Friday, October 12, 2012

A little catch-up

So, I had planned on posting while I was student teaching. I wanted to document my experience and share ideas. Sadly, that has not happened. I have seminar classes during my student teaching and with a toddler, teenager, and a naughty puppy, I have been overwhelmed.

Student teaching is going well. I enjoy looking for new ideas and making things to use in the classroom. Like many of you, we use/do? Daily 5 during our reading block. One of the first things I added to the classroom was a boggle board. The classroom theme is bees, so I made the board in black and yellow.
Yep, it is on the door because that is the only free space left :-). The kids love it. As they enter and exit the room they are always noticing new words. I realize the top is crooked, I fixed that later. I change the letters every week to coordinate with the weekly lessons. I always hide at least one spelling word and try to place an emphasis on the week's sound focus.

Then I made those adorable iPhones for spelling practice. They are a favorite during Daily 5 Word Work.
You can find theme here at Dragonflies in first

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Wow! Where did I go?

Oh my goodness, I have been MIA for weeks now! I will be starting my 6th week of Student teaching this coming Monday and the weeks have flown by. My extra time is filled with lesson planning, finding/making things to use in the classroom, and now my Seminar 1. Phew. 
Everything has been going wonderfully in the classroom. It feels great to be back working with children, and I stepped back into the roll with ease. The first week was just observing the teacher and her style so I fell back in to para pro mode. I must say that it is weird being called by my last name though. For ten years as a para pro I was known by my first name; Miss Michelle. I have been caught still referring to myself by that title. 
Each week I have added a new lesson to what I will be teaching. This coming week I will be teaching math, oral language, grammar, phonics, and middle (on) level small groups. We also use Daily 5 as a transition/break-up of the Reading block. I have made/found games to use in the Daily 5 that focus on the weekly skills. I made a Boggle board for our door (I have received so many compliments from the other teachers), iPhones to practice spelling words, and last week I made a spinner game for our word endings -s, -ed, -ing. This week I am looking for -all word games, something for learning asking sentences, and contractions n't and 's. 
I had my first unofficial observation the third week and my midterm observation last week. Wow!
My one main hurdle is the schedule. Every day is different. It is crazy. I found out last week that I do not need to write the detailed lesson plans that I have been writing (woohoo!) but coming up with a simple 5-day template is almost impossible because there is no common structures to the day. The only thing that does not change is breakfast and lunch

Saturday, August 11, 2012

How Do You Plan Linky Party!!

So I am joining the How Do You Plan Linky Party hosted by Mrs. Stanfords Class. Looking through the blogs, I have noticed that most of you use the similar small squares across the week format for your plans. These are what I have seen in the classrooms as well. However, still being a student teacher, I have to follow a completely different (read extremely detailed)format. 
Instead of just writing - 
Teach this, 
with this book, 
and this activity....
I have to include 
Grade level, 
Time required, 
Instructional objectives, 
behavioral objectives, 
independent practice, 
This is why I am freaking out  worried about lesson planning. A lesson like that takes me at least 2 hours if not more. I have to script it out completely (what will I say, what will the kids say, etc). 
I plan on using a smaller, calendar type format for my in the classroom reference. I made one using the idea from The Wise and Witty Teacher Using post-it notes so I can move things around if I need to. I will post a pic of mine once I know our schedule (it is not final yet and school starts Monday!)

Friday, August 3, 2012

Maybe I should go to Vegas

I have been hopping around, reading blog after blog. The closer I get to the start of my student teaching, the more I seem to want to read about all of you out there in teacher land. As I stop by, I notice so many giveaways happening, so of course I enter. Now, I enter but never expect to win. I never win anything, really. BUT, I just won two. Yep, that is right TWO giveaways. I am not sure how that even happened, my grandmother was the lucky one in the family, not me. Now that my luck is changing maybe I should go to Vegas. Naw, I think I will just enter more giveaways :-) winning teacher stuff is sooo much more fun! Anyway, my first was from
First Grade Fascination
I won a set of her back to school math and literacy centers. You can choose from frogs or owls. I loved both, but chose owls. SO CUTE! Check out her TPT store at 

I also won a giveaway over at
Lanier's Kindergarten Lions
The giveaway was for one item from her TPT or TN store. I chose the Number Math Centers from her TPT store at! 

I am so excited to print these and get them ready for the students. 

Now a question. How do you print all of your TPT buys/wins/finds? Do you print them at home? (WOW that is a lot of ink!), print them at a printing that more cost effective? Or print them at school, will I be able to do that as a student teacher?

