Saturday, August 9, 2014

Five for Friday - August 9
Hey everybody!  I'm linking up with DoodleBugs for Five for Friday!

 1.  I spent the past week at a workshop for teaching English language learners.  It was really great!  I learned some really great strategies for building language for my ELLs.  And, they gave us some beautiful hardback books, including this precious one by Margaret Wise Brown.  They also gave us the English version (All the Families).  I can't wait to use it as a take home book/family project.

2.  I also went shopping for some stuff this week!  I'm really excited about these super cute cards.  My kindergartners need nametags for the first month of specials and I think these will be perfect.

3. I also got some cute paw print stuff.  To get our kids excited about college, each classroom at my school chooses one.  My room is University of Georgia.  The kids love being "the Bulldogs", so I'm adding some new Georgia-themed stuff to my room this year.
4.  I don't usually post much about products I buy, but I am SO EXCITED about Mrs. Leeby's new name pack.  It has four great editable name practice worksheets that I know my kids will enjoy.  And she also included free name plates and two of her fonts.  If you teach kindergarten, go check out her tutorial. 

 5. I've been working on some new bright chevron products, including these Stars and Chevron Number Posters.   They match my word family and alphabet posters. 

I'm hoping to get into my classroom and work some next week, but I'm still waiting for them to wax the floors.  If they don't finish soon I'm really going to get nervous.  Our Meet the Teacher night is a week and a half away and my room is a mess!  Keep your fingers crossed for me. :)  If you're going back to school this week, good luck!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Currently August

Hey everyone.  Today, I'm linking up with Farley for Currently!

Listening/watching: Friday Night Lights.  My sister and best friend have both been telling me to watch this series, and I finally am, and oh man I am hooked.  I wouldn't be surprised if I finished all five seasons before the first day of school, haha!

Loving: This Saturday, with dreary weather that makes me feel okay about staying inside in yoga pants :)

Thinking: About all the projects for school and for home and for TpT I had on my to-do list for this summer.  And summer is almost over!

Wanting: Just a little more summer.  It went by so fast this year.

Needing: Energy/motivation to get all my projects done.

First Day: Technically, my first day is August 18.  But I have a workshop all next week, and the week after that I have to go in and work on my classroom and test newly-registered kindergartners, so basically summer is over...
Our kids' first day is August 25.  For kindergarten, we split the class and just have half each on the first two days.  So the first big day with my whole class will be August 27.

What's going on with you?  Link up with Oh Boy 4th Grade and tell us all about it!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Five for Friday - August 1st!

Can you believe that it is already August?  Where did summer go???  Here's my Five for Friday.  It's going to include a few weeks worth of pictures since I haven't posted.

1. My trip to London was wonderful!  Two of my favorite things were having tea at Harrods and climbing to the top of St. Paul's Cathedral.
  I told my mom this would be such a cute picture of us if her face wasn't blocked.  I'm going to have to teach my dad some better photography skills, haha!

 We had beautiful weather in London...sunny all week!

2. Since I've been back, I have started shopping for Back to School.  I got these water bottles at Michael's as welcome gifts for my kindergartners.  They're only 85 cents (with teacher discount). 

3. This week I went shopping with my best friend.  She is a super creative pre-K teacher, and she told me about another great Michael's deal.  Birdhouses for 30 cents a piece, and there's a 20 percent off coupon you can use, too.  So... 24 cents! My students are going to love painting these!
4. Did you notice the new instagram button on my side bar?  Click it to go to my profile, or just follow me at danielle_faerber.
5. I'm super excited to have this resource done for all my 7 Habits readers!  This journal pack goes along with my Seven Habits Superhero Stories.  It's a great way to reinforce the habits and practice a variety of writing genres.  I hope you like it!  I will give this away to two readers.  Just leave a comment with your email :)   (Update 8/22/15: Franklin Covey has asked that all 7 Habits products be removed from TpT, so this product is no longer available.  So sorry!)

Have a great week!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Happy Friday!

Happy Friday!  I am linking up with Five for Friday and Freebie Friday today.  Prepare for some total randomness :)

1.  My freebie: Monsters and Chevron-themed Days of the Week
If you like them, be sure to check out my new Monster and Chevron Classroom Decor pack

2. This week has been my first chance for real downtime this summer.  It has been so nice to relax.  On Tuesday, I went to see The Fault in our Stars.  It was really good, almost as good as the book.
The Fault in Our Stars (2014) Poster

3. Thrive by Casting Crowns has quickly become my new favorite song.  "Living water flowing through.  God, we thirst for more of you.  Fill our hearts and flood our souls with one desire."  I think I listened to it four times on my run yesterday.

