Five for Friday

I can’t believe it’s already Friday. Talk about a fast week! After having Monday and Tuesday off, Wednesday was an early release day for the kiddos (full day for the grown-ups). The past two days flew by, and now it’s time for a little linky party fun! You can join in over at¬†Doodle Bugs Teaching.

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Getting Flowers

When I got home from work last Friday, I found dinner and flowers waiting for me… for no reason. And we all know that is one of the best feelings. ūüôā Good work, Jeff! We capped off the night with a deliciously indulgent candy binge (I literally ate an entire Cookies n’ Cream bar…King Sized… and a bag of gummy worms. But it’s okay, because I run. Or something).

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THE RETURN OF THIS BEAUTIFUL PRODUCT.

Do I really need to say more? We’ve already been over the fact that coffee is a daily staple for me, without which I probably would be an absolute dragon lady. But this. THIS. IS. PERFECTION. Please don’t remind me of the giant list of unpronounceable ingredients. I’m taking one for the team, here.

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Fire Safety Week!

Our fire safety week fun was cut short this week, but we were still able to squeeze in a few read-alouds, craftivities, videos, and even a guest speaker! A parent of one of the first graders is a fire fighter, and he came in this morning to show us his cool uniform and answer our questions. Probably the best moment was when he asked the children what they can do when their smoke alarm goes off. Winning answer? “You can smack it.” Good idea. We did some shared writing (above) and their ideas were precious. When I sent up three kiddos to give him our letter, he asked them to read it. One of them said she couldn’t. #proudteachermoment #nexttimewewillrehearse

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Skinny Pumpkin Muffins!

Okay, so the skinny part may be a stretch. But these DO only require two ingredients, so the prep-work involved is skinny! Yeah. Mix a box of spice cake mix with some canned pumpkin. SO DELICIOUS. And surprisingly filling, although I will probably still consume 5 a day until they are gone.

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Getting Hitched

I realized this week that 2016 is a leap-year. I realized this when October 8 fell on a Thursday and I have a minor meltdown thinking I scheduled our wedding for 2:00 on a Friday instead of 2:00 on a Saturday. So, as of today, we have 365 days until my name changes and I confuse all of the children. Yay!

And there you have it! Plans for this weekend include my Church’s annual Chocolate Festival (!!!) and a visit from my Mom. Happy Friday!

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Operation: Apple and Other News

HAPPY FRIDAY! Why is it that the short weeks always seem the longest? I’m not sure, but I’m actually looking forward to being back to our regular schedule next week!

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If you’re new to Five for Friday linky parties, click the image above to learn more!

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Fantasy Football

Okay. I’ll admit it. I got suckered into doing a fantasy football league this year. Jeff and I have played in a three-strike pool for the past three years where you pick a team each week that you think will win. Three strikes and you’re out, and you can’t repeat any teams. It’s pretty fun when you aren’t kicked out in week three (true story last year). We’re continuing that again this season, but Jeff also is organizing a fantasy football league among some friends. Our draft was Monday night and my team is…. questionable. But hey, I got the one and only Jameis Winston, so obviously we’re going to win the World Series. Or whatever. ūüôā

Two

Apples, Apples, Apples. Every, Every, Everywhere. 

My classroom has been completely overrun by apples and apple paraphernalia. Red apples. Green apples. Yellow apples. Yellowish-reddish apples. Galas. Granny Smiths. MacIntosh. Washingtons. Red Delicious. Yellow Delicious. Apple sauce. Apple pie. Apple writing. Apple graphing. I could go on in a Bubba-inspired tangent while scrubbing floors with a toothbrush (if you don’t understand this reference, please find yourself a copy of¬†Forrest Gump¬†and do not return to my page until you have finished the movie), but I think you are probably picking up what I’m laying down. The apple-pinspired craze has struck room 207. And I’m completely okay with it.

Three

Actually running again!

So, about this running thing. I have a confession. I ran two times between July 4 (the Peachtree) and August 22. TWO. TIMES. That schedule I made and posted on here? It was about as useful as one-ply tissues. So, needless to say, on August 22, when I was supposed to have built a “training base” of running 7 miles for my long runs, I was wheezing after 2 miles. Thankfully I’m bouncing back pretty quickly, though, and it is feeling wonderful to be on the move and clear my head. It doesn’t hurt that I can feel it cooling off a teensy tiny bit outside!

