Friday, November 9, 2012

Spidey Senses

...or just a fun Halloween craftivity!

So for those of you who don't know my classroom can get hectic real quick! I technically teach first grade (all day) but in the afternoon our all day kindergarten program joins me in my room so I jump from a teeny tiny class of 10 firsties to a loud and very talkative class of 25 mixed first and kinders!

The Friday before Halloween our school has a school-wide Halloween parade...and you guessed it...of course it's held in the afternoon! Well our kindergarten teacher (who typically teaches pre-K in the afternoon) has Friday afternoons off so i twisted some arms and got her and an aid to help me in the afternoon before our parade so we could host some fun Halloween centers. The kids were so excited about this it was too cute, and I'll confess, for my first year teaching and this being the first big holiday of the year, I was pretty proud with how the day turned out lol. I organized the centers and then turned the others loose to help man them and the kids ended up making some Halloween slime, playing pin the nose on the pumpkin on the smart board, played some Halloween math games, and made sp- spider hats with yours truly!

The hats were kind of a combination of about 500 different projects that I had seen and fallen in love with and then came to terms with the fact that you can't do them all....or so they say, until you combine them all! (haha beat that "system"! lol) Ok, back on track, promise lol....So anyways, we made these super adorable spider hats. Each child got 8 spider legs (pre-cut) and my kinders had to write an s- word on each leg while my firsties had to come up with 8 words starting with the bled sp-. The kids wrote the words on each leg and we then attached them to a large headband that the decorated to look like a spider. After some according folding, stapling, and some lovin', we came up with these gems!

I was one proud teacher :)

Graph a Sweet Tooth

So I promise I don't completely forget about my blog! I take pictures for it all the time and then get home and don't feel like sitting down to put it on here for all of you!

We use Saxon math at my school and while I really do like the program, and they do incorporate a lot of hands on manipulatives into the program, I absolutely love math and have so many fun ideas floating around inside my little head and tend to think the lessons can get kinda dry after a while. So...needles to say I'm always looking for fun ideas and supplementals to go along with the weeks' lessons.

I MAY have shifted lessons around by a couple of days to make is work just right but what kid wants to graph pattern blocks on Halloween week when they can bring in their trick or treat wrapper to graph instead (and trust me they loved having to write in their planners to eat candy! Haha) Anyways, the kids brought on their candy wrappers from home and we spread them all put and discussed all the different ways we could think of on how to grasp the wrappers and then looked at the pros and cons for each. In the end the kids decided it would be best to graph the wrappers by color and then they went to town. I supplied the kiddos with tape rolls and they worked together as a class to decide where each wrapper went....they even came up with putting in a rainbow row for those that dent fit anywhere else!

Needless to say the kids were ecstatic about the math lesson and it made for great conversation starters while it hung in the hallway!   Below is a picture of the finished product!   Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Doubles Game

My little firsties have been working so hard at learning their doubles addition. We do flash cards every morning, sing our doubles rap several times a day (and let me tell you they get into this one!), and work on our fact sheets during jobs. Because of all their hard work I promised them a game and let me tell you, this one was a hit!

 I made my kiddos a doubles roll and cover game and they got to use my brand new foamy dice (they don't make any noise, they don't bounce, and they are a fun bright color...aka kid approved!) and they loved it! I love how easy it is to get them excited about learning! Tell them its a game and let them sit on the floor with a partner and they are ready to go!

Hmm I was going to post my game as my first freebie but I'm not entirely sure how to! Any suggestions are more than welcome!

Have a great beautiful, and relaxing fall night! :)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Adventures of First Grade Leaf People!

Call me a manipulator, but I'll do about anything it takes to get my kids to want to write!  (Don't lie I know we're all guilty!)  This week with fall quickly coming in all around us I decided to bring a little bit of the outside in with us!  I debated on having the kids go on a nature hike for this but we really don't have many trees on property or close by that this would work with, so the kids settled on my "handy dandy bag of leaves!"  :P

This little craftivity took us under 10 minutes to put together, the kids loved drawing on leaves and being able to use their sharpies (ahh the simple things in life!), and were eager to being writing all about what their leaf person saw when they landed on the ground for the first time this fall!  

Read some of these gems for yourself! LOVE THEM!

And I love quotes from my kids, so here's a good one from today!  
After asking a boy to remove his snow hat at the lunch table "but it keeps me warm, it's perfect for a warm head party in my hat!"  -- where do they come up with these things!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

I'm Alive....I Promise!

So not that I have oodles of people that follow this little ole blog of mine (though I wish I did...hint hint! :P  ) but I do feel bad in my lack of postings! Let's forward though my life since my last post! lol

1. I moved away from home and now have a nice little townhouse half a mile from school that I am in LOVE with decorating!

2. I met me adorable 10 little firsties that I get to spend all of my days with!

3. I also met my 15 quite rambunctious kindergarteners that I get to mix in with my firsties in the afternoons!

4. I lived through the first several terrifying days of school!

5. I recently celebrated reaching day number 31 of school and me and all 25 kids are still alive and kicking! haha

I realize this isn't the most informative post but I promise to get some pictures and class projects on here real soon! I thought I already knew that this would be a crazy expeience, but this has been so much more crazy and rewarding that what I could have every imagined. I wake up every morning excited to go see my students smiling faces and sorry for all those people who have to go to work everyday not loving every aspect of what they do.

