Sunday, November 24, 2013

Hello? Remember Me?? :)

Hello once again!  I cannot believe it has been 4 months since my last posting.  I have been coaching high school girls swimming and believe it or not, I was a bit busy.  Now that the season is over I am going to list my top five for this last week!

1.  I am going to list all the preps (as in lessons I prep) I do each week.  I am feeling a bit rushed and that there is even less time in a day than usual and cannot figure out why.  I know I have three small children, coach swimming, and my husband is now coaching hockey an hour away, but I have been busy for a while so I decided to list all the activities I prep for each week.  I need your help and feedback!!!  How do you do it all and am I doing too much?  Keep in mind this is only the number of preps and does not include the copying, cutting, or organizing supplies.  I have not added up the minutes I spend prepping activities.  To be honest, I am a bit afraid to see the total number of hours.

-Morning meeting activity (5 preps/week
Math (5 preps/week)
Guided Reading ( 15 preps/ week ; 3 groups each day)
Daily 5 word work (2 preps/week)
Daily 5 Work on Writing (2 preps/week)
Daily 5 Listening response sheet (1 prep/week)
Writing (5 preps/week)
Shared Reading (5 preps/week)
Words Their Way (5 preps/week)
Handwriting (5 preps/week??  Not a lot of prep, but.....)
Social Studies/Science (5 preps/week)
Target Time (intervention block) (4 preps plus 2 preps on Mondays for math intervention during that time)
Interactive Read aloud ( I wish I had time to formally prep every day, but usually I have to try to combine with Shared Reading time.

I total 59 preps/week.  How many preps do you have to get ready for your week?  I am in the school building at least an hour before I need to as well as come in for at least three hours on the weekend.  I am not even going to include the time spent creating activities that I feel my students need........

2.  My oldest daughter started swim team this week.  I have to admit, I am so proud of her and so excited she is loving swimming.  My husband has now given up on her playing hockey and has moved on to Easton. 

3.  My swim team girls qualified for the Wisconsin State Swimming Meet (WIAA) last weekend.  This season was my first season returning to coach girls after coaching boys for the past 9 years.  These girls have never been to state or even believed they were good enough to get there.  Well, they got there and they shocked so many people in our conference and sectional!  I feel like a proud mama!!

4.  Check out what my husband bought.  It is hard to see, but it is in the back part of the yard.

He asked me if I would mind if he set up a batting cage in the back yard.  I agreed, only to find out that the cage is 16' x 72' feet!!!  It is huge and the pitching machine that came with it weighs almost 500 lbs and holds hundreds of baseballs and softballs.   I now know to ask specific details before saying yes to anything :)  He better hope at least one of our three children will play baseball or softball!!

5.  I finally finished two new products for TpT!!  I have a few struggling students in my first grade classroom so I created an Early Emergent phonics-based packet and also an Early Emergent sight word mini book packet.  I used both of these products with my students and both products have progress monitoring tools included.  Click on the link under each title page to see a preview.

Early Emergent # 1
Early Emergent Program # 1

Early Emergent # 2 Sight Word Mini Books

Monday, July 15, 2013

Liebster Award Recipient!!

After checking my email the other day I found out I was nominated for the Liebster award by Sara from Polka Dot Kinders.  I actually had to look up the award to see how I was nominated! 

Ok, so there are some rules to follow when you receive the Liebster award.  They are:

1. Link back to the blog that nominated me
2. Nominate 5-11 blogs with fewer than 200 followers
3. Answer the questions by the blogger that nominated you
4. Share 11 random facts about yourself
5. Create 11 questions for the bloggers whom you nominate
6. Contact the bloggers you nominate and let them know how to proceed

Here are 11 Random things about me.  I really am not that interesting so I hope I can come up with 11!!!! :).

