock thing and I've been missing those random naps quiet times during the day.  So, here is the week in a nutshell...well, I'm allergic to nuts, so here is the week in a...really tiny shell of some sort.

This week was filled with Staff Development Meetings, some of which were good and others which were n-o-t!  My Fabulous Mama and my BFF Ruby came to help power through the unpacking of my room.  They even helped when I was in meetings!  Mama also went shopping because she though we needed cute seats with zebra print to match my focus wall!  Wait until you see how cute they are!Now, I'm down to organizing the random stuff...oh, and planning for CHILDREN that are coming next Wednesday!  What do I have planned so far?  Well, playing "Who Stole the Cookie From the Cookie Jar?" and eating cookies, of course!  I even found Jungle (Circus Cookie Style) Cookies to go with my Jungle theme!  I don't know what it is about those cookies, but the waxy frosting and hard little sprinkles taste especially good and magical during back-to-school time!  So, classroom pictures are on the way, but not until everything is in place.

I get the pleasure of teaching with my buddy Mary, who had to teach (gasp!) MIDDLE SCHOOL last year and she's teaching first grade for the first time this year!  I taught her little boy years ago and he's practically a grown up now!   I also get to teach with my buddy Machelle. I first met her when we took our ESOL and Reading Endorsement classes and she is WON-DER-FUL!  Rounding out our team is Anne, whom I taught with my very first year of teaching in my district, and now she is teaching her last year before retirement.  No, I am not the reason she wants to retire...I don't think.  ;)   But, it is fun to get to teach with her again.  I am looking forward to doing fun things with these ladies!

So, since I missed Freebie Friday, I have a "So Free Saturday!"  I'm putting these little "luggage tags" on the kids' backpacks so when kids cry one minute before dismissal because they don't know who is picking them up,  I'll know exactly how they go home.

I hope you can use these!  Have a great holiday weekend!
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