Sunday, May 25, 2014

10 Things I Want To Do This Summer

I'm linkin' up with Deanna Jump for her Ten Things I Want to do This Summer linky party!  

1. I am so excited to spend time with my family!  My kids live in what we call a "2 teacher house".  That means that mom carries at least 3 pairs of scissors and 6 different colored Sharpies and is not afraid to ask the whole dance lobby or the whole soccer sideline to help cut out laminating. has parent teacher conferences everywhere we go since he teaches an elective class and has 254 students.  It also means that in the summer we have 24/7 family time...and we wouldn't trade it for the world!

2.  I'm looking forward to enjoying baseball games, swim meets and dive meets!  This picture is from a Rockies game our family attended, but we'll be watching our son finish off his first travel baseball season this summer.  We'll also be cheerin' him on at his swim meets and praying while our daughter participates in dive meets. :)

3.  One of my favorite things about the summer is our morning routine.  

Wake up later than 5 a.m..
Sit on the porch for coffee (husband)/dt. dew (me).

This is what my kids do while we sit on the porch. 

4.  I can't wait to look at my flowers.  Do you ever feel like being on a hamster wheel does not allow you to simply enjoy the beautiful things in this world?  I've been planting lots of flowers in our yard this spring.  I just want to sit and enjoy the beauty of those flowers.  Flowers make me happy.

5.  Visit with friends and family!  It feels so good to spend have more time to visit with friends and family in the summer.  These are my parents and my kids. We feel so lucky to have so many great memories with them and are lookin' forward to making more together this summer!  The bottom picture is of me and my sweet girl.  

6.  Use my new Silhouette!  Well, I actually bought it in January and only had time to try it out once (pathetic).  Looking forward to experimenting with it this summer!  

7.  Prepare for 2nd grade. I'm looping with my class to 2nd grade.  I'm so excited!

8.  Move my classroom.  Since I'm looping, I have to move into a classroom in the 2nd grade hallway.

9.  Redecorate my classroom.  Since I'm moving, I might as well redecorate a little.  I've already done some shopping at Schoolgirl Style.  I'm not changing my colors.  I'm just changing things up a bit so my students will feel like it is a new space (which it will be) with a new look.  My husband is also making me a table for my new room.   This summer I'll be on a mission to find the perfect rug!

10.  Go camping!  We go on a big camping trip each summer.  No, not in a tent.  I prefer to enjoy beach days, bike rides and campfires...then sleep in a camper. Last summer, we stayed for 22 days.  Our trip won't be quite as long this summer, but we are just as excited! 

I still have 10 1/2 days left of school, so I should really get back to work on my end of the year assessments.  Head over to Mrs. Jump's Class to check out the linky party.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Summer is in Sight!

It's the time of the year when things are wrappin' up...

We went on our zoo field trip last week.  On Thursday, my students hosted a Grandparent Tea Party!  I'll be posting about that soon.  It was adorable!  Next, we're gearin' up for field day and our ice cream social.  In between all that, I need to keep these kiddos on task!

My students are working on writing activities from my Get Ready for Summer Writing and Drawing Activities.  Everyone loves to make plans for summer vacation, right?

My friend, Emily, is a retired teacher.  She volunteers in my classroom on a regular basis and I am incredibly grateful that she has gifted so much time to me and my students over the years.  You can read a previous post about her here.  I am truly lucky!

Emily visited yesterday and she helped me prepare my summer packets for the children.  I always send summer work home.  Luckily, most of my students usually do it (and stop by to show me when they head of to 2nd grade). This year, I'll be their 2nd grade teacher since I'm looping with my class.  So, I'm planning a surprise to celebrate the completion of their summer work.

If you need a summer packet to send home with your students or to use for tutoring this summer, you can check out my pack by clicking on the image below.

Our Sharing My Writing Books are also bound and ready to be on display for our Ice Cream Social!  The Sharing My Writing Book pages are completed at home (but they can be used in the classroom).  My students are motivated to write about different topics each month and then they share their work with the class. For my students, this is a good opportunity to practice writing at home.  It's also an eye opener for many parents about encouraging their child to write using good sentences, punctuation, interesting words and details in their illustrations.

This weekend, I need to focus on my end of year gifts for students and volunteers.  I'll do that in between baseball, bike rides, the Memorial Day parade and report cards.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Can You Be Funky in 2nd?

Big news!  I'm going to 2nd grade!  The good news is that moving to 2nd grade was by choice.  I have AMAZING students and parents and I'm looping to 2nd grade with my class!  I am very excited and so are my students and their families.