1.  My husband and I were married in Vegas because I wanted to spend money on our mortgage rather than a wedding.
2.  I have three very active children, Madisyn-7 yrs., Easton- 4 yrs., and Addalyn- 2 yrs.
3.  I have been teaching for 13 years, 12 which have been in first grade. 
4.  I have been a high school swimming coach for 13+ years and after a year off I am going back to coach girl's high school this fall.
5.  I am a complete workaholic!  I get very little sleep and do not know how to relax!
6.  I have Celiac Disease and have been eating gluten free for almost 10 years now.  My oldest daughter is also gluten free.
7.  I am a very picky eater and could live on chicken and mashed potatoes. 
8.  I a state finalist for the Presidential Award of Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.  I should find out if I am a national recipient soon!  Winners get to meet the president in Washington, DC. 
9.  We got our first pet last night- A hedgehog!!  It was not my first choice, but I have to tell you it is pretty cute :). 
10.   I have only been on Facebook since April 2013.
11.  Even though I do not cook well, my favorite reality show is Top Chef! 

Now, I get to ask 11 questions:
1.  How long have you been teaching and what do you teach?
-This coming year will be my 14th teaching.  I teach first grade and could not see myself teaching any other grade!!

 2.  What is your favorite thing about teaching?
-I absolutely love seeing the growth students make from the beginning of first grade to the end of each school year.

 3.  What is your favorite dessert?
-I usually pass up desert due to my gluten free diet, but just a simple piece of dark chocolate is good enough for me.  I usually prefer salty snacks over sweet ones.

 4.  What technology do you use in your classroom?
-I have a personal ipad that I will bring in the classroom, but other than that we have a document camera and data projector in our classrooms.  NO smartboard :(

 5.  How long have you been blogging?
-I have been blogging for almost two years now. 

 6.  Do you have a classroom theme?  What is it?
-I have had bright primary colors the last few years, but this year I am going with neon checker patterns.  I created new calendar pieces, word wall set, and table decorations.  I am excited to start something new.

 7.  What is the last good non-kids book you read?
-I have read a lot of professional development books this summer, but I am sad to say I have not read anything else.

 8.  What is your favorite children's book?  Why?
-I love all the Jan Brett books.  Her illustrations are amazing and extension activities and very engaging for my students. 

 9.  What is your must-have school supply?  Why?
-Mr. Sketch markers!!  They just make me happy when making anchor charts :)

10.  If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
-I would love to see Europe, especially Paris.  I visited Switzerland when I was in high school, but did not get to see any other countries.

11.  Where is your favorite place to shop?
-TpT!!  Sad to say, but true.  Between products and clip art TpT is hands down my favorite place to shop. 

Here are my 11 questions for the bloggers I nominate:
1.  If you could teach any other grade what grade would you teach?
2.  If you could choose any other profession what would you choose?
3.  If you have a blog design who was the designer?
4.  Do you spend the most time blogging, on Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram?
5.  Do you think it is easier to have more boys in your classroom or more girls?
6.  What is your guilty pleasure?
7.  What is your favorite season and why?
8.  Has your district implemented The Common Core State Standards?
9.  Do you prefer to teach reading or mathematics?
10.  What is your favorite hobby?
11.  What TV show do you watch that you are a little embarrassed to admit?

And now to the blogs I am choosing to nominate!






Well that is all for today.  I will be back in a couple days to update all of you on my trip to Door County, WI and our new addition to our family :).

Sunday, June 30, 2013

July Currently Post and A NEW BLOG DESIGN!!!

I know I have been MIA for the last couple weeks, but today I am linking up for the first time with Farley over at Oh Boy Fourth Grade for the Currently linky.  A fun way to get to know more about me :).

LISTENING- My oldest child is 7 and can complain like a pro!!  She does not like anything she has in her closet, her dresser, or anything she has stuffed under her bed!!  Believe me,  her grandma buys her more clothes than any other child I know!

LOVING- I am overjoyed that I FINALLY have a colorful blog design.  The credit all goes to Christi Fultz from Designs by Christi.  Please let me know what you think!

THINKING- We have been working every night for the last two weeks on our rental house so it can be ready for our new tenant July 1st.  My poor kids have been great sports being stuck there with us each night so I thought we would take them to the park today.  We have a wonderful park/zoo about 15-20 minutes away and a great way to spend a Sunday!

