Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Spooky Cover-Up

Stretchy Snake is in the house and my kiddos L-O-V-E him. One little friend was a bit concerned that Eagle Eyes might want to eat Stretchy Snake but then it was decided that since they are both part of Our School Family now that everything was groovy! Hearing this conversation was TOO, TOO CUTE!

I am finishing up the Stretchy Snake *freebies* and I am excited to share them with you later this week.

One little kiddo remembered to use Stretchy Snake to help decode a word during a reading group. He then asked permission to leave the reading group for a minute. He goes up to Stretchy Snake to thank him for helping him be a better reader. Very sweet but I am concerned at times that the children in my class will need therapy as they get older due to believing everything I tell them!!!

Here is a quick ten frame *freebie*. My kiddos love cover-up games and they can always use more practice adding....plus, they can practice subitizing! Do you know what that means????

I am working on some October math work stations that I will share when I am finished. What kind of games would you like to see the most: place value, money or number lines?

I feel like it should already be Thursday tomorrow. It seems like I am always having to go to meetings and most of the time the meetings just remind me how behind I am in everything that I am supposed to be doing. So my question of the day is this:

How often do you have meetings? Do you find them beneficial?

If you grab the *freebie*, please take a minute to leave me a heart note. Each note is always so encouraging and they are such motivation for me to create and share more *freebies*!!!! =)

From My Heart to Yours,

47 heart notes:

Unknown said...

Ohhhh meetings. We really don't have a ton but I don't feel like the ones we have are beneficial, so they are just more annoying. Thanks for the freebie!

I gave away 2 freebies on my blog on my last 2 posts. Come by and grab them (and leave me a heart note!)


Unknown said...

At my school, we are required to have meetings once a week. I am the team leader, so I have to meet once with my team and then on Fridays with the other grade level team leaders, AP, Principals, and other important desk-job people.
Some of my team members love our meetings and hanging out once a week and others hate it and complain all of the time.
I'm not too thrilled about them because I have to come up with items to discuss and that isn't always easy. I'd be happier with every other week meetings.

I agree with you about feeling swamped. This year has been absolutely CraZy with extra paperwork, new requirements, and more, more, MORE!
The paperwork is such political BS. Just information to send to the state to "claim" that we are doing this and that. Another check to add to the political checklist. blah, blah, blah...

*I love your freebie. Thank you so much for sharing it with us!!!


Nancy VandenBerge said...

Hi Heather! First of all, thanks so much for the cute little subitizing activity! It's perfect!
I love meeting with my team! We all work together so well and are getting a lot done considering we are a brand new team except for me! :)We do have at least 2 more meetings every week, all staff meetings and Instructional specialist each once a week. It really get to be overwhelming!! Monday is a teacher work day for us, and my principal said she would give us a lot of team and classroom time. We'll see! :)
anyway, thanks again for your freebie!

Ashley Sanderson said...

oh meetings :) I feel like at the beginning of the year I despise them because I have so much to do and all i'm thinking about in the meeting is what I STILL need to get done! We have a monthly faculty meeting on the 3rd Wednesday of the month and then we could possibly have other meetings too, but they are always on wednesdays (after school) which is nice to know in advance that they'll always be wednesday if we have one.

As for meetings during the day, there was one week where we didn't get ONE planning period that week because we were in "meetings" which weren't always helpful. For my team, we are doing great! But I think the high ups have to have the meetings and say they discussed the topic at hand with us.

Once school gets into a rhythm, I'm hoping the meetings slow down!


Unknown said...

Meetings are such a pain, especially if they don't serve a purpose. Thanks so much for your creativity, and willingness to share! Meg

Karyn said...

Thanks so much for the freebie Heather! It is so cute (as usual). I just LOVE your creations! Thanks for always being so generous (and not just with freebies...with your kindness too).

I have meeting everyday, although they are not always after school. Some are during my planning time, before school, etc. I find most of them to be a huge time suck...and like you said, I could be using that time to do more beneficial things!

A is for Apple B is for Blog

Miss Kristan King said...

Heather, you are so great at sharing resources & now I want to share one with you - based on a math PD I attended. Google Dr. Nicki's Guided Math Blog (from this site you can visit her Pinterest pins, her pearl tree, & see countless resources. My favorite new math tool a reckenrek!! Check it out, you'll be AMAZED!!

Meetings - yes, we have quite a few. I LOVE my team so we meet more than necessary to team plan. We are required to meet for PLC at least every Wed. but those meetings are very necessary.

Keep sharing your positive insights & great resources!!!!

Aimee said...

Thank you for the freebie! I love it; it will work perfectly with our new guided reading plan at school! I am always on the lookout for number line and place value activities!

We seem to have our fair share of meetings. We meet weekly as a grade level, every other week as a staff, and monthly for RTI. There are also lots of little meetings in between. As far as how beneficial they are...that's a mixed bag.

Primarily Speaking

Katie Knight said...

