August 31, 2013

What we've been up to in school...

I've been taking pictures of what we've been up to in school but have been terrible about actually blogging about it!  Here is a quick peek into our first 2 weeks!

Week 1

 Happy First Day gifts for my teammates. 
I got the printable here and just taped it to a pack of mints! 

And I put together a little First Day gift for my new students as well.  
I got the printable here and stapled it to a baggie of star-bursts.

We used The Inspired Apple's Jitter Juice activities and the kids had a great time (as always).
We made the juice and chased those butterflies in our tummies away.
We read the poem and graphed whether or not we liked it.

We also made these adorable first week books from Miss Kindergarten.
They turned out soooo cute!

And like most other kiddos in the first week of school, mine took many assessments so that I could see where they coming in at.  Oh the joys of BTS testing! 

I love Babbling Abby's Fun with Firsties unit and always use so many of her activities that first week of school. 

Week 2 

We started our anthology story in reading with "Ants". So of course we had to make paper ants and label the body parts.  

The kids also turned in their "Shining Star" homework that they worked on with their parents.  I was so impressed with how these turned out! The families did an excellent job! 

We also talked a lot about tallies and the kids loved making their "tally people".  This was a fun activity that my team mates had been doing and the kids loved physically moving their people into tallies. PS - don't mind the blue tape lines. My new classroom doesn't have a rug and I was teaching the kids how to sit in their straight lines.  The kids have since mastered where to sit and the tape is removed! :) 

We had a great first two weeks together. Man, we were all exhausted!
I can't wait to catch up on blogs and see what you all have been up to as well! 

August 27, 2013

School Spirit Week (TTT)

This past week was School Spirit Week at the kids' daycare/preschool.
Since the kids only go Weds-Fri we had to go all out for those 3 days.
One of the head ladies said, "I just love how you do them all!" And I said, "You can take the girl out of the sorority, but can't take the sorority out of the girl!" It's so true. I love a good theme! 

Wednesday was Crazy Hair Day.

There wasn't much I could do with the babies, so we just focused on Reagan.

I let Reagan pick out what color hair dye he wanted. Green was his obvious choice.

Thursday was Hawaiian Day

The kids had nothing Hawaiian in their current sizes, so last weekend we ran around to 3 different stores trying to find some tropical garb. Of course all of the clothes are stocked for Fall- so Hawaii stuff was hard to come by. I ended up finding a Hawaiian swim suit and tee at Old Navy for Reagan. I grabbed him some luau goodies at Party City as well.  I got Harper and Hudson some Hawaiian type things at Carters on clearance as well. Poor Hudson kind of got the shaft! But there wasn't much to choose from for little boys! 

Friday was Sports Day

Reagan chose which of his football jerseys he wanted to wear and we got him some football tattoos for under the eyes.  I found these football onesies for the babies at Children's Place and bedazzled Harper's to make it more girly.

August 25, 2013

"Get the Good Stuff" in School Supplies

I was so excited when the sweet people over at Dixon Ticonderoga asked me to give an honest review of some of their back to school supplies.  As a First Grade teacher and a mom of 3 I know that products that hold up with little ones is important.  

I hate spending money on school supplies that break the first second a kid gets a their fingers on them.  (You all know what I'm talking about!) I know that the Prang and Ticonderoga products last! I've used them at home and in the classroom.  So I was thrilled to add more to my stash. 

This pack included other competitor products that I could compare against the Ticonderoga and Prang products.  Trust me. I've used them all. 

 Let's start with the pencils.  Hands down. There is no comparison.  The Ticonderoga pencils are known as "The World's Best Pencil" and it's true.  They last.  When I mentioned on InstaGram that I was so excited for this review, I got multiple teacher-friends comment on how these are their favorite pencils.  Another perk that I love- they come already sharpened! Amazing!

Next up- the Prang Classic Art Markers. Love. Love. Love these. They seriously don't dry out and they are perfect for teachers and all of our anchor charts! 

The Prang Large Triangular Colored Pencils are a favorite of mine. I love the triangular shape that make it not only comfortable for me when I'm coloring my anchor charts or sample projects, but the kids' love how easy they can hold onto them.  Another perk- the pack comes with it's own sharpener! 

Last up is the Prang Oval Semi-Moist Watercolors.  These are high quality water colors that have deep pans so that the colors don't easily run into one another. We are just getting into water colors at our house and I'm excited for Reagan get creative with these! 

If you are looking to load up your classroom or your child's backpack with "the good stuff", make sure you stock up on Prang and Ticonderoga products. You can find these at Walmart, Target, OfficeMax, Staples, Office Depot, Hobby Lobby, and more. 

