Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Houghton Mifflin Bundle

Hello Friends.

Today is Tuesday!!! Yay!! Why do I love Tuesdays? Tuesdays are my catch up/work day while my kids go to a drop off program for 6 hours. SIX.WHOLE.HOURS. Y'ALL!!! Since I began homeschooling, these "rest" days for me have been so crucial... to the survival of my kids students. Waaaitttahhhh miiiinute! Catch/up work days = rest days???  Well, it didn't used to.  It used to be MOMMYNEEDSTOFINISHHERWORKSODONTTALKTOME!! day.

"But MOMMMMMYYYY, I'm hungry!" they would say.

"What???!!! You just ate!"  

"That was breakfast. It's dark outside now, soooo I think we're suppose to eat dinner or something???"

Spoiled kids.

(whispering to each other how mommy *might* have made them skip a meal)

(GEEESH! Eyes rolling....)

You get the picture.

Now that I have Tuesdays carved out (did I mention SIX HOURS??!!! Oh happy day!) to create all my Teachers pay Teachers units, blog, and to keep up with all my other social media stuff for work, I don't feel like I NEED to finish everything when my kids are finally down for the night. I yell less, we enjoy each other more, AND they get to eat (at least) 3 times a day. I know. Lucky them.

Today I want to share with you one of my top selling resources all bundled up in a cute little package. I've had such great responses with my first grade Houghton Mifflin resources that I thought I would bundle themes 1-5 at a discounted price. It's a savings of $12 if you purchase the bundle.  I will also be bundling themes 6-10 when they are all completed.  But for now, here she is!



Since all the themes are pretty consistent, I won't bore you with a preview of EVERY theme. Here is a sneak peak of Theme 1.  You can click on the links if you would like a closer look of what's inside each theme.

Theme 1















Theme 2:


 Theme 3:


 Theme 4



 Theme 5



If you know anyone who is having a hard time aligning Houghton Mifflin with Common Core, please send them my way!

 Hope you enjoy your day today!!!
 

Blessings,

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Eating Your Animal Cell


Hello Friends.

If you ever need to teach about a plant or animals cell, read on....

I just wanted to stop by really quick to post a cute (and yummy) little project that I did with my kids.  We are learning about the animal cell and my kids were having  a lot a little trouble remembering all the parts of it. My friend, Janee, posted a picture on Facebook of a cupcake project that she did with her kids (who are also learning about animal cells). My kids and I are not that big on cupcakes...but cookies...well, that's a different story.

Here is our yummy project...
 Even my little kinder gal joined us. They were even singing an animal cell song. :)




Our finished product before they gobbled up their cookie.



I've love to say that I thought of this all by myself. I'm not that creative, although I'd like to be. Again, I originally heard it from my friend who made hers using a cupcake. We love cookies, they're round, and so it seemed like a perfect fit. I looked on Pinterest and found an activity with cookies. Here is the link:

Animal Cell Cookie Project

I used different candies than the directions so you can just use your favorites! :)  We ate some cookies and saved the rest for our friends. My kids had so much fun...AND they actually learned the parts of an animal cell! That, my friends, is a WIN-WIN! :)


Blessings,

Friday, September 25, 2015

A New Product

Hello Friends,

Just wanted to stop by and share my newest product! I have gotten so many positive responses with my First Grade Houghton Mifflin resource that I had to continue making the rest of the themes.  I just finished theme 3 and it is packed (268 pages to be exact!) with Thinking Maps, Depth and Complexity icons, comprehension strategies/skills, and many more fun and engaging activities to keep those neurons firing! What I love about this unit is that it is NOT busywork. I used my HM units when I taught a 1/2 combo last year and it felt so good knowing that the independent work that I was giving one grade (I have HM units for both first and second grade) while I worked with the other grade was meaningful.

Here is a sneak peak of the unit:













I LOVE LOVE Thinking Maps and have found them VERY effective in my classroom!