Heather, you are so cute. I know what you mean by the kids believing you. I have a plastic dinosaur attached to a wooden dowel. His name is Dizzy. He helps us decode and often whispers into my ear his thoughts on sounds. I always answer him. Like when decoding bell, he wondered if it was b-e-l-l or just b-e-l. Anyway, I glanced over at my super sharp kid, and he looked at me with such a mix of awe and pity. I think he believes I need therapy. And sometimes, when Dizzy and I are chatting I think I do need therapy. The things we do in the name of teaching.

Mrs. Reynolds said...

Heather, as usual your freebie is AMAZING!! You are so creative! I would lOVE to see a place value activity!

As for meetings, we have a minimum of three per week. We also meet on our own as a grade level and you can bet that those grade level ones are the really helpful meetings because we are working towards what will help us, not just filling in paperwork. I work with a GREAT group of ladies on my team!

Mrs. Rooney's Room said...

Thank you so much for your adorable spooky cover up!!! How generous of you to share with all of us. I can't wait to use it!

Tonya said...

We are on a 4-day week. We come in 2 Fridays a month. Usually 1 is a full day and the other a half. We have enhancement from 10-12 that is optional. Most of the time it seems it is more of a babysitting service. The Fridays that we are here full day is for staff development in the afternoon. In the past it has been more wasted time, in most of our eyes. Hoping this year changes. Thanks for the freebie - love the graphics!!!! HUGS!

Unknown said...

We have faculty meetings every other Tuesday (totally pointless!), team planning every Thursday (totally awesome) and usually at least one other meeting during the week (huge waste of my time)! I wish our time was respected so we could do our jobs!

Loving the freebie! Thank you!


Smedley's Smorgasboard of Kindergarten

Olwyn Hughes said...

As always, thank you thank you thank you for the awesome freebie! You are so wonderful!

As to meetings, we have a staff meeting once a month or so (sometimes twice a month if necessary), we have principal meetings (i.e. mandatory meetings) when major things come up, we have committee meetings once or twice a month (usually during lunch. I hate lunch meetings!!!)we have primary team meetings once a month and our grade group meets for planning once a week. Lately we have been having more meetings than usual but that is because our school is being moved in three weeks and there is LOTS to do. Many of the meeting items could be dealt with in a memo but c'est la vie!!!!

Teaching in Turtlepond

Sarah said...

Thanks for the new game!!

As for meetings we have one w/ our team and one for our PLC group (which is our team plus a few others) and its all data driven!! They are okay...I just hate when my team moves the date as I have my times /days all planned out and the shuffle of free time messes up other things! Oh well.

Oh and we get out at 140 ea Wednesday for district /building level PD sessions. EVERY WEDNESDAY! lol. Somtiems I owuld rather keep the children! lol


Jessica said...

Thanks for the freebie! We use to have staff meetings every week but now we only meet on staff development days:)

Learn, Play & Have Fun

Tania said...

Meetings :( We have a weekly PLT (professional learning team), a weekly, grade level meeting, and a weekly staff meeting. If you get lucky, you may have an IEP and/or ST (student support team).
I wish I could cut all those in half.
My Second Sense

Meghan said...

I love the freebie! It is exactly what we are working on, and we were just looking for games to do as a review.

Before school, we have meetings 2-3 times a week, and my grade level chooses to do our collaboration during our specials time once a week. We also have other random meetings. Many I find beneficial, but last week, one day that was for professional development, some teachers spent most of our time debating something that had already been decided, which was frustrating. Some meetings are good though and help me see that the school is trying to work and learn together.

Unknown said...


Your blog is so cute! I'm so happy that you are my first follower! Thanks so much! I'm struggling in finding ways to get my blog and shops out there and getting more followers so I would love any tips and ideas. I'm so excited to have my first follower!


Miss Cosby said...

This year my school is doing a monthly meeting so I'm not sure if they're beneficial or just taking up time that I should be using for something else. My guess is 50/50.

Today we had a district grade-level meeting and I did find it helpful. We talked about some reading interventions and maybe a D5 book study. We're doing district grade level meetings every other month (this year).


You Might Be a First Grader...

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for the adorable freebie! I plan on printing it out and using it tomorrow! You rock!

Maria said...

Thank you so much. I will be using this beginning next week. My class and I would love some number line games - I don't think we have any number line games. Thanks again!

Primary Paradise said...

Heather, love your little freebie. I know my kiddos will too. It feels like we are in meetings all of the time. PLC's every Thursday. Faculty meetings every two weeks. Then IEP meetings, conferences, and committee meetings. It's overwhelming.
Primary Paradise

Jan said...

Love the freebie- it fits right in with what we're working on now- thanks! As for meetings... well, it Seems like a lot- especially after four hours of meetings today (early release for professional development)... but I guess it's not as much as others. Thanks again:-)

Julie DiBenedetto said...

Meetings? This week? FIVE. I have gym twice a week for 30 minutes and that is all. My planning time during recess is spent with interventions with students who really need it. My lunch... Oh that's right! What lunch? Heather, I totally appreciate your post today!
I think I felt inspired to say something positive in light of it so I hope you have a moment to stop by and read my post dedicated to teachers like you!

Ms. Marciniak's First Grade Critter Cafe

vicky1970 said...