And because my readers are so amazing, you can get a coupon for the Prang watercolors here. Enjoy!
Thanks to Dixon Ticonderoga for sending me these products to review.
I really do love them!

The Twins 10 Month Update!

Oh my word.
Such a bad Mama-Blogger!
The twins are almost 11 months and I realized I never did a 10 month old post!

Here is a little, quick update!

July was a busy month for the babies.
They took their first trip up North to Payson with the family.
They got lots of love! They had quite a few play dates as our summer came to a close. They had their first day at daycare and really struggled.  They cried every day and didn't want to nap for their teachers.  They both caught colds their first week at school. (Hence these pics show runny noses and watery eyes! Poor babies!)  They both learned how to hold their bottles at daycare that first week.

Dear Harper,

You are weighing 17 pounds and 4 ounces.  You are long and lean. But I love your chunky little thighs. So squishy! At 10 months you are wearing 6-9 month clothes and size 2 diapers.

You really started to "fight" with Hudson this month. You both had to be separated a few times in different play pens because you would both take each other's toys, bop each other with them, and then scream. So it begins... haha. You have turned into quite the scardy cat.  Everything makes you jump and hold onto me for dear life.  You are mostly afraid of dogs (especially our big, outside dog Hunter), Reagan's musical flower, and loud noises. You get really jealous if your brother is in my lap.  You start crying and try to climb up too.  You love to say "Dada" and talk to us. I try and try to get you to say "Mama" but you look at me, smile, and say "Dada" in return. It's too much. :) You love to wave at people and make them smile.  You are still so dainty and love to hold your hands in such a way. It's precious. We love our little princess Harper!

(Harper has her own paparazzi in Reagan!)

Dear Hudson,
You are weighing 17 pounds, 8 ounces. You are wearing 6-9 months clothes and size 2 diapers.  You love to pull up on everything and scoot around. You are so darn fast! You crawl like a bullet and you love for us to chase you.  You want so badly to play with Reagan and the other big kids you are around.  You hadn't started "talking" yet. Just lots of grunts and giggles.  You are our happy little man.  And food. Yes. You love food.  If you are ever upset, just give you something to snack on and you are happy. Ha ha. Love it. You love to be set free in the playroom to play with Reagan's toys.  You look up at me and just smile, like, "are you sure I'm allowed to be doing this?!" You are so fun. We love our little Huddy Buddy!

Happy 10 months babies! 

August 24, 2013

Anyone still there?! My new life.

Hi friends!
Sorry for being such a bad blogger and reader lately.
Hopefully people are still reading this little blog of mine!

This is probably a super random post- but I feel the need to "unload". So here goes.

I've been back to school for 2 1/2 weeks and being back in the groove of being a working mom is really busting my behind! I'm at a new school and district and I feel like a first year teacher all over again.

It was quite an adjustment coming from a school where I knew everything, had a lay of the land, and was the one newbies came to for help to going to a school where I literally needed help finding the bathroom. Thankfully I am in the same grade level (which makes the adjustment easier) and thankfully my team is a big help. But it has been hard. Damn hard. I've cried many nights! 

I love my class.  They are a sweet bunch of kids and were quick to get our class routines and rules.  I am thankful for that!  I struggled with my schedule for a bit- trying to make it all fit was hard!  I knew that I wanted reading groups and stations as a part of my literacy block but was having a difficult time working it in with my schedule.  But I think I finally got it! :) We have different assessments and I have to take a ton of after school/weekend trainings.

I drive the van with all of the car seats, so I do drop off in the mornings and pick up in the afternoons. So I try to get to school as early as I can (which is nothing compared with my team mates) and stay as late as I can before I have to pick the kids up from daycare (which is nothing compared to my team mates). I have had such teacher/mom guilt! I have taken my nerdy-teacher-cart home full of work every night. 

Here is a little gist of our daily schedule:
5:30 am wake up and get ready
6:30 am wake up the kids and get them ready
7:00 am I take the kids to day care or my mom's house depending on the day
7:15 am drive to work
7:45 am arrive at school and prep
8:05 am duty (2 days a week)
8:20 am school starts
2:55 pm school ends
3:00 pm prep for school
4:30 pm leave school
5:00 pm pick up the kids from daycare/mom's
5:30 pm dinner
6:15 pm bathe all 3 kids/jammie time
6:45 pm feed the babies their nightly bottle
7:00 pm lay the babies down for night night
7:15 pm do books/bed time for Reagan
8:00 pm work on school work
11:00 pm go to bed

And to add one more whine to the list- the babies have been catching everything at daycare! I swear. I must have forgotten about the germs. Getting phone calls at work telling you to come pick up your child is just awesome for that already-there- mom-guilt!  Oh - and another whine- I've been period free (sorry for the TMI) for 2 years (pregnant and nursing) and boom- just got my period- so I'm currently all sorts of hormonal. Sorry.