4. I've been updating some of my classroom decor packs.  So if you've purchased my Owl and Chevron pack, go re-download to get Word Family and Blends and Digraphs posters. I'm working on updating my Polka Dot pack, too.  Stay tuned!

5. And...this week I've also been getting ready to go to London.  I leave tomorrow and I can't wait!  It is my favorite city. 

I hope you all had a great week and look forward to reading your Five for Fridays!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

BigTime Literacy Blogging Challenge - Teaching Idols and Favorite Subject

I'm linking up again with BigTime literacy to write about my teaching idol today!  The best teacher I ever had was my second grade teacher Mrs. Lampley.  She made me love reading and writing, and made me believe in myself more than anyone else.  She took an extra interest in her students by getting to know each of us personally.  She would go with me one-on-one to pick out new books from the school library.  And, when I told her I wanted to be an author, she helped me make books by typing up my stories, letting me illustrate them, binding them together, and reading them to the class.  It made me feel so special to have her "publish" my stories.  

After I finished second grade, we kept in touch and she let me come back to her class and help her.  When I was in 4th grade, she and I did a special letter-writing project together.  Then, she saved all my letters and gave them back to me when I graduated from 8th grade.  When I was in high school, I moved to a new state and Mrs. Lampley got in contact with me and we wrote back and forth in a journal.  It was amazing to me that all those years later, she still cared about me and believed in me as a writer.  

Mrs. Lampley inspired me to be that kind of teacher for my students.  I try really hard to get to know them on a personal level, to invest in their lives beyond the classroom.  And I build relationships that last beyond their year in my class.  My classroom each morning is complete chaos because a bunch of 1st through 4th graders are coming back to visit - but I wouldn't have it any other way!

Since I joined the blogging challenge late, I'm also writing today about my favorite subject to teach.  I really love teaching everything.  I could never be the type of teacher to teach one subject all day long, because I love to teach it all and see how my students can make connections from one subject to the other.  That said, math is probably my favorite subject and the easiest for me to teach.
"Every problem has a solution" - that is definitely what I love most about math.  It makes so much sense.  And since math is something I've always enjoyed, I love to make it enjoyable and understandable for my students, too.  I love challenging them as we go through the year and diving deeper into our math talks.  

Some of my favorite math resources...

These books are great for small groups/guided math and independent math stations.
Number Talks gives excellent support if you are trying to incorporate daily number talks into your math instruction.  I highly recommend it!  Hearing my kids explain their solutions to problems is super interesting, and gives me a lot of insight into their mathematical understanding.  And, they learn a lot from each other during these talks!  We do a lot of CGI during our number talks and in our guided math time.  It's amazing to watch their growth in problem solving throughout kindergarten!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Harper Grace

I'm linking up with Big Time Literacy today to write about one of my favorite things - my dog!
I got Harper about a week before I finished undergrad.  I had wanted a dog for a long time, and living in an apartment I knew I needed something small.  My roommate found this cutie on Craigslist and I knew I had to have her.
She's a malti-poo (maltese and poodle mix) and when I got her she was only four months old.  She weighed four pounds and was pretty much a big ball of fur.  The first family that had her named her Cuddles (I try not to hold this against them since I'm sure one of their young kids gave her the name :) but I knew even before I got her that I wanted to name her Harper.  I was student teaching at the time and one of my students' little sisters was named Harper.  I just thought it was the cutest name ever, and not something I'd heard much before.  When I saw this puppy I knew she was my Harper.  
I'm not sure when I started calling her Harper Grace, but it just seemed to fit.  Not every dog is cool enough to have a middle name, but HG is just too special for one name, haha.  
She is the best companion, and even occasionally puts up with me dressing her up.
One of my best teaching friends has a daughter named Harper.  Here they are together - we're trying to keep Harper the girl's food away from Harper the dog.  Neither of them can understand that they both have the same name.  So, when I'm with my friend's daughter, we just call Harper Grace "puppy." 

