Bundle of Joy

Our little man is finally here!  Today he is actually two months old!  I tell you, those two months flew by and he has grown so much.  I want to share some newborn photos that my friend Melissa Vossler took when Harrison was one week old.
This is the photo we used for his birth announcement, I think it is my FAVORITE by far!  Harrison surprised us and came 2.5 weeks early and measured in at 5 lbs. 14 oz. 18 inches!  I will save you the details of the labor story, but he arrived after 17 hours of labor and 3 hours of pushing.  

After the stressful pregnancy, I still can't believe our little one is actually here.  I am going to be completely honest...  The first month of learning to be a mom, recovering from labor, learning how to breast feed was the most challenging thing I have done.  I wanted to punch anyone in the face that would tell me to "soak it up, it goes fast" because I was barely hanging on for dear life.  The lack of sleep is what made everything so difficult.  One night not sleeping is bearable, but when you are on the 4th week, it's hard to keep sane AND enjoy your little one.  Now that we are on month two, I can look back and say, "I wish I would have soaked it up, it went by so fast!" haha!

Due to several reasons I went back to work at 6 weeks.  (I know....)  At week 5 I was barely confident enough to take Harry to Target alone, and at the 6th week I was supposed to be ok with leaving him and working full time?  But I tell you, that one week made a HUGE difference and I was ready.  One thing I have learned in my short 2 months of being a mom is that "mom guilt" haunts you in everything you do.  

After being on bedrest, summer break, and maternity leave I really missed teaching.  But wasn't I supposed to want to just stay home with my baby all day, because thats what being a "good mom" is? I really struggled with being scared AND excited to go back to work.  I felt guilty for wanting to be back in the classroom.  

It's been 2 weeks and I am really happy.  I love my job and I love coming home to my baby.  I know everyone is different, some people love staying home and some people love working.  So whatever option you choose or have to do, don't feel guilty!   I don't know what the future holds as far as me working vs. staying home, but right now we are really enjoying my decision to be at work.
Here are some pictures of Harry's nursery.  One of my friends, Shannon, helped me decorate and hunt down some of the adorable pieces!  Our theme is "little man, classic, and modern." (I don't know if that's a style...)

Here is where we found all of the pieces:
crib and metal storage bins- Walmart
mobile and shelf- Restoration Hardware
dino head (my husband found this bad boy) and prints- Etsy
rocker and side table- Target
curtains- Anthropologie
shelf accessories- TJ Maxx, Easy, and the car my Husband's grandpa made!
"You make me happy when skies are gray" painting- Cara Carroll


Guest Blogger: Google Drive 101

Hi! My name is Aris Rossi and I'm the teacher blogger behind Sailing into Second! Today I'll be sharing a tutorial on Google Drive!
google drive 101

First we have to go over a few things like, "What is Google Drive and how do I use it to help my instruction?" Google Drive is where your files are stored. You can access your Google Drive on any computer or device because your files are secured in the cloud. You even get 5GB of free storage! Google Drive allows you to create, share, and manage docs using Google featured apps. The best part? You can access your files from your computer, phone, or tablet, no matter where you are. That's the cloud system! If you've ever used Microsoft Office (which I'm sure you have), you'll have no trouble getting comfortable with using Drive.
Let's start with the basics like, "How do I access a Google Drive?" First you have to create a Google account HERE. Techy tip...downloading the Web browser Chrome would be great, since there are tons of extensions and features that work hand in hand with Google Drive.
Once you log on, you'll see the Drive home page that looks like the image below. It will allow you to pick from a variety of options like creating a new Google document, accessing your files stored in your Drive, or even viewing files that have been shared with you!

drive basics

You'll also find a list of your folders and files stored in Google Drive like the one shown below.

  files drive

To upload files or folders, simply click on the "New" button and you'll see a file or folder upload option pop up. It will allow you to upload any document or folder right from your own desktop!

  Google Drive 101

Another useful tip is to create folders to keep all your files organized! Creating folders allows you to view, share, and apply changes to multiple files at the same time within that one folder. It's really a time saver!


