Monday, August 19, 2013

First Day of Fun!

Today was the first day with my new class of eager Kindergarten students.  It was a great day!  I have 17 kiddos in my classroom, but more registered today, so I will probably gain 1 or 2 new kids.  We had a busy first day!  It was hard to get the parents to say goodbye, and some cried (which brought tears to my eyes), but after the parents went on their way, we started a great day.  I always start the year off with a Chicka Chicka Boom Boom unit.  The kids love that book and I do too.  We started to illustrate the first page of our wordless story book. That is all I got too, lol.  After talking about the rules and procedures, we visited the cafeteria and Music class.  At that point our morning was done.  We spent the time before lunch passing out our crayon boxes and crayons.  Of course we had to have the talk about being the crayon boxes mommy or daddy and making sure it was quiet and well behaved.  We don't want to loose any of our baby crayons and we don't want them to get loud and crazy or they have to go to the crayon box calm down time out!  My favorite part is when the kids tell their crayons and crayon boxes to make smart choices.  They're so serious and only in Kindergarten will they take that seriously! Haha!  We made it through lunch and survived recess.  We had just enough time to grade our binders, receive our Welcome award, and then head to the bus ramp.  Where did the day go?!?!  It was a great day and the kids seem excited to be at school.  I think we are going to have a great year if it is anything like today!  I hope the rest of you are going to have a great year as well.

Here are a few pictures of the classroom at the end of the day.  I forgot to take them before school started.  I was very surprised at how nice the room looked after the first day.  Like one of my co-workers said, "We're still in the honeymoon phase... just wait!" Haha!  Even if it gets messy, that is ok because that is a part of Kindergarten!

Here is my view from the front door!  Can you tell I love pink!?!?
 View from the front door:
 Math work station board... I will be starting to introduce those next week.
 View of the back
 Color tree:
View from my desk 

This is how I collect the school supplies at Meet and Greet and on the first day of school.  I set out tubs on my back counter, label them with supplies from our list, and have the parents and kids sort them when they bring them to class.  It makes it so much easier to put away all of the supplies and saves me a ton of time.  I have them keep their binder, scissors, headphones, and pencil box at their desk so I can label them.  Everything else goes on the back counter.  I was actually very lucky this year with the amount of supplies that were brought to the classroom.  Woo-hoo!

Have a wonderful school year!  Good luck and Have fun!


Monday, April 22, 2013

Meet and Greet Ideas and Input Needed!

Only other teachers understand that it is April and we have already started thinking about next year!

I am so excited!  Next year our school has decided to do our Kindergarten Meet and Greet a different way.  We usually have meet and greet for all grades K-5 at the same time.  However, it can get crazy, especially when you have some parents who are bringing their child to school for the first time and have a million questions.  It is hard to give all 18 families your attention when the meet and greet is 2 hours long and you have people coming in and out at different times.

I spoke with our fabulous principal today and presented the idea of doing a special night just for Kindergarten families.  We would have everyone meet as a group in the cafeteria for 20-30 minutes and go over school-wide items.  We would talk about procedures, grade-level expectations (how it has changed drastically over the past few years), bus ramp, car pick-up, transportation changes, lunchroom items, etc.  Then we would have the parents come down to their child's Kg teacher's room for the last 20-30 minutes.  In the room we could tell the parents about ourselves, give them our classroom discipline plans and expectations, and help them with all of the paperwork they fill out at the beginning of the year.  Luckily, we worked out a few details and scheduled our first Kindergarten night for next school year!

That being said, I am full of questions.

Does anyone's school do Kindergarten meet and greet this way?

Do you allow the children to attend at night?

What do you call your Kindergarten night?  I want something cute to put on the fliers/letters to go home.

Any fun ideas to get the parents to come or other things to do at the meet and greet night?

 Please help provide some insight if you can!  I greatly appreciate any help or advice you can share.


Monday, April 1, 2013

TPT Advice Needed!!!!

