August 30, 2014

GRANDPARENTS DAY IS SEPTEMBER 7TH - CELEBRATION IDEAS + MORE

With National Grandparents day right around the corner (September 7th), I will be vicariously living through my students . . . soaking up all the grandparent and "grandfriend" love I can get on Friday:)  

Every year we take a moment in early September to talk about community and family . . . Grandparents Day fits oh so nicely into the mix.  A few years ago, our school started inviting grandparents and "grandfriends" in to the classrooms for a little celebration.  I'll be honest and say that it falls at the WORST possible time of year . . . we are just getting back in to the swing of things and the training is still in full force.  Yes, stress is through the roof before they walk in that door.  However, after our little afternoon celebration, I always find myself feeling all warm and fuzzy inside.  It's soooo worth the extra effort.  

You can make a Grandparents Day celebration as big or small as you want. Some teachers at our school host a picnic lunch and afternoon art activity. Others invite grandparents to drop in throughout the day and have special stations set up.  Another set of teachers host a very low-key afternoon desert and simple activity.  It's whatever you wish to make of the day.  

I always opt for the low-key ditty.  Students invite grandparents or "grandfriends" in for lemonade and cookies.  The grandchildren serve their elders and present them with a card.  Then, they read books together.  Finally, they complete a grandparent interview sheet and word search together if there is time. It is the cutest thing ever - I have to keep a Kleenex in my pocket ;) The whole thing takes about 30-45 minutes.  Many of the grandparents take their kiddos home or on a special date when they finish at the school . . . love when the babes get extra GP time!  Swoon . . . :)

For those babies who don't have grandparents who can attend (or maybe they don't have any), we allow them to invite a "grandfriend."  I know what you are thinking . . . what if no one shows up for a little sweetie?  I cannot tell you how amazing it is when the grandparents who do attend "adopt" another kiddo.  **Again . . . cue the tissue.**  As long as you frontload your babies, the students are able to saddle up to a sweet grannie or grandpa who is there for another student.  




This year we will be learning a song to sing to our Grandparent guests.  Ron Brown from Intelli-Tunes wrote one that tugs on that heart for sure - Grandparents.  I cannot wait to start practicing this tune on Tuesday.   



If you are looking to host your own celebration, create a quick and simple card, and/or sneak in a little grandparent learning and want a little support . . . I created a packet last year that fits the bill {Thank Goodness for Grandparents}.  The song is included in this collection -- as is a grandparent mini-book, can/have/are chart, letter templates, card templates, word search, and an interview sheet.  It also has celebration ideas and a parent note.  My goal was to create a series of quick and easy activities that you could copy and run with with little effort!



Alright, I'm out of here.  Must mow the lawn before the neighbors start forming a less than desirable opinion about the Dollings :)  On a final note, if you are lucky enough to have a grandparent left in your life, think about taking a moment to call or write.  Not a day goes by that I don't wish I could pick up the phone and tell my Grandad or Gram how much I love them. 


August 25, 2014

RECESS MANNERS FREEBIE - NIP IT EARLY!

Hey friends . . . I'm hanging over at Blog Hoppin' today.  Won't you come for a little visit?  I am offering up the fun FREEBIE you see below! 

This little collection is perfect for teaching your playground expectations to the little guys - grades Pre-K to 1st :)  Click the button below to read all about it and snag the FREE file!  It even comes with a Recess Rap!  #ohyeahbuddy



August 23, 2014

FIRST WEEK TUCKED TIGHTLY UNDER ME BELT - "FIVE FOR" STYLE

I sound like a 70+ year old dock worker and I fell asleep on the couch as soon as I finished my dinner last night, but I am all smiles.  We are officially five days into the 2014-2015 school year and I couldn't be happier.  What amazing adventures await us . . . yes, it's going to be one of those years.  

My teaching partner (Court) and I taught together during this initial run so the new crew could get to know both of us.  It was so nice having another adult in the room . . . someone who is a seasoned teacher and your good buddy (now that's a #winwin).  As we navigated our first week together, the two of us had countless moments where we would look up at each other in absolute disbelief. This crew listens.  This crew is kind.  This crew does it THE FIRST TIME.  Um, someone pinch me . . . I must be dreaming.  We were able to do so many fun things this week because they are so amazing.  Here is a peek at our week. Five for Friday style (a bit tardy on this Saturday afternoon).

ONE - ROCK STAR STUDENT FUN
We turned our new crew into a team of Rock Star Students this week.  The kids were all about this theme.  It proved to be a super easy way to sell high-level behavior expectations and various activities throughout the week.  Here are a few highlights . . . 


(L) Rules Rap Stars - we learned our classroom rules rap style!
(R) - We went on TOUR (tour of the school that is). 


