Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Brag Tags~ working for charms!

I mentioned in an earlier blog that we have our sight word chart that tracks the progress of the 100 words we need to know.  The sight word incentives tie into our brag tags.  We are also a PBS (Positive Behavior Support) school and some of our PBS incentives tie into the brag tags.  So what is a brag tag?  A brag tag is a necklace that each child receives and they work toward earning charms to display on their necklace.  I absolutely love our brag tags.  On the first day of school I give my students their "brag tag" or necklace.  I make sure that each necklace already has a "name charm" (a counter top sample from our local hardware stores) with his or her name, my name, and grade.  I explain to the kids that over the course of the year they can earn charms for their necklace.  Each charm represents a special achievement.  The kids get so excited about earning charms and the fact that they already have a charm.

Our school gives out charms every month for AR goals, Art and Music stars, good character, citizenship, PE mileage club, and birthdays.  Students also receive charms for perfect attendance and honor roll or good behavior for Kg every nine weeks.  Some grade levels have special charms.  This year Kindergarten ordered ABC and sight word milestone charms.  These charms are amazing motivators for most of my students.  I also give out special bead charms in my room.  It is hard at first for Kg students to earn charms, so I came up with a few of my own.  I went to Wal-Mart and bought some of the pony beads for a couple of dollars.  I use green beads if they have been on green all week, yellow for bringing back homework (not every time... only on special days, but they never know when it will be bead day), pink beads for being good friends and citizens in the classroom, and I bought metallic beads, but haven't thought of a way to use them yet.

Here are some pictures of the brag tags!  The holder is a jewelry holder I found at TJ Maxx for only $14.  I had to buy one for home as well!

The lovely counter samples I got from Lowe's and a close-up of the number and ABC charms.  They get the ABC when they know all upper and lower case letters and sounds.  The number charms are the milestones on their way to knowing all 100 sight words.

Here are my containers of pony beads and two new packs of stars and hearts I bought at Hobby Lobby.  I'm not sure how to use those yet.

 Here are some charm necklaces.  I have a list of the number of green beads I owe the kids and haven't put them on their necklaces yet.  Also we just did our 100 word assessment today, so I owe some 25, 50, 75, and 100 milestone charms.

The charms can be ordered from Fitness Finders.  I hope you all enjoyed the brag tags!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Literacy Week- Door Decorating Contest

We had literacy last week at our school.  One of the activities was to decorate our door using a book that is a classroom favorite.  In the past we have done Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and Dr. Seuss.  I let the kids help me decide which story they liked best.  We were finishing up our snowmen activities and they had fallen in love with the book Snowmen at Night.  I love that book!  We have read it a few times on We Give Books and with the actual paperback book.  So I took to pinterest to find a cute snowman.  I saw a picture of a snowman from a different perspective on this art blog. I decided to turn that into our door decorations!

Here's a picture of our final project:

Here are some of the precious snowmen:

I asked this little boy if he had his small circle and he held this up.  He explained that it wasn't even, so he needed to trim it.  How funny!

Here's one of the snowmen up close:

Next time I do this project I will need to buy the foam sticky tape to give it better dimension.  We used foam dinosaur stickers (only thing I could find in the room), but it didn't seem to work with separating the layers.  I It needed to be a little thicker.  I still think it turned out cute as can be and the kids love it!

Crazy Week!

This has been a crazy week so far!  But, what else should I expect... with Valentine's Day and all!  We had a blast at our party yesterday.  Of course, it wasn't a normal day.  I had a SME workshop scheduled in the middle of the day, so we had our Valentine exchange at 8:20 in the morning!  Thank goodness we know how to be flexible in Kindergarten!

I love family projects, so of course we had a Valentine family project.  I gave every child a capri sun or kool-aid drink box the week before Valentine's Day.  Their job was to decorate their mailbox for our valentine exchange.  Here's a look at the boxes before they went home... the children took special care to pick out which box they wanted.  These kids are too funny!

Here are some of the finished products:
This little girl has Bieber Fever!

 This one had a hinge inside the flap...