WANTING- I seriously need a day to just pamper myself!!!  I know it sounds selfish, but I have not had a day to myself in over seven years!!  I am not even kidding :).  Between three kids ages 7, 4, and 2, coaching, teaching, and trying to keep my house clean there is little time in the day to take for myself.  Don't I sound like a complete blast! :).

NEEDING- We are going on our first family vacation tomorrow.....  We are going to Door County, Wisconsin for the first time.  I have heard from others it is beautiful there and the kids are excited to be watching the fireworks there on Thursday.  Since the rental has been taking so much of our time I have not had time to pack yet. 

TIP- My word of advice is to always believe in yourself!  I struggle with this myself since there are so many other strong opinions out there.  Once we start second guessing our own beliefs and decisions is when we steer away from who we really are. 

Now it is time for my freebie.  I posted my Calendar All Year packet to TpT a month or so ago so this week's freebie is a sample of that packet.  I made two different calendar piece designs for each month.  Get your sample of this packet HERE!!!!

Well of to the park for me and the kids!

Friday, June 7, 2013

My LAST Friday Until Summer!

Hello Everyone! 
My Friday ends once again with the Five for Friday Linky with Kacey over at Doodle Bugs Teaching!

First of all I am anxiously awaiting my new blog by Christi Fultz of Design by Christi. I have always been a primary color kind of gal, but since I have grown so much this last school year I feel I just need a change.  If you are interested (although I think I am the last person to actually get a professional blog makeover).  Ms. Fultz's Corner is where you can find more information.
 I am going with a polka dot theme that has neon blue, pink, and a bit of black and white.  I am also planning on having these colors as my classroom colors next school year.  The only problem is that our district has a VERY strict fire code policy so I am so jealous of all of your unbelievably cute classrooms and what you can put in there!!  I have some fire code creative ideas that go along with my classroom theme that I am going to try out.  Stay tuned for pictures in August.  Anyone else have fire code rules?  I would love to hear how you decorate and still follow the rules.

   I am also using Christi's red polka dot numbers.  You really have to check out her creations! 

I am having mixed feelings as my last full week of school comes to a close.  I know I have said this before in earlier postings, but even though this was my most challenging teaching years in so many ways with this group of students, but I will tell you that they made me a much better teacher!  I had to change things up in my classroom just to get all the academics in so many times, but they prepared me for ANYTHING!!  I will miss all of them as they move upstairs to second grade.  I think I am more emotional with this group since my own daughter is a first grader and a few of my students have gone to school with her in preschool and 4K.  Two more days of school........
Can you say Giveaways!!  I am currently involved in three different giveaways!  I cannot believe all the wonderful products that each host got together!  The first giveaway will be ending on Sunday and it is from Kelsea over at Teacher Gems.  She is celebrating her 30th birthday and will be announcing the winner on Monday.  My product I donated is a winner's choice.  This means you can choose ANY one product in my TpT store here. 

The second giveaway is hosted by Christina from A Tale of Two K Teachers.  She is celebrating her 200 followers.  I know this thumbnail is not too clear, I chose the Kindergarten-Common-Core-Learning-Targets-for-Mathematics for my product donation.  This giveaway starts June 9 so head on over!!

My third giveaway I am involved with is from Nick over at Sweet Rhyme - Pure Reason.   The number of products K-12 is truly unbelievable!!  You will definitely be missing out if you do not enter this one!  The product I chose to donate is my Math Intervention Activities and Lesson Plans.  This product is one of my newest and what I created for my math intervention (Target Time) block this past school year.  After going through these FUN and ENGAGING lessons our struggling first graders ALL improved on their AIMS web testing.  Nick's giveaway will be end June 11 so click on his blog name to enter!