So I think I'll wrap this up here and go look through the last couple weeks of pictures and get you some more insight into my class!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The  Versatile Blogger Award :)

What a sweetie, Dawn over at nominated me yesterday for the Versatile Blogger Award, imagine that...not even teaching yet with what seems like 2 blog posts under my belt and she still nominates me! I think that should be enough there to go check out her blog! 

Now for the hard part though....7 seemingly random things about myself...hmm where to begin lol

1. I love to travel, I have been to 14 different countries and 3 continents! :)

2. I love love love gummie bears (ok and the snakes, and robots...ok I just love gummie candies!) I could seriously live off these things if they gave me an expected life span of more than 2 months!

3. I have been slightly obsessesd with Mickey Mouse since I was about 2 or 3 and dream of having a Mickey classroom someday!

4. I'm not a fan of needles, blood, knives, or anything else scary at the doctors office (just came from there lol) just the thought of them gives me the creeps

5. I am a total night owl and would much rather stay up till 3am than get up at 7...for some reason my school doesn't seem to want to adjust to my schedule :(

6. Though it's not an official holiday, one of my top favorites is back to school...the isles at the store always seem to be screaming my name! ;)

7. I love love LOVE kids! When I'm not teaching I spend my time babysitting or dreaming of having my own kids lol...much like the school supply section, baby clothes also scream my name equally as loud!

So that's a little more about me lol...and I'm tight on time now but I have to think for a minute on who I want to notimate for this award and will post names later!

(and for those precious teachers commenting on my yesterday's post...thank you so much for the words of encouragment! )

Friday, August 3, 2012

Stress is Creeeeping up...

Wow, so it has been virtually forever since I have blogged, but I sort of figured it might end up like this for me in the beginning. It’s weird to think that I’m writing these posts with 11 followers and maybe half of those 10 actually read them….so essentially I may be writing this for me and good ‘ole cyber spaces’ viewing pleasures…IF you are reading this though….THANK YOU! J
The last month of my life both in and out of teacher word have been INSANE I tell you! Buttttt, we won’t get into details! Major updates for now: Miss St. John has a job, an apartment, and is moving in next week!
Anyways though, back to the more teachery aspects of my life lol! I went into my room for the first time last week since I signed my contract and I am proud to say it will be on FOX news tonight for the most recent victim of the little known thing called “Ohio Hurricanes”…..ok so may I’m exaggerating a teeny bit but let me tell you, it’s a disaster! And worst part, it looks worse now than when I came in haha…  I am happy to say though that I was able to move all the big furniture to where I want it and made tons of extra space for new books in my library and hopefully a meeting area (the previous teacher didn’t have one and didn’t see a need for a teacher desk in my classroom when I could put it in my attached office).
So I’m hoping to get in again starting as soon as I move and am afraid of how long this will take me :/ I’m also getting nervous about teaching my own class in general (please tell me this is normal…)

And this brings me to a question for all 11 of my followers! Being a VERY overwhelmed first year teacher, what are the most essential things and “must haves” in my classroom? Area wise, school supply wise, center wise….what should I focus on first!  HEEEELLLLPP!! J

Ok, rant over! Thanks for the help! <3


Monday, June 25, 2012

Big, Huge, Gigantic News!!!

I have a job, I have a job, I have a job, I have a job!

OK maybe I’ll try to be just a little more coherent for you (lol), but did I mention that I have a job?!?! That’s right I called this morning and accepted the first grade teaching position at school B (see post below).
I will officially be the first grade teacher at St. Edward’s Catholic School in Ashland, Ohio come Friday when I go in to sign my contract and I couldn’t be any more ecstatic! It’s been a long couple months waiting for something to come through but this past week I feel like everything quickly fell into place for me and this is where I am ment to be! For those of you who don’t know, this is also the school where I just completed my student teaching at in April so I already know the staff I will be working with as well as the school routines and some of my future kiddoes!
Thank you for all of your prayers and I can’t wait to begin this new adventure in my life!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Toooo Many Choices!

