Thursday, July 19, 2012

An Exciting Fresh Start!

Monday is the day! I'll finally get to set up my new room. The first grade team...all NINE of us in fact...are so anxious to get this new year started. We met earlier this week to get a jump start on planning for the first week of school since next week will most likely be dedicated to moving and room set up. We had to "camp out" at Panera Bread for the meeting since the school wasn't ready yet.  In fact, move in day will be the first time any of us will step foot into the school. I have visited the construction site several times since I found out where my new school would be.

Progress! They paved! Woo Hoo!

I'm sure there will be lots of U-Hauls and trucks outside the building on Monday since we have a faculty of around fifty teachers that will all be trying to move in boxes at once! I have a feeling I might have flashbacks of Freshman move in day in college. I found this little guy in the Dollar Bin at Target for $2.50 so I bought five of them!

I'm thinking they will find a home in my classroom library, but we will see! Come back to check out how my classroom is coming together. I'll be posting pictures from start to finish!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

July Currently

July is one of my favorite months because it is my birthday month, but also one of my least favorites because it is always SOOO HOT! As you all have heard the weather has been SCORCHING all over the country! I am from the south so I am accustomed to summer heat, but 100+ on a daily basis is not normal for me. Here are some of the things that have been on my mind so far this month...other than trying not to melt! Haha!

I am just itching to post some pictures of my new school, but have decided until it's a little closer to move in day to do so. I've been visiting the construction site every week to check up on the progress...and of course take pictures. My principal said the building should be ready for us to move into in a couple of weeks.  Most likely I'll be setting up my room on my birthday. Haven't decided if that is a good or bad thing yet! Check back soon to see the weekly pictures I've been taking of my new home *ahem* school. Until then Happy 4th of July Y'all!

Friday, June 15, 2012

From the Mixed Up Files of Ms. A.J. King...Fairy Tale Style!

I'm going to play a little catch up with this post. I didn't post anything about the last unit my team and I put together for the last nine weeks of school. We focused on the differences in fantasy and reality by focusing on fairy tales from all around the world!  Our school focuses on overarching themes for each quarter and every grade level collectively puts up displays for our parents to see what we have been learning when they visit on Exhibit Nights. These are pictures from our Fantasy and Reality Exhibit in the first grade hallway.
From Jack and the Beanstalk: An interactive exhibit where students can label the parts of a plant on Jack's beanstalk.

 One of our European Fairy Tales and Folk Tale areas featuring Stone Soup and Rapunzel. There is a synopsis of each story we studied paired with each of the exhibit pieces the students created. Some classes even wrote alternate endings to the tales! 

 On Exhibit Night when all the parents came to check out our work, we  served Three Bears Porridge in the Fantasy and Reality Sweet Shop! The Sweet Shop featured our sweetest characters, the Gingerbread Man and Gingerbread Girl! One of my teammates even had her class come up with recipes for making gingerbread men.

 Here is a hodgepodge of activities from the Three Little Pigs, Princess and the Pea, The Frog Prince, and The Lion and the Mouse as well as an alternate ending for the Three Little Pigs.

 This wall was one of my favorite parts of the exhibit! It featured American Tall Tales and Folk Tales.

From the legend of Johnny Appleseed: This was a joint project between my class, another one of my first grade teammate's class, and the art teacher.

Another interactive exhibit where students could stand next to Paul Bunyan to compare their heights.

 Gotta love the Babe the Big Blue Ox! The art teachers had our students make Babes for the exhibit.

Sponge painted castles from art class!

I thought the castles from the art teachers were so cute that I had my some of my kiddos re-create them in a large scale version for our exhibit.  Another teammate contributed some of her girls princess artwork for the windows. We thought it was a little Rapunzel-esque! 

 My class measured the Gingerbread Man using non-standard units while we studied that story in our class. They loved these giant gingerbread men. I made a variation of the Measure Mrs. Carroll activity from Cara at The First Grade Parade.

