August 2013 - Queen of the First Grade Jungle

CJayne Winner, Typical Day, and Spelling City


The lucky winner of the ***brand new*** desk calendar from C. Jayne Teach is Emily Farmer!!!

I don’t know about you all, but I will be putting one of those calendars in my shopping cart as soon as I finish this post :)


I have had some requests to share how I set up my day.  This is what my day is looking like currently.  Now as the year progresses I know I will have to make some adjustments.  I don’t feel good about having so little time for Science and Social Studies, but I LOVE integrating my content into my Reader’s Workshop.  I also feel like I need to have TONS of time to address the skill of reading now and as my students become more proficient readers than I can shorten that time a little bit.

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I hope this little peek at my day can help some people out!

I also am SO excited to share that my students will be rocking Spelling City next week!  If you haven’t ever used Spelling City---you are definitely missing out!  I've been given a Premium Membership to for a candid, personal, online review.VocabularySpellingCity helps students study word lists using 26 different learning activities such as Unscramble, Hangman, WordFind, and Crossword Puzzle.  Teachers can create their own spelling lists, find published lists already available on the site, or use any of dozens of  free teaching resources on topics such as Analogies and Syllables.  Be sure to come back in a few weeks to read about my experience.

I hope you all have a wonderful Friday! I KNOW you are looking forward to the long weekend, because I am too!


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Cjayne Goodies Giveaway!

Have you had the privilege of hearing about Chandra and her wonderful shop CJayne Teach?!?!
Chandra contacted me a couple of months ago and since then I have fallen in love with her products and her sweet ways!  The items in her store are stunningly gorgeous and simple all at the same time.
One of the items that Chandra sent me was her Student Conferences notepad.  I LOVE using this resource to plan my individual student conferences. Not only is the setup perfect, but the paper is thick enough for my beloved Sharpie pens.  Did I mention the black and white is perfect for my room!?!
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I am knee deep in DRA assessments so these conference papers keep me on track with my students. 
Chandra was also sweet enough to send me this 4-in-1 pad. I just adore how all inclusive this pad is.  It is also HUGE so I can record all my notes, doodles, and nonsense. Yes, you spy a Coke Zero in the corner.  Right now I am in the “Do what you gotta do” phase of the year :)
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I just spent a good HOUR looking through all of the other items in Chandra’s store. I currently have her Rules coffee mug in my shopping cart, and I am trying to fight the urge to throw a  To Do list in the cart as well!
If you want to check out the rest of her store, click on the image below!
C. Jayne Teach
Chandra's kindness didn't stop with me-- she has agreed to give a BRAND new product away to a lucky winner--- a product that isn’t even in her store yet!
A few weeks ago Chandra asked me about items that I would like to see in her store—this is exactly what I had envisioned. She already had it in the works!She already had it in the works! I love the idea that my name would be up in that left hand corner---it’s the little things :).
I can’t wait to have one of these on my desk at school!
Follow the simple directions on the Rafflecopter for a chance to win this gorgeous desk calendar! Don’t forget to check back in Wednesday to see if you won!!!

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Short Vowels and Much More

As a parent, I think you begin thinking about your child starting kindergarten pretty much as soon as he/she is born.  Not in terms of “Can’t wait to get there,” but just as some distant point WAY off in the future.

Somehow it still sneaks up on you.

My little man started kindergarten this week.  I feel so blessed to have him at my new school with me.  He has a beautiful classroom and a wonderful teacher.

Happy Boy= Happy Mommy

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In addition to Nash starting school, I taught my first three days with my new second graders!  I am in LOVE!  They are absolutely darling and already so independent! 

About halfway through my first day of teaching, these gorgeous flowers arrived for me…

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….they were from my old teammates in Kentucky!!! It means so much to me that they still think of me and wish me well!

The first two days were FULL of superhero activities. 

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We learned a lot about each other and established our expectations for the classroom. I also used some of the activities to give me a benchmark of what skills my students felt comfortable with and which skills needed more practice.

We also spent some time reviewing short vowel sounds.  I created this chart to look like one my Reading Recovery teacher gave me at my old school.


After I introduce this chart to my students, we use our pointer finger and middle finger to help use practice isolating the initial vowel sound- “a-pple, a-pple, a,a,a” “e-ddie, e-ddie, e,e,e” and so on.  Clear as mud?  I promise it works! You can snag this free chart on my FB fanpage

After lots of practice, we begin the Vowel Drill!!

photo (49)I created these cards four years ago and they are still in perfect condition.  It is important that when you are making these cards that all the a’s are the same color, e’s the same color… you get the point!   You will use the color as quick way to scan the room and see how your students are doing. These are simply index cards folded right down the middle. <Just a side note, I collect these as a group of five –not all the a’s, all the e’s etc., because it makes passing them out super simple!>

In order to practice, I would yell out a vowel sound and the students hold up the vowel they heard!