Techy Tip: When you see the cluster of people icon next to the name of your file or folder, it means you've "shared it" or allowed other people to have access to this file.

  Google Drive 101And that's Google Drive, my friends! There are SO many cool and techy things you could use Google Drive for. Today was just the basics to help you get started and I hope this tech tutorial will help you utilize Google Drive in your classroom and help drive your instruction. I'd love to connect with you! Use the buttons below to follow my blog and TpT store for more ideas!
Aris Rossi-Sailing into Second


Guest Blogger: Fractions in Kinder

Hey teacher friends! My name is Cassie Thomas and I blog over at Mrs. Thomas's Class/Texas Forever blog! I am a 4th grade writing teacher who has been all over the map since I started my teaching journey!! I taught kindergarten my first year (AND LOVED IT!), moved to 3rd grade ELAR, and then got to loop with my babies to 4th grade writing. Looping has been one of the most rewarding experiences ever, even with being gone on maternity leave. 

I am bringing a post to you today about when I taught my kinder babies fractions. It was the most fun experience, and honestly every student despite what level they were on walked back inside knowing the basic fractions. Texas took this standard out of kindergarten TEKs, but would be fantastic for an end of the year introduction or 1st grade activity! 

 I call it "fraction relays." 
It looks like this: 

Okay, so the above picture is what my fractions were. I bought 10 $1 hula hoops at Dollar Tree and also bought electrical tape to make the fractions. It was surprisingly very easy to do equal pieces. I made 2 1/2's for each group. I did 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, and 1/6.
So I had the kids line up first boys and girls in two separate lines. I had craft sticks and on one side I wrote a fraction, 1/2, 1/3, 2/3, etc. Then on the other side I put random colored stickers (yellow, green, purple, and red) 
The first way we played was where they ran through and had a certain amount of time (1 minute) to look at their fraction and run through the line and put their stick in the correct hula hoop. Then I picked them up and checked who got them all right. Whoever got the most right won. We did this way a few times. Then another class that came and watched, they got the chance to do it too. (On Thursday we are going to compete against each other.) 
The second way we played was with the stickers. I knew what the stickers meant, but they didn't. The stickers told me where they went, yellow was 1/2, red was 1/6, etc. I would say a story for each child. For example: I ate half of that donut this morning. They had to listen to my story and go put the stick in the correct place. This made them think so much harder, and I loved it. They had a blast!!!!! I am so so excited. I can't wait to do it against the other class on Thursday! :) 

Let me know what you think!!! 


Short A Word Family

Once my students have mastered their letters and sounds, we start learning how to read words.  The easiest way to transition into reading words is for me to introduce weekly word families. 
I start with all the words in the "_at" family (cat, bat, fat, rat, pat sat...)  I show them that we can change the first letter of the word and create a NEW word.  Once they are trained to look for the "at" in the word, they get SO excited when they realize that they can read words all on their own!  
It helps to make a list on the board of all the words in the "at family."

I transferred them to my little "_at" poster that I got from Lakeshore.  I keep these words displayed all year long for the students to refer to when they are writing! Once we have mastered the "at family" we move on to another short a family.

I created a Short A resource to use as reinforcement and as an assessment.  Take a look..

I love this activity because there are several opportunities for the students to read the "short a" words.  I created two different versions.  One of them has the students write a sentence and the other asks them to draw a picture.  Writing a sentence is a beast of its own, so I thought it would be good to have options on which type of activity you ask your students to complete.  I incorporated some sight words for them to practice reading the "short a family" in a sentence.

This next activity asks for the students to look at the picture card and match it to the written word.  I am kind of obsessed with this PB&J themed center!  

To reinforce there reading (and writing) ability, they can show what they know on this short a printable.  They look at the picture and write the word on the line.

For this next short a center, the students look at the picture cards and sort them by word family.  This is a great center activity because the students have to speak the word, say the sounds in the word, and then correlate it to the written word to be able to sort it!  There are a lot of skills packed in this simple activity!

The printable below can be used as an assessment to check this skill!

I also included some other activities for independent and partner practice!

I am REALLY excited about introducing the short a words to my students!  Next up... "short e" words!