Good Morning! I am linking up Laura from Differentiation Station Creations for a link-up all about back to school freebies!

Who doesn't love freebies! So make sure you snatch up all the freebies along the way :)

This freebie back to school Scoot includes 20 task cards and a recording sheet. Kiddos love getting up and moving around the room. Even in the primary KG or 1st grade classroom you can do this orally rather than reading and writing their answers. You can find it FREEBIE BTS Scoot 

I recently wrote a blog post about effectively utilizing your volunteers that included some freebies. You can find that post Utilize your volunteers <-----by clicking on the link.

This makes a great center for 1st or 2nd grade. Each number includes 4 pieces: the number, the written form, tens frames, and tallies. There are 16 different puzzles and you can find the Freebie Number Puzzles(<-----by clicking on the link).

This last freebie is a sample of a larger pack. This sight word search includes 6-8 words. It makes for a perfect center. You can find Freebie Sight Word Search Puzzles <-----by clicking on the link.

You can find other great freebies in my TpT store Momma with a Teaching Mission by clicking on Freebies on the left hand side.

Make sure to check out the other BTS freebies on Laura's page!

Good luck going back!

So today was my last day official off school (insert sad face). Monday summer school starts---I actually got summonsed (I'm not sure if that's the correct spelling) for jury duty, so I start summer school Tuesday.We have had a great summer, but it has been tiring!!

This picture was on our way back from the Outer Banks in North Carolina last Saturday. These kiddos were tuckered out! The beach was fantastic! The kids loved it, the house we rented had a pool and they swam every single minute they could.

They also loved the beach too! Although mean old Mommy wouldn't let them get in too far, they still had fun in the sand and surf fishing.
It has been a fantastic summer being able to be home with my kiddos, I have also got to enjoy some books that I have wanted to read.
I am a wee bit obsessed with Jennifer Serravallo and her books!! Fantastic! You have to go to amazon and order them!!

I am looking forward to being back on a schedule again! I truly miss teaching and am looking forward to my new group of kiddos. But I will miss moments like this:

I hope you all have a great end to your summer! :D

Follow my blog with Bloglovin In a recent chat in Facebook, there were some questions asked about parents visiting or volunteering in the classroom. I think I had a pretty decent system in place, so I thought I'd share!

The thought of a parent in the classroom can be quite intimidating. My first year teaching I put off having any parents come into the room until a parent just showed up one day. So I thought, it's better to have the parents under my control, then have them showing up at any given time and just creating an out of control environment.

Like anything else, parent volunteers and their presence within your classroom is much better when it is planned out in advance. You may work at a school with huge parent involvement, or one with super low parent involvement. Either way, it's fantastic to create an environment in which the parents/family members feel welcome and encouraged to volunteer if they have the time available.

Within the first week of school, or even at back to school night (if your school has one before the 1st day of school) I send home a volunteer interest form. It is a form that indicates how often the adults are available and what area they are most comfortable in helping with.

Once I receive back the volunteer interest form, I will send out monthly calendars for the parents/guardians to 'pencil' themselves in. I think it's important that the parents/guardians know upfront what you expect, and that their volunteer time is going to be spent working. I think some parents come in with the pre-conceived notion that volunteer time is a time to hang out with their kid. I also send home a 1/2 sheet of paper to schedule themselves in 1 hour time blocks, and I also note that even though they pencil themselves in, our schedule may not be conducive for them to come in that day at that time, and ultimately I have the final call for the volunteer schedule.

After I get their monthly 'penciled' calendars in, I will make a master calendar with their name and time on each day. I will make however copies for the number of volunteers, then for each volunteer, I will highlight their volunteer time on their copy.

When a parent comes in to volunteer, and they are not following what was asked of them (to go copy something, or to work with a child), I will kindly ask/remind them to finish their volunteer obligations. If they are more interested in hanging out with their child, I will tell them that they are more than welcome to come in and have lunch with their child during our scheduled lunch time, but it is imperative that while volunteering, they can not disrupt our instruction.

Please comment with any tips or ideas you have for your volunteers in your classroom!!

You can also find the papers shown above with the calendar from September 2015 through June 2016 here: Utilizing your Volunteers
Welcome to Week 3 of the TpT Seller Challenge!!

I am linking up with Jen from Sparkling in Second, Emily from Third in Hollywood, Amber from Peppy Zesty Teacherista, and Ashley from Teach Create Motivate .

