Saturday, October 26, 2013

Almost on time!

It has been forever since I've linked up with Doodle Bugs and I was almost on time!  I'm always so exhausted on Friday's and ready for the weekend to start that I never get around to getting anything accomplished after 3:15.  
So here's my five on this chilly Saturday morning!

Anyone else out there slightly obsessed with anything that Kim Adsit creates?  Well, I am.  That woman is one incredible lady with some incredible ideas/creations.  I recently bought her Interactive Post It Notes Anchor Charts for Reading Comprehension pack and spent two days creating them.  I am so glad that I did!  These babies are amazing!  I am really excited to use them during my formal observation in a couple weeks.  My kiddos do such a great job with them.  The bright colors keep them engaged and focused and they of course all want to have a chance to put a sticky note on the chart! :)


This week we started using our dry-erase boards (cut out from a large dry-erase board sheet, thanks Dad).  I love this idea.  I think I found it on Pinterest but I can't remember.  The kiddos wear a sock on their non-writing hand and when it's time to erase, they just use the sock!  Talk about genius!
I also love using the dry-erase boards because it really keeps all the kiddos engaged and focused on our lesson.  I have a lot of sweeties this year who are struggling and these little tricks are working wonders!
In these pictures we were working on finding ways to make nine.

Yesterday, our school held its second annual Science Carnival.  I love this new little tradition our school is doing. We got to meet up with our 'big' (second grade) reading buddies and walk around to different exhibits that were set up by community members (many are parents of the kiddos at our school).  It's really a great time!

We have been learning all about nocturnal animals this week.  I, of course, completely forgot to take pictures of all the super cute and fun things we did throughout the week but I am going to tell you about it! :)  Above is a picture of one of my favorite little activities we do.  I love anything that involves their tiny handprints!!!  For this we just make our handprint spiders, add hole protectors (can't remember their "real" name) for eyes, and then I work with the kids on typing their fact about spiders.  This takes all week long (if you are alone in your classroom with no volunteers or extra help).  Then, I the kiddos cut out their sentence and glue it in order on their page.  

We also read the story, Little Owl's Night along with other nocturnal animal nonfiction books, and created adorable nocturnal animal books.  I used Cheryl's Little Owl's Night Book Companion

We've also been working hard on sentence structure and plural and singular nouns.  Deedee's Super Sentence packet is perfect for reviewing both and provides great opportunity for both small group and independent work. 

Have I mentioned that I love this time of year!

I've been pondering how to tell you guys, or if to at all.  I thought this picture would help.  On October 8th, my hubby and I lost our baby at 16 weeks.  It was a very difficult time, however, my hubby and I are super positive and are ready to move forward.  We are already talking about trying again very soon.
The note from one of my sweeties says "Dear Mrs. McHaffie, I am so happy that you did not put me on any of the colors on the snowflake. For you. Love, Alexandria" ... She is referring to our behavior chart and the fact that she did not like having a substitute for 6 days.  I must agree with her.  Being gone for 6 days with no sub plans prepared (my water broke in the middle of a parent-teacher conference) my anxiety and stress level was sky-high!  
My return last Thursday was an amazing one! So much love from all my little kiddos and their parents.  Great reminder of why I love teaching so much! :)

For those of you who do not know, I live in Tallahassee.  Home to the Florida State Seminoles.  I am a huge college football fan and am stoked that we are now ranked number TWO!  I will be attending the game today and am excited to enjoy some tailgating with my dear friends!  
If you have ever had the chance to live in a college town, then you know what I'm talking about when I say that they excitement in the air is contagious! 

Happy Saturday, sweet friends!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Almost missed it!

My TPT store is also 20% off everything. That makes it 30% off at checkout!
My cart is always full.  I love some TPT and some amazingly talented teachers.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Perfect Setting

This past week we have been working really hard on adding details to our settings.  As you know, some kinders come to school and draw what I like to call a "Picasso piece."  They use just about every color available, overlap every line, and you have to search really hard to figure out what exactly it is they're drawing.  Usually I am way off!  
I've been using Deanna and Deedee's fantastic writing series, however, I was ready to really tackle 'settings' and needed a little something extra.
Insert Lyndsey's (from A Year of Many Firsts) adorable packet, "It was the Perfect Setting" (hence the post title) and I was set.  The packet is perfect for your kinder babies OR 'big-kid' first graders!  

I started out by introducing what a setting was and talking about it with my kiddos.  They came up with some ideas, brainstormed settings with friends, and  overall started to get it.  Then, I read the 'letter' that Lyndsey came up with to take the kids on a 'setting walk' if you will! :) 
The letter is written by a little boy named Sam and he shares with the kids pictures from all his travels.  There is an option to have the kiddos get into groups to discuss the settings and fill out a setting snapshot paper (which is perfect for first and second graders), however, I chose to take the 'walk' with my class whole group.  I showed them each a picture and we discussed, in detail, what the setting was, when it might have taken place, and listed everything we saw!  Towards the end they were really getting it.

Then, after spending about 20 minutes (where did the time go) of taking our 'setting walk' I gave them one of Lyndsey's "Draw and Write" pages from her packet.  The paper is set up with a box for their illustration with only the character included.  The kids have to complete the illustration by adding all the details for the setting.  Then, they write a story to go with the picture (we just wrote one sentence).  

I was amazed at how well my little kinder kids did!! I mean AMAZED!!!  Even my struggling babies were nailing it!  I had to hang up all their writing because they had done such a fantastic job.  They were all pretty proud of themselves!
The best part is, the next day in their journal writing, they all worked so hard to add more details to their settings on their own!  It was like magic!

(See how hard we're working...forgot to take a pic of their finished products...will add tomorrow)

With all that said, if you are looking for a fun way to get your kiddos learning about adding details to settings, you must check out Lyndsey's packet

I love a good shout out and hers is much deserved!  Now I must get ready to run some errands before tropical depression Karen decides to show up!  When is Fall going to get here (in FL)?! :/

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

October Currently!

Anyone else slightly obsessed with the Real Housewives series?  Even with all the drama and screaming, I just can't get enough! :)

October means the beginning of Fall and when you leave in northern Florida, this time of year is the greatest!!! By the end of October we are all READY for consistent fall like weather.  I just can't wait!

I have been so good about staying a week ahead on my lesson plans and having all my necessary materials ready.  I am so hoping that I can keep this going.  Before I know it I'll have to get my 6 weeks plans ready! yikes!!

Being preggo is hard.  For me it's hard because I can't enjoy my Grande or Venti size cup of coffee daily and I am SO missing that, especially this time of year when all the yummy Starbucks drinks come out!

My "trick" is a website that offers a bit of fictional and nonfictional books available online.  I don't know about you, but I love having somebody else read the story every once and awhile and so do my kiddos.  You just need to simply sign up for the free account and then begin listening away!
I also love  'Famous' people read the stories and the website just got a makeover and it is wonderful!  My kids get on there during Listen to Reading.

This week marks 15 weeks for me! 
Here's a pic of my small, yet growing (feels so much bigger) belly. :)
By the way, I wasn't ready for the pic but that's what I get for letting hubby take the pic.

Happy Fall Y'all!