Friday, November 11, 2011

I know...I know... it has been 3 months since I have blogged. It's not my fault...honestly! What person in their right mind thinks they could keep up with a blog, an adorable baby (see below), a crazy bunch of kiddos (and ALL the paperwork that comes with them), and a couponing obsession?? I can't promise that I will get better, but I can promise that I will keep stalking!!

Here is a recap of the past 3 months...

Rylan- He is the most amazing thing to ever happen to me!! I L.O.V.E being his mom! God has blessed Matt and I more than we could ever deserve! He is sleeping through the night...up to 10 hours at times!! He is teething (ugh), and almost sitting up by himself (yay!). It is amazing to me how his personality is getting stronger and more apparent each day. He is genuinely a happy baby, and usually only cries for food or sleep.

Pumpkin Eater!

Classroom- I still love my job! Despite the overwhelming amount of paperwork (they did NOT tell us this in college....hmmm that is a possible future post title), seeing my kiddos make gains in academics as well as self confidence makes everything worth it!

Couponing- Diapers are expensive!!!! Who knew a baby would use so many of them? I am so thankful for CVS. In our last shopping trip we got 6...yes 6, jumbo packs of Pampers for $4!!! How? Coupons, CVS loyalty, and sale shopping! CVS is my favorite place to coupon!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

This Past Week...

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I can honestly say I have not been blog stalking/pinning/fbooking like my normal self this week... this could be the reason why...
Rylan Walker
My little guy was born Monday, August 1st, at 9:15 p.m. I am one proud momma and am enjoying spending the precious time I have with him. I go back to work next Friday, and am already in tears every day about it! Please excuse my lack of posts for a while...this little cutie is pretty demanding. I will make up for my absence with lots of posts...being in the hospital for 4 days (2 of labor and 2 recovering from a c section) I had time to come up with all sorts of ideas for my classroom! (Who does that while they are having a baby???)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

"Fishin' for Addition"

One of my favorite ways to reinforce a concept is through games. I feel kind of sneaky when I use a students are so focused on having fun that they don't realize they are learning! {hehe}

I love sharing almost as much as I love creating! {HERE} is a link to one of my most favorite games I have created! It really is not complicated, and it is a {snap!} to set up! You can use these cards for so many different concepts. The matching sheet included is for addition. I would have students find matches that added to a specific number. It was played like "Go Fish," but instead of asking for a duplicate number, they needed the other addend to reach the specific sum.  The title of my game was "Fishin for Addition." Enjoy! I look forward to getting to create other games to share :)

Monday, July 25, 2011

New Year's Resolution Linky Party

Another one of my favorite blogs Clutter Free Classroom is hosting a linky party to share your new year resolutions for your classroom. I so enjoyed browsing other's resolutions and coming up with some of my own! It is a great activity to get yourself mentally prepared for the upcoming school year.

As a brand new teacher and a brand new mom, my resolutions are really geared to getting me through this first year!

1. Start organized and stay organized! I am potentially the most unorganized person in the world; but dream of being so. I always begin with the best of intentions, but end up failing when it gets hectic. I truly believe that part of me surviving this year depends on me staying on top of organization both at school and at home. I am already taking steps in this direction by getting the classroom and Rylan's nursery in order.

2. Manage my time. This goal will probably be determined by how well I achieve my first goal. As an almost mom, I already feel incredible guilt about spending time away from my little man. I will be going back to school only 11 short days after having Rylan (that is if he comes on the day of my induction.) That is one of the reasons I am working so hard to be as prepared as possible. I want to be the best mom and teacher I can possibly be.

3. Watch my classroom spending habit. As a college student and student teacher, I spent an exorbitant amount of money during my internships. At one point I was spending upwards of $50 a week on my school store as part of my behavior system. I often felt guilt and the need to provide for my low SES students. (My school has 98% of our students on free or reduced lunch). Part of my learning experience was learning that my time and love means more to my students than the material things I can give them. I plan on setting a certain amount of money per pay period aside for classroom expenses, and NOT going over that amount. I also plan to sign up for Donor's Choose and try to get my classroom adopted by a local business. One foreseen expense is going to be paper. Unfortunately I only get one case of paper a year and am expected to make a LOT of copies in the form of test prep for the FCAT...

