Monday, August 27, 2012

Made it Monday!

I'm linking up with 4th Grade Frolics for Made it Monday!  

These past two weeks have been a blur.  Friday was our first FULL day with our kinder kiddos....and man am I tired!  I forget from year to year how hard and tiring it is in the beginning.  I must block it out of my mind....because honestly, how else could you forget the long hours of cutting, laminating, gluing, printing, copying, straightening, organizing, etc. !?!?!?!  

Made it # 1
So last week I made the cutest transportation clip chart that I got from Brooke at 
Once Upon a First Grade Adventure!!  Actually this one's more of a 
"Printed & Laminated Monday"......but I still wanted to share!!  It's darling and 
she has it available in lots of different color options!! You can check it out here.  

Made it #2:
Yesterday I spent almost 10 hours up at school and still have more to do!!  One thing I managed to get done was creating a set of alphabet mystery bags to use as a reading/writing activity during small groups.  My kiddos will be trying to find all of the letters in each bag.  In the beginning, I think I will have them trace each letter that they find.....but eventually I will have them writing each letter that they find.  

 I basically used heavy duty ziploc bags, rice, letter beads, and duct tape to make these!  
It was very simple to do and I think my kiddos are going to love them!  I am going to
love them as long as they do not puncture, rip, or otherwise poke holes in them.  We shall see!!!!

I used lentils in one of the bags, just to change it up!  ;-)

In this bag I used expired hand sanitizer (now I know what to do with it!!!) and glitter.  
I think the glitter color must have come off in  the sanitizer, because it ended 
up being way darker & way pinker than I had anticipated!

Made it #3
I also finally got around to getting my number posters up that I had made a while ago.  I have a regular number line posted in my classroom, but I wanted to create some posters that included the ten frames as well.  The number posters are available in my TpT store here if you'd like to get them.  

I also used the number posters to create a math station for my kids.  I printed the posters out 2 per page, so they'd be smaller......... I'm going to have my kiddos use playdoh to form the numbers, and form balls to represent the sets.  We will start with numbers 0-5 this week.   If they are ready to form the numbers and sets on their own, all they have to do is turn the card over and make them on the back!

So what have you been making?  Hop on over to 4th Grade Frolics and join the linky!  While you're there check out some of the other things that other teachers have posted for Made it Monday!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Where I Teach Wednesday!

I am linking up with Blog Hoppin' for Where I Teach Wednesday! 

I posted my classroom tour & lots of pics last week....but thought I'd link up with Blog Hoppin' in case some of you missed it!  I love the way my room is turning out (it's a continual work in progress!!).  
Click here to see my classroom!!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Name that Schedule Linky Party!

I am linking up with Charity at The Organized Classroom Blog to show you what my schedule looks like in Kindergarten this year!

Our schedule is pretty much handed down to us from our principal, so we get what we get....and we rarely never throw a fit!    In some ways this is nice and it takes a lot of pressure off of me to create the "perfect" schedule.   It is what it is and we really try to make the best of it.   The only thing I really miss is having a dedicated 'center' time each day.  I truly believe that my kiddos need that down time to play, learn, and practice their social skills.    What my team has done in years past, is incorporate some 'play' centers into the Sci/SS block a couple times a week.  There are a couple of really good TN state standards that deal with social skills and communication that we are able to correlate with this 'play/learning' time.    

Do you have 'play' centers in your classroom?  Do you have a specific time in your schedule for them?  If not, do you work them in somehow?  

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Classroom Tour!

We officially went back to school on the August 6th, but technically I've been working on my room since the first week in July!  At the end of each year, we have to empty our rooms so they can be cleaned.  All of the big furniture and stuff is moved into the hall.  The smaller stuff can be crammed gently placed into our classroom bathroom for safe keeping over the summer.

This is what my bathroom looked like after I finished packing it in May! 

When I returned to my room in July this is what it looked like.  Our custodians move all of the big furniture back into our rooms, but we have to put everything back into place!

After a month of working hard in my room, it is finally all coming together.  I don't have a classroom theme, unless bright colors & black is a theme LOL!  I love primary colors paired with black.  I think it really makes the colors pop!  