I hope everyone had a fabulous Monday.  Our grade level got to participate in our first day of lesson study.  It is a great experience.  This is the fourth time we have done a lesson study and I feel that we have learned a lot.  It is a wonderful way to share ideas, plan together, and discuss student strengths and weaknesses.  Tomorrow one of our teachers will get to teach the lesson we wrote today.  I know it will be an awesome day and I am looking forward to it.  I already had my turn teaching a lesson for everyone, so I get to just relax and enjoy observing.

Now, the real reason I am writing this post is for help!  I need help/advice from all my blog friends.  I recently started a TPT store, and by recently I mean tonight!  Haha!  I have made so many different resources throughout my teaching career.  One of my colleagues suggested that I should start uploading some of my creations.  I figured, why not?!?!  I uploaded 4 files tonight.  I have many more in the works, but wanted so advice from everyone.  If you have a TPT store, what do you do to get your product noticed?  Any helpful hints or ideas would be appreciated!  I'm new in this area!

Also, if you guys would please help me by pinning some of my products, or download the free product and leave me feedback, I would greatly appreciate it.  Feel free to follow my store as well.

Keep the advice and hints coming!  I look forward to hearing what my experienced blog friends have to say!

Have a great week!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

March recap and door decor!

I know Easter is quickly approaching.  Our Spring Break was last week and we only get 4 days with the kids to do Easter activities.  I hate that it is such a short amount of time this year, but I really enjoyed the break!  The first two weeks of March our school celebrated literacy with Dr.Seuss.  We had a door decorating contest, family literacy night, and dress-up days.  It was a ton of fun.  I wanted to share some of the awesome doors that our Kindergarten hallway created!

I worked with the teacher across the hall.  We love decorating our doors and the wall between our classrooms.  In the past we have made an Indian village, a Gingerbread house, Chick Chicka Boom Boom trees, a huge Magic Tree House display, and other seasonal or literary themes.  We ave an awesome idea planned for the beginning of next school year.  We wanted to bring my favorite book to life by creating a huge Yertle the Turtle display! The kids made Yertle's and turtles and labeled everything Yertle ruled.  
Here it is:

 The turtle stack was 3-D and Yertle was falling off the stack!

 Here are the doors covered with everything Yertle ruled (birds, bees, cat, trees, air, house, blueberry bush, donkey, cow, butterflies mud puddle)!

It was a lot of fun and looked great.  The kids loved helping to create the wall.  Here are a few of the other Kindergarten doors!   

Hop on Pop.  The kids faces are on the little characters and the bubbles have rhyming words in them.

Here is the Lorax- The kids made a little Lorax and wrote they speak for the trees on the sign.

There's a Wocket in my Pocket

 If I Ran the Zoo-


Daisy Head Maizy

It's good to be back!

 I have missed the blogging world.  My life has been a whirlwind the past 9 months, but it is finally settling down and getting back to normal.  Quick recap- last time I blogged we had found out we were pregnant with a sweet little boy.  At one of our ultrasounds they were concerned with his development, so we started seeing a high risk doctor.  I went to the doctor almost every week until October.  In October they had to do an emergency c-section, not because anything was wrong with Grayson, but because there were complications with me.  The whole time we were worried for our little man, we never imagined there would be anything wrong with me.  I ended up having a brain hemorrhage (how often does that happen from pregnancy?!?!) and was in the hospital for a week.  Long story short my sweet little guy was a perfect healthy baby and I am recovering just fine and praying that never happens again!  So, I had to take off work from October through February.  It was a long time away from my kiddos, but I had an amazing time bonding at home with my sweet boy and getting much needed rest.  

Here is my sweet little Grayson when he was 1 day old.  He is my little miracle.  

Here is my little guy now at 5 months old.

