Monday, August 31, 2015

Teacher Week is Here!

It's Teacher Week over at Blog Hoppin' and we're linking up!
We have been job sharing for 14 years. What's a job share you ask? Basically, we are 2 teachers sharing a contract and classroom...Also, a paycheck...But, we're each only in the classroom 50% of the time. So, Christy teaches on Mondays and Tuesdays. Tammy teaches on Thursdays and Fridays, and we alternate Wednesdays. We love it! 
Our birthdays are just 3 days apart. We didn't even plan it either! 
We sometimes feel bad that our class families go to so much trouble twice, but they are always so sweet to celebrate our birthdays in class.

We both love all things coconut!

 Our kids are the same ages. Our boys are 13 and our girls 11. Yes, you can pray for us...We are moms of middle schoolers...Who refuse to allow us to post a picture of them BTW. :)

We are obsessed with eos lip balm!

What 5 fun facts are you going to share? Hop on over to Blog Hoppin' to link up today through Friday!
Blog Hoppin

Plus, did you hear the news? Blog Hoppin' is spreading their wings on Twitter. Be sure to check us out there too. 

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Common Core Assessment Record Book

We're gearing up for our second year with Common Core and needed a quick and easy place to reference the standards and track student progress.   
Carson-Dellosa sent us this gem and it's going to be a great tool to keep us and our students on track!
The Common Core Assessment Record Book has all of the standards at our fingertips in an easy to follow format that helps us reference and record quickly as our class works through the standards all school year long.
It also includes a Standards Crosswalk for each core standard so we can see where our first graders have come from in Kindergarten and where we are sending them to come second grade. This piece is so helpful!
With plenty of space for recording up to thirty students' assessments up to four times during our school year, we have plenty of space to track their progress and align our instruction accordingly.
We're dying to fill in the blanks of this book! ;)
 
Here's a closer peek at Carson-Dellosa's Common Core Assessment Record Books.
You can also see it {here}.

Disclaimer: We participate in the Brand Ambassador Program for Carson-Dellosa and we received this product for free to try and review.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Ocean Themed Classroom & First Day of School Freebie

We posted this picture of our fish themed first day of school activity on our Instagram page the other day and had a lot of requests to share!
One of our favorite first day of school activities to welcome our new school of fish into our ocean themed classroom is to create these O-FISH-Al Welcome Back Bands. 
It gives our first graders a little down time during their long first day back to school, and it gives us a quick first day assessment to see how their coloring and cutting skills are from the get go. 
They are super easy to prep and assemble. The pride our new class feels walking around school with their O-FISH-Al first grade band on their heads is priceless. Ha! The parents get a kick out of their fish heads swimming out of our classroom door at the end of the day, plus they give us adorable class pictures for their memory books too!

We've just added this first day of school activity to our TpT Shop. You can follow our TpT Store and grab it for free below. Enjoy! 
Here's a few more ways we integrate the ocean/fish theme into our classroom each year. 
We have received a Pets in the Classroom grant for the past several years, which we use to replenish and set up our classroom aquarium. We set aside time in the first weeks of school to use our aquarium set up as a class community building activity. You'd be amazed how many ideas there are flying on what our class fish tank should look like! 
We set up a fish themed attendance system on our Promethean Board, which the kids start each day with.
We use this fish light during silent reading time. We call it, "Quiet as Fish Reading" and tell the kids they must be quiet as fish while they read. Our class helper is responsible for turning on and off the light at the beginning and end of our SSR time. 
Our Wish Fish board is a big hit with parents. We just use a class easel to stick our handwritten supply wishes onto and place the easel outside our classroom door. We set our Wish Fish easel outside at events like Back to School Night, parent conference week, Open House, special school events, or anytime we are running low and could use a few classroom donations. We just ask parents to stick the fish back onto their supply with their name on it so we can write a thank you card for their generous donation. :)
You can grab a copy our our Wish Fish {here}.

We've loved using the ocean/fish theme in our classroom for many years now. Here are some of our favorite ocean themed classroom activities.
 
Incorporating a theme in our classroom builds buy in for our students and makes memorable activities all year long! What's your class theme?

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Let's Play I Have, Who Has? with Freebielicious

We've got some exciting news to share! We've joined the fun over at Freebielicious. You can now find us fluttering over on their blog too.
We're kicking things off with a fun game our class loves to play called "I Have, Who Has?"
If you're just getting started, you can head over to the first post in our Back to School Edition {here}. Follow the clues for some of our best back to school tools!
If you followed our clue from A Special Kind of Class...
Who has been job share teaching partners for 13 years and known to show up at school wearing identical outfits without even planning it?
You're right...It's us!
We found each other through our teaching union 13 years ago when we were new moms looking to move to part time teaching. Our job share was born and we haven't looked back since. If you're not sure what a job share is...We share a classroom and contract. Christy teaches Mondays and Tuesdays, Tammy teaches Thursdays and Fridays and we alternate Wednesdays. So, you would think being on completely opposite schedules and all we'd come up with our own wardrobes. But, nope! On numerous occasions over the years we've shown up dressed like twinsies without even planning it! This is how we showed up to head to Vegas last summer. Gah!
We also have our favorite classroom program, Listen Up ~ Auditory activities for little listeners.

These daily, differentiated listening activities have helped us teach kids how to actively listen in the classroom. They think they're playing a game, which makes it fun too. The kicker? We only say each direction 1 time. No more! They learn quickly that they need to listen up! 
If you'd like to try our listening activities, you can grab our Listen Up Freebie.
You can grab all of our Listen Up activities and save during the big Teachers Pay Teachers Back to School Sale!

Ready for your next clue?
Have a teeny tiny guess as to who this Freebielicious author could possibly be?
Click the image above to see if you're right! 

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