Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Mitten

So I (Amber) have had this mitten pattern for years. We always cut two and glue or staple them together and put the characters aside. And honestlybit was driving me nuts! They always got torn, or put too much glue for their animals to fit, and I just really didn't like the project.
So this year I changed it up. I decided a paper bag would be the perfect way to have an opening for sequencing the story. I just cut about half of the bag off so that it would be the same size as the mitten tracer I already had. Just turn the bag on it's side and it's perfect!
Then I gave each of the students a set of animals to color and we were ready for retell!
Erin's class printed the mittens on white card stock and colored them! Below is a fun follow up activity and you can find the mitten and animals there too! Just click the picture to download it!
What fun things to do you like to do with Jan Brett's story?

Friday, January 17, 2014

A Day Our Way Linky

We're so excited to link up with Amelia and other great bloggers to learn all about classroom schedules. It's so crazy to see how many different ways you can arrange a school day. Each teacher just has a specific spot where each lesson fits. So here is ours!
Now let's break it down!
Arrival & Centers-Students have a 20 minute window where they are arriving before the bell rings. This is our free choice center time. The kids unpack, put their lunch box and green folders away and then they get to play. Announcements come on right at the end of the time and then we clean up.

Morning Meeting/Calendar-We all gather on the carpet and have calendar time on the SMARTboard. We are working on a calendar notebook to go along with this. We have a helper who puts up the date, days of the week, tally marks, number of days in school, weather, teeth, etc. Then we read the message, fill in missing words or letters, pair share, and circle sight words. Then we all sit in a circle and say good morning to each other.

Literacy Block-Just like it sounds. We teach anything and everything to build literacy skills. We work on beginning & ending sounds, letter/sound correspondence, rhyming, syllables, CVC words, long & short vowels, and on the list goes. Once we are finished with our lesson the students work in Literacy Centers. There are 5 groups and they have a different center activity each day.

Literacy Block ends before we know it and it's time to get ready for lunch aka BRUNCH! It's the earliest stinkin' lunch in the history of the world (okay, we're exaggerating a little), but seriously sometimes we are still full from breakfast and don't want to eat. The kids get 20 minutes to eat and 25 minutes to play.

Read Aloud-After lunch we have some down time with read aloud and read to self. It's a nice quiet time to settle back in from recess. This also allows us to finish up leftover items from Literacy Block, assess students, work one on one, etc.

Specials-Our kids rotate between Gym, Music, and Computers. Each day they come in and look to see where the special is for the day. It's still as exciting on day 88 as it was on day 1.

Math-During math we start with a whole group lesson, practice the skills on the SMARTboard, with a game, or with manipulatives. Then the students go to their math centers, again 5 groups and 5 jobs.

Snack & Recess-because we eat breakfast lunch so early we find it absolutely necessary to have a snack to make it through the day. And a little more exercise is so important for wiggly five and six year olds.

Theme Time-This time is for whatever goes with our theme! This week it was our Jan Brett author study. We read the stories, did crafts, worked on some of the story elements, etc. Next week we will study a Polar animal each day. It varies depending on what our theme is for the week!

Pack & Play-Once we are finished with our final activities for the day the kids pack up. Once their mailbox is empty and their things are packed up they get a free choice center. This allows them to play while we help finalize loose ends, write notes, etc. Then we can dismiss as needed.

So that's a quick glance at our day! How is yours? We'd love to read about, please go visit Amelia and link up! 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Just Me January Linky

Hello friends! We're hosting a linky and we're SO excited! We are pretty new in the blogging world and want to get to know others. And we want you to get to know us! So we'd be so honored if you would link up with us so we can all get to know each other more!

Let's start with the most important-your name!
We are Erin & Amber. Erin is the older sister, but we're just 12 months apart!

What is your hometown/state?
Oklahoma where the wind comes sweeping down the plain! Oh sorry! We've lived here since high school, moved away for college (same state, different cities) and then came back!

Are you a morning or night person?
Erin: I love to stay up late! I am one that doesn't require much sleep so somehow I survive.
Amber: NOT a morning person. I loathe mornings. I'm not nice in the mornings. Sorry, just truth. I don't stay up real late either, just love me some sleep.

Are you a collector of anything?
Erin: I have a small obsession with scarves and have to remind myself that I do NOT need any more.
Amber: Um I have a weird obsession with baskets, buckets, etc. I like to be organized so I guess I need a basket for everything? I don't know.

What is the most used app on your smart phone?
Erin: Instagram/Facebook-They are linked of course.
Amber: Instagram-I love me some photos!

What is your favorite cereal?
Erin: Frosted Mini Wheats
Amber: Frosted Mini Wheats

What is the oldest pair of shoes in your closet?
Erin: Oh my...OLD! I have shoes from high school in my closet. They are cute though.
Amber: 5 years. A pair of running shoes I bought with one of my favorite fifth grade teacher friends. I obviously don't use them much ever since I still have them.

What is your favorite snack?
Erin: Popcorn
Amber: I like salty things. Potato chips, cheese and crackers, etc.

City or country?
Erin: City with access to the country. I love the convenience of city life but love the freedom of country.
Amber: Um. City? I love the city, but not too big. I like a little bit of country close by!

What is your favorite thing about teaching?
Erin: My favorite thing about teaching is the AHA moments. I love to see their eyes light up when something clicks. The genuine love the kids express for their teacher is nice too;)
Amber: Gosh. So much. Mostly the kiddos. I love seeing how they grow every year. I'm always amazed how they start by learning the alphabet and leave reading and writing. SO COOL!