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They LOVE it!  After we hold up our card, we say our vowel chant so we can implant the sound even more in our brains (a-pple, a-pple, a,a,a…A says a).  By the end I was selecting students to be the expert and say the sound.

On Friday my students worked on the vowels in isolation.  Since they did such a fantastic job {great job first grade teachers} we will move on to Vowel-Consonants on Monday, and Consonant-Vowel-Consonant later in the week!

Now, since we survived the first three days of school, Emmie and I are treating ourselves to a pedicure! Have a wonderful weekend!


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Superhero Students, a freebie, and a SALE

I can’t wait to prep my new unit for my Second Graders! 


I wanted to focus on my expectations without listing a whole bunch of rules-- I prefer to focus on the positive!

For example, instead of “No talking while the teacher is talking,” I included a Characteristic Poster about “Being alert and having eyes on the speaker” like a superhero!

I also changed the wording from Second Graders to “Superhero Students” for you all!


Here is my Table of Contents for the unit:



I also included this freebie from the pack in my preview! Just click on the picture and download my preview to get this handout!


And just in case you somehow haven’t heard about the GIGANTIC sale on TPT yet…here’s your friendly reminder from me :)

B2s saleThanks for the adorable button Amy Lemons!

Here are a few units that you might be interested in snagging during the SALE:

Numberssum fall fun    

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ALL Busy Teachers pic


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Slide1Now….I have some SERIOUS shopping to do :)


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Teacher Week: Taming the WILD Freebies

Find my freebie pack on Blog Hoppin!


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Sneak Peek of my Room and Fan Freebie

I am trying desperately to soak up these last days of Summer Break, but they are just slipping away TOO.FAST.

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I am stuck somewhere in this place where I feel like I am accomplishing so much in my classroom, but there is SO much more to do.  Every time I finish one job, I add five more jobs to my list! Luckily, I know most of you are in the same boat with me so at least we can feel like we are drowning together right???

I am linking up with my good buddies over at Blog Hoppin’ to show you some bits and pieces of my room!

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I have had lots of requests for the labels below and sweet Krista said I could offer them as a Fan Freebie on my facebook page!  In order to do that, CLICK HEREphoto (39)

The Alphabet and Number Cards from below are part of my Class Black and White Pack!photo (41) The blend circle posters are from my Blend and Digraph Pack.  My new school has this amazing poster maker and I have already told my new team that I would take my Blend and Digraph Chart and make it into a large poster for their rooms! So exciting to play with new gadgets!

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I had a slight panic attack when I realized that my new classroom only has ONE bulletin board, but then when I looked around the school at the way all the clever teachers had utilized their space I felt much better!

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My reading area is not yet complete, BUT I think it is off to a great start!

photo (45) Goodness, I hope I can report back SOON that my classroom is complete--- fingers crossed!


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Five for Friday and Second Grade Busy Teacher!

I am SO glad I got my stuff together to join in with Kasey in her Five for Friday post!

1.  We are thoroughly enjoying our Dog Days of summer with dinners out and days on the beach and boat….
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Have I mentioned that we LOVE being in Charleston yet?!?!?
2. Along with getting a new job comes lots of long trainings, new acronyms, and helpful faces.
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I MIGHT be slightly overwhelmed, but I meet the rest of the staff at my new school today and I am SUPER excited/nervous!

3.  I have been working like a dog in my room!  Okay- I work hard, look, change something, look some more, run to Hobby Lobby…you know the drill!
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4.  I finished up the 2nd Grade version of the Busy Teacher’s Best Friend!
I am very proud of the 100 pages in this product! I can’t even tell you how excited I am about teaching 2nd grade!
5. In fact I am SO excited about teaching 2nd grade that I have been stalking other 2nd grade teacher blogs!!! In all this stalking, I have done some talking with the authors too!  We decided to try and help you all out as you get ready for school!  Each of the following bloggers is going to be giving away one of my Busy Teacher packets IN ADDITION to one of their own Rockstar packets!

All you have to do is go to each of the following blogs and comment!  By commenting, you are entering yourself in a giveaway on each blog!

See told you- easy peasy!!
Falling into First
2nd grade stuff
tattoed teacher CreeksideTeacherButton
teaching-maddeness bubbly blonde

Have a wonderful weekend!!!

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