October Currently

Look at me! Two blog posts in two days! I am on a roll! I'm a few days late, but I'm linking up with Farley at Oh Boy 4th Grade for October's Currently.

Listening: I'm so excited that all my favorite shows are starting back up again! I'm catching up on the newest Bones episode. I love this show! It's one of my favorites. They started the season off with a bang!

Loving: While I really would prefer a few 70 degree days, I was super excited that it was finally cool enough for BOOTS on Thursday! I love boots!!! Boots! Boots! Boots! I got to wear boots 2 days in a row! *swoon*

Thinking: Parent teacher conferences always stress me out. I feel like I repeat myself over and over 28 times, saying the same things, and crossing my fingers that I have happy, content parents, who have nothing negative to say to me. We do not have the luxury of half days for conferences, so we have 4 hours on Wednesday night and 4 hours on Thursday night. I'm exhausted just thinking about it.

Wanting: Luckily, we have fall break right after conferences. My first year of teaching, we had fall break before conferences, so you got 2 weeks to relax and then came back to a stressful, exhausting week. I'm grateful they decided to switch it up and now we get a nice 2 week break after conferences!

Needing: We've been in school for 47 days and everyone is ready for a break. The kids are ready for a break, I'm ready for a break, everyone is ready for a break. I need to stay positive, otherwise it could be a long week. I really do love my job, and I really do love my kids, and I just need to stay strong and remember that this week.

Boo-tiful: I can always count on my students to make me feel boo-tiful! I love all their smiles, compliments, and hugs! First graders are so loving and that's one of my favorite things about them!

Thanks for stopping by!


Five for Friday


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One of our awesome kindergarten teachers saw that I was struggling with building stamina last month, and she shared a post about Flashlight Friday with me. I loved the idea, but wasn't sure how I was going to effectively come up with 28 flashlights. Obtaining 28 finger lights, was feasible, though! I stumbled upon finger lights in the clearance section at Walmart a while back, and now they have them in the Target dollar spot, so I picked up what I needed to complete a class set. It was a success! I will definitely be using this more often!

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I decided an engaging activity to get everyone pumped up was in order, so I decided to bust out Grammar Police. I wanted to keep it simple, so I whipped up a set of sentences to focus solely on capitals and periods. It was a hit! Police officers handed out citations and the citizens had to correct the sentence and have it reviewed by a judge (me) in order to avoid jail time. It was just what we needed!

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My latest teacher crush is Kayla Delzer at Top Dog Teaching, and I love that she uses flexible seating like me! I saw she had posted to EdSurge about her room, so I went and checked it out. I was looking at her seating options, and I saw that she table with the legs removed, so students could sit on the floor. I decided to try it out, so I did a little rearranging this morning. I used wiggle seats, old couch pillows, and a carpet square with velcro on the back to mark 6 "spots" for the students to sit at, and I'm glad I did. This table was a hit all day! The first 6 students to come in this morning all went straight to it. Having designated "spots" helped alleviate the over crowding that was trying to ensue. Maybe it's just because it's new and different, but anything that excites them works for me! 

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Not to sound like I have a really weird teacher crush or anything, but I also loved Kayla Delzer's idea to make a video newsletter. I decided that even though I didn't have the time for it with all the progress monitoring, sight word assessing, and fluency checking, and actually teaching students, I was just going to make time and do it. It's by no means a high quality video, and there is a bit of background noise in the back, and kids who are clearly off task in the background (someone will surely judge me), and the kids were awkwardly reading their lines off a small strip of paper...but we did it! I'd like to try it again next month, but there are definitely some things I would like to do differently. But hey, I took a risk! 

*By the time I finished typing this post, at least 5 parents had watched it (9 views-my 4 views) and one parent already said she loves it and hopes to see more in the future. #happyteacher

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I'm just taking risks all over the place here! Our district bought iPad minis for us a year or 2 ago, but we were only allowed to use them for DIBELS testing. It was the worst. I had this awesome resource, but it was completely locked down and I couldn't use it for anything useful. Well, DIBELS was much better on an iPad than a Palm Pilot (did you even know they still exist?!) but it was frustrating that I couldn't do anything more with it. This year, our township has finally unlocked our iPads, and we can actually use them for teaching! *Ironically enough, we now have to do DIBELS with paper and pencil.* I decided to try out Plickers with my class using the iPad, and we are loving it! We no longer have to take grades for science and social studies, so I decided to try out quizzes with Plickers. I like it, but it's still taking us a while to submit our answers quickly and efficiently. We're working on it, though!

Happy Friday!