Now Harper is a whopping 8 pounds, and 5 years old!  I live by myself right now, and so I am especially happy to have her greeting me each day when I get home.  One of these days, I'd love to get a second dog - Harper loves playing with her doggy friends - but I can't as long as I'm living in an apartment.  Hopefully someday soon!

Want to blog about/brag on your pet?  Link up with Big Time Literacy, and follow her all month for fun blogging topics!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Currently - June

Hello blogging world.  Is anyone still with me?  I haven't blogged in 3 months, and I am so sorry.  As I mentioned before, I worked on my National Boards this year.  This spring every time I thought about blogging I knew I should be working on them.  But they are done now, phew!  Now I just have my fingers crossed till December when I will get the results.
my celebratory NBPTS picture
 And I figured "Currently" was the best way to get back to blogging!  Thank you, Farley!

Listening...Dierks Bentley.  His new single has been stuck in my head all day.
Loving...the last 10 days of school.  Our 10 day countdown started today, and each day my class is doing something special.  Today was Game Day with board and card games.  Tomorrow is Movie Day with Charlotte's Web, which we just finished reading.  I've found that having something special each day helps these last two weeks go a little faster.
Thinking...see above :)
Wanting...Summer Break!  I have the sweetest class this year, but all of a sudden they are all tattling on each other and whining, and I think we are all really ready for some time off. run today.  Just waiting for the sun to go down a bit.
Summer Bucket List... I have more than could fit in that box, but those are the main things.  I can't wait to go to London in July.  I spent a summer there in college and it was amazing!
Hard to believe this was six years ago!
 This time, I'm going with my parents and little sister.  None of them have been before so I am excited to show them around one of my favorite cities. 
And my other big bucket list item is running!  I signed up for a half marathon in October, so I need to get moving!! 

That's it for now.  If you are reading this, thank you for not giving up on me during my National Board craziness.  I'm hoping to post soon about some of the fun stuff my class has been up to!  I hope you end of year activities and/or summer breaks are going wonderfully!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

TpT Sale: 3 Million Strong!

Just a quick post to say I hope you're all ready for the big sale.  I know I am!  Here are a few popular products I hope you'll check out...

My Seven Habits Books - these are great additions to the Leader in Me curriculum.  But even if your school is not a TLIM school, these resources are great for character education lessons!

My Word Family different themes.

And my new matching Blends and Digraphs posters!

Thanks for checking these out.  Click the picture below for links to many other teacher stores on sale! Happy shopping!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Sight Word Rainbows

So...about a week ago, I was supposed to announce the winners of my Blends and Digraphs Posters.  But first I forgot, and then my computer wouldn't connect to the internet.  Oops...  To make up for being so late, I sent them to everyone who commented.  I really appreciate you all for supporting my blog even when I am such an erratic blogger!  Thank you!

Now on to the topic of the day - sight words!  I've read a lot of teachers say they love teaching sight words, but sadly, I've never really felt that way.  I'm not sure why...I just find them kind of boring I guess.  Because kids tend to learn these at different paces, I introduce several a week, but encourage the parents to work with their kids on sight words A LOT.  To encourage kids to practice their sight words at home, I use an incentive system to chart their progress.

We used to have 50 sight words, but this year we added 20 more, because the Level D books they are supposed to read at the end of the year had a lot of difficult high frequency words.  We're hoping learning them will give them the push they need to finish the year strong.  I divided the 70 words into 7 lists of ten, and that gave me the idea for a new incentive - sight word rainbows!
Here's how it works, each week, I test them on the list they are working on.  If they pass the first list, they get a red arch to hang in their cubby.  For each of the following lists, they get another arch until they've built a full rainbow.  This system has been really successful and motivating for my students this year!
Each student lights up when they get to hang the next part of their rainbow.  And hanging them in their cubbies keeps it personal enough that they aren't comparing themselves to other students.  They are able to focus on their own growth. 

The colors have also helped with differentiating at centers.  I put color-coded lists in our centers, so kids know if they are working on getting the green part of their rainbow, they need to build the green words at their center.  Easy for them to do independently.

Since we are a Leader in Me school, we have Leadership Notebooks where we track our goals and progress throughout the year.  I made a little sight word recording sheet to go along with our rainbow theme.
I know 70 is kind of a random number, so I also have a version of the recording sheet without the text that says "List 1, List 2" etc.  Click here or on the picture to download it from google docs.  I hope it's helpful to some of you! 

Check out more freebies at TBA...
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