Saturday, September 26, 2015

Five for Saturday Morning

Saturday mornings are my favorite. Most of the time, I am the first one awake and I am grateful for the quiet since I don't get much of that during the week. Saturday mornings give me time to reflect on the past week and then get myself ready for the week to come. Saturday mornings in the fall are REALLY my favorite but Texas hasn't quite gotten the memo that it is supposed to be cooler yet, so I guess we will wait a few more weeks.

This is going to be short and sweet!

We celebrated Homecoming this week with spirit days at school. My students normally have to wear uniforms so they were super excited to get to dress up each day. Tuesday was Twin Day so my TBFF (teacher best friend forever) and I put on matching scarves and everyone thought we were super cute. Let me tell you about this sweet lady-- I never thought that when she moved in next door to me, that we would become such close friends. She is the most positive and fun person to work with and I am so blessed that I get to call her a friend. I am not sure what I would do without her, She is the bomb dot com.

We are in the process of getting a new playground built so in the mean time we are using a little grassy patch to play on. I have been bringing out soccer balls, bubbles, and chalk for the nuggets to play with in case they don't want to come up with a game on their own. One of my friends called me over to show me his picture. He wrote it all on his own and was so proud. I love this group of kids, I tell ya! They are just a super sweet and loving group. I am grateful every single day that I get to keep them all year!

We began our study of apples this week! This is truly one of my favorite units to teach. I don't have any pictures because #teacherfail, I forgot. We looked at the parts on an apple, tasted 3 different kinds, graphed our faves, (That darn Golden Delicious wins every time!), and then ended the week with making homemade applesauce in the croc pot. We are continuing our apple study next week with some Johnny Appleseed activities and the life cycle of an apple/apple tree. I'll be better about getting pictures next week.


We broke out of alphabet stamps this week! I have a love/hate relationships with stamps. The kids love them and it is such a great way to keep them engaged. I don't love the ink everywhere and the way they are organized. Those little plastic boxes they come in just aren't 5 year old friendly. I have the sets from Lakeshore like these:

Before we even start, I go over the expectations of stamp usage. "Pinch the sides with two fingers....." "Dab it ONE time into the stamp pad..." "Stamp it on the paper..." "Put it back in its little home..."

No matter how many times I say it and we practice, someone always jabs the stamp into the stamp pad and then looks at me like it is my fault they have ink on every inch of their body. Someone please tell me I am not the only one who feels this way!?

Anyhoo-- I have a love/hate relationship with stamps. But I use them and the kids love them.

We started using Deedee Wills' Stamp It! units. They are great activities with no prep. No prep is my jam! The nuggets did a great job and stayed engaged the entire time. Engagement = happy teacher.

Look at those expert stamping skills! ;)

I don't really have a number 5. My day is going to consist of some laminating pumpkin stations for the upcoming weeks and watching some college football. Sounds like the perfect Saturday to me!

Happy Weekend, friends!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Five for Sunday Night

Happy Weekend, Ya'll!

I took a really long nap today and it was glorious. I love weekends.

This week we finished up our 5 Senses unit. We are still working on letters and sounds so I decided to let them practice writing their letters with shaving creme. It was messy but the kids loved it! (And my tables are nice and clean now!)

On Wednesday I had the opportunity to go to the Go Noodle Meet Up here in Austin. Back in the summer, the folks at Go Noodle sent out a survey to have people vote on where they should have meet ups in the fall. Only a few cities were picked and I was lucky that Austin was one of them. After school I headed downtown to this swanky little set up where we were welcomed with a swag bag, snacks, and lots of nice people to mingle with. We even got to see some of the new videos coming to Go Noodle soon! And of course, we had to Po See Ko while we were there! It was a blast and I got to meet a lot of really nice and enthusiastic teachers from the Austin area. 

At the end of the year last year, my kids were really into directed drawings. I only had instructions for a few so I decided to pick up this book in the summer from my sweet friend, Amy. She sells books for Usborne Books and I knew when I saw it, I had to have it. I pulled it out this week, gave the kids a clipboard and sheet of paper and went to work! We learned how to draw a cat since my kids are really into Pete the Cat right now. I had them draw each step with me on the carpet. Then I showed them how to take a black crayon and outline their drawing. I let them color it in however they wanted to. The nuggets were so impressed with themselves and couldn't wait to get home and show their parents. If you want your own copy of the book, you can find it {HERE}.

There are a ton of things in here to draw! 

