Saturday, February 22, 2014

Hey y'alll! I'm Karen!

Hey y'all!  My name is Karen and I am a first grade teacher from the Palmetto State!  You can find me at my blog An Apple a Day in First Grade.

I have taught Special Ed, Child Development, and Kindergarten.  I have a total of 18 years under my belt!  But I have to tell you, first grade is where my heart is!  There's nothing like getting those kiddos at the beginning of the year and watching those lights turn on as the year progresses!
I am married to my wonderful husband and  we have 2 awesome daughters.  We also have a very spoiled  Boykin Spaniel who thinks she is human!  Family is very important to me.  Both my husband and I come from real close families.  Lots of relatives!!!  Our Christian faith is extremely important and we are doing our best to raise our girls up following that faith. 

Me and Mr. M on a cruise celebrating our 15th anniversary!

My Family!
My beautiful girls!

I became a blog stalker several years ago.  It was so exciting to me to see what other teachers were doing and creating in their classrooms.  I think it is just awesome that our profession has reached out in the way that it has and developed such a tight-knit connection.  I wanted to be a part of this fabulous community of professional educators, so I decided to become a blogger myself!  I am a bit overwhelmed, and intimidated, by some of you "big time bloggers."  But I am excited to have taken this step! It is my hope that my own blog, and this brand new collaborative blog, will allow me the opportunity to grow professionally and connect with other educators across our country! 

This past summer I took the plunge and opened a TpT and TN store.  I did this while finishing my Master's degree.  Was I crazy or what?!  I would like to say that things have calmed down since then, but they really haven't!  However, I am loving the impact TpT and TN are having on my classroom instruction.  I'm both a buyer and a seller.  I love knowing that I have a immediate source of information to access when I need activities for my class.  Sometimes I just don't have the time, or the thought process, to sit down and crank out something for a skill my kiddos are working on.  It's nice to know that I can put in a few select words and immediately find a wealth of info to choose to from. Blogging offers those opportunities for sharing as well.  I have learned so much through this network of fabulous teachers.  I love that we keep it real too.  I don't know about you, but I don't teach in a picture perfect classroom.  Hearing about other teachers struggles with instruction, curriculum, administration, and students is a great comfort in this wide world of education!

To celebrate my first post on this fabulous collaborative blog, I'm sharing with you a fun sight word game that your kiddos will love playing.  It's called "Caught You!" and it's perfect for St. Patrick's Day!  All you need to do to prep this game is print, cut, and shuffle.  To play, kids sit in a circle and take turns choosing a word from the stack.  If they can read the word, they keep the word.  If they can't, it goes to the bottom of the stack.  If they pick one of the "Caught You!" cards, then they have to put all of their cards back!  I have taught my class how to play these games in small groups.  I usually pick a game leader to moderate the game.  This game leader is in charge of making sure the group is playing the right way and that everybody is on task.  This gives me the freedom to pull kiddos to read one on one without worrying about being interrupted ten thousand times with questions or complaints!

Click here to download this freebie!

This card game is actually a part of a bigger set of games.  The bigger pack has 2 games each (sight words and decodable words) for Christmas, Winter, Valentine's Day, and St. Patrick's Day. You can check it out in either one of my stores.  TpT or TN

Thanks for stopping by and getting to know me a little bit better! 

Before you leave, don't forget to enter our giveaway!  Click here!