About Me

Hi there!  Thanks for stopping by!  
My name is Melissa Machan and you have landed on my blog, First Grade Smiles.  You might be wondering who I am and why I have this blog, so I thought I'd take a minute to answer those questions and share a little about me.  

I have quite a history of teaching experience even though I still consider myself on the young-ish side.  I don't know how much longer I can say that, so I'm going to pretend it still applies ;-)

I am certified to teach PreK-6 regular education, K-12 special education, and Birth-6 literacy education. I had two very different student teaching placements in order to apply to my range of certification.  One placement was a 2nd grade classroom and the other was a high school resource room.  Although I did enjoy both of these placements and learned so much, I knew that anything above elementary would not be my best fit.  I really loved the 2nd grade placement, but we all know when you get your very first teaching job, you take whatever job they offer you because, of course, you just want/need a job.  So my first 2 years I taught 4th grade.  I liked it, but mostly I was happy to have a job.  I did LOVE the people I worked with, so that always helps.  

After that I was moved down to 3rd grade and I liked that even more.  I stayed in 3rd grade for 9 years.  During that 9 years I became a grade level coordinator for our district's curriculum council and also had 2 daughters.  

At that point I decided it was time for a change, and when a 1st grade position opened up, I went for it.  And THAT is when I found my calling!  I absolutely LOVED first grade --- the curriculum, the children (the SMILES)....all of it!!!  But this was also when I was in serious need of resources because everything I had used in 3rd and 4th grade were no longer applicable.  I had to start from scratch.  I started following blogs for ideas and then started making my own resources to use in my classroom -- well, I really always made things for my classroom before (don't we all?) but now I was making so much more.  That is also when this little blog began and I began selling my resources on Teachers Pay Teachers.  I wanted to share what I was doing with other teachers and students around the world.  Here are just a few of the resources I have in my store:




I taught 1st grade for 5 years and probably would've stayed forever, but as it often goes in districts, enrollment was low one year and I opted to move to Kindergarten.  That is where I currently am and where I plan to stay for a long time.  I love Kindergarten just as much as I loved 1st grade and it helped that some of my resources I had created for 1st I could also use and adapt for my Kindergarteners (not the first couple months of K obviously, but once things start rolling).  I didn't change my blog name because this is where it all started and I hope people will continue to find great resources here for more than just first grade since many of my ideas could be used for Kindergarten, 1st or 2nd grade.  

I now have 4 daughters, am still on our curriculum council as a curriculum coordinator, and am learning how to survive on very little sleep, lots of coffee, and a whole lotta love from these little lovelies!!!

I couldn't feel more blessed to be lucky enough to have this life with ALL the amazing people that are in it.  

Most importantly my family, but also my school family, my students, my friends, not to mention the people I have met through blogging and creating resources.  

So if you have some time, take a look around my blog and my store and see if you find some new ideas you can use in your classroom.  You can also follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest!

Although people don't do this as much anymore, I always love when people leave comments and tell me anything about themselves and what ideas they have used or like in their classroom!  I am always hoping to find more time to keep updating and adding more content that might help more teachers out there.  

Have a great day and as we say in my classroom....

Toodle-oo Kangaroo


Peace out Rainbow Trout


whatever catchy rhyme we throw out there ;-)

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