Do you notice the Depth and Complexity icons in the top corner when it applies to the worksheet? I went to the training at USC and really enjoyed implementing it into my classroom. My Firsties last year really caught on to the higher level thinking!


I love these vocabulary cards!!! They have worked great for not only my Language Learners, but for ALL learners,  It really gave my students a visual of what the word meant.


If you or someone you know is using 1st grade Houghton Mifflin, I would love for you to pass this resource along. It truly is a time saver!!!

Have a great weekend Friends!!!


Blessings,

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Life Is Beautiful: Things I've Learned about Homeschooling (so far)

Hello there Friends!

Well, we have been in FULL homeschooling mode for over a month now and things are going well. I mean, I haven't cried yet or anything so I must be doing something right.....or ....maybe I'm not. What I mean is that I haven't hid from my kids yet and oh, I hear sometimes you even talk to yourself and rock in the corner... I haven't done that either....yet. I know that hard days will come but right now we are enjoying that our lives are sloooowing down. We are learning A LOT (by "we" I mean both the kids and me!) by doing Classical Conversations. The curriculum is SO rich and rigorous! Plus, we meet every Wednesday for school and so I could not pass up instant community...because this mama needs to speak to grown-ups, too.

When my friends found out that I would be homeschooling and how scared/nervous I was taking on this huge responsibility, they always reassured me that I would be fine since I was a teacher. BUT for me, I  had always heard that teachers have the hardest time adjusting because they want to run their homeschool day like a classroom.  Wait. WHAT??!! No bells to let me know when I could use the restroom or get a snack?? What was I to do???

I was ready to throw out (almost) everything I've learned from my 14 yrs. in the classroom because I heard that my mind needed to be "unschooled"...which I tried a little. BUT I just couldn't get around not being on a schedule. That's the way I feel most productive. So what I've found through trial and error (and again, I've only been doing this for a little over a month folks, so I still have MUCH to learn!) is that being in the classroom has helped me tremendously in homeschooling my children. This works for me and my personality.  I have very close friends who homeschool and are more free spirited. That works for THEM and not me. I had to realize that.

So these are just a few things that I've learned so far:

- I have more patience with my kids now that I am not working.

- I NEED a schedule. I use the idea from Managers of Their Homes where I schedule our school day in 30 min blocks. This has SAVED me because I can get SO much done! I felt  that I couldn't do this since it was too "classroom" like but really, I just had to find my rhythm. Of course, we will be adjusting our schedule as needed, but this is our day for now.




- I'm using my classroom experience to organize my "classroom" at home, for time and behavior management, for different teaching strategies, writing anchor charts, enriching the learning environment,  using Thinking Maps and Depth and Complexity, and how to just manage my students. :) I was SO relieved to see that there were so many crossovers! I don't know why I thought that I couldn't use my past experience to help me in this journey.

- Like I said, we can get SO much done! We start school at 9am and are pretty much done with the core subjects by lunch. It's weird.

- I'm actually enjoying my kids. Did I mention that I have more patience now?


Life is beautiful for us right now since we are able to enjoy things like this....


The principal (aka Daddy) teaches Bible on Friday mornings while teacher (aka me) takes a coffee break. :)





My students can come to school naked, just as long as they show up. :)




We have time to do special things like these PE days. My friend is the cross country coach at APU and teaches a running class. She is allowing our boys to run with her college class.



And my coach friend...yea, her hubby is the soccer coach for the college so he is privately training our boys and allowing them to come to the beginning of the team practice to help out.  Who else gets to train with a college soccer team??!!! I sure do have AMAZING friends!!!


A lot of places offer field trips that are FREE or at a discounted price for homeschoolers!  I get to plan the field trips.... and on my field trips, we get to go on any rides we choose! :)




I know that my days will not always be great and times will get tough, but today I am celebrating ONE month of NO tears from students and teacher!! :)

Have a great day!

Blessings,