Saturday, April 20, 2024

I'm Getting Married AND Morning Meetings Made Easy!

It's me... back after a loooong time away.  Do people read blogs anymore?  It seems like social media is where everyone is getting there hookups for classroom happenings... but I'm going to kick it old school and blog it up today!


An exciting personal update!

I'm getting married next March!!!!!  My long-time partner proposed to me on Christmas and we couldn't be happier!  We will be getting hitched in the Dominican Republic on March 31, 2025!

Check out a few of our engagement pictures from our recent trip to Cabo!

So, yes.  I can't wait!!!!!!

Second, I'm so excited because I will be looping with my class next year and also moving to 2nd grade!  Second grade is my sweet spot and I am so stoked for the kids and the teacher team I'll be working with!  Since I'm going to have the same kiddos, I had to make a new set of Morning Meeting slides and I had to show them to you too!  

36 weeks of daily greetings and activities to start your day out in a positive way!  Don't wait until fall to start either... grab them now and get started.  Completely stress free, paperless, and no prep... open in Google Slides and go!  Click on the title image or HERE to check it out on TpT!  You can download the preview on TpT to see the first week!

And so, there you have it!  My exciting life update and my exciting new product!

Hope all is well with you, teacher friends!

Until next time!

Sunday, July 9, 2023

Moving to 1st! {Do people still read blogs?}

It's time for my annual "I'm going to make time to blog again and here I am!" blog post.  Do people still read blogs?  With everything so social media based now, are there still people out there like me who want to share an experience, but need more than 1 photo and 100 characters to do so... who don't want to share it to the newest dance trend on Tik Tok?  (Maybe I'm showing my age here!)

I just finished my 19th year teaching and my 5th at my current school.  In the last five years, I haven't taught the same grade two years in a row... I went from 1st to 2nd to 1st to 2nd to a 2nd/3rd split class!  This fall, I'm going down to 1st again and I'm so excited!

I've spent the last few weeks working on new resources and things I know I'm going to want to implement in my 1st grade classroom.

We use the reading series Wonders, so I've been making some things to supplement the program and to fit in to my routine for my literacy stations.

I'm so excited because I have finished my "Write the Room" station using the weekly spelling words & phonics skill, my "High Frequency Word" station, and a new phonics based activity for my writing station where students will cut out words to create a sentence, copy and illustrate the sentence, and then color pictures that match the phonics skill!  This one doesn't "go" with Wonders except for the fact that each page follows the phonics skill for that week.

Want to see?

Check out this one for long a sounds!

Having taught 2nd and 3rd means that I have lots of Wonders goodies in my TpT store.  I hope you'll check them out!

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Happy Back to School FREEBIE!

Get your kiddos up and moving with this FREE first week freebie!

If you enjoy this and want to add more read and groove fun, check out my phonics Read and Groove resources on TpT.

Happy back to school!

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

An Oldie But a Goodie: My Favorite First Week Tradition

This is an old post...that I am recycling because it's just that good!

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

An Oldie But a Goodie: My FAVORITE Classroom Game!

If you've been around this blog a while, you've seen me talk about my FAVORITE game before.  It's called "Back-to-Back" and it's the PERFECT way to get a quick check on how your students are doing on a concept.

We use this weekly in my classroom and the kids absolutely love it.  I love that I can see who's got it and who needs more practice!

Click the image below to check it out.  The two kiddos in this video were in 1st and 2nd grades when this was posted... they're such big kids now!

Friday, August 5, 2022

Calm Down Corner Printable Cards

We all know that SEL is important in the classroom; teaching students to recognize and manage their emotions has become more important than ever.

Most classrooms have a "Calm Down Spot" whether you call yours a safe place, the cool down spot, the break place... whatever it is, they serve the same function: providing students a place where they can get away from what is stressing them and focus on returning to a place where they are ready to learn.

In my classroom, I have a desk off to the side where students can go when they need to remove themselves from emotional frustrations.  With some modeling and explicit teaching, they do use this place and it does help!

I like to have "distractors" in my Calm Down Spot so that students can calm their minds by focusing on breathing and something positive, rather than the stress of the moment.

This year I am adding some "Calm Down Cards" to my spot.  These are laminated cards with different types of activities that students can do to refocus.  The activities promote concentration, breathing, and are fun too!

Activities include using senses like hearing and sight to visualize different locations in "Picture It!", guided breathing in "Just Breathe", finding the odd one out in "Spot the Difference", concentrating to solve a maze, finding hidden objects, and a set called "Blow" which will have students doing deep breathing without realizing they are doing it!

This is one example from the "Find It!" cards.  I know students will enjoy the opportunity this provides to refocus and chill so they are ready to learn.

This pack with over 40 printable cards is available on TpT for just $4!

I hope you'll click the link and check out the preview to see all that is included.  Feel free to leave a comment sharing how you promote emotional regulation and/or about your calm down spot!

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

A Whole YEAR of Digital Morning Meetings... YES!

Do you morning meeting in your classroom?  This is one of my favorite times of the day.  We greet each other, we learn, we laugh... what a way to build community!

In an attempt to streamline my meeting, keep consistency, and ensure students are engaged, I have created an entire year... 36 weeks of digital Morning Meeting activities.  Simply add kids and you are good to go!

Each week follows this format...

On Monday, students memorize a picture and then answer three questions about the details in the photo...

On Tuesday, students will travel to another country to learn more about our world.  Each "Travel Tuesday" lists facts about the country.  Teachers may want to look at these ahead of time to tell more about the famous person or the foods.

Wednesday is full of "Would You Rather" goodness as students choose between- sometimes very silly- options!

Thursday is all about character building.  Each week presents either a quote (odd weeks) or a scenario (even weeks) that allows students to think about social-emotional situations and their responses.