Hi Heather --
We have meetings 2xs a month most months - sometimes they get cancelled due to other things. They are really mini staff developments most of the time so I would say it is beneficial. However last year we discussed the same thing all year - monitor and adjust and we were up to our ears with it. LOL
Cute freebie BTW. :o)
Traditions, Laughter and Happily Ever After

Chrissy said...

Thank you for awesome freebie! I teach at a private school, so our meetings begin w/ prayer. Super awesome way to start...still plenty of people complain! I think our administration does a great job of keeping everything short & useful.

Chrissy said...

Thanks for the Spooky Cover Up games. My students will love them!
As for meetings, we don't have too many, but they're still not my favorite thing. My kind of "meeting" is a teacher blogger meet up. That kind is fun!
First Grade Found Me

Ashley Ann said...

Thanks so much for the comment! I have been trying to figure out how to add a follow button!

The emergency sub plans took so long to get together! But well worth it :-) I tried to make everything pretty general so that my little ones could handle it no matter what time of the year it is!

Thanks again!

Unknown said...

This is so darling! My son is in
1st grade and loves games. We play a lot of them during our school week which encourages his love for playing. I mean learning ;). Thank you making it available to us!

Mrs. Leeby said...

Heather, thanks for swinging by my blog! I would love to see more place value math stations! Also, I have a team meeting once a week and a staff meeting once a month. Easy peasy! I'm your newest follower!

Learning With Mrs. Leeby

Erica said...

Meetings, meetings, meetings! We have faculty meetings once a week, which are a waste of time. We have Embedded PD during our planning on Wednesday, which usually is also a complete waste of time. Our team is supposed to meet on Thursdays, but my team doesn't like meeting apparently, because they try to rush though everything and I feel like we get nothing done because we skip half of it. I would prefer to meet with my team the most. It's depressing. :-/

I would love PLACE VALUE math stations!!! :-) Thanks for the freebie!

Unknown said...

We have too many meetings and they last way too long! But what I really want to say is that I love reading your blog!

Anonymous said...

Hey Heather!
The Goonie Gals need help from a first grade teacher. Please read our post this week...No More Running Records!!! Really? GR out the Door with Common Core!!!

We read your Stetchy Snake post found it sooo cute! We can't wait to see October Math Centers.

The Kindergarten Goonies

The Frizz said...


We have a staff meeting every Tuesday afternoon. My district is pretty good about keeping the meetings brief and efficient.

I used your Pete the Cat Letter, Word, and Sentence Sort as a mini lesson for word work and then allowed students to sort themselves during the Daily 5. Thank you for the freebie!

I also gave you a shout out in my latest blog post :) You are making a difference in this teacher's life! Check it out here: The Frizz

Keep up the inspiration!

-The Frizz in First Grade

Donna Coleman said...

Hi Heather :)
LOVE the Spooky Cover-Up! It's perfect for the new unit we just started. Thanks so much for sharing.

We have monthly staff meetings that are mandatory but grade team meetings are left up to the teachers. My team meets often but it's usually informal and over tea in the staff room!

First Grade Spark

Lisa Mattes said...

This year I am MEETINGed-OUT. We meet a lot more than previous years. PLC meetings with the grade level each week, PLCs with the reading specialist 2x/month, PLCs with the math/G.T. specialist 2x/month, Staff meetings (1-1.5 hours) every Thursday after school, other "club" meetings that are 45 mn each week that the grade level people take turns attending each week. In addition, there's IEP meetings and frequent communication with the SPED staff. LOTS of meetings. Sometimes they're beneficial.

LOVE the Spooky Cover Up freebie, Heather!! Your stuff is always soooo great! Excited to use them THIS week, sweet lady!
Growing Firsties

Beach Sand and Lesson Plans said...

Hi Heather,
THANKS for stopping by my new blog & becoming a follower! I appreciate the kind words and encouragement from fellow bloggers! Love your blog and the heart theme! I think "heart words" is a neat idea at school. As for meetings...I know how you feel. I hate feeling like my time is being wasted. This year we have implemented PLCs. I run the CAFE/Daily 5 meeting. I love sharing and collaborating with my colleagues. My admin keeps our meetings to a minimum and is mindful of our time. I love her for that!
Beach Sand and Lesson Plans

Anonymous said...

Wonderful blog! I just discovered it and love your ideas.
As for meetings we have 2-3 weekly scheduled for the year and many that pop up throughout the week. It gets to be tough to actually plan and try to get materials prepared.

mcoop1125 said...

Thanks for the Spooky Cover Up. I always appreciate your generosity and ideas!

Mary Ellen said...

Thanks so much for the math game! Meetings... we have too many meetings. We have staff meeting every other week. On the off weeks we have book studies. We have weekly team meetings for planning with other grade level teachers as well as another meeting to plan intervention strategies. Then there are the committee meetings. I am on a positive discipline committee and social committee. And the cherry on top is twice a month we have meetings for new teachers. That doesn't include going to professional develop for math, reading, writing, etc. I could do with a LOT LESS meetings!

Sarah Hankinson said...

I'm behind in checking out blogs and found your post this afternoon. Thanks for the freebie - it will be perfect for math centers this week!

Learning is for Superstars