Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Three Little Pigs Short i Word Sort Packet...TPT

I just uploaded my sound sorting packet for the week (which I'm a wee bit late in making!!) to Teachers Pay Teachers. Click the pic or here to get it!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

100th Post Means a Freebie!

In honor of my 100th post on Life In First Grade, I'm uploading one of my newest centers, Autumn ABC order cards. Let me know if you have any download problems! :)

abc order

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Teacher Week Day Three: Where It All Goes Down

I've posted most of these pics already, but for the sake of formality, I'm going to post them all together in one nice and neat entry :) I'm loving seeing everyone else's classroom pictures! I love getting ideas! :)

Meeting area/ Buddy Reading Center

Writing Center

Concept Question Board

Math Focus Board

Front of the room

Sounds Board


Back corner

Job Chart

Cubbies and Student Work Display

Small group meeting area/word wall/ focus board

part of my desk and the beloved Elmo

Behavior Chart

Door and outside display

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Teacher Week Day Two: Advice

As I write this, it's an hour past my bedtime, I haven't yet taken a shower, and my makeup is still on. I. am. beyond. exhausted. I'm sure y'all know this feeling well. My brain is so tired and it's only Tuesday. Goodness Gracious! I was gonna skip today's post, but since I haven't yet found the energy to get out of my comfy, overstuffed chair, I figured now was the perfect time to blog!
This year is only my 3rd year to teach, so I still have LOADS to learn and I feel a bit odd giving advice, but I'll just tell you what I've found helpful to me. 
1. The basic computer class you take at the beginning of college will be useful in your classroom. I'm sure everyone had to take this. It went over all the Microsoft Office programs like Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. One of the most helpful classes I've ever taken. Word and Powerpoint help me create so many things for my classroom. 
2. Invest in a good eye cream. After teaching all day, coming home and working in front of a computer screen, my eyes tend to get just a tiny bit really puffy. I like this eye serum by Olay:
3. Teacher books- Okay, I know I may sound like a dork, but I really love reading educational books. I love Debbie Miller's Reading With Meaning. Such an easy read and it's packed with useful info. I also love Debbie Diller's Creating Literacy Workstations and Creating Math Workstations
4. Your reading program's Teacher's Edition will become your best friend. I kid you not, I could almost recite the week's lessons layout I've read it so many times. My first year, I didn't leave the building without taking this book home. I now distance myself from it since we are old pals :) 

5. Request Ticonderoga Pencils on your supply list. This is seriously the only pencil that will sharpen. We put these on the supply list this year and oh my goodness ya'll...what are difference it has made! I would have to stay after school for an hour to sharpen pencils. If you could see all my sharpened Ticonderoga pencils right now, y'all would be proud :) 

That's all I've got for tonight. There's probably a lot of spelling errors in this post, but I'm just too tired to proof read it. Sad, I know! Please just look over them :) 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Teacher Week Day One: Meet Ms. Leslie Ann :)

Yay! Who else is excited for Teacher Week?? I'm also super excited about today's topic: Meet the Teacher. I love to learn all about every great teacher that I blog stalk. I'm also excited to share a little bit about me :) Here goes!
 I'm 24 years old (almost 25....which is halfway to 50!!! sooo dreading that birthday!) and have taught 1st grade for 3 years. I graduated from the school I work at in 2005 and then from college in December 2008. I was lucky enough to be hired as a school wide interventionist two months later. Then, a first grade position opened up in June, and 3 years later I'm still here :)
I am not married, nor do I have any kids of my own. I'm happily enjoying my carefree 20's! I do however, happen to own the cutest dog in the world, Reese. Reese is a Maltese who is named after the best actress in Hollywood, Reese Witherspoon. 

I absolutely love my job, even though some days are beyond stressful. One of my biggest hobbies is making things for my classroom. I love planning out activities and fun lessons for my sweet kids.
As we all know, there's lots of 'things' that help us teach. Here are a few of my favorite teacher things.