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Classroom Guardian Angels (AKA Grandmas) 

Two weeks ago, our school had a cookout open-house and one of my students’ grandmothers came in asking if I could use a volunteer. I about keeled over in sheer joy. Several other first-grade teachers have foster grandmothers through a local program, but since I came in late in the game, I missed the registration (which I still picture as a cutthroat race-to-the-grandma event). Every time I looked at my 765 feet of lamination to cut, sight words to quiz, and activity supplies to organize, I got slightly choked up thinking about how I could use some wise words of comfort and a set of well-practiced hands. So, Nana entered our lives this week and SHE. IS. AWESOME. From crowd control to pulling small groups to just having another adult in my proximity to maintain sanity, she has already made such a difference in our classroom. I am so incredibly thankful for her (especially during Operation: Apple).

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Parent Newsletters

When I started student teaching, my supervisor required me to type up a weekly newsletter to post online every Friday for the upcoming week. At first, I was skeptical, but I quickly became a convert and uploaded that thing religiously. I have continued having parent newsletters through the past two years, posting them online and also sending them home every Monday. I have found newsletters¬†especially useful this year in first grade, where some of the munchkins’ handwriting in their agendas is still a bit…wavy. A simple one-page write-up can prevent so many miscommunication problems! It’s definitely worth the extra ten minutes on my Friday to fire it off, but now it can be even easier! As promised last week… Introducing my first newsletter template, geared toward August and September!

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It comes in an editable PowerPoint file with an example of how I use it in my classroom. I’ll be uploading more templates geared toward each month, and I’ll also create a bundle of all the months once I’ve finished. For now, you can grab you August-September template¬†here¬†for only $1.50!


Questions

  • Do you play fantasy football? Got any good tips for a clueless newbie such as myself?
  • What’s your go-to parent communication tool?
  • Does your district have any type of foster grandparent program?

Happy weekend! I’m looking forward to hearing your responses below!

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Five for Friday

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Fridays are for treats, jeans, and linky parties! Let’s go!

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Photoshoots with Molly

This dog. There were about ten more failed selfie attempts than just the ones I posted. She honestly looks like a Dementor in the first one. Apparently I taste delicious after a run? And apparently she just likes posing solo because I soon as I gave up on the selfie idea, she set herself up all nice and pretty.

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Planning Writing Lessons

I won’t lie, when I elected to plan writing for the grade level at the beginning of the year, I was slightly terrified. I assumed that my firsties wouldn’t be able to write much more than a few words, but they have taken me by the most wonderful surprise. They are so amazingly motivated to write! When I taught third grade, the students seemed to have a lot less intrinsic drive to write and it could be¬†hard¬†to get them to. I’m finding that my babies take an idea and run with it, even those who can’t quite¬†form all of their letters yet. I use a highlighter to write what they dictate and they trace over it. I realize this is definitely not a new idea, but it’s new to me and I LOVE IT! Hopefully we can wean ourselves off the highlighters soon!

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Finally Feeling Organized

I feel like I hit my rhythm this week. I haven’t been having to get to school quite so early and I haven’t been having to stay quite so late. The kiddos are also finally starting to move through transitions and assignments a bit more quickly (small victories)! The loveliest thing, though, is that I¬†actually¬†put file folders in my file cabinet. Yes. I know. I am an organization genie. Really though, I was just tossing extra papers and master copies in a cabinet because I didn’t have the brainpower or energy to organize them all, but this week I finally gathered the courage to set up big folders and subfolders. I also made tubs for each math area to hold ready-to-go centers. It’s the little things.

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Finally Owning Real Boots

As a girl who isn’t originally from the South, I have never owned “true” cowboy boots. I actually had a white pair with pink glittery stars that I was literally obsessed with in pre-school. As in, I wore those babies to bed. School. Playing. Everywhere. In Massachusetts. Then I got a cheapo pair later that I completely regret ever wearing. Then I found these bad boys online from¬†Durango Boots. And yes, I bargain hunted. They were already on sale and I also found a promo code. ūüėČ

Five

FALL. FALL. FAAAALLLLL!!!

It’s finally September. Football has begun and it should “only” be in the mid-80s this weekend. YES! Also, Labor Day weekend, anyone? Happy Friday!

Coming Soon: I’ve been trying to work on my TpT store this week to create some new products. Up first will be editable monthly newsletter templates! They’ll be available by the month or as a bundle once I finish them all. Stay tuned!

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Five for FRIDAY!

Can I get a TGIF? I’ve officially survived the first week of school in my new district and grade level and I couldn’t be happier. Yeah, I’m exhausted and my weekend highlights include a Netflix binge and takeout, but I am one happy camper. You know you’re in a great work environment when you’re fine with leaving at 6:15 AM every morning and staying until 4:00 every evening. That’s not to say, however, that I’m not crossing my fingers to maybe trim that back a teeny tiny bit, but I’m just fine and dandy with it all right now. Hopefully this steam will keep it going until May!

But now, it’s time for our weekly tradition sponsored by¬†Doodle Bugs Teaching!

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Coffee. 

