What's Your Favorite Back to School Activity?

Tomorrow is officially August.  It's definitely the month of gearing back up for the new school year.  Last year, I had a linky party where other bloggers could share their favorite back to school activity.  You can click HERE to check it out.
I decided to do it again this year.
Last year, I shared a Gingerbread Man Hunt activity.  This year I came up with another idea for the first day of school.  It's called Alphabet Interview.
 This is what you'll do.  Cut apart the papers provided.
Give each student a half sheet.  {You obviously won't use all of the letters, unless you have 52 students.}  Make sure you are passing out the letters so each person has a match.  After passing out the papers, have students find the person that has the uppercase or lowercase match to their letter.  When all students have found their match, they will interview each other using the questions provided.  After the class finishes, you can call on partnerships to introduce their new friend to the class.  This is a great way to get students comfortable with each other and to get to know each other.  Just click on the picture above to download for free.
Now it's your turn.  Blog about your favorite back to school activity then come back here and link up below.  You can use this picture to post on your blog so you can lead others to all of the great links.
Don't forget to link the picture above back to this post.

Link up below.


Tell Me More, Tell Me More!

I decided to link up with Step Into 2nd Grade with Mrs. Lemons for her Tell Me More Linky Party.
I always think it's fun to read about other bloggers, so here you go!
1.  I met my husband in college.  We were both college cheerleaders.  It was so much fun and we have tons of great memories!
2.  Speaking of my husband, let me tell you a short version of his proposal.  We started dating on Halloween 1999.  On Halloween 2002, he created this story about a friend moving out of town and that we were going to do something special for him.  Long story short, we pull up to 19 carved pumpkins spelling, "Jodi Will you marry me?" that he and some friends had carved. He had every detail planned out.  He had even timed how long the candles would stay lit so he could tell my brother when to start lighting them.  We even ended up on the cover of our local newspaper. 

3.  Now we've been married for 8 years and have 2 beautiful daughters.

4.  Anyone that knows me, knows that I am obsessed with Crossfit!  I have always been active and have always worked out, but last September, my husband and I started Crossfit and I fell in love with it.
These pictures are from a competition that I was in last weekend.

5.  I absolutely HATE snakes!!  I never really liked them, but when I was in 6th grade, I found a 6 foot black snake hibernating in my bedroom.  {We lived in the woods.}  I have had a phobia of snakes ever since then.  I don't even like to see pictures of snakes.

6.  My first job was as an Art teacher.  I had no idea what I was doing, but I made the most of it.  It was a job and it got my foot in the door. 

7.  I have been in love with Pinterest for awhile, but I recently got my husband addicted to it as well.  We are just beginning the process of getting ready to remodel our kitchen so he has been on there all the time pinning kitchen ideas.  {So, if you follow me on Pinterest and have noticed Kitchens coming up in odd places, like Back to School boards, that's my husband.  He hasn't quite figured it out yet. Lol!}

8.  My Silhouette Cameo arrived yesterday and I am so excited to start using it.  I made these today to hold pencils.  I would love to hear your ideas for using the Cameo in your classroom.  Please :)

Well, there you go.  Head on over to Mrs. Lemons blog and read about other bloggers.


I Think I Have Some Motivation

Yesterday ,I posted that I just didn't have the motivation to get in my classroom and start organizing and decorating.  However, this is what showed up yesterday on my front porch.
The big box is my order from MPM School Supplies.  I received an email from MPM inviting me to check out their site.  It came at the PERFECT time because our local school supply store closed!  What!?!?!  What's a teacher to do...order online of course and that's what I was going to to anyways, so I was very excited to check out MPM.  Their site is great.  It's well organized with tons of great items!!  And...they're organized and fast.  Here's my awesome purchases to begin switching over to my Space theme.

If that's not motivation to begin decorating my room, I don't know what is!
Do you need some school supplies? {That's a silly question, of course you do.}  Click here to visit their site and get 15% off your purchase.

The small box is my annual Vistaprint order.  When I first ordered from Vistaprint 2 years ago, not many people had heard of the site, however they have blown up with advertising and now almost everyone has heard of it.  For that reason, the deals aren't nearly as good as they used to be :(  The brochures I order used to be free {you still paid for shipping and handling}, but now they are $20 for 25.  I did get the other things for free though.

These are the brochures that I LOVE and even though they aren't free anymore, I still think they're worth it.

These are small magnets that I send home for parent's to keep my contact information on their refrigerator.
Who doesn't love a cool pen?

 This is a stamp.

 These are the stickers that I give to students that end the day on blue or purple on the behavior chart.

On another note, I have had tons of requests to make a Common Core Assessment packet for 2nd grade after creating my 1st grade ones.  So, I caved and did it :)
I finished my Common Core Math Assessments for 2nd grade yesterday.

You can check it out by clicking below.

I plan on working on a 2nd grade Language Arts Assessments packet as well, but it will still be a couple days.


What I Should be Doing vs. What I am Doing

Last week, I got the urge to go to Walmart and purchase school supplies.
I thought this would motivate me to work in my classroom a little bit.  I took them to school, walked in my classroom, looked around, and walked back out.

I had no desire to move my furniture back or to organize.  I still have the remains of last year's theme that I need to get rid of.  Our school theme this year is space, so I'm attempting to think of a way to turn those palm trees into space ships.  Any ideas?? I'd love to hear them.
So, on to what I've been doing instead.  Besides just relaxing with my kids at home, I've finished my September Poems and Songs Packet.

I also completed two more Communication Folders.  The first one is a Jungle Theme.   

The second one is a Super Hero theme.

I'm hoping to get motivated to get into my classroom next week!!  I still have time, and summer is just too much fun!


Common Core Language Arts Assessments for 1st Grade

Oh my goodness!  There are seriously a ton of Common Core Language Arts standards.  It doesn't seem too overbearing until you start trying to create assessments for each of them. Yikes!  Many times during this project, I thought I had gotten in over my head, but almost 200 pages later, I finally finished them.
This packet includes at least one assessment for every standard and subcategory.  For example, standard 1.L.1 has 10 subcategories, so there is an assessment for each one.  Here is just a small sample of this packet:

There are so many things covered in the Language Arts standards so there is quite the variety of assessments.  It includes everything from fluency passages, fiction and nonfiction texts, informal checklists, writing rubrics, and so on.
You can check it out by clicking below.


Common Core Math Assessment Packet

Next year, we will begin using the Common Core Standards.  Kindergarten began last year in our school district and now it's time for 1st grade.  We are really just beginning to learn about them.  We've had one 1/2 day meeting so most of what I know is from researching them myself and trying to muddle my way through them.  For the most part, I feel that Indiana's previous standards covered most of the Common Core Standards, so that helps.  The biggest difference will be our report cards.  I want to make sure that I truly know if my students are meeting each standard so I wanted a way to assess them.
I created this packet that I have placed into a Math Assessment Binder.
This is my binder. {Sorry about the poor quality of the pictures.}
I have placed everything into page protectors.
 This packet includes whole class charts for tracking progress as well as individual student charts.
 Each standard is included as well as at least one assessment per standard.

Every standard is printed out and then the assessment(s) are placed after the standard. 
Some of the assessments I plan on giving as a whole group, while others I will pull back students individually.  In this case, I will probably just have them write with dry erase markers on the page protectors to save on copies.
As I've said, this is our first year using Common Core so this is all trial and error at this point. I may be adding to this packet later on as well :)
You can check out it out by clicking below.

I am currently working on a Common Core Language Assessment packet for 1st grade as well.
Did you use Common Core this year or are you just getting started as well?

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