And here are some of my favorite non school things. I love, love, love these things so I tend to ramble about them in the detailed description  :) Just a warning!

1. Harry Potter- I love reading in general, but nothing beats Harry Potter. I could read these over and over again. If my 1st graders could keep up with this series, I would so be reading this in the afternoon instead of Junie B. HA! 
2. Lilly Pulitzer dresses- my favorite brand of all time. So colorful. You cannot not feel happy when you're wearing one. :)
3. My new Louis Vuitton handbag- I have been wanting this bag for over 3 years. I finally splurged and bought it this summer. So glad I did! I absolutely love it!
4. TV Shows- I have an obsession with TV. Glee is my all time favorite, but this summer I became addicted to Pretty Little Liars and Mad Men (see #6) My other favorites are Gossip Girl, Bachelor(ette), and Sex and the City
5. Nail Polish- If tv is my biggest obsession, nail polish may just come in next. I love Essie and OPI. 
6. Mad Men, or rather, Betty Draper- I recently discovered this show and I am in love with Betty Draper's fashion. I think I lived during the 50's in a previous life. I love, love, love the full dresses and skirts of this era. 
7. Magazines- favs would have to be InStyle and People Stylewatch. The September issues just came out with all the fall fashion... :) :)

Hope you enjoyed! :)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Short A Sortin' with the Cat in the Hat!...TPT

Our phonics skill for next week is the short /a/ sound, so I created my weekly sound sorting center with the Cat in the Hat. Click the pic to purchase! :)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Wacky Watermelon Wednesday

As you know if you've been reading my blog, we are just about finished up with the two week ABC review (thank goodness!) and will finally start our first reading story next week! I love getting into the actual story part of Reading Street so we can establish a routine and stick to it. For the ABC review, I pick a couple of letters to do special projects with, like the letter 'm', which we celebrate by having Muffins With Moms. Yesterday, in honor of the letter 'w', we had Wacky Watermelon Wednesday. We made a watermelon craft, wrote our first class book about wacky watermelons, took a survey to find out how many people in our class liked watermelons, and had a watermelon snack. Here are some of the pics of our watermelon board and class book :)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Roll A Sentence Template

Here's the Roll A Sentence template if everyone who would like a copy :) It had a mistake in the pic, but it has since been fixed! Enjoy! :)

Roll a Sentence

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Mad Hatter's Nonsense Words...TPT!

I just uploaded my packet full of the Mad Hatter's nonsense words flash cards. You can get it here! The first two people to comment on this will win a free copy :) :) Just be sure and leave your email addy!

Center Ideas

I've been trying to find the time to sit down and create some new centers and I was finally able to do that today. I'm still working on a couple, but I thought I'd take a break and share a few with y'all :)

Fry Sticks

We've been learning a lot about Fry Phrases here lately, so I've been trying to come up with activities that center around this. 

Sound It Out Ipods

 I'm lovin' these! I bought CD cases at the Dollar Tree (can't beat $1!) and got the Ipod accent pieces at a teacher supply store. I made cases for out first three phonics sound and plan on putting these at the Word Work center.

Monster Munch Bags

I got this idea at a workshop I went to this summer and found it in my idea book, so I decided to make it. I made 4 different monsters out of 2 bags. I colored coordinated the word cards to match the color of the monster. That way one bag can house two activities instead of just one. 

Roll A Sentence

I found this idea on Cara's absolutely fabulous site way back when. When I went back to find out how to make it, I realized it dealt with adjectives, nouns, and verbs. My little darlings aren't quite ready for that, so I changed it and made it about determining if the group of words they roll is a sentence or not since this is our grammar skill for the first couple of weeks. I'm a little worried if this will be too hard, so we'll see. If anyone wants the template for this, just let me know and I'll email or post it :)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A My Name is Alice....Template Freebie!

