A Special Utah Visitor!

It's no secret that Rachelle, Lindsey {The Teacher Wife} and I are proud Utah natives! We only live about an hour away from each other, and every so often we meet up to have lunch together. Well... last weekend we had a very special Utah visitor: the *fabulous* Amy Lemons!!

Amy {from Step Into Second Grade and When Life Gives You... The Lemons} and her family were coming to Utah for an adoption reunion, which gave us all a good reason to meet up and have quite the fun little weekend together!

Poor Rachelle was still teaching on Thursday (she teaches summer school), but the rest of us met up at The Discovery Gateway children's museum in Salt Lake. Of course Amy brought Joelle, and I brought my two kids too. The kids loved playing at the museum and it gave us ladies some good time to sit and chat!
After the museum we took the kids up to the splash pad. The kids all ended up sitting on Lindsey's lap!

{Amy, Joelle, and Lindsey - 3 of the sweetest girls!!}

Later, after Rachelle was out of school, we met up for some shopping at the new City Creek mall. 

 Then we went to dinner at the Red Iguana for some very yummy Mexican food!
{Joelle and Amy with my little Allie}

The next day we woke up early to take a trip up to Park City. We went shopping at the outlet mall, ate lunch at the Canyons Resort, and then went to the Olympic Park Museum.
{Lindsey, Joelle, and Rachelle}

{Amy & the Utah girls}

Another group shot of us up in Park City. 

On Saturday, the girls (minus me...) met up for dinner. It was Amy's last night in Utah. I wasn't there but I hear that it was a great time. :)

 It was so fun to have this special time with Amy!! The teacher blogging community is amazing!! It's incredible that teachers from different parts of the country/world can become friends, share ideas, and help encourage one another!!

Who wants to come visit us next?!

Throwin' It Back {Sight Word Password}

I'm linking up with Cara for Throwback Thursday!

Since our state has gone to the Common Core State Standards ,   I thought I'd read up!  As my team and I were going through the standards we noticed that our 1st graders need to not only be able to recognize the sight words but spell/write them correctly too!  BAM! That's when it hit me! I had seen an AMAZING post by Growing Kinders about a sight word password. PLEASE go to her blog and check it out...she's one of my favorites!!!  I remade the poster to match my classroom {it's my OCD}.

Here's the breakdown. Post a laminated "Today's Password" poster outside of your classroom.  Each day, with a wet erase marker, write a different password on the poster and as your kiddos enter the room, they need to whisper it to you!  Well since they have to be able to write it also, I made a "Password of the Day Book".  After they whisper it to me, they need to go write that word in their book!  

Clipart from DJ Inkers and used with permission from djinkers.com

In our 1st grade we have 5 sight words a week that go home with them to practice as homework. At the beginning of the week, I introduce the words and tape them to the board {I don't put them on my word wall yet} We also practice them everyday in class. I LOVE another one of Growing Kinders' ideas to practice sight words {HERE} Also, for more word wall/sight word activities go {HERE}! At the end of the week I {with the help of my firsties} post them on our word wall that looks like this:
{source} I love this word wall because it's mobile. I rotate classrooms every 9 weeks!

Chevron! {Class Job Charts}

Attention chevron lovers!

After posting my rainbow themed class job chart, I have had quite a few people ask for a chevron version. 

Here is my *new* chevron themed pack in primary colors. 
To read more about this pack or to purchase your own copy, CLICK HERE

And I also made a pastel colored version as well!

This pastel colored chevron set is super cute and I am in love with the cupcake accents on the name cards. 

To read more about this pack or to purchase your own copy, CLICK HERE

New Rainbow Theme - Class Job Chart

The good/bad thing about moving classrooms is that you have to get to redecorate your whole classroom all over again!

This year, I've chosen a rainbow theme and I'm soooooooo excited about it! I'm excited to have some fun bright colors in my classroom and play around with sunshine, blue skies, and puffy clouds! 

Here is a rainbow themed class job chart I've created to go along with my theme. It will create a super cute bulletin board in your class and help your students take responsibility and feel ownership in the class! 

This pack contains the following 16 jobs:

Class President 
Vice President 
Supply Manager 
Pencil Sharpener 
Lunch Bucket 
Counter Cleaner 
Recycle Coordinator 
Floor Keeper 
Energy Saver 
Paper Passer 
Line Leader 
Substitute Helper

This pack also includes: 
bulletin board header
explanation of each job 
4 blank job cards
large and small name cards

Do you need a class job chart to match the theme in your class? If so, leave a comment and let me know which theme and color combos you'd like. I plan to make many different sets of these class jobs this summer!