4. Try my best NOT to get scared of the FCAT. Florida is ALL about the high stakes testing; and 3rd grade is one of the most affected grades. If my students don't pass the FCAT, they don't pass 3rd grade. This is a LOT of pressure on myself, my students, and my administration. Our curriculum is designed by our curriculum coaches in the county. Everything we teach is decided by someone else. This year our school has adopted a schedule for each grade. On this schedule, we are told what to teach, when to teach it, and how to teach it. When I first saw this schedule I wanted to cry. There is NO room for creativity or deviation from the schedule. goal is to do my best not to get scared. Yes I have to use this specific textbook at this specific time...but who says I can't use white boards to answer the questions? Who says I can't use foldables or manipulatives while I use our "strand attack" materials? No one...yet.

5. Handle all things with prayer and a smile. This may be the hardest for me. With less than 6 days until I meet my little man, I am already having anxiety attacks about leaving him. I am scared that I will spend my days counting down the hours until I can hold him again and hurt my students by being ineffective. I am also worried about being the "new kid." Yes, I interned at this school last year for a semester, but being an intern and being a fellow employee are two different things. As of July 1, Florida no longer offers tenure to their teachers...those who have it, have it. One of the positions filled at my school was to cover a teacher on maternity leave and was listed as "temporary." However, the girl hired for that position will NOT be temporary (I went to school with her...she is amazing). A total of 4 people from my program were hired at my school. That means at the end of this year, one of us must go so the tenured teacher can come back. I am the only 3rd grade hire (the grade so harshly judged by the FCAT). With 19 days before school starts, I am already concerned about my position for next year. So...I will handle this the only way possible- with prayer. God never promised life would be easy, but He does promise that His plans are to prosper us and give us a hope.

The Most AhhMazing Giveaway Yet!!

Ok so those of you that follow Mrs. Farley's adorable blog Oh' Boy 4th Grade know that she has shared some wonderful things! Her current giveaway could be the most ridiculously ahhhmazing giveaway I have ever seen!

Here is the info...

That is right... over $850 worth of digital scrabooking goodies from the equally ahhhmazing ladies at ScrapDelicious!

I hope and hope and hope that I win!! 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Thinking Like the Hare, Moving Like the Tortoise

 What a whirlwind this past weekend was! Between packing for the hospital, last minute nursery prep, and my extreme nesting urges, I am one tired almost momma!

Open house is August 19th and I still have so much to do! I have a million ideas running through my head (and Pinterest board) but seem to be completing projects at terribly slow pace!! I did manage to get a few things done...

I started with this and a package of clothes pins...

After several third degree burns...

I will use these on a rope to display student work in the

I can't wait to fill this thing up with pictures of my little family!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Pinterest and Post-Its! (&& a Linky Party too!)

Hi, my name is Ashley and I am addicted to Pinterest.
Wheww! That felt good. The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, right?
I really do have a problem. It starts with a "quick look" and ends up 4 hours later with 20 new pins and a million new ideas! Pinterest is a great place to find ideas for the classroom. I personally have found several anchor charts and bulletin board ideas. The only problem with Pinterest is the fact that there are SO many great ideas... I often feel like I can't pull them off or that I don't have time to be as crafty as I would like. 

Today I decided to take some of my pins of posters and duplicate them for my classroom! I tweaked the posters to fit my needs. All posters were made using Post-Its! The bright colors of the Post-Its goes perfectly with my color scheme of my room. 

Here is what I made: (Please excuse the orange print at the bottom of the pictures...that would be my {VERY} large baby bump!)

I will use this to keep track of my student's AR goals, as well as the class goals. Each student will be assigned a number. 

I love this poster! Students will use Post-Its to recommend books to one another!

This is such a cute poster. After laminating, I will attach velcro dots next to each level. I will use a black arrow to point to the level that I expect my students to use.

After writing this post I came across an awesome linky party and giveaway about Post-Its!! Join the fun over at Create Teach Share (an adorable blog with tons of ideas!!)