Sunday, August 31, 2014

Beginning of the Year Writing Inspiration

Hello Everyone!
Well, starting my 33rd year as an educator of young children has been inspiring.  I gain strength from these kids every year.  They rejuvenate, exhilarate, substantiate,(and just about any "ate" word you might think of...or make up!! :) me to no end!  We also have an amazing first grade team this year and I anticipate nothing but "awesomeness" happening this year.  
We began the year with our Super Hero theme and the kids love it!!  A huge thank you to our wonderful moms for helping with the hallway vision!! And the kids' little projects to start the year came out so cute!!


Our shirts say "I Teach 1st...What's Your Superpower?"   (I'm in the red skirt)








We will put kid's pics on the stars.  Can't wait!!! 
Thanks to the moms who took all the pics!!!








One of my roles this year is to help plan the written expression lessons.  I am in love with helping kids write!! On tap this past week was showing kids where to get inspiration for their writing.  Many of you have your kids create a map of the heart.  That is exactly what we worked on this week.  The idea comes from 
Georgia Heard's book, Awakening the Heart.
For this activity we focus on the "heart that feels. " The heart holds so many memories, loves, places, etc.  I created my heart for the kids to get an idea of what inspires me and then let them get busy with their own!

Mini poster of heart questions


My "Map of the Heart"



These became a part of the kids' writer's tool box.  

One of my sweet teammates shared what she loves to do with her kids to help them look inside and feel special.   Will. I. Am. created a song for Sesame Street called "What I Am."  Oh Yeah!!  We pulled it up on You Tube and sang and danced away!!  The words are so powerful!!  We created a large I chart including the fun words and then the kids created their own showing "what they are."  This will go into their tool box as inspiration as well!!



I'll be back soon to share some of the "name" activities we did to get to know each other and learn about letters and sounds. Stay tuned.  I hope your beginning of the year has been just as SUPER as mine!! 
Ready or not...here we go!!
Joyfully!
Nancy


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Teacher's Prayer, Promise, and Polish

Hello Everyone!
Well, school starts tomorrow for me and for many of you!  Today, I want to share with you something just for you! I have shared the Teacher's Promise, and the Star Polisher ideas before, both written by amazingly insightful authors. I have reworked them to make them easier to print without too much color.  I am also including a Teacher's Prayer. My hope is that these will inspire, excite, and uplift. As teachers, we spend hour upon hour with our littles as we strive to lead, guide, and spark!  So use these as reminders of how important and powerful those choices are that we make every minute of every day with them. May you have the most blessed school year. Thank you for all you do for the sweet kids around you!!





Happy Polishing!
Joyfully!
Nancy


Sunday, August 10, 2014

Beginning of Year Forms and Poetry Folder Updated!

Hello Everyone!
First of all, thank you for all the sweet comments on my last post.  We are slowly but surely getting everything fixed and back together!!  Feeling blessed!!
Well, school starts in just 2 weeks! (Here in Texas, anyway) Some of you may have already started!  If you have, I hope you're off to a smooth start!! 
This is the time of year when I update all my old documents/printables. I've gotten several e-mails asking to update the Poetry folder student cover with this year's date, so I've got that ready for you! I also made some minor changes on my Beginning of the Year Quick Forms.  They have a cleaner look.  I now have those ready for you! Here are a few pics and then the links to the free downloads. Enjoy!!








Student poetry folder title page


Sample of the kinds of poems you'll find in this unit!

If you would like this free unit (almost 100 pages) You simply need to CLICK HERE!









I think I'm finally getting into "new school year" mode.  It has taken me a while this year.  Can't wait to go in tomorrow to meet a new team mate and get the cobwebs off the books!! Here we go!!! 
As always, thanks for stopping by for a peek. Don't forget to leave a comment.  If, for some reason, you are unable to download any of my documents, please e-mail me and I can send them to you via e-mail. Google docs is going through some transitions and I'm not always sure things are linked the way I want them.  Let me know! (nancyvb1@gmail.com)
Till next time, have a great week!
Joyfully!
Nancy



Monday, August 4, 2014

Lightning Does Strike Twice!

Hello Everyone!
I'm going to start of today with a little picture.

This is one of the chimneys on my house!  Last week we got struck by lightning in the middle of the night!! It totally fried most of our electronics, pool equipment, garage door opener, one of the air conditioners, and probably more, let alone it scared the jeepers out of us!!!  We are still discovering things that don't work.  But!!!   No fire! The house is still standing! Praise the Lord, we are all safe.  It could have been pretty bad.  You had better believe we are counting our blessings!!! The crazy thing is, this will be the third time we will be replacing a chimney due to weather!  WOW!!! Lightning does strike twice!!!
Needless to say, it has taken some patience as we get everything up and running again.  I have the hardest working "do it yourselfer" type hubby!!  He has been at it for days!!! First up, was the all important computer network.  Took some doin, but he did it!!!  Thanking God for my sweetie!!!
All this got me to thinking about some of my school units. I decided that I needed to "strike again" with my beginning of the year unit on "Me and My School." It included some downloads using "David Goes to School."  That is still one of my favs to start the year. I also love "Chrysanthemum" and "Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon." So... I went ahead and cleaned up and combined the three books into one unit.











The unit is about 55 pages long with poems, chants, reader's response, hands on visual, posters, bubblemaps, and puzzles. These ideas were successful the first couple times around, so, let's strike again!!
You can get your download if you STRIKE HERE!!! :) 

OOPS! Gotta go! The air conditioner guy is here!  YAY!!
It's all good!! 
Thanks for stopping by!! Don't forget to leave a comment and let me know if you can use this unit, or if you need anything else.  Up next? Sight Words, I Can's, and a few more things!!

Joyfully!
Nancy





Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Interactive Math Notebook

Hello Everyone!
My apologies for not posting lately.  We had to drive to Chicago to help my widowed father in law move 53 years of "family" to a new apartment. Going through that many years' worth of "family accumulations" was both wonderful and emotional.  My husband got to bring home so much of his childhood that we had to rent a U Haul!  We were able to settle dad into a great little apartment with incredible "senior" amenities.  Feeling pretty blessed! 
Anyway, I was totally "unplugged" all week and it actually felt pretty good! But now, I'm in catch-up mode! So today I'm sharing my new and improved Interactive Math Notebook.  We have had such amazing results from using the math notebook approach to support our math program, but I wanted to make it even more interactive. If you have used this before, please download again.  I've added about 9 different number of the day pages depending on your kids' level and readiness.  I've also added about 10 pages of manipulatives for kids to make and store in a bag or envelope, and keep in their notebooks. That's what makes the notebook so interactive!! Here are a couple of pics.







beginning of the year number of the day page
End of the year number of the day page





sample of manipulatives included
 











I am very excited to help kids be the best they can be at thinking mathematically!  Using a notebook like this will boost that success and promote independence at the same time.  


Okee Dokee. Time to get my own house back in order after being gone.  I hope you're having a great week! 
Thanks for stopping by and don't forget to leave a comment. OH! I almost forgot.  If you've e-mailed me recently and requested materials, I'll get those sent this afternoon. I did not even check mail while we were gone!! Thanks for your patience!! 
I'm getting ready to post an updated poetry folder unit and a few more things!
Till then, keep lookin up! 
Joyfully!
Nancy