ALL OF MY TPT PRODUCTS ARE ON SALE JUNE 8-11!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  CHECK IT OUT!
I got some wonderful news!  I entered my Adding 9 Bump FREEBIE in Martha's Top 5 Freebies of the week from Primary Paradise.  I got the notice today, but it will not be posted until tomorrow (June 8). 
Tonight was my son's preschool graduation.  My mamma's boy is really growing up!  He has come such a long way in his first four years of life!  As you can see the playground before the ceremony was a big hit : )

Finally I wanted to post this absolutely wonderful freebie, but this week has been so busy with report cards that I did not have time to put one together.  I do have a Freebie created by Megan over at Mrs. Wheeler's First Grade .  She created a wonderful Mustachy Measurement from her TpT store.  My students absolutely loved this quick and easy measurement activity! 

Have a great weekend!

Tina Parker

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

A Giveaways From Teacher Gems ! Enter June 5-9!!

  Free Products!  Free Products!  Free Products!  Free Products!  Free Products!  Free Products!

30th Birthday Giveaway Button.jpg

Happy Birthday to Kelsea from Teacher Gems!  I really do remember being thirty, but it seems so long ago..... actually 3 children ago!!  To help celebrate she is hosting a giveaway and I am proud to be a part of it.  You can win a product of your choice from my Teachers pay Teachers store!  My product is a part of the TpT seller's pack #2, but sign up for all of the categories!!

Click on this link to enter!  You will be able to enter starting June 5 until June 9.  Winners will be chosen on June 10. 

Thanks and do not forget to check back on Friday for my weekly post and of course a Friday Freebie!!




Friday, May 31, 2013

Summer Vacation in 7 days and A Freebie!

Linking up again with Kacey from Doodle Bugs Teaching! 

This week I had to try a different approach to my teaching once again with my class.  They are VERY restless and have unbelievable amounts of energy so my goal this week was to find and/or create activities that would keep them engaged and still learning with the end of the year so close.  Here are four activities I tried with my class with great success.

1.  My students have been so interested in researching animals the last few months I decided to pull out Deanna Jump's Zoo Animal Unit .  We conducted a class vote to research two animals and the Giraffe and Zebra won!  This unit along with a great website called Pebble Go is all I used and my students are becoming pros at hunting for important information, writing details in a web, and then writing the actual research paper.  I used this opportunity to have them try this independently and then helped my struggling students with their writing.  I ended up helping 5 students and the other 18 did everything else all on their own!  I am soooooo proud!!

Deanna Jump's Blog

2.  Calendar FINISHED!!  I finally finished my new calendar all year product.  I printed it out to see what it looks like and I am ready to use it next year.  Here is a picture of my May calendar:
My computer is acting up so I am sorry for the May heading being cut off.  I made two different calendar designs for each month and added two bonus designs.  I always post all the numbers each month so my students know how many days are in each month.  To distinguish what day it is for each month they will flip over that date and see a break in the pattern.  I staged this calendar to show May 16.  Here is the preview file on my TpT Store HERE  So far this product is 162 pages.  Here is the preview file:
And the two bonus patterns: 


3.  Adding 9 bump game. Another teacher showed me a doubles Bump game a couple weeks ago.  My students absolutely LOVED the game so I created an adding 9 bump game to go with our math fact focus these last couple weeks.  I cannot believe how well my students are actually understanding the adding 9 fact strategy.  Here is an example of their thinking for the number sentence 9 + 5 = , " I know that if I take one away from the 5 and make the nine a 10 then 10 + 4=14."  I swear my students will tell you this!! 

To get your copy of this game click HERE
 I am planning on posting a large bulk of Bump games such has time, money, subtraction strategies, 3 addends, and more!!  Please follow My TpT Store HERE to find out when my newest products are posted! 

4.  Math Fact Assessment-  I was so impressed with their math thinking I finally put them to the test.  I gave my class the second grade 3 minute math facts test in both addition and subtraction.  The goal is to get 40/50 or at least 80% on both tests by the end of SECOND grade.  When I corrected the addition tests 6/23 (26%) got 80% or better and  another 5 were within 2-4 points or 1-2 problems.  Since I collect the math data for our school I compared the current second graders scores at the beginning of the school year and then again in November and my class scores were comparable with the second grade scores in November. 