I wish I could post the video I took of two of my boys who made a rap to Little Miss Muffet, but I don't have consent from the district to show faces.  You know you have really reached the students when they are choosing to do the things you have taught them in their free time and in a way that really relates to them.  It sounds funny, but I was so touched by their little rap.  It just makes my little teacher heart happy :-) 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Blog Backlog and June Currently

It has been an extremely BUSY couple of months! I know everyone has so much to do and I guess it was my turn again to spin multiple plates at once. Personal life and work life have been busting at the seams with tasks and to do lists. You know the saying...when it rains it pours!

Since mid April I have been trying to finish up all the things I needed to do to be admitted to graduate school this summer. During that same time I have also been trying to transfer schools and going on lots of interviews after dismissal. Meanwhile doing all of my end of the year duties at my current school. I'm sure I am not the only one who thinks wrapping the year up can often be more challenging than starting it up! Between compiling summer packets, cleaning up the classroom, packing boxes, completing final report cards, finishing EOY testing, and signing off on cumulative records for next year I have been swamped!

Now that I have been admitted into the Master's program and started taking classes, granted a transfer to my new school, and packed up my old classroom I have had a bit of time to breathe and recollect myself. is my June Currently for Farley's Linky over at Oh' Boy 4th Grade.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


I am SO excited about the upcoming Teacher Appreciation Jackpot Link-Up! Since there are over 150 blogs participating in the event has been broken up by grade level. The coordinators for each area are:

April from A Modern Teacher for grades PreK-2nd
Laura from Corkboard Connections for grades 3-6
Adrianne from the Tutor House for grades 7-12

On Sunday, May 6th the participating blogs will post one free item from their Teachers Pay Teachers store for FREE! Participating blogs will be listed soon. Sunday's Jackpot is estimated to be around $500!

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week Y'all!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Field Trips and Summer Linky Party

We had a great time on our field trip to the Zoo. Here are a few photos of what we found on our scavenger hunt!

Our fabulous librarian helped us set up a trip to see a puppet show held at our Main Library Downtown.  The tale, Stonecutter, ties into our quarterly theme of Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, and Nursery Rhymes. Stonecutter is a Japanese Folk Tale similar to the Fisherman and His Wife story. The children's area of our library is so whimsical and inviting, it also has some amazing artwork in the theater area. It's one of my favorite places to visit.

Since my grade level had scheduled six field trips in one month I found myself wishing I had a checklist to make sure I have everything I need to bring along.  Anything to help simplify the process makes life so much easier when you are going on a field trip. Here is a Field Trip Checklist I made to make preparing the day before and the day of a field trip go a bit smoother.

...and finally...

Lory at Fun for First is hosting a Summer Project/Summer Fun Linky Party.  I've been meaning to start writing down what I need to get accomplished this summer but have yet to take the time to sit down to do that.  Between the things I NEED to get done and the things I would like to get done (Ex: Pinterest ideas for the classroom) I will be a busy little teacher this summer!

Summer Projects
1. Add labels to my new classroom library books.
2. Clean out my house and send things to Goodwill.
3. Complete PINTEREST inspired decor crafts/projects I want to use in my classroom this coming school year. This could also be seen as fun :o) 

Summer FUN! 
1. Plan a quick road trip getaway!
2. Head back to my hometown for a bit to visit my family and my best friend since middle school.
3. RELAX, sleep in, go shopping at our newly redone outlet mall, and head to the local water park!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Zoo Scavenger Hunt Freebie

My school's kindergarten and first grade is taking a trip to our local zoo on Wednesday aka TOMORROW. Hooray!  I created this scavenger hunt to share with teacher coming on our trip.  I thought this could be helpful for anyone who is taking a zoo field trip so I thought I'd share with my blogger friends too :-) I was originally inspired by this post from I Can Teach My Child. You can find her full page Zoo Scavenger Hunt here. My lanyard half sheet Zoo Scavenger Hunt can be found by following this link. I purposely put punched holes at the bottom of each page so students can cross off the animals as we find them without taking the list off their necks.