The bad means changing rooms AGAIN.  This will be my 8th time changing rooms in 14 years in my current district.  I like to throw things away so I'll get over that and one of my friends down the hall likes to collect all kinds of "treasures" out of my trash can each time I change rooms. She might be a hoarder, but I still love her.

I will still be blogging under Funky First Grade Fun (Funky 2nd Grade Fun just doesn't sound quite right).  And...who knows what my next adventure will be?

We still have 15 1/2 days of school left.  It's the time of the year when students are getting excited about summer and I'm trying to do everything I can to keep them on task.

One of the most successful things (at least for me) in my bag of tricks is the use of autograph bookmarks.  I made autograph bookmarks for my students this year, to help hold them accountable during quiet reading.  During quiet reading time (and when my students are finished with their work), they grab an autograph bookmark.  For each bookmark they work on, they are responsible for reading to one other student or adult in our classroom.

We use Fountas &Pinnell leveling.  So, I expect my students who read level H or under to read their entire book to a peer before getting an autograph.  Students who are reading level I or higher are expected to read 10 pages of their book to a peer in order to get an autograph.  In the beginning of 2nd grade, I'll use these during read to someone.  I might even send some home for students to use with their parents.

You can peek at my autograph bookmarks by clicking on the image below.

2nd grade will be fun, right?

In the spirit of wrappin' up the school year...I went shopping this weekend.  I bought new fabric for the bulletin boards in my new room and shopped at Schoolgirl Style for matching borders and giant pom poms!  Ooops...all this "throwing away" made me feel like shoppin!

Any advice for 2nd grade or for looping?

Sunday Funday is about to end...guess I better finish up my plans for the week!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Animal Research

My class is wrappin' up our animal research projects this week!  During the winter months, we spend some time researching penguins by using my Nonfiction Penguin Unit to model the process for researching an animal. Then each of my students chooses an animal to research.  It takes a few weeks for us to move from searching for informational texts, to taking notes, to writing the reports...but it is always a favorite project for my first graders!

My students write their reports in the form of an Animal Research Book.  

I actually did not use the cover that is included in my product this year.
 I asked my students illustrate their own cover this time. 
They also made paper plate pop-ups with the habitats of the animal they researched.

This week, we will finish some testing and start preparing for our zoo field trip and our grandparent tea party.  Love this time of the year!

Many Tpt sellers are having sales this week to show their appreciation for teachers!
You can visit my sale, by clicking on the image below. 
Don't forget to use the promo code at checkout!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

May Currently!

How could it be that this seems like the longest year and the shortest year of my life all at the same time?

It's time for Currently, thanks to Farley from Oh Boy 4th Grade!

Listening - I'm listening to the rain hit our windows and wondering how I'm going to get 5 dance costumes in and out of the auditorium today without getting them wet.

Loving - Just a few minutes of peace and quiet.  I needed this more than I can explain.

Thinking - I love to watch my daughter dance.  It seems like yesterday that she went on stage with her first little teal tutu.  Today, she will dance her way on and off the stage 5 different times in each recital.  I am so very proud of heart feels like it's gonna burst when she dances onto the stage.  

Wanting - I need to clean out my cabinets at school.  You could say I had a bad week last week.  My students are amazing and they worked so hard, while I was working hard to try not to let them notice that I was disappointed in a big way by adults. Cleaning always makes me feel next week the cabinets will be cleaned out.  If I haven't used it this year...goodbye.

Needing - I do believe that God has a plan for each of us.  When you're feeling discouraged about something, it is so hard to have faith in his plan.  But, I need to.  Especially if I'm gonna keep walkin' around preachin' that to my own kids.

Surprise - My friend, Jennifer was one of the first bloggers I connected with when I first started blogging several years ago.  Jennifer's blog, Rowdy in First Grade, is one of the blogs that I always read, even if I'm too busy to read my whole list.  We live across the country from each other and I feel like we've met...but we haven't. Several times over the years I've wished we could be teammates.  I just can't figure out how to make that happen. Jennifer is so sweet and she always makes me laugh!  She is a beautiful person inside and out.  

I have about 50 pictures on my phone of things on my "to post about" list.  In between dance, travel baseball, travel soccer, piano and the obvious school commitments that come with two little kids with two teachers for parents...there has not been much time to work on my list.  I'll have more time to work on my list soon.
And can I just say...I'm so proud of Farley!  If you follow her on a regular basis you'll know that she is working so hard, gettin' fit and lookin' good! Go girl! Head over to visit her to check out what is going on Currently with everyone.