The subtraction fact test was a lot lower, which always seems to be the case, but my first graders performed comparable again with the November second grader scores again.  The highest score in my class was 68%, but that is still very impressive for a first grader.  I know the second grade teachers will be pleased because we are focusing on the math strategies rather than the memorizing and forgetting method. 

With the subtraction scores so much lower even though we focused strongly on skip counting backwards, -0, -1, -2, -5, -10 on decade, and -10 off decade my student were still missing critical strategies to be successful at subtraction in testing terms.  I decided to focus on the subtraction "halves" (2 - 1, 4 - 2, 6 - 3, 8 - 4, 10 - 5, and so on up to 18 - 9).  Since the game Bump was such a big hit I created a subtraction halves bump game.  I also will focus on the subtraction tens pairs (10 - 2, 10 -3, 10 - 4, and so on) and create another Bump game for this strategy.  When introducing these strategies we gather whole group and as I write the number sentences (in order of least to greatest sum) I ask them to look for a number pattern.  I have them think, pair, share and then come up with the next number sentence in the pattern.  From there we talk further about anything else they notice and then try to make a strategy rule for this group of number sentences.  Once we come up with a strategy rule then we put it to the test to see if we are correct. 

5.  It was my youngest daughter's 2nd birthday yesterday.  I can't believe she is already 2!  She started the day with a 102 degree temp and CRABBY, but still ended the day with a cupcake and just beamed at all the attention that was being placed on her that day. 

Well that is all I have for today.  As the severe weather rolls through tonight I hope to work late trying to catch up on my to do list for the last 7 days of school!!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Counting Down the Weeks with a Freebie!

Here we are again on another Friday.  I only have two more Fridays after today so the excitement in my classroom is unbelievable!  Here is my five for Friday for this week:

Doodle Bugs Teaching

1.  OMG those tornadoes in Oklahoma!  I can't even imagine what everyone is going through....  Just breaks my heart.  Both TpT and Teacher's Notebook have wonderful fundraisers going right now to help the victims of this devastating tragedy! 

For a $25 dollar donation you can get over $200 worth of talented teacher material all for a great cause. 
Click on the link to donate:  The Teacher's Treasure Chest   Thanks to Ashley for helping to get all this together!!  I am anxiously awaiting all my wonderful new product and all for such a great cause.

For a $20 dollar donation to Teacher's Notebook  you can get over $1800 worth of teaching materials!  This is a great way to get ready for next year's school year!  I just paid my donation and this deal is UNBELIEVABLE!! 

Click on the link to donate:  Teacher's Notebook Moore, OK Donation

2.  I can't believe how many teachers are out of school already!  We go until June 11 with students with one teacher work day, but I would much rather start that last week of August and finish up the first week of June.  We are down to 12 days including today.  I know summer will come, but is sure is crawling. 

3.  I STILL have not heard anything about the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST).  I was recognized at our school board meeting this week by our superintendent.  I was nervous at first due to my fear of being in the center of attention ( how ironic I am a teacher right? :)), but I am honored that the district took the time to honor me. 

I am also looking into getting trained as a Math Recovery Trained instructor this summer.  This is a year long program to certification that focuses on math intervention and assessment.  Two of my teaching loves!! 

4.  Double digit subtraction from The Teacher's Chair.  Tracey was so kind to offer her subtraction packet as a flash freebie earlier this week.  I have been working on the open number lines with my first graders since subtraction always seems to be more of a struggle.  This product is well worth the money spent since it includes teacher tutorial sheets to make sure we are teaching according to the common core!

Get your copy on TpT : Subtraction Strategies for Common Core Instruction

5.  My grandfather is in the middle of open heart surgery as I write this post.  My fingers are crossed and praying he comes out of this surgery and has as little of pain as possible.  He will be spending his 87th birthday tomorrow in the hospital, but hoping we get to celebrate with him!  He is a spitfire and one of the funniest men I know.  Even last night talking to him on the phone he was cracking jokes despite the kind of day he was going to have today!  Love you Grandpa!!
**update- surgery was a bit scary.  His 5 hour surgery turned into a 10 hour surgery due to excess bleeding.  They needed to get the bleeding under control and that took about 3 hours.  He did make it out of surgery and is in stable condition, but the bleeding is still an issue.  He is still losing blood, but it is under control and he is in stable condition.