It feels good to be in a normal routine and back at school!  I can't wait to start posting about what we are doing in the classroom.  It has been a difficult transition back.  It is like the beginning of the year again, but worse because the kids have some bad habits that are hard to break.  But they are sweet children and are trying hard to learn.  I hope the last 2 months of school will be full of fun and learning!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Math Centers

It is official... I need to go to pinterest rehab!  I have been stuck to pinterest for the past two days finding too many cute things to do next year in my classroom.  The only problem is I don't know where to start!  My to do list keeps growing with great ideas, in addition to trying to prep a nursery for our sweet baby boy.

Next year our school is doing a reading block and a math block.  I am excited about this and being able to integrate the other subjects into our reading and math times.  I have always blended my curriculum and cannot wait to do more with thematic units.  However in the past we were told to stay away from too many thematic units.   It's funny to watch how the pendulum swings back and forth.  When I started 6 years ago we used themes.  Then after one or two years, we had to follow the basal with fidelity.  Now we are back to using themes and only the "meaty" parts of the basal while using the common core standards.  Our school went ahead and implemented the CCS this past year in Kindergarten, so I feel comfortable with the standards and am focusing on planning my new theme-filled year.  We can finally bring the fun back to Kindergarten!   Has this ever happened to anyone else?!?!  

So, back to the original tangent of being addicted to pinterest... I was looking up math ideas and want to implement daily math centers next year.  I have always done math centers in my classroom, but only once or twice a week.  It was difficult to fit them in with the SS, Science, and Writing blocks built into my schedule.  Now that we are "allowed" to integrate these subjects, I want to do centers daily.  I bought Debbie Diller's book Math Work Stations.  I saw many pinterest ideas that referred back to this book.  Has anyone read it?  Was it as inspirational as everyone says?  

Math Work Stations

I also found a few blogs that had some good ideas.  

Now my brain is spinning on what to do and how to organize them.  I hope the book will help me sort out my ideas.  I am very lucky to have many different Lakeshore Math centers from grants I wrote on Donors Choose (if you haven't checked out that website, you must.  It is a great way to get classroom supplies for free from kind strangers!).  We must follow the order of our basal (Go Math) because of our report card requirements, so I'm tied down to what must be taught each nine weeks. I am more concerned with logistics.  How to group the kids, how long to stay at the centers, keep the same center types all year or do random centers, etc.  Has anyone implemented math centers daily in their classroom?  If so, I'd love some pointers or even a link to a blog/website that has ideas.  Thanks in advance for the help or suggestions!  I love learning things from other teachers!  

Friday, June 8, 2012

I've been MIA for a Good Reason

I have been a terrible blogger for the last couple of months.  I really do have a good reason...  In March, over my Spring Break, my husband and I found out that we were expecting our first baby!  Baby White is due November 8th.  That news explained the exhaustion I had been feeling.  Luckily, I was not sick, but I was so tired, especially after teaching Kindergarten all day.  Every day I wanted to come home and sleep, but life does not stop for tiredness.  However the blog had to stop for a while.  Now that I am in my second trimester, I finally have some energy back and am excited to come back to the blogging world.  Too bad it is summer and I won't have a lot of things I have done with my kids to post.  However, I have a ton of summer projects (school and baby) that I can't wait to share.  Here is a picture of our little bundle of joy!  This was at 11 weeks.

We go next Friday to find out if it is a boy or a girl.  I am betting it is a boy.  We will see next week!

I have one more day of post-planning Monday and then I am out for the summer.  I can't wait to get started on planning next year and making cute things I have pinned on pinterest.  I have felt like a crazy person running copies for next year.  Since I will be out November and December, I have copied so many holiday themes and center activities.  My mom works at my school and handles the print shop, so at least she understood why I was turning in Fall and winter themed items in May and June.  I even had one of my favorite volunteers cut out all of my October-December craft items.  She was more than happy to do it when she heard the news.  I have never been so far ahead of the game.  Now this summer I can sit down and map out as many things as possible.

Enjoy your weekend!  It's good to be back!