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Monday, August 29, 2011


Shh! Quiet! Turn your voices off!

We've been back to school for three days and this is all I've gotten done saying. Now granted it's only been 3 days, but I'm at my wits end. They talk constantly, and get so loud when I give them independent work. This group also seems to have absolutely no idea what NO TALKING means.

What strategies do you use? Please help?

One thing I've thought about doing is having a contest between the tables and having them earn marbles as a table when they are quiet and doing work. I'm not sure of a prize for the winners though.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Teacher Week Day #3: Where it all Happens

I didn't do Tuesday's post because this is only my second year of teaching and I don't feel like I'm the best one to give advice. However, I'm excited about today's post because I haven't posted any classroom pics this year! So be prepared, there are quite a few.

My listening center and that pocket chart will be used for my center chart.

A dark view of my library center (the battery in my camera was dieing)

A better view of my library center.

Self explanatory: I found those flowers on a blog, but I can't seem to find it now.

We use responsive classroom for behavior at our school. This is my timeout area/card system/feelings poster.

View from the front of my room

View from the side of the room

Word Wall/Cabinets....those are penguins with letters that I bought on tpt.

Penguin curtains and cubbies

View of the front and middle of the room. I'm blessed with a large room.

Tomorrow is our first day with the kiddos. I now have 20 kiddos on my roster and I've met 18 of them. Wish me luck!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Meet the Teacher Monday!

I'm participating in Meet the Teacher week at Blog Hoppin'

Tell us a little something about you:

I'm Jenna, I'm twenty something (a little closer to the 30 side), and I teach first grade! I graduated from Marshall University (Go Herd!) in 2007. I'm married to the love of my life! We have 2 furbabies (Noel and Valentina) and we are starting classes next month to be foster parents. I can't wait to be a mom!

How long have you been teaching:

Finding a teaching job was not easy! I started out teaching preschool (I have a minor in Pk-K). Finally in February of 2010 I got my first job in an elementary school teaching fourth grade. Last year I switched to first and I love it!

You might not know:

*I married my husband after knowing him for just 8 months.

*We have been battling infertility for almost 2 years.

*I can't whistle.

*I'm afraid of the dark.

What teaching supply can you not live without:

I love sharpies! I also love my timer. I also really like my brightlink board (similar to a smart board). The number one thing I can't live without would be the laminator. I don't have my own though, I just use the one at school .:(

Now head on over to blog hoppin' to join in on Meet the Teacher Week!

Thursday, August 18, 2011


I have a facebook friend that puts a hash tag on all her facebook's contagious haha..hence the title!

Today was our second workday. I've gotten a ton done, but I am exhausted. I guess my body is still on summer time. I only took a couple pictures today because I forgot my camera. I'll try to remember it tomorrow.

This is the bulletin board in the hallway outside of my room. I ordered a penguin bulletin board set from Bender-Burkot at the end of last year, but it hasn't come in yet, and I'm not confident it will be here by open house on Tuesday. I have some backup penguins I can use that I bought at my favorite teacher supply store! I plan to put each of my 19 kiddos names on them.

These are my math tubs. Inspired by The First Grade Parade . I plan on doing more math centers during my math time this year. I found penguins with each letter of the alphabet on teachers pay teachers. They came with some blank penguins, so I used those for my math tubs.

I brought home a huge pile of things I laminated that I need to cut out. I'm not looking forward to it, but here I go.........

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I found it!

It's always in the last place you look. The beginning of the year assessment I was looking for is on Roschell's blog: Building Blocks. Check it out, it's really cute!

Tomorrow is our first work day :( We were suppose to go to OBX with my parents from Sunday until today, but there was a slight change of plans. So today I'm printing all the awesome blog ideas I've been saving in google documents. I can't wait to share them with my first grade team.

My plan for this year is to keep as positive an attitude as I can. I find that a lot of teachers at my school (sometimes me included) can be very pessimistic. I want to stay away from that. Last year was really hard because it was my first full year teaching, and my first year teaching first grade. This year I feel like I kind of know what I'm doing. We got a new principal this year and she is so sweet. I loved our old principal too though :) I'm very excited and apprehensive (I have 3 retainees this year). Classroom management is not my strong suit, but I'm hoping I can do a good job!

Monday, August 15, 2011


I know I saw a back to school assessment packet on someones blog, and I can't find it now. I thought I had saved it. Who can help me find it? It had a spot to fill in a hundreds chart, a spot to color the box (labeled with a color word), and more.... Where is it?

Thanks in advance!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A little bit of this....A little bit of that!

This post is exactly what the title says. Just a couple things I wanted to share with blogland. I go back to work on Wednesday :( Don't get me wrong, I'm excited for the new school year, but I love sleeping in and staying up late.

I wanted to share this volunteer form with you. My friend Tuyetnga (that I met at the NCCAT this summer) shared a variation of this form with me. I changed it a bit to meet the needs of our classroom and I someone else might be able to use it. Parent involvement is something our school struggles with. I'm hoping I'll have some volunteers this year! I had two parents last year that helped with everything and that was it.

Parent Volunteer Form

Also, I had a couple people ask me how I got my donors choose projects funded. The first one I entered last year was largely funded by family. I posted a link to the project on facebook and got donations through that. Build a Bear workshop also donated some. I know certain companies/organizations do donations at times, but I'm not sure how they choose recipients.

