Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Time to start planning for 2014!

Today I started working on my plans for January!  I will be having a student teacher join me, so time to get super ORGANIZED!   

I always like to start off with having the kids do some writing about their New Year resolutions.  I am always amazed at the number of kids that have no idea what a resolution is.  Once they learn how to use the word, they try so hard to get that "BIG" word in every sentence they can. 

We are going to start out by focusing on some resolutions for school and some for home.  I am hoping that we will get two or three solid paragraphs out of this.  I made some fun writing paper for us to publish them on.  Once we finish them, I will add them to the hall display.  When we take them down, we will put them in our writing portfolios.  I like to have the kids bring them out at the end of grading period to see how we are doing on meeting those resolutions. 

I keep all of the kids writing and projects in portfolios.  We used manila folders that we decorated.  I put them in a giant plastic tub.  As we complete things to put in them, I just drop the stack of papers in the tub.  About once a month, we get them out and look at them.  I have a few kids pass out the things that haven't been put into the folders yet, while they talk with their table about how much progress they have made.  At the end of the year, we take them home.  It's a really great way to end the year and the kids have something special to take home.  If you haven't start portfolios for your kiddos yet, it is never to late!  You can do one starting in 2014!   

My 2014 New Year writing paper is my newest freebie.  Click on the picture to download the file so that you can get a jump start on your plans.

I hope that this helps you get started in 2014!

Happy Teaching!

Monday, December 23, 2013

A little Christmas Cheer!

I can't believe that Christmas is just two days away.  I thought that I would share a photo tonight to show you a part of my other life!  Yes.....  that family that is so neglected from time to time.  I follow several teacher blogs and one of my favorite parts is seeing the pictures of their families!  So I decided in the year 2014 I would make it a habit to add a little bit about my family from time to time.

The only thing my youngest son wanted for his birthday last month was a dog.  We adopted our new friend Dewey from a local shelter.  At first I have to say, that I was sure that I had made a mistake.  His story was heartbreaking.  He had to be shaved almost bald because he was covered with matted fur because the person that had him wasn't taking care of him.  So he looked a little ragged and he was the poster dog for ADHD medication!  The whole drive home I thought I have made a huge mistake.   However, after one day I quickly learned that he was the best dog ever!  I couldn't have asked for a sweeter and more wonderful dog for my family.  Here is his newest picture.
I honestly think he might have more presents than my kids!  I am so glad he picked us for his new family and I can't imagine life without him.  Here is to Dewey's FIRST Smith Christmas!

I hope each and every one of you have a wonderful holiday!

Monday, December 9, 2013

You Bet I Would Make a Great Elf!

Who doesn't love an elf?  My kids and I have been reading stories and writing about the amazing job an elf has.  We have been working so hard on our writing skills for the upcoming Discovery Ed test and writing to persuade is a little tough for us.  We have trouble coming up with more than one reason to support our idea.

To add a little fun into our writing, I decided that it would be interesting to see what the kids could come up with if they could be an elf for Santa.  They are so creative and I knew if they got to come up with ideas to get a job with Santa, they would come up with some fantastic stuff.  Who wouldn't want to work for Santa after all?

I came up with an elf graphic organizer and application so my kids can "apply" to work for Santa.  I told them about it today and they got so EXCITED!

Here it is!  I am so happy with the way it turned out.  Click on the picture to take a look at it in my TPT store.


Sunday, December 1, 2013

It is finally December!

Where did November go?  I have no idea, but I LOVE DECEMBER!  I have my box of classroom decorations already in the car to take with me tomorrow.

It's time to start planning all those fun activities for kids.  I wanted to share with you the most wonderful idea that someone has included me in on.  Each year I struggle with what to have the kids bring in to exchange for gifts.  Not this year!  Our class has adopted a kindergarten class in inner city Memphis for the holiday.  I've asked the kids to bring in pencils, crayons, markers, stickers, small toys and treats.  Each day three kids have been assigned to bring their special items to put in the gift bags for the kiddos.  My kids are really excited about the idea and I am hoping it will teach them to be more giving to others.  Just in case some of my parents decide not to participate I bought some stuff from the dollar store to give to kids that don't bring anything in. 

I've been working hard on some fun Christmas packets to do to review our skills so far this year.  You can click on the pictures to see them in my TPT store.  Don't forget that Monday and Tuesday is the CYBER SALE on TPT - all of my products will be discounted 20% and include the CYBER code for an additional 8% off!  Happy Shopping!