So  I realize I haven’t filled any of you in lately on what has been going on. The short of it: complete INSANITY! Buuut, I’m assuming if you are reading this new little blog of mine you have at least a speck of interest in my personal well being so I’ll give you the little big longer, fuller, and more detailed summary lol!
It all started about 2 weeks ago when I received a call from school A saying they had a job offer for me (me: awesome!)…it’s not exactly what you had applied for (me: ok I can live with that)…..but it is full time! And we think you would love it! (me: OK…what is it?!?!)  They then explained that they would want me to take over the 4 year old preschool in the afternoons and work as a common core standards type of person in the morning (a currently non-existent job that they created for me to make sure I wasn’t going anywhere else until there was another opening). I thought about it for a while and didn’t think this job sounded too bad.
Now fast forward a week to my interview at school B…where I did my student teaching (3 hours from home as apposed to 8 minutes like school A). Not even 12 hours after my interview I receive a call from the principal…and yep, you guessed it, she has job offer #2 for me. First grade with mixed K/1 in the afternoons. Now I realize most of you are thinking this is amazing now you get to pick…I’m think OMG NOW I HAVE TO PICK (insert really freaked out voice here!)
As is this wasn’t bad enough, I talked with both principals and we decided D-day (decision day!) is set for Monday…think…pray…think…cry…pros/cons…go nuts, yep that’s what my week.  Fast forward once more to yesterday…principal from school A calls me again…”we have another offer for you!” You can teach our clove-d garden class (like ½ day Kindergarten) and then help with pulling kids out for differentiated instruction in the afternoon…..job offer #3 (insert Jaws theme track music and increased panic here)
So that’s the last week of my life in a nutshell (ok also coupled with more personal problems…boyfriend of 3 years and I…no longer together)…yeah talk about some major stress!  Some quick background on these schools…I attended school A for 9 years / I taught at school B for 4 months. I know all the staff and faculty at both schools. There is very little salary difference (not even enough to consider). Anndd, school A involves living at home (scary!) and school B involves moving out on my own (equally scary!)
So shoot…what’s your thoughts? What helped you decide? What should I take into consideration….heeelllppp! J

Friday, June 8, 2012

Is this a "No No"

So just like I'm new over here on the bloging land...same goes for TPT....OK so truth is I've been creeping on both things for f-o-r-e-v-e-r ...but truth is I just finally got the nerve to start my own little adventures...and when I say little I mean little! I have sold 3 items on TPT and do the happy dance every time I get an email saying somethings sold. I know some of you are making thousands of dollars on that site and believe me, in my dreams I am! but for now I'll accept the little things that make me do the happy dance!

On to the real reason for this post though, I LOVE me some Eric Carle and have tossed around the idea for an E.C. themed room next year (ok if and when I get one!) and decided to make these cute number signs to go with some of his characters. Problem is, can I sell these on TPT? Can I share them for free on TPT? Can I just print them for myself and not be able to share them with any of you on here? :(  Please let me know!

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     ~ Tracy

Sweet Note from My Kiddos!

To al of you who are now on SUMMER BREAK…I’m jealous…and not because of break, because I am, but because I was only student teaching this year so I finished earlier and haven’t seen my kiddos in over a month. Last Friday was their last day of school though and several of the sweetie girls wrote me letters that my mentor teacher e-mailed to me, and let me tell you they were cutie! It made me miss them so much more!
More on the side of this never ending job search though, I had an interview this past Tuesday, like 3 days ago, with a school that I had had a field experience in so I was already familiar with the school. I also got a call yesterday from a school closer to home (this last one was a 2.5 hour drive each way :/  ) and have an interview with them this upcoming Tuesday!  Just keep crossing my fingers! My goal is to have a job in place by the end of this month…say a little prayer for me (or two or three!)

Friday, June 1, 2012

Ramblings from a hopeful teacher!

     So not much else new going on in the world of employment, well other than my office job (and let me tell you if I have learned one thing here in 5 summers, it is that I never want to have a boring office job!)

     Anyways, I did have some excitement earlier this week, while everyone else is working on cleaning out their rooms for the summer, this girl already had her last day of school with my adorable student teaching kiddos and is currently lusting over everyone else's posts that still have students! Well earlier this week I received a phone call from a good friend of mine's mom whom is a teacher and is not returning back to the classroom in the fall and chose me to come do inventory of her leftover "teacher stuff". This may not seem as exciting to some of you as to me, but as a new and incoming teacher I LOVE teaching supplies and have worries of how I will ever be able to fill, decorate, and fully arm my first classroom, but with wonderful ladies like this whom allow me to take her extras off her hands I hope it will be no problem!

     So a question for all of you veteran teachers, think back to when you first started, how did you go about gathering materials and setting up your room for your first year of teaching?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Waiting Game...

So I started this blog a couple of months ago and clearly haven't done anything with it since then, and after reading countless other blog this week I thought I should give it a go!

First things first, I'll introduce myself to you:

My name is Tracy St. John, or Miss St. John as my kiddos call me, and I am a recent (like 3 weeks ago, super recent) college graduate. I attended Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio and majored in Early Childhood Education and loved, loved, loved every minute of it. Now that I have graduated I have a full time summer office job (which reminds me daily how much I love kids and loath lonely office work!) and have been playing this horrible game that people tend to call a "job search". For those of you that have been quite comfortable in your job for 30, 20, or even just 10 years....let me remind you, this stuff stinks! I spew applications out to what seems like every district in a 200 mile radius and although I have had several interviews, I haven't snagged anything quite yet. here we continue waiting!

In the mean time I thought I would work on getting my blog up and running and drool over everyone else's blogs and the fact that I can't do anything classroom/prep oriented until I at least know what grade I'm in (boo).  So until I will continue to creep on all the other great blogs out there until I have my own classroom!  

Keep your fingers crossed please! :)