Sunday, September 18, 2011

Yard Sale, Anyone?

Happy Sunday everyone!

Yesterday I went yard sailing with my very avid-yardsaling-mama, and I want to share our experience with you...

Each Saturday at half-past dark-thirty, she and her friend Johanna and Johanna's mom and Johanna's mom's dog Sophie go Yard Sailing.  I catch a ride every blue moon to stock up on classroom items and home goodies.  Sometimes we end up with zilch. nada. nothing.  And then other times we hit the JACKPOT!

Letmetellyou that yesterday was a jackpot kinda day!  It was, spectacular!  I spent $25 yesterday.  Here is my loot!  Yay!  :o)

Okay, y'all...Everything in this picture was 25 cents each!!  $1.25 for EVERYTHING!  Two Halloween doormats (gave the one standing up to my kinder-friend Cindy), an Easter doormat, Halloween stencil, and a mini-Christmas tree.  All for the classroom.
The Halloween mat that I gave Cindy was the first one I purchased.  I found the "Trick or Treat" mat at another yard sale and liked it better.  It will sit outside my classroom door in a few weeks.

ALL of the books were 25 cents a piece (I usually like to pay 10 cents, but these are in such great condition, I couldn't pass them up!).  I LOVE Dick and Jane books.  I have so many now that I'm going to have to make a separate book tub for them.  My students love them for the repetitious nature like Dr. Seuss has.  I love them because of the repetition AND the nostalgia.

On the top step in the middle is a Vowel Pattern game from Scholastic.  I almost bought the very same one last year for $14.99.  It was $1. Ha!  :o)

Total here...$3.50.

By the way, two of these books are so cute - they are "What to Expect..." books for children who are going to be a big brother or big sister.  Two of my students became big sisters/brothers last year, and I have a little girl this year who will big a big sissy soon!  :o)

My mom asked me to take a picture of just my Dick and Jane books for her yard sale blog.  She loves them almost as much as I do!  :o)

Markers for 10 cents (brand spankin' new!) and two like-new binders for 25 cents a piece.  Total?  $0.60!

The first yard sale we hit had the red sweater.  25 cents!  Bonus?  It has shoulder pads!  As soon as I laid eyes on it, I knew instantly that I had found my tacky Christmas sweater for this year.  I should have kept this secret (I won the contest last year, so this will give my competitors an advantage...), but I'm in so much love that I couldn't resist.  Now it's on to find the perfect tacky leggings, wooly socks, earrings, and the rest of the ridiculous accessories!  :o)
The black dress is for Halloween...I want to be the Wicked Witch of the East this year.  This dress was $1.  It was at a yard sale I found on my way home.

Some Christmas decorations for my classroom (I am in LOVE with snowmen!) - both were 25 cents a piece!  And two terra-cotta pots (again, 25 cents each!!) to clean, paint, and monogram.  I have some over-grown house plants that need to be separated.
For 10 cents I picked up those little black hangers.  They are for my house.  They are stocking hangers that work like those purse hangers.  They don't fall down!  I picked them all up for 10 cents.  I want to find some snowmen to hot glue to them so they look a little more festive!  :o)

So that's all for the is the rest of my stash for my house/ my veryownself....

Y'all, I have been dreaming of owning and collecting a Christmas light-up village for about 1/2 of my life.  BUT when Christmas rolls around, I can't afford the dag-on stuff!  I have kept my eyes out for this at yard sales through the years and have always come up empty-handed.  Until yesterday.  Oh. My. Goodness!  All 5 of these were $10!!!  Like, $10 for the whole set!!!!!!  They came with their original boxes...and each box is marked between $19.99 and $34.99!  Yay!!  These are from an estate sale where the mother had passed away, and her children were selling what was left.  I assured them that these would be taken care of and were going to a good home!  Now I just have to find the accessories and a place to display them at Christmas!  :o)

Boxes for the Christmas village.

I just finished the Twilight saga.  It was my summer love affair (aside from my handsome of course!).  I spent countless hours diving into each book and went into mourning the day I finished Breaking Dawn and realized that the books would be no more.  I bought the first two books at Goodwill, borrowed the third and fourth, but want all four for my bookcase (and future re-reading).  Yesterday I found Breaking Dawn - hardback, mind you - for $1!!!!

I also found two Nicholas Sparks novels that I haven't read yet (I have a weakness for him too) for $1 each, and also The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (I've been wanting to read this for a while).  The Girl was $1 as well.  THEN I found these TOO CUTE handbags for $1 each.

The matching candlestick holders were $0.50 each at the estate sale where I found the village.

Total...$7!  :o)

On a side note, I'm stuck on the couch today, but not the same reason as my last post.  This time I woke up feeling just absolutely ICKY! of the only drawbacks of being a teacher: getting germy germs from my students. Anyway, my laundry is mid-cycle and the dishwasher is is a reminder of the harsh realities of house-work (look closely at the sign above my sink...then look at the sink...)  :o)

High ho, high ho, it's off to work I go...

Check out my mom's blog by clicking HERE.  If you are considering yard sailing, read her blog - she has many helpful tips if you are new or do not go EVERY Saturday like she does. at peace and all will be well...

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Lesson Plans...

...I've been debating on whether or not to change the layout and title of my blog...trying it out today - what do you think??

Y'all, I have been searching for almost 5 years for a decent way to organize my lesson plans.  I have never once been 100% satisfied.  I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but I am a TAD bit OCD, type-A, CDO (that's OCD in alphabetical order - the way it should be!)...get the idea?