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Great resource for Kindergarten and First grade teachers

Some of you may already know about Harry Kindergarten, but for those who don't you should check it out. Harry Kindergarten (great name) is a channel on Youtube. Mr. Harry is a kindergarten teacher in PA. He creates songs and videos for his class, focusing on literacy, math, social studies, and behavior. There may even be a few science songs in there as well. His videos are fun and "hip." The children really enjoy them. One of the teachers I observed, used Harry kindergarten as a technology resource for many of her lessons. So, if you have not heard of Harry Kindergarten yet, check him out at

I wanted to add... Nicole, over at Lanier's Lions has reached 100 followers. Woohoo, congrats! To celebrate, she is having a great giveaway. 5 followers will win an item of the choice from her TPT or TN stores. You only have two days left to enter, so get hopping.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Creating the ultimate school and awards, awards, awards

Read an interesting article about a small group of educators who will be traveling the country looking for amazing school and educators. Eventually, they will use the information they gather to create professional development videos and open their own school. You can read more, and even suggest schools for them to visit here:

A big thank you to Jean over at Diving Into 2nd Grade for nominating me for not one, but two awards! Woo hoo! First, the Versatile bloggers award
Here are the rules:
 1. Thank the blogger who nominated you
 2. Include a link to their blog
 3. Include the award image in your post
 4. Give seven random facts about yourself
 5. Nominate 15 other bloggers for the award
 6. When nominating, include a link to their blog
 7. Let other bloggers know they've been nominated 

Ok, seven random facts....
1. I used to sing (semi-professionally) and thought that was what I would do with my life
2. I am addicted to reality t.v., it is an obsession of mine.
3. I love music and will randomly belt out show tunes
4. I HATE cleaning, but I wish I didn't
5. When I was little I used to wish I was on "Little House on the Prairie"
 6. I have been a dog bather at a grooming salon
7. I have 2 children, 14 years apart

 And the nominees are.....
Fancy Free in Fourth
Kindergarten Kindergarten
Kindergarten Korner
Classroom Confections

The Rules:
1. Link back to the person who gave it to you
2. Post the award to your blog.
3. Give the award to at least 5 bloggers with less than 200 followers.
4. Leave a comment on the 5 blogs to let them know that they have been offered this award.

The nominees...
ilive2learn ilove2grow
Fashionably in First Grade
Kelly Teach
My Silly Firsties
Our Future is Bright

Another big thank you to Cheryl over at Diving Into Learning for my next award
The rules:
1. Follow the person who gave the award.
2. Link back to the person that gave the award.
3. Pass to 15 others.

The nominees...
Sample's Superstars
Splish! Splash! Ms. Lander's Second Grade Class
Write On, Fourth Grade

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Can I ask you a question?

Last night my daughter mentioned that school starts in three weeks. What? Three weeks? Ack! That means I start in three weeks too. How did that sneak up on me so fast? Anxiety attack - breathe. Ok, so in three weeks I will begin my student teaching. So I started thinking that I should seek out some advice. Who better to ask than people who have been there before, right? So, what is your advice as I begin this new chapter. What did you wish someone had told you before you started? What is the one piece of advice you wish you had been given?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

A Little Blog Hop

I have my first follower! WooHoo! Thank you to Sara at Miss V's Busy Bees for jumping in and being the first :-) While I was on her blog, I saw there is a blog hop going on...and it is for Newbies :-) So, let's get hopping.
To enter, just answer these questions and then link up....    
1. what state you are in    
2. your current teaching position    
3. your teaching experience
4. when you started blogging    
5. share a blogging tip / blogging resource

1. I am in Arizona
2. I will begin student teaching in the fall
3. I was a parapro for 10 years (Kindergarten 5 years, 2nd grade 2 years, and K-6 reading intervention 3 years)
4. I am a super newbie, I started my blog today!
5. Hmmm, being so new at this I am not sure I have tips. However, being a blog reader I would say to put your follow me near the top. It is annoying to find a blog that you love but then not be able to figure out how to follow.

How I got here

When my oldest child was in kindergarten, I was a SAHM. The teacher asked for classroom helpers and I volunteered. Wow, I loved it! I came every day that year. When the end of the year rolled around, they offered me a job :-). I became a parapro and really enjoyed my job. I loved working with the children and had some amazing teachers to work with as well. Everyone kept asking me when I was going to be a teacher. The more they asked, the more I started really thinking about it. I realized how much I loved working in education. I had dreams of my own classroom. So, I made the decision to go back to school and earn my degree. Now the time has come when I have finished my classes! (What? I can't believe I am finally here!) I will be student teaching this fall! August is coming fast and I have found myself growing more nervous, actually terrified! Today, however, I turned a corner. As I thought about this coming school year I began to feel excited. I have made progress :-)