Monday, September 3, 2012

Odds & Ends, Jitter Juice, and Lots of Freebies!

This post is all over the place because that's been ME today. :) 
Hang in there (or scroll down and ignore my toad story for some FREEBIES!)
It was drizzly and dreary all day today (and I was secretly content with that because I didn't feel the least bit guilty about spending all day inside with the pup working on laundry, laminating, and LOTS of school projects).
The only time I stepped foot outside today there was an...incident.  It involved finding a dead toad in the backyard.  Dis-gus-ting.
Andy is at work and I simply couldn't deal with it (and was afraid the dog would find it...gag!) I did what any sensible adult would do.
I called my dad.
Yep, called him right up. 
You see...I have..issues...with dead things.  If that toad had been croaking and hopping around the backyard I would have been fine. 
But since he actually...croaked.  Nope. Can't do it. 
Dad to the rescue.  Don't know what I would do without that man.
I spared you a picture of that...incident. is what the REST of my day looked like.
Lots and lots of laminating.  I don't know how I lived without this thing.  Y'all kept talking about yours during "Teacher Week" and I decided I had to have one to see what the fuss was all about and I'm so glad I spent the 30 bucks. 
I totally thought they were more expensive than that but I got this Scotch one on Amazon and have been very pleased with it!
There's something quite therapeutic about sending those plastic sheets through.
I needed some laminating therapy after the toad fiasco.
Tomorrow is my first day back to school with kiddos! 
I don't think I'll ever stop having the excitement and jitters I have on the night before school.
Speaking of jitters...
I know everyone's heard about this sweet little book, right?
I got Abby's awesome Fun With Firsties Back to School pack last year and LOVED so many of the activities in there...especially making JITTER JUICE to drink to get rid of all our "first day jitters."
I knew I definitely wanted to do that again.
There are tons of ideas to use with this book floating around the blogworld and on pinterest!
Last year I did sherbet and sprite and it was yummy but it took a long time to scoop the sherbet myself and pass it all out.  Plus, I think it lost some of it's pizzazz when the kids saw my tub of sherbet and sprite so I wanted to make it a little more fun this year by making these fun labels!
This year, to keep it simple...I'm just doing sprite and SPRINKLES (cause honestly...they make everything more fun!)
And a bonus...the carbonation makes the sprinkles dance around!  Super duper fun!
If you would like the jitter juice label...feel free to grab it here.  I know a lot of you have already had your first day back but you can tuck it away for next year. :)
I just cut a piece of black construction paper in half and taped the overlapping halves on the bottle like this...
And then glued the fun Jitter Juice label on.
I know some little stinker is going to burst my bubble tomorrow and say "Heyyy.. this is Sprite!!"
But I will deny it.  It is jitter juice.  The end.
I also managed to get my reading strategy cards mounted on black construction (I am a firm believer that EVERYTHING looks better mounted on black construction paper before hanging on the wall..) and laminated.  Along with Cara's cute (and FREE) writing display.  So darn cute.
These are the reading strategy cards that I made that are absolutely free as well.  You can get them here with or without the "reading buddy" animal clipart. Don't forget to grab the headers too if you want to display them on a CAFE board or something similar.
Here is a little closer look.

Notice Sawyer in the background looking EXTRA bored.  Poor buddy...just wanted mama to stop laminating and throw his blue ball one stinkin' time. 
Besides all that...I worked on some birthday goodies (because wouldn't you know I have a cutie with a birthday the SECOND day of school.  I thought I had some time to procrastinate on that but he's keeping me on my toes already!)
Here are a couple other back to school things that I made today.  Again, I know these are a little late but maybe you can save them for next year.  Or better yet...make a "back to school" board on pinterest and pin these right on there so you'll be sure to get to them when you need them!
This is a simple little printable that I like to have my students complete on the first day to avoid the "nothin'" answer when their parents ask them what they did at school.  It would be a fun keepsake to remember what they wore and how they wrote their name at the beginning of the year. :)
This will guide them and serve as a sprinboard for discussion and questions about their day, I hope! 
Plus, it is super fun to see the scary pictures of me in the "This is my teacher" part.  Yikes.
Grab it here or click on the pictures.

And finally...this is nothin' fancy by any means...but I always like to get my kiddos to complete this activity during the first few days to help me understand their family dynamic a little bit better.  Sometimes it's hard to understand who lives in the house with girlfriends, siblings, grandparents, etc. and it can be touchy to ask too many questions.  This activity is quick and simple and tells me a lot.  First, I tell them to draw whoever lives in their home in the box.  Then...they can add any other special family members in the space around the box.  This gives them a way to include a parent or sibling that they don't live with while still helping me understand more about their home life.  You could definitely just do this on a blank piece of paper, too! 
If you'd like a copy of this one...just click here
It is past my bedtime!!  Have a fabulous (short) week and best of luck to all of you starting with me tomorrow!
Happy Teaching to you!
I just saw this on one of my sweetest teacher friend's facebook pages and had to share...
"I pray for our students. They are the walking heart and soul of their parents. They are cherished, adored, and understood. Give teachers the eyes to see each one as You do, and to see them as their parents do. We can never replicate a parent's love, but we can remember that each child is fearfully and wonderfully made."
What an awesome job and responsibility we have to teach, love, and care for these little humans!
Goodnight friends.


Miss Nelson said...

you have been busy. Love all your cafe items.

Kelly said...

Aren't Dad's the best?? I had to call mine tonight, too...air conditioner issues. What would we do without them?! And the laminator is the best thing since sliced bread - your stuff looks great !! Have a great FIRST DAY!! :)

First Grade Fairytales

Jenni said...

I will be starting tomorrow and one of the first things I read is First Day Jitters ... it's a staple in my classroom! Thanks for the freebies -

Rachel said...

Your story is too funny! I would call my dad too!

Amy J said...

Thanks so much!!

Amy J said...

Thanks Kelly! Agreed- dads rule. ;) I did have a great day but I am TIRED. Thanks for your comment.

Amy J said...

I hope your first day was fantastic!

Amy J said...

Seemed logical to me. ;) Thanks Rachel!

Lisa Mattes said...

Costco has a laminator with 100 sleeves on sale for $15 right now! It's usually $20. I, too, didn't have one until after the buzz on Teacher Week! Now I can't live without it!

Love your awesome freebies! We did JJ yesterday and loved it! It was hard to do alone, so I will use your idea of sprite and sprinkles next year. How fun!

Heather's Heart said...

I love all of your activities sweet friend. If I lived near you, I would have saved you from the dead toad....the only thing I don't deal with are snakes: alive or dead!!!

I love the sweet message from your friend. Our kiddos are little blessings and your's are blessed to have you as their teacher. =)


Heather's Heart

Amy J said...

My "sister-in-law to be" picked up the laminator at Costco today thanks to your comment!! Fun!! I am buzzing through those laminator sheets. :)

Have a great week!

Amy J said...

You are too sweet to offer your toad-disposing services! You are braver than me. :)

Thanks for your sweet words. Have an awesome week!

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Surviving Paternity Fraud said...

I realize this blog post is a.couple years old but my daughters teacher gave her jitter juice on the first day of school and being an educated mother concerned about my child an other children's reaction to sugar, corn syrup, and GMO's I think all teachers should consider the parents reaction to finding out that their kids were basically fed poison on the first day of school and to stop giving kids soda as a means of calming about some nice chamomile tea instead...just a thought...or some organic apple cider 😊

Kristie Garner said...

I love the big eyed people with Sawyer! Where can I grab those writing things for my room?

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