P.S. Click here to see my patriotic themed set from last year. 

All Over Owls {Classroom Decor}

Are you in love with owls? I am!  My great-grandma collected owls and growing up, I always thought she was a little strange. But, as the years went by, owls started to come back into style. :)  Now, every time I see an owl in the store, I think of her! Which brings me to the owl decor pack I've been working on! It's perfect for any grade!!!  Take a look:

What’s Included? (over 150 pages)
Calendar Months 
Calendar Numbers
Days of the Week
Pennant Banner
Table Numbers
Word Wall Headers 
Schedule Cards 
Birthday Necklaces
Name Tags
Guided Reading Labels 
Homework Folder Cover 
Take-home Reading Folder Cover 
Teacher Note Stationary 
Number Posters
Alphabet Posters (Print and cursive)
Color Posters
Calendar Wall, Birthday Wall, and Word Wall Header Decoration

Here's me a few years ago (I'm in the middle), loving on some owls! HAHA!

2 Parts of this pack are EDITABLE (schedule and job chart)! 

Check out this pack at my TpT store

Top Tips for Teams

I {Natalie} had a very fun and pretty unique experience last week. 

My entire 5th grade team got together and headed to St. George for the weekend.
{For those wondering, St. George is about a 4 hour drive south from where I live/teach.}

Now I've been on some good teams before, and I've been on some not-so-good-teams before, but this year I was on an AMAZING team! Although we do vary in age, we all got along together so well. We loved collaborating, we enjoyed hanging out together before and after school, and we genuinely liked and appreciated each other.

One of our teammates recently bought a summer vacation home in St. George, Utah and invited us all down for a little team retreat. We had a great time swimming in her pool, going out to eat, staying up late, and doing lots of shopping. Needless to say, it was the *perfect* way to start our summer break!
(Read more about our trip HERE or HERE.)

Since this trip, I've been reflecting on what exactly made our team so great, and how six people with different personalities could get along so well with one another. 

Tip #1 - Get to know your team & love them.
Find out their strengths.
Get to know their personalities.
Ask about past life experiences that make them who they are today.
Love despite differences in teaching styles and beliefs.
Put aside differences, and develop a genuine love for each other.
Forgive when needed.

Tip #2 - Collaborate & be team players.
Show up to collaboration with a happy attitude.
Assume good intentions from teammates.
Step up and take on extra responsibilities when needed.
Help teammates with projects they're working on.
Be positive with each other.

Tip #3 - Have fun together.
Chat about fun things going on.
Hang out outside of school occasionally.
Try not to take everything too seriously.
Celebrate birthdays and other special occasions.

What other tips do you have for teams?
What qualities do you look for in a teammate?
What do you and your teammates do to have fun?

Teacher/Blogger Meet-Up in Vegas

I can't even wait!  We will be soaking up the sun, going to the I Teach K Conference,  meeting "Elvis", and meeting a TON of fabulous bloggers and teachers!
Feel free to share this on your blog/facebook as well.  And no, you don't have to be a blogger to attend. :) 
Thank you to The Teacher Wife for the cute button!

Don't forget to RSVP for this meet-up {here}

See you there!

Parent and Student End of Year Gifts

The year is winding down and I went shopping today to gather my gifts for my parents and students!  Reality is setting in that the year is almost over. I LOVE my class so much!!! I'll miss them.  But... I say that every year.  My husband gets annoyed because he says that I say every year that "this class is my favorite". :)

For my parent volunteers, I bought a large pitcher from the Dollar Tree
 and a container of Crystal Light.
Click {here} to download

For my students, I bought a box of character Band-Aids,some sticky hands, and one of our readers recommended Sticky Notes. LOVE IT!

Click {here} to download

Borrow Bucket

I just wanted to stop by and give you a quick management tip.  Do you have students who are CONSTANTLY losing supplies (our school buys ALL of our students' school supplies)?  I sometimes want to ScReAm when they come up to me 10 minutes after they should have STARTED working and ask me if I have any scissors they can borrow because they lost their pair! :)  So, I have created the "Borrow Bucket" that my students can use when they've lost something.

I used Washi Tape on each of the items (scissors, pencils, erasers, and glue) so that I can identify if the students are trying to "hoard" the borrow bucket items. :)  I only put pencils in the borrow bucket because sometime (hahaha), I forget to sharpen the pencils in our regular pencil bin. ;)

Click {here} to download!
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