“That’s all I have to say about that,” as Forrest Gump would say. If you went back to school this week, or ever, you understand.

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Actually Cooking Real Food

Despite an overwhelming desire to eat pizza, gummy worms, bagel bites, and my feelings this first week of school, I actually made dinner, as seen above. And yes, it was low-carb. I’m feeling like SuperWoman this week.

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This Yearly Tradition

Last year on the first day of third grade, I used a different frame that I made to take a picture of each of my students and myself. I switched out part of the frame to do the same thing on the last day. It was so fun to see the changes in everyone over the course of one school year! I did the same thing this week with my firsties, then we made picture frames for them to take home.

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This Devotional

I bought this book back in college after my roommate recommended it to me, and oh my goodness. It’s wonderful. The readings aren’t terribly long and lend so much perspective. I set aside 5-10 minutes every morning right before I leave for work or get my day started, and it makes such a huge difference in how the day goes. The passages truly put my mind in the correct focus and ground me.

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And finally, snuggling with this sweet girl at the end of every day.

Questions

  • What’s your favorite thing from this week?
  • What is your go-to weeknight meal during the first week back?
  • Do you have any first week traditions in your classroom?

I’m looking forward to reading your responses in the comments section!

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Five for Friday

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New to Five for Friday? Head on over to Doodle Bugs Teaching for an explanation.

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Before/After Photos

I know I already uploaded pictures of my classroom last night, but let’s be real. Before and after photos always put things in perspective!


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This Recipe

I probably make this dinner twice a month, at least. Probably more like three times a month (thrice?). Is there any kitchen appliance better than a crockpot? Well. Besides a Keurig… I think not. I threw this together yesterday morning, thought to myself on my drive home about how much I didn’t want to deal with cooking, then smelled its deliciously Tex-Mex aroma when I opened the door. Bliss. It’s also cheap and decently healthy if you want it to be!

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The Daily Five

I’m one of seven¬†first-grade teachers at my school, so we’ve split up lesson planning to simplify our lives. Each person has a subject to plan, but we independently plan interventions and literacy centers depending on where the students are. Our district has a literacy model to follow, and it turns out that The Daily Five jives with it beautifully! I did not use this method last year, but I have heard so much about it in the teacher blogosphere I decided to check it out. Turns out our professional library at school had the first edition, and I will say, I’m a convert. I can’t wait to implement it with my firsties! There are A TON of resources for it online, especially at the Sisters’ website linked in the title above.

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THE Wedding Binder

I think I wrote on my last Five for Friday (in July…oops.) about how I was debating about getting a wedding binder or just using The Knot. I don’t know why I was ever unsure, because I am the essence of an obsessively organized pencil-and-paper person. I caved and bought¬†The Knot Ultimate Wedding Planner & Organizer, and oh my goodness, it is wonderful. I like that it coincides well with The Knot website. Everything is already organized into tabs and it has informational sheets and worksheets to do before, during, and after making big decisions on vendors. Jeff totally loved filling out the wedding color inspiration worksheet with me… ūüôā

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Songza

Have you heard of Songza? It’s like Pandora’s underrated sibling. You get one commercial before your music starts playing, but I think that’s only when using the app. I’ve never heard commercials while using it on the computer, which is saying something because I’ve used it for lesson planning music since my sophomore year of college. It’s not really a new discovery, but I’m listening to it while typing this up and tackling the rest of my to-do list and decided to share the love. You can browse by genre, decade, activity, and mood. My personal favorite playlist on there is Harvest Moon. I can listen to it and pretend it’s fall, which is always a win.


And there’s the week in a nutshell! I haven’t seen much of the outside world, so my five this week is sort of unexciting. I’m sure next week will be¬†much¬†more eventful! Here’s to the last weekend of summer before the next adventure begins! ūüôā

Questions

Do you use the Daily Five? What’s your experience been with it? I’d love to hear in the comments below!

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Five for Friday

Happy Friday, y’all! It’s my last official Friday of summer break. Next week, I have a long-term planning day with my new grade level team on Monday, then volunteering at an early registration day on Tuesday, and then new hire orientation on Wednesday and Thursday. I’m hoping to squeeze in some time in my classroom to work on my displays. I have all of my furniture arranged and everything I moved in with me organized, but I still need to do all of the fun decorating and not-so-fun binder organization.

