I think I've made it pretty clear that I've got a somewhat challenging group this year. I'm always trying to find ways to promote positive attitudes, participation, and build self esteem. I've got quite a few "I can't", "I won't" or "This is too hard" kids. Quite frankly, I've had it! Grr...
One day, I was searching Elmo videos for Bubba, he is obsessed with Elmo, and I came across this video.
 Elmo and Will.I.am Wow, it's perfect.

I decided that after breakfast (my kids eat IN the classroom), I would put this on the smartboard and tell them they need to clean up and be ready on the run before it stops. It's been working like a dream. My kids LOVE it. We've memorized all the words and we're even thinking of adding movements to it. It's made some of my morning grouches change their attitudes. Here's a picture of my kiddos ready, on the rug, to start our day!

PS. I just uploaded my Sight Word Study Guides to my TpT store. To get a freebie sneak peak at what's included CLICK HERE. For all 33 guides visit my TpT store  HERE.

Thanks to all who are supporting my new little endeavor. I've been having a blast designing and planning because I know that others might benefit from my work. In turn, I'm the one who's benefited. I feel more inspired than ever. :) 
Even though I'm pretty sure no one reads this (I haven't really made it known that I even started this little blog), if you do happen across it, and would like to comment on how you keep the positive vibe flowing in your classroom, I could use the fresh ideas!
I'm gearing for the launch of our space unit this week. I've got so many fun things planned I can barely stand it. Here are a few of the things I've been preparing:
Each of my students will get their very own NASA Badge, complete with plastic protector and lanyard. They're going to poop themselves. :)
 They will each get a Space Exploration Journal and a letter from NASA to take home and share with their family. I've put both of these things into labeled, gallon sized, plastic bags. I'm going to pretend that NASA had them sent to our class because they need help learning new things about the galaxy. Budget cuts, ya know? :) Again, my kids are going to flip. (I hope!)
I'm so excited to read this book to my class! It's by Meghan McCarthy and it's all about how to become an astronaut. It's also got some good "life lessons" in it as well. Lord knows my class can use as many reminders as possible about being "team players" and "having a positive attitude".  So, it's perfect for us!

 This is a space shuttle I made out of an old copy paper box. My kids are going to take turns being the "pilot" on our journey through space. They will have to listen to the read aloud and "visualize". We've talked about this strategy a lot but I'm not quite sure how it will go. My original plan was to have one students sit up front with me and I won't show them the pictures during the read aloud. I thought afterwards I'd have them draw on chart paper whichever planet or space feature we are learning about. I'll update later on how this goes. :)
Alright, I'm off to work on my Space Literacy Centers for the remainder of this Bubba's nap time.

Happy 16 months to my high-fivin', peanut butter lovin', signing, diaper hating, climbing, hug and kiss giving, cuddle monster, cutie pie. We love you to the moon and back. Now, say a word!!!!
Oh my gosh, what a lucky momma I am. I can't believe how fast it's gone. 
I'm joking, of course!  But I am ready to move on to our next unit.
I was out with a sick baby last Friday so we've been finishing up "the desert" and doing some Earth Day activities this week. Speaking of Earth Day, I was thinking of doing an inferencing lesson by bringing in my recycling bin with a few choice items in it (ie. baby food jar, tissue box, cat food can..etc.) and seeing if my kids can make some inferences about Mrs. Wheat, her home, and who lives there. We'll see how that goes. :)
Back to the desert- here is our completed hallway display.
I'm pretty happy with how it turned out but man, it took a lot of tape! :) As much as I love our newly remodeled school, I miss our old, wallboard hallways with a million staple holes!
Here is our cactus project and assessment:
I found the idea on pinterest but tweaked it with some labels and a place for the students to write about how a cactus survives in the desert. You can find out more about our adventures in the desert HERE.

Click HERE for a copy of my Habitat Graphic Organizer Packet.
We are just finishing up our 4 week unit of habitats! Whew, it seemed like a lot of work but boy did we have fun! Our unit began with the rainforest and I found this adorable unit on TpT: Rainforest Habitat My kids were totally into it! Next up was the ocean and again, I went hunting on TpT. I came across Deanna Jump's Ocean Unit. Man alive, I just love her stuff. Our next two weeks we were going to explore the forest and the desert. I could not find anything for these two habitats. So, I got an idea...Why not make my own? And so began the endless nights of making my own worksheets and activities. I'm telling you, I AM HAVING A BLAST! This is why I got into teaching in the first place- to make things cute! I mean, I love children too, of course. :) Here are some of the things we did:
This is half of our hallway display (the rainforest and the ocean). The other half will be the forest and the desert.
The worksheets and activities from above can be found in my Forest Habitat Unit of TpT. I'm still working on the desert habitat unit but it should be up soon. I'm also working on 3 different space products. We have a HUGE unit on space coming up and I've got a ton of ideas! I'm really looking forward to teaching that and sharing with you! Stay tuned!
Oh my, after being a serious "teacher blog" stalker, I was up one night (couldn't sleep) and started this little blog. That was a few weeks ago. It's taken me this long to figure out how to get a cute layout..I'm ALL about things being cute...and here I am. I have zero idea how to blog so I'm pretty happy no one knows about this yet. I figure I'll give it a shot!
This has been one of the most challenging years in my teaching career. It began in September when our curriculum, academic intervention procedures, standardized testing procedures, and final teacher evaluations were all BRAND new. On top of that, I found myself with a very challenging class. My group is mostly boys and within it I have some students who are really struggling academically and emotionally.  I also had an 8 month old son at home and was making the transition back to being a working mom after one of the most fun filled summers of my life! To say I was overwhelmed would be an understatement. I'm sure many teachers can relate.
Teaching has always been my first love. I've wanted to teach first grade ever since I was a little girl. When I was hired a month before a graduated I was elated. My dreams were coming true. So I was devastated when I was driving home one afternoon, this past fall, and I just started crying. I began to realize I wasn't having fun anymore. I was negative, grumpy, and stressed. My family was feeling it, my friends commented on it, and most of all I could see the effects of my attitude on my classroom. After some real soul searching I decided I was going to buck up and suck it up. No more excuses, no more wallowing and woe-is-me about all the things that I can't change. I decided to find my passion for this profession again by learning to let go and stay positive. Oh, and I also found Pinterest. Ha! Seriously though, it got my creative juices flowing like they hadn't in a long while. I started to be inspired by other teachers and was trying new things in my classroom. Little by little, things got better. It's now April and I'm feeling better than ever. Teachers- is there any better feeling in the world than walking into your classroom before the kids arrive and realizing "I got this!"?
Well, that was more than I was expecting to share but I tend to be a little bit of an open book. I also have a pretty big mouth. Ha! Don't get me started on politics! Oh sheesh, I hereby SWEAR to never speak the "P" work again. :)
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