Sunday, July 16, 2017

My Teacher Tote

With back to school only 2 weeks away (HOW did that happen!?!) I pulled out my trusty teacher tote and started collecting all my first week essentials!

Here's a look at what is in my teacher tote so far--

Can anyone really resist all the cute file folders from the Target Dollar Spot?! These are perfect for collecting all my first week "to copy" piles and helping me stay organized as I get ready for the school year! 

I made these packs a while ago and they are by far one of my favorite projects to complete throughout the school year. Each child makes their own book and we add a page to it each month. It is truly INCREDIBLE to see the progress they make-I absolutely love watching my kiddos learn and grow and their parents LOVE receiving these books at the end of the year! 

Sight word sentence strips are a staple reading center in my classroom. I love kicking off the year with this fun Back to School set and then introducing new themes throughout the year! 
Getting to know your new readers is so essential at the beginning of the year and I love using these free Beginning Reader Surveys to do it! 

I love having a tote big enough to fit #allthethings!! I know I will be filling it with MUCH more as the next two weeks fly by!
I love seeing other teachers' prep and finding new essentials to add to my bag--what's in your teacher tote?!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Wishlist Linky: Products you will LOVE!

Hey everyone! I know I have been off the grid for a while. I've been taking time to make my littlest love my priority over computer time, which meant taking some time off from blogging. When I saw my friend Amanda from Daisy Designs post about this linkup though, it looked like too much fun to not join in!
I can't wait to share some of my top wish listed items of TPT-many of which would be a GREAT addition to your classroom this winter! Be sure to hop over to Amanda's blog to check out some great resources from other awesome teachers as well!

 First up-My growing bundle of sight word sentence strips! This bundle is my own personal FAVORITE resource to use in my classroom, and the most wish-listed item in my store by a long shot. This bundle is always growing and has so many different themes that it is sure to match the interests of all of your little readers! I am pulling out my Christmas set and Winter Animals set to take to my kiddos this week.
 To check out the way the sentence strips are set up, you can download my safari set for free!

 My next most popular resource on wish lists is my Number Grid Ninjas math unit! I love this unit and my kiddos always have so much fun with it! To check it out in further detail, visit my original post about NUMBER GRID NINJAS!

 My third wishlisted item is actually also my best selling resource on TPT! This count on to add math set is so great for your little learners who are struggling with counting on!

I'm off to check out some of the resources my friends posted about and fill up my cart before the TPT sale tomorrow! Be sure to check out Amanda's post and visit some other blogs for more great new resources that you might not otherwise find! Happy shopping!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Teaching About September 11: My Favorite Read-Alouds

September 11. A day that we will never forget, but a day that most of our young students have never heard about.

I have two books that I read every year on September 11. I love them because they do not go into scary details, but they still make an impact on my students. 

I always open with the book The Man Who Walked Between the Towers. The book depicts the story of Phillipe Petit, who walked between the towers on a tightrope in 1974. I first became fascinated with the story of Phillipe Petit when I read Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann (an INCREDIBLE book if you haven't read it!!!) When I found the story in children's book form, I knew it would be one of my favorites. This book is great because it will get your students interested in the towers, the importance behind them, and the history that they held. The story ends by noting that the towers are no longer there, but that the memory of what Phillipe Petit did lives on. This ending always opens a discussion about the towers not being there anymore, which leads into the second book that I always read- 14 Cows for America

14 Cows for America is a story that holds a special place in my heart because it is the story of a Masai warrior in Kenya who hears about what happened on September 11 and is so hurt for Americans that he wants to give something to them. I have been blessed to have traveled to Kenya a few times and even know a few Masai, so this story means so much to me! I don't want to spoil the story for you, because it is beautiful and amazing (and the illustrations will make you say "WOW"), but just know that it is a story with so much heart and your students will surprise you with the maturity that they show in their reaction to it.

 Every year it always opens up so many incredible conversations about how we can help others who are hurting or sad, and how we can show compassion for others. 

After we read the two stories, we usually spend some time watching videos of Phillipe Petit walk between the towers. My goal is never to make my students upset or sad, just to start planting small seeds of knowledge about the day and its importance. 

I can honestly say that last year one of my kiddos at the END of the year told me that the story we read for September 11 was his favorite story all year. 
Those kids left my class knowing about the towers and that they no longer stand. They would see pictures of the towers in old books or in youtube videos about patriotic songs and they would say "Mrs. Browning, those are the buildings that the man walked between before they fell." One of our students suffered an incredible loss and another students said "we need to give him something for him to feel better just like that man gave away his cows." They may not know all of the scary details of the day and they may not know how many people lost their lives and everything that our country has gone through as a result of that day, but they know the stories. They were PROUD to know the bits of history that we read about. 
Isn't that what we want as teachers? To know that we are giving our students knowledge that they will be proud of, that will shape them and teach them not just content, but character as well? That's what I want, and what I hope to gift them with through these stories each year!

Do you have any September 11 traditions in your classroom? I'd love to hear about them! 

Friday, August 26, 2016

Five for Friday: Back to School (and back to blogging!)

What a week! I have always loved linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday and am setting a goal to get back on a blogging schedule and not miss joining in on the Friday fun!