And, finally, Friday ends the week with a laugh.  Each Friday is a silly joke and its answer...

I tested these out on my 2nd graders the last week of school and they LOVED them.  We had been following a similar format during the year, but having the visuals displayed on the board for the activities instantly increased engagement and excitement.

We start each meeting with a class greeting.  And... I have those for you too!  Twenty-five different greetings... means you can do one a day for a month and never repeat!  

For myself, I opened the Morning Meeting file in Slides and then added a greeting slide in front of each day.  This way it's all in one place!

When you buy the Morning Meeting slides, you actually get the greetings FOR FREE!!!!!!

So, what are you waiting for?  Jazz up your Morning Meeting, be prepared for the entire year, and start the day off building community every single day!

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Celebrating Student Success With "Shout Out Tags"!

No matter what you call them, students love getting these dog tags they can wear to show off their success!

These are so easy... all you need is a little bit of time to prep and then you're set for the year.  I make mine all ahead of time and store in a pocket chart.

Come see how it's done...

Print and then laminate.

Get ready to cut with your paper cutter... or scissors if you're more patient than I am!

Chop chop, lollipop!

Time to hole punch!  I have this gigantor hole punch from my old scrapbooking days and I can cut about 15 of these at at time!

I put them on a binder ring until I get to my classroom.

These are some of my favorites from today...

Ready to take the plunge?  This huge (and growing!) pack with over 70 tags is just $4 on TpT!

Saturday, July 16, 2022

Tips For Getting Organized {Wonders Units 1-6 Organized In a Snap plus a 2nd Grade Wonders FREEBIE!!}

How is your summer going?  Mine has been busy!  I have a 4-year old nephew that I'm *slightly* obsessed with and I've gotten to spend a ton of time with him.  I've spent my fair share of time in the pool, walking the dogs, and quality time building up my island in Animal Crossing!  😂

I've also been working on getting organized for school in the fall.  We are getting a new reading program this fall and I've been creating and printing everything to run my centers.  I have structured my reading block using a Daily Five format since 2007... (which just makes me feel old!).  That was my 2nd year teaching and it transformed my classroom.

My students do four activities each week: write the room, work on writing, high frequency word practice, and vocab practice too.  (We do read to self, read to someone, listen to reading, and Lexia too.)  I am still a "paper person" so I like having all of these things printed ahead of time so I don't have to pull up digital copies during the year.

I started by making a spreadsheet of everything going on each week.  And... if you're using 2023 2nd grade Wonders, you can get it for FREE here!

I have it tucked in the front of my crate and also keep a copy at my desk to make lesson planning simpler.

For me, organizing in file folders is my jam.

Come and see how I got everything ready so I just have to pull and print each week!  Because my centers are similarly formatted each week, students learn the routine early and I can have smooth centers which means I can have quality small group time.

I brought this crate home and filled it with all sorts of organization goodness...

Each week has a folder.  The folder has a sticker so I can see at a glance what we are working on.

Inside are the printed recording sheets for all of the weekly activities.  Some weeks I have specific books or games and those are included too.  Having everything in one place saves me so much time!

Write the room- these pink cards are hung around the room and students find them and sort them according to the phonics skill on the recording sheet.  Each week is a different color... unit 1 is always pink.  That helps me stay organized.

Word work (vocab)

Word work (HF words)

Work on writing (connected to the essential question each week)

Fluency reading and grammar for homework


I also have my focus wall cards ready to go.  Each unit is the same color, so all of Unit 1 is purple.  I got this pocket chart this summer and I'm obsessed.  It makes it so easy to pull out the cards each week, put in the new ones, and display our "I can" statments!

How do you stay organized?  Am I the only one holding on to paper copies of stuff?  I just need my hard copies!

Saturday, June 4, 2022

36 Week of Digital Morning Meeting Activities!

Happy "almost one year since I blogged anniversary"!  Seriously.  How was this school year filled with more challenges than the last one when district was fully remote?!  Somehow it was.

Don't get me wrong.  I am SO glad we were back in-person this year.  I loved being with my 2nd graders in person and was lucky to loop with my whole entire 1st grade class that I had virtually the year before. 

On one hand, it's hard to believe the school year is just a week from being over... on the other, it's been a long year!

BUT... that hasn't stopped me from already planning, thinking, and prepping for the year to come.  My kiddos don't know it yet, but I'll be teaching a 2/3 split and looping AGAIN with some of them as 3rd graders!

So, that means I have to spice things up and do new things.  This year we had a great routine for morning meeting and I've decided to turn it into a virtual routine for the coming year.  This way everything I need is prepped and ready for me every single day.  And, the good news is, I am making it available on TpT too!

You will get THIRTY SIX WEEKS of digital Morning Meeting fun (or transition time or PM Wrap-up or after lunch chill time or whatever you need a few minutes of engaging activities for...) and I promise your kiddos will love it.  Mine especially looked forward to "Travel Tuesday" this year.  We went around the globe learning facts about different countries.  I'm excited to share the other fun days with them too... such as...

"Memorize it Monday" where they study a picture and answer questions about it.
"Travel Tuesday" where you will explore the world.
"Would You Rather Wednesday" where students can justify their choice from sometimes very silly choices.
"Think About it Thursday" where you can discuss a quote or scenario to build SEL skills.
"Funny Friday" where you can read some fun (and some corny!) jokes.

It is not yet finished... but I'm hard at work and actually have 18 weeks done (just not all 18 are uploaded)... so that means it is currently only FOUR DOLLARS.  It will increase to $12 when all 36 weeks are added.


Yes, you heard that correctly.

You can spend four little bucks now and access all 36 weeks by the time you roll back in to school in August!

Check out the preview file to see the first week!

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