I'm planning to take some photos tomorrow, so I'll be sure to share!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Goldilocks and the Three Bears

My first grade team decided to adopt Cara Carroll's Brown Bag Book Club for the entire grade level. Each Monday the firsties meet in the library and a guest speaker reads a book to go along with our weekly theme on the Elmo.  It has been a MAJOR hit with all the classes. Here is the link to Cara's Book Club post. Check it out, its a fantastic activity!

Each teacher rotates bringing snack for the entire grade level each week and one of my lovely teammates makes the graphic organizer to put on our brown bags.  I think this is an activity I'd like to do every year for quite a while!

During Shared Reading we are reading this Scholastic Mini-Book version of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Here is the direct link to the printable.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Last Hurrah and Follower Shout Outs

Well folks, I'm officially in the home stretch of the school year and man is it packed with activities!  We have SEVERAL field trips planned before the end of May.  We will be having our quarterly nature walk at the park TOMORROW and having a visit from the Puppet Truck sponsored by our local library on Friday. Next week we will be attending fairy tale play downtown. In two weeks we are planning on visiting our local art museum, taking trip to the zoo, as well as going a special trip to the Main Library branch, and of course field day will be squeezed in somewhere in May.  Lord have mercy! We will be a busy bunch of firsties for the next 32 days!

Here are some more new follower shout outs too!

Krista from Stellar Students

Traditions, Laughter and Happily Ever After

Vicky at Traditions, Laughter and Happily Ever After

Under the Alphabet Tree

Fellow TN Teacher teaching in my hometown, Jessica at Under the Alphabet Tree


Rachel at A-B-Seymour

Jenny at Luckey Frog's Lillypad

Casey at Second Grade Math Maniac


Erin at Eberhart's Explorers

Staci at Going Nutty in Mrs. Squirrel's First Grade

Sunday, April 8, 2012

A Pinterest-ing Spring Break #3

My Spring Break is officially coming to a close :-( I thought my final Pinterest inspired post during the break should be dedicated to centers!  I need a fresh round of centers to get my kiddos psyched about being back at school.  We will be in it for the long haul this time!  No more breaks til summer begins on May 25th!

I love this new blog I found via Pinterest, First Grade O.W.L.S.!  I re-pinned this easy little pattern center activity and figured it would be simple enough to re-create for this coming week. Here is the link to my rendition of the Making Patterns Recording Sheet Pin-spired by First Grade first little freebie :-)

Place Value Marathon is a great activity from Ginger Snaps and Pitner's Potpourri. I'm planning to do it in the place of math centers for a day. I re-created this activity to work for my firsties. Im already having ideas of how I could do another marathon so hopefully this will go over well with the kiddos.  You can find my first grade version of this activity here.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A Pinterest-ing Spring Break #2 and MORE!

Hey there blogger friends!  I'm back for my second day of Pinterest inspired ideas for after Spring Break.  And I also have some exciting news as well as a few blog shout outs!

Earth Day is still a couple of weeks away, but it never hurts to try to be a little ahead of the game.  My kiddos love coffee filter spray bottle craftivities!  I re-pinned this neat little 3-D earth craftivity on Preschool Crafts for Kids.

I'll most likely couple this craftivity with one of the writing activities I re-pinned from Classroom Freebies made by Shelley at Teaching in the Early Years.

I'm so thirlled to have several new followers in the past couple of days so I thought I'd do a few New Follower Blog Shout Outs!  My newest followers are:


Heather's heart

Fellow TN Teacher Laura at Kinder Kraziness

My newest blog find and now follower Teri at A Cupcake for the Teacher


Last night I was poking around the internet on BLOGS and happened upon this fantastic post from Heidi at Swamp Frog First Graders!  Tennessee teacher bloggers are having a meet up in a few days!  I've been very curious about what other teachers in my area are bloggers.  I contacted Laura at Kinder Kraziness to get myself on the list of attendees and found out that she has a list of 25 so awesome is that?!

Lastly, I need to tell about TBA's 1st Birthday Celebration and Giveaway!  TBA will be a year old on the 8th of this month. To celebrate they are hosting a MASSIVE giveaway on their blog.  If you're interested head on over!