Alright that's us! We hope you link up so we can read about you too!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Just Me January

Hello friends! We're hosting a linky and we're SO excited! We are pretty new in the blogging world and want to get to know others. And we want you to get to know us! So we'd be so honored if you would link up with us so we can all get to know each other more!
So here goes just copy and past the questions, answer them on your blog and come back tomorrow to link back up!

Let's start with the most important-your name!

What is your hometown/state?

Are you a morning or night person?

Are you a collector of anything?

What is the most used app on your smart phone?

What is your favorite cereal?

What is the oldest pair of shoes in your closet?

What is your favorite snack?

City or country?

What is your favorite thing about teaching?

That's it! Can't wait to get to know you all! Good night!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Winter Writing

Today was supposed to be our first day back from winter break, but the weather had other plans. Have we ever told y'all that Oklahoma shuts down with 1" of snow? However it was -2 when I woke up this morning! BRRRRR
This is Amber's little guy helping his daddy shovel the driveway.
It was definitely nice to have the day to uh write lesson plans and get ourselves prepared for the week. We printed Mrs. Will's January Save My Ink to get us started back from break.
Next week we'll be using our Polar Pack. You can see it HERE!
But we are a little excited to see our K sweeties (even though we'll miss our babies) and we are ready to get them writing again!
So we created a few {8 to be exact} fun pages for them to use. Hope you can use them too. Just click the picture to download. 
And one more of the cute snow shovel-er!
Happy back to school week!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Polar Pack Unit

In honor of it looking very wintry outside we have finished our winter centers unit!
This unit is 100 pages of everything cold! Just click the picture to see it in our store!
And in honor of the snow falling outside and our new unit we have a little freebie for you!
Click the picture to download!

Friday, January 3, 2014

2014 {Fitness}

Well what can I say? It's been awhile since either of us have worn our tennis shoes for anything other than jean Friday. 2013 has been a lot of adjusting to having 2 kids {and that is some kind of fitness of it's own}, but it's time to get movin' again. My previous town had a small lake with a walking trail around it {just a few miles} and my best friend and I use to walk it every other day or so. It was always so good for my soul. So I guess my fitness resolution is to just be active. Hit the gym, a walking trail, do some exercises in my living room, whatever it takes to stay moving!
This is my husband and I a few years ago when we ran the OKC Marathon Relay. It was an incredible experience, something I want to do again! 
What about you? Do you have any great fitness tips and tricks for staying active?

Thursday, January 2, 2014

2014 Linky {Crafting & Creating}

We are definitely crafters! We love a good project, you can walk into either of our homes and find several DIY (aka Pinterest) projects.
Here is what Amber has planned {straight from Pinterest of course, because where else do you get GREAT ideas?}:
Every couple of months I make a new front door wreath, I'm thinking next time I'll go more nontraditional with a cute burlap letter like this.
I make a big deal of the boys' parties and create all kinds of decor. I may or may not attempt a fun cake. And if all else fails Erin will come to my rescue ;) 
I've been dying for some new curtains, I want to attempt to paint my own stripes. I've just got to decide on a color!
Also I painted a chalkboard above my fireplace and I've got to learn how to do cute writing on it. I don't think I have enough patience for it. So I'm praying for patience and new handwriting. Ha! Kidding, I just hope to keep working on it and figure out how to do something cute with it like all those fancy ones on Pinterest.

What are your great crafing ideas? For more of ours check out our Pinterest boards! {Amber & Erin

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2014 Linky {Fun & Family}

Hello blog friends! Happy 2014!
We thought we'd join the fun over at Blog Hoppin' so you can see what we have planned for the new year! 
Our family is very close (obviously considering we work together). There are 4 siblings in our family plus our parents and we all live within 4 miles of each other. 
Here we all are! We do a LOT together! We can pretty much show up at mom and dad's house for dinner anytime. We usually take our vacations together and we've already rented our house for Orlando this summer! Woohoo!! As far as our big family goes our resolution is to just keep laughing and having fun together!
Amber here! This is my little family and as for our resolutions we want to be more generous. I want to teach my boys young what it is to have a giving heart. We are also excited about the fun we have planned with our family vacation and other fun things throughout the year. I really just want to make sure I'm intentional with my time with these sweet guys. They won't want to hang out with their mama forever and I just want to soak it all in, take away the distractions.
This guy will start PreK this fall. I want him to learn his ABC's and numbers. I want him to be a little gentlemen and I want to take him on mommy dates once a month.
My hope for this chunky guy is that he will be more vocal (not much of a talker) and we will have to break the bottle :( Being one is hard work. I also want to make sure I'm spending alone time with him. Being the little brother is hard sometimes, you kinda get the seconds of everything.

Erin here! This is my little family. It is amazing how quickly our house has turned into a home since the arrival of our sweet little miracle. We are beyond blessed to have her in our lives and know that she is a blessing from God. In 2014, we want to continue allowing God's timing to lead our lives and agendas instead of relying on our own schedules and lists.
 This sweet girl is growing up so fast and quickly developing a big personality. How is she already sitting up?!?!?! I have never been more grateful for anything and want my actions to reflect my gratitude. Everything that once seemed important now seems so small. As we look ahead and strive to be the best parents we can be, we want to instill in her a genuine gratefulness for life. I hope 2014 is a year in which we lead her by example.
I also want 2014 to be about enjoying all the small things like...snow days!

What are your resolutions? Do you have any fun planned? How will you spend time with your family this year?