I am linking up the Teaching Trio for my first Sunday Scoop! So what I have to do, oh my! I have 2 weeks worth of writing to grade!! It is awesome to be departmentalized, especially for planning purposes. The only downside to it, is the grading, especially if you have put off grading writing for 2 weeks. Oh my! My daycare lady is closed Tuesday-Friday this week. I appreciate her so much! She has never went on a vacation, so I have to say she is due!! But with that, I have to take off a few days of work. My sister is watching the kids a day, my mom another day, and that leaves me with 2 of the days. So I have to type up my sub plans for the two days I will be out. Again, another nice side of being departmentalized, I only have to leave plans for 50 mins and the sub will just repeat with each group of kids. The 3rd thing I have to do is put away this gigantic pile of laundry. I have slowly been working on it today, but still have quite a bit to hang up and put away. The two things I hope to do: -Did you realize December 1st is tomorrow?!?! I have a few things for my babies, but I still need to get a lot more. So at some point, I need to do an inventory of what I have purchased, and what still needs to be bought :) -I have been crazy busy this Thanksgiving day weekend working on projects for TpT, and have got a lot of them posted. I have one more place value product I have in my head, that I would like to create or at least work on tonight after my kiddos go to bed. The 1 thing I am happy to do is snuggle with my 4 kids. I love them more than the world, and they validate everything I do is for a reason. I love spending time with them, especially snuggling and watching Christmas movies (the Elf). My older baby girl, Katie, got sick with strep throat, but has been feeling better today with the meds the doc gave her, but she still likes to snuggle with momma :) Don't miss the sitewide sale tomorrow and Tuesday! All my items will be 20% off and Tpt is also offering an additional 10% off! Happy Shopping!!
On the day after Thanksgiving, I, like many other people, am able to sit and reflect upon what I am indeed thankful for.

First and foremost, I have to say that I am thankful for my loving and forgiving Lord God. Without him, I would be lost and broken. But through him, I have a purpose and this amazing path he has sent me on, is everything anyone could ever ask for, beautifully amazing :)

Of course, I am thankful for my family. I have been blessed with 4 amazing children, Karter, Katie, Christopher, and Alexa. What in the world I did to be blessed with these beautifully little people I will never know, but I am in awe of them each and every day, and I will love them more than they could ever understand. I am so thankful for my husband. He came into my life, and helped me find my way back to the path God has intended me to be on. I do not even want to think about where I would be without him. He has encouraged all my dreams and wants in the past 8 years, and without him I would have never accomplished all my dreams :) I am so blessed to have an amazing mother. I can count on her to be there for me, to listen, to ask advice, to cheer me up, or just to complain to :) I hope to have the kind of relationship with my own children that I have with her. I am so thankful to have a sister, who I can depend on and who I love for all she has done for and with my children. I am also thankful for my brother and sister-in-law. And although they are not close, I know they are there for us if we should need anything.  I am so thankful to be 31 years old and still have 3 living grandparents. I am thankful to have gotten to have 30 years with my grandfather, who past away this past April. I know he is in heaven drinking a beer, saying "Don't let the Easter bunny, kill ya". I am thankful that he passed on his sense of humor to me :)

I am thankful for all the friendships and relationships I've made throughout the years. Without my past, I wouldn't have this present, so I am eternally grateful for the people that made me the person who I am today.

I am thankful to live in the United States of America and be an American. I am so thankful for all the men and women who have risked everything for our country. I am thankful for the veterans, and every single person who is married to one. I am thankful that I have a job, and my co-workers-who I learn so much from each and every day. I am SO thankful for all the children who are in 1st grade at the school where I teach. They make it all worthwhile, and I am thankful that I get to teach them, because they are also teaching me :)

Because I am so thankful, here is a freebie to all my teacher friends I've created :) Hopefully you can use it in your classroom :) Wishing you a very Merry Christmas season :)


Love, Melanie
So this year on my first grade team, we have departmentalized. After 1 full marking period, and a couple weeks into the 2nd marking period. I have to say, I am loving it! I am able to concrete on one topic, the kids are able to get up and change classes every 50 minutes, and all teachers are accountable for all first graders (which our administration loves too).

So during the 1st marking period, my teammate taught writing-specifically narrative writing. This marking period, the focus is on opinion writing. We follow Lucy Caulkins writing format; however, there are a few things missing from Lucy that our students need. After looking over the students inital on-demand opinion writings, one area students needed work was turning simple sentences into compound and complex sentences. So after a few days of teaching Lucy-style, I planned an created a 2 day mini-lesson on compound sentences.
The first day we watched a short video (about 2 minutes) on combining sentences to make them compound sentences, and it also talked about conjunctions. Then we read over my anchor chart, shown in the picture above. (don't pay attention to the fact I spelled conjunction wrong lol)
I then showed them the different sentences.
As we read each sentence, I asked the students which conjunction would best fit the sentence. Then today we first met together, we did another sentence together. I showed them the recording sheet. We wrote one together. Then I paired them in groups of 4 & 5 to work on the sentences.

I felt like I actually taught something today!! I know we all have days were we feel like we get nothing accomplished due to classroom management issues. BUT today, I feel like even the troublesome students got something out of this lesson!
I didn't have time for the exit ticket activity, but I'm giving that tomorrow, and I anticipate that they will do great :) So hopefully all this compound sentence writing will translate into better sentences in their opinion writings.
You can check it out:


God Bless!!

BUSY! Have you ever felt that way? Lol, I know of course you have! But normally, I'm pretty good at juggling things. This November (can't even believe we are 1/2 way through it) has just flown by! My youngest turns one on Monday~
She really has no desire to walk, she is starting to pull herself up, but with having 3 big siblings, she just doesn't want to walk yet. Which I am perfectly fine with, because when she does start walking, oh my watch out!!
Life can also be short. Which we all have known or found out in one way or another. My one of a kind uncle passed away this past Tuesday, and it was just very bittersweet when I got the news. He had suffered a stroke a couple months ago, and was suffering. I am glad he is no longer suffering, but I will miss his sparky personality. I know he's watching over me and my family, telling me how proud he is of me :)
I wish you and your family a very thankful, joyous, happy Thanksgiving. And hopefully next time I post a new entry, I will have a new blog design! I'm so excited!!

God Bless :)

So today was parent-teacher conference day-duh-duh-DUH. Actually it went swell :) I think the fact that I felt super-prepared helped my confidence in the conferences.

I think when planning for conferences it is key to be super organized, so how did I do that you may wonder?!? Well I had a folder for each student, with some of their work samples sorted by subject area. On a large post-it note on the front of the folder I made some notes.

I wrote their reading level (where they were at the beginning of the year, where they are now), I wrote their math fact level, then I wrote some strengths, and some things I think they should work on.

Our conferences were scheduled every 20 minutes, so it was important to stay on topic of everything. I found that the post-it note helped me to focus myself on what I wanted to say, and also gave this folder with the post-it to the parent, so they had something to take with them.

I feel positive about the way the parent-teacher conferences went, it was nice to get to see my students parents again, and I felt great about getting to tell my students parents how well their students were going and how nicely they were progressing :)
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