The drawings are super easy. I can't draw at all and even mine came out pretty decent!

My nuggets filled up their first jewel jar this week! They earn jewels by getting compliments from other adults in the building. They chose popcorn as their party for this jar. On Thursday, we were talking about eating popcorn on Friday and one little friend raised his hand and ever so sweetly asked, "Mrs. Allison, if we are eating popcorn, can we make it like a movie theater in here and watch something while we eat our popcorn?" Bless. How can I say no to that? So at the very end of the day Friday, they all settled in to a bowl of popcorn and some Leap Frog Math Mission.

This weekend, I went to a baby shower for one of my most dear friends. Hubs and I have been friends with them for years now. He was friends with them back in junior high and when we started dating, the four of us became very close. I am so excited to meet baby Robert in just a few weeks!

I dug up an old picture of us from 2007. I love us!

Look at those baby faces!


On tap for this week... Apples! It is one of my favorite weeks of the year! Apple tasting, Johnny Appleseed, and croc pot applesauce on Friday!

Have a blessed week, friends!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Catching Up

Hi friends!

I am so sorry that I have been away for a while--I forget how crazy the beginning of the year is. I get home, attempt to make supper, and then I usually flop on the couch and don't move until it's an acceptable time to go to bed. (8:30 is an acceptable bed time, right?!) In turn, my sweet little blog has been neglected. But let's catch up on what's been happening lately in the Wonderland world.

My nuggets are getting settled into our routine and procedures. I have an AH-MA-ZING group of kids this year. They are funny and so sweet! I got very lucky. For the most part, they all seem to enjoy school and being with their classmates. One of their favorite parts of our room is the library. I love seeing them settle in with a reading buddy and a good book. I think some of them would stay there all day if I let them!

Hubs and I were up at the school over the Labor Day weekend and he noticed a lack of storage in my classroom. I was totally out of space and I still have things at home that I haven't even taken to the school. We brainstormed and came up with a game plan for some homemade shelves. 

A few hours later...

Ta-Dah! The most glorious 16 feet of shelves I have ever seen in my life! I am so thankful to have a handy hubs that doesn't mind building projects for my classroom. He knows that my classroom is like a second home and wants me to have as much space for junk supplies as possible. I'll get better pictures of how we are using the shelves soon!

I only have one picture to show you from this past week. My phone was in an unfortunate accident on Wednesday and suffered a shattered screen. I had to keep it in a zip top bag until I could get it fixed and so I wasn't able to take pictures without the risk of slicing my fingers open. It is fixed now, thank goodness!

We are still working a lot with our names! I found this great activity from Ketchen's Kindergarten {HERE}. It was super quick to prep and the kids had such a great time. For the fix it part, I just wrote their name on a sentence strip, cut it apart, and gave it to them in a zip top bag. Easy and fun!

Well, that's about it! This week we are working with our 5 Senses, which is always fun. Recap on weekly plans coming soon!

Have a great week, blog friends!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Teacher Week Wednesday: Classroom Tour!

It's Wednesday, folks!

The girls at Blog Hoppin' are hosting a linky party today and it's all about classroom tours! I just posted mine a few weeks ago so I am going to leave you with the link to my full tour and a few snapshots of my room. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Make Ahead Meal

Hi friends!

It's Tuesday and the gals at Blog Hoppin' are hosting a linky party about make ahead meals today. I can't wait to see what everyone else has to show--I plan on filling up my recipe box today!

My make ahead meal is super easy and more a lifesaver when it comes to fall and winter. Hubs and I seriously eat this probably twice a week when the weather is cool.

I don't have any pictures to go with the post but here is my recipe!

Taco Soup!
1 pound lean ground beef (you can also use ground turkey or a combo of beef and turkey)
1 large can of diced tomatoes
1 can of Rotel (tomatoes with green chiles)
1 can of corn
2 cans of beans of your choice (I use Ranch Style beans and pintos with jalapenos)
1 package of taco seasoning
1 packages of ranch dressing mix
Shredded cheese for topping

Brown the meat with some onions in a big pot and drain any extra fat. Then just open up all the cans and dump everything in, juice and all. Stir in the season packets and let it simmer for 30ish minutes. Serve with cornbread or tortilla chips.

I love this recipe because it makes a lot, it freezes well, and it makes for great leftovers for lunch the next day.

Be sure to check out all the other links on Blog Hoppin' today to see what everyone else is cooking!