Monday, October 8, 2012

Ok, well it has been a while.... a long while..... since my last post. To say that the beginning of the year has been a bit overwhelming would be the understatement of the year. Not only is this my first full year teaching, I changed grade levels (I taught half a year of 4th grade last year) to first. I am the 1st grade team leader, and was asked to take on an after school STEM club for K-2 students. Combine that with a husband who coaches cross country, a daughter starting high school and running cross country and a son who decided to take Taekwondo and play flag football and you can begin to see the reason behind my lack of posts. I have taken a lot of pictures along the way and will begin to post them soon. I need to make a list of all the fabulous blogs I need to give credit too (as you will see, I have taken full advantage of all of the great resources out there) before I begin posting pics.

I will limit this post to telling you a little about my firsties. Perhaps the most significant thing about my class this year is that I have 6 ESL students (yes, you read that right... 6). Somehow, the balancing out didn't go well when making the class lists. My fellow first grade teachers only have 1 each and somehow I ended up with 6. On the flip side, I love them all and wouldn't trade a single one! We have made some amazing progress and breakthroughs these last several weeks. The positive of having so many ESL kiddos is that the ESL teacher practically lives in my room during our literacy center time and the extra help is great!

I have quite a few characters in my class as well. Every day is an adventure. I have 3 students who hardly speak (a part of my ESL group of course) and I have 2 or 3 that cannot seem to keep their mouth closed. We have spent the first month of school setting our routines. I have my literacy centers in place, although my kiddos are still not all able to work independently without needing my input. I am hoping that this will be the last week of "practice" before I can actually start my guided reading centers. I have been working one-on-one and in small groups with some of my lower and struggling readers during this time, but the constant interruptions from the other students makes it difficult. I am hoping and praying that this week goes better.

I think I have perfected my center set-up and can't wait to share it. I will get some pictures of everything this week so I can be ready for that post.

Anyway, I am off to celebrate the Saint's first win of the season!!! (WHO DAT! I'm a Louisiana girl living in Japan!) Because of the time difference, the game is on in the morning here and thanks to my friend Chris Columbus, I was able to enjoy it in my PJ's relaxing at home! Happy Columbus Day! (A day off for us! One of the perks of working for the government!)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

OK, I know I promised pics of my classroom (before and after) and all that jazz but my first week in first grade has left me completely wiped! I have been dozing on the couch by 6:30 every night this week and then losing sleep (when I actually make it to my bed) thinking about all the things I still need to do! UGH! Today, I treated myself and left work as soon as possible (my duty day ends at 2:40). I have been there until almost 4 every afternoon... listening to my second grader ask "Mom, is it time to go yet?" nine million times (poor guy!). All I can say is thank goodness that this first week is a 4 day week. We have a training day tomorrow which means there is nothing that has to be immediately prepared or planned for so I high-tailed it out of there (and didn't even bring any work home). I do have to sit through some boring riveting meetings tomorrow, but I can take a small breather!
My group of firsties are absolutely adorable. I have 7 ESL students (a few of which are very low level). I have a couple of kids who have a hard time just getting their name on their paper and I have a few who finish everything I give them in record time. Oh, and they are never quiet.... ever! I have one chatty group. But I love them and wouldn't trade them for a million dollars!

Now, as soon as I figure out how to post documents on here I will get to sharing what I have! =)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Well, it is finally here. Tomorrow is our first day of school. I have been working like mad all week (and most of the weekend) to get my room ready for my new gang. They had a chance to stop by and look around for a few minutes on Friday and they all seemed to love the room! Yeah!! I have made and adapted a lot of great things and as soon as I figure out how to load files onto my posts I will share (any advice on how to do that?). I will be taking pictures of my room tomorrow morning so I will at least be able to post before and after pics of my room soon! I am so excited to begin my first grade journey. I know it is going to be an adventure!!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Oh my! What a crazy whirlwind these last few weeks have been. I have arrived back in Japan after a tremendously long journey. I am so glad to be home, but I really miss my mom and dad, sisters, and my 3 adorable nieces! Oh well, Skype and Facetime will have to get me through another year of living overseas.

Now that I am back, I am gearing up for the school year. We don't start school until the 27th of August and I don't technically have to report to work until the 22nd, but I am anxious to get going so I have already been working in my new room. I took before pictures and will take after pictures soon. Once I am finished I will share them with you. My room is huge which is very exciting but it means I have a lot of decorating to do to make it fabulous!

I have also been hard at work creating a ton of things for my room. I've gotten lots of great ideas from all the fabulous blogs I follow, as well as my newest addiction, Pinterest. I can't wait to share these items here.

The next few weeks will be exciting as I get ready to meet my students and begin posting all my great stuff to share with you! Can't wait to see what you think!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Another Giveaway and Procrastination

So we are getting down to the final days of our summer vacation before we return to our life in Japan. I am very anxious to get back to our home (although not at all anxious to leave my family). You would think this means I would be all over packing up our stuff. As I type this, I am looking at 4 flat rate boxes waiting to be addressed, sealed, and shipped, and I don't even want to think about the mountain of clothes and other stuff waiting in the room to be crammed into suit cases. But instead of packing, I am sitting here updating my blog (trying to make it a habit even if I don't have much to say), drinking a cup of coffee, and planning my day of beauty and shopping (to buy even more that will have to be crammed into the suitcases!). I must be insane!

Anyway, I stumbled upon this giveaway and it is so great that I had to share (that and I get extra entries by blogging about it!!) Lyndsey over at A Year of Many "Firsts" has reached 500 followers also and has put together a major bundle of prizes for one lucky winner! Click over and check it out!!

Well, I am off to the salon so my sister can make me beautiful one last time before we head back and then it is off to the outlet mall! Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Another Great Giveaway Opportunity

I don't know if I have said it before, but no matter where I live, I am a Louisiana girl at heart! Yesterday, my family and I got together and went tubing on the Bogue Chitto River. Boy did we have a blast!! It was the first time my kids had ever done anything like it and they loved it! Today, I am paying for it though! My chest and arms are really sore and my skin is a little crispy. =) Anyway, we are heading back to Japan on Monday so this week will be spent trying to figure out how the heck I am going to get all the stuff I bought home (Thank goodness for flat rate boxes). Once I get home, I will dive right in getting my classroom ready and can't wait to start taking pictures to share with you all.

In the mean time, here is another great giveaway from a fabulous lady! Michelle over at No Monkey Business has reached 500 followers (I think I have 2! Can't ever imagine getting to 500!!) and she has put together a great giveaway in celebration! Swing on over and check it out!

No Monkey Business

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Last chance to enter this HUGE giveaway!!

One of my favorite blogs, "My Heart Belongs in First" has linked up with several other great bloggers to put together this HUGE giveaway! You have the chance to earn several entries just by following these great gals! Jump on over to Tamera's site at to find out more about this great opportunity!

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