But, it’s Friday, so there’s only one thing that means…¬†Five for Friday Header

One

Pizza

I went out for pizza twice this week. At the same restaurant: Mellow Mushroom. Am I ashamed? Nope. I used to try to steer clear of pizzas made using bases other than tomato sauce, but I really took a leap of faith and branched out this week, ordering not one, but TWO pizzas with an olive oil base. Daring, I know. What did I choose? Mellowterranean and Thai Dye, both of which were equally amazing in their own ways. I’ll try to chill next week, but the place has also trivia, so I don’t know if I’ll prevail…

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Summer Reading

Am I going to have time to read anything other than 6-year-olds’ paragraphs after this week? The thought makes me misty eyed. My last book of the summer is going to be¬†The Rumor¬†by Elin Hilderbrand. I haven’t gotten as far into it as I would have liked, but time has really flown this week. While not mind-numbing, it’s definitely what I’d call a fluffy beach read; I don’t think I’d be too into it during any other time of year than summer. If you’re a fan of¬†Gossip Girl, I’d say it’s similar, only with grown adults. Whatever.

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The Knot

Have I mentioned before that I’m an obsessive planner? As in, each item on my to-do list has¬†its own to-do list. It’s like to-do list inception. I told myself I wouldn’t even think of wedding plans until after the first few weeks of school, but I’m literally incapable. I need to be juggling approximately 17 different causes of stress in order to function as a productive human being. So, after extensive Googling of the best wedding planning websites, apps, and binders (because I don’t actually have time to be Googling such fluffy stuff, but it’s summer, so…), I settled on The Knot. I’m sure I’ll regret saying this later, and someone please remind me when I’m sitting in a corner, crying over flower inspirations and nursing a bag of gummy worms, but I don’t think that this whole wedding planning thing is going to make me want to tear my eyeballs out like every other person I’ve spoken to who has gotten married recently. I mean, I plugged in our tentative date and budget, and I magically got an itemized checklist in chronological order, a countdown according to days, weeks, and months, and even an itemized budget. This is a list nerd’s dream.

Again, someone please remind me of this little soliloquy five months from now.

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This Article

WeAreTeachers¬†shared an article this week from Chalkboard Connections about something called deep data, and it truly gives perspective during this time of year when it’s so easy to focus more on door decorations than the munchkins who are about to walk through that door. I did not keep written data about each of my students’ preferences last year, but I’m going to try it out this year. I think this will be especially insightful and grounding during the time of year when I feel my energy and patience start to slip.

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TpT Sitewide Back to School SALE!

Back to School Sale

On August 3-4, TeachersPayTeachers is throwing a sitewide sale to help you get ready for the upcoming school year. Everything in my store will be 20% off! To make things even easier next week, go ahead and wishlist your favorite items for easy access during the sale!

Have a lovely weekend!

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Five for Friday & A Classroom Peek!

Happy Friday! With another week of summer vacation behind us, I’m starting to get the new classroom itchies. I headed out to my new school yesterday to check out my classroom and start planning out the physical environment. Next week is my last real week of break, but I’ve got a lot of work to do for the theme I want in my room, so I’ll be headed in on Monday to get busy. I’ll be sure to give a tour once it’s complete!

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Now on to the important thing about today: Five for Friday, hosted by Doodle Bugs Teaching!! For more details, click here.

One

Kroger Olive Bar

Have you heard that you should never go grocery shopping when you’re hungry? Me too. Guess when I always inadvertently go grocery shopping… Yup. When I’m hungry. I can’t resist the voices compelling me to visit the olive bar in this situation. Then this happens:

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Pure bliss. Also, that roasted garlic keeps vampires away, so it’s a win-win.

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Summer Reading

This week, I wrapped up¬†The Good Girl¬†by Mary Kubica, which many people have been comparing to Gone Girl. While I didn’t find it quite as engrossing as¬†Gone Girl,¬†I ended up getting pretty engrossed in it about halfway through. It was a bit jumpy, with chapters being told by different people during different time periods, alluding to a mysterious “before” and “after” of a rather implicit event. Next up:¬†The Rumor¬†by Elin Hilderbrand.

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Would You Rather…? Teacher Edition!

If you don’t already follow¬†WeAreTeachers¬†on Facebook, do it. Do it now. Because then, you’re exposed to gems such as this one: another Buzzfeed quiz! I will say I was surprised by the results on the cockroach vs. rat question, which you can find¬†here.

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The Arrival of My Planner

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IT. HAS. ARRIVED. I was like a child on Christmas morning when I found the package key inside my apartment mailbox. Even the packaging this thing comes in is precious. I’m enjoying putting my sticky date dots on a little too much. My Type A is showing. Oops.

I’ll be posting a full review next week, but if you’re thinking of purchasing an Erin Condren planner (which I highly recommend),¬†click here!

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And on top for this week… My new classroom!

I’m trying out a different theme this year, but I’m not telling what it is until I post my full classroom tour in a couple of weeks. This room has some great display areas on the walls and tons of storage. And if you didn’t catch it from the photo, it is shaped like a triangle. I’m ready to rise to the challenge!

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