(L) - Our first write of the year.
(R) - These kids really did "Rock the Roll."


The perfect follow up after reading Pete the Cat!


The kids did a great job with this all about me book.
Great informal assessment for us :)


TWO - THEMED GRAPHING
We continued our Rock Star fun with a little graphing action.  Court came up with this one and it played out brilliantly.  We graphed our favorite instruments. However, there was a super fun catch . . . they got to play them first.  Our room was SO loud - we were banging drums, tappin' rhythm sticks, shaking the crud out of maracas, and slamming cymbals together.  There wasn't a kid who wasn't grinning from ear to ear.  The best part for us . . . when we gave the signal, they all stopped without slippin' in one more tap, bang, shake, or slam. They did this EVERY TIME.  Can you believe it??  I sure couldn't!  This activity and all of the other Rock Star themed goodies are part of my Rockin' Back To School Pack.  




THREE - LUNCHROOM MANNERS
Last year our school switched recess and lunch.  In other words, our babies eat after they play . . . while we {the teachers} are on our "shove food in your mouth and stuff reading folders" break.  With this said, we walk our kiddos to recess instead of the lunchroom.  This means we no longer get to teach manners and overall cafeteria expectations as we help them get through the line -- aides do this now.  I think our presence during the beginning part of lunch is missed and problems in the cafeteria seem to be on the rise.  Well, I wanted to nip this in the bud this year.  SO . . . we explicitly taught lunchroom behavior this year with a few fun activities.  We reviewed expectations shared-writing style and completed a little lunchroom manners pledge write.  Then, the kids made a darling little craft to house it!  These look so cute on our skywire! Ron Brown from Intelli-Tunes even wrote me a little song to help reinforce these expectations . . . thanks dad :)  This (and more) is all part of my Boxin' Up Lunchroom Manners Packet.  


The write is on the back of these fun little boxes!
My favorite sentence . . . 
In the lunchroom this year, I will not say that, "I don't like it!"  
I will just put it in the trash.
#goodthinkingkiddo


FOUR - PE IS AWESOME
Our kids absolutely ate up PE time this week.  My students last year could give or take it.  However, by in large, this is one of the things that our sweeties liked best this week.  I'll be honest . . . I am HORRIBLE at PE and it always seems to get edged out of my plans although it was scheduled in (unless it is a standard-based active ditty).  I am thrilled that this is Court's fave . . . she will help me get back on track with teaching structured physical education games :)  


We played a number sense race this week.
This is PE Mrs. Dolling style.


This doll's shoe flew off.  
He was laughing uncontrollably as he hopped off the course.
SWOON!  


The kids played Zookeeper this week too.
This is PE Mrs. Haedrich style.
I can learn a lot from my buddy. 
The kids were ALL about this game!


FIVE - TEAR ART
I always like to run with a tear art self portrait craft the first Friday of school. These are a great way to teach kiddos that mistakes are just "happy accidents" and that art never turns out how you think.  The darlin' faces always get hung in the window with a little speech bubble write explaining what each child's favorite thing was about the first week of school.  Our windows make me smile now! This activity is a FREEBIE in my shop.  CLICK HERE to check it out :)  


Alright, so there you be -- the first week in a nutshell.  OMGOODNESS, my friends . . . I am still so tired today, but I don't know if I have ever been more in love.  What a ride this is going to be :) #bringitonroom13

 

August 19, 2014

HELP YOUR NEW CREW MASTER CCSS ONE MORNING AT A TIME


Alright . . . sooooooo . . . I have posted about this resource before, but in honor of Back to School, I figured I'd circle back around.  And, now I have 3rd Grade Packets available!!!  Say what???  #bigkidmathishardforme  

Good Morning Work is hands-down the most valuable resource I use in my room.  These collections are packed with pages that specifically target the Common Core standards.  I have this handy dandy little flip chart that has me WAY up to date on all of those new benchmarks we are expected to serve up to our kids.  While creating these, I really strive to be very mindful of each an every problem I place in these (maybe this is why they take me ages to finish - just a thought).  My goal is to apply the standards in ways that are student-friendly and challenging.  It's a crazy line to try and walk when dealing with the "core" {I know a ton of you are with me on this one}, but I think I've navigated it pretty darn well.  

1st Grade Good Morning work in action last October.
Goodness I miss this cutie.  

Unlike other Morning Work Packets, I always chunk my topics.  In other words, you will see the same 6-8 standards for five days (one week) in a row.  I believe this is the element that sets this set apart from other collections out there.  Why do you ask??  Well, as the week winds down, you receive fewer and fewer questions from students allowing you to get all that "busy teacher morning junk" out of the way.  I also have found that this strategy empowers kiddos to trust themselves by encouraging independence in a safe manner.  I also include a SUPER STUDENT CHALLENGE at the bottom of each page.  This higher level question is perfect for those above grade level kiddos who need the bar raised on 'em!


