Five for Friday! {Apples}

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday

This week we started our two week apple and Johnny Appleseed unit. This is one of my most favorite units! 

We started our week out with discussing what we already know and want to know about apples. We made a KWL chart. We then began learning all about apples by reading lots of non-fiction books. 

I asked for students to bring in 1-2 apples for us to use for our apple investigations, taste tests, and apple sauce. We started out the week with some apple investigations and did a few each day. We used the The Great Apple Investigation from the fabulous Cara Carroll. The kids loved it! 

We also learned all about the parts of an apple and did a little labeling craftivity from my Bushels of Fun with Apples pack.

We did a little apple taste test this week too! Red was the favorite when we did a class vote.

Today we made applesauce in the crockpot! The classroom smelled soooo good and the applesauce was super yummy!

We also made our September snazzy snack today... Apple Trees!

Next week we will be learning all about Johnny Appleseed. We went ahead and made the craft so we could be enjoying it on display in the hall.

I will be back next week to share more from our apple and Johnny Appleseed unit! You can find the cutie Johnny Appleseed craft in my Bushels of Fun with Apples pack. 

Happy Friday!


Teacher Week 2015 Thursday: Sanity Savers!

I'm joining the girls at Blog Hoppin' for day 4 of Teacher Week. Today is all about sanity savers! 

Here are some of my sanity savers!

Copy, plan ahead, and stay organized!
The top left is a pic of some of my tpt units that I have purchased and printed and then stored in binders. This makes things so easy when prepping and planning! I'm not having to search all over for what I'm needing or having to reprint. I just grab the binder and I'm ready to go!

The top right pic is morning work copied for the whole month. I love copying several weeks in advance. It's nice to have things ready and not having to stress over last minute planning and prepping. I copy several weeks worth of journals, morning work, math, etc. I love that I'm ready to go each morning and not having to run to the copier last minute.

The bottom pic is our interactive reading journal activities copied and cut. I have these done and ready for all of September and October. I have found that it's so much easier to have these pre-cut for my firsties. It saves so much time... and definitely my sanity! I love interactive journals soooo much! But, the cutting last year could be somewhat an obstacle for some of my sweeties. This year I have pre-cut them and all they have to do is glue it in their journal and then start responding in their journals. I have found it works out so much better this way! I cut them any free chance I might have... recess, etc. I clip them together and store them in a colorful roll cart and they are ready for me when I need them! :)

Helping hands... 
My mom helps me out by cutting out all of our craft projects and puts them in individual zip lock bags. The kids each grab a bag and within 5-10 minutes they have created a cute craft project. This helps out so much! I lOVE crafts!! But, there isn't always a lot of extra time for crafts. This allows for us to squeeze it in to our busy day and helps take one thing off of my to-do list! I sure am thankful for my mama's sweet helping hands! I hope she knows how much I appreciate all she does to help me out in her free time when she isn't working at her regular job. :)

Take some time to pamper yourself with....
a pedi after school, a Route 66 sweet tea or Coke from Sonic, a yummy dessert, some new Lilly Pulitzer, take out dinner, date nights, or a spur of the moment weekend getaway! All of these are good for this teacher soul! :)

date night getaway to Opryland Hotel a couple of weeks ago.. love this guy!:)

TRAVEL! Spring and fall break {for sure!} and any other chance we might get in between we travel! Getting away is always a good sanity saver! Leaving your school bag behind and having no internet gives me a good chance to recharge my mind. If I wasn't gone somewhere I would totally work on school stuff the entire break. Getting away gives me a chance to recharge and take a little break from work for some me time.
This summer for a little getaway to Clearwater! :)

Cuddles with my fur baby... 
This cutie baby makes every day and everything better! Love his precious little heart!! 

Well that's my sanity savers! How do you save your sanity??


Teacher Week 2015 Wednesday: Classroom Tour

I'm joining in for Day 3 of Teacher Week with the girls from Blog Hoppin' to share with you a little tour of my classroom. I did a classroom reveal post last week with all of the details of where I got everything I used to get my room ready. If you see something you like and want the details of where it came from you can check that post here.
First stop on the tour is my writing station area... I think it is my most favorite!

To save space I used these amazing extra large library pockets from CTP! They can pick a writing activity from the writing board and get the corresponding sheet from one of these pockets! I laminated the pockets so I could write on them with a dry erase marker. These pockets are awesome! They hold up to 50 sheets of paper. I attached them to the wall with velcro. I love that it is all together and doesn't take up a ton of space on a shelf. 
Word Wall

Bubble Gum Words-- you can read a post all about how this works here

This is my little corner of the room.

Reading Focus Board-- I display the poem of the week and the reading focus skills here each week. Below are books in the classroom library. There is also a bottom row of tubs with books that didn't make the pic. 
Listening Center-- students will use the scoop chairs when at the listening chairs.In the tubs are listening station packs. I have the book, CD, and corresponding recording sheet in a ziplock bag.
Another little view of the classroom library. Sorry for the bad lighting! I place featured books in the book shelf. Currently it's all back to school books. I should have taken a pic of the entire library area. But maybe you get an idea of what it looks like. :)

Math Focus Board-- I add standards to this as we cover them. Currently we are focusing on addition and counting so they all aren't up there just yet.
Meeting area... We love carpet time! This is where a lot of our learning takes place. Behind it you can see the smart board, my teacher cart with laptop, flexcam, markers, flash cards, etc. and to the right of the teacher cart it's hard to see but it is the shelf with our center tubs and the Kindle Fire tablets.

This is a view from the back of the room at my small group table. This year I have my students in groups of four. I color code my groups. I have a green, purple, red, and blue group. Last year I got a class set of chair pockets from Seat Sack and I LOVE them so much!!! I washed them this summer and they looked good as new for my new group of firsties. In their chair pockets they keep their classwork folder, journal, etc.

Each group has a book shelf beside their group. This is where they place their SAFARI Books, journals, earbuds/headphones, etc. I started this last year and loved how it worked out!

Here is my small group table. The shelves behind have manipulatives and extra classroom supplies stored on it. And up top are some of my Kohls Cares friends hanging out.
Cubbies.. Student's put their lunchboxes, backpacks, and gym shoes in a cubbie. I use the extras to store books and classroom materials. My Kohls Cares friends are hanging out up top! :)
Clip Chart
Classroom door

Well that's my little home away from home. I hope you enjoyed the little tour! :)