Monday, October 21, 2013

Freebie: Parent-Teacher Conference Form

If you're like me, you're gearing up for parent-teacher conferences.
Ours are Thursday night and all-day on Friday.
I'm getting all of my ducks in a row, STAR assessment results printed, and report cards finished.

I wanted a form to jot down notes about each student for their conference.
We have 20 minute appointments and it often feels as though there's not enough time to say everything I need to. OR, I talk so much about reading that there's not enough time to address math concerns.

Enter, the conference form! 

I look forward to having my information in an organized place. 
I will make copies for the parents to take home, along with assessment results, etc.

I have met many parents at conference who seem intimidated. I hope that this will help them to see that we are on the same team, rooting for their children. 

If you'd like a copy, CLICK HERE!
If you like it, drop me a line! I'm getting back in the creative mood!

Have a great week & happy conferencing! 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Five For Friday

It's Five for Friday time! I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs for their weekly linky & sharing some random moments from my week. 

Can I just start by saying that we had 2 days in a row of inside the middle of a rainy/cold week....during a full moon! The conditions were just right for a little mischief & a lot of frustrations. 
It didn't help that my husband and I started a diet on Monday.
It was rough, yo!

This was the last week in our first grading period and my goal was to wrap up assessments and a math unit. Oh, and we studied pumpkins, too! I have to say, now that I'm on the other side of the school week, we really WERE productive, and thankfully, for the most part, my students were fantastic. 

One thing that kept us busy was a pumpkin unit. We read lots of pumpkin books, worked at pumpkin-themed centers, and carved a pumpkin & had the roasted seeds as a snack today! 
When I was a kid, the smell of a pumpkin made me gag. I'm glad to see my kiddos were all super-brave and dipped their hands in the pumpkin for a handful of seeds, AND they tried them toasted. (There was a unanimous vote for a cinnamon variety at our harvest party at the end of the month).They were a hit! 
I'm proud that they were so excited for the EXPERIENCE! It makes my teacher-heart smile!

Check out my guided reading strategies wall! 
The reading strategies were a freebie from Sarah's First Grade Snippets.
This wall is right behind my guided reading area and I know I will use it frequently! 
Sometimes a little change in the classroom can make a difference. I love that!

You know what else can make me happy? ANYTHING from Erin Condren!
Seriously, her products just oooze happiness, good days, and smiles.
This package was on my doorstep when I came home yesterday! It contained new lunch box plates--they snap into the front & back of my lunchbox. I also got a set of fine-tipped markers for my life & lesson planners. I'm a total pen-junkie! I consider myself a pretty tough judge when it comes to writing instruments...and they're really great!
I used them to grade spelling tests today and I've got to say, they make me pretty happy!

I saw these geese as soon as I stepped out of my car at school this morning. I heard the before I saw them which provided enough time to fish my phone out of my purse & grab a quick shot.
I stopped, with the rising sun on my face, took a deep breath, and smiled. 
It's Friday.
It's fall!
Cheers to THAT!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Five for Friday!

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs for Five for Friday!

Fall is here and things are busy, busy, busy in my classroom! We're getting into some great routines and I'm starting to see my students progress! That's refreshing! Parent-teacher conferences are coming up, as well as units on pumpkins, bats, and owls. I love fall! 

1. Did you Read for the Record this week? I paired up with a 4th grade class in our building Thursday morning and we read Otis by, Loren Long. What a sweet story! We read the story together on the smartboard and then the older students paired up with a first-grader to do a drawing/writing activity. 

The fourth graders loved helping my students and my kiddos thought it was SO COOL that the BIG KIDS were in our room! Win-win! Doing activities like this reminds me that I need to be doing more activities like this! :) Do you pair up with other classes? What are your favorite activities? I struggle with creating something that won't be insultingly easy for the big kids, yet doable for my students. 

2. I may be a pumpkin-holic this time of year. The taste, the smell, the very essence of those fruits (they are fruits, right?) screams fall. Have you tried the 2 (or 3, or four for me) ingredient pumpkin cookies?

You just need a can of pumpkin and a box of cake mix! No eggs, no oil. 
I should have bought a small can of pumpkin. 
Using a big can of pumpkin for 1 box of cake mix will result in a wet batter. Too wet for cookies, 
When I realized my mistake I thought of my pal Pete the Cat, and what he would do.
Would Pete cry?
I just added a big handful of quick-cook oats I love oatmeal cookies so I thought this would work. 
Phew! I was right!
I also added chocolate chips because: 
a. why not?
b. I find that if I add chocolate chips, they add enough sweetness so that I don't need to frost them. Of course, you could frost them, I'd use a cream cheese or chai spiced frosting (this must exist somewhere, right? YUM!) I use between 1/2 and 3/4 cup of chocolate chips. As my husband says, "You can never add too many chocolate anything....ever") 

Mix it all up, I use a mini-ice-cream-scoop-looking-thing to plop the batter onto parchment paper. 10-12 minutes for tablespoon-size cookies in a 350F oven. They're soft, pumpin-y, and so good. I'll eat them for breakfast with a glass of milk. Quick, easy, and tasty!

3. More pumpkin news. Last weekend the Hubs and I headed to Barnesville for their annual Pumpkin Festival. It was the 50th anniversary year and it seemed as though everyone in a 100-mile radius was packed into the streets for music, big-pumpkin-gazing, fair-style foods of ALL KINDS, catching up with friends, and rides for the kids. The pumpkin ice cream was so good! 

4. And in even MORE pumpkin news, the accidental pumpkins that are growing in my yard are turning orange! Finally! I can't wait until they're ready to pick. Now that the vines are getting yellow and janky, it's looking pretty rough in that part of the yard. There are 2 pumpkins on that plant and one is a perfectly round, short and fat beauty! 

5. As a teacher, I love discovering new books with my students. I placed a big Scholastic order last month and am STILL going through the books with them! This week we read Dragons Love Tacos by, Adam Rubin. It's hilarious!

It struck a really funny chord with both the students and myself! C'mon, emphatically reading the phrase "Pantloads of tacos" will put a smile on most anyone's face. 

How are you getting ready for fall? 
What do you love the most about this season?
I know I'll be glad when it's not in the 80's anymore (which should be today or tomorrow). We've had unseasonably warm weather for Ohio in October. It hasn't felt like fall in 2 weeks. 
I'm ready for boots and sweaters, yo!