2nd Grade Good Morning Work
Photos from the sweet Jenna @ I've Got It Made in 2nd Grade

I have monthly Good Morning Work packets for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades.  My team has been using the 1st grade sets for years and we swear by them.  Most of the 2nd and 3rd grade teachers at my school are using my Good Morning Work collections too!  It makes me happy to know that so many kids at my school are using the pages that I poured my heart and soul into - swoon. 

Lots of bloggers also use my Good Morning work.  I am so honored that these talented ladies believe in my pages.  Here are just a few . . .


  

    

Okay . . . I'll be quiet now, but Good Morning Work may be just what you are looking for to help shake things up in the AM this year.  To check out these packets a bit closer . . . click the grade level below to see some sample pages.  With TPT's BIG BOOSTER SALE tomorrow you can get these (or the bundles) for fraction of the cost.  


Big hugs and thanks for listening to me today.  I just finished up a fun little recess manners freebie (it even has a cute little song) and I'll post it later this week.  I'm pooped as all get out and it's off to dream land I go.  Night gang!



August 18, 2014

WHO & WHERE - MAKING UP FOR LOST TIME!

I cannot believe that I am actually sitting down to draft a post after completing the first day of school.  I have no idea why I am still standing (the 15 power nap may have a little something to do with it), but I think the excitement from our stellar day is still surging through my veins.  What a crew.  Seriously, folks. This is gonna be one of those extra special years . . . the vibe was evident the moment we got rollin' today.  

Alright, so I didn't want to miss out on all the fun over at Blog Hoppin' . . . so, here I be with Monday and Tuesday's topics.  Who the h-e-double licorice sticks is this crazy blogger and where does she work??  Well, here you be . . . just in case you were pondering such thoughts.



This is my 8th year of teaching.  For those of you who follow me, you may already know that education was NOT my first gig (that's why my wrinkles are becoming much more noticeable in shots that I post - I've been around the block).  My first career was actually in marketing/public relations.  I worked in the field for 5 years before realizing that I had really missed the boat.  I went back to school and snagged a multiple subjects credential.  This is my first year co-teaching or job sharing with one of my dearest friends.  The boss man allowed us to take a year to work as a team . . . I am beyond thrilled!  We are working the first two weeks together so the babes get to know both of us.  After Labor Day, we will split the week :)

We had such a wonderful first day together on Monday!
We are going to be one heck of a twosome.
#loveyouhaedrich
Let's see . . . more about me.  I am a wife to the sweetest man around and a loving mother of two fur babies.  I am an endometriosis fighter.  I am loud.  I am all about finding the humor in life.  And, I come from a family of teachers. My pop is actually Ron Brown from Intelli-Tunes.  I guess it is safe to say that education is in me blood!   

Here are two of my sweet "family" members. 
Love when my dad gives special concerts in my room!

Enough yammering on about my little life.  Let's get to the good stuff already - where does Kelley work?


I landed a job at the greatest school in Northern California.  It's a magical place were the whole school functions like a family.  We are our own little community and I am lucky to call a room on campus my home away from home. 

Yup . . . a rainbow leading right to MY door!
It truly is a magical place.

Although it may be magical, I work in one of the older rooms on campus.  It smells funny when it's closed up too long and it's somewhat pieced together, but I managed to make it pretty cozy over the years.  Here's a look-see inside our four walls.  Bright and cheery has always been the name of my game.

Made cubby tags this year.
Thank you Power Point skills!
Our group chart! 
Main bulletin board . . . we are lucky that it's painted and LARGE!
This was our welcome board . . . made by last year's kids.
Love our Wall of Fame area.
Court and I have all our pictures up here - swoon!
Another XL bulletin board.  It's our writing display area.
It ties into our Rock Star theme perfectly.  Thanks for the help Melonheadz!
We will jump into kinds of sentences and punctuation after Labor Day.
This one is up and ready to reference!
It's part of my Punctuation Has Personality pack.  
Another student work area :)
Can you tell I am all about displaying kid stuff??!!
Alright, so there are a few more areas in the room, but I forgot to take pictures today . . . back to school brain got the best of me after all.  Way to go, Dolling! Oh well.  You get the idea and I gotta get my bum to bed.  Thanks so much for taking the time to visit today.  Be sure to pop over to Blog Hoppin' to check out the rest of the posts and what's in store for the rest of the week!  Hugs y'all . . . see you soon!




 

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