So when I taught first grade, our "special" class time was at the same time each day.  So everyday we would have the same amount of time for our planning periods.  It made lesson plan templates very simple.  My mentor shared her template with me, and I was able to organize all of my plans easily and quickly each week.  I was in CDO heaven!

Now in kindergarten, and a different and bigger school, I don't have that luxury of the same planning time each day.  Our school ranges from Transition (preschool) to 12th grade.  Our "special" teachers have to work us and 12 other grade levels into their schedules.  I have a special place in my heart for our music teacher who has the difficult task of creating these schedules.  I would NEVER want that job!  ;o)

However, my poor CDO-self is still adjusting to having special classes at a different time and sometimes a different time-frame each day.  Last year was my first year teaching kindergarten, and I wrote out my lesson plans for each day (so one page of plans per day).  I really took a lot of time to plan out my lessons so that I could get acclimated with what I needed and wanted my students to learn.  Now it's year two, and it doesn't take QUITE as long to plan...still takes a lot more than I would want it to, but again, this CDO teacher is trying to get it just right for her students.

Here is a run-down of the materials we use...

We use Open Court Imagine It series.  I take what I need from this - I use the Morning Message and Phonemic Awareness portion as well as the Letter Knowledge and Penmanship part right now (we're teaching the sound AND handwriting techniques right now).  I also like their Book and Print Awareness concepts - but most of the time I pick my own Shared Reading book and use the Imagine It's concept to learn (I hope that makes sense!).

Not this week but next week we will start Guided Reading (I haven't finished my back to school assessing yet).  I bought "Become a Guided Reading Guru" from Lesson Plan SOS this summer.  Oh. My. Goodness.  It is awesome!  I was raised a guided reading teacher from college all the way up through teaching 1st grade.  I love it.  I swear by it.  I didn't get to do it like I wanted to last year, but this year we are kicking it up a notch!  If you are still struggling like I am to make Guided Reading everything you want it to be, go check this TpT packet out. It's only $8 but it's worth EVERY PENNY!


Scott Foresman is the adoption we use for math.  I like it a lot because it focuses on so many hands-on manipulatives.  We basically follow this lesson-by-lesson unless there's a wacko lesson that we skip (there is one in chapter 2 that is just crazy confusing for the teachers to understand let alone the kinders!).  So when you see the math part in my lesson plans, I basically just include the title of the lesson and what the students should do (practice on the handout is what most days say).  In between all of that is the "good stuff"...I just don't have enough room on my template to spell out what we're going to do.  I have sticky notes all over my teacher's manuals to remind me of what went well last year and what I need to change this year.


Last year I purchased a book with my bonus points from Scholastic called The Complete Year in Reading and Writing for kindergarten.  I loved it, but couldn't start it up right away and had to pick-and-choose lessons to get us through the end of the year.  Our Reading adoption has writing plans built in, but I just felt like I wanted to step it up a notch in my classroom.
I am LOVING it this year.  It tells you what books to use, it has great units of study, and it also has pre-made lesson plans for teachers like me who are not very good at breaking down the components of writing.  I adapt the lessons to fit "Writing Workshop" guidelines.  We have a 5-10 minute mini lesson and then they get 10 minutes to practice.  Then we close with a 5 minute share.  I LOVE to write (as you have noticed), but I'm still learning how to teach my students to write. My handsome purchased this same book for 4th grade and is loving it too.

Science and Social Studies:

We create weekly and monthly units of study for science and social studies.  Right now we are in the middle of "All About Me" ...getting to know differences and similarities in each other.  This week we will continue that as well as talking about family life and the components and structure of different families.  We are blessed with a Science Lab at the school and as a "Special Class."  Students get to have wonderful hands-on experiences with live animals and different objects each week.  LOVE the science lab!

Okay, here are my plans for this all their glory (yeah right).  I am always looking for new ideas and constructive criticism, so let me know if you do something similar, or if you have tried something in the past that works better...

Johnson Lesson Plans

This post was inspired by Mrs. Lochridge's post:

Lesson Planning in the 21st Century...go check it out!

Happy Sunday, y'all! at peace, and all will be well...

Saturday, September 10, 2011

While You Were Out Freebie

Happy Saturday, blog world!  Ahh it is almost noon on this glorious Saturday...confession?  I'm typing this in the middle of my unmade bed, still in my pj's, and it is SO NICE!  :o)  Handsome has already turned on the world of college football, and we have t-minus 3 hours until our Pirates play.  Arrrgh!!!

One of my students was absent the other day, and as always I pulled out my "We Missed You" page to attach to her missed classwork.  I wanted to share it with you.  It has made my life SO easy!  I used to use a regular piece of notebook paper just listing the assignments, but it took FOREVER!  I just couldn't find a printable that fit me, so I would continuously write the same template over and over again as students missed school.

Last year I finally broke down and took all of 3 minutes designing this:

Student Make-Up Work

**I just changed this so that it doesn't talk about being sick - I think I'm actually going to start using this one instead - thanks for asking Janae!  :o)

All you do is fill out the form, put the date somewhere up at the top, and then staple any missed work to this sheet of paper.  I usually send home the shared reading book and put it all in a gallon size ziploc bag.

If you grab this and like it, let me know by leaving a comment.  If you need it to say something different, I can change it too :o)