 I loved this hunting animal...

 One of my little guys lost his drink box and used a huge box instead :)

Our quick Valentine exchange breakfast... we had a lot of fruit and non-sweets because we have a peanut allergy in our classroom.  I actually enjoyed all the fruits and non-sweets. This is a portion of the fruit- we still had 2 things of strawberries, 2 bags of apples, 20 bananas, 20 oranges, and 24 cheese sticks in the fridge.  We are enjoying these healthy snacks the rest of the week.  

 Here are some of my teacher friend's projects... she's my partner in crime across the hall.

I just love how these projects turn out every year.  The kids love to show off their work too.  Hope everyone had a great Valentine's Day with their sweet kiddos!

Monday, February 6, 2012

100th Day

So last week we celebrated our 100th day... sort-of.  We had to spend our morning being video taped for a Kindergarten Readiness conference with the preschool teachers in my district.  They were supposed to tape us earlier in the week, but something came up and they needed to come on Friday (the 100th day).  I have a weird schedule this year and I only get to teach from 7:45-10:55.  After 11:00 we have lunch (I eat with the kids), bathroom break, special area, and recess.  We don't get back to the room until 1:10 and then go home at 1:30.  So, they spent the morning taping a "normal" day and did not leave until 10:00.  That gave us enough time to make a counting by 10's hat to wear and start our 100 day booklet.  We had to finish the book today because we ran out of time last week.  Needless to say I missed doing my usual 100 day activities.

I did have a family project that the students were encouraged to do.  They were asked to display a collection of 100 objects.  They could use anything around the house (buttons, cereal, stickers, pennies, etc.).  This year I got some cute projects.  Here are a few pictures of their family projects.  They were so proud to display them in the hallway for everyone to see!

I loved the fish made out of beads!

 This was described to me as Feather Fireworks!
 One Hundred buttons on a string
 This little boy loves basketball- he used beads to make a basketball and then had "basketball rules" along the bottom
 Pasta and candy hearts
 100 buttons on a shirt
 The display under our bulletin board
Sponge Bob was turned in today

Even though it was a crazy 100th day, we still enjoyed it!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

I just found an awesome blog- Heather's Heart.  She is having a giveaway!  Check it out!

Welcome to Our Room (Part 2)

Here are more pictures of the room from Meet the Teacher Day in August.

This is our classroom library.  The book bins are labeled with the levels of the books.

We start the year with a unit on Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.  Here's the bulletin board for Chick Chicka Boom Boom.

Here is the computer area and the counting fish bulletin board above it.

Here is the birthday board and the word wall with the kid's names.

Here is my writing pencil (it's a little faded from 4 years of use).  I found it on Mrs. Meacham's website.  I love it and the kids do as well.

Here are two more shots from the door.

I will have to take updated pictures.  We finally got a white board instead of the ancient chalkboard that I could not use because of my allergies.  When we got the whiteboard I felt inspired to rearrange some of my tables and change up the bulletin boards since they added two more.  I hope you enjoy my home away from home.

Welcome to Our Room

Here are some pictures of my classroom on Meet the Teacher Day back in August 2011.  The room has changed a little bit since then.  I will have to take some recent pictures to post later.

Here is the view from the front door looking into the classroom.  The goodie bags were the treats the students got for coming to Meet the Teacher.

My talented husband painted the windows for me.

Here are the bins I put on my back counter for the kids and their parents to sort their school supplies.  It makes it easier to put the supplies away if they are already sorted!

Here is my color tree.  The kids love using the color words to describe things in their writings.

Here is our calendar center.  I got this from Lakeshore Learning with a grant from Donors Choose

Here is the hundred club chart.  We have 100 sight words that the kids need to know by the end of Kindergarten.  I have a chart for them to track their progress. Every 5 words they master, they get a star.  When they reach 25, 50, 75, or 100 they get a special number charm for their brag tag (necklace).  When they master 100 words their name goes on the 100 poster.  The kids love working toward charms and stars!

Here is the library card chart, listening center, and the bulletin board next to the door as you enter the classroom.