Monday, July 28, 2014

Monday Made It! 7/28/14 {Bulletin Board Clips}

I finally made it to a "Monday Made It" this summer! Linking up 4th Grade Frolics this week after an *eh-hem* extended "made it" vacation....

 It's been a little nutty trying to get things ready for a new room in the first grade wing, new tables, and *finally* shared supplies! I've been hard at work crafting things for my Harry Potter themed classroom, so today I bring you my latest and greatest idea. 

Last year I displayed my student work on a large bulletin board with the usual staples. Every time I wanted to switch work around (usually once a week or every other week), I would inevitably rip and tear my students's work. GAAHHH!!! So frustrating. So in the middle of year I decided that next year, there had to be a change and TA-DA!....the idea was born. 

I started out thinking I wanted to hang student work in the hallway on string using clothespins. I did this and it worked out well, until someone opened the door and blew all of my papers right off the wall....again ripping or tearing them. Oh, the headaches.

This year I'm going to use my large bulletin board WITH CLOTHESPINS! {What, you say? Clothespins can't be affixed to a bulletin board you say?!!?} Well, genius me decided to glue thumbtacks to the back of mini clothespins to hang work from! No more rips, no more tears, no more sad teacher ruining hard work!! Here's how it works:

I started with the following supplies:
1.) Mini clothespins
2.) Hot glue gun and glue sticks
3.) Thumbtacks (the kind with the semi-flat end, NOT push pins!)
4.) Yellow acrylic paint
5.) Black sharpie

I hot glued a thumbtack to the back of each mini clothespin until I had an army of them ready to paint. Since you only see the front of the clothespin, I only painted the front of the clothespin. {Why make more work for yourself?}

After the paint was good and dry, I drew a lightning bolt on each clothespin with black sharpie, because (duh) Harry Potter has a lightning shaped scar. 

I'm super excited to get these babies up on my board at school and display some fun first grade projects! I made sure to make some extras in the event that thumbtacks come unglued or clothespins come apart. Can't wait to see what everyone else is working on for their rooms!

Talk soon,

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Tune into Technology Linky Week 1: Integrating Technology Into Reading

Today I'm linking up with Kristin at iTeach1:1 for her Tuesday summer linky party, Tune Into Technology! If you want to link up and blog along, go visit Kristin's blog, grab the graphics, and let's go! Here are the weekly topics:

This week's topic is using reading in technology. There are two very important ways that I use reading technology in my first grade classroom. Last year my district adopted the Houghton Mifflin CCSS series, Wonders. While I'm not always a fan of a basal series, I am a fan of all the awesome technology I get to use on the iPads and SMARTboard in my classroom. To start, I get to make all of my plans, input my students, and choose all of the resources I like to pull up on my SMARTboard. This is so much nicer for my firsties than the typical, "Get out your book. Open to page 134. Stephanie, please read for us." BORING!!! There are several different voices that read aloud for students for when they are sick of my voice :), which (let's face it) does happen!!

Here are some things I have my firsties do:

1.) They love to practice their grammar with the online games and resources. Another class favorite is the grammar song, which we all clap and sing along to!

2.) My students can use the iPads to access the Wonders app to read their stories for the week, and have access to their guided reading books both in the classroom and at home! They love to play the games on the Wonders app that match the skills we are practicing for the week as well. I often use this during literacy centers time.

The second thing I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to use in my classroom for reading is Scholastic News. Each year every first grader gets a subscription to Scholastic News, a print magazine for students with plenty of informational text. Each month has 4 issues related to things happening that month. For example, there will be an issue about Spring, weather, and St. Patrick's Day in the March issues.

Although my students get the print issue, I do the entire lesson on my SMARTboard using the online resources on It has plenty of little "extras" such as vocabulary words highlighted in purple that students can click and hear a definition and see a picture to match the word. My students love to come up to the board and choose the answers to the quizzes on the back of each issue, as well. There is a skills game and a opening (preview) video for each issue for students to enjoy as well. 

Can't wait to see all the new ideas that I can integrate into my classroom! Go link up! 

Talk soon,

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Blogger Meetup and Currently July!

This week started with an awesome Monday Blogger Meetup at Brio inside the lovely Yorktown Mall property! I met so many nice ladies and a nice guy to follow and blogstalk. Thank you to Erin at The Short and Sassy Teacher for hooking me up with this cool event!! What I found most helpful was putting a face to the blog name and hearing how others use their blogs to spread ideas and make themselves a little cash using TpT. Now, I'm not very good at the whole marketing aspect of blogging, but I loved hearing what helped make them successful! 

After we shared some tips, ideas, a little about ourselves, we headed up to The Chalkboard for some teacher shopping. I was able to pick out some new borders and things for my new classroom (not a new grade, just a new room away from the stinky corner I so lovingly called "pee corner" because my room was directly across from the first grade boys' can imagine what that was like day in and day out...) My goal for July is to NOT ENTER AND SET UP THE CLASSROOM. I need a solid month off to reboot....but that doesn't mean I'm not at home crafting and planning...and planning...and planning!!! 

Linking up a day late with Farley at Oh Boy, 4th Grade for July's edition of Currently...

Listening: I believe it was Anchored in 3rd that said she was a sucker for trash tv in her free time. Amen, sistah! I'm enjoying the early days of RHONJ when the drama seemed more real and the ladies were VERY "jersey".

Loving: I've only been on summer break officially since June 19th so I'm loving getting some much needed sleep and relaxation.

Thinking: They come between 12 & 2. SO EXCITED!!!

Wanting: Being pregnant means I have to watch the caffeine intake. I really would love a Coke right now!

Needing: I'm currently reading about 12 books...okay maybe not 12 but a lot. I need more time and faster processing in my brain to absorb all the goodness!

4th Plans: ALWAYS the parade in the morning and this year we are having a shin-dig at my aunt's. Complete with a fireworks show at the park! I love the 4th of July but this is usually the mid-mark to summer and I feel like I've only just begun!

I'm on the search for a cool way to store shared post coming soon!

Talk soon,