Five for Friday with a Freebie

Saturday, 26 September 2015
How has it been almost three weeks since my last blog post?! I vowed to keep up with this blog when I created it, but this first month of school has been kicking my butt. I feel like I'm still trying to get back into the swing of things, so hopefully I will be able to start blogging more often again. Today, I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday to recap my week and share a bit of what has been happening in my classroom.

Last week, we read Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes and revisited the story all week to work on comprehension skills. We ended the week by doing an awesome directed drawing from Haley O'Connor at My Silly Firsties and responding to the prompt, "Do you think it was okay for the other students to make fun of Chrysanthemum's name?" I love how each drawing turned out! The kids were so excited that they were able to draw Chrysanthemum. I will definitely be trying to incorporate more directed drawings this year - they are a great way to work on listening skills and build students' confidence! On Sunday, while I was in my classroom for a bit, I hung their work on our student work wall. It's the perfect display for the classroom library!

I also got my number posters up. Finally. I felt terrible that we had already been in school for three weeks and I still had yet to put them up. But let me tell you... Moving classrooms is tough. This is my third year of teaching and each year I have been in a different classroom. Although I have tried to have everything set up and ready for the first day of school, I have learned that it is okay if it's not and that I will get it all done eventually. The kids actually noticed these posters as soon as they walked in on Monday and have referred to them many times this week. I love that they are at eye level and are near our Math area! The past two years I had them hung up high and I was determined to find space for them lower down this year. In case you are wondering, they are from Lidia Barbosa on TpT. I love how they show various forms of each number! So many number posters just show ten frames.

We have spent the fast few weeks working on subitizing and number bonds in Math. This week, we made this awesome name in a ten frame craft from Sam Nowak at Fun With Firsties. It is one of the first freebies I used in my classroom and I've used it each year. The kids love making it and it is the perfect activity for this time of year! The file comes with circles to cut out and use as counters, but I use colored circle labels instead, which is quicker and easier for the kids. They love using the labels because they think of them as stickers. :) Can you guess this little girl's favorite color? ;)

I introduced the concept of bucket filling during the first week of school and have a bucket filling message center set up in my classroom. The kids love to write notes to one another and deliver them to their friends' buckets! I have a bucket too and found these sweet notes in it this afternoon. So precious! Their notes are the best - especially at the beginning of the year when we are still getting to know each other! I am planning to reply to these kiddos, so they will have a little note from the teacher in their buckets next week. :) (The writing paper is from Rulin' the Roost's Bucket Filling Friendship Club packet.)

I am giving weekly spelling tests for the first time this year and wanted a quick and easy way to communicate the grades to parents. I whipped these notes up last night and sent home the first batch today! Click here to download them if you think you can use them in your classroom. I am hoping they will be helpful for parents and will help me to be more consistent with communication about our spelling tests each week. Do you give weekly spelling tests? How do you communicate the grades to parents?

Be sure to head back to the link up to read some more Five for Friday recaps! I hope you have a wonderful weekend! 


Five for Friday... on a Sunday!

Sunday, 6 September 2015
Well, hello! I've neglected this little blog for the last few weeks because of all the back to school madness, but I'm one week in and hoping to get back to blogging more regularly. Today I'm linking up for Five for Friday with Doodle Bugs Teaching - a little late, but better late than never. I was really hoping to link up with Blog Hoppin' for Teacher Week but it was also the first week of school, so that just did not happen. I am still putting the finishing touches on my classroom, so I'm not ready to do a full reveal yet, but this post will feature a few sneak peeks. :)

On the first day of school, we talked about lunchroom behaviour and procedures, and my class completed Teacher Idea Factory's awesome lunchbox craft. This response by one of my sweet girls really brought a smile to my face. "I will walk in the lunchroom and eat with Ms. Kristi." First day of school and she already wants to eat lunch with me! I'd say that's a good sign! :)

My first day of school was also amazing for another reason - I sold my first TPT product! And then yesterday, I got an email saying I had sold my second paid product! I uploaded both products a few weeks ago and really didn't expect them to sell so fast. Obviously, I am not making very much from this, but it still feels incredible to know that others are using my creations in their classrooms.

I am really loving my new class! The second day of school, they surprised me when they started hanging their backpacks on the hooks as soon as they walked into our classroom. I really thought I would have to remind them! They are super eager to please and are rocking and rolling with all the routines I've introduced to them so far. Could not have asked for a better start to the school year!

This week was also super crazy because we had Back to School Night on Thursday. I used Vickie Plant's wonderful all about the teacher freebie to share some information about myself with parents and used Learning in Wonderland's editable flip book as my main handout. I love how they both turned out! 

I also introduced Daily 5 this week and we are working on building our stamina for Read to Self. I have been using A Year of Many Firsts Reading Expert unit and my kids had a blast with this sorting activity from the unit! They got to act out the scenarios on each card and decide whether each kid was ready to be reading expert. This really helped to hammer in the expectations for Read to Self and made a super cute display in my reading corner!

Well, that was my first week in a nutshell! Wishing you all a wonderful week! So jealous of all the American teachers right now - I wish we had a long weekend at the beginning of the school year! Our next national holiday is in November, so I will have to wait patiently until then. :) 

Be sure to head on back to Doodle Bugs Teaching to link up and check out the other Five Friday posts!

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