September 2016 - Queen of the First Grade Jungle

Labor Day Weekend, TargetTeachers Takeover, and Freebie

Hi y'all!  I hope everyone had a wonderful Labor Day weekend!  For you Northern teachers, happy first week of school!!!  

We had an unexpected four day weekend.  Friday morning what was left of Hurricane Hermione rolled on through town and the kids didn't have school.   We were lucky that where we live we only experienced heavy rain and lots of debris.  We had one small tree down in the back, but nothing major!

Smith was surveying the aftermath with his daddy :) 

After being cooped up all day and watching 3 movies, we had a few neighbors over and had a little hurricane of our own known as toddler boys!

By Sunday all had returned to normal and I was able to take Hank out to the beach for a nice morning run.  He is about a year and a half old and FULL of energy.  In fact I am throwing a tennis ball to him between typing sentences!

Labor Day my whole family headed out on the boat and it was a super special trip as it was Smith's first boat ride.  As you can see here, he was quite anxious haha!

The day couldn't have been more perfect and we made it back in time to pack lunches and lay out clothes for the week!

A couple of months ago I signed up for a chance to do a "Takeover" on instagram for TargetTeachers (run by Michelle and Hadar).  My day is today!  If you don't follow them on instagram, you need to be!

Just in case you aren't on instagram, I wanted to show my pictures on here too!  Nash and Emmie are avid readers and I KNOW that I can find books that interest them at Target.  Let's be honest.... momma might have a shopping problem, and books are usually at the top of the list of what I buy!

I am currently on a mission to collect every single Who Was, What is, Where is in the series!

The next thing I posted about was this storage bin that I found for my office, but it is perfect for next to a guided reading table too!  Now that it houses my pens, I have room to write on my desk again! Oh and don't tell on me, but I think it is intended for the shower...ha!

My last post was about the gift that I gave to Nash and Emma's teachers this morning.  I know how much their teachers pour into my kids and so I like to spoil them in return!  All the contents of the gift (minus the amazing Ticonderoga pencils) were found at some point in the Target Dollar Spot!

I used my Cricut to cut out black vinyl letters to spell out their teachers' names and personalize their pencils. I tied the tag on the bag and send my kids off with them this morning :) There is only one King kid in this picture because I MAY have found some unfinished homework in Nash's binder and he might have been completing it on the double.  Don't tell on us :) 

You can find the tag in my TPT store by clicking on the picture below.  Don't forget to follow my store, so you will be notified by email when I post freebies!


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Falling in LOVE with reading: Part One

A couple of weeks ago I posted a picture of my kids picking out books from our home library and reading in bed.  

I shared my feelings on reading logs as homework and then had some great discussions on my Facebook.  I have given reading logs in the past.  At the school I taught at in Kentucky, it was a school policy- twenty minutes of reading every night and a parent signature.  While at my school here in South Carolina, I tried a few times to start a log with my students and I always ended up abandoning it at some point in the year.  Do you know why?  Because I KNOW who is reading at home.  My asking them to write it down didn't change whether or not they did it OR even more importantly whether they GOT anything from the reading.  I KNOW which kids sat and stared at the same book page until the clock said they had done it long enough. So do you. We all do.  

In my pursuit of research about reading logs, I ran across this quote from Pernille Ripp, and I may have yelled "AMEN!"


She has more great ideas here

I think the reason this sticks out to me SO much is that as a mom to two very passionate readers, I see the difference in their attitudes in the books they choose and love AND the required reading that involves an adult signature. Do I think we should stop asking them to read at home? 

Absolutely not.  

The research on that is clear.  Kids that read at home have stronger vocabularies and better connections to literature, not to mention the meaningful discussions that they have with their families. I think we should continue to discuss the importance of reading at home and how it makes the kids feel.  I think we should ask the kids if they have access to books at home.  I think we should GIVE them access to books at home through a lending library. I definitely don't think we should give up.

One alternative I am trying out is highlighting students choosing to read at home and how they like to read.  I think kids will get new ideas and it will start discussions about the books they like to read and the places they do it.
Details about the board:  
1.    Borders found at Hobby Lobby
2.  Large Googly Eyes found at Hobby Lobby
3.  Letters cut using Cricut (fonts are KG Blank Space Solid and BabblingAmy)
4. Paper is Astrobright Primary Colors. 

The day before I put this board up I reached out to a couple of moms and they texted me pictures of their kids reading before bed.  I can't wait to see the board as more kids bring in pictures!

I made this note to go home with the kids on Monday! Click on the picture to grab a copy for yourself!

I will be adding to this file over the next month or so as I write more blog posts on this topic.  We are all in this journey together in creating life-long readers!!


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