I love my family. I love being a teacher.  I want to do both. I want to be excellent at both.  And that's the hard part.  I feel like I am such a perfectionist and want so badly to be a "super mom". I know I am not the first or the last mom in this position. I don't want a pity  party by any means. I just wanted to vent!   I am thankful for all I have.  But man, I hope things get a little easier.  Just when I think I've got it under control- boom! Life hands me another curve ball! I literally said "I'm doing it great today" as I drove to work yesterday morning. I had all 3 kids in cute matching outfits for theme day at daycare, had my lessons ready and prepped... feeling pretty good. And not even joking. I got a call that afternoon that Hudson was sick and needed to be picked up from school. See. It's always something! 

Thanks for listening! 

August 18, 2013

My New School Supplies!

Obviously us teachers go a little nuts with buying school supplies for our classrooms!
But we can't forget to get our personal school supplies!

I thought I'd share my new school goodies for this year!

Left to Right

My sweet Mom got my sister and I back to school bags! I got this one from Swoozies!
Love it!  Thanks Mom! 

I found this cute lunch bag from Old Navy!

And I got this new pencil bag from Very Jane.

Here is my current Erin Condren Life Planner.
I just ordered my new one this weekend.
You know me- I can't wait to get busy writing in it! :)

Did you get any new back to school goodies? I'd love to hear! 

August 13, 2013

2013 Classroom Reveal!

These pictures were taken last week- before we had kiddos. I've had 5 days with my first graders and already some of the walls have changed! But here are the most recent photos I have!

A look around the classroom:

 To the left are my two classroom computers. The students will use those for literacy stations and Fun Friday. Next to the computers is my writing board (from A Cupcake for The Teacher). Next to that was my "giving tree" from Meet the Teacher Night. Also seen in this photo are skip counting hands.

 Here is a close up of my writing board (from A Cupcake From the Teacher).  I'm using this writing area for my writing station during literacy stations as well as my writing area for Fun Friday.

 Here is a shot of my white boards, smart board, teaching area, etc.  The bottom parts of the wall will be used for literacy stations. (They aren't set up yet though!)

To the left of this shot is our main classroom door and window to the hallway. This big wall is also our main teaching board.

Those doors lead into our team pod and the other first grade rooms. There is my rocking chair and picture my new easel my Mom bought for me right next to it! Thanks Mom!

 Here is our word wall, cubbies, and file cabinets. You can also see our desk/table arrangements all ready for Meet the Teacher Night. 

 I love all the storage and my teaching area.
(Don't mind the dress hanging up in the background!)

 More of my teaching area.

Again- loving all the storage! I am using the front of the cupboards to display student work. 

 Here is a little book shelf I am using for part of our classroom library.  I have it positioned to cover many of the computer,smart board, and doc camera cords. My teammates have cute little table clothes velcro-ed to the table so that you can't see their cords. I may have to do that too! 

 Our noise meter, table points, agenda, and smiley/frown-y board

 This board has our classroom helpers posted on it and the table in front of it has book baskets for our classroom library. 
 This part of the board has to the left our pb/j partners and in the center is our math board.  On the top is our Mountain Math and the bottom has our calendar and math group chart. Look how small my calendar area is?! Compared to my last classroom- whoah- night and day! I'm trying calendar on the smart board this year! I will keep you posted on how it goes!  The blank spot is for our math anchor charts!

Here is our focus wall with classroom rules and reading focus and vocabulary.  The blank spot is for anchor charts as well. 

 Here is our Star of the Week board.

 Here is our word wall, cubbies, and math station boxes.

 Birthday balloons.

Important times and pencil bins.

 My teacher area and welcome board.

 This is the board outside our classroom.  I borrowed some pieces of tissue paper from my sweet teammate but looking at this picture, I think I need to go buy some more.  The tree would look better more full! 

 For meet the teacher night I had some apples for the parents to take home as a treat. 

 The note 

The apples

I can't wait to get "caught up" with school stuff so that I can come visit all of your blogs and see your wonderful classrooms! If I haven't visited and commented yet... don't worry- I will! It's always one of my favorite things to do each year! 

Happy Back to School!!