This is the view from the door.  That big red ball is what I sit on during carpet time!  
I am in LOVE with my new carpet!  Still can't believe I got such a great deal!

This is my writing area.  Behind the shelf you can see our reading area.  

This is the reading area and library.  I love this house! 
I inherited it from another teacher and my kids always love it!  
Back in the old days it  used to be a housekeeping center lol!

 I am grateful to have four student computers (even if they are slightly outdated), 
because I know some classrooms do not have any!

Sink area, art table, and discovery table!

This is my small group area and desk.  
This year I got rid of my big, bulky teacher desk and 
got a much smaller desk off of Craigslist.  

This is the view from the back of the room looking towards the hallway. 

Well there you go....thanks for stopping by and checking out my classroom!  I really do love the way it turned out this year.  I think it's so important to create a classroom environment that is not only inviting to students, but also something that you can be comfortable in.  After all....our classroom really is our home away from home!!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Best 60 bucks I've ever spent!

This has been our first week back at school and it has been super busy!  I am working hard to get my room ready for our first day with kiddos next week....and I hope to have some pictures to share sometime in the very near future!  I just love looking at other teachers' classrooms!!

In the meantime....I am linking up with Elizabeth at Fun in Room 4B for Fabulous Find Friday!  I can't wait to tell you about something that I found that I totally cannot live without! 

I don't know about you, but I am a total Craigslist addict.  I spend a lot of time on there looking for  things for my classroom a wide variety of items.   I love being able to find a good deal and go get it immediately....rather than having to wait for someone else to ship it to me.   I suppose I'm rather impatient in that regard.  :-)  (If you haven't searched Craigslist lately, you should go there now!  Try searching for the keywords 'classroom', 'teacher', 'teaching' or 'educational'.  I'll bet you'll find something you never even knew you wanted!!)   

Two days ago I did a search using the keyword 'classroom' and I found the greatest deal ever!!!!!  I know you guys know how much classroom carpets can run.  I mean, those things are seriously some of the most expensive things ever!   I scored this carpet for only 60 dollars!!!!! (plus the gas money for driving 100 miles round trip to pick it up! LOL)  

I did have to steam clean the carpet once it was in my room, but that was a small price to pay for such a great deal!   For an eight year old carpet, I'd say it's looking pretty good!!!  

Apparently you can get a really great deal on a classroom carpet when a teacher decides to change the entire color scheme in her classroom.  Who knew!?!?!?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Yay for 2 day Inservices!

Every year, the county that I work for holds a 2 day inservice for all teachers.    It's completely optional, but it's something that a lot of us sign up for every year!  I know--it sounds fascinating, right?

It's really not that bad.  It's actually a win-win for us because not only do we end up with 14 hours of inservice credit, but we also get to learn from some of the best!  Each year we have the chance to attend sessions by a lot of nationally known educators that we normally could not afford would not get to see.   In the past couple of years I've gotten to attend sessions by Shari Sloane, Kim Adsit, Hal Bowman, & Rick Morris just to name a few.   The best part is that the whole thing is FREE for us!  Told ya--WIN-WIN!!

The past two days have been filled with sessions and speakers and lots of great information!  I feel like I have learned so much in such a short time.  It's going to take me a few days to process everything and make a plan to attack this year!  (We go back to school next Monday so I need to get right on that!)  Do any of you ever go to a really great inservice, learn something totally new & great, and then wonder how you ever taught without it?  Sometimes I think about my very first in the world did they ever learn anything that year.....I've learned so much since then!

Yesterday my favorite session was given by Dr. Jean!!!   I love all of her CD's and I use them all the time in my classroom!  Some of my favorite Dr. Jean songs can be found here.  I also love her ideas for literacy & math, and how she takes ordinary materials and magically turns them into complete centers.  Plus she's just so darn cute and energetic!   After the session we gathered our Kindergarten team and asked Dr. Jean to take a photo with us. She happily obliged and we all happily posed.  Except....I apparently didn't get the memo that we were doing the whole 'arms around each other' I ended up with my hand hanging awkwardly over my leg. can totally pick me out.  :-)  I stick out like a sore thumb hand. LOL

Our Kindergarten Team
Emily, Debbie, Jody, Dr. Jean, Angela, Michelle, & Jennifer