My life right now is a little crazy, but the absolute best part of it is getting to be this little guy's mom! He is growing so fast! We love cooling off and playing in the pool! 

I have such a rambunctious crew of little ones this year! I needed a creative way for them to keep our rules in mind so I made these fun little (FREE!)  Rules Rings! 

I blogged about my Back to School Favorites and Freebies and I'm giving away a few of my favorite back to school resources! Hop over to this post to enter!! 

Kole and I are anxiously awaiting the arrival of his cousin, Ella! She is due any day and we had fun making some cute onesies for her! 

If you are looking for a few fun new stories, I just got these two and they didn't disappoint! I already have so many great lesson ideas and can't wait to read these stories to my kiddos! 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Back to School: Favorites and Freebies!

I know what you must be thinking...where the heck has she been and why is this her first blog post in MONTHS?!?

Okay, so admittedly I have been awful about blogging. I had to take a break for a while to focus on family and my life outside of my MacBook! But I am back! And I can't wait to share with you some of my favorite back to school goodies!!!

I have a VERY rambunctious group of kiddos this year and found out fast that they were going to need A LOT of reinforcement with our rules this year! ENTER: Rules Rings!
These little rings serve as such great reminders of our rules! I made a color copy for me and then made each kiddo a set with colored cardstock and VOILA! a perfect solution to my little ones' memory problems! Not only will your kids love taking ownership of their rules with these rings, they will love the picture reminders! As an added bonus, try giving out stickers to students to put on the back of specific rule cards when they are doing a great job mastering that rule!
Oh and did I mention that they are FREE?! :)

Another one of my must use beginning of the year resources are my (also FREE) Back to School Reading Surveys for Beginning Readers. I LOVE using these little surveys at the beginning of the year to get to know my new kiddos and learn all about their reading interests! This year I am even making them their very own reading interest packs, stay tuned for more about that later!

If you know much about me, you probably already know that I really really love sight words! Sight word sentence strips are an absolute staple in my classroom and I love creating different themes to use throughout the year! These Back to School strips are such a fun way to introduce school vocabulary and have your students practice their sight word fluency at the same time! 

If you are looking for a GREAT and easy sight word center, check out my growing bundle of strips for over 15 different themes (and many more to come!)

One of my other favorite ways to start of the year is to begin collecting data about my kiddos.  One of my favorite parts of teaching has always been seeing the growth and transformations my students go through as the year goes on. I love using these data collection pages to be able to watch my students learn and grow! They make for great talking points during conferences and you can put them together at the end of the year as a gift for parents! It is AMAZING to see how much your students grow! (Plus, let's be honest, administrators always love to see those data collections!) 

What are your Back to School favorites??

Friday, February 12, 2016

Five for Friday!

How is it already almost mid-February?! Gosh how the time is flying by! I've started Five for Friday posts the past two Fridays but life with a little baby has kept me from finishing them. I'm DETERMINED to get this post done today though, so here we go!
This week was *supposed* to be my first week back to work, but I think God knew I wasn't quite ready to leave my little man. After a team planning day on Monday,  mother nature gave us two lovely snow days on Tuesday and Wednesday, followed by our already planned winter break yesterday and today! This momma was pretty happy to only have a one day work week for her first week back! (And of course my little man had to wear his snow day onesie!)

One of the big ways that I prepped for heading back to school was spending a day stocking my freezer with some crock pot meals. I have 15 bags of yummy meals ready to take out, pour in a crock pot, and head out the door. I love how much cooking time it is going to save me from in the evenings because I know I am going to want to snuggle my little man as soon as I get home every day! If you have any good crockpot freezer meals, please share!!! 

Have you ever played Ticket to Ride?! It is easily my new favorite game! We got the board game for my parents for Christmas and loved it so much that I had to download it on our iPad as well! Kole is such a great helper every time I want to play :) 

I finally finished up the 4th case in my Daily Language Detective series and I have to say, I think this one might be my favorite! If you are looking for a great way to practice adjectives, determiners, and conjunctions, head over to my Facebook page for a chance to win a free copy! 

Because I can't get enough of my little love bug, and because he is easily the biggest part of my every day life right now, here are a few of my favorite faces from the last few weeks! :) 


Friday, January 22, 2016

Five for Friday: Snow, Sales & Snuggles!

Hey everyone! It's been forever since I've made the time for a Five for Friday post and I've been missing it!
For those of you who missed my last post, I have been MIA the last few months because I have been hanging out with this cutie pie! 
I am absolutely loving being a mommy! 

My sweet boy helped me finish up some new products just in time for the TPT sale!
I can't wait to play these games with my firsties! 
If you are looking for a fun digraphs center, this one is FREE! (I promise to update you with some live photos when I am back at school!)

Has anyone else had crazy weather this week? Here in Georgia we tend to err on the side of caution...they've said snow so many times this week, but the most I've seen of it is this....

Do you use Donors Choose? I was so pumped this week to get a project fully funded! My little sister goes to Clemson and she and my mom just went to the national championship game and they gave out Donors Choose gift cards! Pretty cool, huh??

I am setting some goals for this week to finish up a few Valentine's resources! Wish me luck! :)