Now for my freebies.  The first freebie is one of my clip art background packages.  I have been tinkering around with Photoshop Elements 11 and even though this program is so over my level of understanding I am picking up on some things. 

So sorry for my messy preview.  I was in a bit of a hurry to get this posted!  Sorry.  I will also post this freebie on TpT by this weekend!  Feedback is welcome!
You can get your free copy here: TP Vertical Backgrounds Freebie

My second freebie is a sentence structure sample.  This is not a completed packet just yet, but you may be able to use it as a refresher or formative assessment. 

Get your copy here: Sentence Structure Sample

Thanks and have a wonderful weekend!!  Please consider following me on my Facebook Page Here!  I am newer so the fact that I only have 9 followers is a bit depressing!!


Saturday, May 18, 2013

Five for Friday and Freebies!

Hello!   I share my top 5 from this week........

Doodle Bugs Teaching

1.  We finished up our Math Core Program this week and now I get to work on fun concepts such as math fact review and common core areas that need more focus than our current math program provides.  I also use this time to create math centers that will continue to keep my students engaged in learning before the end of the school year.

2.TESTING!!!!  We had AIMS web testing on Tuesday and I made a deal with my class that if the class scored 80% or better in each of the 5 math areas of testing then they would earn a "theme" day for each area they were 80% or better.  I am happy to say that they scored higher than 80% in 3 of the 5 areas (oral counting, quantity discrimination, and missing number).  Number ID (77%) and Math Computation(68%) were close, but I really thought they could do it. 
So next week we have hat day, PJ day, and game day.  Just because I thought they all tried so hard to do well I am taking them outside to have a class picnic. 

3.  New math core program pilot next school year.  It looks like we are closer to deciding which core program to go with for mathematics.  We critically reviewed 3 programs and K-5 are in full agreement of which program we recommend. 

4. New TpT product posted!  I have so many unfinished products that I am making myself work on finishing up before I start a new product...... okay I am trying not to start anything new!!

My latest product is a math intervention packet that I used as part of our Target Time intervention time block.  I had the "bubble" first graders that struggle with the universal math program and hopefully need that number sense boost to catch up.  I have to say that every one of the activities in this packet were engaging and have very minimal prep.  With typed lesson plans (warm up, main activity, and extra activity) for every activity you will be set for 4-5 weeks.  I also added some progress monitoring assessments that are all Common Core State Standard aligned. 

All you need are 6 sided dice and number tiles.  Everything else you need for these activities are already included.  Check it out Here on Teachers pay Teachers

5.  Instagram-  Oh my!!  You must sign up for this!!  I thought Facebook was addicting...... 
I love seeing what other teachers are doing at school.  I also find myself able to post my classroom activities more often because I do not need to download them to my computer from my camera and try to edit them before posting.  So quick, so easy, so much fun!!  Follow me @tparkerfirstgrade

Jamie over at Bright Concepts 4 Teachers is celebrating her Blogiversary by having a huge giveaway.  Enter over at her blog for your chance to win!!

My Freebies this week are a few progress monitoring activities that are all common core aligned.  Get all these freebies HERE!!!!

One more FREEBIE.  I created this quick math fact game that will help your students practice adding 9 and 10 to numbers 1-6.  I had to create the dice myself on blank foam cubes.  I drew 9 dots on three sides of the dice and 10 on the other sides.  Before playing this game we reviewed strategies that we could use to add nine.  The goal is to make sure students can "see" the number 9 and take one away from the other addend to make 10.  For example 9 + 4 should be thought as 10 +3 since adding 10 is much easier to add.  I created a recording sheet, but you can also have students have 10 cubes of the same color.  The student that says the sum first will stack their cubes on the table.  The first to get rid of all their cubes is the winner. 

You will need blank foam dice (from the dollar store) and draw 9 dots on three sides and 10 on the other three sides. 

Have a wonderful weekend!  Summer will be here before we know it!!