Have y'all ever heard of the book A My Name is Alice? It's by Jane Bayer and illustrated by Steven Kellogg. It follows along with the alphabet, naming different names, places, things, and animals. ***Just realized it will also be perfect for studying nouns too! Today we read this book and did an activity with it. The kids loved it and did a great job on it. Check it out!
***The template we used is also below.... FREEBIE!


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Getting back in the swing of things!

Goodness gracious! I had forgotten how much work the beginning of the year is!! So much paperwork, so many things to go over. Needless to say, it has been a crazy past couple of days. Slowly but surely my new sweet kids are learning the ends and outs of 1st grade. For the first two weeks, we do an ABC review, so we won't get into a story until the third week of school. I spend these two weeks doing lots of 'getting to know you' activities. One of my favorite crafts for the kids are self portraits and what better time to create these than now? Here are few. To see the complete slideshow, check out our class wiki (link is to the left!)

Aren't they cute? We also started math centers today which went really well considering it was the first time. I plan on doing mine like the workstations in Debbie Diller's book Creating Math Workstations, which is a must read for those of you who haven't read it...along with Reading With Meaning by Debbie Miller. :) I'm using Cara's (from The First Grade Parade) assessment from her new TPT packet to group my math groups and once I have those figured out, the math workstations will begin, so check back for that! Anyone who would be willing to share their tips on making math workstations work, please feel free to share!!! :) Also, any ideas for activities at these workstations would be greatly appreciated! 
I hope everyone else is either enjoying their last carefree days of summer or having a great start to the new school year!! :) :)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

'Read It Like..' Literacy Center Activity...TPT!

Click here to get my new center activity "Read It Like.." Students pull cards and must read sentences on their mat like the person on their card. People featured include family members, the teacher, Hannah Montana, the principal, and more! An extension activity is also included in this packet. :)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Free Behavior Chart Printables!

Happy Back to School! Here's the signs I made for my behavior chart if you would like them. The clipart is from Lettering Delights. It's called School Pals.
**I should have explained the frog part of my behavior plan from last year. I forget sometimes that y'all aren't in my classroom! :) :) I had some frog sticks that I had gotten at a teachers supply store. If a child was doing something good, they got to put a frog stick in their pocket of cards. At the end of the day, those who received a frog got to go in the prize box. I'll follow the same rule with this system: If they move up to fabulous pink, they go to prize box every afternoon. Super simple, but effective (at least for me!)
Use these if you like! :)

Behavior Plan

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Classroom Decorating: Day Twelve...Behavior Plan

My behavior plan is always one of the last things I create. I've always done the cards system, where each student has their own set of cards and they pull a card if they misbehave. Last year, my class decided that we should have something to earn if we behave really well, so we added frog sticks if you were caught doing something good. This worked VERY sweeties were always changing to earn a frog! But I still didn't like using the cards. I wanted something that the kids to visually see, so I made this system. 
Please look over the clothespins that do not match. This bothers me TERRIBLY and I even brought them home so I can attach names to cover them up rather than just writing on them! 

Okay, here's the explanation for this system. I saw something sort of like this on Pinterest, where the colors were put in a line and I like that idea. We start out on purple. If you're caught doing something really good, you get to move up to Fabulous Pink (Ms. Leslie Ann's favorite color, of course!) Blue is an informal warning...nothing is sent home, but the child has to move their pin. I added this last year when I still did the cards and it helped out a ton! Before, I had way too many kids pulling to yellow for little things. After the informal warning, they move to yellow (straight face is sent home with a note explaining why), then red (sad face is sent home with note explaining why AND time is taken away at free centers on Fridays). Each color sheet has a message on it, which we will go over the first day.

Hopefully this will work better! I have high hopes!! :)

I told myself that I wouldn't go out to the classroom today since it's my last day of vacation, but I was in a working mood so I went out for just a little bit. I relabeled my book bins in the cubbies using the green polka dotted name plates.

And I made the sign for out my door. It kept having a glare on the laminated paper when I tried taking a pic, so I had to turn off the hall light, which made for an odd picture quality...  :)

It's back to work tomorrow!