Monday, September 2, 2013

Back to Reality

This is it...Tomorrow is our first day back with staff meetings filling the day, supply drop off, and hopefully meeting most of my kids before our big day on Wednesday. I am thrilled to be starting the year with a student teacher! I have always had student teachers at the halfway point in the year. I think it is a great time to see how a classroom gets up and running. Let's just hope it goes smoothly...with me...and the kids...and establishing the routine!!!

Another thrilling thing is that I have NO MORE DROP OFFS!!! My sweet baby girl is starting kindergarten!  Mr. Topper will be handling the morning chaos so I can get to work at my cock-a-doodle-doo start time. Yes, we are a very, very early start time school which I LOVE and opposite of love at the same time. Anyway, this was quite the shock for us but we had to make some last minute decisions and she was able to start a year early.

So now, some wonderful resources I am using to get off and running. I just purchased this Back to School Mega Pack from Lauren Lynes. Check out her blog Simpy Second Grade for some of her back to school posts. There are so many great activities to do with all of those back to school read aloud favorites!

Here are my favorite "Let's Start the School Year Right" books:
Wouldn't it be great if all of our firsties got themselves prepared for school?
It wouldn't be the beginning of the year without this classic tale of respecting our differences.
Love that the book leaves you guessing until the last page.
A great way to discuss self-control and waiting your turn.

I am looking forward to using a couple of new books this year. Have you seen this book on tattling? I am lovin' it already.

I love my dear, sweet friend Molly Lou Melon. She and I go way back. So I was thrilled to see this book and ordered it. Hope it will arrive Thursday as promised! 

And my favorite cats will definitely be making an appearance this year. Cute little Splat and the very cool Pete the Cat will help us start the year. My new little friends will be happy to have a sweet visit from their favorite felines. 
And have you seen all of Pete's new adventures coming up??? I can't wait to fill up his basket in our library!

Isn't Splat the cutest??
Hopefully this will be the start of something new! Off to bed. 5 a.m. comes quick!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

To Dunk or Not to Dunk!


One thing I share with my kids every year are my two favorite foods that I just can't live without---pizza and cookies! And the OREO is one of my faves!

To dunk or not to dunk. That is the question. My firsties were so observant and did not miss the two packages of the creamy chocolaty cookies that were hiding in plain site. (I am not very sneaky.) Seeing these on my table definitely peeked their curiosity! I let them stew for a bit and then explained our purpose.

 A few years ago, I began to participate in a fun Internet project created by Jen Wagner of Projects by Jen called the O.R.E.O Cookie Project. Click the link to check it out. It is a multi-disciplinary project suitable for any age level-even my little firsties.

We first began by collecting data and representing it graphically. The boys and girls then recorded the data onto this form. Click the picture to download:

We talked about representing data, tally marks, and comparing numbers. They can't wait to try their hand at stacking the cookies and I can't wait to eat them!!! Check back for some pics.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Back to School!

So I'm not sure if I will be any good at this bloggin' thing but I am sure going to give it try. I absolutely love the idea of being able to organize my teaching life month by month all in one place-for myself and hopefully in the process get to share it with anyone that happens to stop by. For the organizationally challenged  this could be a very good thing. No files to find a place for, no paper, no fuss, right??? 

Fast forward to my first two weeks into the new school year. Can I say it has been B-U-S-Y!! But it's all good. I just love going back to work and getting into a healthy routine! I have to say I sure am going to miss my late nights watching all of those talked about TV shows on Netflix!

So last year I dabbled in The Daily 5 and loved it! Since then, it has become an initiative at our primary building and all K-2 teachers will begin to implement it in the next 2 years. I have found so many resources online to help ease into the process.

Have you seen these CRAFT Headers from Ladybug Teacher Files? They are adorable. Click the link and it will take you to her blog. She has some great ideas to share!

I am also lovin' these Daily 5 Posters from First Grade Frenzy. Aren't these great?

Those are just a couple of goodies I have found to help me get started this year. Here are a couple of story element posters I made. Just click this link to download a copy:

If you happen to stop on by, please leave me a note or some blogging advice! Havea great week!

Monday, March 19, 2012

All About...INSECTS!!!

It's research time in first grade and we are going buggy! Yep---the kids and I will be learning all about the wonderful world of BUGS! With the start of a new writing unit brings out new paper choices. I like to provide the kids with different choices so they can apply what they learned about nonfiction conventions in reading when writing. Click here to get a copy of close up paper.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Smooth Transitions

Some wonderful colleagues of mine created these wonderful little transition word posters to help with sentence fluency when retelling and informational writing. You can click here to grab those. If you want them poster size, click the settings key before printing and select the output type that you want.

Monday, February 27, 2012

It's Dr. Seuss Week!

We are all about Dr. Seuss this week! Today we got into the spirit with wearing our crazy socks! Everyday this week we will be all decked out to get ready for Dr. Seuss' big day! I am really lovin' some of the footwear my kids wore today :)

Think I might need those green and blue knee highs!

A little argyle anyone????

Hello Kitty- not too crazy but they sure are cute!
Check out Seussville for some fun activities.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

To new beginnings...

     Now that life is settled down a bit and I am getting into a groove as a freshman first grade teacher, I decided starting this little blog would be a great way to reflect on my practice, share ideas, and be inspired by others! And let me tell you since discovering the world of teacher blogs I AM INSPIRED! I cannot believe what I was missing out on all of these years!

I have been in education for 13 years and got my start in the wonderful world of kindergarten and have to give a shout out to all of those extra special people! Kindergarten teachers are born with a little extra sweetness and a whole lot of patience. The last 11 years I taught second grade. I LOVED LOVED LOVED second grade and I am starting to really LOVE LOVE LOVE first. It has been a bit of a learning curve but I am absolutely fascinated at the way the little people are so eager to have access to their world. I am so intrigued about how the beginnings of reading take shape in their brains. Just jaw dropping for me...

So anyway, this blogging thing. My-oh-my has it taken up my evenings! I used to search teacher websites but it never even dawned on me to look at teaching blogs. Now Mr. Topper can't know of my new addiction hobby that is keeping me up late at nights and consuming my evenings while he is fast asleep ;) It's not that bad...not yet anyway :)

So there it is-my first official blog post. To new beginnings!

Mrs. Nietopski