Sunday, December 29, 2013

SimplyKinder Year End Giveaway

"Penguins" Read It, Write It, Glue It, Draw It

New Product!

"Penguins" Read It, Write It, Glue It, Draw It

A fun, independent literacy center designed for K or 1st Grade.  Students read each sentence, write the sentence, cut out the words of the sentence and glue them in the correct order, then illustrate the sentence to show their comprehension.

This set is perfect for your animal studies during Winter!  Eight pages of interesting penguin facts!
 Click on any of the pictures to grab your set today!

And don't forget my "Spider" and "Bones" sets, too!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween @ School...We're all Culver's employees (back story...we had a PTA volunteer night at Culver's in the beginning of October to raise money for the school. It was a HUGE success and a lot of fun, thus the costumes).

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Spider Comprehensive Projects

I am so proud of how much the kids learned about spiders during "Spider Week."  We finished our investigation of spiders with a comprehensive activity that incorporated multiple aspects of our newly learned knowledge.  First, we made a spider craft with our 6th grade buddies which we later labeled the parts of.  The firsties can now properly identify the abdomen, cephalothorax, legs, eyes, spinnerettes, and fangs on a spider.  We made a colorful web for our spider using an AB coloring pattern.  Finally we wrote numerous facts we learned and opinions we have about spiders. 

We have gotten many comments about our awesome projects from others in the school.  One other teacher even came in our room one day during a lesson to tell us all what a super job we did and how proud she was of us.  She said she was really impressed by all of the facts that everyone had written.  The kids were beaming.  :D

Sunday, October 27, 2013

What shall I be for Halloween?

I saw this a long time ago on Pinterest.  I made my own personal version for my firsties' writing center this week (the week of Halloween).  I'm super excited to see their responses!  Honestly, I still don't know what I'm even going to be for Halloween.  At school all of us teachers usually dress up as a theme (last year we were all Barbies), but this year I'm still not quite certain what we're supposed to be.  Two ideas have been thrown around, and I don't know what was decided.  Honestly, I'd rather go as whatever I wanted, i.e. a book character.  Oh, well.  The kiddos keep asking me what I'm going to be, though, and I keep telling them I don't know.  So their ideas will be completely their own.  I'll post responses when they're finished.  :D 

"Bones" Read It, Write It, Glue It, Draw It

New Product!

"Bones" Read It, Write It, Glue It, Draw It

A fun, independent literacy center designed for K or 1st Grade.  Students read each sentence, write the sentence, cut out the words of the sentence and glue them in the correct order, then illustrate the sentence to show their comprehension.

This set is perfect for your bone and skeleton units during Halloween!  Eight pages of interesting bone facts!

Click on any of the pictures above to grab your set today!

And don't forget my "Spider" set, too!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

"Spider" Read It, Write It, Glue It, Draw It

New Product!

"Spider" Read It, Write It, Glue It, Draw It

A fun, independent literacy center designed for K or 1st Grade.  Students read each sentence, write the sentence, cut out the words of the sentence and glue them in the correct order, then illustrate the sentence to show their comprehension.

This set is perfect for Spider-Week!  Eight pages of interesting spider facts!

Click on any of the images to grab your set today! 

Saturday, October 12, 2013

iPad Mgmt

I'm not completely finished yet, but here's a sneak peak of what I've got going on.

 I've got all of the charging cords wired through the back of my Sterlite cart.  I *taped* two power strips on the side of the back of the cart so the cords wouldn't be stretched when the drawers were pulled out.

Each child has their own pair of 'ear buds.'  I'm keeping them stored in a bead box, and each set is stored corresponding to the students' classroom numbers.  Each pair of 'ear buds' also has a small piece of tape on it with its number in case they get misplaced in the room.  I purchased the 'ear buds' at my local dollar store for $1 each.     

Coming soon: who uses the iPads, when?  How do I know which apps I am allowed to go into? 

Five Little *Puking* Pumpkins

This week we learned all about pumpkins.  We learned about the life cycle of a pumpkin.  The kids were fascinated to learn that pumpkins grow out of flowers and that they are actually green before they turn orange.  We explored a pumpkin using our five senses and got to touch the inside "guts" and even taste pumpkin seeds!  At the end of the week we did an awesome science experiment where we made a mixture using two liquids and made our pumpkin "puke."
 We started reading poems in our Poetry Notebooks this week, too.  The short, thematic, choral poems help to build fluency and expression in early readers.  So far, "Take Me Out to the Graveyard" (read to the tune of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame") has been the class' favorite.  In the spirit of pumpkins, though, we chose to really focus on the poem "Five Little Pumpkins," and even adapted it into a short reader's theater production.  We broke into three groups and everyone was given a role (either a pumpkin or narrator) with a line.  We practiced reading our lines and speaking with expression like we were real actors.  The class then got to perform for their 6th grade buddies.  They did a FANTASTIC job!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Busy, BUSY Week

Last week was a busy, busy week for us.  We learned a lot of new things! 

First, we were able to explore our math materials during a special center time.  The students were able to explore our pattern blocks, geo boards, and base ten blocks.  There were no specific instructions for what to do at each center; I simply wanted to see what the children knew about the materials and what they would do with them on their own.  I was pleased with some of the awesome designs created on the geo boards and the symmetrical patterns made the with pattern blocks.  There were some pretty great structures built with the base ten blocks, too!

We also learned how to use our Rise and Shine Binders.  These are our daily morning work binders.  Every morning we have a simple math sheet, called a Math Minute, that is found inside of our Rise and Shine Binder.  Once we finish our Math Minute then we can work in our Rise and Shine Binder.  In our binders there are different number routines like ten frames, tallies, and +1 -1.  We also write the date out in words.  In the backs of our binders are matching games to help us quickly identify numbers 1-20 in the form of numerals, shapes, tallies, and base ten (1-100).  We love working independently (a new vocab word we learned, ask us what it means) every morning!