The second project I entered was funded at the end of 2010. The end of the year is a great time to get projects funded because it's a tax write off. The people that funded mine funded a few others, and when I looked at their history it seems they do that every year. I would highly advise you to post a project in time for tax season.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Donor's Choose

A couple weeks ago I put up my first donor's choose project of the school year. I was able to get 2 projects funded last year. I got a super cute bilingual rug for my room, and some center activity kits. This project is for plastic book boxes. If you or anyone you know might want to contribute click the link below.

Donor's Choose

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A couple projects

Today I've been working on a couple of projects at home. I was online looking up privacy shields, but they run like $8.00 for one. I don't have that kind of cash...I'm a teacher! I'm pretty sure I remember seeing these on a blog, but I'm not sure where. I also think another teacher at school mentioned making these. I just took two manilla folders and glued them together. I also added some tape for reinforcement. I'm going to laminate them when I get back to school. I'm still debating whether to decorate them (maybe with some penguins!). I'm not sure if that will be overly distracting. What do you think?

I'm also redoing my word wall words. Last year I wrote my words on notecards with different colors and put them on the word wall. This year I typed them up and glued them to construction paper. I'm also going to laminate these before cutting them again. I wish I had a laminator at home! The cabinets in my room have cork board all down the front so I use that as my word wall. I'm so glad to have that! What do you store your word wall words in while not using them?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A Few Classroom Pictures

The other day when I was working in my room I snapped a few pictures. I've done some more work since then, but I don't intend to go back until our workdays start next Wednesday. There are only a handful of teachers that have even gone in to work this summer.

View of the penguin curtains I hung up...those things thrown in the cubbies below are put away now.

View from the library center...that's my bff Blake in the background helping me.

View from the front of my room...I have all my tables where I want them. That blue cabinet is in my office now though.

View from my office door. I've since hung my alphabet strip above the board, and hung the clock up on the wall.

AND................the winner of the $10 Target giftcard is:

#24 Cindy who said "I'm a new follower of your blog!:o)

Cindy e-mail me your address at and I'll get your giftcard in the mail!


Monday, August 8, 2011

A Giveaway

I know I'm only suppose to blog once per day, but I just found an awesome giveaway. The blog formerly known as Adventures in Teaching has a new name and location, it's now Fabulous Firsties! She's hosting an AWESOME giveaway. She's giving away scentsy bars! Scentsy candles are my fave! Click the link above and check out her giveaway!


I made some listening center sheets that I'd love to share with y'all, but I can figure out how. I tried uploading them to google documents, but they are too big. Then I uploaded them to scribd, but they have a font that isn't recognized and it changed the formatting and put dots across the page. Who can help me with this??

I did start a Teacher's Notebook Store and you can get the basic listening center sheet inspired by First Grade to the Core.

Click HERE to visit my store and get it for free.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Top 10 Reasons You Know It's Back To School Time

Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits is hosting a linky party. I love linky parties!

Without furthur ado:

The 10 ways I know it's back to school time

10. It's tax-free weekend here in NC.

9. My BFF asked me if I wanted to hang out Monday or Tuesdays because she's off and I asked her if she'd meet me at my school and help in my room :) I lurve her!

8. I've been spending hours devoting my life to reading teacher blogs again. I also lurve blogs!

7. My trunk is full of supplies I've bought...and a couple awesome steals I got from a retiring teacher on Craigslist.

6. I've gone back to telling my husband to "hush I'm working."

5. I'm practicing for less frequent bathroom breaks.

4.I feel like my to-do list is much too long.

3. I've already picked out an outfit for back to school night.

2. I'm preparing myself for the fact I won't be able to stay up late to watch my guilty pleasure shows.

and the number #1 way I know it's back to school time:

I started blogging again!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A question for my blogging friends

Last year my listening center was strictly that--listening. They listened to the book, and if time allowed they listed again. This year I'd like for there to be a sheet they need to fill out. It would have to be pretty simple at the beginning for the year, but could advance from there. Do any of my blog friends havea sheet like this that they could share?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

T minus 14 days

In exactly two weeks I will be officially returning for workdays. We have six workdays before the kiddos start on the 25th. Today I went in again with intentions of hanging my penguin curtains. I soon realized that although I asked for enough fabric to make two curtains, she only cut enough for one. I went to trim it down some and...........cut off too much. I'm on my way to JoAnn's tomorrow for more penguin fabric....good thing I get a 15% discount. :)

I did manage to get 4 boxes emptied. That may not seem like a lot, but since I moved rooms and EVERYTHING is in boxes, that is awesome. I have 4 closets in my room and I have 1 completely done! I also had an insightful conversation with our amazing custodian today. He wants to go to barber school and I'm really hoping that dream pans out for him. Did I mention he is amazing?? He came in my room out of his own free will and ASKED if I needed help...that's dangerous! Haha!

Since it's back to school time...what better time for a giveaway!!!

I've been stocking up at the Target dollar spot (and $2.50) spot. It's my fave! So for my first giveaway (since I'm a small fry blogger) I'm giving away a.........

$10 Target Giftcard.

I will draw a winner for this giveaway on Wednesday, August 10th at 8pm! Then I'll mail the winner their awesome giftcard!

Ways to enter:

1. Become a follower and leave a comment that you are.

2. Leave a comment with something awesome I should put on my walls (because they always feel so boring)...p.s. I am having a penguin theme.

3. Blog about my giveaway and leave a link to your post in the comments!

That's 3 possible entries!!! I love giving gifts so this is very excting for me!