So, with the end of the school year, so changes were made within our building. I shouldn't just say 'some'---because that makes it seem minor, but MAJOR shifts were made, that some of our staff were not happy about. We are completely changing our instructional model. Teachers in our building are not just responsible for their X amount of kiddos--closing their door and blocked off from the rest of the world for 180 days. With 40% of our kiddos (700+ kiddos in our building) being below grade level, we had to switch it up. Because like I've said before---the definition of insanity is doing the same thing OVER and OVER again and expecting different results. So teachers in our building, for the upcoming school year, are either ELA or STEM teachers---and then assigned to a grade level.

I was fine with this change. Last year my first grade team was departmentalized and it worked great for us. I will be teaching ELA to 1st grade, and I am super stoked about it! I have been planning like a feign!

So I've been mapping out the standards I am responsible to teach the 1st marking period--and along with this fantastic resource The Common Core Companion: The Standards Decoded by Sharon Taberski and Jim Burke I have been planning away!!

One area which I feel like we didn't do well this past year was the homework. As a first grade team, we believe the homework should be a short review of that days' activities. This past year, we sort of felt like the homework was an after thought and sort of just thrown together.

Hence my masterpiece I finally finished! It's a product that I am using for my 1st grade kiddos, completely aligned with the standards we are teaching the 1st marking period!!
It includes a letter to parents, and 39 days of homework. We follow the pattern of giving homework this way:
Monday-Fundations (our phonics program) homework, Tuesday- number sense homework, Wednesday- students read a paper take home book and then do the activity in the packet, Thursday- math facts homework. We don't give our students any home work on Friday.

Here you can find my:  1st Grade No Prep Homework Pack

I still have a lot of planning to do before the school year starts in August, so wish me luck!! :D
I am linking up with my girl Monica from I Heart Grade 3 for her weekly summer link up!
So this week's topic is all about where I was 5 years ago. So 5 years ago would take us back to 2010 and in 2010 I was 27 years old. That was the year I decided to go back to school and finish my degree to become a teacher!!

2010 was a great year. We bought our house. We got married. I started back to school. WHOA. :) That year was epic!

This was a picture from our family picnic at my Mom's house for the 4th of July in 2010. Christopher looks so little!! He was only about 10 months :)

This was from our wedding. We got married on September 11, 2010. I know that wasn't the ideal date. However, it was the only date in September that all my family was available, so we went with it. My wedding day was one of the best days of my life (with the exception of my 4 kids births :) It was absolutely fun :) I was a single mom when I met my husband with my oldest son Karter. We then had Katie and Christopher, and then got married :) A little backwards, but it worked for us.

After we got married, we had our honeymoon, not really a honeymoon, since we took all 3 kiddos with us, but we went to Myrtle Beach. It was a fantastic week, and we had so much fun. I absolutely love this pic of them looking out on the ocean. They were all so little!!

So also in 2010, I decided to go back to school. I don't have any pictures of me studying or anything like that! But it was the best decision I've ever made. Prior to kids, I had finished 2 years of college at a community college. So I had my associate degree in general studies. The fastest way for me to become a teacher, with the colleges located near me, was for me to get my bachelors degree in sociology (which would take 2 years going full time) and then going through a 1 year intense Masters of Arts in Teaching program. So from 2010-2012, I went back to college full-time, while working my job in Human Resources for the school system in which I also now work as a teacher. A lot of my classes were online or 'blended'--where we would meet every other week in the evening for about 2 1/2 hours. It was quite do-able. My husband is amazing. We have pretty much a traditional household---I cook and clean, although he helps take care of the kiddos of course. When I was going to college at night, he completely stepped it up :) I remember I gradated in May 2012 with my bachelors degree, then 3 days later, my masters classes started.

This last pic was from May 2013 when I graduated with my Master of Arts in Teaching, when everything was complete :D I was also preggo with my little jelly bean Alexa Grace in this pic, but no one knew (but me and my hubs).

Anyway! So that's where I was 5 years ago. I am so thankful for my journey and the experiences that I've had. Different people that I've spoken to have said to me, wow, how did you go back to school, get married, manage a household, and raise 3 kids----and I always tell them the same thing----I had a great support system and the determination :) I KNEW God had a bigger plan for me, and here I am, just finished up my 2nd year teaching---living the dream!

Have a great week!
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