Finally, we did learn how to start taking Accelerated Reader tests on our classroom computers.  I am encouraging students to read stories at home with mom and dad to be sure they understand the story before taking a test.  The kids are SO excited to start taking tests, but I do not want them taking tests on books that they do not fully understand.  They are only able to take a test one time, so we have to make it count!  Since the school library has closed because of MAP testing, our classroom library is open for business and the class learned how to look for books in our room and how to put everything back where it belongs.  We are not taking home any books quite yet, unless specific permission is given, but once the routine of the classroom library is under control everyone will be able to bring a book home if they want to read with mom and dad. 

Phew!  What a week.  And we're already almost half way through another!  Where is time going...???

Saturday, September 7, 2013

erin condren

I finally got my new erin condren Teacher's Planner!   Yippee!  I am SO excited to do planning this weekend!  Weird, right?  But I cannot wait to start writing in my new planner.  It's so pretty.  And organized.  It's set up perfectly.  And I had extra "checklist" sheets added so I'll be able to use it as my entire gradebook, too.  Awesome! 

Thanks Mom!  :D

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Hi, my name is Carl.

Hi, my name is Carl.

Carl is our classroom friend who eats all of our homework in the morning. When the children enter the classroom in the morning their first task is to check their folders for homework and notes and turn anything in to Carl's belly, thus feeding him breakfast. The kids get a kick out of this, and they are all very careful not to stick their fingers near Carl's mouth so as not to get bit. Teehee. They're too funny. Anyhoo, this is Carl...


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

New Student

I got a new student today.  Now I'm up to 18.  Doesn't sound so bad, I know.  I just read over my newbie's 43 page file, though, and I'm suddenly having flashbacks of another lovely little one from a couple years ago.

In the spirit of our story from today, "I think I can...I think I can...I think I can..."

Pray for me.   

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Everybody is Somebody

Our school's theme this year is "Everybody is Somebody."  So I decided to have the kiddos decorate puzzle pieces to display their unique personalities: their interest, their hobbies, their favorites, their families, etc.  Then I put all of the puzzle pieces together to show how even though we are all unique, individual people we all still fit perfectly together as one class.  Thus, "Everybody is somebody...and we fit right together!"

 Our Board Right Outside Our Classroom Door

A Close-Up of Some of the Kiddos' Work
They Did Such an AWESOME Job!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Signed, Sealed, (and Hopefully) Saturday

Welcome to First Grade Letter with "Magic Confetti" Poem

Just finished my "Welcome to First Grade!" letters to my new firsties.  My awesome teaching partner shared this great idea with me.  We're sending these letters to all of our firsties so that they receive them before school starts.  It's a little welcome back to school letter about how fun first grade is going to be and how not to be nervous about it.  At the bottom there is a super cute poem about "magic confetti," thus the little bag of confetti that is included.  I don't know where the original poem came from, so unfortunately I cannot give proper credit where it is due, but here is the poem:

The night before school is exciting and fun,
there are so many things to be done.
Your clothes are ready; your backpack is, too,
your classroom is full of fun things to do.
Many questions go through your mind,
all types of thoughts of every kind.
But sometimes we get the jitters down deep,
and that makes it so hard to fall asleep.
So here is some magic confetti for you,
full of promises to last the whole year through.
Tonight when you lay down you head,
sprinkle some under you pillow in bed.
The confetti will help you sleep through the night,
and you will wake up in the morning fresh and bright.
I'll sprinkle confetti under my pillow, too,
because I am SO excited to meet you!

The kiddos DID get their letters on time, and I had almost every parent approach me on the first day of school to tell me how special it was for their child to receive their letter.  :D

Monday, August 19, 2013

My New Home

I know a lot of you have been "waiting on pins and needles" for pics of my classroom, and the wait is finally over!  Here it is!  I've still got some little bits to finish up here and there, but this is the basic idea of it all.  I hope everyone likes it because I sure do.  :D

 View from the Door

 Front of the Room

 Word Wall and Guided Reading Area

 Large Group Meeting Area/Back of Room


 Writing Center

 View of Entrance

 My Awesome Toolbox
 View from my Desk

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Good Fortune

I was craving Chinese food all day.  So I went up the street to this little dive restaurant and got some General Tso's Chicken.  Needless to say the food was wonderful.  And cheap.  $7.07, yes please!  But that's not the point of my little story.  I finished my dinner and came to the novelty fortune cookie.  Usually I just eat my cookie and don't even look at the fortune because they are so insightful ridiculous.  Tonight, though, I glanced down and received a heartwarming fortune:

"Someone who deserves special attention awaits your magic voice." 

I can't wait for school to start.  It's going to be a great year. 

Friday, August 16, 2013

It Starts...

It's finally time!  I've begun moving into my classroom.  Needless to say it's been a bit more overwhelming than I anticipated.  I moved all 90% of my stuff in on Monday, then just sat there staring at everything wondering where to start.  Well, it's Friday evening and I'm getting very very close to the end.  Everything is put away and I'm putting finishing touches up; posters, alphabet, word wall, etc.  I got my desks in today and that helped things come together a lot, too.  I know by Monday night I should will be done.  (Please; I hope.)  Here are some before pics.  I'll post the finished product when it's finished.  ;D

 Pile by my Door

 All of my Books

 It's Not as Much as it Looks

 My Cute Little Cart

 At the Door, to the Right

 At the Door, Across to the Left

 Straight Across from the Door

 Wall Adjacent to the Door

 Entry to my Room

 My Desk